Daily Check-In 02/08/2019

Friday, February 8, 2019 and the weekend.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, privately complained that he was ordered by president Donald Trump to write the notorious memo justifying the firing of the FBI director James Comey, according to Comey’s former deputy.

Andrew McCabe writes in a new book that Rosenstein, who has publicly defended the memo, lamented that the president had directed him to rationalise Comey’s dismissal, which is now the subject of inquiries into whether Trump obstructed justice.

Rosenstein made his remarks in a private meeting at the justice department on 12 May 2017, according to McCabe’s memoir, which also accuses Trump of operating like a criminal mob boss and of unleashing a “strain of insanity” in American public life.

McCabe recalls Rosenstein being “glassy-eyed”, visibly upset and sounding emotional after coming to believe the White House was using him as a scapegoat for Comey’s dismissal.

“He said it wasn’t his idea. The president had ordered him to write the memo justifying the firing,” McCabe writes. Rosenstein said he was having trouble sleeping, McCabe writes. “There’s no one here that I can trust,” he is quoted as saying.

McCabe’s book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, is due on sale later this month. A copy was obtained by the Guardian prior to its release.

One of the long lasting threads that has been begging to be pulled ever since this mess started was why did Rod Rosenstein write the memo that justified firing James Comey?  Why would he voluntarily do that?

Turns out, just like was surmised earlier, he was ordered to.

According to a new book by Andrew McCabe, DAG Rosenstein told him that he was ordered to write a memo about James Comey that gave a justification to fire him.  This lines up with a report Louise broke almost two years ago where she said that Rosenstein was ordered to write two memos, so as to not draw too much suspicion from him.  The first was a recommendation to keep Comey on board, while the other was a justification to fire him.  Trump used the justification memo and fired Comey, putting Rosenstein in the middle of the shit sandwich.

 

Manafort

 

Stone

 

Butina & Erickson

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Inauguration

Cavalier Consulting. 1701 West 31st Street in Austin, TX. 78703.  $3,999,585 for ticketing services?  This smells like financial crimes.

Remember what I said a few days ago about round numbers in the real world? (Daily Check-In 02/04/2019). That applies here.  That number is $415 shy of 4 million.  And a lot of other purchases and expenses that come out to very round numbers.  Smells like money laundering.

 

Illegal Immigrants Working for Trump

 

 

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

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is personally funding an investigation into how his texts ended up in the hands of the National Enquirer — and an associate of Roger Stone’s is now being questioned.

The Daily Beast reports that the investigation has questioned Michael Sanchez, the brother of Bezos’ mistress, Lauren Sanchez. Bezos’ personal security consultant, Gavin de Becker, confirmed as much on the record. Equally interesting, though, is that Sanchez is an associate of numerous individuals in President Trump’s orbit, including former advisers Roger Stone and Carter Page.

When reached for comment by The Daily Beast, Stone denied hacking Bezos’ phone, despite not actually being asked if he had done it. When this was pointed out to him, Stone replied, “You are busted. You are not a journalist. No one believes anything you write.” Stone had previously gone on InfoWars to claim he was about to be accused by The Daily Beast of hacking Bezos’ phone, which, again, the publication never suggested.

Investigators are leaning toward the belief that the leaking of Bezos’ texts to the Trump-friendly National Enquirer was politically motivated, the report says. Bezos owns The Washington Post and has been a frequent target of Trump’s, and de Becker says “strong leads point to political motives.” Documents reportedly show Sanchez discussing theEnquirer‘s reporting on Bezos’ affair with Stone and Page after it was published. But Sanchez himself has apparently insisted to investigators that the “deep state” was probably responsible for the leak. Naturally, they have “not taken that possibility seriously.” Brendan Morrow

 

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

Failure to Follow the Global Magnitsky Act

 

Physical

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Whitaker

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

VIRGINIA

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

Trail of Tears

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Foreign Influence on the Internet

 

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

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

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

He still looks like an evil ass, but less cartoonish this way.

 

That’s it for the last few days.  It’s been pretty busy, and there are a lot of threads I’d like to follow up on.

For starters, who is Cavalier Consulting?

Did the Saudis use Pegasus to get the Bezos pics?

Why do I suck so much at time management when posting the weekend and Friday article?

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

2018 Retrospective

This time last year, I wrote the 2017 Retrospective.  That piece served as a quasi-nostalgia piece/best of/how did I get here essay/predictions for the upcoming year.  As much as I don’t like Best-of lists and other looks back, I feel like this is needed to keep perspective.

 

WHERE WE LEFT OFF IN 2017?

At the end of 2017, we were just starting to get a picture of how big the Russian Conspiracy truly was.  We were also witness to the most dysfunctional presidential administration of the modern era.  A cabinet rife with corruption that was looking for new and interesting ways to destroy their departments while lining their pockets.  Meanwhile, rumors and stories about the depths of cooperation with foreign powers kept rising to the surface.  Every so often, a new story highlighting a new part of the conspiracy arose.  The NRA.  The National Prayer Breakfast.  Oleg Deripaska.  Alexander Torshin.  Maria Butina.  Kostya Kilimnik.

The Rumor Mill was still months ahead of the active story from the Mainstream Media.  While the MSM was hung up on Trump’s tweets, the Rumor Mill was talking about the NRA being used as the primary source for laundering Russian money into the Republican National Committee for use in the 2016 election.

 

KICKING OFF 2018

January started off with the first of several major books exposing the dysfunction of the Trump Administration.  “Fire and Fury” was the first major book to show how bad things are inside the White House.  Nothing gets done, everyone is ready to stab the other in the back at a moment’s notice, and everything revolves around the whims of a septuagenarian in a diaper.  This book also established a pattern.  The worse it makes Trump look, the more he freaks out about it on Twitter and through Wall-Eye Sanders.  The worse they react, the more likely it is to be true.  The more likely it’s true, the better the sales.  This book sold like beer at a football game.  My favorite quote from it was a conversation between Steve Bannon and Trump after Trump said in an interview with his frenemy Maggie Haberman that investigating his finances would be “crossing a red line.”

“You’ve got the LeBron James of money laundering investigations on you, Jarvanka. My a–hole just got so tight!”

I don’t want to imagine Steve Bannon’s asshole, but it’s a worthy response when finding out Andrew Weissmann is looking into your finances. (Daily Check-In 01/05/2018)

We also saw the beginning of the year kick off with Republicans in both the House and Senate rally around Trump at all opportunities to either demonize his enemies or obstruct investigations into Trump and his cronies.  This is when I learned two important procedural rules.  House committees can only release transcripts after a vote, but the ranking chairperson of a Senate committee can do whatever the fuck they feel like, including releasing transcripts. (Daily Check-In 01/09/2018). Diane Feinstein did with Glenn Simpson’s testimony.  Glenn is the head of Fusion GPS, the group that ran Opposition Research against Trump and ultimately hired Christopher Steele.

The only committee in either house of congress that acted like grown-ups this year was the Senate Intelligence Committee.  They’re work is still ongoing.

The most off-the-rails thing to happen in January was a news report showing that Michael Cohen had paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 a couple weeks before the election.  At the time, it seemed rather…weird and unrelated.  Turns out it would have HUUUGE consequences throughout the year. (Daily Check-In 01/12/2018)

What should have been the biggest story of the early year happened on Daily Check-In 01/25/2018 when it came out that the Dutch had pwned the GRU and had proof that they were involved with the attacks on the United States.  Instead, Maggie Haberman dropped a story for the New York Times talking about how Trump had tried to fire Robert Mueller back in June.  It also turns out that this was the weekend that Trump was supposed to interview Mueller at Camp David, but pulled out at the last minute.

Throughout the month, more stories started to break into the MSM talking about Trump’s ties to the Russian Mob, and the NRA’s ties to the Russians.  On Daily Check-In 01/30/2018, the weirdest thing happened thus far: Sean Hannity was suspended from Twitter.  While his account was dark, a parody account arose and sounded so much like him that Julian Assange of Wikileaks DM’ed him.

Another thing we saw at the beginning of the year was the back and forth, will he or won’t he, about Mueller’s attempts to interview Trump.  It was widely viewed at the beginning of the year by the MSM that Mueller was only looking into Obstruction of Justice and had very little to go on for Russian connections.

 

FEBRUARY 2018:  THERE ARE INDICTMENTS

As I said, the MSM pushed the story that Mueller was only interested in investigating Obstruction of Justice.  That narrative fell apart on Daily Check-in 02/16/2018 when Special Counselor Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies for attacking the United States during the 2016 election by spreading propaganda, organizing Americans against each other, and committing a metric fucktonne of identity theft.  Mueller also got a guilty plea from Richard Pinedo for assisting the Russians by helping them get bank accounts that they then used to spoof PayPal.

Early February saw yet another attempt by the Republicans to distract from Mueller and discredit the investigation with the Nunes Memo.  (Daily Check-In 02/01/2018). That attempt lasted all of about 30 seconds everywhere outside of Fox News.  That how long it took to debunk the claims in Devin Nunes’ memo.

February also brought other stories like Hope Hicks trying to organize a cover-up of the June 9th meeting on a conference call, Steve Bannon interviewing with Robert Mueller, and that several states were hacked by the Russians. (Daily Check-In 02/07/2018).

Something tragic not related to the Russian Conspiracy occurred on Daily Check-In 02/14/2018 with the Parkland Massacre.  17 high school students were murdered by one of their classmates.  But this shooting was different.  This one was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  This shooting didn’t disappear from the news within a week like all the rest.  The kids stuck around.  They organized.  They marched.  They protested.  They registered to vote.  And they’re making a difference.

On Daily Check-In 02/26/2018 Trump asked his Energy Secretary Rick Perry to cancel a trip to India to instead go to London to meet with Saudis to negotiate nuclear reactors.

Also, Rick Gates flipped. (Daily Check-In 02/23/2018).  His old attorney Alex Van Der Zwaan pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

 

MARCH 2018: THE NRA AND THE GRAND BARGAIN TAKES SHAPE

I didn’t know it at the time, but March saw several interesting developments that lead to the Grand Bargain Theory.

George Nader flipped. (Daily Check-In 03/06/2018). He was Erik Prince’s right hand man and an adviser to the United Arab Emirates.  George was also with Prince at the Seychelle’s meeting.  He’s also a convicted pedophile who was stopped at the border on New Year’s Eve and decided to cooperate with Mueller to avoid a fate worse getting shanked in prison.  Elliot Broidy also made his way into the news in March with trying to kill the 1MDB money laundering investigation. (Daily Check-In 03/05/2018)

Cambridge Analytica made the front page finally for their work in fucking with the election by microtargeting voters for ads. They stole user profiles from Facebook, shared them with the Russians, and used those profiles to attack individuals with ads targeted specifically to them. (Daily Check-In 03/21/2018).

The Russians tried to kill a former spy on British soil.  (Daily Check-In 03/12/2018).  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke out about this attack.  Trump fired him the next day.

That was also the same day the House Intel Committee “ended” their investigation after finding “no evidence that the Russians assisted Donald Trump.”  Remember that.

On the campaign finance front, March saw Stormy Daniels and her new attorney Michael Avenatti go on the offensive against Michael Cohen.  More details emerge about how completely nutty this payment was, how it was made, and where the funds ultimately came from.  We also know that at least one other woman was paid off by Michael Cohen.  Karen McDougal was also paid off in 2016 to stay silent during the election. (Daily Check-In 03/16/2018)

The Mueller Investigation kept moving forward with subpoenas to the Trump Organization, requests for info about the Seychelles trip, and interviews with many staffers.

 

APRIL 2018: THE SUBJECT OF AN INVESTIGATION

On April 3rd, we found out that Donald Trump was officially the subject of a criminal investigation. (Daily Check-In 04/03/2018). We also got the evidence and explanation of the poison pill built into the Special Counselor’s investigation.  If Robert Mueller is fired, then all of his Senior Assistant Special Counselors are authorized in their dual roles as United States Attorneys to pursue any open investigations to their completion.  Also, those investigations were outsourced to various jurisdictions and indictments were filed under seal.

One of those investigations was United States versus Michael Cohen.  On April 9th, the FBI raided his home, his office, and hotel.  (Daily Check-In 04/09/2018).  They got ALL THE THINGS.  This might go down as the beginning of the end of the Trump Presidency.  I’ve probably said that a few hundred times, but when things are so bad that a judge said that the least intrusive way of getting the info they needed was multiple no-knock raids, things are bad.  Over the next few weeks, more of Cohen’s shadiness came out.  These included accepting payments for access to Trump, running cab companies, and his ties with mobsters.

Jared Kushner unloaded the 666 Fifth Avenue albatross to a group using Qatar as a middleman. (Daily Check-In 04/23/2018)

We also found out that several subjects and target were getting stopped entering the country, in that little in-between area where laws are a bit…different. (Daily Check-In 04/03/2018)

Sean Hannity is involved in some shady shit with Cohen, when it was revealed that he was one of Cohen’s three clients. (Daily Check-In 04/18/2018). Hannity was involved in some slightly shady real estate purchases.  That, and pushing Russian propaganda.

We got the flight details of Trump’s trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant in 2013.  These records contradict Trump’s claims that he didn’t spend the night in Russia. (Daily Check-In 04/23/2018)

James Comey’s book “A Higher Loyalty” was released. On the night he was on Rachel Maddow to talk about it, his memos about his meetings with Trump made the news.  (Daily Check-In 04/19/2018)

We finish April with the New York Times getting a list of questions from Jay Sekulow that he says are the questions that Mueller wants to ask Trump. (Daily Check-In 04/30/2018)

 

MAY 2018: SOMETHING ROTTEN IN NEW YORK

The Trump Organization is under various investigations, The Trump Foundation is under a microscope, Cohen is fucked 8 ways from Sunday, but that’s not the only weirdness in New York.  On Daily Check-In 05/07/2018 then NYAG Eric Schneiderman resigned after 4 women accused him of sexual assault in a story written by Ronan Farrow and Jane Meyer.  From the time the story dropped, it took about 2 hours for him to resign.  He was replaced by NYAG Underwood.  This would turn out to be the worst thing for the Trump Organization, the Trump Family, and anyone associated with Trump in New York.

At first, Trump Jr. was celebrating this move, but he’s an idiot with no strategic thinking.  My hypothesis is that they had shit on him for years, and were either waiting for him to come after them to release it or were going to use it to blackmail him.  Instead, he gets removed from the playing board and an unknown comes into play.  This unknown, by the way, would make Trump’s life even more of a living nightmare by the end of the year.

Cohen was implicated in a pay to play scandal with several companies, including AT&T. Within a month of engaging Cohen, they had a meeting with Ajit Pai in an attempt to kill net neutrality. (Daily Check-In 05/11/2018). Right after that, we get direct ties to the Qatar Investment Authority. (Daily Check-In 05/14/2018).

Trump and Nunes tried to expose top secret sources to protect themselves. (Daily Check-In 05/18/2018)

Daily Check-In 05/25/2018 revealed that Cohen met with Viktor Vekselberg during the transition, and the Spanish had wiretaps that showed Donnie Jr. was in contact with Alexander Torshin and his associate Maria Butina.

 

JUNE 2018:  A LITTLE BUSY

Jared Kushner’s buddy Richard Gerson was at the Seychelles Meeting.  He met with Prince Mohammed (MBZ) and George Nader. (Daily Check-In 06/01/2018). Gerson was also around when MBZ visited Kushner and Nader in New York City.  Gerson claimed he was only there to escort former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to the meeting.

Paul Manafort and Kostya from the GRU were indicted for witness tampering on Daily Check-In 06/04/2018.

The Brexit Backers were caught playing nice with the Russians.  This included passing info to and from Wikileaks. This produced even more visible ties to the Russian Conspiracy. (Daily Check-In 06/11/2018). We also heard of EVEN MORE contacts between the Russians and the NRA.

On June 15th, Paul Manafort went to prison.  I still get a smile on my facing knowing that he has most likely spent his final day as a free man. (Daily Check-In 06/15/2018).  That day, we also found out about the cut-out the Russians used to get the DNC emails to Wikileaks.

I was a little busy at the end of June and beginning of July. (Irregular Posts)

 

JULY 2018: RUSSIAN SPIES AND VERBAL BLOWJOBS

The three biggest stories of July involved Russia.  Surprise, surprise.

While Trump was on his way to Helsinki for a summit meeting with his boss Vladimir Putin, Robert Mueller indicted 12 members of the Russian GRU for hacking the DNC. (Daily Check-In 07/13/2018)

The next big story was Trump giving Putin a verbal blowjob in Helsinki, where he parroted everything Putin said, including how he believed him over all of the United States Intelligence Community. (Daily Check-In 07/16/2018)

While that was happening, news broke that a Russian woman named Mariia Butina was arrested for being an unregistered agent of the Russians.  She was a spy for the Russians that worked for Alexander Torshin and the Russian Government to infiltrate the National Rifle Association.  Over the next couple weeks a lot of her contacts came to light, including deep ties to the Religious Right and even some members of Congress.

A weird narrative developed on Daily Check-In 07/20/2018 as details emerged from the Cohen Investigation in SDNY.  Out of the million plus documents that the feds seized, only a handful of them were within the realm of Attorney-Client Privilege.  Some of that info were recordings Cohen made covering his meetings with Trump.  Trump then went after Cohen, and Cohen fought back.  Eventually a tape of Trump getting briefed on the Karen McDougal payoff was released.  Also, Cohen said Trump knew of the June 9th meeting, because he told him about it on June 7th. (Daily Check-In 07/26/2018). That prep meeting included 6 people.  Trump, Donnie Jr., Paul Manafort, Cohen, Trump’s secretary Rhona, and Paul’s second Rick Gates. (Daily Check-In 07/27/2018)

Paul Manafort’s tax evasion trial began on Daily Check-In 07/31/2018.

 

AUGUST 2018: MANAFORT FOUND GUILTY

While the Manafort trial was underway, more news about Roger Stone came out.  His crew has been under investigation for a long time. Long enough to make the constant jokes about him being in a barrel feel like they need thrown in a barrel.  (Daily Check-In 08/10/2018)

Omarosa released a book.  While talking about it, she let it be known that she was interviewed by Mueller’s team and that Trump knew about the Wikileaks email dump beforehand, (Daily Check-In 08/14/2018)

Don McGahn interviewed with the Special Counselor’s team for more than 30 hours.  As the White House Counsel, nothing he said was covered under privilege. (Daily Check-In 08/20/2018)

Paul Manafort was found guilty on 8 of his 18 counts in his tax evasion trial.  It came out that one juror didn’t convict on the charges related to money laundering.  (Daily Check-In 08/21/2018)

Bob Dole’s involved in a bank so corrupt even the Russians won’t do business with it. (Daily Check-In 08/28/2018)

Sam Patten, an associate of Manafort who worked with Cambridge Analytica, pleaded guilty to FARA violations. (Daily Check-In 08/31/2018)

Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to 8 felony counts the same day that Manafort was convicted.  In his plea deal, Cohen said flat out that Trump directed him to pay off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.  Trump’s CFO Allen Weisselberg and the head of the National Enquirer David Pecker were given immunity for their assistance in the Cohen and Trump investigations.

 

SEPTEMBER 2018:  KAVANAUGH, FEAR, AND FLIPPING.  OR SO WE THOUGHT

Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear” is released.  Around the same time, an anonymous Op-Ed is published in the New York Times that describes Trump as dangerous. (Daily Check-In 09/06/2018).

Paul Manafort appeared to flip on Trump on Daily Check-In 09/14/2018.

Supreme Court Justice Kennedy retired, allowing Trump to nominate Brett Kavanaugh.  During his confirmation hearings, reports of multiple sexual assaults involving Brett made the news.  This led to possibly the most disgraceful performance by the Senate in modern history.  They decided to half-heartedly reopen the investigation into the allegations.  They also agreed to hear Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, but pussed out and hired a woman to interview her.

Devin Nunes used this distraction to release transcripts (Daily Check-In 09/28/2018).

 

OCTOBER 2018:  THE COMING STORM

The Mueller front was rather quiet during October, for the most part.

Elena Alekseenvna Khusyaynova, Accountant from Project Lakhta was indicted on 10-19-18. Daily Check-In 10/19/2018. Elena was the accountant in charge of Project Lakhta, Russia’s project to influence the 2018 Election.  She received a Criminal Complaint for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.

On Daily Check-In 10/02/2018 the New York Times dropped a big story destroying the myth of Trump being a self-made millionaire.  His daddy bailed him out all the time, and his siblings took part along with him in schemes to avoid paying taxes.  His sister was a federal judge.

In October, news about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.  (Daily Check-In 10/12/2018).  Jamal was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey.  While the free world lined up to blame Mohammed Bin Salman for his role in the murder, Trump and Kushner bent over backwards to cover for their buddy, the Saudi Crown Prince.

 

NOVEMBER 2018:  THE BLUE WAVE

Dmitry Ryobolev, the Russian Oligarch who paid $95 million for a Trump property worth less than $40 million, was busted on Daily Check-In 11/06/2018.

The Democrats won control of the House of Representatives.  In overwhelming fashion.  Halfway through the following day, Trump fired Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. (Daily Check-In 11/07/2018). Matt Whitaker was named as Acting AG.

Steve Bannon’s role in Brexit came to the foreground (Daily Check-In 11/19/2018).

Trump finally submitted his written answers for Mueller’s questions. (Daily Check-In 11/20/2018).

Mueller’s team pulled their deal from Paul Manafort, saying that he lied to them and fed Trump information. (Daily Check-In 11/26/2018).  This likely implicates Trump on lying to investigators and committing perjury.  Only Trump could get caught cheating on a take-home test.

Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to Lying to Congress. (Daily Check-In 11/29/2018).

 

DECEMBER 2018:  SENTENCING AND THE WHEELS FALL OFF

Michael Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in jail. (Daily Check-In 12/12/2018). During his sentencing, Cohen once again said that he committed his crimes at Trump’s direction. Most importantly, he said that all of the crimes he did, he did at Trump’s direction.

The Special Counselor recommended that Flynn not serve prison time because of how helpful he’s been.  Then Flynn tried some “But I was entrapped” shit.  That didn’t sit well with the Judge, who flat out asked if Flynn committed Treason at his sentencing. (Daily Check-In 12/18/2018)

Bijan Kian and Kamil Ekim Alptekin, Turkish nationals were indicted on Daily Check-In 12/17/2018.  Bijan Kian was the second in command of Flynn Intel Group.  Kamil Alptekin set up Inovo BV, a Dutch company designed to hide payments from Turkey’s government.  Kamil and Bijan were both indicted for FARA violations and Acting as a Foreign Agent.

Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.  Jim Mattis resigned in protest. (Daily Check-In 12/20/2018).  And for the third time this year, there’s a government shutdown.

 

HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED?

At this time last year, it felt like screaming at a brick wall to get people to pay attention to the criminality of Donald Trump, let alone anyone else in his retinue.  Now, there’s no doubt that he’s at least surrounded by criminals.  It’s kind of hard to have a personal attorney who’s going to jail for three years, who implicated him in his crimes, and have the Federal attorneys say that there is ample evidence to charge him with multiple crimes.  Plus, the Trump Foundation was shut down for being a slush fund.

I didn’t include some of the other crazy shit like the border policies of separating children from their parents, or GOP’s attempt at rigging electoral systems across the country.  I also barely touched on how big the Democrats won in the election.  They claimed about 40 seats in the House, and won in places like Utah and Oklahoma.  They won legislative victories in Wisconsin and Michigan.  The only major races they lost are covered in so much controversy that those races are tainted, and one of them is currently headed towards a rerun.

I have no clue when the Mueller probe will end, or how big it will be when it ends.  Anyone who says they know is full of shit.  But things have changed in the last year.

I feel a sense of inevitability about impeachment.  It’s no longer a question of “if” but “when” and “for which crimes?”  This isn’t just because the Democrats won the House, but because of the continuing pile-on of crimes.  Everyone in Trump’s orbit is up to their necks in some criminal behavior.  It’s only a matter of time before we have to answer the following:

  • Can a sitting President be indicted by the Federal Government?
  • What about a state?
  • How many countries are involved in the Grand Bargain/Russian Conspiracy?
  • Is treason the worst of the crimes?
  • How long will Mike Pence be President?
  • What about Nancy Pelosi?
  • How many people will Maria Butina link up with?

As of the end of the year, there have been…

Gimme a second…

34 to 45 people indicted in 2018, depending on who gets counted.  That’s a lot of witches for this witch hunt.

 

That’s it for today.  I have one more post for the year covering the weekend and New Year’s Eve.  Aside from that, I’ll see yinz next year.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

Daily Check-In 09/13/2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

It looks like Friday’s going to be one hell of a day for Manafort and Mueller news.

Before the National Rifle Association dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to flip a competitive, Democratic-held Senate seat, the gun-rights group’s chief lobbyist apparently gave the race’s Republican challenger a heads-up.

Chris Cox, the top political strategist for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), assured Montana Republican Matt Rosendale that the group would spend heavily to support his bid to unseat Sen. Jon Tester, Rosendale told attendees at a July event in Washington.

PAY DIRT exclusively obtained audio of Rosendale’s remarks, which good-government groups say raise serious questions of potentially illicit coordination between Rosendale and an independent political group supporting his campaign.

“I fully expect the NRA is going to come in… in August sometime,” Rosendale said in response to a question about independent political spenders in the race. “The Supreme Court confirmations are big. That’s what sent the NRA over the line. Because in ’12, with [Republican Senate nominee Denny Rehberg] they stayed out, they stayed out of Montana. But Chris Cox told me, he’s like, ‘We’re going to be in this race.’”

Rosendale was slightly off in terms of timing, but the NRA did come through as Cox apparently promised. Early this month, the group spent more than $400,000 on ads hitting Tester over the precise issue that Rosendale mentioned—the senator’s votes on Supreme Court nominations.

Rosendale’s remarks are potentially problematic, as the NRA-ILA, a 501(c)(4) “dark-money” group, is legally barred from coordinating its ad buys with a federal campaign. As explained by nonprofit tax law attorney Holly Schadler, illegal coordination may occur “if the organization has substantial discussions with the campaign about an expenditure, or if the organization informs the campaign about a planned communication related to the campaign and the campaign signals its agreement with the suggestion to make that communication.”

The NRA, who was working with the Russians, coordinated political ads with a senate candidate in Montana in the summer of 2016.

It might not seem like it’s connected at first, if it wasn’t for ALL of the Russian connections to the NRA.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

WOODWARD AND THE ANONYMOUS OP-ED

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

MENTAL STATE

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCOTUS

 

BOSTON

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS

 

#METOO

 

HURRICANES AND THE ENVIRONMENT

So, they’re sending half a million cans of Bud Light and Coors Light?

 

ELECTION 2018

 

dark money spending

  1. U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  2. Crossroads GPS
  3. Americans for Prosperity
  4. National Rifle Association
  5. American Future Fund
  6. American Action Network
  7. League of Conservative Voters
  8. National Association of Realtors
  9. Americans for Job Security
  10. 45Committee
  11. Americans for Tax Reform
  12. Patriot Majority USA
  13. 60 Plus Association
  14. VoteVets Action Fund
  15. Planned Parenthood Action Fund

According to FactCheck.org, all of them except Patriot Majority USA, VoteVets, and Planned Parenthood are Conservative/Republican groups.  Not a single Liberal/Democratic group cracked the Top 10.  The NRA spent more than the Liberal groups did combined.  Also, look at the groups and what they focus on.  Free trade, tax cuts for the wealthy, gun sales, and home construction.

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Thursday.  Friday looks big, as some major Paul Manafort news is coming down the pipe.  It’s almost like I’m typing this on a Friday afternoon, just hours after the information came out.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 08/13/2018

Monday, August 13th

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial

The tenth day of the Manafort Tax Trial began in the early afternoon with the prosecution calling their last new witness James Brennan.  Brennan, a Vice President at Federal Savings Bank, testified under immunity on Monday.  He said that Manafort did not qualify for the loans after it was discovered that he hid two mortgages that he didn’t disclose, but he authorized the loans anyway after the bank CEO Steve Calk intervened on Manafort’s behalf.

The defense showed some of their strategy when they said that Paul Manafort had no requirement to claim the bank accounts of his business DMP LLC because he didn’t own more than 50% of the company.  Paul owns 50% and his wife Kathleen owns the other 50%.  They file jointly.  This argument has more holes in it than a colander.  If a husband and wife file jointly, it’s because they share responsibility over their finances.  If one screws something up, the other is also at fault.  Filing jointly is the same legally as two people claiming to be one entity.  That one entity has ownership over any controlled company, and the partners or married couple have shared responsibility.  If anything, the defense just implicated Mrs. Manafort in some tax evasion, too.

The prosecution recalled Paula Liss from FinCEN back for a few questions about Manafort’s company.  The prosecution never asked about the company, but the defense brought up that the offshore bank accounts could have claimed under Manafort’s company instead of on his personal tax form.  Paula testified that the bank accounts were not claimed by the company, either.

At this point, the prosecution rested its case.  The defense said they will file a motion to dismiss the charges, and the judge said he would review it.  I am not a lawyer, but this sounds like it is pretty standard for a criminal trial.  If the prosecution has failed to make a case, or made grievous errors, the case can be dismissed before the defense makes their case.  That does not seem likely in this situation.

 

Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who was the nations top spy hunter and who was dragged through the coals by Congress (Daily Check-In 07/12/2018) for texting his mistress/girlfriend was fired.  This whole thing stinks to high heaven.

The FBI’s HR office decided that his actions of sending personal texts from a secured phone warranted a demotion and a 60-day suspension, which he had already served, but that was overruled and he was fired by Deputy Director Bowdich.

Strzok has been a punching bag of the Right Wing Media ever since the whole text thing came out.  Their claims of “Deep State” have raged for about a year while doing nothing but serve as a distraction for the piles of shit coming out about Trump and his team.

He was also one of the last two people at the FBI that James Comey told about his meetings with Donald Trump in real time.  The only other person left at this point is the aforementioned Bowdich.

I’m not sure what to think on this.  Something is rotten about this action, and it’s almost absolutely politically motivated.  Hell, Trump couldn’t even wait a whole day before tweeting about the firing, which makes this look even more like it was politically motivated.

I have two questions.

First, was this firing carried out reluctantly or willingly?

Second, is there a paper trail?

 

I should make a post about all of the fake deadlines, deals, and comments that Rudy’s made since he joined as Trump’s lawyer.

Notice how he pulled this as a deadline with a shade over 2 weeks left in August, when most of Washington is on vacation and there is no plan for anyone to be around.  It’s like going on vacation, but telling your coworker that you can’t do a certain task after you get back because it will be too late, but you can’t do it while on vacation, then blaming the coworker for it not getting done.

Funny how each and every judge that hears these challenges seems to rule in favor of the Special Counselor.  It’s almost like they have some of the world’s best attorneys on their side, making sure that every i is dotted and t is crossed.

Oh wait, they do.  The Justice League.

A lawyer for Randy Credico, the radio host, confirmed Friday that he received a subpoena from Mueller’s office requesting that Credico testify before a grand jury in Washington on September 7. The attorney, Martin Stolar, said he believes prosecutors want to ask Credico about his contacts with Stone and also potentially about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange called into Credico’s radio show in 2016, and Stone has claimed Credico gave him information from Assange about plans to release hacked emails related to Hillary Clinton.

According to two people familiar with the matter, investigators also want to question Credico about a series of emails Stone sent him earlier this year, after Credico publicly disputed Stone’s claims about their interactions. “They said they saw some emails,” one of the people said, adding that the investigators are interested in the extent to which Credico perceived Stone’s statements as threats.

Of course they’re looking at Stone’s emails.  They’ve had them for months.  They want to know what Credico has to say about them.

In March 2016, as the U.S. foreign policy establishment shunned presidential candidate Donald Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner was invited to lunch for a think tank urging detente with Russia and struggling for influence in Washington.

The meeting at Manhattan’s Time Warner Center, which hasn’t been reported before, would prove significant for the Center for the National Interest and Kushner, who was still a little-known figure in the Trump campaign.

The main attraction of the March 14th event was Henry Kissinger, the center’s honorary chairman, who gave a talk that included analyzing U.S.-Russia relations for a small group of attendees. Kushner, who remained quiet and unobtrusive during the lunch, introduced himself to Kissinger afterward. He also met Dimitri Simes, the Russian-born president of the center and publisher of its magazine, The National Interest.

Questions have recently been raised about the center for its ties to Russia, including its interactions with Maria Butina, a woman accused of conspiring to set up a back channel by infiltrating the National Rifle Organization and the National Prayer Breakfast.

Trump Being Questioned by Butina: Video

Kushner meeting Simes at the lunch turned out to be a solid match. In the weeks following they discussed the possibility of an event hosted by the center to give Trump a chance to lay out a cohesive foreign policy speech. Simes’s organization, more pro-Russian than most in Washington, had invited other presidential candidates but none accepted. And Republican foreign policy analysts feared associating with Trump could end their careers. The center had the imprimatur of Kissinger, however, because it had been established by Richard Nixon who named him national security adviser.

A partnership with the center would help catapult Kushner to his role as a key diplomat in the White House. He and Simes organized Trump’s “America First” speech at the Mayflower Hotel the next month, with writing input and a guest list from the center.

It was at the Mayflower that Kushner first met Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, an encounter he left off disclosure forms when he initially joined the government. After Trump was elected, but before he took office, Kushner asked Kislyak whether the transition team could use the Russian embassy to communicate privately with Moscow.

March 2016, Kushner meets with Simes.  In April, everyone meets with Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel, where the Trump team allegedly asked the Russians for assistance in their campaign. (Scandal Speed Run2017 Retrospective).  This sounds like a back channel being formed.

 

The Department of Justice has added an attorney with expertise in weapons export and sanctions laws to the team prosecuting Maria Butina, the accused Russian agent whose handler was entwined with Kremlin-connected arms manufacturers banned from doing business in the United States.

The addition of Will Mackie brings to three the number of prosecutors pursuing the case against Butina. She faces charges of conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for what authorities say was her attempt to gain political influence through the National Rifle Association, part of a broader Russian campaign to install Donald Trump in the White House.

Mackie, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Justice Department’s National Security Division, has spent years prosecuting violations of U.S. sanctions and international arms embargoes. In 2008, he helped win a guilty verdict in the high-profile case against John Reece Roth, a University of Tennessee professor who passed secret military data to research assistants from China and Iran. More recently, Mackie was involved in the controversial prosecution of Marc Turi, an Arizona arms dealer who sought to sell sniper rifles, machine guns, and other weapons to Libyan rebels during the uprising against Muammar el-Qaddafi. (The charges against Turi were dropped after he reached a civil settlement with the State Department).

Weapons trafficking and sanctions.  Considering that Butina’s patron Alexander Torshin is under sanctions, and we’re looking at the NRA, this sounds like it’s right up his alley.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

Death threats.  Lots and lots of death threats.

What’s sad isn’t how far he’s taking these people, but how far they’re willing to go with just a little bit of encouragement.

Reminds me a bit of Ronald Reagan Jr.  He’s pretty much the polar opposite of his dad.

 

IMMIGRATION

Trump and my nephew both know their immigrant and refugee roots. Yet, they repeat the insults and false accusations of earlier generations against these refugees to make them seem less than human. — Almost every American family has an immigration story of its own based on flight from war, poverty, famine, persecution, fear or hopelessness. These immigrants became the workers, entrepreneurs, scientists and soldiers of America.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

Pavlov has engaged some of the world’s biggest law firms to act on behalf of him and his clients, has encouraged a former U.K. attorney general to lobby on his behalf, and has hired the consultancy firm part-owned by U.K. and Australian election maestro Lynton Crosby.

Yet he’s also embroiled in a huge international row over an alleged $230 million Russian fraud that left a lawyer tortured to death in a Russian prison; is closely tied to the Russian and Kazakh interior ministries; and is even alleged to have acted as a mediator between a Russian whistleblower and an alleged criminal gang, shortly before the whistleblower was found dead—with U.S. intelligence pointing blame for the death directly at Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Pavlov’s jetset lifestyle embodies the elaborate network of connections between the Russian state and Western elites that special counsel Robert Mueller is now charged with investigating. Like most people in this world, Pavlov has always been a closed book—until now.

The Daily Beast is able to shed unprecedented light on how Pavlov and those around him operate, thanks to a circumstance all too familiar to Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee, and others: The contents of Pavlov’s emails were leaked and posted online following what he says was a hacking attack to an obscure site used by hackers to dump their finds. (The identity of Pavlov’s hackers is not known, and Pavlov has not publicly speculated on it.)

This rare cache of documents, plus court records from cases across the U.S. and detailed reporting, give a rare insight into the complex nexus of connections in which Pavlov resides—a network that draws in interests connected to Putin and also business connections of President Trump.

Pavlov’s mails link him to everyone involved in the Magnitsky case, and link them to each other.  In any normal universe, this should be the top story.

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

SCOTUS

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

Omarosa

There is no way that Omarosa was the only person in the Reality Show White House that was walking around recording everything.  Granted, that should be a very short list, but I’m not buying that she was the only one doing it.

As much as this should be a simple distraction, she likely has some serious dirt to work with.  It’s not like these are the best of the best she’s working with.  She worked there.

Trump is likely having a panic attack about what she has, what she’s released, and could still released.  Of course, this idiot only knows one move, and that’s attack.  Neither of these parties are thinking logically or strategically.

The newest talk is about Trump’s N-word tape.  You know, the ones that Tom Arnold has been chasing down for a while.  Supposedly, Omarosa has a recording of the Trump staff talking about that tape, and what that could mean.

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  If this is Monday, then the rest of week will probably be nuts.  I’d say I would like a nice,  quiet, slow day, but that is a lie.  At this point, I’m so used to the pace of the craziness that having a slow day would be jarring.  It’s like taking a day off from a workout routine.  It just feels… weird.

The Manafort Tax Trial should be wrapping up soon.  The defense will make their case on Tuesday, followed by both sides making their closing arguments.  The case would then go to the jury.  Most of the charges against him are paperwork charges, like not checking boxes or lying on forms.  Those are pretty open and shut charges.  I’m not on the jury, but the likelihood that the jury acquits him unanimously on all 18 charges is pretty damn low.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”  ‘

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 05/24/2018

Thursday, May 24th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

I know we’ve been waiting for months on Roger and Julian to go to prison, but it feels like the pace is accelerating.  I’m not sure when, but something will happen soon.  Just don’t ask me to quantify soon.

Following yesterday’s (Daily Check-In 05/23/2018) news about the DOJ briefing about the FBI Informant into the Trump Campaign, it was decided that the Gang of 8, along with Adam Schiff, Democratic lead of the House Intelligence Committee, would attend their own briefing.

Two other people that were there that had no right to be were White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Trump’s impeachment lawyer Emmett Flood.

A lawyer, representing a client who is the subject of an ongoing investigation, attending a meeting about how evidence was collected for said investigation.

That’s about 50 Shades of Fucked Up.

Supposedly, Flood left after making an opening statement, but the mother fucker should never have been there to begin with.  And depending on what he did say and do while there, he exposes himself to legal jeopardy, including possible Obstruction of Justice charges.

As far as why the informant was there, he wasn’t “planted.”  He was monitoring the Russians as they talked to Page, Papadopoulos, and Manafort.  And Flynn.  And Clovis.  And Sessions.  And EVERY OTHER FUCKER IN THE CAMPAIGN THAT TALKED TO A RUSSIAN!  Normally, that’s one or two people.  With Trump, it’s like everyone.

The Associated Press, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post and Politico are suing for the unsealing of various types of warrants used in the special counsel’s investigation, as well as sealed court documents specific to the case of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was indicted last fall.

“The fact that certain charges have been brought does not imply that the Special Counsel’s investigation into the assigned matters is closed,” Mueller said, arguing against the release of the records. “Nor does it imply that the search warrant materials could be unsealed at this time without creating a serious risk of jeopardizing the ongoing and interconnected aspects of the investigation.”

In the filing, Mueller also said that many media reports about the nature of the investigation “may be inaccurate or incomplete” and may be “based on unofficial sources, half-understood facts, or speculation.”

Mueller, in the filing, said that he was not opposed to unsealing the two Manafort warrants that have been subject to legal challenges that Manafort has brought seeking to throw out certain evidence, with Mueller acknowledging that many of the details about them were already coming out in open court proceedings.

This is interesting, but not unexpected.  Mueller’s team is working on many things that haven’t been released to the media yet, and giving them everything they’re asking for would cripple their other investigations.

 

 

COHEN:  FOLLOW THE MONEY

 

COLD WAR 2.0

For the first time, the Dutch-led team said the missile had come from a unit based in western Russia.

All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 died when it broke apart in mid-air flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

It was hit by a missile fired from rebel-held territory in Ukraine. Russia says none of its weapons was used.

But on Thursday Wilbert Paulissen, a Dutch official from the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), told reporters: “All the vehicles in a convoy carrying the missile were part of the Russian armed forces.”

He restated the JIT’s conclusion that the plane had been destroyed by a Russian-made Buk missile, adding that it had been supplied by the country’s 53rd anti-aircraft brigade in Kursk.

At a news conference in the Dutch city of Utrecht, the investigators also showed social media pictures which they said traced the route the missile convoy had taken to reach eastern Ukraine.

MH17 was shot down flying over Europe by a missile launched from Crimea, the part of Ukraine that Russia invaded in 2014.  Here are the two hypothesis in place.

Russia’s story, at first, was that the plane was shot down by Ukrainians.  Then, it was “Ukranian Rebels” using Ukrainian missiles.  Somehow, this evolved to the exploits of a B-grade action movie where a handful of rebels, armed with AK-47’s, commandeered a missile launcher from a fully armed convoy (though no soldiers were lost, no injuries sustained, and no equipment damaged).  Then, used the missile they just stole, and instead of attacking a Russian Air Force jet, of which there were plenty of targets, they decide to shoot down a passenger plane flying overhead.  Just to frame the Russians.

The second hypothesis is the Russians shot the plane down themselves and blamed Ukraine for it.

The first stretches credulity.  The second fits all know facts, evidence, and known patterns.

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

I’ve said for a while, but nearly ANYONE ELSE would be better as a President than Donald Trump.  Anyone.  Pick a random stranger off of the street, they’d do a better job.

Why?

This random person would be so scared of the job duties, and sobered by the overwhelming responsibility of each and every action, that they would view each and every action with panic-inducing fear, and would be forced to ask experts what to do.  Trump’s narcissism is so complete that he doesn’t think, but he KNOWS that he’s smarter than the experts.  Combine the narcissism with incompetence, impatience, and mendacity, and Trump is a shit sandwich with a side of shit.

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

A lot of ink has been spilled over the last year and a half explaining how congressional Republicans are complicit in the damage Trump is doing to the country because of their failure to hold him accountable. I certainly don’t disagree with that. But based on what has been reported from behind the scenes, it is obvious that most of them know that he is unfit for office, but are too afraid to say so in public. That represents a new level of political cowardice, but the truth is that they are simply trying to protect their jobs in an atmosphere where Republican base voters won’t tolerate disloyalty to the president.

 

TRUMP HATES IMMIGRANTS

 

SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY

 

NFL:  THE F IS FOR FASCISM

The NFL got played, and played itself.  This new policy is a blatant violation of free speech, and since there was no official vote by the owners, also in violation of their own guidelines.

Expect lawsuits against this by the end of June.

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Morgan Freeman?  That sucks.  I could use some good news to cheer me up after that.

YEAH!!!!!  That’s what I needed.

The lawsuit is from an employee of Alpha Omega Winery, who was asked to work a 2015 charity cruise on the San Francisco Bay. What may have begun as a charity event was filled with men who “appeared to be cocaine and ‘drawing straws’ for which sex worker to hire” the lawsuit says. The cruise was part of a night that was auctioned off at a fundraiser. The winning bidders were allegedly “important investors in Alpha,” the lawsuit revealed.

The staffer, Alene Anase, described the sounds of “sexual activity” happening in bedrooms and saw one man “fondling and suckling” sex workers’ breasts. She noted that the sex workers also seemed to be “too young to consent” to the activity.

I heard a rumor from Pace that Devin was about to have a prostitution problem.  Not sure if this is it, but it’ll be interesting to see how close this gets to him.  I can only hope he’s balls deep in this scandal.

The Pun Jar is now $26.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCHADENFRUEDE

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

Keep this in mind for when the sex abuse cases against Trump and his ilk ramp up.  When I get time, I’ll link to the actual case documents from here.

 

That’s it for Thursday.  This post is going on up on Friday, as Thursday night was hectic.  This weekend will be as well, but I hope to get something posted.  I have a few articles on deck.  Maybe I’ll dive into one of those.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

The Indicted

Here’s a list of everyone that has been indicted so far.

 

Paul Manafort – Former Campaign Manager to Donald Trump.  

Indictments first reported on Daily Check-In 10/30/2017

Paul Manafort has been indicted on about 30-40 charges of the following crimes, as of May 6, 2018:

  • Conspiracy Against the United States
  • Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Failure to File Reports of of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts for several years (each year is a different charge)
  • Unregistered Agent of a Foreign Principal
  • False and Misleading FARA Statements
  • False Statements
  • Subscribing to False United States Individual Income Tax Returns, for multiple years
  • Assisting in the Preparation of False United States Individual Income
  • Bank Fraud Conspiracy, multiple counts
  • Bank Fraud, multiple counts

 

Paul Manafort is awaiting two trials, one in D.C. and the other in Eastern Virginia.  The trails are both scheduled for later 2018.

On June 8, 2018, Manafort was also indicted on the following charges, along with Kostantin Kilimnik

  • Conspiracy Against the United States
  • Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Unregistered Agent of a Foreign Principal
  • False and Misleading FARA Statements
  • False Statements
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice

On Daily Check-In 06/15/2018, Paul Manafort was remanded to prison, pending his trials.

On Daily Check-In 08/21/2018, Paul Manafort was found guilty on 8 felony counts from his trial in the Eastern District of Virginia.

On Daily Check-In 09/14/2018, Paul Manafort pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering and Conspiracy Against the United States.  He also pleaded guilty to the remaining charges from his EDVA trial.

On Daily Check-In 03/07/2019, Paul Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison for his EDVA conviction.

On Daily Check-In 03/13/2019, Paul Manafort was sentenced to 73 months in prison for his DC convictions.  He was also charged in New York for 16 felony counts. The State of New York charged Paul Manafort 3 counts of Residential Mortgage Fraud in the First Degree, Attempted Mortgage Fraud in the First Degree, 3 counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, 8 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, and 1 count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.

 

Rick Gates – Former Deputy Campaign Manager to Donald Trump.

Indictments first reported on Daily Check-In 10/30/2017

Arrested in October 2017.  Rick was originally charted with close to 30 white-collar felonies.  After a few months of back and forth, Gates pled guilty to one charge of Making False Statements to the FBI and one charge of Conspiracy Against the United States, as reported on Daily Check-In 02/20/2018.  The remainder of his charges were dropped as he became a cooperating witness.  Sentencing is still pending as of May 6, 2018.

 

George Papadopoulos – Former member of Trump’s Foreign Policy team.

Indictments first reported on Daily Check-In 10/30/2017

Arrested in July 2017, pled guilty to 1 charge of Making False Statements to the FBI, and became a cooperating witness. Sentencing is still pending as of May 6, 2018.

 

Michael Flynn – Former National Security Advisor.

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 12/01/2017.

Mike Flynn pled guilty to 1 charge of Making False Statements to the FBI, and became a cooperating witness.  Sentencing is still pending as of May 6, 2018.

 

Alex Van Der Zwaan – Former attorney to Rick Gates.

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 02/20/2018, the same day that Rick Gates pled guilty.

Alex was sentenced on Daily Check-In 04/03/2018 to 30 days in prison, a $20,000 fine, and 3 months probation.

On Daily Check-In 05/08/2018, Alex reported to prison to serve his sentence.  He was released on Daily Check-In 06/04/2018Daily Check-In 06/04/2018, and deported shortly thereafter.

Fun fact: Alex is the son-in-law of German Khan, a Russian Oligarch.  The law firm he worked at, Skadden Arps, also worked with Michael Cohen on his BuzzFeed lawsuit, and I’m looking for the story, but I recall hearing an office at one of their locations that was loaned out to Cohen was raided.

 

Richard Pinedo – Identity Thief.

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-in 02/16/2018.

From California, Richard ran an online company on the Dark Web called Auction Essentials.  This company provided Russians from the Internet Research Agency with the means to spoof PayPal security.

Richard Pinedo pled guilty to one charge of Identity Theft, and become a cooperating witness.

Mr. Pinedo was sentenced to 6 months in jail on +Daily Check-In 10/10/2018Daily Check-In 10/10/2018.

 

The Russian Troll Farm

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-in 02/16/2018.

The following companies and people were indicted for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.  Those marked with an * are also charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Bank Fraud.  Those marked with a ^ are also charged with Aggravated Identity Theft.

  • INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY LLC *^
  • CONCORD MANAGEMENT AND CONSULTING LLC
  • CONCORD CATERING
  • DZHEYKHUN NASIMI OGLY ASLANOV *^
  • GLEB IGOREVICH VASILCHENKO *^
  • IRINA VIKTOROVNA KAVERZINA ^
  • VLADIMIR VENKOV ^
  • MIKHAIL IVANOVICH BYSTROV
  • MIKHAIL LEONIDOVICH BURCHIK
  • ALEKSANDRA YURYEVNA KRYLOVA
  • ANNA VLADISLAVOVNA BOGACHEVA
  • SERGEY PAVLOVICH POLOZOV
  • MARIA ANATOLYEVNA BOVDA
  • ROBERT SERGEYEVICH BOVDA
  • VADIM VLADIMIROVICH PODKOPAEV

 

Konstantin Kilimnik – “Kostya from the GRU”

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 06/08/2018

Konstantin, also known as “Kostya from the GRU”, was Manafort’s man in Kiev.  He worked with Manafort for more than a decade, helping him execute many illegal activities.  On June 8, 2018, he was indicted on the following charges, along with Paul Manafort.

  • Conspiracy Against the United States
  • Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Unregistered Agent of a Foreign Principal
  • False and Misleading FARA Statements
  • False Statements
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice

 

The Russian Troll Farm

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 07/13/2018

The following people were indicted for Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States and Money Laundering.  Those marked with * were also charged with Aggravated Identity Theft.  Those with ^ were charged with an additional count of Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States.

  • Viktor Borisovich Netyksho *
  • Boris Alekseyevich Antonov *
  • Dmitry Sergeyevich Badin *
  • Ivan Sergeyevich Yermakov *
  • Aleksey Viktorovich Lukashev *
  • Sergey Aleksandrovich Morgachev *
  • Nikolay Yuryevich Kozachek *
  • Pavel Vyacheslavovich Yershov *
  • Artem Andreyevich Malyshev *
  • Aleksandr Vladimirovich Osadchuk * ^
  • Aleksey Aleksandrovich Potemkin *
  • Anatoly Sergeyevich Kovalev ^

 

Sam Patten – Lobbyist for the Opposition Bloc and former member of Cambridge Analytica 

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 08/31/2018

Sam Patten was indicted on one count of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). He worked alongside Paul Manafort representing the Opposition Bloc, a political party in Ukraine comprised of the remnants of the Party of Regions, which fell apart after former President Viktor Yanukovitch was forced from office and fled to Moscow.  Sam also served as a Straw Buyer, or middleman, to launder foreign money into Trump’s Inauguration Committee, and worked at SCL/Cambridge Analytica from 2014 to 2015.

He pled guilty to this charge, and is now a cooperating witness for the Mueller Investigation.

 

Michael Cohen – Trump’s Personal Lawyer, Fixer, and Deputy Chair of the Republican National Committee.

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 08/21/2018

Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, pled guilty to 5 counts of Tax Evasion, 1 count of Lying to a Bank, 1 count of Causing an Unlawful Corporate Contribution, and 1 count of Excessive Campaign Contribution.

Indicted on Daily Check-In 11/29/2018 for Lying to Congress.  This was part of his cooperation agreement with Mueller.

Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in prison on Daily Check-In 12/12/2018.

 

Roger Stone – Ratfucker Supreme, Campaign Advisor to Donald Trump.

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 01/25/2019

Roger Stone served at Trump’s dirty tricks man, or his ‘ratfucker.’  Roger coordinated the email drops between the Trump Campaign and WikiLeaks.  WikiLeaks received the stolen emails from the GRU.

Roger is charged with seven felonies.  One of them is Obstruction of Proceeding, since his lies impeded Congressional investigation.  Counts two through six are his various lies to Congress, and one count of Witness Tampering.

 

Gregory Craig – Lobbyist that worked for Ukraine, former Obama White House Counsel

Indictment first reported on The Last Few Days 04/14/2019

Craig was indicted for failing to register for FARA and making false statements to investigators on April 11, 2019.  He pleaded not guilty on April 12.

 

Not directly indicted by Mueller’s team, but indicted on a relevant investigation.  Case could have been sourced out to local U.S. Attorney’s Offices

Mariia Butina – Russian National and protege of Alexander Torshin

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 07/16/2018

Mariia, also known as Maria, was Alexander Torshin’s protege and served as a go-between or backchannel between Torshin, The Kremlin, the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party, and Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential Campaign.

Maria has been indicted on one count of Conspiracy to act as an Agent of the Russian Federation, and Acting as a Foreign Agent.

Maria was sentenced to 18 months in prison on The Last Few Days 04/26/2019.

 

Paul Erickson – GOP Lobbyist

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 02/06/2019

Paul Erickson was Mariia’s boyfriend and co-conspirator in the United States.  He used his connections with various Republican and Right Wing organizations to help Miss Butina infiltrate the party on behalf of the Russians.  This includes the National Rifle Association.

Paul was indicted on one count of Wire Fraud and ten counts of Money Laundering.

 

Julian Assange – WikiLeaks Founder

Indictment first reported on The Last Few Days 04/14/2019

Julian Assange was indicted with Conspiracy to Commit Computer Intrusion.  This indictment was unsealed on April 11, 2019, and he was arrested in London by British police while leaving the Ecuadorian embassy.

On Check-In 05/23/2019 Assange was charged with violating the Espionage Act.

 

Michael Avenatti – Lawyer

Indictment first reported on The Last Few Days 04/14/2019

Avenatti was indicted on 36 counts of wire fraud, bank fraud, and bankruptcy fraud on April 11, 2019.

Avenatti was also charged with defrauding Stormy Daniels and attempting to extort Nike on Check-In 05/23/2019.

 

Not directly indicted by Mueller’s team, but indicted on related crimes and now cooperating witnesses.

Jeffrey Yohai – Real Estate Entrepreneur and Former Son-in-law of Paul Manafort

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 05/18/2018

Details of his indictment and plea deal are under seal as of May 22, 2018.

Jeff pled guilty as part of a plea deal against his former father-in-law Paul Manafort, and became a cooperating witness.  Jeff worked with Paul on multiple real estate deals that are suspected of being involved in money laundering.

 

Evgeny Freidman – The Taxi King

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 05/21/2018 (May 22)

Evgeny, a former business partner of Michael Cohen, pled guilty to one count of Tax Evasion of $50,000.  He received 5 years probation, and became a cooperating witness against Michael Cohen.

 

Not directly indicted by Mueller’s team, but indicted on related crimes.

Chris Collins, Representative from New York.

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 08/08/2018

Collins, the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump, was indicted for 1 count of Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud, 7 counts of Securities Fraud, 1 count each of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Wire Fraud, and False Statements.

 

Duncan Hunter, Representative from California.

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 08/21/2018

Hunter, the second member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump, was indicted for Conspiracy, 43 counts of Wire Fraud (Yes, 43), 18 counts of Falsification of Records Related to Campaign Finance, and 3 counts of Prohibited Use of Campaign Contributions.

 

Elena Alekseenvna Khusyaynova, Accountant from Project Lakhta.

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 10/19/2018

Elena was the accountant in charge of Project Lakhta, Russia’s project to influence the 2018 Election.  She received a Criminal Complaint for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.

 

Bijan Kian and Kamil Ekim Alptekin, Turkish nationals.

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 12/17/2018.

Bijan Kian was the second in command of Flynn Intel Group.  Kamil Alptekin set up Inovo BV, a Dutch company designed to hide payments from Turkey’s government.  Kamil and Bijan were both indicted for FARA violations and Acting as a Foreign Agent.

 

Natalia Veselnitskaya, Russian Lawyer and Spy.

Indictment first reported on Daily Check-In 01/08/2019.

Natalia Veselnitskaya is a Russian lawyer and spy with very close ties to the Kremlin.  She represented Putin’s government in the June 9th meeting.  Ms. Veselnitskaya was indicted on a count of Obstruction of Justice for her role in a 2014 civil case where she represented Prevezon Holdings.  That company had purchased a large number of real estate ventures in New York City using laundered funds gained through a tax scam perpetrated by the Russian government against Hermitage Capital.  This scam was uncovered by a Russian tax attorney named Sergei Magnitsky.  For his role in uncovering this corruption, he was arrested, tried, convicted, and eventually tortured to death.

She allegedly created a false paper trail with the Russian Prosecutor-General to cover up Prevezon’s involvement in this case, as well as her own.  These false documents were entered into evidence into SDNY and were meant to deflect the case away from her client.

 

Stephen M. Calk, Banker.

Indictment first reported on Check-In 05/23/2019.

Stephen Calk was indicted for Financial Institution Bribery for approving loans to Paul Manafort in exchange for a position in the Trump Administration.

 

George Nader, Advisor and Consultant to Trump Campaign and Erik Prince

Indictment first reported on Check-In 06/04/2019.

George Nader was indicted for transporting child pornography into the United States.

Daily Check-In 05/03/2018

Thursday, May 3rd.

 

COHEN:  TO WIRETAP OR NOT TO WIRETAP

I was going to go into this nice, long description of how a wiretap works, but then NBC corrected the story that it wasn’t a wiretap, but a pen register.  Now, I’ve got to explain both, and the difference.

A pen register is when law enforcement sees who calls the target, and who the target calls.  They can’t monitor what the call was about, but can see how long the call lasted, and how often they called.

A wiretap goes a step above the pen register and actively monitors the calls for content.  There are several restrictions on a wiretap.  For example, if the call is privileged communication, or after 30 seconds it the call isn’t about anything criminal, then law enforcement has to hang up.  If the call goes on for a long time, they can check back in to see if the conversation has turned back to illegal stuff.  There’s a scene from Casino where they went through the details.  I tried to find it, but after a half hour of searching and not finding the clip, I give up.

I’m not surprised by this, to be honest.  The Feds were monitoring Cohen’s emails and phone lines for weeks, if not months before they raided his shit.  While checking the phone records, they saw who was calling, and when.  But there are two big takeaways from today.

First, a pen register is used when the Feds suspect that a crime is ongoing.  If there was a past crime, they would just look at the phone records on file.

Second, at least one of the calls they recorded came from the White House.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION:  MUELLER ORDERS 70 BLANK SUBPOENAS, SIDE OF COLE SLAW TO GO

70 blank subpoenas for July.

STORMYGATE/RUDY CROSSOVER CLUSTERFUCK

 

DOCTOR, DOCTOR

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

HAPPY NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA AND FACEBOOK

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY

 

RUMOR MILL

Here’s an interesting hypothesis:  What if Michael Cohen outranks Donald Trump in the mob?  Is that even possible?

I don’t necessarily buy it right now, but it’s 2018.  This is the year that a porn star’s attorney is bitchslapping the combined legal expertise of the White House.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for today.  Today is very light on my information.  Today was a very busy day, and I didn’t spend nearly as much time as I have on the entry recently.  Tomorrow should be back to normal.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur