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Congressional Oversight 2020 - election edition

More damning and conclusive information which Rs and Dem’s put together in the Senate Intel committee - And Sen Burr was all-in, until he was forced to resign.

Kilimnik - definitely part of Russian intelligence
Manafort, Don Jr, Jared - had “significant connections to Russian government.”
Natalia Veselnitskaya - (set up ‘adoption’ meeting) - had many more suspicious ties that were concering.

Will this get any traction??? It is damning :boom:

The report drew to a close one of the highest-profile congressional inquiries in recent memory, one that the president and his allies have long tried to discredit as part of a “witch hunt” designed to undermine the legitimacy of Mr. Trump’s stunning election nearly four years ago.

Like the investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who released his findings in April 2019, the Senate report did not conclude that the Trump campaign engaged in a coordinated conspiracy with the Russian government — a fact that Republicans seized on to argue that there was “no collusion.”

But the report showed extensive evidence of contacts between Trump campaign advisers and people tied to the Kremlin — including a longstanding associate of the onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, whom the report identifies as a “Russian intelligence officer.”

The Senate report for the first time identified Mr. Kilimnik as an intelligence officer. Mr. Mueller’s report had labeled him as someone with ties to Russian intelligence.

Democrats highlighted those ties in their own appendix to the report, noting that Mr. Manafort discussed campaign strategy and shared internal campaign polling data with Mr. Kilimnik, and later lied to federal investigators about his actions.

Democrats also laid out a potentially explosive detail: that investigators had uncovered information possibly tying Mr. Kilimnik to Russia’s major election interference operations conducted by the intelligence service known as the G.R.U.

The committee obtained some information suggesting that the Russian intelligence officer, with whom Manafort had a longstanding relationship, may have been connected to the G.R.U.’s hack-and-leak operation targeting the 2016 U.S. election,” Democrats wrote. “This is what collusion looks like.”

The assertion was a sign that even though the investigation was carried out in bipartisan fashion, and Republican and Democratic senators reached broad agreement on its most significant conclusions, a partisan divide remained on some of the most politically sensitive issues.

The Senate report said that the unusual nature of the Trump campaign — staffed by Mr. Trump’s longtime associates, friends and other businessmen with no government experience — “presented attractive targets for foreign influence, creating notable counterintelligence vulnerabilities.”

The Senate investigation found that two other people who met at Trump Tower in 2016 with senior members of the Trump campaign — including Mr. Manafort, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son — have “significant connections to Russian government, including the Russian intelligence services.”

The report said that the connections between the Russian government and one of the individuals, Natalia Veselnitskaya, “were far more extensive and concerning than what had been publicly known.”


Trump’s 2016 campaign chair was a ‘grave counterintelligence threat,’ had contact with Russian intelligence, Senate panel finds

The volume, released Tuesday, states that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort worked with a Russian intelligence officer “on narratives that sought to undermine evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election,” including the idea that Ukrainian election interference was of greater concern.

The report also states that Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Manafort, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and his son-in-law Jared Kushner at Trump Tower in 2016, had “significant connections” to the Kremlin. The information she offered to them was also “part of a broader influence operation targeting the United States that was coordinated, at least in part with elements of the Russian government,” the report states.

But the panel also found that the FBI’s handling of Russian threats to the election were “flawed,” and that the FBI gave “unjustified credence” to other allegations regarding Trump’s Russia ties that were made in a dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, “based on an incomplete understanding of Steele’s past reporting record.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s three and a half year investigation stands as Congress’s only bipartisan examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election. But the panel’s leaders were noticeably divided along party lines in how they interpreted the significance of the report — particularly concerning Trump’s Russia contacts — a sign that their tome will likely not put to rest the political fights over its substance.

Senator Rubio’s comments are absolutely ridiculous here, they will not be repeated. Seeing how Giuliani was working with Manafort from jail to continue the Russian disinformation campaign about Ukraine interference and trying to smear Vice President Joe Biden during Trump’s tenure in office for which the President was Impeached but not removed. Do people not remember impeachment?




Comments from Rep Speier (D-CA)

Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort worked closely with a Russian intelligence officer who may have been involved in the hack and release of Democratic emails during the election, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in a bipartisan report released Tuesday.

It’s the furthest U.S. officials have gone in describing Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort business associate, as an agent of the Russian government. The disclosure was part of the committee’s fifth and final installment of its investigation of the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In particular, the committee’s investigation found that Manafort “represented a grave counterintelligence threat” due to his relationship with Kilimnik and other Russians connected to the country’s intelligence services — a bombshell conclusion that underscores how Russia developed a direct pipeline to the upper echelons of a U.S. presidential campaign.

Kilimnik quickly became an integral part of Manafort’s operations in Ukraine and Russia,” the report states, adding that the pair “formed a close and lasting relationship that would endure to the 2016 U.S. elections and beyond.”


Sen. Warner (D-VA) co-chair of Intel committee describes the final Intel report as " A most comprehensive examination and …a breathtaking level of contacts between T officials and Russian government operatives…and a threat to our elections."

And the other Co-Head of Senate Intel Committee Sen Rubio (R-FL) is less convincing that T’s actions with Russia were inconsequential.


Aug 18 2020

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the below statement on the release of the fifth and final volume of the Committee’s bipartisan Russia investigation titled, “ Volume 5: Counterintelligence Threats and Vulnerabilities ”:

“After more than three and a half years of work, millions of documents, and hundreds of witness interviews, I’m proud that the Committee’s report speaks for itself.

“At nearly 1,000 pages, Volume 5 stands as the most comprehensive examination of ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign to date – a breathtaking level of contacts between Trump officials and Russian government operatives that is a very real counterintelligence threat to our elections. I encourage all Americans to carefully review the documented evidence of the unprecedented and massive intervention campaign waged on behalf of then-candidate Donald Trump by Russians and their operatives and to reach their own independent conclusions.

“This cannot happen again. As we head into the heat of the 2020 campaign season, I strongly urge campaigns, the executive branch, Congress and the American people to heed the lessons of this report in order to protect our democracy.”

Less than three months out from another presidential election, Warner added: “This cannot happen again.”

However, Acting Senate Intelligence Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said the committee found “absolutely no evidence that then-candidate Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election.”


Peter Strzok raises some important points as to what the Senate Committee’s investigation does - it says perhaps the FBI did not go deeper enough into a CounterIntelligence search, and comments on Barr’s constant debunking of Mueller’s report and FBI’s report as a ‘a very thin, slender reed.’ of evidence.

He points to this Senate report as having uncovered a whole lot more, and knowing T’s penchant for all things Russian, should we feel safe with T wanting to go to Putin again anytime soon.

And Strzok does have a book coming out AND he’s been demonized by T,and I believe all of what Strzok has to say…he was and is a leading expert on Russia.

Can you move to Congressional Committees please? @Pet_Proletariat @MissJava Thanks!


Such a split screen - Sen Marcc Rubio’s explanation for this Senate Committee Intel report is slippery at best.

A WTFery



Can u plz move to Congressional Committees please? Thx @Pet_Proletariat @MissJava


NBC confirms, Senate Intel committee made a referral to the justice department in 2019 for Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Erik Prince and Sam Clovis.


Senate report finds Manafort passed campaign data to Russian intelligence officer

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released the fifth and final volume of its report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which details “counterintelligence threats and vulnerabilities.”

Why it matters: The bipartisan, 996-page report goes further than the Mueller report in showing the extent of Russia’s connections to members of the Trump campaign, and how the Kremlin was able to take advantage of the transition team’s inexperience to gain access to sensitive information.


Paul Manafort: The report found that the former Trump campaign chairman began working on influence operations for the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and other pro-Russia Ukrainian oligarchs in 2004.

  • Manafort hired and worked closely with Russian national Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the committee definitively calls a “Russian intelligence officer” that served as a liaison between him and Deripaska.
  • On numerous occasions, Manafort sought to pass sensitive internal polling data and campaign strategy to Kilimnik. The committee was unable to determine why or what Kilimnik did with that information, in part due to the pair’s use of encrypted messaging apps.
  • The committee did, however, obtain “some information” suggesting Kilimnik “may have been connected” to Russia’s hacking and leaking of Democratic emails. The section detailing these findings is largely redacted.
  • The bottom line: “Taken as a whole, Manafort’s high level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services, particularly Kilimnik and associates of Oleg Deripaska, represented a grave counterintelligence threat,” the committee wrote.

Roger Stone/WikiLeaks: The committee found that then-candidate Trump and senior campaign officials attempted to obtain advance information about WikiLeaks’ release of damaging emails from Roger Stone, who they believed had inside information.

  • It also assessed that Trump spoke with Stone about WikiLeaks on “multiple occasions,” despite the fact that the president said he did not recall doing so in written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller.
  • In July 2016, Stone drafted tweets for Trump — at his request — that “attacked Clinton for her adversarial posture toward Russia and mentioned a new peace deal with Putin.”
  • The committee also found “significant evidence” to suggest that WikiLeaks was “knowingly collaborating with Russian government officials.” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has long denied that the source of the hacked emails was Russia.

2016 Trump Tower meeting: The committee found that Donald Trump Jr. expected to receive “derogatory information” that would benefit the campaign from a person he knew was connected to the Russian government, but that no information was ultimately transmitted.

  • Two participants at the meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin, had far more “extensive and concerning” ties to the the Russian government, including to Russian intelligence, than publicly known.

Michael Cohen/Russia business deal: The report found that by the end of 2015, Trump’s former personal lawyer had “reached out to the Kremlin directly to solicit the Russian government’s assistance” about building a Trump Tower in Moscow.

  • “Cohen kept Trump updated on the progress of the deal. While these negotiations were ongoing, Trump made positive public comments about Putin in connection with his presidential campaign.” The report found Cohen and Felix Sater, a longtime business associate of Trump, “sought to leverage Trump’s comments, and subsequent comments about Trump by Putin, to advance the deal.”
  • Cohen made contact in January 2016 with a Russian aide to Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov and reported to Trump that he had done so. Attempts to advance the deal stopped in the summer of 2016.

Trump transition: Russia “took advantage” of members of the Trump transition team’s “relative inexperience in government, opposition to Obama administration policies, and Trump’s desire to deepen ties with Russia to pursue unofficial channels through which Russia could conduct diplomacy,” the committee determined.

  • The transition team “repeatedly took actions that had the potential, and sometimes the effect,” of interfering with the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s conversations with the former Russian ambassador.

FBI investigation: The report concluded that “certain FBI procedures and actions in response to the Russian threat to the 2016 elections were flawed,” specifically with respect to the bureau’s interactions with the DNC about the email hacks and its treatment of the Steele Dossier.

Methodology: Together, the five volumes of the report represent “three years of investigative activity, hundreds of witness interviews and engagements, millions of pages of document review, and open and closed hearings.”

  • The committee conducted “follow-up interviews” with Michael Cohen, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., John Podesta, and State Department official Jonathan Winer — which were necessary after the committee “developed additional information since the initial interview that required clarification from the witnesses.”
  • The committee said it was limited in some aspects of its investigation by assertions of executive privilege, including by members of the Trump transition team. “The committee was surprised by these assertions because they were made inconsistently and because they have no basis in law,” the report claims.

What they’re saying:

  • Senate Intelligence acting chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): “We can say, without any hesitation, that the Committee found absolutely no evidence that then-candidate Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election. …
  • Senate Intelligence ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) : “At nearly 1,000 pages, Volume 5 stands as the most comprehensive examination of ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign to date – a breathtaking level of contacts between Trump officials and Russian government operatives that is a very real counterintelligence threat to our elections. … This cannot happen again."

Watch: Senate Hearing on U.S. Postal Service

Postmaster General DeJoy testified before the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee on the U.S. Postal Service operations during COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 election.


That would be GREAT if the first class mail (ballots are first class mail) will be processed as such, as DeJoy is indicating, but some are skeptical as to whether this will really happen.

Louis DeJoy, the embattled postmaster general whose cost-cutting and operational changes have prompted widespread concern about mail-in voting, said on Friday he was “extremely highly confident” the Postal Service could facilitate the largest vote-by-mail program in American history and called suggestions that he might intentionally slow ballot delivery to help President Trump “outrageous.”

Testifying before Congress for the first time amid a political firestorm, Mr. DeJoy, a major donor to Mr. Trump, defended many of the changes put in place as necessary to help the Postal Service get its financial house in order. He acknowledged that the moves have slowed some mail delivery and reiterated that he would suspend his cost-cutting measures until after the election.

“There has been no changes to any policies with regard to election mail,” Mr. DeJoy said, adding, “The Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail fully and on time.”

Under questioning from Democrats, however, he refused to unwind other steps, like removing hundreds of blue mailboxes and mail sorting machines, that he said were initiated by his predecessors in response to a steady decline in mail volume. He denied knowledge of the machine removal when it first began, telling senators it was “not a critical issue within the Postal Service.”

And he was unable to offer many specifics about how the Postal Service would ensure on-time delivery of ballots, telling Senator Maggie Hassan, Democrat of New Hampshire, that he would be unable to provide a detailed plan by Sunday because it was still being drafted.

Mr. DeJoy said he would continue the agency’s practice of prioritizing election mail, regardless of what postage is used, and “deploy processes and procedures that advance any election mail, in some cases ahead of first-class mail.”


Press Release: New Postal Service Documents Show Nationwide Delays Far Worse Than Postal Service Has Acknowledged

Aug 22, 2020

Internal “PMG Briefing” Shows Alarming Delays Across the Board— First-Class, Marketing, Periodicals, and Priority Mail

Washington, D.C. (Aug. 22, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, released new internal Postal Service documentswarning Postmaster General Louis DeJoy about steep declines and increasing delays nationwide over the last two months as a result of his drastic operational and organizational changes.

“After being confronted on Friday with first-hand reports of delays across the country, the Postmaster General finally acknowledged a ‘dip’ in service, but he has never publicly disclosed the full extent of the alarming nationwide delays caused by his actions and described in these new documents,” said Chairwoman Maloney. “To those who still claim there are ‘no delays’ and that these reports are just ‘conspiracy theories,’ I hope this new data causes them to re-think their position and support our urgent legislation today. We have all seen the headlines from every corner of our country, we have read the stories and seen pictures, we have heard directly from our constituents, and these new documents show that the delays are far worse than we were told.”

The new documents being released by the Committee today are part of a “PMG Briefing”—a presentation prepared directly for the Postmaster General last week, on August 12, 2020. They provide a detailed assessment of service performance trends over the past year.

According to these documents, there has been a significant drop in service standards across the board since the beginning of July—including in First-Class, Marketing, Periodicals, and Priority Mail.

Mail Delays Document from Postal Service

The Postmaster General and his top aides have never admitted to the sweeping delays and reductions in service caused by his actions and detailed in these new documents.

Instead, the Postmaster General acknowledged in testimony on Friday before the Senate only: “We all feel bad about what the dip in the level of service has been.” DeJoy and Postal Service leadership have also downplayed the delays as “temporary service impacts” and “unintended consequences.”

On Friday, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, Rep. James Comer, testified repeatedly before the House Rules Committee that there are “no delays” with the mail and “no data” proving the delays are real.

Two days earlier, Comer and House Republican leaders Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise sent a letter to Chairwoman Maloney and Speaker Nancy Pelosi arguing that nationwide reports of delays are nothing but “conspiracy theories” being “manufactured” by Democrats to “undermine President Trump” and support “an unnecessary bailout plan.”

Click here to read the new documents released by the Committee today.


Watch: Full Committee Hearing on “Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots”


With postal workers rebelling against General DeJoy & his #QAnonsense Storm Troopers by reinstalling sorting machines, we have reached “Brazil” levels of dystopia, what with the rebel repair workers sticking it to the man by fixing things.

This truly is the strangest timeline.



Alexander Vindman’s brother files complaint alleging whistleblower retaliation

Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, whose brother, Alexander, served as a key witness during President Trump’s impeachment, filed a complaint last week with the Pentagon’s inspector general suggesting he was retaliated against for disclosing potential ethics violations by senior White House officials, his lawyers confirmed on Wednesday.

The state of play: Vindman, like his brother, is a decorated Iraq War veteran and served at the National Security Council as a senior lawyer and ethics official. They were dismissed simultaneously in February, though top military leaders, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper, claim they were not politically targeted.

What happened: Details about Vindman’s complaint were first made public in a letterfrom top House Democrats, including House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney and House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff, who asked the Pentagon’s internal watchdog to open an investigation into the matter.

  • The Democrats say Vindman’s complaint alleges he was retaliated against for raising concerns about Trump’s 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
  • They also say the complaint alleges that he was removed from the NSC after he reported potential legal and ethical violations and allegations of sexism by national security adviser Robert O’Brien and NSC chief of staff Alex Gray.

What he’s saying: “There were allegations of sexism, violations of standards of ethical conduct for employees and violations of the Anti-Deficiency Act. … I notified my supervisors on the NSC staff and White House Counsel’s Office about each of these concerns,” Vindman wrote in a March memorandum that was attached to his complaint.

  • “While any of these infractions are serious, together they form a disturbing pattern of flagrant disregard for rules.”
  • “I fear that if this situation persists, personnel will depart and national security will be harmed. I request you inquire into the facts and allegations herein and take appropriate action.”

Read House Democrats’ letter about Vindman’s complaint.




House Democrats say subpoena for Trump’s financial records meets Supreme Court’s requirements

House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Thursday released a memo arguing that House Democrats’ subpoena for President Trump’s financial records already meets the requirements set out by the Supreme Court for Congress to obtain those documents.

The backdrop: The Supreme Court kicked House Democrats’ subpoena back to a lower court last month, ruling that neither side had put forward a compelling analysis of how to balance congressional subpoenas with the separation of powers.

  • “The House’s approach would leave essentially no limits on the congressional power to subpoena the President’s personal records. A limitless subpoena power could transform the established practice of the political branches and allow Congress to aggrandize itself at the President’s expense,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Worth noting: The subpoena doesn’t target Trump directly, but is instead addressed to Mazars USA, the president’s longtime accounting firm.

What they’re saying: The memo from House Democrats argues that Trump’s “non-public financial information is the best evidence to help Congress develop and enact legislation to promote transparency, enhance public confidence in the integrity of elected officials including the President, and prevent grave conflict of interests for this and any future presidents.”

  • It says that the subpoena will move forward the House’s “investigations into presidential ethics and conflicts of interest, presidential financial disclosures, and presidential adherence to constitutional safeguards to prevent corruption and undue influence, in aid of Congress’s consideration of presidential ethics reforms.”

Read the memo.


Missed this on Friday, thanks @matt :pray:


This is bat :bat: :poop:

D.C. Circuit panel kills House subpoena power

A divided federal appeals court panel dealt a severe blow to the U.S. House of Representatives’ investigative power Monday, ruling that the House can’t go to court to enforce subpoenas because there is no statute giving that chamber the authority to do so.

The 2-1 ruling marked the second time a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals panel voided a subpoena the House issued last year to Donald McGahn demanding the former White House counsel testify about his dealings with President Donald Trump related to the investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The panel said Congress is free to pass a law making House subpoenas enforceable, but the courts can’t create a legal mechanism to mandate compliance in the meantime. The House is likely to ask the full bench of the appeals court to take up the question.

The ruling says that Congress cannot use the courts to enforce subpoenas because there isn’t a law allowing Congress to use the courts to enforce subpoenas. The ruling suggests that Congress must first pass a law allowing them to enforce subpoenas. My guess is that bill would end up in McConnell’s graveyard, just like every other bill the House has passed this Congress.


Unsurprisingly, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy joins the LONG list of Trump Regime officials to ignore deadlines set by congress or the courts.