Next customers: Flynn and Jr. – Google News: Weekly bowling roundup – Hornell Evening Tribune

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Weekly bowling roundup
Hornell Evening Tribune
High games: Mike Halbert 223, Dan Johnson 213, Kris Francisco 212, 207, Dave Saunders 211, Dave Houghtaling Jr. 207, Tim Grimm 205, 202, Chuck Wing 203, Jeff Beyea 202, Pam Livingston 185, Tammy Murray 181, Jen Hill 175. Wednesday Afternoon …

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Next customers: Flynn and Jr. – Google News


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paradise papers – Google News: Wealthy Elites Named in Offshore Tax Haven Leaks are Funders of BC’s Anti-Electoral Reform Campaign – PressProgress

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PressProgress

Wealthy Elites Named in Offshore Tax Haven Leaks are Funders of BC’s Anti-Electoral Reform Campaign
PressProgress
Meanwhile, fellow No campaign donor Walter Segsworth was identified in the Paradise Papers as a former director of multiple shell companies based in Bermuda. According to the ICIJ’s database, Segsworth was the former director and president of Argentina …

paradise papers – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Hammer Time

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“President” Donald J. Trump is not very good at being a criminal. As Palmer Report has noted, he is stupid. Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to hammer away at Trump and Paul Manafort and others who were involved in a secret plot to thwart the investigation, which didn’t stay secret for long.



Now, even former independent counsel Ken Starr is making it clear that Manafort is in trouble, and given Trump’s involvement, Trump is likely to face additional legal issues with his continued obstruction and collusion and conspiracy.




Starr stated: “You at this stage belong to the prosecutors. You’re now inside the tent, you’re part of the team. So, to be leaking information to the lawyers outside the team, that’s going to be viewed very seriously and obviously is. That’s the one thing that prosecutors are going to tell a cooperating witness: ‘we can only deal with the truth, whatever it is. If it exculpates that’s fine. What we can’t deal with are lies. That means the hammer is really coming to Paul Manafort. If you’re cooperating with the government, you should not be sharing information. The government is going to come down really hard on you. If he’s been sharing very helpful information, just call it a bad move.”


One of the lessons we have learned from Watergate, and from the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and every other instance of presidents finding themselves in serious trouble, is that the coverup and behaviors toward the investigation are often what impacts the president most negatively. Here, we have a ton of serious questions about the matter- why was Pompeo meeting with Ecuador hours before the Manafort story emerged, what other cooperators might be secretly conspiring with Trump, and what information might they have given him? Where is Matthew Whitaker in all of this? January will be here soon enough, and it is looking more and more like Mueller Time is Hammer Time. Somewhere, Nixon is being told, “You can’t touch this.”

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Palmer Report

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Rational Security: ‘The World is a Very Dangerous Place!’ Edition

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Paul Manafort heads to sentencing amid revelations that he has lied to the special counsel, cooperated with Trump’s legal team, and may have met with Julian Assange. The president stands by Saudi Arabia and its crown prince whom the CIA says ordered the murder of a journalist. And President Trump heads off to meet with world leaders at the G20 Summit. 

 

Susan asks for your material support.

Ben admires a White House in exile

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Donald Trump’s abrupt vanishing act from Christmas tree lighting ceremony gets even stranger

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This evening, at the end of a very bad day for him and his criminal scandals, Donald Trump abruptly disappeared from the Christmas tree ceremony without explanation. The press pool traveling with him was left out in the cold, literally, and several of the reporters involved began tweeting about the sheer weirdness of Trump’s vanishing act. Now it’s gotten even weirder.



Justin Sink, the White House correspondent for Bloomberg, ultimately posted this tweet: “After 15 minutes held at the site of the Christmas tree lighting with no explanation of why the motorcade left without us, we’re back at the white house and they’ve called a lid, meaning we won’t see the president again today.” So where does this leave us?




If Donald Trump’s decision to ditch the press pool at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony was something that he had planned out in advance, even by a relatively brief amount of time, his staff would have had time to come up with a cover story. It might not have been a particularly believable story, but it would have at least been something.


Instead, Trump’s handlers have resorted to providing the media with no statement at all about why he ditched them and bailed. That kind of lack of an explanation only serves to make the scandal even bigger, and Trump’s PR staff knows this. Did Trump run off and throw a tantrum? Is he physically ill? Is he fleeing to Moscow? We’re kidding about that last one; he won’t flee to Moscow until at least next week. Whatever happened here, Trump’s people have nothing.

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The post Donald Trump’s abrupt vanishing act from Christmas tree lighting ceremony gets even stranger appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): trump russian ties – Google News: Republicans Canceled a Vote on Federal Judges Amid a Standoff Over the Special Counsel – TIME

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TIME

Republicans Canceled a Vote on Federal Judges Amid a Standoff Over the Special Counsel
TIME
Flake made his pledge after Trump pushed out Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this month and temporarily replaced him with a loyalist, Matt Whitaker, who has criticized Mueller’s Russia investigation. Mueller is investigating Russian interference

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trump russian ties – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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Conspiracy Against US – Google News: Trump Says Manafort Pardon ‘Not off the Table’ – U.S. News & World Report

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U.S. News & World Report

Trump Says Manafort Pardon ‘Not off the Table’
U.S. News & World Report
Manafort faces up to five years in prison on the two charges in his plea agreement — conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice. He faces a separate sentencing in Virginia set for February after he was convicted on eight
Jerome Corsi, the conspiracy theorist now entangled in the Mueller investigation, explainedVox
Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Says Manafort ‘Often’ Shared Mueller Questions: ReportNewsweek
Trump-Manafort Collusion Is Bad for the Rule of LawBloomberg
ABC News
all 3,608 news articles »

Conspiracy Against US – Google News


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Next customers: Flynn and Jr. – Google News: Appeals court: Jury should decide lawsuit against Woodbury police who killed man in 2012 hostage encounter – Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Minneapolis Star Tribune

Appeals court: Jury should decide lawsuit against Woodbury police who killed man in 2012 hostage encounter
Minneapolis Star Tribune
A three-judge panel for the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a Minnesota federal judge’s dismissal of Tawana Henderson’s lawsuit against the City of Woodbury and three police officers who shot and killed Mark E. Henderson Jr., after he

Next customers: Flynn and Jr. – Google News


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Trump digital operations from Michael_Novakhov (2 sites): social media in trump campaign – Google News: After ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ references, Melania Trump defends her red Christmas trees – ABC News

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ABC News

After ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ references, Melania Trump defends her red Christmas trees
ABC News
First lady Melania Trump defended her choice of red Christmas tree decorations after they generated criticism on social media. … During the discussion, Trump also mentioned that she knew she would be criticized once she began her “Be Best” campaign.
‘In real life, they look more beautiful’: Melania defends the ‘fantastic’ red White House Christmas trees – and Daily Mail

all 363 news articles »

social media in trump campaign – Google News

Trump digital operations from Michael_Novakhov (2 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Stop listening to Donald Trump’s BS about pardons

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The minute Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a motion to withdraw his cooperation agreement with Paul Manafort, the mainstream media immediately began yelling the word “pardon” ad nauseum. It’s easy to understand why; there’s no better way for MSNBC or CNN to keep you tuned in than to scare you into believing that Donald Trump is about to magically pardon everyone and magically get away with everything. Sure enough, the media frenzy has handed Trump the opportunity to play up the pardon fantasy for his own benefit.


Because the media can’t talk about anything but pardons right now, a reporter asked Donald Trump about whether he plans to pardon Paul Manafort. Trump gave a rather smart answer: “It was never discussed, but I wouldn’t take it off the table. Why would I take it off the table?”

Back in the real world, it would be impossible for Donald Trump to pardon his way out of this. If he tried to pardon an alleged co-conspirator, it would be immediately challenged in court. While Trump thinks he has five Supreme Court votes in his pocket, anyone paying attention knows that Trump probably does not have John Roberts on this matter. So unless Brett Kavanaugh gets to vote twice, Trump’s pardons would probably be struck down.

Even if Trump’s federal pardons for people like Paul Manafort did succeed, those same people would simply be hit with similar state level charges, which can only be pardoned by the Governor, not by the President. So these people would still need to cut plea deals against Trump in order to avoid spending the bulk of their lives in prison. Even if the state level charges fell apart, which they won’t, that would mean these people would be facing no legal jeopardy, meaning they’d be required to testify against Trump.


For the above reasons, pardons are a laugh-out-loud non-starter when it comes to Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. Sure, he can try it, but he’d be gaining nothing, and probably harming himself. Even Trump’s bumbling lawyers have surely explained this to him, which is why he never bothered to pardon anyone who has cut a plea deal against him over the past year. If Trump ever stupidly tried it, Robert Mueller would probably pop champagne, because it would make his job of ousting Trump so much easier.


But as long as the media keeps pretending that pardons are a magic wand that can get Donald Trump out of his troubles, and as long as the public keeps obsessively talking about pardons, it gives Trump leverage he wouldn’t otherwise have. Of course he’s saying that he’s not going to rule out pardoning everyone. We keep saying that we fear he’s going to use a weapon he doesn’t possess, so naturally he’s playing into that by hinting he might use this imaginary weapon against us.




There’s only one way to disarm Donald Trump on this: stop talking about pardons. Stop fretting over pardons. Stop staring at the television in panicked fear whenever they mention pardons. Instead, make a point of changing the channel every time they launch into a fictional segment about Trump and his magic pardons. Teach the media that it needs to stop these antics.


There are many things to worry about right now when it comes to an increasingly unhinged Trump. But him magically pardoning his way out of this isn’t one of them. It’s simply not how pardons work – and based on the fact that he’s never bothered to try pardoning anyone who’s ever cut a plea deal against him, even he knows it.

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The post Stop listening to Donald Trump’s BS about pardons appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): National News |: Get ready: The fierce Mississippi Senate race may not be ending anytime soon

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The bittterly-contested U.S. Senate runoff in Mississippi may not end — it looks like the same cast could all run again for the same seat in 2020. Incumbent Republican Sen. … Click to Continue »

National News |

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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russian infiltration of both republican and democratic campaigns in elections 2016 – Google News: This RSS feed URL is deprecated

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This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

russian infiltration of both republican and democratic campaigns in elections 2016 – Google News


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Russia investigations – Google News: Robert Mueller: 7 moments to watch as Russian investigation unfolds – USA TODAY

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USA TODAY

Robert Mueller: 7 moments to watch as Russian investigation unfolds
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Special counsel Robert Mueller began November with a public lull in his Russia investigation to avoid influencing the midterm election, but a flurry of recent activity suggests more indictments and revelations are likely in the coming weeks.
Trump appears consumed by Mueller investigation as details emergeCNN
Manafort’s Lawyer Said to Brief Trump Attorneys on What He Told MuellerNew York Times
Manafort plea decision represents setback for MuellerThe Hill
CBS 8 San Diego –The Guardian –The Sydney Morning Herald
all 3,341 news articles »

Russia investigations – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Comey resignation – Google News: Donald Trump Fast Facts – erienewsnow.com

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erienewsnow.com

Donald Trump Fast Facts
erienewsnow.com
May 3, 2017 – FBI Director James Comey confirms that there is an ongoing investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during a hearing on Capitol Hill. Less than a week later, Trump fires Comey, citing a DOJ memo critical of the way he …

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Comey resignation – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Russian Intelligence services – Google News: Did Someone Plant a Story Tying Paul Manafort to Julian Assange? – Politico

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Politico

Did Someone Plant a Story Tying Paul Manafort to Julian Assange?
Politico
It means the guy running Trump’s campaign met directly with the head of the organization that served as a tool of Russia’s intelligence services, distributing stolen Democratic emails in an effort to influence the U.S. presidential election. It could
Mueller court documents suggest Trump campaign advisor was tipped off about Wikileaks data dumpThe Independent
Sensing Defeat, Trump Cries ‘Witch Hunt’Daily Beast
Fox News Host: ‘What Difference Does it Make’ if Manafort Met Assange or Russians in 2016?Mediaite
Roughly Explained (blog) –The Week Magazine
all 3,212 news articles »

Russian Intelligence services – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Roger Stone’s ‘Time in the Barrel’: Campaign Dirty Tricks, Political Sabotage and the Law

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Roger Stone is pleased to be known as a campaign “dirty trickster.”  A former Trump campaign aide and Republican operative, he has embraced his past as practitioner of the political dark arts. “One man’s dirty tricks,” he has said, are “another man’s political, civic action. He has warned that “Politics ain’t bean bag, and losers don’t legislate.” Going still further, he has articulated as one of his “rules” for success that “To win you must do everything.” Yet he has also insisted that, “Everything I do, everything I’ve ever done has been legal.” 

This claim is now likely to be put to the test. News reports increasingly suggest that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is circling around Roger Stone and his associates in the Russia matter and that the legality of his “dirty tricks” is very much in question.

Stone’s argument that ”it’s all just politics” is close in kind to the First Amendment protection defenses that the Trump campaign has claimed it enjoys even if, as alleged,  it had contacts with Russia and WikiLeaks. Like those defenses, Stone’s claims will be evaluated in the light of  the still emerging but increasingly troubling facts of the campaign and its associates’ active connivance with the Russian cyber attack on the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. As the Watergate prosecutions showed, dirty tricks pursued to sabotage an opposing campaign are very much a legal issue. They are not easily passed off as good old-fashioned hardball politics, the kind that “ain’t beanbag”—especially when, as in this case, the fellow tricksters are a foreign government and its agents.

Stone and one of his associates, Jerome Corsi, appear to have conducted communications with WikiLeaks and the “Guccifer 2.0” cutout, and Stone had contact with at least one Russian national offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. Most famously, Stone predicted in August of 2016 that something momentous involving Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta—his “time in the barrel”—was about to break, two months before Wikileaks distributed hacked emails of Podesta’s. Now Corsi has provided to the press what appears to be a draft plea agreement and statement of offense produced by Mueller’s office and awaiting Corsi’s signature, which provide new detail about the extent of alleged collaboration between Corsi, Stone, and Wikileaks. The statement of offense reveals an email Stone sent to Corsi in July 2016 with the request or instruction that Corsi, “Get to [Assange] [a]t Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending [WikiLeaks] emails.”. Weeks later, Corsi replied that “Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2d in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.”

Stone disputes that these emails “prove” that he had advance notice of the “source or content” of the stolen emails published by WikiLeaks. He says that he was merely “curious” about the pending WikiLeaks disclosures. On Stone’s account, whatever he did to find about this material, such as having Corsi “get the pending emails,” is just what a dirty trickster and master of hardball politics would do if properly schooled in the rule that “to win you must do everything.” Stone’s legal defense fund is currently appealing for donations to protect Stone from Mueller’s supposed attempts to “criminalize normal political activities.”

The investigation of Stone’s activities will not, of course, be the first time that practitioners of dirty tricks encounter the legal limits of  their“normal” activities.  The sundry offenses that travel under the  “Watergate” moniker included such tricks—and the individual most famously identified with them, Donald Segretti, served time for his leading part. Among the activities Segretti directed was the forging of communications from one Democratic presidential campaign to spread false and malicious claims about other campaigns in the party’s primary.  He was indicted for violating a provision of the 1971 federal campaign finance law that required that campaign literature distributed “in connection with a candidate’s campaign” but without the candidate’s authorization carry a notice to that effect, making clear that the named candidate was “not responsible” for its content.

The violation of this transparency requirement was enough to support a prosecution, but Congress later concluded that it needed to enact a more detailed prohibition of acts of political “sabotage.”  The counterfeiting of campaign literature for which Segretti went to jail was just a means to the larger end of disrupting an opposing campaign. The 1974 amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act included a ban on “fraudulent misrepresentation of campaign authority.” The statute prohibits agents of a campaign from falsely misrepresenting themselves as acting on behalf of another, “on a matter which is damaging to such other candidate or political party or employee or agent thereof.” The nub of the new offense was the use of underhanded means to undermine the opposition. This was the purpose of the Nixon campaign’s sabotage operations: “[T]o throw the Democratic party into confusion,” to “sow confusion and discontent among Mr. Nixon’s opponents.”

Today, on a very different set of facts, Stone reportedly faces investigation for his role in acts of sabotage directed to a similar purpose. The Russian government’s theft of emails belonging to the Democratic Party and senior Clinton associates, and the distribution of these materials via WikiLeaks, were intended to wreak havoc on the Democratic presidential campaign. Few would argue that the scheme was without effect.

The connection between Stone’s activities and the Trump campaign—that is, the degree to which Stone was acting for that campaign—remains to be established. There is no doubt that Stone was linked to the formal campaign apparatus,  sobeginning with the formal advisory role that Stone played in 2015 until he quit—or was fired depending on whom one chooses to believe. He remained in contact with the candidate and active in support of the Trump campaign. It seems far-fetched to believe, based on what is known to date, that Stone was off on some purely personal “dirty tricks” operation involving the Russians and WikiLeaks.

Any hope Stone may have of staying within the realm of dirty-but-legal trickery runs up against a particularly serious problem: the company that he and his associates kept. Should it turn out that they were encouraging and supporting a foreign government and its agents in any phase of the plan to acquire and disseminate stolen emails, they run headlong into the law barring foreign nationals from providing “anything of value” to an American political candidate. The rules prohibit a U.S. citizen from providing “substantial assistance” to foreign nationals violating this law.  As Robert Mueller’s indictment of Russian parties for conspiracy to defraud the United States shows, Americans can also face liability under the same legal theory: conspiring to defraud the United States by failing to report these activities and thereby impeding the Federal Election Commission from discharging its law enforcement function.

Stone, an admirer of Richard Nixon who has the former president’s image tattooed on his back, would like to have Nixonian “dirty tricks” accepted as good, old-fashioned political “hardball.” Not for the squeamish, perhaps, but not illegal.  Along with Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and possibly others in the Trump campaign, Roger Stone may have failed to realize the danger of playing these tricks in partnership with a foreign government.

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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Mueller’s Russia investigation – Google News: Senate again blocks Senate bill that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller – USA TODAY

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USA TODAY

Senate again blocks Senate bill that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller
USA TODAY
Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation and his deputy was handling it in his place. But with Sessions gone, Whitaker is now overseeing the probe. The appointment worries some of Mueller’s defenders, who point out that Whitaker had …

and more »

Mueller’s Russia investigation – Google News


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Russia – Mother Jones: Roger Stone and Randy Credico Claimed Access to WikiLeaks. Both Now Say They Were Bluffing.

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In 2016, Randy Credico and Roger Stone, old associates on opposite sides of the political spectrum, were each eager to tout their access to WikiLeaks, the radical transparency group releasing tranches of emails stolen by Russian hackers from Democrats. Two years later, with special counsel Robert Mueller scrutinizing possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, both men are just as eager to disavow having possessed any special knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans.

Credico, in interviews with Mother Jones, claims that in 2016 he “bullshitted” Stone into thinking that he was in contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his inner circle. And Stone maintains that his own comments during the campaign, in which he said he had “communicated” with Assange and appeared to accurately predict WikiLeaks’ anti-Clinton releases, were nothing more than “posture, bluff, [and] hype.” The pair have meanwhile spent the past year accusing each other of lying about their interactions in the final months of the 2016 election. Stone says much of his information on WikiLeaks came from Credico. Credico denies that. What really happened is hard to know, but the difficult task of separating the facts from the BS in the messy Stone-Credico melodrama has fallen to Mueller. In the end, Stone and Credico may have indeed concocted or exaggerated their claims of inside access—but their efforts to appear in-the-know could nevertheless lead to serious consequences. 

During the 2016 campaign, Stone’s strident tweets and statements implying knowledge of what WikiLeaks was up to buttressed his reputation as a plugged-in political trickster. (He also insisted that the Russians had nothing to do with the Democratic National Committee hack, echoing and amplifying Kremlin disinformation.) But after Donald Trump won an unexpected victory and US intelligence agencies concluded Russian intelligence had hacked Democrats and passed material to WikiLeaks in a bid to help Trump, Stone’s comments became a problem: possible evidence that he had a hand in coordinating the release of the stolen documents. 

Appearing before the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017, Stone shifted his story. He said he had merely feigned familiarity with Assange’s plans, relying on guesswork and a WikiLeaks intermediary that his lawyer eventually identified to the panel as Credico.

A New York-based comic and left-leaning political activist, Credico was a die-hard WikiLeaks supporter who hosted a radio show that Assange appeared on as a guest. He also was close with Margaret Ratner Kunstler, a lawyer who represented Assange’s group. Credico and Stone had formed an unlikely political friendship in 2002 when they both backed the independent gubernatorial bid of Tom Golisano in New York. They were allies of sorts again during the 2016 campaign: A backer of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and, after his primary loss, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Credico shared Stone’s desire to harm Hillary Clinton’s heavily favored campaign.

Credico has strenuously denied he was Stone’s source. But that claim came into question earlier this month when NBC News reported on a series of texts Credico exchanged with Stone during the final months of the 2016 election. The messages, in which Credico stated that WikiLeaks was poised to release damaging material on Clinton, seem to support Stone’s contention that Credico offered him information on WikiLeaks.

Yet prior to these text communications with Credico, Stone had already publicly asserted he had inside knowledge of WikiLeaks. And he appears to have had another source, right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. On Tuesday, NBC News reported that Corsi sent an email to Stone on August 2, 2016, to say that he had learned that WikiLeaks planned two upcoming document dumps, the second in October. The email is cited in a draft court document that Mueller’s team shared with Corsi. The document says Corsi lied to federal prosecutors by claiming he had rejected Stone’s request that he contact WikiLeaks to obtain information about its plans to release hacked Democratic emails. Corsi, too, has claimed publicly that he merely deduced WikiLeaks’ plans without inside information. “I was probably pumping myself up in an email,” Corsi told the Washington Post. (Stone told NBC that his correspondence with Corsi does not “provide any evidence or proof that I knew in advance about the source or content of any of the allegedly stolen or allegedly hacked emails published by WikiLeaks.”)

Credico, in response to the report on his texts with Stone, now tells Mother Jones that he misled Stone, saying he “bullshitted” the Republican operative into thinking he had access to WikiLeaks that he actually lacked. That claim resembles Stone’s current story that he faked inside knowledge of WikiLeaks. That is, both men now contend they were dissembling. That may be true, but even if so, the bragging has still landed Stone in Mueller’s crosshairs. Stone may yet be charged for some role in the email dump, but even if he isn’t, Mueller is reportedly investigating him for obstruction of justice and perjury. Credico also faces consequences for his role in all this—at least legal fees and public attacks. But he insists he spoke honestly when he appeared before Mueller’s grand jury and has no legal worries.

According to Stone, he released his texts with Credico now—instead of months earlier, when Credico began disputing his account—because his attorneys recently extracted the communications from an old phone. Spanning late August to early October 2016, the texts, which Stone’s lawyer, Grant Smith, provided to Mother Jones, do not represent all the texts that passed between the men in that period. Smith says he excluded “everyday stuff” unrelated to WikiLeaks. (Credico says the texts are presented out of context, but he declined to elaborate.)

“Julian Assange has kryptonite on Hillary,” Credico wrote Stone on August 27, two days after Assange called in to Credico’s radio show. Assange phoned in from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has taken refuge for the past six years.

A month later, on October 1, Credico texted Stone: “[B]ig news Wednesday. [N]ow pretend you don’t know me.”

“U died 5 years ago,” Stone responded, a reference to his once starting a rumor that Credico was dead. 

“Hillary’s campaign will die this week,” Credico added 14 minutes later.

At the time, Credico had just returned from London, where he had planned to visit with Assange. But, Credico now says, he never made it past embassy security. Yet he led Stone to believe the visit had taken place as planned, even sending Stone selfies from outside the embassy.

I was playing with him,” Credico tells Mother Jones. “I didn’t have anything. I was a spectator like he was.”

“It was pure bullshit talk,” Credico adds, noting that he only knew that Assange had suggested in late July that WikiLeaks planned to release more information on Clinton before Election Day. “I bluffed and guessed.”

On Sunday October 2, 2016, shortly after hearing from Credico, Stone tweeted, “Wednesday@HillaryClinton is done. #WikiLeaks.” But October 5 came and went without news from WikiLeaks. Still Stone publicly professed confidence. “Libs thinking Assange will stand down are wishful thinking,” he tweeted. “Payload coming.”

But privately Stone “was wigging out,” according to Credico, who recalls Stone was bombarding him with questions about the delay. Stone “called up screaming, ‘How come they haven’t put anything out?’” Credico says. Credico was critical of Clinton’s hawkish foreign policy views, and he says Stone tried to play on that, repeatedly asking, “Do you want a war with Russia?”

“He was frantic,” Credico notes. “I’ve never seen him like that.” 

“What the fuck do you want me to do about it?” Credico says he replied. He maintains he had had no way to influence WikiLeaks’ timing and did not try.

Stone did not respond to questions about those alleged phone calls.

On Friday, October 7, WikiLeaks finally released a trove of emails hacked from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, dumping them 30 minutes after the Washington Post published the Access Hollywood video in which Trump boasted of grabbing women “by the pussy.”

When Trump won the election, seemingly aided by WikiLeaks’ releases, Stone and Credico’s alleged access to WikiLeaks became liabilities. Each was subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee. Credico, who says Stone urged him not to cooperate with the panel, asserted his Fifth Amendment right to decline to testify. And as he was drawn into the Russia scandal, Credico privately lashed out at Stone for dragging him into a legal morass. He was saddled with legal bills and had trouble finding work with progressive organizations repelled by his apparent role in the controversy.

Messages that Credico has provided to Mother Jones show that Stone at first tried to assuage Credico, at one point offering to help Credico raise money to cover his legal expenses and telling him that he was working to get the Trump administration to issue a “blanket pardon” for Assange. Stone’s messages to Credico also show he was eager to stop Credico from publicly disputing his description of Credico as his back channel to WikiLeaks. (Stone says this is because his claim was true.)

But as Credico began publicly contradicting Stone’s account in media interviews, the Republican operative grew increasingly combative, sending Credico a string of menacing text messages. “Prepare to die cock sucker,” Stone wrote in one email to Credico this spring.

Meanwhile, the special counsel’s focus on Stone appeared to intensify. Mueller summoned more than a dozen Stone associates for interviews or grand jury testimony. Among them was Credico, who appeared before the grand jury in September. Credico has met several times with Mueller’s investigators, and he is scheduled to sit down with them again next week. 

In August, Mother Jones reported that Mueller was reviewing Stone’s emails to Credico. Several publications have since reported that Mueller’s investigators are examining whether Stone’s missives amounted to witness tampering or obstruction of justice. Stone insists he merely urged Credico to tell the truth. But in an obstruction case, threatening messages as well as inducements—such as offering help with legal fees or a pardon for Assange—could be seen as an effort to influence a witness.

Mueller is also reportedly examining whether Stone perjured himself during his House Intelligence Committee testimony. Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-Calif.), who is set to become chairman of the committee in January, said recently that “some of [Stone’s] answers before our committee are highly suspect.” Schiff has said he plans to ask the Justice Department to prosecute witnesses he believes misled the committee. 

Stone, who denies lying to the panel, says it is Credico who should be worried. He claims that if Credico told the grand jury what he has said publicly—that he was not Stone’s back channel—he is the one who could face perjury charges. “Everyone should be demanding answers from Mr. Credico as to why he lied over and over again,” Smith, Stone’s lawyer, said in an email. Yet Credico says he stands by his grand jury testimony and asserts that Stone lied to the Intelligence Committee. 

Who is telling the truth? Maybe neither.

Russia – Mother Jones


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