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The Russian Connection (Page 19)
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reader50
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Jan 4, 2018, 09:55 PM
 
I wouldn't want to work in this White House. However, listening in on the backstabbing could be interesting. A chance to learn new words.

Jeff Sessions, wannabe marijuana cop, seems to be having a lot of bad days. Problems with his boss.

Trump REALLY DOESN'T WANT his business ties with Russia investigated. I'd love to know why.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 4, 2018, 11:32 PM
 
As far as I know Trump has never had successful business with Russia. He has no real ties.

Sessions had a bad summer but I imagine the only thing he dreads nowadays is the quarterly congressional oversight.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 5, 2018, 01:16 AM
 
They're out for McGahn. Curious to see how this plays out. Not sure they have any leverage.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jan 5, 2018, 02:03 AM
 
I read an article a while back about some Russian server that was pinging a Trump server or vice versa and some guy got in deep trying to work out what it was about before it vanished and stopped pinging altogether.
Also, didn't Trump borrow money from Russian banks after the US banks stopped lending to him? Sure I read that too.

In Russia when you want to do any business, there are people that need to get paid. If you don't pay those people, you don't do any business. I'm sure any such arrangement would make Trump look bad if it came to light so I'm guessing thats a part of why he doesn't want the Russian business deals being publicly scrutinised. If he was paying the bribes with borrowed cash there is also the question of where he borrowed it from.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 5, 2018, 04:45 AM
 
Stories of Trump's questionable business practices go back decades, literally whole books have been written about the Trump family's connection to the mob.

I think we should be rather careful not to let others shape the discussion too much: things can be immoral that are not criminal. Even if you suspect criminal misconduct, perhaps you cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Or if the Russia investigation does not unearth collusion, but just shady financial ties to Russia. I feel that a lot of the Republicans now are trying to push the conversation in this direction, just to conclude that if Trump didn't commit a crime, he should stay president.
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Waragainstsleep
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Jan 5, 2018, 10:04 AM
 
What about conflicts of interest? I realise he is already ignoring several/many, but surely being beholden to those who may be connected to a foreign power is a step too far even for Republicans?
Yeah, I was laughing as I typed it.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 5, 2018, 12:59 PM
 
Duh moment. Mueller will want to listen to Wolffs tapes.
     
Laminar
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Jan 5, 2018, 03:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I read an article a while back about some Russian server that was pinging a Trump server or vice versa and some guy got in deep trying to work out what it was about before it vanished and stopped pinging altogether.
Yes, Snow-i and someone else got into it over that.
     
Paco500
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Jan 5, 2018, 05:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Yes, Snow-i and someone else got into it over that.
That was me. Well the discussion was nominally about the server, but mostly it was just him insulting me.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 5, 2018, 06:38 PM
 
Fun times. That was back when we didn't know anything but mere wisps of of smoke and a pattern of troubling behavior.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jan 6, 2018, 12:13 AM
 
There is just so much smoke around Trump it could mask a nuclear explosion let alone a fire.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 6, 2018, 01:51 PM
 
http://beta.latimes.com/nation/la-na...106-story.html
Investigators also are exploring the involvement of the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, who did not attend the half-hour sit-down on June 9, 2016, but briefly spoke with two of the participants, a Russian lawyer and a Russian-born Washington lobbyist. Details of the encounter were not previously known.

It occurred at the Trump Tower elevator as the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and the lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin, were leaving the building and consisted of pleasantries, a person familiar with the episode said. But Mueller's investigators want to know every contact the two visitors had with Trump's family members and inner circle.
Due diligence, but hilarious that another Trump also met them, albeit briefly.
     
reader50
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Jan 6, 2018, 05:19 PM
 
There may be thousands of people who use that elevator each day. What are the odds the two Russian visitors would happen to use it the same time Ivanka did, and going in the same direction.

Probably they waited around awhile, until someone important was going down. Then hopped the elevator, in case she was sympathetic. It doesn't sound like she did anything improper, but she should have reported the contact with foreign agents.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 9, 2018, 10:35 AM
 
It's being reported that Mueller interviewing Trump is on the horizon. Sounds like we're nearing the end.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 9, 2018, 02:46 PM
 
Feinstein unilaterally released the Fusion testimony?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 9, 2018, 02:55 PM
 
Biggest revelation so far: someone from the Trump org who had reservations went to the FBI during the election.

Edit: This has been clarified to be a reference to the Aussies flagging Pap to the FBI
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 9, 2018, 09:53 PM
 

Grassley tells @thedailybeast that the transcript shows Simpson was "uncooperative, he was colluding with the Russians, he was colluding with the Democrats, and he was, all the time, denying those things."
What?


http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefi...eleased-fusion
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) broke with colleague Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Tuesday in saying he was "glad" that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the Senate testimony of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

“I think that’s a good idea," Cornyn said. "I’m glad that it was done.”
That's his candid reaction. He walked it back later because, you know, party before country.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 9, 2018, 10:14 PM
 
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 14, 2018, 12:00 AM
 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...?tid=ss_tw-amp
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has added a veteran cyber prosecutor to his team, filling what has long been a gap in expertise and potentially signaling a recent focus on computer crimes.
Wonder if this connects to the DNC hacks.

Or maybe Hillary's private server! /wink
     
Chongo
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Jan 16, 2018, 01:07 PM
 
Does this make Moby a CIA tool?

Moby Says CIA Agents Asked Him to Spread the Word About Trump and Russia

Talking with WFPK's Kyle Meredith, Moby cited “active and former CIA agents” who were “truly concerned” about Trump’s collusion with Russia. “They were like, ‘This is the Manchurian Candidate, like [Putin] has a Russian agent as the President of the United States,’” he said. “So they passed on some information to me and they said, like, ‘Look, you have more of a social media following than any of us do, can you please post some of these things just in a way that … sort of put it out there.’”
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 16, 2018, 01:18 PM
 
Mueller sent Bannon a grand jury subpoena. This explains why he lawyered up last week. First member of the inner circle to get GJ subpoenaed.

Given all the shit he's implied, at the very least Kush has to be sweating.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 16, 2018, 03:30 PM
 
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 17, 2018, 12:00 AM
 
Lewandowski also lawyered up, which makes me wonder if Mueller sent him a subpoena too. Worth noting both Bannon and Lewandowski led the Trump campaign at points.

To shunt some more speculative aspects to this thread:
https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/stat...33410659409921
MORE NEWS: Top Dem on the committee, @RepAdamSchiff, says after committee subpoenaed, Bannon’s lawyer contacted the White House, which “doubled down” on demand he not answer questions.
https://twitter.com/matthewamiller/s...40686501715969
So Bannon’s lawyer called his other client Don McGahn and McGahn objected? Hmm.
The same lawyer is representing McGahn, Bannon, and Preibus.


https://twitter.com/mateagold/status/953474545318612992
Key point: A person familiar with the situation said that any executive privilege asserted by the White House with regard to Bannon would not extend to an interview by Mueller and that Bannon intends to cooperate fully with the special counsel’s investigation.
Word is leaks about Bannon tend to be from Bannon himself. Which, if taken at face value, makes today's performance all the more symbolic.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 18, 2018, 09:17 PM
 
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/u...interview.html
Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, will be interviewed by investigators working for the special counsel in the Russia investigation instead of testifying before a grand jury, according to a person familiar with the matter, a sign that Mr. Bannon is cooperating with the inquiry.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had subpoenaed Mr. Bannon to appear before a grand jury this week. But Mr. Bannon has agreed to cooperate with Mr. Mueller’s investigation and will be interviewed in the less formal setting of the special counsel’s offices in downtown Washington.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ty-cobb...out-interview/
Cobb said if Mueller did interview Mr. Trump, it could be a perjury trap -- that is, a situation in which his story does not match the evidence -- something Cobb said "foolish" was not to consider. But Cobb said he has known Mueller for a long time, and doesn't believe that is his aim.
I guess chongo and Ty get their legal advice from the same source.

Pro-tip: Don't lie.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 18, 2018, 09:27 PM
 
Another Fusion testimony released.
http://www.businessinsider.com/read-...mmittee-2018-1
Simpson said Trump's golf courses in Scotland and Ireland were also "concerning" because financial statements obtained by Fusion showed "enormous amounts of capital flowing into these projects from unknown sources."

"At least on paper it says it's from The Trump Organization, but it's hundreds of millions of dollars," Simpson said.
"And these golf course are just, you know, they're sinks. They don't actually make any money."

GOP Rep. Tom Rooney said "the story about [Trump] financing Doonbeg in Ireland through money that we can't really trace but has sort of the fingerprints of Russian mobsters" was "fascinating."
"Roger Stone bragged about having his contact," Simpson replied, referring to Stone's public comments about having an intermediary with Assange. "We tried to figure out who the contact was."

We started going into who Stone was and who his relationships were with, and essentially the trail led to sort of international far right. And, you know, Brexit happened, and Nigel Farage became someone that we were very interested in, and I still think it's very interesting."
Blast from the past: I posted this back in June
https://www.theguardian.com/politics...e_iOSApp_Other
Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the former Ukip leader had raised the interest of FBI investigators because of his relationships with individuals connected to both the Trump campaign and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder whom Farage visited in March.
The source mentioned Farage’s links with Roger Stone, Trump’s long-time political adviser who has admitted being in contact with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker whom US intelligence agencies believe to be a Kremlin agent.
---

Simpson pointed to Farage's trips to New York, and said he had been told, but had not confirmed, that "Nigel Farage had additional trips to the Ecuadoran Embassy...and that he provided data to Julian Assange."

"What kind of data?" Schiff asked.

"A thumb drive," Simpson replied.

Now, here's something with amazing timing:
A McClatchy article published on Thursday morning revealed that the FBI is investigating whether Russian money flowed into the NRA via a Kremlin-linked banker named Alexander Torshin, which was then donated to the Trump campaign.

"It appears the Russians, you know, infiltrated the NRA," Simpson said. "And there is more than one explanation for why. But I would say broadly speaking, it appears that the Russian operation was designed to infiltrate conservative organizations."
Why does Torshin sound familiar?
While Kushner told Dearborn and other campaign officials on the email not to accept Torshin's offer, Torshin was seated with the candidate's son, Donald Trump Jr., during a private dinner on the sidelines of an NRA event during the convention in Louisville, according to an account Torshin gave to Bloomberg. Congressional investigators have no clear explanation for how that came to be, according to sources familiar with the matter.
What a wild coincidence.

http://amp.mcclatchydc.com/news/nati...mpression=true
The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.
However, the NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections, including $30 million to support Trump – triple what the group devoted to backing Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Most of that was money was spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to disclose its donors.
Torshin, a leading figure in Putin’s party, has been implicated in money laundering by judicial authorities in Spain, as Bloomberg News first revealed in 2016. Spanish investigators alleged in an almost 500-page internal report that Torshin, who was then a senator, capitalized on his government role to assist mobsters laundering funds through Spanish properties and banks, Bloomberg reported
Money-laundering you say?
     
Chongo
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Jan 22, 2018, 08:19 PM
 
Is Rose Mary Woods ghost haunting the FBI IT department?
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Yesterday, 09:24 PM
 
https://twitter.com/ABC/status/955938936530128896
JUST IN: Robert Mueller has indicated to Pres. Trump's lawyers that the special counsel’s office will seek answers directly from the president on circumstances around Flynn, Comey firings, @ABC confirms.
No having the lawyers do your homework for you, I guess. Unsurprising, but still good news.

---

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.11b9f6bcd9ab

Shortly after President Trump fired his FBI director in May, he summoned to the Oval Office the bureau’s acting director for a get-to-know-you meeting.

The two men exchanged pleasantries, but before long, Trump, according to several current and former U.S. officials, asked Andrew McCabe a pointed question: Whom did he vote for in the 2016 election?

McCabe said he didn’t vote, according to the officials, who like others interviewed for this article requested anonymity to speak candidly about a sensitive matter.
Yeah, not a good look.

A year into his presidency, it is clear Trump still harbors a deep dislike of McCabe. Another White House official said Trump frequently complained about the FBI official, labeling him a Democrat. Over the past seven months or so, Trump has repeatedly tweeted criticisms of McCabe, erroneously saying McCabe headed the Clinton investigation while his wife was taking Clinton money for her state Senate campaign.

In August, a former Justice Department senior official, Christopher A. Wray, became FBI director. In recent months, he has been under increasing political pressure to remove top officials linked to Comey.

Sessions has pressed Wray to replace McCabe, as well as James A. Baker, until recently the general counsel. It is customary for a new director to bring in his own team. The political controversy surrounding Comey and those of his leadership team who remain at the bureau has increased the pressure on Wray.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Yesterday, 10:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckra...donation-trump
The NRA did not respond to McClatchy’s requests for comments for its story on the FBI probe, published Thursday morning. And although McClatchy’s report reverberated widely in the media, the group still has offered no response, including to multiple inquiries from TPM.
A communications staffer for the NRA-ILA told TPM Monday that NRA Managing Director of Public Affairs Andrew Arulanandam was handling questions on the issue.

Arulanandam hasn’t responded to multiple phone and email messages asking whether the NRA has been contacted by the FBI, and whether the group accepted any donations from Torshin during the 2016 campaign. Asked Tuesday if anyone else at the NRA could field questions on the topic, Jennifer Baker, the NRA-ILA’s director of public affairs, again directed TPM to Arulanandam.
That's kind of surprising. This seems like the kind of thing you'd deny immediately and forcefully.
     
reader50
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Yesterday, 11:14 PM
 
If it were true, denying it on the record could lead to consequences. In their position, I'd only deny it if I could be certain. Even if they're still investigating internally, but uncertain, the smart move would be to not say anything.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Yesterday, 11:34 PM
 
I did think they're probably investigating internally. If they never asked where the money was coming from, they might only now be realizing they ****ed up.

The point is, the notion has merit, if only because the NRA's response implies they're taking it seriously.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Yesterday, 11:37 PM
 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.e7bdceabdf7b
But there are increasing signs that Sessions has indeed done plenty of Trump's bidding behind closed doors. And he's done it on some dicey and very politically tinged issues — so much so that he made Trump's second FBI director deeply uncomfortable with the whole thing.

The Post's Devlin Barrett and Philip Rucker report that Sessions has pressured FBI Director Christopher A. Wray to get rid of his deputy Andrew McCabe, a holdover from James B. Comey's FBI and favorite target for Republicans alleging bias in federal law enforcement.
In other words, Trump has publicly stated his preference for Sessions to try to get rid of McCabe, and he has suggested Wray do it as well. Now we find out Sessions did indeed attempt it, and Wray resisted it.
The New York Times reported recently that a Sessions aide went to Capitol Hill last year seeking derogatory information about Comey at a time when Trump clearly had his eyes on firing Comey. (A Justice Department spokesman has denied this occurred.) There are also reports that the Justice Department is considering a revival of its investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, which Trump has repeatedly called for. And back in August, Sessions announced a ramped-up effort to root out leakers in the federal government — just days after Trump tweeted that Sessions had taken “a VERY weak position” on the issue.
     
 
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