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What We Learned in the Trump-Russia Investigation: Week of Feb 4 – 10, 2018


  • The House Intelligence Cmte. voted unanimously on Monday to release the Democrat’s memo rebutting Nunes’s memo.” source
  • The Dem memo was sent to the White House to be approved for release. On Friday, after saying he’d release it “soon,” Trump denied its release and sent it back to the House for “National Security changes.” source
  • On Saturday Trump tweeted that the Dem memo was “very political” and “long,” suggesting that Schiff intentionally included sensitive sources and methods to claim that any redactions were political in nature. He finished with, “Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!” source. Remember, Trump released the Nunes memo without additional redactions over strenuous FBI and DOJ objections.

Rachel Brand, the 3rd-ranking official in the DOJ, is resigning. After Rosenstein, she would be next in charge of the Mueller’s investigation. It has been reported that one of the reasons she is leaving is the fear of being asked to oversee Mueller. source

Trump’s lawyers have advised him against sitting for a face-to-face interview with Mueller, expressing concern that Trump could be charged with lying to investigators. source

The head of cybersecurity at DHS says that Russia successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of “several” states before the 2016 elections. Officials claim that none of the registration rolls were altered. Source.

Nunes stated that he plans to write more memos targeting government institutions. His next target is reportedly Jonathan Winer, a longtime State Dept. official who passed along a copy of the second Trump-Russia dossier, by journalist Cody Shearer, to Steele for review. Steele then passed it to the FBI. Journalist Natasha Bertrand broke this story; it is pretty complicated and should be read for the full picture. Link here.

The Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have blocked 13 more subpoenas for important documents from Trump the administration, meaning a total of 19 subpoena motions have been blocked. The motions include requests for documents relating to the Trump organization’s acceptance of foreign payments, DHS documents on the Russian attacks on our elections, documents on Flynn’s security clearance & nuclear deals, and the withholding of Kushner’s emails that violate the Presidential Records Act. For the full list, see here.

American Intel forces attempted to buy back stolen NSA hacking tools from the Russians in a secret operation, but were instead given various documents that purported to incriminate Trump. The materials in actuality were drawn from publicly available information. The agencies cut off the deal because “they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government”. source

  • Despite this, Trump tweeted on Saturday that the goal of the operation was to obtain damaging information on Trump, adding “DRAIN THE SWAMP.” Essentially Intel agencies aborted the operation to prevent a Russian disinformation campaign, so Trump picked up the ball and finished it. source

Hundreds of emails from within the FBI have been released that counter the White House’s claim that the rank and file of the FBI disliked Comey and disproved on his leadership. source

Senator Wyden has called on the Treasury Dept. to turn over records relating to Trump’s sale of a Palm Beach mansion to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev – a real estate flip that yielded Trump $95 million after paying only $41 million for the property four years earlier. source

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny alleged that during the 2106 elections, oligarch Oleg Deripaska passed to the Kremlin (Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko) inside information about the Trump campaign he obtained from Manafort. He describes his evidence in a video posted online. source

Russia state TV’s top propagandist, Dmitry Kiselyov, echoed the GOP’s suspicion of Mueller’s investigation, saying that Nunes’s memo proves there was a conspiracy against Trump in the U.S. Intelligence Agencies. source

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs went on Russian TV and blamed the deterioration of relations between Russia and U.S. on the Democratic party. She added the Dems refuse to accept their defeat [in the 2016 election]. source

Twitter left hundred of known Russian propaganda videos on its video platform (Vine) months after it knew the accounts were trolls. source

Similarly, Twitter has finally admitted that Russian-linked accounts were trying to affect the 2016 Brexit referendum, but won’t acknowledge more than a few dozen accounts. source

To note…

The New York Times has asked the FISA court to unseal documents on surveillance of Carter Page, arguing that Trump “lowered the shield of secrecy” that would normally keep such information hidden from public view by releasing the Nunes memo. source

Thursday, Trump attended the National Prayer Breakfast in DC, along with a large Russian delegation. 60 Russian leaders were there, more than three times the size of the Russian group in 2017. source

Dozens at the White House do not have permanent security clearances, yet constantly handle sensitive or top secret material. One of these people is, of course, Kushner (source). In fact, Trump does not read the Presidential Daily Briefing, but Kushner does (source).