Mueller Investigation Superthread

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The Romulan Republic
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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:
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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"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 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.


"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 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".

All the rest? Too long.

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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.


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 » 2018-12-08 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
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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
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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.
"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 » 2018-12-08 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.


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 » 2018-12-08 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.


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 » 2018-12-12 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.
"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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