Day 741


(Matt Kiser) #1

Updated 1/30/2019 2:18 PM PST

1/ Trump attacked the U.S. intelligence community, claiming they're being "extremely passive and naive" and suggesting his intel chiefs need to "go back to school" because "they are wrong!" The outburst comes a day after senior American intelligence officials briefed Congress on their 2019 worldwide threat assessment, directly contradicted Trump on several of his foreign policy priorities, including Iran, North Korea, Syria, and ISIS. Trump, however, made no mention of Russia, which Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said was likely to target the 2020 elections. (Politico / New York Times / Reuters / CNN)


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/2019/01/30/day-741/

#2

Some curbing of the presidential powers…considering T is a whirling dervish on his own on the foreign relations front.

Would it get any chance of passing…? No, the president would veto.

Legislation introduced by Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate on Wednesday would bar the United States from using a nuclear weapon unless attacked with one first, demonstrating growing momentum for anti-nuclear sentiments on the left in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a 2020 presidential contender, and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced the No First Use Act in their respective chambers to codify in law what they said “most Americans already believe — that the United States should never initiate a nuclear war.”

The text of the bill is simple, saying only that “it is the policy of the United States not to use nuclear weapons first.” But while the measure has support among many Democrats and could pass through the House, it probably would not get enough Republican backing to win approval in the Senate.

It would almost certainly face a veto by President Trump, whose administration has opposed the proposal in its nuclear weapons policy.


#3

The lawfirm for Company A, a state-run bank, is being represented by Alston & Bird. It is believed, or conjectured that the firm is QIA Qatar Investment Authority which is a

:heavy_check_mark:️We know it’s state owned :heavy_check_mark:️We know it’s a financial institution (WaPo) :heavy_check_mark:️We know it’s represented by Alston & Bird, a firm that has a history of representing Russians (incl. Deripaska), and the Alston lawyer working on the matter formerly represented the RNC (CNN) 1/

A lawyer for the committee, Gibson Dunn partner Theodore Boutrous Jr., told BuzzFeed News that Alston & Bird partner Brian Boone is representing the foreign country–owned company at the Supreme Court. The company has resisted a subpoena for information sought by a grand jury in DC and faces a contempt order as a result of its refusal to comply that would include daily accrual of fines.

A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office declined to comment, and a spokesperson for the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither Boone nor a spokesperson for Alston & Bird immediately responded to requests for comment.

And another weird wrinkle is that this firm has represented Bill Barr in a Sovereignty Immunities Act trial issue before.

He also represented three former attorneys general — including former attorney general Bill Barr, now President Donald Trump’s nominee to be attorney general — in a 2009 brief at the Supreme Court relating to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.


#4

Or others are still speculating Company A is VTB bank…

@Pet_Proletariat - you had a posting on who we thought it was…can not find it’s heading.

I am listening to Mueller She Wrote, and they place bets on who’s going to get indicted by Mueller next, and they will ‘bet’ on who’s up next for indictments, superseding indictments. etc.

Superseding indictment defined as - a continuation of original indictment.

  1. Statute of Limitations and Defective Indictments – Superseding Indictments

If an indictment is dismissed because of legal defect or grand jury irregularity, the government may return a new indictment within six months of the date of dismissal or within the original limitation period (whichever is later). After the original limitation period has expired, a superseding indictment may narrow, but not broaden, the charges made in the original indictment. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 3288-3289; United States v. Miller, 471 U.S. 130 (1985); United States v. Grady, 544 F.2d 598 (2d Cir. 1976).

https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-655-statute-limitations-and-defective-indictments-superseding


#5

I can’t find that conversation either but I remember having it. VTB seems the most likely since Alfa Bank is privately owned. FinCEN would know and have all the documents on the transactions.

At least this explains why the Russians went after FinCEN with phishing scams and disposable gmail accounts before the 2016 election.

Who gets indicted next? I don’t think we can guess easily because as @Keaton_James pointed out the other day, the grand jury decides who to indict once they’ve reached the conclusion that they have enough evidence for a conviction.

I’d like to see Don Jr. indicted next, a lot of speculation I’ve read online singles him out because of his communications with Assange on Twitter and Stone’s indictment. If I was looking for more evidence seems like Jr. would have it and since it appears he lied to Congress, why not pick him up now?


#6

I’m also hoping Trump Jr. will be charged soon, but I’m wondering if Mueller has slated additional “supporting players” for indictments before moving on to the “starring roles.” For reasons outlined in another post, my money is on these two:

  • This guy: Ilya Bykov, Aras Agalarov’s U.S.-based accountant (aka “financial fixer”) with ties to money launderers. He helped Agalarov set up a dubious shell company just before the Trump Tower meeting. (Agalarov hosted Trump’s Moscow Miss Universe contest and initiated the Trump Tower meeting.) Also, he just looks suspicious. :wink:

  • And this guy: Irakly Kaveladze – Agalarov’s representative at the Trump Tower meeting. He was supposedly the “translator.” Back in 2000 he was accused of laundering $1.4 billion through U.S. banks. That’s quite an achievement for a translator to list in his résumé.

I’ll confess to obsessing about Bykov’s possible role in the attack on our election. He has connections to the Prevezon money laundering case that was swept under the carpet via a settlement just after Trump fired Preet Bharara. I’m hoping Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee will reopen an investigation (quashed by Republicans) into the circumstances surrounding the Prevezon settlement. A subpoena for Bykov to testify before the committee would be a good start.

Here’s a post laying out the dots between Prevezon and the Trump Tower Meeting. Bykov’s ties to Prevezon are in the sixth bullet.

P.S. @dragonfly9 - Thanks for the tip on Mueller She Wrote. I’ll be tuning in to see where they are placing their bets – sounds fun!


#7

@Keaton_James and @Pet_Proletariat - I agree, I do think that Junior is being readied to be indicted. Can we safely assume he will, and as @Keaton_James suggests, we have to see who may be in lesser roles, before the big fish are taken in.

is waiting in the wings for a take down for sure…and good call on that…Prevezon has too many connecting dots that T 'n Co would want to protect, and Bykov, is surely the guy to “Follow the Money” with.

It’s true that Grand Juries come up with the indictments, but the order with which they are cast is up to Mueller, right? Like all those ‘sealed indictments’ are ready to go I believe. And didn’t some of Mueller’s top money laundering? or cyber security lawyers already leave, that that part could be finished up (and indictments ready)

Just conjecturing…

Two Justice Department prosecutors assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation are leaving the office to return to previous postings.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, confirmed in an email to The Hill that Kyle Freeny and Brandon Van Grack are leaving the probe.

The two prosecutors had worked on the criminal cases involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Carr added.

Van Grack recently left the probe to return to the agency’s national security division, while Freeny will remain on until mid-October before returning to the agency’s criminal division.

Carr said Van Grack will continue to contribute to the special counsel investigation “on specific pending matters that were assigned to him during his detail.”

BuzzFeed News reported in late September that Mueller’s team is still investigating millions of dollars in payments made between two organizers of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., top Trump campaign executives and a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.


#8

Mueller she wrote
They have a pretty chatty newsfeed with great guests that comes out on Sunday evenings - and runs about 1 1/2 hours long, where they do their picks for the Fantasy indictment. They do a mid week one as well only shorter.

To get to read their newfeed, listen to their 2 broadcasts a week, and a FB page, and newsletter, and be a part of their Fantasy Indictment League etc…they have a link to Patreon for patronage fee. I usually learn quite a few interesting bits, but @matt, @jamditis do a superior job of really culling out the news at a super deep level, and you guys fill in a LOT of good stuff too.

So all things being equal, Mueller She Wrote is a good add-on, but this WTFJHT is really to GO TO!

I just listed who the main contributors had listed as their top choices for indictments, but I do not see any Bykov or anyone at that level. (FYI - they use the term ‘beans’ as a way of describing what kind of scoop it is, if it deserves a lot of beans…not sure…but hey, that works!)

OFFICIAL: FANTASY INDICTMENT LEAGUE POST for the week of 1/28/19

Give yourself five points if you drafted Stone this week!

Hello! This is the official #MSWFIL post where you post your FIVE picks for the this week. Each week I will make a post for you to reply to with your five picks, and if during that week, anyone of your picks gets indicted (whether they’re cooperating or not), you get points.

POINT STRUCTURE

20 points for a member of Trumps family or a Trump family business
10 points for congress members, SCOTUS NOMINEES, and current or former cabinet members
5 points for high level White House staff and inner circle staff, and businesses and entities
2 points for outer ring Americans
1 point for randos (random people we’ve likely never heard of) and Russians.
New plea deals also count, as do criminal charges, indictments, and any of those that were referred to outside orgs by Mueller.
1 additional point for a plea agreement modifier

This is not gambling. No gambling.

I’ll go first: my five for this week are Giuliani, Boyle superseding Manafort, rando, and a Nunberg plea deal. Jaleesa has Corsi plea deal, Malloch, Kush, Trump Org, and Junior. Jordan has Assange, Credico plea deal, Bannon, Ivanka, and a Rando. List your five for the week,


#9

Yes, this is a particularly damning bit of information…and Junior’s going to have to have his day in court.

Ever since his wife divorced him, I was sure that everyone in that family knows he’s got a huge X on his back, the fall guy. And T would save Ivanka, BUT Junior…who knows.


#10

During the Trump Tower meeting, Junior made two calls to blocked numbers. Today it was stated that these calls were not made to T. This bit of information was one of the possible cornerstones linking T with direct knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting with all the Russians, and pivotal to a conspiracy charge.

The only other possible linkage aside from T actually knowing because we know he was kept in the loop on all things having to do with his campaign, was that T might have been listening in via speaker phone.

Hard to say, of course, but we can be sure Mueller has some testimony and evidence from those who attended.

I remember a small detail that during that meeting, Manafort had written on his notes a $ figure, and RNC…which ties it to campaign collusion, but again, these are just little scrimps of info that we can hopefully find out later through Mueller’s Report. :pray:

The calls to blocked numbers, which came on June 6, and after the meeting on June 9, were between Trump Jr.’s cell phone and two family friends – NASCAR CEO Brian France and real estate developer Howard Lorber, according to the sources.

Both men have close ties to President Donald Trump and actively supported his campaign during the 2016 election.


#11

A tiny prediction here…guesswork…but hey never say never

Judge won’t unseal criminal case against Julian Assange

A federal judge in Virginia declined Wednesday to unseal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange without official confirmation from the government that the indictment exists.

“Courts cannot perform the delicate balancing required by the First Amendment and common law doctrines under such uncertain circumstances,” Judge Leonie M. Brinkema wrote.

The existence of the case against Assange was mistakenly referenced by a prosecutor filing a motion in an unrelated case and confirmed by The Washington Post and other news outlets. The Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press, a journalism nonprofit, filed a lawsuit to unseal the charges, arguing there is no longer any justification for keeping the details of the case secret.

But Brinkema concluded “an obviously erroneous filing in an unrelated case, public speculation, news stories, and anonymous statements by government officials does not supply a level of certainty comparable to that afforded by official acknowledgment.”

For that reason, she said the claim of a public right to know was “premature,” and a ruling in the group’s favor would allow for “fishing expeditions” based on speculation.


#12

A mention of VTB crops up on the books…

Hmmmmm


#13

Finally! Now maybe we can get to the bottom of what happened to all that cash. :moneybag:

The article refers to felon Michael Cohen’s ties to the Inaugural Committee, but it fails to mention this guy: Elliot Broidy who was a Finance Vice-Chairperson. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s been involved in a long list of alleged financial crimes.

Prosecutors in New York’s Southern District have reached out to President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee and plan to subpoena the organization for documents, sources with direct knowledge tell ABC News, indicating that even as the special counsel probe appears to be nearing an end, another investigation that could hamstring the president and his lawyers is widening.

The contact from the Southern District, which came from its public corruption section, is the latest activity focusing on Trump’s political fundraising both before and immediately after his 2016 election. Lawyers for the inauguration committee were contacted midday Monday and asked if they could accept a subpoena for documents from federal prosecutors, according to sources familiar.

Questions about the inaugural spending were first raised last year when tax filings disclosed the five largest vendors included payments of nearly $26 million to an event planning firm run by a one-time adviser and close friend of Melania Trump. The adviser, Stephanie Winston-Wolkoff, created a company called WIS Media Partners based in California that handled some of the festivities. That firm paid out contracts to other sub-contractors that were hired and used some of the funds to hire sub-contractors.

Winston-Wolkoff was also paid $1.62 million directly for her work, ABC News has previously reported. The tax filing showed that the committee spent $104 million of the $107 million it raised. By way of comparison, for the 2009 inauguration, then-president elect Barack Obama’s team raised roughly $53.2 million and reported spending about $51 million.

Here’s an article from December about the early stages of this SDNY investigation.

A WSJ report (summarized in this article), included this bombshell:

The report said that among … materials [seized from Cohen’s office] was a recording of a conversation between Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to First Lady Melania Trump who worked on the inaugural events.

In the recording, The Journal reported, Wolkoff expressed concern about how the committee was spending the money it had raised. It’s unclear when the conversation took place.


#14

Adding more to the story from WaPo, narrowing the scope regarding how the investigation sees this as " investigating crimes related to conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, false statements, wire fraud and money laundering."
:boom:

The subpoena — issued by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York — indicates that prosecutors are investigating crimes related to conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, false statements, wire fraud and money laundering.

The subpoena also specifically seeks all communications with one donor, Los Angeles venture capitalist Imaad Zuberi, as well as the firm with which he is affiliated, Avenue Ventures. The company donated $900,000 to the inaugural committee, records show.

Steve Rabinowitz, a spokesman for Zuberi, said in a telephone interview that Zuberi knew nothing about the subpoena until contacted by a reporter.

“It is well known that after supporting President Obama and Hillary Clinton that Imaad gave generously and directly to the Trump inaugural,” Rabinowitz said. “But many others gave substantially more. If in fact he is named in this subpoena, never mind somehow named alone, he is bewildered why.

Asked whether there was any foreign connection to Zuberi’s donation, Rabinowitz said: “There is no connection of any other individual or entity, and for sure not a foreign one. He gave his own money.”

The latest subpoena seeks information related to broad topics, including information about benefits provided to top donors, training documents for fundraisers and information related to any payments made directly by donors to vendors.

…and more highlights include Zubari having seen various top Middle Eastern heads in T Tower…with Flynn, Bannon present. See following…

Zuberi indicated that he visited Trump Tower in New York in December 2016 as the president-elect prepared to take office, writing that he was with incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn.

That was the same day that a delegation from Qatar, including the county’s foreign minister, visited Trump Tower and met with Flynn and campaign chief executive Stephen K. Bannon.

Rabinowitz said Zuberi met with the Qataris that day, walked with them to Trump Tower and rode up the elevator with them, but did not participate in their meetings with Trump officials.

Zuberi indicated on his Facebook page that he met with the Qatari foreign minister at the Plaza Hotel in New York the following day. Days later, he visited Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, his Facebook posts show.

Are any of us bewildered as to why this is happening…a huge pile of cash delivered in the expectation of preferential treatment?

Heating up…:fire:


#15

Yes! And I have an idea for another subpoena. The House Oversight Committee should obtain a copy of the audit that the Inaugural Committee claims to have produced. MSNBC, Dec. 13, 2018:

Tom Barrack, a friend of the president’s who led the inaugural committee, told the Associated Press last year that there’s already been an audit of the committee’s finances, but it “would not share a copy with AP or say who performed it.”

The Oversight Committee should also subpoena whatever other documents are needed to verify the accuracy and thoroughness of the audit. We have a right to know if there has been a cover up.

It looks like the investigation’s initial focus is on the money coming into the Inaugural Committee – which is a good place to start. I hope investigators also proceed to an examination of how the money was spent and where it all “landed.” The operative question being, did any members of the Committee or their associates “line their pockets” with some of the funds? They spent way more money than was spent for Obama’s 2013 inauguration, yet they had far less to show for it – so it’s natural to wonder where all that money went. Did it just evaporate?

Yes, we need to find out if any of the money was used for influence peddling, but we also shouldn’t overlook the possibility that some good old-fashioned embezzlement went down – no quid pro quo needed.


#16

Yessiree…

This is SDNY’s investigation and something T 'n Co can not touch and will be forever subjected to. These guys could level T’s business interests and really knee cap him.

But on the Mueller front, this would be cooperating witness Gates who would know it all. He and previous boss, Manafort would have done all the legwork for a bunch of the list of interested donors I would think. They have Sam Patten already indicted for selling inaugural tix to the Oligarchs.

I think this is one of the big ‘cards’ that Mueller is holding with foreign influencers.

Yes, there should be (and probably is) a deep dive into where all that money went. The Oversight Committee is Elijah Cummings and you know he is determined to get after T.

Oh, it’s really glaring…!


#17

Another set of predictions - week Feb 4th

If someone disapproves @matt…I will not post this. But I think it is an interesting angle on this whole Mueller investigation process.

From the gang at Mueller She Wrote…

This is not gambling. No gambling.

I’ll go first: my five for this week are Superseding Stone, Paul Erikson, Superseding Manafort, Nunberg Plea agreement, and Miller plea agreement. Jaleesa has Junior, Corsi plea agreement, Boyarkin, Prince and Trump org. Jordan has Assange, Credico Plea agreement, Bannon plea agreement, Ivanka, and Veselnitskaya. i CAN’T BELIEVE NONE OF US DRAFTED KUSHNER. List your five for the week, and remember, if you don’t reply that week you aren’t playing that week: your previous picks don’t carry forward


#18

I mean c’mon. Just c’mon. He knows that if he is under subpoena rather than appearing voluntarily, it will be much harder to dodge tough questions. So basically he’s announcing, “I’ll come and testify, but only if I can answer just the questions I choose to.”

This is not a good look for an AG, supposed defender of truth. Guilty much?

I hope the committee responds immediately with a subpoena and when he claims bogus “executive privilege” or “ongoing investigation,” they cite him for contempt.


#19

Agree…weasel move. :clown_face:


(Matt Kiser) #20

Oh, I don’t care. As long as it’s sourced and not troll-y or fear-monger-y, I think it’s great to include informed, outside opinions.