[News] Trump, Russia, and the 2016 Election

All news related to Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia and to the Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. New details should be cited to reputable sources.

Hobear wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:
Hobear wrote:
polypusher wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:

All I want for Christmas...

That's all? Aim higher, oranger, blonder, blander...

Once old Jr. Is in a jump suit they'll get him to flip on papa

Don’t be greedy. I’m hoping that the indictments for the Tangerine toddler comes down on 2/18/19. That would be the height of appropriateness.

What don't I get about that date?

President's day I think?

Chairman_Mao wrote:
Hobear wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:
Hobear wrote:
polypusher wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:

All I want for Christmas...

That's all? Aim higher, oranger, blonder, blander...

Once old Jr. Is in a jump suit they'll get him to flip on papa

Don’t be greedy. I’m hoping that the indictments for the Tangerine toddler comes down on 2/18/19. That would be the height of appropriateness.

What don't I get about that date?

President's day I think?

Sorry. It is indeed Presidents’ Day.

DSGamer wrote:

Do we have any GWJers in the DC area? Curious if I decided to come that direction for protests.

Taking my 7 month old daughter to evening protests is a logistical mess, but we might go to a weekend March.

Looks like Sessions is out and his replacement has an erection for firing Mueller.

MoveOn.org protests are being organized for tonight. Practice corporeal politics now.

DSGamer wrote:

Do we have any GWJers in the DC area? Curious if I decided to come that direction for protests.

Robear, Kiri and I are about a half hour out if you drive and are able to recommend good places for noms.

The man in charge of ending the Mueller investigation is as scummy and deceitful as Trump. I hope they share a cell someday. The dude doesn't just look like Wilson Fisk, his career is equally as politically corrupt.

But, you know, only the best people...

Before he led the Justice Department, Matthew G. Whitaker promoted company accused of deceiving clients

When federal investigators were digging into an invention-promotion company accused of fraud by customers, they sought information in 2017 from a prominent member of the company’s advisory board: Matthew G. Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney in Iowa.
In May of this year, a federal court in Florida ordered the company to pay a settlement of more than $25 million and close up shop, records show. The company did not admit or deny wrongdoing.
Whitaker’s sudden elevation this week to replace fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions has put new scrutiny on his involvement with the shuttered company, whose advisory board he joined in 2014, shortly after making a failed run for U.S. Senate in Iowa.

At the time, he was also running a conservative watchdog group with ties to other powerful nonprofits on the right and was beginning to develop a career as a Trump-friendly cable television commentator.

World Patent Marketing — founded by Miami businessman Scott J. Cooper, who had donated $2,600 to Whitaker’s Senate campaign — prominently highlighted Whitaker’s résumé as a former U.S. attorney, which helped lend the company credibility.

But Whitaker seems to have been more than a figurehead. He spoke about inventions of the company’s clients in online videos — including a special hot-tub seat for people with mobility issues. He also penned a response to at least one complaint — writing a threatening email in which he cited his role as a former U.S. attorney, according to court filings.

When Whitaker was appointed to the board of World Patent Marketing in October 2014, a company spokesman said in a press release that he would provide “vision and direction.” Later, the company touted Whitaker’s legal background and said he was working with the company to help investors avoid patent marketing fraud.

“As a former U.S. Attorney, I would only align myself with a first class organization,” Whitaker said in a 2014 company news release. “World Patent Marketing goes beyond making statements about doing business ‘ethically’ and translate those words into action.”

According to the FTC, however, the company falsely promised clients it would patent and market their ideas in exchange for hefty fees — and then pocketed the money.

“For the last three years, Defendants have operated an invention-promotion scam that has bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars,” the agency alleged in a recently unsealed court filing. “In truth and in fact, Defendants fail to fulfill almost every promise they make to consumers.”

Another board member, Aileen M. Marty, a professor of infectious disease at Florida International University in Miami, said she was told when she joined the board that she would be sent interesting patent ideas to review — but never received any.

Marty said she received one check for her board service, which she returned when she heard the company could be committing fraud.

“I wish I had never heard of the company and I wish that my name were not in any way associated with it. I can’t turn back time and not accept the offer to be on their board — believe me if I could, I would,” she said in an email to The Post.

As he was advising World Patent Marketing, Whitaker ran a conservative watchdog group called the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust. The group lodged numerous ethics complaints and calls for investigations, targeting Hillary Clinton and Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, as well as some Republicans.

On its website, FACT lists a downtown Washington address. But it is one of some 200 “virtual members” who use a K Street location to claim a presence in the nation’s capital, according to Brian Bullock, assistant general manager of Carr Workplaces, the firm that operates the site.

“They only come in every six months or so,” Bullock said. “We pretty much just accept their mail.”

FACT was formed in 2014 with a large donation from another tax-exempt charity that has served as a fountainhead of cash for organizations affiliated with the conservative movement — an arrangement that helps further mask the identity of donors.

The group received more than $1 million in recent years from a donor-advised fund called Donors Trust Inc., which is a source of funding for scores of other conservative groups, including Judicial Watch, Project Veritas, the Claremont Institute, the Federalist Society and the David Horowitz Freedom Center, tax filings show.

Whitaker received $402,000 in 2016 as FACT’s president and director — nearly a third of the donations the group received that year, according to its tax filings. He received $252,000 in 2015, more than half the charity’s receipts that year, tax filings show.

FACT officials declined to comment, but they described the group as a nonpartisan ethics watchdog that holds accountable government officials from both parties.

I guess I went into the wrong job field. The real easy money is in conservative funded ethics watch dog groups.

Hobear wrote:

I guess I went into the wrong job field. The real easy money is in conservative funded ethics watch dog groups.

Getting paid to watch cat gifs all day on the internets. That’s a heckuva job

BlackSheep wrote:
Hobear wrote:

I guess I went into the wrong job field. The real easy money is in conservative funded ethics watch dog groups.

Getting paid to watch cat gifs all day on the internets. That’s a heckuva job

I going to go start the #jailher ethics watch dog group. It speaks to their one want and the 2nd half implies ethically I can do Nothing.

The Wall Street Journal (!): Donald Trump Played Central Role in Hush Payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal

As a presidential candidate in August 2015, Donald Trump huddled with a longtime friend, media executive David Pecker, in his cluttered 26th floor Trump Tower office and made a request.

What can you do to help my campaign? he asked, according to people familiar with the meeting.

I feel like I've learned one hard, cold truth: there is no bridge to be crossed between fascists and the rest of us. You can't be civil with them. You can't try to reason with them and hope they'll find their way. Everything you do to give them a chance is only going to be used to hurt you. You extend an olive branch? They'll only come closer and take it so they can stab you with the dagger they've concealed. You can't play fair with them. They have no concept of fairness. They only understand power and all your good values will be turned against you. I really don't see how we get out of this without a significant escalation of violence between both sides because these people only understand violence, whether it is with a hand, a pen, or a gun.

My favorite part was the way the scam company threatened complainers with prison time or being beaten up by a team of Israeli commandos:
https://www.thedailybeast.com/matthe...

The FTC reported that one victim who sought a refund received a letter from a company lawyer “who told her that her conduct of seeking a refund constitutes extortion under Florida law and, 'Since you used email to make your threats, you would be subject to a federal extortion charge, which carries a term of imprisonment of up to two years and potential criminal fines. See 18 U.S.C. ii 875(d).’"

The FTC complaint adds that “Defendants also cultivate a threatening atmosphere” by sending its victims emails describing a company “security team” of “all ex-Israeli Special Ops and trained in Krav Maga, one of the most deadly of the martial arts.'' The company emails reported, “'The World Patent Marketing Security Team are the kind of guys who are trained to knockout first and ask questions later."

BoogtehWoog wrote:

I feel like I've learned one hard, cold truth: there is no bridge to be crossed between fascists and the rest of us. You can't be civil with them. You can't try to reason with them and hope they'll find their way. Everything you do to give them a chance is only going to be used to hurt you. You extend an olive branch? They'll only come closer and take it so they can stab you with the dagger they've concealed. You can't play fair with them. They have no concept of fairness. They only understand power and all your good values will be turned against you. I really don't see how we get out of this without a significant escalation of violence between both sides because these people only understand violence, whether it is with a hand, a pen, or a gun.

If they were even remotely capable of logical, rational thought, they wouldn't be Fascists. They are cowardly, screaming toddlers who are pissed that their privilege is being taken away and they know they can't survive on any actual skills or abilities.

NYT: Manafort Breached Plea Deal by Repeatedly Lying, Mueller Says

WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, repeatedly lied to federal investigators in breach of a plea agreement he signed two months ago, the special counsel’s office said in a court filing late on Monday.

Prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said Mr. Manafort’s “crimes and lies” about “a variety of subject matters” relieve them of all promises they made to him in the plea agreement. But under the terms of the agreement, Mr. Manafort cannot withdraw his guilty plea.

The Guardian: Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy, sources say: Trump ally met WikiLeaks founder months before emails hacked by Russia were published

CNN and Carl Bernstein: Mueller investigating 2017 meeting between Manafort and Ecuador's President

Washington (CNN) - Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has been investigating a meeting between former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in Quito in 2017 and has specifically asked if WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange, were discussed in the meeting, a source with personal knowledge of the matter tells CNN.

In November 2017, The Associated Press reported that Moreno publicly acknowledged meeting with Manafort and a group of Chinese businessmen who wanted to privatize the country's electric corporation. Moreno said the proposal was rejected.

Manafort landed in Ecuador the day Comey was fired, per Josh Marshall at TPM

Gremlin wrote:

NYT: Manafort Breached Plea Deal by Repeatedly Lying, Mueller Says

WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, repeatedly lied to federal investigators in breach of a plea agreement he signed two months ago, the special counsel’s office said in a court filing late on Monday.

Prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said Mr. Manafort’s “crimes and lies” about “a variety of subject matters” relieve them of all promises they made to him in the plea agreement. But under the terms of the agreement, Mr. Manafort cannot withdraw his guilty plea.

The Guardian: Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy, sources say: Trump ally met WikiLeaks founder months before emails hacked by Russia were published

I sure hope he likes his federal prison accommodations and his maximum sentence.

NBC: Mueller has emails from Stone pal Corsi about WikiLeaks Dem email dump
"Word is (Julian Assange) plans 2 more dumps...Impact planned to be very damaging," Jerome Corsi said in email to Stone, say draft court documents.

Two months before WikiLeaks released emails stolen from the Clinton campaign, right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi sent an email to former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone anticipating the document dump, according to draft court papers obtained by NBC News.

"Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps," Corsi wrote on Aug. 2, 2016, referring to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to the draft court papers. "One shortly after I'm back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging."

The email was revealed in a draft court document, known as a statement of the offense, sent to Corsi by special counsel Robert Mueller's office. Mueller also sent Corsi a draft plea agreement stipulating that the special counsel would not oppose Corsi requesting a sentence of probation if he agreed to plead guilty to one count of lying to federal investigators.

As NBC News reported on Monday, Corsi said he has rejected the deal. He has described Mueller's team as "thugs" and insisted that he did not "intentionally lie" about his communications related to WikiLeaks.

Note that if this is proven, Roger Stone's alibi springs a leak.

Trying to read between the lines on the Manafort lying thing. Is it likely he agreed to cooperate fully/ give damaging testimony on another, bigger, fatter, possibly oranger, target and has reneged on that agreement?

Actually I read it this way. Trump submitted his answers to Mueller’s questions. Manafort lies were the same as Trump’s lies (they share a cooperation agreement and can technically coordinate - seriously). Mueller, having a 3rd source can prove Trump lied and Manafort also lying means he’s no longer cooperating honestly.

And keep in mind, lying to Mueller probably falls under his federal charges rather than his state charges.

So... pardon. It might not matter he's reneged as long as it doesn't change his state deals.

Didn't the plea deal involve an agreement on which Manafort assets would be seized and which he would be allowed to keep?

Seems that violating the deal should mean the government can seize the rest of Manafort's forfeitable assets.

DSGamer wrote:

Actually I read it this way. Trump submitted his answers to Mueller’s questions. Manafort lies were the same as Trump’s lies (they share a cooperation agreement and can technically coordinate - seriously). Mueller, having a 3rd source can prove Trump lied and Manafort also lying means he’s no longer cooperating honestly.

I saw a theory along those lines:

Now, it is true that Trump can pardon Manafort (though that probably won’t happen right away). That’s the only sane explanation for Manafort doing what he did, that he is still certain he’ll be pardoned. But many of these charges can still be charged in state court.

Just about the only explanation for Manafort’s actions are that — as I suggested — Trump was happy to have Manafort serve as a mole in Mueller’s investigation.

But Mueller’s team appears to have no doubt that Manafort was lying to them. That means they didn’t really need his testimony, at all. It also means they had no need to keep secrets — they could keep giving Manafort the impression that he was pulling a fast one over the prosecutors, all while reporting misleading information to Trump that he could use to fill out his open book test. Which increases the likelihood that Trump just submitted sworn answers to those questions full of lies.

So if this person is correct, Manafort was fed false information by the Mueller team that Trump used to answer Mueller's written questions.

Rat Boy wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Actually I read it this way. Trump submitted his answers to Mueller’s questions. Manafort lies were the same as Trump’s lies (they share a cooperation agreement and can technically coordinate - seriously). Mueller, having a 3rd source can prove Trump lied and Manafort also lying means he’s no longer cooperating honestly.

I saw a theory along those lines:

Now, it is true that Trump can pardon Manafort (though that probably won’t happen right away). That’s the only sane explanation for Manafort doing what he did, that he is still certain he’ll be pardoned. But many of these charges can still be charged in state court.

Just about the only explanation for Manafort’s actions are that — as I suggested — Trump was happy to have Manafort serve as a mole in Mueller’s investigation.

But Mueller’s team appears to have no doubt that Manafort was lying to them. That means they didn’t really need his testimony, at all. It also means they had no need to keep secrets — they could keep giving Manafort the impression that he was pulling a fast one over the prosecutors, all while reporting misleading information to Trump that he could use to fill out his open book test. Which increases the likelihood that Trump just submitted sworn answers to those questions full of lies.

So if this person is correct, Manafort was fed false information by the Mueller team that Trump used to answer Mueller's written questions.

...and that would be f*cking brilliant. I mean. That’s a beautiful game there.

Someone actually playing 12-D Chess.

With Trump I am pretty sure you'd just need to play checkers.

LeapingGnome wrote:

With Trump I am pretty sure you'd just need to play checkers.

Connect 4 or tic tac toe more like it.

Hobear wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:

With Trump I am pretty sure you'd just need to play checkers.

Connect 4 or tic tac toe more like it.

SNAP!

*takes all the votes*

Rat Boy wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Actually I read it this way. Trump submitted his answers to Mueller’s questions. Manafort lies were the same as Trump’s lies (they share a cooperation agreement and can technically coordinate - seriously). Mueller, having a 3rd source can prove Trump lied and Manafort also lying means he’s no longer cooperating honestly.

I saw a theory along those lines:

Now, it is true that Trump can pardon Manafort (though that probably won’t happen right away). That’s the only sane explanation for Manafort doing what he did, that he is still certain he’ll be pardoned. But many of these charges can still be charged in state court.

Just about the only explanation for Manafort’s actions are that — as I suggested — Trump was happy to have Manafort serve as a mole in Mueller’s investigation.

But Mueller’s team appears to have no doubt that Manafort was lying to them. That means they didn’t really need his testimony, at all. It also means they had no need to keep secrets — they could keep giving Manafort the impression that he was pulling a fast one over the prosecutors, all while reporting misleading information to Trump that he could use to fill out his open book test. Which increases the likelihood that Trump just submitted sworn answers to those questions full of lies.

So if this person is correct, Manafort was fed false information by the Mueller team that Trump used to answer Mueller's written questions.

And if true it just adds fuel to this bunch being some of the most astoundingly incompetent criminals ever (as in not even the Coen brothers could have come up with this plot line).