Daily Check-In 05/17/2018

Thursday, May 17th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The former son-in-law of Paul Manafort, the one-time chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign, has cut a plea deal with the Justice Department that requires him to cooperate with other criminal probes, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Jeffrey Yohai, COME ON DOWN!  YOU’RE THE NEXT CONTESTANT ON LET’S MAKE A DEAL!

Yohai is Paul Manafort’s former son-in-law, and was a business partner of his on some of Manafort’s real estate/money laundering deals.

Yohai has pled guilty to undisclosed charges that remain under seal.  This is part of the continuing effort to flip Manafort.  Not that I think they need him, but it will make taking down Trump easier, and won’t require burning Intel sources to do so.

$20 says it wasn’t Ghostbusters.

A Russian plane linked to the country’s government flew into the Seychelles the day prior to a 2017 meeting now under review by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to the airport flight data obtained by NJ Advance Media.

Mueller’s team is examining a series of meetings that took place in the Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, as part of its broader investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

 

COHEN:  FOLLOW THE MONEY & STORMYGATE

From the interview clip, Avenatti’s team has just about finished vetting two women’s stories that match Stormy’s to a T, and there are others in the preliminary stages.

President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen has reportedly confided in friends that he’s at his wit’s end with federal investigations into his business dealings, Vanity Fair reported Wednesday.

According to two people familiar with Cohen’s thinking who spoke to Vanity Fair, Cohen is “fuming” over Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti’s release of information about his bank records and has grown weary of all the news coverage surrounding his attempts to sell access to Trump after the 2016 election. Cohen has reportedly confided in friends that he “just can’t take this anymore” and is focused on protecting his family, whom he thinks is suffering because federal investigators want to get to Trump, a friend told Vanity Fair.

I only see two ways out for Cohen.  Either he flips on Trump, or swallows a bullet.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

They’re more worried about leaks describing how terrible they are, then they are worried about not communicating with each other and solving the country’s problems.

#NEVERAGAIN

I have even worse news coming in the Friday post.  Looks like another school shooting just took place in Texas.  I’ll have more details on the next post.

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Why, for the love of fuck, does anyone still give a flying rats ass what Rudy Giuliani says?  He’s either senile, a corrupted lying snake, on the take, secretly working to compromise Trump’s team, or a combination of the above.

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

BLUE WAVE

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for today. Well, yesterday. I was a little under the weather, and needed to catch up on sleep. Sometimes I need a whole 5 or 6 hours.

Friday’s update will likely be posted on Saturday morning. I also need to update some other pages, thanks to the news about Yohai.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 05/16/2018

Wednesday, May 16th.  Remember yesterday (Daily Check-In 05/15/2018 ) I said the following:

Tomorrow’s post will be pretty light.  At least, that’s the plan.  Watch tomorrow be the day that shit goes sideways with Ice Cube capping some fool from QIA and Mike Pence gets busted for having an underage black boyfriend.

If that does happen, I don’t know if I should apologize or not.

Dude, I’m sorry.  Today’s been a little crazy.  And by “a little crazy”, I mean a complete and total clusterfuck.  By 4PM EST, we’ve got Cohen asking Qatar for bribes, Senate Judiciary dropping transcripts and evidence pertaining to the June 9 meeting, Senate Intel coming out saying that the Russians helped Trump, the Kremlin used the NRA to get to Trump, Trump admitting to paying Cohen for Stormy, and Mueller subpoenaing Roger Stone’s social media adviser.

In the evening, the Office of Government Ethics referred Trump’s financial disclosure to the Department of Justice for investigation as to whether this constitutes a felony, Chris Wylie from Cambridge Analytica testified before the Senate today, and Ronan Farrow broke that Michael Avenatti got Cohen’s financial info from a whistleblower who leaked one SAR because two other SARs disappeared.

Oh, by the way, there was a mole in the Trump Campaign.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The agents summarized their highly unusual interview and sent word to Washington on Aug. 2, 2016, two days after the investigation was opened. Their report helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation. But at the time, a small group of F.B.I. officials knew it by its code name: Crossfire Hurricane.

The name, a reference to the Rolling Stones lyric “I was born in a crossfire hurricane,” was an apt prediction of a political storm that continues to tear shingles off the bureau. Days after they closed their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, agents began scrutinizing the campaign of her Republican rival. The two cases have become inextricably linked in one of the most consequential periods in the history of the F.B.I.

Crossfire Hurricane?  It’s the opening line to Jumpin’ Jack Flash.  “I was born in a Crossfire Hurricane.”

The first thing the FBI did was interview the Australian Ambassador about George Papadopoulos.  That alone is highly unusual.  Everything about Crossfire Hurricane was unusual, but above board.  Due to the sensitive nature, they couldn’t move too fast.  They did what they could, but had to tread cautiously.

I haven’t had time to go through this whole article, but this next paragraph confirms something I wrote about a while back.

The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said. That has become a politically contentious point, with Mr. Trump’s allies questioning whether the F.B.I. was spying on the Trump campaign or trying to entrap campaign officials.

That’s right, there was an informant for the FBI inside of the campaign.  I could play the game of “Who’s the Mole?” (I think it was someone on the Foreign Policy team, approached after George met with the Aussies), but it’s more important that the FBI knew what was going on for a long time.

Also, Carter Page is a Russian Asset.

Crossfire Hurricane began with a focus on four campaign officials. But by mid-fall 2016, Mr. Page’s inquiry had progressed the furthest. Agents had known Mr. Page for years. Russian spies tried to recruit him in 2013, and he was dismissive when agents warned him about it, a half-dozen current and former officials said. That warning even made its way back to Russian intelligence, leaving agents suspecting that Mr. Page had reported their efforts to Moscow.

Even the warning made it’s way back to Russia.

The Senate Judiciary Committee released the transcripts of the testimony of everyone involved with the June 9 meeting.

Here’s a link to the Senate Documents

Here’s the notes from Paul Manafort’s iPhone.

Bill browder
Offshore – Cyprus
133m shares
Companies
Not invest – loan
Value in Cyprus as inter
Illici
Active sponsors of RNC
Browder hired Joanna Glover
Tied into Cheney
Russian adoption by American families

Some of this is still unknown, but let’s break it down point by point.

  • Bill Browder was the driving force behind the Magnitsky Act.  He worked with Juleanna Glover, a former staffer to Vice President Dick Cheney.
  • Putin responded to the Magnitsky Act by banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans.  However, the only children that were eligible for adoption were disabled, terminally ill, or both.
  • Cyprus is a money laundering haven, and they serve as an intermediary between the United States and Russian money.
  • Shell companies are used to hide illicit payments, such as political donations to groups like the Republican National Committee.
  • Loans are easier to use for money laundering and holding leverage.  Direct investments don’t offer long term extortion like a loan does.
  • 133m shares of what?  That’s the one piece of the notes I don’t understand.

There are two main foci of the inquiry into the June 9 meeting.  What happened at the meeting itself, and what happened when the news of the meeting broke.  The following covers that a little bit.

Shortly after his election, President Trump’s spokeswoman had said that no campaign officials had dealings with Russians during the campaign. Excerpts from the newly released testimony show that the president’s lawyers and associates were anxious about any reports on Trump Jr.’s meeting, which contradicted that claim.

“[Trump’s lawyers are] concerned because it links Don Jr. to officials from Russia, which he has always denied meeting,” Goldstone wrote in an email to Emin Agalarov on June 26, 2017, a few weeks before the New York Times first reported on the meeting.

Ultimately, lawyers working for the Trump Organization crafted statements they asked other participants in the meeting to distribute, a move that could draw scrutiny from Mueller if it involved communicating with witnesses or otherwise hiding the true purpose of the meeting from investigators. .

Trump himself contributed to an initial statement about the meeting and released by his son, Trump Jr. told the committee. It misleadingly stated said the meeting had been “primarily” about the adoption of Russian children by Americans. The Kremlin halted adoptions in retaliation for the Magnitsky Act, the policy issue that appeared to be at the heart of Veselnitskaya’s presentation.

After Goldstone was interviewed by The Washington Post for the first time about his participation in the meeting in July 2017, the promoter tried to assure two Trump organization lawyers that he too had offered a similar account.

*“I said only that the meeting appeared to have been about adoption issues and was quickly terminated,” he wrote in an email at the time. Meanwhile, Goldstone secretly fretted about the scrutiny he predicted would follow.,

“I hope this favor was worth it for your dad,” he wrote to Emin Agalarov. “It could blow up.”

You’re goddamned right it blew up.

The Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that the Russian government apparently used the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Documents suggest the Kremlin used the NRA to offer the campaign a back channel to Moscow—including a potential meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin—and might have secretly funded Trump’s campaign, the committee said. One of the Russians named in the report even bragged she was part of the Trump campaign’s communications with Russia, The Daily Beast reported last year.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has determined that the intelligence community was correct in assessing that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election with the aim of helping then-candidate Donald Trump, contradicting findings House Republicans reached last month.

“Our staff concluded that the [intelligence community’s] conclusions were accurate and on point,” the panel’s vice chairman, Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), said Wednesday in a joint statement with Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), its chairman. “The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton,” Warner continued.

Oh, that also happened today.  The Senate Intelligence Committee released part of their report.  Remember, when Trump goes to trial after impeachment, that trial happens in the Senate.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued two subpoenas to a social media expert who worked for longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

The subpoenas were delivered late last week to lawyers representing Jason Sullivan, a social media and Twitter specialist Stone hired to work for an independent political action committee he set up to support Trump, Knut Johnson, a lawyer for Sullivan, told Reuters on Tuesday.

The subpoenas suggest that Mueller, who is probing Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, is focusing in part on Stone and whether he might have had advance knowledge of material allegedly hacked by Russian intelligence and sent to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who published it.

Soon, it’ll be Roger Stone’s time in the barrel.  I can’t wait to see him go down hard.

 

COHEN:  FOLLOW THE MONEY

Last week, Michael Avenatti supposedly had dinner with Ronan Farrow.  Now we know why.

Farrow interviewed the source of Cohen’s financial information; a law enforcement official with access to the FinCEN system.

That source, a law-enforcement official, is speaking publicly for the first time, to The New Yorker, to explain the motivation: the official had grown alarmed after being unable to find two important reports on Cohen’s financial activity in a government database. The official, worried that the information was being withheld from law enforcement, released the remaining documents.

First Republic Bank, where Essential Consultants banked through, filed 3 Suspicious Activity Reports on him, but only 1 remained in the FinCEN system.  The one that remained referred to the missing two.  It’s like if I link to a story that gets deleted after I post the article: it existed when I wrote it, but it’s gone.

SARs don’t disappear.  They don’t vanish, or walk away on their own.  While it’s possible in the fine print, in practice it just isn’t done.  This freaked the whistleblower out.  It scared them so much, they’re willing to risk 5 years in prison to make sure this sees the light of day.

There are two reasons these two SARs vanished; they were hidden by SDNY or Mueller’s office to keep from hurting the investigation, or someone removed them to keep them quiet for nefarious purposes.

Spicy says it better than I do.

There is an above zero percent chance these reports were hidden or removed to protect Cohen and Trump.  This isn’t done quickly, and database deletions leave a trail, especially in heavily audited government ones used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

If these were removed, three things can be inferred:

  1. It would leave a trail that would lead back to the perpetrators.
  2. The person making the order would have to be more loyal to Trump than to the United States, the Treasury Department, or the Rule of Law.
  3. This person doesn’t understand that the bank that filed the SAR keeps the original paperwork.

All of this leads to Steve Mnuchin, someone close to him, or another political appointee by Trump to the Treasury.  That’s a pretty short list.  Further, the change itself would likely require someone from IT making the change, and if this database has any auditing at all, then the tech that made the change left their fingerprints all over it.  Knowing IT people in government, they don’t scratch their asses without a form filled out in triplicate signed off by their superiors.

In other words, there’s a paper trail.

 

In financial disclosure documents filed this week, President Trump reported reimbursing his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for an expenditure over $100,000 last year — an apparent reference to the $130,000 that Cohen paid to ensure the silence of an adult-film actress who claimed she had an affair with Trump.

Trump had previously said he did not know about the 2016 payment to Stormy Daniels, which Cohen said he made through funds he obtained through his home-equity line of credit.

The Office of Government Ethics, which released the documents, also sent a letter to the Justice Department saying the payment should have been disclosed.

Whether or not this is a slap on the wrist crime, or a full-blown felony depends on intent.  At this point, “oops, I forgot”, doesn’t cut it.

 

BLUE WAVE

Congratulations to Sara Innamorato and Summer Lee on their victories last night.  They defeated the Costa cousins in two different races in very progressive parts of Pittsburgh.  No Republicans are running in either district in the General Election.

Here’s a clip of him from the Colbert Report a few years ago.  Braddock, PA, is a former steel town in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, and he’s bent over backwards to make Braddock not a shithole.  It’s not great, but it’s come a long way.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

From /u/Lady-vor

“This means that in addition to Facebook data being accessed in Russia, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that CA may have been an intelligence target of Russian security services…(and) that Russian security services may have been notified of the existence of CA’s Facebook data,” Wylie said in his written testimony. Wylie added that Cambridge Analytica “used Russian researchers to gather its data, (and) openly shared information on ‘rumour campaigns’ and ‘attitudinal inoculation’” with companies and executives linked to the Russian intelligence agency FSB.

What is “attitudinal inoculation”?

Attitude inoculation is a technique used to make people immune to attempts to change their attitudeby first exposing them to small arguments against their position. It is so named because it works just like medical inoculation, which exposes a person’s body to a weak version of a virus. Link

The inoculation effect in psychology (theory) is when one person tries to convince another (and/or themselves) to strengthen their particular belief(s) by warning them of the constant threats out there of them losing their belief. Thus putting the person on-guard to “attack”/”threats. Link

ETA:

Someone wrote, in 2016, an analysis of attitude inoculation and Trump voters:

https://socialpsyq.com/tag/attitude-inoculation/

So, while Russian trolls may have continued this…this is the The Brainwashing of Your Dad/Mom/Grandparents. It’s been going on a very long time. The innovation here is the targeting and attacking psychologically vulnerable candidates on social media, not the tactic itself.

 

FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is just the first step.  This bill still has to get past the House, then survive a likely veto, but it’s at least a start.

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for today.  We’re coming up on 1 year since Robert Mueller was named as the Special Counselor, and a ton of stuff drops all in one day.  It’s almost like we’re getting ready for something major to drop, like more indictments, or details on the bribes paid to Cohen.

I’m not sure what’s coming in the next few days, but I’m trying to take it easy the next couple days.

I’m sorry in advance for breaking the universe.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 05/15/2018

Tuesday, May 15th.

 

COHEN:  FOLLOW THE MONEY

“Mr. Al-Rumaihi was at Trump Tower on December 12, 2016. He was there in his then role as head of Qatar Investments, an internal division of QIA, to accompany the Qatari delegation that was meeting with Trump transition officials on that date,” said a spokesperson for Sport Trinity, a company that Al-Rumaihi co-owns. “He did not participate in any meetings with Michael Flynn, and his involvement in the meetings on that date was limited.”

This is confirmation.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Because investigators were relying on a foreign government to produce certain evidence, Mueller last June asked a magistrate judge in Virginia to suspend the statute of limitations on the charge that Manafort failed to to file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR), according to the filing. Mueller ultimately brought that charge against Manafort in February. The judge’s decision granting Mueller’s request to suspend the statute of limitations was previously under seal, but was included in Monday’s filings.

Think about the timing of this court order. June 26, 2017, three days before Statute of Limitations ran out. Also about 6 weeks after the Mueller Investigation began, and 4 months before Manafort was indicted.

Mueller’s team was months ahead of everyone else almost a year ago.

 

COLD WAR 2.0: THE JUDEO-SINO EDITION

Israel

China

Senator Richard Blumenthal, along with other members of Congress, have sued President Donald Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution.

North Korea

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

The federal investigation in the United States appears to focus on the company’s financial dealings — investigators have reached out to the company’s banks, for instance — and how it acquired and used personal data pulled from Facebook and other sources, according to the American official, who was briefed on the inquiry, and other people familiar with it.

In a sign of the inquiry’s scope, one of the prosecutors involved is the assistant chief of the Justice Department’s securities and financial fraud division, Brian Kidd. The effort is being assisted by at least one agent who investigates cybercrime for the F.B.I., those people said.

Mr. Kidd traveled to London earlier this month with another Justice Department prosecutor and an F.B.I. agent to interview Christopher Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee who has emerged as one of the firm’s fiercest critics.

Seeing this puts a smile on my face.  Check out the Rumor Mill for a little scoop.

I had no where else to put this last story, but the comment section was dripping with a bunch of misogynistic trolls.

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Joshua Adam Schulte, who worked for a CIA group that designs computer code to spy on foreign adversaries, is believed to have provided the agency’s top-secret information to WikiLeaks, federal prosecutors acknowledged in a hearing in January. The anti-secrecy group published the code under the label “Vault 7” in March 2017.

It was one of the most significant leaks in the CIA’s history, exposing secret cyberweapons and spying techniques that might be used against the United States, according to current and former intelligence officials. Some argued that the Vault 7 disclosures could cause more damage to American intelligence efforts than those by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. He revealed extraordinary details about the capabilities of the United States to spy on computers and phones around the world, but the Vault 7 leaks showed how such spying is actually done, the current and former officials argued.

If this fucker was behind Vault 7, then he deserves what comes.

The Vault 7 Project was masterminded by Wikileaks and Julian Assange, who openly works with Russian Intelligence.  He enticed Americans to betray their country under the guise of “accountability and transparency” to release these cybersecurity tools.  In reality, these were given to Russian Intelligence and handed off to Iran.  Within two months, these tools were used to design WannaCry and NotPetya.

 

BLUE WAVE

 

RUMOR MILL

Remember Tea Pain’s Alfa Bank research? (Daily Check-In 02/20/2018)  Here’s a link to an updated version of the story.  If what he has to say is accurate, shit’s about to get interesting.

Short version:  The Trump Tower Mystery Server (TTMS) had 99% of its communications where it served as the middle man between a server associated to an IP for Alfa Bank in Russia and one for Spectrum Health.  However, there were three other pings on that server.  (A ping is an attempt at communication from one computer to another, offend done through the command line prompt or a networking tool.  The ping sends a request for acknowledgment, and if successful gets a return message.  It’s named for the same process used by radar and sonar devices to locate targets.)

One ping belonged to an IT company in Kansas City, and only during the server set up.  This is likely from the company that set the server up.

The next came from, hell, I’ll let Tea Pain explain it…

The first ping Tea sleuthed out was Obit.RU.  The “RU” extension was the first dead giveaway.  Yep, that means “Russia.”  But wait, as Billy Mays used to say, there’s more! Obit.RU is a Russian telecommunications company whose website boasts of representin’ Concord Catering, the company owned by the notorious Russian troll farmer, Yevgeny Prigozhin.  That’s right, ol’ Putin’s Chef himself.  He’s the godfather of the Internet Research Agency that Bob Mueller has indicted for messin’ with our 2016 election.

So, we have a ping to an obscure server from a server owned by the Troll Farm’s ISP.  That’s a little bit more than suspect.

The final communication to the server came from NewsCorp/Cambridge Analytica.

Now hold on to your pantaloons, cause this next part might knock ’em off entirely.  “News.com.au” is owned by ol’ Rupert Murdoch’s “News Corp”, who’s American headquarters is located at 1211 Avenue of the America’s in New York City.  That’s interestin’ in and of itself, but Tea Pain just discovered that until October 2016, Cambridge Analytica’s New York office was in the very same building.

Here’s the thing that’s weird to me… There were only 5 contacts, and one of them was the tech setting up the server.  No random ping from a war walker, no contact from another server in Trump Org, not even a ping from an Infosec sweep.  That is suspicious AF.

This story’s gonna break big, and you read it here first.  Or second.

 

That’s it for today.  Nothing extra tonight.  Tomorrow’s post will be pretty light.  At least, that’s the plan.  Watch tomorrow be the day that shit goes sideways with Ice Cube capping some fool from QIA and Mike Pence gets busted for having an underage black boyfriend.

If that does happen, I don’t know if I should apologize or not.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 05/14/2018

Monday, May 14th.

 

COHEN:  FOLLOW THE MONEY

Introducing Ahmed Al-Rumaihi as the Elevator Man

Members of the Trump transition team appear to have met on December 12, 2016 with a group from Qatar that included Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, the former Qatari diplomat and current head of a division of Qatar’s massive sovereign wealth fund who is accused in a recent lawsuit of scheming to bribe Trump administration officials.

Back in December 2016, Ahmed Al-Rumaihi of the Qatar Investment Authority visited Trump Tower, just a couple days after QIA finalized a deal to purchase 19.5% of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company.  The 19% chunk stayed with QIA, but 0.5% of it disappeared.  According to the Steele Dossier, pages 9 and 30-31, that chunk was a brokerage fee paid to Trump as a bribe to promote a Pro-Russia policy stance.  In 2016 money, that comes out to $282 million, but could easily increase if policies were enacted that would cause oil prices to increase, like the United States leaving the Paris Climate Accords, relaxed sanctions on Russia, or the United States leaving the JCPOA, also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Nearly every action that Trump has executed since then has aligned with the goals of increasing Rosneft’s value.  Increasing Rosneft’s value increases the value of the 0.5%.

The main players in this deal were Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and Michael Cohen.  Mike Flynn has already flipped (Cooperating WitnessesThe Indicted), and Carter Page is a known Russian asset.  That leaves Trump’s fixer, Cohen.

Cohen’s name is littered all over the Dossier, and with the events of the last few days, we know that he was openly soliciting money for “access and insights into the administration.”  Last week, Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stormy Daniels, released an executive summary detailing several payments to Essential Consultants, LLC., the shell company that Cohen used to pay off Daniels.  (Daily Check-In 05/10/2018)

Last week, Mr. Avenatti promised more information if involved parties didn’t come clean with what they did.  On Sunday, he delivered on that information, and Twitter went nuts.

Avenatti tweeted a few pictures, and links to a YouTube video that was a recording from C-SPAN on December 12, 2016.  Out of this elevator came Michael Cohen, and a man who remained unnamed for a few hours.  Later, that man, the Elevator Man, was revealed to be Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, of Qatar Investment Authority.  Two pics included Al-Rumaihi, one with him and Cohen.  The third pic was of Cohen meeting with Mike Flynn from the same day.  (Either that, or Cohen wore that ugly pink tie multiple times in December.)

This places QIA in Trump Tower within two days of the Rosneft sale being finalized, and puts Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn there as well.

Where was Carter Page?  Meeting with Rosneft in Russia. (Daily Check-In 11/07/2017)

Qatar has not been quiet about their desire to get in to the White House, or constrained in their ways of getting there.

The Qatari government reportedly attempted to court favour with key aides of President Donald Trump through the basketball league of hip hop superstar Ice Cube, a business associate of Ice Cube has alleged.

The rapper, real name O’Shea Jackson, and his business partner Jeff Kwatinetz claim in a new $1.2bn lawsuit that a prominent Qatari investor and former diplomat attempted to set up a meeting with Mr Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon by using them for access.

The suit, filed against several high-profile Qataris last month and first reported by Britain’s Daily Mail, alleges that investors from Doha used the pair’s BIG3 basketball league to get greater access to the inner circle of the US leader.

Ahmed Al Rumaihi, an alleged member of the Qatari royal family and the head of Qatar Investments, a $100 billion sovereign wealth fund of the Qatar Investment Authority (QNA), promised to invest $20.5m into the league.

But the high-level Qatari only paid $7.5 million and had other motives, according to the lawsuit. It alleges that he was acting as a front for the Qatari government and that his real target was Mr Bannon.

“Mr Al Rumaihi requested I set up a meeting between him, the Qatari government, and Steven Bannon, and to tell Steve Bannon that Qatar would underwrite all of his political efforts in return for his support,” Mr Kwatinetz said in the court filing.

He added that he turned down the offer and called it a “bribe” that had left him “appalled”.

Mr Al Rumaihi is also accused in the suit of bragging about giving money to other top aides to Mr Trump, including his now-fired former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The court document says: “Mr Al Rumahi laughed and then stated to me that I shouldn’t be naive, that so many Washington politicians take our money, and stated ‘do you think Flynn turned down our money?’”

Wait, what?  Ice Cube’s involved in this?  The QA test continues. (Daily Check-In 05/11/2018)

Ice Cube is suing a trio of Persian Gulf investors for $1.2 billion, claiming they tried to seize control of his fledgling Big3 basketball league even as they broke promises to fund it.

The suit by the legendary rapper and his talent-agent partner Jeff Kwatinetz alleges that the investors, connected to the royal family of Qatar, ponied up only a third of their $20.5 million commitment to Big3.

That, in turn, has crippled efforts to elevate the league’s 3-on-3 basketball games with former NBA stars like Allen Iverson, Julius Erving and Amar’e Stoudemire “to the professional setting of NBA-style arenas and broadcast games,” according to the suit.

I take ONE DAY off from following the Russian Investigation, and not only do we get evidence of a significant part of the Steele Dossier being confirmed (Rosneft bribing Trump through Qatar), but now we’ve got Steve Bannon and Ice Cube connected through their attorney.

Al-Rumaihi and QIA tried to use Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league to bribe Steve Bannon, because Ice Cube’s partner is Jeff Kwatinetz, who is Steve Bannon’s former Hollywood business partner.. While trying to bribe Kwatinetz, Al-Rumaihi namedropped Michael Flynn. The same Michael Flynn that flipped to Robert Mueller.

Ice Cube to Robert Mueller in 3 degrees of separation. 2018 is weird.

Below is the text from Kwatinetz’s legal filing in January 2018, tying Al-Rumaihi to this whole mess.

Declaration of Jeff Kwatinetz

Gregaros & Gregarso, APC

On or around Jaunary 2018, Mr. Al-Rumaihi invited me on a hike. I found this unusual, but I assumed we would be talking about the money the Defendants owed the Big3 since I was consistently requesting Defendants complete the funding they owed and had set a rapidly approaching deadline.

This hike was after the Michael Wolff book regarding President Trump was published and it was reported that Rebekah Mercer, and the Mercer family had pulled support from Bannon.

During the hike, Mr. Al-Rumaihi stated to me that he wanted me to convey a message from the Qatari government to Steve Bannon.

Mr. Al-Rumaihi requested I set up a meeting between him, the Qatari government, and Steve Bannon, and to tell Steve Bannon that Qatar would underwrite all of his political efforts in return for his support.

I immediately let Mr. Al-Rumaihi know that I was offended by this rquest, that I was trying to run a basketball league and need our money paid, and I stated that neither I nor Steve Bannon would ever take, or even entertain the concept, of a bribe of any kind. I was appalled.

Mr. Al-Rumaihi laughed and then stated to me that I shouldn’t be naive, that so many Washington politicians take our money, and stated, “do you think [Michael] Flynn turned down our money?”

Again, I flatly rejected Mr. Al-Rumaihi and stopped the conversation and told him to never offend me again by bringing this up.

I did not relay the message to Mr. Bannon and never conveyed any offer of any kind, nor would I ever.

Apparently, in response to the lawsuit, the Qatari government has issued public statements distancing itself from Mr. Al-Rumaihi. Yet, Mr. Al-Rumaihi told me that he was a relative of the royal Al-Thani family, and that Emir was “like a brother” to him, and that the Sovereign Fund was involved in funding the Big3.

Just a reminder that Fox News’ Tucker Carlson owns and runs Daily Caller.

Aside from the four companies that paid bribes, at least two others, Ford and Uber, were solicited by Michael Cohen.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that is barely scratching the surface.  I don’t have many nice to say about Short Bus Saul Goodman, but he at least works hard.  Nobody this corrupt, connected, diverse, and involved as Cohen could ever be called lazy.  Sloppy, forgetful, unoriginal, and stupid, but not lazy.

President Trump has a big decision to make. Unless he requests an extension, his personal financial disclosure report is due on Tuesday. Under the Ethics in Government Act, he has to disclose all liabilities that exceeded $10,000 at any time during calendar year 2017, even if he repaid them later that year. That includes his debt to Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment Cohen made in October 2016 to adult film star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford).

$20 says he files for an extension, then another, and another.

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

A year in, and the only thing I’m absolutely certain of is that Mueller is months ahead of the rest of us.  That, and this mess is far greater than any of us guessed at first.  And that the scope of this is historic.  And that I shouldn’t say “the only thing” before I count the points out.

The Ukrainian politician is Andrii Artemenko, and he was the one who allegedly handed a crazy-ass “peace plan” to Cohen to give to Trump.

 

THE ISRAELI EMBASSY

 

COLD WAR 2.0

Aside from a blatant violation of the Emoluments Clause, ZTE was accused and found to use American components in their phones, which were then specifically engineered to allow Chinese Intelligence to use them as listening devices.

Oh, it gets worse.

Ever wonder why you’ve never seen a ZTE phone at the AT&T store?  Or the T-Mobile store?  Or the Cricket store?  Or Boost Mobile?  Or as a burner phone from 7-11?  They were mostly sold on military bases, where their primary customers were American soldiers.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Not only was ZTE busted for spying on American soldiers, but they were banned from sales in the United States for 7 years.  Then, this morning, the Dotard tweets out that ZTE should be allowed back in the United States.  A few hours later, news comes out that Trump Org took out $500 million in loans from the Chinese government.

All it takes for Trump to sell out American security is money.  According to Dante, there’s a special place for traitors.

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

#NEVERAGAIN

“I support people who are passionate about the second amendment. It is a right, but we know with all rights come responsibilities, with all rights come restrictions,” said Andrea Halperin of Moms Demand Action Orlando.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

BLUE WAVE

Now it’s time to argue whether or not this clusterfuck is a sport.

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for today.  Over the next couple weeks, I’m planning on taking things a little easy.   I don’t like talking about myself or my family here, but let me just say that we’ve got a lot that we have to do by the end of June.  That means that I can’t spend as much time writing each night.

I still plan on doing these posts each day, as well as a few others as time permits, it’s just for the time being, I can’t spend as much time here every night.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 05/11/2018

Friday, May 11th.

 

COHEN:  FOLLOW THE MONEY

Within a month starting their contract with Michael Cohen, executives from AT&T had a private meeting with the head of the FCC, Ajit Pai to discuss ending Net Neutrality.

Novartis paid Cohen and Essential Consultants 4 times as much as all of their other lobbyists.

This is their attempt at making a scapegoat.  They’re hoping that there’s enough out there that only this person gets implicated, and everyone else can go on their merry way.

Avenatti’s paid a little from Stormy, mostly from their crowdsource fund, and the rest from the buttloads of money he’s made for his firm over the years.

In the email, from February 22, 2018, Cohen writes: “It is my understanding that Ms. Clifford has or is seeking the advice of additional counsel regarding the above matter,” referring to the subject line, “PP -vs-DD NDA,” which pertains to the non-disclosure agreement Daniels is suing Trump over. “Under no circumstances should you forward this document or the exhibits to anyone without my express written consent,” Cohen wrote to Keith Davidson, who is no longer representing Daniels.

Reason #842 why Michael Cohen can’t sleep at night.  He advised another lawyer representing a different client in a case that he worked to withhold evidence that could help their client, and recommend that said client should not pursue competent legal protection. That’s worthy of disbarment, unethical, and illegal.

Amidst the new burst of information about hush money, shell companies, and white supremacist websites suddenly swirling around Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and New York-based company Columbus Nova — as well as Columbus Nova’s relationship with sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg — one detail has provided a bizarre offshoot.

Daybreak Games, a California online game company specializing in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), is scrambling to distance itself from Columbus Nova — a company that was listed as a subsidiary of Vekselberg’s Renova company.

However, shuffling money to Cohen wasn’t the only business Columbus Nova undertook in the past few years. According to press releases, interviews, and policy statements on Daybreak’s website, Columbus Nova purchased Daybreak in 2015. (It’s unclear how much money the sale entailed.)

Now, however, Daybreak is claiming that the past three years have been a big misunderstanding, and that Daybreak was never owned by Columbus Nova — and that the company, in turn, never had any connection to Vekselberg.

We’re going to hear a lot more about Gamergate coming up, but this ties almost exclusively to money laundering.  Many video games have their own economies.  A player can spend money on things for a game, like in-game currency or special items.  Those items are then traded or sold for cash.  And since many of these games are international, it’s not too hard to buy armor in the game with Rubles, then sell that armor on eBay for dollars.

 

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Remember, Rick Gates (The Indicted,Cooperating Witnesses) was the Chief of Staff to Tom Barrack, the head of the Trump Inauguration Committee, and we’re seeing several reports of shady donations being made to this fund.

Ford.  One of the companies that Trump attacked on the campaign trail for building cars in Mexico.

This is interesting.  Now we have proof that it wasn’t just the companies that played ball, but others were approached as well.

See you in about 30 days, Alex!

Kremlin-linked Russian politician Alexander Torshin traveled frequently between Moscow and various destinations in the United States to build relationships with figures on the American right starting as early as 2009, beyond his previously known contacts with the National Rifle Association.

Documents newly obtained by NPR show how he traveled throughout the United States to cultivate ties in ways well beyond his formal role as a member of the Russian legislature and later as a top official at the Russian central bank. These are steps a former top CIA official believes Torshin took in order to advance Moscow’s long-term objectives in the United States, in part by establishing common political interests with American conservatives.

Torshin’s trips took him to Alaska, where he requested a visit with former Gov. Sarah Palin; to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.; to Nashville, where he was an election observer for the 2012 presidential race; and to every NRA convention, in various American cities, between 2012 and 2016.

Hall said their message was: “You know, we don’t like LGBT causes anymore than you conservatives on the right in the United States do, we are interested in engaging the NRA… the church plays an important role in Russia just as it should in the United States.”

 

FBI Special Agent in Charge Lucia Ziobro wrote an unusual column in the Boston Business Journal in April of 2014 to warn that a foundation controlled by Russian energy baron Viktor Vekselberg might be part of a Moscow spying campaign that sought to siphon up American science and technology.

Here’s the part that confused me, until I thought about it for a second.

If the FBI knew about this link to Russian Intel, why put it in some obscure journal?  They needed to warn people, but not tip off the Russians.  If they put this article in the Boston Globe or New York Times, that’ll be front page in Moscow in about 12 hours.  But, the people they wanted to warn were in a specific crowd, and likely to read this journal.  No one else should read it but their targets.

 

SCHNEIDERMAN

Gleason said that he mentioned the women’s allegation in the summer of 2013 to former New York Post columnist Steve Dunleavy, who, the lawyer said, immediately offered to tell Trump.

In his letter to Judge Wood, Gleason wrote, “Mr. Dunleavy did indeed discuss this very matter with Mr. Trump as evidenced by the phone call I received from Attorney Michael Cohen.”

During the early stages of the Trump University investigation, two women accused Eric Schneiderman of physically abusing them.  They went to a lawyer, Peter Gleason, who advised them to, instead of going to law enforcement with their story, or the press, to instead go to Donald Trump.  Gleason knew that Schneiderman was coming after Trump, and Trump would pay for blackmail against him.  That way, when he comes after Trump with criminal charges, Trump could drop this bomb.

This shines a whole new light on the timing of Eric Schneiderman’s resignation.  (Daily Check-In 05/07/2018).  I now think that this breaking when it did will prove to be fortuitous.

Let’s assume for a moment that this story didn’t break when it did, and state criminal charges come up against Trump Org for Enterprise Corruption, the NY version of RICO.  Just as the trial’s about to start, details about Schneiderman’s punchy past come to light, and since he’s leading the prosecution team, shit gets disrupted right as they’re about to go to war.  Or, worse yet, Schneiderman at the last minute decides to not prosecute Trump or his family in an attempt to save his own ass.

Now, there is no magic bullet to save Trump in New York.  They can’t blackmail they’re way out of charges anymore.  Any arguments of a corrupt prosecution are gone.  They’re opponent went from a warrior with a known weakness to a complete unknown, and the most dangerous opponent is the unknown.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

Ever get the feeling that we live in a gigantic simulation, and the last couple years are like some weird QA bug test?  Like the dev team is recycling old data and running crazy scenarios to see what’s broken.  Donald Trump is President, Steven Segal is a spokesman for Putin, Oliver North is the head of the NRA, Bill Cosby is a convicted sex offender, and Pamela Anderson is advocating to this generation’s Michael Jackson to lobby the President on behalf of a spy.

That means Jackie Chan will become the Ambassador to China, Joe Rogan will become Secretary of the Interior, and Claire Danes will get busted for running a high-end brothel.

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

During debate, Trump-loving Pennsylvania congressman Mike Kelly (you guessed it, a Republican) tried to scold Waters, saying, “We’re trying to make America great every day and every way and the best way to do that is to stop talking about discrimination and start talking about the nation. We’re coming together as a people in spite of what you say.”

Waters quickly responded: “I want you to know that I am more offended as an African-American woman than you will ever be. And this business about making America great again, it is your president that’s dividing this country and don’t talk to me about the fact that we don’t understand… No, I will not yield, no I will not yield. Don’t tell me we don’t understand, that’s the attitude given toward women time and time again.”

Waters was then told to stop talking by Republican chair Tom McClintock. Waters complained that she was interrupted while Kelly was not. She then addressed Kelly again.

“Don’t you dare talk to me like that and think that somehow women don’t understand what goes on on the floors of automobile dealers.”

McClintock angrily hushed Waters again.

“You did not interrupt [Kelly] when he was making those outrageous remarks about him knowing more about discrimination than I know about discrimination. I resent that, and I resent the talk about making America great again. He’s down here making a speech [about] this dishonorable president of the United States of America… and no I don’t yield (to Kelly), not one second to you. Not one second. Not one second to you.”

That’s some pretty Orwellian shit right there.  He can’t be bribed because his lawyer accepted bribes, he didn’t.  They probably followed that up “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.”

 

McCAIN

 

BLUE WAVE

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

Glenn Jacobs was running for the GOP nomination for Mayor of Knox County, TN. Glenn Jacobs is a professional wrestler, known better by his stage name, Kane. He’s been in the WWE for more than 25 years, the last 20 or so as Kane.

This election watching reached the top of the Squared Circle subreddit that night. It wasn’t an attack, it was a bunch of wrestling fans and media watching the results, hoping to score that sweet, sweet Reddit Karma.

 

A NEW DIRECTION

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

 

 

That’s it for today.  If I write anything this weekend, I’m going to write about Michael Cohen, the dumbest lawyer and bagman around.  That’s assuming I don’t take the whole weekend off.  I’ve been very busy the last few weeks, and things are only going to get busier from here on out.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 05/10/2018

Thursday, May 10th.  This post will be light on my writing.  The last few days have kicked my butt.

 

COHEN: FOLLOW THE MONEY

Another connection to Russians?  There are more connections to Russians in Trump’s world than in Fydor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!  I’m not sure what’s funnier, the news coming out right after AT&T won an award for ethics, or that AT&T actually won an award for ethics.  I’m guessing PharmaBro wasn’t available to come to the awards banquet.

 

RUDY

Mr. Giuliani took a leave of absence last month from the firm, Greenberg Traurig, one of the nation’s largest, to represent Mr. Trump. But the firm announced on Thursday that he no longer worked there as of a day earlier.

In a statement released by the firm, Mr. Giuliani said it “is in everyone’s best interest that I make it a permanent resignation” so he can focus on the special counsel’s investigation.

Firm partners had chafed over Mr. Giuliani’s public comments about payments that another of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Michael D. Cohen, made to secure the silence of a pornographic film actress who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. The president has denied her allegations. In interviews, Mr. Giuliani suggested that such payments were common at his firm.

“That was money that was paid by his lawyer, the way I would do, out of his law firm funds,” he said on Fox News.

He added, “Michael would take care of things like this like I take care of this with my clients.”

The New York Times asked Greenberg Traurig several times to explain those remarks over the past week. On Tuesday, a firm spokeswoman asked for more time to provide answers.

Rudy got shitcanned from his law firm, and it’s just a matter of time until he’s fired from Team Trump.  Couldn’t happen to a more deserving asshole.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

As I’ve mentioned before, Pence is dirty AF.  He’s skilled, but he’s not covered in teflon.

So here’s the situation: we have a president that is under criminal investigation, with congressional Republicans willing to put intelligence assets at risk in order to obstruct the probe. That makes them complicit in whatever crimes the president has committed.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

Long before Mr. Trump even existed as a political force, many of us noted with alarm the rise of a backlash among right-wingers deeply angry and profoundly terrified by the writing on the demographic wall. Said writing foretold — and for that matter, still foretells — the declining preeminence of white, Christian America. As several studies now show, a sense of alarmed displacement among white, Christian America is the soil from which the weed of Trumpism grew.

The idea that we must “understand” those folks carries with it an implicit suggestion that in so doing, we might find some ground for compromise. It would be a great idea in normal times. But again, these times are not normal.

No compromise is possible here for a simple reason Trump followers seem to understand better than the rest of us: You can’t compromise with demography, can’t order numbers to stop being what they are and saying what they say about the coming tide of change. But what you can do is seize the levers of power and change the rules of the game in hopes of blunting the force of that tide. That — again, look at the studies — is what Trump supporters elected him to do.

So while, it is admirable to think “understanding” can fix this country, it is also naive. Progressives should ask themselves: When’s the last time you heard any Trump supporters talking about the need to understand you? You haven’t — and that ought to tell you something.

Here’s the thing: The rest of us have the moral high ground here. We see the same demographic writing on the wall that Trump followers see, but where it makes them angry and fearful, it leaves us energized.

Many of us are excited to see the nation that will arise from this cauldron of change.

That’s because the idea of change doesn’t threaten us. It will challenge us, yes, but we’re ready for that. We know that this is a big country, big enough for many different kinds of people, many different ways of life. We know what it means to live and let live. And we know that welcoming the stranger, caring for the stranger, is simply what you do as a human being.

I submit that those are core American virtues. And that now would be an excellent time for progressives to exhibit a little courage in their defense. Trump followers see a nation in demographic peril, so they seek a nation where those who frighten them can be regulated into irrelevance. There’s no big mystery about that. There never has been.

So no, they don’t really need to be understood.

What they need to be is defeated.

 

This note in the post illustrates how clickbaity the headline is.

[–]CylinsierPennsylvania [score hidden] 

Just remember that as of 2016, only 26% of the population identified as Republican. So while 61% of Republicans think he is being framed, that’s only around 16% of Americans. Compare that to 29% Democrats and 42% Independents. They’re the majority in their own party but are a small minority of the country as it is unlikely more than a handful of Democrats and Independents feel the same way.

http://news.gallup.com/poll/188096/democratic-republican-identification-near-historical-lows.aspx

 

Basics of statistics and shrinking group dynamics.  Fewer people identify as Republicans, and most of those that left did so because of the crazies.

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

BORDER ISSUES

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) filed a discharge petition Wednesday morning that, if signed by a majority of House members, would force votes on immigration bills under a so-called “queen of the hill” rule. Whichever of those bills receives the most votes, exceeding a majority, would pass the House — a setup that is calibrated to secure passage of a bipartisan compromise.

 

HIJINKS ON THE HILL

 

BLUE WAVE

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for today.  Like I said earlier, the last few days have kicked my butt, so I’m taking it easy today.  Yes, this is my definition of taking it easy.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 05/09/2018

Wednesday, May 9th.

 

FOLLOW THE MONEY: A STORMYGATE/COHEN/RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION CROSSOVER EVENT

“We’re in the shit, now.  Somebody’s gotta shovel it.”

– Hercules Mulligan, Hamilton

It’s 10PM, and I’m still organizing this post.  Today’s news is like one of those crossover TV shows for DC shows on the CW; every character has a part, it’s complete chaos, and the most annoying character from each show gets too much screen time.

I’m doing this a little different tonight.  I’ll describe what happened, and try to organize the news to make sense.

Last night, Michael Avenatti dropped a bomb claiming that multiple companies had paid Michael Cohen.  (Daily Check-In 05/08/2018) Among them are AT&T, Novartis, Korean Aerospace Industries, and Columbus Nova, a subsidiary of Renova.  Over a million dollars flowed into Essential Consultants, LLC., the same company that paid off Stormy Daniels and Shera Brechard.

So, what happened today?

First, we get the confirmations from each company.  Not only did Novartis, AT&T, and KAI all confirm that they paid Michael Cohen, but they each admitted to paying more than reported.  Avenatti only release 4 months of payments, but these companies each confirmed a year’s worth of payments.

But each of them claimed, eventually, that they hired Michael Cohen and Essential Consultants for different reasons.

Korean Air

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) (047810.KS) said on Wednesday it had paid $150,000 for consulting services on accounting matters to a firm set up by U.S. President Donald Trump’s private lawyer Michael Cohen.

The arrangement came as the company, backed by state-owned Export-Import Bank of Korea, is competing to sell trainer jets to the U.S. Air Force in an auction that could be worth up to $16 billion.

So, a billion-dollar company says they’re looking for accounting advice from a real estate lawyer? Just as they’re competing for billions of dollars of government funds.

What’s the word I’m looking for? It rhymes with Mibery.

Oh, but the corruption goes even further.  From /u/charmed_im-sure

“In addition, Korea Aerospace Industries paid Mr. Cohen’s company $150,000 last November, according to the records. The company, an aircraft manufacturer, has partnered with the American defense contractor Lockheed Martin in competing for a multibillion-dollar contract to provide trainer jets for the United States Air Force that is expected to be awarded this year. A representative for Korea Aerospace declined to comment.”

KAI vice president found dead amid corruption scandal by Yeo Jun-suk Sept 21, 2017

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170921000259

Korea Aerospace CEO Resigns as Prosecutors Probe Chopper Project by Kyunghee Park July 19, 2017

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-20/korea-aerospace-ceo-resigns-as-prosecutors-probe-chopper-project

 

Novartis

Novartis said it believed Cohen “could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain U.S. health-care policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act.”

Health care policy.  Now Cohen’s an expert on Obamacare.  OBAMA WASN’T AN EXPERT ON OBAMACARE!

Novartis, the maker of drugs like Ritalin, paid Cohen 3 times what Avenatti released last night.

 

AT&T

Now Cohen’s an expert on regulatory reform?

 

Of course, Avenatti couldn’t help but poke fun at Cohen, and rightfully so.

I know a little bit about consulting, and one thing that you have to sell the client on is your expertise in the subject matter, and how your expertise can help them.  Cohen either has deep levels of experience that are previously unseen by a “real estate attorney”, or he’s being paid for access.

 

At some point throughout the day, Cohen’s lawyers filed paperwork in court disputing “some” of the findings.

Cohen’s lawyers are arguing that the small dollar amounts belong to different Michael Cohen’s, and dispute about $20,000 worth of charges, out of $4.4 million.  They don’t dispute the rest of it, just the tiny dollar amounts, like $675.00 to Taiwan.

Their argument, though, is that because the tiny amounts are incorrect, the whole report is inaccurate.

That’s like getting caught having an affair by a PI, and the PI lists the mistress, the restaurant you met up at, the car you drove to the hotel, the hotel you shagged at, what positions were tried, what you screamed out when you came, what you ordered from room service, and what brand of condom you wore each time, but claiming the report is wrong because you used Durex instead of Trojans.

Back to the events.  What did these companies get for their payments?

They got “access.”  This is also called pay-to-play.  There’s another word for that…

Bribery.

Of course, the calls for more information continue.  What else is there?  Where did this information come from?  Where did it go?

Remember, Trump doesn’t like it when people make money off of “his brand” without him getting a piece of the action, and Trump still refers to Cohen as his attorney.

Not everyone’s happy with this information getting out in the public domain…

Rich Delmar, counsel to the inspector general, said that in response to media reports the office is “inquiring into allegations” that Suspicious Activity Reports on Cohen’s banking transactions were “improperly disseminated.”

Federal law requires banks to file Suspicious Activity Report on any unusual transactions over $10,000. Experts say the information Avenatti published could have come from a Suspicious Activity Report filed by Cohen’s bank to Treasury.

It is not uncommon, of course, for journalists, lawyers and others in the public eye to receive unauthorized leaks of sensitive information. Stipano said hundreds if not thousands of officials in law enforcement and government have access to a database of Suspicious Activity Reports.

Among other things, banks are required to file SARs if the transaction “has no business or apparent lawful purpose or is not the type of transaction that the particular customer would normally be expected to engage in, and the bank knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction.”

 

Collusion is real.  Cohen’s ties to Russia are real.  The Russians have leverage on Trump.

Ok, it’s just one of Trump’s lawyers connected to Columbus Nova, right?

Wait, what? Columbus Nova, a subsidiary of Renova Group, owned by Viktor Vekselberg, owns a bunch of Alt Right website domains?!  Now we’re tying in Horseshoe TheoryTrump vs. Bernie, and Racism And Politics Today, plus a lot of Russian interference in other realms.

These revelations are going to tie back to the Republican Party.  Remember, Michael Cohen is STILL the Deputy Finance Chair of the Republican Party. (Daily Check-In 04/13/2018)

Andrew Intrater, according to Mother Jones, is Vekselberg’s cousin. He is also chief executive of Columbus Nova, Renova’s U.S. investment arm located in New York. (FEC records list his employer as Renova US Management LLC.)

Intrater had no significant history of political contributions prior to the 2016 elections. But in January 2017 he contributed $250,000 to Trump’s Inaugural Committee. His six-figure gift bought him special access to a dinner billed as “an intimate policy discussion with select cabinet appointees,” according to a brochure obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.

Michael Cohen.  Russian Mafia.  La Cosa Nostra (what’s left of it).  Corporate Greed.  The Republican Party.  The Alt-Right.  The Internet attacks.  The only piece missing from this is the NRA, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out at this point that they wired money to Cohen for “access” and “insight” on gun rights issues.

By the way, why haven’t we heard about this mess with Cohen from Robert Mueller’s team?  The answer will surprise absolutely no one who’s been paying attention.

 

 

5. Is the special counsel Robert Mueller looking into these payments?

It appears that he is. Earlier this year, federal agents working for Mueller confronted Vekselberg after he got off a private plane at an airport in the New York area, according to a recent report in the Times. The article said the agents questioned Vekselberg and searched his electronic devices. It also said that members of Mueller’s team have interviewed Intrater, who is the chief executive of Columbus Nova.

 

Mueller knows.  He’s at least 6 months ahead of this story.  Mueller’s team interviewed ALL OF THE PARTIES, except Cohen and Trump, last year.  After interviewing and reviewing this information, two months later Stormy Daniels hires Michael Avenatti, and they begin their legal crusade against Michael Cohen.  A couple months ago, Mueller’s team referred the Cohen case to SDNY.  This was all part of the plan.

Trump’s supporters love to claim that he’s playing 4-D chess, or 12-D backgammon.  Mueller doesn’t play any fucking games.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Speaking of months ahead, Mueller interviewed Erik Prince sometime this year, after George Nader flipped.  My guess is this took place sometime between Daily Check-In 03/22/2018 and Daily Check-In 04/10/2018.  It had to take place after George Nader flipped, but not likely in the last week or two.  These sources run at least a month behind, and Erik was in the news a few times those weeks.  There seems to be a pattern with people showing up in the news while they’re interviewing Bobby Three Sticks.

IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL

Iranian hackers are legit.  They’re better than the Russians.  Last year, the Wannacry ransomware attack occurred across the world, first hitting Ukraine.  It was released by the Russians, likely one of the Bears, but there were several rumors at the time that it originated from Iran.  Given what we’ve found out about the elite Iranian hackers (Daily Check-In 03/23/2018), it makes a lot of sense that they built it, and the Russians released it.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

This confirms what we’ve all known, Trump is a thin-skinned shit who attacks anyone who calls him out.  I, for one, am glad to be “fake news.”

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

The Handmaid’s Tale is supposed to be a cautionary story, not a blueprint for policy changes.

I’m curious, does this include an exclusion for their mistresses?

 

BLUE WAVE

 

RUMOR MILL

There was a ton of stuff on Twitter today, with a lot of it being directed at the Main Stream Media.  This information coming out about Cohen’s ties to the mob, Trump’s ties to the mob, Trump’s taste in young girls, and the blatant corruption at hand is nothing new, and was reported to outlets like the New York Times.  What did they do with these stories?

Not a god damn thing.

For one reason or another, which I’ll get to the rumored one in a minute, they didn’t run the truly salacious stories about Trump, and instead concentrated on the fluff, while trying to nail Hilary to the wall.  People that claim that Trump is corrupt AF got pushed aside as crackpots or dismissed like we were reporting on the color of the sky.

Why is that?  Why did so much of the MSM drop the ball on reporting this historical clusterfuck?

One hypothesis, the one floating around the Rumor Mill, is that all of the MSM was bought and paid for by foreign influence.  And this is right, to a point.  Many of the major media arms are owned by parties with foreign interests, and a lot of decisions on what to run comes from above.

Another hypothesis, the one I subscribe to, is that we are in truly historic times, and no one has any clue how to proceed.  There is no template for a foreign power manipulating the election of the President of the United States to encourage a world-wide crime syndicate to normalize their business functions at the expense of democracy.  That means there’s no template for fighting it or reporting about it.  All of the normal rules don’t apply.  It’s not just an organized crime case, or a political case, a sexual assault case, a white-collar crime case, or a national security case, but all of the above, and more.

Reporters are trying to make sense out of it, but they each have their own speciality.  It’s like with police work, they’re specialized into different areas.  Homicide, Sex, Robbery, Taxes, Cyber, Auto, etc.  There’s some overlap, like the Robbery Homicide Detectives of the LAPD, but it’s not common.  Each group of detectives looks at a crime from their angle, but to grasp the whole picture, they need help from all of the departments.

That’s where Twitter and the Rumor Mill come in.  Everyone has something they’re good at, but each of them is smart enough to know when it’s time for another person to step in.  LB has expertise in the entertainment world, while Louise Mensch has close ties to IC sources.  COB has a lifetime of experience in the Navy, while Dr. Kester can psychoanalyze a target in moments.  Eric Garland understands foreign policy and how things fit together in the big picture, while Countercheckist and Tea Pain offer IC insights and humor.  Me?  I make stupid jokes, write, and keep track of what’s going on.

But that’s what is missing from the MSM; they don’t have synergy.  Aside from Rachel Maddow or Anderson Cooper trying to bring experts from different fields together, each unit and reporter is acting on their own.  They’re working for their own papers, channels, or publishers.  Imaging what would happen if the best journalists, researchers, and reporters joined forces to crack this story.  Ronan Farrow working with Natasha Bertrand, Betsy Woodruff, Rick Wilson, Michael Beschloss, along with some of the staffs of the Washington Post, New York Times (not the editorial staff), BuzzFeed and TMZ (yes, TMZ) could make some real headlines.

 

That’s it for today.  I’ll see everyone tomorrow.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur