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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,631

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"American Gothic"


Mueller plans to call IRS, FBI, FinCen witnesses at Manafort trial

Mueller plans to call IRS, FBI, FinCen witnesses at Manafort trial
By DARREN SAMUELSOHN 07/24/2018 10:25 AM EDT

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors plan to call witnesses from the IRS, FBI and the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as part of the upcoming trial involving Paul Manafort, one of the lead investigators said in court Tuesday.

The details on which government officials might be asked to testify in the former Donald Trump campaign manager’s July 31 trial on bank and tax fraud charges came as the federal judge presiding in the case outlined some of its broad parameters to potential jurors, including the timeline of the alleged crimes.

U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III on Monday ordered Mueller’s team to produce to the court its full witness list of some 30 people. During Tuesday’s brief session, Ellis said he’d release that list to the public by the end of the week, despite opposition from the special counsel’s office.

Uzo Asonye, a Mueller prosecutor, argued that the government doesn’t typically make public its witness lists ahead of a trial, noting some people might not ultimately be called to testify.

“Yes, I know, but this isn’t a typical case,” Ellis responded.


Resignation letter from Elizabeth Holtzman to Sec Nielsen is absolutely incredible

"Although it is I who am resigning in protest against these policies,
it is you who should be tendering your resignation instead."


Economist: Trump's financial conflicts & Russia's election meddling raise questions about legitimacy

It is impossible to know whether the GRU swung the 2016 election, and therefore impossible to say categorically that it did not


The special counsel’s indictment describes a global network of anonymous servers and bitcoin miners, rampant identity theft and money-laundering, all focused on the Russian objective of getting Mr Trump elected. The Russian spies, whose identities, responsibilities and individual activities the indictment meticulously identifies, had a free run of Mrs Clinton’s party and campaign computer files until a few weeks before the election. The indictment suggests that they may additionally have stolen the Clinton team’s voter-targeting data, which in the hands of her opponent could have been a devastating weapon.

Even if those numbers were pinched (and Mrs Clinton’s data people claim to have seen other proof to that effect), it would be impossible to know whether Russia swung the election for Mr Trump. Yet given the extent of its effort and given that it need only have shifted 0.03% of the total number of votes from the Democrats to the Republicans, it might well have done. There is certainly no basis on which to conclude that it did not.

The Democrats’ grousing over this possible election theft will get them nowhere, of course. Yet the grousing is inevitable and a mark of Mr Putin’s indisputable achievement: a serious jolt in Americans’ confidence in the integrity of their elections. Half of Americans think that Mr Trump colluded with the Russians to engineer his election. In the court of public opinion, that arguably makes his presidency illegitimate, which would be corrosive to American democracy even under a much less divisive leader. A governing party mindful of majority sentiment, and ambitious to win it, would respond to that carefully. By treating reasonable concerns about Mr Trump’s election as just another partisan fight, Mr Ryan and his colleagues are instead underlining the extent to which they have abandoned that ambition.

Their complacency towards Mr Trump’s financial conflicts, a second source of doubt about Mr Trump’s presidency, provides another illustration of this. Among innumerable examples, China is reported to have granted trademarks to at least 39 Trump-branded products since his inauguration, including some the president had previously been denied. Mr Trump and his retinue spent almost a third of last year staying, at public expense, at Trump properties. A working weekend at one of the president’s golf courses in Scotland, during which he managed to squeeze in 18 holes in between plotting the downfall of the West, cost American taxpayers almost $70,000. There are laws against such self-enrichment. Yet even as legal challenges to Mr Trump’s behaviour creep through the courts, the Republicans dare not criticise it. To do so might cost them an invitation to Mar-a-Lago.

It might also invite a primary challenge, given the way Mr Trump has weaponised his unpopularity, rallying his supporters against any critic. No doubt right-minded Republicans, among the many who privately abhor Mr Trump, would otherwise speak up. Yet it also seems notable that their unwillingness to do so is consistent with their party’s acceptance of a different sort of illegitimacy. That is the tyranny of minority rule, enabled by the quirks of an electoral system that gives its white, rural supporters more power for fewer votes than the more diverse, clustered Democrats—almost 3m fewer, in the case of Mr Trump’s victory over Mrs Clinton. The adoption of white identity politics represents an embrace of minoritarianism as a core strategy. That led Republicans to Mr Trump. Further compromises with democratic legitimacy have followed.

the rest:

Butina & a Russian handler by the name of Torshin met briefly with Donald Trump Jr. in Louisville...

Maria Butina, arrested and accused by the U.S. government of being a Russian spy who tried to influence American politicians, was a last-minute speaker at a 2016 fundraising dinner in Louisville that included Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton as guests.

Butina, identified as the chairwoman of the "Russian NRA," was a guest speaker at the Heroes for Freedom and Liberty Dinner at the Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville on May 19, 2016.

It was the week of the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Louisville. At that gathering, Butina and a Russian handler by the name of Alexandr Torshin met briefly with Donald Trump Jr. in Louisville.


Vladimir Putin Has Donald Trump By The Balls In Jim Carrey's Latest Portrait "I keep the balls."


Iran foreign minister on Trump all-caps tweet: 'Color us unimpressed'


COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them —albeit more civilized ones—for 40 yrs. We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!


Trump, struggling to read, is out here talking about "space capsicules."


Clapper says he doesn't get classified briefings or anything.

James Clapper on the phone with CNN: "This is kind of a petty way of retribution, I suppose, for speaking out against the president...born out of genuine concerns about President Trump." "The security clearance has nothing to do with how I" feel about the president.

Clapper says he doesn't get classified briefings or anything. Says the clearance is more of a courtesy, has "no bearing" on his views. "I think this is just a very, very petty thing to do."

CLAPPER: "There is a formal process for doing this, but I guess legally the president has that prerogative. He can suspend or revoke clearances as he sees fit, & if he chooses to do it for political reasons, well, I think that's a terrible precedent and an abuse of the system."


Maxine Waters calling Trump "Putin's Apprentice" is perfect.

Waters said:

I’m not surprised about what happened in Helsinki. I’m not surprised about the private meeting. I’m not surprised about this president standing up for Putin. As a matter of fact, I think he is Putin’s apprentice. He’s been under his tutelage for a long time now, and he intends to get it done and the American people are standing idly by. And the Republican Party should be ashamed that they are allowing it to happen.

They have no courage. They’re not standing up for America. I dare them to talk about how patriotic they are given what they are allowing this president to do.

The praise that Trump has continued to lavish on Putin is of increasing concern given what we know of Putin’s involvement in the presidential election, and accusations that Trump is “Putin’s puppet” have dogged him ever since. Having now referred to Trump as “Putin’s apprentice,” Waters found that this nickname for the president was well received.


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