Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hushpuppy, Apr 12, 2011.
George Bush just died. He was so much better than Trump
Tom Winter @Tom_Winter 10 minutes ago
BREAKING / NBC NEWS: Michael Cohen's attorneys have told a judge tonight that their client is cooperating in an ongoing federal investigation in New York and he has met with the New York AG's office about their suit against the Trump Foundation and the President.
CIA Intercepts Underpin Assessment Saudi Crown Prince Targeted Khashoggi | Wall Street Journal
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent at least 11 messages to his closest adviser, who oversaw the team that killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the hours before and after the journalist’s death in October, according to a highly classified CIA assessment.
The Saudi leader also in August 2017 had told associates that if his efforts to persuade Mr. Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia weren’t successful, “we could possibly lure him outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements,” according to the assessment, a communication that it states “seems to foreshadow the Saudi operation launched against Khashoggi.”
Continued at https://www.wsj.com/articles/cia-in...di-crown-prince-targeted-khashoggi-1543640460
Very Legal, Very Cool, And Very Interesting To Mueller | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
"Donald Trump's story has come a long way, from claiming no business dealings in Russia to allegedly offering Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse in Trump Tower Moscow."
Trump's Side Hustle vs. Obama's Side Hustle - Between the Scenes | The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
"Trump says Russia was just a side hustle. Can you imagine Obama having a side hustle?"
Michael Cohen believed Trump would pardon him. Things changed. | CNN
"Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney for President Donald Trump who is now a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, was under the impression Trump would offer him a pardon in exchange for staying on message in support of the President in discussions with federal prosecutors, according to two sources."
Michael Cohen Says He Bravely Turned On Trump So Doesn’t Deserve Jail Time
Cohen plans to “re-point his internal compass true north toward a productive, ethical and thoroughly law abiding life,” according to his lawyers.
By Amber Jamieson, BuzzFeed News
Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer to Donald Trump, pleaded with a federal judge on Friday to not send him to jail when sentencing him later this month.
In court documents filed on Friday evening, Cohen’s lawyers, Guy Petrillo and Amy Lester, argued that their client should not receive any jail time because he helped authorities despite huge pressure from President Trump.
“In the context of this raw, full-bore attack by the most powerful person in the United States, Michael, formerly a confidante and adviser to Mr. Trump, resolved to cooperate,” his attorneys wrote.
Cohen is due to be sentenced on Dec. 12 on a suite of charges.
On Thursday, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about pursuing the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2016, a charge which stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The details of the Trump Tower Moscow deal were first revealed by BuzzFeed News in May. The Trump Organization had planned to gift Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse in the tower.
In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of tax and financial fraud, including campaign contributions related to the $130,000 of hush money paid to Stormy Daniels, who claims she had a sexual relationship with the president a decade ago.
Cohen’s lawyers point out that the financial contribution and lying charges “both arose from Michael’s fierce loyalty” to his former boss, Trump (identified in court documents as “Client-1”) and were done specifically to benefit the president.
The documents argued that Cohen lied about the real estate deal in Russia because Trump himself had made “repeated disavowals of commercial and political ties between himself and Russia,” and Cohen wanted to protect him.
“Michael’s false statements to Congress likewise sprung regrettably from Michael’s effort, as a loyal ally and then-champion of Client-1, to support and advance Client-1’s political messaging,” it reads.
His lawyers also point out that Cohen could have stayed loyal to Trump in the hope of receiving a pardon, but instead decided to turn on his boss.
The documents also noted that Cohen cooperated despite the “legitimacy” of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference and any collusion by the Trump campaign being “regularly questioned publicly and stridently by the President of the United States.”
Cohen’s lawyers reveal that he voluntarily took part in seven interviews with the special counsel’s office, and is happy to continue to work with authorities.
Since federal authorities raided Cohen’s offices in April, most of Cohen’s friends and associates have abandoned him. “Nearly every professional and commercial relationship that he enjoyed, and a number of long-standing friendships, have vanished,” reads the court documents.
His lawyers also mention the “shame and anxiety” that Cohen feels for subjecting his family to his criminal activity.
Multiple testimonies from friends of Cohen described him as a supportive friend and family man, including one from his father, Maurice Cohen, a surgeon who survived the Holocaust, who called his son “the oxygen in the air that I breathe.”
“I pray and beg, beg and pray that you won’t take my oxygen away from me,” he asked the judge.
Continued at https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/amberjamieson/michael-cohen-jail-lawyers
There's a Lot Going On in Michael Cohen's Sentencing Memo | Lawfare
Trump Argentina Cold Open - SNL | Saturday Night Live
"Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) gets an update about the Robert Mueller probe from Rudy Giuliani (Kate McKinnon) and Michael Cohen (Ben Stiller), and he confronts Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) about his handshake with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia (Fred Armisen) at the G20 Summit in Argentina."
Weekend Update: Trump's Moscow Tower - SNL | Saturday Night Live
"Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen admitting they worked on a deal to license a building in Moscow during the 2016 election campaign."
Trump overheard saying 'get me out of here' as he suddenly walks off stage at G20 summit
Comey says he reached deal for hearing with House Republicans | Axios
Former FBI Director James Comey tweeted Sunday that he had reached a deal to take part in a hearing with House Republicans behind closed doors but with the ability to release a transcript the next day, stating the deal was " the closest I can get to public testimony."
"Grateful for a fair hearing from judge. Hard to protect my rights without being in contempt, which I don’t believe in. So will sit in the dark, but Republicans agree I’m free to talk when done and transcript released in 24 hours. This is the closest I can get to public testimony."
The big picture: Comey had been subpoenaed by House Republicans to discuss Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as well as Russian interference in the 2016 election in a closed door setting, but he asked a federal judge to quash the subpoena while arguing that he preferred to take part in a public hearing, per Vox.
Comey says he will testify after legal challenge | CNN
Putin’s Media Roasts Trump: Russia ‘Should Spit’ on Him and the United States
“Hilarious moment Trump wanders off the G20 stage before a group photo and leaves Argentina's President Macri on his own before he is caught muttering 'Get me out of here' on a hot mic
President Donald Trump appeared to be in a hurry to leave the G20 summit in Buenos Aires
After shaking hands with Argentinean President Mauricio Macri, Trump wandered off stage instead of posing for a photograph
Macri, confused, tried to usher him back and an aide gave chase, hoping to catch up to the U.S. President
Trump is then heard off camera saying 'Get me out of here!'
Incident took place one day after Trump bizarrely removed his translation earpiece while standing next to Macri
President Donald Trump appeared to be in a hurry to leave the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.
The President was seen walking away from his Argentinean counterpart, President Mauricio Macri, just as the two leaders were supposed to pose for a photo opportunity on Friday.
The hilarious video shows Trump shake hands with Macri, the two leaders were then supposed to spend a few more moments on stage for a group photo with other G20 leaders.
But Trump was apparently so eager to leave that that he just wandered off stage.
An aide began to chase down the American President while Macri sheepishly lingered on stage all by himself.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 2 hours ago
“Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time.” You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term? He makes up stories to get a GREAT & ALREADY reduced deal for himself, and get.....
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 2 hours ago
....his wife and father-in-law (who has the money?) off Scott Free. He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
“I will never testify against Trump.” This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about “President Trump.” Nice to know that some people still have “guts!”
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
Bob Mueller (who is a much different man than people think) and his out of control band of Angry Democrats, don’t want the truth, they only want lies. The truth is very bad for their mission!
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 27 minutes ago
Looking forward to being with the Bush Family to pay my respects to President George H.W. Bush.
Are the Bush family looking forward to spending time with Trump, I think not.
As current president he's an insult to the office and to every president who served and that's saying something.
Donald Trump accused of witness tampering over Roger Stone tweet
By Bob Fredericks, New York Post
Legal experts — including the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway — accused President Trump of witness tampering on Monday after he sent out a tweet praising longtime crony Roger Stone for vowing to never testify against the president.
“’I will never testify against Trump.’ This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about ‘President Trump.’ Nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!’” the commander-in-chief wrote in a series of agitated tweets about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
“Witness tampering: File under “18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512,” wrote George Conway after retweeting the president’s post, listing the number of the federal criminal statute about “tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant.”
“George is right. This is genuinely looking like witness tampering. DOJ (at least with a nonfake AG) prosecutes cases like these all the time. The fact it’s done out in the open is no defense. Trump is genuinely melting down, and no good lawyer can represent him under these circs,” added Neal Katyal, a law professor and former US acting solicitor general.
“Witness tampering. Again. If only the most competent federal criminal investigator of our age were reading and cataloging — or having someone else do it — every tweet by this man. I imagine what would happen, if that occurred, is that all these tweets would later show up in a report,” tweeted Seth Abramson, an author and law professor at the University of New Hampshire, referring to Mueller, tongue firmly in cheek.
“Witness tampering,” was all Trump biographer Tim O’Brien tweeted after retweeting the president’s post.
Continued at https://nypost.com/2018/12/03/trump-accused-of-witness-tampering-over-roger-stone-tweet/
18 U.S. Code § 1503 - Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally
18 U.S. Code § 1512 - Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant
Did Trump commit witness tampering by tweet? I asked 9 legal experts. | Vox
The Mueller investigation is closing in on Trump
By Jill Abramson, The Guardian
The rogues’ gallery exposed in Robert Mueller’s court filings last week make the Watergate burglars look positively classy.
Even veteran lawyers who were involved in the investigations of Richard Nixon say they’ve never seen this level of chicanery. Most importantly, last week’s events showed that Special Counsel Mueller is getting closer to exposing the scope and depth of it all. His most recent filings make clear that considerable evidence touches the president himself.
Continued at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/03/trump-mueller-investigation-manafort-cohen
"In 2016, the former GOP party chair and Republican president quietly bolted from the party that had given him his rise by voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president instead of Donald Trump. He was a Republican but was an American first, and displayed his pragmatic and reasonable nature in that vote."
I will stay with all i have ever sais and posted about this : A picture perfect But I will plug my home girl"
Yale psychiatrist explains how devotion to Trump is based on emotional patterns most people grow out of by age five
Raw Story spoke with Yale psychiatry professor Bandy X. Lee on why the president’s supporters show such undying devotion to a man who’s repeatedly reneged on promises and whose tumultuous first term has been filled with shake-ups. (Lee speaks for herself, not for Yale).
Bandy X. Lee: The sense of grandiose omnipotence that he displays seems especially appealing to his emotionally-needy followers. No matter what the world says, he fights back against criticism, continues to lie in the face of truth, and above all is still president. What matters is that he is winning, not whether he is honest or law-abiding. This may seem puzzling to the rest of us, but when you are overcome with feelings of powerlessness, this type of cartoonish, exaggerated force is often more important than true ability. This is the more primitive morality, as we call it, of “might makes right,” which in normal development you grow out of by age five.
But, in this case, Trump appeals to that childlike degree of emotional development? Why?
Strongman-type personalities are very appealing in times of socioeconomic or political crisis, as the population is less able to think rationally but is rather overcome with fear, or desire to draw strength from fantastical ideas. This happens to normal people in times of stress, or to people whose development has been stunted because of emotional injury. The problem is, the person who promises the impossible and states, “I alone can fix it,” and gives himself an A+ on his performance, is not a strong person who can deliver but the opposite. So Mr. Trump’s “base“ looks for someone to rescue them and their intense yearning does not allow them to see through his deception, while Mr. Trump senses better than anyone their needs (they are his) and makes use of them for his own benefit—even as he disdains his supporters for being so gullible. In this manner, they fulfill each other’s emotional needs in a mutually unhealthy way.
What’s your biggest concern?
One concern I have, in my 20 years of studying this personality structure while treating violent offenders, is the disturbing societal trend. More and more of this personality type are taking on leadership positions, including of corporations, whereas 20 years ago one would mostly find them in jails and prisons. This also means there are a growing number of people who emulate them in the general culture, who become deprived from the structures that they create, and who become emotionally traumatized as a result of any of these consequences. People who are wounded this way continue to seek omnipotent parental figures as adults, and the vicious circle continues. Unable to find outer satisfaction for their inner needs, some keep pursuing ever greater power until they reach the highest positions, but since this is the opposite of proper treatment, their conditions only grow worse while society suffers a trail of carnage. It is actually a tragedy that Mr. Trump cannot receive proper care, even as his disorder is on display for the world to see, but is rather surrounded by those who enable his illness and make use of his weaknesses to their own destructive ends.
More at https://www.rawstory.com/2018/12/ya...ased-emotional-patterns-people-grow-age-five/
After Rudy Giuliani Creates G-20.in Link in Tweet, Someone Created a Page That Says ‘Donald J. Trump Is a Traitor to Our Country’
While working overtime to defend President Donald Trump from an escalation in the Russia probe, embattled lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani opened a whole new can of worms with a tweet he posted on Friday.
The tweet intended to call out Special Counsel Robert Mueller, insinuating that Mueller deliberately filed indictments in the Russia investigation while the President was out of the country. The tweet was spurred by Mueller’s newest indictment of former Trump ally Michael Cohen as Trump left for Argentina to attend the G20 Summit with other world leaders.
Mueller filed an indictment just as the President left for https://t.co/8ZNrQ6X29a July he indicted the Russians who will never come here just before he left for Helsinki.Either could have been done earlier or later. Out of control!Supervision please?— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 30, 2018As you may have noticed, Giuliani’s failure to put a space after the period following “G-20” inadvertently created a hyperlink, giving one hero the perfect chance to troll him.
Giuliani accidentally made a link in his tweet & some quick thinker bought the domain & made a page. Because the tweet is sure to be deleted here‘s the original & what you go to when you click on the link. The moral of this story is that the space after a period is not optional. pic.twitter.com/NF5C8MYIXo— Yule Wigg-Stevenson (@TylerWS) December 3, 2018An eagle-eyed follower soon bought the domain name, whose layout is quite simple. The accidental link leads to a single-page site with white text on a dark background, reading:
“Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country.”With the Russia investigation heating up again after a quiet period during midterms, Twitter users everywhere applauded the internet’s latest hero.
Continued at https://secondnexus.com/news/rudy-giuliani-donald-trump-domain-traitor/
[Four days later, the tweet is still there.]
Which Investigations Will the Dems Launch First? | Mother Jones
They will have plenty of targets to choose from come January.
Sometime in the mid-1990s, I was talking to a senior Clinton White House official who was in a lousy mood. After Republicans had seized control of the House of Representatives in 1994 for the first time in four decades, they had launched a blizzard of investigations of the Clintons—some legitimate, some less so—and the administration was now besieged by a ton of requests for information and interviews. Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, the Vince Foster suicide, campaign finance irregularities, and more—the GOP demanded documents on all of it. (And this was before the Monica Lewinsky scandal.) One House Republican chairman on his own issued more than 1,000 subpoenas.
This Clinton official complained to me that under these circumstances it was damn tough for the White House to conduct regular business—overseeing the federal government, dealing with Congress on budgetary and legislative matters, and keeping the country secured. “And we have a lot of the best people in town working for us,” he said.
This official was correct in that regard. The Clinton White House was packed with competent lawyers and political professionals who were highly experienced in governing, politics, communications, and crisis management. By and large, they managed to tend to their day jobs and handle all the investigations hurled at them by the Newt Gingrich-led House Republicans. But it wasn’t easy. And even though the investigations did not bring down the Clinton administration, as many conservatives hoped, they made it more difficult for Clinton’s team to pursue its policy agenda during a time of divided government.
Fast forward two and a half decades: The Trump White House doesn’t have the bodies, the experience, or the competence to effectively manage the investigations and subpoenas that the new House Democratic majority will send its way. Trump is about to receive the political equivalent of a top-to-bottom medical examination. It will be uncomfortable, if not painful. He won’t be able to tweet his way out of this. His lieutenants could well be enmired, responding to or challenging information requests on multiple fronts, some of which may end up before the courts. (Some might have to lawyer up.) With a White House already fueled by chaos—how many wheels can come off this bus?—the big question is: How far will the Democrats go?
Continued at https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/12/which-investigations-will-the-dems-launch-first/
From February of 2017:
Milo Yiannopoulos 'more than $2m in debt', Australian promoters' documents show | The Guardian
The far right activist Milo Yiannopoulos was more than $2m in debt during 2018, according to a collection of documents assembled by his former Australian tour promoters and seen by Guardian Australia. Creditors listed in the documents include employees of his company, a wedding venue and his former sponsors, the billionaire Mercer family.
The documents indicate that as of April 2018, Yiannopoulos owed $1.6m to his own company, $400,000 to the Mercers, $153,215 to his former lawyers, $76,574 to former collaborator and Breitbart writer Allum Bokhari, and $20,000 to the luxury jewellery brand Cartier.
As of 2 October, Yiannopoulos owed sums of several thousand dollars to far right writers including Ian Miles Cheong, anti-Islamic ideologue Pamela Geller and science fiction writer Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day, the documents indicate, amongst others.
They were published on the website of an Australian far right figure and United Patriots Front member, Neil Erikson, infamous for subjecting the former senator Sam Dastyari to a torrent of racial abuse in a Sydney pub.
The cache details the deterioration in the relationship between Yiannopoulos and his former promoters, Gold Coast-based Australian Events Management, run by brothers Ben and Dan Spiller.
The documents show Yiannopoulos demanding money from the promoters for his living expenses, medical bills for himself and his husband, and payment for his employees, on top of sums that the promoters claim they had already transferred to him.
At one point, as he attempts to negotiate the transfer of more funds from the Spillers, Yiannopoulos remarks in a message that “I am less financially secure, more panicked and stressed, and more miserable than when we started”, and then says he returned his wedding ring to Cartier to wipe out the debt he had with them.
Yiannopoulos’s disagreements with the promoters did not put him off the country, though. In a September text, he says that “I am really seriously considering a move to Australia in the next year or two. The political environment in the US is insane. So pulling this off well really matters to me”. In another text he worries that a failed tour would damage his earning potential in the country.
Emails show Yiannopoulos attempted to add more far right guests to the bill. In October, in an email with the subject line “Roger Stone really wants to join tour”, Yiannopoulos tried to get the Infowars broadcaster and Trump adviser on the bill, commenting that “Mueller investigation won’t have tightened the noose by December”.
Yiannopoulos and the promoters made successive failed attempts to organise speaking tours to Australia in 2018.
The British-born former Breitbart writer was to be accompanied by various guests, including the rightwing US commentator Ann Coulter, the English Defence League founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, the Australian senator Fraser Anning, who once called for a “final solution to immigration in Australia”; and the Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, who was himself refused a visa to enter Australia late last week.
Tours planned in April, September and December all fell through.
Continued at https://www.theguardian.com/austral...m-in-debt-australian-promoters-documents-show
Judge greenlights subpoenas in Trump Hotel lawsuit | POLITICO
A federal judge on Monday said lawyers for Maryland and Washington, D.C., can begin issuing subpoenas in a lawsuit that accuses President Donald Trump of using his luxury hotel in Washington to unconstitutionally profit from his political office.
The attorneys general in Maryland and Washington say they plan to serve as many as 20 companies and government agencies with subpoenas by mid-day Tuesday. It’s the first time a lawsuit alleging a president violated the Constitution's emoluments, or anti-corruption, clauses has advanced to the discovery stage.
Continued at https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/03/subpoenas-trump-hotel-emoluments-1041324
DC, Md. officials ready with subpoenas in Trump hotel case | Associated Press
Manafort Tried to Broker Deal With Ecuador to Hand Assange Over to U.S. | The New York Times
Mr. Manafort and WikiLeaks have both denied a recent report in The Guardian that Mr. Manafort visited Mr. Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in 2013, 2015 and 2016.
But the revelations about Mr. Manafort’s discussions in 2017 about Mr. Assange in Quito underscore how his self-styled role as an international influence broker intersected with the questions surrounding the Trump campaign.
And the episode shows how after Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Manafort sought to cash in on his brief tenure as Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman even as investigators were closing in.
The Ecuadoreans continued to explore the possibility of Chinese investment, but with the United States Justice Department and intelligence agencies stepping up their pursuit of Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks, Mr. Moreno’s team increasingly looked to resolve their Assange problem by turning to Russia.
In the months after Mr. Moreno took office, the Ecuadorean government granted citizenship to Mr. Assange and secretly pursued a plan to provide him a diplomatic post in Russia as a way to free him from confinement in the embassy in London. (That plan was ultimately dropped in the face of opposition from British authorities, who have said they will arrest Mr. Assange if he leaves the embassy.)
Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Mr. Manafort, said that it was Mr. Moreno — not Mr. Manafort — who broached the issue of Mr. Assange and “his desire to remove Julian Assange from Ecuador’s embassy.” Mr. Manafort “listened but made no promises as this was ancillary to the purpose of the meeting,” said Mr. Maloni, adding, “There was no mention of Russia at the meeting.”
Late last year, Mr. Mueller’s team charged Mr. Manafort with a host of lobbying, money laundering and tax violations in connection with his consulting work for Russia-aligned interests in Ukraine before the 2016 election. Mr. Manafort was convicted of some of the crimes and pleaded guilty to others as part of an agreement to cooperate with prosecutors. But prosecutors said last week that he violated the deal by repeatedly lying to them. Mr. Manafort remains in solitary confinement in a federal detention center in Alexandria, Va., waiting for a judge to set a sentencing date.
The trip to Ecuador was part of a whirlwind world tour that represented the last gasps of Mr. Manafort’s once lucrative career.
More at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/03/us/politics/manafort-assange-wikileaks-ecuador.html
'Mueller has promised to lay it all out': Former federal prosecutor explains why this will be a landmark week for the Russia investigation | Alternet
Three separate events will give Mueller opportunities to drop bombshells.
Former federal prosecutor Elie Honig made it clear in a new CNN op-ed: This week is going to see major developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
"This week, Mueller is due to make three crucial court filings -- sentencing memos for Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort," he wrote. "By the end of this week, we will know much more about the strength of Mueller's hand and the threat his investigation poses to President Donald Trump and his administration."
Manafort, Cohen, and Flynn have already been found guilty in the investigation. The fact that it goes without saying that the president's former campaign chair, personal lawyer, and national security adviser (in addition to others) have already been found guilty in the investigation is often overlooked as the devastating fact for the president that it is.
And with the special counsel preparing to move forward on sentencing for each of these key figures, Mueller will have the opportunity to show much more of the hand he has to play. As reporter Marcy Wheeler has emphasized, and others have begun to realize, Mueller uses court filings to communicate key details about the investigation to the public.
Manafort's sentencing promises to be revelatory because Mueller is set to explain what it was how the ex-campaign chair lied to the special counsel after having signed up to a plea deal. This was a stunning development because Manafort's apparent decision to lie to the special counsel makes it likely he'll face a substantial sentence. As a 69-year-old man, Manafort could spend the rest of his life in prison.
And Mueller has said, through spokesman Peter Carr to Yahoo News, that his filing about Manafort's lies will be public, though some of it may be redacted. Many have argued that because Mueller likely believes he can't indict Trump, he may use other indictments and charging documents to demonstrate the president's wrongdoing.
If any of Manafort's lies relate to Trump's improper or illegal actions, and Mueller reveals that in the document, the filing could pose a serious danger to the presidency.
"Mueller has promised to lay it all out," wrote Honig, noting that Mueller has until Friday to file Manafort's sentencing document.
He continued: "We know that Mueller knows Manafort lied, and we know that Mueller will prove those lies to the court "in detail" in his filing this week. We soon should know who Manafort tried to protect, what crimes those people committed with Manafort (or to Manafort's knowledge), and what proof Mueller has of those crimes. This is going to get interesting, and soon."
"Friday will be big," Bradley Moss, a national security lawyer, said of the coming Manafort filing.
Continued at https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-p...ormer-federal-prosecutor-explains-why-will-be
Former deputy special counsel: Mueller will 'ensnare the president's family' in 'a wide-ranging conspiracy case' | Alternet
Peter Zeidenberg believes the Cohen revelations are a major turning point for the Russia investigation ... and Congress must take action.
The ever-widening net of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into coordination between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia is increasingly likely to be pulled up soon.
And when it does, writes former deputy special counsel Peter Zeidenberg in USA TODAY, it is likely to have caught members of the president's immediate family, and possibly even Trump himself.
"Defenders of the president have, despite the obvious progress of the Mueller investigation — more than 30 indictments or guilty pleas, including Trump's campaign chairman, personal lawyer, national security adviser, deputy campaign manager and foreign policy adviser — consistently argued that "no collusion" has been proved," writes Zeidenberg, "While it is true that the charges made public have not alleged conspiracy (there is no crime of "collusion") it should be clear to all but the most obtuse by now that the endgame is drawing near. Mueller is laying out the predicate for a wide-ranging conspiracy case that will likely ensnare the president's family and, quite likely, Trump himself."
Zeidenberg served on the special counsel investigation of the Valerie Plame CIA leak, which was allegedly orchestrated by President George W. Bush's administration to discredit reports that government officials misrepresented intelligence findings to justify the Iraq war. That probe led to the 2007 conviction of former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby for perjury, obstruction, and lying to the FBI. Trump pardoned Libby earlier this year — possibly in part to discredit James Comey, who was involved in the case, and whose suspicious firing by Trump in 2017 as his bureau was investigating Russia was part of the basis for Mueller being appointed in the first place.
According to Zeidenberg, one of the key red flags for Trump should be that in his former lawyer Michael Cohen's plea bargain last week, detailing Trump's secret attempts to pursue a development project in Moscow, he handed Mueller a crucial piece of the puzzle: Trump's motive.
"For those who long wondered why throughout the presidential campaign Trump could not bring himself to say a critical word about Russian President Vladimir Putin, we now know the answer," writes Zeidenberg. "Trump was hoping to do business in Russia, and doing so would require the approval of Putin."
Trump's remark that he hasn't ruled out pardoning former campaign chair Paul Manafort, meanwhile, should be taken to suggest that Trump fears Manafort could expose even more damning information, says Zeidenberg. Moreover, just because firing Mueller would make Trump look even more guilty doesn't mean he won't do it, because "Trump's impulsivity is intractable."
Continued at https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-p...donald-trump-motive-robert-mueller-conspiracy
Mueller preparing endgame for Russia investigation
By Michael Isikoff, Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News, December 3, 2018
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors have told defense lawyers in recent weeks that they are “tying up loose ends” in their investigation, providing the clearest clues yet that the long-running probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election may be coming to its climax, potentially in the next few weeks, according to multiple sources close to the matter.
The new information about the state of Mueller’s investigation comes during a pivotal week when the special counsel’s prosecutors are planning to file memos about three of their most high profile defendants — former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
A Flynn sentencing memo is due Tuesday, and memos about Manafort and Cohen are slated for Friday. All three documents are expected to yield significant new details on what cooperation the three of them provided to the Russia investigation.
There has been much speculation that Mueller might file his memo in Manafort’s case under seal in order to prevent public disclosure of the additional crimes his office believes Manafort committed when he allegedly lied to prosecutors and broke a plea deal after agreeing to cooperate.
But Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel, confirmed to Yahoo News on Monday that the Manafort memo “will be public,” although he added there could be some portions that are redacted or filed as a sealed addendum. The Manafort memo has been requested by the federal judge in his case so that prosecutors could, for the first time, spell out what matters they believe Manafort has lied to them about.
The fact that Mueller is planning a public filing about Manafort suggests he may no longer feel the need to withhold information about his case in order to bring additional indictments against others. That would be consistent with messages his prosecutors have given defense lawyers in recent weeks indicating that they are in the endgame of their investigation.
“They’ve been telling people they are tying up loose ends and trying to conclude,” said one source familiar with the communications between Mueller’s office and defense lawyers who represent key witnesses in the case.
That message was reinforced to some degree Monday when Mueller’s office talked to congressional investigators as part of an ongoing discussion about whether new subpoenas for testimony by House and Senate committees might interfere with Mueller’s investigation.
The response, which surprised one investigator, was that it would not, at least in matters relating to alleged obstruction by the White House in the Russia investigation itself. “What we were told is that the investigation has reached a mature enough stage that they’ve basically talked to everybody they want to talk to,” said a knowledgeable source who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Continued at https://news.yahoo.com/mueller-preparing-end-game-russia-investigation-225720798.html
Treatment involves removing the sick individual from the others, and very quickly, the others return to normal. It shows how powerful mental sickness is: the otherwise normal person becomes sick and not the other way around. His unfettered access to the people through Twitter is as dangerous as his unfettered access to the nuclear codes, since he is laying the groundwork for a culture of violence that can unleash epidemics of violence. This is why waiting for the next decision of voters in 2020 is itself dangerous and reckless in its lack of understanding of the present danger the president poses.
Trump has access to what he thinks are the nuclear codes but in reality I seriously doubt the generals would allow him as clear a path to them as any other sane president given his propensity for reacting in the most irrational manner with no thought for the consequences and his God complex to boot.
No to mention his on /off friendship with Putin.
Mueller to detail ex-NSA Flynn's cooperation in Russia probe | The Associated Press
The special counsel in the Russia investigation is set to give the first public insight into how much information President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser has shared with prosecutors.
Robert Mueller’s team is facing a Tuesday court deadline to file a memorandum recommending a sentence for retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
The document is expected to lay out at least some details of Flynn’s cooperation since he pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia in the weeks before Trump took office. The filing could also give some insight into the direction of the Russia probe.
Federal sentencing guidelines recommend zero to six months in prison for Flynn. His sentencing is set for Dec. 18.
Robert Mueller may be poised to lift the lid of the special counsel investigation | CNN
Agreed but not openly. That would be mutiny.
Trump shares tweet claiming rioting protesters in France are chanting ‘We want Trump’
Trump wants an excuse to go back to France for a exciting parade honoring him.
In this season of goodwill to all men, I wish Mr. Flynn, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Manafort and the rest of the corrupt motherfuckers in the Trump mob a sweet Bubba to hold them tight in the cold, dark nights ahead.
Buttfucking Trump would be like having a go on a trampoline,. Jeezuz it doesn't bear bear thinking about.
Giuliani's Twitter typo used to abuse President Trump
The market gained 400 points on Trump’s announcement of a deal and lost 800 today as reality set in.
Two Attorneys General to subpoena Trump Organization, IRS | The Associated Press
The attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland plan to file subpoenas Tuesday seeking records from the Trump Organization, the Internal Revenue Service and dozens of other entities as part of a lawsuit accusing Donald Trump of profiting off the presidency.
The flurry of subpoenas came a day after U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte approved a brisk schedule for discovery in the case alleging that foreign and domestic government spending at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel amounts to gifts to the president in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
The subpoenas target more than 30 Trump-linked private entities and the federal agency that oversees the lease for Trump’s D.C. hotel. Subpoenas were also being sent to the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and the IRS, all of which have spent taxpayer dollars at the hotel.
Other Trump entities that officials plan to subpoena include those related to his D.C. hotel and its management.
The Maryland attorney general’s office confirmed the targets of the subpoenas to The Associated Press as they were being prepared Tuesday.
The subpoenas focus on answering three questions: which foreign domestic governments are paying the Trump International Hotel in Washington, where that money is going and how Trump’s hotel is affecting the hospitality industry in the District of Columbia and Maryland.
To help answer those questions, the subpoenas are asking for records of payments to Trump from state government and federal agencies that patronized the hotel. They’re also seeking information proving that hotel revenues are going to the president through his affiliated entities, including The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust. Most of the records are being requested back to Jan. 1, 2015.
Because Trump was also the first president in modern history to not release his tax returns, any responsive records would likely provide the first clear picture of the finances of Trump’s business empire as well as his Washington, D.C., hotel.
There is a separate federal lawsuit involving the General Services Administration, which oversees the lease for the hotel with the Trump Organization. Democratic lawmakers last year sued demanding disclosures of records to determine how Trump was approved by the General Services Administration to maintain the lease of the Trump International Hotel in Washington after he became president.
The hotel is housed in the historic Old Post Office, which is owned by the federal government, and its lease has a clause barring any “elected official of the government of the United States” from deriving “any benefit.” Trump and his daughter Ivanka, a senior White House adviser, both retained their stakes in the property.
If there are no delays, legal discovery would conclude in early August.
Continued at https://apnews.com/8335d630f04248fe9175f893c6641729
Exclusive: Emails of top NRCC officials stolen in major 2018 hack | POLITICO
Republican leaders were not informed until POLITICO contacted committee officials about the incident.
The House GOP campaign arm suffered a major hack during the 2018 election, exposing thousands of sensitive emails to an outside intruder, according to three senior party officials.
The email accounts of four senior aides at the National Republican Congressional Committee were surveilled for several months, the party officials said. The intrusion was detected in April by an NRCC vendor, who alerted the committee and its cybersecurity contractor. An internal investigation was initiated and the FBI was alerted to the attack, said the officials, who requested anonymity to discuss the incident.
"We don't want to get into details about what was taken because it's an ongoing investigation," said a senior party official. "Let's say they had access to four active accounts. I think you can draw from that."
The hack became a major source of consternation within the committee as the midterm election unfolded. The NRCC brought on the prominent Washington law firm Covington and Burling as well as Mercury Public Affairs to oversee the response to the hack. The NRCC paid the two firms hundreds of thousands of dollars to help respond to the intrusion. The committee’s chief legal counsel, Chris Winkelman, devoted hours of his time to dealing with the matter.
“The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity. The cybersecurity of the Committee’s data is paramount, and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter,” said Ian Prior, a vice president at Mercury.
None of the information accessed during the hack — thousands of emails from senior NRCC aides — has appeared in public, party officials said. And they said there were no attempts to threaten the NRCC or its leadership during the campaign with exposure of the information.
Yet the fact that the NRCC was hacked and withheld that information is likely to prove embarrassing at a time when Republicans are grappling with an election in which they lost 40 seats and control of the House. President Donald Trump has also claimed that Republicans are better than Democrats at cybersecurity, explaining why one party was hacked in 2016 but the other was not.
“The DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defenses, and they were able to be hacked,” Trump told CBS News in July. “I heard they were trying to hack the Republicans, too. But, and this may be wrong, but they had much stronger defenses.”
Cybersecurity remains a pressing concern for politicians and political committees, heightened by the high-profile Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta during the 2016 election cycle. It’s not clear, however, what the NRCC could have done to avoid this intrusion.
More at https://www.politico.com/story/2018...c-officials-stolen-in-major-2018-hack-1043309
Saudi crown prince 'ordered, monitored' killing of Khashoggi, Corker says | CNN
Lawmakers briefed Tuesday by CIA Director Gina Haspel accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of being responsible for the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN after a briefing with Haspel that the prince, known as MBS, "ordered, monitored, the killing" of the father of four.
Corker added, "And if he (MBS) were in front of a jury, he would be convicted of murder in about 30 minutes."
Corker was one of several lawmakers who emerged from a small briefing with the CIA director appearing convinced of the prince's responsibility for the killing. The murder has become a lightning rod, dividing the White House and a usually supportive Republican-led Senate.
Continued at https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/04/politics/haspel-briefing-khashoggi/
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