12:36 PM 10/16/2017 – Surveillance Reform: The Fourth Amendments Long, Slow, Goodbye

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9/11

It was the invisible and probably more significant than the physical destruction: the attack on the American collective psyche, the soul of the people, on the society’s sense of invulnerability, stability, prosperity, and the purposeful, progressive direction. We deal with these sequelae of the country’s posttraumatic stress syndrome, in its various and still poorly understood manifestations every day, from personal to the governmental levels. The increased distrust and paranoia of the mass surveillance apparently made it only worse, and this approach does not appear to help in solving the problem. 

Michael Novakhov

10.16.17

Image: The NSA’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland/Getty

“Sixteen years after creating the biggest unconstitutional mass surveillance dragnet in American history, we have documentary evidence—from the federal government’s own records—of repeated, systemic abuses of these authorities. We also know they’re costing taxpayers, whose digital communications are swept up by these programs, tens of millions of dollars annually. What we don’t have is any public evidence that these surveillance practices have made us safer.”  creating the biggest unconstitutional mass surveillance dragnet in American history, we have documentary evidence—from the federal government’s own records—of repeated, systemic abuses of these authorities. We also know they’re costing taxpayers, whose digital communications are swept up by these programs, tens of millions of dollars annually. What we don’t have is any public evidence that these surveillance practices have made us safer.” 

Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts

Trump Investigations Report from mikenova (18 sites)
FBI News Review: 12:12 PM 10/16/2017 FBI: Oh, by the way, we just found 30 pages of information about the Clinton/Lynch tarmac meeting
Canada Free Press (blog) FBI: Oh, by the way, we just found 30 pages of information about the Clinton/Lynch tarmac meeting Canada Free Press (blog) As a result, your [FOIA] request has been reopened (Surprisingly, the Trump Justice … The meeting occurred during the then-ongoing investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s email server, and mere hours before the Benghazi report was released publicly …FBI News Review

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Trump Investigations Report: 12:03 PM 10/16/2017 How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election Axios
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michael flynn – Google News: Ivanka Trump reportedly took over one of Chris Christie’s transition team meetings and asked Michael Flynn what job … – Business Insider
Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Don’t Reform Section 702 Just for the Sake of Reform
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Just Security: National Security-Related Congressional Hearings, October 16-21
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trump and putin – Google News: UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands – KXII-TV
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putin and trump – Google News: UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands – WSAZ-TV
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FBI politicization – Google News: Opinion: We must stop politicizing tragedy – The Ledger
michael flynn – Google News: Report: Trump Joked Pence ‘Wants to Hang’ Gays – Daily Beast
trump under federal investigation – Google News: Supreme Court to intervene over privacy of Trump administration, emails and Microsoft servers – PBS NewsHour
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organized crime and intelligence – Google News: ASEAN’s anti-terror coordination problem – Global Risk Insights (blog)

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Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Firm Behind Trump-Russia Dossier Balks at House Subpoena – Bloomberg
Russia tried to use Pokemon Go to stoke racial tensions in the US – Fox News
Yahoo: Russian trolls watched ‘House of Cards’ to learn about US politics – CNN
Firm behind Trump-Russia dossier balks at House subpoena – Washington Post
Timeline of Trump and Obstruction of Justice: Key Dates and Events
Supreme Court to intervene over privacy of Trump administration, emails and Microsoft servers – PBS NewsHour
Opinion: We must stop politicizing tragedy – The Ledger
UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands – KXII-TV
The apprentice president – Emporia Gazette
National Security-Related Congressional Hearings, October 16-21
Donald Trump risks repeating the errors made in the run up to the invasion of Iraq – The Independent (blog)
Putin Trump – Google News: UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands – WILX-TV
Don’t Reform Section 702 Just for the Sake of Reform
11:55 AM 10/16/2017 TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION from The Early Edition: October 16, 2017
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What Melania Trump could learn from Monica Lewinsky – Chicago Tribune
Republican lawmakers’ troubles deepen as Koch donors and Bannon take aim – Los Angeles Times
Inside the ‘adult day-care center’: How aides try to control and coerce Trump – Washington Post
Russia Funding Taliban in War Against NATO Troops – TOLOnews
Trump allies worry that losing the House means impeachment – CNN
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How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election – Axios
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Manafort Got $60 Million from Russian Oligarch – Patheos (blog)

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Trump Investigations Report: 12:03 PM 10/16/2017 How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election Axios
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Business Insider
Ivanka Trump reportedly took over one of Chris Christie’s transition team meetings and asked Michael Flynnwhat job …
Business Insider
Ivanka Trump once “took over” one of Chris Christie’s transition team meetings last fall and essentially told Michael Flynn that he could have whatever job he wanted because of his “amazing loyalty” to her father, President Donald Trump, The New Yorker …

michael flynn – Google News

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Don’t Reform Section 702 Just for the Sake of Reform
Last week on our Foreign Policy feed, we wrote about how the USA Liberty Act, which is the House Judiciary Committee’s proposal to reauthorize the Section 702 surveillance program, takes for granted that a “clean reauthorization” is impossible and imposes reforms for the sake of reform. The piece begins:What happens when you start with panicky civil libertarians, sprinkle in some right-wing conspiracy theories about unmasking intelligence, and polish it off with a healthy dose of congressional dysfunction and a self-imposed legislative deadline? You get bad surveillance policy in the name of reform. Dont look now, but thats whats shaping up in Congress at this moment.

In a little less than three months, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which authorizes the government to monitor, without an individualized warrant, the communications of non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be overseas is set to expire. Section 702 is a very big deal; it cannot be allowed to expire for any length of time without real damage to ongoing intelligence operations. So the closer we get to the sunset, the more opportunity there is to include mischievous reforms that the intelligence community simply has to accept everyone knows the intelligence community would rather take some very bitter pills than lose a program it needs to accomplish its mission.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee introduced legislation to reauthorize the 702 authority, but it included a number of changes including a few that are quite significant. No, this bill isnt the worst thing in the world. The sky isnt falling. And plenty of other proposals to reform 702 would inflict far more serious harms than this one would. But its not a good bill either. It would make the FBIs job harder for no good reason. It responds to imagined risks, rather than real abuses.

The Judiciary Committee bill is the product of an endeavor that was flawed from the outset. Its drafters were operating from the apparent premise that while 702 is a critical national security authority that must be preserved, a clean reauthorization of it without changes is currently a political impossibility. Why is that? Liberals and civil libertarians have always had anxieties about 702. Libertarian conservatives and tea party types have more recently joined the fray. Over the last year, the fraudulent unmasking controversy most of which has nothing to do with 702 has stoked these anxieties. And lots of people have instinctive difficulty vesting powerful authorities in the hands of the intelligence community under President Donald Trump. The House Judiciary Committee is one of the Houses more polarized committees, so the apparent goal was to thread the needles and draft a bipartisan bill that might satisfy calls for reform while minimizing operational impacts. And if it passes the Judiciary Committee, the bill has a good chance to become law.

If you accept the premise that precluded a clean reauthorization, the committees bill is a decent though far from perfect effort.

We dont accept the premise, however, but start with a different one: This is an already dense and complicated area of law in which it is tough for national security operators to do their jobs. To make it denser and more complicated, you need a reason. Reform for reforms sake is not a good enough reason to add complexity.

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

Donald Trump – Google News: Newly Surfaced Video Reveals Donald Trump Boasting About Hiring ‘Beautiful’ Teenage Waitress – PEOPLE.com

PEOPLE.com
Newly Surfaced Video Reveals Donald Trump Boasting About Hiring ‘Beautiful’ Teenage Waitress
PEOPLE.com
A newly uncovered video of Donald Trump from before he was president shows the former businessman bragging about hiring a teenage waitress just because she was so pretty. In the footage unearthed by NowThis, Trump is shown lecturing at a seminar, …
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UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands
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The White House said that in South Korea, Trump will meet with President Moon Jae-in and “call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea.” In Japan, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and 
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1. Trump Circles: Elections from mikenova (16 sites)

trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Donald Trump risks repeating the errors made in the run up to the invasion of Iraq – The Independent (blog)

The Independent (blog)
Donald Trump risks repeating the errors made in the run up to the invasion of Iraq
The Independent (blog)
But the language that Mr Trump is using is dangerous, just as the language he is using about North Korea is verydangerous, things can get out of control. And we have a situation where Trump is refusing to accept what the UN is saying that Iran is and more »

trump as danger to National Security – Google News

Just Security: National Security-Related Congressional Hearings, October 16-21
Just Security

Tuesday, October 17

10:00am Senate Committee of the Judiciary Nominations: Gregory G. Katsas to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit; Jeffrey Uhlman Beaverstock to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama; Emily Coody Marks to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama; Brett Joseph Talley to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama; Holly Lou Teeter to be United States District Judge for the District of Kansas (here)

2:30pm Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Nomination of Christopher Sharpley to be Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency (here)

Wednesday, October 18

10:00am Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Nominations: Jeff T.H. Pon to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management; Michael J. Rigas to be Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management; Emily W. Murphy to be Administrator of the General Services Administration (here)

10:00am Senate Committee of the Judiciary Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice (here)

2:30pm Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Nominations: Mr. Thomas L. Carter of South Carolina for the Rank of Ambassador during his Tenure of Service as Representative of the United States of America on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization; Ms. Jennifer Gillian Newstead of New York to be Legal Adviser of the Department of State; Ms. Manisha Singh of Florida to be an Assistant Secretary Of State (Economic And Business Affairs) (here)

2:30pm Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee Broken Beakers: Federal Support for Research (here)

 

Thursday, October 19

9:30am Senate Committee on Armed Services Roles and Responsibilities for Defending the Nation from Cyber Attack (here)

10:30am Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Modernizing the Food for Peace Program (here)

Read on Just Security »

Just Security

analysis of trump electorate – Google News: The apprentice president – Emporia Gazette
The apprentice president
Emporia Gazette
A New York Times analysis concludes that Trump and his heirs would enjoy a $1.1 billion windfall under his tax plan. Fairy dust has infected the administration’s … “Donald Trump got elected with minority support from the American electorate, and most and more »

analysis of trump electorate – Google News

trump and putin – Google News: UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands – KXII-TV

KXII-TV
UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands
KXII-TV
The White House said that in South Korea, Trump will meet with President Moon Jae-in and “call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea.” In Japan, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and and more »

trump and putin – Google News

Putin Trump – Google News: UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands – KXII-TV

KXII-TV
UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands
KXII-TV
The White House said that in South Korea, Trump will meet with President Moon Jae-in and “call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea.” In Japan, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and 
How history readied Putin to disrupt the US electionAxios
Vladimir Putin’s bored — life is too easyUPI.com
Why are Russian media outlets hyping the Mueller investigation?The Conversation US
Express.co.uk –Gears Of Biz
all 31 news articles »

Putin Trump – Google News

putin and trump – Google News: UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands – WSAZ-TV

WSAZ-TV
UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands
WSAZ-TV
The White House said that in South Korea, Trump will meet with President Moon Jae-in and “call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea.” In Japan, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and 
How history readied Putin to disrupt the US electionAxios
Vladimir Putin’s bored — life is too easyUPI.com
Why are Russian media outlets hyping the Mueller investigation?Midland Daily News
Express.co.uk –Gears Of Biz
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putin and trump – Google News

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: The Week That Will Be
Event Announcements (More details on the Events Calendar)Tuesday, October 17 at 10:00 am: The New America Foundation will hold an event with the American Bar Associations Standing Committee on Law and National Security and Pitt Cyber titled Old Laws and New Technology: How Can We Keep Up? Former U.S. Attorney Paul Hickton will give the keynote address. A panel featuring Paul Cohen, Harvey Rishikof, Ian Wallace, and Kiersten Todt will follow. RSVP.

Tuesday, October 17 at 3:30 pm: The Georgetown Laws Center on National Security and the Law will host an event on Unpacking the Trump-Russia Investigations. Carol Bruce, Mieke Eoyang, Adam Entous and M. Tia Johnson will take part in a panel discussion. RSVP here and see more details here.

Wednesday, October 18 at 10:00 am: The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a book talk on Lawrence Freedmans The Future of War: A History. Kathleen Hicks and Mark Moyar will discuss the book with Freedman. Register or watch the live webcast.

Wednesday, October 18 at 10:00 am: Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a Department of Justice oversight hearing. Location: Hart Senate Office Building 216. More details hereLawfare will post a livestream of the hearing.

Thursday, October 19 at 4:30 pm: Lawfare and the Brookings Institution will host a screening of the documentary Icarus followed by a discussion on What Icarus Tells Us about Russias Meddling in International Affairs. Director Bryan Fogel will join a panel with producer Dan Cogan, Benjamin Wittes, Strobe Talbott, and Julia Ioffe. Register to attend.

 

Employment Announcements (More details on the Job Board)

 

Cyber Initiative and Special Projects Fellow, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is seeking a Cyber Initiative and Special Projects Fellow, a three-year fixed term position, to be based in Menlo Park, California.

About the Foundation

The Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For 50 years, the foundation has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve lives and livelihood in developing countries, promote the health and economic well-being of women, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities, and make the philanthropy sector more effective. The Hewlett Foundations assets are more than $9 billion with annual awards of grants totaling more than $400 million. More information about the Hewlett Foundation is available at: www.hewlett.org.

About the Position

As the job title suggests, the Cyber Initiative and Special Projects Program Fellow will play an integral role in two distinct grantmaking efforts housed in the foundation Presidents office.

The fellow will work closely with the Program Officer for The Cyber Initiative, who will provide the fellow with direction on the Initiatives grantmaking activities. Launched in March 2014, the goal of the Initiative (and its $70 million grantmaking budget) is to build a capable field of cyber policy experts and expertise. The Cyber Initiative takes a broad view of cyber policy to include issues ranging from encryption to net neutrality to Internet governance to cyber conflict. Moreover, the 2016 election dramatically raised awareness about cybersecurity and democratic institutionshighlighting new needs, but also creating new opportunities.

Working directly with Foundation President, Larry Kramer, the fellow will help shape and implement grantmaking for the Special Projects portfolio. Special Projects grants are diverse ranging from support for public broadcasting to exploration of artificial intelligence and the future of work — sometimes ad hoc, and require nimble and thoughtful attention to detail and execution. They strive to promote internal collaboration between different foundation programs, external collaboration with other funders, and/or discrete opportunities outside of the foundations core interest areas.

This position presents a unique opportunity to engage in both the strategic and tactical aspects of grantmaking under the Cyber Initiative and Special Projects program. As such, the fellow must be comfortable working across a changing and evolving landscape of work and juggling multiple projects at the same time.

The broad goals and responsibilities for the fellow are:

  • Partner with the Cyber Initiative team to implement the Initiatives strategy, evaluate potential grantees, suggest new grant awards to the Foundation president and board, and manage its grants portfolio.
  • Work with the Cyber Initiative team to evaluate the effectiveness of its grantmaking, monitor its progress, and recommend strategy improvements.
  • Work with the foundation president to plan and execute Special Projects grants.
  • Manage the Special Projects budget, tracking all active and planned grants and other funding commitments.
  • Manage relationships and communications with grantees and serve as their primary point of contact.
  • Represent the foundation at meetings with key stakeholders from civil society, government, the private sector, and academia.
  • Attend and represent the foundation at external events, including speaking on panels.
  • Follow the cyber policy debate globally, stay abreast of trends and developments, and identify new opportunities for the foundations grant-making.
  • Travel to conduct site visits and attend conferences.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

Candidates should exhibit the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Experience:

  • An undergraduate or advanced degree as appropriate in law, policy, business, computer science, engineering, or related disciplines (preferred).
  • Demonstrated interest and work experience in areas relevant to the Cyber Initiative.
  • Excellent research and critical thinking skills and ability to conceptualize, think creatively, and thoughtfully approach assigned projects.
  • Demonstrated capability to process and present complex information (both quantitative and qualitative) in a compelling manner both orally and in writing.
  • Proficiency with technology tools and applications including MS Office.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Willingness and interest in work travel to conduct site visits and participate in relevant conferences and meetings.

Personal Attributes:

  • Possess an open-minded curiosity and willingness to carry out both substantive and administrative tasks.
  • Passionate commitment to the values and mission of the Hewlett Foundation.
  • Poise and comfort representing the foundation externally and engaging a diverse array of partner organizations.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to pay attention to details, along with a demonstrated track record of consistently meeting deadlines.
  • Independent initiative, a sense of humor, and a collegial spirit in sharing ideas and receiving feedback. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively.
  • Personal integrity, excellent judgment and flexibility.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.

Compensation

Compensation for the Fellow, Presidents Office includes a competitive salary, and an excellent package of health and other employee benefits.

Physical Demands/Work Environment

The physical demands described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to sit for extended periods of time and to travel via various modes of transportation for extended periods of time.

To Apply:

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at resumes@explorecompany.com. Refer to Hewlett/SPF in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.

All correspondence will remain confidential.

Legal Intern – International Humanitarian Law (Spring and Summer 2018), The International Committee of the Red Cross

FUNCTION DESCRIPTION

Intern International Humanitarian Law

OBJECTIVE:  The Intern in the IHL Department at the Washington Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provides research and writing on topics of IHL, other branches of international law, and U.S. law as needed, thus contributing to the thematic and operational priorities of the legal team.

Minimum required knowledge & experience:

  • Basic knowledge of IHL and a related legal field (e.g. National Security or Human Rights Law).
  • Excellent oral and written English skills, good understanding of French an asset
  • Currently pursuing a U.S. J.D. or LLM degree (or JD graduate pursuing another graduate degree)
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents (student work permits are excluded)

JOB DESCRIPTION

Main Responsibilities

Work with the IHL team to provide legal advice to the delegation in Washington, and to the ICRC as a whole on matters of IHL, human rights law, national security law, or other U.S. legal issues.

  1. Research and Writing. Research such topics as scope of application of IHL, detention, conduct of hostilities, cyber/new technology and weapons, and other related topics.  Possibility of authoring articles or other short pieces for the ICRCs U.S. blog (intercrossblog.icrc.org).
  2. Monitor Legal Developments Regular monitoring of legal blogs and news coverage to identify significant legal developments of interest to the delegation.  In addition to research, the intern will attend conferences and meetings in order to monitor developments on specific legal issues on behalf of the legal team.
  3. Reporting. Regular and timely reporting and analysis on meetings and events attended, as well as a weekly report on any relevant legal developments reported in external sources such as legal blogs.  Reports are written for the purpose of ensuring the institution is informed of developments in U.S. policy, as well as to advance its thinking on key issues.

Management and Reporting Line. The IHL Intern reports directly to the IHL Legal Advisor.  He/she is expected to collaborate with colleagues throughout the delegation in order to carry out these and other reasonably related duties.

For the spring semster, the intern will be expected to work 20 hours a week for 12 weeks between January and May. For the summer, the intern will be expected to work 40 hours a week for 12 weeks between May and August. Starting and ending date are negotiable.  This is a paid internship.  For information about the position, please contact Andrea Harrison at anharrison@icrc.org.  To apply, please send CV and optional cover letter to Mackenzie Chernushin at mchernushin@icrc.org. Applications are due October 31, 2017.

Congressional Nuclear Security Fellowship, Nuclear Security Working Group at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs

The Nuclear Security Working Group at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs is seeking applications for its 2018-2019 Congressional Nuclear Security Fellowship program.

Fellows will spend one year (January 2018 January 2019) working in a designated House or Senate office. Stipends range from $45,000 to $80,000 depending on qualifications. We will award up to six Fellowships this year.

Fellows duties will include supporting the priorities and activities of House and Senate offices and organizing bipartisan briefings and events on timely national and nuclear security issues for Members and staff. Fellows will also help develop relationships with the broader security policy community for their respective offices.

This is an excellent opportunity for promising scholars and policy practitioners who may be transitioning to mid-career or for any outstanding professional seeking to contribute to and gain valuable experience in the legislative branch.

Details about eligibility requirements and instructions about how to apply are available on the NSWG website at this link: http://nuclearsecurityworkinggroup.org/nuclear-security-working-group-congressional-fellowship-now-accepting-applications/.

Please help us circulate this information about this important opportunity to your friends and colleagues. We much appreciate your help in identifying and encouraging exceptional candidates.

Applications will be accepted until October 31, 2017. Finalists will be interviews in person. Fellows must be ready to begin work by early January 2018 and must be willing to commit for a full calendar year.

Any questions should be directed to nswg@email.gwu.edu.

Markle Director for Policy (Rework America Task Force)

Background

A defining challenge of our time is ensuring that all Americans are included in the benefits of the digital economy as automation and technology transform the workforce in unprecedented fashion. After more than a decade of work in health and national security, the Markle Foundation created Skillful, an initiative with LinkedIn, the state of Colorado and others to create a skills-based labor market. Launched in 2016, Skillful is centered on the skills job seekers have, not the degrees. Skillful is enabling Americans, including the nearly seven out of 10 American adults who do not have a college degree, to learn the skills needed for todays rapidly changing jobs. To learn more see www.Skillful.com.

Building on Skillfuls progress, Markles Rework America Task Force will be a national-level, non-partisan and multi-stakeholder effort to drive clear policy objectives and initiatives to support a skills-based labor market. It will serve as an incubator for fresh ideas, new collaborations, shovel-ready proposals and proliferation of best practices including leveraging data to bring transparency to the labor market. Ideas from the task force will be offered to help inform the actions of federal and state policymakers, employers, technology providers and other influential labor market players. We intend for the Task Force to engage in and support the much-needed broad-based, long-term national conversation about how the technological revolution can serve all Americans in the new economy.

Job Summary and Responsibilities

The Director for Policy will be responsible for providing the Rework America Task Force chair, Task Force members and associated Working Groups with substantive guidance and policy advice surrounding U.S. labor market trends, related impacts of automation and technological advancements, workforce management, worker education and upskilling, and employer matching with needed skilled labor. The incumbent will drive deliverables from the Task Force that will support the Task Force mission of enabling all Americans continued access to the American Dream. The principal responsibilities include:

  • Participate in developing the substantive underpinnings for Task Force objectives. Prepare materials, engage experts, supervise work product development and deliverables.
  • Provide advice and assistance to the RATF Chair, in the form of written products, research, articles for publication and RATF meeting materials, as directed.
  • Provide policy expertise and substantive direction to RATF Working Groups, guiding their outputs consistent with the goals of the RATF generally and the RATF Chair, specifically.
  • Conduct outreach to experts, policymakers, and other relevant actors to inform RATF objectives and outcomes.
  • Support preparation for the Task Force meetings and those of its associated Advisory Board.
  • Collaborate with Task Force staff and contractors as necessary to ensure appropriate subject matter expertise is available to Task Force members and Working Groups.
  • Support the development of materials and deliverables for multiple convenings both in person and virtually in terms of timeliness milestones, interdependencies and other elements.
  • Identify opportunities for the Task Force to engage in the national debate surrounding the future of work and ways to incentivize change in the U.S. labor market.

Required Competencies

  • Substantive knowledge of workforce, labor market and related national-level policy issues
  • Possesses strong organization skills, with ability to multitask and manage several work streams, partners / vendors, and projects at any one time
  • Writing: Demonstrated ability to write clearly and concisely for a variety of audiences.
  • Active learner: Positive attitude with an openness and willingness to learn. Demonstrates ability to receive and apply feedback and continues to improve.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills: Emanates a collaborative demeanor that builds rapport and establishes credibility with partners. Applies critical interpersonal and judgment skills to affect outcomes. Has complete comfort and confidence in offering helpful advice and counsel to colleagues at all levels. Is a team player.
  • Communication skills: Demonstrated ability to clearly convey summary data from multiple sources as a set of findings. Comfortable speaking in public settings.

Preferred Competencies:

  • General professional experience: 10-20 years of working experience
  • Experience in leading multi-sector collaborative processes including development of specific, actionable recommendations, such as policy proposal, pilot projects, impact assessments, etc.
  • Displays an intellectual curiosity and passion for the mission at hand.
  • Analytics experience: Ability to summarize detailed data, identify trends, and draw insights from the data. Able to make recommendations based on conclusions.
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive and lead in a small, analytically rigorous organization that values direct, honest, and respectful transfer of ideas.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset: Possesses a natural instinct to seek out the next challenge and think outside constraints and get things done. Operates with a clear sense of purpose while being comfortable with ambiguity and change.

Job Details

  • Location: New York, NY or Washington, D.C.
  • Title: Director
  • Report: Senior Principal
  • Status: Full-time
  • Salary: Competitive
  • Travel: Moderate
  • Degree or credential Requirements:  None.
  • Markle is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  All applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression age, physical or mental ability, veteran status, military obligations and marital status.
  • Applying: Please submit cover letter and resume to: DirPolicy-RATF@markle.org

Markle

The Rework America Task Force and Skillful are projects of the Markle Foundation (www.markle.org), whose mission is to identify intractable problems, invest seed capital to incubate and test solutions, harness the power of technology and innovation, and build strategic partnerships to achieve scale and generate broad social impact. While Markles work has evolved through the years, its mission to meet the needs of the American people has endured. Currently, Markle is engaged in a nationwide initiative aimed at driving innovations that expand opportunities for employment and broaden ways for all Americans to learn and train for the work of the future.

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

FBI politicization – Google News: Opinion: We must stop politicizing tragedy – The Ledger
Opinion: We must stop politicizing tragedy
The Ledger
Perhaps the most famous case in the past two decades is the Patriot Act. Shortly after 9/11, congress implemented and passed the Patriot Act. This act allowed three-letter agencies such as the NSA or the FBI to expand their power and ability to

FBI politicization – Google News

michael flynn – Google News: Report: Trump Joked Pence ‘Wants to Hang’ Gays – Daily Beast

Daily Beast
Report: Trump Joked Pence ‘Wants to Hang’ Gays
Daily Beast
Michael Flynn into a meeting being run by then-transition leader Chris Christie. According to Mayer, Christie tried to reclaim control of the meeting, but Ivanka took over. Praising Flynn’s ‘amazing loyalty to my father,’ she turned to him and asked and more »

michael flynn – Google News

trump under federal investigation – Google News: Supreme Court to intervene over privacy of Trump administration, emails and Microsoft servers – PBS NewsHour

PBS NewsHour
Supreme Court to intervene over privacy of Trump administration, emails and Microsoft servers
PBS NewsHour
In 2013, federal investigators obtained a warrant under a 1986 law for emails from an account they believe was being used in illegal drug transactions as well as identifying information about the user of the email account. Microsoft turned over the 
Justices to Hear Government’s Email Dispute With MicrosoftU.S. News & World Report
Supreme Court to consider major digital privacy case on Microsoft email storageWashington Postall 34 news articles »

trump under federal investigation – Google News

Russian Intelligence services – Google News: Clinton calls Assange ‘a tool of Russian intelligence’ – Politico

CNN
Clinton calls Assange ‘a tool of Russian intelligence’
Politico
WikiLeaks has come under fired from the intelligence community and drawn the scrutiny of ongoing congressional probes into 2016 Russian election interference. CIA Director Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service” and former FBI …
Clinton brands WikiLeaks boss ‘tool of Russian intelligenceMiami Herald
Assange hits back at ‘cold and creepy’ Clinton9news.com.au
Hillary Clinton says Julian Assange colluded with Russia to help Donald Trump win US election – Donald Trump’s …ABC
The Guardian –The Guardian –Twitter
all 115 news articles »

Russian Intelligence services – Google News

Trump and the Mob – Google News: No, There’s No Excuse for ‘Conservative’ Shout-Downs – National Review

National Review
No, There’s No Excuse for ‘Conservative’ Shout-Downs
National Review
As Stanley Kurtz noted on Friday, pro-Trump protesters shouted-down California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and California State Assembly Leader Ian Calderon during an appearance at California’s Whittier College. This is a terrible development. Thus and more »

Trump and the Mob – Google News

Just Security: Timeline of Trump and Obstruction of Justice: Key Dates and Events
Artin Afkhami

Did President Donald Trump or other U.S. officials engage in an obstruction of justice with respect to the Russia investigation? There are three scenarios which raise that question. Its important to keep each of them in mind as one thinks about incriminating and exculpatory information, and patterns of related behavior.

Before setting out each scenario and then the Timeline, it may bear reminding that under U.S. federal criminal law, the definition of obstruction of justice includes anyone who corruptly or by any threatening letter or communication endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede a criminal investigation. According to the U.S. Attorneys Manual, even a mere attempt to pursue those ends is enough for obstruction, regardless of whether the attempt succeeds. The criminal standard matters if prosecutors were ever to consider pressing charges while Trump is President (a period in which he may be immune from indictment) or after he leaves office. The federal definition could also serve as a background for impeachment proceedings, although Congress would not be tied to the strict definitions of existing criminal law. Finally, there is always the court of public opinion.

What are the three scenarios that prosecutors, members of Congress, and the public could consider under the heading of obstruction of justice?

First, any attempts to unlawfully have FBI Director James Comey drop the investigation of Michael Flynn Second, any attempts to unlawfully interfere with FBI or congressional investigations into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election Third, any attempts to unlawfully interfere with the FBI or congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election (having nothing to do with any alleged collusion)It is also important to keep in mind that one form of obstruction may be in getting officials to drop an investigation (which is very difficult to ever pick back up) and another form may be in firing officials with authority over the investigation.

The following is a Timeline of events that could be relevant to considerations of the obstruction of justice. It adheres as much as possible to the most directly relevant information, but also includes some other evidence that may be relevant to investigators who are looking for patterns of behavior (for example, Trumps treatment of Preet Bharara).

Timeline

Late July 2016 According to the New York Times and later confirmed by former FBI Director James Comey, the FBI begins investigating the Russian governments attempts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. The investigation includes examining whether Donald Trumps presidential campaign was connected to those efforts. The catalyst for the FBI investigation includes Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Pages trip to Moscow to deliver a pro-Russia foreign policy speech at a prestigious Russian institute that same month.

Dec. 29, 2016 In retaliation for Russian interference in the election, the Obama administration ordersthe expulsion of Russian intelligence agents and imposes new sanctions on Russian state agencies and individuals suspected of hacking U.S. computer systems. The CIA and FBI had previously concluded that Russia had interfered in the election multiple times including leaking damaging information to assist the Trump campaign.

Jan. 6, 2017 According to Senate testimony by James Comey, he first meets Trump at Trump Tower on this date as part of an Intelligence Community assessment briefing on Russian election interference. After the meeting ends, Comey meets with Trump privately and assures Trump he is not beingpersonally investigated. He writes a memo about the meeting after he returns to his car. Later testifying to Congress Comey says, I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document.

Jan. 6, 2017 The New York Times reports that the IC concluded in its assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, initially seeking to weaken Hillary Clinton, but later developing a clear preference for Trump. The Times reports that at the IC assessment meeting earlier that morning, Trump responded by acknowledging, for the first time, that Russia had sought to hack into the Democratic National Committees computer systems,but asserted that these activities did not influence the elections outcome, and he did not address the IC conclusion that Putin had favored his campaign.

Jan. 19, 2017 The New York Times first reports that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies are conducting a counterintelligence investigation into links between Russian officials and Trump associates. The investigation centers partly on past business dealings between Trump advisers and Russia. The FBI is leading the investigation, alongside the CIA, NSA, and the Treasury Departments financial crimes unit. The associates under investigation include former campaign manager Paul Manafort and advisers Carter Page and Roger Stone.

Jan. 27, 2017 According to Comeys testimony, Trump invites Comey to what he believes will be a group dinner at the White House, but which turns out to be a private dinner meeting with the then-FBI Director. Trump asks whether Comey wants to remain FBI Director, and Comey responds affirmatively. During the dinner, Trump repeatedly tells Comey that he needs loyalty, and Comey responds, You will always get honesty from me. Trump responds, Thats what I want, honest loyalty. Comey responds, You will get that from me, hoping to end the conversation. Comey later testifies to Congress that, given the one-on-one nature of the meeting and the substance of their talk, Comey believed the dinner was in part an effort to create a patronage relationship.

Feb. 13, 2017 National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about a conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2017 about U.S. sanctions against Russia.

Feb. 14, 2017 According to Comeys Senate testimony, Comey and other IC leaders deliver a counter-terrorism briefing at the Oval Office. Trump signals the end of the briefing by thanking everyone and saying he wanted to meet with Comey privately. Trump tells Comey, I want to talk about Mike Flynn, adding that Flynn had not done anything wrong, but had to resign because he misled Pence. Trump then tells Comey, I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go. Comey later testifies that he had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December.

Immediately after the meeting, Comey prepared a memo of the communication and presented the issue to FBI senior leadership. Comey interpreted Trumps communication as a direction to drop the FBI investigation as it related to Flynns alleged false statements about his meetings with the Russian Ambassador in December 2016.

The FBI leadership team and Comey believed that it was important not to infect the investigative team with Trumps request, and decided to refuse the directive. The team concluded it would not have made sense to disclose Trumps request to Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russia investigation, or the Deputy AG, who was soon to be replaced. They believed it was best to keep the communication closely held, although they might decide to disclose it to other officials as the investigation progressed.

Shortly thereafter, Comey also met with Sessions and told him that what had just happened   him being asked to leave while the FBI Director, who reports to the AG, remained behind was inappropriate and should never happen. He said he implored Sessions to ensure that no further private communications occur between Trump and himself. Nevertheless, he did not disclose the content of Trumps request regarding dropping the Flynn investigation.

In his written statement for the Senate, Comey said the Attorney General did not reply and then told Senators in open session that Sessions was just kind of looking at me and his body language gave me a sense like, What am I going to do?

In his own testimony before the Senate, Sessions said Comeys account was incorrect and said, I did affirm the long-standing written policies of the Department of Justice concerning communications with the White House.

Mar. 2, 2017 Sessions announces that he is recusing himself from any investigations into charges that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente takes over the Russia investigation following Sessions recusal.

Mar. 9, 2017 Trumps assistant calls U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bhararas office and leaves a message asking Bharara to call Trump back. Trumps direct communication request violates protocols governing presidential contact with federal prosecutors. Bharara notifies an adviser to AG Sessions of the presidential contact, and tells him he will not respond because of the protocol violation. Bharara then calls Trumps assistant to say that he cannot speak with the president directly because of the protocol violation.

Mar. 10, 2017 Trump orders Bharara and 46 other U.S. Attorneys appointed by Barack Obama to resign. The request surprises Bhararas office because in November, he had met with Trump and advisers including Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner at Trump Tower, and Trump had personally asked him to stay in the position. Bharara publicly refuses to resign.

Mar. 11, 2017 Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente calls Bharara and tells him that he is one of the 46 U.S. Attorneys being asked to resign. Bharara tells him that he is interpreting that as being fired, and Boente repeats that he is being asked to resign.

Bharara tweets that afternoon that he has just been fired by Trump:

I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.

— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 11, 2017

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Because Bharara served as U.S. attorney of the S.D.N.Y., his jurisdiction included Trump Tower, and he would likely have known whether Trump Tower had been wiretapped by federal investigators as Trump claimed, as well as other Tower-related information potentially relevant to the Russia investigation, or to any other investigations involving the finances or other activities of Trump and his companies.

Mar. 20, 2017 In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey confirms that the FBI is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. He also dismisses Trumps claims that President Obama wiretapped him during the presidential campaign.

Mar. 22, 2017 The Washington Post reports that Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and other senior officials participate in an Oval Office briefing, after which Trump asks Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo to stay for a private meeting. Trump complains to them about Comeys handling of the Russia investigation and asks them to intervene with Comey to get the FBI to stop investigating Flynn.

After the meeting, Coats discusses Trumps request with other officials and decides that against Trumps requests to issue a public statement and to intervene with Comey regarding Flynn, believing both would be inappropriate.

A day or two after Mar. 22, 2017 Shortly after the Mar. 22 meeting, Trump reportedly makes separate telephone calls to both Coats and NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers and requests that they issue public statements denying the existence of any evidence of collusion between Trump officials and the Russian government. Both officials view the requests as inappropriate and refuse.

Then Deputy Director of the NSA Richard Ledgett writes an internal NSA memo documenting Trumps conversation with Rogers. During the call, Trump questions the accuracy of the IC Assessment that Russia had interfered with the election, in addition to trying to convince Rogers to issue a public statement.

In addition to Trumps requests, senior White House officials separately requested that top intelligence officials consider the possibility of intervening with Comey directly to have the FBI withdraw its probe of Flynn. Their lines of questioning included: Can we ask him to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?

Mar. 30, 2017 According to Comeys Senate testimony, on this date, Trump calls Comey at his office and tells Comey that the Russia investigation is a cloud inhibiting his ability to act as President. Trump assures Comey that he has had nothing to do with Russia and asks Comey what he can do to lift the cloud. Comey responds that the FBI is investigating the matter as quickly as it can, and that a full investigation is in Trumps best interests.

Trump then asks about why Comey had confirmed the FBI investigation into coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign at a Congressional hearing, and Comey explains that he was responding to Congressional leaders demands. Comey explains that he has briefed those leaders on who exactly the FBI is investigating and informed them that Trump is not personally under investigation. Trump repeatedly urges Comey to get the fact that he himself is not under investigation out to the public.

Comey later testifies to the Senate that the FBI and DOJ were reluctant to make a public statement that they did not have an open case on Trump for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change.

Mar. 30, 2017 The Wall Street Journal reports that Mike Flynn has informed the FBI and congressional officials of his willingness to be interviewed by House and Senate investigators as part of the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia, in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Flynns lawyer released a statement confirming only that discussions with Congressional investigators were taking place, though it concluded: no reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch-hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution. The New York Times reports that congressional officials are unwilling to make a deal with Flynn until they are further along in their inquiries and have a better idea of the information Flynn might offer.

Mar. 31, 2017 Trump applauds Flynns request for immunity, tweeting:

Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2017

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Apr. 11, 2017 According to Comeys testimonyTrump calls Comey again and asks what he has done about Trumps request to publicize the fact that he is not personally under investigation. Comey tells Trump that he relayed Trumps request to Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente but that he has not heard back. Trump reiterates that the cloud is interfering with his ability to act as President, and asks whether he should have his staff contact Boente. Comey advises Trump of the traditional channel, which is for White House Counsel to contact DOJ leadership to make such requests. Trump says he will do so and tells Comey, Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.Comey responds by reiterating that the proper channel for Trumps request is for Trump to follow the DOJ chain of command. Trump agrees and ends the call.

Comey testifies that in light of Trumps requests, Our our absolute primary concern was, we cant infect the investigative team. We dont want the agents and analysts working on this to know the president of the United States has has asked and when it comes from the president, I took it as a direction to get rid of this investigation, because were not going to follow that that request.

Apr. 25, 2017 Rod Rosenstein is confirmed as Deputy AG by the Senate and will serve as the official overseeing the Russia investigation in light of Sessions recusal. Rosenstein told Senators he would handle it the way I would handle any investigation, adding: I dont know the details of what, if any, investigation is ongoing, but I can certainly assure you if its America against Russia, or America against any other country, I think everyone in this room knows which side Im on.

May 8, 2017 According to the New York Times, Trump summons VP Pence, his chief of staff, top lawyers, and other senior advisors to the Oval Office and informs them that he plans to get rid of Comey, showing them an at least four-page letter, singe-spaced consisting of a long-running series of thoughts on why Comey should be fired that Trump dictated to aide Stephen Miller. The draft criticizes Comey for failing to publicly disclose that Trump was not personally under investigation and for his handling of both the Russia and Clinton email investigations.

White House Counsel Donald McGahn opposes the letter as problematic in multiple ways. His objections include the letters angry tone and its references to private conversations between Trump and Comey. He successfully convinces Trump not to use the draft. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein then composes his own letter, which becomes a central part of the administrations public rationale for the removal. The New York Times reports that Mr. Sessions had been charged with coming up with reasons to fire him, according to administration officials.

May 8, 2017 Trump implicitly accuses former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates of leaking classified information in a tweet. Because Yates was scheduled to testify on the Flynn investigation before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee later in May, and because she had previously warned the White House that Flynn might have been compromised, this tweet could provide supporting evidence for an attempt to intimidate a witness in the Flynn investigation.

Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017

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May 9, 2017 Trump fires Comey from his post as FBI Director, removing the nations top law enforcement official while he was leading a criminal investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election as well as an investigation into former NSA Adviser Michael Flynn for potentially making a false statement to the FBI. The firing raised questions about political interference in an ongoing criminal investigation that could implicate Trump and his top advisers.

In the official announcement, Trump cites letters written by AG Sessions and DAG Rosenstein that recommend [Comeys] dismissal, adding that he has accepted their recommendation and therefore is terminating Comey. The letters largely deal with the Clinton email investigation, and Trump also publicly cites Comeys handling of the Clinton investigation in announcing the change. However, Trumps letter also references the Russia investigation and Comeys actions toward Trump personally: While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.

Of the two letters Trump cites, Sessions brief letter does recommend Comeys dismissal, and cites the reasoning in Rosensteins letter. Rosensteins letter, however, does not explicitly recommend dismissal; instead, it only outlines Comeys serious mistakes in handling the Clinton e-mail investigation. It concludes that the FBI will be unlikely to regain public trust until a new Director is put in place. White House officials say that Sessions and Rosenstein pushed for Comeys removal, but observers in Washington, including veteran former FBI agents, view the letters as pretextual.

May 9, 2017 ABC News reports that Rosenstein was so upset that he was on the verge of resigning because of Trumps public statements, and statements by White House officials, that Trump was acting on Rosensteins recommendation in firing Comey. Rosenstein tells the Sinclair Broadcast Group: No, I’m not quitting.

May 9, 2017 Late that night, the White House announces that Trump will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov in the Oval Office the next day.

May 10, 2017 Trump meets with Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak in the Oval Office and speaks to them about the Russia investigation and Comeys firing. He reportedly tells the senior Russian officials: I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut jobI faced great pressure because of Russia. Thats taken offIm not under investigation.

According to the Times, Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not dispute the account. Instead, he claimed in a statement that: By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russias actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia. Spicer adds, The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.

May 11, 2017 In an interview with NBC Newss Lester Holt, Trump admits that even before he consulted Rosenstein, I was going to fire Comey. Theres no good time to do it, by the way. Holt mentions that in Trumps letter outlining the reasons for Comeys firing, he cited Rosensteins letter, and Trump responds, Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.

Then, while addressing how he would have fired Comey regardless, he adds: And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have wonThis was an excuse for having lost an election.

When Holt asks him about whether he was angry with Comey because of the FBIs Russia investigation, Trumps responds that he never tried to pressure Comey to drop it. He adds: Maybe I’ll expand that, you know, lengthen the time (of the Russia probe) because it should be over with, in my opinion, should have been over with a long time ago. ‘Cause all it is, is an excuse but I said to myself, I might even lengthen out the investigation, but I have to do the right thing for the American people. He added, I want that to be so strong and so good. And I want it to happen.”

May 12, 2017 Trump tweets, James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations, suggesting Trump may have recorded such tapes, and may decide to release them. The tweet follows a New York Times report the day prior describing the dinner between Trump and Comey at which Trump asked Comey for a pledge of loyalty.

James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017

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The Times reports that both the president and his spokesman refused to confirm or deny whether Trump tapes his conversations with visitors. When asked about whether such tapes existed by a Fox News host later that day, Trump reiterated: That I cant talk about. I wont talk about itAll I want is for Comey to be honest. Spokesman Sean Spicer, when asked, would not give a definitive response, saying only, The president has nothing further to add on that. Spicer further denied that Trump was threatening Comey, saying Thats not a threatHe simply stated a fact. The tweet speaks for itself. Im moving on.

May 17, 2017 Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to serve as the DOJs Special Counsel to investigate Russian interference in the election and possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia.

Trump responds by saying, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.

However, Trump decries the decision on Twitter:

This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017

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With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017

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With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!; This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

May 2017 The New York Times reports that Trump berated Sessions in an Oval Office meeting and told him he should resign, shortly after learning of the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate links between the Trump campaign and Russia. Trump accuses Sessions of disloyalty and then launches into a series of insults against Sessions. Sessions became emotional and told Trump he would quit, and then drafted and sent a resignation letter to the White House. The Times reports that Sessions would later tell colleagues that Trumps dressing down was the most humiliating experience he had ever had in public life.

Trump eventually rejects the resignation in May after senior administration officials argue that it would only create more problems for him. But the Times also reports that he wished to remove Sessions again in July, though he did not act on it at that time. The Times reports that Trump believes the moment Sessions recused himself is the moment Trump lost control over the Russia investigation.

This dressing down represents the low point in the relationship between Trump and Sessions, a Senator who broke ranks with fellow Senators to become one of Trumps first supporters. The Timesreports that their relationship would marginally improve over time, partly because of Sessions taking a strong public stance against leakers later on.

May 18, 2017 Rosenstein testifies before a closed-door Senate briefing that he knew Trump wanted to fire Comey before he wrote his letter justifying Comeys removal.  Rosenstein adds that Trump asked him to write the letter. He tells Senators that on May 8 he knew that Trump was planning to fire Comey.

June 6, 2017 Washington Post reporter Robert Costa reports on NBC News that The President is expected to be Tweeting on Thursday in response to Comey not to stay quiet during the testimony because he himself wants to be the one driving the process.

Costa later tweets:

I’m told by two WH sources that Pres. Trump does not plan to put down Twitter on Thursday. May live tweet if he feels the need to respond.

— Robert Costa (@costareports) June 6, 2017

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June 7, 2017 DNI Coats and NSA Director Rogers both refuse to testify about their personal interactions with Trump and whether Trump asked them to intervene in the Russia investigation at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Coats tells the Committee, I dont believe its appropriate for me to address that in a public session, when asked about whether Trump requested he intervene in the Russia investigation. Coats adds, however: But I am more than willing to sit before this committee during its investigative process in a closed session and answer your questions. Roger says, I am not going to discuss the specifics of interactions that I may or may have not had with the President.

Both men deny being pressured to intervene. Coats says, I have never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way and shape — with shaping intelligence, in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation. Rogers tells the Committee, To the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate.

June 8, 2017 Trumps personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz responds to Comeys testimony  claiming Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President.

However, legal experts say that the executive privilege could not have been implicated by Comeys memos, because executive privilege functions as a shield against compelled rather than voluntary disclosure, and in any case, the leaks did not disclose any classified information or break any laws, since they dealt solely with private interactions with the President (the kind of internal communications of which many insider books are written).

June 16, 2017 Trump attacks Deputy AG Rosenstein on Twitter:

I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

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June 22, 2017 The New York Times reports that Trump officially announces that he does not have taped recordings of his conversations with James Comey, citing Trumps tweet:

With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017

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…whether there are “tapes” or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017

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The Times report notes that Trumps tweet leaves open the possibility that others may have recorded their conversations, potentially without permission, such as the Intelligence Community generally or FBI in particular.

The Times report notes that legal experts have said Trumps initial tweet threatening that tapes existed could serve as part of a potential obstruction of justice case, because the tweet could be construed as pressuring Comey not to reveal details about his and Trumps conversations relating to the Russia investigation to federal investigators. Others say the threat of existence of tapes suggest Trump was trying to keep Comey honest.

June 16, 2017 Trump attacks Rosenstein and the expanding Russia probe in a series of tweets:

I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

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June 23, 2017 In a Fox television interview, in response to a Fox interviewer suggesting that the possibility of recordings of Comeys conversations with Trump may have ensured Comeys honesty in his Senate testimony, Trump says: Well, it wasnt very stupid, I can tell you that. He added that in response to the possibility of Comeys conversations being recorded, I think his story may have changed.

July 8, 2017 The New York Times reports that Donald Trump Jr. arranged a meeting at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer in June 2016, shortly after his father won the Republican nomination. Campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended. Though Trump Jr. initially releases a statement saying the meeting was primarily about an adoption program, emailsreleased later show meeting occurred because Trump Jr. was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton by the Russian lawyer.

Trump personally dictates a statement for Trump Jr., stating that he and the Russian lawyer primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children, and that the subject of the meeting was not a campaign issue at the time. These claims are later proven to be false. Before the revelation of the presidents involvement in these deliberations, Trumps lawyer repeatedly denied Trump was involved in drafting them. Eventually, the White House confirms that Trump weighed in on the drafting of the misleading statement.

July 10, 2017 Trump tweets that Comey illegally leaked classified information to the media:

James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017

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July 19, 2017 In an interview with the New York Times, Trump says that had he known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, he would not have nominated him to be Attorney General:

TRUMP: Look, Sessions gets the job. Right after he gets the job, he recuses himself.

BAKER: Was that a mistake?

TRUMP: Well, Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else.

Trump repeats that he relied on the Rosenstein letter in deciding to fire Comey:

TRUMP: [] Rosenstein becomes extremely angry because of Comeys Wednesday press conference, where he said that he would do the same thing he did a year ago with Hillary Clinton, and Rosenstein became extremely angry at that because, as a prosecutor, he knows that Comey did the wrong thing. Totally wrong thing. And he gives me a letter, O.K., he gives me a letter about Comey. And by the way, that was a tough letter, O.K. Now, perhaps I would have fired Comey anyway, and it certainly didnt hurt to have the letter, O.K.

Trump asserts again that Comey leaked confidential information in his Senate testimony, and oddly suggests that, in their initial meeting, Comey told Trump to treat Flynn good (when Comey testified that Trump had asked him to let go of the Flynn investigation):

TRUMP: Comey also says that he did something in order to get the special prose special counsel. He leaked. The reason he leaked. So, he illegally leaked.

TRUMP: So think of this. [NYT reporter] Mike [L. Schmidt]. He illegally leaks, and everyone thinks it is illegal, and by the way, it looks like its classified and all that stuff. So he got not a smart guy he got tricked into that, because they didnt even ask him that question. They asked him another question, O.K.?

________

TRUMP: He said I said hope I hope you can treat Flynn good or something like that. I didnt say anything.

Later in the interview, Trump contends that Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe has a conflict of interest involving Hillary Clinton. Days later, he repeats his claim on Twitter:

Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

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…big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

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Jill McCabe, McCabes wife, received nearly $500,000 in 2015 campaign donations from a political action committee associated with Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful Virginia Senate run. McAuliffe is close with both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

July 24, 2017 The New York Times reports that Trump aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner meet with Senate investigators looking into the Russia investigation on the Senate Intelligence Committee. After meeting with investigators behind closed doors, Kushner released a statement to news media: All of my actions were proper and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaignI did not collude with Russians, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did. He is the first member of the Trump inner circle to confer with congressional investigators.

July 2425, 2017 In a series of early morning tweets, Trump renews his attacks against Sessions.

So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2017

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign – “quietly working to boost Clinton.” So where is the investigation A.G. @seanhannity

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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He also repeated his claims regarding McCabe having a conflict of interest with respect to the Clintons:

Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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Aug. 1, 2017 In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump again berates Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation:

WSJ: Hes the Russian guy. So Sessions has recused himself, but is Bob Muellers job safe? There is speculation

TRUMP: No, were going to see. I mean, I have no comment yet, because its too early. But well see. Were going to see. Heres the good news: I was never involved with Russia. There was nobody in the campaign. Ive got 200 people that will say that theyve never seen anybody on the campaign. Heres another he was involved early. Theres nobody on the campaign that saw anybody from Russia. We had nothing to do with Russia. They lost an election and they came up with this as an excuse. And the only ones that are laughing are the Democrats and the Russians. Theyre the only ones that are laughing. And if Jeff Sessions didnt recuse himself, we wouldnt even be talking about this subject.

And Trump further suggests that Sessions early campaign endorsement was not a sign of loyalty:

WSJ: Just on Sessions, just one thing. Would you like to see him step aside? Would you like to see him resign? Would it be in the countrys best interest just

TRUMP: Im just very disappointed in him. Im disappointed in, you know, a number of categories. I told you, the leakers. He should have he should be after them. So many people say to me: Why are they going after you on nothing and they leave Hillary Clinton alone on, you know, really major things? And it is so Im disappointed in him. And dont forget, when they say he endorsed me, I went to Alabama. I had 40,000 people, you may have been there, remember, in Mobile?

WSJ: I remember.

TRUMP: I had 40,000 people. He was the senator from Alabama. I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers. But he was a senator. He looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, what do I have to lose, and he endorsed me. So its not like a great, loyal thing about the endorsement. But Im very disappointed in Jeff Sessions.

Aug. 3, 2017 Vox reports that, in late May, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told several people in high-level FBI management that they should consider themselves potential witnesses in any potential obstruction of justice investigation involving Trump. He told colleagues that he could also be a potential witness himself.

Aug. 26, 2017 The Washington Post reports that sometime this past spring, Trump approached AG Sessions and asked whether the DOJ could possibly drop its case against former Maricopa County, Arizona Sherriff Joe Arpaio, whom Trump has long respected. Sessions advised him that it would have been inappropriate to drop the case, after which Trump decided to let the case go to trial and subsequently grant a pardon. Legal experts believe that Trumps handling of the Arpaio case may be relevant to determining his intent in speaking to Comey about the FBIs Michael Flynn investigation (I hope you can let this go) in an obstruction of justice probe.

Aug. 31, 2017 The Wall Street Journal reports that Trumps lawyers have met with Mueller several times in recent months and have submitted several memos to him contending that Trump didnt obstruct justice by firing Comey and questioning Comeys reliability as a potential witness.

Sept. 19, 2017 The Wall Street Journal reports that Muellers office interviewed DAG Rosenstein in June or July 2017 about Trumps removal of Comey. A source told CNN that Rosenstein has no current plans to recuse himself from the investigation, suggesting he does not view himself as a key witness in the obstruction of justice investigation. DOJ Spokesperson Ian Prior released a statement saying, As the deputy attorney general has said numerous times, if there comes a time when he needs to recuse, he will. However, nothing has changed.

[Editor’s Note: For more analysis, readers may be interested in: “A Round-Up of Just Securitys Obstruction of Justice Coverage”]

Read on Just Security »

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organized crime and terrorism – Google News: ASEAN’s anti-terror coordination problem – Global Risk Insights (blog)

Global Risk Insights (blog)
ASEAN’s anti-terror coordination problem
Global Risk Insights (blog)
For instance, on 13 September, an Improved Database System was launched for ASEAN National Police (ASEANAPOL) in order to improve connectivity and information exchange regarding terrorism and organized crime. While the web-based system was …and more »

organized crime and terrorism – Google News

organized crime and intelligence – Google News: ASEAN’s anti-terror coordination problem – Global Risk Insights (blog)

Global Risk Insights (blog)
ASEAN’s anti-terror coordination problem
Global Risk Insights (blog)
For instance, on 13 September, an Improved Database System was launched for ASEAN National Police (ASEANAPOL) in order to improve connectivity and information exchange regarding terrorism and organized crime. While the web-based system was launched in and more »

organized crime and intelligence – Google News

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Surveillance Reform: The Fourth Amendments Long, Slow, Goodbye
Patrick Eddington

Over 16 years after the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent repeated passage or renewal of draconian temporary but emergency domestic surveillance laws in response, its fair to ask: Have we officially abandoned the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights?

With the expiration of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) less than three months away, now is a good time to review the effects of these surveillance laws in the seemingly endless War on Terror. But first, a quick recap of Americas embrace of mass surveillance in the post-9/11 era.

Within six weeks of the terrorist attacks in 2001, and with virtually no serious debate, Congress passed the behemoth PATRIOT Act. The law created vast new government surveillance powers that abandoned the Fourth Amendments across-the-board probable cause warrant requirement. In an October 11, 2001 speech discussing the Senate version of the legislation, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) assured terrified civil libertarians that the PATRIOT Acts five-year sunset clause governing 15 of the bills provisions would serve as a valuable check on the potential abuse of the new powers granted in the bill.

Unbeknownst to the public and most members of Congress, the Bush administration allowed key authorities of the PATRIOT Act to be abused, a fact only brought to light in 2013 by Edward Snowdens revelations of mass telephone surveillance conducted under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

Section 215 is one of the 15 temporary provisions that has been renewed repeatedly since 2001, making a mockery of Feinsteins assurance that the sunset provision would act as a check on any abuse of the law. Today, 12 of those 15 temporary and emergency surveillance measures are permanent law.

Thanks to another document made public by Snowden, we know that three days after the 9/11 attacks, then-NSA Director Michael Hayden initiated a secret warrantless surveillance program encompassing Americans in contact with anyone in Afghanistan. Over the ensuing weeks, it would become a multi-pronged warrantless spying effort code-named STELLAR WIND. After the New York Times revealed this unconstitutional surveillance in December 2005,  thanks to the help of a whistleblower at the Justice Department, the Congress and the Bush administration spent the next two years trying to make the illegal surveillance legal. Their final product, passed in 2008, was the FAArenewed with little debate in 2012 and now, because of a sunset provision, is set to expire on December 31.

The key provision of the FAA that is the primary focus of debate is Section 702, which allows the government to target the communications of foreign entities even if the government knows it will likely sweep up the emails, text messages, and phone calls of innocent Americans in the process.

Have FAAs authorities been used to subvert the Fourth Amendment and the constitutional rights of Americans, just as the PATRIOT Act has? Yes. Repeatedly.

In September, the politically progressive group Demand Progress issued a scathing report on documented abuses of the FAA, drawing directly from partially declassified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) records. The findings showed that aspects of the governments Section 702 information collection, revealed in 2011, acquired “non-targeted, entirely domestic communications,” violating the Fourth Amendment. Indeed, the FISC found that the NSA engaged for 12 years in types of surveillance that FISC would eventually deem unlawful, with NSA only ceasing the violations under repeatedbut ultimately emptythreats of criminal sanctions.

This report was preceded earlier this year by the publication of Stanford law professor (and Just Security editor) Jennifer Granicks excellent book American Spies, which chronicles in detail the rights violations and false claims of effectiveness of the PATRIOT Act and the FAA by NSA and FBI officials.

Sixteen years after creating the biggest unconstitutional mass surveillance dragnet in American history, we have documentary evidencefrom the federal governments own recordsof repeated, systemic abuses of these authorities. We also know theyre costing taxpayers, whose digital communications are swept up by these programs, tens of millions of dollars annually. What we dont have is any public evidence that these surveillance practices have made us safer.

Whats the response of Congress? Its proposing to reauthorize the same Section 702 program, which has led to these abuses.

On Oct. 6, on a bipartisan basis, the House Judiciary Committee introduced the ill-named USA Liberty Act (HR 3989). In my initial analysis of the bill, I noted that the proposed legislation ignored every major problem highlighted in the Demand Progress report. The bills authors also ignored an even longer list of Section 702 reform proposals put forward by nearly 60 civil society groups.

Meanwhile, the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers, and FBI Director Christopher Wray have mounted a public campaign to renew Section 702 unchanged. At a meeting with reporters on Sept. 25, Coats and his colleagues argued that 702 is a vital surveillance authority that has helped thwart numerous terrorist plots. On background, I asked one of the reporters who attended that meeting whether Coats, Rogers, or Wray offered a single example of 702 stopping an attack on the United States. They did notwhich tracks with Granicks findings in American Spies.

Despite the lack of public, independently confirmed evidence that 702 has prevented terrorist attacks on America, Coats, Rogers, and Wray are winning the argument that 702 should remain the law of the land.

If you think about it, the indifference of the House Judiciary Committee leadership to these proposals is not terribly surprising. The overwhelming majority of the groups calling for changes to a surveillance law that should never have existed have no political power.

Unlike the National Rifle Association, they operate no political action committee or similar electoral vehicle that could be used to strike fear into House or Senate members who dare to put forward such proposals. Thus, House and Senate members know that they can safely ignore these groups, no matter how many press releases, Facebook posts, or completely fact-based reports about surveillance abuses they churn out–just as they have ignored these same groups for nearly 20 years as Congress has passed or reauthorized laws that, bit by bit, have eviscerated the Fourth Amendment.

My prediction: Absent another Snowden-like revelation, Section 702 of the FAA will be reauthorized largely without change, and any changes will be cosmetic, and almost certainly abused. Whether it has a sunset provision or not is now politically and practically meaningless.

After this latest assault on the Bill of Rights has been signed into law by President Donald Trump later this year or early next, opponents will have one moreand probably finalchance to roll back the damage already done when the three remaining PATRIOT Act provisions subject to sunset come due at the end of 2019. Unless the privacy and civil liberties community revamps its entire approach and structure for advocacy on these issues, the long, slow goodbye to the Fourth Amendment will come to an end just before Christmas in 2019.

Image: The NSA’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland/Getty Read on Just Security »

Firm Behind Trump-Russia Dossier Balks at House Subpoena – Bloomberg

Bloomberg
Firm Behind Trump-Russia Dossier Balks at House Subpoena
Bloomberg
Washington (AP) — A political research firm behind a dossier of allegations about President Donald Trump’s connections toRussia is balking at subpoenas from the House intelligence committee. A lawyer for the firm questioned the legitimacy of theand more »
Russia tried to use Pokemon Go to stoke racial tensions in the US – Fox News

Fox News
Russia tried to use Pokemon Go to stoke racial tensions in the US
Fox News
Russia’s meddling in U.S. politics and society ahead of the 2016 presidential election keeps getting weirder. The Kremlin-backed campaign of so-called fake news employed … The Don’t Shoot Us YouTube page, which is simply titled Don’t Shoot 
Yahoo: Russian trolls watched ‘House of Cards’ to learn about US politics – CNN

CNN
Yahoo: Russian trolls watched ‘House of Cards’ to learn about US politics
CNN
He was referring to a story he wrote, published on Sunday, in which an interview broadcast in Russian with a former member of the troll factory revealed the Russians were part of President Vladimir Putin’s campaign to influence the 2016 election.
Russian internet trolls were ordered to watch ‘House of Cards’ before 2016 election attack: reportRaw Story
Employee reveals how Russian trolls targeted Hillary Clinton before election – after studying House of CardsTelegraph.co.ukall 12 news articles »
Firm behind Trump-Russia dossier balks at House subpoena – Washington Post

The Olympian
Firm behind Trump-Russia dossier balks at House subpoena
Washington Post
WASHINGTON A political research firm behind a dossier of allegations about President Donald Trump’s connections toRussia is balking at subpoenas from the House intelligence committee. A lawyer for the firm questioned the legitimacy of the panel’s …
The founders of the firm behind the TrumpRussia dossier say they’ll refuse to testify before the House Intelligence …Business Insiderall 6 news articles »
Timeline of Trump and Obstruction of Justice: Key Dates and Events
Artin Afkhami

Did President Donald Trump or other U.S. officials engage in an obstruction of justice with respect to the Russia investigation? There are three scenarios which raise that question. Its important to keep each of them in mind as one thinks about incriminating and exculpatory information, and patterns of related behavior.

Before setting out each scenario and then the Timeline, it may bear reminding that under U.S. federal criminal law, the definition of obstruction of justice includes anyone who corruptly or by any threatening letter or communication endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede a criminal investigation. According to the U.S. Attorneys Manual, even a mere attempt to pursue those ends is enough for obstruction, regardless of whether the attempt succeeds. The criminal standard matters if prosecutors were ever to consider pressing charges while Trump is President (a period in which he may be immune from indictment) or after he leaves office. The federal definition could also serve as a background for impeachment proceedings, although Congress would not be tied to the strict definitions of existing criminal law. Finally, there is always the court of public opinion.

What are the three scenarios that prosecutors, members of Congress, and the public could consider under the heading of obstruction of justice?

First, any attempts to unlawfully have FBI Director James Comey drop the investigation of Michael Flynn Second, any attempts to unlawfully interfere with FBI or congressional investigations into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election Third, any attempts to unlawfully interfere with the FBI or congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election (having nothing to do with any alleged collusion)It is also important to keep in mind that one form of obstruction may be in getting officials to drop an investigation (which is very difficult to ever pick back up) and another form may be in firing officials with authority over the investigation.

The following is a Timeline of events that could be relevant to considerations of the obstruction of justice. It adheres as much as possible to the most directly relevant information, but also includes some other evidence that may be relevant to investigators who are looking for patterns of behavior (for example, Trumps treatment of Preet Bharara).

Timeline

Late July 2016 According to the New York Times and later confirmed by former FBI Director James Comey, the FBI begins investigating the Russian governments attempts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. The investigation includes examining whether Donald Trumps presidential campaign was connected to those efforts. The catalyst for the FBI investigation includes Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Pages trip to Moscow to deliver a pro-Russia foreign policy speech at a prestigious Russian institute that same month.

Dec. 29, 2016 In retaliation for Russian interference in the election, the Obama administration ordersthe expulsion of Russian intelligence agents and imposes new sanctions on Russian state agencies and individuals suspected of hacking U.S. computer systems. The CIA and FBI had previously concluded that Russia had interfered in the election multiple times including leaking damaging information to assist the Trump campaign.

Jan. 6, 2017 According to Senate testimony by James Comey, he first meets Trump at Trump Tower on this date as part of an Intelligence Community assessment briefing on Russian election interference. After the meeting ends, Comey meets with Trump privately and assures Trump he is not beingpersonally investigated. He writes a memo about the meeting after he returns to his car. Later testifying to Congress Comey says, I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document.

Jan. 6, 2017 The New York Times reports that the IC concluded in its assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, initially seeking to weaken Hillary Clinton, but later developing a clear preference for Trump. The Times reports that at the IC assessment meeting earlier that morning, Trump responded by acknowledging, for the first time, that Russia had sought to hack into the Democratic National Committees computer systems,but asserted that these activities did not influence the elections outcome, and he did not address the IC conclusion that Putin had favored his campaign.

Jan. 19, 2017 The New York Times first reports that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies are conducting a counterintelligence investigation into links between Russian officials and Trump associates. The investigation centers partly on past business dealings between Trump advisers and Russia. The FBI is leading the investigation, alongside the CIA, NSA, and the Treasury Departments financial crimes unit. The associates under investigation include former campaign manager Paul Manafort and advisers Carter Page and Roger Stone.

Jan. 27, 2017 According to Comeys testimony, Trump invites Comey to what he believes will be a group dinner at the White House, but which turns out to be a private dinner meeting with the then-FBI Director. Trump asks whether Comey wants to remain FBI Director, and Comey responds affirmatively. During the dinner, Trump repeatedly tells Comey that he needs loyalty, and Comey responds, You will always get honesty from me. Trump responds, Thats what I want, honest loyalty. Comey responds, You will get that from me, hoping to end the conversation. Comey later testifies to Congress that, given the one-on-one nature of the meeting and the substance of their talk, Comey believed the dinner was in part an effort to create a patronage relationship.

Feb. 13, 2017 National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about a conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2017 about U.S. sanctions against Russia.

Feb. 14, 2017 According to Comeys Senate testimony, Comey and other IC leaders deliver a counter-terrorism briefing at the Oval Office. Trump signals the end of the briefing by thanking everyone and saying he wanted to meet with Comey privately. Trump tells Comey, I want to talk about Mike Flynn, adding that Flynn had not done anything wrong, but had to resign because he misled Pence. Trump then tells Comey, I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go. Comey later testifies that he had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December.

Immediately after the meeting, Comey prepared a memo of the communication and presented the issue to FBI senior leadership. Comey interpreted Trumps communication as a direction to drop the FBI investigation as it related to Flynns alleged false statements about his meetings with the Russian Ambassador in December 2016.

The FBI leadership team and Comey believed that it was important not to infect the investigative team with Trumps request, and decided to refuse the directive. The team concluded it would not have made sense to disclose Trumps request to Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russia investigation, or the Deputy AG, who was soon to be replaced. They believed it was best to keep the communication closely held, although they might decide to disclose it to other officials as the investigation progressed.

Shortly thereafter, Comey also met with Sessions and told him that what had just happened   him being asked to leave while the FBI Director, who reports to the AG, remained behind was inappropriate and should never happen. He said he implored Sessions to ensure that no further private communications occur between Trump and himself. Nevertheless, he did not disclose the content of Trumps request regarding dropping the Flynn investigation.

In his written statement for the Senate, Comey said the Attorney General did not reply and then told Senators in open session that Sessions was just kind of looking at me and his body language gave me a sense like, What am I going to do?

In his own testimony before the Senate, Sessions said Comeys account was incorrect and said, I did affirm the long-standing written policies of the Department of Justice concerning communications with the White House.

Mar. 2, 2017 Sessions announces that he is recusing himself from any investigations into charges that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente takes over the Russia investigation following Sessions recusal.

Mar. 9, 2017 Trumps assistant calls U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bhararas office and leaves a message asking Bharara to call Trump back. Trumps direct communication request violates protocols governing presidential contact with federal prosecutors. Bharara notifies an adviser to AG Sessions of the presidential contact, and tells him he will not respond because of the protocol violation. Bharara then calls Trumps assistant to say that he cannot speak with the president directly because of the protocol violation.

Mar. 10, 2017 Trump orders Bharara and 46 other U.S. Attorneys appointed by Barack Obama to resign. The request surprises Bhararas office because in November, he had met with Trump and advisers including Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner at Trump Tower, and Trump had personally asked him to stay in the position. Bharara publicly refuses to resign.

Mar. 11, 2017 Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente calls Bharara and tells him that he is one of the 46 U.S. Attorneys being asked to resign. Bharara tells him that he is interpreting that as being fired, and Boente repeats that he is being asked to resign.

Bharara tweets that afternoon that he has just been fired by Trump:

I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.

Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 11, 2017

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Because Bharara served as U.S. attorney of the S.D.N.Y., his jurisdiction included Trump Tower, and he would likely have known whether Trump Tower had been wiretapped by federal investigators as Trump claimed, as well as other Tower-related information potentially relevant to the Russia investigation, or to any other investigations involving the finances or other activities of Trump and his companies.

Mar. 20, 2017 In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey confirms that the FBI is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. He also dismisses Trumps claims that President Obama wiretapped him during the presidential campaign.

Mar. 22, 2017 The Washington Post reports that Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and other senior officials participate in an Oval Office briefing, after which Trump asks Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo to stay for a private meeting. Trump complains to them about Comeys handling of the Russia investigation and asks them to intervene with Comey to get the FBI to stop investigating Flynn.

After the meeting, Coats discusses Trumps request with other officials and decides that against Trumps requests to issue a public statement and to intervene with Comey regarding Flynn, believing both would be inappropriate.

A day or two after Mar. 22, 2017 Shortly after the Mar. 22 meeting, Trump reportedly makes separate telephone calls to both Coats and NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers and requests that they issue public statements denying the existence of any evidence of collusion between Trump officials and the Russian government. Both officials view the requests as inappropriate and refuse.

Then Deputy Director of the NSA Richard Ledgett writes an internal NSA memo documenting Trumps conversation with Rogers. During the call, Trump questions the accuracy of the IC Assessment that Russia had interfered with the election, in addition to trying to convince Rogers to issue a public statement.

In addition to Trumps requests, senior White House officials separately requested that top intelligence officials consider the possibility of intervening with Comey directly to have the FBI withdraw its probe of Flynn. Their lines of questioning included: Can we ask him to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?

Mar. 30, 2017 According to Comeys Senate testimony, on this date, Trump calls Comey at his office and tells Comey that the Russia investigation is a cloud inhibiting his ability to act as President. Trump assures Comey that he has had nothing to do with Russia and asks Comey what he can do to lift the cloud. Comey responds that the FBI is investigating the matter as quickly as it can, and that a full investigation is in Trumps best interests.

Trump then asks about why Comey had confirmed the FBI investigation into coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign at a Congressional hearing, and Comey explains that he was responding to Congressional leaders demands. Comey explains that he has briefed those leaders on who exactly the FBI is investigating and informed them that Trump is not personally under investigation. Trump repeatedly urges Comey to get the fact that he himself is not under investigation out to the public.

Comey later testifies to the Senate that the FBI and DOJ were reluctant to make a public statement that they did not have an open case on Trump for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change.

Mar. 30, 2017 The Wall Street Journal reports that Mike Flynn has informed the FBI and congressional officials of his willingness to be interviewed by House and Senate investigators as part of the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia, in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Flynns lawyer released a statement confirming only that discussions with Congressional investigators were taking place, though it concluded: no reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch-hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution. The New York Times reports that congressional officials are unwilling to make a deal with Flynn until they are further along in their inquiries and have a better idea of the information Flynn might offer.

Mar. 31, 2017 Trump applauds Flynns request for immunity, tweeting:

Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2017

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Apr. 11, 2017 According to Comeys testimonyTrump calls Comey again and asks what he has done about Trumps request to publicize the fact that he is not personally under investigation. Comey tells Trump that he relayed Trumps request to Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente but that he has not heard back. Trump reiterates that the cloud is interfering with his ability to act as President, and asks whether he should have his staff contact Boente. Comey advises Trump of the traditional channel, which is for White House Counsel to contact DOJ leadership to make such requests. Trump says he will do so and tells Comey, Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.Comey responds by reiterating that the proper channel for Trumps request is for Trump to follow the DOJ chain of command. Trump agrees and ends the call.

Comey testifies that in light of Trumps requests, Our our absolute primary concern was, we cant infect the investigative team. We dont want the agents and analysts working on this to know the president of the United States has has asked and when it comes from the president, I took it as a direction to get rid of this investigation, because were not going to follow that that request.

Apr. 25, 2017 Rod Rosenstein is confirmed as Deputy AG by the Senate and will serve as the official overseeing the Russia investigation in light of Sessions recusal. Rosenstein told Senators he would handle it the way I would handle any investigation, adding: I dont know the details of what, if any, investigation is ongoing, but I can certainly assure you if its America against Russia, or America against any other country, I think everyone in this room knows which side Im on.

May 8, 2017 According to the New York Times, Trump summons VP Pence, his chief of staff, top lawyers, and other senior advisors to the Oval Office and informs them that he plans to get rid of Comey, showing them an at least four-page letter, singe-spaced consisting of a long-running series of thoughts on why Comey should be fired that Trump dictated to aide Stephen Miller. The draft criticizes Comey for failing to publicly disclose that Trump was not personally under investigation and for his handling of both the Russia and Clinton email investigations.

White House Counsel Donald McGahn opposes the letter as problematic in multiple ways. His objections include the letters angry tone and its references to private conversations between Trump and Comey. He successfully convinces Trump not to use the draft. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein then composes his own letter, which becomes a central part of the administrations public rationale for the removal. The New York Times reports that Mr. Sessions had been charged with coming up with reasons to fire him, according to administration officials.

May 8, 2017 Trump implicitly accuses former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates of leaking classified information in a tweet. Because Yates was scheduled to testify on the Flynn investigation before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee later in May, and because she had previously warned the White House that Flynn might have been compromised, this tweet could provide supporting evidence for an attempt to intimidate a witness in the Flynn investigation.

Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017

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May 9, 2017 Trump firesComey from his post as FBI Director, removing the nations top law enforcement official while he was leading a criminal investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election as well as an investigation into former NSA Adviser Michael Flynn for potentially making a false statement to the FBI. The firing raised questions about political interference in an ongoing criminal investigation that could implicate Trump and his top advisers.

In the official announcement, Trump cites letters written by AG Sessions and DAG Rosenstein that recommend [Comeys] dismissal, adding that he has accepted their recommendation and therefore is terminating Comey. The letters largely deal with the Clinton email investigation, and Trump also publicly cites Comeys handling of the Clinton investigation in announcing the change. However, Trumps letter also references the Russia investigation and Comeys actions toward Trump personally: While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.

Of the two letters Trump cites, Sessions brief letter does recommend Comeys dismissal, and cites the reasoning in Rosensteins letter. Rosensteins letter, however, does not explicitly recommend dismissal; instead, it only outlines Comeys serious mistakes in handling the Clinton e-mail investigation. It concludes that the FBI will be unlikely to regain public trust until a new Director is put in place. White House officials say that Sessions and Rosenstein pushed for Comeys removal, but observers in Washington, including veteran former FBI agents, view the letters as pretextual.

May 9, 2017 ABC News reports that Rosenstein was so upset that he was on the verge of resigning because of Trumps public statements, and statements by White House officials, that Trump was acting on Rosensteins recommendation in firing Comey. Rosenstein tells the Sinclair Broadcast Group: No, Im not quitting.

May 9, 2017 Late that night, the White House announces that Trump will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov in the Oval Office the next day.

May 10, 2017 Trump meets with Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak in the Oval Office and speaks to them about the Russia investigation and Comeys firing. He reportedly tells the senior Russian officials: I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut jobI faced great pressure because of Russia. Thats taken offIm not under investigation.

According to the Times, Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not dispute the account. Instead, he claimed in a statement that: By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russias actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia. Spicer adds, The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.

May 11, 2017 In an interview with NBC Newss Lester Holt, Trump admits that even before he consulted Rosenstein, I was going to fire Comey. Theres no good time to do it, by the way. Holt mentions that in Trumps letter outlining the reasons for Comeys firing, he cited Rosensteins letter, and Trump responds, Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.

Then, while addressing how he would have fired Comey regardless, he adds: And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, its an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have wonThis was an excuse for having lost an election.

When Holt asks him about whether he was angry with Comey because of the FBIs Russia investigation, Trumps responds that he never tried to pressure Comey to drop it. He adds: Maybe Ill expand that, you know, lengthen the time (of the Russia probe) because it should be over with, in my opinion, should have been over with a long time ago. Cause all it is, is an excuse but I said to myself, I might even lengthen out the investigation, but I have to do the right thing for the American people. He added, I want that to be so strong and so good. And I want it to happen.

May 12, 2017 Trump tweets, James Comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations, suggesting Trump may have recorded such tapes, and may decide to release them. The tweet follows a New York Times report the day prior describing the dinner between Trump and Comey at which Trump asked Comey for a pledge of loyalty.

James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017

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The Times reports that both the president and his spokesman refused to confirm or deny whether Trump tapes his conversations with visitors. When asked about whether such tapes existed by a Fox News host later that day, Trump reiterated: That I cant talk about. I wont talk about itAll I want is for Comey to be honest. Spokesman Sean Spicer, when asked, would not give a definitive response, saying only, The president has nothing further to add on that. Spicer further denied that Trump was threatening Comey, saying Thats not a threatHe simply stated a fact. The tweet speaks for itself. Im moving on.

May 17, 2017 Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to serve as the DOJs Special Counsel to investigate Russian interference in the election and possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia.

Trump responds by saying, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.

However, Trump decries the decision on Twitter:

This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017

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With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017

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With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!; This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

May 2017 The New York Times reports that Trump berated Sessions in an Oval Office meeting and told him he should resign, shortly after learning of the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate links between the Trump campaign and Russia. Trump accuses Sessions of disloyalty and then launches into a series of insults against Sessions. Sessions became emotional and told Trump he would quit, and then drafted and sent a resignation letter to the White House. The Times reports that Sessions would later tell colleagues that Trumps dressing down was the most humiliating experience he had ever had in public life.

Trump eventually rejects the resignation in May after senior administration officials argue that it would only create more problems for him. But the Times also reports that he wished to remove Sessions again in July, though he did not act on it at that time. The Times reports that Trump believes the moment Sessions recused himself is the moment Trump lost control over the Russia investigation.

This dressing down represents the low point in the relationship between Trump and Sessions, a Senator who broke ranks with fellow Senators to become one of Trumps first supporters. The Timesreports that their relationship would marginally improve over time, partly because of Sessions taking a strong public stance against leakers later on.

May 18, 2017 Rosenstein testifies before a closed-door Senate briefing that he knew Trump wanted to fire Comey before he wrote his letter justifying Comeys removal.  Rosenstein adds that Trump asked him to write the letter. He tells Senators that on May 8 he knew that Trump was planning to fire Comey.

June 6, 2017 Washington Post reporter Robert Costa reports on NBC News that The President is expected to be Tweeting on Thursday in response to Comey not to stay quiet during the testimony because he himself wants to be the one driving the process.

Costa later tweets:

I’m told by two WH sources that Pres. Trump does not plan to put down Twitter on Thursday. May live tweet if he feels the need to respond.

Robert Costa (@costareports) June 6, 2017

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June 7, 2017 DNI Coats and NSA Director Rogers both refuse to testify about their personal interactions with Trump and whether Trump asked them to intervene in the Russia investigation at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Coats tells the Committee, I dont believe its appropriate for me to address that in a public session, when asked about whether Trump requested he intervene in the Russia investigation. Coats adds, however: But I am more than willing to sit before this committee during its investigative process in a closed session and answer your questions. Roger says, I am not going to discuss the specifics of interactions that I may or may have not had with the President.

Both men deny being pressured to intervene. Coats says, I have never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way and shape with shaping intelligence, in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation. Rogers tells the Committee, To the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate.

June 8, 2017 Trumps personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz responds to Comeys testimony  claiming Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President.

However, legal experts say that the executive privilege could not have been implicated by Comeys memos, because executive privilege functions as a shield against compelled rather than voluntary disclosure, and in any case, the leaks did not disclose any classified information or break any laws, since they dealt solely with private interactions with the President (the kind of internal communications of which many insider books are written).

June 16, 2017 Trump attacks Deputy AG Rosenstein on Twitter:

I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

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June 22, 2017 The New York Times reports that Trump officially announces that he does not have taped recordings of his conversations with James Comey, citing Trumps tweet:

With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017

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whether there are “tapes” or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017

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The Times report notes that Trumps tweet leaves open the possibility that others may have recorded their conversations, potentially without permission, such as the Intelligence Community generally or FBI in particular.

The Times report notes that legal experts have said Trumps initial tweet threatening that tapes existed could serve as part of a potential obstruction of justice case, because the tweet could be construed as pressuring Comey not to reveal details about his and Trumps conversations relating to the Russia investigation to federal investigators. Others say the threat of existence of tapes suggest Trump was trying to keep Comey honest.

June 16, 2017 Trump attacks Rosenstein and the expanding Russia probe in a series of tweets:

I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

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June 23, 2017 In a Fox television interview, in response to a Fox interviewer suggesting that the possibility of recordings of Comeys conversations with Trump may have ensured Comeys honesty in his Senate testimony, Trump says: Well, it wasnt very stupid, I can tell you that. He added that in response to the possibility of Comeys conversations being recorded, I think his story may have changed.

July 8, 2017 The New York Times reports that Donald Trump Jr. arranged a meeting at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer in June 2016, shortly after his father won the Republican nomination. Campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended. Though Trump Jr. initially releases a statement saying the meeting was primarily about an adoption program, emailsreleased later show meeting occurred because Trump Jr. was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton by the Russian lawyer.

Trump personally dictates a statement for Trump Jr., stating that he and the Russian lawyer primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children, and that the subject of the meeting was not a campaign issue at the time. These claims are later proven to be false. Before the revelation of the presidents involvement in these deliberations, Trumps lawyer repeatedly denied Trump was involved in drafting them. Eventually, the White House confirms that Trump weighed in on the drafting of the misleading statement.

July 10, 2017 Trump tweets that Comey illegally leaked classified information to the media:

James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017

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July 19, 2017 In an interview with the New York Times, Trump says that had he known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, he would not have nominated him to be Attorney General:

TRUMP: Look, Sessions gets the job. Right after he gets the job, he recuses himself.

BAKER: Was that a mistake?

TRUMP: Well, Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else.

Trump repeats that he relied on the Rosenstein letter in deciding to fire Comey:

TRUMP: [] Rosenstein becomes extremely angry because of Comeys Wednesday press conference, where he said that he would do the same thing he did a year ago with Hillary Clinton, and Rosenstein became extremely angry at that because, as a prosecutor, he knows that Comey did the wrong thing. Totally wrong thing. And he gives me a letter, O.K., he gives me a letter about Comey. And by the way, that was a tough letter, O.K. Now, perhaps I would have fired Comey anyway, and it certainly didnt hurt to have the letter, O.K.

Trump asserts again that Comey leaked confidential information in his Senate testimony, and oddly suggests that, in their initial meeting, Comey told Trump to treat Flynn good (when Comey testified that Trump had asked him to let go of the Flynn investigation):

TRUMP: Comey also says that he did something in order to get the special prose special counsel. He leaked. The reason he leaked. So, he illegally leaked.

TRUMP: So think of this. [NYT reporter] Mike [L. Schmidt]. He illegally leaks, and everyone thinks it is illegal, and by the way, it looks like its classified and all that stuff. So he got not a smart guy he got tricked into that, because they didnt even ask him that question. They asked him another question, O.K.?

________

TRUMP: He said I said hope I hope you can treat Flynn good or something like that. I didnt say anything.

Later in the interview, Trump contends that Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe has a conflict of interest involving Hillary Clinton. Days later, he repeats his claim on Twitter:

Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

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big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

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Jill McCabe, McCabes wife, received nearly $500,000 in 2015 campaign donations from a political action committee associated with Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful Virginia Senate run. McAuliffe is close with both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

July 24, 2017 The New York Times reports that Trump aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner meet with Senate investigators looking into the Russia investigation on the Senate Intelligence Committee. After meeting with investigators behind closed doors, Kushner released a statement to news media: All of my actions were proper and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaignI did not collude with Russians, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did. He is the first member of the Trump inner circle to confer with congressional investigators.

July 2425, 2017 In a series of early morning tweets, Trump renews his attacks against Sessions.

So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2017

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign “quietly working to boost Clinton.” So where is the investigation A.G. @seanhannity

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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He also repeated his claims regarding McCabe having a conflict of interest with respect to the Clintons:

Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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Aug. 1, 2017 In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump again berates Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation:

WSJ: Hes the Russian guy. So Sessions has recused himself, but is Bob Muellers job safe? There is speculation

TRUMP: No, were going to see. I mean, I have no comment yet, because its too early. But well see. Were going to see. Heres the good news: I was never involved with Russia. There was nobody in the campaign. Ive got 200 people that will say that theyve never seen anybody on the campaign. Heres another he was involved early. Theres nobody on the campaign that saw anybody from Russia. We had nothing to do with Russia. They lost an election and they came up with this as an excuse. And the only ones that are laughing are the Democrats and the Russians. Theyre the only ones that are laughing. And if Jeff Sessions didnt recuse himself, we wouldnt even be talking about this subject.

And Trump further suggests that Sessions early campaign endorsement was not a sign of loyalty:

WSJ: Just on Sessions, just one thing. Would you like to see him step aside? Would you like to see him resign? Would it be in the countrys best interest just

TRUMP: Im just very disappointed in him. Im disappointed in, you know, a number of categories. I told you, the leakers. He should have he should be after them. So many people say to me: Why are they going after you on nothing and they leave Hillary Clinton alone on, you know, really major things? And it is so Im disappointed in him. And dont forget, when they say he endorsed me, I went to Alabama. I had 40,000 people, you may have been there, remember, in Mobile?

WSJ: I remember.

TRUMP: I had 40,000 people. He was the senator from Alabama. I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers. But he was a senator. He looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, what do I have to lose, and he endorsed me. So its not like a great, loyal thing about the endorsement. But Im very disappointed in Jeff Sessions.

Aug. 3, 2017 Vox reports that, in late May, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told several people in high-level FBI management that they should consider themselves potential witnesses in any potential obstruction of justice investigation involving Trump. He told colleagues that he could also be a potential witness himself.

Aug. 26, 2017 The Washington Post reports that sometime this past spring, Trump approached AG Sessions and asked whether the DOJ could possibly drop its case against former Maricopa County, Arizona Sherriff Joe Arpaio, whom Trump has long respected. Sessions advised him that it would have been inappropriate to drop the case, after which Trump decided to let the case go to trial and subsequently grant a pardon. Legal experts believe that Trumps handling of the Arpaio case may be relevant to determining his intent in speaking to Comey about the FBIs Michael Flynn investigation (I hope you can let this go) in an obstruction of justice probe.

Aug. 31, 2017 The Wall Street Journal reports that Trumps lawyers have met with Mueller several times in recent months and have submitted several memos to him contending that Trump didnt obstruct justice by firing Comey and questioning Comeys reliability as a potential witness.

Sept. 19, 2017 The Wall Street Journal reports that Muellers office interviewed DAG Rosenstein in June or July 2017 about Trumps removal of Comey. A source told CNN that Rosenstein has no current plans to recuse himself from the investigation, suggesting he does not view himself as a key witness in the obstruction of justice investigation. DOJ Spokesperson Ian Prior released a statement saying, As the deputy attorney general has said numerous times, if there comes a time when he needs to recuse, he will. However, nothing has changed.

[Editors Note: For more analysis, readers may be interested in: A Round-Up of Just Securitys Obstruction of Justice Coverage]

Read on Just Security »

Supreme Court to intervene over privacy of Trump administration, emails and Microsoft servers – PBS NewsHour

PBS NewsHour
Supreme Court to intervene over privacy of Trump administration, emails and Microsoft servers
PBS NewsHour
In 2013, federal investigators obtained a warrant under a 1986 law for emails from an account they believe was being used in illegal drug transactions as well as identifying information about the user of the email account. Microsoft turned over the 
Justices to Hear Government’s Email Dispute With MicrosoftU.S. News & World Report
Supreme Court to consider major digital privacy case on Microsoft email storageWashington Postall 34 news articles »
Opinion: We must stop politicizing tragedy – The Ledger
Opinion: We must stop politicizing tragedy
The Ledger
Perhaps the most famous case in the past two decades is the Patriot Act. Shortly after 9/11, congress implemented and passed the Patriot Act. This act allowed three-letter agencies such as the NSA or the FBI to expand their power and ability to
UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands – KXII-TV

KXII-TV
UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands
KXII-TV
The White House said that in South Korea, Trump will meet with President Moon Jae-in and “call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea.” In Japan, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and and more »
The apprentice president – Emporia Gazette
The apprentice president
Emporia Gazette
A New York Times analysis concludes that Trump and his heirs would enjoy a $1.1 billion windfall under his tax plan. Fairy dust has infected the administration’s … “Donald Trump got elected with minority support from the American electorate, and most and more »
National Security-Related Congressional Hearings, October 16-21
Just Security

Tuesday, October 17

10:00am Senate Committee of the Judiciary Nominations: Gregory G. Katsas to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit; Jeffrey Uhlman Beaverstock to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama; Emily Coody Marks to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama; Brett Joseph Talley to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama; Holly Lou Teeter to be United States District Judge for the District of Kansas (here)

2:30pm Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Nomination of Christopher Sharpley to be Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency (here)

Wednesday, October 18

10:00am Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Nominations: Jeff T.H. Pon to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management; Michael J. Rigas to be Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management; Emily W. Murphy to be Administrator of the General Services Administration (here)

10:00am Senate Committee of the Judiciary Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice (here)

2:30pm Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Nominations: Mr. Thomas L. Carter of South Carolina for the Rank of Ambassador during his Tenure of Service as Representative of the United States of America on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization; Ms. Jennifer Gillian Newstead of New York to be Legal Adviser of the Department of State; Ms. Manisha Singh of Florida to be an Assistant Secretary Of State (Economic And Business Affairs) (here)

2:30pm Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee Broken Beakers: Federal Support for Research (here)

 

Thursday, October 19

9:30am Senate Committee on Armed Services Roles and Responsibilities for Defending the Nation from Cyber Attack (here)

10:30am Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Modernizing the Food for Peace Program (here)

Read on Just Security »

Donald Trump risks repeating the errors made in the run up to the invasion of Iraq – The Independent (blog)

The Independent (blog)
Donald Trump risks repeating the errors made in the run up to the invasion of Iraq
The Independent (blog)
But the language that Mr Trump is using is dangerous, just as the language he is using about North Korea is verydangerous, things can get out of control. And we have a situation where Trump is refusing to accept what the UN is saying that Iran is and more »
Putin Trump – Google News: UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands – WILX-TV

WILX-TV
UPDATE – Putin halts North Korea ties in line with UN demands
WILX-TV
The White House said that in South Korea, Trump will meet with President Moon Jae-in and “call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea.” In Japan, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and 
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Vladimir Putin’s bored — life is too easyUPI.com
Why are Russian media outlets hyping the Mueller investigation?The Conversation US
Express.co.uk
all 31 news articles »

Putin Trump – Google News

Don’t Reform Section 702 Just for the Sake of Reform
Last week on our Foreign Policy feed, we wrote about how the USA Liberty Act, which is the House Judiciary Committee’s proposal to reauthorize the Section 702 surveillance program, takes for granted that a “clean reauthorization” is impossible and imposes reforms for the sake of reform. The piece begins:What happens when you start with panicky civil libertarians, sprinkle in some right-wing conspiracy theories about unmasking intelligence, and polish it off with a healthy dose of congressional dysfunction and a self-imposed legislative deadline? You get bad surveillance policy in the name of reform. Dont look now, but thats whats shaping up in Congress at this moment.

In a little less than three months, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which authorizes the government to monitor, without an individualized warrant, the communications of non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be overseas is set to expire. Section 702 is a very big deal; it cannot be allowed to expire for any length of time without real damage to ongoing intelligence operations. So the closer we get to the sunset, the more opportunity there is to include mischievous reforms that the intelligence community simply has to accept everyone knows the intelligence community would rather take some very bitter pills than lose a program it needs to accomplish its mission.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee introduced legislation to reauthorize the 702 authority, but it included a number of changes including a few that are quite significant. No, this bill isnt the worst thing in the world. The sky isnt falling. And plenty of other proposals to reform 702 would inflict far more serious harms than this one would. But its not a good bill either. It would make the FBIs job harder for no good reason. It responds to imagined risks, rather than real abuses.

The Judiciary Committee bill is the product of an endeavor that was flawed from the outset. Its drafters were operating from the apparent premise that while 702 is a critical national security authority that must be preserved, a clean reauthorization of it without changes is currently a political impossibility. Why is that? Liberals and civil libertarians have always had anxieties about 702. Libertarian conservatives and tea party types have more recently joined the fray. Over the last year, the fraudulent unmasking controversy most of which has nothing to do with 702 has stoked these anxieties. And lots of people have instinctive difficulty vesting powerful authorities in the hands of the intelligence community under President Donald Trump. The House Judiciary Committee is one of the Houses more polarized committees, so the apparent goal was to thread the needles and draft a bipartisan bill that might satisfy calls for reform while minimizing operational impacts. And if it passes the Judiciary Committee, the bill has a good chance to become law.

If you accept the premise that precluded a clean reauthorization, the committees bill is a decent though far from perfect effort.

We dont accept the premise, however, but start with a different one: This is an already dense and complicated area of law in which it is tough for national security operators to do their jobs. To make it denser and more complicated, you need a reason. Reform for reforms sake is not a good enough reason to add complexity.

11:55 AM 10/16/2017 TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION from The Early Edition: October 16, 2017
SYRIA The U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) began their final push to oust Islamic State militants from Raqqa yesterday, marking the last phase to combat the militants in their de facto capital in Syria and after a significant number of militants surrendered as part of a locally brokered deal. John Davison and Ellen Francis report … Continue reading”11:55 AM 10/16/2017 – TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION – from The Early Edition: October 16, 2017″
12:03 PM 10/16/2017 How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election Axios
Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts Trump Investigations Report from mikenova (18 sites) Trump – Google News: Trump dares ‘crooked’ Hillary to run again after she blames loss on Comey ‘shiv’ – Fox News Fox News Trump dares ‘crooked’ Hillary to run again after she blames loss on Comey ‘shiv’ Fox News President Trump tweeted Monday that he hopes Crooked … Continue reading”12:03 PM 10/16/2017 – How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election – Axios”
What Melania Trump could learn from Monica Lewinsky – Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune
What Melania Trump could learn from Monica Lewinsky
Chicago Tribune
Melania Trump could learn a thing or two about courage from Lewinsky. America seemingly has given Trump a pass on her obligations as first lady. It is clear why she might feel more comfortable in her husband’s shadow. His unpresidential behavior in the …
Republican lawmakers’ troubles deepen as Koch donors and Bannon take aim – Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times
Republican lawmakers’ troubles deepen as Koch donors and Bannon take aim
Los Angeles Times
For other lawmakers, however, the GOP dilemma has become an existential question. The party remains deeply split between its establishment class including billionaires Charles and David Koch, whose groups declined to support Trump for president …
Poll: Majority think GOP tax plan will benefit the wealthyPolitico
Trump’s Executive Actions May Mean More Headaches For Struggling CongressNPR
ASCH: Trump’s rhetoric has infected Republican politicsUniversity of Virginia The Cavalier Daily
Albany Times Union –Washington Examiner –Seeking Alpha
all 83 news articles »
Inside the ‘adult day-care center’: How aides try to control and coerce Trump – Washington Post

Washington Post
Inside the ‘adult day-care center’: How aides try to control and coerce Trump
Washington Post
During the campaign, when President Trump’s advisers  wanted him to stop talking about a certain issue such as when he attacked a Gold Star military family they sometimes presented him with polls demonstrating how the controversy was harming his …
The Note: Trump moves to break governing deadlock but can’t just go it aloneABC News
Juan Williams: Trump is becoming a failed presidentThe Hill
Trump team claims US families will receive extra $4000 a year from tax cutsThe Guardianall 38 news articles »
Russia Funding Taliban in War Against NATO Troops – TOLOnews

TOLOnews
Russia Funding Taliban in War Against NATO Troops
TOLOnews
The report said that Russia’s intelligence services are sending fleets of fuel tankers into Afghanistan through the Hairatan border crossing with Uzbekistan to companies operating on behalf of the Taliban. The Times reported that about $2.5 million USD and more »
Trump allies worry that losing the House means impeachment – CNN

CNN
Trump allies worry that losing the House means impeachment
CNN
If Republicans forfeit the House, Democrats will almost certainly create a spectacle that will derail conservatives’ agenda and the remainder of Trump’s first term — a spectacle complete with a raft of new subpoenas, a spotlight on the Russia 
The Daily 202: Trump’s attacks on Senate Republicans are paying political dividendsWashington Postall 85 news articles »
Russia Funding Taliban in War Against NATO Troops – TOLOnews

TOLOnews
Russia Funding Taliban in War Against NATO Troops
TOLOnews
The report said that Russia’s intelligence services are sending fleets of fuel tankers into Afghanistan through the Hairatan border crossing with Uzbekistan to companies operating on behalf of the Taliban. The Times reported that about $2.5 million USD and more »
How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election – Axios

Axios
How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election
Axios
U.S. investigators are probing whether Russia relied on clandestine American help to identify political soft spots and pressure points in its campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. But experts say that, even without local assistance, Russia’s own 
Why are Russian media outlets hyping the Mueller investigation?San Francisco Chronicle
Inside Russia’s alliance with white nationalists across the globeThinkProgressall 12 news articles »
How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election – Axios

Axios
How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election
Axios
U.S. investigators are probing whether Russia relied on clandestine American help to identify political soft spots and pressure points in its campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. But experts say that, even without local assistance, Russia’s own 
Why are Russian media outlets hyping the Mueller investigation? Midland Daily News
Inside Russia’s alliance with white nationalists across the globeThinkProgressall 31  news articles »
Manafort Got $60 Million from Russian Oligarch – Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Manafort Got $60 Million from Russian Oligarch
Patheos (blog)
It’s the place where Russian oligarchs and organized crime (but I repeat myself), including Putin himself, launder their money through banks. And guess who was vice chairman of … Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. While he was on the board of and more »

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FEATURED POSTS: 7:57 AM 9/20/2017 – PUTIN’S PRO-TRUMP OPERATION MAY HAVE BEEN FAR BIGGER THAN WE YET KNOW – MOTHER JONES | ANATOMY OF A RUSSIAN ATTACK

“We don’t know what these Facebook ads looked like, we don’t know who they were targeting, and we don’t know how many millions of Americans may have been exposed to them.”

Putin’s Pro-Trump Operation May Have Been Far Bigger Than We Yet Know
Did the Kremlin help make Trump the “first Facebook president”?
BILL BUZENBERG – SEP. 20, 2017 6:00 AM

M.N.: And we have to know the answers to these and many other questions. 

12:26 PM 9/20/2017 – “Political marketing” and possible use of the “psychotronic weapons” techniques in targeted advertising

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