Trump Investigations Report: 8:34 AM 12/1/2018 – 2018 election results suggest trouble for Trump, Republicans in 2020 – Washington Post

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Semion Mogilevich

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2018 election results suggest trouble for Trump, Republicans in 2020 – Washington Post
Trump embarks on whirlwind G20 after canceling Putin meeting – CNN
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US proposes changes to H1B visas; to be given to most skilled, highest paid foreign workers – Economic Times
George HW Bush, the 41st US president and father of the 43rd, has died at age 94 – USA TODAY
George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States and the Father of the 43rd, Dies at 94 – TIME
The extraordinary life and times of George HW Bush – Washington Post
George HW Bush, Public Servant – New York Times
AMLO will be inaugurated as Mexico’s president, vowing to transform the country – Washington Post
Former President George HW Bush is dead at 94 – NBCNews.com
Trump Tower’s ties to the Russian mafia.
mogilevich and investigations of trump – Google Search
mogilevich and investigations of trump – Google Search
When the Manafort Plea Deal Blew Up, It Was Good News for Oligarchs – Mother Jones
‘House of Trump, House of Putin,’ the plot to put a Russian operative in the White House |
Books on the Russia scandal focus on the news. What they need is more history.
7:13 AM 12/1/2018 – BOOK REVIEW: Craig Unger – ‘House of Trump, House of Putin,’ the plot to put a Russian operative in the White House.
5:54 AM 12/1/2018 – Is This “All About Mogilevich”? Or Is This All About The “New Abwehr” And Their (“Unwitting”) Agent Mogilevich?
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: It’s time to stop appeasing Putin – here’s how to deter the emboldened Russian president – CNBC
organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News: Mueller’s targets seem to share a problem: They tell whoppers – Los Angeles Times
Week 80: Mueller Crashes Trump’s Liars Club – Politico
Semion Mogilevich | Trump / Russia
Politics: George H.W. Bush dies at 94. The 41st president of the United States helped guide the world out of a four-decade Cold War.
Politics: George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States, dies at 94
Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: When Confronting Russia, Learn from Previous Sanctions Efforts – Townhall

Trump Investigations Report


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News: Mueller’s targets seem to share a problem: They tell whoppers – Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles Times

Mueller’s targets seem to share a problem: They tell whoppers
Los Angeles Times
“It’s like an organized crime consortium where everyone is lying and obfuscating, except it’s an investigation of the president of the United States and his campaign,” said Harry Litman, a University of California law professor and former federal
Manafort lawyers head to court as Mueller probe picks up680 News

all 625 news articles »

organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): putin won US 2016 election – Google News: It’s time to stop appeasing Putin – here’s how to deter the emboldened Russian president – CNBC

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CNBC

It’s time to stop appeasing Putin – here’s how to deter the emboldened Russian president
CNBC
Then there was Moscow’s intervening in Syria to prop up murderous dictator Bassar al Assad in 2015, which was followed by Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Western intelligence … Without more than that, however, Putin won‘t be deterred.

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putin won US 2016 election – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: It’s time to stop appeasing Putin – here’s how to deter the emboldened Russian president – CNBC

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CNBC

It’s time to stop appeasing Putin – here’s how to deter the emboldened Russian president
CNBC
It was a safe bet that it would fall within his campaigns to rebuild regional influence or to undermine the United States, its European allies, and their democracies and primary institutions, NATO and the European Union, while blocking their ability to

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Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): US elections and russia – Google News: It’s time to stop appeasing Putin – here’s how to deter the emboldened Russian president – CNBC

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CNBC

It’s time to stop appeasing Putin – here’s how to deter the emboldened Russian president
CNBC
Then there was Moscow’s intervening in Syria to prop up murderous dictator Bassar al Assad in 2015, which was followed by Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Western intelligence services – mostly caught by surprise by these events – have …

and more »

US elections and russia – 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: It’s time to stop appeasing Putin – here’s how to deter the emboldened Russian president – CNBC

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CNBC

It’s time to stop appeasing Putin – here’s how to deter the emboldened Russian president
CNBC
Western intelligence services – mostly caught by surprise by these events – have been gaming what the Russian leader might do next. It was a safe bet that it would fall within his campaigns to rebuild regional influence or to undermine the United

and more »

Russian Intelligence services – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: When Confronting Russia, Learn from Previous Sanctions Efforts – Townhall

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Townhall

When Confronting Russia, Learn from Previous Sanctions Efforts
Townhall
While well intentioned, both bills ignore the important economic relationship between Russia and the United States, and pose a threat to the health and longevity of American businesses across a wide variety of sectors which operate in Eastern Europe

Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations


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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: FBI politicization – Google News: Home lawyer: Comey subpoena is reputable – Infosurhoy

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Infosurhoy

Home lawyer: Comey subpoena is reputable
Infosurhoy
Kelley argued that in addition to the politicized nature of the House investigation, the subpoena violates House rules because it seeks to require Comey to appear privately — a setting that Comey argues ensures that his words will be leaked and

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FBI politicization – Google News

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations


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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: 12:07 AM 12/1/2018 – Manafort-Mueller feud resumes in court Friday – CNN | Internet as a weapon

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Victorious boxer Jeff Horn with trainer and promoter

Saved Stories In Brief 

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2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News: Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina – NBCNews.com
Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina – NBCNews.com
Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Undermining Israel’s digital resilience – The Jerusalem Post
Trump and world leaders attend G20 summit – CNN
Cyprus: Securitisation: A Potential New Tool For The Cyprus Banking System – Mondaq News Alerts
Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Special Report: How Iran spreads disinformation around the world – Reuters
Trump Admits He “Lightly Looked” at Developing a Russian Building Project During the Election
Trump threatens to release ‘devastating’ Russia probe documents – GOPUSA
Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Combating Anti-Israel Digital Propaganda – Jewish Journal
The Latest: Mueller considers more charges against Manafort – Live 5 News WCSC
Trump breezes past Putin at start of G-20 summit, exchanges ‘pleasantries’ with Saudi prince – Washington Post
Trump defends Russia business dealings as US probe widens – WSAU News
Jared Kushner receives “Aztec Eagle” award from Mexican government – CBS News

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2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News: Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina
NBCNews.com
… at this conference. Shortly after he found out Wednesday morning that former ally Michael Cohen had pleaded guilty to lying to Congress to obscure his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump abruptly 

and more »

 2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News

Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com

Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina
NBCNews.com
… at this conference. Shortly after he found out Wednesday morning that former ally Michael Cohen had pleaded guilty to lying to Congress to obscure his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump abruptly 

and more »

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Undermining Israel’s digital resilience – The Jerusalem Post


The Jerusalem Post

Undermining Israel’s digital resilience
The Jerusalem Post
This is an age of propaganda. Throughout the world, states, groups and individuals are utilizing and manipulating digitalplatforms to spread false information, sway public opinion and undermine social cohesion. While the methods of propagandahave …

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

Trump and world leaders attend G20 summit – CNN


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): organized crime and intelligence – Google News: Uhuru entrusts key jobs to former military and intelligence officers – The Star, Kenya

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The Star, Kenya

Uhuru entrusts key jobs to former military and intelligence officers
The Star, Kenya
Uhuru appointed top intelligence officer Noordin Haji as the Director of Public Prosecutions. He was serving as Deputy Director of Counter Organised Crime at the National Intelligence Service. Read: Uhuru overlooks senior cops, appoints their juniors

organized crime and intelligence – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Trump personality profile – Google News: Liars and believers: Part 2 – Idaho State Journal

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Idaho State Journal

Liars and believers: Part 2
Idaho State Journal
In my last column I discussed a personality type that is defined by responses to a specific questionnaire that measures something called “Social Dominance Orientation (SDO). … After testing thousands of college students and older adults using the SDO

Trump personality profile – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Do police officers shootings increase trump election chances? – Google News: Former presidents and lawmakers react to the death of former President George HW Bush – WFXL FOX 31

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WFXL FOX 31

Former presidents and lawmakers react to the death of former President George HW Bush
WFXL FOX 31
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) – World leaders and lawmakers are reacting to the death of former President George H.W. Bush. …. In May, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed an early version of the First Step Act in a vote of 360

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Do police officers shootings increase trump election chances? – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Vladimir Putin signals the end of Donald Trump

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It’s difficult to tell who was trying harder to avoid whom, when Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin all but pretended they didn’t know each other at the opening of the G20 summit. But the telling moment came when Putin then walked over and high fived the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, a clear show of excited solidarity between two murderous leaders who each hold puppet strings over the “President of the United States.” Ultimately, however, the real upshot came when Putin issued a statement about his canceled G20 meeting with Trump.



Moments after Michael Cohen revealed in court that Donald Trump had been plotting with Russian election riggers to build Trump Tower Moscow during the election, Trump announced that he was canceling his planned one-on-one meeting with Putin at the G20. There was no doubt as to the real reason, but Trump used the convenient cover story of Russia’s recent military aggression against Ukraine. It turns out Putin wasn’t happy with that explanation.





Putin’s spokesperson announced during the G20 summit that Donald Trump had more likely canceled the meeting due to “the U.S. domestic political situation” – which was a clear reference to the developments in the Trump-Russia scandal. Here’s the thing.


Putin knowns that the best way he could help Trump right now would be to go along with the cover story that this was about Ukraine. Instead, Putin decided to deliver a dagger by pointing out that Trump, rather obviously, canceled the meeting because of his own worsening scandals. It’s now clear that Putin isn’t even willing to provide Trump any cover on these things. And if Putin isn’t willing to prop Trump up anymore, then it signals the end of Trump. Putin must now be calculating that he’s personally better off if Trump sinks than swims.

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The post Vladimir Putin signals the end of Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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Trump Investigations Report: 12:07 AM 12/1/2018 – Manafort-Mueller feud resumes in court Friday – CNN | Internet as a weapon

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Victorious boxer Jeff Horn with trainer and promoter

Saved Stories In Brief 

Saved Stories – None
2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News: Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina – NBCNews.com
Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina – NBCNews.com
Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Undermining Israel’s digital resilience – The Jerusalem Post
Trump and world leaders attend G20 summit – CNN
Cyprus: Securitisation: A Potential New Tool For The Cyprus Banking System – Mondaq News Alerts
Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Special Report: How Iran spreads disinformation around the world – Reuters
Trump Admits He “Lightly Looked” at Developing a Russian Building Project During the Election
Trump threatens to release ‘devastating’ Russia probe documents – GOPUSA
Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Combating Anti-Israel Digital Propaganda – Jewish Journal
The Latest: Mueller considers more charges against Manafort – Live 5 News WCSC
Trump breezes past Putin at start of G-20 summit, exchanges ‘pleasantries’ with Saudi prince – Washington Post
Trump defends Russia business dealings as US probe widens – WSAU News
Jared Kushner receives “Aztec Eagle” award from Mexican government – CBS News

Saved Stories 

Saved Stories – None
2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News: Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina
NBCNews.com
… at this conference. Shortly after he found out Wednesday morning that former ally Michael Cohen had pleaded guilty to lying to Congress to obscure his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump abruptly 

and more »

 2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News

Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com

Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina
NBCNews.com
… at this conference. Shortly after he found out Wednesday morning that former ally Michael Cohen had pleaded guilty to lying to Congress to obscure his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump abruptly 

and more »

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Undermining Israel’s digital resilience – The Jerusalem Post


The Jerusalem Post

Undermining Israel’s digital resilience
The Jerusalem Post
This is an age of propaganda. Throughout the world, states, groups and individuals are utilizing and manipulating digitalplatforms to spread false information, sway public opinion and undermine social cohesion. While the methods of propagandahave …

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

Trump and world leaders attend G20 summit – CNN


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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: 2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News: Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com

Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina
NBCNews.com
… at this conference. Shortly after he found out Wednesday morning that former ally Michael Cohen had pleaded guilty to lying to Congress to obscure his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump abruptly

and more »

2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations


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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com

Mueller casts ‘dark cloud’ over Trump’s trip to Argentina
NBCNews.com
… at this conference. Shortly after he found out Wednesday morning that former ally Michael Cohen had pleaded guilty to lying to Congress to obscure his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump abruptly

and more »

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations


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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Undermining Israel’s digital resilience – The Jerusalem Post

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The Jerusalem Post

Undermining Israel’s digital resilience
The Jerusalem Post
This is an age of propaganda. Throughout the world, states, groups and individuals are utilizing and manipulating digital platforms to spread false information, sway public opinion and undermine social cohesion. While the methods of propaganda have …

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations


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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Trump and world leaders attend G20 summit – CNN

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CNN

Trump and world leaders attend G20 summit
CNN
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blamed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation for hurting the US’s relationship with Russia in a statement on Friday, one day after Trump canceled a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin. “The Russian …
Trump should be freaked out right about nowWashington Post
Jennifer Rubin: Cohen’s plea should worry TrumpThe Spokesman-Review

all 5,352 news articles »

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Donald Trump tries confessing to light treason

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One of the most memorable lines from the fictional television show Arrested Development is “I may have committed some light treason.” In Donald Trump’s all-too-real criminal scandal, many of the developments these days are arrests, so perhaps it’s fitting that Trump is now essentially floating the “light treason” defense – and he’s even borrowing some of the verbiage.



Here’s what Donald Trump blurted out on Twitter this morning, in response to yesterday’s devastating developments: “Oh, I get it! I am a very good developer, happily living my life, when I see our Country going in the wrong direction (to put it mildly). Against all odds, I decide to run for President & continue to run my business-very legal & very cool, talked about it on the campaign trail. Lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in Russia. Put up zero money, zero guarantees and didn’t do the project. Witch Hunt!”





Wait, so he’s admitting to the accusation that he looked at building something in Russia, while he was running for president, with the specific Russian officials he knew were plotting the election in his favor – a conspiracy against the United States if there ever was one – and he’s saying it’s okay because he only lightly looked into it?


This is indeed something straight out of a fictional television show. The trouble is, Donald Trump’s version isn’t particularly witty or clever, and everyone is getting rather tired of watching it. Trump has reached the stage where he’s “lightly” admitting to his crimes, in the hope of minimizing them, which means that he knows he can no longer pull off pretending he didn’t commit them at all. If nothing else, this means we’re nearing the series finale.

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The post Donald Trump tries confessing to light treason appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Comey – Google News: Why James Comey and House Republicans are fighting it out in court – Vox

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Vox

Why James Comey and House Republicans are fighting it out in court
Vox
It is nearly 2019 and not only are we still talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails, but James Comey and House Republicans are fighting in court over just how they’ll keep talking about them. On Friday afternoon, lawyers for both former FBI director
Judge delays ruling on Comey motion to quash House subpoenaWashington Post
The Latest: Lawyers argue over Comey subpoena by CongressMadison.com

all 16 news articles »

Comey – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News: US judge delays ruling on ex-FBI director’s request to quash Republican subpoena – Reuters

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Reuters

US judge delays ruling on ex-FBI director’s request to quash Republican subpoena
Reuters
The Republican-led inquiry has been lambasted by Democrats as a partisan effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Moscow denies meddling and Trump denies campaign …

and more »

2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Document: House of Representatives Response to Comey’s Motion to Quash Subpoena

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Counsel for the House of Representatives have filed a response to James Comey’s motion to quash a congressional subpoena issued by the House Judiciary Committee for closed-door testimony on how he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server and the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. Comey’s motion is available here. The House response is available here and below.

 

Response to Motion (PDF)

Response to Motion (Text)

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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peter strzok is removed – Google News: Former FBI Director Comey Sues to Quash House Subpoena – The Epoch Times

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The Epoch Times

Former FBI Director Comey Sues to Quash House Subpoena
The Epoch Times
Former FBI Director James Comey asked a federal court in Washington on Nov. 29 to block a subpoena compelling him to appear for a closed-door interview with House lawmakers. Comey filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia …

and more »

peter strzok is removed – Google News


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Russia – Mother Jones: When the Manafort Plea Deal Blew Up, It Was Good News for Oligarchs

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When the news broke that special counsel Robert Mueller was ending Paul Manafort’s plea deal—because the former Trump campaign manager, according to prosecutors, had repeatedly lied to them during his supposed cooperation—President Donald Trump and his champions had reason to cheer. This seemed to mean that Manafort, who pleaded guilty to multiple felonies, would no longer be providing Mueller and his team with information. In response to the collapse of the Manafort deal, Trump rage-tweeted about Mueller and claimed that “heroes will come of this”—possibly referring to Manafort. (He also said a pardon for Manafort was not “off the table.”) But there were others beyond Trump and his fans who may have had cause for welcoming the end of Manafort’s agreement with Mueller—namely, two oligarchs with whom Manafort has done or talked business.

When Manafort first cut his deal to tell all to Mueller’s squad in return for a lesser sentence, federal prosecutors, according to a Manafort associate, expressed interest in what he could share with them not just about the Trump campaign and related matters but about a pair of oligarchs who have been investigated or sanctioned by US agencies: Russian Oleg Deripaska and Ukrainian Dmytro Firtash. And when Rick Gates, Manafort’s former business partner who was deputy campaign manager for the Trump presidential effort, arranged his cooperation agreement with Mueller’s office, he, too, was questioned about these two men. Neither Manafort’s spokesman nor Gates’ lawyer responded to a request for comment.

Deripaska, an aluminum magnate who has been cited as a close ally of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, does not face any public criminal charges in the United States, but he was sanctioned in April by the Treasury Department and accused of using his businesses as an arm of the Russia state. He and Manafort go way back. In the mid-2000s, according to the AP, Manafort did secret work for Deripaska that he told the oligarch would benefit Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The news service last year reported that Manafort “proposed in a confidential strategy plan…that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government.” In 2006, Manafort signed a $10 million annual contract for the project. (Deripaska brought a defamation lawsuit against the AP in US federal court over this article—and lost.)

For years prior to that contract with Manafort, Deripaska had been of interest to US officials. In the 1990s, he was denied entry to the United States, due to US officials being concerned he was connected to organized crime—an allegation Deripaska denied. Eventually, Deripaska won a visa for travel to the United States, but that was revoked in 2006 by the State Department, according to the Wall Street Journal “after officials from the Justice Department concluded that Mr. Deripaska wasn’t being candid with them about his past business dealings.” (In 2009, Deripaska made two secret trips to the United States to meet with FBI agents about a criminal probe, details of which are unknown.) 

Throughout this period, Manafort maintained a business relationship with Deripaska that eventually led to an apparent falling out. The billionaire handed Manafort nearly $19 million to invest in a Ukrainian TV venture called Black Sea Cable, according to legal filings submitted in the Cayman Islands by Deripaska’s representatives in 2014. Yet, Deripaska claimed, Manafort and his associates, after taking his money, stopped responding to Deripaska’s queries about the fate of the funds. In essence, Deripaska was accusing Manafort of absconding with millions. 

During the 2016 race, Manafort seemed to try to use his position with the Trump campaign to work out his differences with Deripaska. After he was named the campaign’s chief strategist, Manafort sent an email to Konstantin Kilimnik, a business partner and former Russian intelligence officer, and asked, “How do we use to get whole?” And in an apparent reference to Deripaska, Manafort later wrote Kilimnik, “If he needs private briefings we can accommodate.” In another email exchange, Kilimnik told Manafort that he had “several important messages” from a person who seems to be Deripaska.

Working with and for an oligarch once banned from entering the United States and who now is sanctioned, owing him money, being sued by him, offering him inside info on the Trump campaign—Manafort appears to have had a complicated relationship with Deripaska. Surely, anyone investigating contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia would want to dig into this connection. Moreover, if the feds are interested in Deripaska’s past or present activities, Manafort might be a productive source for them.

Federal prosecutors also believed Manafort could be a source of information on Dmytro Firtash. Last year, the Justice Department identified Firtash, a Putin-connected Ukrainian natural gas magnate, as an “upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime.” (In 2008, Firtash told the US ambassador in Kiev that years earlier he had to get the approval of Semion Mogilevich, an alleged Russian mobster, for his initial business endeavors—but denied having a close relationship with Mogilevich.) Firtash now faces federal charges in Chicago for allegedly bribing Indian government officials to secure a contract for selling titanium to Boeing. He is currently in Austria fighting extradition to the United States. The matter is before the Austrian Supreme Court, and Firtash, “could face extradition in a short time frame” if the court rules against him, his legal team said in a court filing last month.

Manafort is not implicated in Firtash’s current legal troubles. But a decade ago, he discussed with him an $850 million project to redevelop New York’s Drake Hotel—a venture that was to be partly financed by Deripaska. And in a federal lawsuit filed in 2011—and amended and expanded later—Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister of Ukraine, charged that Firtash and Manafort had met to discuss a proposal for the oligarch to invest $100 million in a global real estate fund. As part of that deal, the lawsuit alleged, Firtash would pay a $1.5 million fee to a firm owned by Manafort and a real estate executive who had once worked for the Trump Organization. “Manafort gave Firtash the opportunity to expand the scope of his money laundering activities into the United States,” the suit claimed. But the case was dismissed in 2015 on jurisdictional grounds—and no evidence of a Firtash-Manafort money laundering scheme ever was produced. The Drake Hotel project never materialized, and there were no public indications that Firtash went ahead with Manafort’s global real estate fund. 

Lanny Davis, an attorney for Firtash, says that Firtash did talk to Manafort about real estate investments: he “listened and said no” to Manafort. Firtash, according to Davis, has no concerns about Manafort providing information about him to the feds. (Kenneth McCallion, the American lawyer who filed Tymoshenko’s lawsuit, tells Mother Jones that FBI agents working with Muller’s investigation have repeatedly asked him for information related to allegations in that dismissed case and that he has provided them with material.)

Manafort possibly had another link—or, at least, an overlapping interest—with Firtash, who made billions as a middleman for Gazprom, the Russian natural gas giant. Firtash reportedly made donations to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, including former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who Manafort served as an adviser. Manafort made millions of dollars consulting for Yanukovych, a corrupt pol who fled Ukraine in 2014 and yielded the presidency.

Mueller says that Manafort was paid for his political work in Ukraine in part by oligarchs through offshore companies set up in Cyprus and elsewhere. The scheme led to Manafort’s conviction for tax evasion and his guilty plea to money laundering charges. There is no evidence that Firtash was among the oligarchs who paid Manafort. But Gates disclosed during Manafort’s August trial in Virginia that he and Manafort received payments from Serhiy Lyovochkin, who was Yanukovych’s former chief of staff and an occasional business partner of Firtash. Gates said that at Manafort’s behest he forged paperwork to pretend the payment from Lyovochkin was a loan, a step to dodge US taxes.

Lyovochkin has drawn attention from Mueller for another matter. In August, Sam Patten, a longtime Manafort associate, pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukraine, and he agreed to cooperate with Mueller. As part of his plea deal, Patten admitted that he arranged for an unnamed straw donor to pay $50,000 to Trump’s 2017 inauguration on behalf of a Ukrainian official. The description of the official, unnamed in court papers, matches that of Lyovochkin. The website of Lyovochkin’s party says he attended Trump’s inauguration. 

Manafort might be in a position to say whether any Ukrainians were involved with donations to the inaugural committee or GOP campaigns.

So for years Manafort hobnobbed with controversial oligarchs who were on the radar screen of US law enforcement. It is not publicly known what information Manafort handed over to the feds before Mueller killed his plea deal. But prosecutors were interested in what he had to say about Deripaska and Firtash. Whether or not he spilled any important beans about them before his cooperation agreement blew up, Deripaska and Firtash—and maybe other players in Russia and Ukraine—probably ought to be relieved that Manafort is talking to Mueller no more.

Russia – Mother Jones


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