WTF Community

Day 505

Glad Mueller slapped another indictment on Person A, Kilimnik today.

Here is a basic chart laying out who’s been indicted and for what. Aside from Obstruction, am seeing the word Conspiracy and not the world Collusion for what the indictments are for.

Another banner day for Manafort by keeping the indictments coming.


Here’s McCain’s succinct tongue lashing in full:

Vladimir Putin chose to make Russia unworthy of membership in the G-8 by invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea. Nothing he has done since then has changed that most obvious fact. Every day, Russian-led separatist forces are killing Ukrainians in the Donbass. Every day, Putin’s forces are helping the Assad regime slaughter the Syrian people. And every day, through assassinations, cyber-attacks, and malign influence, Russia is assaulting democratic institutions all over the world.

The President has inexplicably shown our adversaries the deference and esteem that should be reserved for our closest allies. Those nations that share our values and have sacrificed alongside us for decades are being treated with contempt. This is the antithesis of so-called ‘principled realism’ and a sure path to diminishing America’s leadership in the world.

Well put, John. And then, of course, this shutdown from the Brits is not surprising, but is still sad and disturbing:

How can this possibly be a good thing? What’s next? War with Canada?


Aaannnd, John Kelly’s phone was hacked during the transition. Connecting to an unsecured WiFi network is never a good idea.

Which confirms this story :point_down: from last year


Swiss cheese barrier I’d say - keeping hackers away from personal phones. What a joke.

What’s the Weldon connection?

What’s the Weldon connection?

According to Natasha Bertrand’s reporting, former Congressman Curt Weldon is involved due to his knowledge of (or even participation in) the “loop of connected dots” outlined in my previous post. Since I’ll be referring to those dots, I’ll repeat them here:

  • Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg -->
  • His company, Renova -->
  • $500,000 in payments to Cohen -->
  • Slush fund to promote Cohen’s plan to lift sanctions on Russia that would benefit -->
  • Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg

Before discussing Weldon’s involvement, we need to introduce another character in this motley crew: Andrii Artemenko, a former member of the Ukrainian parliament. He’s the guy, along with Cohen (Trump’s lawyer), and Felix Sater (convicted felon and Trump associate) who hatched the plan to lift sanctions which were imposed on Russia after they annexed Crimea. This plan is of great interest to Mueller since it may represent a quid pro quo between Putin and Trump. (“I’ll help you win the election, Donald, but then you’re going to lift sanctions on my companies.”)

Here’s where Weldon comes in: he’s a long-time acquaintance of Artemenko. One of Bertrand’s sources says that Weldon claimed he and Artemenko had secured financial backing for the promotion of Artemenko’s plan from “Viktor Vekselberg’s fund in New York City.” And the source further identified this fund as Columbus Nova which is a subsidiary of Vekselberg’s Russian company, Renova. So if this source can be believed, Weldon, at the very least, had knowledge of a plot to secretly use funds funneled from Russian to New York to lobby in the U.S. (a crime) and he may have even actively participated in this crime. Further, there’s the question of the possible quid pro quo between Putin and Trump – we don’t know what Weldon may have known about that. (I’m paraphrasing here, so you may want to refer to the article for the exact quotations and additional details.)

Bertrand’s source is backed up by more recent reporting. Here’s more from the article:

Columbus Nova gave more than $500,000 to Cohen’s LLC, Essential Consultants, over a seven-month period in 2017. Weldon’s alleged reference to Columbus Nova, and his comment about Vekselberg’s role in funding the plan’s promotion, renews questions about what that $500,000 was actually for.

So now we can look again at the “connected dots” above. In the second dot, recall that Vekselberg’s Russian company, Renova, owns Columbus Nova in New York which made the payments to Cohen. Weldon appears to have strong connections to dots three and four – either because he knew about the movement of these payments or he actually helped facilitate them.


@Keaton_James Well done, excellent posting, I award you three :male_detective:‍♂:male_detective:‍♂:male_detective:‍♂! Have you considered creating a curated character thread? Like profiles and known connections. Title: Team Crime


Super clear…thanks for clearly connecting the dots here @Keaton_James

Well done incorporating the players, motives, cash and quid pro quos in this murky mess. :mortar_board:


I thought someone was “draining the swamp”, this sounds like the swamp has gotten messy and murky. Come on Donald your supporters are watching!

I like recaps, and charts…see where the ‘witches’ line up on the conspiracy, obstruction, lying to feds chart. Great graphics and timelines for the overview.

Manafort who has the most indictments pending and a lifetime of jail to look forward to, is the one Mueller wants to flip. But considering that Manafort has the most to lose by flipping as well - see Russian retaliation tactics, and perhaps a pardon from T is in the offing, what strategies is Mueller engaged in?

Questions…so many questions :-:mag_right:

If what we know is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of indictments because Mueller is holding back on more potent evidence which could possibly lead to charges of treason and conspiracy to defraud the US, what is the direction this Mueller investigation going towards to put the noose around those guilty parties.

One-third of the counts included in Mueller’s indictments, 25 of them, target Manafort, once Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman. The charges include conspiracy and financial crimes, and they span a period from 2006 to the present.

@matt posted this yesterday under the NEW (is it?) area. Am giving it another post here.

(Question - Can someone explain how this NEW section works. We are voting if you are interested in the subject and want to pursue more is it? Not sure. Thx @Pet_Proletariat @matt)


This article represents a crucial advancement in the public dialog surrounding the Russia investigation. For the first time, the media is putting a spotlight on the Russian connection in the recent witness tampering charges against Manafort. Until now, the media has mentioned Kilimnik’s Russian spy credentials only in passing. Instead, (at least in my opinion) they should be shouting these damning facts from the rooftops. Finally, Bloomberg tells it like it is – let’s hope more media outlets follow.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s latest indictment is significant beyond the new charges, in that it links senior officials on President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to Russian intelligence in a criminal matter. . . .

It [includes] an allegation that a fixer described by the FBI as a former Russian spy, Konstantin Kilimnik, helped Manafort obstruct justice.

This is the first indictment we have where an American and a Russian are charged together,” said Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner at the Thompson Coburn LLP law firm in Chicago.

This is an alleged Russian spy committing crimes with the former campaign chairman for Trump,” Mariotti said. “When people first thought of the Mueller investigation, this is what people thought would result from it.”

. . . Kilimnik directly communicated with another Trump campaign aide, Rick Gates, a month before the election in 2016, according to a legal filing by Mueller in March. The FBI assessed Kilimnik had active ties to Russia’s military intelligence service in 2016, according to the filing. [emphasis is mine – KJ]

Yes! Let’s shout this out to everyone we know! :loudspeaker: :open_mouth:


I’m not sure how you even see that section (it was supposed to be hidden for testing).


Ok, well then this is what I see on my header…and I’ve been voting! :wink:!

Today, The Guardian released stunning evidence of Russian interference in the Brexit vote, plus revelations that their efforts undoubtedly served as a dress rehearsal for their interference in our elections.

Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman who bankrolled Nigel Farage’s campaign to quit the EU, had multiple meetings with Russian embassy officials in the run-up to the Brexit referendum, documents seen by the Observer suggest.

Banks, who gave £12m of services to the campaign, becoming the biggest donor in UK history, has repeatedly denied any involvement with Russian officials, or that Russian money played any part in the Brexit campaign. The Observer has seen documents which a senior Tory MP says, if correct, raise urgent and troubling questions about his relationship with the Russian government.

The communications suggest:

  • Multiple meetings between the leaders of Leave.EU and high-ranking Russian officials, from November 2015 to 2017.

  • Two meetings in the week Leave.EU launched its official campaign.

  • An introduction to a Russian businessman, by the Russian ambassador, the day after Leave.EU launched its campaign, who reportedly offered Banks a multibillion dollar opportunity to buy Russian goldmines.

  • A trip to Moscow in February 2016 to meet key partners and financiers behind a gold project, including a Russian bank.

  • Continued extensive contact in the run-up to the US election when Banks, his business partner and Leave.EU spokesman Andy Wigmore, and Nigel Farage campaigned in the US to support Donald Trump’s candidacy. [emphasis is mine – KJ]

Banks financed the Brexit campaign to the tune of £12 million – now it appears he was compensated by Russians in the form of favorable investment terms in goldmines. That investment opportunity was in the £ billions. Looks like you can make a pretty handsome return on your money for acting as a traitor.

Of greatest interest to us on this side of the pond is the last bullet which points to an effort by the Brexit campaigners to assist Russia in redirecting its election interference machine towards collusion with the Trump campaign.

(A shoutout to news sleuth @Himal for tracking down the link. :male_detective: )

Footnote: The incident below from April 2017 isn’t mentioned in the above article, but reveals additional Russian connections to the Brexit campaign (considering Assange’s close ties to Russia):

And then this development from January:


Thanks for highlighting this article and breaking down the significance. @Keaton_James

Always curious about how Nigel Farage crept into T’s orbit, along with Assange and his role w/ pro Brexit. Seems like no stone goes unturned with Russian’s trying to be influencers and finding others to help.

But the fact that introductions Russian contacts are being made to the T campaign is the most damning bit of information I saw.

Bank’s “The Boys of Brexit” is hitting now, so that’s why we are seeing it.

I saw it too, in The Times (of London), and will post it here.

Exclusive: Emails reveal Russian links of millionaire Brexit backer Arron Banks
Richard Kerbaj, Caroline Wheeler, Tim Shipman and Tom Harper | Sunday Times
June 9 2018, 6:00pm, The Times

Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman who helped fund Brexit, had three meetings with the Russian ambassador to Britain — raising explosive questions about attempts by Moscow to influence the referendum result.
Emails by Banks and his sidekick Andy Wigmore, shown to The Sunday Times, reveal an extensive web of links between Banks’s Leave.EU campaign and Russian officials.
They show they made repeated contact with officials to discuss business opportunities and issues of mutual interest throughout the referendum campaign and its aftermath.
In his book on the referendum, The Bad Boys of Brexit, and in another public statement, Banks claimed to have had only one meeting with Putin’s envoy Alexander Yakovenko, in September 2015


George Soros has been under attack from the Conservatives, with the Alt-Right conspiracists have tried to link him to nazi crimes. But he is a wealthy man and has been supporting more liberal candidates, especially Hillary.

But Soros’ efforts today are to direct his money towards funding candidates who defend liberal causes. Putin has taken aim at Soros and compares what Soros is doing, to what the US feels that Putin is doing to the US.

He calls T the "ultimate narcissist, " which surprises no one.

What Soros is most concerned about is the loss of trust in institutions, and dismantling of democratic ideals. Interesting read.

Soros said he is certain in his assessment of Trump, whom he describes as a “narcissist” who “considers himself all-powerful.

But he does not appear settled on the strategy to defeat him. Soros said he disapproves of a campaign by fellow liberal billionaire Tom Steyer to push to impeach the president, saying he would only support such an effort if Democrats retake Congress this year and gain Republican support.

For a period of time, Soros was the largest private donor in Russia, funding initiatives such as an anti-torture program, according to the foundation. Two years ago, Putin’s government effectively banned Soros’s group from distributing funds in the country, calling it “undesirable” and “a threat to the fundamentals of the constitutional system.”

Last week, Putin suggested that Soros’s spending around the world resembles the kind of political interference that U.S. intelligence officials blame on Russia.

He intervenes in things all over the world,” Putin told Austrian television. “But the State Department will tell you that it has nothing to do with that, that this is the personal business of Mr. Soros.”
Elsewhere in Europe, Soros has also come under attack.

Several prominent Russians, some in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle or high in the Russian Orthodox Church, now have been identified as having contact with National Rifle Association officials during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, according to photographs and an NRA source.

The contacts have emerged amid a deepening Justice Department investigation into whether Russian banker and lifetime NRA member Alexander Torshin illegally channeled money through the gun rights group to add financial firepower to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.

Other influential Russians who met with NRA representatives during the campaign include Dmitry Rogozin, who until last month served as a deputy prime minister overseeing Russia’s defense industry, and Sergei Rudov, head of one of Russia’s largest philanthropies, the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation. The foundation was launched by an ultra-nationalist ally of Russian President Putin.

The Russians talked and dined with NRA representatives, mainly in Moscow . . . [emphasis is mine – KJ]


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I didn’t know you spoke French!

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Wow – just, wow. Fantastic reporting by Natasha Bertrand – she’s also very impressive as a regular guest on Rachel Maddow’s show.

Things are breaking so fast, it’s hard to keep up. The dots connected here are astounding:

  • Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg -->
  • His company, Renova -->
  • $500,000 in payments to Cohen -->
  • Slush fund to promote Cohen’s plan to lift sanctions on Russia that would benefit -->
  • Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg

And we’ve come full circle!

To be sure, these are currently “connected dots,” not a case being argued in court by one of Mueller’s prosecutors, but time will tell. And to think that a former Congressman, Curt Weldon, may have known all about this – we shall see.