[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.

Garrcia wrote:

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).

And yet he will likely be in office another two years, continuing to appoint beer-loving judges and send troops to tear-gas toddlers while tax payers fund his weekly gold trips. #TheGovernmentWeDeserve

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.

Pretty sneaky, sis!

JeffreyLSmith wrote:
Garrcia wrote:

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).

And yet he will likely be in office another two years, continuing to appoint beer-loving judges and send troops to tear-gas toddlers while tax payers fund his weekly gold trips. #TheGovernmentWeDeserve

I have yet to see anything that gives me confidence his remaining time in office isn't six more years.

NYT: Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Charge in Mueller Inquiry Related to Russia Business Deal

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, who pleaded guilty in August to breaking campaign finance laws, made a surprise appearance in a Manhattan courtroom on Thursday morning to plead guilty to a new criminal charge, the latest turn in the special counsel’s investigation of Mr. Trump and his inner circle.

At the court hearing, Mr. Cohen admitted to making false statements to Congress about his efforts to build a Trump Tower deal in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. That real estate deal has been a focus of the special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives.

In written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Cohen played down the extent of his contact with the Kremlin about the potential project and made other false statements about the negotiations, which never led to a final deal.

7. In truth and in fact, and as COHEN well knew, COHEN’s
representations about the Moscow Project he made to SSCI and HPSCI
were false and misleading. COHEN made the false statements to (1)
minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1 and (2)
give the false impression that the Moscow Project ended before
“the Iowa caucus and . . . the very first primary,” in hopes of
limiting the ongoing Russia investigations. COHEN attempted to
conceal or minimize through his false statements the following
facts:

a. The Moscow Project was discussed multiple times within
the Company and did not end in January 2016. Instead,
as late as approximately June 2016, COHEN and
Individual 2 discussed efforts to obtain Russian
governmental approval for the Moscow Project. COHEN
discussed the status and progress of the Moscow
Project with Individual 1 on more than the three
occasions COHEN claimed to the Committee, and he
briefed family members of Individual 1 within the
Company about the project.

b. COHEN agreed to travel to Russia in connection with
the Moscow Project and took steps in contemplation of
Individual 1’s possible travel to Russia. COHEN and
Individual 2 discussed on multiple occasions
traveling to Russia to pursue the Moscow Project.

i. COHEN asked Individual 1 about the possibility
of Individual 1 traveling to Russia in
connection with the Moscow Project, and asked a
senior campaign official about potential
business travel to Russia.

ii. On or about May 4, 2016, Individual 2 wrote to
COHEN, “I had a chat with Moscow. ASSUMING the
trip does happen the question is before or after
the convention . . . Obviously the pre-meeting
trip (you only) can happen anytime you want but
the 2 big guys where [sic] the question. I
said I would confirm and revert.” COHEN
responded, “My trip before Cleveland.
[Individual 1] once he becomes the nominee after
the convention.”

iii. On or about May 5, 2016, Individual 2 followed
up with COHEN and wrote, “[Russian Official 1]
would like to invite you as his guest to the
St. Petersburg Forum which is Russia’s Davos
it’s June 16-19. He wants to meet there with
you and possibly introduce you to either [the
President of Russia] or [the Prime Minister of
Russia], as they are not sure if 1 or both will
be there. . . . He said anything you want to
discuss including dates and subjects are on the
table to discuss.”

iv. On or about May 6, 2016, Individual 2 asked
COHEN to confirm those dates would work for him
to travel. COHEN wrote back, “Works for me.”

v. From on or about June 9 to June 14, 2016,
Individual 2 sent numerous messages to COHEN
about the travel, including forms for COHEN to
complete. However, on or about June 14, 2016,
COHEN met Individual 2 in the lobby of the
Company’s headquarters to inform Individual 2
he would not be traveling at that time.

c. COHEN did recall that in or around January 2016, COHEN
received a response from the office of Russian
Official 1, the Press Secretary for the President of
Russia, and spoke to a member of that office about
the Moscow Project.

i. On or about January 14, 2016, COHEN emailed
Russian Official 1’s office asking for
assistance in connection with the Moscow
Project. On or about January 16, 2016, COHEN
emailed Russian Official 1’s office again, said
he was trying to reach another high-level
Russian official, and asked for someone who
spoke English to contact him.

ii. On or about January 20, 2016, COHEN received an
email from the personal assistant to Russian
Official 1 (“Assistant 1”), stating that she
had been trying to reach COHEN and requesting
that he call her using a Moscow-based phone
number she provided.

iii. Shortly after receiving the email, COHEN called
Assistant 1 and spoke to her for approximately
20 minutes. On that call, COHEN described his
position at the Company and outlined the
proposed Moscow Project, including the Russian
development company with which the Company had
partnered. COHEN requested assistance in
moving the project forward, both in securing
land to build the proposed tower and financing
the construction. Assistant 1 asked detailed
questions and took notes, stating that she would
follow up with others in Russia.

iv. The day after COHEN’s call with Assistant 1,
Individual 2 contacted him, asking for a call.
Individual 2 wrote to COHEN, “It’s about [the
President of Russia] they called today.”

So is "individual 1" Trump?

7. In truth and in fact, and as COHEN well knew, COHEN’s
representations about the Moscow Project he made to SSCI and HPSCI
were false and misleading. COHEN made the false statements to (1)
minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1 and (2)
give the false impression that the Moscow Project ended before
“the Iowa caucus and . . . the very first primary,” in hopes of
limiting the ongoing Russia investigations. COHEN attempted to
conceal or minimize through his false statements the following
facts:

Is individual 2 Don Jr. or Roger Stone perhaps?

“My trip before Cleveland.
[Individual 1] once he becomes the nominee after
the convention.”

Individual 1 is obvious.

I assume JC is right about individual 2. Either.

I had assumed Individual 2 was Paul Manafort.

Deutsche Bank was raided today for money laundering, which was the only financial institution that would work with Trump for a period. And a prominent lawyer that did tax work for Trump for 12 years was also raided today. Both could be unrelated, but that seems unlikely.

BoogtehWoog wrote:

Deutsche Bank was raided today for money laundering, which was the only financial institution that would work with Trump for a period. And a prominent lawyer that did tax work for Trump for 12 years was also raided today. Both could be unrelated, but that seems unlikely.

Let's hope it's related.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
BoogtehWoog wrote:

Deutsche Bank was raided today for money laundering, which was the only financial institution that would work with Trump for a period. And a prominent lawyer that did tax work for Trump for 12 years was also raided today. Both could be unrelated, but that seems unlikely.

Let's hope it's related.

It does not seem to be. The Deutsche Bank raid appears to be part of the investigation into the Panama Papers by the German police. There's no indication what the Feds are looking for in Burke's office(s). Since they're both vaguely tax related I suppose there could be a connection but it seems far fetched without knowing more.

Edit: Wasn't there a Netherlands wiretap of a Russian mafia guy that was turned over to Mueller at one point? I can't find the link for it. Nothing to say Mueller won't benefit from something seized during this raid!

I think Individual 2 is Felix Sater.

On the back of reporting like this.

So if we finally bag Trump and his crew can we have Obama come up to the podium and start with. We got him.... Just like he did with Bin Laden?

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyers for President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, say he should be spared prison for crimes he committed in an abundance of enthusiasm for his ex-boss, and they portrayed him to a judge as a hero for cooperating in a probe Trump has “regularly questioned publicly and stridently.”

The lawyers said in court papers filed in New York late Friday that Cohen, 52, has cooperated extensively with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and New York state investigators who brought a civil lawsuit against the Trump Organization and individuals, including Trump.

They cited the fact he met with Mueller’s team in “seven voluntary interview meetings” that began even before he pleaded guilty on Aug. 21 to campaign finance and bank frauds, among other charges, and continued through late November.
“Michael’s decision to cooperate and take full responsibility for his own conduct well reflects his personal resolve, notwithstanding past errors, to re-point his internal compass true north toward a productive, ethical and thoroughly law abiding life,” his lawyers wrote.

IMAGE(https://media1.tenor.com/images/228549521b7dfcf7db8df02be45a6c48/tenor.gif?itemid=9494350)

Wait; does being a villain and then turning on the villains that you villained with when you’re absolutely nailed to a wall now make you a hero?

2018, folks. We couldn’t make this stuff up (and have it be viewed as anything other than pulp, and lazy pulp at that).

The Latest: Putin's Spokesman Displays Trump Lawyer's Emails

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman has displayed what he says are two emails from President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer asking for help getting the Trump Tower Moscow project off the ground.

It’s easy to forget that we have to back o the beginning, to the events that led to Flynn’s indictment, to understand where we are today. The news cycle moves on from event to event, but the Mueller investigation is building a case based on everything, even events we have long since forgot about. It’s insane how much information we have, and how the absolute mountain of evidence makes I hard to see I as one giant puzzle instead of many scandals. This segment does a pretty awesome job of putting all these pieces together.

This is a perfect refresher before we head into this next phase of the Russia investigation. It also provides hope that Mueller will be able to sell this crime to the American people. This does not require any stretches of the imagination.

Thanks for sharing that, Jayhawker. It's a petty solid summary of the high points (as it were) of what we know at this point.

One thing that stands out to me, though, is the comparatively small amounts of money talked about so far. You kinda end up hoping there's more to it than the Trump Moscow deal for a few hundred million.

But one thing that some of the reporters I've been following for all of this keep pointing out is that Trump & family are bad at even this. They basically jetted around the world cutting shady business deals for chump change. If anyone were going to sell out the country for a single hotel, it'd be Trump.

Imma put on my shocked face. Hold on. Where did I leave it?

Yeah, at some point it just really sunk in that we are in this mess because Trump is a greedy, small-minded asshole. All Russia had to do was make him believe he was going to have a tall building in Moscow, and then lead him along the way to help make that happen, which meant going along with their plan to have him installed as president.

And now we have a significant portion of the GOP base thinking that Russia is totes the best ally ever, so it doesn't even matter that Trump was in on the break-in. Nixon was different, because it was Republicans that broke into the Watergate Hotel. In Trump's case, it was okay because it was just foreign nation, a hostile power, at that, that did the deed for him.

It will be interesting to see how the nation responds, once these charges are more formalized. Is it going to persuade the Senate to convict? Will it be overwhelming enough that GOP senators take him down?

And can we get some mud on Pence already? All I need is President Pelosi for my Russian Meddling Bingo card.

I think Trump was involved long before then. The longer this goes the more I believe Adam Davidson’s theory that this is all about Sistema.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Imma put on my shocked face. Hold on. Where did I leave it?

IMAGE(https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/093/183/ab0.gif)

If you go on Twitter and see a whole bunch of redacted documents talking about the Avengers 4 trailer or the Captain Picard show, now you know where the meme started.

Jayhawker wrote:

And can we get some mud on Pence already? All I need is President Pelosi for my Russian Meddling Bingo card.

Former national security advisor Michael Flynn has given special counsel Robert Mueller "first-hand" details of contacts between President Donald Trump's transition team and Russian government officials, a bombshell court document filed Tuesday says.

Hey, anyone happen to remember who was the head of the transition team? Some guy named Mike something.

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dtns4WvUcAEWh22?format=jpg&name=orig)

DSGamer wrote:

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dtns4WvUcAEWh22?format=jpg&name=orig)

Why we gotta bring Oukast into this mess?

Sounds like someone is getting coal in their stockings this Christmas.

NPR: All The Criminal Charges To Emerge So Far From Robert Mueller's Investigation

My summary:

Manafort:
Found guilty of 8 federal charges, mistrial on 10 more. (August 2018)
Plead guilty to conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice. (September 2018)
Special Counsel Says Paul Manafort 'Breached' Plea Deal, Lied to FBI (November 2018)

Michael Cohen:
Plead guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of falsifying submissions to a bank and two campaign finance violations. (August 2018)
Plead guilty to lying to Congress. (November 2018)
Sentencing hearing schedule for September 12th.

W. Samuel Patten:
Pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign agent. (August 2018)

Rick Gates:
Plead guilty to financial fraud and lying to federal investigators. Other charges were dropped when he agreed to cooperate. Testified against Manafort.

Alex van der Zwann:
Pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. (February 2018, 30 days in prison and $20K fine.)

Richard Pinedo:
Pleaded guilty to identity fraud. (February 2018, six months in prison, six months of home confinement, 100 hours of community service)

Michael Flynn:
Plead guilty to one count of making false statements. (December 2017)

George Papadopoulos:
Plead guilty on one count of making false statements. (October 2017, in September 2018 sentenced to 14 days in prison)

Twelve Russian Intelligence Officers:
Indicted: unlikely to be extradited. (July 2018)

Konstantin Kilimnik
Indicted: Believed to be living in Russia. (June 2018)

Internet Research Agency, 13 Russian Internet trolls, etc.
Indicted: Also in Russia, also unlikely to be extradited. (February 2018)