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Sat Jun 1, 2019, 01:51 PM

REMINDER: Trump purged FBI of Russia counterintelligence experts.

From less than a year back:



Trump’s Top Targets in the Russia Probe Are Experts in Organized Crime

Some of President Trump’s favorite targets in the Russia probe have spent their careers in the Justice Department and the FBI investigating organized crime and money laundering, particularly as they pertain to Russia.


NATASHA BERTRAND
The Atlantic, AUG 30, 2018

Bruce Ohr. Lisa Page. Andrew Weissmann. Andrew McCabe. President Donald Trump has relentlessly attacked these FBI and Justice Department officials as dishonest “Democrats” engaged in a partisan “witch hunt” led by the special counsel determined to tie his campaign to Russia. But Trump’s attacks have also served to highlight another thread among these officials and others who have investigated his campaign: their extensive experience in probing money laundering and organized crime, particularly as they pertain to Russia.

snip...

Trump’s latest obsession is with Bruce Ohr, a career Justice Department official who spent years investigating Russian organized crime and corruption—an expertise he shared with another Trump target named Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence operative who provided valuable intelligence on Russia to the State Department and the FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force prior to authoring the Trump-Russia dossier in 2016. Ohr and Steele met in 2007, according to The New York Times, and stayed in touch as a result of their shared interests and mutual respect. Trump has tweeted about Ohr nearly a dozen times this month alone, complaining about his relationship with Steele and Ohr’s wife’s past work for Fusion GPS—the opposition-research firm that hired Steele in 2016 to research Trump’s Russia ties.

snip...

Trump’s fixation with seeing Ohr ousted from the Justice Department could be perceived as yet another attempt to undermine the credibility of the people who have investigated him. It could also be interpreted as an attack on someone with deep knowledge of the shady characters Trump and his cohort have been linked to, including Semion Mogilevich, the Russian mob boss, and Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate close to Putin who did business with Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. (Incidentally, another Manafort associate, the Ukrainian billionaire Dmitry Firtash, admitted that he only managed to be in business because Mogilevich allowed him to be, according to a leaked 2008 State Department cable.) Ohr was involved in banning Deripaska from the U.S. in 2006, due to his alleged ties to organized crime and fear that he would try to launder money into American real estate. Nearly a decade later, Ohr and the FBI sought Deripaska’s help in taking down overseas criminal syndicates.

Snip...

The president has denied having any business ties to Russia, and his dream of building a Trump Tower Moscow never materialized. But his links to Russian oligarchs and mobsters from the former Soviet Union have been documented: Millions of dollars from the former Soviet Union flowed into Trump’s developments and casinos throughout the 1990s, as the journalist Craig Unger has chronicled, as oligarchs looked for a place to hide their money in the West. The Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was once known as a hot spot for Brooklyn mobsters associated with the Russian Mafia, and quickly became the “favorite East Coast destination” of the top Russian mob boss Vyacheslav Ivankov, according to the 2000 book Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America. It was also repeatedly cited by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for having inadequate money-laundering controls.

Continues...

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/08/trumps-top-targets-in-the-russia-probe-are-experts-in-organized-crime/569056/



Never forget: as PRESIDENT Trump targeted the FBI Witch Hunters who were tracking Putin and his Mafiya.

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 02:05 PM

1. Nance has mentioned this some time back.

Someone posted a story of Putin having a Fellow bagged and dragged during a meeting in Moscow. Eight to ten from reports.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 03:19 PM

4. That guy may've worked for us.


The Arrest of a U.S. Spy Working as a Russian Intelligence Officer Could Tell Us a Lot About Trump and Putin

Rachel Maddow gave us an interesting and terrifying theory.


BY JACK MOORE
GQ.com, January 27, 2017

Snip...

It was reported yesterday by USA Today that a Russian intelligence officer was arrested, possibly for working with the United States.

Sergei Mikhailov, who worked for the FSB, the successor to the KGB, was arrested in December, along with Ruslan Stoyanov, a top manager for Russia's largest cybersecurity firm, according to the economic newspaper Kommersant. Stoyanov was also charged with suspicion of treason.
...
The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta says Mikhailov was arrested during an FSB meeting in early December when officers came into the room, put a bag over his head and took him away.


The report goes on to say that the cause of the arrests is unclear, but that they may have been carried out because the FSB believed Mikhailov tipped the U.S. off about a server company that has been identified as allegedly being involved in cyber attacks in America. But Rachel Maddow offered an interesting theory on her show last night, where she basically presented the idea that if Mikhailov was indeed arrested for working with us, maybe that serves as some kind of corroboration for at least some aspects of what we have heard about Trump's ties to Russia. Think of it like this: If all the allegations about Trump and Russia were false, Russia would not feel the need to look for moles and arrest them dramatically. But if some piece of that information were true? Then they would look for the source of that leak.

Continues...

https://www.gq.com/story/us-russia-spy-arrested-trump-putin

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 05:26 PM

11. Ah yes this was the story. Thanks again.

Mr.Nance said it is going to take at least a decade to reestablish Intel in Russia.

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 02:35 PM

2. Important post! Been looking for this. THIS is what House intel committee needs to focus on.

Andrew McCabe said recently that although Trump took down the top six—Page, Strzok, Ohr, Comey, McCabe, Weismann—involved in Russian organized crime fighting and counterterrorism—others can take over. But these were specialists.
What the House needs to investigate is Trump’s take down of them, effectively dismantling the FBI counterintelligence top tier, the cabal, as he refers to them, and Ohr, veteran Russian crime fighter in the DOJ, working with FBI prosecutors.
Then House must see what the status is of any ongoing counterintelligence efforts, including what happened to material FBI embedded with Mueller investigation came across.
Interviewed on Rachel Maddow, James Baker said it would be difficult now, given Barr’s intervention, to get information about what, if anything, is happening with all that. The difficulty arises because of the ties between Trump and Russian crime.
Above all, the House must get testimony from the intelligence community.

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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 03:40 PM

6. What that James Baker wrote:

A lot of the criticism seems to be driven by the notion that the FBI’s investigation was, and is, an effort to undermine or discredit President Trump. That assumption is wrong. The FBI’s investigation must be viewed in the context of the bureau’s decades-long effort to detect, disrupt and defeat the intelligence activities of the governments of the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation that are contrary to the fundamental and long-term interests of the United States. The FBI’s counterintelligence investigation regarding the 2016 campaign fundamentally was not about Donald Trump but was about Russia. Full stop. It was always about Russia. It was about what Russia was, and is, doing and planning. Of course, if that investigation revealed that anyone—Russian or American—committed crimes in connection with Russian intelligence activities or unlawfully interfered with the investigation, the FBI has an obligation under the law to investigate such crimes and to seek to bring those responsible to justice. The FBI’s enduring counterintelligence mission is the reason the Russia investigation will, and should, continue—no matter who is fired, pardoned or impeached (emphasis added).

Source: Ben Wittes, Lawfare

https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-if-obstruction-was-collusion-new-york-timess-latest-bombshell

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 04:05 PM

9. Good find. The reason Barr through Trump is meddling with bureau's decades long counterterrorism

efforts is that Trump did surface on the radar.

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 02:47 PM

3. The current Trump/Barr effort to delve into classified info to ferret out any anti-Russia agents

Seems to me that Trump is using Barr to delve into origins of Russia probe because he wants to make sure there aren't any agents he hasn't purged who might have knowledge of his connections to Russian organized crime and money laundering, so they can be targeted and purged if necessary.

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Response to wishstar (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 06:04 PM

12. That would help him get away Scott free.

No man. No problem.

It works the same for any crime boss.

It’s past time America’s silent plurality to wake up: The facts add up to treason.



Trump’s Russian Laundromat

How to use Trump Tower and other luxury high-rises to clean dirty money, run an international crime syndicate, and propel a failed real estate developer into the White House.


By CRAIG UNGER
The New Republic, July 13, 2017

Snip...

The very nature of Trump’s businesses—all of which are privately held, with few reporting requirements—makes it difficult to root out the truth about his financial deals. And the world of Russian oligarchs and organized crime, by design, is shadowy and labyrinthine. For the past three decades, state and federal investigators, as well as some of America’s best investigative journalists, have sifted through mountains of real estate records, tax filings, civil lawsuits, criminal cases, and FBI and Interpol reports, unearthing ties between Trump and Russian mobsters like Mogilevich. To date, no one has documented that Trump was even aware of any suspicious entanglements in his far-flung businesses, let alone that he was directly compromised by the Russian mafia or the corrupt oligarchs who are closely allied with the Kremlin. So far, when it comes to Trump’s ties to Russia, there is no smoking gun.

It’s entirely possible that Trump was never more than a convenient patsy for Russian oligarchs and mobsters, with his casinos and condos providing easy pass-throughs for their illicit riches. At the very least, with his constant need for new infusions of cash and his well-documented troubles with creditors, Trump made an easy “mark” for anyone looking to launder money. But whatever his knowledge about the source of his wealth, the public record makes clear that Trump built his business empire in no small part with a lot of dirty money from a lot of dirty Russians—including the dirtiest and most feared of them all.

Trump made his first trip to Russia in 1987, only a few years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Invited by Soviet Ambassador Yuri Dubinin, Trump was flown to Moscow and Leningrad—all expenses paid—to talk business with high-ups in the Soviet command. In The Art of the Deal, Trump recounted the lunch meeting with Dubinin that led to the trip. “One thing led to another,” he wrote, “and now I’m talking about building a large luxury hotel, across the street from the Kremlin, in partnership with the Soviet government.”

Over the years, Trump and his sons would try and fail five times to build a new Trump Tower in Moscow. But for Trump, what mattered most were the lucrative connections he had begun to make with the Kremlin—and with the wealthy Russians who would buy so many of his properties in the years to come. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. boasted at a real estate conference in 2008. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

The money, illicit and otherwise, began to rain in earnest after the Soviet Union fell in 1991. President Boris Yeltsin’s shift to a market economy was so abrupt that cash-rich gangsters and corrupt government officials were able to privatize and loot state-held assets in oil, coal, minerals, and banking. Yeltsin himself, in fact, would later describe Russia as “the biggest mafia state in the world.” After Vladimir Putin succeeded Yeltsin as president, Russian intelligence effectively joined forces with the country’s mobsters and oligarchs, allowing them to operate freely as long as they strengthen Putin’s power and serve his personal financial interests. According to James Henry, a former chief economist at McKinsey & Company who consulted on the Panama Papers, some $1.3 trillion in illicit capital has poured out of Russia since the 1990s.

Continues...

https://newrepublic.com/article/143586/trumps-russian-laundromat-trump-tower-luxury-high-rises-dirty-money-international-crime-syndicate



No wonder the Bankrupt Unstable Moron projects as “traitors” those who can expose his treason.

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 03:25 PM

5. Rachel tried to warn people.

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Response to triron (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 03:53 PM

7. Btb, the NYT no longer allows its journalists on Rachel

because of supposed extreme bias.

They will still be allowed on Republican promoting/Democrat sabotaging shows like Morning Joe, Alisyn Camerota, Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, etc.

Given the NYT's strong pattern of corrupt coverage of both parties in 2015-2016, even to publishing disinformation and leaving no doubt the pattern was intended to sabotage Democrats/Hillary and to blatantly mislead America about the Trump-Russia connections -- plus its comfort with the bias of shows working industriously to elect Republicans -- this is highly suspicious.

I am unable to believe it is not further maneuvering by the same guilty parties to help elect Republicans in the 2020 elections. Speaking of compromise, the NYT should be investigated, but it could also of course be a simple business decision.

The WaPo's position remains honorably the same.

VANITY FAIR: It’s not just Maddow. The Times has come to “prefer,” as sources put it, that its reporters steer clear of any cable-news shows that the masthead perceives as too partisan, and managers have lately been advising people not to go on what they see as highly opinionated programs. It's not clear how many shows fall under that umbrella in the eyes of Times brass, but two others that definitely do are Lawrence O’Donnell’s and Don Lemon’s, according to people familiar with management’s thinking. Hannity’s or Tucker Carlson’s shows would likewise make the cut, but it's not like Times reporters ever do those anyway.

For a comparison, I asked the Washington Post about its guidelines for cable-news appearances. “We view all broadcast programs as opportunities to expose our journalism to different audiences,” a spokeswoman told me. “We ask our reporters to speak objectively about the news topics they cover or share fact-based analysis with the goal of giving viewers a better understanding of a story. We also ensure clear identification for opinion journalists to share their wide-ranging perspectives.”

The Times’s reining in of cable-news hits is sure to rankle bookers and producers. In fact it already has. Sources told me MSNBC was none too pleased when the Times nixed Enrich’s recent booking. “They definitely weren’t happy about it,” said someone familiar with the situation.

A highly placed source at one of the cable networks said he found the Times’s guidelines to be “inconsistent, incoherent, and poorly conceived.” He also pointed out, “At the moment that Donald Trump became president, and print media was coincidentally in crisis mode from a business perspective, a significant contributor to the success of publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post was the exposure that their great work got on networks like MSNBC and CNN. They are the beneficiaries of some very positive exposure for their journalists.”

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/05/the-times-gives-maddow-the-cold-shoulder

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 2, 2019, 09:22 AM

16. Thank you for the report!

Offering airtime, Rupert Murdoch and the Sulzbergers will strive to bring a fair and balanced look to a whole new level in a future devoid of democracy.

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Response to triron (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 2, 2019, 09:05 AM

13. I've searched for that report to no avail...

For some reason my GOOGLE results have everything but the informational chart listing FBI and DOJ officials investigating Russia-Trump ties who Trump fired - the slow motion Saturday Night Massacre. It was a great summation. If anyone finds a link, I would be much obliged.

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 03:56 PM

8. He wants our intelligence to be blind to Russia

 

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Response to pdsimdars (Reply #8)

Sun Jun 2, 2019, 09:10 AM

14. Thank Bokono for Jonathan Chait...

In Terrifying Interview, William Barr Goes Full MAGA

By Jonathan Chait
New York Magazine, May 31, 2019

Excerpt...

As Mueller stated in the report and again at his press conference, he felt bound by a policy preventing him from charging the president with a crime, or even saying the president had committed a crime. Mueller’s view is that his job vis-à-vis presidential misconduct is to describe the behavior and leave it up to Congress to decide if it’s a crime. Several hundred former federal prosecutors have stated, and Mueller clearly signaled, the actions he described in the Mueller report are crimes, or would be if the president could be charged with a crime.

Later in the interview, Barr grossly contradicts Mueller’s findings with regard to Trump’s ties to Russia. “Mueller has spent two and half years, and the fact is, there is no evidence of a conspiracy,” he says. “So it was bogus, this whole idea that the Trump was in cahoots with the Russians is bogus.”

This is just a wild lie. Mueller was unable to establish a criminal conspiracy between Trump and Russia. He was unable to establish this, in part, because “some individuals invoked their Fifth Amendment right,” or “provided information that was false or incomplete,” or “deleted relevant communications.” Indeed, the two Trump campaign officials most closely linked to Russian cutouts, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, refused to cooperate with prosecutors. A failure to establish a criminal conspiracy is not the same thing as finding “no evidence of a conspiracy.” Nowhere does the Mueller report say there’s no evidence of a conspiracy. Some of the potential conspiracy elements were unprovable — Mueller never figured out why Manafort gave 75 pages of polling data to a Russian agent.

Continues...

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/william-barr-interview-cbs-mueller-coup-trump.html

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 05:12 PM

10. He's scoring brownie points with Putin

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #10)

Sun Jun 2, 2019, 09:17 AM

15. Bigly Brownnose I'd never seen Trump so 'on'



'Someone's Puppet:' Trump Under Fire for Echoing Russian Talking Points

Here is a look at where the investigations related to President Donald Trump and Russia stand and what may lie ahead for him


Haaretz and The Associated Press Jan 08, 2019 1:40 PM

U.S. President Donald Trump has been under fire in recent days for his apparent parroting of Russian talking points. Trump biographer Tim O’Brien told MSNBC host Joy Reid Monday that Trump’s “word salad” knowledge of Russia invading Afghanistan suggests he’s “someone’s puppet.”

O’Brien was referring to comments Trump made at a cabinet meeting last week, which were roundly condemned - Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal even dedicated an editorial to it.
“We have to wonder why these talking points that are clearly Kremlin talking points end up in Donald Trump’s mouth,” O’Brien said. “He’s probably the most wildly ill-informed and illiterate president we have had in the Oval Office and he would be hard-pressed to find Afghanistan on a map.”

Snip...

Rachel Maddow also dedicated a segment to the topic over the weekend. “Where is the president getting this stuff?” she wondered discussing Trump conspiracies that Poland wanted to invade Belarus and that Montengro might start World War III.

Continues...

https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/trump-under-fire-for-echoing-russian-talking-points-1.6822147


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