WTF Community

Day 575

Updated 8/17/2018 1:13 PM PDT

1/ Advisers are worried that Trump will back Erik Prince's plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan with Blackwater security contractors. Trump's national security team are concerned that his impatience will cause him to seriously consider proposals like Prince's or abruptly order a complete U.S. withdrawal. Prince hasn't spoken directly to Trump about the plan, but plans to launch an aggressive media "air campaign" in coming days. Prince's sister is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. (NBC News)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

JUST IN: Mueller says “a sentence of incarceration” for Papadopoulos of between 0-6 months would be “appropriate and warranted.”


And the big question is “Did anyone in the White House know about this influence peddling?”

As part of the investigation, prosecutors are scrutinizing a plan that Broidy allegedly developed to try to persuade the Trump government to extradite a Chinese dissident back to his home country, a move sought by Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to two of the people.

They also are investigating claims that Broidy sought $75 million from a Malaysian business official if the Justice Department ended its investigation of a development fund run by the Malaysian government. The Malaysian probe has examined the role of the former prime minister in the embezzlement of billions of dollars from the fund.

Another question to ask: “Did Broidy offer to share any of the $75 million with anyone in the government who could further the scheme?”

Wow, Steve Wynn has some exposure here. And, not surprisingly, there is a Trump connection, although at this point Wynn is denying his role in communicating with Trump.

Broidy’s alleged efforts to push for Guo’s extradition came after Wynn separately helped deliver a message from the Xi government seeking to have the dissident returned to China, according to a person familiar with the effort.

Wynn, who has contacts with Chinese officials because of his business interests in Macau, hand-delivered a letter to Trump seeking Guo’s deportation, The Journal reported last year. A spokesman for Wynn Resorts has said that the report about Wynn’s role was false.


Curtailing the vote - #RepublicanPlayBook

ATLANTA — Civil rights advocates are objecting to a proposal to close about 75 percent of polling locations in a predominantly black south Georgia county.

The Randolph County elections board is scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss a proposal that would eliminate seven of nine polling locations in the county, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. Included in the proposed closures is Cuthbert Middle School where nearly 97 percent of voters are black.

There is strong evidence that this was done with intent to make it harder for African Americans,” ACLU of Georgia attorney Sean Young said. The ACLU has sent a letter to the elections board demanding that the polling places remain open and has filed open records requests for information about the proposal to close the polling places.
County elections board members did not immediately respond Wednesday to a phone message seeking comment on the proposal.



Don McGahn who is the lawyer for the WH, (same role as John Dean, in Watergate era) has voluntarily met with Mueller’s team 3 times. Unusual that he was permitted by T’s own lawyers to do so…before they left. - John Dowd would have had to have oked it.

Mr. McGahn’s cooperation began in part as a result of a decision by Mr. Trump’s first team of criminal lawyers to collaborate fully with Mr. Mueller. The president’s lawyers have explained that they believed their client had nothing to hide and that they could bring the investigation to an end quickly.

Mr. McGahn and his lawyer, William A. Burck, could not understand why Mr. Trump was so willing to allow Mr. McGahn to speak freely to the special counsel and feared Mr. Trump was setting up Mr. McGahn to take the blame for any possible illegal acts of obstruction, according to people close to him. So he and Mr. Burck devised their own strategy to do as much as possible to cooperate with Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that Mr. McGahn did nothing wrong.

It is not clear that Mr. Trump appreciates the extent to which Mr. McGahn has cooperated with the special counsel. The president wrongly believed that Mr. McGahn would act as a personal lawyer would for clients and solely defend his interests to investigators, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking.



and here’s a visual of the BOOM

and another comment

@shearm (Michael Shear - NYT)

SIREN — Hard to overstate the jaw-dropping nature of this scoop by @nytmike and @maggieNYT. The WH counsel, fearing he was being set up by the president, is a cooperating witness against @realDonaldTrump in the obstruction case. Just wow.


Former Fox correspondent, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters goes on CNN’s Reliable Sources and calls out T as someone who is dangerous and “in thrall” to Russia.


As a a former Russia analyst … I am convinced that the President of the United States is in thrall to Vladimir Putin,” says Lt. Col. Ralph Peters

Full link




Looks like Trump’s lawyers have been asleep at the wheel. “Only the best!”


Hope that this 30 hour inquiry with McGahn will reveal all the true motives for T. And I heard Michael Schmidt, one of the NYT’s co-writers say on Morning Joe that the presumption that Cobb and Dowd had was that believing T when he says he’s innocent, we have nothing to hide, lets go ahead and have the WH Counsel speak openly to Mueller, and forfeit the Executive Privilege clause.

For McGahn, I do believe he tried to get out in front to reveal his information, so as not to take the blame (as has been mentioned on this forum before.)

NYT article

The report by The Times also reignited a debate about whether Mr. Trump had been given bad advice by his former lawyers Mr. Dowd and Ty Cobb to allow full cooperation with Mr. Mueller’s team, including by waiving attorney-client privilege. Mr. Dowd and Mr. Cobb believed that the cooperation would help prove that the president had done nothing wrong and bring a swifter end to the investigation.


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BOOM indeed! :boom:

I read this carefully and I’m still trying to make sense of what’s going on here. A couple interpretations:

  1. It’s becoming clear that Trump, although he rants about Mueller’s investigation almost daily, is actually asleep at the wheel and has no real idea of what White House Counsel Don McGahn’s official role is or what he is doing vis-à-vis the investigation.

It is not clear that Mr. Trump appreciates the extent to which Mr. McGahn has cooperated with the special counsel. The president wrongly believed that Mr. McGahn would act as a personal lawyer would for clients and solely defend his interests to investigators, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking.

  1. Although Trump may be unaware of how much McGahn is cooperating with Mueller, he is nevertheless positioning his White House Counsel to take the blame for many of the crimes that Trump himself has actually committed. McGahn seems aware of this and is backing away from the path of the bus to avoid John Dean’s fate.

Worried that Mr. Trump would ultimately blame him in the inquiry, Mr. McGahn told people he was determined to avoid the fate of the White House counsel for President Richard M. Nixon, John W. Dean, who was imprisoned in the Watergate scandal.

Mr. McGahn decided to fully cooperate with Mr. Mueller. It was, he believed, the only choice he had to protect himself.

“This sure has echoes of Richard Nixon’s White House counsel, John Dean, who in 1973 feared that Nixon was setting him up as a fall guy for Watergate and secretly gave investigators crucial help while still in his job,” said the historian Michael Beschloss.

Both of these circumstances play right into Mueller’s hands. Boo-yah! :+1:


Read Mueller’s sentencing document, it tells the whole papadopoulos story from the FBI’s perspective. Fascinating. He wouldn’t turn until they showed him all the evidence against him during the interviews after he was arrested.


Very interesting plot points @Pet_Proletariat

…and Papadopoulos got caught red-handed with his lies.
It seems as of Jan 2017 that FBI was already hot on the trail of Russian contacts and the T campaign.

We know that a counter-intelligence FBI search was underway when Papadopoulos was drunk-splaining the Hillary emails to the Australian diplomat - that must have been pre-Trump win.

Here’s another link re: timeline and who the Professor is…(not Stefan Halper who Papadapoulos exposed as an FBI informant)

Some key dates and contacts

Feb. 28, 2014. Michael Flynn participates in a national security seminar at Cambridge University organized by Halper and Richard Dearlove, the former head of Britain’s intelligence service.
The Trump campaign begins

June 16, 2015. Trump announces his candidacy.

Summer 2015. Hackers believed to be linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) gain access to the network of the Democratic National Committee, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

March 6, 2016. Papadopoulos is asked to join the Trump campaign as an adviser on foreign policy issues. He had previously been advising Ben Carson’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. His initial conversation about joining the campaign was with Clovis, who, Papadopoulos told prosecutors, suggested that improving relations with Russia was a key campaign goal. (Clovis has denied that.)

March 14, 2016. Papadopoulos meets in Italy with a London-based professor named Joseph Mifsud, director of the London Academy of Diplomacy. Until he learns that Papadopoulos is tied to the Trump campaign, Mifsud is uninterested in talking.

March 21, 2016. Trump publicly identifies Papadopoulos and Page as part of his foreign policy advisory team.

March 31, 2016. The foreign policy advisory team meets. Trump tweets about it.

and the other professor Stefan Halper (FBI Informant)


This was an interesting read too.

The government’s sentencing memorandum pretty decisively puts the theory to rest. It makes clear that Papadopoulos’s cooperation was always grudging and limited, and it strongly suggests that it never amounted to all that much. “The defendant did not provide ‘substantial assistance,’” Mueller’s team writes, “and much of the information provided by the defendant came only after the government confronted him with his own emails, text messages, internet search history, and other information it had obtained via search warrants and subpoenas well after the defendant’s FBI interview as the government continued its investigation.”

The document specifically splashes cold water on the idea that the months when Papadopoulos was under the radar amounted to some period of secret work with investigators. To the contrary, the memo makes clear that his cooperation in that period amounted to a handful of proffer sessions. Within a relatively short time, he had begun talking to the press—including an interview with an unnamed “national publication”—and the government canceled further interviews. Notably, the sentencing memo does not request a departure from the normal sentencing guidelines for 18 U.S.C. 1001 and recommends a sentence within the guidelines’ range of zero to six months.