Mueller Investigation Superthread

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-01 01:35am

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2018-11-30 07:23pm
Let me start this post by saying I despise Trump and am rooting for Mueller to expose him and his ilk for the scum we all know they are.

That said, I AM getting pretty sick of think pieces and talking heads saying things like, "These developments would, under normal circumstances, end a presidency." What "normal circumstances" are they even referring to? Under "normal circumstances," NONE OF THIS WOULD BE HAPPENING AT ALL. That's what "normal circumstances" means! The whole point of "normal circumstances" is that under those circumstances we are not having both a
Constitutional and existential crisis as a nation. Everything that is going on right now is utterly unprecedented in American politics. It just seems disingenuous to point to a precedent that doesn't actually exist, using nigh meaningless language like that.

It just irritates me because it's bad writing. Not because I disagree that Trump and his ilk are guilty and deserve to be punished, not because I disagree that the other branches of government have a duty to put a check on unfettered executive writ, but because it especially irks me when people I otherwise agree with make bad arguments. (Not directed at you TRR, directed at the writer of that article, and many other similar ones that use similar dumb language.)
But that's the point- the abnormal has become normal, and that should deeply concern us all.
mr friendly guy wrote:
2018-11-30 08:00pm
I am interested in what Mueller finds, but seriously TRR, a real life Captain America. WTF? Well if Captain America was one of a number who provided such faulty intel that it led to tens of thousands of US dead and wounded and hundreds of thousands Iraqi deaths, then yeah, Mueller is a real life captain America.

It was my clumsy attempt at a little light-hearted humour, drawing a parallel between Winter Soldier's Neo-Nazi takeover plot, and the Trump/Russia conspiracy.

But while we're on the subject, Cap started a civil war that left the heroes divided and easy pickings for Thanos, so he's partially responsible for the deaths of half the universe. :wink:
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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2018-12-02 08:35pm

Source
Depressed Mueller Wonders What It Is About Him That Makes Everyone Lie To Him
Tuesday 5:08pm

WASHINGTON—Expressing self-contempt after learning that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort likely violated the terms of his plea deal, special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly wondered Tuesday what it was about him that makes everyone lie to his face. “It seems like no one ever tells me the truth—what am I doing wrong? I mean, I’m not even that mad about all the collusion stuff; I’m just hurt that they don’t respect me enough, to be honest,” said Mueller, who wiped away a tear while admitting that “all the secrets and lies” had jeopardized his capacity to trust new people and damaged his personal relationships. “I put my faith in these guys to be straight with me, but I suppose there’s just something about me that makes people feel comfortable walking all over me. I guess I’m just a big pushover.” At press time, a despondent Mueller announced plans to step away from the investigation to take some time for personal reflection and figure out why this kept happening.
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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by houser2112 » 2018-12-04 10:30am

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2018-11-30 07:23pm
I AM getting pretty sick of think pieces and talking heads saying things like, "These developments would, under normal circumstances, end a presidency." What "normal circumstances" are they even referring to?
The "normal circumstances" I think they are referring to is the party in power not being so blatantly corrupt that they're willing to turn a blind eye to the crimes of the president, just because doing so advances their agenda.

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-04 03:19pm

Flynn's sentencing is scheduled for today, so we may be getting some indications on the direction of the investigation from court filings, detailing what exactly Flynn gave Mueller.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by FireNexus » 2018-12-04 05:19pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-12-04 03:19pm
Flynn's sentencing is scheduled for today, so we may be getting some indications on the direction of the investigation from court filings, detailing what exactly Flynn gave Mueller.
If Mike Pence is going to be implicated, today is the day.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by FireNexus » 2018-12-04 07:10pm

This memo is going to be released in Primetime. I can’t imagine that is not on purpose.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-06 01:41pm

So a lot of it was redacted, but that in and of itself is significant- it means that Flynn has been helping Mueller on investigations that are still on-going, which suggests that hopes that Mueller is "wrapping it up" are likely to be disappointed.

The filings on Mannafort and Cohen's sentencing recommendations are due later this week IIRC. So we'll see what we get then.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-08 01:17am

So Mueller filed documents on sentencing recommendations for Cohen and Manafort today:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... rison-time
One of Donald Trump’s closest advisers spoke during the 2016 election campaign with a Russian offering help from Moscow and a meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, the special counsel Robert Mueller revealed on Friday.


Manafort told 'multiple lies' after agreeing to cooperate, Mueller says
Read more
Federal prosecutors also alleged that Trump directed the adviser, Michael Cohen, to make illegal payoffs to two women who claimed to have had sexual relationships with Trump, implicating the president in the violation of campaign finance laws. They recommended that Cohen receive a prison sentence of about four years.

The disclosures heaped new pressure on Trump, whose presidency has come under siege from Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election and a spinoff inquiry into Cohen, his lawyer and legal fixer for more than a decade.


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They were swiftly followed by new revelations in the criminal prosecution of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. He was accused by Mueller of repeatedly lying about his relationship with an alleged former Russian intelligence operative and about his recent communications with Trump’s White House.

Following a week of increasingly frenzied attacks against Mueller, Trump falsely stated on Friday evening that the latest development “totally clears” him. In fact, investigations appeared to be edging ever closer to the door of the Oval Office.

Mueller said in a court filing that Cohen had provided him “useful information” on matters at the core of the Trump-Russia investigation. He also recounted details of communications with people “connected to the White House” this year and last, Mueller said, hinting Cohen may have implicated Trump and aides in additional wrongdoing.

The special counsel’s filing said Cohen’s November 2015 conversation with a Russian national was among other “contacts with Russian interests” he had while the Kremlin was interfering in the election to help Trump.


The latest major Trump resignations and firings
Read more
Cohen also told investigators he made efforts to contact the Russian government to propose a meeting between Trump and Putin in New York in September 2015, after discussing this with Trump.

In a separate filing, federal prosecutors in New York said Cohen “acted in coordination and at the direction of” Trump when setting up payments to buy the silence of Karen McDougal, a former model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornographic actor, who were considering making public their allegations of affairs with Trump.

Cohen and Trump paid the women to suppress their damaging stories and “to influence the 2016 presidential election”, the filing said.

The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, told reporters the filings contained “nothing of value that wasn’t already known”, saying Cohen had “repeatedly lied” and was “no hero”.

Mueller separately alleged that Manafort falsely claimed he had had no contact with anyone in Trump’s administration since they entered office. In fact, Mueller said, he was in communication with a senior official until February this year, and asked an intermediary to talk to an official on his behalf as recently as late May.

The contacts will be of great interest to investigators. Whether Manafort’s ties to pro-Kremlin figures in eastern Europe are connected to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election remains the central unanswered question in the Trump-Russia inquiry.

While Mueller said Cohen provided significant help to his investigation, prosecutors said Cohen had overstated his overall cooperation with the government and had shown a “rose-colored view of the seriousness of the crimes”.

Cohen was motivated by greed and “repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends”, the prosecutors said in a court filing. “After cheating the [Internal Revenue Service] for years, lying to banks and to Congress, and seeking to criminally influence the presidential election, Cohen’s decision to plead guilty – rather than seek a pardon for his manifold crimes – does not make him a hero.”

Despite his wrongdoing, Mueller said, Cohen disclosed “useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters” at the core of his investigation. US intelligence agencies have concluded Russia’s interference was aimed at helping Trump and harming the campaign of Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent.

Cohen previously pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump’s plans to develop a building in Russia. He admitted the project continued well into Trump’s campaign for the presidency – contradicting Trump’s account – and that Cohen spoke with a Kremlin official about securing Russian government support.

Paul Manafort leaves court in Washington in February.
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Paul Manafort leaves court in Washington in February. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA
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On Friday, Mueller disclosed that in November 2015, Cohen separately spoke with a Russian “who claimed to be a ‘trusted person’ in the Russian Federation” and offered Trump’s campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level”.

The Russian repeatedly proposed a meeting between Trump and Putin, according to Mueller, and told Cohen the meeting “could have a ‘phenomenal’ impact ‘not only in political but in a business dimension as well’”, because there was “no bigger warranty in any project than consent of Putin”.


John Kelly interviewed by Mueller's team and expected to quit – report
Read more
Mueller said Cohen chose not to pursue the offer of assistance in part because he was working on the project with someone else he “understood to have his own connections to the Russian government”, a likely reference to Felix Sater, a developer who was working on the Trump Tower Moscow plans.

Cohen previously pleaded guilty in August to violating election campaign finance laws by arranging the payments to the two women. He also pleaded guilty to several financial crimes relating to his business and tax affairs.

Last week, Mueller tore up a plea deal with Manafort and told a judge he repeatedly lied to investigators even after agreeing to cooperate with the Trump-Russia investigation.

In his submission on Friday, Mueller said Manafort had continued lying about five areas of the inquiry, including his relationship with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian employee of Manafort’s political consulting firm. Kilimnik is alleged to have ties to Russian intelligence services, which he denies. Manafort and Kilimnik are accused of asking business associates early this year to lie about their past lobbying work.
Of particular note:

-Cohen was in touch with multiple individuals in or supposedly in contact with the Russian government, including one who "...offered Trump's campaign "political synergy" and "synergy on a government level"." Hmm, what's another term for arranging "political synergy" between Trump and Russia? Hint: it starts with C.

-Mueller alleges that Cohen has provided "useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters", but has overstated his cooperation and portrayed a "rose-colored view of the seriousness of the crimes".

-A separate filing by federal prosecutors alleges Cohen "acted in coordination and at the direction of" President Trump in paying off Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels. In other words, these court filings accuse the President of engaging in a felony violation of election finance law (a crime for which they recommend four years in prison for Michael Cohen).

-Manafort is accused of lying about his contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik (suspect of being connected to Russian intelligence), and his ongoing contacts with the Trump administration.
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"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-08 01:20am

To me, this underscores how unfit Pelosi is to be the House Majority Leader, if she will not act. While more allegations will undoubtable be made, and more evidence surface, we already have the President accused of a felony in court filings. How much more of a smoking gun do you need? If Pelosi won't do her constitutional duty, she should be removed from a leadership position to make way for someone with a backbone.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-08 02:15am

Again, it's worth noting that if Trump were anyone other than the President, he would almost certainly already be indicted on multiple felony counts.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-12 03:43pm

Cohen sentenced to three years in prison, plus various financial penalties totalling two million dollars:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... to-3-years
Michael Cohen, who long kept President Donald Trump’s business and personal secrets, is headed to prison, pledging he will continue to spill potentially damaging information to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other prosecutors.

After taking half steps with prosecutors to cooperate, Cohen didn’t win the leniency he sought. He was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday in a courtroom appearance in which he spoke with audible emotion, surrounded by family, and in tones sharply critical of the president.

While saying he accepted full responsibility for his crimes, he described the burden of his role as a fixer for Trump’s business and later his campaign. “It was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds,” he said.




Cohen described his complex relationship with the president, which included payments of hush money on the eve of the 2016 presidential election to two women claiming affairs with Trump. He offered no new revelations on dual investigations that continue in Washington and New York into Russian election interference and campaign finance violations.

The White House didn’t have an immediate comment.


Also on Wednesday, American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, admitted it made a $150,000 payment to a former Playboy model for for a story about her alleged affair with Trump that never ran. The company said that talk of killing damaging stories about the candidate were held as far back as 2015, with Cohen and another campaign official. It agreed to cooperate, suggesting that prosecutors are delving deeper into potential campaign finance violations.

Cohen’s pledge to keep helping prosecutors adds to other indications that the special counsel is picking up valuable leads in his investigation of Russian attempts to tilt the election in Trump’s favor. On Tuesday, lawyers for Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, said their client had met with prosecutors 19 times and handed over thousands of pages of documents.

While Mueller’s prosecutors said Cohen helped the core Russia inquiry, federal prosecutors in Manhattan criticized him for withholding information. In asking for a lighter sentence, Cohen’s lawyer pledged in court that his client would continue to help inquiries that could continue for years.

The sentence covered nine felonies. Cohen evaded federal income taxes, participated in the scheme to silence the women in violation of campaign finance laws, and lied to banks and Congress. Cohen first lied to investigators, and later pleaded guilty and began talking to prosecutors without a cooperation deal.

His change of heart came too late to win the judge’s sympathy. “The irony is today is the day I get my freedom back,” Cohen said. “I have been leading a personal and mental incarceration ever since the fateful day that I accepted the offer to work for a famous real estate mogul whose business acumen I greatly admired.”

Cohen will present himself on March 6 to begin his prison sentence for nine felonies. He will also forfeit $500,000, pay a restitution of $1.4 million and fines totaling $100,000. As the penalties were read out, Cohen shut his eyes, shook his head and put his left hand to his face and pinched his brow. His daughter and son, who accompanied him to the hearing, sobbed.

Cohen, who says he agreed to pay for the women’s silence at Trump’s direction, drew attacks from his onetime boss earlier this year when he started providing evidence to Mueller and other investigators. Prosecutors in Manhattan chided him for not giving them the information they needed. On Wednesday, Cohen’s lawyer said that Cohen was now ready to do that for inquiries that could go on for years.

The Manhattan prosecutors seemed unmoved by the offer. In their memo to the court last week asking for Cohen’s imprisonment, they said that Cohen’s promise to cooperate further was of little value to them, particularly since he’d be under no obligation to do so after sentencing.

In ordering his sentence, the Manhattan judge faulted him for not coming clean completely to prosecutors and said that Cohen, as a lawyer, should have known better.

Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to a “veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct” motivated by “personal greed and ambition,” U.S. District Judge William Pauley said, adding that the crimes required “specific deterrence.”

“While Mr. Cohen was taking steps to mitigate his criminal conduct by pleading guilty and volunteering useful information to prosecutors, that does not wipe the slate clean,” Pauley said.

It could have gone differently for Cohen. Flynn, the former Trump campaign aide and national security adviser, is heading into his own sentencing hearing next week with a recommendation of little or no prison time after cooperating fully, according to Mueller.

Before Cohen received his sentence on Wednesday, his lawyers portrayed him as an important witness who bucked the power of the presidency to expose public wrongdoing.

“He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country. He did so not knowing what the result would be, not knowing how the politics would play out and not even knowing that the special counsel’s office would survive,” said Cohen lawyer Guy Petrillo.

Cohen entered courtroom accompanied by his family and was embraced and kissed by several supporters. He sat at the defense table with Petrillo, looking haggard. Seated behind him were FBI agents who worked on his case.

His face reddened in court as Petrillo described the attacks Cohen has suffered from Trump and his supporters.

— With assistance by Greg Farrell
The National Enquirer, which also helped kill stories on Trump's behalf, has also agreed to cooperate.
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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-15 01:02am

Mueller shut down an entire floor of the Federal Court in DC during a secret appeal of a subpoena- speculation is running rife that Trump himself was subpoenaed.

https://www.inquisitr.com/5209950/muell ... testimony/
An entire floor of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was closed off for over an hour as attorneys from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election made arguments against an unknown legal team regarding a grand jury subpoena challenge.

According to CNN, the unknown subpoena appeal seems to date back to September, when they spotted the same Mueller legal team, which includes noted criminal law appellate lawyer Michael Dreeben, entering the courtroom to make arguments before Chief Judge Beryl Howell, a trial-level judge who oversees federal grand jury-related cases. Judge Howell issued a ruling on a grand jury subpeona that day, and the losing legal team attempted to appeal the ruling. The appellate court sent the case back to Howell’s courtroom, who held a second sealed hearing in early October. Since then, the case had been sent back to the appellate court. According to Politico, an attorney was overheard discussing sealed Mueller court filings at the appellate court, and said that the unknown grand jury challenge would hear arguments today before a three-judge panel at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A throng of reporters had gathered in and around the courtroom to find out who the mystery plaintiffs and defendants might be.



After hearing two other cases this morning, the three-judge panel took significant measures to clear out the fifth floor of the federal courthouse. The courtroom was cleared of everyone except a dozen legal clerks, then they cleared the vestibule. Security guards swept the courtroom for possible recording devices left behind. They checked the coat closet, locked the door to the attorney’s lounge on that floor, and made everyone clear the elevator bank as well as the stairwells leading up and down from the floor. At one point, even the elevators would not open on the fifth floor.

The network of reporters camped out around the building to attempt to see anyone of note come in or out of the courthouse.




About an hour after the lockdown, the dozen clerks were seen leaving the courthouse. No attorneys from either the Mueller investigation or any known defense attorneys were seen leaving the courtroom or even the building. Courthouse security had smuggled everyone out without anyone noticing, keeping the hearing entirely confidential.

“It’s not the norm, that’s for sure,” said Manuel Retureta, a defense lawyer who is frequently at the courthouse, regarding today’s proceedings.


About 10 minutes after the legal clerks had left the building, Dreeben and fellow attorney Zainab Ahmad arrived at Mueller’s office building in a black Justice Department car.

The case appears to involve a recalcitrant witness who is fighting Mueller’s subpoena by challenging Mueller’s legal authority as the Special Counsel. Former federal prosecutor Nelson Cunningham suggested in a Politico op-ed that that it is President Trump himself who received the subpoena and is fighting the case.

“At every level, this matter has commanded the immediate and close attention of the judges involved — suggesting that no ordinary witness and no ordinary issue is involved,” Cunningham wrote in the piece.

President Trump has denied Cunningham’s assertions.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-12-15 11:37pm

Breaking News
Presidential Limo Guns It Around Corner In Attempt To Toss Robert Mueller From Roof
11/02/17 2:21pmSEE MORE: ROBERT MUELLER

Occupants of the presidential limo thought they had thrown Robert Mueller only for the special prosecutor, who had been gripping the bumper by his fingertips alone, to clamber back onto the vehicle.
WASHINGTON—Swerving hard as it sped away down Pennsylvania Avenue, President Trump’s limousine reportedly gunned it around a corner and through the streets of the nation’s capital Thursday in a frantic attempt to throw special counsel Robert Mueller from its roof.

Witnesses at the scene said the 73-year-old former FBI director—who is leading the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia—relentlessly pursued the presidential limo on foot and eventually heaved himself up onto the car, trying to question the commander in chief about his contacts with foreign entities known to have interfered in the 2016 election.

“Go, go, go, go!” a Secret Service agent reportedly shouted from inside the heavily armored vehicle which, after pulling out of the White House gate, was seen hopping a curb and plowing through a row of hedges into Edward R. Murrow Park. “Come on! Floor it!”

“Goddammit, he’s still up there,” the agent continued as Mueller began pounding on the back windshield and telling the president that he just needed some clarification on a few things. “We’ve got to shake him!”

Sources said the driver made every effort to dislodge the special counsel, maneuvering between lanes, onto sidewalks, and through a barricaded construction zone, but Mueller managed to maintain his grip on the car, at one point clinging to a door handle with a single hand as the vehicle skidded around Dupont Circle. He was said to have appeared completely calm and expressionless as he held a written request for financial records up to the president’s tinted window, even when the limo zigzagged through the Georgetown University campus and accelerated to full speed over the Francis Scott Key bridge, sending pedestrians diving into the Potomac River.

According to witnesses, when the driver hit the brakes to avoid running over a street vendor selling T-shirts, hats, and other patriotic memorabilia, Mueller was sent tumbling down onto the car’s hood, where, for the first time, the president and his men made eye contact with the prosecutor.

“Hand over the documents, Mr. President,” Mueller said as the vehicle slammed into reverse, sideswiping a row of parked cars, careening through a crowd of Chinese tourists, and snapping off street signs as if they were twigs. “The U.S. Department of Justice has granted me broad subpoena powers in this matter. You’re better off just giving me the papers now. It’s not too late to come clean.”

“You’re making a big mistake, sir,” Mueller added when the driver steered the limo into an alley and attempted to pin him against a dumpster.

Reports from motorists indicated that most vehicles were able to veer out of the way as the president’s car bolted through traffic, though one tractor-trailer was confirmed to have swerved into an embankment and tipped onto its side, forcing the limo to abruptly change course and drive straight through the lobby of an office tower. As the car exited the building in a shower of sparks and falling debris, Mueller reportedly emerged unscathed, continuing to issue his demands for records relating to the Trump Organization’s worldwide financial holdings.

“I just heard people screaming to get out of the way, and then this massive black car came barreling down the street,” said pedestrian Anna Stockworth, who estimated the limo was traveling at more than 100 mph when it clipped a newsstand and spun around in a full circle, its tires screeching and smoking as the special counsel was finally ejected from its roof. “I think that might have been the president!”

Onlookers noted that after rolling across the pavement and lying motionless for several seconds, Mueller stood up, wiped a small trickle of blood from his mouth, straightened his tie, and then slowly and calmly walked back to his office.
:wink:
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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-16 02:20am

:lol:

I mean, I'm sure the real Mueller is flawed man like any other, his exemplary career as an investigator aside. But I love that perhaps the most notoriously straight-laced, publicity shunning major figure in American government has somehow become a memetic bad ass a la the Terminator or Batman, while the would-be strongman Trump is laughed at as a clownish, cowardly buffoon.

That must just burn for Donald.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-21 01:51pm

So, looks like the secret subpoena fight is over a foreign company testifying:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/21/foreign ... poena.html
A mysterious company owned by an unknown foreign country is continuing a battle over an effort by a prosecutor — who quite possibly is special counsel Robert Mueller — to subpoena information from that corporation.

The battle, waged almost completely out of sight from the public, has ignited intense speculation in Washington about what the company does, what country owns it, whether the information sought relates to Mueller's sprawling criminal probe — and if that information relates to President Donald Trump or people close to him.

The company on Thursday filed its latest salvo in that battle with a new sealed motion. Also sealed was an order by the judges issued soon after the company's motion was filed.

Two days earlier, a panel of three judges on a federal appeals court revealed for the first time that the entity trying to keep its information secret was a company owned by what was identified only as "Country A."

The appeals court said the company must turn over the information sought by prosecutors.

Before that ruling, the identity of the appellant in the case was unknown.

The shadowy fight began in mid-August in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where a grand jury investigating a criminal matter had issued a subpoena for information on the firm.

Almost as a rule, a grand jury would take such an action at the request of a prosecutor who has been presenting evidence to the member jurors.

The company then filed a legal action seeking to quash the subpoena in the same court. The company's lawsuit appears as "Sealed vs. Sealed" on the federal court system's computer network.

Judge Beryl Howell rejected the company's effort. And Howell also imposed a $5,000 per week fine after she said the company was in contempt for still refusing to comply with the subpoena, records indicate.

Then, on Oct. 10, the company filed a notice of appeal with the federal appeals court in Washington, where the case is known as Number 18-3071, "In re: Grand Jury Subpoena."

The company, appeals records show, was arguing that it was immune from the subpoena under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The firm also argued that the subpoena was "unreasonable and oppressive" under federal criminal procedure rules because it would require the company to violate the law of the country that owns it.

On Oct. 24, Politico reported that the case may be related to Mueller's probe. The special counsel is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, possible collusion with Russians by Trump's campaign and possible obstruction of justice by the president. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Politico said that one of its reporters earlier in October had been inside the appeals clerk's office on a day when a filing in the subpoena-related appeals case was due, and overheard a man ask "for a copy of the special counsel's latest sealed filing so that the man's law firm could craft its response." The man declined to identify himself or the client.

"Three hours later, a sealed response in the grand-jury dispute was submitted to the D.C. Circuit," Politico wrote.

CNN reported that its own reporters in early September saw several prosecutors from Mueller's office enter Howell's courtroom not long after the judge issued a ruling upholding the grand jury subpoena. The same prosecutors were spotted entering Howell's courtroom on Oct. 5, after the appeals court referred the case back to her for a hearing.

Mueller's spokesman, Peter Carr, told CNBC on Friday that he could not comment on whether the special counsel was involved in the case.

The appeals court on Dec. 14 heard oral arguments on the company's quash request. Before the arguments began, the entire floor containing the courtroom where the hearing was held was closed to the public.

On Tuesday, the three-judge panel that heard the case issued its ruling, rejecting each of the claims raised by the company.

On Thursday, the company filed a motion that is sealed from public view. The motion is nearly 4,000 words long, according to an entry on the appeals court website.

Two hours after that motion was filed, a judicial order was issued in the case. That order likewise is sealed.

Entities that lose an appeal heard by a panel of three judges can ask for a so-called en banc review of the case.

If that request is granted, a panel comprised of all of the judges of the appeals court would consider the arguments.

If the foreign company in this case is not granted en banc status, or if it loses at that stage, it could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider its case.

However, the high court is not required to take the case. And if the Supreme Court rejects the request, the appeals court's decision would stand.
So, government-owned company? I'm guessing that "Country A" is Russia.

Also, Whittaker has announced definitively that he will not recuse himself from the Mueller investigation, because fuck the rule of law:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... iry-recuse
Acting attorney general Matt Whitaker has decided not to recuse himself from overseeing Robert Mueller’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia, according to media reports.


Defense secretary James Mattis resigns and points to differences with Trump
Read more
Whitaker had been under pressure to do so, on the basis of his criticisms of Mueller on cable TV and in print. In August 2017, for example, the former federal prosecutor from Iowa published an op-ed on the CNN website titled: “Mueller’s investigation of Trump is going too far.”

Mueller has exerted growing pressure on Trump with high-profile convictions and imprisonments of former top aides and a multifaceted investigation of Trump’s campaign and presidency. Spinoffs now touch Trump’s former foundation, his inaugural committee, his businesses, his tax strategy and his family.

Multiple news reports on Thursday quoting unnamed justice department officials said Whitaker, who previously was part of a company accused by the US government of running a multimillion-dollar scam, had decided not to follow the advice of at least one ethics adviser and recuse himself from oversight of the Mueller inquiry.

“Matthew Whitaker’s reported refusal to follow the recommendation of ethics officials further indicates that he views his role as serving President Trump, not the American people,” tweeted Senator Dianne Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate intelligence committee.

Trump fired attorney general Jeff Sessions a day after the November elections and installed Whitaker on an interim basis. Sessions had recused himself from oversight of the Mueller inquiry, given his role as a top adviser in the Trump campaign.


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Before he fired Sessions, Trump complained frequently on Twitter and elsewhere about Sessions’ decision. Trump regularly calls the Mueller investigation a “witch hunt”, as it secures regular convictions of his former top aides.

As acting attorney general, Whitaker is senior to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who has continued in his prior role of overseeing Mueller day to day.

The oversight role includes decisions about major new directions Mueller might wish to take and budget decisions. Any report drafted by Mueller would be submitted to whoever is overseeing his work.

Whitaker’s tenure might end soon in the new year, if as expected the Republican-led Senate confirms Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr. On Thursday it was revealed that Barr had also criticized an aspect of Mueller’s investigation, in an unsolicited memo sent to the justice department.

It was unclear whether Barr would recuse.
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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-21 02:36pm

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justic ... say-n94961
WASHINGTON — Special counsel Robert Mueller is nearing the end of his historic investigation into Russian election interference and is expected to submit a confidential report to the attorney general as early as mid-February, government officials and others familiar with the situation tell NBC News.

"They clearly are tying up loose ends," said a lawyer who has been in contact with the Mueller team.

The sources either did not know or would not say whether Mueller has answered the fundamental question he was hired to investigate: Whether Trump or anyone around him conspired with the Russian intelligence operations to help his campaign.

Mueller has not made public any evidence proving such a conspiracy, though he has rebutted in court filings the president's assertion that neither he nor any of his top aides had met or talked with Russians during the 2016 race. They did, according to Mueller; and, in the case of his lawyer's negotiations over a Trump Tower in Moscow, Trump knew about it, court filings say.

Mueller has also examined the question whether the president obstructed justice, and is expected to address that matter in his report. Whether the special counsel will accuse the president of wrongdoing on that score is unclear.

Image: Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Appears In DC Federal Court For Arraignment And Status HearingPaul Manafort exits the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse on Feb. 28, 2018 in Washington.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file
Mueller was appointed in May 2017 in the wake of Trump's decision to fire the FBI director, James Comey. He inherited an FBI investigation that had been launched in July 2016, when intelligence agencies saw indications that people around Trump might be trying to help a Russian effort to boost the Trump presidential candidacy.

He has charged 33 people and convicted three senior Trump associates — former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and lawyer Michael Cohen — who have cooperated with him to varying degrees.

One sign that Mueller is close to finishing, legal experts say, is that he has moved forward with the sentencing of those men — particularly Flynn, who he credited with substantial cooperation, much of which remains secret. Flynn's lawyers agreed to postpone his sentencing this week after it became clear the judge was considering imposing a prison sentence despite Mueller's recommendation of probation.

Generally, prosecutors prefer to delay the sentencing of cooperating witnesses until the case in which they are helping is over, to retain leverage over them and secure their testimony in court.

Mueller's spokesman, Peter Carr, declined to comment. The president's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said, "We don't discuss conversations we've had or have not had with the office of special counsel."

Defense lawyers in the case have been talking among themselves about their belief that the investigation is coming to an end, two of them said.

Image: Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn Awaits Sentencing After Pleading Guilty To Lying To FBIFormer White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn leaves a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court on Dec. 18, 2018.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
The sources who spoke to NBC News warn that a few major outstanding matters could complicate Mueller's endgame. One is Mueller's desire to interview the president about all aspects of his investigation, including obstruction of justice matters about which the president has refused to answer questions.

If Mueller moved to subpoena the president, that could spark months of litigation that could delay his report. A source familiar with the matter says Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker would have to approve any such subpoena.

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Vice President Pence has not been interviewed by the special counsel and has not appeared before his grand jury, according to a person familiar with his status in the investigation. Pence turned over emails to Mueller covering the presidential transition, the person said.

Whitaker, who made a series of disparaging comments about the Mueller probe as a television commentator, has not recused himself from supervising the investigation, NBC News reported Thursday.

It's not clear whether the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., has been interviewed by Mueller. The president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, spent seven hours answering the special counsel's questions in May, according to his lawyer, Abbe Lowell.

Michael Cohen exits the courthouse after his sentencing in New YorkMichael Cohen exits the courthouse after his sentencing in New York on Dec. 12, 2018.Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
Another piece of unfinished business involves Trump associates Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone. Corsi has said he expects to be indicted for lying to investigators, which he denies, while Stone has told supporters, "Robert Mueller is coming for me," without offering specifics. The House Intelligence Committee voted Thursday to release a transcript of its interview with Stone at Mueller's request, a sign that that the special counsel could be moving to charge him. Corsi and Stone say they have done nothing wrong.

Mueller's report is not expected to address the separate investigation by New York federal prosecutors in which Cohen has implicated the president in a campaign finance felony. That investigation appears to be continuing, and Trump also will still have to contend with inquiries by the New York Attorney General and Congress.

U.S. officials familiar with the matter say the Justice Department and Congress have been planning for the delivery of a report by Mueller, on the assumption that at least some part of it would be made public. That would not be an easy process, given the extent to which the investigation has relied on classified information and grand jury testimony that is secret by law.




Dilanian: Mueller findings suggest Trump reached out to Russians
DEC. 7, 201804:52
A Vietnam combat veteran who led the FBI after the 9/11 attacks, Mueller is not operating under the Independent Counsel statute that governed Kenneth Starr, whose salacious and controversial report about Bill Clinton's affair with a White House intern was delivered to Congress and the public at the same time in 1998, causing a sensation.

In Mueller's case, the acting attorney general, Whitaker, would receive the report and would have to decide what do to with it.

The regulations governing the special counsel say the special counsel "shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel."

The Justice Department is likely to make some aspect of the report public, sources say. House Democrats, who will have subpoena power as of January, have said they will do everything they can to make sure it sees the light of day.
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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-22 02:44pm

House Democrats will demand that Whitaker testify to Congress regarding his oversight of the Mueller probe:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/25/politics ... index.html
Washington (CNN)California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said on Sunday he expected Democrats would bring in acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker for testimony about any actions he might be taking with regards to the Mueller investigation.

"We are going to bring Whitaker before the Congress, assuming he's still in his position at the time when Democrats take over," Schiff said on CNN's "State of the Union."
He continued, "We may bring him in whether he's in that position or not to find out the answers to these questions."
Schiff said Whitaker was not telling Congress how he was handling oversight of the special counsel investigation led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller and pledged to find out.
Schiff is expected to lead the House Intelligence Committee once the newly-elected Democratic majority takes control of the House in January. New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, who is expected to lead the House Judiciary Committee, previously told CNN that his "very first witness" would be Whitaker.
President Donald Trump named Whitaker the acting head of the Justice Department when he ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this month. Whitaker has been critical in the past of the Mueller probe, including as a CNN legal commentator.
Schiff has cited Whitaker's past comments as cause for concern, and last week, Trump referred to him on Twitter as "little Adam Schitt" after the congressman said the interim appointment was invalid because Whitaker had not received Senate confirmation.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-23 04:47pm

The mystery company has appealed the subpoena to the Supreme Court:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/22/politics ... index.html
Washington (CNN)An unnamed, foreign government-owned company in a mystery court case is asking the Supreme Court to pause a grand jury subpoena it received related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The Supreme Court appeal comes after a federal appeals court ruling that ordered the company to comply with the subpoena, which required it to turn over "information" about its commercial activity in a criminal investigation. The appeals court also said the company could face fines for every day of noncompliance.
The request to the Supreme Court is the latest twist in the secret case, which is under seal and has made its way through the federal court system with uncommon speed.
This is the first known legal challenge apparently related to Mueller's investigation to make its way to the Supreme Court.
It is not known when the court might decide if it will take action on the company's request to appeal further. The application is likely an effort to put the lower court action on hold before the Supreme Court is asked to step in to hear an appeal.
"So far as we know, the Court has never had a sealed argument before all nine Justices," said Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law. "They can keep parts of the record and briefing sealed, and often do, such as in cases implicating trade secrets. But there's no procedure in the court's rules for having the whole case briefed, argued and decided under seal. The only times I'm aware of in which parties tried it, the court denied certiorari," or the review of the case.
The company's challenge of the subpoena appears to have begun in September.
In its ruling this past week, the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia offered few clues about the company and its country of origin or what Mueller's team sought.
In one short passage in the three-page decision, the judges describe how they had learned confidentially from prosecutors that they had "reasonable probability" the records requested involved actions that took place outside of the United States but directly affected the US. Even the company was not informed of what prosecutors had on the issue, because revealing it to the company would have violated the secrecy of the grand jury investigation, the judges said.
The range of possibilities on the identity of the company is vast. The company could be anything from a sovereign-owned bank to a state-backed technology or information company. Those types of corporate entities have been frequent recipients of requests for information in Mueller's investigation.
And though Mueller's work focused on the ties between the Trump campaign and Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, prosecutors have said and CNN has reported that the Mueller team looked at actions related to Turkish, Ukrainian and other foreign government interests.
Mueller previously indicted three Russian companies and 25 Russians for their alleged contributions to a social media propaganda scheme meant to influence American voters and to the hack of the Democratic Party. The special counsel and other Justice Department units continue to pursue several investigations related to Mueller's core mission.
Another challenge of a Mueller subpoena, from Roger Stone associate Andrew Miller, began at the trial level months before the anonymous company's action apparently began. Miller's case is now before the DC Circuit as well but has not yet been decided by the judges. His case became public after his attorneys publicly spoke about his intention to challenge Mueller and the subpoena.
The company in the Supreme Court challenge has stayed secret—as has the grand jury proceeding it's related to. And both the company, prosecutors and the circuit court took pains to keep the identities of those involved in the case under wraps. An entire floor of the DC federal courthouse was locked down by security on the morning of the company's appeal argument, so that the lawyers entering and leaving the courtroom would not be seen.
CNN's Sophie Tatum contributed to this report.
Also, Congressman Schiff has pledged to subpoena Mueller's report if Trump tries to suppress it:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/23/politics ... index.html
CNN)California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said if President Donald Trump's attorneys try to assert executive privilege to stop the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller's eventual report, he would likely compel publication in some form.

"I'm prepared to make sure we do everything possible so that the public has the advantage of as much of the information as it can," Schiff said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Schiff is expected to chair the House Intelligence Committee when Democrats take the chamber next month, and he said he would likely use his subpoena power to obtain and release Mueller's eventual report if he needed to.
"Now, there may be parts of the report that have to be redacted because they involved classified information or they involve grand jury material," Schiff said, adding, "This case is just too important to keep from the American people what it's really about."
In Sunday's interview, Schiff also stressed his concern repeatedly about acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. CNN reported previously that Whitaker disregarded the advice of a Justice Department ethics official to step aside from overseeing the Mueller probe and that Trump lashed out at Whitaker regarding the federal case against his former attorney Michael Cohen.
"This is exactly what we feared about Whitaker's appointment," Schiff said.
He also vowed to conduct oversight of Whitaker and inform the public about the man leading the Justice Department following the ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from oversight of the Russia investigation.
"We are going to scrutinize every single action by Matt Whitaker to make sure that the public knows just what he does," Schiff said.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-29 02:32am

Russian company references "nude selfie" reportedly in Mueller's possession:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/28/politics ... index.html
(CNN)A Russian company told a federal court Thursday that it believes that among the terabytes of data collected by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is a nude selfie.

Concord Management and Catering -- without providing information on who is depicted in the nude selfie -- questions whether there could be national security concerns related to such a holding.
"Could the manner in which he collected a nude selfie really threaten the national security of the United States," Concord's lawyers ask in the filing.
Concord's filing Thursday comes amid a drawn-out fight where the Russian company seeks to access what the Justice Department says is "sensitive" evidence in the case, which could reveal national security and American investigative secrets to powerful foreigners.
The company is objecting to Mueller's request to share classified information with the judge that is kept secret and protected from Concord's lawyers' view.
Concord again argues that the special counsel has a "make-believe case" and says its opposition is "likely fruitless" but "object we must both for Concord and every other defendant to whom the Special Counsel believes the laws and rules of the United States no longer apply to his novel adventures."
Recently, Concord asked the judge to allow it to share information US investigators uncovered in the criminal case against the Russians social media scheme with a prominent Russian oligarch and others who perpetrated the alleged crime. So far, the judge has kept locked down as "sensitive "evidence in the case, because prosecutors fear unveiling details of their ongoing investigation and of their investigative tactics.
The company says it needs to share the evidence, which consists of terabytes of data showing a Russian operation to post political propaganda on social media to manipulate American voters, in order to prepare for trial.
One of the company's leaders is also indicted in the case but has not appeared in US court to enter a plea. Concord specifically asked to share the material with him, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who sometimes is referred to as Putin's chef. The company also asked to show some of the evidence to individuals who wrote them, because it is written in Russian, and they say Russian is a complicated enough language that it would be better to have it translated by the people who wrote the words.
Concord has pleaded not guilty to a conspiracy charge related to the social media scheme. Thirteen other individuals and 2 additional companies are also charged in the alleged crime.
Mueller responded to the request Concord made on December 21, saying that to make their argument, they'd like to submit classified material to the judge that's both kept secret and protected from Concord's lawyers' view. They especially oppose Prigozhin from seeing the discovery.
Concord's lawyers and the special counsel's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
THEY HAVE THE GOLDEN SHOWER TAPE! :D :lol:
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by Zaune » 2018-12-31 12:04am

I really, really hope that's not going to end up played during the impeachment. A mistrial due to the jury clawing out their own eyes or going gibbering mad would be an incredibly stupid way to fail to get rid of Trump.
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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-31 12:06am

Eh, I don't think the country would lose much of value of Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, etc. clawed his eyes out. And they're already gibbering mad. ;)
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-06 03:46pm

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... estigation
Donald Trump Jr and long-term Trump aide Roger Stone face a heightened threat of criminal charges as Democrats on Capitol Hill prepare to hand evidence to Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.


They could be charged with perjury if there is evidence that they lied to Congress during interviews behind closed doors with the House intelligence committee.

The California Democrat Adam Schiff will take over leadership of the committee now that his party has control of the House, following victory in the midterm elections.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Schiff made clear he would be handing over transcripts which had been withheld from Mueller’s investigation by Republicans when they controlled the panel.


The committee staged 73 interviews with dozens of witnesses, including Jared Kushner, Trump Jr and Stone. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, has already pleaded guilty to perjury for lying to Congress over attempts to make a deal to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Schiff said he was “trying to deconflict” with special counsel Mueller’s investigation because over the last two years the committee, under Republican leadership, had actively tried to make the special counsel’s work more difficult.

Schiff said he planned “as one of our first acts to make the transcripts of our witnesses fully available to special counsel for any purpose, including the bringing of perjury charges”.

Trump Jr is in peril because he orchestrated the now infamous Trump Tower meeting with a group of Russians after being promised “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. He would face problems if he told Congress that his father was unaware of the meeting but Mueller has obtained evidence to contradict that.

Roger Stone has been under scrutiny over whether he joined Russian conspiracy to hack Democratic party emails.
Stone has been under scrutiny over whether he joined the Russian conspiracy to hack Democratic party emails and whether he had prior knowledge of their publication by WikiLeaks.


Kushner, Trump’s son in law and senior adviser, has faced questions over his contacts with Russian officials during the transition period between the November 2016 election and the start of the Trump administration in January 2017.

Mueller’s investigation has had access to emails and other records which can be used to test whether witnesses were honest in their evidence to Congress.

Schiff did not name any individuals, but said: “There’s no reason to protect these witnesses. There’s every reason to validate Congress’s interest in not having people come before it and lie.

“I think people felt that they had some kind of immunity when the GOP majority at the time because they would often intervene and tell witnesses, ‘You don’t have to answer that question.’”

Schiff also underlined that his committee will start to investigate the Trump Organization and any possible connections to Russian money.

He said last month he wanted to investigate finances of the Trump Organization, naming Deutsche Bank, which has a history of laundering Russian money and which for a time was the only lender willing to do business with Trump.

On Sunday, Schiff said his committee had gone to work seeking records from private institutions.

Trump has consistently claimed the Mueller investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign is a hoax and a witch-hunt.

On Friday, it was confirmed that judge Beryl Howell, chief judge of US district court in Washington DC, had granted a six-month extension to the grand jury which has been reviewing evidence and recommending or rejecting charges in connection with the Mueller investigation.

Under federal rules, a grand jury can serve no longer than 18 months unless the chief judge extends its service by a period of six months or less, “upon determination that such extension is in the public interest”.

So far, 33 people and three Russian organisations have been charged, convicted or have pleaded guilty in connection with Mueller’s investigation.

Schiff said it was premature to talk about the possible impeachment of Trump, saying “we need to see what Bob Mueller has to say”.

He said impeachment was a theoretical possibility, but could only go ahead if it was a bipartisan process with Senate Republicans in support.
Edit: Mueller also got a six month extension for his grand jury:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/04/federal ... eport.html
Federal judge extends Mueller grand jury by up to another six months
A federal judge has extended by up to six months the authorization for a grand jury that is being used by special counsel Robert Mueller to conduct his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and related issues.
The chief judge of U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. has allowed the grand jury to continue sitting until early July.
The grand jury's term was set to expire Sunday.
A federal judge has extended by up to six months the authorization for the grand jury that special counsel Robert Mueller is using to conduct his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and other issues, including ones related to people in President Donald Trump's orbit.

That original 18-month authorization for the grand jury designated "17-1," which began sitting in July 2017, was set to expire Sunday.

"I can confirm that grand jury 17-1 has been extended, can continue to sit," said Lisa Klem, administrative assistant to Judge Beryl Howell, chief judge of U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Under federal rules, a grand jury can serve no longer than 18 months unless the chief judge extends its service by a period of six months or less "upon determination that such extension is in the public interest."

That grand jury's work of reviewing evidence and hearing testimony from witnesses has led to multiple criminal cases against people connected to Trump, as well as to indictments against Russian nationals accused to interfering in the election and U.S. political processes.

Mueller is continuing to probe possible collusion by Trump's campaign with Russians, and also is investigating possible obstruction of justice by the president.

Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. And to date, the special counsel has not charged anyone in Trump's orbit with crimes related to foreign interference in the presidential election.

CNN first reported the extension.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment when contacted by CNBC. The White House had no immediate comment.

Since being appointed special counsel in 2017, Mueller, a former FBI director, has obtained guilty pleas from Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen for lying to Congress, Trump's first national security advisor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, for making false statements and Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, for multiple crimes.

Manafort's business associate, Rick Gates, who also worked on Trump's campaign, pleaded guilty in early 2018 to making false statements and financial crimes. George Papadopoulos, who had been an advisor on Trump's presidential campaign, pleaded guilty in October 2017 to making false statements to the FBI in another case lodged by Mueller.
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"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-08 02:36pm

Not directly part of the Mueller probe, but I'm putting it here since it definitely has bearing on the stuff Mueller is investigating:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/08/politics ... index.html

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya present at Trump Tower meeting charged for obstruction of justice in a separate money-laundering case:
The Russian lawyer who attended a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with members of the Trump campaign was charged by federal prosecutors in New York with obstruction of justice in connection with a money-laundering case according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday that highlighted her ties to the Russian government.
Say, wasn't she the one Trumpers and other collusion deniers were so fond of asserting was just some random Russian, with no proven ties to the Russian government? :lol:

Sadly, she's safely back in Russia, so this can't be used as leverage by Mueller to try to flip her. Pity.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-08 03:08pm

Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with suspected Russian intelligence agent Kilimnik:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/le ... 75d1a9508c
Paul Manafort shared 2016 presidential campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a former employee whom the FBI has said has ties to Russian intelligence, according to a court filing.

The apparently inadvertent revelation indicates a pathway by which the Russians could have had access to Trump campaign data.

The former Trump campaign chairman on Tuesday denied in a filing from his defense team that he broke his plea deal by lying repeatedly to prosecutors working for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III about that and other issues.
The article goes on, but let's just take a look at what this means.

This is not the first time we've heard of Manafort allegedly sharing information with Kilimnik, but its a very significant point. For a long time, there have been suspicions that the Trump campaign was sharing campaign data with Russia, which is why their propaganda campaigns looked so similar. Now we know. No wonder their propaganda campaigns looked so similar. They were probably using the same polling data.

Collusion.

And Mueller clearly is aware of it. If he can tie it to Trump, to prove that Trump's campaign chairman was acting on Trump's orders or with Trump's knowledge...
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: Mueller Investigation Superthread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-12 01:13am

So this happened...

A New York Times story just revealed that the FBI suspected Trump in 2016 and 2017 of being an active Russian intelligence asset, and opened a counter-intelligence investigation into him in 2017, after he was in the White House.

Let that sink in: the FBI conducted a counter-intelligence investigation of the sitting President because they suspected that he was actively working for a hostile foreign government to undermine the United States.

And what happened to this investigation? It got folded into the Mueller probe after he was appointed as Special Counsel. So I suppose any answers will likely have to wait for Mueller to finish his investigation. But I'll just say this: if the FBI has credible reason to believe that the PotUS is actively working for a hostile foreign government, and they don't have a contingency plan in place to carry out a coup and remove him by force, then they are derelict in their duty.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/us/p ... quiry.html
WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, took over the inquiry into Mr. Trump when he was appointed, days after F.B.I. officials opened it. That inquiry is part of Mr. Mueller’s broader examination of how Russian operatives interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates conspired with them. It is unclear whether Mr. Mueller is still pursuing the counterintelligence matter, and some former law enforcement officials outside the investigation have questioned whether agents overstepped in opening it.

The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Mr. Trump had ousted the head of the F.B.I. to impede or even end the Russia investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern. The F.B.I.’s counterintelligence division handles national security matters.

If the president had fired Mr. Comey to stop the Russia investigation, the action would have been a national security issue because it naturally would have hurt the bureau’s effort to learn how Moscow interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Americans were involved, according to James A. Baker, who served as F.B.I. general counsel until late 2017. He privately testified in October before House investigators who were examining the F.B.I.’s handling of the full Russia inquiry.


The F.B.I. investigated whether the firing of Mr. Comey was a national security threat.CreditErik S Lesser/EPA, via Shutterstock
“Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security,” Mr. Baker said in his testimony, portions of which were read to The New York Times. Mr. Baker did not explicitly acknowledge the existence of the investigation of Mr. Trump to congressional investigators.

No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, a lawyer for the president, sought to play down the significance of the investigation. “The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing,” Mr. Giuliani said on Friday, though he acknowledged that he had no insight into the inquiry.

The cloud of the Russia investigation has hung over Mr. Trump since even before he took office, though he has long vigorously denied any illicit connection to Moscow. The obstruction inquiry, revealed by The Washington Post a few weeks after Mr. Mueller was appointed, represented a direct threat that he was unable to simply brush off as an overzealous examination of a handful of advisers. But few details have been made public about the counterintelligence aspect of the investigation.

The decision to investigate Mr. Trump himself was an aggressive move by F.B.I. officials who were confronting the chaotic aftermath of the firing of Mr. Comey and enduring the president’s verbal assaults on the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt.”

A vigorous debate has taken shape among some former law enforcement officials outside the case over whether F.B.I. investigators overreacted in opening the counterintelligence inquiry during a tumultuous period at the Justice Department. Other former officials noted that those critics were not privy to all of the evidence and argued that sitting on it would have been an abdication of duty.

The F.B.I. conducts two types of inquiries, criminal and counterintelligence investigations. Unlike criminal investigations, which are typically aimed at solving a crime and can result in arrests and convictions, counterintelligence inquiries are generally fact-finding missions to understand what a foreign power is doing and to stop any anti-American activity, like thefts of United States government secrets or covert efforts to influence policy. In most cases, the investigations are carried out quietly, sometimes for years. Often, they result in no arrests.

Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

If Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, finds evidence that Mr. Trump broke the law, he will have decisions to make about how to proceed. We explain them.

May 23, 2018
Other factors fueled the F.B.I.’s concerns, according to the people familiar with the inquiry. Christopher Steele, a former British spy who worked as an F.B.I. informant, had compiled memos in mid-2016 containing unsubstantiated claims that Russian officials tried to obtain influence over Mr. Trump by preparing to blackmail and bribe him.

In the months before the 2016 election, the F.B.I. was also already investigating four of Mr. Trump’s associates over their ties to Russia. The constellation of events disquieted F.B.I. officials who were simultaneously watching as Russia’s campaign unfolded to undermine the presidential election by exploiting existing divisions among Americans.

“In the Russian Federation and in President Putin himself, you have an individual whose aim is to disrupt the Western alliance and whose aim is to make Western democracy more fractious in order to weaken our ability, America’s ability and the West’s ability to spread our democratic ideals,” Lisa Page, a former bureau lawyer, told House investigators in private testimony reviewed by The Times.

“That’s the goal, to make us less of a moral authority to spread democratic values,” she added. Parts of her testimony were first reported by The Epoch Times.

And when a newly inaugurated Mr. Trump sought a loyalty pledge from Mr. Comey and later asked that he end an investigation into the president’s national security adviser, the requests set off discussions among F.B.I. officials about opening an inquiry into whether Mr. Trump had tried to obstruct that case.

But law enforcement officials put off the decision to open the investigation until they had learned more, according to people familiar with their thinking. As for a counterintelligence inquiry, they concluded that they would need strong evidence to take the sensitive step of investigating the president, and they were also concerned that the existence of such an inquiry could be leaked to the news media, undermining the entire investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election.

After Mr. Comey was fired on May 9, 2017, two more of Mr. Trump’s actions prompted them to quickly abandon those reservations.

The first was a letter Mr. Trump wanted to send to Mr. Comey about his firing, but never did, in which he mentioned the Russia investigation. In the letter, Mr. Trump thanked Mr. Comey for previously telling him he was not a subject of the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation.

Thirty-seven people have been charged in investigations related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Aug. 21, 2018
Even after the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, wrote a more restrained draft of the letter and told Mr. Trump that he did not have to mention the Russia investigation — Mr. Comey’s poor handling of the Clinton email investigation would suffice as a fireable offense, he explained — Mr. Trump directed Mr. Rosenstein to mention the Russia investigation anyway.

He disregarded the president’s order, irritating Mr. Trump. The president ultimately added a reference to the Russia investigation to the note he had delivered, thanking Mr. Comey for telling him three times that he was not under investigation.

The second event that troubled investigators was an NBC News interview two days after Mr. Comey’s firing in which Mr. Trump appeared to say he had dismissed Mr. Comey because of the Russia inquiry.

“I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it,” he said. “And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”

Mr. Trump’s aides have said that a fuller examination of his comments demonstrates that he did not fire Mr. Comey to end the Russia inquiry. “I might even lengthen out the investigation, but I have to do the right thing for the American people,” Mr. Trump added. “He’s the wrong man for that position.”

As F.B.I. officials debated whether to open the investigation, some of them pushed to move quickly before Mr. Trump appointed a director who might slow down or even end their investigation into Russia’s interference. Many involved in the case viewed Russia as the chief threat to American democratic values.

“With respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life,” Ms. Page told investigators for a joint House Judiciary and Oversight Committee investigation into Moscow’s election interference.

F.B.I. officials viewed their decision to move quickly as validated when a comment the president made to visiting Russian officials in the Oval Office shortly after he fired Mr. Comey was revealed days later.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to a document summarizing the meeting. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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