WTF Community

Day 679

Updated 11/29/2018 12:52 PM PST

1/ Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress, admitting that he continued to engage in negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow well into the 2016 presidential campaign. Cohen previously said talks regarding the Moscow project stalled in January 2016, when in fact negotiations continued through June with Cohen traveling to Russia for meetings on the project. Cohen also told Congress that when the project allegedly stalled, he emailed Dmitry Peskov, a top aide to Putin, seeking help, but claimed he never received a response. That was also false. Cohen and Peskov discussed the project for 20 minutes by phone. Prosecutors also said that Cohen continued to have contact in 2016 with Felix Sater, a Russian developer assisting with the project. Cohen briefed Trump on the status of the project more than three times. In July 2016, Trump tweeted: "For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia." And, in January 2017, Trump told reporters that he had no deals in Russia because he had "stayed away." In exchange for pleading guilty and continuing to cooperate with Robert Mueller, he hopes to receive a lighter sentence. It's Cohen's second guilty plea in four months. (Washington Post / New York Times / NPR / ABC News / Politico / CNN / NBC News)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Not in today’s update because it’s not clear there’s a direct link to Trump, but…

The Frankfurt headquarters of Deutsche Bank have been raided by prosecutors in a money laundering investigation. (BBC)

The investigation stems from information contained in the so-called Panama Papers and Offshore Leaks, a trove of confidential documents that helped to expose the workings of global money laundering and tax evasion, prosecutors said. (New York Times)

In recent years, Deutsche Bank has been in the news not only for its prominence in the Panama Papers, but also for its ties to President Trump, in a tumultuous relationship that goes back some 20 years. (NPR)

…which brings us to the following timeline:

:pushpin:Day 320: Robert Mueller issued a subpoena for the banking records of people affiliated with Trump. The move forced Deutsche Bank – Trump’s biggest lender – to turn over documents related to certain credit transactions and the $300 million Trump owes the lender. Legal experts said it showed Mueller was “following the money” in search of links between the campaign and the Kremlin since Deutsche Bank may have sold some of Trump’s mortgage or loans to Russian-owned banks, which could potentially give Russia leverage over Trump. Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, denied that a subpoena had been issued. Since 1998, Deutsche has helped loan at least $2.5 billion to companies affiliated with Trump, which he used to build or purchase highest-profile projects in Washington, New York, Chicago and Florida. (The Guardian / Bloomberg / Reuters / Wall Street Journal)

:pushpin:Day 341: Federal prosecutors subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for records related to Jared Kushner’s family real estate business. The bank has lent the family hundreds of millions of dollars. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal)

:pushpin:Day 356: The Trump administration waived fines for Deutsche Bank and four other multinational banks convicted of manipulating global interest rates. Trump owes Deutsche at least $130 million in loans that were originally worth $300 million. The German bank was also fined $425 million by New York State for laundering $10 billion out of Russia. (International Business Times / USA Today)

:pushpin:Day 368: Deutsche Bank reported “suspicious transactions” related to Kushner family accounts to German banking regulators. The bank also said it was willing to provide the information to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators. (Mother Jones)

:pushpin:Day 447: Trump tried to fire Robert Mueller in December after incomplete news reports surfaced that subpoenas coming from Mueller’s probe were targeting his business dealings with Deutsche Bank. To Trump, the subpoenas suggested that the investigation had expanded beyond his “red line.” Trump backed down after his lawyers and advisers assured him that the reports were not accurate. (New York Times)

:pushpin: Day 526: Justice Anthony Kennedy’s son, Justin, worked at Deutsche Bank for more than a decade, helping loan Trump more than $1 billion at a time when other banks wouldn’t. Since 1998, Deutsche has helped loan Trump at least $2.5 billion, of which at least $130 million is still owed to the bank. In 2017, Deutsche Bank AG agreed to pay $425 million to New York’s banking regulator over a money laundering scheme that helped Russian investors move $10 billion out of Russia. Trump later waived the fines for the bank after Robert Mueller issued a subpoena to Deutsche for the banking records of people affiliated with him. Following Trump’s first address to Congress in February 2017, he stopped to tell Justice Kennedy: “Say hello to your boy. Special guy.” (New York Times)



Perhaps hard to verify…but this is a huge perk for Putin.

President Donald Trump’s company planned to give a $50 million penthouse at > Trump Tower Moscow to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the company negotiated the luxury real estate development during the 2016 campaign, according to four people, one of them the originator of the plan.

Two US law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, discussed the idea with a representative of Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary.


Today appears to be the beginning of the next act in this political melodrama. To paraphrase an internet person “this isn’t even Trump’s final form.” What do you guys think is in store for our “fearless leader”? I say he goes out, whatever the means, kicking and tweeting. Surely there’s no recovery from what we’ve learned today. This is the 2nd time he’s been a unindicted co-conspirator!

What do you guys think? Let’s speculate!


Republican Sen. Tim Scott announced Thursday he would oppose President Donald Trump’s nominee to be a US district judge in North Carolina, effectively ending the nomination that had been plagued with accusations that Thomas Farr supported measures that disenfranchised African-American voters.



I wish he would! He’s always wanted to be president. I think he’ll deny everything to the end of his political career and then for years after. I bet he never shuts up about how this was a witch hunt and how he was framed by the media.

I think he likes the battle and will fight tooth and nail before he would resign. He likes to fight and his supporters like it when he fights. I don’t think they’ll win but then again I never thought they could win. :woman_shrugging:t2:



Is this the new normal??? Authoritarian moves by powerful companies??

NYTimes: Sheryl Sandberg Is Said to Have Asked Facebook Staff to Research George Soros


This just plain stinks. I, for one, am hopping mad. :angry:

Why aren’t the allegations against Pruitt for accepting a bribe being treated as a criminal case? I say “accepting a bribe” because allegedly he paid only a fraction of the normal rent on his apartment which, if true, means he received a bribe from his lobbyist landlord in the form of gratis lodging. There is ample probable cause that he may have committed this crime so shouldn’t he be charged and then be subpoenaed to testify?

I understand that the EPA Office of Inspector General is not a law enforcement agency like the FBI, but it’s pathetic that they are dropping their investigation into Pruitt for the sole reason that he quit and therefore they are unable to interview him. If the Inspector General cannot compel him to testify then, I say, the FBI must! Can the OIG refer the case to the FBI so they can get to the bottom of what happened? If the OIG has that authority, then it’s shameful that they are not making the referral.

I’m not a lawyer so maybe I’m missing something here – if anyone knows whether or not criminal charges can be brought against Pruitt, please weigh in. Thanks!

In both inquires, the office said, it interviewed witnesses and reviewed records. However, it noted, “Mr. Pruitt resigned prior to being interviewed by investigators. For that reason, the OIG deemed that the result of the investigation was inconclusive.”

Say what?! So the blueprint for corrupt Trump appointees is “take the money and run” – if you can just get out of there before they interview you, you’re scot free.



Almost as an aside, Nicolle Wallace, today made a huge revelation about what’s happening behind the scenes at the DOJ. So far, no other news outlets are reporting it so we’ll have to see if it’s corroborated. Here’s what she dropped into her opening segment (at 10 min):

… a U.S. Government source [was] telling me today that this investigation is still squarely under the command and control of the deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and his staff and that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker has not involved himself in either the cooperation that Michael Cohen engaged in or the charge against him today.

Considering Mueller’s bold move today with the Cohen plea deal, there’s good reason to believe that what Wallace is reporting is true. If Whitaker was in charge, you’d think he would have tried to block this move. Here’s hoping that Rosenstein is, indeed, still in control and remains so for the duration of the investigation. :balance_scale:


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Yup…unfortunately that will be true.

Keep up the fakery. Save T face.


Since we’re just dreaming here (think Santa’s list) -

Here’s my Wish list
Trump will be faced with so many lawsuits and legal battles - he will resign

  • Emoluments lawsuit
  • violating the Hatch Act (working with a foreign country) - he will resign
  • implicated in Treason - he will resign
  • Trump’s kids - DJTjr will be next to be indicted - T will fight it but will resign
  • Trump’s son in law - Jared Kushner will be indicted - he might resign (Kushner means way less than Ivanka)

But what is T’s future…is the Justice dept going to eviscerate his T empire…he’s been caught red-handed w/ money laundering, been getting (legal but unethical) tax breaks.

Given that we are dealing w/ classic narcissism - he will need constant adulation, and therefore hangs his hat, with his kids on Trump TV.

He gets pardoned…
He escapes to Mar-a-Lago and close the gates, and be in a world of T believers.