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What We Learned in the Trump-Russia Investigation: Week of Dec 17 – 23, 2017

The big stories of have revolved around the Republican attacks on the FBI:

  • Nunes, who was on Trump’s transition team, is leading House Republicans in investigating supposed corruption in the FBI and DOJ. source
  • FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed session. The testimony suggests McCabe could corroborate Comey’s account, including Trump’s ask that Comey show him loyalty, which the President has strongly disputed. This led to intense attacks by the GOP to discredit him. source
  • Republicans question McCabe’s ability to be unbiased, because his wife, a candidate for Virginia’s state Senate at the time, accepted campaign donations from a political action committee tied to Hillary and Bill Clinton. source
  • Intense attacks by the GOP has led to McCabe reportedly planning to retire in March. source
  • FBI general counsel James Baker is being reassigned by the new director Wray, reportedly in a move to “fend off accusations of politicization within the bureau.” source
  • Over 40 former U.S. attorneys and Republican and conservative officials have come to Mueller’s defense against the Trump administration in a pair of letters. source

After becoming the Republican nominee, Trump was warned by the FBI that the Russians would try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign. The FBI urged him & his campaign to alert the FBI about any suspicious overtures. By the time of the warning in late July or August, at least seven Trump campaign officials had been in contact with Russians or people linked to Russia. None of these contacts were reported to the FBI. source

The Senate’s Russia investigation is now looking into Jill Stein, asking her campaign to turn over documents. Stein attended a 2015 dinner hosted by RT in Moscow, in which she sat at the same table as Putin and Flynn. source

Mueller has obtained records that reveal: In late January, White House counsel Donald McGahn researched the consequences of Flynn’s actions, decided he had likely committed a crime, and warned Trump of these facts. Trump still didn’t fire Flynn. source

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed Kushner’s financial records from Deutsche Bank. Kushner family businesses have received hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from the financial institution. source

  • Of specific interest is a loan of $285M made by Deutsche Bank just one month before election day 2016 to the real estate company run by Kushner’s family. source

Mueller Is Looking Into a U.S. Foundation Backed by Russian Money. The foundation poses as an NGO that promotes adoptions, but used $500k of Russian money to fight the Magnitsky sanctions. Representatives of the NGO attended meetings with Trump campaign officials. source

Trump transition team discussed ways to encrypt Flynn’s conversations, including using a popular encrypted messaging app. source

A D.C. lawyer has filed a lawsuit against Ivanka and Jared over financial disclosures, alleging the couple failed to identify the assets owned by 30 investment funds the couple had stakes in. source

Interesting to note… The plane of Oleg Deripaska, Russian oligarch and Paul Manafort’s employer, traveled from Moscow to Miami at 4am December 23rd. This happened just two days after Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought a mansion from Trump for $60 million more than what Trump paid, also flew to Miami. The coincidence – Trump was at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach at this time. source

Twitter thread on the history of Nunes’ partisan, and honestly very corrupt-looking, actions as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.