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More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice


#344

More confirmation of the deaths of US troops in Afghanistan during this Russian bounty offering timeframe

The Washington Post: Russian bounties to Taliban-linked militants resulted in deaths of U.S. troops, according to intelligence assessments

Several people familiar with the matter said it was unclear exactly how many Americans or coalition troops from other countries may have been killed or targeted under the program. U.S. forces in Afghanistan suffered a total of 10 deaths from hostile gunfire or improvised bombs in 2018, and 16 in 2019. Two have been killed this year. In each of those years, several service members were also killed by what are known as “green on blue” hostile incidents by Afghan security forces sometimes believed to have been infiltrated by the Taliban.

The disturbing intelligence — which the CIA was tasked with reviewing, and later confirmed — generated disagreement about the appropriate path forward, a senior U.S. official said. The administration’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, preferred confronting the Russians directly about the matter, while some National Security Council officials in charge of Russia were more dismissive of taking immediate action, the official said.

It remained unclear where those discussions have led to date. Verifying such intelligence is a process that can take weeks, typically involving the CIA and the National Security Agency, which captures foreign cellphone and radio communications. Final drafting of any policy options in response would be the responsibility of national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien.


#345

https://twitter.com/yashar/status/1277422021031288832?s=20

When Flynn’s defense turned to a T endorsed lawyer, Sidney Powell, things changed significantly in Flynn’s overall defense. She twisted the case around and was hoping to get Judge Sullivan to drop the case, like he had for a Sen Ted Stevens in Alaska. Not so fast.

Months later, it was Ms. Powell’s defense of Mr. Flynn that was collapsing.

In December, Judge Sullivan delivered a stinging rebuke to her wide-ranging claims of prosecutorial misconduct and other accusations. In a 92-page opinion, he marched through her allegations and rejected each one.

It turned out that Judge Sullivan was not the savior that Ms. Powell was looking for; he even ruled that Mr. Flynn was no Ted Stevens.

But in a different way, her strategy had been a success: The case had become a political cause. While Judge Sullivan rejected Ms. Powell’s claims of material law enforcement misconduct as baseless, Fox News and other conservative news outlets had amplified them along the way.

“One of the things that General Flynn wanted to do, he thought it was critically important that we empty out the swamp of all the senior intelligence folks that are in Washington, D.C.,” Representative Devin Nunes, the California Republican on the Intelligence Committee who has been a staunch supporter of Mr. Trump and his theories, said to applause at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. “So they had a real reason to get rid of General Flynn.”


(Lynn) #346

I wish I could feign surprise at all this, but I’ve considered trump a traitor for several years now…call it a hunch. That, & I’ve been paying attention.
https://twitter.com/votevets/status/1277295496105807873


#347

Deny, deny…deny

https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1277441387672350721?s=19

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1277431695248183298?s=19

https://twitter.com/Rschooley/status/1277464906351046656?s=19


(David Bythewood) #348

Russia offered bounty to kill UK soldiers

Moscow accused of trying to give money to the Taliban as part of its campaign to destabilise America and its allies

There is a suspicion that Boris Johnson and his predecessor, Theresa May, have been reluctant to publish an Intelligence and Security Committee report on Russia, finished last October, for fear of upsetting Trump.


(David Bythewood) #349

The comparison here to scorched earth tactics is dead on.

President Trump tries to cover his tracks by attacking the rule of law

Like a retreating army, President Trump and the Justice Department led by Attorney General William Barr have been laying waste to the rule of law as the election advances toward them. Whether it is the execution of an exit strategy or the groundwork for a second term, the toll is staggering.

Trump dismissed five inspectors general, all of whom were either critical of the administration or doing their duties to actively investigate alleged misconduct. His former national security adviser John Bolton has clearly accused the president of seeking some assistance from China to win the election. But with the collective outrage rendered numb from countless scandals and the mounting national crises, his relentless obstruction of justice and several efforts to undermine democracy barely register.

With few paying much attention, Barr is flourishing in his execution of an exit strategy for Trump. Without any apparent sense of ethical obligation, Barr has harmed the independent reputation for the Justice Department. Any notion that the Justice Department must defend the interests of the United States without fear or favor are nakedly exposed. This president, his administration, and his attorney general will allow those interests of Trump to supersede or contradict the interests of the United States.

One need only recall the last few months to see a pattern. There was the politically motivated dismissal of the charges against Michael Flynn after the former national security adviser pleaded guilty to those charges. The move was not long after the equally politically motivated interference in the sentencing for Roger Stone. The Justice Department embarrassingly overruled the line prosecutors in an effort to secure a much more lenient sentence for the consultant and campaign adviser of the president.

Those inexplicable legal maneuvers gave rise to this new deep skepticism surrounding the even more embarrassingly botched recent removal of the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. There can be no benefit of the doubt given to Barr for suddenly dismissing a prosecutor overseeing criminal investigations into the president, his business entities, and of course their myriad of questionable financial entanglements.

Under any evidentiary standard, the conduct exhibited is intentional and ongoing. However, none of these actions takes place in a vacuum. These are dark days for the efforts of the president to win a second term. While there is still time for Trump to recover, the idea that he will serve only one term is growing. Perhaps the professed belief of Barr in an executive that is not only unitary but also supreme over the other branches explains his willingness to subvert all of the decades of independence for the Justice Department to a commander in chief with authoritarian inclinations.

However, the motives for Barr still seem political. If Trump is president for just one term, then the legal maneuvers are not the advent of an authoritarian takeover but of a calculated exit strategy to purge the record of a corrupt administration on its last legs. Any investigations that started under Trump may continue past the election if another president follows. But if they can be quashed now, the mood of reconciliation and peace may convince the next administration to leave the past alone.

If the president does manage to pull off another victory, this exit strategy converts seamlessly into a second term. With that scenario, the president has set his most loyal lieutenants into positions where he is vulnerable for legal attack. If the rule of law is to be redeemed, the responsibility falls to the career men and women of the Justice Department, who have to take a stand against the lawlessness of its leaders, as the Assistant United States Attorney Aaron Zelinsky, one of four prosecutors who quit the Stone case in protest of politically motivated interference, did with his testimony.

The restoration of Justice Department honor has to come from within. The men and women who comprise the institution, as well as the next attorney general, must restore their steadfast commitment to the Constitution.


(David Bythewood) #350

Whoa. Another first for Donald Trump!

First American President to have a warrant issued for his arrest on the charge of murder by another country!

Iran issues arrest warrants for Trump and 35 others in relation to Islamic Revolution Guard Corps commander Qasem Soleimani’s death, the semi-official Fars news agency reports. The Tehran attorney general says Trump was at the top of the list.

Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump over drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani


https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1277596463355305984


#351

I just literally laughed out loud at this news. What a fuckin timeline we live in.


(David Bythewood) #352

Definitely the worst timeline.


#353

Intelligence on Russian bounty plot was included in the President’s Daily Brief earlier this year, source says

The intelligence that assessed there was an effort by a Russian military intelligence unit to pay the Taliban to kill US soldiers was included in one of President Donald Trump’s daily briefings on intelligence matters sometime in the spring, according to a US official with direct knowledge of the latest information.

That assessment, the source said, was backed up by “several pieces of information” that supported the view that there was an effort by the Russian intelligence unit – the GRU – to pay bounties to kill US soldiers,including interrogation of Taliban detainees and electronic eavesdropping. The source said there was some other information that did not corroborate this view but said, nonetheless, '"This was a big deal. When it’s about US troops you go after it 100%, with everything you got."

Trump is not known to fully or regularly read the President’s Daily Brief, something that is well-known within the White House.

image


#354

Here comes all the heads of DNI Ratcliffe and CIA Haspel saying that someone leaked this Russian Bounty information and it makes it hard for us to piece out who said what when.

WTF WTF WTF…

But story has NOT been refuted.

https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1277776137045803015?s=20

https://twitter.com/ZcohenCNN/status/1277774252385677314?s=20

https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1277774329170837507?s=20


#355

More details tonight on the disclosure Daily Brief and security briefing - from the NYT tonight. Feb 27th it the date of the Daily Brief to be exact and details also found on a CIA World Intelligence Briefing.

The leaks and sourcing has to be pretty solid here for the NYT. I believe it, since there is very little to believe coming out of the WH’s mouth.

American officials provided a written briefing in late February to President Trump laying out their conclusion that a Russian military intelligence unit offered and paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, two officials familiar with the matter said.

The investigation into the suspected Russian covert operation to incentivize such killings has focused in part on an April 2019 car bombing that killed three Marines as one such potential attack, according to multiple officials familiar with the matter.

The new information emerged as the White House tried on Monday to play down the intelligence assessment that Russia sought to encourage and reward killings — including reiterating a claim that Mr. Trump was never briefed about the matter and portraying the conclusion as disputed and dubious.

But that stance clashed with the disclosure by two officials that the intelligence was included months ago in Mr. Trump’s President’s Daily Brief document — a compilation of the government’s latest secrets and best insights about foreign policy and national security that is prepared for him to read. One of the officials said the item appeared in Mr. Trump’s brief in late February; the other cited Feb. 27, specifically.

Moreover, a description of the intelligence assessment that the Russian unit had carried out the bounties plot was also seen as serious and solid enough to disseminate more broadly across the intelligence community in a May 4 article in the C.I.A.’s World Intelligence Review, a classified compendium commonly referred to as The Wire, two officials said.


#356

AP sources: White House aware of Russian bounties in 2019

Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported, according to U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence.

The assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.

He’s known for a year

image


#357

…MORE damning revelations.:+1:

SPIN that WH…!!!

Bolton’s revenge beyond the book.


#358

Indefensible…

Yet the liar’s defense is to worm his way out of it…

Complete and utter horror show…but his defenders are allowing for that ‘wiggle’ room - was the intel actionable, correct, reasonable, true???

Yes…

Pundits are reporting that all the Hawks are mad…and are leaking like their lives, reputations and America’s safety relied on this.

https://twitter.com/RepSeanMaloney/status/1277563910787399682?s=20

Trump denied the report in a series of tweets on Sunday, saying he was never briefed on the intelligence assessment.

“Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an ‘anonymous source’ by the Fake News @nytimes. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us…,” Trump said.ssian-bounties-reportedly-placed-on-u-s-troops


#359

Article from 2018

Russia ‘arming the Afghan Taliban’, says US - BBC News


(David Bythewood) #360


https://twitter.com/FindAClearTruth/status/1277360161116454913


(David Bythewood) #361

Analysis: An emerging White House defense is that Trump doesn’t read

2 things that seem to explain Trump’s ignorance about Russia’s bounties on U.S. troops


https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/1277977775685525506

They have names:

Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks

Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines

Staff Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman

KIA by an IED Russia may have paid for.

From 2019: Marines killed in Afghanistan blast died only days before they were to come home

https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/marines-killed-in-afghanistan-blast-died-only-days-before-they-were-to-come-home-1.576402/cpl-robert-hendriks-1.576470#.Xvt3Y0a3qZc.twitter


#362

Hilary chimes in…

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/1277968426019913728?s=20


#363

There are receipts and a money trail from the Russians to the Taliban-linked militants.

Though the United States has accused Russia of providing general support to the Taliban before, analysts concluded from other intelligence that the transfers were most likely part of a bounty program that detainees described during interrogations. Investigators also identified by name numerous Afghans in a network linked to the suspected Russian operation, the officials said — including, two of them added, a man believed to have served as an intermediary for distributing some of the funds and who is now thought to be in Russia.

The intercepts bolstered the findings gleaned from the interrogations, helping reduce an earlier disagreement among intelligence analysts and agencies over the reliability of the detainees. The disclosures further undercut White House officials’ claim that the intelligence was too uncertain to brief President Trump. In fact, the information was provided to him in his daily written brief in late February, two officials have said.

Afghan officials this week described a sequence of events that dovetails with the account of the intelligence. They said that several businessmen who transfer money through the informal “hawala” system were arrested in Afghanistan over the past six months and are suspected of being part of a ring of middlemen who operated between the Russian intelligence agency, known as the G.R.U., and Taliban-linked militants. The businessmen were arrested in what the officials described as sweeping raids in the north of Afghanistan, as well as in Kabul.