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MelissaB

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Member since: Mon Nov 8, 2004, 09:21 PM
Number of posts: 14,923

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***CIA's top lawyer made criminal referral on whistleblower's complaint about Trump conduct***

CIA's top lawyer made criminal referral on whistleblower's complaint about Trump conduct

Experts are raising questions about why the Justice Department did not open an investigation.


Oct. 4, 2019, 4:31 PM EDT
By Ken Dilanian and Julia Ainsley

WASHINGTON — Weeks before the whistleblower's complaint became public, the CIA's top lawyer made what she considered a criminal referral to the Justice Department about the whistleblower's allegations that President Donald Trump abused his office in pressuring the Ukrainian president, U.S. officials familiar with the matter tell NBC News.

The move by the CIA's general counsel, Trump appointee Courtney Simmons Elwood, meant she and other senior officials had concluded a potential crime had been committed, raising more questions about why the Justice Department later closed the case without conducting an investigation.

In the days since an anonymous whistleblower complaint was made public accusing him of wrongdoing, President Trump has lashed out at his accuser and other insiders who provided the accuser with information, suggesting they were improperly spying on what was a "perfect" call between him and the Ukrainian president. But a timeline provided by U.S. officials familiar with the matter shows that multiple senior government officials appointed by Trump found the whistleblower's complaints credible, troubling, and worthy of further inquiry starting soon after the president's July phone call.

While that timeline and the CIA general counsel's contact with the DOJ has been previously disclosed, it has not been reported that the CIA's top lawyer intended the call to be to make a criminal referral about the president's conduct, acting under rules set forth in a memo governing how intelligence agencies should report allegations of federal crimes.

More: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/cia-s-top-lawyer-made-criminal-referral-whistleblower-s-complaint-n1062481

Chinese woman caught at Mar-a-Lago with malware was apparently asked to target Clintons: docs

Chinese woman caught at Mar-a-Lago with malware was apparently asked to target Clintons: docs

A Chinese businesswoman who was convicted of trespassing at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida earlier this year had been urged by her handler to target other famous figures including the Clintons and billionaire businessman Warren Buffett, court documents say.

Yujing Zhang, 33, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 22, was caught by Secret Service agents with troves of technology embedded with malware and thousands of dollars in cash after she claimed that she was at Trump's prestigious club to attend a “United Nations friendship event” that had apparently been canceled. Her bizarre behavior and backstory led to suspicions that she was a Chinese government spy, but she was not charged with espionage or related crimes.

CHINESE WOMAN FOUND GUILTY OF TRESPASSING AT MAR-A-LAGO


Zhang apparently purchased a $20,000 travel package from Li Weitian, also known as Charles Lee, who advertised tickets on the Chinese social media site WeChat promising access to events across the U.S. to meet prominent political and business figures.

Lee ran the United Nations Chinese Friendship Association, which is not affiliated with the U.N., and was photographed at least twice with Cindy Yang, a Republican donor and former Florida massage parlor owner who organized events at Mar-a-Lago.

More: https://www.foxnews.com/us/chinese-woman-caught-at-mar-a-lago-with-malware-apparently-was-asked-to-target-clintons-docs-show


Leaked emails from Natalia Veselnitskaya 2 mo before TT meeting saying Jeff Sessions willing to

investigate how the Magnitsky law came about.

Wait a sec... you realize how BAD this is? Email was from Apr 2016... this was 2 MONTHS before the infamous Trump Tower meeting on 6/9/16.

"Adoptions," my ass... this was always their code word for "sanctions."

It's sad how much has come out after Mueller left.
https://twitter.com/visionsurreal/status/1180133194378678273


Link to pdf of leaked emails from Natalia Veselnitskaya
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6452115/PDF-Veselnitskaya-Emails.pdf

An April 2016 email says Rinat (presumably Rinat Akhmetshin) said Senator Jeff Sessions was willing to start an investigation into how the Magnitsky law came about

https://twitter.com/WendySiegelman/status/1180097636541571072

https://twitter.com/WendySiegelman/status/1180132337104883716

Schiff, House Intel Chairman, Got Early Warning of Whistle-Blower's Accusations

Schiff, House Intel Chairman, Got Early Warning of Whistle-Blower’s Accusations

By Julian E. Barnes, Michael S. Schmidt and Matthew Rosenberg

Oct. 2, 2019, 1:53 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials.

The early account by the future whistle-blower shows how determined he was to make known his allegations that Mr. Trump asked Ukraine’s government to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election. It also explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it.

Before going to Congress, the C.I.A. officer had a colleague convey his accusations to the agency’s top lawyer. Concerned about how that avenue for airing his allegations was unfolding, the officer then approached a House Intelligence Committee aide, alerting him to the accusation against Mr. Trump. In both cases, the original accusation was vague.

The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and file a whistle-blower complaint. The aide shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff. The aide did not share the whistle-blower’s identity with Mr. Schiff or anyone else, an official said.

More: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/politics/adam-schiff-whistleblower.html

Another resignation- Person who oversees OFAC & FinCEN

.@wsj reports that Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) Sigal Mandelker, will depart in the coming weeks and return to the private sector.

TFI oversees OFAC and FinCEN.

https://twitter.com/tradelawnews/status/1179422348530847747

Nunes was sending messages to Flynn's lawyers (through a cut-out) asking them to request things -

Nunes was sending messages to Flynn’s lawyers (through a cut-out) asking them to request things - things Nunes only knew about through classified hearings - so he could then talk about them on Fox. What The Fuck
https://twitter.com/BrandtEsquire/status/1179085496800153600


Per a new DOJ filing, a Senate GOP aide (apparently writing on behalf of a House GOP aide) was trying to feed Flynn's old attorneys ideas, based on the House Russia probe, on what should happen next in his case

Flynn's old attorney forwarded the email along to the prosecutors, pursuant to his cooperation agreement


The DOJ including the email exchange — part of a filing in a dispute over whether it met its discovery obligations — to suggest that Flynn is now just is just trying to get his hands on stuff that will play well on Fox News

The DOJ also blames the same House Intel staffer for reviving an already debunked claimed that McCabe said "Fuck Flynn" during a convo with other FBI officials. DOJ investigated the claim several times and found it to be false

https://twitter.com/Tierney_Megan/status/1179070870301659136
https://twitter.com/Tierney_Megan/status/1179074464232955905


NEW/Exclusive: The White House upgraded NSC's top-secret codeword system last year to include a log

NEW/Exclusive: The White House upgraded NSC’s top-secret codeword system last year to include a log of who accessed specific documents in that system. That's likely to interest Dems, who want to know who was involved in putting Trump's call records there.

https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1179116028321763330


White House ordered top-secret system upgraded to prevent leaks

The Trump White House upgraded the security of the National Security Council’s top-secret codeword system in the spring of 2018, according to two former Trump White House officials familiar with the matter, as part of an effort to ferret out and deter leaks.

The changes included a new log of who accessed specific documents in the NSC’s system —known as NICE or “NSC Intelligence Collaboration Environment”—and was designed in part to prevent leaks of records of the president’s phone calls with foreign leaders and to find out the suspected leaker if transcripts did get disclosed, one of the former officials said. Prior to the upgrade, officials could only see who had uploaded or downloaded material to the system but usually not who accessed which documents.

That highly classified system is being newly scrutinized in light of a whistleblower complaint alleging that national security officials used the system—meant for storing information classified at the highest level—to conceal politically embarrassing conversations, including a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 in which President Donald Trump urged Zelensky to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

If hiding political embarrassing material, rather than protecting national security secrets, was the motivation, experts and former officials said, it would be an abuse of the codeword system. While not necessarily an illegal act, it does run counter to an executive order signed by President Obama in 2009 that says information can’t be classified to “conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error” or “prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency,” they said.

More: https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/01/white-house-trump-leaks-code-015194

'Pure insanity': Intelligence veterans are floored by Barr's 'off the books' overtures to foreign of

'Pure insanity': Intelligence veterans are floored by Barr's 'off the books' overtures to foreign officials about the Russia probe

*Intelligence veterans were puzzled by revelations that Attorney General William Barr personally urged foreign officials to cooperate with a Justice Department investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.

*"This is unheard of," one former senior Justice Department official who worked closely with the former special counsel Robert Mueller when he was FBI director, told Insider.

*The Washington Post reported that Barr has already made overtures to British intelligence officials about the matter and traveled to Italy last week to ask senior Italian officials to cooperate with the inquiry.

*The New York Times reported that Barr also asked President Donald Trump to ask the Australian prime minister to cooperate with the investigation. And Trump named Barr as his personal envoy when making a similar request in July to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

*"There are people at DOJ whose whole job is to coordinate investigative efforts with foreign governments," a longtime former federal prosecutor told Insider. "Makes a person wonder why Barr didn't trust them to do this stuff. Something he didn't trust career-DOJ people to do? Something more political than justice-related?"


National security veterans were flummoxed Monday by revelations that Attorney General William Barr traveled overseas and personally asked top foreign intelligence officials to help with a Justice Department inquiry into the origins of the Russia investigation.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Barr has already made overtures to British intelligence officials and last week traveled to Italy, where he and John Durham, the US attorney in charge of investigating the Russia probe's origins, asked senior Italian government officials to assist with Durham's work. The report said it was not Barr's first trip to Italy to meet with intelligence officials.

"This is unheard of," one former senior Justice Department official who worked closely with the former special counsel Robert Mueller when he was FBI director, told Insider.

John Sipher, a longtime former CIA clandestine services officer, agreed.

"This is pure insanity," he wrote. "First of all its really dumb to think foreign services trust Barr more than their regular interlocutors. Also, it is crazy that people like Barr actually believe large groups of people were secretly conspiring in an election." Sipher was referring to Trump's and his allies' claims that senior officials in the FBI and DOJ manufactured the Russia probe to undermine his chances at winning the 2016 race.

More: https://www.businessinsider.com/intel-veterans-react-barr-requests-foreign-officials-russia-probe-origins-2019-9

Trump and Giuliani Connections to Ukraine Corruption Go Back Years (Mob)

Trump and Giuliani Connections to Ukraine Corruption Go Back Years

The House wants a trove of documents and communications from Sam Kislin, who helped Trump stave off bankruptcy and helped fund Giuliani’s political campaigns.


KYIV, Ukraine—Such is the swamp of corruption in Ukraine that Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, in their many dealings with its businessmen, have been only one degree of separation from what’s generally called the Russian Mob. Or maybe less. And that’s not new. It goes back decades, to Trump’s years as a real-estate developer and Giuliani’s campaigns for mayor of New York City.

Now that Trump is president, with Giuliani acting as his lawyer and shadow envoy to Ukraine to try to dig up dirt on Democratic rivals past and present—an effort leading to alleged abuse of the president’s office and impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives—those shady connections take on a whole new significance.

One of the central figures in the Trump-Giuliani-Ukraine nexus is Sam Kislin, a businessman and philanthropist often identified with the Russian émigré community of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn—and with alleged mob connections.

On Monday, the three House committees pursuing the impeachment inquiry sent a “request” to Kislin for a potentially vast trove of documents and communications with Trump, Giuliani, and scores of Ukrainians.

More: https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-and-rudy-giuliani-connections-to-sam-kislin-and-ukraine-corruption-go-back-decades?ref=home


Yesterday I posted a thread with the documents for Giuliani's subpoena with Sam (Semyon) Kislin's name in it and a reminder of who Giuliani is.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100212527474

NEW: The son of a dead Deutsche Bank executive -- armed with hundreds of confidential bank files

NEW: The son of a dead @DeutscheBank
executive — armed with hundreds of confidential bank files — has been secretly helping the FBI and the House Intelligence Committee investigate the bank and @realDonaldTrump
https://twitter.com/davidenrich/status/1179014773805080576



Me and My Whistle-Blower

Deutsche Bank. North Korea. The Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the president. Again and again, one man has taken his trove of secret documents — and uncanny nose for scandal — to the center of the news.


... snip to last 4 paragraphs

Mr. Broeksmit moved to Los Angeles to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story. Early this year, a producer invited him to a dinner party. Among the guests was Moby, the electronic music legend, who told me he was impressed by Mr. Broeksmit’s exploits and existential sadness. Moby arranged an introduction to his friend Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which had recently opened an investigation into Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Schiff’s investigators badly wanted the secret Deutsche files. Mr. Broeksmit tried to extract money from them — he pushed to be hired as a consultant to the committee — but that was a nonstarter. An investigator, Daniel Goldman, appealed to his sense of patriotism and pride. “Imagine a scenario where some of the material that you have can actually provide the seed that we can then use to blow open everything that [Trump] has been hiding,” Mr. Goldman told Mr. Broeksmit in a recorded phone call. “In some respects, you — and your father vicariously through you — will go down in American history as a hero and as the person who really broke open an incredibly corrupt president and administration.” (Mr. Broeksmit wouldn’t budge; eventually, Mr. Schiff subpoenaed him.)

It was around this time that Mr. Broeksmit had his meeting at the F.B.I.’s Los Angeles field office. Someone at the bureau had finally noticed his submission to the Justice Department’s website. After the three-hour session, Mr. Broeksmit still needed some stroking, and the F.B.I. agents obliged. They told Mr. Broeksmit he could have a special advisory title. They promised to keep him in the loop as their investigation proceeded. They let him tell the world — via this article — that he was a cooperating witness in a federal criminal investigation. They even helped procure a visa for his French girlfriend.

I had to tip my hat to Mr. Broeksmit. The man whom everyone had discounted and demeaned had managed to get his information into the hands of the Federal Reserve, Congress and the F.B.I. Even if the documents ultimately prove underwhelming to these powerful investigators, Mr. Broeksmit had accomplished one of his life’s goals: He mattered.

David Enrich is the finance editor. He is the author of “Dark Towers,” about Deutsche Bank and Donald Trump.


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