5:09 PM 11/18/2017 – Trump and the Mob – Google News: The Hillary Effect – New York Times

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Trump calls Clinton ‘biggest loser of all time’ after she contests election loss – Fox News
donald trump racketeering – Google News: Trump’s War on Crime: US Government Arrests 200 MS-13 Gang Members in Central America and At Home – Newsweek
organized crime and intelligence – Google News: Axios AM – Axios
Russian Intelligence, organized crime and war on police – Google News: Axios AM – Axios
Trump, Putin and organized crime – Google News: Axios AM – Axios
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organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News: Russians were all over the Trump campaign. Disturbing report details new contacts – Shareblue Media
Russian Intelligence services and organized crime – Google News: Russians were all over the Trump campaign. Disturbing report details new contacts – Shareblue Media
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FBI politicization – Google News: Hillary Clinton Seems Concerned About UraniumGate Investigations – The New American
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Markos Kounalakis: US companies are funding the Kremlin’s info war – Gulf Today
Palmer Report: Ivanka Trump tweeted some really weird Thanksgiving advice. It didnt go over well.
Trump FBI file – Google News: FBI report on black ‘extremists’ raises new monitoring fears – WJLA
Putin and the Mob – Google News: The walls are closing in on Jared Kushner – ThinkProgress
Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Could Study of Israeli Social Media Shed Light on Russia Hysteria? – Truthdig
Palmer Report: Looks like Russia has found a new way to pay Donald Trumps legal bills
Внесены изменения в закон о валютном регулировании и валютном контроле и Кодекс об административных правонарушениях
Frustrated foreign leaders bypass Washington in search of blue-state allies
Vladimir Putin could secretly be one of the richest men in the world an investigative reporter who spent 4 years … – Business Insider
Trump administration threatens to shutter Palestinians’ DC office – CBS News

 

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Trump and the Mob – Google News: The Hillary Effect – New York Times
 


New York Times
The Hillary Effect
New York Times
When I talked to Susan Fowler, after her blog post about sexual harassment at Uber that toppled its C.E.O., Travis Kalanick, she said that before Donald Trump’s election, women in Silicon Valley were speaking up but no one was listening. I think it and more »

 Trump and the Mob – Google News

Trump calls Clinton ‘biggest loser of all time’ after she contests election loss – Fox News
 


Fox News
Trump calls Clinton ‘biggest loser of all time’ after she contests election loss
Fox News
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is already leading a months-long Justice Department investigation into whether Trumpassociates colluded with Russia to influence the race. And Congress is amid several investigations related to Russia meddle, which the …
Has the Mueller Probe Hamstrung Trump’s Foreign Policy?The Atlantic
Froma Harrop: Go Ahead, Republicans. Investigate Hillary. Again.The Spokesman-Review
Poll: Voters Want Special Counsel Probes for Trump, Clinton CampaignsNewsmax
Gears Of Biz
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donald trump racketeering – Google News: Trump’s War on Crime: US Government Arrests 200 MS-13 Gang Members in Central America and At Home – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
Trump’s War on Crime: US Government Arrests 200 MS-13 Gang Members in Central America and At Home
Newsweek
Among the foreign nationals, 5 were legal residents. Criminal charges against them include murder, aggravated robbery,racketeering, narcotics trafficking, firearms offenses and assault, the Los Angeles Times reports. On Friday, President Donald Trump 
More than 200 MS-13 members were arrested in a major Trump administration gang sweepBusiness Insider
38 MS-13 members arrested in Md., Va., as part of national gang crackdownWTOP
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U.S. News & World Report –Breitbart News –LifeZette
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 donald trump racketeering – Google News

organized crime and intelligence – Google News: Axios AM – Axios
 


Axios
Axios AM
Axios
Ike Kaveladze (right), among those at a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, leaves the Capitol after being interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 2. (AP’s J. Scott … “An advocate for Christian causes [Rick Clay] emailed campaign aides and more »

 organized crime and intelligence – Google News

Russian Intelligence, organized crime and war on police – Google News: Axios AM – Axios
 


Axios
Axios AM
Axios
“An advocate for Christian causes [Rick Clay] emailed campaign aides [Rick Dearborn] saying that Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Russian central bank who has been linked both to Russia’s security services and organized crime, had proposed …and more »

 Russian Intelligence, organized crime and war on police – Google News

Trump, Putin and organized crime – Google News: Axios AM – Axios
 


Axios
Axios AM
Axios
… campaign aides [Rick Dearborn] saying that Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Russian central bank who has been linked both to Russia’s security services and organized crime, had proposed a meeting between Mr. Putin and Mr.Trump.and more »

 Trump, Putin and organized crime – Google News

Saved Stories – 1. Trump: The Puerto Rican migration could shape Florida politics for years to come – CNN
 

The Puerto Rican migration could shape Florida politics for years to come
CNN
“It’s a little more headwind for Republicans who were already grappling with an increasingly Democratic population,” said Rob Griffin, director of quantitative analysis at the Center for American Progress and contributor to the States of Change project.and more »

 Saved Stories – 1. Trump

Comey – Google News: Comey Is Going On A Speaking Tour To Talk About Ethics In Leadership – The Daily Caller
 


Newsmax
Comey Is Going On A Speaking Tour To Talk About Ethics In Leadership
The Daily Caller
Former FBI Director James Comey will begin a speaking tour designed to hype up the ethical leadership he supposedly exhibited during the early part of the Trump administration. Comey is joining the ranks of people like former Secretary of State …
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 Comey – Google News

Trump – Google News: Top general says he would resist “illegal” nuke order from Trump – CBS News
 


CBS News
Top general says he would resist “illegal” nuke order from Trump
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John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), told an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saturday that he has given a lot of thought to what he would say if Mr. Trump ordered a strike he …and more »

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New York Times
Russians were all over the Trump campaign. Disturbing report details new contacts
Shareblue Media
… Jared Kushner had failed to disclose an email chain proposing a meeting between Trump and Alexander Torshin, a leading figure in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party who has been linked both to Russian intelligence services and organized crime.
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 Russian Intelligence services – Google News

organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News: Russians were all over the Trump campaign. Disturbing report details new contacts – Shareblue Media
 


Shareblue Media
Russians were all over the Trump campaign. Disturbing report details new contacts
Shareblue Media
… Jared Kushner had failed to disclose an email chain proposing a meeting between Trump and Alexander Torshin, a leading figure in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party who has been linked both to Russian intelligence services and organized crime.
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 organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News

Russian Intelligence services and organized crime – Google News: Russians were all over the Trump campaign. Disturbing report details new contacts – Shareblue Media
 


New York Times
Russians were all over the Trump campaign. Disturbing report details new contacts
Shareblue Media
… Jared Kushner had failed to disclose an email chain proposing a meeting between Trump and Alexander Torshin, a leading figure in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party who has been linked both to Russian intelligence services and organized crime.
Top Russian Official Tried to Broker ‘Backdoor’ Meeting Between Trump and Putin  New York Times all 50

 
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Preet Bharara under investigation by Turkey: report – The Hill (blog)
 


The Hill (blog)
Preet Bharara under investigation by Turkey: report
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NBC reported earlier this week that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan offered former national security adviser Michael Flynn upward of $15 million during the presidential transition in and more »

FBI politicization – Google News: Hillary Clinton Seems Concerned About UraniumGate Investigations – The New American
 


USA TODAY

Washington Times
Hillary Clinton Seems Concerned About UraniumGate Investigations
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Trump – Google News: How the Bonn climate talks survived Trump – Politico
 


Politico
How the Bonn climate talks survived Trump
Politico
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Climate talks close with Trump administration on one track, world on anotherNBCNews.com
COP23: UN summit shows how Donald Trump is doing more damage to world’s climate than we ever realisedThe Independentall 434 news articles »

 Trump – Google News

Markos Kounalakis: US companies are funding the Kremlin’s info war – Gulf Today
 

Markos Kounalakis: US companies are funding the Kremlin’s info war
Gulf Today
Congress recently held social media companies’ feet to the fire for accepting Russian political advertising on their platforms during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook and Twitter have been contrite and promised to work harder to vet future and more »

Palmer Report: Ivanka Trump tweeted some really weird Thanksgiving advice. It didnt go over well.

Even as Ivanka Trump’s father continues to be exposed as a traitor, and new evidence paints a damning picture of her own financial dealings within the Trump Organization, Ivanka is continuing to try to establish her own fashion and style branding. Suffice it to say that it’s gone rather poorly, as she’s made one tone-deaf Twitter post after another on her official brand page. Her new post about Thanksgiving went over particularly badly.This week the official “Ivanka Trump HQ” account made a post on Twitter which read “Have no idea how to decorate your Thanksgiving table? Problem solved.” It included a photo of, well, whatever this thing is:

The replies on Twitter were far from kind. One respondent tweeted “Ivanka really doesn’t have an eye for beautiful stuff. Probably because she had to look at that trash can of her father whole life.” Another quipped “Aaaah, the festive garbage clam.” Then there was the “If I put that on my table my fam would laugh me outta the room” remark. One poster got straight to the heart of the matter: “My racist trump worshipping in laws would even hate it.”

Ivanka Trump’s total lack of fashion sense may be the least of her problems. Her father Donald Trump is the least popular U.S. President of all time, and he’s facing numerous potential criminal charges in his Trump-Russia scandal. Her husband Jared Kushner finds himself in deeper potential legal trouble by the day. Based on what we’re now learning about Ivanka’s own shady financial dealings, it’s entirely possible perhaps even likely at this point that she’s under criminal investigation as well. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

The post Ivanka Trump tweeted some really weird Thanksgiving advice. It didn’t go over well. appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Trump FBI file – Google News: FBI report on black ‘extremists’ raises new monitoring fears – WJLA
 


WJLA
FBI report on black ‘extremists’ raises new monitoring fears
WJLA
Before the Trump administration, the report might not have caused such alarm. The FBI noted it issued a similar bulletin warning of retaliatory violence by “black separatist extremists” in March 2016, when the country had a black president, Barackand more »

 Trump FBI file – Google News

Putin and the Mob – Google News: The walls are closing in on Jared Kushner – ThinkProgress
 


ThinkProgress
The walls are closing in on Jared Kushner
ThinkProgress
On Friday, The New York Times reported that Kushner had been forwarded a chain of emails during the 2016 campaign from someone looking to set up a meeting between then-candidate Trump’s people and Vladimir Putin. Senate Judiciary Committee … The and more »

 Putin and the Mob – Google News

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Could Study of Israeli Social Media Shed Light on Russia Hysteria? – Truthdig
 


Truthdig
Could Study of Israeli Social Media Shed Light on Russia Hysteria?
Truthdig
Ever since the U.S. government dangled $160 million last December to combat Russian propaganda and disinformation, obscure academics and eager think tanks have been lining up for a shot at the loot, an unseemly rush to profit that is spreading the …and more »

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

Palmer Report: Looks like Russia has found a new way to pay Donald Trumps legal bills

Earlier this fall it was revealed that the Republican National Committee was paying Donald Trump’s legal bills in the Trump-Russia scandal. It was then further revealed that a Kremlin-connected oligarch was supplying that money to the RNC to begin with. Yesterday, Trump’s team announced that the RNC would no longer be paying Trump’s legal bills, and that he would begin paying his own bills instead. Of course no one actually believes this.First of all, Donald Trump doesn’t pay his own bills, period. His entire career has consisted of scam after bankruptcy after scam. He’s notorious for simply not paying contractors and employees, and daring them to sue him. Yesterday’s announcement about Trump taking over his own legal bills, reported by CNN (link), simply doesn’t hold water. From the tenor of the article it appears the Republican National Committee may have grown uneasy about funneling money from the Kremlin to Trump, and decided to extricate itself from that financial pipeline. But who’s paying Trump’s legal bills now?

The previous arrangement was shady, but it was technically legal because the Kremlin oligarch has dual U.S. citizenship and he was funneling the money through a Super PAC. There would be nothing to stop this same oligarch from finding another barely legal way to pay Trump’s legal bills. We’ve also seen the Kremlin use various other methods to funnel money to Trump over the years, including buying property from him for twice its value. Deutsche Bank, which has loaned absurd amounts of money to Trump for decades, was caught earlier this year laundering Russian money to unnamed clients in New York City.

So it’s a safe bet that nothing has changed here. The RNC must have gotten nervous about being a pipeline for allowing the Kremlin to pay for Donald Trump’s legal bills in a scandal in which he rigged an election and committed treason. Russia will simply find a new way to continue paying Trump’s legal bills. Investigators will have to hunt it down accordingly.

The post Looks like Russia has found a new way to pay Donald Trump’s legal bills appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Внесены изменения в закон о валютном регулировании и валютном контроле и Кодекс об административных правонарушениях
 

Владимир Путин подписал Федеральный закон «О внесении изменений в статьи 19 и 23 Федерального закона «О валютном регулировании и валютном контроле» и Кодекс Российской Федерации об административных правонарушениях».

Федеральный закон принят Государственной Думой 25 октября 2017 года и одобрен Советом Федерации 8 ноября 2017 года.

Справка Государственно-правового управления

Федеральным законом уполномоченным банкам предоставляется возможность отказывать клиентам в проведении валютных операций, если они противоречат требованиям валютного законодательства Российской Федерации, а также в случае непредставления документов, представления недостоверных документов либо представления документов, не соответствующих установленным требованиям.

При этом уточняется перечень информации, подлежащей представлению уполномоченным банкам резидентами при осуществлении внешнеторговой деятельности.

Федеральным законом также уточняются положения Кодекса Российской Федерации об административных правонарушениях, предусматривающие ответственность за осуществление незаконных валютных операций и нарушение требования о репатриации денежных средств, путем дифференциации штрафов, налагаемых на лиц, осуществляющих предпринимательскую деятельность без образования юридического лица, и должностных лиц.

Кроме того, вводится дополнительное наказание для должностных лиц, повторно нарушивших требования валютного законодательства Российской Федерации и актов органов валютного контроля, в виде дисквалификации на срок от шести месяцев до трех лет.

Frustrated foreign leaders bypass Washington in search of blue-state allies

Eager to work around the Trump White House, European officials are courting governors and big-city mayors.

Vladimir Putin could secretly be one of the richest men in the world an investigative reporter who spent 4 years … – Business Insider
 


Business Insider
Vladimir Putin could secretly be one of the richest men in the world an investigative reporter who spent 4 years…
Business Insider
Luke Harding, journalist and author of “Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win,” explains why he believes Vladimir Putin may secretly be one of the richest people in the world. Following is a transcript of the
Putin’s game plan to seize European territory by DISTRACTING world, ex KGB spy claimsExpress.co.uk
Sculptor plans to present Vladimir Putin with bizarre statue of him as winged bear with NO TESTICLESMirror.co.uk
Helping America isn’t part of Putin’s planNewsday
Raw Story –Asheville Citizen-Times –Independent Journal Review
all 30 news articles »
Trump administration threatens to shutter Palestinians’ DC office – CBS News
 


CBS News
Trump administration threatens to shutter Palestinians’ DC office
CBS News
Abbas, the Palestinian leader, said in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly in September that the Palestinians had “called on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in 
Trump admin threatens to shutter Palestinian office in Washington reportRT
US threatens to close Palestinians’ DC office amid renewed peace pushNBCNews.comall 169 news articles »


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6:44 AM 11/18/2017 – Kushner failed to disclose outreach from Putin ally to Trump campaign

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WASHINGTON President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, failed to disclose what lawmakers called a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” involving a banker who has been accused of links to Russian organized crime, three 
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… similar way to annexation of the Crimea in 2014, according to a former KGB spy. Jack Barsky, who spied on the US during the 1980s, told Express.co.uk the country’s successors to the KGB were still using the old tactics of active measures in an and more »

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The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower soars over Panama City bay, a 70-storey skyscraper shaped like a sail. Donald Trumps first international hotel venture, it opened in 2011, a mix of condominiums, hotel rooms and a casino.

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“Dear Donald: If you really believe me, if you think us Russians didn’t try to tilt the election in your favor, then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. It’s in Brooklyn. Yours faithfully, Vlad.”

That note could well have been waiting for President Trump as he returned from his lengthy trip to Asia, where he continued to pursue his deranged and dangerous attempts to deny Russian involvement in last year’s election. His statements reveal a man deeply committed to a post-truth world — a place where facts and fact-finders don’t matter, and he alone, the Twitter King, gets to define reality.

Even worse, his attempts at denial are profoundly un-American, rejecting the consensus view of his own intelligence agencies while swallowing the disinformation spread by the Russian ruler, a tyrant who has repeatedly demonstrated his disdain for democratic values and exceeds even Trump in assaulting his media and political critics.

Putin lies. Trump believes. And the world laughs. On what planet does this Make America Great Again?

As Sen. John McCain said: “There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community. … Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”

Last January, America’s intelligence agencies issued a joint report concluding that Moscow had tried to influence the U.S. election. Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to probe those influences more deeply.

“The president was given clear and indisputable evidence” of Russia’s role, says James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence, and yet Trump continues to reject that evidence, fearing it could undermine the legitimacy of his election. He fired FBI director James Comey in a failed attempt to sidetrack ongoing investigations, and during his Asia trip, returned yet again to a topic that clearly burns him to the core.

That “clear and indisputable evidence” is really an “artificial Democratic hit job,” he told reporters, adding that the intelligence chiefs who produced the report are “political hacks.” His critics are all “haters and fools” who don’t understand the importance of refurbishing relations with Russia. Putin vehemently denies any knowledge of election meddling, and Trump believes his denials.

The reaction was so negative that Trump backtracked slightly, saying he accepted the findings of the intelligence agencies, but he clearly doesn’t. His ego is so huge and so fragile that he denies any fact that contradicts his worldview.

Putin knows and exploits this character flaw. The former KGB officer is a “trained liar and manipulator,” said former deputy CIA director Michael Morell to the Washington Post, and Trump is swallowing his propaganda “hook, line and sinker.”

Trump knows Putin helped him and is grateful for the boost in defeating “crooked Hillary.” But because Putin denies the help, and Trump gratefully accepts the denial — bolstering the argument he won on his own — the president is even further in Putin’s debt. A brilliant KGB double play. And that’s what has intelligence experts so worried.

“I think Mr. Putin is very clever in terms of playing to Mr. Trump’s interest in being flattered,” former CIA director John Brennan told CNN. “And I also think Mr. Trump is, for whatever reason, either intimidated by Mr. Putin, afraid of what he could do or what might come out as a result of these investigations.”

The president’s refusal to confront Putin, while eagerly embracing the Russian leader’s lies, “demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and to try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint,” says Brennan.

In Trump’s view, the “artificial Democratic hit job” is hindering his ability to forge a new relationship with Russia and solve a range of problems, including North Korea’s nuclear threat. “It’s a shame because people will die because of it,” he complained.

And normally, improving relationships with Moscow would certainly advance America’s interests. But these are not normal times. Putin has proven, over and over again, from Ukraine to Syria, that he is no friend to America or to democratic values.

“I don’t know why the ambiguity about this,” said Brennan. “Putin is committed to undermining our system, our democracy and our whole process. And to try to paint it in any other way is, I think is astounding, and in fact, poses a peril to this country.”

So Donald, about that bridge …

Steve and Cokie Roberts can be contacted by email at stevecokie@gmail.com.

russian organized crime in us – Google News: Civil suit becomes Kazakh soap opera with Trump ties – Miami Herald
 

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Civil suit becomes Kazakh soap opera with Trump ties
Miami Herald
A series of investigative stories by McClatchy and its reporting partners Dutch broadcaster Zembla and the Organized Crimeand Corruption Reporting Project revealed in recent months that Khrapunov and former Trump Organization employees Felixand more »

 russian organized crime in us – Google News

Kushner got emails about WikiLeaks, Russia in 2016, lawmakers say
 

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Lawmakers asked Jared Kushner to turn over all responsive documents by Nov. 27. | Thomas Peter/Getty Images

By KYLE CHENEY

Updated

2017-11-16T05:16-0500

Jared Kushner received emails in September 2016 about WikiLeaks and about a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” and forwarded them to another campaign official, according to a letter to his attorney from the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Kushner failed to turn over the relevant documents when they asked for them last month.

Story Continued Below

“We appreciate your voluntary cooperation with the Committee’s investigation, but the production appears to have been incomplete,” the pair wrote in a letter dated Thursday to Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell.

Lowell said in a statement that he and Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, had been responsive to the requests.

“We provided the Judiciary Committee with all relevant documents that had to do with Mr. Kushner’s calls, contacts or meetings with Russians during the campaign and transition, which was the request,” Lowell said, adding that he and Kushner had also told the committee they would be open to additional requests for information.

In a section of the letter titled “Missing documents,” Grassley and Feinstein said Kushner had handed over some materials but omitted communications that mentioned some of the people connected to the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“If, as you suggest, Mr. Kushner was unaware of, for example, any attempts at Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, then presumably there would be few communications concerning many of the persons identified,” the lawmakers wrote.

Grassley and Feinstein also alluded to documents they received from other witnesses on which Kushner was copied.

“Other parties have produced September 2016 email communications to Mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks, which Mr. Kushner then forwarded to another campaign official,” they wrote. “Such documents should have been produced…but were not.

“Likewise,” the letter continued, “other parties have produced documents concerning a ‘Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite’ which Mr. Kushner also forwarded. And still others have produced communications with Sergei Millian, copied to Mr. Kushner. Again, these do not appear in Mr. Kushner’s production despite being responsive to the second request. You also have not produced any phone records that we presume exist and would relate to Mr. Kushner’s communications regarding several requests.”

They asked Kushner to turn over all responsive documents by Nov. 27.

According to the lawmakers, Kushner’s attorney suggested providing some documents might “implicate the president’s Executive Privilege.” In their letter, they asked Lowell to resolve those issues and produce the documents or create a “privilege log” to detail over which documents the president is asserting executive privilege.

Grassley and Feinstein also said Kushner declined to produce documents connected to his security clearance application, citing their confidentiality. The lawmakers said they intend to take Lowell up on a separate request to visit his office to review the documents in person, but they said the committee would not waive its request to obtain its own copies.

The committee is also seeking another broad group of documents about Kushner’s contacts with former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Grassley and Feinstein said they’d like all communications between Kushner and Flynn since Election Day 2016, as well as any communications that reference email hacking, Russia, the Magnitsky Act and other people or entities that have been implicated in the Russian interference scheme.

The lawmakers said they have yet to receive access to Kushner’s lengthy interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee and are seeking a copy of it from Lowell to determine “whether the transcript satisfies the needs of our investigation.”

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary
 

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Russia blocked the extension of the U.N. investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the Washington Post reported. Russias representative to the Security Council vetoed a resolution that the U.S. introduced to prolong the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), the U.N. probe created to find the responsible parties for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Russia had criticized the JIMs latest report for blaming the Syrian government for the April sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun. The investigations term expired on Thursday.

China reiterated its position that the U.S. and South Korea should stop conducting joint military exercises in exchange for a freeze in North Korean nuclear testing, the Post reported. The White House said President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed to disagree about the proposed approach. Earlier this week, Trump said Xi had told him the freeze-for-freeze proposal would not work. In response, China insisted it still supported the proposal. Separately, North Koreas envoy to the U.N. said it would not begin negotiations about its nuclear program unless the U.S. and South Korea end their military exercises, according to Reuters. He also said he expected the U.S. to impose more sanctions in the coming months.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed the Trump campaign to obtain Russia-related documents from several top officials, the Wall Street Journal reported. Despite the Trump campaigns insistence that it is cooperating with the special counsel inquiry, in mid-October Muellers team issued an order requesting documents from at least a dozen senior campaign aides for documents and emails containing Russia-related keywords. Separately, the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Jared Kushner received emails in September 2016 about Wikileaks and about a Russian overture, Politico reported. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein requested the emails in a letter they sent to Kushners attorney on Thursday.

George Papadopoulos bragged to Greek journalists last year about a phone call with Donald Trump relating to his role in the Trump campaign, Politico reported. The claims would contradict assertions from senior Trump campaign leaders, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions that Papadopoulos was not an important part of the campaign. Papadopoulos also told journalists in Greece that he was authorized to represent the campaign to foreign leaders.

Sergei Kislyak, Russias former ambassador to the United States, said he could not name all the Trump campaign officials he has met or spoken with, CNBC reported. In an interview with a Russian news channel, Kislyak said naming all Trump officials he had interactions with would take over twenty minutes. Kisylaks undisclosed meeting with Jeff Sessions prompted Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation last March.

A suicide bombing in Kabul killed twelve people in a blast near a meeting for one of the countrys leading political parties, the Post reported. The Islamic State issued an unsubstantiated claim of responsibility for the bombing while the Taliban denied involvement.

Saad Hariri, the recently-resigned former Lebanese prime minister, accepted an invitation to make an official visit to France, the Post reported. After meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Riyadh, Hariri said he would visit Paris soon. Lebanons president has accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri hostage. On Wednesday, Hariri said he would return to Lebanon within two days, a deadline that has now expired. Frances president, Emmanuel Macron, emphasized that the French invitation was not an offer of political exile.

The Pentagon is developing plans for a ballistic missile that would violate the terms of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Journal reported. U.S. officials said the proposed design is not intended for production but rather to showcase to Russia how the U.S. would respond if Russia continues to violate the INF Treaty. Top Defense Department officials have said that the Russian-deployed cruise missile is in breach of the treatys terms. For its part, Russia says U.S. missile defense systems in Europe are in violation of the agreement.

Cambodias Supreme Court dissolved the leading opposition party, consolidating power for Prime Minister Hun Sen, according to the Journal. The Prime Ministers government had sued the Cambodian National Rescue Party after accusing its leader of treason in connection with an alleged plot for a U.S.-backed coup. The Supreme Courts action makes Cambodia a one-party state; the high courts judges are widely viewed as allies of the prime minister, says the Journal. A European Union spokesperson said the move made Cambodias upcoming election process illegitimate.

A Human Rights Watch report said Myanmars military systematically raped Rohingya Muslim women and girls, the New York Times reported. The report, based on interviews with 52 Rohingya women and girls, said uniformed military personnel raped hundreds of people before and during attacks on Rohingya villages. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently called on Myanmar to investigate reports of atrocities committed by its security forces. A Times report from last month details, with graphic images and witness accounts, the atrocities that the military has perpetrated against the Rohingya. The U.N. has called the atrocities ethnic cleansing.

The Senate passed the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, according to Reuters. The $700 billion defense spending bill will now go to the White House for the presidents signature or veto. Trump is expected to sign the bill.

Russias justice ministry warned U.S. media outlets they might have to register as foreign agents under the terms of a bill that will soon go to the upper house of Russias parliament, the BBC reported. The ministry warned outlets associated with Voice of America and Radio Free Europe that they could face restrictions on their operations if they fail to register under and abide by new regulations. The proposed law is in retaliation for the U.S. Department of Justices enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act on Russia-backed RT and Sputnik.

The State Department said the U.S. would consider removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, according to the Times. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said Sudans removal from the list was conditional on it making further progress in cooperation with the U.S. against terrorism and on human rights issues.

The New York Times Magazines Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal wrote about the uncounted civilian toll of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Karen Young argued that the Saudi anti-corruption purge has overshadowed the slow progress in Saudi Arabias economic reform agenda.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared the National Security Law Podcast, covering among other issues, an en banc FISC decision and the NDAA.

Daniel Byman, Sarah Tate Chambers, Zann Isacson and Chris Mirasole set the stage for their upcoming series on regulating terrorist content on the Internet.

Benjamin Wittes shared the DMs on the DL edition of Rational Security.

Jimmy Chalk updated Water Wars, covering Trumps Asia trip.

 

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit ourEvents Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on ourJob Board.

 Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

The Russia probe has entered Phase 2
 

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We have now entered the second phase of the Russia probe. In the first, special counsel Robert Muellerand his team, starting from scratch, gathered sufficient evidence to file felony charges against Paul ManafortRick Gates and George Papadopoulos.

Phase 1 has given Mueller leverage against higher-level targets, who must be wondering how much the special counsel already knows, and how much he’s about to learn. Careful work may, eventually, enable him to secure evidence against the greatest target of them all: the president. In this second round, Mueller is holding all the cards and has the latitude to play them when and as he chooses.

The initial charges sent a message to the White House and former Trump campaign officials, who had tried to whistle their way past the graveyard, portraying the probe as lacking in substance and likely to be short-lived. The Oct. 30 flurry demonstrated that 1) people will be going to jail for a long time and 2) the probe is unlikely to stop short of the Oval Office. No more talk of fake news.

The sophisticated charges against Manafort and Gates, in particular, also revealed to veteran observers the meticulous professionalism and industry of Mueller’s squad, which is among the most formidable prosecutorial teams ever assembled. Further bad news for Team Trump.

From the public reports of potential criminal activity, it looks as though Mueller has set his immediate sights on no fewer than nine characters in Trump’s orbit: Michael Flynn (father), Michael Flynn (son), Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Carter Page, Corey Lewandowski, Stephen Miller, Keith Schiller and Sam Clovis. And of course there are possible wild cards that have not come into general public view. (No one anticipated the Papadopoulos indictment.)

Which of these men will next be charged? That depends not only on ease of proof, but also who can be used to induce cooperation among other campaign and administration insiders. My guess is that the Flynns are next on the chopping block.

It is a safe bet, moreover, that already discussions are taking place between Mueller’s team and multiple defense attorneys over terms of possible cooperation.

For these targets, Mueller can credibly warn that if they don’t talk first, others will, and their opportunity to receive a sharply reduced sentence will disappear. They are in effect playing an excruciating game of musical chairs in which the last defendants standing will be stuck with nothing but mammoth legal fees and lifelong disrepute.

Consider, for example, Manafort’s position should Mueller next bring charges against Flynn. He and Flynn have overlapping information. Now the two are locked in something like a classic prisoner’s dilemma: If one of them agrees to cooperate, it could sharply reduce the value, and thus the reward, for cooperation by the other. That means Manafort needs to make a decision promptly about whether to talk. And he has to do so knowing that his prospects for an acquittal are slim.

The charges against Flynn, should Mueller bring them, will likely be extensive, including false statements, conspiracy, money laundering and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, all growing out of his illicit and highly profitable dealings with the Turkish government.

Flynn the elder is effectively ruined at this point. He has no professional prospects and the only upside for him would be to stay out of jail. Not so for Flynn the younger, who reputation is not yet fully tarnished. A conviction would be devastating. If Mueller charges the son, that will put immense pressure on the father — a controversial and arguably mean-spirited maneuver, but one that’s absolutely in the playbook. The most recent prominent example was the decision to charge the wife of Andrew Fastow in the Enron investigation. The man behind that decision, by the way, was Andrew Weissman, Mueller’s No. 2.

A similar dynamic arises with Donald Trump Jr., whose stumblebum flirtations with WikiLeaks and with Russian figures he believed could provide dirt on Hillary Clinton could give rise to a series of criminal charges. True, Trump Sr. appears to be hermetically self-centered, but he is in his 70s and facing, at best, a failing presidency. What will he do if he knows that his son and namesake could go to prison, forever soiling the Trump brand?

There will be future rounds of the probe in which Mueller’s path will be less smooth. In particular, his team will one day face in the courts a battery of legal and evidentiary arguments crafted by some of the country’s most sophisticated (and expensive) defense lawyers. But for now, Mueller rules.

Harry Litman, a former United States attorney and deputy assistant attorney general, teaches at UCLA Law School and practices law at Constantine Cannon.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion or Facebook

The Russia probe has entered Phase 2 – Los Angeles Times
 

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Los Angeles Times
The Russia probe has entered Phase 2
Los Angeles Times
From the public reports of potential criminal activity, it looks as though Mueller has set his immediate sights on no fewer than nine characters in Trump’s orbit: Michael Flynn (father), Michael Flynn (son), Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Carter Page
Mueller Investigation Into Trump Russia Collusion Is ‘Fair’ According To VotersThe Inquisitrall 60 news articles »

Ivanka Trump and the fugitive from Panama
 

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PANAMA CITY/TORONTO – In the spring of 2007, a succession of foreigners, many from Russia, arrived at Panama City airport to be greeted by a chauffeur who whisked them off in a white Cadillac with a Donald Trump logo on the side.

The limousine belonged to a business run by a Brazilian former car salesman named Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, who was offering the visitors a chance to invest in Trump’s latest project – a 70-floor tower called the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower. It was the future U.S. president’s first international hotel venture, a complex including residential apartments and a casino in a waterfront building shaped like a sail.

“Mr Nogueira was an outgoing and lively young man,” remembered Justine Pasek, who was crowned Miss Universe by Donald Trump in 2002 and was acting in 2007 as a spokesperson for Nogueira’s company, Homes Real Estate Investment & Services. “Everybody was so impressed with Homes as they seemed to be riding the top of the real estate boom at the time,” she said.

One of those Nogueira set out to impress was Ivanka, Trump’s daughter. In an interview with Reuters, Nogueira said he met and spoke with Ivanka “many times” when she was handling the Trump Organization’s involvement in the Panama development. “She would remember me,” he said.

Ivanka was so taken with his sales skills, Nogueira said, that she helped him become a leading broker for the development and he appeared in a video with her promoting the project.

A Reuters investigation into the financing of the Trump Ocean Club, in conjunction with the American broadcaster NBC News, found Nogueira was responsible for between one-third and one-half of advance sales for the project. It also found he did business with a Colombian who was later convicted of money laundering and is now in detention in the United States; a Russian investor in the Trump project who was jailed in Israel in the 1990s for kidnap and threats to kill; and a Ukrainian investor who was arrested for alleged people-smuggling while working with Nogueira and later convicted by a Kiev court.

Three years after getting involved in the Trump Ocean Club, Nogueira was arrested by Panamanian authorities on charges of fraud and forgery, unrelated to the Trump project. Released on $1.4 million bail, he later fled the country.

He left behind a trail of people who claim he cheated them, including over apartments in the Trump project, resulting in at least four criminal cases that eight years later have still to be judged.

Nogueira, 43, denies the charges and told Reuters in an email: “I am no Angel but not Devil either.”

Ivanka Trump declined to comment on her dealings with Nogueira. A White House spokesman referred questions to the Trump Organization. Alan Garten, the organization’s chief legal officer, said: “No one at the Trump Organization, including the Trump family, has any recollection of ever meeting or speaking with this individual.”

Trump put his name to the development and stood to make up to $75 million from it, according to a bond prospectus for the project. He did not exert management control over the construction and was under no direct legal obligation to conduct due diligence on other people involved.

“I am no Angel but not Devil either.”

Still, some legal experts say the episode raises questions about the steps Trump took to check the source of any income from there. Arthur Middlemiss, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan and a former head of JPMorgan’s global anti-corruption program, said that since Panama was “perceived to be highly corrupt,” anyone engaged in business there should conduct due diligence on others involved in their ventures. If they did not, he said, there was a potential risk in U.S. law of being liable for turning a blind eye to wrongdoing.

Jimmy Gurule, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and a former under-secretary for enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department, agreed. He also said any businessman should avoid working with “anyone with a potential link to criminality” simply as a matter of good ethics.

Reuters could not determine what due diligence Trump carried out in relation to the Ocean Club project.

The White House referred Reuters questions about the Ocean Club development to the Trump Organization. Garten said the Trump Organization’s role in the project “was at all times limited to licensing its brand and providing management services. As the company was not the owner or developer, it had no involvement in the sale of any units at the property.”

He said the Trump Organization “never had any contractual relationship or significant dealings” with Nogueira.

Nine former business partners or employees of Nogueira interviewed by Reuters accused him of cheating them and his clients. Two of the nine have taken legal action against Nogueira. The cases have yet to be judged.

When first approached by Reuters, Nogueira declined to answer questions. Writing on October 4, he said in an email: “Anything I would say could also damage a lot of important and powerful people. I am not sure I should do that.”

Later, Nogueira agreed to meet. In a lengthy interview, he described his contacts with the Trump family and his role in the Ocean Club project. He said he only learned after the Ocean Club project was almost complete that some of his partners and investors in the Trump project were criminals, including some with what he described as connections to the “Russian mafia.” He said he had not knowingly laundered any illicit money through the Trump project, although he did say he had laundered cash later in other schemes for corrupt Panamanian officials.

It was not his job to check the source of money that investors used to buy units in the Trump Ocean Club, Nogueira said. “I didn’t know the money was coming from anything illegal. As long as they were doing wire transfers and not cash, I wasn’t worried about the source of it.”

Nogueira said that no one asked him about the source of funds. “Nobody ever asked me. The banks didn’t ask. The developers didn’t ask. The Trump Organization didn’t ask me. Nobody asked me: ‘Who are the customers? Where did the money come from?’”

It is unclear how much, if any, laundered money went into the Trump project.

Global Witness, an anti-corruption watchdog, says in an independently-produced report out today, that Panama in the 2000s presented particular challenges for property developers because of its then reputation for corruption.

The ultimate sources of cash for other Trump real estate projects where Trump has licensed his name have drawn scrutiny this year. In March, a Reuters review found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses had bought $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida.

The buyers included politically-connected businessmen and people from the second and third tiers of Russian power. Responding to that story, Garten, the Trump Organization’s counsel, said the scrutiny of Trump’s business ties with Russia was misplaced and that the story was “overblown.”

HIGH LIVING

Donald Trump’s involvement in the Ocean Club began in 2005, when local developer Roger Khafif travelled to Trump Tower in New York to pitch the idea of a Trump project in Panama. Khafif said he told the American tycoon that Trump would need only to license his name and provide hotel management. This way of doing business freed Trump from the burden of taking a stake or making a personal guarantee.

In an interview with Reuters, Khafif recalled that Trump wanted to use the Panama project as a “baby” for his daughter Ivanka, who had just joined the Trump Organization, to gain experience in the property business.

The plan was for Newland International Properties Corp, where Khafif was president and which owned the development, to finance construction with a bond underwritten by Bear Stearns, the U.S. investment bank. The bank, which collapsed in 2008, was acquired by JPMorgan, which declined to comment.

To sell the bond, the developer needed to prove it could sell the apartments. This was where Nogueira came in. The Brazilian had arrived in Panama in the mid-2000s from Spain, where he had worked as a car salesman.

He had already had a brush with the law. In September 2005, in an official notice posted on the internet, the Spanish economy ministry said it had opened proceedings to fine Nogueira for an alleged “serious violation” of the country’s money-laundering laws. The proceedings were terminated about nine months later after officials could not determine Nogueira’s whereabouts. The ministry declined to comment. Nogueira said it was a trivial incident, caused by him taking too much of his own cash through an airport.

Once in Panama, Nogueira became renowned for his friendships with politicians, his love of Aston Martin sports cars and expensive watches and, as one former associate recalled, for “never wearing the same shoes – no matter how expensive – for more than three months.”

He said he first got involved with the Trump Ocean Club project at an early sales meeting in 2006 in Panama arranged by Khafif, whom he knew already. Ivanka Trump and other real estate brokers were there, he said. He remembered listening as a minimum price of $120,000 for condominiums was discussed.

Nogueira said he stood up and said the price was at the level charged in ordinary developments. “Here, it is Trump selling. You have to give a value to that name. Make it $220,000!”

He said Ivanka replied: “Can you sell it?”

Nogueira said he asked for a week to prove himself. And within a week he managed to collect deposits on over 100 apartments, and after that Khafif made him a leading broker, working on a 5 percent commission of gross sales, he said.

Asked about Nogueira’s account of this meeting, Khafif said that “most of what he said was true.” Khafif said he remembered Nogueira meeting Ivanka “a couple of times.”

Nogueira said that in the months that followed he discussed promotion and sales with Ivanka in Panama, Miami and New York. He said he also joined a group that travelled with Ivanka on a private chartered jet to look at a potential site for another Trump project in Cartagena, Colombia.

While Donald Trump was not the owner of the Panama project, the Trump Organization participated in many details down to “choosing the furniture and fittings,” said Nogueira. Day-to-day the project was assigned to Ivanka, he said, adding: “I spoke to her a lot of times, a lot of times.” He also met Donald Jr. and Eric Trump.

Ivanka Trump did not respond to requests for comment about Nogueira. Garten, the Trump Organization’s counsel, described contact between Nogueira and the Trumps as “meaningless.” He said such meetings and events “may have been memorable” for Nogueira, but for Ivanka and the rest of the Trump family it would have been “just one of literally hundreds of public appearances they were asked to make that year.”

Ivanka and Trump’s sons appeared in public at launch events for the tower, made promotional videos for the project and managed the Trump involvement.

Nogueira said that one video was commissioned by him. Ivanka helped arrange access to Trump Tower in New York for some sequences. “In this video we made, I was talking and she was talking.”

When the Spanish-language TV channel Univision, in an article published in 2011, first noted Nogueira’s role in the Trump project, Eric Trump responded that Nogueira had been an unaffiliated salesman. “I looked and I’ve never heard the name, nor does it appear in our database. What I found out was [Nogueira] owns a real estate agency in Panama that sells apartments in our building as a third party,” he told the channel.

Asked this month about Eric Trump’s statement in response to the Univision report, the Trump Organization said the company never had any ties to Nogueira or awareness of him.

Despite being a third party, Nogueira and his partners played a major part in the Trump project’s success, according to interviews with former key staff at Homes, developers, investors and lawyers, and an analysis of Panama corporate records and other public documents.

Homes accounted for up to half of the 666 apartment sales in advance of the bond prospectus, people involved in the project told Reuters.

Eleanora Michailov, a Russian who settled in Canada, was Nogueira’s international sales director. She recalled that Nogueira handled the sale of a third of the building, about 200 apartments. Another Homes sales agent, Jenny Levy, a relative by marriage to the developer, Khafif, said she alone sold 30 apartments.

“We sold half the building, baby! Homes sold half,” Levy said in a phone interview. Nogueira said that he and his agents across the world sold between 350 to 400 apartment and hotel units.

Khafif, president and co-owner of the developer, Newland, said he was unsure of the exact number, but Nogueira had probably sold up to 300 units. “Everybody was lining up to work with him … During those days he was the hottest real estate agency in town,” he said.

Homes found a ready market in Russia. “Russians like to show off,” said Khafif, who went on several sales trips to Moscow. “For them, Trump was the Bentley” of real estate brands.

Michailov said investors in the Ocean Club were asked to pay 10 percent up front for one of the apartments; she said the average price was about $350,000. Buyers had to pay a total of 30 percent within a year, according to the bond prospectus, and Homes organized the investment by setting up Panamanian companies for customers to enter pre-sales agreements with Khafif’s company, Newland.

In 2006 and 2007, Panama corporate records show, at least 131 holding companies with various combinations of the words “Trump” and “Ocean” in their name – for example, the Trump Ocean 1806 Investment Corp – were registered in Panama for pre-sales deals, and mostly by the Homes group.

In many cases the identity of the buyers was not clear. Nogueira and other Homes staff involved said Panamanian law at that time imposed no obligation to verify the identity of owners.

But listed as director of four Trump Ocean investment companies was Igor Anopolskiy, who in 2007 was Homes Real Estate’s representative in Kiev. Police records state he was arrested in March of that year for suspected people trafficking. Released a year later on bail, he was re-arrested in 2013, and in 2014 a Ukraine court handed Anopolskiy a five-year suspended jail sentence with three years probation for offenses including people smuggling and forgery, unrelated to the Trump project.

Interviewed in Kiev, Anopolskiy blamed the case on police corruption and denied committing any crime.

It was a Colombian businessman named David Murcia Guzman who triggered Nogueira’s downfall. Murcia was indicted in November 2008 for money laundering, first in Colombia and then in the United States. Murcia was sentenced to nine years in prison in the United States for conspiracy to launder drug money. After serving six years, he is expected to be deported to Colombia, his attorney, Robert Abreu, said. Colombia’s government said Murcia will serve a 22-year prison term upon his return for offenses including money laundering.

Murcia did not get permission from U.S. authorities to respond to Reuters’ questions.

Within days of Murcia’s indictment, the spotlight turned to Nogueira. Roniel Ortiz, a former lawyer for both Nogueira and Murcia, said Nogueira had offered to wash Murcia’s money by buying apartments on his behalf. Murcia “could not take his money to a bank,” Ortiz said, so Nogueira “offered to see how he could help.”

Ortiz said he did not know how much, if any, of Murcia’s money was used in the Trump project. Nogueira said Murcia gave him $1 million to invest in Panamanian property, which Nogueira used to pay the deposit on up to ten Trump apartments among other investments. Nogueira added: “He was not a bad guy. I don’t believe everything in those charges was true.”

In 2013 Nogueira, in conversations secretly recorded by a former business partner, said he had performed money laundering as a service, moving tens of millions of dollars mainly through contacts in Miami and the Bahamas. “More important than the money from real estate was being able to launder the drug money – there were much larger amounts involved,” he said in the recording. “When I was in Panama I was regularly laundering money for more than a dozen companies.”

The recordings were heard by Reuters and authenticated by five people who know Nogueira.

Speaking to Reuters, Nogueira said he could not recall making such claims and denied laundering cash through the Trump project or handling drugs money. He said that later, after his real estate business had collapsed in 2009, he had been involved in handling cash from corrupt officials and politicians, and was involved in corrupt schemes to sell Panamanian visas.

THE RUSSIAN CONNECTION

In the story of Panama’s Trump Ocean Club, a high point for many of those involved was a warm, cloudless night in early 2007.

The setting was Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club in Florida. Spilling out of Lamborghinis and Porsches onto the welcoming carpet were the sales people, clients and potential clients whose acumen and cash would make it possible – within a month – to break ground on the project’s building site in Panama City.

Entertained with drinks, music and jokes from American TV celebrity Regis Philbin, the guests got to meet and greet Trump and his children, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka. The event was organized to celebrate a successful sales campaign – and to solicit more sales.

The Trump Organization did not comment about the party. Philbin told Reuters he couldn’t recall the event because it was 10 years ago. “I used to be with him [Trump] a lot,” Philbin said. “I was good friends with him.”

Nogueira said he was at the party and there met Donald Trump for “the first and only time.” He recalled: “They introduced me and said, ‘That’s the guy selling Panama,’ and he thanked me. We just talked for two or three minutes.”

Besides Nogueira, the guests included people involved with the project as investors or salesmen, some of Russian or former Soviet Union origin. Among them, in the delegation from Homes and wearing a dark suit, was Alexander Altshoul, born in Belarus. “Russians like their brand names,” Altshoul told Reuters, explaining why investors were attracted to Trump. “The moment was right, they were speculating. Many people hoped to get profits.”

Altshoul, who holds Canadian citizenship, was listed on the Homes company website in 2007 as a “partner” and an “owner” of the firm. He became involved in Homes after moving to Panama from Toronto and investing with family and friends in the Trump project, paying deposits on 10 apartments and one hotel unit.

Among his partners in that investment, according to Altshoul and Panamanian corporate records, was a Muscovite named Arkady Vodovosov, a relative of Altshoul. In 1998, Vodovosov was sentenced to five years in prison in Israel for kidnap and threats to kill and torture, court records state.

Contacted by telephone, Vodovosov said inquiries about his involvement with the Trump project were nonsense. “We were in Panama for a very short time, and got out of there a long time ago,” he said, declining to answer further questions.

Altshoul attended the Mar-a-Lago party with another Homes partner, Stanislau Kavalenka, recalled people who were there. Kavalenka was also a Canadian émigré from the former Soviet Union.

At different times, Altshoul and Kavalenka each faced accusations of having connections to organized crime, but the charges were dropped. In Altshoul’s case, police in Toronto filed charges in April 2007, at the time he was promoting the Trump project. He was accused of involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme, unrelated to the Panama project, that involved sending funds through Latvia. The criminal case was dropped a year later.

In a statement, the Canadian government said it was “duty bound to withdraw charges where there is no reasonable prospect of conviction or if it is not in the public interest to proceed.” It did not elaborate further on the case. Altshoul said the decision showed he was innocent.

In 2004, Canadian prosecutors had accused Kavalenka of pimping and kidnapping Russian prostitutes. That case was dropped in 2005 after the alleged prostitutes, who were the main witnesses, did not show up in court. Kavalenka’s whereabouts are unknown. He did not respond to questions about his role in the Trump project sent to him through his family in Canada.

Nogueira said Altshoul and Kavalenka had joined Homes together, first as customers and later as partners. Altshoul told him he had had some difficulties “but they were solved, and it wasn’t my problem,” Nogueira said. Nogueira also said that after he read of Kavalenka’s Toronto case on Google, Kavalenka told him: “I was running some girls. That’s how I made money. But I was cleared.”

SOLD “LIKE HOT CAKES”

In the months after the Mar-a-Lago party, the prospects for everyone involved in the Trump Ocean Club looked rosy. In the midst of a global property boom and a successful pitch, sales had exceeded all expectations.

A bond prospectus was issued in November 2007, enabling the raising of construction funds. By the end of June that year, the prospectus declared, the project had “pre-sold approximately 64 percent of the building’s condominium and commercial units,” guaranteeing receipts on completion of the project of at least $278.7 million.

Trump said later, in a promotional video ahead of the 2011 opening, that the project sold “like hot cakes.”

But not all the money collected in the pre-sales campaign would go on to fund the project. Nine former business partners or employees of Nogueira interviewed by Reuters alleged that, at the Ocean Club and at other developments, Nogueira either failed to pass on all the deposits he collected to the project’s developers, or sometimes sold the same apartment to more than one client, with the result that, on completion of the project, some clients had no clear claim on a property.

Exactly how many apartments were double-sold is unknown. Michailov said up to 10 out of 80 apartments in the Trump tower that she had sold were also sold by Nogueira to others. Lawsuits in Panama and separate written complaints seen by Reuters record at least six instances of alleged fraud by Nogueira, in the Trump project and in other Panama construction projects. Two of the complaints seen by Reuters were in the “Panama Papers,” documents from a local law firm that were leaked to the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Ortiz, the former lawyer for Murcia and Nogueira, said of the Trump-branded project: “When the building was completed and people arrived to seek out their apartments, they ran into each other – two, three people who were fighting for the same apartment.”

Complaints against Nogueira, including allegations of fraud in Trump Ocean Club sales, resulted in four criminal cases against him in Panama and culminated in his arrest on fraud charges in May 2009.

Nogueira said double-sales occurred because of changes in the building specifications or clerical error. He said he never deliberately sold an apartment twice. He said that not everyone lost money from their investments, and most who did lost out because of poor or unlucky investment decisions. “If you are looking to make easy money from speculation then you have to accept there is a risk,” he said.

Released on bail for $1.4 million, he continued to live in Panama until 2012 when, despite a ban on leaving the country, he fled to his native country, Brazil, before moving on again. Karen Kahn, a federal prosecutor based in Sao Paulo, said Nogueira is under a federal investigation for international money laundering, an inquiry triggered by several large bank transfers that arrived in his accounts from Panama.

Declining to disclose where he is living now, Nogueira agreed to meet Reuters and NBC News on November 13 at a neutral location, on condition it would not be revealed. Nogueira said an arrest warrant was outstanding against him in Panama. “Of course right now, I can be considered by the justice system to be fugitive. But there are two sides to everything.”

It wasn’t only alleged fraud that cost investors. After the global property crash of 2008, any chance of quick profit on the Trump Panama venture vanished.

By the time the Trump Ocean Club project was complete in 2011, many investors had withdrawn and lost their deposits rather than stump up the 70 percent balance. Bond holders lost, too, after Khafif’s company, Newland, defaulted on payments and the bond was restructured.

There was one person who still profited: Donald Trump.

Whatever the losses investors might suffer, under Trump’s licensing deal, detailed originally in the bond prospectus, the future U.S. president was guaranteed to receive payment. Court records from Newland’s bankruptcy in 2013 indicate Trump agreed to reduce his fee, but that he still earned between $30 million and $50 million from lending his name to the project.

The Trump Ocean Club

Reported by Ned Parker and Nathan Layne in New York and Toronto; Stefanie Eschenbacher, Christine Murray and Elida Moreno in Panama City; Stephen Grey and Tom Bergin in London; Brad Brooks in Americana, Brazil; Angus Berwick in Madrid; and Denis Dyomkin and Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto. This story was reported in partnership with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (OCCRP), a non-profit journalism group: Roman Anin in Moscow and Tel Aviv, and Anna Babinets and Elena Loginova in Kiev.

Photo editing: Simon Newman

Data: Christine Murray

Design: Catherine Tai

Edited by Richard Woods and Janet McBride

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Jared Kushner Keeps Failing To Disclose Connections With Russians – HuffPost
 

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Jared Kushner Still Doesn’t Have White House Security Clearance After Ten Months
 

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Experts are baffled as to why Jared Kushner, who has been tasked with forging peace in the Middle East and is one of President Donald Trump’s top advisors, still does not have White House security clearance nearly a year after he was appointed.

Politico cited sources Thursday who said Kushner’s clearance to handle America’s most sensitive information is still under review.

Susan Hennessey, a national security fellow at the Brookings Institution, who specializes in congressional oversight of the intelligence community, said on Twitter: “The White House claim that it is ‘completely normal’ for it to take over 10 months to clear an extremely senior WH official is insane.”

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White House Senior adviser Jared Kushner attends bilateral meetings held by U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017. Thomas Peter/Reuters

Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law, was one of the president’s first appointees after he won the election a year ago. The White House told Politico that the delay is “completely normal” and that it can take more than 300 days, in some cases, to grant full security clearance. At present, Kushner has interim clearance.

Usually the most senior White House staff who will work closely with the president are prioritized with the goal of getting them clearance within 90 days, Leslie McAdoo Gordon, a security clearance lawyer, added. “Some of them get resolved in 90 days, but many of them don’t. It can take months. It can occasionally take years. You just have to work the system,” she said.

Kushner’s application has been complicated by the fact that he initially left more than 100 names off his list of foreign contacts on the security clearance application—a chargeable offense.

Some of the contacts left off Kushner’s application included meetings last December with then Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak and Sergey Gorkov, president of the state-run Russian bank VEB.

Read more: Jared Kushner doesn’t read and gets tired of talking about the Middle East, Joe Scarborough says

Other experts said the length of time it has taken to get clearance for Kushner, a first time applicant with a complex business and financial background, is normal. Kushner was CEO of his family’s real estate firm Kushner Companies.

“As a general rule, with respect to clearances, when you have people who have never had one before and they have massive financial and foreign connection and a staggering amount of business interests, like some of the people accompanying Trump, it wouldn’t be unheard of,” said Mark Zaid, another security clearance lawyer.

Trump has given Kushner the responsibility of brokering peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and restructuring the federal government. If his security clearance is revoked, he wouldn’t be able to carry out his job.

On Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee confronted Kushner in a letter for not turning over documents—including some about his security clearance—that it has requested from him as part of its investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and whether it offered any assistance in the Kremlin’s election meddling efforts.

Kushner, the committee wrote, hasn’t turned over emails from September 2016 about WikiLeaks and a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite.” They said Kushner forwarded these to another campaign official. Kushner’s attorney Abbe Lowell said they are open to disclosing the documents.

Key American intelligence officials produced a report early this year that found Wikileaks released thousands of emails that were stolen by Russian intelligence from the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party. Early this week The Atlantic revealed that Wikileaks was in contact with Donald Trump Jr. and pushed him to spread the email disclosures.

The committee said it believes Kushner hasn’t turned over all communication about a select list of people they have picked out as part of the investigation.

“I’m thinking that asking why Jared Kushner still has a security clearance may not capture all his misconduct,” wrote Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California on Twitter. “We really should be asking: Why is #Kushner still in the White House?”

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4:33 AM 11/18/2017 – Have I got a bridge in Brooklyn just for you! Or: The Kazakh soap opera with Trump ties

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Palmer Report: Jared Kushner tried to cover up communications during the election with suspected Russian mobster

After it was revealed this week that Jared Kushner lied about knowing of Donald Trump Jr’s communications with WikiLeaks during the election, and that he’s been trying to cover up his own secret Russian dinner invite during the election, it looked like things couldn’t get any worse for Kushner. Then came the inevitable Friday evening news cycle, which revealed that yes, things could get even worse for Kushner. Much worse.It now turns out that Russian dinner invite came from a suspected Russian mobster named Aleksander Torshin, according to an NBC News report (link). Kushner did apparently end up turning down the dinner invite but he went on to fail to disclose the incident, and it’s possible he committed a crime in the process.

Remarkably, after Donald Trump took office, he was scheduled to meet with this same suspected Russian mobster, and only canceled the meeting after it became public knowledge (link). This raises the question of what other, if any, contacts and communications the Trump regime had with Torshin in between the Kushner invite and the aborted Trump meeting.

Jared Kushner is already facing potential legal trouble for having lied on his White House security clearance forms about his secret meetings with Russian government representatives during the election, and with the Russian Ambassador and the head of a Russian bank during the transition period. The form in question states that lying on it is a felony.

The post Jared Kushner tried to cover up communications during the election with suspected Russian mobster appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Sessions jokes about investigations into Russia contacts: ‘Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room?’ – Q13 FOX
 


Q13 FOX
Sessions jokes about investigations into Russia contacts: ‘Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room?’
Q13 FOX
The attorney general’s dealings with Russian officials, including former ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, have loomed large over his 11-month tenure at the Justice Department. But Sessions had a bounce in his step Friday as he took aim at 
Sessions jokes of Russian ambassador from site of scrutinized 2016 speechABC News
Attorney General Jeff Sessions Just Joked About His Russia ConnectionsNewsweek
Sessions Jokes to Conservative Group: ‘Anybody Been to Russia?’Newsmax
Raw Story
all 49 news articles »
The Manafort money laundering charges: What’s in store? – CNN
 


CNN
The Manafort money laundering charges: What’s in store?
CNN
Stefan D. Cassella is the former deputy chief of the Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Section and the author of “Asset Forfeiture Law in the United States.” Michael Zeldin, a CNN legal analyst, has served as a federal 
The Conspiracy And FBAR Charges Against Manafort, GatesLaw360
The Russia probe has entered Phase 2Los Angeles Times
WSJ: Mueller Subpoenaed the Trump Campaign for Russia-Related DocumentsThe Weekly Standard 
The Hill
 Utah Public Radio– Yahoo News UK The HillSalon 

all 99 news articles »

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4:01 AM 11/18/2017 – Top Russian Official Tried to Broker ‘Backdoor’ Meeting Between Trump and Putin – New York Times

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Trump, Putin, and the Mob – Google News: Top Russian Official Tried to Broker ‘Backdoor’ Meeting Between Trump and Putin – New York Times
 


New York Times
Top Russian Official Tried to Broker ‘Backdoor’ Meeting Between Trump and Putin
New York Times
WASHINGTON A senior Russian official who claimed to be acting at the behest of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia tried in May 2016 to arrange a meeting between Mr. Putin and Donald J. Trump, according to several people familiar with the matter 
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Kushner told Congress he did not recall campaign contact with WikiLeaks: report – The Hill
 


Telegraph.co.uk
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WCAX
Kushner told Congress he did not recall campaign contact with WikiLeaks: report
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President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner told congressional investigators in July that he was not aware of any communications between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, according to a CNN report on Friday. That testimony appears …
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Senate panel seeks info from Jared Kushner on Russian national’s ‘dinner invite’: Report – Washington Examiner
 


Washington Examiner
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Both were indicted by a federal grand jury last month on 12 charges, including conspiracy against the U.S., for their work years ago for their lobbying work on behalf of pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine. Eventually, the request was sent to Kushner and more »
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HuffPost
Jake Tapper Rips Trump: People In Glass White Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones
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In Trump’s world, we’re supposed to believe the very compelling claims of Leeann Tweeden, Tapper said, referring to Franken’s accuser. But we are not supposed to believe … at least 12 women who have brought forward claims against Trumpinvolving …and more »

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Donald Trump: Facing Public Outrage, Trump Puts Elephant Trophy Decision ‘On Hold’

Earlier this week, the administration lifted a ban on the import of elephant parts from two African nations. Donald Trump
Donald Trump: Ivanka Trump Linked To Fraudster In Trump Panama Resort Project

Ivanka Trump helped a fugitive become the leading broker on the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower. Donald Trump
Palmer Report: After she bailed on Donald Trumps Asia trip, Melania mysteriously turned up alone in Alaska

During Donald Trump’s Asia trip, his wife Melania stayed behind in China while he traveled on to Vietnam to meet with Vladimir Putin. The official story was that she wanted to visit the zoo, which sounded suspect to begin with, particularly as it came out of nowhere without any public announcement in advance. Now we know that Melania traveled home from Asia by herself, and she ended up in Alaska of all places.Melania Trump stopped in Alaska on Friday, November 10th, on her way home from Asia. The official explanation was that her plane needed to refuel, and she used the time to visit an elementary school, according to a report from Alaska Public Media (link). This means that Melania didn’t merely take a few days away from Donald in order to visit a Chinese zoo, as the administration claimed at the time. In actuality she bailed on the entire remainder of Donald’s Asia trip, and she traveled home alone. There’s more.As Palmer Report pointed out at the time, something was very off about Melania’s decision to bail on Donald’s trip to begin with. The split wasn’t originally known to have been part of the schedule, and it came off like an arbitrary excuse. Just hours later, Donald posted his first reckless tweets of the entire trip, and they ended up being arguably his most berserk of all time (“haters and losers” and “short and fat” etc), suggesting that either she bailed because he’d gone off the deep end, or she bailed and it caused him to go off the deep end.

Now we know that Melania Trump didn’t just go to the zoo. She decided to get away from Donald Trump for the entire remainder of his Asia trip. It’s plausible that her plane really did need to refuel in Alaska, but at this point it sounds like she may have simply been looking for an excuse to stay away even longer. We’ll keep digging.

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New York Times
Top Russian Official Tried to Broker ‘Backdoor’ Meeting Between Trump and Putin
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Soon after Mr. Torshin’s outreach fizzled, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, arranged a meeting at Trump Tower after being told that a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin would bring damaging information about Mrs. Clinton to the meeting.
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BBC News
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Politico (blog)
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A federal judge on Friday heard arguments in a case to determine whether President Trump’s own tweets could force the government to reveal more information about its efforts to verify information contained in a controversial opposition research dossier 
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Palmer Report: The guy behind the Trump-Russia dossier reveals how the Kremlin snuck money to Donald Trump

Former MI6 agent Christopher Steele helped push Donald Trump’s Russia scandal into the public eye with his “Trump Russia dossier” which laid out how the Kremlin spent years cultivating and compromising Trump ahead of his run for president. The dossier was initially attacked by the American mainstream media in vicious fashion, but many of its claims have since proven true, and none of its claims have been proven false. Now Steele is revealing new information which could blow the entire scandal wide open.Steele, who is British, has long been hesitant to speak to American investigators or even set foot in the United States, perhaps out of fear of retaliation from Donald Trump. He recently spoke to British publication The Guardian about the Trump-Russia scandal, and shared a new clue which might end up revealing the entire puzzle (link). Steele said that the loan amounts don’t match up with the actual values of the hotel deals and land deals between Trump and Kremlin-tied investors.He didn’t go on to say which deals in particular he was referring to, but there are a number of possible explanations. For instance, he may have been referring to the Trump Soho real real estate deal in New York. The Trump Organization partnered with convicted Russian mafia money laundering figure Felix Sater on that deal. It’s also possible he may have been alluding the massive loans that Deutsche Bank has continued to float to Donald Trump over the years, even after he became a poor credit risk, and the fact that Deutsche Bank was busted this year for laundering Russian money.

In any case, while Christopher Steele’s Trump-Russia dossier is most popularly known for its still-unproven “Pee Pee Tape” allegation, other key aspects of his dossier have been proven true. His research is credible enough that his new “follow the money” reveal should be taken seriously.

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morell on trump – Google News: Roberts: Have I got a bridge in Brooklyn just for you! – Danville Commercial News
 

Roberts: Have I got a bridge in Brooklyn just for you!
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 morell on trump – Google News

Palmer Report: This is going to be Donald Trumps most whacked out weekend yet

For mainstream Americans who are hoping the country survives the illegitimate reign of Donald Trump, the conundrum is whether or not they want him even trying to do the job. Everything he touches dies, so one theory is that we’re best off if he simply sits back and lazily does nothing at all. The problem is that when Trump isn’t focused on screwing up the job, and he has free time to himself, he tends to go looking for trouble. That’s why this weekend is going to be one of Trump’s most whacked out yet.Kyle Griffin, producer for MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, tweeted on Friday night that “Trump has no public events scheduled this weekend, according to the White House.” This cannot be good news for him. As Palmer Report recently pointed out (link), Trump’s recent lack of boorish tweets since he got back from his Asia trip suggests that he’s run out of gas. But even if he doesn’t go berserk on Twitter this weekend, evidence suggests that he’ll find other ways to get into trouble.Several months ago, after bad weather derailed his weekend golf outing, Donald Trump sat and stewed about the Trump-Russia investigation and had adviser Stephen Miller write a letter plotting the firing of FBI Director James Comey. That letter is now evidence in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s obstruction of justice case against Trump.

Donald Trump is now at a low point in his already sinking tenure. His Asia trip went nowhere and seemed to physically and mentally break him. His son and son-in-law both managed to get into much deeper legal trouble in the Trump-Russia scandal while he was out of the country. Whether it ends up playing out in embarrassing public view or behind the scenes, this empty-schedule weekend is going to be one of Trump’s most whacked out yet.

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 Palmer Report

Trump’s Coffee Boy Keeps Sabotaging His Russia Story – Vanity Fair
 


Vanity Fair
Trump’s Coffee Boy Keeps Sabotaging His Russia Story
Vanity Fair
The vast web of relationships between multiple members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials or intermediaries has, of course, made it difficult for the White House to distance the president from the targets of Mueller’s investigation. It’s a and more »
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Newsweek
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President Donald Trump made tens of millions of dollars in profits by allowing Colombian drug cartels and other groups tolaunder money through a Trump-affiliated hotel in Panama, according to a new investigation by the organization Global Witness.
A Panama tower carries Trump’s name and ties to organized crimeNBCNews.com
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 trump money laundering – Google News

Just Security: Kushners Unsatisfactory Senate Document Production
 

The most incendiary part of a stinging letter from Senate Judiciary Committee leaders to Jared Kushners counsel, Abbe Lowell, is the committees disclosure that other parties have produced documents concerning a Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite which Mr. Kushner also forwarded.

That sounds like a major piece of evidence in the broader context of Russian election interference and allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia. However, it is impossible to assess the significance of the email referenced without more information. Who wrote that email? When was it written, i.e., how does it fit into the overall timeline of events? To whom was it sent when Kushner was copied? To whom did Kushner forward it? Who produced it to the committee? The committee has possession of the underlying email, but what Kushner did with it could reveal significant evidence that might not have been in the possession of the person who produced it.

In their letter to Lowell, Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) accuse Kushner of failing to provide other documents also requested by the committee. In particular, they note that other parties have produced September 2016 email communications to Mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks, which Mr. Kushner then forwarded to another campaign official. Additionally, other parties also produced email communications with Sergei Millian, on which Kushner was copied. Millian, a Belarus businessman, is apparently identified as Source D in Christopher Steeles dossier. They also note that Kushner has not produced any responsive phone records that we presume exist.

Beyond the Russia overture bombshell, their letter reveals several other dynamics at play in the congressional investigations of Russian interference.

A Bipartisan Show of Force. Of note, the letter is signed by both Grassley and Feinstein. A bipartisan committee leadership letter sends an unmistakable signal to Kushners team that the Senate Judiciary Committee is escalating its pressure. Grassleys participation brings with it a credible implicit threat of a subpoena. Under the committees rules, the Chairman of the Committee, with the agreement of the Ranking Member or by a vote of the Committee, may subpoena the attendance of a witness at a Committee or Subcommittee hearing or Committee deposition, or the production of memoranda, documents, records, or any other materials. The measured tone of the letter still presumes Lowells goodwill. (It appears that your search may have overlooked several documents.) While the Committees patience has been tried, it has not been lost.

The message is clear: Stop playing word games and conduct a thorough and diligent search, or else a subpoena will be forthcoming. The committee gave a two-week deadline of Nov. 27, 2017. Grassley and Feinstein may not react well to Lowells public statement in response to the letter, reported here. In it, Lowell argued Kushner had provided the committee with all relevant documents that had to do with Kushners calls, contacts, or meetings with Russians during the campaign and transition, which he characterizes as the sum of the committees request. That is clearly not how the committee interpreted its own document request.

Dawdling on Executive Privilege Non-ClaimsThe letter notes that Kushners team has raised concerns that certain documents might implicate the Presidents Executive Privilege and declined to produce those documents. Based on Lowells public statement Thursday, it sounds like Kushner has thus far declined to produce any documents from after the inauguration that are responsive to the committees request. The committee asks Lowell to work with White House counsel to resolve executive privilege claims or provide a privilege log describing the documents over which President Donald Trump is asserting executive privilege. As I have written previously, from the executive branch perspective executive privilege claims do not ripen for presidential determination until a document is compelled by subpoena, and even then not until the congressional committee has scheduled a contempt vote for noncompliance.   Therefore, I anticipate the only way the committee will ever hope to obtain access to those documents is by subpoenaing them, and then holding Kushner to account for failure to produce them by means of contempt. At that point, Trump will have to decide whether he is going assert privilege with all the attendant political consequences. That is an important decision that requires a legal and political defense. Unless Grassley holds up judicial nominations in return for document access (which is probably a nonstarter for a chairman who just tore up the century-old blue-slip process), the only way the committee can force the issue is by means of its powers of compulsion. With respect to an executive privilege log, should this ever escalate to subpoena enforcement litigation, an opinion in the Fast and Furious congressional subpoena litigation (my analysis here) indicates the court would likely expect Kushner and the White House to have provided a log during negotiations between the legislative and executive branches.

Inter-Committee Rivalries & Intramurals. Lowell appears to be making the understandable, but likely futile, attempt to limit Kushner from having multiple interviews with investigators. Grassley and Feinstein seek Kushners assistance in obtaining transcripts of his interviews with the House and Senate intelligence committees. It is clear that, notwithstanding Kushners consent, the intelligence committees have declined to provide transcripts to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Those committees, in particular, have authorities that prohibit sharing intelligence sources and methods with other senators. While all Senators have access to classified intelligence assessments, access to intelligence sources and methods, programs, and budgets is generally limited to Intelligence Committee members (and to members of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee). They also have rules restricting disclosure of sensitive documents to other committees without prior approval by the bipartisan committee leadership. The intelligence committees use their jurisdictional provisions to safeguard their access to the intelligence community but also to protect their turf from other perceived encroachments by other committees.

It will be interesting to watch how this burgeoning dispute unfolds. We should get some public indication as to the committees level of satisfaction with Kushners response after Nov. 27.

Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Read on Just Security »

 Just Security

Donald Trump: Kellyanne Conway Says She Started The Discussion On Sexual Harassment

“I tried to do it 13 months ago; nobody wanted to listen to me because of the campaign I was managing.” Donald Trump
11:29 AM 11/17/2017

Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Trump Shatters Longstanding Norms by Pressing for Clinton Investigation – New York Times Trump Campaign’s Foreign-Policy Team Is Under Mueller’s Microscope – Bloomberg Trump May Think Mueller Probe Is ‘Witch Hunt,’ but Voters Don’t Agree, Poll Shows – Newsweek Will Mueller Charge Trump? Hope Hicks Interview Means Probe … … Continue reading“11:29 AM 11/17/2017”
Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Russia blocked the extension of the U.N. investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the Washington Post reported. Russias representative to the Security Council vetoed a resolution that the U.S. introduced to prolong the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), the U.N. probe created to find the responsible parties for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Russia had criticized the JIMs latest report for blaming the Syrian government for the April sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun. The investigations term expired on Thursday.China reiterated its position that the U.S. and South Korea should stop conducting joint military exercises in exchange for a freeze in North Korean nuclear testing, the Post reported. The White House said President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed to disagree about the proposed approach. Earlier this week, Trump said Xi had told him the freeze-for-freeze proposal would not work. In response, China insisted it still supported the proposal. Separately, North Koreas envoy to the U.N. said it would not begin negotiations about its nuclear program unless the U.S. and South Korea end their military exercises, according to Reuters. He also said he expected the U.S. to impose more sanctions in the coming months.Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed the Trump campaign to obtain Russia-related documents from several top officials, the Wall Street Journal reported. Despite the Trump campaigns insistence that it is cooperating with the special counsel inquiry, in mid-October Muellers team issued an order requesting documents from at least a dozen senior campaign aides for documents and emails containing Russia-related keywords. Separately, the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Jared Kushner received emails in September 2016 about Wikileaks and about a Russian overture, Politico reported. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein requested the emails in a letter they sent to Kushners attorney on Thursday.

George Papadopoulos bragged to Greek journalists last year about a phone call with Donald Trump relating to his role in the Trump campaign, Politico reported. The claims would contradict assertions from senior Trump campaign leaders, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions that Papadopoulos was not an important part of the campaign. Papadopoulos also told journalists in Greece that he was authorized to represent the campaign to foreign leaders.

Sergei Kislyak, Russias former ambassador to the United States, said he could not name all the Trump campaign officials he has met or spoken with, CNBC reported. In an interview with a Russian news channel, Kislyak said naming all Trump officials he had interactions with would take over twenty minutes. Kisylaks undisclosed meeting with Jeff Sessions prompted Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation last March.

A suicide bombing in Kabul killed twelve people in a blast near a meeting for one of the countrys leading political parties, the Post reported. The Islamic State issued an unsubstantiated claim of responsibility for the bombing while the Taliban denied involvement.

Saad Hariri, the recently-resigned former Lebanese prime minister, accepted an invitation to make an official visit to France, the Post reported. After meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Riyadh, Hariri said he would visit Paris soon. Lebanons president has accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri hostage. On Wednesday, Hariri said he would return to Lebanon within two days, a deadline that has now expired. Frances president, Emmanuel Macron, emphasized that the French invitation was not an offer of political exile.

The Pentagon is developing plans for a ballistic missile that would violate the terms of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Journal reported. U.S. officials said the proposed design is not intended for production but rather to showcase to Russia how the U.S. would respond if Russia continues to violate the INF Treaty. Top Defense Department officials have said that the Russian-deployed cruise missile is in breach of the treatys terms. For its part, Russia says U.S. missile defense systems in Europe are in violation of the agreement.

Cambodias Supreme Court dissolved the leading opposition party, consolidating power for Prime Minister Hun Sen, according to the Journal. The Prime Ministers government had sued the Cambodian National Rescue Party after accusing its leader of treason in connection with an alleged plot for a U.S.-backed coup. The Supreme Courts action makes Cambodia a one-party state; the high courts judges are widely viewed as allies of the prime minister, says the Journal. A European Union spokesperson said the move made Cambodias upcoming election process illegitimate.

A Human Rights Watch report said Myanmars military systematically raped Rohingya Muslim women and girls, the New York Times reported. The report, based on interviews with 52 Rohingya women and girls, said uniformed military personnel raped hundreds of people before and during attacks on Rohingya villages. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently called on Myanmar to investigate reports of atrocities committed by its security forces. A Times report from last month details, with graphic images and witness accounts, the atrocities that the military has perpetrated against the Rohingya. The U.N. has called the atrocities ethnic cleansing.

The Senate passed the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, according to Reuters. The $700 billion defense spending bill will now go to the White House for the presidents signature or veto. Trump is expected to sign the bill.

Russias justice ministry warned U.S. media outlets they might have to register as foreign agents under the terms of a bill that will soon go to the upper house of Russias parliament, the BBC reported. The ministry warned outlets associated with Voice of America and Radio Free Europe that they could face restrictions on their operations if they fail to register under and abide by new regulations. The proposed law is in retaliation for the U.S. Department of Justices enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act on Russia-backed RT and Sputnik.

The State Department said the U.S. would consider removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, according to the Times. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said Sudans removal from the list was conditional on it making further progress in cooperation with the U.S. against terrorism and on human rights issues.

The New York Times Magazines Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal wrote about the uncounted civilian toll of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Karen Young argued that the Saudi anti-corruption purge has overshadowed the slow progress in Saudi Arabias economic reform agenda.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared the National Security Law Podcast, covering among other issues, an en banc FISC decision and the NDAA.

Daniel Byman, Sarah Tate Chambers, Zann Isacson and Chris Mirasole set the stage for their upcoming series on regulating terrorist content on the Internet.

Benjamin Wittes shared the DMs on the DL edition of Rational Security.

Jimmy Chalk updated Water Wars, covering Trumps Asia trip.

 

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

 Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

Trump and Russia – Google News: Russian Ambassador: List of Trump Officials I Met Is So Long It Would Take 20 Minutes to Name Them All – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
Russian Ambassador: List of Trump Officials I Met Is So Long It Would Take 20 Minutes to Name Them All
Newsweek
The former Russian ambassador at the heart of the TrumpRussia election meddling allegations said Wednesday it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the president’s former campaign team members he has spoken with, while again denying …
Ex-Russian Ambassador: List Of Trump Officials I’ve Met Is ‘So Long’TPM
Ex-Russian Ambassador says his list of Trump contacts is “so long”Axios
Former Russian ambassador to the US says it would take him 20 MINUTES to rattle off the names of all the Trump …Daily Mail
Independent Journal Review
all 8 news articles »

 Trump and Russia – Google News


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