Trump News Review – 10:21 AM 9/8/2017

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Chuck Schumer Channels LBJ For A Dealmaking Day
Trump handed him a gift, but the Democrats’ workaholic-in-chief had earned it.

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 to learn about Hillary Clinton’s “fitness” to be president, Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday in a closed-door session, explaining that he would use the information from the meeting to “consult with counsel to make an informed decision as to whether to give it further consideration” and defending the comments he made in an email chain promising damaging information on Clinton. Byron Tau and Rebecca Ballhaus report at the Wall Street Journal.

Trump Jr. did not discuss with the president the misleading statement drafted this July on Air Force One about the June 2016 meeting, Trump Jr. said during questioning, reiterating that the meeting was not an attempt to collude with Russia to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign. Nicholas Fandos and Maggie Haberman report at the New York Times.

“The meeting provided no meaningful information and turned out not to be about what had been represented,” Trump Jr. said in prepared remarks, the president’s son tweeting a statement after the session that he hoped the interview “fully satisfied their inquiry,” which would be unlikely as the president’s son was not able to provide important details, according to people who attended the hearing. Tom Hamburger and Karoun Demirjian report at the Washington Post.

“I can say very confidently that I have not detected any whiff of interference” by the White House into the Russia investigation, F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray said yesterday in Washington, Sarah N. Lynch reporting at Reuters.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is seeking to interview White House staff over the statement drafted aboard Air Force One, according to three sources familiar with the situation. Pamela Brown, Gloria Borger and Jeremy Diamond report at CNN.

Questions should be asked of former F.B.I. Director James Comey’s role in the salacious “Trump dossier” commissioned by the opposition research firm Fusion G.P.S. and compiled by the former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele, Kimberley A. Strassel writes at the Wall Street Journal.

The senate investigations into connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin must be meticulous and should not be rushed, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes write at Foreign Policy.

CYBERSECURITY, PRIVACY AND TECHNOLOGY

Legislative action may be needed to require social media companies to disclose information about digital political ads, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA.) said yesterday, following Facebook’s findings Wednesday that a Russian firm likely purchased polarizing ads. Dutin Volz and David Ingram report at Reuters.

Twitter is expected to brief congressional investigators soon about Russian use of its advertising platform, Sen. Warner also said yesterday. Dustin Volz and Jonathan Landay report at Reuters.

Google has seen no evidence of a Russia propaganda campaign on its platforms, the search engine said in a statement, Reuters reporting.

Up to 28% of Americans could have seen Russian-funded propaganda posts on Facebook, according to an expert’s analysis of Facebook’s findings. Ben Collins, Kevin Poulsen and Spencer Ackerman explain how the polarizing messages swept the social media platform during the 2016 presidential election at The Daily Beast.

Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Expect Special Counsel Mueller to Follow the Money
Follow the money. Mark Felt, the deceased FBI executive who was Watergates Deep Throat, may not have actually whispered those words to reporter Bob Woodward. But they reflect a practice federal agents and prosecutors heed in criminal investigations as varied as drug dealing and terrorism to cyber intrusion and political corruption.No one should be surprised that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly looking into the finances of President Donald Trump and his associates. But in July the president warned that Mueller would be exceeding his mandate if he sought information on the Trump familys finances unrelated to Russia. And now Rep. Ron DeSantis has filed a proposed amendment to a House spending bill to prevent Mueller from investigating matters that occurred before June 2015, when Trump announced his presidential run.

The president not only seems to misread the broad mandate that Mueller was given by the Justice Department, but the positions that he and DeSantis have taken suggest they are also unfamiliar with how investigations like Muellers work. Finances that are not on their face related to Russia could nonetheless prove relevant to the Russia investigation. And the contrived date restriction that DeSantis proposes would improperly inhibit investigators, prosecutors and ultimately the grand jury. For example, seemingly unrelated financial matters that predate events central to the investigation could show a pattern of behavior related to the issue in question or a state of financial distress that could speak to motive.

In this post, as a former U.S. attorney who has led numerous investigations in which financial evidence established key elements for conviction of serious crimes, I offer a brief explanation of why the special counsel is right to probe the finances of the subjects of his Russia investigation and why he surely will ignore the president’s warning if the evidence leads him there.

I oversaw many cases in which a suspects personal finances were often intimately linked to whatever wrongdoing that person had engaged in. The finances either created a motive (naked greed, for example), contained evidence or fruits of the illegal scheme itself, or provided evidence of how the scheme was concealed. For example, in one conspiracy case prosecuted by my office, we established the complicity of Russian hackers by examining related financial crimes and connecting complex schemes involving the transfer of funds to the conspirators. Similar evidence of financial transactions can establish overt acts proving the conspiracy or can connect the alleged conspirator with the crime, whether or not the crime itself is financial in nature. In fact, ignoring such evidence would severely hamstring most federal criminal investigations.

It is hard to imagine how payments by foreign governments, including Russia, would not be central to Muellers investigation, given what is already known. To start, Donald Trump, Jr. admitted at a real estate conference in 2008 that Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia. As Reuters reported in March, wealthy Russians invested nearly $100 million in revenue to several of Trumps properties in Florida and New York in recent years. And beyond Russian money flowing to Trump properties in the United States, Donald Trump had tried to develop properties in Russia since the 1980s. In 2007 he declared, We will be in Moscow at some point, and in 2013 his hosting of the Miss Universe pageant in Russia was financed by Aras Agalarov, an oligarch who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Agalarov later worked with Trump on plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, though the deal fell apart. Late last month, the Washington Post reported on emails that revealed that Trumps personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, played a role in that deal, working to connect the Trump Organization with a spokesperson for Putin to help finalize it. Agalarovs son also reportedly sought to arrange the now-infamous meeting between Trump Jr. and the Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

These financial relationships are relevant to the Russia investigation because they may speak to Trump or his associates motive or opportunity to collude, or else provide evidence of collusion. Recently these facts were recounted as part of a civil lawsuit filed against the Trump campaign by three voters whose private information was exposed to the world as part of the Russians hack of the Democratic National Committee. Discovery will likely be allowed in that case. Surely the special counsel must look into these issues as well.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein granted Mueller a broad mandate to probe financial records when he authorized an investigation into any links between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump (emphasis added). There is ample reason for Mueller to believe based simply on information in the public sphere that there are financial links between Trump and Russians close to the Russian government. The only way he would be able to tell if any of these financial links connect Trump to the Russian government for purposes of influence operations is to investigate them.

Given that investigating Trumps finances is within Muellers mandate, the president’s warning that Mueller not look at Trump family finances beyond any relationship to Russia is highly inappropriate. My bosses at the Department of Justice once tried to interfere in an election-related investigation within my purview. In 2006, I was fired along with eight other U.S. attorneys for what many believe was an attempt to politicize criminal investigations and install political loyalists to oversee important federal investigations. The investigation report issued by the Justice Departments Office of the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that the Department failed to ensure that the removals were not undertaken for an improper political purpose and that several department officials assertion that the removals were performance-based was inaccurate and misleading with regard to several of the U.S. Attorneys.

In my view, we were fired because we chose loyalty to the law and our oaths to the Constitution over loyalty to the president and his political party.  The scandal that flowed from that moment rocked the country and resulted in the resignation of top Justice Department officials, including the attorney general, Alberto Gonzales.

Bob Mueller, who served as FBI director under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, doesnt need anyones advice on how to investigate and prosecute cases. His experience and integrity speak for themselves to anyone but the willfully ignorant or those who have little regard for the truth. Whether ignorance, disregard for the rule of law or something else explains the antipathy of the White House and others, Mueller deserves and may require the active support of Congressand perhaps eventually the judiciary, if we want the truth.

Why Russia investigation could take new turn – CNBC

CNBC
Why Russia investigation could take new turn
CNBC
Trump has bragged about his “complete power” to pardon and used it in a controversial move to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The president’s power to pardon is indeed vast, but it does not extend to state and local law violations. The Muellerinvestigation 
In the Trump era, politics is crimeColorado Springs Independent
A closer look at Trump’s first pardon and Arpaio’s controversial careerGears Of Bizall 64 news articles »
Trump Terrible 10: Apocalypse Now Edition
Unprecedented violent storms are attacking our shores. North Koreas got nukes. Russia hacked our election. And malevolent
DOJ: Admitting Existence Of A Sessions Resignation Letter Would Violate His Privacy
HuffPost had filed a FOIA request seeking a copy of the alleged resignation letter.
The President’s Son Admitted To An Amateurish Attempt At Collusion. He May Have Helped Bury His Father’s Presidency In The Process
This delicate legal situation is once again due almost entirely to unnecessary and unforced errors on the part of the Trump family.
Chuck Schumer Channels LBJ For A Dealmaking Day
Trump handed him a gift, but the Democrats’ workaholic-in-chief had earned it.
How The Hell Do You Appraise A Crappy Drawing By Donald Trump?
A valuation expert speaks on the peculiar difficulty of appraising a doodle by the most powerful man in the world.
Poll: Most Americans Want Congress To Save Dreamers
Just over a quarter think Congress shouldn’t act to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
White Christians Are Now A Minority In The U.S.
A new study reveals major changes to the American religious landscape in recent decades.
Who Do Conservatives Blame For Donald Trump’s Bad Deal? Paul Ryan, Of Course!
Deals are Donald Trump’s art form, unless it’s a bad deal, in which case Paul Ryan is to blame.
Hurricane Harvey Is Just The Latest In Facebooks Fake News Problem
The social media network can’t help but spread political falsehoods.

Trump News Review – 10:21 AM 9/8/2017

1. Trump from mikenova (194 sites)
Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Expect Special Counsel Mueller to Follow the Money
trump criminal investigation – Google News: Why Russia investigation could take new turn – CNBC
Trump Investigations – Google News: Why Russia investigation could take new turn – CNBC
trump psychological portrait – Google News: Even North Korea’s Top Trump Analyst Can’t Understand His Tweets – Vanity Fair
Donald Trump | The Guardian: Here comes Hillary Clinton’s memoir and there’s plenty of blame to go round
crime and terror – Google News: Terror suspects arrested at Birmingham Airport ‘quizzed on links to ISIS executioners’ – Coventry Telegraph
trump and republican party – Google News: GOP Lawmakers Prepare To Vote On Spending Deal Trump Cut With Democrats – NPR
Just Security: South Sudan: The Crisis Continues
trump electorate – Google News: With Charlie Dent’s retirement, Trumpism claims its first scalp – it won’t be the last | Friday Morning Coffee – PennLive.com
Trumpism – Google News: With Charlie Dent’s retirement, Trumpism claims its first scalp – it won’t be the last | Friday Morning Coffee – PennLive.com
2016 elections and mental health – Google News: These Women Are the Last Thing Standing Between You and Nuclear War – MarieClaire.com
Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: iOS 11 May Complicate Border Searches
analysis of trump electorate – Google News: First Read’s Morning Clips: Trump’s Spending Deal Rattles GOP – NBCNews.com
Just Security: The Early Edition: September 8, 2017
US elections and russia – Google News: Russia: US may have planted ‘compromising material’ during Russian consulate inspection – Washington Examiner
Trump – Google News: What Donald Trump Jr. Left Out of His Statement to Congress – The Atlantic
Donald Trump: Cordrays possible exit from consumer regulator cheers US banks
trump and republican party – Google News: The Note: Trump’s deals flummox Republican Party – ABC News
Emails Investigation Reopening – Google News: Route 18 reopens after SUV, truck crash in Beaver Falls – Tribune-Review
Trump – Google News: Trump’s Bipartisan Push Shakes Up Capitol Hill – NBCNews.com
morell on trump – Google News: North Korea expected to test another ICBM this weekend – Washington Examiner

 

Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Expect Special Counsel Mueller to Follow the Money
Why Russia investigation could take new turn – CNBC
Trump Terrible 10: Apocalypse Now Edition
DOJ: Admitting Existence Of A Sessions Resignation Letter Would Violate His Privacy
The President’s Son Admitted To An Amateurish Attempt At Collusion. He May Have Helped Bury His Father’s Presidency In The Process
Chuck Schumer Channels LBJ For A Dealmaking Day
How The Hell Do You Appraise A Crappy Drawing By Donald Trump?
Poll: Most Americans Want Congress To Save Dreamers
White Christians Are Now A Minority In The U.S.
Who Do Conservatives Blame For Donald Trump’s Bad Deal? Paul Ryan, Of Course!
Hurricane Harvey Is Just The Latest In Facebooks Fake News Problem
Here’s what a realistic Ukraine settlement may look like – EURACTIV
Chinese ‘chuckle at Trump for messing up picture-perfect America’: State media – CNBC
Seth Meyers Ruthlessly Mocks Trump’s ‘Bring Your Daughter To Jerk Day’
Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump Jr. fled father’s name before embracing it – ABC News
What Kind of War Is Trump Threatening? – Lynchburg News and Advance
On president’s war powers, Trump has the Constitution about right – Philly.com
Why North Korea is a black hole for American spies – Politico
Why we should worry that the only restraint on Trump is three unelected generals – New Statesman
Analysis: The long road to ending the North Korean threat – i24NEWS
Trump-Democrats Deal Leaves GOP Wary of More to Come – RealClearPolitics
Smiley’s London: exploring the underground haunts in John le Carré’s A Legacy of Spies – Evening Standard
Carr: Hillary Clinton uses new book to blame everyone but herself – Boston Herald
On Capitol Hill, Trump Jr. denies collusion with Russia – WITN
I Spent a Night at Donald Trump’s Childhood Home. He Would Hate This Place – Newsweek

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