27
Jul
17

🔴 Trump/Russia Jul 2017-2018

 

🇷🇺 Trump/Russia 2017-8 🇺🇸

 
This bibliography starts on 27-Jul-2017

With Tweets, Retweets, links to articles and excerpts, I’ve tried to document this national soap opera/tragedy we’re living through. The resources at the beginning are a mixed bag of timelines and documents and I provide a clickable cast of characters (Russians, mostly).

What does this have to do with The Blacklist? A lot, actually. Russian mob figures, spies and apparatchiks. Semion Mogilevich, the Smart Don, reminds me of Red, though Red is a lot nicer and much better-looking.

Featured are drawings (she calls them “maps”) by @Jzikah, and “Mueller, She Wrote” is the best podcast I’ve ever come across. The three women who do it are comedians, though they’re all super smart and A.J. (the lead) has a PhD and is a Veteran.

Caution: You may enjoy this feature a bit more if you’re of the liberal persuasion. This is the single place on this blog where *there are politics* though I tend to stick with MSM, specialized sources (ex-Intel Community, altGov, and reputable sleuths) and other people I’ve learned to trust.

🇷🇺 Press Here For 2019

⭕ 31 Dec 2018

🐣 RT @BFriedmanDC McRaven oversaw the raid to kill Bin Laden. Mattis was the most beloved Marine general in a generation. McChrystal led Joint Special Operations Command. ¤ What they’re saying about President Trump is quite remarkable.
https://twitter.com/BFriedmanDC/status/1079801912415924225/photo/1

🌀 https://twitter.com/leahmcelrath/status/1079964316969955328/photo/1
// Fireworks

NYMag, Heather Hurlburt: Trump Ended 2018 by Rewarding Putin for Another Year of Bad Behavior http://nym.ag/2GMqQdu

NBC, Ken Dilanian: Trump and Russia: What to expect from Mueller in 2019 http://nbcnews.to/2QfrsYE
// Chuck Rosenberg, Daniel Goldman; One ex-federal prosecutor said he is beginning to believe conspiracy with Russian election meddling is not the most serious crime Mueller is investigating.

⭕ 30 Dec 2018

WaPo: Is Russia about to invade Ukraine again? That may depend on Trump. http://wapo.st/2F38ouL

⭕ 29 Dec 2018

TrumpRussia: Who is Victor Boyarkin? http://bit.ly/2BsZ0yb

⭕ 28 Dec 2018

DailyBeast, Matt Miller and Mimi Rocah: Trump’s Most Blatant Assault Yet on the Rule of Law http://thebea.st/2CE5uLy Trump pushing acting AG Matthew Whitaker on “why more wasn’t being done to control” the Southern District of New York prosecutors
// There have been questionable moves before. But the president’s reported lashing-out at his acting attorney general is truly problematic.

Bloomberg: Syrian Army Advances as Russia, Allies Position for U.S. Pullout http://bloom.bg/2rXwLCp
● Kremlin welcomes regime’s move into Manbij after Turkey threat
● Kurds turned to Assad forces after U.S. announced withdrawal

RollingStone, Ryan Bort: 10 Key Ways House Democrats Plan to Investigate the Trump Administration http://bit.ly/2AkpiSB
// Things are about to go from worse to much worse for the president

WaPo Editorial: As long as Matthew Whitaker is in place, the Russia investigation is in danger http://wapo.st/2EVlYkL

NYT: Departing House Republicans Try to Keep Investigation Into F.B.I. Alive http://nyti.ms/2EUCHnx

BusinessInsider, Grace Panetta: Here are all the ongoing investigations and lawsuits involving Trump and his businesses http://read.bi/2Ro12si

● Nearly every corner of President Donald Trump’s political, business, and charitable activities are the subject of some form of investigation as 2018 comes to a close.
● The probes that have received the most media coverage are special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the campaign finance violations to which Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in New York.
● Trump’s charity also faces civil action from New York state.
● And the president faces a lawsuit accusing him of illegally profiting off his presidency.

CNN: House Republicans wrap their investigation into FBI’s handling of Clinton and Russia probes http://cnn.it/2Q7aRX6

🐣 RT @JeremyHerb NEW: Gowdy and Goodlatte have sent a letter to AG Whitaker, IG Horowtiz and McConnell summarizing their investigation into FBI/DOJ and concerns about the handling of the Clinton and Trump/Russia probes. Full letter is here http://bit.ly/2CEW7uU

WaPo: How Russia’s military intelligence agency became the covert muscle in Putin’s duels with the West http://wapo.st/2RocGn2

PasteMag, Jacob Weindling: A Year of Trump and Russia: The 75 Stories That Defined the Mueller Investigation in 2018 http://bit.ly/2QWN1SU

Haaretz, Chemi Shalev: If Trump Is Beholden to Russia, Israel Faces Dire Danger in Syria http://bit.ly/2Ss4rUk
// The dynamics of deterioration are familiar: In 1970 the IAF shot down five Soviet jet fighters under disturbingly similar circumstances

TheGuardian, Tom McCarthy: Mueller closes in: what will the Trump-Russia inquiry deliver in 2019? http://bit.ly/2Tlc7YL
// The special counsel investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion is notoriously leak-proof but it could soon touch Trump directly or members of his family

⭕ 27 Dec 2018

DailyBeast, Kevin Poulson: Special Counsel Robert Mueller Seized Russian Trolls’ ‘Nude Selfies’ http://thebea.st/2ERKcvd
// The special counsel turned over reams of material from the email and social media accounts of accused Russian trolls.

NYT, Elizabeth Drew: The Inevitability of Impeachment http://nyti.ms/2BJ440s
// Even Republicans may be deciding that the president has become too great a burden to their party or too great a danger to the country.

Slate, Michael Politi: Michael Cohen’s Cellphone Was Reportedly Near Prague at Time of Alleged Russia Meeting http://bit.ly/2GLF26D

NBC: Giuliani: Trump won’t give Mueller any more written answers http://nbcnews.to/2GJ20vk
// The president’s lawyer said Thursday that his client is “not answering any more questions from these people.”

Haaretz: Ex-Mossad Head: Russia Decided Trump Was Their Best Candidate, and Ran Him for President http://bit.ly/2GFKyrq
// Russia chose the most advantageous candidate and used cyber bots to catapult Trump to the position of U.S. president, Tamir Pardo says

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Report Puts Michael Cohen in Prague and Trump-Russia Collusion on the Table http://nym.ag/2SqvxLI

RollingStone, Peter Wade: Cell Phone Records Show Michael Cohen Was Near Prague When Alleged Meeting with Russia Took Place http://bit.ly/2QRay7Y
// Electronic eavesdropping also recorded a phone call between Russians discussing the Trump lawyer’s visit to the city

ChicagoTrib/McClatchy, Peter Stone and Greg Gordon: Cell signal traced to ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen outside Prague around time of alleged Russian meeting http://bit.ly/2CCGIva

TheWeek: Trump’s political problems are hurting Sean Hannity’s ratings and helping boost MSNBC to No. 1 http://bit.ly/2QRhr97

🐣 Interesting summary of Trump visit …
Tweet Link: https://twitter.com/CurrentTimeTv/status/1078181171819937792
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1078190072841805824/photo/1
// Translated from Russian “U.S. President Donald Trump with his wife and advisor Bolton suddenly flew in Christmas for three hours at the U.S. airbase in Iraq. At the meeting Trump used the word suckers, and the military made a lot of selfies with the President:“

⭕ 26 Dec 2018

NBC, Jane Timm: President Donald Trump’s 10 biggest falsehoods of 2018 http://nbcnews.to/2GT6tLR
// NBC News spent 2018 fact checking Trump’s claims on tariffs, immigration, health insurance, taxes, aviation safety, foiled terrorists, jobs, and more.

TheHill: Acting AG incorrectly claimed ‘Academic All-American’ honors on resume: report http://bit.ly/2SwiQyN

NBC: Trump to American troops in Iraq: U.S. no longer ‘the suckers of the world’ http://nbcnews.to/2EP0cOA
// The president’s surprise visit on Wednesday marked his first journey to an active combat zone since taking office.

America shouldn’t be doing the fighting for every nation on earth, not being reimbursed in many cases at all. If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price,” Trump said. “And sometimes that’s also a monetary price, so we’re not the suckers of the world. We’re no longer the suckers, folks. And people aren’t looking at us as suckers.”

NYT: Trump Makes Surprise Visit to American Troops in Iraq http://nyti.ms/2QWtylp

“We’re no longer the suckers, folks,” the president said, adding, “Our presence in Syria was not open-ended, and it was never intended to be permanent. Eight years ago, we went there for three months, and we never left.”

“We’re spread out all over the world,” the president added. “We’re in countries that most people have never even heard about. And, frankly, it’s ridiculous.”

Mr. Trump, who left the White House late Christmas night, said he had harbored some safety concerns about the trip.

“I had concerns for the institution of the presidency because — not for myself, personally,” he said. “I had concerns for the first lady, I will tell you. But if you would have seen what we had to go through, with the darkened plane, with all windows closed, with no lights on whatsoever, anywhere — pitch black. I’ve never seen it. I’ve been in many airplanes — all types and shapes and sizes. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

NYT: Syria Faces Brittle Future, Dominated by Russia and Iran http://nyti.ms/2CBXudG

NYT Editorial: Trump Imperils the Planet http://nyti.ms/2QTg9dZ
// Endangered species, climate change — the administration is taking the country, and the world, backward.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews #Russia’s state TV repeatedly asserts:
“We are at war with the United States.”
On a state TV show by ‘Channel One,’ Russian MP Andrey Svintsov reiterates this common POV: “We are at war. We may not be using conventional weapons, but we are using intellectual and info-weapons.”

🐣 RT @marwanbishara A diplomatic blunder that epitomizes the strategic blunder called US Middle East policy; ‘US occupation is over’: Iraqi leaders slam Trump visit
⋙ Al-Jazeera: Iraqi leaders denounce Trump visit to US troops http://bit.ly/2BFVXBY
// 📋 civilians killed in Iraq; Political and militia leaders condemn President Trump’s unannounced visit to US troops as a blow to Iraq’s sovereignty.

FBI Most Wanted: RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN 2016 U.S. ELECTIONS http://bit.ly/2QP9Rfg

🐣 RT @RichardEngel While Trump visits US troops in Iraq, Syrian Kurds worry they’ll be wiped out next door after withdrawal of US forces. There’s talk among Kurdish leaders I heard today of an impending Genocide.

🐣 RT @RVAwonk oh. my. god. Trump posted a video to his Twitter account after leaving Iraq — and in doing so, he gave up the location and identities of SEAL Time Five members who are deployed on a covert special ops mission.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JimLaPorta Quick hit: Video posted to President @realDonaldTrump Twitter account reveals covert U.S. Navy SEAL deployment during #Iraq visit #Trump

🐣 RT @jimsciutto Words from the US President to troops in Iraq as US service-members fight and die battling ISIS, the Taliban, Al Qaeda & more: “We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven’t even heard about. Frankly, it’s ridiculous.”

🐣 RT @NormEisen On the other hand,Trump managed on one short trip to lie about the troops’ pay increase, to lead them to violate the rule against political activity by signing his campaign gear, & to expose the identity of Navy SEALs, perhaps endangering their lives. I’d say its a wash at best.

Newsweek: Donald Trump Twitter Account Video Reveals Covert U.S. Navy SEAL Deployment During Iraq Visit http://bit.ly/2BJhz07

CNBC: Saudi Arabia clarifies Trump tweet: No new Saudi pledges to rebuild Syria http://cnb.cx/2VddcTR
● President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend the “necessary money” to help rebuild Syria.
● The tweet briefly raised questions about whether the White House has secured new commitments from the kingdom.
● An official at the Saudi embassy in Washington confirmed the kingdom has not made any major new financial pledges since August.

MilitaryTimes/AP: As US troops leave Syria, the Syrian government must step in, Russia says http://bit.ly/2ShnQXY

WaPo, Paul Farhi: The end of the Mueller investigation is near! No, really. Anytime now. http://wapo.st/2TfWCRL

Newsweek: Russia Tells U.S. Not to Interfere in Saudi Crown Prince MBS Becoming King, Despite Khashoggi Killing http://bit.ly/2QRggqh

Politico: Russia tests hypersonic missile system http://politi.co/2VcX8By
// Test comes amid growing regional tensions.

NYT, David Leonhardt: Trump’s Big, Beautiful List of Scandals http://nyti.ms/2ESPK9w
// They rank #4 on the newsletter’s countdown of the year’s most significant stories.

MiamiHerald: Dave Barry’s Year in Review 2018: More Trump, tweets, Russia http://hrld.us/2QQbiKH

⭕ 🎅🏼🎄🌟 25 Dec 2018 🌟🎄🎅🏼

DailyBeast, Anna Nemtsova: The Putin Regime Is Forcing Russia’s Best and Brightest Into Exile http://thebea.st/2EScLIS
// The hammer of oppression falls hard on women and men who dare to speak out against the Kremlin and its policies.

NYT, Andrew Kramer: Selling Real Estate in Russia? Are You Crazy? http://nyti.ms/2AkhGzl

WaPo: Economic growth is slowing around the world, feeding a financial sell-off http://wapo.st/2TaTDK5
// Political turmoil in nations with leading economies — epitomized by the partial shutdown of the U.S. government and street protests in France — is further feeding investor anxiety.

DailyBeast, Kimberly Dozier: Russia Is Running an Actual Contest to Troll the World http://thebea.st/2ELxr5x
// Moscow is switching from covert to overt means to influence Americans and others, helped by a U.S. president who has set an example and given it cover.

🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 This is unreal!
Russia’s top headline story is that chemical weapons have arrived near Donetsk and Ukrainian military are getting ready to use them.
Each day the lies get more bold to justify Russia’s long planned invasion meanwhile Russia has been militarily preparing for awhile
https://twitter.com/olgaNYC1211/status/1077538766347292672/photo/1-3

🐣 RT @Evan_McMullin “Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.”

🐣 RT @TheHill Secretary of Defense James Mattis: “To all you lads and lasses holding the line in 2018 – on land, at sea, or in the air – thanks for keeping the faith. Merry Christmas, and may God hold you safe.” http://hill.cm/OE8Aek6 

🐣 RT @JoeNBC “For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ~ Isaiah 9:6-7

🐣 RT @tribelaw “To see the Earth as it truly is,” said the astronaut, quoting the poet, “small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together”

🐣 RT @BillKrisol Are you still a believer in Trump? Because at seven it’s marginal, right?

🐣 RT @CBSNews During a Christmas Eve call to children, President Trump asked a 7-year-old: “Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at 7, it’s marginal, right?” https://cbsn.ws/2SjC0rJ 

⭕ ❄️🎄⛄️ 24 Dec 2018 ⛄️🎄❄️

WaPo, Eugene Robinson: Trump is incompetent, impulsive and amoral. Heaven help us all. http://wapo.st/2EHSB4u

NYT, Tom Friedman: Time for G.O.P. to Threaten to Fire Trump http://nyti.ms/2RiKYbi
// Republican leaders need to mount an intervention.

🐣 RT @McFaul This means that the Trump administration never had one NSC meeting to discuss Operation Inherent Resolve. Shocking.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ John_Hudson A government source confirms to me that McGurk never briefed or talked to President Trump — he was never asked to. Does that make the president look better or worse that he didn’t interact with his top diplomat to the anti-ISIS coalition?
📌 https://twitter.com/John_Hudson/status/1077285493069496320

◕ 🐣 RT @BrianDawson ❌ Reagan / Bush explode deficits & debt
✅ Clinton leaves surplus
❌ Bush cuts taxes, explodes deficits
✅ Obama reduces record deficits by 2/3 at fastest pace
❌ Trump tax cuts explode deficits again
Fox “News” and Deplorables are dangers to national security.
#GOPTaxScam
https://twitter.com/BryanDawsonUSA/status/1077332169910038528/photo/1
// Chart: Deficits over time

🐣 RT @DavidCornDC Please, can we have no more winning for the rest of the year?

WaPo/AP: Where do the investigations related to Trump stand? http://wapo.st/2RdJP4Y

CNBC: Macron slams Trump on Syria: ‘An ally should be dependable’ http://cnb.cx/2Q1aL2X
● French President Emmanuel Macron chastised his American counterpart, calling out President Donald Trump’s shock decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria.
● Trump first made the announcement via Twitter last Wednesday in a move that blindsided lawmakers and officials and drew strong opposition from Republicans and Democrats alike.
● “I very deeply regret the decision made on Syria,” Macron said while at a press conference in Chad.

WaPo: Markets stage one of worst Christmas Eves ever, closing down more than 600 points as Trump blames Fed for stock losses in a tweet http://wapo.st/2ReIGtH

TheAtlantic, Scott Nover: President Trump’s Nightmare Before Christmas http://bit.ly/2PXNbEh
// His chief of staff insists that the recent tumult in Washington—a government shutdown, troop withdrawals—is all going according to plan. But Trump lacks many more high-profile defenders.

🐣 RT @tonyschwartz The tide has turned. Expect that every move Trump makes will be another self inflicted wound. It will be death by a thousand cuts and his bleeding will not stop, as ours has not for the past two painful years.

NYT: ‘America Is Respected Again!’ Trump Tweets as Allies Question His Leadership http://nyti.ms/2EK1PgI ‘All Alone’ in the White House, a Christmas Eve Twitter Storm

WaPo, Paul Waldman: This is what we were afraid of http://wapo.st/2GD2VND

NYT, Michael Tomasky: The Steady Bedlam of the Trump White House http://nyti.ms/2GBuoiR
// Making sense of the never-ending turnover in the administration.

🐣 RT @nytimes John Roberts is now the swing vote at the Supreme Court’s ideological center, making him the most powerful chief justice in 80 years. But that power comes at a turbulent time for the court.
⋙ NYT, Adam Liptak: John Roberts is now the swing vote at the Supreme Court’s ideological center, making him the most powerful chief justice in 80 years. http://nyti.ms/
// But that power comes at a turbulent time for the court.

⭕ 23 Dec 2018

NYT: Trump, Angry Over Mattis’s Rebuke, Removes Him 2 Months Early http://nyti.ms/2PYxM6X

🐣 RT @kurteichenwald After this week of insanity, anyone who does not accept the president is mentally unbalanced & putting our nation in danger is too ignorant to join the discussion. ¤ And any GOP politician who knows better but defends the indefensible out of fear for their jobs deserves ignominy.

🐣 RT @MitchellReports .@JoshNBCNews @ckubeNBC report Trump had @secPompeo call #Mattis today to say he’s out by end of year instead of staying to insure smooth transition. Means Trump will have acting heads at DOD, DOJ, EPA & Chief of Staff. No replacement for Zinke. No Deputy at DHS, HUD, VA or SBA

🐣 RT @swkoti I’m 72 years old. I’ve survived the Fight to end the Vietnam war, Nixon, the AIDS epidemic, the wars for civil and gay rights, the deaths of my parents and sister…and now I sit with tears in my eyes mourning the destruction of the nation that is my home. Damn you Donald Trump

🐣📊 RT @evansiegfried Active duty military approval ratings:
Mattis- 84% and just 4% disapproval
Trump- 44% approval
Trump approval with military women- 26%
Trump approval with military minorities- 29%
https://twitter.com/evansiegfried/status/1076884157668773888/photo/1
MilitaryTimes: Support for Trump is fading among active-duty troops, new poll shows http://bit.ly/2rQMGlN
// 10/15/2018

USAToday, Tom Nichols: After James Mattis resigned, Trump’s America is slinking off the world stage http://bit.ly/2AfDTP5

TheIntercept, Billie Winner-Davis: My Daughter Reality Winner Faced Severe Punishment, But Key Figures in the Trump-Russia Scandal Are Getting Off Easy http://bit.ly/2EKG6px

WaPo: Trump forces Mattis out two months early, names Shanahan acting defense secretary http://wapo.st/2EIZyCr

President Trump, who aides said has been frustrated by news coverage of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s scathing resignation letter, abruptly announced Sunday that he was removing Mattis two months before his planned departure and installing Patrick Shanahan as acting defense secretary.

Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who has been Mattis’s deputy at the Pentagon, will assume the top job on an acting capacity beginning Jan. 1, Trump said.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d This is a good New Year’s resolution for everyone.
⋙ 🐣 RT @walterdellinger For years I would glance at & dismiss @JRubinBogger, @MaxBoot & @BillKristol because I was a progressive & they were not. Now I read them w/ great care. But they didn’t get smart just w/ Trump. My ’19 resolution: read people I think I disagree w/ and think about what they say,

🐣 RT @maggieNYT “This is who this president is. So why are we surprised that he’s upending everything? That’s who he is, that’s who people voted for,” Christie says on ABC of every-few-weeks declarations that this is the beginning of an unraveling for Trump.

🐣 RT @kelly2277 💥 #TrumpRussia Researchers💥Excellent tool to research Trump Staffers With Ethics Waivers‼️James Burnham, legal counsel for Trump received an ethics waiver because he worked for a Saudi terrorist while at Jones Day. He’s now at the DOJ‼️
⋙ 💾 ProPublica: Database: Trump Town ~ Track White House Staff, Cabinet Members and Political Appointees Across the Government http://bit.ly/2TaYb3r
// by Derek Kravitz, Al Shaw, Claire Perlman and Alex Mierjeski, March 7, 2018, Updated December 20, 2018

🐣 RT @tonyschwartz You have the most dangerous imaginable president: a malign moron who believes he knows best. Pray that there is someone somewhere in the White House who can keep Trump from taking the world down with him as seeks to save himself. I’m not hopeful.

⭕ 22 Dec 2018

🐣 RT @RichardEngel Spoke to a professor with deep connections into Kurdish leadership in Syria. I asked him about the mood there after Trump announcement, his answer sent
chills: ¤ Hurt, betrayed, and angry. ¤ They’ll all be dead soon…

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Looks like “Putin’s Chef” & Mueller defendant Yevgeny Prigozhin is at the heart of a dispute in the Mueller case, trying to access discovery from the government through a corporate co-defendant, even though he hasn’t submitted himself to the jurisdiction of US courts.
⋙ 🐣 RT @big_case New filing in United States v. Concord Management and Consulting, LLC: Leave to File Document http://bit.ly/2T7cjdI

WaPo Editorial: The last lines of defense against Trump http://wapo.st/2LuVG9e

Newsweek: Donald Trump, Increasingly Isolated and Angry, Is Retreating to Watch More TV Than Ever: Report http://bit.ly/2Sil054

🐣 I just realized “I alone can fix it” has two meanings. Increasingly, it means “I – alone – can fix it.” Terrifying.

🐣 RT @GovHowardDean 25th amendment. This man is a lunatic
⋙ 🐣 RT @unreal When President Obama ingloriously fired Jim Mattis, I gave him a second chance. Some thought I shouldn’t, I thought I should. Interesting relationship-but I also gave all of the resources that he never really had. Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of U.S.

🐣 RT @McFaul That you do not know who Brett McGurk is underscores how little you personally were involved in defeating ISIS.
🐣 RT @Philip_Eliot The President says he does not know his government’s pointman on the anti-ISIS coalition.
🐣 RT @StevenTDennis Trump says he doesn’t know the guy who was coordinating the global coalition to defeat ISIS for his administration.
🐣 RT @brhodes In addition to the fact that Brett McGurk did more than any person to build the coalition that fought ISIS, the fact that you don’t even know who your counter ISIS coordinator is proves you are an incompetent, dangerous and narcissistic fraud.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Brett McGurk, who I do not know, was appointed by President Obama in 2015. Was supposed to leave in February but he just resigned prior to leaving. Grandstander? The Fake News is making such a big deal about this nothing event!

🐣 RT @peterbakernyt As tumultuous as events have been so far, Trump’s first two years may ultimately look calm compared to what lies ahead. ¤ “It’s entirely possible it gets worse, not better,” says GOP strategist. @maggieNYT
⋙ NYT: For Trump, ‘a War Every Day,’ Waged Increasingly Alone http://nyti.ms/2T5R1x0
// At the midpoint of his term, the president has grown more sure of his own judgment and more isolated from anyone else’s than at any point since he took office.

🐣 RT @brhodes A lot of credit for that essential diplomatic work should go to Brett McGurk who worked around the clock for years.
⋙ 🐣 RT @rcallimarchi Actually when @realDonaldTrump became president, half the territorial caliphate had been wiped out under a policy begun by the Obama administration. Hard part was brokering the alliances that created the mosaic of local armed groups, which did the heavy lifting of battling ISIS
⋙ ⋙ 🐣 RT @real […] When I became President, ISIS was going wild. Now ISIS is largely defeated and other local countries, including Turkey, should be able to easily take care of whatever remains. We’re coming home!

TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg: Mattis Always Understood Trump’s Severe Defects http://bit.ly/2RaPvMZ
// And his resignation means he knows that the president will never change.

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman and Kimberly Dozier: Bolton’s Hawkish Syria Plan Backfired, Pushing Trump to Get Out http://thebea.st/2Q0WEek
// The national security adviser expanded U.S. goals in Syria to challenge Iran. But Trump wasn’t on board, senior officials say, and Turkey took an opportunity to push the U.S. out.

TheAtlantic, Eliot Cohen: You Can’t Serve Both Trump and America http://bit.ly/2GDe8xL
// The departure of Jim Mattis is proof that you cannot have it all.

🐣 RT @JoeNBC Republican senators and House members not actively cheering for Russia, Iran and ISIS must push Trump to back down on his retreat from Syria. Too much is at stake to reinvent ISIS and turn the region over to our adversaries in Russia and Iran.
🐣 RT @amyklobuchar Like the Mattis resignation, this was sadly predictable. Chaos is not a foreign policy doctrine that works with the rest of the world or for America: U.S. envoy to coalition fighting ISIS resigns in protest of Trump’s Syria decision
⋙ WaPo: U.S. envoy to coalition fighting ISIS resigns in protest of Trump’s Syria decision http://wapo.st/2UZjOFz

Stars&Stripes: Iran expected to expand its reach across the Middle East amid US exit plan http://bit.ly/2Rclnki

⭕ 21 Dec 2018
🚫=Recorded but not retweeted

ForeignPolicy, Michael Hirsh: How Russian Money Helped Save Trump’s Business http://bit.ly/2V2YmQ0
// After his financial disasters two decades ago, no U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in.

WaPo: Democrats prepare to investigate Trump from every angle http://wapo.st/2rTaYLX

TheAtlantic, Thomas Wright: Trump, Unchecked http://bit.ly/2GAqh6u
// With Mattis gone, the president is now free to indulge his most visceral instincts.

NYT: As Markets Tumble, Tech Stocks Hit a Rare and Ominous Milestone http://nyti.ms/2R9bGTT so much winning
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1076536643333603328/photo/1

NYT: Reliable Allies Refuse to Defend a President Content With Chaos http://nyti.ms/2GO2119

NYT Editorial: Shutdown? More Like a Breakdown http://nyti.ms/2CtIqPf

This is what happens when the nation’s chief executive holds a leadership philosophy akin to that of the Petyr Baelish character on “Game of Thrones” — namely, that “chaos is a ladder.” For most people, uncertainty and disorder are scary, unsettling forces to be avoided. But for Mr. Trump, they are cherished friends and strategic assets, in part specifically because other people are so anxious to avoid them. The president clearly believes that throwing everyone else off balance gives him an edge — that is, if he can make the turmoil fierce enough, those around him will give up and give in.

… [R]evving up the wall fight allows Mr. Trump to divert attention from so much of the other drama threatening to swallow him up.

Even by Trumpian standards, the president has been enduring a bumpy patch. This week alone, Wall Street had its worst stretch in a decade; the Trump Foundation agreed to close up shop following accusations of “a shocking pattern of illegality”; the Supreme Court declined to allow enforcement of Mr. Trump’s planned asylum ban, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg casting her vote shortly before undergoing surgery for lung cancer; and a backlash erupted over Mr. Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria and Afghanistan.

This move proved too much for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who tendered his resignation on Thursday with a letter widely received as a rebuke to the president’s approach to foreign policy and national security. …

And, of course, hovering above it all, the president’s legal troubles keep mounting as the Russia investigation churns on.

Faced with all that, who wouldn’t rather throw himself into a fight — maybe even shut down parts of the government — over a border wall? At least with his wall, Mr. Trump gets to pretend that he is still in control, even as his administration sinks further and further into the swamp.

RollingStone, Matt Taibbi: We Know How Trump’s War Game Ends http://bit.ly/2rZwnU9
// Nothing unites our political class like the threat of ending our never-ending war

RollingStone, Ryan Bort: Why the Resignation of James Mattis Is Especially Concerning http://bit.ly/2EG2dwp
// The departure of the retired general in Trump’s White House is yielding fear on both sides of the aisle

USAToday Editorial: James Mattis exits, along with the guardrails for Donald Trump’s foreign policy http://bit.ly/2EDqxPC

TheGuardian, Tom McCarthy: With Jim Mattis gone, has the last proverbial adult left the White House? http://bit.ly/2V3zGa8
// Defense secretary was the last of a four-person group to balance the president’s more mercurial tendencies and analysts are alarmed http://bit.ly/

ForeignPolicy, Lara Seligman: With Mattis Gone, Is Trump Unleashed? http://bit.ly/2SeGb7X
// The defense secretary once restrained him, but now the president has free rein over U.S. foreign policy.

TheWeek: 5 things James Mattis prevented Trump from doing http://bit.ly/2EK38wD
1. Killing Assad.
2. Pulling out of Afghanistan.
3. Sending active-duty troops to the border [vs National Guard]
4. Torturing people.
5. 5. Pulling out of Korea.

WaPo, Anne Applebaum: The lure of chaos is leading Britain straight into the abyss http://wapo.st/2Lv7lFe

WaPo, Jim Hoagland: Mattis endured a lot. Here’s why this was the last straw. http://wapo.st/2LuZyaf

WaPo, Dana Milbank: It’s official. We lost the Cold War. http://wapo.st/2GwhDGa

🐣 RT @michaeldweiss When you’ve lost Chomsky, comrades.
⋙ Kurdistan24, Wladimir van Wilgenburg: Noam Chomsky says US should stay in Syria to protect the Kurds http://bit.ly/2RcAev4

🐣 RT @EvelynMFarkas Yup.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JMLudes Pretty sure I just heard @EvelynNFarkas on @MSNBC warn us that Mattis kept Trump from heading down road of withdrawing United States from NATO last summer. I gasped.

🐣🎅🏼 RT @altNOAA The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK just received a call from North Pole. Santa is worried about inclement weather over CONUS affecting flights delivering presents. He was assured SPC will remain staffed by employees without pay so Christmas can happen. #TrumpShutdown

🐣 RT @RepSwalwell “Hey bud, happy holidays. I know we never talk politics, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this concerned for our national security as I am with the resignation of General Mattis.” ¤ *From a Marine I grew up with.

🐣 I think it looks ominous for this shutdown. Trump can’t cave with Rush and Coulter snarling at him. And Pelosi and Schumer can’t cave to xenophobia & racism. King Solomon, where are you?

PoliticusUSA/Reuters, Jan Strupczewski: Exit of trusted Mattis sparks concern among U.S. allies http://bit.ly/2SerL80 Former Belgian P.M.: “Mattis checked President Trump’s worst instincts…. His departure is bad news & makes it look like Putin’s plan is being delivered on”

📊 WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Americans have a different view about indicting a sitting president http://wapo.st/2VaCu5k Quinnipiac poll: Voters say 71/21%,(incl 49/38% GOP) that a president should be subject to being charged with a crime while in office, rather than afer leaving office

🐣 RT @GovJohnDean I suspected Erdogan fingerprints on this. Question is, what does trump get in return? Watch for new Trump hotel in Istanbul.
⋙ 🐣 RT @GregJaffe Why did U.S. troops still need to be in Syria if ISIS is defeated? Erdogan asked Trump. “You know what? It’s yours,” Trump replied. “I’m leaving.” Via @karendeyoung1 @missy_ryan @jdawsey1
⋙⋙ WaPo: A tumultuous week began with a phone call between Trump and the Turkish president http://wapo.st/2rSAGk0

🐣 RT @Hardball “The last week has been one for the history books” @HardballChris on the chaos in Washington #Hardball
⋙ 💽 MSNBC: Chris Matthews: Donald Trump’s mercurial instincts plunged DC into chaos http://on.msnbc.com/2SloBiZ

🐣 Hitler let the Russians destroy Berlin while he hid in a bunker. In the end he declared the German people hadn’t been “worthy” of him.

NYT: Trump Policy Gyrations Threaten Fragile Republican Coalition http://nyti.ms/2EGPrOx

🐣 RT @JohnWDean WOW. Howell Raines (former ex editor of the New York Times on Chris Hayes show) says he reads the Mattis letter as a historic document written by a military scholar indicating that Donald Trump is a treasonous president, not to mention totally “unhinged.”

Bloomberg: Russian Euphoria at Trump’s Retreats Tinged With Doubts, Concerns http://bloom.bg/2rOfECZ
● Delight at victories tempered by Syria, Afghanistan worries
● Kremlin long pressed for U.S. withdrawals declared by Trump

Politico, Eliana Johnson and Burgess Everett: Trump sees dangerous cracks in Hill GOP support http://politi.co/2SYWHcm
// A series of recent events is alienating congressional allies Trump would need in an impeachment fight.

🐣 RT @EricHolder This is why the need for an independent DOJ and an independent AG are so critical. This behavior threatens the rule of law. Those appropriately now at DOJ must be strong and understand their duty to the people and to the Constitution.
🐣 RT @tribelaw More obstruction of justice to celebrate the Solstice 🎉? @CNN
🐣 RT @Neal_Katyal Words fail me. The President is having conversations w/the Acting AG he installed (w/out Senate confirmation) about a criminal case in which he is directly implicated. Compare U.S. Constit., Art. II “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”
🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff The President of the United States should not be discussing any criminal case in which he has been implicated with the Acting Attorney General. ¤ This is wrong, unethical and eviscerates post-Watergate policy. Whitaker should not need an ethics opinion to know this is inexcusable.
🐣 RT @SallyQYates This shouldn’t get lost in the avalanche of crazy. The wall we need is between DOJ and the White House. The foundation of our democracy- the rule of law- depends on it.
⋙ CNN: Laura Jarrett and Pamela Brown: Trump has been venting his frustrations about SDNY at Whitaker since explosive Cohen revelations http://cnn.it/2QJXFMN

President Donald Trump has at least twice in the past few weeks vented to his acting attorney general, angered by federal prosecutors who referenced the President’s actions in crimes his former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Trump pressed Whitaker on why more wasn’t being done to control prosecutors in New York who brought the charges in the first place, suggesting they were going rogue.

🐣 RT @davidaxelrod I got a note from a young service member after Mattis quit: “This is a terrible day for the military and for U.S. national security interests. Mattis wasn’t fired or pushed out. He resigned because he could no longer stand by this insane moron who is now our Commander-in-Chief.”

🐣 Vox: Matt Yglesias: There never were any “adults in the room” http://bit.ly/2PQ3dQJ
// The only real grown-ups in American politics are in the resistance.

🐣 RT @LauraLitvan A Chuck Schumer spokesman says the minority leader told Mike Pence, Mick Mulvaney and Jared Kushner at a private meeting that any proposal for a border wall can’t pass the Senate. The Democrats aren’t making fresh offers.

🐣 RT @AngrierWHStaff Well, we’re shutting down, folks!

🐣 RT @JakeTapper Former Defense Secy Hagel.: Trump is not fit to be commander-in-chief https://cnn.it/2QNB2r1 Chuck Hagel on @TheLeadCNN

🐣 RT @tribelaw No, this isn’t “treason,” as a technical legal matter. But it’s a disgusting betrayal of our country, our troops in Syria, our veterans, the Kurds we’re leaving to the mercy of the Turks under Erdogan, and all who gave their lives fighting ISIS. And for what? For whose benefit?
⋙ 🐣 RT @desiderioDC NEW: Corker revealed today that the U.S. military was planning a “major clearing operation” targeting ISIS in the Euphrates River Valley in six weeks—one that won’t take place anymore after Trump’s abrupt Syria withdrawal order
⋙⋙ DailyBeast, Andrew Desiderio: Trump’s Abrupt Syria Withdrawal Thwarted ‘Major’ Operation Targeting ISIS, Sen. Bob Corker Says http://thebea.st/2CtCYvW
// The Foreign Relations chairman said the U.S. was weeks away from launching a ‘major clearing operation’ in the Euphrates River Valley when Trump decided to withdraw from Syria.

TheAtlantic, David Graham: The Trump Administration’s Lowest Point Yet http://bit.ly/2LBV16h
// Even by the standards of a president who has stumbled from crisis to crisis, the current moment has peril broader and deeper than perhaps ever before.

🐣 RT @CFR_org The U.S. withdrawal from Syria removes the main obstacle to a Turkish campaign to eradicate Syrian Kurdish forces and could lead to a more dangerous phase of Syria’s civil war, writes @stevenacook
⋙ CFR, Steven Cook: Syria’s Changing Power Grid: What Turkey Wants http://on.cfr.org/2ByfSmj
// The U.S. withdrawal from Syria removes the main obstacle to a Turkish campaign to eradicate Syrian Kurdish forces and could lead to a more dangerous phase of Syria’s civil war.

🐣 RT @kyledcheney BREAKING: The FBI *deputy director* is directly rebuffing a GOP request to vet/redact witness transcripts by Christmas Eve — a deadline he says is not possible without risking classified info. ¤ He, not too subtly, notes the “legal requirement” they have not to disclose such info
Text Block: https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1076238562062974976/photo/1

🐣 RT @Acosta Trump “hates” the Mattis resignation letter, I’m told. But he “hates” the coverage of the letter even more as he doesn’t like the suggestion that Mattis, as well as other senior members of the admin, exist as a check on his go it alone impulses.

📋 MotherJones, Kevin Drum: Obamacare Continues to Be Working Fine http://bit.ly/2rS7sBL it’s likely that net enrollment this year will end up down by 1-2 percent or so

MilitaryTimes, Tara Copp: Mattis is out, and Blackwater is back: ‘We are coming’ http://bit.ly/2BDkiIG Is the war in Afghanistan — and possibly elsewhere ― about to be privatized? //➔ wow, will Trump get his own SS?

DailyBeast: Fox News Calls Out Trump for ‘Flipping a 180’ on Shutdown Blame http://thebea.st/2T4V5hc
// After saying he was ‘not going to blame’ Democrats for a shutdown, that’s exactly what Trump is trying to do today. Fox News isn’t going to let him.

TheHill, Gregory Wallance: Why the US is losing the information war to Russia http://bit.ly/2EJ7PXE

CNN, Stephen Collinson: Trump unleashed: Mattis exit paves way for global chaos http://cnn.it/2QKiBDC

🐣 RT @MollyMcKew So. Just gonna say. Keep an eye on Ukraine over the coming weeks. ¤ Maybe two.

🐣 RT @JoeNBC “Congress is going to have to step in and provide oversight over what increasingly looks like a rogue presidency.” ~Gen Barry McCaffrey

WaPo, Max Boot: Jim Mattis didn’t believe in betraying allies. That’s why he had to resign. http://wapo.st/2RbGoeW

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: Jim Mattis Was the Only Thing Keeping Trump’s Insane Clown Posse in Check http://thebea.st/2LxVciA
// Steady, thoughtful, and respected, Mattis was America’s insurance policy against Trump’s idiocy. If you’re not nervous, you’re not paying attention.

🐣 RT @AliVelshi Folks, ALL of this news happened in JUST the last 7 days: Velshi & Ruhle 💽 https://twitter.com/AliVelshi/status/1076204608341659649/photo/1
// “Jaw-dropping week”

🐣 RT @profcarroll Ever since the Cambridge Analytica cataclysm, the Mercers have gone silent, cut funding, and hope to be forgotten. Good luck with that. #TrumpResign
⋙ CNBC: Billionaire megadonor Robert Mercer cuts back on support for GOP after being scrutinized for backing Trump http://cnb.cx/2EIT8E7
● Republican megadonor Robert Mercer was one of President Trump’s biggest backers in 2016. Yet people close to Mercer say he’s “disappeared” and he’s no longer playing as big a role in supporting the Republican Party as he used to.
● “He’s out,” said a former associate of Mercer. “He’s not going to play any major role going forward.”

WaPo, Walter Shaub, Richard Painter and Norman Eisen: In a normal administration, Whitaker would listen to government ethics experts http://wapo.st/2Ctmfc3
// Why the acting attorney general should be recused from the Russia investigation.

AP: Trump call with Turkish leader led to US pullout from Syria http://bit.ly/2LtdZvy

✅ Politifact: Donald Trump claims Russia is ‘not happy’ U.S. troops are leaving Syria. That isn’t true http://bit.ly/2RbiaBn

Haaretz, Amos Harel [ISR]: Syria Pullout: Israel Left With False Russian Promises and a Volatile U.S. President http://bit.ly/2EKbjJA
// Trump pulls rug from under his own generals ■ An Israeli expert on Russia lays out Putin’s strategic reasoning in Syria

NPR, Bill Chappell: How Is The World Reacting To Trump’s Decision To Withdraw From Syria? http://n.pr/2Sg0qlI

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Russia Gloats: ‘Trump Is Ours Again’ http://thebea.st/2GyZ0RX
// If Moscow was happy about the Syria pullout, it’s ecstatic about Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ resignation.

ForeignPolicy, Michael Hirsh: How Russian Money Helped Save Trump’s Business http://bit.ly/2V2YmQ0
// After his financial disasters two decades ago, no U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in.

LATimes, Seth Hettena: To unravel the Trump/Russia affair, don’t follow the money, follow the lies http://lat.ms/2EJ5fRG

WaPo: Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria marks a win for Putin http://wapo.st/2A9Kg6A

WaPo, Paul Waldman: Why the Russia scandal will define the next two years of Trump’s presidency http://wapo.st/2QJayGR

NYT: Glee in Russia Over Trump’s Foreign Policy Largess http://nyti.ms/2EDryav

USAToday: Donald Trump disputes departing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis over Russia, China http://bit.ly/2EEhBth

Politico: Trump claims to be tough on Russia after Mattis resignation http://politi.co/2By90W4

Vox, Alex Finley: Trump got the National Enquirer to bury his secrets. Did he do the same with Putin? http://bit.ly/2EAeToy
// Enquiring minds want to know.

🐣 RT @HillaryClinton Actions have consequences, and whether we’re in Syria or not, the people who want to harm us are there & at war. Isolationism is weakness. Empowering ISIS is dangerous. Playing into Russia & Iran’s hands is foolish. This President is putting our national security at grave risk.

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind How to overthrow a democracy:
1. select malleable candidate
2. offer bribe (Trump Tower Moscow)
3. collude to install puppet regime
4. demand repayment (lifting sanctions, withdrawals and alienate democracies)
5. hold kompromat over puppet to maintain influence

🐣 RT @george_capen ICYMI, buried amongst all the news, Putin said that US forces in Japan are complicating the relationship between Japan and Russia, negatively affecting the prospects of signing a peace treaty. You know where this is headed…

🐣 RT @NBCPolitics Sen. Graham calls for congressional hearings on Syria troop withdrawal: ¤ “It is imperative Congress hold hearings on withdrawal decision in Syria — and potentially Afghanistan — to understand implications to our national security … Need answers now.”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Brian Kilmeade just called out Trump to Sarah Sanders on Syria: ¤ “Sarah, he’s giving Russia a big win. Vladimir Putin praised him. He’s also doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing. He said President Obama was the founder of ISIS. He just refounded ISIS.” 💽 https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1076115452932304896/photo/1

🐣 RT @matthewamiller Surely Mueller will let us escape for the holiday without a round of indictments today, right? Right??
⋙ 🐣 That was what I asked 🎅🏼 for for Christmas🎄‼️

🐣 RT @Joyce_Karam Erdogan Confirms Everything that White House Denied:
• Trump discussed Syria Withdrawal w him on 14th
• Trump asked him to take care of ISIS when US leaves Syria (Foreign country)
• Turkey appreciates gesture but is waiting, delays offensive vs Kurds
⋙ TheNational [UAE]: Trump decided to leave Syria after call with Erdogan, says US defence official http://bit.ly/2BzUM6T
// US Envoy for Syria cancelled his trip to New York to follow meetings in Washington

🐣 Ending the filibuster would end our system of law making as we know it. With every change of the party in power, all legislation of the prior congress could be overturned by a vote of 1. It would sow utter chaos, an endless roller-coaster.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Fox is ALL-IN on pressuring Mitch McConnell to end the filibuster, and just WATCH how fast the bot army turns every MAGA and clickservative into a cheerleader for it.
⋙ 🐣 Here’s where (hopefully) McConnell’s dismay over Mattis firing may kick in. May.
TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: The Special Counsel Is Bearing Down on Roger Stone http://bit.ly/2Rdkl7M
// The longtime Trump adviser appears to have asked an associate to obtain anti-Clinton emails from WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d Who’s going to step up?
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @malinowski He’s burning down the house now. Years from now, the only thing that will matter, the one thing people will remember, is who helped to put the fire out.
⋙ 🐣 I can think of one person. You may know her.

🚫🐣 RT @kelly2277 💥BREAKING NEWS💥 NOW- a Russian missile frigate is moving in the direction of the Azov Sea about 1.5 nautical miles off the coast in the area of the town of Feodosia.
⋙ TheMoscowTimes Russian Warship en Route to Azov Sea From Crimea, Witness Says http://bit.ly/2LtEO2D
// A Russian missile frigate is moving in the direction of the Azov Sea from Crimea, a Reuters witness said on Friday.
↥ ↧
🚫🐣 RT @kelly2277 ⚠️It is absolutely imperative that Marina Gross, the translator at the #Helsinki meetings, be subpoenaed immediately so we can begin Trump’s impeachment proceedings! This is a national security emergency 🚨

WaPo: Trump orders major military withdrawal from Afghanistan as Mattis departs http://wapo.st/2PUlkFg

RawStory, Travis Gettys: ‘Republicans are truly scared for America’: Trump’s starting to lose his GOP support http://bit.ly/2rQ1P76

🚫🐣 RT @kelly2277 💥Helsinki💥 Putin asked Trump to deliver on his promise to pull out of Syria- and he just did. What else did Trump agree to do for Putin in the secret meetings⁉️ I’ll tell you… Trump agreed to stand down as Russia invades Ukraine this week…

🐣 RT @tonyschwartz When Mitch McConnell and The Wall Street Journal fiercely criticize Trump. you know he has crossed a new line. With Mattis gone, who will stand between Trump and a full embrace of Putin, authoritarianism and a total rejection of America’s allies?

🐣 RT @tonyschwartz We are in uncharted territory. Trump is more unmoored than ever and he continues to unravel. He is fully willing to put the world at mortal risk in a futile attempt to save face and prove his power.

💙 Axios, Mike Allen and Jim VanDeHei: Pre-Christmas Trump: Rebuked, rampaging http://bit.ly/2Gzt53W “Thursday was one of the most remarkable days, tucked inside one of the most remarkable weeks, capping one of the most remarkable months in modern presidential history”

🐣 RT @Politico Trump’s moves on a border wall and military operations stun the political establishment, cost him a defense secretary — and trigger ‘one of the most chaotic weeks that we’ve ever seen in American government’
⋙ 🐣 Politico, Andrew Restuccia: Trump stuffs political grenades in Washington’s Christmas stocking http://politi.co/2T2EUki
// The president’s moves on a border wall and military operations stun the political establishment, cost him a defense secretary — and trigger ‘one

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs Since the Cold War, it has proved ever more difficult to generate popular support for U.S. foreign policy, writes Gideon Rose. And so each president has come into office promising to do less abroad—only to be dragged by events into doing more.
⋙ ForeignAffairs, Gideon Rose: The Fourth Founding http://fam.ag/2PRnYLN
// alt subtitle: The United States can found a new world order after Trump; The United States and the Liberal Order

🐣 RT @IlvesToomas Today, more than ever, this from Ronald Reagan (said when he was a Democrat) is true: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

TheHill: Lindsey Graham: “To the president, you won the election, you beat me and many others, you have the right to make this decision, but the Congress has the duty to hold you accountable.” http://hill.cm/8I1Yp6j 

⭕ 20 Dec 2018

WaPo, Catherine Rampell: AFTER SHOCK ~ A recession is coming. Trump will make it so much worse. http://wapo.st/2RcVTmL

 BuzzFeedNews, Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold: Russian Agents Sought Secret US Treasury Records On Clinton Backers During 2016 Campaign http://bit.ly/2EEkMB6
// Whistleblowers said the Americans were exchanging messages with unsecure Gmail accounts set up by their Russian counterparts as the US election heated up.

USAToday: Exclusive: Watch opening scene of ‘The Blacklist,’ as Red shows amateurs how to rob a bank http://bit.ly/2AcCsky

VanityFair, Joe Pompeo: “The Broad Outline of What Steele Was Writing Is Unquestionably True”: BuzzFeed Wins Its Dossier Suit, and Ben Smith Takes a Victory Lap http://bit.ly/2QHwqT2

FiveThirtyEight, Perry Bacon: Mattis Leaving Might Be The Most Important Trump Administration Exit Yet http://53eig.ht/2AenJ8u

TheHill, Seth Frantzman: Russia, Iran and Turkey will step into vacuum US leaves in Syria http://bit.ly/2Rh7pxs

WSJ: Democrats Criticize Barr Over Mueller Memo; Nomination Proceeds http://on.wsj.com/2T4x5Le
// Graham says written opinion shouldn’t affect Barr’s confirmation as attorney general

🐣 RT @20committee Make no mistake what happened today. The US military’s finest general of his generation, whom historians will compare to Grant, Marshall, & Ike, threw in the towel over Trump’s basic lack of patriotism & decency. You will tell your grandkids about this day, my fellow Americans.

NYT, Mark Landler: After Mattis’s Resignation, a President Unbound http://nyti.ms/2A9e0QS

NYT: Mattis’s Resignation Creates New Cracks Between G.O.P. Lawmakers and Trump http://nyti.ms/2rRcUVe

In perhaps the most surprising response, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the usually circumspect majority leader, issued a cutting and lengthy statement, saying: “It’s essential that the United States maintain and strengthen the post-World War II alliances that have been carefully built by leaders in both parties. We must also maintain a cleareyed understanding of our friends and foes, and recognize that nations like Russia are among the latter.”

He continued: “So I was sorry to learn that Secretary Mattis, who shares those clear principles, will soon depart the administration. But I am particularly distressed that he is resigning due to sharp differences with the president on these and other key aspects of America’s global leadership.”

🐣 RT @kasie This statement from @senatemajldr is probably the strongest statement he has ever made in opposition to President Trump. This is a serious signal that the winds may be shifting https://twitter.com/kasie/status/1075945554683797504/photo/1

NYT: Mattis’s Resignation Creates New Cracks Between G.O.P. Lawmakers and Trump http://nyti.ms/2rRcUVe

🐣 RT @MSNBC Rep. Jerry Nadler: “If the framers had wanted to make the president immune from indictment, they would have said so in the Constitution.”

RollCall: Ahead of Shutdown, GOP Senator Steve Daines (MT) Floats ‘Nuclear’ Option to Build Trump’s Border Wall http://bit.ly/2LuvwU5
// Sen. Steve Daines pitched rules change after House GOP voted to amend spending stopgap

DailyBeast: ‘Fox & Friends’ Slams Trump on Syria Withdrawal: Only a Child Would Think ISIS Is Defeated http://thebea.st/2EBS83I
// Host Brian Kilmeade unleashed again on the president on his favorite morning show—and, judging by his tweets, Trump was not happy.

DailyBeast, Scott Bixby: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ Resignation Message to Trump Is Basically ‘F*** This’ http://thebea.st/2GwYsfx
// The Pentagon chief quit after Trump announced plans to withdraw troops from Syria and just before he ordered a drawdown in Afghanistan.

DailyBeast, David Rothkopf: Mattis’ Message to the World: Trump Is Out of Control http://thebea.st/2T3Si7N
// That was more than a letter of resignation provided today by Defense Secretary James Mattis, it was a bright red line in American history.

DailyBeast, David Lurie: William Barr Agrees With Trump’s Lawyers: Firing Comey Wasn’t Obstruction of Justice http://thebea.st/2CsUeBt
// alt title: Trump’s AG Pick Sounds Like He Would Fire Mueller; Trump’s nominee made a case to the Justice Department that the president couldn’t have broken the law—and that the special counsel could be fired for looking into it.

DailyBeast, David Lurie: William Barr Agrees With Trump’s Lawyers: Firing Comey Wasn’t Obstruction of Justice http://thebea.st/2CsUeBt
// Trump’s nominee made a case to the Justice Department that the president couldn’t have broken the law—and that the special counsel could be fired for looking into it.

DailyBeast: Report: Man Behind Border Wall GoFundMe Ran Fake News Websites http://thebea.st/2T0wV7y

🐣 RT @jengriffingNYC A senior US defense official tells me they have never seen the morale in meetings at the Pentagon worse than they have in the past few days, following announcement that President Trump is withdrawing from Syria, drawing down in Afghanistan.

🐣 RT @andylassner Trump knows Mueller is closing in fast. So now, he’s gonna bring down the whole fucking thing with him. Brace yourselves.

🐣 RT @jakesNYT Amazing detail by @helenecooper: His resignation already written, Mr. Mattis made a last attempt to convince Mr. Trump to change his mind on Syria. Rebuffed, the retired 4-star Marine general asked aides hand out 50 copies of the letter at the Pentagon.
⋙ NYT: Jim Mattis, Defense Secretary, Resigns in Rebuke of Trump’s Worldview http://nyti.ms/2T2Ar14

🐣 RT @DanRather Some thoughts on this fraught moment for our nation…#Courage #WhatUnitesUs https://twitter.com/DanRather/status/1075965707546816512/photo/1

🐣 RT @WSJ Take an early look at the front page of The Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com https://twitter.com/WSJ/status/1075986736738652160/photo/1

🐣 RT @colbertlateshow On #LSSC tonight: From our Late Show family to yours, we wish you “A Very Special Counsel Christmas.”
💽 https://twitter.com/colbertlateshow/status/1075873684315885568/photo/1
// Trump steals Christmas and uses presents to build a wall

VanityFair, Bess Levin: Wilbur Ross Isn’t Even Pretending to Follow the Law Anymore http://bit.ly/2CqAPB3
// Being accused of “serious criminal violation[s]” doesn’t scare this Trump official!

🐣 RT @Charlie_Savage Updating story. Here’s the DOJ letter telling Congress that Whitaker was advised by ethics officials to recuse from the Mueller probe but decided not to. http://bit.ly/2Gz7Jni https://twitter.com/charlie_savage/status/1075958001364856833/photo/1

Politico [EU]: How Mattis tried to contain Trump http://politi.co/2V0Zaor
// The Defense secretary tried to steady the president without saying ‘no.’

🐣 RT @NancyPelosi General Mattis was a comfort to many who were concerned about the path the Trump Admin would choose to take. His resignation letter is defined by statements of principle — principles that drove him to leave the Administration. All of us should be concerned at this time.

🐣 RT @rabrowne75 Defense officials tell me Mattis went to the White House to discuss Syria & that he was livid after reading reports that Turkey’s Defense Minister threatened to kill US-backed Kurds & put them in ditches once the US withdrew. He was incensed at this notion of betrayal of an ally

🐣 RT @RepJerryNadler Read my statement on acting AG Whitaker’s refusal to recuse himself from overseeing the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, despite numerous objections from senior ethics officials: https://twitter.com/RepJerryNadler/status/1075845038922452992/photo/1

NYT, Charlie Savage: A Memo and a Recusal Decision Underscore Potential Threats to the Mueller Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2BxZhyJ

🐣 Iow, Thursday https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1075937121758822400/photo/1
// NYT front page

🐣 RT @AltUSPressSecy It has not gotten one tenth as bad as it will. ¤ You will remember the first two years of Trump’s “Presidency” as a calm period. ¤ Be mentally prepared.

WaPo: This time, the United States is betraying more than just the Kurds, allies say http://wapo.st/2PStQEB

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom Today is the day that Never Trumpers warned was coming. Markets crashing, indictments piling up, a President losing his grip; allies horrified, enemies celebrating, government in chaos, and Mattis quitting in protest. ¤ And it’s going to get worse.
🐣 RT @PhilipRucker Leon Panetta tells us Jim Mattis’ resignation is a national security risk. “We’re in a constant state of chaos right now in this country…While it may satisfy [Trump’s] need for attention, it’s raising hell with the country.”
⋙ WaPo: ‘A tailspin’: Under siege, Trump propels the government and markets into crisis http://wapo.st/2PVkrMJ

🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump’s sudden pullout of US troops from Syria with no input from DOD or DOS would devastate the Kurds — Erdogan of Turkey’s wet dream. Flynn’s sometime client. Did Erdogan tell Trump to do this? O what a tangled web Trump’s interests weave. Emonumentally tangled. @JRubinBlogger

🐣 RT @MittRomney The foreign policy described by Gen. Mattis today has, for nearly 3/4 century, kept us from global war, empowered our economy, helped billions escape from poverty & opened freedom’s door around the world. His service, vision & character were a blessing. He will be greatly missed.

🐣 RT @JohnBrennan Okay, Republicans. How much longer are you going to let this farcical “presidency” continue? At a time of such political, economic, and geo-strategic turbulence—both nationally and globally—are you waiting for a catastrophe to happen before acting? Disaster looms!

🐣 RT @RichardEngel A sr military official told me US special forces troops distraught, upset, morally disturbed by having to tell their kurdish allies in Syria that, because of orders, their promises of defense won’t be kept.

🐣 RT @RichardEngel Im told kurds in syria seriously considering releasing their isis prisoners, because a hopeless man/woman sees hope in only raising awareness.

🐣 RT @matthewamiller Barr gave the memo to Flood and Giuliani was aware of it. It’s 100% clear now why he was picked as AG, and he has to recuse from the Mueller probe.
⋙ 🐣 RT @rebeccaballhouse New w/@sgurman: Giuliani was aware of Barr’s memo on the Mueller investigation before the @WSJ report, but hadn’t read it. Barr told Trump after he was tapped that there “may be some issues that come up in confirmation” related to his comments on Mueller.
⋙⋙ WSJ: Schumer Says Mueller Memo Disqualifies Barr From Attorney General Job http://on.wsj.com/2T4x5Le
// Graham, the incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says written opinion shouldn’t affect Barr’s confirmation

🐣 RT @SethAbramson (THREAD) Tonight’s NBC News report claiming Mueller is almost done with his investigation is false. This thread explains why. Please RETWEET if you’d like our media to stop publishing anonymously sourced stories of this sort that clearly do not use Mueller or his team as sources.
📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1075904536877912064

🐣 RT @brhodes Trump’s entire natsec team has turned over, his decision-making has become more erratic, his domestic policy running room is foreclosed with a Dem House, the economy is slowing down and investigations are closing in. A very dangerous two years of US foreign policy ahead.

🐣 RT @NancyPelosi General Mattis was a comfort to many who were concerned about the path the Trump Admin would choose to take. His resignation letter is defined by statements of principle — principles that drove him to leave the Administration. All of us should be concerned at this time.

NewYorker, Susan Glasser: The Year in Trump Freakouts http://bit.ly/2BtG3dI
// Jim Mattis is out, the President is leaving Syria without consulting anyone, and that’s just this week in crises of the President’s own making.
⋙ See under Entire Articles: NYer Glasser Trump Freakouts 12-20-2018

🐣 RT @elianayjohnson “Officials said Mr. Mattis went to the White House on Thursday afternoon in a last attempt to convince Mr. Trump to keep American troops in Syria. He was rebuffed, and told the president that he was resigning as a result” via @helenecooper –
⋙ NYT: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Resigns, Rebuking Trump’s Worldview http://nyti.ms/2T2Ar14

🌀 https://twitter.com/ClaymoreKwaram1/status/1075889628740227077/photo/1
// Titanic breaking up

TPM, Tierney Sneed: READ: William Barr’s Memo Bashing Robert Mueller’s Obstruction Probe http://bit.ly/2LA09b3

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Now We Know Trump Picked William Barr to Shut Down Mueller’s Investigation http://nym.ag/2A8WFHZ

🐣 RT @NBCNews JUST IN: White House has ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans for a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, 2 defense officials and a person briefed on the matter tell @NBCNews.
⋙ NBC: Trump administration is weighing Afghan troop withdrawal http://nbcnews.to/2SeoLZ4
// The White House has asked the Pentagon to look into multiple options, including a complete withdrawal, the officials said.

🐣 RT @ABC NEW: Sen. Marco Rubio on Mattis resignation letter: “It makes it abundantly clear that we are headed towards a series of grave policy errors which will endanger our nation, damage our alliances & empower our adversaries.” http://abcn.ws/2J0gebC 

🐣 RT @RobReiner All the adult rats are leaving the infantile sinking ship. We have been invaded by and are being occupied by a hostile enemy. We have a childish moronic mentally unstable malignant narcissist POTUS who is committing Treason in front of our eyes. GOP, STEP THE FUCK UP!

🐣 RT @mitchellreports Military men like Gen. John Allen, USMC (Ret) did not like the President’s tweeted video invoking the fallen troops in Syria to justify withdrawal. I can’t imagine Jim #Mattis appreciated it either

🐣 RT @tribelaw The sails and propellers are coming off the ship of state. We’re in full meltdown mode. There are no lifeboats. It’s time for the captain to find some face-saving way to turn the controls over to others before the remaining crew resigns and the surviving passengers drown.

🐣 RT @davidaxelrod Mattis’s letter of resignation is a carefully-worded but clear repudiation of the @realDonaldTrump approach of appeasing autocrats and flaying our allies. ¤ Read it here. http://bit.ly/2ED2GAk

💥 🐣 RT @JoeNBC “Send lawyers, guns and money. The shit has hit the fan.”

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Old Marines never die, but they do resign after the President ignores their advice, betrays our allies, rewards our enemies, and puts the nation’s security at risk. Turn out the lights when Mattis leaves; we will not see his like again while Trump remains in office.
🐣 RT @BillKristol Never been more alarmed for the nation since coming to D.C. over three decades ago.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years. During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting….

🐣 Col Jack Jacobs: Mattis “would stay on his post until relieved.” On @TheBeatWithAri

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I feel like Mattis was our last bastion of relative sanity in this administration.

🐣 RT @tribelaw General Mattis’s resignation as Secretary of Defense on the basis of principle — in the wake of Putin’s wet kiss for Trump’s anti-American treachery — is enormously important. It’s hard to imagine GOP Senators, however supine, not starting to peel off. Trump will soon be alone.

💙💙 🐣 RT @KatyTur Mattis’ resignation letter makes it clear. ¤ “My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues.”
Letter: https://twitter.com/KatyTurNBC/status/1075885816113704961/photo/1-2

🐣 My son, who is in Army National Guard and served in Iraq near Mosul a year ago, says the soldiers love Mattis.

YahooNews: Mattis quits as defense secretary, citing differences with Trump http://yhoo.it/2Rcw0nk includes full transcript of Mattis resignation letter

WaPo: Mattis to step down as defense secretary over differences with Trump http://wapo.st/2rNwstZ

WaPo: Ex-Senate Intelligence Committee aide sentenced to two months in leak probe http://wapo.st/2QMeJBR

WaPo: Trump is leaving 50,000 Syrian civilians to die http://wapo.st/2Lw9WOY

WaPo: Ethics officials said Whitaker should recuse from the Mueller probe, but his advisers told him not to, officials say http://wapo.st/2GyBvIS

WaPo, Philip Bump: The Trump Tower meeting gets another intriguing layer http://wapo.st/2ExWDMJ

Al-Jazeera: Syria battle against ISIL far from over, despite US pull-out plan http://bit.ly/2EFYSyf
// by Ali Younes, Trevor Aaronson & Murtaza Hussain, Despite assurances from Trump that ISIL is defeated, US raids against group in eastern Syria have intensified recently.

🐣 RT @AltUSPressSec Hot Tub Crime Machine Matt Whitaker *was* told by DOJ to recuse himself. So he replaced the officials.
⋙ 🐣 RT @matthewamiller This is turning into an enormous scandal. Ethics officials told Whitaker they would recommend recusal, so he set up a different group of officials (probably political appointees, but unclear) to make a different recommendation. What in the hell is going on at DOJ?
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @LauraAJarrett Short story: Whitaker is not recusing from overseeing Mueller. But what happened to get to this point is messy – here’s the backstory…
⋙⋙⋙ CNN: Whitaker chose not to recuse from overseeing Mueller probe, but ethics official considered it a ‘close call’ http://cnn.it/2GzSRVC

🐣 RT @JenGriffinFNC I am told that CENTCOM, in particular, Gen Joe Votel, the head of US Central Command, feels “punched in the gut” by the decision to withdraw troops from Syria. US military commanders were “shocked” by the President’s decision, but now are making plans to withdraw.

🐣 RT @DelWilbur BREAKING. senior DOJ official: Whitaker has not recused from Mueller probe. After extensive review by senior officials, he did not seek formal ruling from ethics office. BUT a senior doj ethics official said it was a “close call” and he should recuse in an “abundance of caution.”

🐣 RT @brianklaas Putin’s main foreign policy goals:
✓ Splinter NATO from within
✓ Weaken the transatlantic alliance
✓ Get the US out of Syria
✓ Weaken the US by creating political chaos
Trump is the best investment Putin ever made.

🐣 RT @MollyMcKew Instead of $5 billion for “beautiful see-through steel slat” cage for America, I as an American would happily authorize $1.5 billion as a buyout to POTUS if he leaves now before more advantage is given to our enemies, creating a world where Americans will be ground into the dust.

Bloomberg: Mueller to Save Trump for Later as Prosecutor Readies Next Steps http://bloom.bg/2GynGtW
● Special counsel not rushing to delve into ‘Individual-1’
● Trump’s role may be specified only in Mueller’s final report

🐣 RT @BillBrowder Trump’s inexplicable decision to abruptly withdraw U.S. troops from Syria is the single largest gift to Putin that Putin has received since Trump became president. A major and unrecoverable strategic blunder by the US
⋙ WaPo, Karen DeYoung: Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria startles aides and allies http://wapo.st/2Cpltg6

🐣 The humanitarian reason we stay in Afghanistan is fear of backlash against women (Biden’s view). The humanitarian reason for staying in Syria is fear of backlash against the Kurds. Yes, Bush acted wrongly in going in, but that does not diminish the real moral quandary that faces us now.

🐣 If only Congress has the ability to declare war, shouldn’t they have the final say in disengaging from one? Yeah, I know, it’s not a “declared war.” There hasn’t been a “declared war” since WW2. Still …

WaPo (11/29/2018): THE SWAMP BUILDERS ~ How Stone and Manafort helped create the mess Trump promised to clean up http://wapo.st/2CpDdIz
// 11/29/2018; 2nd of 3-part series ‘All The Best People’

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Chris Steele and his business partner Chris Burrows posted this about an hour ago.🎄
⋙ 🐣 RT @OrbisBIOfficial Seasons greetings from all at @OrbisBIOfficial
https://twitter.com/OrbisBIOfficial/status/1075711174887530496/photo/1

🐣 RT @WashingtonExaminer President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria is finding approval from Russia, which partnered with Iran to provide military support to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
⋙ 🐣 WashingtonExaminer, Joel Gehrke: Russia blesses US troop withdrawal from Syria http://washex.am/2LqS88d

DailyBeast, JuliaDavis: Russia Thinks Trump’s Syria Pullout Is Too Good to Be True http://thebea.st/2Lt32u5
// Moscow’s state-controlled media treat Trump as delusional. Putin, with condescending charity, says maybe he helped a little to defeat ISIS, but doubts the U.S. will ever get out.

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom [Clint Watts] Trump’s rapid foreign policy shifts are alarming. If Putin, Erdogan, MBS, get President Trump or his family on the phone or in meeting, they immediately get what they want. In a more hasty way in Syria, he’s doing exactly what he & GOP ridiculed Obama for in Iraq

🐣 RT @SykesCharlie Trump’s week so far: caved on Wall, Foundation shut down, Flynn conspiracy collapses; Moscow Project letter surfaces, stock mkt drops, NK says no Nuke deal, Stone indictment looms … and to change narrative he bugs out of Syria, betrays Kurds, hands huge win to Russia and Iran.

🐣 RT @JohnBrennan This wrong-headed decision is but one example of how dangerous it is for our national security to be controlled by Mr. Trump’s impulsive and self-satisfying “gut.” He is surrendering America’s role on the world stage. Republicans who make excuses for him enable these actions.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real After historic victories against ISIS, it’s time to bring our great young people home!

🐣 RT @matthewamiller Remember that the day Trump announced Barr, he said he was “my first choice since day one.” Well now we know why. The WH had been told over the summer that Barr thought Mueller’s obstruction probe was inappropriate.
⋙ 🐣 RT @joycewhitevance It appears Barr campaigned for the AG job by insuring Trump knew he’d end the Mueller investigation. The memo was fishy enough – no one sends a 20 pager to DOJ for giggles. Barr believes Trump is above the law & that’s disqualifying for someone nominated for AG.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @matthewamiller Very odd that this sentence, which is maybe the biggest piece of news in the WSJ story on Barr’s memo, wasn’t in the original version that posted at 10:19 last night and now shows up in graf 23 as if it is no big deal. It is a huge deal.
https://twitter.com/matthewamiller/status/1075757044710473728/photo/1

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger Mueller should go after the Helsinki notes — Syria sure seems like a payoff

🐣 RT @ArmyTimes Trump’s Syria withdrawal flies in the face of statements from top military and national security leaders https://trib.al/b4mwDo2 

🐣 RT @starsandstripes Turkey and Iran are wasting little time as a new race for influence gets underway in Syria
⋙ StarsAndStripes: Trump’s ‘green light’ to Erdogan on Syria leaves dilemma on Iran http://bit.ly/2LqxcxU

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs “There is an idea behind Trump’s foreign policy (‘America first’) but not a concept of geopolitics—a plan or set of priorities based on calculation and reflection.”
⋙ ForeignAffairs, Eliot A. Cohen: America’s Long Goodbye http://fam.ag/2EwuZj0
// The Real Crisis of the Trump Era

🐣 RT @shawncarrie Is ISIS “defeated” in Syria and Iraq? ¤ This map, prepared by The Institute for @TheStudyofWar — and published just a day before Trump announced plans for full withdrawal — suggests otherwise. http://bit.ly/2PQgw3o 

🐣 RT @vvanwilgenburg Senior Kurdish politician: “Trump sudden decision to withdraw from #Syria, is an immoral & shameful decision which betrays US allies in the region. An expected move however the timing is dangerous as #ISIS remains a threat & also strengthens Erdogan’s plan to attack”

AP: US ally in Syria says pullout will aid IS, Putin disagrees http://bit.ly/2GvBENd

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said in a strongly worded statement laced with bitterness that a premature U.S. pullout before IS is defeated would have dangerous repercussions including a resurgence of the extremist group and a destabilizing effect on the entire region.

NYT: Vladimir Putin Calls U.S. Withdrawal From Syria ‘the Right Decision’ http://nyti.ms/2LwMKR2

🔄 🐣 For Middle East perspective on Trump’s precipitous move on Syria, check out this Twitter list I set up for my son when he was deployed outside Mosul: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/lists/iraq-syria

WaPo, Jacqueline Alemany: Power Up: It’s Trump versus ‘My generals’ on Syria http://wapo.st/2rNs0Lx

MiddleEastEye: US announces withdrawal from Syria as Trump declares Islamic State defeated http://bit.ly/2UX0KaQ
// White House says some troops have already left, even with expected Turkish offensive against US forces’ pro-Kurdish allies looming

🐣 Even if Trump were to reverse course on Syria, even today, he would have already done grave damage to our position in Syria, our alliances there and, once again, to our international standing. Tweets have consequences. @Morning_Joe

🐣 Trump is not – and never has been – a “deal-maker.” He’s an extortionist and a con man. If his threats don’t work, he folds – then declares he won anyway. @Morning_Joe

🐣 RT @SteveRattner So Donald, did the fake news just make up Putin’s statement praising the US withdrawal?
🐣 RT @JonahGoldberg Russia and Turkey have publicly welcomed your retreat. Also, why will they have to fight ISIS if they’ve been totally defeated?
⋙ 🐣 RT @real ….Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us. I am building by far the most powerful military in the world. ISIS hits us they are doomed!

🐣 RT @kilmeade We didnt win anything..they are still there!!
// Brian Kilmeade is a host of Fox&Friends
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer. Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were doing there work. Time to come home & rebuild. #MAGA

🐣 RT @gtconway3d Exactly right: “The extent to which Republicans are distancing themselves from the White House is a poor sign for a future where even more of the administration is under investigation. The signs of a collapse are here. The question is what pushes everything over the brink.”
Slate, Jamelle Bouie: Republican Leadership Is Slowly Backing Away From Trump http://bit.ly/2RaE6N7
// Trump’s popularity with voters is only one part of the picture. Leaders within the GOP are clearly hedging their bets as 2020 approaches.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Here’s a lesson for media covering Trump summits, announcements, policies, etc. ¤ Everything is a lie. Everything is a con. There is no there, there. The claims never hold. He is always either mendacious or credulous, and puts his ego before American interests every single time.
🐣 RT @christinawilkie NEW: North Korea says it won’t denuclearize unless the US removes its troops and nuclear umbrella from South Korea and Japan. DPRK also accused the US and Trump of misleading the world about what was agreed to at the Singapore talks last summer.
⋙ AP, Kim Tong-Hyung: N. Korea says it won’t denuclearize unless US removes threat http://bit.ly/2R7OZiD

TheIndependent [UK] (12/15/2018): As Kurdish fighters move on last Isis-controlled town in Syria, Turkey threatens attack http://ind.pn/2SayShz
// 12/15/2018, Syria’s main Kurdish parties called Turkey’s warnings a ‘declaration of war’

⭕ 19 Dec 2018

WaPo, EJ Dionne: The strangest and most revealing week of the Trump presidency http://wapo.st/2BuCq7d

Over just a few days, his sheer thuggishness, venality and corruption were laid bare. But it was also a time for Trumpian good deeds that allowed us a glimpse at how he might have governed if he had been shrewder — and had a genuine interest in the good that government can do.

WaPo, Victoria Nuland: In a single tweet, Trump destroys U.S. policy in the Middle East http://wapo.st/2PRP4m1

WSJ Editorial: Trump’s Syria-Iran Retreat http://on.wsj.com/2UYgL0d “Mission accomplished? Not so fast.”
// Islamic State isn’t defeated, and the mullahs are delighted.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Mueller asked for Stone’s testimony transcripts last Friday; a classic Three Sticks finishing move. He gets everything on someone, then charges them with lying to Congress in an attempt to flip them. Hang on to your Nixon tattoos!

🐣 RT @NormOrnstein No one knows better than @DavidCornDC the web of ties between Donald Trump and Russia; no one has contributed more to our understanding. His latest piece is a must read.
⋙ MotherJones: Remember the Big Story in the Russia Scandal: Donald Trump Betrayed America http://bit.ly/2R0B6TF
// In the flurry of new developments—and disinformation—it’s easy to lose sight of this essential and proven fact.

🐣 RT @APDiploWriter From yesterday’s briefing with @StateDeputySPOX re northeast #Syria: ¤ ” … as you know US forces are present in the campaign to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS. We’ve made significant progress recently in the campaign, but the job is not yet done.”
💽 DeptOfState: Department Press Briefing – December 18, 2018 http://bit.ly/2QIP116

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH [Ron Klain:] “[A]t this point in time I would trust the Grinch with my Christmas presents than trust Rudy Giuliani with the truth…This is an entire spy novel of corruption, of collusion, of conspiracy, and I think all the pieces are coming together now”- @RonaldKlain w/ @NicolleDWallace
💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1075511296659984384/photo/1

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance These are sanctions Congress voted, on a bipartisan basis, to impose & that Trump dragged his feet on, missing the deadline by months. Now, they simply go away like magic, for the Oligarch Paul Manafort is rumored to have been deeply in debt to.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has notified Congress of its intention to terminate the sanctions imposed on Oleg Deripaska’s companies… http://bit.ly/2Cn8AU7

🐣 RT @EricGarland WHAT? Facebook ALSO handed Facebook data to China’s Huawei AND Russian intel? Just last year? NO WAY!
⋙ DailyBeast, Kevin Poulsen: Facebook Put User Data Within Kremlin’s Grasp Last Year http://thebea.st/2SaMuJX
// Yandex, the country’s largest tech company, got special access to info from Mark Zuckerberg’s company.

🐣 RT @Stop_Trump20 Wait for it……. 🤣🤣🤣
🌀 https://twitter.com/Stop_Trump20/status/1075538817426300929/photo/1
// Pop goes the weasel

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen BREAKING: A federal judge ruled in favor of BuzzFeed in the defamation suit about the Trump-Russia dossier. A Russian tech executive who was mentioned in the dossier lost his defamation suit against BuzzFeed. More details coming soon. Here’s the backstory:
⋙ CNN: Russian tech exec sues Buzzfeed for publishing unverified Trump dossier http://cnnmon.ie/2A5b2gs

🐣 RT @JakeTapper Sr. Admin. official tells me re Syria withdrawal: “Senior officials across the Administration agree that the President’s decision-by-tweet will recklessly put American and allied lives in danger around the world, take the pressure off of ISIS allowing them to reconstitute, and…
… 2/ “… hand a strategic victory to our Syrian, Iranian, and Russian adversaries. It’s a mistake of colossal proportions and the President fails to see how it will endanger our country.”

🐣 RT @SimonKuestenmacher The Histomap of #religion by John Sparks from 1952 is an outstanding piece of scholarship. Very interesting to read through the whole piece. You might want to go to the link to read in high-res. I’m impressed by such research. Source:
◕ History of Religion chart: http://bit.ly/2UYVfZ7

🐣 RT @michaeldweiss Who says there’s no such thing as American exceptionalism? What other country could, in the space of a few hours, make a global terrorist organization, a genocdial dictator, a regional adversary and a historical geopolitical enemy all happy at the same time?

🐣 RT @MarcoRubio Netanyahu said of Syria retreat “we will make sure Israel’s security is preserved & we will defend ourselves from this arena.” ¤ Translation: #Israel will now have to step up attacks inside #Syria even if it results in a new war with Hezbollah & potentially #Iran.
⋙ 🐣 Then we will get dragged into war with Iran to support Israel ➔ Netanyahu’s long plan.

🐣 RT @brianklaas This video proclaiming that ISIS is defeated is going to haunt Donald Trump at some point because they are not defeated and it’s dangerous hubris to proclaim otherwise.
🐣 RT @mitchellreports A new strategy: President tweets White House produced video tonight on his sudden withdrawal from Syria bypassing the press – after blindsiding Pentagon State Dept and GOP Congress with his tweeted policy reversal announcement this morning
💽 Tweet link w video: https://twitter.com/mitchellreports/status/1075537805844078593
⋙ 🐣 He’s doubling down. He can’t be reasoned with. Time for resignations?

Al-Monitor, Laura Rozen: US diplomats shaken by Trump decision to exit Syria http://bit.ly/2PN0Eig

🐣 RT @jaketapper Breaking — Buzzfeed wins defamation suit brought over publishing of the Steele dossier

RawStory: WATCH: Four-star general believes Trump ‘ceded the battlefield’ in Syria — for arms sale deal with Turkey http://bit.ly/2R5BPmp on @DeadlineWH

🐣 RT @DavidAxelrod How much of this is just his wanting to change the subject?
⋙ Axios, Mike Allen and Haley Britzky: Trump calls it quits on Syria http://bit.ly/2EyvWaQ

WaPo: Mueller seeks Roger Stone’s testimony to House intelligence panel, suggesting special counsel is near end of probe of Trump adviser http://wapo.st/2UYRClX

TheGuardian: Syria withdrawal: Republican opposition to Trump’s plan grows – as it happened http://bit.ly/2Bt2tvD
● Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham condemn president’s move
● Trump’s announcement took allies and advisers by surprise

AtlanticCouncil: Frederic Hof: Trump’s Syria Decision Poses More Questions Than Answers http://bit.ly/2Scl9H2

TheAtlantic, Krishnadev Calamur: Trump Wanted Out of Syria. It’s Finally Happening. http://bit.ly/2SckENa
// The announcement is in stark contrast to recent remarks by senior U.S. officials on the presence of troops.

BusinessInsider: Trump outright ignored Pentagon, State Department Syria policy in a big win for Putin http://read.bi/2rLrX35

Politico: Republicans rip Trump’s surprise Syria withdrawal in meeting with Pence http://politi.co/2UW4Z6C
// By David Brown, Gregory Hellman and Burgess Everett; GOP senators told the vice president they were outraged by Trump’s move.

ForeignPolicy, Laura Seligman and Michael Hirsh: Trump’s ‘Stunning’ About-Face on Syria http://bit.ly/2SYW7uW
// Bowing to Turkey, the U.S. president moves to withdraw all troops.

🐣 RT @JimSciutto Today, President Trump handed two substantial victories to Russia: withdrawing US troops from Syria and lifting sanctions on two Russian firms run by friends of Putin. Russia has clearly gained. Question for the WH: what has the US gained?

🐣 RT @IraqiSecurity [Hadar Sumeri] Trump’s withdrawal of US forces from Syria could easily lead to the disintegration of the SDF/YPG either due to lack of morale or the Turks seizing their opportunity and I can’t even fathom how excited Da’ish leadership must be at the prospect of that happening.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Ben Sasse: “Eight days ago the Administration called a hypothetical pullout ‘reckless.’ Today, we’re leaving. The President’s generals have no idea where this weak decision came from ,,, A lot of American allies will be slaughtered if this retreat is implemented.”

🐣 RT @aroseblush
🇷🇺 First Syria This Morning. Now Lifting Sanctions on Russian Companies. Is Trump a Russian Agent, Folks? ¤ 🇷🇺 😵 Trump’s Treasury lifts sanctions on Russian companies targeted over 2016 election inference 🇷🇺

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger Michael Flynn learned that incorporating crackpot Trumpers’ conspiracy theories in your legal brief can get you jailed.
⋙ WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: A wild day in court defies expectations for Flynn — and Trump http://wapo.st/2Bt4nfF
⋙⋙ 🐣 If not for Judge Sullivan, Flynn would have been on Fox & Friends this morning denigrating the FBI. Now he (and to some extent, Trump) have got to tone it way down. Brilliant move!

🐣 RT @joshtpm Emblematic of the Trump Era. Is no warning withdrawal from Syria impulsive effort to upend a bad news cycle, Trump getting irritable, favor to Putin, late shift of mood against foreign intervention? We have no idea.

WaPo: Trump administration plans to pull U.S. troops out of Syria immediately, officials say http://wapo.st/2EzraKb

🐣 Aren’t @JRubinBlogger ¤ @RonaldKlain and @tribelaw a bit loopy today?
(Love em all, but … )

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Why not indict the Trump Organization? http://wapo.st/2R5aAZk

🐣 RT @SenShumer You’re going to want to make sure your friends see this: ¤ Senators Booker, Coons, and Flake just asked for the Senate’s unanimous consent to pass a bill protecting the Mueller investigation from President Trump. ¤ But they didn’t get it. ¤ Because @SenateMajLdr McConnell objected.

🐣 RT @BenSasse “The President’s generals have no idea where this weak decision came from: They believe the high-fiving winners today are Iran, ISIS, and Hezbollah. The losers are Israel, humanitarian victims, and U.S. intelligence gathering.”
Text Block: https://twitter.com/BenSasse/status/1075488087050981376/photo/1

🐣 RT @seungminkim .@SenBobCorker tells reporters his planned meeting with President Trump was cancelled WHILE he was sitting at the White House waiting for Trump. ¤ This is a committee chairman of the President’s own party, on a day with significant international news.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump Tower Istanbul + Trump Tower Moscow + Trump’s greed = incentive for Trump & Flynn to betray the USA by prematurely saying we’ve defeated ISIS to justify sudden pullout from Syria = giving “aid & comfort to our enemies” (ISIS) = Art III definition of “treason.” @RonaldKlain
⋙ 🐣 Also hypothetical

🐣 RT @tribelaw Maybe Judge Emett Sullivan casually used the word “treason” because the redacted material suggested that Flynn was working with Trump to help Turkey and Russia carve up Syria, which would give “aid and comfort” to ISIS, our ENEMY. Note Trump’s sudden withdrawal from Syria today.
⋙ 🐣 Pretty hypothetical

📊 Vox: Quinnipiac Poll: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are both way more popular than Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2SYN90V Fav/Unfav%: Biden 53/23%, Sanders 44/42%, 24/20%, Harris 20/22%, Warren 30/37%, Booker 22/26%, Bloomberg 22/32%, Gillibrand 14/17%, S Brown 12/9%
// Biden, in particular, is popular with everyone.

WaPo Editorial: This is not the way to leave Syria http://wapo.st/2UWnaJj

WaPo, Josh Rogin: Trump undermines his entire national security team on Syria http://wapo.st/2Sc5qI0

🐣 RT @ActiveMeasuresDoc On the same day @realDonaldTrump orders rapid troop withdrawal from Syria, @USTreasury lifts sanctions on #Deripaska’s companies (after making him forfeit some of his control). Almost feels like someone’s got a sudden and desperate need to appease the Kremlin? #ActiveMeasures

🐣 RT @TomJChicago More Khashoggi fallout. The sudden withdrawal of US troops from Syria is all about Erdogan having Trump & Kush by the gonads over JK’s murder. Erdogan want’s the US out of Syria bc he just launched an offensive against the Syrian Kurds our 2k soldiers have worked w/ against ISIS

🐣 RT @jwgop Understand some people I admire were angry Judge Sullivan intervened with Gen Flynn. They felt, with prosecution/defense in agreement, fairly straightforward matter. But what Flynn did was an outrage & the Judge was right: Flynn sold out America & tried to blame FBI. #Outrage

WashingtonExaminer, Joel Gehrke: UK rejects Trump’s claim that ISIS is defeated in Syria: ‘The threat is very much alive’ http://washex.am/2BvSSEs

WaPo, Max Boot: Trump’s surprise Syria pullout is a giant Christmas gift to our enemies http://wapo.st/2EATs6K

Forbes, Steve Denning: How Russia Is Still Running Interference For Trump http://bit.ly/2Gtk38I

TheGuardian: Russia may have nuclear arms in Crimea, hacked EU cables warn http://bit.ly/2Cnpi5z
// Diplomatic messages describe annexed area of Ukraine as ‘hot zone’ and Trump as ‘bully’

NYT: Hacked European Cables Reveal a World of Anxiety About Trump, Russia and Iran http://nyti.ms/2UTwo9n

🐣 RT @mkraju CORKER told me GOP senators are giving Pence an “earful” about Syria in lunch right now. ¤ “It doesn’t feel to me there was any interagency process” in deciding to pull out. ¤ “I’m not sure even the principles knew,” referring to agency heads, adding Trump just “woke up” and did it

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Interesting: “VTB Bank or another non-SDN assignee approved by OFAC will take ownership of a block of Deripaska’s shares in En+ pledged as collateral…the Swiss company Glencore will swap shares in Rusal for a direct ownership interest in En+.” [Treasury to McConnell: http://bit.ly/2Cn8AU ]
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 Manafort’s boss Deripaska wins. After 8 months of delaying sanctions Deripaska’s company Rusal is taken off the sanctions list. This story started in April in Russian press and predictably ended this way
⋙ 🐣 RT @WSJ The U.S. Treasury Department is removing Russian aluminum giant Rusal from the sanctions list
⋙⋙ WSJ: U.S. Levies Fresh Sanctions Against Russian Agents for Election Interference http://on.wsj.com/2Ezcvyj
// U.S. Treasury also cites Russian government interference in elections worldwide

WaPo, Eugene Scott: Not even Trump supporters believe the president on Russia anymore http://wapo.st/2BveAbw

🐣 RT @BenjaminTau At Lawfare, @benjaminwittes and @qjurecic write that Judge Sullivan’s behavior in the Flynn sentencing yesterday amounted to a “grossly inappropriate rant” that bullied Flynn out of a decision he wanted to make.
⋙ LawfareBlog, Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes: The Former National Security Advisor’s Sentencing Hearing: Flynncompetent Judging http://bit.ly/2EtreLr “What had begun as a laudable effort debunk conspiracy theories ended as rank judicial bullying”

🐣 RT @LizSly White House today: “Five years ago, ISIS was a very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East & now the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate. ¤ State Dept yesty: “We’ve made significant progress recently in the (ISIS) campaign -but the job is not yet done”

🐣 RT @Lawrence The legal definition of treason turns on the legal definition of the word “enemies” in the Constitution. Courts have interpreted enemy to mean an enemy declared by Congress in a Declaration of War. We haven’t had a Declaration of War (or a treason conviction) since WW2.
⋙ 🐣 RT @nyyjack @Lawrence Doesn’t the part “…or in adhering…” make Trump a traitor? Article III, Section 3, Constitution of the United States: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

🐣 RT @Kasparov63 The first time American troops are moved on orders from the Kremlin? Putin needs more war and remembers what US forces did last time. With them gone, a new bloodbath & control of all Syria.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BretStephensNYT A gift to Iran, Hezbollah, and Putin. And a shameful betrayal of our Kurdish allies without whom we wouldn’t have defeated ISIS. Another day in the Trump White House.
⋙⋙ NYT: Trump Considering Full Withdrawal of U.S. Troops From Syria http://nyti.ms/2rJuzye

MotherJones, David Corn: Remember the Big Story in the Russia Scandal: Donald Trump Betrayed America http://bit.ly/2R0B6TF
// In the flurry of new developments—and disinformation—it’s easy to lose sight of this essential and proven fact.

🐣 RT @pdmcleod As you’d expect, Lindsey Graham is extremely unhappy with Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria. Asked what the impact of that will be he says “disaster.”

🐣 RT @BryanDawsonUSA The Trumps dissolve their bogus Trump Foundation amid NY Attorney General investigation. ¤ Meanwhile, the A-rated Clinton Foundation, which Trump maligned, continues to help millions of people around the world. ¤ @ClintonFdn @HillaryClinton #PenceKnew #LyinMikey 💽 https://twitter.com/BryanDawsonUSA/status/1075214607214612480/photo/1
// informative comparison between Trump and Clinton Foundations

🐣 RT @NormEisen This giveaway to Russia must be evaluated in the context of the emerging evidence of Trump’s quid pro quo with Putin. Trump & his team clearly asked for and got Russian business and election help. Did he & they signal policy concessions in exchange–& is this another example?
🐣 RT @leahmcelrath Assad, Putin, Erdogan, and Rouhani are smiling. ¤ This is a major concession to Russia, Turkey, and Iran. In return for…nothing. ¤ May any and all gods protect the Syrians living in besieged areas.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto Breaking: Planning is underway for a “full” and “rapid” withdrawal of US troops from Syria, decision made by President Trump, a US defense official tells @barbarastarrcnn
⋙⋙ 🐣 Shorter Trump: ‘Forget ISIS. Screw the Kurds. I need a distraction.’

⭕ 18 Dec 2018

Bloomberg, Marc Champion: The Political Flashpoints to Watch in 2019 http://bloom.bg/2POxlMc
// It looks like the coming year will be an even rougher ride.

CNN: Trump signed letter of intent for Trump Tower Moscow project despite Giuliani insisting he didn’t http://cnn.it/2CmRllA

Newsweek: Trump Wants to ‘Destroy the EU’ and Doesn’t Understand ‘Fact-based Arguments’: Officials http://bit.ly/2S5aa21

Vox: Trump’s social media conspiracy theory, briefly debunked http://bit.ly/2BtrdUp
// The president wants you to believe Twitter is out to get him. There’s no evidence that’s true.

WaPo, Dana Milbank: Michael Flynn’s judge just struck a potent blow for the rule of law http://wapo.st/2GsTkJ8

🐣 RT @TheDemCoalition New York attorney general Barbara Underwood accused the Trump Foundation of “a shocking pattern of illegality.” #TrumpCrimeFamily
⋙ NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Trump’s Crooked Foundation Dissolves, But Investigation Continues http://nym.ag/2Gtew1Q

FiveThirtyEight, Seth Masket: How We View Our Reality Shapes Our Politics. But Facts Still Matter. http://53eig.ht/2LqOICi

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Judge rakes Michael Flynn over the coals in sentencing hearing http://bit.ly/2A4j8FU
// Things went so poorly for Flynn that he asked for the sentencing to be delayed.

🐣 RT @McFaul There is only one rational, patriotic reaction to new revelations of comprehensive Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election: Putin is the enemy of American democracy. Our president must stop with the appeasement gestures and deter, not embrace, Putin.

🐣 RT @leahmcelrath I might be fantasizing, but I like to think Judge Sullivan was sending a message to Trump as much as to Flynn with his introducing the word TREASON into the mainstream.

🐣 RT @SteveScmidtSES Sadly, or maybe deservedly, I feel like the bill for the most incompetent, ignorant, vile, cruel and corrupt President in American history is going to come due in 2019. It feels like a year of chaos and danger is looming. This will not end without consequences for our country
⋙ 🐣 RT @stengel Welcome to the Trump Economy. Dow is a 1000 points lower than when White House got its tax bill passed last year. Individual-1 likes unpredictability; Wall Street doesn’t.
⋙⋙ CNBC: The stock market is on pace for its worst December since the Great Depression http://cnb.cx/2GpJkQP

CNN: Court orders company to comply with special counsel subpoena in mystery grand jury appeal http://cnn.it/2Br30yi

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Trump backers just had their anti-Mueller hopes and dreams dashed http://wapo.st/2LpWe0m

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Looks like all the guesses were wrong – sealed litigation in the DC Circuit appears to be about Mueller’s grand jury, but it centers in a company owned by a foreign country that didn’t want to comply with a
🐣 RT @ZoeTillman NEW: Remember that mystery grand jury subpoena case argued last week in the DC Circuit? A decision is out, and it’s public, sort of — it’s about a company (unnamed) owned by a country (unnamed). Court upheld the denial of a motion to quash the subpoena [link to Scribt doc]
Text Block: https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman/status/1075151045146357761/photo/1

Bloomberg, Joshua Green: Russia’s Voter Suppression Operation Echoed Trump Campaign Tactics http://bloom.bg/2PHzMQN
// The report prepared for Congress has eerie similarities to the president’s 2016 social media strategy.

Politico, Caitlin Oprysko: Trump slams tech giants for ‘bias’ following reports Russians weaponized them to his benefit http://politi.co/2QGyxGM

EmptyWheel, MarcyWheeler: The Dossier Is Not the Measure of the Trump-Russia Conspiracy http://bit.ly/2UTA6Q2

CFR, Benn Steil and Benjamin Della Rocca: Trump’s Trade War With China Makes Russia Great Again http://on.cfr.org/2Es4Lyh
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1075162741172776961/photo/1

HuffPo, Lee Moran: CNN’s Chris Cuomo Spots ‘Uncanny’ Similarity Of Trump And Russian Bot Messages http://bit.ly/2A72MMH
// “Sound familiar? Of course, it does. You were hearing the same exact thing from then-candidate Donald Trump.”

CBSNews: Russia rejects damning reports on pro-Trump election meddling http://cbsn.ws/2SXjpBA

🐣 Judge Sullivan is essentially pre-empting Flynn – and Trump by extension – from continuing with their “The FBI was mean to me” b.s.

NYT, Michelle Goldberg: Yes, Russian Trolls Helped Elect Trump http://nyti.ms/2Clj8ml
// Social media lies have real-world consequences.

WaPo Editorial: Russia’s support for Trump’s election is no longer disputable http://wapo.st/2zZmfPx

📊 TheIndependent [UK]: CNN Poll: Trump supporters turning on president over Mueller investigation into Russia ties http://ind.pn/2SWfNj4
// Seventy-two per cent of supporters believe president has been dishonest about probe into 2016 election

BusinessInsider, Sonam Sheth: The 20 biggest Trump-Russia bombshells of 2018 http://read.bi/2rI8boW

Reuters: Factbox: Guilty pleas, indictments abound in Trump-Russia probe http://reut.rs/2CiZs2w

VanityFair, Eric Lutz: Trump’s War on Mueller Got a Boost from Russia http://bit.ly/2GnUaa6
// Once again, the G.O.P. and Moscow find a common cause: smearing the special counsel.

📊 USAToday/Suffolk University Poll: Most Americans don’t believe Trump’s denials, setting a rocky landscape ahead http://bit.ly/2SXWDcD Just over a third of those surveyed express even “some” trust in Trump’s version of events. Nearly six in 10 have little or none.

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Russia ran a disinformation campaign against Mueller. It sounds just like Trump’s. http://wapo.st/2Ev7iI3

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: It’s undeniable: Trump and the Russians are locked at the hip http://wapo.st/2PJv0Ck

HuffPo: Jon Meacham: Trump May Be Committing ‘Definition Of Treason’ Right Now http://bit.ly/2GtV3OF
// The presidential historian said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “it’s quite possible” Trump is “a witting or at least partially witting agent of a foreign power.”

🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES The whole vile lot of them has sold our country out. Everybody in service to this criminal and corrupt regime that has sundered America, betrayed our ideals, lied and stolen from the American people, undermined the rule of law and attacked our institutions has sold out America.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JesseRodriguez Judge to Flynn: “Arguably, you sold your country out. The court is going to consider all that.”

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: A Surge in Foreign-Influence Prosecutions http://bit.ly/2A6WPzl
// Authorities indict two former associates of Michael Flynn for acting as illegal agents of the Turkish government in the United States.

≣ HillReporter: BREAKING: James Comey’s Transcript From Yesterday’s House Interview Released http://bit.ly/2A4OIU9

🐣 RT @GlennKesslerWP For the umpteenth time, the Russia investigation did not start with the Steele dossier. It was opened because a Trump campaign official disclosed to a foreign diplomat he knew the Russians had Clinton emails.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Michael Isikoff was the first to report Dossier allegations and now seriously doubts the Dossier claims. The whole Russian Collusion thing was a HOAX, but who is going to restore the good name of so many people whose reputations have been destroyed?

DailyBeast, Erin Banco: Mueller Ready to Pounce on Trumpworld Concessions to Moscow http://thebea.st/2BuFX5u
// New court filings by Mueller’s office could answer a central question of the Russia investigation: What did the Kremlin hope to get from its political machinations?

🐣 RT @SteveRattner First, Mr. Secretary, volatility is still within normal range. Second, market’s biggest fear is global slowdown, caused in part by Trump’s erratic policies, particularly trade war.
⋙ 🐣 RT @bpolitics BREAKING: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a Bloomberg News interview blamed volatility in equity markets partly on high-speed trading and the effect of the Volcker Rule, adding that he planned to conduct an inter-agency review of market structure
⋙⋙ Bloomberg: Mnuchin Blames Volcker Rule, High-Speed Trading for Volatility http://bloom.bg/2BqvDvn

DailyBeast, Erin Banco and Betsy Woodruff: Erik Prince’s Russian Connection Trawled Trumpland for ‘Boss’ Putin http://thebea.st/2yaC2Jy
// In the days after the 2016 election, a well-connected Moscow executive started pitching Trump associates on a bold plan for renewed U.S.-Russian cooperation.

🐣 RT @mhmck The World Economic Forum in Davos is a gathering of kleptocrats. ¤ From the Putin-Kremlin crime syndicate: sanctioned individuals Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg, Andrei Kostin. ¤ From the Trump crime syndicate: Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Stephen Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross.

WaPo, Jonathan Capehart: Is Mueller’s investigation nearing the ‘worst-case scenario’? Garrett Graff thinks so. http://wapo.st/2GpTKAg

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump’s power slips away, as Flynn faces possible jail time http://wapo.st/2S5T7Nq

WaPo: Michael Flynn’s sentencing delayed after judge tells the ex-Trump adviser he may not avoid prison time http://wapo.st/2GqJyap

NYT: Trump Foundation to Close Amid Lawsuit Accusing It of ‘Willful Self-Dealing’ http://nyti.ms/2R5Qs9c

NYT: Judge Postpones Sentencing of Michael Flynn After Harshly Rebuking Him http://nyti.ms/2UTh0tk

⭕ 17 Dec 2018

ForeignAffairs, Denis McDonough: Can Congress Stop the Forever War? http://fam.ag/2AfatR5
// The Constitution Demands Oversight, and the American People Deserve It

NYT, Paul Krugman: Conservatism’s Monstrous Endgame http://nyti.ms/2PJahP7
// Apparatchiks are corroding the foundations of democracy.

🐣 RT @NicolleDWallace Former National Equirer editor claims the tabloid has unpublished ‘embarrassing’ and ‘criminal’ stories on Trump family
⋙ RawStory, Bob Brigham: Former National Equirer editor claims the tabloid has unpublished ‘embarrassing’ and ‘criminal’ stories on Trump family http://bit.ly/2Lnzyh4 Jerry George spent over a quarter century working for the publication, which is owned by American Media, Inc. and David Pecker.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews The Russians set up hotlines that encouraged people to discuss sexual or personal problems, raising the possibility they could use the information later to blackmail people. Through deceit, the IRA recruited many Americans to take various political actions

🐣 RT @MollyJongFast She hit every single infowars conspiracy theory talking point—
✔️Hillary Clinton
✔️leaking
✔️FISA abuse
⋙ 🐣 RT @PressSec Republicans should stand up to Comey and his tremendous corruption – from the fake Hillary Clinton investigation, to lying and leaking, to FISA abuse, and a list too long to name. The President did the country a service by firing him and exposing him for the shameless fraud he is

💙 WaPo: Russian disinformation teams targeted Robert S. Mueller III, says report prepared for Senate http://wapo.st/2PKw1do

MSNBC: Russian disinformation during 2016 was worse than you thought http://on.msnbc.com/2BoX1tL
// Two independent reports detail Russia’s extensive use of social media to manipulate American voters. NBC’s Ken Dilanian and former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts join Ali Velshi to talk about the Russian strategy.

USAToday, William Cummings: Senate reports find millions of social media posts by Russians aimed at helping Trump, GOP http://bit.ly/2S77DVk

Politico: Pelosi tries to buy Mueller time http://politi.co/2QCsX8x
// ‘We must wait to see the entire picture and then engage the American people about how we go forward,’ the incoming House speaker told POLITICO.

WaPo, Patti Davis: A child occupies the White House — and the world knows it http://wapo.st/2PKwQCM “Globally, the United States has lost its power, its aura of seriousness and decisiveness that once made autocrats hesitate before crossing us.”

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Americans grow weary of the Trump turmoil http://wapo.st/2A402zH
(Partial transcript of Chris Wallace interview on Fox News Sunday)
// link: as on Fox News on Sunday

WaPo: Comey lambastes GOP over Trump’s continued attacks on FBI: ‘Stand up and speak the truth’ http://wapo.st/2GlAS5e

WaPo: Michael Flynn’s business partner charged with illegally lobbying for Turkey http://wapo.st/2PJmEdG
↥ ↧ // Bijan Kian
🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I have a space beans feeling that Pence is connected to the Bijan Kian and Emin Alptekin via GSA transition emails from Flynn, that Pence knew Flynn Jr. was on the transition & approved a request for security clearance, & Pence is the one fighting the Mueller subpoena.

NYT: Russian 2016 Influence Operation Targeted African-Americans on Social Media http://nyti.ms2SZz7fJ/
// caption: Yevgeny Prigozhin, left, and the Russian leader Vladimir V. Putin, center, at a dinner in 2011. Mr. Prigozhin was indicted by American prosecutors for his involvement in interfering in the 2016 presidential election

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 James Comey: “This is the President of the United States calling a witness who is cooperating with his own Justice Department a ‘rat.’ Say that again to yourself at home and remind yourself where we have ended up.” Via ABC.
💽 https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1074772689582215168/photo/1
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @atrupar COMEY blasts House Republicans following his testimony: “Someone has to stand up to the fear of Fox News, fear of their base, fear of mean tweets, stand up for the values of this country & not slink away to retirement. Stand up and speak the truth.”
💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1074765330868768771/photo/1
// FoxNews video
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @CNN Former FBI Director James Comey calls on the GOP to stand up against President Trump: “Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, that words of a president matter, the rule of law matters and the truth matters. Where are those Republicans today?” 💽 https://twitter.com/CNNPolitics/status/1074766769003397122/photo/1

BBC, Anthony Zurcher: Trump Russia: Six potential legal problems for the president http://bbc.in/2LlNIiH

💙💙 NYT: These 3 Democrats Will Finally Have the Power to Investigate the White House. How Far Will They Go? http://nyti.ms/2PITfjY Incoming House chairs: Reps Jerrold Nadler (Judiciary), Adam Schiff (Intelligence) and Elijah Cummings (Oversight and Government Reform)
// In two weeks, congressional Democrats will return to Washington with the authority to investigate a White House that is suspected of foreign collusion, conflicts of interest and mismanagement of the federal government.

NYT, Karen Yourish and Jerry Buchanan: Trump Still Makes Money From His Properties. ~ Is This Constitutional? http://nyti.ms/2GnlOnM

🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ WIRED, Garrett Graff: A Complete Guide to All 17 (Known) Trump and Russia Investigations http://bit.ly/2QEPamb

⭕ 16 Dec 2018

Forbes, Steve Denning: Mueller Exposes Putin’s Hold Over Trump http://bit.ly/2LnD9LX

WaPo, Walter Dellinger: Should we be able to indict a sitting president? Consider Spiro Agnew. http://wapo.st/2S1jbZX

🐣 RT @amervoices You need to watch this video. It’s just the beginning…
💽 https://twitter.com/amervoices/status/1074464333151780864/photo/1
// Donny Deutsch on what’s in store for Trump

🐣 RT @EdCNN A chilling thought from @brianstelter tonight: Russian misinformation isn’t something social media companies can likely stop— it’s a chronic disease afflicting our online lives… that can only be managed, and not cured.

🐣 RT @RepAdamShiff Trump has sought to draw a red line around his business and make it off limits to investigation. But his business was trying to curry favor with the Kremlin, and we can’t ignore that. ¤ If there is any financial compromise, it would be negligent not to investigate and expose it.
💽 https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1074387772310462467/photo/1

TheAtlantic, Jake Sullivan: What Donald Trump and Dick Cheney Got Wrong About America http://bit.ly/2R08jhR
// Jan-Feb 2018; We allowed an important idea—American exceptionalism—­to be hijacked and misused. Now we need to rescue that idea and let it guide America at home and abroad.

🐣 RT @danpfeiffer The modern Republican Party is about billionaire funded racial demagoguery to appear populist while enacting a corporatist agenda
⋙ 🐣 RT @kasie BOB CORKER on primarying Trump: “We’ve got to remember what the Republican Party is about.”
… “Is it important for someone to get out there and at least remind people…what the Republican Party has been for generations…”

🐣 RT @danielgoldman The criminal law analogy to collusion is NOT conspiracy to hack – its conspiracy to defraud the US, as Mueller laid out quite clearly in the July GRU indictment. We’d all appreciate it if Giuliani would stick to his consulting biz and leave the law to the rest of us.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Giuliani again shifts the goal posts. “If Roger Stone gave anyone a heads up” about the WikiLeaks disclosures, “that’s not a crime.”
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar ABC: “Did Roger Stone give the president a heads up on WikiLeaks’ leaks concerning Clinton & the DNC?” ¤ 🚨GIULIANI: “No he didn’t… uh, *I don’t believe so*. But again, if he did, it’s not a crime.”🚨 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1074337327974100993/photo/1

CNN: Silicon Valley may have done ‘bare minimum’ to help Russia investigation, Senate Intel Committee told http://cnn.it/2rDI8PJ

WaPo, Roxanne Roberts: Robert Mueller is the most unknowable man in Washington http://wapo.st/2EnPFd6 “All this for a man who seldom speaks and is rarely seen. He is omnipresent and absent, inescapable but elusive, the invisible yang to Trump’s gold-plated yin.”

🐣 RT @NormOrnstein I am SO waiting for the Justice IG report on Giuliani’s campaign contacts with NY FBI. Talk about collusion!
⋙ 🐣 RT @jljacobson I do believe @RudyGiuliani does not understand the intertubes or the fact that everything he says is searchable.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @JuddLegum GIULIANI, today: Trump paid Stormy Daniels because he “was very concerned about how this was going to affect his marriage” ¤ GIULIANI, 5/3/18: “Imagine if that came out of October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Clinton…Cohen made it go away. He did his job”
🐣 RT @JoyceVanceWhite Trump’s lack of knowledge about criminal justice is mind boggling. Prosecutors obtain “search warrants” from federal judges by showing probable cause, in compliance with the 4th Amendment, as they did to search Cohen. Trump only sees rats & witch hunts in cases where he’s at risk
🐣 RT @NormEisen I never imagined that I would see a president adopt the language of mafiosos—though since the “Don” was rumored to do business with them I can’t say I am surprised.
🐣 RT @CREWcrew: THEY. HAD. A. WARRANT.
🐣 RT @Lawrence This use of the word rat was invented by criminals to describe a criminal who tells the truth.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Remember, Michael Cohen only became a “Rat” after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started. They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE! Why didn’t they break into the DNC to get the Server, or Crooked’s office?

🐣 RT @KenDilanianNBC If I heard him right, Rudy Giuliani just said on @FoxNews that prosecutors are going through Trump’s business records going back to 1982.

🐣 RT @tribelaw If the evidence bears this out as now seems likely, it will form part of an impeachable pattern of corrupt deception that helped a hostile foreign power catapult a compromised moron into the U.S. presidency. @RepAdamSchiff @RepJerryNadler @RepSwalwell @RepRaskin @SenatorDurbin

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews “What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump,” the report says. #Russia #disinformation
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews A report prepared for the Senate found that #Russia’s disinformation campaign used every major social media platform to deliver words, images & videos tailored to voters’ interests to help elect Trump—and worked even harder to support him while in office.
💙💙 WaPo: New report on Russian disinformation, prepared for the Senate, shows the operation’s scale and sweep http://wapo.st/2ULowXg
// The report, a draft of which was obtained by The Washington Post, is the first to analyze the millions of posts provided by major technology firms to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

MotherJones: Trump Threatens to Sue “Saturday Night Live” over “It’s a Wonderful Life” Parody http://bit.ly/2UPlYar
// He’s not laughing.

🐣 RT @NewYorker The Republican Partyy has a chance to redeem itself in 2020—by launching a primary challenge to President Trump: http://nyer.cm/mxg0QqW 

TheAtlantic, Peter Beinart: The New Authoritarians Are Waging War on Women http://bit.ly/2ChLcY5
// Jan-Feb issue; Donald Trump’s ideological cousins around the world want to reverse the feminist gains of recent decades.

⭕ 15 Dec 2018

TheIndependent [UK]: As Kurdish fighters move on last Isis-controlled town in Syria, Turkey threatens attack http://ind.pn/2SayShz
// Syria’s main Kurdish parties called Turkey’s warnings a ‘declaration of war’

DailyBeast, Amy Knight: Maria Butina’s Boss Alexander Torshin: The Kremlin’s No-Longer-Secret Weapon http://thebea.st/2QYXRXU
// In addition to advocating gun rights, Torshin wanted to strengthen the Russian criminal code to include forced castration for pedophiles and life sentences for drug dealers.

CNN, Z Byron Wolf and Joyce Tseng: Impeachment 101: Here’s how it would work (if it actually happened) http://cnn.it/2SRwL22

TheHill: Prosecutors fear for Russian agent’s safety: report http://bit.ly/2PKdkXm

TIME, Edward Felsenthal: 2018 Person of the Year: The Choice http://bit.ly/2BmMTSf
TIME, Karl Vick: The GUARDIANS and the WAR ON TRUTH http://bit.ly/2SSE21U
TIME: The Short List: PERSON OF THE YEAR http://bit.ly/2BmMTSf
Runners-Up:
2 Donald Trump by Molly Ball http://bit.ly/2zYPm5C
3 Robert Mueller by Brian Bennett and Tessa Berenson http://bit.ly/2A0lt4R

NPR, Carrie Johnson: A Head-Spinning Week In The Mueller Probe Produces A Sentence And A Plea http://BCNews: http://n.pr/2LmhmEz

ThinkProgress, Josh Israel: At a reported cost of $25 million, Mueller probe has paid for itself http://bit.ly/2QCj8HF
// Paul Manafort effectively has paid for the Russia investigation.

NYPost: Trump slams media and Mueller probe in latest tweetstorm http://nyp.st/2GmYPcn

NYT: The Special Counsel Is Fighting a Witness in Court. Who Is It? http://nyti.ms/2CeYSCW

Politico, Jack Shafer: Week 82: Far from Winding Down, Mueller’s Probe Feels Energized http://politi.co/2S4DKov
// A slew of plea deals, Trump pals turned witnesses, and new investigations seem to defy predictions the special counsel will wrap up soon.

🐣 RT @IndivisibleNet What will Trump do? ¤ Updated images from Google Earth taken in November shows the large-scale military base is being equipped with T-64 and T-62M tanks as well as thousands of military trucks, artillery systems and tankers
https://twitter.com/IndivisibleNet/status/1074085159220142080/photo/1
⋙ TheExpress: World War 3: Satellite images show HUNDREDS of Russian tanks massing on Ukraine border http://bit.ly/2ErmOor
// HUNDREDS of Russian tanks look poised for a mass invasion of Ukraine as tensions over Crimea threaten to boil over.

🐣 RT @CREWcrew Maybe it’s a coincidence that so many individuals connected to Russia spent millions on Trump properties. ¤ Maybe.
🌀 https://twitter.com/CREWcrew/status/1074084211601096704/photo/1

🐣 RT @NealKatyal Trump talking about dishonesty, when career federal prosecutors have clearly caught him lying, is a bit rich.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Never in the history of our Country has the “press” been more dishonest than it is today. Stories that should be good, are bad. Stories that should be bad, are horrible. Many stories, like with the REAL story on Russia, Clinton & the DNC, seldom get reported. Too bad!

🐣 RT @Airvooocht Criminal charges per administration since 1970:
TRUMP: +100 (so far)
OBAMA: 0
GWB: 16
CLINTON: 2
GHWB: 1
REAGAN: 26
CARTER: 1
FORD: 1
NIXON: 76
If you’re counting:
R’s: 220
D’s: 3

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Russian agent Maria Butina claimed she had a “signed cooperation agreement” with the NRA. The NRA would not confirm whether or not it had entered into a cooperation agreement with Butina’s group.
⋙ MotherJones: Maria Butina Claimed to Have a “Signed Cooperation Agreement” With the National Rifle Association http://bit.ly/2PEH8V2
// The confessed Russian agent told an Israeli audience in 2013 that she had a deal with the NRA.

TheGuardian, Tom McCarthy: As Mueller’s inquiry deepens, is the net closing in on Trump? http://bit.ly/2QWTOeF
// Experts say testimony from Michael Cohen to prosecutors has the ‘potential to be devastating’ for the embattled president

The list of legal crises that Trump, his family and associates need to worry about seemed to explode in the last week. Major developments included:
● Federal prosecutors investigating Trump’s inaugural committee, a non-profit, for alleged wrongdoing that could include improper foreign contributions, pay-for-play or illegal payments to pop-up firms, the Wall Street Journal reported.
● Prosecutors revealing a non-prosecution agreement with the media company AMI, which admitted paying, “in concert with the [Trump] campaign”, the former Playboy model Karen McDougal for her story of an affair with Trump (which Trump denies).
● The significant expansion of Trump’s alleged role in the hush payments scheme, for which Cohen was convicted of multiple felonies, with NBC News placing Trump in a meeting with AMI’s chief, David Pecker, to discuss the payments and his campaign (plus a separate conversation which Cohen recorded).
● The spy Maria Butina becoming the first Russian to plead guilty to attempting to tamper in the 2016 election. In her plea, she described how she infiltrated the National Rifle Association and the Republican party to try to cultivate “influential Americans” – unnamed, as yet – and the Trump campaign.
● Lawyers for the former adviser Michael Flynn filing a sentencing memo touting his cooperation with Mueller in 19 meetings “totaling approximately 62 hours and 45 minutes”. In a heavily redacted document earlier this month, Mueller described Flynn’s extensive cooperation in as-yet secret investigations.

NationalReview, Mona Charen: The Collusion Scenario http://bit.ly/2GkDmkl

🐣 RT @jeffzeleny Trump’s life under legal microscope. A smart @StCollinson analysis: Even if all investigations stopped now and he was cleared of wrongdoing, Trump would still be remembered for presiding over one of the most scandal-ridden presidencies of modern time.
⋙ CNN, Stephen Collinson: His worst nightmare: Trump’s life under a legal microscope http://cnn.it/2ElZhoC

⭕ 14 Dec 2018

WaPo: The Partisan Warrior http://wapo.st/2UIgrTj
// How Michael Flynn morphed from storied officer to purveyor of conspiracy theories;
Part of Series “All the Best People” ~ Others (so far): Don Jr, Stone, Manafort

TIME, Ryan Beckwith: Here’s What Robert Mueller Has Uncovered So Far, in His Own Words http://bit.ly/2QTTtJB key findings with quotes from court filings

NYT: Welcome to Брайтон Бич, Brooklyn http://nyti.ms/2PDC4Aj
// Brighton Beach is the grumpy neighbor of Coney Island and home to a population of Soviet exiles. And if you don’t get it, well, your loss.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Russian propaganda portrayed Trump’s election victory as Putin’s triumph. However, the “triumph” has been short-lived because, as it turned out, the president of the US is limited in his ability to pursue the policy that Putin would have expected from him.
🐣 RT @peterjukes Kasparov: Russia Increasingly Losing Its Standing On World Stage “So far, this policy has been counterproductive,” Kasparov said, adding that Putin’s “tactical victories turn into strategic defeats.”
⋙ RFE/RL: Kasparov: Russia Increasingly Losing Its Standing On World Stage http://bit.ly/2GgZGv3

NYT, Frank Bruni: Michael Cohen Got Wise. Will America? http://nyti.ms/2Bp7NAm
// His sad journey is an extreme version of the country’s.

ForeignAffairs, Peter Dickinson: Can the West Prevent the Slow Strangulation of Ukraine? http://fam.ag/2A2Gc7U
// Creeping Russian Aggression Cannot Go Unchecked

WashingtonMonthly, Nancy LeTourneau: What Other Groups Have Been Infiltrated by Russian Agents? http://bit.ly/2QWnLvk

🐣 RT @CNNBreakingNews: Robert Mueller’s team continues to be interested in interviewing the President, sources tell CNN https://cnn.it/2QVVTaL 

RawStory: CNN: Mueller asks to interview Trump in-person because written responses were ‘not enough’: report https://tinyurl.com/y9jaeuzn

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote It appears Mueller is still looking to interview Trump about obstruction, and that might be what the secret subpoena battle in the DC court today was all about, but I’m tired of trump supporters calling it a perjury trap. That’s like calling my short skirt a rape trap. #stopit

DailyBeast, Matt Wilstein: Lindsey Graham on Fox: I’m Fine With Trump ‘Lying About Sex’ http://thebea.st/2BiN54Z
// The GOP senator also misled his Fox News interviewer regarding the degree to which he felt the same way about President Bill Clinton.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: All the things Trump didn’t count on http://wapo.st/2rC0twL ‘Trump will be entirely overwhelmed when the closet full of shoes starts dropping‘

🐣 RT @tribelaw .@neal_katyal is surely right. But Republicans aren’t the only ones who need to beware self-delusion. It’s not just Trump who’s in serious trouble. The whole country is in for a rough ride. There’s no smooth way out of this — impeachment or no impeachment, indictment or not.

CNN: The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine critical of Trump, to shutter after 23 years http://cnn.it/2SMyjdO

NationalReview, David French: Republicans, Don’t Fool Yourselves — Donald Trump Is in Serious Trouble http://bit.ly/2PD52QT “[T]he best available evidence indicates that Trump’s commitments to Stormy Daniels didn’t exist “irrespective” of his campaign but rather because of his campaign”

RawStory, Noor Al-Sibai: House Intel Dem Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) accuses Trump of being ‘bought by Putin’ and lays out her case in devastating detail http://bit.ly/2Qx2JUU

📊 WaPo, Glenn Kessler and Scott Clement: Trump routinely says things that aren’t true. Few Americans believe him. http://wapo.st/2QSkJYZ
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1073716728998359040/photo/1
// Take the quiz to see how your fact-checking skills stack up against

Politico: Reporters shooed away as mystery Mueller subpoena fight rages on http://politi.co/2BjfoQO
// A clerk at the courthouse took the extraordinary measure of shutting down the entire fifth floor, where the hearing was taking place.

🐣 RT @equalandallied1 Mueller has been masterful at unfurling what will likely be the largest scale and most complex investigation ever undertaken in human history. All —w/o even a hint of ego. ¤ The irony is sublime. The Trump family is not getting out of this, nor are any other American traitors.

🐣 RT @Kasparov63 Trump will be gone soon enough, and good riddance. But the energy generated to stop him must flow from negative to positive, to build up. If not, Trump will just be the first symptom of the terrible disease of populism and extremism.

CNBC, Christine Wilkie: The Trump inaugural committee’s fundraising was a mess from the start, but a new investigation could finally provide some answers http://cnb.cx/2S2iXBQ

🐣 RT @senorrinhatch NEW: Hatch on Comments He Made Earlier This Week about Accusations Against President Trump: “At a time when faith in so many of our institutions is at an all-time low, I regret speaking imprudently.”
Full statement here –> http://bit.ly/2ElcC0v

🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump is so outmatched by @RepAdamSchiff that it’s not even a fair fight. I knew when he was my con law student that he was dynamite, and now it’s obvious to the world. Read this spot-on profile by another superb former student of mine, @JeffreyToobin:
(⋙ 🐣 Is “con law” how you learn to take down cons?)
⋙ NewYorker, Jeffrey Toobin: Adam Schiff’s Plans to Obliterate Trump’s Red Line http://bit.ly/2EmDQ76
// With the Democrats controlling the House, Schiff’s congressional investigation will follow the money.

Salon, Thom Hartmann: With an impeachable Trump and Pence, are you ready for President Pelosi? http://bit.ly/2QR5QGC
// The twists and turns of a major federal investigation could land us with a very different kind of president

🐣 RT @amyfiscus The 302 calls it a collusion investigation :)
https://twitter.com/amyfiscus/status/1073678169650159622/photo/1

🐣 RT @djrothkopf Mueller, the SDNY, the NY Attorney General, various other state attorneys general, the House Dems and others are coming for Trump. So, however, it seems is the market. Want to bet which will erode his GOP support more?

🐣 RT @brhodes Even though the writing has been on the wall for a while, it’s strange to confront the stark reality that we live in a country where the highest leadership has been presiding over multiple criminal enterprises.

🐣 RT @bradheath Mueller’s office has responded to claims by Gen. Flynn’s lawyers that the FBI might have tricked him into lying to them. Basically, prosecutors say that by the time agents talked to him, he’d been lying to everybody for two weeks.
📌 Thread w docs https://twitter.com/bradheath/status/1073669313394020353
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @johnson_carrie JUST IN from special counsel, urging the judge to reject Michael Flynn’s efforts to “minimize the seriousness” of his lies to the FBI: “Nothing about the way the interview was arranged or conducted caused the defendant to make false statements to the FBI on January 24. ”
⋙ 🐣 RT @johnson_carrie The special counsel says Flynn first lied two weeks before the FBI interview, when he talked to the media, incoming VP Pence, and other members of the presidential transition team. And he repeated those lies to the FBI.

ChicagoTrib/WaPo, Marc Fisher: Revelations about hush money, Russian interference renew debate over legitimacy of Trump’s election http://trib.in/2GgoK5r

In the past week, the legitimacy debate has swelled with each new court filing in cases stemming from the investigations into Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“Trump is both a cause of and a reflection of a breakdown in norms, so it’s not surprising that you see attacks on his legitimacy” – Rick Hasen, a professor at the University of California at Irvine’s law school and author of the Election Law Blog

Bloomberg, By Evgenia Pismennaya and Ilya Arkhipov: The Butina 11: Meet the Russians ‘Handpicked’ for Trump Event http://bloom.bg/2SLuIww
● Lawyer, ex-Kremlin aides among Russians tapped for 2017 visit
● Butina worked as undeclared agent in U.S., agrees to cooperate

A Moscow real-estate executive. Two former staffers in Vladimir Putin’s administration. A Siberian mayor with dreams of cloning woolly mammoths.

“People in the list are handpicked” by Butina and the official “and are VERY influential in Russia,” she wrote in a November 2016 email cited by prosecutors. “They are coming to establish a back channel of communication.”

Bloomberg, By Evgenia Pismennaya and Ilya Arkhipov: The Butina 11: Meet the Russians ‘Handpicked’ for Trump Event http://bloom.bg/2SLuIww

Deadline: Michael Cohen: Donald Trump “Lying” About Russia, Knew Hush-Money Payments To Women Were “Wrong” http://bit.ly/2PCPQmI Cohen: “There’s a system here; he doesn’t understand the system. And it’s sad because the country has never been more divisive.”

💙💙 Vox, Murray Waas: Exclusive: Paul Manafort advised White House on how to attack and discredit investigation of President Trump http://bit.ly/2PCPrRe
// We now have details as to how the indicted former campaign manager worked with the president to undermine federal law enforcement.

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Michael Cohen just dealt another big blow to Trump’s hush-money defense http://wapo.st/2PDs0aC

WaPo, Philip Bump: The evidence that Trump broke campaign finance laws http://wapo.st/2QPLYUa

🐣 RT @PhilipRucker “Nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump. He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters. He knows the truth. I know the truth. Others know the truth.” — Michael Cohen
⋙ ABCNews: “The gentleman that is sitting now in the Oval Office, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is not the Donald Trump that I remember from Trump Tower,” Michael Cohen tells @ABC. ¤ “I think the pressure of the job is much more than what he thought it was going to be.” https://abcn.ws/2EwGpEq 
💽 https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1073569201988792320//photo/1

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes In case what’s missing from your life is a rigorous analysis of what has been validated and disproven in the “Steele Dossier”–and what remains neither at this stage–@segrant39 and Chuck Rosenberg have you covered…
⋙ 💙💙 LawfareBlog, By Sarah Grant, Chuck Rosenberg: The Steele Dossier: A Retrospective http://bit.ly/2QyduX0

WaPo, Phil Rucker and John Wagner: Trump’s falsehoods on hush-money payments are ‘coming home to roost’ http://wapo.st/2SHSZnc “The evolving strategy on the hush-money allegations is textbook Trump: Tell one version of events until it falls apart, then tell a new version…”

🐣 RT @AaronBlake It only possibly changed the result of the election and arguably the course of American history.
🐣 RT @samstein “Nobody got killed, nobody got robbed… This was not a big crime,” Giuliani told The Daily Beast, re alleged violations of campaign finance law.
⋙ DailyBeast, Asawin Suebsaeng, Maxwell Tani and Lloyd Grove: How Jared Kushner Replaced Michael Cohen as Trump’s National Enquirer Connection http://thebea.st/
// The president’s son-in-law grew tight with David Pecker during the early months of the administration.

🐣 RT @tribelaw This is the definitive demolition by @thetrevorpotter, @neal_katyal, and @gtconway3d of the shifting (and shifty) Trump defense: SDNY has proof that Trump was the ringleader of a conspiracy to use campaign finance violations to win the presidency by fraud and deceit. That’s yuge.
🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 “The campaign finance violations here are among the most important ever in the history of this nation — given the razor-thin win by Trump and the timing of the crimes, they very well may have swung a presidential election.”
WaPo, George Conway III: Trump’s claim that he didn’t violate campaign finance law is weak — and dangerous http://wapo.st/2Lf0WxC //➔ George Conway is the husband of KellyAnne Conway, counselor to the president
// The case against the president would be far stronger than the case against John Edwards

DailyJournal/AP: AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsely claims Flynn didn’t lie to FBI http://bit.ly/2SN4klT

⭕ 13 Dec 2018

💙💙 🐣 RT @DeadllineWH What is going to put him in jail eventually… destroy anything he’s ever built, and his children, is a 30 year dishonest criminal enterprise. One thing will take him out of the presidency, the other will ruin him forever…”- @DonnyDeutsch w/ @NicolleDWallace
💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1072973071215149057/photo/1

Esquire, Charles Pierce: ‘We’ Did Not Miss the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism. You Did. http://bit.ly/2A9ZNU3
// The New York Times plays itself—but offers a useful window into how establishment media has enabled all this.

Haaretz, Adrian Hennigan: This Excellent Watergate Documentary Is a Guide to Ousting a Madman President http://bit.ly/2Evg8GD
// Charles Ferguson’s documentary ‘Watergate – Or: How We Learned to Stop an Out of Control President’ is neither too simplistic or too wonky, and at its best grips like a labyrinthine thriller
● Justice Department ties Trump to criminal activity, but can a president be prosecuted?
● Trump-Russia probe: Everything you need to know as impeachment talk heats up
● ‘Mortal Engines’: Peter Jackson’s pet project offers the most creative action we’ve seen all year

Bloomberg, Noah Feldman: Trump’s Already Tweeting His Post-Presidency Defense http://bloom.bg/2EkKRoM He has three ideas for fighting a campaign-finance indictment.
Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1073747473758330880/photo/1

1. Trump didn’t direct Cohen to commit the violations, because Cohen was Trump’s lawyer and devised the payoff structure on his behalf.
2. The payoffs weren’t campaign related — and if they were, the violations were mild enough to be civil violations, not criminal acts.
3. Cohen’s criminal guilty plea to the campaign violations shouldn’t indicate that the acts were really criminal. Because Cohen was going to prison anyway, he threw in the campaign violation plea as a favor to prosecutors.

WaPo: Pelosi says she expects House Ways and Means Committee will ‘take the first steps’ toward obtaining Trump’s tax returns http://wapo.st/2Liiqct to be chaired by Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA)

DailyBeast, Erin Banco: Get Ready for Mueller’s Phase Two: The Middle East Connection http://thebea.st/2zZ6DeR
// The ‘Russia investigation’ is set to go global. In court filings due to drop in 2019, prosecutors will unveil Middle Eastern countries’ attempts to influence U.S. politics.

PRI, Matthew Bell: Trump’s business history with Russia is a long and colorful one http://bit.ly/2QvuGfz

Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley: Report: Flynn Proposed Sanctions Relief Deal to Russia While Working for Trump Campaign http://bit.ly/2PCrrhl Trump campaign officials could be on the hook for participation in a criminal conspiracy
// If high-level Trump campaign officials knew about Russia’s sabotage operation against Clinton and approved Flynn’s efforts to float a sanctions deal to Russia at the same time, they could be on the hook for participation in a criminal conspiracy

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Maria Butina’s Defiant Plea and Yet Another Russian Ploy http://bit.ly/2S0FOh8
// The onetime graduate student admits to being a foreign agent who sought to establish back channels to Republicans through the NRA.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Russia, Russia, Russia http://wapo.st/2QA3uwx “Maria Butina’s guilty plea raises the question: Do we really know the full extent of Russian entanglements?”

“What is so significant about Butina is that she pulls the curtain back on Russia’s larger objectives,” says Max Bergmann of the Moscow Project. “Her influence efforts started before the Trump campaign existed and formed a distinct and separate line of effort. Her goal was to move the Republican Party away from its 70-year-plus history of being hawkish toward Russia. To do so, she built ties to one of the most powerful interest group on the right: the NRA.”

He continues, “So at the same time the Russians were backing Trump, they were also seeking to influence the NRA and the Republican Party with the stated goal of shifting U.S. policy.”

He concludes, “This demonstrates that Russia launched a multifaceted political assault in the U.S., and support for Trump was only the biggest part of the assault.”

ChicagoSunTimes, Mona Charen: Collusion with Russia is possible, Trump fans. Deal with it http://bit.ly/2UIuDLX

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ THREAD: Some thoughts on Butina from a CI perspective and the bad choices she has made:
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Russian media labels #Butina’s plea “The Deal with the Devil: Butina Gives Up #Russia to America.”📌 https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1073278195531743237

🐣 RT @tribelaw Anyone who conspires to commit campaign crimes in order to help win the presidency cannot later claim the benefit of a shield from criminal prosecution obviously designed only for presidents who won legitimately. Any other DOJ rule or policy would cut the heart out of democracy.

🐣 RT @matthewamiller So Donald Trump’s private business, campaign, transition, inaugural committee, and White House are all under criminal investigation. Very legal and very cool.

NBC: Trump was in the room during hush money discussions with tabloid publisher http://nbcnews.to/2QwJTwS
// A source confirmed to NBC News that Trump was the “other member of the campaign” present when Michael Cohen and David Pecker agreed to silence women.

🐣 To anyone who watches @maddow, the details of the WSJ report on issues with the handling of Trump’s innaugural are old news.

WSJ: Trump Inauguration Spending Under Criminal Investigation by Federal Prosecutors http://on.wsj.com/2PArvhp
// Probe looking into whether committee misspent funds and top donors gave money in exchange for access to the administration

The criminal probe by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, which is in its early stages, also is examining whether some of the committee’s top donors gave money in exchange for access to the incoming Trump administration, policy concessions or to influence official administration positions, some of the people said.

Giving money in exchange for political favors could run afoul of federal corruption laws. Diverting funds from the organization, which was registered as a nonprofit, could also violate federal law.

The investigation represents another potential legal threat to people who are or were in Mr. Trump’s orbit. Their business dealings and activities during and since the campaign have led to a number of indictments and guilty pleas. Many of the president’s biggest campaign backers were involved in the inaugural fund.

The investigation partly arises out of materials seized in the federal probe of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s business dealings, according to people familiar with the matter.

The committee was headed by Thomas Barrack Jr., a real-estate developer and longtime friend of Mr. Trump. There is no sign the investigation is targeting Mr. Barrack, and he hasn’t been approached by investigators since he was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office last year, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Mueller has also probed whether any foreign money flowed to the inaugural fund, which is prohibited from accepting foreign funds. In August, the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, on a referral from Mr. Mueller, obtained a guilty plea from a Washington consultant who admitted he used a U.S. citizen to serve as a “straw purchaser” so that a “prominent Ukraine oligarch” could attend the inauguration. The names were never disclosed.

🐣 RT @green_footballs Sean Hannity deleting hundreds of tweets. I’m starting to get that old rats/sinking ship feeling again.

🐣 RT @MalcolmNance This is world class Con Man-Speak. It’s got it all – Sweet Lies, grifting, Misdirection & picking your pocket all in one tweet. Anyone who believes this is the living definition of PT Barnum’s phrase #ASuckerIsBornEveryMinute
⋙ 🐣 RT @real I often stated, “One way or the other, Mexico is going to pay for the Wall.” This has never changed. Our new deal with Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is so much better than the old, very costly & anti-USA NAFTA deal, that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!

MotherJones, David Corn and Dan Friedman: Did Michael Flynn Try to Strike a Grand Bargain With Moscow as It Attacked the 2016 Election? http://bit.ly/2Lgy2xo
// His associates say he claimed he was in contact with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.

WaPo, Asha Rangappa: Mueller should try to indict Trump. It would guarantee his report goes public. http://wapo.st/2ElL7UK
// The attorney general would have to tell Congress about denying a request to prosecute the president.

🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood “Butina said she acted ‘under direction of’ a Russian official. ‘Butina sought to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over US politics,’ prosecutor said in court”
⋙ 🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood Maria Butina admits to engaging in conspiracy against US – CNNPolitics
🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ If the FBI had evidence that Butina was acting at the direction and control of the Russian government (and her plea reveals they did), it makes her an agent of a foreign power & a legit target for a FISA…if there was one, anyone talking to her would have been captured on it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Alleged Russian spy Maria #Butina admitted in federal court Thursday morning to engaging in a conspiracy against the United States.

CNN: Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina pleads guilty to engaging in conspiracy against US http://cnn.it/2UGlYtr

🐣 RT @20committee [John Schindler] “The president either secretly colluded with the Kremlin to win the White House, an act of high treason without precedent in American history, or he is the victim of an insidious smear of Russian origin designed to destroy him and his administration.”
⋙ TheSpectatorUS, John Schindler: Is the Cohen-in-Prague mystery about to be revealed at last? http://bit.ly/2PB20wh
// Trump’s fixer has always denied a meeting took place

🐣 RT @matthewamiller Has anyone thought to tell @realDonaldTrump that he has the right to remain silent?

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes Checking in after being somewhat disengaged the past few days. Let me get this straight: The GOP defense seems to be that Cohen, who pled guilty, pled to things that are not in fact crimes. And Flynn, who also pled guilty, pled guilty to lies the FBI tricked him into telling. Ok.

NYT: John Kerry: Forget Trump. We All Must Act on Climate Change. http://nyti.ms/2EtBXX4
// If we fail, it won’t be just the president’s fault.

NYT: Trump Says Cohen Failed Him as His Lawyer and Blames Him for Campaign Finance Violations http://nyti.ms/2ErpiUB

⭕ 12 Dec 2018

NBC: Incoming New York attorney general plans wide-ranging investigations of Trump and family http://nbcnews.to/2R2SCX4
// Just-elected Letitia James, who takes office next month, tells NBC she will probe real estate deals, Trump Tower meeting, emoluments, Trump Foundation and more.

BrennanCenter, Daniel Goldman: Trump Likely Won’t Be Charged While in Office http://bit.ly/2PDEE9B
// But there’s now strong evidence he defrauded voters while seeking the presidency

Axios: Timeline: Every big move in the Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2Euh3H9

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Increasingly, it looks like Trump’s circumstances may fall beyond the DOJ policy against indicting a POTUS. If Mueller asks to indict & is rebuked, a report goes to the Hill-to both parties. Fascinating @neal_katyal thread plays out all the implications.
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal THREAD RE INDICTING PRESIDENT. Trump’s defenses to campaign finance vio crumbling rapidly, partic after AMI admission. I predict the only thing he has left is idea sitting President can’t be indicted. This thread fleshes out aspects of that, expands on NYT 📌 https://twitter.com/neal_katyal/status/1072959290548387840

TheHill: Fox’s Napolitano: We learned today that prosecutors have evidence Trump committed a felony http://bit.ly/2UEDmyU

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen Two women were paid to keep quiet before the election. Cohen paid one, AMI paid the other. Cohen and AMI now admit the payments were intended to influence the election. Trump still claiming (1) the affairs didn’t happen and (2) the payments weren’t linked to the campaign.

WaPo, Josh Barrett: Cohen’s sentencing clears a path for Congress to uncover the truth http://wapo.st/2EsdLEj

NYT, Marty Lederman: Would Indicting Trump Be Constitutional? http://nyti.ms/2QNALU4
// Yes, it would be. But that question is a distraction from the principal objective of the Russia investigation.

NYT: Tabloid Publisher’s Deal in Hush-Money Inquiry Adds to Trump’s Danger http://nyti.ms/2QUfzvS
// AMI, publisher of The National Enquirer

NYT Editorial: ‘His Dirty Deeds’ http://nyti.ms/2QKy7hZ
// Michael Cohen said President Trump led him into darkness. The courts brought him into the light.

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “What is going to put him in jail eventually… destroy anything he’s ever built – and his children – is a 30 year dishonest criminal enterprise. One thing will take him out of the presidency, the other thing will ruin him forever.” [Donny Deutsch]
💽 https://twitter.com/briantylercohen/status/1072996433186324480/photo/1

NYT, Frank Bruni: The Most Powerful Reject in the World http://nyti.ms/2SDHoWm “Careerists who would normally pine for top jobs with a president assess his temper, behold his tweets, recall the mortifications of Jeff Sessions and Rex Tillerson, and run for the hills.”
// Is there anyone who wants to hang with Donald Trump?

🐣 RT @NealKatyal This is quite important. One by one, the career DOJ prosecutors are removing possible Trump defenses. Now it isn’t just Cohen, but also AMI, saying these hush money payments were made to influence the 2016 Presidential election, and knock out the so-called “Edwards defense” [Link]

🐣 Instead of coming together to fight the dire threat of climate change, the Western alliance is fragmenting Into nationalism. Can’t people see how this ends? Read a history book.

🐣 RT @KenDelanian Wow: The National Enquirer’s parent company has admitted to prosecutors that it made the $150,000 payment in “concert with” the Trump campaign “in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election.”

Salon, Igor Derysh: Maria Butina’s boyfriend claimed he set up Trump-Russia NRA “conduit” as campaign funds flowed http://bit.ly/2PyB3tq
// Republican operative Paul Erickson claimed in an email he’d set up a private Russia-GOP channel through the NRA

NBC: Cohen gets 3 years, says Trump’s ‘dirty deeds’ led him to ‘choose darkness’ http://nbcnews.to/2EubUiz
// Cohen had pleaded guilty to nine federal charges of tax evasion, violating campaign finance laws, lying to banks and to Congress.

Politico, Jesus Rodrigues: How the Migrant Caravan Built Its Own Democracy http://politi.co/2RVpgay
// Trump called the caravan ‘lawless.’ But on the road to Tijuana, the migrants were electing officials, voting on routes and building a public safety council.

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand and RussellBerman: Michael Cohen Pays the Price for His ‘Blind Loyalty’ to Trump http://bit.ly/2RVXuuu
// The sentencing ended a saga that began with a dramatic FBI raid and led Cohen to implicate the president in criminal misconduct.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Pelosi puts an ignorant, irrational president in his place http://wapo.st/2LhcXmw Pelosi “did what the media has not done — interject, fact-check to [Trump’s] face and refuse to allow him to operate in a parallel reality”

WIRED, Garrett Graf (May): The Untold Story of Robert Mueller’s Time in the Vietnam War http://bit.ly/2QRmw0s
// 5/15/2018

🐣 RT @AaronBlake So now two parties to Trump’s hush-money payments have implicated him in campaign finance violations: Cohen and AMI. ¤ Big question now is what Weisselberg, who has immunity and who Cohen has said he consulted, has said.
⋙ WaPo, Aaron Blake: Trump’s chief skeleton-locator got immunity. What does it mean? http://wapo.st/2BgsI8z

WaPo: Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prison for crimes committed while working for Trump http://wapo.st/2Eq0cVT

NYT: Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years After Implicating Trump in Hush-Money Scandal http://nyti.ms/2rxLFyZ

⭕ 11 Dec 2018

BBC (12/11): Russia-Trump: Who’s who in the drama to end all dramas? http://bbc.in/2DNFzCL //➔ how’d I miss this? Trump-Russia re-imagined as a tv series!

Politico, Philip Shenon: How Trump’s Next Attorney General Could Derail the Mueller Probe http://politi.co/2Qu9aIa
// In 1992, William Barr recommended pardons that some saw as a cover-up to protect the president. Critics fear more of the same if he’s confirmed.

Slate, Jed Shugerman: The Single Fatal Flaw in the Legal Argument Against Indicting a Sitting President http://bit.ly/2zRLALa
// Should a president be above the law because of the statute of limitations?

Observer, John Schindler (2017): Russian Words That Explain KremlinGate http://bit.ly/2Ef7vih Chekist, provokatsiya, konspiratsiya, kompromat, dezinformatsiya, aktivniyye meropriyatiya, kombinatsiya, mokroye delo
// 3/28/2017, It’s International Talk Like a Chekist Day—here’s a quick primer on kombinatsiya, konspiratsiya and more

WaPo, Shawn Boburg and Anu Narayanswamy: Trump has blasted Mueller’s team for political donations. But attorney general nominee William P. Barr has given more than $500,000. http://wapo.st/2PtcHRL

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Is that why the Russian gov has conducted 6 consular visits to Butina, passed 4 diplomatic notes to State about her case, and had Lavrov personally speak to Pompeo twice about her prosecution? (The official Kremlin Twitter account changed its avatar to a picture of her, too.)
⋙ 🐣 RT @maxseddon Putin on Butina: “She’s facing 15 years in prison. For what? When I heard that something was happening to her […] I started by asking all our secret service chiefs: who is she? Nobody knew anything about her!”

WaPo: Gap continues to widen between Trump and intelligence community on key issues http://wapo.st/2RSppeG

VoiceOfAmerica: Mueller Probe Points to Numerous Links Between Trump Associates, Russia http://bit.ly/2L9vwcd “If the [Moscow] project was completed, the Company could have received hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues”

HillReporter, Ed and Brian Krassenstein: The Fall Of Trump Tower Moscow And Rise Of The Rosneft Deal http://bit.ly/2SAZOXE

🐣 RT @keithboykin The Trump administration paid @AccentureFed $13.6 million this year to begin hiring 7,500 border agents. But after 10 months, Accenture has processed only two accepted job offers. https://www.
https://twitter.com/keithboykin/status/1072494755215486977/photo/1

WaPo: Time’s Person of the Year: ‘Guardians’ of the truth, including slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi http://wapo.st/2B7IQZW

ForeignAffairs, Richard Haass: How a World Order Ends http://fam.ag/2L9Vs7r “The good news is that it is far from inevitable that the world will eventually arrive at a catastrophe; the bad news is that it is far from certain that it will not.”
// Jan-Feb 2019 issue; And What Comes in Its Wake

🐣 RT @IgnatiusPost Timely explanation by @petermshane of how the Mueller grand jury could ask the chief judge in DC to appoint another prosecutor if Trump & Co. try to fire Mueller.
⋙ Slate, Peter Shane: Even if Trump Tries to Fire Mueller, He Can’t Fire the Grand Jury http://bit.ly/2B7ofFe

⭕ 10 Dec 2018

BrennanCenter, Andrew Cohen : The Simple Truth About Trump and 2016 http://bit.ly/2USICPc
// New evidence makes clear: Trump’s team broke the law to hide the truth about the election, diminishing the voting rights of the rest of us

Bloomberg, Jonathan Bernstein: Impeachment Is Getting More Likely http://bloom.bg/2S632Cy
// There are still plenty of unknowns. But the president’s attempts to conceal his conduct are ominous.

TheObserver, John Schindler: President Trump Really May Go to Jail—For the Rest of His Life http://bit.ly/2rCEd5H

WarOnTheRocks, Hal Brands and Francis Gavin: The Historical Profession is Committing Slow-Motion Suicide http://bit.ly/2QqsBlf American college students are abandoning the study of history

WaPo, Max Boot: Our long national nightmare is just beginning http://wapo.st/2QKqTdD “What we are left with is a president who defrauded the American people to win office — and who is now protected by the immunity that his office confers.”

HuffPo, Robert Kuttner: Donald Trump And Robert Mueller: The End Game http://bit.ly/2GcnYGz

MSNBC, @TheLastWord: Laurence Tribe: Trump can be indicted for federal crimes http://on.msnbc.com/2rt11os
// Trump might think that he has immunity from prosecution, but Laurence Tribe explains there’s nothing in the Constitution that prevents the indictment of a sitting president.

NYT: After Ayers Turns Down Chief of Staff Job, Trump Is Left Without a Plan B http://nyti.ms/2zS34XT “‘Why would anybody want to be Donald Trump’s chief of staff unless you want to steal the office supplies before they shut the place down?’”

NYT, Paul Krugman: The G.O.P. Goes Full Authoritarian http://nyti.ms/2SG0HOC
// Only Trump’s flamboyant awfulness stands in the way of his party’s power grab

CNN: GOP shrugs at Trump’s involvement in Cohen crimes http://cnn.it/2Px9sJ5

🐣 RT @HRC [HumanRightsCampaign] Mike Pence probably doesn’t want you to watch this video about his suspicious relationship with Michael Flynn. ¤ Learn more about the #RealMikePence: http://RealMikePence.org
💽 https://twitter.com/HRC/status/1072203511985774593/photo/1

TPM: Ex-Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal: Trump Knows His Future Is ‘Behind Bars’ If No Deal http://bit.ly/2Qo1Cqh

🐣 RT @EricHolder Constitution does not anticipate allowing a president who used fraud to obtain the office to remain in power. Executive branch paralysis during the criminal process is not a compelling argument- consider 25th Amendment. A sitting president can be indicted.
[link: BostonGlobe] Tweet Link: https://twitter.com/EricHolder/status/1072337361424539649
// BostonGlobe has a paywall

RawStory: ‘The bottom is going to fall out’: White House reporter says Republicans are privately discussing abandoning Trump http://bit.ly/2EoXiks

TheHill: Ethics watchdog CREW sues FBI over leak to Giuliani http://bit.ly/2GaAFBI //➔ this was Guiliani’s promised “October surprise” – acc to AJ at @MuellerSheWrote, this was the Weiner laptop which anti-HRC agents were holding and sprung for maximum effect

🐣 RT @TheContemptor Tucker: “Two women approached Donald Trump and threatened to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn’t give them money… Trump caves to it and he directs Michael Cohen to pay the ransom. Now more than two years later Trump is a felon for doing this.” 💽 Fox clip: https://twitter.com/TheContemptor/status/1072299833015312385/photo/1

🐣 Russian Embassy blaming Ukraine for provocations, demands US condemn Ukraine. Russia has been massing military at border for weeks. Will they strike while Trump is distracted?
⋙ 🐣 RT @RusEmbUSA We call Washington 🇺🇸not to turn a blind eye on active preparations of Ukrainian armed forces and extreme right squads along the contact line in Donbass, which may lead to a bloody scenario
Tweet link: https://twitter.com/RusEmbUSA/status/1072330777965277186/photo/1

🐣 RT @Travis_Tritten Lindsey Graham on #Syria withdrawal situation just now in Senate subway: ‘This is chaos’

CNN, Jim Acosta: Trump concerned about being impeached, sees it as a ‘real possibility,’ source says http://cnn.it/2C2fxd0 //➔ payback time for Individual1, courtesy of Jim Acosta

🐣 RT @TheRickSilson Don’t cry for me, says Butina
The truth is, I never left you
All through my wild days, my spy existence
The deal I’ve cut now
Helps the Resistance

WaPo: We are former senators. The Senate has long stood in defense of democracy — and must again. http://wapo.st/2QoFSuv Bipartisan:
Text Block:https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1072326551210024960 /photo/1

Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), Richard Bryan (D-Nev.), Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), Max Cleland (D-Ga.), William Cohen (R-Maine), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Al D’Amato (R-N.Y.), John C. Danforth (R-Mo.), Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), David Durenberger (R-Minn.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Wyche Fowler (D-Ga.), Bob Graham (D-Fla.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Gary Hart (D-Colo.), Bennett Johnston (D-La.), Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Paul Kirk (D-Mass.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), David Pryor (D-Ark.), Don Riegle (D-Mich.), Chuck Robb (D-Va.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.), Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), John W. Warner (R-Va.), Lowell Weicker (I-Conn.), Tim Wirth (D-Colo.)

🐣 RT @ JohnBrennan Whenever you send out such inane tweets, I take great solace in knowing that you realize how much trouble you are in & how impossible it will be for you to escape American justice. Mostly, I am relieved that you will never have the opportunity to run for public office again.
🐣 RT @CREWcrew Actually, Mr. President, campaign contributions can lead to criminal charges. Jared Kushner’s dad even went to prison for illegal campaign contributions. You should ask Chris Christie about it, he’s the one who locked him up.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real ….which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s [?] – but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me). Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT! [2]
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @tribelaw This tweet is itself a SMOKING GUN: Saying it was wrong to call his payments a “campaign contribution” implies he’s known all along that he wanted to make a campaign “expenditure” while hiding it from voters by funneling it off the books by contributing to a shell company
⋙🐣 RT @real “Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey’s testimony. No Smocking Gun…No Collusion.” @FoxNews That’s because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,… [1]

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote It’s always been my theory that Putin funded trump through the NRA using Torshin and Butina. We now know NRA and the trump campaign illegally coordinated ad buys, and now Torshin has “gone walkies”. Can’t wait for the indictments that emerge from the Butina cooperation.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MaddowBlog “The central bank declined to elaborate on its one-sentence statement Friday. Torshin did not immediately respond to attempts to reach him.”
⋙⋙ Bloomberg (Nov): NRA-Linked Russia Central Banker Retires http://bloom.bg/2rtb7FT
// 11/30/2018

● Bank of Russia says Deputy Governor Alexander Torshin retired
● Accused Russian spy linked to Torshin close to deal with U.S.

NationalReview, David French: Republicans Must Reject ‘Russia Hoax’ Conspiracies and Examine the Evidence http://bit.ly/2UuBatA “The Trump team has surrounded the truth of its dealings with Russia with a bodyguard of lies”

The Trump team has surrounded the truth of its dealings with Russia with a bodyguard of lies. Not a single American should find that acceptable or excusable. Let’s find the truth and confront it fearlessly. No other approach will provide the justice and transparency America needs.

CNN, Z Byron Wolf: Trump’s biggest Mueller problem isn’t Russia. At least not yet. http://cnn.it/2SCCB7B

WaPo, Philip Bump: It’s not just the number of Trump-Russia contacts. It’s the timing. http://wapo.st/2QKpdAW
● Timeline: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1072317099694002176/photo/1

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Maria Butina Agrees to Cooperate With U.S. http://thebea.st/2EpyAjN
// Butina has inked an agreement with prosecutors and becomes the first Russian since the 2016 election to confess to a crime connected to efforts to influence American politics.

CNBC: Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina sets stage for pleading guilty after accusations she plotted to infiltrate NRA http://cnb.cx/2Szyd9g

● Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina wants to change her not guilty plea in a pending criminal case, setting the stage for her to plead guilty soon, a court filing Monday shows.
● Butina, who is charged with conspiracy and failing to register as a foreign agent, and federal prosecutors filed a joint motion in U.S. District Court in Washington to ask a judge to set a date for a change-of-plea hearing as soon as possible. Both sides noted they are available for such a hearing in the next several days.
● Butina, who remains in custody, was arrested in July. She is a accused of plotting with her former boss to infiltrate American political organizations, including the National Rifle Association, to promote Russia’s agenda.

TheHill: NYT’s Krugman: US, Russia and Saudi Arabia are ‘new axis of evil’ http://bit.ly/2RWl8qw //➔ hey, I Tweeted this first

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Everybody Says Mueller Is Almost Done. What If He Isn’t? http://nym.ag/2B6myb5

USAToday, Chris Truax: Trump-Mueller showdown will be a historic test of America’s institutions and rule of law http://bit.ly/2RNUbpa

Axios: House Intelligence Dems will look into Trump-Russia — and these 4 other things http://bit.ly/2rueX1q authoritarianism, Saudi Arabia, China, North Korea
// Rep. Adam Schiff reveals the issues his panel could investigate in the next Congress.

🐣 RT @BruceBartlett If we accept the idea that a sitting president may not be indicted for anything–the line Trump’s lawyers are peddling–we have truly crossed the line from democracy to authoritarianism. Like Caesar crossing the Rubicon. No going back.

WaPo, James Downie: Democrats should investigate the Kushner-MBS connection http://wapo.st/2rsWG4N

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Are Republicans abandoning democracy? http://wapo.st/2C026Ko

📔 TheSternFacts, Grant Sterns (2017): How One Man Influenced The Republican Party’s Transformation Into The Grand Old Putin Party http://bit.ly/2tsJE6F
// 5/25/2017, Part 1 of a 10 part series: the Grand Old Putin Party

These are the Chapters of the Grand Old Putin Party:
1. Prologue — Link: http://bit.ly/2tsJE6F
2. Putin’s Propagandist Eerily Predicted Trump’s Relationship With General Flynn and Dana Rohrabacher Last Year
3. Putin’s Favorite Congressman Secretly Met With Paul Manafort After The FBI Warned Russian Agents Were Recruiting Him
4. The GOP’s Favorite Russian Professor Spent Decades Building Conservative Ties To Moscow
5. American University In Moscow: Linked To Russian State, But Fake Like TrumpU
6. Here’s Lozansky Introducing Republicans To The Father Of Russian Foreign Intelligence — And Putin’s Mentor
7. Soviet Human Rights Activists Believed Lozansky Worked With Russian Intelligence
8. From Orange Revolution To “Stars And Stripes Revolution”
9. Opinion: Edward Lozansky’s Russia Lobby Compromised The Republican Party
10. Opinion: Without Ed Lozansky, Trump-Russia Could Not Have Happened

WaPo, Glenn Kessler: Meet the Bottomless Pinocchio, a new rating for a false claim repeated over and over again http://wapo.st/2UvJkBN

⭕ 9 Dec 2018

NYMag, Chas Danner: How Totally Screwed Is Trump? Commentary and Analysis of the Cohen and Manafort Filings http://nym.ag/2C25k00

WaPo, Robby Mook: The sad truth about Russian election interference http://wapo.st/2EnW1tW Robby Mook, a CNN political commentator, was Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign manager.

🐣 RT @juliettekayyem Stories this weekend lead to unmistakeable conclusion that Kushner is compromised (debt) and immoral (“weather the storm” re Saudis), but also that he’s in deep trouble. Both IC and LE communities are making that clear. ¤ Kushner is going to have one hell of a week. #No1inlaw 1/
📌 https://twitter.com/juliettekayyem/status/1071877072354713600

🐣 RT @carolecadwalla This is RT boosting Russia’s Spetsnaz or special forces. They’re controlled by GRU – who attacked US elections & killed British citizen. You know who RT also boosts? Nigel Farage. Taking back control for who, Nigel?

🐣 RT @BobMcKercher Just finished reading Bill Browder’s “Red Notice”. I’ve read a lot of books on history and politics but this is the most remarkable of them all. An extraordinary front row view on the kleptocracy that runs modern Russia. Be grateful Russia didn’t get its wish to lead Interpol!

Newsweek: James Comey Compares Trump to a Mob Boss, Suggests He Could Be An ‘Unindicted Co-Conspirator’ in Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2Pt7XeM

🔊NPR, Lulu Garcia-Navarro: Investigative Journalist Jason Leopold (Buzzfeed) Breaks Down His Reporting On Trump And Russia http://n.pr/2zPDNgY

NBC, Allan Smith: Michael Cohen filings renew discussion of Trump’s impeachment http://nbcnews.to/2QHVkBn
// “The president was at the center of a massive fraud — several massive frauds against the American people,” Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler said.

TheGuardian, Erin Durkin: Trump ‘at center of massive fraud against Americans’, top Democrat says http://bit.ly/2EnR4kH
● Incoming House chair Nadler promises investigations
● Payments to women ‘would be impeachable offenses’

💽 CNN: Bernstein: Trump led a ‘criminal conspiracy’ http://cnn.it/2C1anh6
// Carl Bernstein has described the Nixon years as a “criminal presidency.” So Brian Stelter asks him if the same term applies to President Trump. “I don’t think we know completely yet,” Bernstein says. But “I think it’s very obvious that there has been a criminal conspiracy led by the president of the United States to obstruct justice. It’s hard to see otherwise in the filings that have been made public thus far.”

LATimes, Virginia Heffernan: Early on, Trump-Russia obsessives were marginalized; they’re prophets now http://lat.ms/2EowhNY //➔ @DavidCornDC, @FranklinFoer, @mnnurse10, @pithywidow, @morgfair, @fredriksewell
// David Corn (@DavidCornDC), Franklin Foer (@FranklinFoer), Marc Murphy (@mnnurse10 ), Karen Schwartz (@pithywidow), Morgan Fairchild @morgfair), Rufus Sewell (@fredriksewell)

[David] Corn says he felt “lonely,” even as his stories about about the Russia affair gained traction. Others who reported early about curious Trump connections in Moscow — Franklin Foer in Slate, for example — have said the same thing.

But they’re not lonely now. And this is mostly because even while some media organizations sidelined, or cautiously framed, the Trump-Russia story, a much more important group of commenters were far less timid. Let’s give a round of retweets for the concerned citizens of the United States.

From all quarters, these citizens have kept the Trump-Russia story front and center for the electorate, and provided analysis and even scoops that clarify and help to remedy the global catastrophe that is Trump’s presidency.

Among the most effective are Marc Murphy (@mnnurse10 ), who retweets articles about the corruption of the president and Mueller’s heroism, and Karen Schwartz (@pithywidow), a novelist and single mother in New York state who studies the indictments coming out of the Russia investigation as if they were the Talmud. She is a genius at details and prophecy.

Far-flung celebrities also have joined in, from soap-opera delight Morgan Fairchild to Shakespearean heartthrob Rufus Sewell.

🐣 RT @9Moyle https://twitter.com/9Moyle/status/1071972506221903872/photo/1
// “We wish you a Mueller Christmas”
⋙ 🐣 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1072000965706952704/photo/1
// colorized by me

WaPo, Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger: Coincidence or coordination? http://wapo.st/2QkQo5X
// Russians approached at least 14 people in Trump’s orbit during the campaign and presidential transition.

TheHill: Ex-fed prosecutor: ‘It’s clear’ Trump will be indicted on charges of violating campaign finance law http://bit.ly/2Ux0P4I Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy said that “it’s clear” President Trump is the target of an SDNY investigation and that he will be indicted..

Newsweek, Jason Lemon: Trump ‘Concerned’ for ‘First Time In His Life,’ Watergate Journalist Carl Bernstein Says Impeachment Hearings Look Likely http://bit.ly/2B8pdkC

🐣 RT @politico A conspiracy theorist who says he’s being threatened with indictment by Robert Mueller has filed a lawsuit accusing the special counsel of constitutional violations and leaking grand jury secrets
⋙ Politico, Josh Gerstein: Conspiracy theorist sues Mueller alleging illegal leaks and surveillance http://politi.co/2C0NTgk
// Jerome Corsi’s new suit against Mueller also accuses the special prosecutor of trying to badger Corsi into giving false testimony that he served as a conduit between Wikileaks found Julian Assange and Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump.

🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 Reports that 4 Russian Air Forces Il-76MDs from Taganrog have transported Russian airborne troops from Anapa into Dzhankoi in Crimea. This combined w all the other military movements, Russian media propaganda of an imminent attack by Ukraine, and social media op is a big red flag [link]
Tweetlink: https://twitter.com/olgaNYC1211/status/1071982046657085441

TheIntercept, James Risen: Is There Anything Trump, Cohen, and Manafort Didn’t Lie About? http://bit.ly/2EbZoTF

TheAtlantic, Elizabeth Goitein: What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency http://bit.ly/2QoI710 //➔ omg, don’t put ideas in his head!
// From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things.

TheGuardian, Jonathan Watts and Glenn Doherty: US and Russia ally with Saudi Arabia to water down climate pledge http://bit.ly/2B3j0WV //➔ what is this, the new Axis powers?
// Move shocks delegates at UN conference as ministers fly in for final week of climate talks

🐣 RT @nycsouthpaw On Friday evening, federal prosecutors for the first time said the president had directed illegal hush money payments to women who claimed to be his mistresses. By Sunday, the chiefs of staff of both POTUS and his VP had tendered their resignations. It felt like a quiet weekend.

🐣 RT @JoyceVanceWhite Where can you cheat & it’s okay? Not at the Olympics, not playing kickball at school, only if you’re a candidate running for president of the United States who wins & you committed fraud against the American people to help you get there.
⋙ 🐣 Wouldn’t that apply to every GOP candidate since Nixon? Nixon: negotiation w NVietnam to stall peace talks; Reagan: Iran hostages; Bush: shenanigans in FL. None of them can win honestly, so they cheat.

🐣 RT @RWPUSA It’s resignation and plea bargain time. The sooner the better.
⋙ USAToday, Paul Zeidenberg: Mueller is close to answering Russia collusion question that could end Trump’s presidency http://bit.ly/2RPbR3G
// Mueller says Cohen gave him useful information on matters ‘core’ to his investigation. That core is collusion between the campaign, Trump and Russia.

🐣 RT @KasieDC WATCH: James Comey recalls his conversation with President Trump about Mike Flynn during an event with @NicolleDWallace ¤ “Obviously it’s evidence of obstruction of justice” 💽 https://twitter.com/KasieDC/status/1071941138389422080/photo/1

🐣 RT @EdKrassen It turns out that the Steele Dossier is actually a crystal ball that is correctly predicting exactly what Mueller finds. ¤ Maybe Christopher Steele, who was known as one of the best intelligence officers in the world, actually is one of the best intelligence officers in the world!

🐣 RT @Benjamin05055 A 36-year old turning down an offer to be White House Chief of Staff is about as a decisive a vote of no confidence as you can find in our system.
⋙ 🐣 RT @nick_ayers Thank you @realDonaldTrump, @VP, and my great colleagues for the honor to serve our Nation at The White House. I will be departing at the end of the year but will work with the #MAGA team to advance the cause. 🇺🇸 #Georgia

WaPo: Russians interacted with at least 14 Trump associates during the campaign and transition http://wapo.st/2RNG03o

Axios, Jim VandeHei: What we now know about Trump and Russia http://bit.ly/2PuyB6X

● We now know several Russian officials reached out to a half-dozen Republicans very close to Trump and his campaign, including his eldest son, his closest adviser, his lawyer and his campaign manager. We now know they took the meetings, often enthusiastically, during and after the campaign.

● We now know Russia offered in those chats campaign assistance — “synergy,” they called it. We now know no one around Trump alerted the FBI of this effort to subvert our elections.

● We now know that 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted for hacking the DNC and systematically releasing material for the purpose of hurting the Clinton campaign via WikiLeaks.

● We know that Trump associates Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi attempted — successfully, in some instances — to get in touch with WikiLeaks and that they are under investigation for whether they had advance knowledge about the email dumps.

● We now know Donald Trump Jr. and others took a meeting with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. We now know Don Jr., when approached with the promise of dirt, wrote: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

● We now know Trump was negotiating a Trump property in Moscow during the presidential campaign — and hid this from the public and lied about it. We now know Mueller believes, based on his court filing, the “Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government.”

● We now know every arm of the U.S. intelligence community concluded Russia sought to systematically influence the election outcome. We now know this was an unanimous conclusion, save one dissent: Trump.

● We now know Trump officials continued talking with the Russians during the post-election transition. We now know Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions failed to initially disclose any contacts with Russians on their government forms.

● We now know Jared Kushner suggested a secret backchannel with the Russians, which had it happened, would have been free of U.S. eavesdropping.

● We now know Trump soured on FBI director James Comey, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House counsel Don McGahn in part over their handling of the probe.

● We now know Paul Manafort, who ran the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016, lied about his Russia contacts, was indicted and is going to jail.

● We now know Flynn lied about his Russian contacts, was fired and pleaded guilty, after agreeing to become a key witness in the investigation.

● We now know Cohen lied about his Russian contacts, was indicted and then flipped to become a key witness against Trump.

Crooks&Liars: National Review Writer Stuns Fox & Friends By Revealing Trump Will Likely Be Indicted http://bit.ly/2L654Qv Andrew McCarthy

🐣 RT @Delavegalaw Proof that Individual-1 directed Michael Cohen to commit a felony would, if Individual-1 were prosecuted, increase Individual-1’s sentencing guidelines by at least 2 levels, and possibly more, depending on the number of other people involved.

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom Disagree common claim President cannot be indicted. If Cohen memo is true, Trump committed a crime to win Presidency. This logic, anyone can commit a crime as long as they win the office = nonsense. Indictments should proceed, Supreme Court should decide
⋙ LawfareBlog, Walter Dellinger (Jun): Indicting a President Is Not Foreclosed: The Complex History http://bit.ly/2Ealiqq
// 6/12/2018

⭕ 8 Dec 2018

Vox, Sean Illing: Trump’s ties to the Russian mafia go back 3 decades http://bit.ly/2PFg8VF
// Journalist Craig Unger talks Russia, Trump, and “one of the greatest intelligence operations in history.”

CNN, Julian Zelizer: Will the Republican Party turn on Trump? http://cnn.it/2G9NrAr

DailyBeast, Erin Banco and Betsy Woodruff: Comey Says FBI Looked Into Possible ‘Connection’ Between Four Trump Campaign Associates and Russia in 2016 http://thebea.st/2Eb5ROP
// [In testimony,] the former FBI director, who was fired by the president, also revealed that he is a ‘potential witness’ in the possible obstruction of justice investigation by Robert Mueller.

“We opened investigations on four Americans to see if there was any connection between those four Americans and the Russian interference effort. And those four Americans did not include the candidate.” ¤ ¤ Later in the interview, Comey said the FBI suspected those four Americans may have helped the Russians meddle in the election.

🐣 RT @Evan_McMullin What we see more clearly now than ever is a classic Russian intelligence operation to compromise and control a corrupt politician by financial and other means to benefit Moscow. It’ll take months or years for America to come to terms with it, but that politician is our president.

TheAtlantic, Ken White: Manafort, Cohen, and Individual 1 Are in Grave Danger http://bit.ly2PruUPv/
// Robert Mueller is closing in on the president and all his men.

Politico, Jack Shafer: Week 81: Mueller Plays Truth or Consequences http://politi.co/2zQgGmh
// In a slew of filings, the special counsel and Justice Department prosecutors slap (and praise) the witnesses who are making their case against Trump.

VICE, Greg Walters: Mueller just pulled some of his key findings out of Trump’s grasp http://bit.ly/2RNE0bw

🐣 RT @TrumpsTaxes Not to be overlooked and impossible to overstate: ¤ If not for his position as President of the United States, Donald J. Trump would have been indicted on two felony charges yesterday. ¤ So let’s make sure everyone knows it.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Rep. Nadler: “One was collusion with the Russians. One was obstruction of justice and all that entails. And now you have a third — that the president was at the center of a massive fraud against the American people.”
💙💙 ⋙ NYT, Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos: Prosecutors’ Narrative Is Clear: Trump Defrauded Voters. But What Does It Mean? http://nyti.ms/2Ptzgpt

In the narrative that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and New York prosecutors are building, Mr. Trump continued to secretly seek to do business in Russia deep into his presidential campaign even as Russian agents made more efforts to influence him. At the same time, in this account he ordered hush payments to two women to suppress stories of impropriety in violation of campaign finance law.

The prosecutors made clear in a sentencing memo filed on Friday that they viewed efforts by Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, to squelch the stories as nothing less than a perversion of a democratic election — and by extension they effectively accused the president of defrauding voters, questioning the legitimacy of his victory.

“While many Americans who desired a particular outcome to the election knocked on doors, toiled at phone banks or found any number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen sought to influence the election from the shadows,” the prosecutors wrote.

“He did so by orchestrating secret and illegal payments to silence two women who otherwise would have made public their alleged extramarital affairs with Individual-1,” they continued. “In the process, Cohen deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have had a substantial effect on the election.”

… The framers of the Constitution specifically envisioned impeachment as a remedy for removing a president who obtained office through corrupt means, and legal scholars have long concluded that the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors” does not necessarily require a statutory crime.

If the campaign finance case as laid out by prosecutors is true, Mr. Nadler said, Mr. Trump would be likely to meet the criteria for an impeachable offense, and he said he would instruct his committee to investigate when he takes over in January.

But he added that did not necessarily mean that the committee should vote to impeach Mr. Trump. “Is it serious enough to justify impeachment?” he asked. “That is another question.”

🐣 RT @tribelaw Quid pro quo? Maybe even worse: What Jared seems to have given MbS wasn’t his to give. And it appears to have led to ghoulish consequences in MbS’s blood-stained hands. Jared must be held accountable to justice.
⋙ 🐣 RT @dcpoll In Oct 2017, SoftBank, whose CEO has deep ties to the Saudi govt & Prince MBS, lent $57M to Jared Kushner’s family business for its troubled Jersey City project – the SAME month Jared took an unannounced trip to Riyadh & divulged classified intel to MBS.

USAToday, Harry Litman: Cohen memos cast dark shadow: Trump hid scandals to win, coddled Russia to make money http://bit.ly/2G7xWZM

WaPo, David Von Drehle: All the Trumpians’ lies have one thing in common http://wapo.st/2QiGamJ

Politico, Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelson: Takeaways from a frenetic week of Mueller filings http://politi.co/2G7xkn8
// The special counsel left a series of public hints that prosecutors are closing in on President Donald Trump and his inner circle.

CNN, Stephen Collinson: Trump tries to change the story, but Russia cloud darkens http://cnn.it/2BYYOaw

Axios, Mike Allen: When Russia approached, Trump officials gladly obliged http://bit.ly/2QEBkzE

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ Unconvincing defense. The affair happened in 2006 and Trump waited until months before the election to keep it quiet. If it were about his business and family, why wait 10 years? ¤ (HINT: It was about benefiting his campaign)
⋙ 🐣 RT @rossgarber I expect Trump/Rudy will say Cohen is lying, but that even if Trump authorized hush payments, they were not to further his campaign, but to protect his business and family. So no campaign finance violation. (Successful John Edwards defense.)

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Comey: @petestrzok “helped draft my letter to Congress that Hillary Clinton blames for her defeat…he also was one of the handful of people in the entire world” who knew about the Russia probe—“and didn’t tell a soul. It’s hard to reconcile that with his being on Team Clinton.”
Text: https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1071600139293392896/photo/1

🐣 RT @MaxBoot Putin and Trump are both promoting the violent protests against Macron. This is the risk of being a centrist leader today: you will incur the wrath of the Illiberal International. My latest in @PostOpinions:
⋙ WaPo, Max Boot: In France and online, extremists put centrism to the torch http://wapo.st/2zZ2gk7

CNN: Former Nixon WH lawyer: Congress will have ‘little choice’ but to begin impeachment proceedings http://cnn.it/2UrmQSx

AP, Michael Balsamo: Whether a president can be prosecuted remains in dispute http://bit.ly/2Usl0AV “The payments to Daniels and McDougal were made in 2016, meaning the statute of limitations would run out in 2021”

Legal scholars have said that based on the Justice Department’s guidance, it would appear that Trump could be charged for wrongdoing during the campaign or as president once he leaves office, but likely not before that.

Blackman said the statute of limitations for a campaign finance law violation — like the one Cohen pleaded guilty to — would be five years. The payments to Daniels and McDougal were made in 2016, meaning the statute of limitations would run out in 2021.

NYMag, Eric Levitz: Trump 2020 Shaping Up to Be a Campaign to Stay Out of Prison http://nym.ag/2QE1uCw

WaPo, Robert Costa and Phil Rucker: ‘Siege warfare’: Republican anxiety spikes as Trump faces growing legal and political perils http://wapo.st/2PsGEBc

Facing the dawn of his third year in office and his bid for reelection, Trump is stepping into a political hailstorm. Democrats are preparing to seize control of the House in January with subpoena power to investigate corruption. Global markets are reeling from his trade war. The United States is isolated from its traditional partners. The investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian interference is intensifying. And court filings Friday in a separate federal case implicated Trump in a felony.

🐣 RT @Delavegalaw Agree entirely w/@BarbMcQuade. If a contract is procured by fraud, it may be declared void. As Barb notes, if a person gains citizenship thru fraud, he/she is stripped of that status. Where a president has been elected thru his own fraud, he should be stripped of the presidency.
⋙ 🐣 RT @essenviews Trump should be stripped of the presidency because Mueller filing shows he ‘procured it by fraud’ a former US Attorney says
⋙⋙ 🐣 RawStory Trump should be stripped of presidency because Mueller filing shows he ‘procured it by fraud’: ex-US Attorney http://bit.ly/2rqf1PE

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay, Erin Banco and Asawin Suebsaeng: Michael Cohen Was Paid More Than $4 Million by Promising Access to Trump, Prosecutors Say http://thebea.st/2En3Zn3
// And The Daily Beast can reveal Cohen made previously unreported overtures about business deals to a politically connected individual.

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade: Mueller Implicates Trump Administration Officials With New Filings Against Manafort and Cohen http://thebea.st/2RFHCvP
// The president’s ex-fixer and former campaign chairman are accused of different crimes, but they have something in common: White House contacts.

CNN, Nathan Hodge: Trump brand now toxic in Putin’s Kremlin http://cnn.it/2BZqyvK

Simple denial (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman” “Totally clears the President”) is the most primitive defense mechanism and the most blatant form of lie. Discouraging that so many news orgs made it into a headline.

PBS: How new details about Cohen and Manafort could shape the Russia investigation http://to.pbs.org/2EaiWYz

CBC [CA]: These key lines from Mueller’s court filing on Cohen reveal more about his Trump-Russia probe http://bit.ly/2Unk6pg
// 6 quotes from Mueller filing on Cohen sentencing drop hints about where his investigation is heading

WaPo, Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky: Mueller flashes some cards in Russia probe, but hides his hand http://wapo.st/2rr2wU6

WaPo, Marcy Wheeler: Mueller has already issued most of his report, one indictment at a time http://wapo.st/2RKGVBL
// Each court filing contains far more detail than it really needs. The special counsel is speaking through the docket.

NYT, Bob Bauer: Is Mueller Building an Expansive Obstruction Case? http://nyti.ms/2L5zgeH
// The sentencing memos suggest the possibility that Trump and perhaps others were involved in a series of lies from Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.

≣ MotherJones: We Now Know What James Comey Told Congress Last Week. Read the Transcript. http://bit.ly/2PsSAmw
// tags: James Comey testimony James Comey transcript; The former FBI director called the hearing “a desperate attempt” to slow those investigating Trump.

JustSecurity, Ryan Goodman and Andy Wright: Mueller’s Roadmap: Major Takeaways from Cohen and Manafort Filings http://bit.ly/2QOisON

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti Given that Trump spoke with Barr about representing him in the Mueller investigation, Barr may have to recuse himself from overseeing Mueller if he is confirmed.
⋙ 🐣 RT @michaelIsakoff Exclusive: Before Trump tapped Bill Barr to be his new AG, he reached out to him for another job: his defense lawyer. @SkullduggeryPod @YahooNews @dklaidman

🐣 RT @RWPUSA Resignation in exchange for leniency. It’s time for prosecutors to have those discussions with @realDonaldTrump.
⋙ 🐣 RT @gtconway3d A terrific account of a situation similar to the scenario @walterdellinger posits, although without the immunity overlay—Spiro Agnew’s plea bargain and resignation—can be found here: http://bit.ly/2MweTaW 
🐣 RT @MaxBoot What if Trump resigns on Jan 19 and allows Pence to be president for a day so he can pardon Trump? Since a self-pardon might not stand up to judicial review
⋙ 🐣 RT @walterdellinger Remember: If Trump is not re-elected, at noon on Jan 20, 2021 Air Force One turns into a pumpkin. And with it any supposed “immunity” from indictment expires as well leaving him fully subject to prosecution for any crimes for which the limitations period has not expired
📌 https://twitter.com/walterdellinger/status/1071206183057395712

🐣 RT @gtconway3d A terrific account of a situation similar to the scenario @walterdellinger posits, although without the immunity overlay—Spiro Agnew’s plea bargain and resignation—can be found here: http://bit.ly/2MweTaW 
⋙ 🐣 RT @walterdellinger And — as I elaborate in a forthcoming article — if he has committed any crimes, he will have to plea bargain while he is still president: his resignation in exchange for total leniency. If he stays until the end, he loses that great bargaining chip.

🐣 RT @PreetBharara The brilliant and dedicated professional “kids” of the SDNY are among our best hopes for survival of the rule of law. We should be thanking them for their public service, not attacking them for doing their jobs.
⋙ 🐣 RT @GreggJarrett Look at the four attorneys who signed the Cohen sentencing memo under Robert Khuzami’s name. Griswold, Maimin, McKay and Roos. They’re all kids. No real experience. They don’t know anything about the law. They don’t understand the Federal Campaign Election Act.

🐣 RT @brianklaas Good morning! The Department of Justice says that the President of the United States orchestrated a criminal conspiracy. That criminal conspiracy may have been decisive in helping him become president.
⋙ WaPo, Brian Klaas: The Mueller investigation has been a series of drips. It’s about to turn into a flood. http://wapo.st/2Em7bz0

⭕ 7 Dec 2018

WIRED, Garrett Graff: Manafort and Cohen Sentencing Documents Put Donald Trump in Spotlight http://bit.ly/2QLdD8U

WaPo, Philip Allen Lacovara: Yes, Trump could be indicted. The ‘Nixon tapes’ case proves it. http://wapo.st/2zMNNY3 Lacovara, a former U.S. deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department, served as counsel to Watergate special prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski

◕ Politico: The Mueller indictments so far: Lies, trolls and hacks http://politi.co/2EbBWWR
// At least 33 people and three companies have been charged so far as a result of the special counsel’s investigation into 2016 election tampering.

NYT, Oliver Nachtwey: It Doesn’t Matter Who Replaces Merkel. Germany Is Broken. http://nyti.ms/2rqKDVr Mr. Nachtwey is the author of “Germany’s Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe.”
// The erosion of the country’s postwar order has created a populace open to messages and movements previously banished to the fringes.

🐣 RT @harrylitman And perhaps even more surprising from this corner, let me say that I share @benjaminwittes view
⋙ 🐣 RT @benjaminwittes Ok, folks, I know Barr has said some bad stuff, but let me express the perhaps unpopular view that say that this would be a very decent outcome. Barr was a very fine AG. He knows and values the department’s traditions and supervised at least two special prosecutor investigations.

🐣 RT @TimOBrien “Pro tip: It’s not a good idea to be in touch with a suspected Russian intelligence asset when you’re being prosecuted by seasoned federal law enforcement officials probing your role in Russian efforts to sabotage a presidential election.”
⋙ Bloomberg, Timothy O’Brien: Mueller Weaves Trump, Manafort and Cohen Ever Closer http://bloom.bg/2EkCiva
// Three sentencing memos paint unflattering portraits of the president’s former campaign chairman and personal lawyer. 

🐣 RT @brianklaas Trump’s most important lies are not spin, or misleading statements. They are the complete inversion of truth, an Orwellian assertion that the truth is what he says. The documents directly implicate Trump in directing multiple criminal conspiracies. A tweet doesn’t change that.
⋙ NBC: Court filings present Trump as key figure in multiple federal investigations http://nbcnews.to/2L5qzkl
// Yet Trump tweets: “Totally clears the President. Thank you!”

🐣 RT @RichardHaass In an instant Europe has gone from being the most stable region in the world to anything but. Paris is burning, the Merkel era is ending, Italy is playing a dangerous game of chicken with the EU, Russia is carving up Ukraine, and the UK is consumed by Brexit. History is resuming.

🐣 RT @bjcreigh Trump is hanging his legal hopes on a Mueller counter report that will be written by Rudy Giuliani. ¤ Rudy. ¤ The Clem Kadiddlehopper of Counselors. ¤ The Clouseau of Cybersecurity. ¤ I can’t wait.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Loretta Lynch’s brief Tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton sent the GOP into a frenzy, so surely, there will be intense outrage that the son-in-law of a president, who is under investigation along with him, invited the AG heading the investigation to fly with him on Marine 1.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Tierney_Megan Print pooler all star @cam_joseph spotted Matt Whitaker boarding Marine 1 with Kushner.

AP: Prosecutors: Illegal hush-money paid at Trump’s ‘direction’ http://bit.ly/2PrIimT

🐣 RT @gtconway3d Except for that little part where the US Attorney’s Office says that you directed and coordinated with Cohen to commit two felonies. Other than that, totally scot-free.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Totally clears the President. Thank you!

🐣 RT @tribelaw Here’s the 12/7 SDNY memo nailing Trump as a felon who directed a criminal conspiracy to steal the 2016 election. This isn’t Mueller; it’s the US Attorney for Manhattan, untainted by Trump’s hail of attacks. Read especially pgs 11-13 & 23. Devastating:
≣ ⋙ DocumentCloud: http://bit.ly/2QoWvq8

🐣 RT @adamgoldmanNYT well @JasonLeopold and @a_cormier_ have the story about Cohen’s contact with a Russian in 2015.
Text Block: https://twitter.com/adamgoldmanNYT/status/1071211969569546240/photo/1
⋙ BuzzFeedNews, Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold (Jun): Ivanka Trump Was In Contact With A Russian Who Offered A Trump-Putin Meeting http://bit.ly/2B3oQYa
// 6/6/3018, Her contact, a Russian Olympic weightlifter, said a meeting between Trump and Putin could expedite a Trump tower in Moscow.

WaPo, Paul Waldman: The latest filings show that nobody can save Trump now http://wapo.st/2G6HpRe

LawfareBlog, Victoria Clark, Mikhaila Fogel, Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes: ‘Totally Clears the President’? What Those Cohen and Manafort Filings Really Say http://bit.ly/2QhPZ4e

NYT, Barry Berke, Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen: Is This the Beginning of the End for Trump? http://nyti.ms/2RDsTBS
// Sentencing memos reveal damning evidence about collusion and campaign finance violations.

BuzzFeedNews, Chris Geidner: 5 Big Things That Robert Mueller Just Told Us About The Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2Suk8K8
// The sentencing memo that special counsel Robert Mueller filed in Michael Cohen’s case said a lot about his ongoing Russia investigation.

🐣 RT @Comey Today wasn’t a search for truth, but a desperate attempt to find anything that can be used to attack the institutions of justice investigating this president. They came up empty today but will try again. In the long run, it’ll make no difference because facts are stubborn things.

RollingStone, Tessa Stuart, Ryan Bort and Andy Kroll: It’s Mueller Time: Making Sense of the Latest Russia Investigation Dump http://bit.ly/2REtRxD
// An incredible day of news about Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort and President Trump

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: The Department of Justice Calls Donald Trump a Felon http://nym.ag/2RHGw2U

🐣 RT @11thHour .@frankfigliuzzi1: “We saw an effort directed by Putin himself, ‘Get next to this candidate, get him compromised, & let’s get our man in this Oval Office.'” Watch more: https://on.msnbc.com/2AZxx67  #11MSNBC #11thHour
💽 https://twitter.com/11thHour/status/1071260871052156928/photo/1

🐣 RT @MollyMcKew A reminder tonight as Kilimnik is endlessly described as “with ties to Russian intelligence” — there’s no such thing as former GRU. ¤ Kilimnik *is* Russian intelligence

🐣 RT @TheLeadCNN “The President’s attacks on the Justice Department broadly and the FBI are something that no matter what political party you’re in, you should find deeply troubling and continue to speak out about and not become numb to attacks on the rule of law” says former FBI director @Comey
💽 https://twitter.com/TheLeadCNN/status/1071160394775851008/photo/1

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Rex Tillerson on Trump: ‘Undisciplined, doesn’t like to read’ and tries to do illegal things http://wapo.st/2B5QTX0

DailyBeast, Max Bergmann and Sam Berger: Mueller Is Telling Us: He’s Got Trump on Collusion http://thebea.st/2Pruf0r
// The special counsel is connecting the dots and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for Trump.

WIRED, Garrett Graff: The Mueller Investigation Nears the Worst Case Scenario http://bit.ly/2QLdD8U

StarTrib: Illegal hush-money paid at President Donald Trump’s “direction” to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, federal prosecutors say. http://strib.mn/2rqucZa 
https://twitter.com/StarTribune/status/1071252779879026688/photo/1
// photos of two women

NBC: Michael Cohen assisted Mueller’s office with info about contacts between Trump aides and Russia http://nbcnews.to/2QhdgTO
// But federal prosecutors still recommended a stiff prison sentence for Cohen, citing his “extensive” criminal conduct.

CNN: Prosecutors: Michael Cohen acted at Trump’s direction when he broke the law http://cnn.it/2rpX8jZ

YahooNews: James Comey questioned by House Republicans about Trump-Russia, Clinton email probes http://yhoo.it/2RIB4wJ

TPM, Allegra Kirkland: Mueller Filing Shows Cohen Was Key To Trump Campaign’s Russia Contacts http://bit.ly/2UoFfzn

Esquire, Jack Holmes: Trump Melted Down Twice in 12 Hours as Robert Mueller’s Next Drop Loomed http://bit.ly/2rp0bZI
// “He doth protest too much” just doesn’t do it justice anymore.

AP: US: Trump lawyer met Russian offering ‘political synergy’ http://bit.ly/2RIr0E1

TheGuardian: Cohen spoke with Russian to set up Trump-Putin meeting, Mueller reveals http://bit.ly/2E9wVOs
// Trump implicated in campaign finance law violations as prosecutors allege he directed lawyer to pay off two women ; As it happened: Mueller’s filings on Cohen and Manafort

💙💙 WaPo: New Mueller filing says Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen was in touch with a Russian seeking ‘political synergy’ with campaign http://wapo.st/2QHvKfN

💙💙 WaPo: Court filings directly implicate Trump in efforts to buy women’s silence, reveal new contact between inner circle and Russian http://wapo.st/2SANmqO

💙💙 NYT: Prosecutors Say Trump Directed Illegal Payments During Campaign http://nyti.ms/2rqYHhN

🐣 RT @mkraju People who have been convicted or pleaded guilty since Trump became POTUS
— Trump’s personal attorney
— Trump’s former campaign chairman
— Trump’s former WH national security adviser
— Trump’s former campaign adviser
— Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman

🐣 RT @tribelaw WOW: The Dec 7 filing in SDNY on Michael Cohen’s sentencing charges that President Trump (aka “Individual 1”) directed a criminal conspiracy with his attorney Cohen to violate the federal election laws in order to increase his odds of winning the presidency by deceiving voters.

TheGuardian, George Monbiot: How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain http://bit.ly/2L3Qzga

⭕ 6 Dec 2018

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg privately boasted in 2017 that, because of his relationship with Michael Cohen and others, he had the pull needed to help achieve the sanctions relief the Kremlin was craving, Bloomberg reports.
⋙ Bloomberg: Putin’s ‘American’ Oligarch Privately Boasted of Trump Ties. Then He Lost Billions http://bloom.bg/2GaJ1tc
// A chance New York encounter between onetime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and a relative of Viktor Vekselberg has cost the Russian dearly.

🐣 RT @AmericanOversight NEW: We obtained records related to Assistant AG Brian Benczkowski, who previously represented the Russian entity Alfa Bank, that show he’s been recused from the Mueller investigation:
⋙ AmericanOversight: Assistant Attorney General with Ties to Russian Bank Recused from Mueller Investigation http://bit.ly/2zLHfJx

AP: Ecuador: Enough UK guarantees for Assange to leave embassy http://bit.ly/2RDfDNq

Politico: Congress looks to usurp Trump’s foreign policy powers http://politi.co/2SAegPO
// Senators are furious after the Khashoggi killing and are eager to challenge the president.

PoliticusUSA, Leo Vidal: Opinion: Mueller Hints That Mike Pence May Be Indicted Soon http://bit.ly/2E76Nnm //➔ interesting, but I’ll believe it when I see it

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen Tomorrow will be another big day in the Mueller investigation. Newsy filings are expected in two cases: Manafort (what he lied about) and Cohen (how he helped). Papadopoulos will be released from prison in Wisconsin. (And Comey has a closed-door interview on the Hill, too.)

🐣 RT @AaronBlake What William Barr has said:
1) More Clinton probes needed
2) Uranium One more worthy of investigation than collusion
3) Comey firing was AOK
4) Mueller team’s donations are too left-leaning
5) It’s okay for presidents to request specific investigations
⋙ WaPo, Aaron Blake: Trump’s new top AG pick has urged more Clinton probes and played down both Russia collusion and obstruction http://wapo.st/2AVC4q5

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Andrew McCabe, who was targeted by Trump relentlessly until Sessions fired him earlier this year just days before he was set to retire/eligible to receive a pension, opened an obstruction of justice investigation into Trump after Comey’s firing, per @CNN.
⋙ CNN, Pamela Brown and Jeremy Herb: Inside the frantic decision to open a Trump obstruction probe before Mueller got the job http://cnn.it/2REcoFC

TheAtlantic, Elaina Plott: The White House Has No Plan for Confronting the Mueller Report http://bit.ly/2FZ8XrA
// Nervous aides expect the president to lead the way, tweet up a storm—and, Rudy Giuliani promises, fight back.

DailyBeast: Senate Intelligence Committee Grilled Steve Bannon About Cambridge Analytica http://thebea.st/2Eh2S8h
// The notorious ‘psychographic’ data firm remains of interest to Senate investigators—as does the former Trump strategist.

Vice, Greg Walters and Alex Lubben: Here are the key Trump team lies Mueller’s unveiled in court http://bit.ly/2KYOP7M
// by person

TPM, Nicole Lafond: Trump’s Latest Russia Probe Critique: ‘It’s Called Presidential Harassment!’ http://bit.ly/2BUYjOI

NBC: Here’s another example of how Trump’s business presents a clear conflict of interest http://nbcnews.to/2zNOXmj
// First Read is your briefing from “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Giuliani: The Dog Ate My Counter-Report to Mueller http://nym.ag/2G1h5YJ

Newsweek, Daniel Moritz-Rabson: Giuliani Says Trump’s Written Responses to Mueller Were ‘A Nightmare,’ Contradicting President’s Claim He Did it ‘Very Easily’ http://bit.ly/2SwN5FC

Bloomberg, Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer: Kremlin Sours on Trump After Putin Snubs http://bloom.bg/2BUpVU7
● Ties ‘far worse’ than if Clinton had won, Russia lawmaker says
● Russia likely to toughen policies amid arms-control standoff

YahooFinance, Rick Newman: Trump shows the perils of a businessman-president http://yhoo.it/2FYWXq2

TIME, Ryan Beckwith: How Trump Changes His Story on the Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2BVjhNe

Vox, Andrew Prokop: The Mueller investigation has gotten closer to Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2UkV8a1 (Prokop’s summaries are always solid, well-sourced and useful)
// What we know — and still don’t know — about the special counsel probe and the president.

🔊NYT: Is Trump a Traitor? http://nyti.ms/2RzJ6aV Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt with Lawfare’s on NYT’s “The Argument” podcast

TheGuardian: Trump aide’s appearances on RT channel are focus for Russia inquiry http://bit.ly/2QD16UF
// Ted Malloch, a Trump campaign adviser, has been questioned about his relationship with the Kremlin-controlled broadcaster

WaPo: Trump’s new top AG pick has urged more Clinton probes and played down both Russia collusion and obstruction http://wapo.st/2G0i7E7
// Former attorney general William Barr has emerged as Trump’s top pick to be the nominee for the full-time AG job, The Washington Post is reporting.

Bloomberg, David Voreacos: Prepare for More Thrills From Mueller’s Russia Investigation http://bloom.bg/2AXfRb5
// The ride isn’t over yet.

NPR, Nina Totenberg: This Supreme Court Case Could Impact The Mueller Probe And Boost Trump’s Pardon Power http://n.pr/2ATSgrT

⭕ 5 Dec 2018

WaPo, Max Boot: An Israeli tech firm is selling spy software to dictators, betraying the country’s ideals http://wapo.st/2SkX3hA

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs The confrontation in the Sea of Azov represents an escalation in Moscow’s destabilization efforts in Ukraine, and what happens next will depend in large part on how the West responds to an undisguised act of aggression, writes Peter Dickinson.
⋙ ForeignAffairs, Peter Dickinson: Can the West Prevent the Slow Strangulation of Ukraine? http://fam.ag/2A2Gc7U
// Creeping Russian Aggression Cannot Go Unchecked

TheSternFacts, Patrick Simpson: Curt Weldon: Putin’s First Congressman http://bit.ly/2C0culn

VoiceOfAmerica: Top Senate Democrat Warns Trump Not to Lift Sanctions Against Russian Billionaire http://bit.ly/2G1o2sU
// Sen Robert Menendez, Oleg Deripaska

🔊 Slate’s Trumpcast Podcast, Virginia Heffernan: Those ’80s Moments That Politicized Trump http://bit.ly/2UmvVw3
// We explore why the Trump-Russia story goes back decades.

Esquire, Charles Pierce: Michael Flynn Has Been Singing the Full Score of a German Opera http://bit.ly/2AUJrOD
// Robert Mueller is clearly immortalizing his work against any White House shenanigans.

DailyBeast: Samantha Bee Destroys Sean Hannity’s Mueller Lies http://thebea.st/2RDI1Po
//. ‘What Hannity is talking about is lying to federal investigators and it is a crime,’ the ‘Full Frontal’ host said.

VanityFair, Gabriel Sherman: As the Mueller Fire Nears, Trump Ponders Jettisoning His Loyal V.P. http://bit.ly/2UkobKV
// “They’re Beginning to Think About Whether Mike Pence Should Be Running Again”

NYT, Petro Poroshenko: Putin Must Be Punished http://nyti.ms/2zJlRoi Mr. Poroshenko is the president of Ukraine
// Russia can’t be allowed to get away with its brazen aggression against Ukraine. The West needs to act.

WaPo, Randall Eliason: Michael Flynn is only the latest shoe to drop. We know others are coming. http://wapo.st/2EeSHBb

TheGuardian: EU raises funds to fight ‘disinformation war’ with Russia http://bit.ly/2Ef6ZBF
// European commission to help member states recognise work of Kremlin ‘troll factories’

Bloomberg, Timothy O’Brien: Mueller’s Flynn Memo Should Worry Kushner and Trump http://bloom.bg/2QApmqr
// The former national security adviser provided information about interactions between the presidential transition team and Russian officials.

WIRED, Garrett Graff: 14 Questions Robert Mueller Knows the Answer To http://bit.ly/2zIfTUi

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Mueller’s new Michael Flynn memo strengthens obstruction case against Trump http://wapo.st/2FYiYoY

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff and Erin Banco: Feds Target Butina’s GOP Boyfriend as Foreign Agent http://thebea.st/2rogYwg
// Paul Erickson served as accused Kremlin spy Maria Butina’s guide as she penetrated the American conservative movement. Now he’s under investigation as a Russian agent, too.

TheGuardian, Warren Murray: Wednesday briefing: Flynn a big help on Trump-Russia, says Mueller http://bit.ly/2QbBSxk
// Special counsel argues against jail term for lying to FBI … government due to publish full Brexit legal advice … and is tutoring for your children worth it?

⭕ 4 Dec 2018

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Mueller’s Sentencing Memo for Flynn Doubles as a Warning to Manafort http://bit.ly/2RwEqCY
// A heavily redacted document cites the former national-security adviser’s “substantial” cooperation as a reason for him to avoid jail. Trump’s former campaign chief may not be so lucky.

ForeignPolicy, Robbie Gramer and Lara Seligman: Trump and NATO Show Rare Unity in Confronting Russia’s Arms Treaty Violation http://bit.ly/2KVx3lZ
// NATO backs U.S. assertion that Moscow is violating a key Cold War-era arms treaty.

Newsweek, Cristina Maza: Donald Trump ‘Listened Carefully’ When Vladimir Putin Explained Russian Version of Events in Ukraine, Russian Media Says http://bit.ly/2BQx2wy

USAToday, Adam Schiff: Trump is compromised. What else is he hiding and who else knows about it? http://bit.ly/2rksIQ7

TheGuardian, Rebecca Solnit: Trump’s countless scams are finally catching up to him http://bit.ly/2E3pQP9
// The daily news drip can make it difficult to recognize the immense scale of the president’s legal troubles

NBC, Mimi Rocah and Harry Litman: Michael Cohen’s Trump Tower revelation could implicate Trump in a bribery scheme involving Russia http://nbcnews.to/2PlxxSQ
// Trump’s concealment of his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow raise a series of serious questions.

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq The level of redactions suggests rumors that Mueller is about done are far from reality.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ShannonBream BREAKING – Notable from Mueller sentencing memo on Flynn: Flynn has “assisted with several ongoing investigations” (including criminal), participated in 19 interviews with Mueller team, provided documents and communications.

Law.com, Ellis Kim: Mueller Trumpets Flynn’s Help, Says Don’t Lock Him Up http://bit.ly/2zIHF37
// Special counsel prosecutors said the former Trump national security adviser has provided “substantial assistance.”

TheAtlantic, Harry Litman: Michael Flynn’s Worse Than a Liar http://bit.ly/2SvxJkn
// The word “lie” has lost its power in the Trump era. Try replacing it with “fraud.”

🐣 RT @matthewamiller One byproduct of this filing, intentional or not, is the information is now in the custody of a judge, not just housed in the executive branch. Even if Mueller is fired, it doesn’t disappear — can all be unsealed and made public.

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Flynn ratted out Trump. He told all. ¤ That’s your headline.

🐣 RT @hsu_spencer Flynn has cooperated with at least 3 investigations, including the SCO investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Two are redacted, including a criminal investigation not handled by the Mueller team. He participated in 19 interviews with SCO/DOJ prosecutors.
Cover page: https://twitter.com/hsu_spencer/status/1070132095199182848/photo/1

≣ 💙💙 Lawfare: Document: Special Counsel Files Flynn Sentencing Memo http://bit.ly/2FZOjHM

CNBC: Special counsel Robert Mueller files sentencing memo for former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn http://cnb.cx/2rkybGE

🐣 RT @SethAbramson (OPEN THREAD) Once Special Counsel Robert Mueller files his sentencing memo in the Michael Flynn case, I’ll begin live-tweeting information about and analysis of the memo in this thread. I hope you’ll follow along and share this link with any others you think might be interested.
📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1070104187130822656

🐣 RT @DrDenaGrayson 🔥 There’s an ongoing secret fight between Mueller and someone who is fighting a grand jury #subpoena. A Trump-appointed judge recused.🤔
My best guess is that the grand jury subpoenaed @realDonaldTrump and/or his business, and Trump is fighting it. Hearing will be Dec 14.🧐
⋙ 🐣 RT @dsamuelsohn NEW – More behind-the-scenes jockeying from Mueller in the mystery grand jury subpoena fight we’ve been following that’s headed for a closed-door oral argument in the US Court of Appeals DC Circuit on Dec. 14.
Docs: https://twitter.com/dsamuelsohn/status/1069712896798666752/photo/1-2

Slate: Matthew Whitaker Hasn’t Obstructed Mueller Yet. Maybe He Remembers What Happened to Nixon’s Crooked Lawyers. http://bit.ly/2rn0ep7

DailyBeast: Roger Stone Invokes Fifth Amendment, Declines Senate Document Request http://thebea.st/2QaWB4l

TheAtlantic, David Graham: Three Trump Lieutenants, Three Different Approaches to Mueller http://bit.ly/2zItV8x
// The special counsel is expected to file documents about three of the biggest players in the Russia probe this week, highlighting their divergent legal strategies.

Politico: New White House counsel to arrive as Democrats, Mueller close in http://politi.co/2SvbHP4
// After a two-month delay, the conservative legal activist Pat Cipollone assumes will start his job on Monday, according to two sources.

ABCNews: New court filings due this week could offer ‘road map’ to Mueller probe’s next steps http://abcn.ws/2Phahp9

TheAtlantic, Mikhaila Fogel and Benjamin Wittes: Mueller Is Laying Siege to the Trump Presidency http://bit.ly/2SvcfV5
// It won’t be a single news event that takes down the president.

TheAtlantic, Nicolas Fairweather (1932): Hitler and Hitlerism: Germany Under the Nazis http://bit.ly/2ASKrT5
// The Führer’s early goals included physical education, a return to rural life, health care for all — and foreboding plans for the Jews.

BusinessInsider: Mueller is about to drop major new details about 3 of the most important players in the Russia probe http://read.bi/2SrqhqM
// Mueller office will file new court documents on Manafort, Cohen, Flynn

● The special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has reportedly told defense lawyers it is “tying up loose ends” in the Russia investigation, signaling that the ongoing probe is coming to a close.
● This week, prosecutors are also scheduled to file several new documents in court about some of the most important players in the investigation: former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
● All three men have pleaded guilty and have been cooperating with prosecutors.
● The upcoming court filings will contain intriguing new details about the nature of their cooperation and where the Russia investigation is ultimately headed.

Salon/Alternet, Matthew Chapman: Former deputy special counsel: Robert Mueller’s probe “will likely ensnare the president’s family” http://bit.ly/2E1MAzn
// “Trump was hoping to do business in Russia, and doing so would require the approval of Putin”

CNN, Stephen Collinson and Marshall Cohen: Mueller may be poised to lift the lid of his investigation http://cnn.it/2rsa0Xb

⭕ 3 Dec 2018

Alternet, Cody Fenwick: ‘Mueller has promised to lay it all out’: Former federal prosecutor explains why this will be a landmark week for the Russia investigation http://bit.ly/2ATQPtk
// Three separate events will give Mueller opportunities to drop bombshells.

JustSecurity, Ryan Goodman: Perjury Chart: Trump Associates’ Lies, False, or Misleading Statements on Russia to Federal Authorities http://bit.ly/2riRfoN

NationalInterest, Dov Zakheim: Trump’s Mueller Worries Were On Display at the G20 http://bit.ly/2Pfry24

CommonDreams, Bill Blum: 5 Reasons Trump Won’t Fire Mueller http://bit.ly/2RwWzAw
// Despite all you’ve heard about the commander-in-chief’s unfettered authority to discharge any member of the executive branch with impunity, Mueller isn’t going anywhere any time soon

1. Trump lacks unilateral authority to remove Mueller.
2. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker may lack the legal authority to remove Mueller.
3. Whitaker may defy expectations and refuse to fire Mueller.
4. Mueller can contest his firing.
5. Trump is deathly afraid of impeachment

RollingStone, Ryan Bort: Trump Kicks Off the Week With Some Light Witness Tampering http://bit.ly/2EdrC1d
// The president praised Roger Stone for refusing to testify against him and bashed Michael Cohen for cooperating

NYT, Timothy Snyder: The Cowardly Face of Authoritarianism http://nyti.ms/2G8cZhg

People need truth, which a cult of personality destroys. Theories of democracy, from the ancient Greeks through the Enlightenment to today, take for granted that the world around us yields to understanding. We pursue the facts alongside our fellow citizens. But in a cult of personality, truth is replaced by belief, and we believe what the leader wishes us to believe. The face replaces the mind.

The transition from democracy to personality cult begins with a leader who is willing to lie all the time, in order to discredit the truth as such. The transition is complete when people can no longer distinguish between truth and feeling.

🐣 RT @SenBlumenthal Lying to Congress is a federal crime & the Judiciary Committee must determine if facts were deliberately omitted or misstated to mislead & prevent us from getting to the truth. Chairman Grassley, we must have Donald Trump Jr. & other key witnesses re-appear before the Committee.
Text Block: https://twitter.com/SenBlumenthal/status/1069687227259723776/photo/1

WaPo, Deanna Paul: Trump’s latest tweets cross clear lines, experts say: Obstruction of justice and witness tampering http://wapo.st/2Phw8Nm

NYT, Michael Weiser: Why Michael Cohen, Trump’s Fixer, Confessed to It All http://nyti.ms/2UeqI9E

🐣 RT @MiekeEoyang Criminal statutes for this news cycle:
18 USC 1512 -witness tampering
15 USC 78dd-1 -FCPA
18 USC 1503 -obstruction of justice
18 USC 1505 -obstruction of Congressional proceedings
18 USC 371 -conspiracy to obstruct
18 USC 1622 -suborning perjury
18 USC 1001 -false statements

Politico, Asha Rangappa: Trump’s Moscow Deal Is Exactly What the Framers Worried About http://politi.co/2Q8uinc
// Self-dealing and foreign influence were their biggest fears for the presidency.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff And what about the terrible, completely related to Trump things, like lying to Congress to hide your business’s efforts to get Kremlin help on the Trump Tower Moscow deal, or his illegal payment of hush money during the campaign? What should he get for that?
⋙ 🐣 RT @real “Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time.” You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term? He makes up stories to get a GREAT & ALREADY reduced deal for himself, and get…..
… ….his wife and father-in-law (who has the money?) off Scott Free. He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence.

JustSecurity, Ryan Goodman: Perjury Chart: Trump Associates’ Lies, False, or Misleading Statements on Russia to Federal Authorities http://bit.ly/2riRfoN

Newsweek: Donald Trump Is ‘Compromised’ Just as Michael Flynn Was, Rep. Adam Schiff Says After Michael Cohen’s Russia Revelations http://bit.ly/2U9aAWV

ChicagoSunTimes, Linda Chavez: As if we did not know: Trump’s love affair with Putin was all about the money http://bit.ly/2BQdW9Y

PBS/AP: AP fact check: Trump’s claims on Russia probe, Michael Cohen http://to.pbs.org/2QcG8Nc

TheAtlantic, Andrew Kragie: House Democrats Shift Their Focus From Collusion to Leverage http://bit.ly/2KQ9P0n
// Michael Cohen’s guilty plea has raised the specter that Russia had compromising information on President Trump related to his business dealings during the campaign.

ChicagoTrib, Noah Feldman: Commentary: How Michael Cohen’s guilty plea clearly links Trump to Russia http://trib.in/2zFUj2M

WaPo Factchecker, Meg Kelly: The president’s misleading statements on Trump Tower Moscow: A timeline http://wapo.st/2AN9c3d

USAToday: Putin trip to Washington to meet with President Trump is now ‘out of question,’ Kremlin says http://bit.ly/2G14nZV

Axios: Mueller spokesman says Manafort memo will be made public http://bit.ly/2riaNtl

TheGuardian, Jill Abramson: The Mueller investigation is closing in on Trump http://bit.ly/2KRdf3a
// What a catalogue of rogues – and what a tantalizing pile of clues. Surely we will soon know where all this leads

Salon, Bob Cesca: Here’s how Trump’s proposed Moscow project is even dirtier than it looks http://bit.ly/2RxfTh3
// Just another real estate deal, you say? Not quite: Trump’s deal with a Kremlin-owned bank was blatantly illegal

NBC, Ken Dilanian and Tom Winter: Think President Trump seems rattled now? There may be more to come http://nbcnews.to/2rjMafV
// Analysis: A series of court filings in the next few weeks may shed light on what Mueller has learned from people who were once in Trump’s inner circle.

VanityFair, TA Frank: Is This It?: A Trump-Hater’s Guide to Mueller Skepticism http://bit.ly/2SqV6vo “Even if the special counsel presents one hell of a report, Democrats must ask: was it worth it?” [duh, yes]
// Mueller’s comportment suggests a man who’s fallen prey to the same state of mind that warped Ken Starr—namely disgust over the people you’re investigating and a desire to justify the sunk capital. Even if the special counsel presents one hell of a report, Democrats must ask: was it worth it?

YahooNews, Michael Isikoff: Mueller preparing endgame for Russia investigation http://yhoo.it/2ALq9Lr

TheWeek, Matthew Walther: The crisis Mueller is sowing http://bit.ly/2U9dj2o

TheHill: Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll: 61% say Trump should sign measure protecting Mueller to avert government shutdown http://bit.ly/2DYDZgB

TheHill: Corsi files complaint with DOJ alleging misconduct in Mueller probe http://bit.ly/2QtsBjF

Newsweek, Christina Zhao: Fox News Panelist Says Mueller ‘Might Have Something’ and ‘Things Are Starting to Seem a Little Weird’ http://bit.ly/2KPFlff

LawfareBlog, Benjamin Wittes: What a Judge Should Ask Mueller About Trump’s Tweets http://bit.ly/2BOWItz

NBC, Allan Smith: Trump hailed Roger Stone for standing up to Mueller. Some legal experts said that’s tampering. http://nbcnews.to/2Eci4Uk
// The president spoke out after his former associate said that he would never testify against him.

Axios, Garrett Graff: Mueller’s breadcrumbs suggest he has the goods http://bit.ly/2DYgg04

CNN, Elie Honig: Mueller is about to have his say — in a big way http://cnn.it/2QfO9B6

WaPo, Greg Sargent: After the latest Mueller news, these corrupt Trump moves look much worse http://wapo.st/2KSJ7Em

USAToday, Peter Zeidenberg: Mueller is building a conspiracy case that’s likely to ensnare Trump and his family http://bit.ly/2U9bbaU

🐣 RT @jonathanchait Gee, do you think maybe he got some bad news from his lawyers this morning? https://twitter.com/jonathanchait/status/1069622793657085953/photo/1
// four Trump tweets

AP: DC, Md. officials ready with subpoenas in Trump hotel case http://bit.ly/2rj9TNx

🐣 RT @RonaldKlain Hey, look: Our President is using his “executive time” to live tweet a showing of Godfather 2.
🐣 RT @gtconway3d File under “18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512”
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal George is right. This is genuinely looking like witness tampering. DOJ (at least with a nonfake AG) prosecutes cases like these all the time. The fact it’s done out in the open is no defense. Trump is genuinely melting down, and no good lawyer can represent him under these circs
🐣 RT @KenDilanian Even for the president, this is new territory. Will we see it quoted in a future report on obstruction and witness tampering?
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about “President Trump.” Nice to know that some people still have “guts!”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 To a large degree, Trump reached the W.H. without a thorough vetting. His taxes, his biz deals, and his mob ties received little scrutiny in 2016. His admin’s scandals have been mostly ignored by Republicans. Now Dems have an opportun­ity to remedy this.
⋙ MotherJones, David Corn: Which Investigations Will the Dems Launch First http://bit.ly/2Eccxgw
// Jan-Feb issue, They will have plenty of targets to choose from come January.

CNN, Josh Campbell: Mr. President, if you’re attacking the FBI, you’re losing http://cnn.it/2zzJ1NC

🐣 RT @RichardHaass There is a pattern to the foreign policy of @realDonaldTrump. We have seen it w N Korea, NAFTA, and now China. He creates a sense of crisis, compromises, and both claims he accomplished more than he did and deserves credit for having defused the crisis that he largely created.

⭕ 2 Dec 2018

🐣 RT @craigunger If anyone doesn’t understand what Putin is getting from Trump, here’s a big part of it. Fiddling while Rome burns, he does nothing as Russia threatens Ukraine.
⋙ 🐣 RT @anders_aslund Needless to say, the clueless Trump administration has not said a word about this. Does the US administration actually exist under Trump?
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 Ukraine’s Pres Poroshenko says that Russia has around 80,000 Russian troops, 1400 artillery and missile systems, 900 tanks, 2300 armored vehicles, about 500 airplanes and 300 helicopters around occupied Donbass and Crimea. All week Putin has been escalating w words and actions
📌 https://twitter.com/olgaNYC1211/status/1069324100492058625

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Apparently, Putin wasn’t satisfied with his little #G20Summit2018 chat, because today #Russia’s state media is still roasting Trump: he is “clumsy,” “morose,” “defensive,” “brought dissonance to the #G20Summit,” “wasn’t prepared for a meeting with Putin,” “had nothing to say.” ©

MotherJones, Mark Follman: The Mueller Investigation Grows More Ominous for Trump and His Inner Circle http://bit.ly/2FX986N
// Revelations from Michael Cohen’s latest plea deal bode badly for Trump world.

WaPo: Cohen’s guilty plea suggests Russia has ‘leverage’ over Trump, top Democrat says http://wapo.st/2FVKR0O Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)

🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 Just a reminder.. ¤ Russia looks like it’s preparing for war against Ukraine and the Trump regime as well as Republicans delayed the damaging sanctions package which was supposed to go in effect in Sept/Oct until next year.
This will have a devastating effect not just for Ukraine

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 “Trump hid from voters one of the most significant conflicts of interest in the modern history of U.S. political campaigns.”
⋙ MotherJones: Here’s Evidence of Collusion: Trump’s Lawyer Discussed Business Deal With Putin’s Office http://bit.ly/2UehQAO
// 11/29/2018, Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress and reveals that Trump’s company hooked up with Moscow.

PoliticusUSA: Timeline Shows Trump Pals Lying About Colluding With Wikileaks http://bit.ly/2U73nqe

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson When Roger goes on national television and lies about not being in contact with the Trump legal and political team, he’s hoping you won’t ask about the cutout Trump uses to reach him these days. ¤ Yes, I informed the Mueller team. You’re welcome!

🐣 RT @StratSentinel #Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said #Russia has deployed “more than 80,000 troops, 1,400 artillery and multiple rocket launch systems, 900 tanks, 2,300 armored combat vehicles, 500 aircraft and 300 helicopters” along their common border.
⋙ Stars&Stripes/AP: Ukraine cites massive buildup of Russian forces along border http://bit.ly/2Q56Ret

CNN, Marshall Cohen and Tal Yellin: How Trump Tower Moscow fits into Russian interference ~ Timeline http://cnn.it/2AT0q3V

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Putin’s Media Roasts Trump: Russia ‘Should Spit’ on Him and the United States http://thebea.st/2U4gx7v
// The on-again-off-again non-meeting with Putin at the G20 was played for laughs in the Kremlin’s official media—but with an angry edge.

⭕ 1 Dec 2018

Salon, Lucian Truscott: Get ready for Mueller’s end game http://bit.ly/2DXSWzp
// Mueller signaled this week that he’s ready. Is Trump?

Slate, Dahlia Lithwick: This Was the Week the Mueller Probe Switched from ‘What If’ to ‘What Else’ http://bit.ly/2Pf1S5J
// Real-world conspiracies don’t unravel neatly. But this is a week we’ll look back on.

Politico, Jack Shafer: Week 80: Mueller Crashes Trump’s Liars Club http://politi.co/2zA6RJi
// The special counsel continues to expose the one talent shared by all the president’s men: They just can’t seem to tell the truth.

NYT: Mueller Exposes the Culture of Lying That Surrounds Trump http://nyti.ms/2reBTBA

DisinfoPortal [EU]: Kremlin Watch Briefing: The EU has to start taking pro-Kremlin disinformation seriously http://bit.ly/2RAa4za
// undated

JustSecurity, Bob Bauer and Ryan Goodman: Yes, Collusion: The Legal Significance of the New Mueller Revelations http://bit.ly/2FQr8zx

Bloomberg, Shannon Pettypiece: Trump World’s Russian Entanglement Captured by One Day in June http://bloom.bg/2BKfdiW
● Talks about building a Moscow tower, dishing dirt on Clinton
● A day in 2016 is a window into the contacts Mueller is probing

TheGuardian, Tom McCarthy: ‘Mueller knows a lot’: Manafort and Cohen moves put Trump in line of fire http://bit.ly/2zAreWI
// The striking subtext of the ‘bombshell’ week was the realization of just how much evidence the special counsel has collected

PBS: Trump aides caught in web of deception over Russia contacts http://to.pbs.org/2zBoCaQ

TIME: Defense Secretary Mattis Accuses Russian President Putin of Trying to ‘Subvert Democratic Processes’ http://bit.ly/2DVG251

Politico, Kyle Cheney: Cohen claims ‘regular contact’ with Trump legal team when crafting false statement to Congress http://politi.co/2DVxKdq
// The president’s former personal lawyer seeks leniency in a new court filing amid cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller.

BuzzfeedNews: Michael Cohen Says He Bravely Turned On Trump So Doesn’t Deserve Jail Time http://bit.ly/2Q77UL3
// Cohen plans to “re-point his internal compass true north toward a productive, ethical and thoroughly law abiding life,” according to his lawyers.

AP, Eric Tucker: Trump aides caught in web of deception over Russia contacts http://bit.ly/2reyDGv

LawfareBlog, Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes: There’s a Lot Going On in Michael Cohen’s Sentencing Memo http://bit.ly/2SpXsuM

NYT, Quinta Jurecic: Robert Mueller Is No Match for Fox News http://nyti.ms/2StCpYn
// The evidence from the special counsel’s investigation is already damning, but it must contend with a haze of lies, confusion and “alternative facts.”

WaPo, Dan Balz: Mueller’s probe has produced a rogues’ gallery of liars http://wapo.st/2AHGdOb

DailyBeast, Justin Miller: Cohen: Trump Knew I Called Kremlin for Help With Trump Tower Moscow http://thebea.st/2Rt3wCr
// The president downplays his knowledge of the project, but his ex-fixer says he knew a lot—and that a cover-up before Congress was crafted while talking to Trump’s lawyers.

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti THREAD: What does Michael Cohen’s sentencing submission tell us about his cooperation against Trump and the potential involvement of others in his criminal conduct? (Short answer: A lot more than you might expect)
📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/renato_mariotti/status/1068786624606101504

DailyBeast, Justin Miller: Cohen: Trump Knew I Called Kremlin for Help With Trump Tower Moscow http://thebea.st/2Rt3wCr
// The president downplays his knowledge of the project, but his ex-fixer says he knew a lot—and that a cover-up before Congress was crafted while talking to Trump’s lawyers.

TheGuardian, Yanis Varoufakis and David Adler: We shouldn’t rush to save the liberal order. We should remake it http://bit.ly/2AH35NK
// The UN security council, the IMF, the World Bank and the ILO were conceived as agencies of change – they can be again

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT, Adam Nagourney: George Bush, 41st President, Dies at 94 http://nyti.ms/2Q7skDp

⭕ 30 Nov 2018

💙💙 MSNBC, Rachel Maddow Show: Lifting Russian sanctions key to Trump deal exposed by Cohen http://on.msnbc.com/2Q6szP3
// Rachel Maddow shows how the Trump Organization’s continued pursuit of a Trump Tower Moscow deal into the 2016 campaign, exposed by Michael Cohen this week, explains Donald Trump’s soft stance on sanctioning Russian entities, including the bank that would finance the Trump Tower deal.

Slate, David Lurie: How Devin Nunes Helped Robert Mueller http://bit.ly/2PeBOaW
// The House Intelligence Committee chair may have unintentionally assisted the special counsel in building cases against Trump associates.

TheIntercept, James Risen: Donald Trump’s Lies Are Giving Way to the Truth http://bit.ly/2Qubi1D

MSNBC, Rachel Maddow Show: Lifting Russian sanctions key to Trump deal exposed by Cohen http://on.msnbc.com/2Q6szP3
// Rachel Maddow shows how the Trump Organization’s continued pursuit of a Trump Tower Moscow deal into the 2016 campaign, exposed by Michael Cohen this week, explains Donald Trump’s soft stance on sanctioning Russian entities, including the bank that would finance the Trump Tower deal.

WaPo: Senate Intelligence Committee has referred cases of suspected lying to Mueller http://wapo.st/2zAnjsL

DailyBeast, Matt Lewis: Conservatives, Prepare Yourself Now for What Mueller May Find http://thebea.st/2QphLv1
// How we react in the aftermath of the special counsel’s findings will determine the future of the Republican Party and, possibly, the country.

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger If you believe Cohen, then [sic] Russians knew Trump was lying and Trump knew that they knew. That’s leverage.
⋙ WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Was Trump compromised? Is he still? http://wapo.st/2DSnsei

NYT, Katie Rogers: Trump’s Book Club: A President Who Doesn’t Read Promotes the Books That Promote Him http://nyti.ms/2zz2YUX

BuzzFeedNews, Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold (May): Trump Moscow: The Definitive Story Of How Trump’s Team Worked The Russian Deal During The Campaign http://bit.ly/2Q6PnhR
// 5/17/2018, On the day of the third Republican presidential debate, Trump personally signed the letter of intent.

RFE/RL: Trump Defends His Russian Business Efforts As ‘Very Legal & Very Cool’ http://bit.ly/2DToNBq

WaPo, Aaron Blake and Colby Itkowitz: Trump has flouted the rules before. But his dealing in Russia is a new level of brazenness. http://wapo.st/2SkXT9v

AP, Chad Day: Mueller is back – and so are questions about Trump, Russia http://bit.ly/2AG9QQ3

NBC: Lawyer: Cohen’s statements do not contradict Trump Jr. on Russia deals http://nbcnews.to/2Q9mz8B
// “I have no concerns about Donald Trump Jr.’s information,” said his attorney, Alan Futerfas. “He was open, straightforward, forthright and honest.”

WeeklyStandard, Stephen Hayes: How Trump’s Lies About Russia Were Exposed http://tws.io/2Q60ckl
// Not by his critics but by his closest advisers.

NYT, Bret Stephens: Scent of the Russians http://nyti.ms/2RthKU0
// There’s a connection between Cohen’s guilty plea and Ukraine’s desperate plight.

NBC: Trump, Russia spar over why he ditched Putin meeting http://nbcnews.to/2SogstI
// Earlier, a Russian official had expressed skepticism with the U.S. explanation that the situation in Ukraine had driven the president’s decision, not “the domestic political situation in the U.S.”

NYT: Whitaker’s Ascent at Justice Dept. Surprised Investigators of Firm Accused of Fraud http://nyti.ms/2AFufVh

NYT: Dodging Friends, Chased by Legal Troubles, Trump Navigates G-20 http://nyti.ms/2DUTLcn

CNN: Cohen believed Trump would pardon him, but then things changed http://cnn.it/2zBm2lv

Bloomberg: Russia’s Peskov Shares 2016 Emails From Ex-Trump Lawyer Cohen http://bloom.bg/2U1no1p

🐣 RT @djrithkopf This G20 represents an astonishing turnabout in America’s international fortunes. Our president sits on its periphery, a shattered and despised figure for most, friend only to the small clique of autocrats and murder[er]s defiling it with their presence.
LATimes, David Rothkopf: The G-20 will showcase a rogue President Trump and a no longer ‘indispensable’ U.S. http://lat.ms/2DTXSp1

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: There’s No Right to Jail a President in the Constitution Because The Founders Never Imagined a Crook Like Trump http://thebea.st/2zyjt3E
// Is this what the presidency of this republic is supposed to be: the safe haven of a scoundrel, a witness protection program for a liar and lawbreaker?

🐣 RT @NBCPolitics Cohen plea deal thrusts years of Trump Tower Moscow ambitions back into the spotlight.
⋙ NBC: Scuttled Trump Tower Moscow project back in limelight after Cohen guilty plea http://nbcnews.to/2reQr4v
// Trump associate and convicted felon Felix Sater told NBC News that he discussed a plan with Cohen to give a penthouse in the proposed Moscow skyscraper to Putin.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Some things are a hard, long path with a lot of false starts, twists, turns, and resistance. ¤ And then it just all starts rolling and you wonder how you ever thought it couldn’t happen.

Vox, Aaron Rupar: Trump once said he had “no dealings with Russia.” Now he claims “everybody knew” about them. http://bit.ly/2SjMfvy
// Trump has dramatically moved the goalposts about his contacts with Russia. Here are the receipts.

🐣 RT @KaivanShroff Trump nervously watching his bosses at #G20
https://twitter.com/KaivanShroff/status/1068652920239996929/photo/1
// tags: Trump watching Putin and MBS and Putin

FiveThirtyEight, Perry Bacon: The Two (Or Three) Senators To Watch In 2019 http://bit.ly/2BKL17f “Collins-Gardner-Murkowski-Romney … is the coalition I’m watching in 2019”

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri “This is a man who has no value system…he’s infantile” and “worships dictators, and murderers” ¤ “That this man is a patriot, I’m sorry, I don’t buy it” – Ret. Colonel Ralph Peters 💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1068649097593319424/photo/1

🐣 RT @20committee I’m gonna enjoy watching Trump’s gaggle of idiots go to jail. But I’m really gonna enjoy all the asset forfeiture.
⋙ 🐣 RT @FrankEichmann @20committee I have high hopes that asset forfeiture is in Trump’s future. ¤ Question: By not completely separating himself from TrumpOrg in Jan/17 did Trump increase the likelihood that he could lose more assets?

CNBC, Tucker Higgins: Russians tease Trump for canceling his G-20 meeting with Putin, blame US politics, not Ukraine http://cnb.cx/2U2PYzA
● Senior Russian officials publicly chided U.S. President Donald Trump following his announcement on Thursday that he would no longer meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during the G-20 summit of world leaders in Argentina.
● Officials questioned Trump’s justification for scrapping the meeting at the last minute and dismissed the notion that the diplomatic development would be a setback for Russia.
● In the federal assembly, Russia’s legislature, top foreign policy lawmakers accused Trump of conducting “Twitter anti-diplomacy” and said that the forgone meeting is a lost opportunity “not for Putin, but for Trump.”

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Trump Lied About His Very Legal and Very Cool Russia Deals for No Reason http://nym.ag/2FQpzBU

Vox, Aaron Rupar: Trump once said he had “no dealings with Russia.” Now he claims “everybody knew” about them. http://bit.ly/2P9vVM0

Vox, Alex Ward: Michael Cohen’s guilty plea proves the House GOP’s Russia investigation was a sham http://bit.ly/2E7tdW9
// Republicans didn’t have all the facts. They ended the probe anyway.

WaPo: ‘Very legal & very cool’: Trump dismisses criticism of his 2016 business project in Russia http://wapo.st/2SkmbQZ

Vox, Aaron Rupar: Michael Cohen’s plea deal shows that Russia did have something on Trump http://bit.ly/2Q2g0Es
// Putin’s spokesperson knew Cohen lied to Congress — and helped him cover it up.

TheGuardian, David Smith: Trump calls Russia deal ‘legal and cool’ as Mueller inquiry gathers momentum http://bit.ly/2E3u8Ha
// Michael Cohen’s confession casts the president himself as a pivotal figure in Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling

BBC, Anthony Zurcher: Trump-Russia: Five big things Mueller is looking at http://bit.ly/2ANk8ht

CNN, Stephen Collinson: Mueller starts to piece together Russia puzzle in most significant move yet http://cnn.it/2SnGcGC

WSJ: Matthew Whitaker Knew of Fraud Allegations at Company He Advised http://on.wsj.com/2FRBjnM
// Documents show now-acting U.S. attorney general regularly emailed with firm’s CEO

WSJ: Mueller Bores Into Trump Adviser Roger Stone’s Ties to WikiLeaks http://on.wsj.com/2RrZGK6
// Special counsel’s probe into possible collusion with Russia concentrates on 2016 leaks of Clinton emails

🔄 NYT: Robert Mueller and His Prosecutors: Who They Are and What They’ve Done http://nyti.ms/2SlolzT

Observer, John Schindler: As Trump Panic-Tweets, Putin Cracks His Whip and Shows Him Who’s Boss http://bit.ly/2FPsoD7

Reuters: World leaders set to convene Argentina summit clouded by disputes http://reut.rs/2KLEwUo

⭕ 29 Nov 2018

WaPo: THE SWAMP BUILDERS ~ How Stone and Manafort helped create the mess Trump promised to clean up http://wapo.st/2CpDdIz
// 2nd of 3-part series ‘All The Best People’

NewYorker, Jeffrey Toobin: The Legal Perils That Michael Cohen’s Guilty Plea Poses for Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2DVQeL9

WaPo, Marc Fisher: Trump borrows his rhetoric — and his view of power — from the mob http://wapo.st/2FTeAHH

WaPo, Philip Bump: Why there’s reason to question Trump’s answers to Mueller — and what that means legally http://wapo.st/2U6l2OE

RawStory, Noor al-Sibai: ‘Most of the GOP leadership has been compromised’ by Russian money: Trump biographer http://bit.ly/2SsQ4Pp

Craig Unger, author of House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia, wrote in a Reddit AMA that one of the biggest surprise in his book is how Trump has been compromised “for decades.”

In the 90’s, Unger wrote, Russians began sending money to Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), a longtime congressman who later became House Majority Leader. He also suggested that the mafia was sending money to other Republicans as well.

“I believe most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by” Russian money, the author added. “The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee run by Mitch McConnell got millions from [Soviet-born businessman] Leonard Blavatnik.”

“As for the endgame,” Unger concluded, “I think it is already [beginning] to unravel.”

TheGuardian, Richard Wolffe: After Cohen’s guilty plea, the threads of Trump Inc are fraying http://bit.ly/2KLBXlB

NYT: Trump Denies Business Dealings With Russia. His Former Lawyer Contradicts Him. http://nyti.ms/2TUPDih
// For years, the president has denied that he had any business interests in Russia during the 2016 election. His former personal lawyer now says otherwise.

🐣 RT @AngrierWHStaff
This is a good point that is often missed:
Much of the staff — even the political appointees — have no idea the depths of the depravity they’re dealing with.
I would expect to see much of the hostility towards the media to change as staff realizes the media was right.

🐣 RT @visionsurreal THREAD: ¤ Randy Credico, as many of us know, went a little berserk on Twitter last night and deleted his account. ¤ What did Credico mean when he said to @realDonaldTrump that Roger Stone “confided in me about your depraved sexual behavior”? /1 ¤ h/t ¤ @LeslieMPozsonyi 📌 https://twitter.com/visionsurreal/status/1068333729863614464
… So, are there any hints from Credico’s previous tweets that might clue us in as to what he meant by learning from Stone about ¤ @realDonaldTrump’s “depraved sexual behavior”? ¤ Yes. ¤ 3 days ago, Credico referred to Trump as a “child abuser” and “sex abuser.” /5 ¤ h/t @WSM_97
https://twitter.com/visionsurreal/status/1068333781680041989?s=20/photo/1
… Also, on 9/9/18, referring to his dog in a manner that made you realize Credico’s really talking about a certain “orange” haired “flim flam freak,” Credico churned out another possible clue: ¤ “Racist child molester” ¤ And then topped it off w/ ¤ “is toast jagoff.”/6
https://twitter.com/visionsurreal/status/1068333795114397696?s=20/photo/1
… So, point blank, is ¤ @realDonaldTrump ¤ a “child molester” as Randy Credico insinuates, and do Roger and Randy have knowledge to support that Trump molested children? ¤ We’re aware that Putin may have “kompromat” on Trump–some financial and some sexual–so what do we make of this?/7
↥ ↧
⋙ 🐣 MiamiHerald: Perversion of Justice [Series] ~ A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break. http://hrld.us/2E86R6U
// He was over 50. They were little girls. Their stories were almost identical. The evidence was substantial.

Jeffrey Epstein had a little black book filled with the names and personal phone numbers of some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people, from Bill Clinton and Donald Trump to actors, actresses, scientists and business tycoons. ¤ A money manager for the super-rich, Epstein had two private jets, the largest single residence in Manhattan, an island in the Caribbean, a ranch in New Mexico and a waterfront estate in Florida. ¤ But Epstein also had an obsession. ¤ For years, Epstein lured an endless stream of teenage girls to his Palm Beach mansion, offering to pay them for massages. Instead, police say, for years he coerced middle and high school girls into engaging in sex acts with him and others.

🐣 RT @jmclaughlinSAIS One of the most notable things learned today is that Russia knew all along when Trump was lying during the campaign in denying financial or other dealings with Moscow. The seeds of blackmail. More to wonder about re what was said during that private meeting w/Putin in Helsinki.

🐣 RT @TheHill President Trump: “I was running my business while I was campaigning. There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won, which case I would have gone back into the business. And why should I lose lots of opportunities?” http://hill.cm/wGHJwEH 
💽 https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1068422128272318464/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 “I have nothing to do with Russia!”

WaPo: Charles Krauthammer: The enduring miracle of the American Constitution http://wapo.st/2P51CpP from his upcoming posthumously published book

🐣 RT @JohnWDean Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. observed: “Politics in a democracy is ultimately an educational process, an adventure in persuasion and consent. Every president stands in Theodore Roosevelt’s bully pulpit.” Trump is a bully without a pulpit, and unpersuasive. No consent, please.

🐣 RT @ProudResister The most prophetic 2 minutes and 44 seconds in American history is: ¤ @HillaryClinton warning us about @realDonaldTrump’s ties to Russia… ¤ …8 days BEFORE the 2016 election. 💽 https://twitter.com/ProudResister/status/1068341735216959488/photo/1

💙💙 LawFareBlog (Benjamin Wittes & crew): How to Read Michael Cohen’s Latest Plea and Its Revelations About the Trump Organization http://bit.ly/2DVwoiK
// By Mikhaila Fogel, Quinta Jurecic, Matthew Kahn, Benjamin Wittes

In August 2017, … Cohen submitted a letter to the House and Senate committees regarding the Moscow Project, stating that the project was “abandoned” in January 2016 and that he did not discuss it extensively within the Trump Organization. Cohen said he had discussed the project with Trump only three times. He further stated that he never planned to travel to Russia for the Moscow Project nor planned to ask Trump to travel there. And, Cohen told Congress, though he had reached out to “the Press Secretary for the President of Russia” regarding the proposal, he did “not recall” receiving any response.

But these statements were all false, Cohen has now admitted. What actually happened, according to the criminal information, is remarkable.

📋 🐣 RT @amervoices Since 1965
Democrats (25 years in power):
3 indictments
1 conviction
1 prison sentence.
Republicans (28 years in power):
120 indictments
89 convictions
34 prison sentences.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff What Trump says: If Democrats play tough I will declassify “devastating documents.” ¤ What he means: If Democrats do legitimate oversight I will burn sources and allies by selectively declassifying info so my legal team can misrepresent it to the public. ¤ Why he’s doing it: Fear.

🐣 RT @XSovietNews Dmitri Peskov, who discussed Trump Tower Moscow with Michael Cohen, says Moscow is ready for contact with Trump. Helpful!
⋙ Reuters: Kremlin spokesman says Moscow ready for contact with Trump: RIA http://reut.rs/2Smoe71
// 11/29/2018, The Kremlin regrets U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Argentina and said Moscow is ready for contact with Trump, RIA news agency cited spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Friday. ¤ Trump on Thursday said he was cancelling a planned meeting with Putin at the G20 summit, citing the crisis in Ukraine.

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri NEW: @NicolleDWallace reports AG Rod Rosenstein appears to be still overseeing Mueller probe… ¤ “I’m told that Matt Whitaker as of this moment has not involved himself yet in any of the machinations of the Special Counsel Probe”
… “The charge brought against Michael Cohen today” has “Special Counsel Mueller’s signature on it, that went through the same office that all of the indictments” have gone through, “that’s the Deputy AG’s office” – @NicolleDWallace
⋙ 🐣 Is it technically possible for DAG Rosenstein to himself file an objection regarding the legitimacy of Whitaker’s appointment?

🐣 RT @NormEisen Friends, no coincidence that the Cohen deal implicating Trump personally in Russia contacts during campaign is announced just AFTER Mueller locked Trump in on collusion in writing–& just BEFORE Trump will be face to face with Putin. As I have said all along: Bob loves surprises

🐣 RT @TheHill Pelosi says Dems will demand language to protect Mueller in spending bill http://hill.cm/4D3ZY8b 

TheHill: CNN’s Gloria Borger: Source close to Cohen says he has ‘the goods’ http://bit.ly/2TSW31c

“And so this clearly goes beyond the Trump Tower Moscow … although that is crucial and important,” Borger said on CNN. “But if Michael Cohen is talking, and we know how close he was to Trump at certain points, how loyal he has been to Donald Trump, and we also know the things that were being asked in the grand jury.”

“I think Michael Cohen, who was the man who said he would take a bullet for the president, has now become Brutus to the president,” Borger said. “Because he has this need now to – his people say – tell the truth and come clean and is no longer in the business of protecting Donald Trump, which is what he did for all those years.” 

RawStory: Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa tells CNN Trump’s lies show Russia has kompromat over president: ‘This is a national security issue’ http://bit.ly/

NYMag, Frank Rich: Mueller’s Steady Stream of Russia Revelations Is Driving Trump Crazy http://nym.ag/2P9IZRB

NBC, Jonathan Allen: Trump’s new Russia deal defense: Just business as usual http://nbcnews.to/2TWvsjM
// Analysis: The president’s take on his financial ties to Russia has changed, from “we’ve stayed away” to “there would have been nothing wrong” with pursuing a project.

WaPo: Cohen’s plea deal renews scrutiny of Republicans’ Trump-Russia report http://wapo.st/2QuKm1K

Michael Cohen’s admission Thursday that he lied to Congress has revived scrutiny of a controversial investigative report, written earlier this year by President Trump’s Republican allies on the House Intelligence Committee, that concluded there was no evidence of a link between Trump or his associates and the Russians who sought to swing the 2016 election in his favor.

The stunning development has emboldened Democrats who have long contended that others loyal to the president — Cohen was Trump’s personal attorney for many years — also lied to lawmakers, prompting new demands that those witnesses be called back to Capitol Hill for further questioning.

USAToday: Michael Cohen, Donald Trump and Russia: Prosecutors document series of lies by president’s former fixer http://bit.ly/2AxDXZS

USAToday, Chris Truax: A web of lies and deceit: The Trump-Russia plot thickens with Michael Cohen guilty plea http://bit.ly/2FR9mME

TheAtlantic, Conor Friedersdorf: Donald Trump Gave Russia Leverage Over His Presidency http://bit.ly/2P4Swtb
// A foreign adversary has possessed potentially damaging information about the president for an extended period of time.

NYT, Michelle Goldberg: Trump Is Compromised by Russia http://nyti.ms/2BIxmO1
// Michael Cohen’s latest plea is proof.

Politico, Andrew Restuccia and Gabby Orr: Mueller stalks Trump abroad — again http://politi.co/2Sl1dkV
// White House aides hope the G-20 summit will showcase the president’s deal-making skills. But Mueller’s latest move threatens to overshadow any achievements.

🐣 RT @AltUSPressSec
♪ Here comes Mueller Clause,
Here comes Mueller Clause
Right down Mueller Clause Lane!
He doesn’t care about tweets or excuses he’ll indict you all the same!
See those handcuffs jingle-jangle all is merry & bright!
So sign your deal or die in jail bc Mueller Clause comes tn! ♪

NYT: How a Trump Lawyer, a Felon and a Russian General Chased a Moscow Tower Deal http://nyti.ms/2KHlw9G

WaPo, Eugene Robinson: Trump won’t go down without a fight http://wapo.st/2AyBfDy

WaPo Editorial: Trump’s denials about his business ties in Russia are not credible http://wapo.st/2FQSOV2

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Both the collusion and obstruction cases get stronger http://wapo.st/2zzdtHT

🐣 RT @rebeccaballhaus Investigators have emails from late 2015 and early January 2016 in which Cohen communicated with or copied Don Jr. and Ivanka and discussed the Trump Tower Moscow project. Ivanka at one point recommended an architect.
⋙ WSJ: Cohen Says Trump Stayed Involved in Moscow Tower Project During Campaign http://on.wsj.com/2Sjdsic
// Former fixer contradicts president as he pleads guilty on charge brought by Mueller team

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom Trump claims its perfectly fine to do business while he was running for President. No Mr President, it’s not fine to do business in & with a foreign power (Russia) who is helping elect you via cyber attacks on American officials, fake social media & shady business deals

RawStory: Russia ‘rejects’ Trump plan to cancel Argentina meeting and will summon president to meet Putin: report http://bit.ly/2AyGbIo

NYRB, Bernard E. Harcourt: How Trump Fuels the Fascist Right http://bit.ly/2ACs1pC

🐣 RT @matthewamiller So during the summer of 2016, Trump tried to cut a business deal with Russia while publicly attacking NATO and praising Putin, asking Russia to hack his opponent’s emails, and while his son and senior staffers met in secret with Russian government intermediaries.

🐣 RT @gregolear Ivanka sat on Putin’s fucking throne when she was in Moscow. OF COURSE she knew about the deal.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Multiple sources have confirmed to Yahoo News that Ivanka and Don Jr. were also on the Trump Tower Moscow project. ¤ One source familiar with the investigation told Yahoo News that Mueller has asked about Ivanka and Don Jr.’s work on the project.
⋙⋙ YahooNews: Mueller eyes Ivanka and Don Jr.’s work on Trump Tower Moscow http://yahoo.it/2E2s5U1

🐣 RT @allinwithchris .@neal_katyal: “I think we very well could look back on this day…as the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency” #inners
💽 https://twitter.com/allinwithchris/status/1068314477538496513/photo/1

🐣 RT @emptywheel Ferfucksake. ¤ Rudy’s bitching that Mueller made it hard for Trump to compare stories with his handler?
⋙ 🐣 RT @nytmike Guiliani attacks Mueller in statement: “It is hardly coincidental that the Special Counsel once again files a charge just as the President is leaving for a meeting with world leaders.. [Mueller] did the very same thing as the President was leaving for a world summit in Helsinki.”

TPM, Josh Marshall: They All Lied. They’re All Guilty. http://bit.ly/2zwEUSG

WaPo: ‘Individual 1’: Trump emerges as a central subject of Mueller probe http://wapo.st/2Aw4Tcg

🐣 RT @MollyMcKew I’ve said it before and I will say it again. If we’re serious about fighting corruption, illicit foreign influence, mass scale money laundering/kleptocracy, and several lanes connecting to hybrid warfare — Mueller’s taskforce will become a permanent thing.

TheHill: Wall Street Journal accidentally identifies Russian President as ‘Vladimir Trump’ http://bit.ly/2FMISvV

🐣 RT @MelissaJPeltier Look, you “No collusion!” die hards.
Putin orders Congressmen to come bend their knees to him on July 4, Sept. 11, Memorial Day. Unquestioning, they go.
Putin’s showing off. Humiliating America on the world stage.
Now, he’s publicly ordering Trump to kiss the ring.
Trump must.
⋙ 🐣 RT @pacelattin Wait, so Trump canceled the meeting with Putin and Russia just said, “nope, you are coming?” ¤ Lol

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump should be freaked out right about now http://wapo.st/2SiYxEr

🔄🐣 If you love #TrumpRussia, you may want to check out my “Investigators” Twitter list to see tweets by: Intel Community vets & alt-, investigative reporters, bloggers & podcasters and independent researchers ~ and subjects & targets
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/lists/investigators ¤ @MuellerSheWrote

🐣 RT @20committee Shorter Peskov: I said we’re gonna talk, BITCH! ¤ (In case there was any doubt who’s the top in this relationship.)
⋙ 🐣 RT @Jerusalem_Post BREAKING Russia rejects Trump’s canceled meeting, Kremlin ready for contact http://dlvr.it/QsRJl7 

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote 🔥🔥BREAKING🔥🔥 ¤ From MSNBC: Snoop DAG Rod Rosenstein is still overseeing the Mueller investigation and Whitaker hasn’t taken over the machinations according to @nytmike from the NYT. #what

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri “Donald Trump has been owned by the Russians for the long term, Donald Trump has been owned by Vladimir Putin” ¤ “This is just the tip of the iceberg” – Friend of Michael Cohen @DonnyDeutsch
💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1068284434430849024/photo/1

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen The Kremlin was caught in an apparent lie about Michael Cohen. Putin spox Dmitry Peskov acknowledged today that his office called Cohen in 2016 to discuss Trump Tower Moscow. But Peskov said last year they never replied to Cohen because “we do not react to such business topics.”
Text Block: https://twitter.com/MarshallCohen/status/1068201119267069952/photo/1

TheHill: Pelosi threatens to demand Mueller protection language in spending bill http://bit.ly/2Qqqfll

≣ Vox: Read the plea documents from Michael Cohen http://bit.ly/2DRIJEK
// Trump’s longtime lawyer has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.
⋙ GoogleDocs: Michael Cohen Guilty Plea [Document] http://bit.ly/2DTlHO110p

🐣 RT @ProudResister 3 DOMINOES IN 1 DAY:
Domino #1: Michael Cohen pleads guilty and proves Trump had dealings w/ Russia during and after campaign.
Domino #2: Deutsche Bank—which has loaned Trump $2.5 billion since 1998—raided in money laundering probe.
Domino #3: Trump tax attorney raided by FBI.

🐣 RT @ProudResister CURRENT MOOD. 😎
💽 https://twitter.com/ProudResister/status/1068259765803921408/photo/1
// funny Mueller dancing

WaPo, Rosalind Helderman and Tom Hamburger: ‘We will be in Moscow’: The story of Trump’s 30-year quest to expand his brand to Russia http://wapo.st/2r9LbPq

TheAtlantic, Ken White: Three Remarkable Things About Michael Cohen’s Plea http://bit.ly/2Rmj0rT
// These developments would, under normal circumstances, end a presidency.

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Michael Cohen Takes Mueller Inside the Trump Organization http://bit.ly/2Qpoc12
// The president’s former personal lawyer admitted lying to Congress about efforts in 2016 to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

🐣 RT @Bill_Maxwell_ What #Mueller is showing is how Russia was dangling this “dream deal” that Trump had been hopeful of for years leading up to the campaign and up to the point of Trump winning the nomination and changing the RNC official position on Russia and Ukraine. ¤ “Quid pro quo!” ¤ #TrumpRussia
Photo TTowerMoscow: https://twitter.com/Bill_Maxwell_/status/1068212007692713984/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 Also: promise of relief from Magnitsky sanctions

🐣 RT @JeffreyToobin How Michael Cohen’s plea explains @realDonaldTrump ‘s behavior in 2016. His motive was always money. My @NewYorker column. http://bit.ly/
⋙ NewYorker, Jeffrey Toobin: The Legal Perils That Michael Cohen’s Guilty Plea Poses for Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2DVQeL9

Bloomberg, Timothy O’Brien: Deutsche Bank’s Troubles Are Donald Trump’s Troubles http://bloom.bg/2SmBdWD
// The president has a long-standing business relationship and conflict of interest with a German banking giant often mired in scandal.

🐣 RT @DearAuntCrabby The last 24 hours:
Deutsche Bank raided
Feds raid Trump Tax Attorney
Cohen pleading guilty lying to Congress
Cohen implicates Trump in Russia Hotel
Manafort & Stone busted
Trump abruptly leaves tree lighting
Corsi admitted he & Stone lied to Congress
Trump cancels Putin meeting

JustSecurity, Kate Brannen and Ryan Goodman: Major Takeaways from Michael Cohen’s Plea on Trump Moscow Project http://bit.ly/2Qpm9tS

🐣 RT @mmurraypolitics While today’s Cohen plea is evidence that the Trump business empire was seeking deals with Russia well into June 2016, it is just ONE part of how Russia and its connection to Trump influenced the 2016 presidential race. ¤ Some of the other parts….
📌 https://twitter.com/mmurraypolitics/status/1068228379718094848?s=20

🐣 RT @David_Hemond No coincidence of course. Everyone is now playing hardball (for a change) but nothing is truly accomplished until we get the nut job out of power. There’s no clear way to do that as long as Republicans obstruct and back him. Still, the jig is up as far as Trump hiding who he is.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind Of course it could be a coincidence that days after Trump finally submitted his written answers to Mueller, at the same time: 1) Deutsche Bank was raided, 2) Burke’s Chicago offices were raided and papered, and 3) Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying about Trump Tower Moscow.

NBC: Senate committees scouring testimony for misleading statements in Russia probe http://nbcnews.to/2ShyAVZ
// “This is a reason people shouldn’t lie when they’re in front of a congressional investigation,” said GOP senator Richard Burr.

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom Sounds like someone is having a meltdown. For foreign adversaries this is a good time for them to be aggressive while America is in turmoil
⋙ 🐣 RT @John_Hudson AP: ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — White House: Formal meetings with Turkey, S Korea canceled; Trump will instead speak informally with leaders at G-20.

DailyBeast: Rudy Giuliani Tries to Distance Trump From Trump Tower Moscow: ‘This Was Cohen’s Deal’ http://thebea.st/2QlefSr
// The president told Mueller he abandoned the proposal by mid-2016 and didn’t know when Cohen ditched it, according to Trump’s lawyer.

NYT: Trump’s Recall of Moscow Deal Matches Cohen’s, President’s Lawyers Say http://nyti.ms/2Ro7fRI

Bloomberg, Shannon Pettypiece , Chris Strohm , and Justin Sink: What Cohen’s Plea Deal Means for Trump, His Business and Mueller http://bloom.bg/2E2Zv4T

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump should be freaked out right about now https://tinyurl.com/y9g9mhc6

TheAtlantic, David Graham: Is WikiLeaks a Russian Front? https://tinyurl.com/ybhznbxb
// The idea that the putative transparency group served as a connection between Moscow and the president’s associates is starting to become clearer.

NYT: Michael Cohen Admits Talks for Trump Over Moscow Tower Occurred Well Into Campaign https://tinyurl.com/y7wdehfp

MSNBC, TheBeat: Cohen guilty plea alleges Trump family involved in Russian outreach [Video] https://tinyurl.com/y83nbgux

Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying about his work on Trump Tower in Moscow. Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber breaks down the filing, noting it goes further in alleging Trump’s family members were “in the loop” and knew about high-level outreach to the Russian Government. Melber also notes: “Mueller has worked expertly on a parallel track with Congress because he’s now using the misstatements that people have made to Congress to buttress the Russian side of the collusion investigation”

Politico: Democrats press the case for Trump-Russia ‘collusion’ http://politi.co/2P6uJZS
// A flurry of new reports has Democrats calling the case for coordination between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Kremlin stronger than ever.

CNBC: Trump cancels G-20 meeting with Putin, citing Ukraine crisis; decision follows Michael Cohen guilty plea in Russia probe http://cnb.cx/2P7De6U
● Trump cancels his meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Argentina, an hour after he told reporters he would probably meet with the Russian president.
● Trump blamed the cancellation on the failure of Russia to return ship and sailors seized from Ukraine.
● The announcement came shortly after Trump told reporters he would probably meet with Putin — and hours after his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the president’s involvement in an aborted real estate deal in Moscow.

NBC: Democrats pounce after Cohen admits he lied to Congress about Trump Tower project in Russia http://nbcnews.to/2DSbfpW
// Some Republicans, meanwhile, said Cohen’s guilty plea doesn’t prove collusion between Russia and President Trump. .

RawStory: Giuliani loses it after Cohen flips again: ‘That son of a b*tch should have been disbarred’ http://bit.ly/2reyaEl

🐣 RT @tparti Trump repeatedly says Cohen is lying, but then adds: “Even if he was right, it doesn’t matter because I was allowed to do whatever I wanted during the campaign.”

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Federal prosecutors will tell you there’s no such thing as coincidence. German prosecutors raided Deutsche Bank just ahead of the Cohen plea hearing this morning in federal court in Manhattan.
⋙ 🐣 RT @keithboykin Trump reportedly owes between $175 million to $300 million to Deutsche Bank US. The loans were given to him despite his record of at least six bankruptcy filings. The bank even sued him for failure to repay loans. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed the bank’s records.
⋙⋙ NPR: Deutsche Bank Offices Are Raided In Money Laundering Probe http://BCNews: http://n.pr/2rbq4Mv

💙 WaPo, Manuel Roig-Franzia: THE SWAMP BUILDERS ~ How Stone and Manafort helped create the mess Trump promised to clean up [Interactive] http://wapo.st/2Qq1wxx

💙💙 WaPo: Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, pleads guilty to lying to Congress about Moscow project http://wapo.st/2DS04O0

💙💙 NYT: Michael Cohen Admits Talks for Trump Over Moscow Tower Occurred Well Into Campaign http://nyti.ms/2RnxSq9

VOA: Ukrainian President Seeks NATO Support in Russia Dispute http://bit.ly/2BEFBL3

AtlanticCouncil, Peter Dickinson (11/1): Russia Understands Ukraine’s Geopolitical Importance but Does the West? http://bit.ly/2TTZWD7
// 11/1/2018

Reuters: Russia blocks Ukrainian Azov Sea ports: minister http://reut.rs/2BD3na3
// Two Ukrainian Azov Sea ports, Berdyansk and Mariupol, are effectively under blockade by Russia as vessels are being barred from leaving and entering, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, said on Thursday.

⭕ 28 Nov 2018

🐣 RT @RVAwonk “How many people has anyone associated with the antifa movement killed? Zero.”-former FBI agent/domestic terrorism expert Michael German.
💽 https://twitter.com/RVAwonk/status/1067935923076308992/photo/1

AtlanticCouncil, Peter Dickinson (11/1): Russia Understands Ukraine’s Geopolitical Importance but Does the West? http://bit.ly/2TTZWD7
// 11/1/2018

Politico, Alex Finley: Did Someone Plant a Story Tying Paul Manafort to Julian Assange? http://politi.co/2Ax5ZEK

Luke Harding and Dan Collyns, the reporters behind the Guardian story, do not name their sources, although they claim to have multiple, and they write that they have seen an internal document from Ecuador’s intelligence service listing “Paul Manaford [sic]” as a visitor to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

While the immediate reaction to the story was a collective “Wow!”, it is fair to take a step back and remain wary. Rather than being the bombshell smoking gun that directly connects the Trump campaign to WikiLeaks, perhaps the report is something else entirely: a disinformation campaign. Is it possible someone planted this story as a means to discredit the journalists?

A number of parties in the Trump-Russia circus have an interest in discrediting the media. Russian President Vladimir Putin has solidified his power in Russia by systematically quashing the free press and controlling the message through friendly media outlets, including the likes of RT and Sputnik. Trump, too, has consistently shouted “Fake News!” at any story he doesn’t like and has made it a theme of late to refer to the media as “the enemy of the people,” a term that has been used by dictators throughout time, including to devastating effect by Joseph Stalin.

Harding is likely a major target for anyone wrapped up in Russia’s intelligence operation against the West’s democratic institutions. He has written a book about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia—literally titled Collusion, as well as numerous articles related to the case, including about the Steele Dossier, Russia’s plans to help rescue Assange from London and spirit him away to Moscow, Russia’s novichok poisoning operation against Sergei Skripal, and a slew of other “Russia-is-up-to-no-good” stories.

… [I]f, for example, the sources lied to Harding and Collyns (or if the sources themselves were lied to and thus thought they were being truthful in their statements to the journalists), or if the Ecuadorian intelligence document is a fake, the most logical explanation is that it is an attempt to make Harding look bad. This, in turn, would call into question any of Harding’s past reporting …

I find it hard to believe Harding would not go to great lengths to confirm his story. He must know he is a target for disinformation. But that is not to say it could not happen.

As of this writing, no other news outlet has confirmed the Guardian’s story about Manafort meeting Assange. So is it fake or is it real? If it is real and others confirm it, it would be damning, and many people have an interest in trying to discredit it. On the other hand, if someone managed to dupe Harding and his colleague, it would mean someone was ready to put a lot of effort into discrediting the journalists in order to sow doubt about a wide swath of reporting. In either case, someone has already primed a large audience to dismiss this Manafort-Assange story and any other information that might tie the Trump campaign to Russia. That implies more bad news is coming for Trump and Manafort.

One thing seems clear: Someone is feeling the heat.

🐣 RT @CaroleCadwalla Oh here, they are! All the gang. Hanging with main man, Ted Malloch. Or as Mueller knows him “Overseas Individual 1”. Not to be confused with “Organisation 1” (Wikileaks). From whom he was tasked with getting the hacked Russian emails for Trump ¤ @brexit_sham) https://twitter.com/carolecadwalla/status/1067930667999207424/photo/1

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Can anyone confirm in Trump bolted from the Christmas tree around the same time Credico started tweeting at him. ¤ Anyone?
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Seems to fit.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @Credico2016 [Replying to @real] Rodger Stone has confided in me that he has material on you that will put you in prison for the rest of your life and if there’s reincarnation for the next 6000 years of your life.. stay tuned
… Rodger Stone has told me stuff about you that leads me to believe that everything in the steele dossier is true in particular the golden showers
… What Roger Stone is confided in me about your depraved sexual behavior and your venal economic crimes is enough to put you in prison and then orange jumpsuit to match your hair for the rest of your fat life

🐣 RT @JackmanRadio @AbbyMartin of @EmpireFiles just put out her fantastic interview with epic political comedian @Credico2016! So many juicy tid-bits about Roger Stone, @wikileaks, The 2016 Election and much more! #WednesdayWisdom
Tweetlink https://twitter.com/JackmanRadio/status/1067956341812150272
⋙ 💽 https://youtu.be/PCCEeK0cofs

🐣 RT @ScottMStedman Here it is, folks. We had to redact portions of the letter as to not give away any details about the Papadopoulos confidant. It’s real, and federal authorities are investigating thoroughly.
Letter: https://twitter.com/ScottMStedman/status/1067922111027539968/photo/1
// Dec 2016 deal with Russians “set for life”
↥ ↧
BusinessInsider: Investigators are probing a letter that claims George Papadopoulos said he was pursuing a lucrative Russian business deal for himself and Trump after the election http://read.bi/2Rm2rfT

A Democratic source on the House Intelligence Committee confirmed to INSIDER that the letter was sent to ranking member Adam Schiff’s office earlier this month from someone who claims to have been close to Papadopoulos in late 2016 and early 2017. Two US officials also told The Atlantic that federal authorities are investigating the letter and taking its claims “very seriously.”

🐣 RT @ #Russia’s state media: ¤ “The White House made it clear that it does not intend to condemn Russia for the situation in the #KerchStrait.” ¤ #Ukraine
📌 https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1067865980888596480

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews The Russians are getting lazy: instead of coming up with their own anti-Mueller agitprop, state TV is simply translating and re-broadcasting clips from Fox News.

💙💙 DailyBeast, Kelly Weill: Jerome Corsi Told Roger Stone Wikileaks Had Dirt on Hillary’s Health. Then the Attacks Started. http://thebea.st/2QsPDqA
// Two days after the conspiracy theorist told the dirty trickster to go after Clinton’s fitness, one of their fellow Infowars contributors did just that.

DailyBeast, Erin Banco: Team Trump Had Many Ties to Israeli Intel Firm in Mueller’s Crosshairs http://thebea.st/2PYNu6O
// The company promised to use social media manipulation to get Trump elected. And several members of Trump’s inner circle were very, very interested

NYT, Ken White: Why Did Manafort Cooperate With Trump Over Mueller? http://nyti.ms/2DNYQTU
// Lawyers for Manafort and Trump engaged in a brazen violation of criminal defense norms. The move could pay off, or it could blow up spectacularly.

NYT, Cristian Farias: What Is Robert Mueller Thinking? http://nyti.ms/2SgGX3Z
// Paul Manafort may be after a pardon from President Trump, but his alleged lying to investigators may deliver far more than he bargained for.

WaPo, Harry Litman: The stunning implications of the Manafort-Trump pipeline http://wapo.st/2QmF5cM

WaPo Editorial: The Mueller investigation keeps offering important revelations. It must continue. http://wapo.st/2Ayyjqx

WaPo: Trump on Rod Rosenstein: ‘He should have never picked a special counsel’ http://wapo.st/2BE1CK0

🐣 RT @JoycewhiteVance 1/3 New reporting shows that Trump made late night calls to Roger Stone from blocked numbers during the campaign, around the time Russia was harvesting DNC emails and Wikileaks was making them public. This interests me because…
📌 https://twitter.com/JoyceWhiteVance/status/1067968133460303872
… 2/3 it’s always been hard to buy Stone’s claim he never told Trump about his communications with Wikileaks. Trump constantly “loved” Wikileaks in public speeches & Stone, the ultimate sycophant, wouldn’t have been able to resist sharing his insider knowledge…
… 3/3 if he in fact, wasn’t the source of Trump’s knowledge in the 1st place. Trump’s written answers to Mueller reportedly deny advance knowledge of WikiLeaks plans. That will be hard to maintain given Trump’s public shout outs, Stone’s involvement & new reports of their calls.
⋙ WaPo: Trump’s night-owl calls to Roger Stone in 2016 draw scrutiny in Mueller probe http://wapo.st/2KGakdy

ABCNews: Mueller asked Trump about 2016 RNC platform change regarding Ukraine: Sources http://abcn.ws/2U08RTI

💙💙 WSJ: Manafort Lied About Business Dealings, Mueller’s Team Believes http://on.wsj.com/2rbsnzd
// Statements, which the former Trump aide describes as truthful, led the special counsel to end his plea agreement

Politico Mag, Renato Mariotti: Mueller’s Targets Are Blowing Up Their Deals. He’ll Make Them Pay. http://politi.co/2FMCbtM
// The evidence is on the special counsel’s side.

VoiceOfAmerica: Possible Resolution Appears Near in Russian Agent Case http://bit.ly/2DOCemc
// Maria Butina

WaPo, Kenneth Roth: The Saudi crown prince should fear the long reach of justice http://wapo.st/2E3rRfm

🐣 RT @20committee “Seth Rich was murdered by Hillary’s death squad because he gave Assange stolen DNC emails” — utter BS which you’ve heard many times from Trumpers and FNC — was written by the SVR’s #deza squad, as I told you eons ago.
⋙ Observer, John Schindler (2017): The Kremlin-White House Lie Machine Spins Out of Control http://bit.ly/2SlLRNn
// 8/8/2017, Moving on from DNC staffer Seth Rich, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is the next victim

AP: Kremlin says it expects Putin-Trump meeting to go ahead http://bit.ly/2SgwZ2x

WaPo, Alexander Vershbow: Will Trump let Russia take the Azov Sea? http://wapo.st/2P9RA6O

NYPost: Donald Trump threatens to declassify ‘devastating’ docs about Dems http://nyp.st/2r9Yv6k

Politico: Trump suggests, without evidence, that Mueller is encouraging witnesses to lie in Russia probe http://politi.co/2KFGtSx

💙💙 TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand and Scott Stedman: Papadopoulos’s Russia Ties Continue to Intrigue http://bit.ly/2KFimmN
// The former foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign boasted of a Russia business deal even after the election, according to a new letter under review.

WaPo, Deanna Paul: How Mueller can use the Manafort plea to get around the White House — if he wants http://wapo.st/2E3KCPF

🐣 RT @CaroleCadwalla NEW: Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation about to explode on @nigel_farage’s doorstep. A leak from a draft legal doc indicates his associate Ted Malloch was told by key Trump advisor, Roger Stone, to “get to Assange” & “get the pending Wikileaks” emails
⋙ TheGuardian: Trump adviser sought WikiLeaks emails via Farage ally, Mueller document alleges http://bit.ly/2QqSGjh
// Ted Malloch was allegedly passed request to get advanced copies of emails stolen from Trump’s opponents by Russian hackers

🐣 RT @OlgaNYC1211 We have a lot to be worried because Trump will not act. Currently there are reports of Russia blocking entry and exit around the Sea of Azov as well as military movement along Ukraine’s border

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: Sensing Defeat, Trump Cries ‘Witch Hunt’ http://thebea.st/2BEucei
// A princeling who’s literally lived in a golden tower for most of his adult life is not good with stress. And there’s a lot of stress on him now, and much more coming.

💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ DailyBeast, Will Sommer: Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi Pushed Seth Rich Lie After Privately Admitting Hackers Stole DNC Emails http://thebea.st/2AvXhqn

🐣 RT @JakeTapper In the midst of Special Counsel Mueller pressuring Manafort, the president brazenly sends a signal to him:
⋙ 💙💙 NewYorkPost: Trump says pardon for Paul Manafort still a possibility http://nyp.st/2KFEb5S

🐣 RT @DrDenaGrayson Corsi’s confidential draft court documents were “anonymously” sent to @realDonaldTrump’s lawyer 2 weeks ago. Trump’s ringer for Acting AG, Matt Whitaker, started 3 weeks ago.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RebeccaBallhaus New: Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow two weeks ago received an anonymously sent packet of court papers relating to Corsi that included the draft plea document. The legal team notified the DOJ—and complained that Trump was named in the draft.
⋙⋙ WSJ: Jerome Corsi Says Roger Stone Sought ‘Cover Story’ for 2016 Tweet http://on.wsj.com/2FNhVrW
// Former ally says Trump adviser asked for his help to create ‘alternative explanation’ for tweet foreshadowing 2016 release of Clinton emails

🐣 RT @KenDilanianNBC The conversations that Manafort’s lawyers had with Trump’s lawyers are not privileged, legal experts tell me. So in theory, Mueller could haul them all before the grand jury and make them testify under oath about them. Whether he will do that is another matter

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Jeff Flake says oversight of Mueller probe was given to Matthew Whitaker, “somebody who is in an acting capacity, somebody who has not been confirmed by the Senate. Should we here in the Senate be okay with that? I would argue no, we can’t be.” (via ABC) 💽 https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1067841804165361664/photo/1

DailyBeast, Asawin Suebsaeng and Scott Bixby: Trump and Jerome Corsi Have a Defense Agreement, Giuliani Says http://thebea.st/2FM7Rj1
// The president and the birther are on the same side—and it’s not the first time either.

Bloomberg: Trump Feels No Urgency to Choose New Attorney General, Sources Say http://bloom.bg/2QoNY5D

🐣 RT @joshscampbell Exclusive: Trump told special counsel Robert Mueller in writing that Roger Stone did not tell him about WikiLeaks, nor was he told about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son, campaign officials and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton
🐣 RT @TravisAllen02 BREAKING: Trump told Special Counsel Bob Mueller he didn’t know about his son meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower & Roger Stone didn’t tell him about WikiLeaks. ¤ We got him! ¤ Two counts of lying to the FBI right there!
🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Whoa. ¤ Whoa. ¤ Trump drew a line in the sand. ¤ He had better hope Mueller doesn’t have something that contradicts these denials or that’s all she wrote.
⋙ 🐣 RT @amandawgolden CNN Exclusive: President Trump told Mueller in writing that Roger Stone did not tell him about WikiLeaks, nor was he told about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son, campaign officials and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton
🐣 RT @KFILE NEW: Donald Trump told Robert Mueller in writing that Roger Stone did not tell him about WikiLeaks, nor was he told about the 2016 Trump Tower, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
⋙ 💙💙 CNN: Exclusive: Two key answers from Trump to Mueller http://cnn.it/2RmwLqw
⋙⋙🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote How odd it’s the same story Corsi and Stone are telling. I wonder if this is one of the many lies from Manafort. Wouldn’t be surprised. It’s like a RICO Pardon Circle Jerk up in here.

🐣 RT @AltUSPressSec This is a great find. ¤ Manafort didn’t realize who you followed on Twitter was public, so he ended up leaking info, including his mistress’s ID (as well as membership in a Manhattan swinger’s club.) ¤ Manafort’s mistress was in London at time of an alleged Assange meeting.
⋙ 🐣 RT @z3dster Can’t confirm she was there with Manafort but can confirm that Manafort’s mistress was in London February 2015! ¤ These tweets are from her food blog:
https://twitter.com/z3dster/status/1067670259891621888/photo/1

🐣 RT @McFaul Our post-truth world, summarized in one soundbite.
⋙ 🐣 RT @rebeccaballhaus Trump tells @PhilipRucker @jdawsey1 of the Fed: “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind So far this morning, Trump has retweeted this and a tweet from a VP parody account, and threatened the largest US automaker again. Happy Wednesday!
https://twitter.com/Amy_Siskind/status/1067795311870001154/photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw HELLO!! Even defenders of an “absolute” & “unbounded” pardon power admit (as they must) that OFFERING a pardon IN EXCHANGE for a big favor to POTUS would be a federal crime (BRIBERY) and an impeachable offense. Manafort’s pipeline from Mueller to Trump was one HUGE favor. QED.

🐣 RT @brianklaas Trump’s America Alone foreign policy is simultaneously emboldening despots while alienating America’s long-standing allies. It creates riskier gambits from autocrats (like Putin in Ukraine or the Saudis with Khashoggi) right as Trump is splintering the transatlantic alliance.

NYT: Trump’s Lawyer Raised Prospect of Pardons for Flynn and Manafort http://nyti.ms/2r6ZEvu

🐣 RT @Billbrowder Putin and Trump will apparently “continue their discussion from Helsinki” at the G20 in Argentina….hmmm….doesn’t bode well for me, @McFaul and the 10 other Americans who worked on the Magnitsky Act
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto New: President Trump will discuss security and regional issues with Vladimir Putin when they meet this week at G20 in Argentina, national security adviser John Bolton said at WH briefing. “I think it will be a continuation of their discussion in Helsinki,” he said.

CNBC: Putin says Ukraine provoked Russia into ship seizure as part of a ‘dirty game’ http://cnb.cx/2ArcvNa
● Ukraine is responsible for instigating a dispute with Russia in which the federation seized several Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
● Russia ramped up its dispute with Ukraine on Sunday when it seized three Ukrainian navy vessels and their crew members in the Kerch Strait.
● Ukraine said the incident was an “act of aggression,” while Russia said the ships had entered its territorial waters illegally, an allegation Putin repeated.

🐣 RT @20committee How different does US history, 2010-present, look when you accept that WikiLeaks is a Kremlin spy front rather than the independent “privacy organization” it unctuously claims to be? ¤ We’re about to find out c/o Bob Mueller & Friends. ¤ PS people should have listened. 📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/20committee/status/1067759488948682752

≣ Vox, Sean Illing: How fascism works http://bit.ly/2SnrqzF transcript of interview with Yale philosopher Jason Stanley on his new book

🐣 RT @BrennanCenter “John Roberts, for all his many faults and biases, is not going to play Trump’s dirty game,” argues Brennan Center fellow @JustADCohen.
⋙ BrennanCenter: Trump vs. John Roberts http://bit.ly/2FMreIE
// 11/26/2018, A showdown is coming between the president and the Court. And the Chief Justice isn’t going to play Trump’s dirty game.

⭕ 27 Nov 2018

🐣 RT @gelles NEW: .@carlbernstein reports Mueller’s team has been investigating a 2017 meeting between Manafort and Ecuador’s president in Quito in 2017, and has specifically asked if Wikileaks or Julian Assange were discussed in the meeting.

Newsweek, Robert Reich: Trump is Violating the Three Basic Principles of the Rule of Law http://bit.ly/2RmNKZQ

Vox, Matt Yglesias: Trump’s Washington Post interview shows a presidency that’s beyond satire http://bit.ly/2zuCsM6
// Go from the gut, and bring a rake.

📊 WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Manafort’s plea deal collapse isn’t the biggest development in Mueller’s probe http://wapo.st/2Qpnf93 a new poll conducted by Hart Research for the nonpartisan group Law Works found that 76% of voters want Mueller to be allowed to finish his work

Newsweek: Donald Trump Says the EU Was Set Up in Order to Hurt the United States http://bit.ly/2E2jFf4

WashingtonTimes, Guy Taylor and Ben Wolfgang: ‘Zero-sum game’: Russian aggression tests Trump, U.S. power http://bit.ly/2r9vckr “Russia under Mr. Putin fears encirclement and seeks to undermine U.S. power in the world”

Politico: Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows vying to defend Trump on key committees http://politi.co/2P68AuH
// The Freedom Caucus leaders are running for positions on the Judiciary and Oversight panels.

🐣 RT @JillWineBanks Tonight on @TheLastWord I said Manafort might be a double agent.- trying to work for Mueller and Turmp while really only caring about himself. On @11thHour @FrankFigliuzzi1 just said Manafort was a triple agent. I forgot about his work for Russia. Frank is right.

🐣 RT @_JakubJanda TOLD YOU: ¤ Sigmar Gabriel basically is another Schroeder, e.g. traitor working for Russian interests. ¤ When we were pointing out his work for Russian interest when he was the German Foreign Minister, almost nobody believed us. ¤ @20committee @edwardlucas
⋙ DerTagesSpiegel: Sigmar Gabriel beteiligt sich an Beraterfirma http://bit.ly/2FOmh1V
// Sozialdemokraten aus Österreich und Deutschland gründen ein Unternehmen in Berlin. Beteiligt sind auch Sigmar Gabriel und Werner Faymann

🐣 RT @juliaioffe Spokesman for Vladimir Putin says he doesn’t know what it would take for Russia to return Ukrainian ships and sailors captured in the #KerchStrait. [link, Russian)

NYT: Trump Lobs Insults at Special Counsel One Day After Prosecutors Say Manafort Lied http://nyti.ms/2FJ8d9O

NYT, Harry Litman: What Was Paul Manafort Thinking? http://nyti.ms/2SbSmlI
// There’s no good explanation for why he lied to Mueller.

[Manafort] will proceed directly to sentencing, in connection with which Mr. Mueller will provide the court with detailed proof of Mr. Manafort’s lies during the aborted cooperation period.

That means evidence of the truthful answers to the questions lied about. Considering that Mr. Manafort’s cooperation almost certainly had to involve the highest targets and most important evidence, that memorandum will be a treasure trove of as-yet-unknown fruits of Mr. Mueller’s investigation, particularly into the possible connection of the campaign with Russian meddling in the election. …

[T]he memorandum may be filed under seal, but even so, it operates as a hedge against the possibility that Mr. Mueller’s report might eventually be bottled up at the Department of Justice, for example under the order of Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. It will ultimately be for the court, not Mr. Whitaker, to unseal the document.

🐣 RT @justinjm1 Mueller appears to have caught Manafort and Trump conspiring—in real time 📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/justinjm1/status/1067617514593705984
// numbers in tweets are dates

🐣 RT @Will_Bunch Bombshell report on Manafort, Assange – if confirmed – puts an end to Trump’s 2 years of all-caps ‘NO COLLUSION’ lie and new pressure on House Dems to take bolder action. The legitimacy of U.S. democracy might not hold out until 2020’s election. My column
⋙ PhillyInquirer, Will Bunch: Could Paul Manafort, Julian Assange bombshell be the beginning of the end for Trump? http://bit.ly/2ztyL9N

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw Mueller draft doc connects Stone-Corsi plot to Trump campaign and Donald J Trump by name: ¤ Says Corsi “understood [Stone] to be in regular contact with senior members of the Trump Campaign, including…Donald J. Trump” with goal to get docs “relevant to the presidential campaign”
Text Block: https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1067608266946035713/photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw Dangling the prospect of a presidential pardon in return for a co-conspirator’s pretending to flip so as to become the president’s secret eyes and ears in the office of the special counsel investigating the president is blatant obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

WaPo, Dana Milbank: The truth is finally catching up with Trump http://wapo.st/2zu858F “It is too late to undo much of the damage caused by Trump’s deceptions. But recent days give hope that, though limping and bedraggled, the truth still is the truth.”

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti THREAD: What does today’s news that Manafort’s attorneys briefed Trump’s attorneys about what he told Mueller after he agreed to cooperate tell us? 📌 https://twitter.com/renato_mariotti/status/1067596208825348096
⋙ ≣ WaPo: Draft Jerome Corsi statement of offense [Document] http://wapo.st/2zs3nbK
// A document prepared by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team as part of plea talks with conservative author Jerome Corsi allege that he alerted longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone in early August 2016 that WikiLeaks planned to release material damaging to Hillary Clinton.

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade and Mimi Rocah: The Worst Thing Manafort Could Do Is Lie to Mueller. So Why Did He Do It? http://thebea.st/2BDg0SD
// As a cooperator, Trump’s ex-campaign chairman was dangerous to other targets. As a liar, he could be utterly destructive.

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff and Erin Banco: Manafort’s Lawyers Look Nervous, Veteran Attorneys Say http://thebea.st/2RkNE4U
// His lawyers said he ‘believes’ he’s been ‘truthful’ in response to Mueller’s allegation of repeated lying.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote 1/ What did we learn today? We learned that mueller has evidence that Stone, who was communicating with Trump, asked Corsi to ask WikiLeaks what they had. We also know Corsi sent Malloch (@peterjukes and I were just talking about him) to find out what Wiki [got from] GRU. 📌 https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1067610070844813312
… 2/ Then we learned that a week later, Corsi told Stone Wiki had dirt on HRC that they were releasing in October 2016. So we have a direct link between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, and Mueller has proof. (He wouldn’t ask without it)
… 3/ Then we learned Manafort’s plea agreement blew up because he was feeding intel from the Mueller investigation to Trump. We were wondering why Manafort didn’t signal his plea agreement by ending his Joint Defense Agreement. This is why. Seems like obstruction.
… 4/ Now we wonder why Stone or Corsi haven’t been indicted. Is Whitaker blocking, or was Mueller delaying the Manafort sentencing filing to wait for Trump’s answers to come in to see if they match? I think both. And if we Stone indictments get blocked,
… 5/ We could get a full explanation in the Manafort sentencing document likely coming in December. Whitaker can’t block that. And we would eventually learn Whitaker blocked it. More obstruction…
… 6/ And finally, don’t forget! Was Manafort promised a pardon in exchange for the intel swap? It’s only Tuesday, folks. If you’re not listening, it’s a good time to start! #beans

🐣 RT @tribelaw My sense has been that Mueller cut Manafort loose on learning that the similarity of his lies and Trump’s was no coincidence but a result of illicit cooperation between them and part of a scheme in which Manafort would later be pardoned. I note that @maddow had a similar thought

💙💙 WaPo: Corsi provided early alert to Stone about WikiLeaks release, according to draft special counsel document http://wapo.st/2BC0AxP

💙💙 NYT: Manafort’s Lawyer Said to Brief Trump Attorneys on What He Told Mueller http://nyti.ms/2E1Rvkv

🐣 RT @DrDenaGrayson 👇BINGO👇 ¤ Mueller easily nailed Paul Manafort for LYING after he cut his plea deal (yet kept his cooperation agreement with @realDonaldTrump), which is why Trump is FREAKING OUT. ¤ Trump just gave his written answers to Mueller that likely were coordinated with Manafort’s LIES. 🤣
⋙ 🐣 RT @BrianStelter “If I were Trump, I would be unnerved that Mueller’s office knows enough about the facts of this case to say ‘you’re lying.’ How do they know that? Who told them? What documents do they have? What tapes do they have? THAT has gotta be unnerving” — @JeffreyToobin 💽 https://twitter.com/brianstelter/status/1067229148249186305/photo/1

NBC: Mueller has emails from Stone pal Corsi about WikiLeaks Dem email dump http://nbcnews.to/2DZSP7v //➔ Corsi scrubbed those emails ~ or thought he had!
// “Word is (Julian Assange) plans 2 more dumps…Impact planned to be very damaging,” Jerome Corsi said in email to Stone, say draft court documents.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Why are people just *assuming* Manafort is pardon-proof vis-a-vis state charges for the conduct he’s charged with in federal court? Gamble v. U.S., to be argued in SCOTUS this Dec. 5, urges the Court to end that weird “separate sovereigns” exception to the double jeopardy ban.

USAToday: Russia inquiry: House Democrats aim to unmask Trump Jr.’s blocked call http://usat.ly/2TO577L

CNBC, Kevin Breuninger: Trump suggests he has inside information on the Russia probe, hours after Mueller said former campaign chief Manafort violated plea deal http://cnb.cx/2DPEjyn
● President Donald Trump fumes against special counsel Robert Mueller in a tweet storm, claiming his probe of Russian interference is “ruining lives.”
● Trump’s attack echoes the salvos against the investigation recently launched by right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, who claimed a day earlier that he has rejected a plea deal offered by Mueller.
● The attacks also highlight lingering questions about the possibility of Trump granting pardons to some of the special counsel’s targets — a notion the president’s own lawyer appeared to entertain Tuesday.

Vox, Andrew Prokop: The past 24 hours in Trump-Russia news, explained http://bit.ly/2P6jK2x
// New developments about Mueller, Manafort, and Corsi.

WaPo: President Trump’s full Washington Post interview transcript, annotated http://wapo.st/2Q0t39u
// President Trump sat for an interview Tuesday with The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey. Below is the full transcript, with key segments highlighted for fact-checking and analysis.

💙💙 CNN: Stone’s efforts to seek WikiLeaks documents detailed in draft Mueller document http://cnn.it/2rgZXEh
// by By Sara Murray and Katelyn Polantz

By August 2, 2016, Corsi was emailing Stone to predict that WikiLeaks had more document dumps in the works. Stone has said he spoke with Trump the following day, August 3.

In the summer of 2016, Stone allegedly asked Corsi to get in touch with WikiLeaks “about materials it possessed relevant to the presidential campaign that had not already been released,” according to the draft filing. “Get to [Assange],” Stone wrote on July 25, 2016, three days after Wikileaks dumped thousands of Democratic National Committee emails. According to the documents, Stone directed Corsi to get in touch with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, was blasting publicly the documents stolen in the Russian hack, and “get the pending [Wikileaks] emails.”

Corsi then passed that request on to Ted Malloch, a London-based consultant. Malloch said he spoke to the FBI this year and said was asked specifically if he had visited the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He had not, he said. Stone also said he has never met Assange.

“Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging,” Corsi wrote, according to the draft document. “Time to let more than [the Clinton Campaign chairman] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton]. That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke — neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle.”

🐣 RT @camanpour #BREAK Ukraine’s President @poroshenko tells me that “based on our intelligence information, including those we received from our NATO sources,” Russia is concentrating large numbers of troops along the Ukrainian border. “We have all the evidence of that,” he says. 💽 https://twitter.com/camanpour/status/1067498129384124416/photo/1

🐣 RT @sarahkendzior Exactly. He’s not stupid; he’s arrogant because he’s been able to commit crimes with impunity for decades. Instead of facing scrutiny he was rewarded by dictators, mafiosos, and the GOP. His dirty history was known yet he was treated like a regular campaign manager by the media.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AndreaChalupa When everyone was laughing at Manafort for being so corrupt and stupid, then what does that make us, having allowed him to run a major presidential campaign?

CNN, Carl Bernstein and Devan Cole: Mueller investigating 2017 meeting between Manafort and Ecuador’s President http://cnn.it/2FTXXvs

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump’s weakness begets Russian aggression http://wapo.st/2AoZnZ4

🐣 RT @20committee Nothing happens in & around Ecuador’s London embassy that UK CI doesn’t know about — and what they know, USG knows. #FVEY 101. ¤ Not even counting all their own intel which Ecuador has been sharing on Assange, whom they despise and can’t wait to hand over to HMG. ¤ Get it yet?

WaPo, Paul Waldman: It looks like a big day for collusion. No wonder Trump is raging. http://wapo.st/2Armcva

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw VERY BIG Scoop: “Manafort held secret talks with Assange”
A meeting occurred around March 2016.
late Feb: Manafort pitches Trump to join campaign
Manafort long time friend Roger Stone recommends hiring Manafort
late March: Trump officially hires Manafort
🐣 RT @MalcolmNance BOOM: Here it is. CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. The Direct Bridge to the Trump campaign was a Russia-Wikileaks-Trump expressway. #LockHimUp
🐣 RT @selectedwisdom Wow This is a major revelation, OMG – Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy | US news | The Guardian
🐣 RT @20committee Paulie Walnuts is so, so screwed. So are Stinky Rapey & Cheeto Jesus. ¤ I’m sure there a LOTS of legit reasons to secretly visit the Kremlin’s favorite “privacy advocate” and not sign the embassy guest log. Especially when you’re Trump’s campaign manager.
🔥 ⋙ 💙💙 TheGuardian: Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy, sources say http://bit.ly/2TQTRaH
// Trump ally met WikiLeaks founder months before emails hacked by Russia were published

🐣 RT @real The Phony Witch Hunt continues, but Mueller and his gang of Angry Dems are only looking at one side, not the other. Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie. Mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue….
… …The Fake News Media builds Bob Mueller up as a Saint, when in actuality he is the exact opposite. He is doing TREMENDOUS damage to our Criminal Justice System, where he is only looking at one side and not the other. Heroes will come of this, and it won’t be Mueller and his…
… ….terrible Gang of Angry Democrats. Look at their past, and look where they come from. The now $30,000,000 Witch Hunt continues and they’ve got nothing but ruined lives. Where is the Server? Let these terrible people go back to the Clinton Foundation and “Justice” Department!

🔆 This❗️⋙ BBC, Anisa Subedar: The godfather of fake news [Interactive] http://bbc.in/2DMg1VV
// Meet one of the world’s most prolific writers of disinformation

⭕ 26 Nov 2018

WaPo, Paul Waldman: The list of Trump associates indicted, convicted or pleading guilty could be about to grow longer http://wapo.st/2Qgc5n5 Jerome Corsi, author of “Where’s the Birth Certificate?: The Case that Barack Obama is Not Eligible to Be President,” may be next

WaPo, Anne Applebaum: Russia’s latest attack on the Ukrainians is a warning to the West http://wapo.st/2zvljSD

🔄💙💙 RFE/RL: Ukraine-Russia Crisis Live Blog http://bit.ly/2BzqEKg

BBC, Jonah Fisher: Why Ukraine-Russia sea clash is fraught with risk http://bbc.in/2zreama

Brookings/Project-Syndicate, Kemal Derviş and Caroline Conroy: Nationalists of the world, unite? http://brook.gs/2AsdFbz //➔ Steve Bannon does Europe

🐣 RT @RichardEngel From a top former military official I know on Ukraine. Sobering. “Definitely Putin probing. He thinks POTUS is pretty distracted and between holidays and Mueller, might be a good time for a further land grab. This could get VERY ugly.”

Newsweek: Russian Military Is Preparing for ‘Worst-case Scenario’ as Donald Trump Considers Leaving Nuclear Treaty http://bit.ly/2TOiAw4

TheWeek: Canada condemns ‘Russian aggression’ toward Ukraine amid Black Sea standoff. Trump threatens NATO. http://bit.ly/2DVOS3y

NYT: Russia-Ukraine Fight Over Narrow Sea Passage Risks Wider War http://nyti.ms/2FHHSch

NPR: Russia’s Seizure Of Ukrainian Ships Is An ‘Outrageous Violation,’ Haley Says At U.N. http://n.pr/2PXQiB9

NBC, Allan Smith: Trump offers advice to Mueller on what he should include in final report http://nbcnews.to/2Kyrx8B
// The president wondered in a tweet if the special counsel would write a “preamble” to his report detailing what Trump alleges are conflicts of interest.

TIME, Jim Stavridis: President Trump Could Help Stop a War Between Russia and Ukraine — But Only If He Will Stand Up to Putin http://bit.ly/2DN8KVW Admiral Stavridis (Ret.) was the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO

Vox, Alex Ward: Russia just openly attacked Ukraine. That could mean their war will get worse. http://bit.ly/2DMOKmg
// Why attacks on Ukrainian ships amount to the greatest — and scariest — escalation in years.

DefenseNews/AP, Joe Gould: US lawmakers urge Trump to arm Ukraine, break silence on Russian blockade http://bit.ly/2KywRZy Eliot Engel (D-NY), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rob Portman (R-OH)

WaPo: The same day tensions with Russia mount, Trump lashes out at Putin’s rivals over money http://wapo.st/2BzYQ8C

TheHill: Trump on Ukraine-Russia conflict: ‘We don’t like what’s happening either way’ http://bit.ly/2TNRUM8 “either way”?

StarTrib: Trump fails to single out Russia in Ukraine spat http://strib.mn/2TMlly5

🐣 RT @AngrierWHStaff Guys, for everyone pushing the “OMG Manafort is expecting a pardon” line, you’re probably right, but you’re also missing something: ¤ Mueller doesn’t need Manafort any more than he needed the answers to Trump’s questions. ¤ He. Already. Has. The. Answers.

🐣 RT @tribelaw More likely: He’s been led to believe Trump will pardon him (more witness tampering!) or he’s scared to death of what Putin might do to him or his family if he spills the truth @matthewamiller @chrislhayes @Lawrence
⋙ 🐣 RT @matthewamiller Manafort is either an incredibly stupid criminal or he’s protecting some secret so big that he’s willing to spend the rest of his life in jail to keep the world from discovering it.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ZoeTillman NEW: Special counsel’s office claims Paul Manafort lied to the FBI and to Mueller’s office “on a variety of subject matters” after signing a plea deal, in breach of the agreement. Manafort disputes that characterization. More soon.
Document: https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman/status/1067205775355990017/photo/1-2
⋙⋙⋙ DocCloud, Mueller: Manafort Status Report http://bit.ly/2QkBsUx

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Mueller Just Guaranteed He Can Issue a Public Report http://bit.ly/2znKnLi

NYT: Manafort Breached Plea Deal by Repeatedly Lying, Mueller Says http://nyti.ms/2r8aBNg

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Jerome Corsi tells me that Mueller has offered him a plea deal on one count of perjury, but that he’s not going to take it because it would require him to sign a statement saying he knowingly and willfully lied, which he still denies. And much more. Story to come.

━━━━━━━▼ Ukraine escalation live @12:01am
🐣 RT @hthjones Just waking up? Here’s what you’ve missed
-Ukraine say Russia opened fire 16 times, and in 9 cases “used weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements”
-USAF RQ-4 Global Hawk drone tracked over Black Sea early this morning
-Canada calls “on Russia to immediately de-escalate”

🐣 RT @majaEUspox Escalating tensions in the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait have. We expect Russia to restore freedom of passage at the Kerch strait and urge all to act with utmost restraint to de-escalate the situation immediately

🐣 RT @Liveuamap General Staff of Ukraine: all armed forces units are on combat alert following decision of NSDC https://liveuamap.com/en/2018/26-november-general-staff-of-ukraine-all-armed-forces-units … #Ukraine
https://twitter.com/Liveuamap/status/1066943713232994309/photo/1

🐣 RT @loogunda 08:16 #Horlivka: They have shot enough – the internet goes down. Feniks [=RU-run ‘DNR’ mobile operator] don’t let me down at least now
💥🐣 RT @loogunda 08:10 SW #Horlivka: A couple of ka-booms
💥🐣 RT @loogunda 07:29 #Donetsk: I can hear them [=ka-booms] too. Somewhere close to the #railway station

━━━━━━━▲

⭕ 25 Nov 2018

NYT: Ukraine, After Naval Clash With Russia, Considers Martial Law http://nyti.ms/2r4jyY9

RFE/RL: Kyiv Says Russia Attacked Ukrainian Navy Ships, Seized Three In Black Sea http://bit.ly/2FIPZp3

🐣 RT @ Ray_net_ua Poroshenko said that he supports the introduction of martial law throughout Ukraine. Tomorrow the Verkhovna Rada will consider the decision to introduce martial law in closed mode. ¤ The Law on the EAP restricts the rights of Ukrainian citizens and cancels elections of the president and Rada-

🐣 RT @IanBrzezinski This is not a provocation but military aggression by Russia against Ukraine. Putin is testing the West’s resolve. The West’s response should include sectoral economic sanctions and transfer of more lethal assistance to Ukraine – including anti-ship missiles.

🐣 RT @Biz_Ukraine_mag Putin has been waging war on Ukraine for four-and-a-half years but this attack is still a watershed moment. Russia is no longer trying to hide its aggression. Instead, it is attempting to justify it
⋙ 🐣 RT @AndreaChalupa The difference is that these are not “little green men without insignia” or “Russian-backed rebels.” This is Russia, out in the open, attacking Ukraine. They’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

🐣 The “Party Line” iow b.s.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Dpol_un [Dmitry Polyanskiy] We asked for emergency #UNSC meeting tomorrow at 11.00 to discuss dangerous #Ukraine provocations in the sea of #Azov and #Kerch Strait near #Crimea threatening international peace and security

🐣 RT @chessninja Ding. As we said in 2008 after Putin invaded Georgia, and 2014 when he invaded Ukraine. The West could have defended them both at almost no cost because Putin would never have risked military confrontation with NATO. But eventually he may get bold & desperate enough to want that.
⋙ 🐣 RT @gkhelash Without Western commitment to strengthening the perimeter of fledgeling democracies along Russia’s (Baltics, Ukraine, Georgia), Russia will take us down one by one. Strengthening only NATO partners consolidates the dividing line and helps to form a Russian zone of influence. 📌 https://twitter.com/gkhelash/status/1066829032589795328

WaPo: In the United States, right-wing violence is on the rise http://wapo.st/2By7O6b

Salon, Talia Lavin: How the Russian concept of “info-noise” can help American outlets cover Trump http://bit.ly/2BvyQLh
// Substantive policy changes can — and should — be kept separate from statements that are merely inflammatory

TheHill: Haley: UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Ukraine-Russia tensions http://bit.ly/2FFFDGl

Politico: Gowdy: Avoid ‘carnival’ by taping Comey interview for public to see http://politi.co/2TJ85u6

NYT, Ben Rhodes and Jake Sullivan: A Chance to Repair America’s Image Abroad http://nyti.ms/2P0yMqv
// Democrats can use their new power in the House to check the Trump administration’s recklessness and advance their own foreign policies.

TheGuardian, David Taylor: ‘He has moved incredibly quickly’: Mueller nears Trump endgame http://bit.ly/2KvFXXd
// A new urgency surrounds the Russia investigation, with Donald Trump Jr and longtime Trump ally Roger Stone in legal peril

🐣 RT @RichardHaass Timing may not be everything, but it can be a lot. While this statement by Potus would be unwelcome any day, it is especially unfortunate today given new Russian military action against Ukraine as it signals Putin he has little to worry about from a divided distracted West.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Europe has to pay their fair share for Military Protection. The European Union, for many years, has taken advantage of us on Trade, and then they don’t live up to their Military commitment through NATO. Things must change fast!

RusEmbUSA November 21: Russia is warning everyone that the responsibility for possible further aggravation of the situation in the Azov Sea-Kerch water area lies with Ukraine and the states that support its provocative actions 
⋙ Foreign Ministry statement http://bit.ly/2THM9zk

🐣 RT @20committee No, because there was never any “Guns of August situation” even in 1914. WW1 came because major powers (Russia, Austria-Hungary) consciously chose war, with pushing from others (Germany, UK). There was no “misunderstanding” at all. That’s ahistorical BS.
[⋙⋙ XXCommittee: That Terrible Tuchman Woman http://bit.ly/2KwpwcZ%5D
🐣 RT @20committee 3 basic things to keep in mind:
1. NATO is still vastly stronger than Russia militarily (and every way).
2. Putin fears the steep domestic costs of any serious war.
3. Russia, however, has lots of nukes and is willing to use them tactically as NATO will not.
#KerchStrait
⋙ 🐣 RT @bumgarls But don’t we risk a Guns of August situation where things spiral out of control?

🐣 RT @nolanwpeterson This is the most dangerous moment I’ve seen in Ukraine in years. ¤ Tonight, a war that many people in America can only imagine thanks to Hollywood movies, teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real. ¤ Tonight in Ukraine we go to sleep not knowing what tomorrow will bring.

🐣 RT @CindyOtis_ We still need a lot of info about Russia’s attack on Ukraine, but it is not going out on a limb to say Moscow is absolutely taking advantage of a weakened US under Trump, a distracted EU, and a war weary NATO. It knows it can push past previous red lines with zero consequences.

🐣 RT @brianklaas International security crisis in Ukraine; US firing tear gas into Mexico; a chemical weapons attack in Syria; up to a million people in re-education camps in China; make or break moment for Brexit; brazen murder from the Saudis. Lots of dangerous threads all while Trump unravels.

🐣 RT @SamanthaJPower Very significant new aggression by Russia. Ukraine calling now for emergency meeting of UNSC.
⋙ ChristopherJM Ukrainian Navy Commander Ihor Voronchenko says his crews and vessels near the Kerch Strait are on combat alert and ready for possible assault. This is an intense and I believe unprecedented situation in the waters near the strait and Sea of Azov.

🐣 Perhaps those soldiers at the border could be redeployed to bolster Ukraine whose naval vessels just got attacked by Russia. Trump? He’s tweeting that NATO owes us money.

🐣 RT @RVAwonk Remember when Paul Manafort lobbied on behalf of the Trump campaign to remove a provision from the GOP platform that would have provided lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine? You know, weapons meant to serve as a deterrent to Russian aggression? Now is a good time to remember that

🐣 RT @BrianKlaas There is a worrying international security crisis brewing in Ukraine and President Trump is watching Fox News to see who praises him and then is tweeting his favorite quotes. [link]

🐣 RT @RikardJozwiak NATO spokesperson: “NATO fully supports #Ukraine’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity, including its navigational rights in its territorial waters. We call on #Russia to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the #AzovSea , in accordance with international law.”

🐣 RT @juliaioffe H[N?]ow’s a great time to do this if you’re Putin: the British government is a snake eating (and vomiting up) its own tail, and Trump, especially post-Khashoggi Trump (which is everyday Trump), is unlikely to say anything.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Annie_FR Serious escalation happening today off the coast of Crimea. Russia says Ukrainian Navy unlawfully entered its waters. Ukraine says its boats were attacked and fired at by Russians.

BBC: Russia ‘fires on and seizes Ukraine ships’ http://bbc.in/2r4BAcP @cnn @FoxNews @ABC @CBSNews @PBS @NBCNews @MSNBC @JoeNBC @sruhle @AliVelshi @MeetThePress @chucktodd @AriMelber @hardball @chrislhayes @MaddowBlog
@maddow @TheLastWord @Lawrence @11thHour

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews #Russia’s media reports that Russian combat aircraft are being deployed to the area of Kerch Strait, which connects the Sea of Azov & the Black Sea. The Kremlin blames the U.S. for creating a “provocation,” which is in reality another step in Russia’s escalation against #Ukraine.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Escalating levels of madness on #Russia’s state TV, as a gaggle of “experts” and officials blames @Billbrowder and Western intelligence agencies for a number of deaths, including Sergei Magnitsky and Alexander Perepilichny – and for giving cancer to South America’s presidents. 📌 https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1066736228865720322

🐣 RT @Kasparov63 Putin has been telling Russians they are at war with the US & NATO for years, recently expanding the propaganda to include the EU. Big bosses need big enemies, real or not.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MarkHertling Ukraine. A sovereign nation. One of our partners. A place where US soldiers have contributed to their security. A nation that has been brave in standing up to repeated Russian incursions. I know how the US SHOULD react to this. Will we?
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @nolanwpeterson Russia has blocked the Kerch Strait to all civilian shipping traffic, effectively blockading a key trade route for Ukraine. ¤ Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry says Russia has crossed a “red line.”

ABCNews: Mueller report will be ‘devastating’ for the president http://abcn.ws/2TJpr9Z but “I still don’t think it’s going to make a criminal case,” Dershowitz said.

🐣 RT @BillKristol If I’m not mistaken, on Monday the special counsel will submit a report on Manafort’s cooperation. I’ve got to think things will move quickly after that…

TheGuardian, Carole Cadwalladr: Who is the real Nigel Farage… and why won’t he answer my questions? http://bit.ly/2TF7gCF
// Trump… Russian TV… key witnesses in Robert Mueller’s investigation. The jokey ‘bloke with a pint’ now has a network that spreads well beyond the UK. Our reporter has spent months on the trail of Mr Brexit…

⭕ 24 Nov 2018

ForeignAffairs, Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay: The Committee to Save the World Order http://fam.ag/2OwAyDq
// Nov-Dec 20018 issue; America’s Allies Must Step Up as America Steps Down

TheAtlantic, Bradley Moss: Julian Assange Isn’t Worth It http://bit.ly/2R7TuGR
// If the U.S. government can prosecute the WikiLeaks editor for publishing classified material, then every media outlet is at risk.

BBC: British army chief: Russia ‘far bigger threat than IS’ http://bbc.in/2S9yeR5

WashingtonPress/AMJoy: Pulitzer journalist David Cay Johnston reveals the reason why Trump keeps getting played by Putin and the Saudi prince http://bit.ly/2TGPW04 “potent combination of greed and gullibility”
// “President Trump’s potent combination of greed and gullibility is one of the main reasons that his presidency is such a dangerous plight for America”

NYT Editorial: The New Radicalization of the Internet http://nyti.ms/2AghvEg
// Jihadists and right-wing extremists use remarkably similar social media strategies.

TheGuardian, Carole Cadwalladr: Parliament seizes cache of Facebook internal papers http://bit.ly/2DSXt7n
// Documents alleged to contain revelations on data and privacy controls that led to Cambridge Analytica scandal

DailyBeast, Anna Nemtsova: Inside the Mystery of the Dead Russian Spy Chief http://thebea.st/2KtxhAo
// “Natural causes” can’t be ruled out. But those include stress, and there’s no doubt Gen. Korobov of the G(R)U was under a lot of that.

ProPublica: For “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis,” @ACInvestigates looked into neo-nazi group Atomwaffen Division—including the time one of its first recruits confessed to killing his roommates and tried to warn the FBI about the mounting neo-nazi threat. https://propub.li/2PFDE9D 
💽 ⋙ PBS FrontLine: Documenting Hate: New American Nazis [Video] http://to.pbs.org/2BvKdDa
// 11/20/2018, In the wake of the deadly anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, FRONTLINE and ProPublica present a new investigation into white supremacist groups in America – in particular, a neo-Nazi group, Atomwaffen Division, that has actively recruited inside the U.S. military. Continuing FRONTLINE and ProPublica’s reporting on violent white supremacists in the U.S. (which has helped lead to multiple arrests), this joint investigation shows the group’s terrorist objectives and how it gained strength after the 2017 Charlottesville rally. [Watch the first documentary in this series, August 2018’s Documenting Hate: Charlottesville, online.]

LATimes, Paul Thornton: Trump fans, brace for a reckoning from Mueller http://lat.ms/2r2LDPi

TheGuardian, David Taylor: ‘America’s straightest arrow’: Robert Mueller silent as urgency mounts http://bit.ly/2PQujw3
// Amid concern over the future of his inquiry, the special counsel lauded for integrity has kept his customary low profile

⭕ 23 Nov 2018

TheAtlantic, Joshua Zoffer and Niall Ferguson: Mueller and a Blue House Could Bring Down Trump http://bit.ly/2KwATli
// But the president’s supporters won’t make it easy.

WaPo, Ray Madoff: We don’t know who was paying Matthew Whitaker, and that’s a problem http://wapo.st/2r1x2nc

💽 MSNBC, Brian Williams: A look back at how Mueller’s probe has shaped Trump’s presidency http://on.msnbc.com/2AtTgTx with Philip Rucker, Tamara Keith, Michael Steele, and Eugene Robinson
// Nearly 700 days into the Trump presidency, we take a look back and how Russia and the Mueller investigation have been a constant in the Trump White House with Philip Rucker, Tamara Keith, Michael Steele, and Eugene Robinson.

NewYorkPost, John Podhoretz: Why Trump will look back fondly on the Mueller probe http://nyp.st/2FRn7LB “given what’s about to happen to his administration in the newly Democratic House of Representatives”

Inquisitr, Jonathan Vankin: Trump-Appointed Judge Hands Donald Trump Bad News In Robert Mueller Russia Case, Rules ‘Collusion’ Is A Crime http://bit.ly/2r2Lifu
// A judge appointed last year by Donald Trump has rebuked Trump’s own argument that even if collusion with Russia took place, collusion itself is not a crime.

EurActive, Georgi Gortev: Experts lament underfunding of EU task force countering Russian disinformation http://bit.ly/2TIf4Uf

A year ago, 65 European security experts and parliamentarians from 21 countries signed a declaration explicitly blaming EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini for not doing what she should do to name Russia “as the main source of hostile disinformation” and for not taking adequate counter-measures.

In particular, they called on Mogherini to triple the capacity of the EEAS East STRATCOM team and give it a budget in millions of euros, so it could start implementing its mandate as stipulated by the member states and the European Parliament.

📔 RAND: Report: What Deters and Why ~ Exploring Requirements for Effective Deterrence of Interstate Aggression http://bit.ly/2r3iy6n
● Recommendations: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1066243366646632448/photo/1
// Pdf: http://bit.ly/2QjcQvt 233p

● Assess the motives of potential aggressors and ease security concerns. In Europe, this could include avoiding deployment of the most provocative U.S. systems in or near Eastern Europe, thinning Russian and Baltic forces, and working on a successor to the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.
● Work to create a context hostile to aggression. In Europe, this could include engaging in efforts to strengthen the political foundations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), reiterating commitments to Article V countries, and reinforcing the norm of nonaggression and a committed aggression response.
● Seek clarity in what the United States pledges to deter and in its reaction to aggression. In Europe, this could include reaffirming the Baltics’ Article V status and aggression response and outlining options in response to aggression (including military, political, and economic consequences).
● Take specific steps that reinforce successful deterrence criteria. In Europe, this could include promoting visits and statements of support from key U.S. leaders, strengthening and diversifying relationships with the Baltics, promoting investment from the United States and NATO and continued diplomacy, and strengthening communication and crisis management within NATO and between NATO and Russia.
● Deploy or support capabilities that signal the seriousness of U.S. commitment. In Europe, this could include working with NATO allies to fund new defensive capabilities, reinforcing existing NATO battalions in and around the Baltics, and investing in capabilities for successful combined arms operations in Europe (especially in ground force capabilities).

Law&Crime, Ronn Blitzer: Judge in Russia Case Says Collusion Could Be Enough for Criminal Charge http://bit.ly/2zk4jyE ‘…if campaign officials colluded w Russia in a way that was meant to impair, obstruct, or defeat the function of a govt agency, they could face charges…’

AP/Express-News Editorial Board: Mueller investigation should be protected http://bit.ly/2BtOLtv

TheHill: Senate Intel chair: Panel’s Russia probe will extend into 2019 http://bit.ly/2BupBew Chair Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) agree the probe will continue, but disagree on the need for public hearings, which Warner favors

TheHill: Whitaker’s post provides ample tools to disrupt Mueller probe http://bit.ly/2QdKkLU

NewsMax: Experts: Whitaker Has Other Ways to Slow Mueller Probe http://nws.mx/2OZdee3 (note: the editor of NewsMax, Christopher Ruddy, is a confidante on Trump)

TheGuardian, Kathleen Hall Jamieson et al: Cyberwar, Network Propaganda review: did Russia or the right do most to help Trump? http://bit.ly/2DWFfBZ
// Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris and Hal Roberts seek to shed light on the 2016 election

WaPo: Stone associate Jerome Corsi is in plea negotiations with special counsel http://wapo.st/2R5s6t3

⭕ 22 Nov 2018

NYT: Saudis Want a U.S. Nuclear Deal. Can They Be Trusted Not to Build a Bomb? http://nyti.ms/2DJnODL

NYT, Alexander Baunov: What Drives the Russian State http://nyti.ms/2R8Hd4P
// To understand what makes Putin and his allies act the way they do, you need to look beyond the myths.

TheGuardian, Cass Mudde: How populism became the concept that defines our age http://bit.ly/2S5cQwr
// The spread of this idea reflects a deep and lasting change in the way we view ‘the people’ and ‘the elites’

🐣 RT @IrateMillenial BREAKING: White House Turkey refuses Presidential Pardon, is now cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. 😆

ArsTechnica: Study: It only takes a few seconds for bots to spread misinformation http://bit.ly/2TAy4nl
// Just six percent of bots on Twitter accounted for 31 percent of bad information.

🐣 RT @Comey Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans. I’m still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a “closed door” thing because I’ve seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let’s have a hearing and invite everyone to see.

TheGuardian, Natalie Nougayrède: A new wave of dissidents in the east can turn back Europe’s populist tide http://bit.ly/2QdNMGh

⭕ 21 Nov 2018

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade: Trump’s Direction to Prosecute Comey Could Complete the Obstruction of Justice Case http://thebea.st/2R8xkEy
// Any one of the president’s single acts against the FBI director could be written off by reasonable people, but adding on top a desire to lock him up should tip the scales.

MotherJones: The Difference Between Russiagate and Watergate: Nixon Didn’t Have Fox http://bit.ly/2zo57m4
// “It is an incredibly well-financed and a massive ‘get out the vote’ operation.”

CNN: US agency opens case file on potential Whitaker Hatch Act violations http://cnn.it/2Qi57h4

NBC/Reuters: Head of Russian spy agency accused of U.S. election hack, U.K. spy poisoning dies http://nbcnews.to/2FLprnk
// Igor Korobov, 62, who ran the spy agency since 2016, died on Wednesday after “a serious and long illness,” the Russian defense ministry said.

🐣 RT @OlgaNYC1211 Head of Russia’s GRU spy agency is reported dead ‘after a long and serious illness’. ¤ Meanwhile reports surfaced last month that Putin was fuming over his failed Skripal operation. Prosecutor Karapetyan was also found dead in a helicopter crash last month

🐣 RT @JulieDavisNews The head of #Russia’s GRU spy agency is reported dead ‘after a long and serious illness.’ Igor Korobov was 63 years old.

DailyBeast, Amy Knight (Aug): This Russian Spy Agency Is in the Middle of Everything http://thebea.st/2AZS11O
// 8/8/2018, Only a few years ago, the GRU looked like it might be dissolved. But Putin found new uses for it: covert war in Ukraine and ‘active measures’ that helped Trump get elected.

AP: Inside Trump’s refusal to testify in the Mueller probe http://bit.ly/2TwSNZj

🐣 RT @AltUSPressSec This will trigger a criminal investigation referral by OSC. ¤ Accepting “campaign donations” for a defunct campaign without intent to use them for an election violates more than the Hatch Act.
⋙ TheHill: Federal investigators probing possible Whitaker Hatch Act violations http://bit.ly/2AbKQzM

🐣 RT @McFaul Excellent ! отлично !
⋙ 🐣 RT @JulieDavisNews Yesterday’s glee is replaced by rage, as #Russia’s state TV hosts blame the US for changing the likeliest outcome & “forcing” the majority of countries to vote against the Russian candidate, who they believe would have been otherwise elected as the new president of #Interpol.

💙💙 TheHill, Brent Budowsky: After midterms, Mueller prepares blockbuster moves http://bit.ly/2qWlGRy

HollywoodReporter: John Kerry Says Ex-Hockey Teammate Robert Mueller “Would Savage the Defense” http://bit.ly/2KpE8er “Trump better get a better lawyer than Rudy Giuliani.”

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff and Spencer Ackerman: House Intelligence Panel Hiring Money-Laundering Sleuths http://thebea.st/2OWVFuO
// One of President’s biggest foes is taking steps to chase the Trump-Russia money trail.

TheTelegraph [UK]: MI6 battling to stop Donald Trump releasing classified Russia probe documents http://bit.ly/2S4FyNS

Medium, Michael McFaul: Enabling Autocrats Is Not in the American National Interest http://bit.ly/2BqHef9

TheTelegraph, Bill Browder: Putin uses Interpol to hunt down enemies like me. Will the West stand by and do nothing? http://bit.ly/2zoaS3d

⭕ 20 Nov 2018

LATimes, Harry Litman: Mueller might soon bring charges that even Trump die-hards can’t trivialize http://lat.ms/2DCQqOS “it’s increasingly likely that the full contours of his inquiry will be known to the public by year’s end”

The upshot may be allegations of “collusion,” of the sort the president has long denied. The actual charges are likely to be one of three criminal conspiracies: violating federal election laws, violating computer laws, or soliciting or receiving something of value from a foreign government. Charges, in other words, that not even the most ardent Trump die-hard could trivialize. They bring with them the possibility that Mueller might opt to name President Trump himself as an unindicted co-conspirator.

TheTelegraph, Bill Browder: Putin uses Interpol to hunt down enemies like me. Will the West stand by and do nothing? http://bit.ly/2zoaS3d

NYT, Julian Barnes: Trump’s Statement on Saudi Arabia, Explained! http://nyti.ms/2DCDiJW
// The president makes the case for the crown prince: Iran, arms sales and oil.

NYT, Mark Mazzetti and Ben Hubbard: In Pardoning Saudi Arabia, Trump Gives Guidance to Autocrats http://nyti.ms/2PKyrxe

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes A while back, @PreetBharara suggested that we build a resource page for all the Mueller probe litigations. So we did:
🔄 ⋙ ≣ 💙💙 LawfareBlog: Litigation Documents Related to the Mueller Investigation http://bit.ly/2OVch6n

WaPo: Former Bush attorney general Alberto Gonzales rebukes Trump for reportedly seeking to prosecute Clinton, Comey http://wapo.st/2OY6SeG //➔ well, praise be

🐣 RT @MaxBoot The growing inequality and social dislocation of the Industrial Revolution gave rise to radical new ideologies such as Marxism, fascism and anarchism. The Information Revolution is just as destabilizing, leading to the rise of autocratic populists. Me:
⋙ WaPo, Max Boot: Democracy is in crisis around the world. Why? http://wapo.st/2Txut9y

🐣 RT @NBCNews JUST IN: South Korean Kim Jong Yang elected President of Interpol, beating Russian Alexander Prokopchuk.

🐣 RT @MaxBoot All you need to know about @realDonaldTrump is that he’s tougher on Adm. Bill McRaven than he is on Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Or Vladimir Putin. Or Kim Jong-un.

🐣 RT @AriMelber Trump attempting to order the prosecution of Clinton and Comey is the most significant legal scandal to hit the White House since the report that Trump tried to get Mueller fired. 📌 https://twitter.com/AriMelber/status/1065005883803889664

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote OMG OMG OMG! According to my super space beans, this is the action that kicks off the dominoes. HOLD ON TO YOUR TURKIES! #beans
⋙ AP: BREAKING: Lawyer: President Trump has turned over answers to written questions in the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

ABCNews: Trump submits written responses to special counsel Robert Mueller http://abcn.ws/2OV6n5g

SpectatorUSA, John Schindler: Mueller is coming – and Trump can do nothing to stop him http://bit.ly/2PGAxhN
// What exactly Trump seeks to hide, and how Russian it is, has fallen to Bob Mueller and his cadre of seasoned investigators to unravel

TheHill: Trump says lawyers will hand over responses to Mueller questions ‘today or soon’ http://bit.ly/2FzqaYC

Vox, Andrew Prokop: The drama over Trump answering Mueller’s questions, explained http://bit.ly/2qYr8Dy
// He’s delayed for months. Will he now answer a more limited set of questions, in writing?

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Trump Wanted to Order Justice Dept. to Prosecute Comey and Clinton http://nyti.ms/2BmAjDR

LATimes, Harry Litman: Mueller might soon bring charges that even Trump die-hards can’t trivialize. http://lat.ms/2DCQqOS

WaPo, Philip Bump: With Saudi Arabia as with Russia, Trump’s view muffles his administration’s [sic] http://wapo.st/2PDDWxT //➔ I don’t know if the truncated title is a goof or a metaphor ~ time will tell

CNBC, Tucker Higgins: The legal challenges piling up against acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker could mean problems for special counsel Robert Mueller http://cnb.cx/2Trufkx
● Legal challenges against Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general have piled up in the two weeks since Trump forced out Jeff Sessions, including one case that’s already before the Supreme Court.
● If Whitaker is found to have been improperly appointed, the spillover effect could invalidate any official decisions he made while in his role – including decisions related to Mueller.
● The legal challenges, even if they are unlikely to succeed in court, could give Mueller some pause before he takes any major actions.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The unraveling is just beginning http://wapo.st/2S2OYcM

WaPo, Vladimir Kara-Murza: Putin is about to gain control of Interpol, the world’s main law enforcement organization http://wapo.st/2qUyasK Interpol is “the International Criminal Police Organization, the coordinating body for law enforcement from 192 countries”

🐣 RT @matthewamiller This is really important.
⋙ 🐣 RT @SenSchumer Did Matthew Whitaker share confidential information about Mueller’s investigation with President Trump? ¤ @TheJusticeDept Inspector General must investigate now. https://twitter.com/SenSchumer/status/1064897355231703040/photo/1-3

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: The Eerie Parallels Between Trump and the Watergate ‘Road Map’ http://bit.ly/2A7La2t
// Lawmakers thought Nixon’s gathering of inside information about the Watergate probe from DOJ was an impeachable offense.
↥ ↧
LawfareBlog, Jim Baker and Sarah Grant: What the Watergate ‘Road Map’ Reveals about Improper Contact between the White House and the Justice Department http://bit.ly/2qYhAbE
// 11/19/2019, Jim Baker is a Visiting Fellow at the Lawfare Institute, a Visiting Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, and a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. He is also the former General Counsel of the FBI. The views expressed here are his own and not necessarily those of any current or former employer.

⭕ 19 Nov 2018

💽 NBC: Mueller controversy: Trump has repeatedly broken his oath of office. Now it’s up to Congress to hold him accountable. [Video]http://nbcnews.to/2FKK03h says Corey Brettschneider, the author of “The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents.”

AmericanConservative, Bruce Fein: Whitaker is Unfit to be Attorney General, Acting or Otherwise http://bit.ly/2ToQE1T
// Beyond the unconstitutionality of his appointment, his views on judicial review and religious litmus tests should disqualify him.

HillReporter, Brian Krassenstein: The Trump/Russia Case Against Donald Trump Jr., Julian Assange and Roger Stone http://bit.ly/2PBDOPr Timeline

Bloomberg: Trump’s Business to Face Sharp Scrutiny Under House Democrats http://bloom.bg/2S53LDY
● New majority questions Trump’s financing, current involvement
● President has vowed GOP can play the investigation game better

CNN, Marshall Cohen: Fact-checking Trump’s latest claims about Whitaker and Mueller http://cnn.it/2S38MfX

Motherboard, Bruce Schneier and Henry Farrell: The Most Damaging Election Disinformation Campaign Came From Donald Trump, Not Russia http://bit.ly/2Q6hltf
// The Kremlin has been focused on undermining trust in American democracy and elections, but Donald Trump and the Republicans have done it better than Russia ever could.

DailyBeast: Bipartisan Group Calls on Trump to Oppose Russia’s Bid for Top Spot at Interpol http://thebea.st/2Q2VMtJ

WaPo, Nelson Cunningham: If Matthew Whitaker hinders the Mueller inquiry, would we even know? http://wapo.st/2BhNvcS Cunningham served as general counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as general counsel of the White House Office of Administration under President Bill Clinton

CNN: Mueller argues Whitaker appointment has no impact in ongoing subpoena fight http://cnn.it/2KgwHWN

WaPo: Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team defends legitimacy of his appointment http://wapo.st/2A61ZLc
// The special counsel’s office was responding to an inquiry from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a case brought by Andrew Miller, an associate of Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to President Trump.

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: A Former FBI Lawyer Is Dropping Big Hints About Trump Obstructing Justice http://nym.ag/2BiSaLS

WashingtonExaminer: Russia opens criminal investigation into Putin foe Bill Browder http://washex.am/2OQpX2p

Khodorkovsky: Bill Browder And Mikhail Khodorkovsky Hold Press Conference On Kremlin Interpol Favourite http://bit.ly/2qVU27i

NYT: Book Offers Firsthand Account of a Venomous Den Inside the White House http://nyti.ms/2Tlpmcu
// Maggie Haberman; the new book “Team of Vipers,” is written by Cliff Sims, a former aide in the White House communications office, is to be published in January

⭕ 18 Nov 2018

TheHill: Top House Oversight Dem Elijah Cummings says he will do ‘anything and everything’ to make Mueller’s findings public http://bit.ly/2QTadO9 on CBS’s Face the Nation

TheHill: Senator Lindsey Graham urges McConnell to allow vote on bill to protect Mueller http://bit.ly/2qR4zR7 on NBC’s Meet the Press

MotherJones, Pema Levy: Trump Now Says He Didn’t Know Anything About Whitaker’s Anti-Mueller Comments http://bit.ly/2QYyKBv
// Not according to lots of other reporting.

Fortune: Trump Claims He Didn’t Know Matthew Whitaker’s Views on the Russia Probe http://bit.ly/2Q3oMkW

TheGuardian: Republicans and Democrats pressure Whitaker not to interfere in Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2QUbdBF

● Democrat Adam Schiff: Matthew Whitaker appointment is ‘unconstitutional’
● Republican Lindsey Graham: Shutting down inquiry would be a ‘disaster’ for the party

WaPo: Trump says he wouldn’t stop acting attorney general from curtailing Mueller probe http://wapo.st/2Tn4TnN

🐣 RT @tribelaw Working secretly with a foreign government to win the presidency. It’s not what brought Nixon down — but it would’ve if it had been uncovered at the time. Worse than Watergate. With Trump, the truth might emerge sooner. How will we react? It’s up to all of us.
⋙ MSNBC: Watergate brought down Richard Nixon. Another scandal – now revealed – shows how he won the White House. http://on.msnbc.com/
💙💙 // Tune in to @MSNBC tomorrow at 9 p.m. as @maddow explores ‘Betrayal: The Plot that Won the White House’ in a special report. https://on.msnbc.com/2K9ZNXA 

🐣 RT @BillBrowder Here’s the room where Putin will attempt his most audacious operation yet: to take over Interpol so he can expand his criminal tentacles to every corner of the globe
⋙ 🐣 RT @INTERPOL_HQ In a few short hours, delegates from around the world will fill this room for the opening ceremony of the 87th INTERPOL General Assembly. #INTERPOLGA

⭕ 17 Nov 2018

NewYorker, Jane Mayer (11/17): New Evidence Emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Brexit http://bit.ly/2FzRypb
⋙ See under Entire Articles: NYer Mayer Bannon Brexit 11-17-2017

LawfareBlog, David Kris: Whitaker’s Appointment and Broader Risks at the Justice Department http://bit.ly/2BdWZG7

SaltLakeTrib: Paul Waldman: Trump’s battle to destroy the Mueller investigation is officially doomed http://bit.ly/2DLtpds

Bloomberg: Trump Says He Will Hand in Answers to Mueller Queries Next Week http://bloom.bg/2Q2dxJy
● Says not yet discussed if he’d sit for an in-person interview
● Said earlier he had finished writing responses to Mueller

💽 RCP/Hardball: Sen. Blumenthal: Mueller “Still Has A Good Deal Of Work To Do” [Video, transcript] http://bit.ly/2FsCN7v

Politico Mag, Jack Shafer: Week 78: Will the Left Get Its Revenge on Assange? http://politi.co/2DsVPbm
// A mysterious court filing hints the Wikileaks maestro, blamed by many for Hillary’s defeat, has already been secretly charged. But for what?

Axios, Jonathan Swan: Trump’s moment of truth http://bit.ly/2zezb3o “Trump has faced scant — if any — serious consequences for saying things that are not true. However, right now, in putting together his answers for the special counsel, that all changes.”

Law&Crime: Legal Expert Jonathan Turley Calls BS on Trump’s Claim He Answered Mueller’s Questions ‘Very Easily’ http://bit.ly/2qU5iRA

💽 MSNBC: Trump answers Mueller questions, could show closer to end of Russia probe [Video] http://on.msnbc.com/2Dwpd0C
// MSNBC’s Richard Lui speaks to national security attorney Mark Zaid and former prosecutor Karen DeSoto about reported Assange charges from DOJ. Plus why former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos is asking to delay serving sentence. What these developments say about Special Counsel Mueller’s timing on indictments.

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Robert Mueller Has More Questions for Longtime Roger Stone Acquaintance Randy Credico http://thebea.st/2FqIiDT
// Randy Credico, a lefty comedian and activist who has known Stone for decades, testified before Mueller’s grand jury in September, but his work with the Mueller probe is not done.

TheHill, Jonathan Turley: Mueller could turn easy Trump answers into difficult situation http://bit.ly/2RUHOY2

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ Organizations that steal and collect “dirt” on people and selectively leak them to maximize damage, encourage people to commit espionage in U.S. agencies, and knowingly further the goals of foreign military intelligence services aren’t news media.
⋙ NYT: How the Trump Administration Stepped Up Pursuit of WikiLeaks’s Assange http://nyti.ms/2zdQORa

⭕ 16 Nov 2018

DailyBeast, Erin Banco and Betsy Woodruff: Top Cheney Aide in Mueller’s Sights as Probe Expands http://thebea.st/2FuLf6t
// Mueller’s investigators have examined an array of operatives with ties to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the UAE—including John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s former national security adviser.

🐣 RT @dklaidman .@gtconway3d was remarkably blunt-spoken and incisive in our interview. He was particularly disturbed by Trump’s attacks on the Justice Department. When we asked him whether he believed Trump was “fully stable,” he paused and the quietly said “no comment.”
🔊 🐣 RT @Isikoff In this clip from the new @SkullduggeryPod @gtconway3d explains why he formed #ChecksAndBalances and why conservatives like himself should not “stay silent” when they see core constitutional principles being violated– just because they like Trump’s judges.
Tweetlink: https://twitter.com/Isikoff/status/1063464638942244869

WaPo, Joshua Kurlantzick: Unfixable? http://wapo.st/2BdXEHD
// Several nations have tried to restore democracy after populist strongmen. It was never the same.

Reuters: Russians impersonating U.S. State Department aide in hacking campaign: researchers http://reut.rs/2FF2vpN

NBC: Alleged Russian operative Mariia Butina negotiating with prosecutors http://nbcnews.to/2QR82KP
// A document filed in federal court indicates prosecutors and Butina’s lawyers are working towards a plea agreement.

NYRB, Carole Cadwalladr: Why Britain Needs Its Own Mueller http://bit.ly/2KbAG6W

🐣 RT @MalcolmNance Made prediction that Assange will be indicted for Conspiracy to Defraud US on @Msnbc several times this summer. Also said next round of indictments will be assets in RU infowar: http://Wikileaks.org , Stone, Credico, poss Alex Nix & Cambridge Analytica & Natalya Veselnitskaya.

NYT: Prosecutors Have Prepared Indictment of Julian Assange, a Filing Reveals http://nyti.ms/2K9smEK
// by Charlie Savage and Michael Schmidt

⭕ 15 Nov 2018

USAToday, Noah Bookbinder, Richard Painter and Norman Eisen: Whitaker will break public trust and federal law if he controls Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2Q44cAJ
// Whitaker must recuse from the Mueller investigation to make clear he will fulfill his oath to serve the Constitution and not Trump’s personal agenda.

🐣 RT @SethAbramson I think Roger Stone (and possibly Trump Jr., Jerome Corsi, and Randy Credico) will be indicted very soon. Meanwhile, Mueller will continue working on Manafort, who (a) is probably the person Trump says was “threatened” by Mueller, and (b) can *bury* Trump.
[…] (PS2) We know Manafort can bury Trump because Trump implied as much to multiple friends by telephone in January ’18, per an NBC News report. And we know Trump was (Giuliani implies, improbably, still *is*) in a defense agreement with Manafort. So Trump’s tweet on “threatening”…
[…] (PS3) …was likely a freakout prompted by learning from someone in Manafort’s camp that Mueller is “threatening” to increase Manafort’s prison sentence if he doesn’t tell the truth about everything Trump did. This would also explain Trump’s more-deranged-than-usual mood. /end

Esquire, Jack Holmes: Trump Just Blurted Out, Unprompted, That He Installed His Pet Attorney General Over the Russia Probe http://bit.ly/2DKhT20
// If you wait long enough, the president will tell you outright that he did the shady thing.

DailyBeast: Facebook Hired GOP Oppo-Research Firm to Link Protesters to George Soros: Report http://thebea.st/2qX4POJ

Bloomberg, Timothy O’Brien: Trump’s Attack on Mueller Is About One Thing: Fear http://bloom.bg/2zZqTvW
// Why would the president risk adding to Mueller’s obstruction inquiry? There are bigger things at stake for him.

WaPo: Julian Assange has been charged, prosecutors reveal in inadvertent court filing http://wapo.st/2PZ5pcB

🐣 RT @JulieDavisNews #Russia’s state TV mocks and taunts the U.S./Trump admin. ¤ State TV host Evgeny Popov says: ¤ “Slight amnesia occurred on Capitol Hill, in the United States – they were promising us draconian sanctions, but forgot to impose them. Imagine that!”© ¤ #Skripal

🐣 RT @CoryBooker Results of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation so far:
☑️ 3 people sentenced to prison
☑️ 1 person convicted at trial
☑️ 6 people pleaded guilty
☑️ 35 people & entities charged
☑️ 191 criminal counts
We must pass our bipartisan bill to protect this investigation.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Mueller couldn’t tell the court who Manafort helped them roll and in what way without revealing info about an ongoing investigation. He just asked for ten day extension. That means the related indictments are likely not coming tomorrow. But by the 26th. #beans

🐣 RT @kelly2277 [VentureCapital, 3/29] Evidence to charge Trump w Treason is here. Konstantin Rykov’s confession on Facebook named Aleksander Kogan who worked w Joseph Chancellor at GSR. Rykov connected to Artem Klyushin Yulia Alferova & Emin Agalarov who were w Trump when Putin called
// 3/29/2018
📌 Thread: https://twitter.com/kelly2277/status/979403917636395009?s=20

🐣 RT @MollyJongFast It’s not like Manafort was the president’s campaign manger.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ JamieOGrady BREAKING: Mueller asks court for ten-day delay in joint status update in Manafort case. This suggests Special Counsel expects Manfort’s cooperation to come to a head very, very soon.

🐣 RT @elechner Something will happen between now and the Monday after Thanksgiving that is so helpful to Manafort and Mueller being ready to sentence Manafort that, instead of the usual “wait 60 more days to sentence,” it’s only 10 days… ¤ Could be indictments of who knows how many…

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson I’m really excited to see how much we get to stress test our Republic in the next few months.

Slate, Mark Stern: The Justice Department’s Legal Defense of Matthew Whitaker’s Appointment ~ It’s laughable. http://bit.ly/2BaMHXw

🐣 RT @MarkWarner We need to recognize that the Special Counsel’s investigation is under serious threat of political interference from this President. Heck, it’s happening in front of our eyes. It’s time for Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to #ProtectMueller.
[4 Trump Tweets:] https://twitter.com/MarkWarner/status/1063097237201399808/photo/1
⇊ ⇊
🐣 RT @real The White House is running very smoothly and the results for our Nation are obviously very good. We are the envy of the world. But anytime I even think about making changes, the FAKE NEWS MEDIA goes crazy, always seeking to make us look as bad as possible! Very dishonest!
[…] The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to our Nation and don’t…
[…] ….care how many lives the ruin. These are Angry People, including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years. They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!
[…] Universities will someday study what highly conflicted (and NOT Senate approved) Bob Mueller and his gang of Democrat thugs have done to destroy people. Why is he protecting Crooked Hillary, Comey, McCabe, Lisa Page & her lover, Peter S, and all of his friends on the other side?
[…] The only “Collusion” is that of the Democrats with Russia and many others. Why didn’t the FBI take the Server from the DNC? They still don’t have it. Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats. That’s the real Collusion!

🐣 RT @joncoopertweets As Trump hears the footsteps of Lady Justice getting closer, he’ll become increasingly unstable and paranoid. Soon he’ll be afraid to trust even his closest aides & advisers, relying only on the few people he feels will always have his back, like Ivanka & Don Jr. Dangerous times.

🐣 RT @TonySchwartz Remember when he talked about hiring the best people? Most members of this administration are not simply mediocre, they are literally D-listers, losers, miscreants, fools and extremists — people like him. We have a government run by no-nothings.
… For nearly two years, I have believed that Mueller will ultimately detail a raft of high crimes and misdemeanors committed by the man whose name I no longer use. That day is very near. It will prompt the ultimate showdown about who we are as a nation. Will good triumph?

NYT: A Look Inside the Tactics of Definers, Facebook’s Attack Dog http://nyti.ms/2Ds2brk

Politico, Darren Samuelson: ‘Preparing for the worst’: Mueller anxiety pervades Trump world http://politi.co/2KdStKV
// Half a dozen people in contact with the White House and other Trump officials say a deep anxiety has started to set in.

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: What Trump’s Latest Outburst About Mueller Could Mean http://bit.ly/2DofdWW
// The president was unusually specific in his attacks against the special counsel.

SoufanCenter: IntelBrief: Paris and the Prospects & Perils of a Post-American Order http://bit.ly/2B957HU “despite the anomalous presidency of Donald Trump … the United States continues to maintain resilient institutions and remains a leader in most areas that matter”

● As the recent World War I centenary tribute in Paris foreshadowed, the world order may be shifting, with the contours of a ‘Post-American Order’ slowly taking shape.
● The defining characteristic of a post-American world would be multipolarity, with revisionist powers like Russia and China growing more assertive, near-peer adversaries like Iran and North Korea gaining in relative strength, and traditional allies in Europe and Asia reconsidering their relationships with Washington amidst American retrenchment.
● Still, despite the anomalous presidency of Donald Trump, largely considered to be an outlier in terms of American grand strategic tradition, the United States continues to maintain resilient institutions and remains a leader in most areas that matter—military, economic, and technological.
● It is still premature to begin speaking of a ‘Post-American Order,’ although continued hegemony is no fait accompli. Likely the United States will rebound from its current morass to reclaim its role as the leading promoter of global stability and defender of human rights, democracy, and free markets.

Axios: Scoop: The millionaire funding the campaign to break up Facebook http://bit.ly/2qNEWAB David Magerman, a Pennsylvania philanthropist and former hedge fund executive

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti 1/ Journalists need to press Giuliani–does a refusal to answer the questions mean Trump is taking the Fifth as to those questions? ¤ Most likely Trump’s team will try to dodge the questions without formally taking the Fifth, which they can do until or unless Trump is subpoenaed
⋙ WaPo: U.S. judge refuses to toss out Mueller probe case against Russian firm owned by ‘Putin’s chef’ http://wapo.st/2qPZbhe plus update: Giuliani on status of Trump answering Mueller’s questions
📌 Thread: https://twitter.com/renato_mariotti/status/1063208566335709185

🐣 RT @RussiaUN #Russia could not support amendments proposed by #US to the draft res. on combating glorification of Nazism.We are against proposals aimed at justifying the Nazis and their allies, denying the danger of spread of racist and xenophobic rhetoric and ideology. @mfa_russia @RusEmbUSA
// Huh?!
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @RussiaUN Today we are facing persistent attempts to falsify and rewrite #history for the sake of political and #geopolitical benefits. In some countries the glorification of Nazism has been elevated to the level of state policy.
https://twitter.com/RussiaUN/status/1063207117837017094/photo/1

🐣 RT @BrookingsFP Russia sees AI-driven disinformation campaigns as a low-cost way to compensate for its conventional military inferiority relative to the West, writes @apolyakova.
⋙ Brookings, Alina Polyakova: Weapons of the weak: Russia and AI-driven asymmetric warfare http://brook.gs/2ThtGcH

“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”[1] – Russian President Vladimir Putin, 2017.

“A people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.”[2] – Hannah Arendt, 1978

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw The fix is in.
Senator McConnell, Nov 9, 2018:
#Whitaker “will be a very interim AG…I expect we’ll get a new nominee quickly.”
Senator Graham, Nov 15, 2018:
Whitaker and I “discussed sort of what he wants to do next year in terms of his legislative agenda.”

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind Looks like the connection between Russia and Stone to get to the Trump campaign may be coming to a US court. So [sic] wonder Trump is so crazed. Coming from all sides.
WSJ: U.S. Is Optimistic It Will Prosecute Assange http://on.wsj.com/2DGPoCz
// Over the past year, U.S. prosecutors have discussed several types of charges they could potentially bring against the WikiLeaks founder

🐣 RT @MSNBC .@MaddowBlog: Last week, Mueller stopped reporting to Rosenstein and started reporting to Whitaker. Now, Pres. Trump claims to know about the “inner workings” of the probe.
⋙ MSNBC, Steve Benen: Trump claims to know about ‘the inner workings’ of Mueller’s probe http://on.msnbc.com/2Dpt1AH

🐣 RT @FranklinFoer In summation: Facebook– a dominant source of global news and information–pays to spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and shades the truth to avoid offending Republicans.

TheAtlantic, Alexis Madrigal: When the Tech Mythology Collapses http://bit.ly/2FmokKt
// The industry’s fall from grace may feel unprecedented, but we have a model for what happens when a beloved industry fails us.

🐣 RT @kelly2277 [Venture Capital) @Facebook hired Definers Public Affairs tied to American Rising an Alt Right group and Matt Whitaker to shift blame to Soros and others- AND @Redrum_of_Crows tied them to the Russian IP matrix‼️ cc @maddow @kenklippenstein
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @kenklippenstein To portray its critics as Soros-backed, Facebook hired a PR firm called Definers Public Affairs. ¤ That firm is headed by Joe Pounder, who also runs America Rising — a right-wing oppo group Trump’s Acting AG Matt Whitaker hired for “research” in 2015-16:
⋙ TYT (11/9): Secret Documents Could Shed Light on Whitaker’s Partisan Past http://bit.ly/2qQ1xfY
According to a 2017 report in the New York Times, America Rising used the Freedom of Information Act to request emails of EPA employees deemed critical of the president and then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
According to the IRS filings, FACT paid America Rising $144,000 in 2015 and $180,150 in 2016 for “research” services.
The tax records also show FACT hired Creative Response Concepts, or CRC, the public-relations firm that touched off controversy when it was reported that they helped push a conspiracy theory to rebut a sexual assault allegation regarding Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. (TYT recently reported on CRC’s ties to Vice President Mike Pence.)
FACT paid CRC $133,324 in 2015 and $134,149 in 2016 for “public relations” services.
Although FACT’s connections to America Rising and CRC have been previously reported, TYT also found that the group’s ties with several Republican-dominated law firms show similar patterns.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kenklippenstein Definers and America Rising even list identical business addresses
https://twitter.com/kenklippenstein/status/1062869252447895553?s=20/photo/1-2
⋙ 🐣 RT @kenklippenstein Here’s the bombshell NYT report about Facebook hiring a PR firm, Definers Public Affairs, to portray its critics as Soros-backed: [link to “Delay, Deny and Deflect” article below]
Text Block: https://twitter.com/kenklippenstein/status/1062882176960737288?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @ProudResister
Nixon: Witch Hunt
Trump: Witch Hunt

Nixon: I’m not a crook
Trump: Hillary is a crook

Nixon: Obstructed justice to cover up a conspiracy led by Americans to break into the DNC
Trump: Obstructed justice to cover up a conspiracy led by Russians to hack DNC & interfere in election

🐣 RT @CIASpygirl Dear Universe,
My morning’s been rough:
Put gym clothes on inside out & didn’t realize it until after class
Set off alarm
Spilled morning beverage (related: why I can’t have nice things)
Mtg cancelled last minute
So…what I’m saying is I really need some indictments today.
thx
⋙ RT @AshaRangappa_ I could use some indictments too — it’s my birthday! 🎊🎁🎉
⋙⋙ 🐣 All I want for🎅🏼Christmas🎅🏼 this year are 🎁Indictments🎁 😇

TheAtlantic, Richard Fontaine: Trump Gets NATO Backwards http://bit.ly/2Dn8w7y
// The U.S. defends Europe out of self-interest.

CNN: Trump-appointed judge upholds Mueller’s indictment against Russian troll farm http://cnn.it/2zUPqT4

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Tin Foil Hat Beans: what if Fox, Wiki, Drudge, etc… are dark because they conspired to disseminate the Russian-hacked emails and they’re under some kind of gag order or cooperation deal? Disclaimer: these are super duper space beans (theory)

≣💙💙DailyCaller: Full Transcript Of Trump’s Oval Office Interview With The Daily Caller http://bit.ly/2OHAn4s uh …

THE DAILY CALLER: Sure. Could you tell us where your thinking is currently on the attorney general position? I know you’re happy with Matthew Whitaker, do you have any names? Chris Christie —

POTUS: Matthew Whitaker is a very respected man. He’s — and he’s, very importantly, he’s respected within DOJ. I heard he got a very good decision, I haven’t seen it. Kellyanne, did I hear that?

WHITE HOUSE ADVISER KELLYANNE CONWAY: 20 pages.

POTUS: A 20-page?

THE DAILY CALLER: It just came out right before this, sir.

POTUS: Well, I heard it was a very strong opinion. Uh, which is good. But [Whitaker] is just somebody that’s very respected.

I knew him only as he pertained, you know, as he was with Jeff Sessions. And, you know, look, as far as I’m concerned this is an investigation that should have never been brought. It should have never been had.

It’s something that should have never been brought. It’s an illegal investigation. And you know, it’s very interesting because when you talk about not Senate confirmed, well, Mueller’s not Senate confirmed.

THE DAILY CALLER: Right.

POTUS: He’s heading this whole big thing, he’s not Senate confirmed.

So anyway, I have a lot of respect for Matt Whitaker, based primarily on reputation. And I think he’s really — I think a lot of people are starting to come out very much in favor of him during this period of time.

THE DAILY CALLER: What about who will eventually replace him, sir?

POTUS: Well, I’m looking at a lot of people. I have been called by so many people wanting that job. We have some great people. In the meantime, I think Matt’s going to do a fantastic job.

🐣 RT @CheriJacobus Roger Stone likely shared his WikiLeaks advance info with Ailes and that may be why both FOX News and WikiLeaks have gone dark on twitter.
⋙ 🐣 RT @CheriJacobus “Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and longtime confidant Roger Stone coordinated with Ailes to monitor and undermine the ousted Fox chief’s perceived adversaries.”
⋙⋙ Politico, Ben Schreckinger (2017): The Widening Blast Radius of the Fox News Scandal http://politi.co/2zegSeP
// The metastasizing Ailes affair is spilling over into the politics of New York, Virginia and the White House.
// 5/14/2017

🐣 RT @NormEisen In the face of these kinds of threats and lies by Trump, how does Mitch McConnell’s refusal to allow a vote on the Mueller protection bill differ from aiding and abetting obstruction of justice?

🐣 RT @20committee Two salient points missed by most because some people want you to miss them. ¤ 1. Team Mueller has been at work for 18 months. They are veteran investigators & prosecutors, this ain’t their first DC rodeo. ¤ 2. With #natsec crimes, DoJ’s gloves really come off. No soft touches.

🐣 RT @keithboykin Sounds like somebody in Trump’s circle is about to be indicted.
https://twitter.com/keithboykin/status/1063051227842404353/photo/1
// Trump’s a.m. tweets

NYT: Mueller Team Has ‘Gone Absolutely Nuts,’ Trump Says, Resuming Attacks on Russia Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2OJ9nBv
// By Maggie Haberman, Michael S. Schmidt and Eileen Sullivan

President Trump on Thursday blasted the special counsel team, calling it a “disgrace” to the country in an early Twitter post and renewed previous attacks on the investigation, calling it, “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!

The fresh barrage comes after Mr. Trump spent the last three days meeting with his personal legal team, crafting answers to written questions from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

⭕ 14 Nov 2018

Axios, Zachary Basu: The case against Mueller target Roger Stone http://bit.ly/2Th0SRO

DailyCaller: Full Transcript Of Trump’s Oval Office Interview With The Daily Caller http://bit.ly/2OHAn4s uh …

🐣 RT @StandUpRepublic Thank you @JeffFlake, @ChrisCoons, @ChuckGrassley, @SenatorCollins, @LindseyGrahamSC, and @SenThomTillis.
⋙ AP: Flake vows to oppose judges unless Mueller bill gets a vote http://bit.ly/2zUrBul

Slate, Walter Shaub: This Is the Saturday Night Massacre http://bit.ly/2DGHCs6
// It’s just happening in slow motion.

Slate, Jeremy Stahl: How Mueller Could Continue Investigating Trump Even if He Is Fired http://bit.ly/2OJKG80

CBC, Jonathon Gatehouse [CA]: After chummy summit in Helsinki, Putin and Trump appear headed for bickering in Buenos Aires http://bit.ly/2Foex6E (…?)

RFE/RL: Russia Says U.S. ‘Unpredictability’ Causing ‘Global Concern’ http://bit.ly/2B7NBUk

BusinessInsider: Trump attacked the legitimacy of the midterms the same way his own officials warned Russia would http://read.bi/2qMfRpG

CNN: Russia jammed GPS during major NATO military exercise with US troops http://cnn.it/2OJL5re

Reuters, Lincoln Mitchell: Opinion: Why Mueller’s Russia findings won’t matter http://reut.rs/2Q4pHSk “Trump has succeeded in making the Mueller investigation so partisan an issue that whatever Mueller has found … will have little effect other than reinforcing existing views”
// “among voters and lawmakers.”

Politico: Mueller delays sentencing for ex-Trump aide Gates over ongoing cooperation http://politi.co/2DnCUi1
// The delay stands in contrast to two other high-profile former Trump officials who are moving toward sentencing in the Mueller investigation.

WIRED, Garrett Graff: The Mueller Investigation May Be Safe Despite Matt Whitaker http://bit.ly/2qLGKKB

1. The investigation is quite far along.
2. It’s not like any of this took Mueller off guard.
3. There are lots of pieces of the case scattered across the US government.
4. The Justice Department runs on norms.
5. Congress has leverage.

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw In this episode, @matthewamiller says none of witnesses who’ve spoken to special counsel about obstruction have gone before grand jury. ¤ That supports @marty_lederman view that obstruction isn’t being investigated as crime but goes into Mueller report (e.g., as “abuse of power”).
⋙ 🐣 RT @SkullduggeryPod #ICYMI: Here’s a clip from last week’s @SkullduggeryPod where @Isikoff @dklaidman & Justice & Security Analyst @matthewamiller discuss the #MuellerProbe & the potential for the White House Administration to invoke #ExecutivePrivilege http://bit.ly/2B75yCE

VanityFair, Gabriel Sherman: “Insanity,” “Furious,” “On His Own”: Trump’s Post-Midterms Blues Are Vexing His Staff and Roiling the White House http://bit.ly/2zWkhOU
// He’s lashing out at aides and press and foreign leaders, and threatening to roll West Wing heads—but at least he didn’t get his hair wet at the Belleau Wood memorial.

Esquire: An Exhaustive Timeline of Our New Acting Attorney General’s Astoundingly Crooked Career http://bit.ly/2RP84mo
// Year by year, the onetime Iowa tight end descended into grifting and scamming. He’s a perfect match for his new boss.

NBC: Text messages show Roger Stone and friend discussing WikiLeaks plans http://nbcnews.to/2Q1csl4
// “Big news Wednesday … Hillary’s campaign will die this week,” Randy Credico appears to have texted Stone six days before WikiLeaks email dump.

The text messages obtained by NBC News appear to show that Stone and Credico exchanged messages about Assange having damaging information about Clinton at least as early as Aug. 27, 2016. The texts show that at 6:07 p.m. that day, Credico wrote to Stone, “Julian Assange has kryptonite on Hillary.”

NYT: Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis http://nyti.ms/2DFfRAn
// By Sheera Frenkel, Nicholas Confessore, Cecilia Kang, Matthew Rosenberg and Jack Nicas

WaPo, Max Boot: America will need years to clean up the toxins Trump has released http://wapo.st/2zTylZH

🐣 RT @PhilMattingly Flake: “I have informed the Majority Leader that I will not vote to advance any of the 21 judicial nominees pending in the Judiciary Committee, or vote to confirm the 32 judges awaiting a confirmation vote on the floor, until S. 2644 is brought to the full Senate for a vote.”
// To protect Mueller

WSJ: Mueller Probes Possible Witness Intimidation by Roger Stone http://on.wsj.com/2PWwpcQ
// Former Trump adviser angry that radio personality Randy Credico denies being WikiLeaks conduit

ActiveMeasuresDoc: Retired member of US intelligence community told us he heard in December 2015 from more than one foreign intelligence service that when @realDonaldTrump was in Moscow in 2013 he approached the Russians to intervene in 2016 election. His pitch: “We can help each other out.”

Politico: Morning Update http://politi.co/2qKXRvT

THE LIST OF THINGS ANGERING TRUMP — An incomplete tally: Markets are a mess; Growth appears to be slowing; Democrats now control the House and can investigate him; More House races continue to get called for Democrats and the GOP Senate performance looks less and less impressive; Rumors continue to swirl of potential Mueller indictments; Trump’s Paris trip was widely panned as a disaster; His replacement Attorney General is mired in controversy; CNN is suing over the ouster of its reporter and looks likely to win. Are we missing anything?

≣ WarOnTheRocks, Brian Katz: Intelligence and You: A Guide for Policymakers http://bit.ly/2Dj5YaB

📋 🐣 RT @FranTownsend @FBI reports 17% rise in hate crimes 2017 over 2016 as overall violent crime dropped by .2% 7175 hate crimes in 2017 3 of 5 hate crimes targeted race/ethnicity, 1 of 5 targeted religion. More than 4000 targeted people, more than 3000 targeted property

🐣 RT @chkbal We are a group of conservative and libertarian lawyers standing up for the rule of law. Our mission statement is here: http://bit.ly/2K1emwA 
https://twitter.com/chkbal/status/1062659994963853313/photo/1
↥ ↧
NYT: Conservative Lawyers Say Trump Has Undermined the Rule of Law http://nyti.ms/2Fns7Hh The group, called Checks and Balances, was organized by George T. Conway III, a conservative lawyer and the husband of President Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1062681602340413442/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 Presented to meeting of The Federalist Society

The new group also includes Tom Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania and secretary of homeland security in the Bush administration; Peter D. Keisler, a former acting attorney general in the Bush administration; two prominent conservative law professors, Jonathan H. Adler and Orin S. Kerr; and Lori S. Meyer, a lawyer who is married to Eugene B. Meyer, the president of the Federalist Society.

“We believe in the rule of law, the power of truth, the independence of the criminal justice system, the imperative of individual rights and the necessity of civil discourse,” the group said in a statement. “We believe these principles apply regardless of the party or persons in power.”

WaPo: U.S. military edge has eroded to ‘a dangerous degree,’ study for Congress finds http://wapo.st/2K4pDMK “The U.S. has lost its military edge to a dangerous degree and could potentially lose a war against China or Russia, according to a report … by a bipartisan commission”

WaPo: U.S. military edge has eroded to ‘a dangerous degree,’ study for Congress finds http://wapo.st/2K4pDMK “The U.S. has lost its military edge to a dangerous degree and could potentially lose a war against China or Russia, according to a report … by a bipartisan commission”

⭕ 13 Nov 2018

NYMag, Eric Levitz: Don’t Get Donald Trump Started About France http://nym.ag/2zRaaes

AJC: Mueller investigation: Who is Roger Stone, what links him to Trump? http://on-ajc.com/2Prbe33 good backgrounder

ABCNews: Even if we did hack the DNC, they can’t sue us: Russia http://abcn.ws/2PtKVcs

Bloomberg: Congress Likely to Shelve New Russia Sanctions as Clock Runs Out http://bloom.bg/2K3C8bl
● Little evidence of broad Russian effort to disrupt midterms
● Any new interference by Kremlin could trigger lawmakers to act

Newsweek: Robert Mueller Wants Info on Donald Trump’s British Ally, Far-right Politician Nigel Farage, Says Russia Probe Target http://bit.ly/2OJ4jwX

TheHill: Russia pushes for court to throw out DNC lawsuit http://bit.ly/2OJ444W

Vox, Andrew Prokop: The many scandals of Trump’s new acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, explained http://bit.ly/2qKMzrv
// His Mueller probe comments, his advisory role at a scam company, the dispute over his appointment’s legality, and more.

Politico: How Trump’s move to put a loyalist over Mueller is already backfiring http://politi.co/2RYXd9V
// Bipartisan criticism and legal maneuvering may limit Matthew Whitaker’s options as acting attorney general.

NBC: Trump could submit answers to Mueller’s questions on Russia this week http://nbcnews.to/2RQf4Q7
// President Donald Trump’s legal team is nearing completion of written answers to questions posed by special counsel Robert Mueller on Russia.

TheGuardian, Jon Swaine and Stephanie Kirchgaessner: Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says http://bit.ly/2PZm5Rl

VOA, Jeff Seldin: Ex-Intel Officials Worry Trump Still Doing Russia’s Dirty Work http://bit.ly/2zR5JA8 (cited: Larry Pfeiffer, Dan Coats, Kirstjen Nielsen, Hal Bidlack, John Bolton, Steve Bucci, Mark Kelton, Graham Brookie, Daniel Hoffman, Dmitry Peskov, John Sipher, Hamilton68)

LATimes, Eli Stokols: Trump, stung by midterms and nervous about Mueller, retreats from traditional presidential duties http://lat.ms/2DlplzS

WaPo, Josh Dawsey and Phil Rucker: Five days of fury: Inside Trump’s Paris temper, election woes and staff upheaval http://wapo.st/2FoIGTj

Vox, Matt Yglesias: Democrats’ blue wave was much larger than early takes suggested http://bit.ly/2QEL75j
// With all votes counted, it’s a larger landslide than 1994 or 2010.

Spectator: Mr Cohen comes to Washington http://bit.ly/2TaV9g8 “There are rumors, too, of Trump mistresses paid to have abortions and kept quiet with non-disclosure agreements”
// Michael Cohen has given 80 hours of testimony to prosecutors, not 50, as hitherto reported. Clearly, Trump’s former lawyer has a lot to get off his chest

WaPo: The Cybersecurity 202: The U.S. was notably absent from a global cybersecurity pact. But American companies signed on. http://wapo.st/2RQeRMY

🐣 RT @lathamstaples -@FoxNews, no tweets in 4 days.
-@wikileaks, no tweets in 4 days.
-@jaredkushner deleted all tweets.
-@DRUDGE deleted all tweets.
-@RudyGiuliani, no tweets in 4 days.
-@NatEnquirer, no tweets in 3 days.
-@realDonaldTrump is in hiding, “rain”.

⭕ 12 Nov 2018

Project-Syndicate, Jeffrey Sachs: Trump’s Diminishing Power and Rising Rage http://bit.ly/2PPYEdS
// The coming months may be especially dangerous for America and the world. As US President Donald Trump’s political position weakens and the obstacles facing him grow, his mental instability will pose an ever-greater danger.

💽 NYT: Opinion | Operation Infektion: A three-part video series on Russian disinformation http://nyti.ms/2OHqSSV

WaPo, Adam Schiff: Matthew Whitaker, we’re watching you http://wapo.st/2JZk3LG

🐣 RT @PhillipeReines For those who don’t recognize the name Jerome Corsi, he was one of the rotten souls behind the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” smear against @JohnKerry in 2004. ¤ For that alone he deserves rot in jail. But if he takes Roger Stone down with him, which is imminent, all the better.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ KenDilanianNBC BREAKING: Roger Stone pal Jerome Corsi tells my colleague @annaschecter that Mueller’s investigators informed Corsi about a week ago he will be indicted for perjury. “When they have your emails and phone records…they’re very good at the perjury trap,” he says.

🔄🐣💙💙 RT @conspirator0 For the benefit of any and all wishing to better use Twitter’s search feature for your own investigative purposes, here is a Twitter search cheat sheet.
https://twitter.com/conspirator0/status/1062152485819674624/photo/1

WaPo, Neal Katyal: The rules are clear: Whitaker can’t supervise Mueller’s investigation http://wapo.st/2PXCg1q
// I wrote the special counsel regulations. We never would have imagined a situation like this.

📋 Axios: Democrats load “subpoena cannon” with 85+ Trump targets http://bit.ly/2zPJ9ry
⋙ Axios, Zachary Basu: Democratic hit list: At least 85 Trump investigation targets http://bit.ly/2PTGpUa

FranceDiplomatie [FR]: Cybersecurity: Paris Call of 12 November 2018 for Trust and Security in Cyberspace http://bit.ly/2PqPx3l

⭕ 11 Nov 2018 🇺🇸 Veterans Day

MSNBC: How Russia is responding to Democrats taking control of the House http://on.msnbc.com/2JZAWWv
// Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, MSNBC international analyst, says Russian media have an interesting take on Democrats winning back the House. ‘Our agent in the White House has failed us’

WSJ: Russia Demotes Dollar’s Role at Home, Taking a Swipe at U.S. http://on.wsj.com/2JWP82s
// To ease sanctions pressure, Moscow promotes use of ruble and other currencies in trade deals

⭕ 11 Nov 2018

Politico: Democrats vow to tighten the screws on Whitaker http://politi.co/2qFcCQS
// One leading House Democrat calls him a ‘hatchet man’ set on derailing the Russia investigation.

TheGuardian: Trump Whitaker pick may provoke constitutional crisis, Democrats say http://bit.ly/2z4nigo

WaPo: Hurricane Michael is looking even more violent on closer scrutiny http://wapo.st/2ROqrYF

TheAtlantic, Bob Bauer: An Open-and-Shut Violation of Campaign-Finance Law http://bit.ly/2PQe0hW
// The relevant law is favorable to candidates. But it appears Trump still managed to violate it.

Reuters: Democrats urge acting attorney general to step aside from Russia probe http://reut.rs/2Pm1tn0

NBC: Top Democrats say Matt Whitaker must offer ‘immediate recusal’ from Mueller probe http://nbcnews.to/2PmSh1y
// Democrats say Whitaker’s past comments “indicate a clear bias against the investigation that would cause a reasonable person to question his impartiality.”

Salon: Morning Joe says Sessions firing gives Mueller everything he needs to nail Trump for obstruction http://bit.ly/2OD8ni9
// Trump believes he is above the law, but Joe Scarborough wants to see Trump penalized for obstructing justice

WSJ: Congress Gears for Final-Stretch Fight Over Border Wall, Mueller Probe http://on.wsj.com/2FhzNeg
// Wild card is whether Trump will take a hard line and demand funding for a wall

ABCNews: ‘We could subpoena Mueller’ if the administration restricts Russia investigation: Incoming House Judiciary chairman http://abcn.ws/2PR4DOL Rep Jerrold Nadler

CNN: Schumer: Democrats could tie Mueller protection measure to must-pass legislation http://cnn.it/2qF3knZ

TheAtlantic, Edward-Isaac Dovere: Nancy Pelosi: Mueller Doesn’t Have to Indict Trump for Congress to Impeach Him http://bit.ly/2qHzjDS
// But the congresswoman says she isn’t planning to go down that road—yet.

⭕ 10 Nov 2018

TheHill, Jonathan Turley: How Trump can pull off ultimate trick to make Mueller disappear http://bit.ly/2DzvObk

Politico, Jack Shafer: Week 77: Mueller Gets a New Master http://politi.co/2T4SioY
// But Jeff Sessions’ temporary replacement will have his hands full trying to restrain the special counsel who has girded for this moment.

Patribotics (Louise Mensch): The Trump Russia Indictments: What To Expect http://bit.ly/2DfaZkv Chart by Clint Watts
● Trump rel w Russia: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1061526847924719617/photo/1
//➔ may be speculative, but I love the idea that Nancy Pelosi could become Acting President 😇
// Chart: Types of collaborators, agents, assets: What is Trump’s Relationship w Russia?
Natural Ally (Low), “Useful Idiot (High),” Compromised (Medium), Manchurian Candidate (Low)

TheObserver, John Schindler: Team Mueller is Holding ‘Dozens of Sealed Indictments,’ According to Intel Source http://bit.ly/2OCxxOe

⭕ 9 Nov 2018

WaPo, Anne Applebaum: Trump campaigned to protect himself, not help Republicans http://wapo.st/2zLuHB1

HillReporter, Stassi Reid (11/9): Mueller ‘Ready to Indict’ Multiple individuals According to Former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi http://bit.ly/2T4QA72

TheGuardian: Konstantin Kilimnik: elusive Russian with ties to Manafort faces fresh Mueller scrutiny http://bit.ly/2z1xu9K
// New details emerge about 48-year-old said to have ties to Russian intelligence, including the use of a private jet owned by an oligarch close to Putin

TheAtlantic, Benjamin Wittes: It’s Probably Too Late to Stop Mueller http://bit.ly/2FgL0vC
// The prospects for interference are dimmer than many imagine.

NYT: Matthew Whitaker: An Attack Dog With Ambition Beyond Protecting Trump http://nyti.ms/2DeaNSn

President Trump first noticed Matthew G. Whitaker on CNN in the summer of 2017 and liked what he saw — a partisan defender who insisted there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. So that July, the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, interviewed Mr. Whitaker about joining the president’s team as a legal attack dog against the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

At that point, the White House passed, leaving Mr. Whitaker, 49, to continue his media tour, writing on CNN’s website that Mr. Mueller’s investigation — which he had once called “crazy” — had gone too far.

Fifteen months later, the attack dog is in charge. With little ceremony on Wednesday, Mr. Trump ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and put Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff, in charge of the Justice Department — and Mr. Mueller’s Russia investigation.

People close to Mr. Trump believe that he sent Mr. Whitaker to the department in part to limit the fallout from the Mueller investigation, one presidential adviser said.

White House aides and other people close to Mr. Trump anticipate that Mr. Whitaker will rein in any report summarizing Mr. Mueller’s investigation and will not allow the president to be subpoenaed. …

Judging by Mr. Trump’s public comments, the closed-door charm offensive was working. In an October interview on “Fox & Friends,” Mr. Trump said: “I can tell you Matt Whitaker’s a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker.”

(On Friday, after reports surfaced that Mr. Whitaker had called courts “the inferior branch” of government and had been on the advisory board of a company that a federal judge shut down and fined nearly $26 million for cheating customers, Mr. Trump made a bizarre comment to reporters that he was not familiar with Mr. Whitaker. “I don’t know Matt Whitaker,” Mr. Trump said as he left for first leg of a weekend trip to Paris.)

By October of last year, Mr. Whitaker was telling people that he was working as a political commentator on CNN in order to get the attention of Mr. Trump, said John Q. Barrett, a professor at St. John’s University School of Law who met Mr. Whitaker during a television appearance last June.

His plan worked. Mr. Whitaker returned to the Justice Department in October 2017, having once again earned the support of Mr. Trump’s closest advisers inside the West Wing.

Colleagues described him as affable and said he quickly ingratiated himself with the staff in Mr. Sessions’s office and those elsewhere in the building. But that reputation shifted over time as some people began to view him as the eyes and ears of the White House, current and former Justice Department officials said.

CNN: Sessions realized too late that Whitaker was auditioning for his job http://cnn.it/2z3yt9o

WaPo: Trump distances himself from Whitaker amid scrutiny over past comments and business ties http://wapo.st/2OAQh0r

WaPo: ‘What a stupid question’: Trump demeans three black female reporters in three days http://wapo.st/2Qy3KYJ

WaPo Editorial: There is no way this man should be running the Justice Department http://wapo.st/2Ffw1lJ

First, there are Mr. Whitaker’s statements criticizing the Russia probe of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. At the least, they require him to consult Justice Department ethics counsel about whether he can oversee the inquiry with a plausible appearance of evenhandedness. He will do immediate and lasting harm to the Justice Department’s reputation, and to the nation, if he assumes the role of president’s personal henchman and impedes the Mueller probe.

Finally, and fundamentally most damning, is Mr. Whitaker’s expressed hostility to Marbury v. Madison, a central case — the central case — in the American constitutional system. It established an indispensable principle: The courts decide what is and is not constitutional. Without Marbury, there would be no effective judicial check on the political branches, no matter how egregious their actions.

WSJ: Donald Trump Played Central Role in Hush Payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal http://on.wsj.com/2AZ69X1
// Federal prosecutors have gathered evidence of president’s participation in transactions that violated campaign-finance laws

🐣 Neal Katyal on @Morning_Joe: “This IS a Constitutional Crisis” re: Whitaker

🐣 RT @amyklobuchar “AG” Whitaker’s 2014 words when asked about worse SCOTUS cases: “There are so many..I would start with the idea of Marbury v. Madison..and the Supreme Court as the final arbiter..We’ll move forward from there—All New Deal cases that were expansive of the federal government…”

⭕ 8 Nov 2018

Politico: Mueller’s new boss immediately draws enemies http://politi.co2T4KhQT/
// Critics say Matthew Whitaker might intervene to protect the president, while newly emboldened Democrats pledge vigilance.

NYT, Neal Katyal and George Conway: Trump’s Appointment of the Acting Attorney General Is Unconstitutional http://nyti.ms/2PmwAP5
// The president is evading the requirement to seek the Senate’s advice and consent for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and the person who will oversee the Mueller investigation.

AP: Indictments? Final report? White House braces for Mueller http://bit.ly/2AWk9R6

VanityFair, Gabriel Sherman: “The President Is Very Depressed”: With Don Jr. Facing Possible Indictment, and Endless House Investigations Forthcoming, No Wonder Trump Is in a Bad Mood http://bit.ly/2JQkK9Y

AlJazeera, Shafik Mandhai: Thousands demand Mueller protection after Trump fires Sessions http://bit.ly/2SWhVby
// Critics fear the US president is paving way to disrupt probe into Russian interference in 2016 presidential election.

LawfareBlog, Benjamin Wittes et al: Jeff Sessions’s Firing, Matthew Whitaker’s Rise and the Attorney General’s Role In the Mueller Investigation http://bit.ly/2T2KBzQ

Bloomberg, Chris Strohm and Steven T. Dennis: Mueller Gets a New Boss Who’s Blasted His Russia Investigation http://bloom.bg/2SVHEkp

● Acting Attorney General Whitaker could fire him or limit probe
● Whitaker would decide whether findings can be made public

TheAtlantic, Paul Rosenzweig: It Wouldn’t Be Easy for Whitaker to Shut Down the Trump Investigations http://bit.ly/2AThcB0
// The new acting attorney general is likely, at least initially, to move slowly.

GQ, Mattathias Schwartz: Robert Mueller, the Master Of Silence http://bit.ly/2SYPp97

NewYorker, John Cassidy: Trump’s Effort to Hobble the Mueller Investigation Must Be Stopped http://bit.ly/2RHlDV9

CNBC, Kevin Breuniger: Acting Attorney General Whitaker’s views on Mueller probe prompt calls for recusal from Democrats and legal experts http://cnb.cx/2Oyb0C3

● Newly appointed acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s past critiques of the Russia probe, which resurfaced in the wake of his appointment Wednesday, spurred immediate calls for his recusal.
● The Trump administration’s shake-up, which saw Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ resignation less than a day after Democrats won the House in the midterms, is also raising concerns about whether Whitaker’s appointment constitutes a potential obstruction of justice.
● But Whitaker has no intention of recusing himself, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff et al: Matthew Whitaker, Mueller’s New Boss, Said There Was ‘No Collusion’ With Russia http://thebea.st/2RHMlNi
// Betsy Woodruff, Maxwell Tani, Will Sommer; The new attorney general spent a few years in right-wing media repeatedly making that claim.

TheHill: Flake to try to force vote on bill protecting Mueller http://bit.ly/2ATMYxD

WaPo: McConnell says there isn’t ‘any chance’ Trump will stop Mueller probe http://wapo.st/2z2YuW6

Politico: Mueller power questioned in first post-Sessions court hearing http://politi.co/2AUi1tn
// Legal experts have serious doubts the case will shut down Mueller’s probe.

🐣 RT @SenFenstein The president has made abundantly clear that he’ll take any action he can to undermine the Mueller investigation. No one who lacks Senate confirmation should be placed in charge of this investigation, especially Matthew Whitaker who publicly criticized Mueller’s work last year.
FullStatement: https://twitter.com/SenFeinstein/status/1060293210273185793/photo/1

CNN: Trump reviewing his answers to Mueller as he changes who oversees the Russia investigation http://cnn.it/2ATkN1O

📔 Brookings, Barry Berke, Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen (Aug): Presidential obstruction of justice: The case of Donald J. Trump, 2nd edition http://brook.gs/2D9DqAe
⋙ Brookings, Barry Berke, Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen (Aug): Report: Presidential obstruction of justice: The case of Donald J. Trump, 2nd edition [pdf] http://brook.gs/2D9P2TO 177p
// 8/22/2018

WaPo: Trump’s acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, has no intention of recusing from Russia probe, associates say http://wapo.st/2JPtfSE

WaPo: Trump’s acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, has no intention of recusing from Russia probe, associates say http://wapo.st/2JPtfSE

JustSecurity, Marty Lederman: Quick Primer on the Legality of Appointing Matthew Whitaker as “Acting” Attorney General, and Whitaker’s Power to Influence the Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2FaCb6l

⭕ 7 Nov 2018

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Trump Has Found His Roy Cohn in Matt Whitaker http://nym.ag/2T2JJv1

WaPo: Sessions’s ouster throws future of special counsel probe into question http://wapo.st/2qBMCFS

WaPo: In Matthew Whitaker, Trump has a loyalist at the helm of the Justice Department http://wapo.st/2yWKEos

NYT, Charlie Savage: How Sessions’s Firing Could Affect the Russia Investigation http://nyti.ms/2D9ZhaE

NYT: With Sessions Firing, Trump Quickly Tests Democratic Resolve http://nyti.ms/2F9FFGn

NYT: How the House Fell: Republican Chaos and Democratic Focus http://nyti.ms/

🐣 RT @MittRomney I want to thank Jeff Sessions for his service to our country as Attorney General. Under Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, it is imperative that the important work of the Justice Department continues, and that the Mueller investigation proceeds to its conclusion unimpeded.
⋙ 🐣 Never thought I’d say this, @MittRomney, but I’m glad you’re going to be in the Senate. The GOP is in desperate need of a conscience.

WaPo: Washington in battle mode as Trump vows retaliation against Democratic probes http://wapo.st/2PheY7h
// Rucker Costa Dawsey

NYT: Jeff Sessions Is Forced Out as Attorney General as Trump Installs Loyalist http://nyti.ms/2DpRpCQ

🐣 RT @SenatorCollins It is imperative that the Administration not impede the Mueller investigation. I’m concerned Rod Rosenstein will no longer be overseeing the probe. Special Counsel Mueller must be allowed to complete his work without interference—regardless of who is AG.

NYT: Trump Installs a Critic of the Mueller Investigation to Oversee It http://nyti.ms/2JKBwXY

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff and Spencer Ackerman: House Intel Democrats’ New Mission: Protect Mueller, Use Subpoena Power http://thebea.st/2QrJ58q
// Firing Jeff Sessions could spark a ‘Wednesday Afternoon Massacre,’ one Democrat on the intelligence committee says.

PoliticusUSA: Ten Times Worse Than Nixon’: Historian Michael Beschloss Sounds The Alarm After Trump Fires Sessions http://bit.ly/2Qtivfi

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ STEP DOWN FROM THE LEDGE (FOR NOW) THREAD. (Warning: This might be a SPOOL). OK, here are my thoughts on Whitaker taking over the Mueller investigation and why I think we need to see how things unfold before losing it. To be clear, I do NOT think this is an ideal situation. BUT:
📌 Thread: https://mobile.twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1060329761782857728

🐣 RT @shashj “Mr. Whitaker’s ascendance to the top of the Justice Department shows how much loyalty means to Mr. Trump. The president has long regarded Mr. Whitaker as his eyes and ears inside a department that he considers an enemy institution.”
⋙ NYT: Jeff Sessions Is Forced Out as Attorney General as Trump Installs Loyalist http://nyti.ms/2DpRpCQ

TheHill: Acting AG to take over oversight of Russia probe http://bit.ly/2PIYFzz

🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Trump is saying that if the House of Representatives, the lower House of a co-equal branch of government executes its’ Article 1. Constitutional duty to exercise oversight over the Executive Branch that he will bring Govt. to a standstill and launch retributional investigations

🐣 RT @tedlieu Normally the President would elevate the Deputy AG to Acting AG until a nominee is confirmed. @realDonaldTrump is specifically bypassing Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and putting supervision of the Mueller probe in the hands of Matthew Whitaker, a person biased against the probe.

🐣 RT @RepJerryNadler Read my statement on @realDonaldTrump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions: https://twitter.com/RepJerryNadler/status/1060280428349874176/photo/1

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: What Sessions’s Resignation Means for Robert Mueller http://bit.ly/2Qt0KfZ
// His temporary replacement, Matthew Whitaker, has expressed skepticism over the scope of the Russia investigation—which he’ll now oversee.

🐣 RT @20committee We all knew the Mueller inquiry was entering its decisive phase after the midterms. Trump is just crassly moving the timetable up. Mueller anticipated all this. Data has been shared. IC has backups of their stuff. Trump can’t make it stop altogether. But he appears to be trying.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Frank Figliuzzi, ex-FBI Assistant Director for Counterintel: “I think we are watching obstruction of justice play out right in plain sight.” @MSNBC
⋙ 🐣 RT @eriqgardner Our new acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker thinks Marbury v. Madison — which established the principle of judicial review — is one of the worst decisions in the Supreme Court’s history. SERIOUSLY.
https://twitter.com/eriqgardner/status/1060276623428255754/photo/1

🐣 RT @BeschlossDC After Nixon had him fired in 1973 Saturday Night Massacre, the former Watergate special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, declared, “Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people”:
https://twitter.com/BeschlossDC/status/1060276249774489600/photo/1

🐣 RT @NancyPelosi Given his record of threats to undermine & weaken the Russia investigation, Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself from any involvement in Mueller’s investigation. Congress must take immediate action to protect the rule of law and integrity of the investigation. #FollowTheFacts

🐣 RT @AltUSPressSec The President is obstructing the investigation into his own treason. ¤ Hard to imagine any moment more serious for the experiment of American self-government than the present.
⋙ 🐣 RT @PreetBharara It’s danger time

🐣 RT @NancyPelosi It is impossible to read Attorney General Sessions’ firing as anything other than another blatant attempt by @realDonaldTrump to undermine & end Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.

🐣 RT @chrislhayes Things can get very very bad, very quickly right now…particularly dangerous period we are entering.

🐣 RT @anneapplebaum Trump is really, really frightened of Mueller. That’s the only explanation for his behavior today.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff President Trump just removed Jeff Sessions. He wants an Attorney General to serve his interest, not the public. ¤ Mueller’s investigation and the independence of the DOJ must be protected. Whitaker and any nominee must commit to doing both. ¤ We will protect the rule of law.

🐣 RT @brhodes In just the last few days, look at how Trump has sought to use the US military, the Senate and DoJ for his own political purposes. This is an assault on how some of the most important institutions in our democracy are supposed to function.
⋙ 🐣 RT @maggieNYT Trump now suggesting he’ll use the US senate, which is theoretically a separate branch of the government, to conduct White House-friendly investigations.

🐣 RT @MarkWarner While the President may have the authority to replace the Attorney General, this must not be the first step in an attempt to impede, obstruct or end the Mueller investigation.

🐣 RT @moscow_project He must immediately issue a written order granting Mueller full independence and outlining that Mueller can update Congress and the public as he sees fit—just as acting AG Robert Bork did after Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre. (8/9)
⋙ CAP, By Ben Olinsky and Sam Berger: Ensuring the Special Counsel’s Independence if Rosenstein Is Fired http://ampr.gs/2QnAu6R

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance New legal issue for prosecutor types to debate, if firing the FBI director is obstruction of justice can firing an attorney general, to put control of that investigation into the hands of one of your allies also constitute obstruction? Asking for a country.

🐣 RT @ericgeller DOJ still hasn’t notified staffers about Sessions. Employee tells me that they found out when their supervisor sent their office a link to Trump’s tweet. ¤ “There is no communication from leadership. … We are apparently expected to monitor Trump’s Twitter feed for his fiats.”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Chuck Schumer: “Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general.”

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Matt Whitaker Can’t Prevent Mueller from Unsealing Any Sealed Indictments http://bit.ly/2SPi8gC

TheNewRepublic, MarcyWheeler (10/30): If Trump Fires Mueller: How a Democratic-controlled House can salvage the Russia investigation http://bit.ly/2z0nRbb

🐣 RT @EricHolder Anyone who attempts to interfere with or obstruct the Mueller inquiry must be held accountable. This is a red line. We are a nation of laws and norms not subject to the self interested actions of one man.

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom Sessions firing is an immediate reset to undermine Mueller investigation and distract from GOP loss of the House. There’s a 2 month window from now until next Congress is seated. Rapid chess match coming between White House and Mueller investigation.

🐣 RT @matthewamiller The president should not be allowed to pick the person who oversees the investigation into himself. Both for that principle, and because Whitaker has written a blueprint for shutting the Mueller probe down, he should recuse himself.

🐣 RT @danpfeiffer Trump is ending the Mueller investigation right before our eyes and if you expect the Republicans to do anything about it you have been sleepwalking through the last two years

🐣 RT @EvanMcMullin President Trump is doing what every aspiring despot must do: purge law enforcement of independent officials and investigations. This is a dangerous moment for the republic. Americans committed to our shared freedom must set partisan differences aside to confront this menace now.

🐣 RT @brianklaas Here’s Trump’s handpicked Acting Attorney General suggesting an article that calls the Mueller investigation a “lynch mob.”
CNN, Matthew Whittaker (8/6/2017): Mueller’s investigation of Trump is going too far http://cnn.it/2STz8m3 //➔ author has just put in as temp replacement for Jeff Sessions
// 8/6/2017

🐣 RT @danpfeiffer If Trump asked for Sessions’ resignation that means he fired his Attorney General

🐣 🔆 This❗️⋙ RT @tribelaw Sessions was just forced out. His chief of staff will take over right now as acting AG. That displaces Rosenstein as Mueller’s supervisor. Matt Whitaker will supervise. He’ll likely be Trump’s puppet. A clever Wednesday afternoon massacre by Trump.

Adam Carter defense re: Computer Weekly article http://d3f.uk/duncan-campbell.html
http://bit.ly/2QpZIBC
// @with_integrity
⋙ ComputerWeekly (7/31): Briton ran pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign that helped Trump deny Russian links http://bit.ly/2NZnQcw
// 7/31/2018, A British IT manager and former hacker from Darlington ran a disinformation campaign that duped former US intelligence agents and provided Donald Trump with manufactured “evidence” to deny that Russia interfered with the US election

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Donald Trump Jr. Expecting to Be Indicted by Mueller Soon http://nym.ag/2PJjURJ

WaPo, Max Boot: The battle with Trumpism is just beginning http://wapo.st/2OxPmxM

CNN, Mary Ilyushina and Angela Dewan: Russia gloomy on US relations after Democrats take House in midterms http://cnn.it/2OtGPvT

CNBC, Kevin Breuninger: Adam Schiff, one of Trump’s biggest critics on the Russia probe, is poised to take over a crucial House committee http://cnb.cx/2zxuXUb
● Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, emerged on the national stage as the politically polarized group grappled over its probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
● Democrats were projected to take over the House in Tuesday’s midterm elections, likely elevating Schiff to the chairman spot in the intelligence panel.

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Trump’s free ride from Congress just ended http://bit.ly/2PIUCDh
// Investigations, legislative fights, impeachment? What Democrats’ House takeover could mean for Trump.

NewYorker, Adam Davidson: The Investigations Trump Will Face Now That Democrats Control the House http://bit.ly/2RESbyX

CNN: Democrats to use House majority to launch Trump investigations http://cnn.it/2OuvN9J (real ones)

🐣 ♫ Subpoena ~ The sweetest sound I’ve ever heard ♫
♫ Subpoena! I’ve just heard a word named Subpoena ♫
♫ And suddenly I’ve found ♫
♫ How wonderful a sound Can Beeeee! ♫
♫ Subpoena! Subpoena! Subpoena! Subpoena! Subpoenah! ♫
@RepCummings @RepAdamSchiff @RepJerryNadler

WaPo Editorial: A great day for democracy http://wapo.st/2F6fwYY

NYT, Frank Bruni: For Democrats — and America — a Sigh of Relief http://nyti.ms/2yYkcL4
// The party didn’t get everything it wanted. But it got what it and the country need.


 
⭕ 6 Nov 2018 #ElectionDay 🇺🇸

ForeignPolicy, Michael Hirsh: Victorious House Democrats Pledge to Probe Trump’s Foreign Policy http://bit.ly/2JNgpEv
// U.S. allies can expect extended hearings on Iran, Yemen, and many other key issues.

DailyBeast: Russian Oligarch Who Bought Trump Mansion Detained by Monaco Police http://thebea.st/2PFDkaj Dmitry Rybolovlev

Slate, John Reed: How Democrats Will Protect the Mueller Investigation if They Win the House http://bit.ly/2Ds6mEz

TheHill: Russian oligarch who bought mansion from Trump detained and questioned on corruption charges: report http://bit.ly/2PMuJT7

TheHill: Trump administration tells Congress Moscow has triggered new sanctions http://bit.ly/2yVLhhQ

⭕ 5 Nov 2018

CNN (11pm): Russian fighter jet intercepts US Navy plane http://cnn.it/2zy6zBw

WaPo, Karoun Demirjian: Contentious probe of FBI, Justice Dept. hangs in the balance as GOP weighs new leadership posts http://wapo.st/2Qn4f7Z

NYT: Trump’s Expected Meeting With Putin to Be Delayed http://nyti.ms/2AOjYYh

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: What the Watergate Road Map Might Say about a Mueller Road Map http://bit.ly/2qDlruJ

WashingtonMonthly, Nancy LeTourneau: The Mueller Race Will Resume After All the Votes Are Counted http://bit.ly/2OqHuht

WaPo, Randall Eliason: Buckle up. The Mueller investigation may once again take center stage. http://wapo.st/2OmwP7z

VanityFair, Gabriel Sherman: “I’m Very Worried About Don Jr.”: Forget the Midterms—West Wing Insiders Brace for the Mueller Storm http://bit.ly/2DoQF0X
// In the run-up to the election, Rudy Giuliani was made to shut up. But now, with Trump making excuses for possibly losing the House, officials are bracing for a legal assault.

⭕ 4 Nov 2018

Forbes: Trump’s Billionaire Buddy Victor Pinchuk Among Ukrainians Sanctioned By Russia http://bit.ly/2AMiuxO

NYT: Two Capitals, One Russian Oligarch: How Oleg Deripaska Is Trying to Escape U.S. Sanctions http://nyti.ms/2Pejnb1

Newsweek: Roger Stone, Under Reported Scrutiny from Robert Mueller, Changes Story on 2016 Election Again http://bit.ly/2SMkM6H

NYMag, Cristian Farias: Mueller’s Gone Quiet, But Expect Some Post-Midterms Surprises http://nym.ag/2D4zf8D

CNN: Mueller could soon roar back into the news http://cnn.it/2DlNDdI

CNN, Mary Ilyushina and Eliza Mackintosh: Kremlin: “Long and thorough meeting” expected between Trump, Putin at G20 http://cnn.it/2Qe8SRn

TheGuardian, Charles Kaiser: The Apprentice review: Trump, Putin and the subversion of US democracy http://bit.ly/2RC3ubn
// Greg Miller of the Washington Post proves one urgent thing: the Democrats must take the House on Tuesday

NYT/AP: Why It’s Still in Russia’s Interest to Mess With US Politics http://nyti.ms/2D0QY0I

⭕ 3 Nov 2018

ThinkProgress, Frank Dale: Trump signed secret waiver that could have major impact on the Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2Op7727
// Noel Francisco’s former employer represents Trump’s campaign in the Russia probe. He’s still next in line to oversee special counsel Robert Mueller.

Politico Mag, Jack Shafer: Week 76: Is Mueller About to Roll Out the Barrels? http://politi.co/2qs9t6X
// Now that the special prosecutor’s quiet period is nearly over, many Russia-scandal observers expect dramatic news from the long-silent investigation.

⭕ 2 Nov 2018

CcommonDreams, Daniel Goldman: Robert Mueller Is on the Ballot This Year, Too http://bit.ly/2AKA4Cg
// The midterms are about control of Congress — it will determine the future of the special counsel’s investigation, especially who will run it after Sessions and Rosenstein

NYMag, Brian Feldman: Jacob Wohl Demonstrates the Limits of the Right-Wing Misinformation System http://nym.ag/2qAmn2Z

BusinessInsider, Grace Panetta and Sonam Sheth: Mueller’s use of ‘speaking indictments’ could be a hugely damaging signal for Trump http://read.bi/2OmKE5P

ForeignPolicy, Elias Groll: How House Democrats Plan to Investigate Trump’s Russia Ties http://bit.ly/2RzBjcN
// Gains in the congressional election next week would give Democrats crucial subpoena power.

Politico: Next-in-line Mueller supervisor got White House ethics waiver in April http://politi.co/2AHp7B9
// Solicitor General Noel Francisco has been dogged by conflict of interest concerns related his potential role overseeing the the Mueller probe.

CREW: CREW Discovers Previously Undisclosed Ethics Waiver for Solicitor General Noel Francisco http://bit.ly/2OoVOHc re: @maddow
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @waltshaub DOJ is saying Noel Francisco would take over the investigation. DOJ is wrong unless the White House has secretly issued a waiver of Executive Order 13770, which bars Francisco from participating in the Mueller investigation due to Jones Day’s representation of the Tump campaign.
// 9/26/2018

WaPo, Ishaan Tharoor: Trump deploys the fascist playbook for the midterms http://wapo.st/2P4LUzX

⭕ 1 Nov 2018

📔 TheInterpreter: KGB Training Manuals Revealed http://bit.ly/2EbYLcE
// KGB manuals, 8 manuals (4 previously published)

AtlanticCouncil, Peter Dickinson (11/1): Russia Understands Ukraine’s Geopolitical Importance but Does the West? http://bit.ly/2TTZWD7

WaPo, Carl Lozada: The eruption http://wapo.st/2zrKyo1
// Trump didn’t invent American bigotry. But new books argue that he released it – and he has no incentive to extinguish it.

And it wasn’t just the domestic political campaigns. The Russian cyberattack against the U.S. electoral system demonstrated Moscow’s keen understanding of America’s cultural and racial fault lines. In “Cyberwar,” her account of Russia’s impact on the 2016 contest, Jamieson emphasizes “the mutually reinforcing nature” of the Trump campaign’s themes and efforts by Russian trolls to heighten America’s social tensions. “With a focus on constituencies whom Donald Trump needed to mobilize,” Jamieson writes, “Russian messages stoked fears of the multicultural, multiracial, ecumenical culture that Clinton Democrats championed.”

The debate over whether the Russians tilted the election is not settled in these books: Jamieson offers a detailed and compelling case that they could have done so, particularly through the magnified impact of the hacked materials, while Sides, Tesler and Vavreck counter that the effect of online ads tends to be limited, and that the Russians simply added misleading and polarizing content into a political system that was already suffused with it. Less controversial should be the realization that the Russians exploited some of the best of America — its respect for free markets and free speech, its tradition of an open and competitive press, its communications technologies — to bring out some of its worst. And that their tactics were consistent with those of the Trump campaign.

For some Trump opponents, the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller serves as a device in a Samuel Beckett-style drama: They wait and wait for Mueller’s report to appear, believing that it will justify their sacrifices, restore their hope, set everything right. But we already know what the response will be: “I don’t think there’s anything to it,” a Trump Woman tells Bradlee. “If they find something, they will have made it up.”

In “Cyberwar,” Jamieson concludes her dissection of Russia’s electoral attack by listing all the enablers who unwittingly helped make it happen. It’s basically everyone: the breathless news media, the credulous citizenry, the polarizing — and pusillanimous — elected officials in Washington. Bradlee ends “The Forgotten” warning that Trump is pushing us back to “the old separate-but-equal ethos.” He urges the Democratic Party to “develop more of a heartland sensibility” and nominate someone with “blue-collar cred.”

But the authors of “Identity Crisis” see no incentives for such a move. They argue that Democrats are likelier to win by advocating for racial and ethnic minorities than by trying to woo back white Obama supporters who flipped to Trump, while Republicans have had more success rallying their base over immigration and the national anthem rather than tax cuts or health care. The “centrality of identity,” they write, has become the defining feature of American life.

MSNBC, Rachel Maddow: Nixon documents could help Mueller see legal precedent for Trump [Video] http://on.msnbc.com/2JvMX5H
// Chuck Rosenberg, former U.S. attorney and FBI official, talks with Rachel Maddow about newly published legal documents could offer some guiding precedent for Robert Mueller’s next steps once his Trump Russia investigation is concluded.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Roger Stone’s story just changed on Russia — again http://wapo.st/2PzoX79

≣ NYT: Read the Emails: The Trump Campaign and Roger Stone http://nyti.ms/2JB10qY
// Newly revealed messages show how the political operative Roger J. Stone Jr. sold himself to Trump campaign advisers as a potential conduit to WikiLeaks, which published thousands of emails in 2016 damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

NYT: Roger Stone Sold Himself to Trump’s Campaign as a WikiLeaks Pipeline. Was He? http://nyti.ms/2SBl0xv

When the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, appeared on a video link from Europe a month before the 2016 presidential election and vaguely promised to release a flood of purloined documents related to the race, the head of Donald J. Trump’s campaign, Stephen K. Bannon, was interested.

He emailed the political operative Roger J. Stone Jr., who had been trying to reach him for days about what Mr. Assange might have in store. “What was that this morning???” Mr. Bannon asked on Oct. 4.

“A load every week going forward,” Mr. Stone replied, echoing Mr. Assange’s public vow to publish documents on a weekly basis until the Nov. 8 election.

The email exchange, not previously reported, underscores how Mr. Stone presented himself to Trump campaign officials: as a conduit of inside information from WikiLeaks, Russia’s chosen repository for documents hacked from Democratic computers.

Mr. Bannon and two other former senior campaign officials have detailed to prosecutors for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, how Mr. Stone created that impression, according to people familiar with their accounts. One of them told investigators that Mr. Stone not only seemed to predict WikiLeaks’s actions, but that he also took credit afterward for the timing of its disclosures that damaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

But at the same time, the top tier of Mr. Trump’s campaign was deeply skeptical of Mr. Stone, who has made a career of merging fact and fiction and seems to prize attention over credibility.

Whether Mr. Stone was, in fact, a trusted intermediary to WikiLeaks — or simply a master of puffery that made him appear so — remains a paramount question for Mr. Mueller’s investigators, who are examining Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential race and whether any Trump associates conspired with Moscow’s effort.

Mr. Stone has repeatedly said that he had access only to Mr. Assange’s public statements and to secondhand information from journalists or other sources. If he implied that he had more direct sources, he has said, he was simply engaging in political hyperbole.

But some of his previous statements have proved false. Mr. Stone told The Washington Post this week that he never discussed WikiLeaks with Trump campaign officials. “There are no such communications and if Bannon says there are he would be dissembling,” he said.

Still, Mr. Bannon’s October 2016 email correspondence shows that the perception that Mr. Stone knew what WikiLeaks had in store for Mrs. Clinton spread to the highest levels of the Trump campaign. No evidence has emerged that Mr. Trump or his advisers alerted the authorities.

As the month began, Mr. Stone peppered Twitter with predictions of an October surprise from Mr. Assange, whipping up speculation in the American news media and beyond. Mr. Assange, too, had been hinting at coming bombshells.

Unable to reach Mr. Bannon, Mr. Stone communicated with Matthew Boyle, the Washington political editor of the far-right Breitbart News, which Mr. Bannon ran before joining Mr. Trump’s campaign.

“Assange — what’s he got?” Mr. Boyle asked Mr. Stone on Oct. 3. “Hope it’s good.”

“It is,” Mr. Stone replied.

A half-hour later, Mr. Boyle emailed Mr. Bannon, urging him to call Mr. Stone. Mr. Bannon replied, “I’ve got important stuff to worry about.”

Mr. Boyle continued to press: “Clearly he knows what Assange has.”

A Breitbart spokesman said in a statement, “Matt Boyle acted in his role as a journalist to attempt to uncover the story behind Roger Stone’s public claims.”

The next day, after Mr. Assange’s news conference via video link, Mr. Bannon followed up with his email to Mr. Stone. According to one person familiar with Mr. Bannon’s account to prosecutors, the exchange ended with Mr. Stone’s reply, in which he essentially repeated what Mr. Assange or his allies had already said publicly.

Three days later, on Oct. 7, Mr. Stone’s prediction of an October surprise came true when WikiLeaks unleashed a trove of emails hacked from the computer of John D. Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman. The disclosure came just a half-hour after the publication of a recording in which Mr. Trump boasted of grabbing women’s genitals and was an apparent attempt to divert attention from that explosive story, which threatened to derail Mr. Trump’s chances of capturing the White House. […]

🎃 31 Oct 2018

CNN: Trump shocks with racist new ad days before midterms http://cnn.it/2OjohhM

Stars&Stripes: Pentagon deploying troops from 39 units to US-Mexico border http://bit.ly/2CTZqPq “‘We don’t do stunts in this department,’ Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.” Maybe not, but it looks like they’ll be filming something:
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1057957399749894144/photo/1

Newsweek: Watergate Scandal: Grand Jury Was Ready to Hit Richard Nixon With 4 Criminal Charges, Newly Released Documents Reveal http://bit.ly/2Jxzlab

The charges, including bribery, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and obstruction of a criminal investigation, would have been for Nixon and his administration’s attempt to cover up the break-in and wiretapping of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at The Watergate Hotel in D.C.

The draft of the indictment from a Washington grand jury stated that “from on or about March 21, 1973…Richard M. Nixon unlawfully, willfully and knowingly did combine, conspire, confederate and agree together and with co-conspirators…to commit bribery…obstruct justice…and obstruct a criminal investigation.”

It further added that Nixon met with John Dean, Nixon’s White House counsel, and Harry [Bob] Haldeman, Nixon’s chief of staff, on or about March 21, 1973, in the White House and “instructed” them to pay approximately $120,000 to E. Howard Hunt Jr., a former CIA agent and organizer of the Watergate break-in. Hunt Jr. had made the initial demand for $120,000 for his role in the break-in of the DNC headquarters, according to the draft indictment.

That same day, March 21, 1973, Hunt Jr. received approximately $75,000 in cash from Nixon messengers to influence his testimony to criminal investigators, according to the draft indictment. The following day, Nixon aides told the president that Hunt Jr.’s “money problem had been taken care of.”

Facing three articles of impeachment in the House, Nixon announced his resignation during a live TV and radio broadcast from the Oval Office on the evening of August 8, 1974.

NBC, Barbara McQuade and Joyce Vance: New attacks on Mueller, coupled with rumors about Sessions and Rosenstein, highlight need for congressional protection http://nbcnews.to/2EWx4Xm
// Congress cannot leave something as important as the special counsel’s investigation unprotected.

ABCNews: Conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi becomes key figure as Mueller builds case http://abcn.ws/2Q5lUAB

📔 LawfareBlog: The Watergate Road Map Unsealed http://bit.ly/2CU3MWP

The National Archives has released the famed—and long mysterious—Watergate “Road Map,” which Special Prosecutor sent to Congress in 1974. For background on the Road Map, and our litigation to get it released, see here and here. This only just happened, and I have not read the document yet. I’m sure that I will have things to say about it once I have had a chance to digest it, as, I suspect, will Stephen Bates and Jack Goldsmith. For now, the document itself is below; redactions, on initial inspection, seem relatively minor. And here is a trove of related material also available from the National Archive.

WaPo, Paul Waldman: After the midterms, it’ll be Mueller Time http://wapo.st/2EWgo2q

USAToday: Trump denies receiving subpoena as part of special counsel’s probe into Russia interference http://usat.ly/2RnlO7M

TASS [RU]: Lavrov confirms Putin, Trump set to discuss INF Treaty at Paris meeting http://bit.ly/2yI1lUa

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: How Roger Stone Could Implicate Trump for Colluding With Russia http://nym.ag/2EV4nKw

RollCall, Griffin Connolly: Beneath the Politics, House GOP Quietly Touts Legitimate Oversight of FBI, DOJ http://bit.ly/2Q8VkH2
// Judiciary and Oversight Committees’ probe of potential bias at DOJ, FBI has turned into political firestorm

Haaretz, Daniel Shapiro [IL]: Will Trump’s Two Years of Incomplete Middle East Progress Turn Into an Explosive Failure? It All Depends on the Midterms http://bit.ly/2Sy0ca6
//. Trump’s two year Mideast policy scorecard is a mixed picture: Partial success stories that each face deep challenges. Will the election results constrain the administration’s wilder policy instincts that could inflame the Mideast?

MarketWatch, Caroline Baum: Trump has teased his post-election blame game http://on.mktw.net/2OfB84B

Pravda [RU]: Putin and Trump will be looking for Xi Jinping in Paris http://bit.ly/2SAvjlF

It is worthy of note that the United States has not had a dialogue with China on nuclear weapons since 2008. China and the United States created a confidence-building mechanism in 2014 to exchange information about hostilities. In 2016, the United States proposed to expand the mechanism and include exchange of information about ballistic missile launches. However, China refused. If the dialogue in the direction of the tripartite INF Treaty takes place, it will be a breakthrough in the history of globalisation.

WSJ: Russian Internet Trolls Obsessed Over Trump—and a Canceled Comedy Show http://on.wsj.com/2yHEdFk
// Trolls tweeted about politics, but their other favorite subject was Comedy Central’s now-defunct @midnight

Politico Mag, Nelson Cunningham: Has Mueller Subpoenaed the President? http://politi.co/2EUfd3x
// A careful reading of court filings suggests the special counsel hasn’t been quiet. Far from it.

CNN: Exclusive: Trump blamed ex-counsel McGahn for Mueller investigation http://cnn.it/2zrUk9Z

TheHill: Trump faces Election Day deadline on Russia http://bit.ly/2yIE4Sh
// The Trump administration is facing an Election Day deadline to decide whether to impose a fresh round of sanctions on Moscow over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain earlier this year.

🐣 ‘Incels (a portmanteau of involuntary celibates) are members of an online subculture who define themselves as unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one…. The SPLC describes the subculture as “part of the online male supremacist ecosystem”’ – Wikipedia

DailyBeast, Kevin Poulsen: Americans Are Easy Marks for Russian Trolls, According to New Data http://thebea.st/2Ohxk2F
// A Daily Beast analysis of Twitter data shows the Kremlin troll farm’s English-language propaganda is nine times more effective than its disinformation in Russian.

🐣 RT @pmakela1 #Russia is using the old #USSR tactics once again. Resettle ethnic Russians to take over recently acquired areas permanently. ¤ #Baltic states received this treatment from 1939 till 1990 and still suffer greatly from it. ¤ #Crimea #Ukraine #crimeaisukraine
⋙ UNIAN: Kremlin resettles to Crimea 108,000 Russian nationals to change demographics – Yelchenko http://bit.ly/2JwnZDy

🔊ProPublica: Rudy Giuliani’s Mystery Trips to Russia, Armenia and Ukraine — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast http://bit.ly/2AEsGs5
// We spent weeks investigating his work and clients in the former Soviet Union. We have so many questions.

⭕ 30 Oct 2018

DailyBeast, Asawin Suebsaeng et al: Trump Has Remade the World in Steve King’s Image http://thebea.st/2PvWDCM
// by Asawin Suebsaeng, Gideon Resnick, Jackie Kucinich, Sam Stein; That King is setting foot in the White House, let alone getting a 75-minute window with the president, is almost unfathomable to those who have followed his career.

CNN: Steve Bannon interviewed by Mueller’s team for at least the third time http://cnn.it/2SxGlYJ

FoxNews: Trump dramatically expands US espionage spending amid threats from Russia, China and North Korea http://fxn.ws/2PCLLDm

The numbers underscored President Trump’s aggressive approach to information warfare, which has seen the Pentagon unveil a new cybersecurity strategy and the Justice Department launch a Cyber-Digital Task Force while pursuing a comprehensive crackdown on leakers.

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay and Will Sommer: Inside the Crazy Cabal Trying to Smear Robert Mueller http://thebea.st/2RtANxb
// A Seth Rich conspiracy pusher and fringe online figures appear to be working behind the scenes

HillReporter: Special Counsel Alerts FBI Of Scheme To Pay Women To Accuse Mueller Of Sexual Assault http://bit.ly/2DeQ2a3
// tic toc

MarketWatch: Fox News’ Shep Smith debunks Trump’s migrant-caravan rhetoric: ‘There is no invasion’ http://mktw.net/2zi4Al3
● Map: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1057567054239277056/photo/1
// ⇈ map source link: MarketWatch (10/29): This map shows how far the migrant caravan is from the U.S. border http://mktw.net/2yHo4je

WSJ: NATO Exercise Sends Warning to Russia, Message to Members http://on.wsj.com/2CSdE3e
// Largest show of force since Cold War shows clout to Moscow, cost of security to 29 bloc members

💙💙 NYT: The Internet Will Be the Death of Us http://nyti.ms/2AADPd9
// It casts rogue grievances as legitimate obsessions and gives prejudices the shimmer of ideals.

🐣 RT @SethAbramson (MEGA-THREAD) A *major* mystery in the Trump-Russia investigation—what type of illegal election assistance Israeli intel-affiliated entities offered the Trump campaign after Trump Jr. accepted their help in August 2016—may have just been solved. I hope you’ll read on and retweet.
📌 Thread: https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1057454270788890625

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri Bombshell: Tape shows Roger Stone claiming he was “in touch” with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange before hacked emails were published:
💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1057396299144855552/photo/1

NYT: Plot to Smear Mueller Unravels as F.B.I. Is Asked to Investigate http://nyti.ms/2yFFHjp

TheGuardian: FBI asked to investigate suspected double hoax against Mueller http://bit.ly/2DcyQlD
// FBI to investigate whether a hoaxer offered women money to make false allegations about special counsel investigating Russian election meddling

ABCNews: As special counsel closes in, Roger Stone suits up for legal battle http://abcn.ws/2DbViLz

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Mueller Wants the FBI to Look at a Scheme to Discredit Him http://bit.ly/2Ogzhw8
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1057344149375119360/photo/1
// The special counsel says a woman was offered money to fabricate sexual harassment claims.

The special counsel’s office confirmed that the scheme was brought to its attention by several journalists who were told about it by a woman alleging  that she herself had been offered roughly $20,000 by a man claiming to work for a GOP activist named Jack Burkman “to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller.” The woman told journalists in an email, a copy of which I obtained, that she had worked for Mueller as a paralegal at the Pillsbury, Madison, and Sutro law firm in 1974, but that she “didn’t see” him much. “When I did see him, he was always very polite to me, and was never inappropriate,” the woman wrote. The firm has not returned a request for comment about whether the woman actually worked there.

Burkman, a conservative radio host, is known for spreading conspiracy theories. He launched his own private investigation into the murder of the DNC staffer Seth Rich, dangled uncorroborated claims of sexual harassment against a sitting member of Congress, and earlier this year offered $25,000 to FBI whistle-blowers for any information exposing wrongdoing during the 2016 election. He also promoted legislation that he authored—despite not being a member of Congress—that would ban gays from playing in the National Football League, and has hosted two fundraisers for Rick Gates—the former Trump campaign official who was indicted by Mueller late last year.

Axios, Joe Uchill: Study clarifies goals of Russia’s 2016 social media campaign http://bit.ly/2PsHbrc

The study, now under review for publication, was conducted by Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren of Clemson University, Brandon Boatwright of University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Will Grant of Australia National University.

Forbes, Baker Institute: Trump’s Sanctions On Iran Just Handed A Big Victory To Russia http://bit.ly/2zaugQc

Newsweek: Trump Calls Mueller’s Russia Probe an ‘Illegal Investigation Totally’ but Says He’ll ‘Probably’ Answer Questions http://bit.ly/2Q33wIU

WSJ: Mueller Investigators Probe Roger Stone Conference Calls http://on.wsj.com/2OfKRHY
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1057239680201175041/photo/1
// Longtime Trump adviser spoke of WikiLeaks’ plans to release emails ahead of 2016 election

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators are examining comments by Roger Stone—a longtime adviser to Donald Trump—about WikiLeaks during a series of conference calls he hosted in 2016, according to a witness in the probe and another person familiar with the matter.

In at least two August conference calls advertised online to the public and promoting himself as “the ultimate political insider,” Mr. Stone told callers about WikiLeaks’ plans to release information that he said would affect the 2016 presidential campaign before the election, according to people who listened to the sessions and recordings of one of the calls published online and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

⭕ 29 Oct 2018

ForeignPolicy, Ryan Costello and Sina Toossi: Mohammed bin Salman Is the Next Saddam Hussein http://bit.ly/2P1FyBo
// In the 1980s, the United States embraced a brutal Middle Eastern tyrant simply because he opposed Iran. Washington should not repeat the same mistake today.

CFR, Alex Grigsby: Unpacking The Competing Russian and U.S. Cyberspace Resolutions at the United Nations http://on.cfr.org/2AEdAmp

UNIAN: Kremlin calls upcoming Putin-Trump meeting “synchronization of positions” http://bit.ly/2JqDFrJ
// The presidents of the United States and Russia have a lot of issues that require exchanging views, Peskov said.

DefenseOne, Jeremy Bash and Simon Simakovsky: Four Perfectly Trump Reasons Why He Wants Out of the INF Treaty http://bit.ly/2SvbPyS

NYT: Meet the Would-Be House Committee Leaders Who Could Torment Trump http://nyti.ms/2OYXUD0 Expect subpoenas, must-see hearings and lots of investigations.
// If Democrats win control of the House, they will gain control of powerful committees that could put a check on Mr. Trump’s agenda. Expect subpoenas, must-see hearings and lots of investigations.

TheObserver, John Schindler: The Mystery of Donald Trump’s Secret Kremlin Ties Just Got a Lot Deeper http://bit.ly/2zdWSs4

🐣 RT @PaulKrugman It’s long past time to stop using the term “populist” for people like Bolsonaro or Trump. There’s nothing in their policies for the working class except racism and misogyny. White nationalist — or neo-fascist — is the right term
⋙ NYT: Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s Far-Right President-Elect, Turns Crisis Into Opportunity http://nyti.ms/2CMC0vk

🐣 RT @juliaioffe I have to say, I feel less safe as a journalist in America these days than I ever did in Russia. A lot less safe.

AP: Russian held as agent studied US groups’ cyberdefenses http://bit.ly/2EMReTy Maria Butina

BusinessInsider/Reuters: Mattis is trying to keep allies calm after Trump promised to ditch a landmark Cold War missile treaty http://read.bi/2qiU5K5

EUvsDisinfo: Commanding the Trolls http://bit.ly/2yzuH7i

Thanks to a series of journalistic investigations, many of which have been carried out by Russian reporters, it is already well known that employees at the so-called “troll factory” in St. Petersburg receive instructions about which messages they should push in social media and online debates.

Examples of such instructions have now been published in written form in the indictment from the U.S. Department of Justice, which charges a named employee at the “troll factory” with attempted meddling in the upcoming U.S. midterms elections.

The new documentation confirms and fleshes out the instruction system and the fact that the “troll factory” is still active. The evidence also showcases the “troll factory’s” activities as a strategic communications campaign with emphasis on target group awareness.

⭕ 28 Oct 2018

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind I implore members of our media to cover Trump as an authoritarian and stop amplifying his narratives. HIs goal is to undermine you, and expose you to danger. You must change the way you are covering him and not follow his shiny coins!

WaPo: Russian disinformation on Facebook targeted Ukraine well before the 2016 U.S. election http://wapo.st/2qi2PjA

Politico, Darren Samuelson: How a Democratic majority could undermine the Mueller probe http://politi.co/2SoEgyp “If history is any guide, an aggressive Congress and the Justice Department don’t always get along, especially when there’s an independent counsel involved”
// If Democrats retake the House, they want to aggressively open probes into issues the special counsel is also investigating.

If Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections, they’re prepared to use their newfound subpoena power to aggressively open probes into President Donald Trump’s finances and connections to Russia. But doing so — just as Mueller appears to be entering the final laps of his own probe — would create tensions between the special counsel and a newly crowned majority party replenished by scores of freshman lawmakers who rode into Capitol Hill on an anti-Trump wave.

TASS [RU]: Russia hopes US won’t disavow dialogues on cyber security, anti-terror fight – Lavrov http://bit.ly/2JnvtZ8 “US National Security Adviser Bolton confirmed that US leader Donald Trump wants to implement these agreements, Russia’s top diplomat said” [‼️]

⭕ 27 Oct 2018

BusinessInsider: Russia has allegedly been spreading far-right propaganda on Facebook to try and influence the US midterms — here it is http://read.bi/2D9Ig18

WaPo: Mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc made numerous references on Facebook to Russian associates and echoed pro-Kremlin views http://wapo.st/2yCN2Aj

TheIndependent [UK]: How CNN became Trumpworld’s most-hated TV network http://bit.ly/2EPbHaB
// President once enjoyed a cosy relationship with the network and praised their polls, but this rapidly deteriorated after they ran a story on the Trump-Russia dossier

⭕ 26 Oct 2018

FresnoBee/McClatchy: Judge denies Nunes access to secret depositions on Steele dossier http://bit.ly/2F0TSoQ
// and Grassley, per MSW

NYMag, Heather Hurlburt: Russia Violated an Arms Treaty. Trump Ditched It, Making the Nuclear Threat Even Worse. http://nym.ag/2zebIyS

WaPo, Dmitry Gorenburg: Here’s what the Russians think about the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from a nuclear arms treaty http://wapo.st/2SukMYS

JustSecurity, Marty Lederman: The Constitutional Challenge to Special Counsel Mueller (Post No. 2): Is Mueller Even an Officer Subject to the Appointments Clause? http://bit.ly/2Pot6e3

Politico: Papadopoulos threatens to pull out of Mueller plea agreement http://politi.co/2PnBSJy

⭕ 25 Oct 2018

Vox, Alex Finley (10/25): How Russian money and influence slipped through cracks in the US legal system http://bit.ly/2P221Ov
// The 2010 Citizens United decision helped open the door to foreign influence in US elections.

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Maria Butina’s Legal Team Embraces Disinformation (with Help from Russia http://bit.ly/2yD9M3p

💽 MSNBC, Maddow Show: Sealed court documents suggest battle over Mueller’s authority [Video] http://on.msnbc.com/2JhZJ7S
// Josh Gerstein, reporter for Politico, talks with Rachel Maddow about hints in court records that someone is challenging the validity of a subpoena from Robert Mueller.

TheWeek: Mueller reportedly has evidence Roger Stone ally knew WikiLeaks had Clinton emails http://bit.ly/2yCXE2f

Salon, Bob Brigham: Ex-FBI Agent warns Robert Mueller could be indicting Trump associates http://bit.ly/2CHZT7a
// Former FBI Special Agent warns of indictments as President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Vladimir Putin

Slate, John Reed: Mueller’s Probe Into Roger Stone’s WikiLeaks Ties Gets to the Heart of the “Collusion” Question http://bit.ly/2OV31nx

ForeignAffairs, Olga Oliker: Moscow’s Nuclear Enigma http://fam.ag/2OMFghz
// Nov-Dec issue; What Is Russia’s Arsenal Really For?

NYT, Mikhail Gorbachev: A New Nuclear Arms Race Has Begun http://nyti.ms/2Sl8y58
// President Trump says he plans to withdraw from a nonproliferation treaty that I signed with Ronald Reagan. It’s just the latest victim in the militarization of world affairs.

NBCChicago: Mueller Has Evidence Suggesting Stone Associate Knew Clinton Emails Would Be Leaked: Source http://bit.ly/2RfUisL
// Mueller’s investigators have reviewed messages to members of the Trump team in which Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi seem to take credit for the release of Democratic emails, said a person with direct knowledge of the emails

MotherJones, Dan Friedman: Text Messages Show Roger Stone Was Working to Get a Pardon for Julian Assange http://bit.ly/2yHOFwX
// Robert Mueller’s investigators have examined Stone’s efforts to neutralize possible criminal charges against the WikiLeaks founder.

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Mueller Had Learned by February 22 that Roger Stone Was Pushing an Assange Pardon in January http://bit.ly/2RiCH3D

CtrAmProg: A Mueller Investigation Refresher With Joyce Vance [podcast] http://ampr.gs/2CC4ckB
// Daniella Gibbs Leger, Ed Chung, Kyle Epstein, and Rachel Rosen

DailyBeast, Betsey Woodruff and Erin Banco: Saudi Spy Met With Team Trump About Taking Down Iran http://thebea.st/2JfxTsU
// Mueller’s investigators examined a series of meetings between an Israeli social media strategist, the general blamed for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, and Trump adviser Michael Flynn.

HillReporter, Ed Krassenstein: Mueller Reportedly Has Evidence Showing Roger Stone Took Credit For Leaked, Hacked Emails http://bit.ly/2yzufpx

BusinessInsider, Sonan Sheth: Mueller reportedly has evidence that a Roger Stone associate knew Clinton campaign emails had been stolen and given to WikiLeaks http://read.bi/2EI2kJu

JustSecurity, Marty Lederman: The Constitutional Challenge to Robert Mueller’s Appointment: Introduction http://bit.ly/2ArWmbB

TheHill: Mueller has evidence hinting Roger Stone ally knew WikiLeaks had Clinton emails: report http://bit.ly/2Pp0KQW

Law&Crime, John Banzhaf: Why Mueller Could be Forced to Indict President Trump http://bit.ly/2PQAT1b

LawFareBlog, Stephen Bates: What To Expect When You’re Expecting a Mueller Report http://bit.ly/2SjmTib

NBC: Mueller has evidence suggesting Stone associate knew Clinton emails would be leaked http://nbcnews.to/2RfhwiL
// Mueller’s team is investigating whether Jerome Corsi knew stolen emails would be leaked and passed information about them to Trump associate Roger Stone.

BBC: Facebook fined £500,000 for Cambridge Analytica scandal http://bbc.in/2OOhjGI
● photo Zuckerberg: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1055370596874444800/photo/1

⭕ 24 Oct 2018

🐣 RT @TimOBrien That time that President Trump kept a copy of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside — and other things that make his embrace of “nationalism” so dangerous and troubling. My column today:
⋙ Bloomberg, Tim O’Brien: Trump Launches a Nationalist Salvo at the Midterms http://bloom.bg/2CEv43h
// The president’s brand of allegiance to country is steeped in uncomfortable, racially charged echoes.

Speaking at a political rally in Houston on Monday night, President Donald Trump revisited some of his familiar “America First” themes. “We’re taking care of ourselves, for a change,” he advised an enthusiastic crowd, before slamming “corrupt, power-hungry globalists.” Then he pushed ahead, putting a label on that thing that ails him: “They have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned, it’s called a nationalist. And I say, ‘Really, we’re not supposed to use that word.’ You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, okay? I’m a nationalist. Nothing wrong. Use that word. Use that word.”

With that, the president — who rarely offers unvarnished, accurate descriptions of what motivates him when he’s out on the hustings — provided a candid, calculated and honest self-assessment. Hold on to that moment, because authenticity is a scarce commodity in the Oval Office. Ponder that moment, too, because it represents Trump pandering to his political base by lobbing racially charged grenades into the midterm-election frenzy — and reveling in it.

… “Notes on Nationalism” by George Orwell: “By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions and tens of millions of people can be confidently labeled ‘good’ or ‘bad.’”

The term “nationalism” also evokes the Nazis and Aryan supremacy, of course, something some Trump’s supporters dismissed as an unreasonable interpretation of what the president meant when he described himself as a member of the nationalist club. The Nazis’ “nationalism was about racial purity, it was about blood and soil,” said Steve Cortes, a commentator and Trump backer, on CNN. “American nationalism — which by the way defeated Nazism — American nationalism is about shared ideals. It’s about a Constitution.”

His first wife, Ivana, told her lawyer during their divorce that Trump kept a copy of Adolf Hitler’s collected speeches by his bedside in their Trump Tower triplex. When a reporter questioned Trump about the book in 1990, he balked and then said it was a gift. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them,” Trump also told the reporter. (Trump doesn’t read books, or much of anything else, so he may have been telling the truth when he said he didn’t read the Hitler collection.)

Trump routinely speaks of himself and family members as having superior intellect and success in life because they have “good genes,” a worldview he may have inherited from his father. His decision to take on the mantle of being a nationalist can only be understood in the broader context of electioneering and race-baiting. Trump and his administration have described the migrant caravan winding its way through Central America in the most sensational and fabricated of ways, saying that it’s essentially an army of misfits populated by terrorists and Middle Easterners.

For a nationalist hoping to shore up his base before the midterm elections, demonizing and lying about unwanted outsiders is a card to play, even if it’s a morally bankrupt move. For others around the country, having become better acquainted with the president and perhaps less shocked by him, it’s time to discover how well they know themselves — and whether they’re ready to counter the nationalism Trump will continue rolling out.

Politico: Mueller link seen in mystery grand jury appeal http://politi.co/2qbvN4v
// The special counsel appears to be locked in a dispute with a mystery grand jury witness, but much of the case is sealed.

Snopes/AP: Trump Adviser Bolton Says No Clarity on Further Sanctions on Russia http://bit.ly/2CDxTBI
// The U.S. imposed the latest Russian sanctions earlier this year in reaction to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain.

DefenseNews: Democrats demand answers about Trump plans to drop nuke treaty with Russia http://bit.ly/2O2MKrz

Reuters: Congress postpones questioning Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Trump, Russia probe http://reut.rs/2PVEWt9

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: George Papadopoulos Hopes to Fuel Republicans’ Suspicions About the Russia Probe http://bit.ly/2qhNiAt
// The former Trump campaign aide who has pleaded guilty will say in House testimony Thursday that the FBI and British intelligence worked to deter President Trump’s election effort.

NYT: When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn http://nyti.ms/2SgCDm7

WaPo, Yochai Benkler: The Russians didn’t swing the 2016 election to Trump. But Fox News might have. http://wapo.st/2JcO8a5 “the fundamental driver of disinformation in American politics of the past three years has not been Russia, but Fox News”
// Blaming foreign influence is a cop-out. The most influential propaganda is homegrown.

NYT: Alexander Soros: The Hate That Is Consuming Us http://nyti.ms/2SfVqOn
// Bombs sent to my father, George Soros, and to former President Obama and Hillary Clinton are a result of our politics of demonizing opponents.

⭕ 23 Oct 2018

ViceNews, Greg Walters: How an ex-marijuana farmer became conservatives’ latest hope to take down Robert Mueller http://bit.ly/2PgD94Y

Andrew Miller was growing pot in California just a few months ago. Next year, he hopes to take down special counsel Robert Mueller in the Supreme Court.

In August, Miller, a former aide to Republican provocateur Roger Stone, refused to answer a subpoena from Mueller, who’s leading the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. That decision has put the 34-year-old Miller in contempt of court, but it’s also opened a pathway to attack the constitutionality of Mueller’s entire investigation.

Now, with the backing of a powerful Washington conservative legal group with a track record of targeting Democrats, Miller has positioned himself as the real-life avatar of a favored conservative argument: the special counsel never should’ve been appointed at all. And he’s hoping the high court’s rightward alignment, with the help of Brett Kavanaugh, will override the lower courts that have already dismissed the idea.

TPM, Kate Riga: Stone Inquiry Shows Mueller’s Suspicion That He Was Tied To Trump Campaign http://bit.ly/2JeEEv4

HuffPo: Former White House Lawyer Ty Cobb Says Mueller Probe Isn’t ‘A Witch Hunt’ http://bit.ly/2q98BUI
// That assessment pits Cobb against his former boss, President Donald Trump.

TheHill: FBI unable to find photos of Comey, Mueller ‘hugging and kissing’ as Trump claimed http://bit.ly/2AoO701

⭕ 22 Oct 2018

Salon, Keith Spencer: Team Mueller investigating GOP strategist Roger Stone: report http://bit.ly/2EFJkeP
// The strange relationship between Stone, Wikileaks, Assange and Russian hackers has Mueller’s eye

ABCNews: Targeted by Mueller, what did Trump confidante Roger Stone actually do? http://abcn.ws/2EHaMc0

Law&Crime: Mueller Reportedly Has Recordings of Roger Stone in His Possession http://bit.ly/2PYin76

Reuters: Trump lawyer: Manafort said nothing damaging in Mueller interviews http://reut.rs/2yWPL77

TheWeek, Matthew Walther: How the Mueller fairy tale ends http://bit.ly/2JdIV1R

CNN: Mueller drills down on Roger Stone’s WikiLeaks contacts http://cnn.it/2q5l5fU

🐣 Dear @jzikah, I posted your three amazing drawings on my blog. Let me know if this is not okay. Here’s the link: https://wp.me/PDKwi-6Kc The post is of resources on #TrumpRussia. The blog itself is about the tv series #TheBlacklist. I keep a number of fact-based backgrounders.

💽 MSNBC, Rachel Maddow Show: Trump team fails again to confront Russia on election intrusion http://on.msnbc.com/2q9eJME Interview w Rep. Adam Schiff
// Rep. Adam Schiff talks with Rachel Maddow about the recent indictment of another Russian for being part of an active campaign to interfere in the 2018 election, and the Trump administration’s failure to confront Russia when given the chance.

BuzzFeedNews: Meet The Woman Who Is Proudly Russia’s Troll-In-Chief http://bit.ly/2PNUm2K
// Maria Zakharova has revolutionized what it means to be a Russian diplomat — in real life and online. “She’s like Marmite: Some people love her and some people hate her.”

⭕ 21 Oct 2018

WaPo: Special counsel examines conflicting accounts as scrutiny of Roger Stone and WikiLeaks deepens http://wapo.st/2q4ngk1

⭕ 20 Oct 2018

🐣 RT @Comey The United States should be a shining light for the world, modeling a democracy that values truth, respects free press, protects human rights, and stands against murderers, oppression, and bigotry. Trump and the Republican Party are dimming that light.

LATimes, Virginia Heffernan: Something is desperately wrong when America is accused of covering up the killing of a dissident http://lat.ms/2CtaX8d //➔ on the courage of dissidents in authoritarian regimes: Kara-Murza, Nemtsov, Solzhenitsyn, Khashoggi

On Thursday, the twice-poisoned Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza looked in fine health as he accepted the Train Foundation Prize for Civil Courage in New York. The award honors “steadfast resistance to evil at great personal risk.”

Kara-Murza, a 37-year-old journalist and filmmaker, admitted he’d been physically weakened by attempts on his life in 2015 and 2017. He’s well aware that dissent can also be fatal. After all, in 2015, just before Kara-Murza was poisoned the first time, his mentor and fellow foe of Vladimir Putin, Boris Nemtsov, was shot and killed on a bridge just outside the Kremlin.

Great personal risk, indeed.

The Civil Courage Prize was inspired by another Russian dissident: Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Like Kara-Murza and Nemtsov, Solzhenitsyn, a novelist and historian, criticized the Russian — then Soviet — government. In 1945, he was condemned to eight years in a work camp for poking fun at Stalin in a personal letter.

When the collected works of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi are published, I hope my parents and other patriotic Americans will buy those books too.

Khashoggi, like Nemtsov, was evidently killed in cold blood by a distinctly un-American government willing to desecrate the canon of human rights to shore up a fragile tyranny.

NYT, Nicholas Kristof: Desperately Seeking Principled Republicans http://nyti.ms/2AkhPTW
// The party has lost its way, and it’s time to start over.

⭕ 19 Oct 2018

TPM, Tierney Sneed: Politico: Secret Grand Jury Legal Fight Appears Mueller Related http://bit.ly/2yxkuZe

WIRED, Garrett Graff (10/19): Russian Trolls Are Still Playing Both Sides—Even With the Mueller Probe http://bit.ly/2Aqg0Vx

TPM, Allegra Kirkland: Mueller Expected To Deliver Reports On Obstruction, Collusion After Midterms http://bit.ly/2Ao7ia9

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Did Michael Flynn Have a Back Channel to Email Hackers During the Campaign? http://nym.ag/2CwQdMD

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: A Defector From Conservatism With a Clear Vision of Trump’s Rise http://nym.ag/2Cu6eD6
// Max Boot, The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Call CNN fake news? Check. Cast Paul Ryan as weak? Check. Call Mueller a Democrat conducting an unfair probe? Check. Allege widespread voter fraud? Check. The new criminal complaint lays out how the Russians’ messaging has copied Trump’s almost verbatim:
⋙ TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: DOJ Says Russian Trolls Are Interfering Online With the Midterms http://bit.ly/2yQ7Pjm  
// A criminal complaint filed Friday charges a Russian national, employed by a firm linked to Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence, with helping direct interference in the 2018 midterm elections.  

NYT: U.S. to Tell Russia It Is Leaving Landmark I.N.F. Treaty http://nyti.ms/2Pd4KnB I.N.F. = the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The Trump administration is preparing to tell Russian leaders next week that it is planning to exit the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, in part to enable the United States to counter a Chinese arms buildup in the Pacific, according to American officials and foreign diplomats.

President Trump has been moving toward scrapping the three-decade-old treaty, which grew out of President Ronald Reagan’s historic meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986. While the treaty was seen as effective for years, Russia has been violating it at least since 2014 in an effort to menace other nations.

But the pact has also constrained the United States from deploying new weapons to respond to China’s efforts to cement a dominant position in the Western Pacific and to keep American naval forces at bay. Because China was not a signatory to the treaty, it has faced no limits on developing intermediate-range nuclear missiles, which can travel thousands of miles.

The White House said that no official decision had been made to leave the treaty, known as I.N.F., which at the time of its signing was considered a critical step in defusing Cold War tensions. But in the coming weeks, Mr. Trump is expected to sign off on the decision, which would mark the first time he has scrapped an arms control treaty, the American officials said.

Now that the treaty is largely in tatters, the question is whether the decision to leave it will accelerate the increasingly Cold War-like behavior among the three superpowers: the United States, Russia and China.

🐣 RT @ScotMStedman BREAKING: Russian media is reporting that all of Agalarov’s bank accounts in the US have been closed at the request of Mueller.
Tweet Link: https://twitter.com/ScottMStedman/status/1053452467197771776
⋙ rbc.ru: В США закрыли банковские счета Crocus Group Араза Агаларова http://bit.ly/2PH6bYo

Lawfare: Russian Electoral Interference: 2018 Midterms Edition http://bit.ly/2Pg71P6
// by “Russian Electoral Interference: 2018 Midterms Edition,” the latest from Victoria Clark, Mikhaila Fogel, Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, Matthew Kahn and Benjamin Wittes

DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley: The Feds Have the Russian Troll Farm Receipts http://thebea.st/2Evygkw
// New indictment sheds light on Russian election meddlers secretive “Project Lakhta.”

TPM, Tierney Sneed: New Complaint Offers Details On How Russian Internet Trolls Were Financed http://bit.ly/2PNwM6p

TPM, Tierney Sneed: The Russian Trolls Mueller Indicted Pushed Social Posts Bashing Mueller http://bit.ly/2P9rqVH

WSJ: Mueller Probes WikiLeaks’ Contacts With Conservative Activists http://on.wsj.com/2R0CK3L
// Ties between the website and Roger Stone, Peter W. Smith get a closer look

Medium, Ryan Casey (2017: Mueller’s Art of War http://bit.ly/2P93odz
// 6/21/2017, “He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.” –– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

NBC: Russian woman charged with attempted meddling in upcoming U.S. midterms http://nbcnews.to/2NR6rCC
// Elena Khusyaynova works for a company owned by a Putin pal who has already been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

MotherJones: New Justice Department Case Shows Russia Is Now Attacking the Midterm Elections http://bit.ly/2PcNIpF
// Putin’s assault on America didn’t stop after the 2016 election—and it still favors Trump.

Politico, Darren Samuelson: Mueller report PSA: Prepare for disappointment http://politi.co/2CsC17u
// And be forewarned that the special counsel’s findings may never be made public.
⋙ 🐣 Seems inconsistent with Rosenstein’s statement in his WSJ interview that “at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence.”

🐣 If Bill Clinton said ‘It’s better to be strong and wrong that weak and right,’ HE is wrong. This election has female virtues on one side running against Reckless Testosterone on the other. Let the Women Lead. Especially you, @MorningMika Jesus. @Morning_Joe

🐣 Dems are running a campaign of Persuasion. The GOP is running a campaign of Fear. Dems are the anti-Lunacy Party. If this looks “weak” to you, you’re missing the point & falling into the Trump mindset that Strength is the only virtue & what is needed is a Strongman @Morning_Joe

WaPo, Tom Toles: After not colluding with Russia, Trump is now not colluding with Saudi Arabia http://wapo.st/2Ai6vro

⭕ 18 Oct 2018

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Three big ideas to bolster democracy http://wapo.st/2CT17xm

TheHill: Mueller assembles team of cooperators in Russian probe http://bit.ly/2PgYviM

Salon: Historian Christopher Browning on the Trump regime: We’re “close to the point of no return” http://bit.ly/2CRhZET
// Scholar of the Nazi period explains why fake news may be a more powerful authoritarian tool than secret police

⭕ 17 Oct 2018

VanityFair, Abigail Tracy (10/17): It Looks Like Mueller May Have a November Surprise http://bit.ly/2PRvO91

BusinessInsider: Rosenstein is said to be pressuring Mueller to wrap up the Russia probe, but Mueller looks nowhere near finished http://read.bi/2ytQ0ab

Wonkette, Evan Hurst: Fusion GPS Founder Glenn Simpson Is Through With Republicans’ Bullsh*t http://bit.ly/2CoXzly

WSJ: In Interview, Rod Rosenstein Defends Mueller Probe as ‘Appropriate and Independent’ http://on.wsj.com/2QSpsX0 //➔ first explicit statement I’ve seen that findings will be made public
Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1052819193639460864/photo/1
// In interview, deputy attorney general says investigation has revealed widespread Russian effort to meddle in 2016 election

In an expansive interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Mr. Rosenstein offered a forceful defense of the inquiry, saying the public would have faith in its findings.

“People are entitled to be frustrated, I can accept that,” he said, in a nod to attacks on the probe from some conservatives and Republicans. “But at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources.”
– – – – – –
“I try very hard to ignore media speculation about what we’re doing and focus instead on what we’re actually doing,” Mr. Rosenstein said. “We sit down every day and we work toward the goals of the department and try to ignore the inevitable attention in the media.”

Mr. Rosenstein declined to comment on a timetable for completion of the Mueller probe, but the special counsel’s office has taken some actions suggesting it could wrap up within several months, including holding negotiations with the White House about whether Mr. Trump would submit to questioning.

✅ AP FACT CHECK: Trump distorts migrant policy, Russia probe http://bit.ly/2RZ4tTE

Politico: Massive Twitter data release sheds light on Russia’s Trump strategy http://politi.co/2QXo5GC

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Will Mueller show his cards soon after the election? Here are 3 scenarios. http://bit.ly/2QZw5ah
// Many in the political world think that may be the time.

WaPo: Senior Treasury employee charged with leaking documents related to Russia probe http://wapo.st/2pX3HKn

Prosecutors charged Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards with the unauthorized disclosure of suspicious activity reports and conspiracy. The charges were filed in federal court in New York but she is scheduled to make her first court appearance in Northern Virginia, officials said.

Edwards, 40, works as a senior adviser at the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, often referred to as “FinCEN.”

⭕ 16 Oct 2018

MSNBC, Steve Benen (TRMS): Trump tries to move the goalposts on Russia scandal (again) http://on.msnbc.com/2OtFom3

CNN: Trump campaign spending doubles amid midterms, Russia inquiry http://cnn.it/2AfQXo1

WaPo: House Russia-probe witness invokes Fifth Amendment as Trump urges firing of DOJ official connected to dossier http://wapo.st/2pXTIVb

TheWeek: Robert Mueller will reportedly issue reports on Trump and Russian collusion, obstruction after midterms http://bit.ly/2EqXErt

⭕ 15 Oct 2018

Lawfare, by Stephen Bates, Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittes (10/15): Jaworski Road Map to be Mostly Unsealed http://bit.ly/2Q8n7XX

⭕ 14 Oct 2018

WaPo: 60 Minutes: Putin is ‘probably’ involved in assassinations, but ‘it’s not in our country,’ Trump says http://wapo.st/2yhYhOm Trump declined to say that he will not end the Russia investigation, although he said he does not intend to do so

WaPo, Anne Applebaum: This is why so many journalists are at risk today http://wapo.st/2Cfw51r Universal access to what they write makes journalists a threat to those in power

… In Russia, the authorities use a different tactic: They seek to drown accurate information in a flood of state-sponsored garbage, producing reams of contradictory stories designed to undermine the very notion of “truth.” …

🐣 RT @ActiveMeasuresDoc Sounds like Putin doesn’t think the dossier is a hoax.
⋙ TheSun, Patrick Knox [UK]: PUTIN’S ‘PLOT’ Vladimir Putin ‘ordered Salisbury novichok hitman to assassinate Brit spy behind Trump sex dossier’ http://bit.ly/2RPjBmv
// Alexander Mishkin, 39, was allegedly behind the failed hit on the double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Wiltshire… but it is now claimed he was linked to another mission to kill former MI6 officer Christopher Steele 

⭕ 13 Oct 2018

WIRED, Emily Dreyfuss: Robert Mueller Has Already Told You Everything You Need To Know http://bit.ly/2pQrtrg “I think that what people miss is that Robert Mueller has been writing the Mueller Report in public through all of these court filings.”

NYT, Peter Baker: Is Trump on a Collision Course With Impeachment? http://nyti.ms/2QQ8Krb
// Democrats are largely ducking the topic on the campaign trail, but few people in Washington doubt that it will be on the table if they win the House.

⭕ 11 Oct 2018

Politico: Trump lawyers working on answers to Mueller’s Russia conspiracy questions http://politi.co/2A6lftp

USAToday: Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump: ‘You asked Russia to hack me’ http://bit.ly/2IS1jgs

HuffPo: There’s More Evidence The Times Flubbed A Major Trump-Russia Story http://bit.ly/2yzaGgi (featuring @maddow coverage of NewYorker piece by Dexter Filkins)
// featuring Maddow coverage; A report in The New Yorker offers a chilling look at how things went so wrong.
[ ⋙ NYT (10/31/2016): Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia http://nyti.ms/2CcPjoz
// 10/31/2016, By Eric Lichtblau and Steven Lee Myers ]
⋙ NewYorker, Dexter Filkins: Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign? |http://bit.ly/2E7Hm6F
// 10/15/2018 issue [also under 10/8]
⋙ See under Entire Articles: NYer Russian Bank Trump 10-15-2018 [dup]

CNN: GOP Senator Burr says there’s still ‘a lot of investigation left’ on Russia despite Trump comment to the contrary http://cnn.it/2NEeD99

RFE/RL: Top Corruption Investigator Shot Dead In Moscow Region http://bit.ly/2OSaenr She had a name. It was Yevgenia Shishkina. She was shot in the neck leaving her apartment building in the town of Arkhangelskoye, near the capital.

Politico: Trump: Nunes should get Medal of Freedom for Russia pushback http://politi.co/2CELGc6

Politico: Judge Ellis questions ‘highly unusual’ Manafort plea deal with Mueller http://politi.co/2Egorqx

Salon: Investigative reporter Craig Unger: “Trump has had contacts with the Russian mafia for 35 years” http://bit.ly/2OQrslk
// Author of “House of Trump, House of Putin” on the president’s long history with Russian oligarchs and murky money

⭕ 10 Oct 2018

WSJ: A Trio of Wealthy Russians Made an Enemy of Putin. Now They’re All Dead. http://on.wsj.com/2ydSERA
// Nikolai Glushkov, a close associate of the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky, was preparing to testify that Aeroflot was a corrupt instrument of Russian intelligence

WaPo: Trump talked with Jeff Sessions’s own chief of staff about replacing him as attorney general http://wapo.st/2IPW9BF Matthew Whitaker

Bloomberg: Ukraine Is Dangerously Close to a Religious War http://bloom.bg/2IP1Kbg
// To avoid bloodshed, all sides will have to act wisely.

WSJ: Late GOP Activist Peter W. Smith Met With Former Trump Adviser Michael Flynn in 2015, Sources Say http://on.wsj.com/2QJggUY (earned a 💥 from @benjaminwittes)
// New email and interviews indicate the Republican operative who sought to obtain Hillary Clinton’s emails had established a relationship with Mr. Flynn http://on.wsj.com/

Lawfare, Andrew Kent: Faithful Execution of the Office and Laws: New Research on the Original Meaning of Article II http://bit.ly/2yvy5PS

Newsweek: Trump-Russia Dossier Author Breaks Silence, Slams President’s ‘Distorted’ and ‘One-Sided’ Administration http://bit.ly/2E9RdbZ

SkyNews [UK]: Ex-MI6 spy takes veiled swipe at Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2yeGHuL

Sky News has seen the text of an email written by Mr Steele to the editor of Vanity Fair after he was chosen to feature on its list of the 100 most influential people in the media, politics, entertainment and finance.

The 54-year-old wrote: “In these strange and troubling times, it is hard to speak unpalatable truths to power, but I believe we all still have a duty to do so.

“I salute those on your list, and otherwise, who have had the courage to speak out over the last year, often at great personal cost.

“At a time when governance is so distorted and one-sided, as I believe it currently is in the United States, the media has a key role to play in holding it accountable.”

Mr Steele enters the at-times lighthearted list at number 38. He is the only named British national on the American-dominated countdown.

Topping the chart is Robert Mueller, a former FBI director who is leading a special inquiry into Russia.

Former first lady Michelle Obama is at number six, while singer Beyonce is at number eight.

Mr Trump did not make the list.

⭕ 9 Oct 2018

WaPo, Robert Kagan: Welcome to the jungle http://wapo.st/2yaQ1jq “welcome to the breakdown of the liberal world order the United States once upheld. You’re seeing just the beginning.”

Vox, Andrew Prokop: The past 48 hours in Mueller investigation news, explained http://bit.ly/2QHqPaP
// We’ve gotten news on Alfa Bank, Psy-Group, and Peter W. Smith — three long-simmering subplots of the Russia investigation.

CNBC: Trump campaign aide Rick Gates reportedly asked Israeli intel firm in 2016 to draft plans for social media influence campaign http://cnb.cx/2Pp07Um
One proposal from Psy-Group included using fake profiles to attack Senator Ted Cruz, a main opponent of Trump’s during the Republican primary, and influence 5,000 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Robert Mueller and his team of investigators have obtained these proposals and have questioned Psy-Group employees, according to The New York Times.
There is no evidence that the Trump campaign accepted and acted on the proposals, nor is there evidence that this is connected to Russia’s interference.

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: While Mueller Stays Quiet, Suspicious Trump–Russia Clues Keep Popping Up http://nym.ag/2REK2LY

TheAtlantic, Franklin Foer: Suspended Animation in the Age of Trump http://bit.ly/2IJuUZo
// Before Donald Trump was elected, I reported on strange activity linking a Trump-campaign computer server to Moscow. A new report shows how much has changed since 2016—and how many questions still remain.

NYT: The Mueller Investigation Is Bigger Than Rod Rosenstein http://nyti.ms/2pKIWl6
// Even if he got fired, a replacement dead set on shutting down the investigation would find it nearly impossible to pull off.

.@jzikah sums up Active Measures https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1049682969932259329/photo/1
// drawing

⭕ 8 Oct 2018

NYT, David Farendhold: After selling off his father’s properties, Trump embraced unorthodox strategies to expand his empire http://nyti.ms/2PmZeeT

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: While Mueller Stays Quiet, Suspicious Trump–Russia Clues Keep Popping Up http://nym.ag/2REK2LY

TheAtlantic, Franklin Foer: Suspended Animation in the Age of Trump http://bit.ly/2IJuUZo
// Before Donald Trump was elected, I reported on strange activity linking a Trump-campaign computer server to Moscow. A new report shows how much has changed since 2016—and how many questions still remain.

📊 CNN Poll: Kavanaugh nomination has lowest public support since Bork http://cnn.it/2pH9Sly //➔ he’s also the only judge listed with a Net Unforvable rating
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1049598481936146433/photo/1

DailyBeast, Kevin Poulsen and Spencer Ackerman: Researchers: No Evidence That Russia Is Messing With Campaign 2018—Yet http://thebea.st/2OJS5se
// By the first week of October 2016, Russia’s pawprints were all over the presidential race. Not this year, researchers say.

Politico, Darren Samuelson: Trump team’s contact with Mueller targets could taint findings http://politi.co/2C4HS2F
// Legal experts say the president’s lawyers may be pushing ethical boundaries by communicating with people involved in the Mueller probe.

🐣 RT @MaxBoot The GOP must suffer devastating defeats starting in Nov. It must pay a heavy price for its embrace of white nationalism & know-nothingism. Only if GOP is burned to the ground will there be a chance to build a reasonable center-right party out of ashes. Me:
⋙ WaPo: The dark side of American conservatism has taken over http://wapo.st/2zYTaUC
● Text Block: /photo/1 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1049421199439212550

Ryan’s retirement signals the final repudiation of an optimistic, inclusive brand of Reaganesque conservatism focused on enhancing economic opportunity at home and promoting democracy and free trade abroad. The Republican Party will now be defined by Trump’s dark, divisive vision, with his depiction of Democrats as America-hating, criminal-coddling traitors, his vilification of the press as the “enemy of the people,” and his ugly invective against Mexicans and Muslims. The extremism that many Republicans of goodwill had been trying to push to the fringe of their party is now its governing ideology.

That’s why I can no longer be a Republican, and in fact wish ill fortune on my former party. I am now convinced that the Republican Party must suffer repeated and devastating defeats beginning in November. It must pay a heavy price for its embrace of white nationalism and know-nothingism. Only if the GOP as it is currently constituted is burned to the ground will there be any chance to build a reasonable center-right party out of the ashes. But that will require undoing the work of decades, not just of the past two years.

Metro [UK]: Two bullets ‘found in body of pilot’ flying Putin prosecutor linked to Trump http://bit.ly/2zYxoAk
// Two bullets have been found in the body of a helicopter pilot who was carrying one of Vladimir Putin’s top prosecutors, it has been alleged.

NewYorker, Dexter Filkins: Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign? http://bit.ly/2E7Hm6F
// 10/15/2018 Issue, A team of computer scientists sifted through records of unusual Web traffic in search of answers.
⋙ See under Entire Articles: NYer Russian Bank Trump 10-15-2018

⭕ 7 Oct 2018

Politico.eu, Michał Broniatowski: Euro Council President Donald Tusk makes scathing attack on Russian influence http://politi.co/2zW87qu
// Council president says Russia will do ‘whatever it can’ to undermine European unity.

WSJ: GOP Operative Peter W Smith Secretly Raised at Least $100,000 in Search for Clinton Emails http://on.wsj.com/2E38BiP
// Opposition researcher’s efforts are of intense interest to investigators probing Russian election interference

⭕ 6 Oct 2018

WaPo, Deanna Paul: With Kavanaugh confirmed, impeachment could follow. Here’s how. http://wapo.st/2E1nBhe

Axios, Lauren Meier: U.S. trails behind Russia, China in organizing militarily in space http://bit.ly/2y4XYXs

Salon, Andrew O’Hehir: Interview: Pulitzer-winning reporter Greg Miller on Trump and Russia: We’ve all seen the smoking gun http://bit.ly/2QzuSGh on Greg Miller’s new book “The Apprentice”
// Washington Post reporter on Trump’s “subservience” to Vladimir Putin and the “subversion of American democracy”

WIRED, Brian Barrett: Don’t Buy the Trump Administration’s China Misdirection http://bit.ly/2zUCAoR

⭕ 5 Oct 2018

FresnoBee, Eric SwalWell: Nunes buried evidence on Russian meddling to protect Trump. I know because I’m on the committee http://bit.ly/2QAdNMt

ABCNews: Is Russia playing a double game in Mueller court battle? http://abcn.ws/2IGRfXy

DefenseNews, Willis Krumholz: The president must say no to ‘Fort Trump’ in Poland http://bit.ly/2pFYcQ5

FrezboBee, Eric Swalwell: Nunes buried evidence on Russian meddling to protect Trump. I know because I’m on the committee http://bit.ly/2QD9cJB

WaPo: Mike Pence and the Trump administration’s complicity in downplaying Russian election interference http://wapo.st/2QyX24h

CNBC: Justice Department charges 7 Russian hackers with targeting doping agencies, nuclear energy company http://cnb.cx/2BZAwgO
The Justice Department on Thursday said it has charged seven Russian intelligence officials with hacking doping agencies and other organizations.
The charges did not appear to be directly related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation of Russia’s interference and potential coordination with the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller’s probe has lodged charges against dozens of Russian nationals and Russian companies for violating U.S. laws in their alleged efforts to meddle in the election that put Trump in the White House.

⭕ 4 Oct 2018

🐣 RT @BillBrowder There are now two dead Russians who blew the whistle on Russian money laundering that was ultimately connected to Danske Bank: Sergei Magnitsky and Alexander Perepilichnyy. This money laundering was NOT a victimless crime.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BillBrowder The Danske Bank money laundering scandal deepens. New information shows that they conducted ‘mirror trades’ to launder money for clients of a Russian company owned by Alexander Perepilichnyy, who died suddenly in Surrey in 2012
⋙⋙ FinancialTimes: Danske Bank memo shows how Russians moved money http://on.ft.com/2CsuPZM
// ‘Highly profitable’ mirror trades were used by clients to get money out of country
↥ ↧
DailyBeast, Nico Hines: Russian Official Linked to Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Trump Tower Lawyer, Is Dead http://thebea.st/2y1WPzD
// Russia’s Deputy Attorney General Saak Karapetyan was exposed this year for running a foreign recruitment operation with Natalia Veselnitskaya.

NYRB, Christopher R. Browning: The Suffocation of Democracy http://bit.ly/2O8INWU
// 10/25/2018 issue
⋙ See under Entire Articles: NYRB Suffoc Democracy 10-25-2018

🐣 RT @anneapplebaum the @nytimes expose of the Trump family’s tax fraud leads me back to the question: Why weren’t they caught? Because, as I wrote before, rule of law has failed in America already. Trump’s presidency is not the cause, it is the result.
⋙ WaPo, Anne Appelnaum (Aug): Are you still sure there’s no need to worry? http://wapo.st/2O6QNIc
// 8/10/2010

Supposedly, “rule of law” is an important principle to any Western society, perhaps the most important principle. Belief in the judicial system is what makes contracts work and commerce possible; even-handed enforcement of the law is what separates rule-based democracy from whimsical autocracy. Listen closely as Manafort’s trial unfolds: Long before Trump got to Washington, and long before Manafort helped him get there, judicial and law enforcement institutions failed to stop them. Are you still sure that there is no need to worry?

🐣💙 RT @BillBrowder BREAKING: Saak Karapetyan, Deputy General Prosecutor of Russia, just died in a helicopter crash in Kostroma, Russia. He was official who signed documents prepared by Natalia Veselnitskaya sent to US DOJ to try exonerate Prevezon in US money laundering case

⭕ 3 Oct 2018

🔄💙💙 NYT: The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh ~ Signed, 1,000✛ Law Professors (and Counting) http://nyti.ms/2xZX26r //➔ up from 650✛ Wednesday afternoon @SenatorCollins @JeffFlake @lisamurkowski @SenSasse Why? #JudicialTemperament ¤ #Partisanship ¤ #Perjury ¤ #MeToo

CenterAmerProgress (CAP), James Lamond: The Origins of Russia’s Broad Political Assault on the United States http://ampr.gs/2O4TslF

CNBC: Putin says Trump should blame himself for high oil prices http://cnb.cx/2Nj50MZ

PBS: Putin says election meddling ‘nonsense’ risks poisoning U.S.-Russia relations http://to.pbs.org/2xYsmm9

BuzzFeedNews: This Ohio Woman’s Run-In With The FBI Gives Us A Window Into Robert Mueller’s Trump–Russia Probe http://bit.ly/2DUUYSH
// In 2016, Cassandra Ford renamed a Twitter account for the persona leaking hacked Democratic emails. That earned the FBI’s interest and a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Reuters: Global energy bosses send Trump a message: world needs Russian gas http://reut.rs/2QnsJgS

Haaretz: Russia Blasts ‘Dangerous’ U.S. Threat on Missiles as Trump NATO Envoy Walks Back Comments http://bit.ly/2QrIF1K
// The U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison clarified in a tweet that she was not talking about a preemptive strike against Russia

WaPo: Trump allies, offering no specifics, say former FBI official gives ‘explosive’ testimony in Russia probe http://wapo.st/2xWHTmw

TheMoscowProject: The Trump Corruption Story Is Also a Russia Story http://bit.ly/2ybZupU

⭕ 2 Oct 2018

DworkinReport: We just released a new report revealing Lindsey Graham’s Russia-linked donations http://bit.ly/2NtxGCT
// Len Blavatnik, Born Russia, US citizen, linked to Vekselberg

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Erik Prince’s Russian Connection Trawled Trumpland for ‘Boss’ Putin http://thebea.st/2yaC2Jy
// In the days after the 2016 election, a well-connected Moscow executive started pitching Trump associates on a bold plan for renewed U.S.-Russian cooperation. http://thebea.st/

WaPo, Philip Bump: The cover-up uncovered: How Team Trump tried to bury or confuse the Stormy Daniels story http://wapo.st/2OtYAyX with timeline

WaPo, Philip Rucker and Robert Costa: ‘The trauma for a man’: Male fury and fear rises in GOP in defense of Kavanaugh http://wapo.st/2OvQSo4 “This eruption of male resentment now seems likely to play a defining role in the midterm elections just five weeks away, contrasting with a burst of enthusiasm among women”

🐣 RT @marceldirsus This is noteworthy: “Russia must halt its covert development of a banned cruise missile system or the United States will seek to destroy it before it becomes operational, Washington’s envoy to NATO said on Tuesday.”
⋙ Reuters: U.S. would destroy banned Russian warheads if necessary: NATO envoy http://reut.rs/2DNUFJt

⭕ 1 Oct 2018

Politico: Roger Stone associate Randy Credico to plead 5th before Senate panel http://politi.co/2NgekkL Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, has said Credico was his intermediary to Assange and WikiLeaks.

🐣 RT @NorahODonnell What is Mueller zeroing in on? -@NorahODonnell ¤ “The many indictments that we’ve seen so far give us a lot of clues. Obviously he’s very very focused on the obstruction front. And his interest in these figures around Trump..are ways to get at that question” -@gregpmiller
💽 /https://twitter.com/NorahODonnell/status/1046736708782510080photo/1

⭕ 30 Sep 2018

NBC, Glenn Kirschner: As Kavanaugh accusations dominate the news cycle, Mueller’s investigation quietly builds momentum http://nbcnews.to/2RdVn5a
// Manafort’s cooperation should be an invaluable tool for Mueller as he continues to probe possible Russian interference — and American collusion.

TheHill: The Mueller investigation: Where it stands at the midterms http://bit.ly/2OtmhaE

⭕ 29 Sep 2018

TheGuardian, David Smith: Interview: Rob Goldstone on Trump: ‘I think he likes Russia because Russia liked him’ http://bit.ly/2OgtY47
// The pop publicist was catapulted into the spotlight by his email setting up the infamous Trump Tower meeting: ‘It’s a lot for a boy from Manchester’

⭕ 28 Sep 2018

WashingtonExaminer: House Intel votes to release Russia inquiry transcripts for Lynch, Yates, Cohen, Trump Jr., and others http://washex.am/2R9YFXi

Politico: Mueller defends authority, hearkens back to Garfield administration http://politi.co/2DDZLHX

Reuters: Lavrov notes Trump blamed China, not Russia, for U.S. election meddling http://reut.rs/2QfzFMQ

TheGuardian: Russian-US tycoon boasted of ‘active’ involvement in Trump election campaign http://bit.ly/2NPwhf7
// Exclusive: Simon Kukes was in contact with senior Kremlin official in 2016 while donating to Trump-supporting committee

🐣 RT @MaxBergman Want to know where Mueller is going? Read this story. Campaigns need money and this w/d be one way to get money to the Trump campaign… “To me this reads like an email exchange between a source and a handler, or a source and headquarters,” said Lindsay Moran, a fmr CIA officer.
⋙ NBC, Richard Engel et al: Big donor to Trump campaign made overture to top Russian official, boasting of connections http://nbcnews.to/2zC6NZL
// The businessman, who donated $273,000 in 2016, wanted a face-to-face meeting with a Russian official.

⭕ 27 Sep 2018

TheGuardian, Michael Lewis: ‘This guy doesn’t know anything’: the inside story of Trump’s shambolic transition team http://bit.ly/2xU6xE6 by the author of Moneyball and The Big Short
// Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and The Big Short, reveals how Trump’s bungled presidential transition set the template for his time in the White House

Bloomberg: Russia Sanctions Unlikely to Pass Congress Before November http://bloom.bg/2QeryjB
● House is likely to go on recess through the mid-term elections
● Lawmakers urge Trump to hold Russia accountable for meddling

QuadCityTimes, David Ignatius: ‘Russia collusion’ claim doesn’t add up http://bit.ly/2DA2qmb

NYMag, Eric Levitz: White House Eyes Wingnut Critic of Russia Probe As Rosenstein’s Replacement http://nym.ag/2Qe1wNo

LATimes, Harry Litman: With or without Rod Rosenstein, the Russia probe will survive http://lat.ms/2ObwLeX

SLPostDispatch/WaPo, Kai Bird: Apprentice’ helps make Russian inquiry (somewhat) coherent http://bit.ly/2zzVQbh

MSN: Trump accusing China (not Russia) of election meddling http://bit.ly/2OWbkeG if GOP gets “a shellacking” in midterms, he can blame the Chinese

USAToday, Gabriel Schoenfeld: If Donald Trump fires Rod Rosenstein, how bad would that be for American democracy? http://usat.ly/2zAf5RW

CNN: US runs into opposition from Russia, China on North Korea sanctions http://cnn.it/2OoURmB

Politico: Mueller cooperator fears retribution from Russia http://politi.co/2In78SY Richard Pinedo

Politico: House Intel Committee tees up release of Russia probe transcripts http://politi.co/2Il0XyN

⭕ 26 Sep 2018

USAToday, Chris Truax: Protect Mueller and Rosenstein. It’s a ‘Profiles in Courage’ moment in American history. http://usat.ly/2IquoQ0

AP: China urges US to stop slander after Trump’s meddling claim http://bit.ly/2xH50kY

CNN: The Trump lawyers you don’t see are the ones driving dealings with Robert Mueller http://cnn.it/2NLTAXb

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff, Erin Banco: Revealed: What Erik Prince and Moscow’s Money Man Discussed in That Infamous Seychelles Meeting http://thebea.st/2Odv3K0
// Mueller’s team and Congressional investigators have looked into a meeting in the Seychelles between allies of Trump and Putin. Now we have the Russian read-out of what was said.

⭕ 25 Sep 2018

Politico (9/25): Ken Starr: Trump’s Defense Team Should Be ‘Very Concerned’ http://politi.co/2NUKWFF
// The former Whitewater prosecutor says that he understands Trump’s reluctance to cooperate with Mueller, but believes that the president has an obligation to do so.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Trump’s notable ‘obstruction’ concession http://wapo.st/2N8Qnf1

“There was no collusion, there was no obstruction,” he said. “I mean, unless you call ‘obstruction’ the fact that I fight back. I do fight back. I really fight back. I mean, if you call that obstruction, that’s fine. But there’s no obstruction, there’s no collusion.”

WaPo, David Ignatius: A GOP spin on the Russia probe reads like a noir thriller — but doesn’t add up http://wapo.st/2IfWFIR

NYRB, Murray Waas: Mike Pence, Star Witness http://bit.ly/2NFiWGa

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: A Supreme Court Case Could Liberate Trump to Pardon His Associates http://bit.ly/2OQE74x
// Gamble v. United States isn’t related to the Russia investigation. But the outcome—which one senior Republican senator has tried to influence—could still have consequences for the probe.  

WaPo: ‘People actually laughed at a president’: At U.N. speech, Trump suffers the fate he always feared http://wapo.st/2DuTTAJ

Axios: EU, Russia and China reach payments deal to counter Trump’s Iran move http://bit.ly/2OQCmnX establishes a special payments system to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran

The U.K., Germany, France, Russia and China have agreed to establish a special payments system to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran stemming from President Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, the Financial Times reports.

The big picture: The payments channel would be an alternative to SWIFT, the backbone of the global financial system that allows Iran to get paid for oil, pay for its imports and finance its activities abroad. The five countries involved in the agreement remain committed to doing business with Iran, which the International Atomic Energy Agency says is still complying with the terms of the nuclear deal. President Trump, meanwhile, has threatened that anyone doing business with Iran will not be able to do business with the U.S.

WaPo: Trump accused Germany of becoming ‘totally dependent’ on Russian energy at the U.N. The Germans just smirked. http://wapo.st/2NHIVfW

Yahoo: Fiona Hill, Trump’s top expert on Russia, is quietly shaping a tougher U.S. policy http://yhoo.it/2xBmGy2

⭕ 24 Sep 2018

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Gabe Sherman reports that the Rosenstein leak appears to have been a “smoke bomb” to knock Kavanaugh out of the news. “The strategy was to try and do something really big,” said a source familiar with Trump’s thinking.
⋙ VanityFair, Gabriel Sherman: “The Strategy Was to Try and Do Something Really Big”: Trump Wanted to Nuke Rosenstein to Save Kavanaugh’s Bacon http://bit.ly/2MX4zYs
// But Trump allies are privately imploring him to cut Kavanaugh loose to save Republicans’ electoral chances in the midterms.

🐣 RT @craigunger If Solicitor Gen. #NoelFrancisco replaces #Rosenstein, you think he has no conflicts? Think again. #Francisco’s firm is #JonesDay, and, as per #HouseofTrump, House of Putin, JonesDay “represents at least ten major corporations and orgs close to #Putin’s heart.”
https://twitter.com/craigunger/status/1044263114823356416/photo/1

CNBC, Jacob Pramuk: Former FBI Deputy Director McCabe worries Rosenstein exit would put Russia probe ‘at risk’ http://cnb.cx/2OVy7qY
● Former FBI No. 2 Andrew McCabe says Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s potential departure could jeopardize the Russia investigation.
● McCabe denies providing the information that fueled an explosive New York Times report about Rosenstein last week.
● Rosenstein oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Politico, Kyle Cheney: Mueller pushed to discuss Trump dossier author http://politi.co/2pzF32j
// Prosecutors were responding to an indicted Russian company’s complaint that the special counsel ‘selectively’ targeted the firm while giving Steele a pass.

✅ FactCheck.org: Kavanaugh File: Executive Privilege http://bit.ly/2NqCQDC a review of his record

🐣 RT @BillKristol In light of the real threat to Rob Rosenstein and therefore to Robert Mueller, Republicans for the Rule of Law has a new ad up. We urge the Senate (that’s you, @SenateMajLdr) to pass the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act (S. 2644), voted out of committee 14-7, ASAP.
💽 https://twitter.com/BillKristol/status/1044351473092624385/photo/1

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Sources tell Vanity Fair that Trump blamed Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley for agreeing to delay Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony until Thursday. “He thinks they look weak,” a Republican briefed on Trump’s thinking said.
VanityFair: “The Strategy Was to Try and Do Something Really Big”: Trump Wanted to Nuke Rosenstein to Save Kavanaugh’s Bacon http://bit.ly/2QQe8eO
// But Trump allies are privately imploring him to cut Kavanaugh loose to save Republicans’ electoral chances in the midterms.

🐣 RT @MSchwarz3 Statement from Andrew McCabe re: Rosenstein rumors:
https://twitter.com/MSchwartz3/status/1044249097824169984/photo/1

🐣 RT @davidfrum Nothing is true and everything is possible, as they say of Putin’s Russia

🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood WH @PressSec Sanders: “At request of Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss recent news stories. Because President is at UN General Assembly and has full schedule w/world leaders, they’ll meet Thursday when President returns to Washington”

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng: Trump Lawyers Demand Mueller Probe ‘Time Out’ if Rosenstein is Ousted http://thebea.st/2Iavxer 🐣 RT @NateSilver538 p.s. the correct esoteric physics metaphor to use with Rosenstein is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, not Schrödinger’s cat, insofar as the the reporting of the story has possibly affected the outcome.

“If in fact Rod Rosenstein does end up resigning today,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said on his radio program on Monday, “I think it clearly becomes necessary and appropriate…that there be a step back taken here, and a review, a review that has to be thorough and complete…and basically a time out on this inquiry.”

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand One big q if Rosenstein does leave is whether his firing/forced resignation would constitute obstruction. Trump has wanted to shut down the Mueller probe, but the Times story gave him a cover for firing Rosenstein that, on its face, is unrelated to Russia.
TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: What Rosenstein’s Exit Would Mean for Mueller’s Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2xzAXeU
// The deputy attorney general is reportedly on his way out at the Justice Department, though the exact circumstances are unclear.

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind If the NYT had retracted their story over the weekend, after reporting based on a source INSIDE the room by WAPO and NBC News indicated Rosenstein was being sarcastic, Trump wouldn’t have a pretext to fire Rosenstein. Instead, NYT doubled-down.
🐾
🐣 RT @tedlieu If Rosenstein departs, Noel Francisco should not oversee the Special Counsel investigation. His previous firm Jones Day represents the @realDonaldTrump campaign in the Special Counsel investigation. This is a huge conflict of interest.
⋙ 🐣 RT @WalterShaub Michael, you quote a conservative watchdog group as stating that Noel Francisco would take over the investigation. However, Francisco could not do that without a waiver. He has a two-year recusal obligation from any particular matter in which Jones Day is representing a party.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @shearm BREAKING — Rod Rosenstein expected to leave his job as second in command at the Justice Department – and person in charge of Russia probe — after the NY Times revealed his discussions about taping the president and the use of 25th amendment to oust him.
⋙⋙⋙ NYT: Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, Is Considering Resigning http://nyti.ms/2I9IdSC

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Under no circumstances should Rod Rosenstein resign. This would place the Mueller investigation in even greater jeopardy. Rosenstein should continue to do his job, protect the independence of the DOJ, and if the President intends to obstruct justice, force Trump to fire him.

🐣 RT @SethAbramson I first tweeted on Trump’s eventual firing of Rosenstein in June ’17. My position since then: Rosenstein *will* be fired, it’s only a matter of when. Now it *may* be happening, and just before the election—a surprise. It means Trump thinks the Russia probe is at DEFCON 2 for him.

🚫🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind No way to sugarcoat the serious danger we and our democracy are in at this moment. The only foreseeable way to check a train full steam ahead to authoritarian rule is by installing a check on Trump in the midterms. He will next take down the Mueller probe – the parts he can.
// incendiary, poss premature

🐣 RT @RonaldKlain I’m trying to decide if the Trump WH is bungling the handling of the Kavanaugh nomination to distract us from the Rosenstein firing, or if it is firing Rod to distract from the disaster of the Kavanaugh nomination.
// me, too

🐣 RT @ActiveMeasuresDoc As of today we can no longer rely on the Mueller investigation as the full and final word on the Russia Scandal. It is more important than ever that every American know what Trump and Putin did. All hands on deck. There is no time to wait. #ActiveMeasures

🐣 RT @RVAWonk Just a thought… but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the talk about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offering his resignation was a well placed WH leak designed to lay the groundwork for Trump firing him without it looking like obstruction.

💥 JustSecurity: BREAKING: “Rod Rosenstein has verbally resigned to Chief of Staff John Kelly in anticipation of being fired by President Trump, according to a source with direct knowledge.” via @axios

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom Attempted Collusion = Collusion, Failed Collusion = Collusion
⋙ 🐣 RT @juliaioffe “[Goldstone] acknowledged that the candidate’s son, Donald Trump Jr., came into the room anticipating — and very happy to accept — “opposition research” he believed was coming from the Russian government.”
⋙⋙ NBC: Rob Goldstone wishes he’d never set up that Trump Tower meeting with the Russians http://nbcnews.to/2xMEEgA
// Goldstone, who arranged the Trump Tower meeting at the request of a pop star, says Mueller’s team wanted to know about links between Trump and Russia.

JustSecurity, Norman Eisen and Ryan Goodman: We Have Nothing to Fear But FEAR Itself http://bit.ly/2Dox4i8
// Woodard’s book should not be relied on by those seeking to understand Mueller’s work

🐣 RT @NewYorker 80,000 votes in 3 states put Trump in the White House. Now a meticulous analysis of online activity during the campaign makes a powerful case that cyberattacks by Russian hackers and trolls were decisive: http://nyer.cm/KjFUQYp 

NewYorker, Jane Mayer: How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump http://nyer.cm/KjFUQYp 
// 10/1/2018 issue, A meticulous analysis of online activity during the 2016 campaign makes a powerful case that targeted cyberattacks by hackers and trolls were decisive.

TheHill: House panel signals Russia probe document dump before midterms http://bit.ly/2OMlQ8u

USAToday, Norman Eisen and Asha Rangappa: Robert Mueller is playing a long game on the Russia investigation, and it’s paying off http://usat.ly/2pzOxu5
// Mueller’s careful strategy is increasing the likelihood his report will see the light, and Rod Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions will keep their jobs.

⭕ 23 Sep 2018

ABCNews: Roger Stone sought contact with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, email suggests http://abcn.ws/2ONOEgT

🐣 RT @kelly2277 💥BOOM💥 Artem Klyushin is also involved w the IRA Russian bots ‼️
⋙ 🐣 RT @kelly2277 Artem Klyushin is the key to the bot nets and their use is a[]trump sub domains 🔥 @mikefarb1
https://twitter.com/kelly2277/status/951346596087812097/photo/1

🐣 Trump may be a bull in a china shop, but Bannon wants to blow the place up.

⭕ 22 Sep 2018

Bloomberg: Deripaska’s Team Sees Major Progress in Talks to Lift Sanctions http://bloom.bg/2znEmif //➔ Say what?
● A new plan is under discussion with Treasury, people say
● But it’s still unclear if a formal agreement will be reached

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Rod Rosenstein Talk of Taping Trump Was Considered Serious By Lisa Page http://thebea.st/2O21LOo
// Two sources told The Daily Beast that FBI lawyer Lisa Page was present for Rod Rosenstein’s comments on secret recordings and did not believe he was joking or being sarcastic.

WaPo: Trump holds his fire as advisers urge him not to dismiss Rosenstein http://wapo.st/2OJIOwY “According to aides, Trump is likely to fire Sessions after the election anyway and removing Rosenstein now would only serve to hurt Republicans facing voters in a few weeks”

TheAtlantic, Dick Polman: Donald Trump Might Be the ‘Client From Hell’ http://bit.ly/2IckK3v “You’re dealing with someone who has no regard for the truth. He has never built a trustworthy relationship with a lawyer. You just don’t get a lot of the essential information.”
// The president doesn’t seem to understand what lawyers do—including the ones trying to defend the presidency.

TheGuardian: ‘Lingering stench’: Trump promises more firings at Justice and FBI http://bit.ly/2NzxTcI

💙💙 WaPo: How a British music publicist ended up in the middle of the Russia storm http://wapo.st/2MTWVOv (Rob Goldstone)

Politico: Trumpworld divided on Rosenstein — not whether to fire him, but when http://politi.co/2QSxFeQ
// The disagreement between his advisers in the West Wing and those on Fox News aren’t about whether he should, but about timing and stated justification.

YahooNews, Michael Isakoff: Publicist Rob Goldstone wonders if he was ‘patsy’ in Trump Tower meeting http://yhoo.it/2xLTUtU

WaPo: Former top White House official revises statement to special counsel about Flynn’s calls with Russian ambassador http://wapo.st/2zn3i9B K.T. McFarland

⭕ 21 Sep 2018

Vox, Alex Ward: Rosenstein is the only person between Trump and Mueller. He may soon be gone. http://bit.ly/2zp71DD
// Rosenstein’s ouster may now be imminent. That’s really bad news for Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe.

🐣 RT @jdawsey1 NEW tonight: White House pushed DOJ to issue a more forceful statement tonight. Trump has begun polling advisers if he should fire Rosenstein and saying he doesn’t trust him. W/@DevlinBarrett & @mattzap:
⋙ WaPo: McCabe memos say Rosenstein considered secretly recording Trump http://wapo.st/2MRaSg4

🐣 RT @EricBoehlert GOP’s plan for next week: fire Rosenstein to try to stop Mueller, while ramming thru an accused sexual attacker to Supreme Court. ¤ i’ve said this over and over folks, there’s nothing written anywhere that guarantees the U.S. gets a happy ending.

🐣 RT @juliehdavis Trump in apparent reference to Rosenstein story today: Just look at what is now being exposed in the Dept of Justice and the FBI. …You see what happened at the FBI — they’re all gone — but there’s a lingering stench, and we’re going to get rid of that too.”

🐣 RT @Rep!attGoetz Surprisingly measured statement by @RepMattGaetz
Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1043284189037125632/photo/1
↥ ↧ reformatted
🐣 RT @jonathanswan A strikingly reserved statement on Rosenstein by @RepMattGaetz, who is one of Trump’s favorite members of Congress. A signal worth paying attention to.
https://twitter.com/jonathanvswan/status/1043279458202005504/photo/1

🐣 RT @JackieSchechner I’m not conspiratorial, but it’s awfully suspicious Rosenstein hit piece emerges on same day Trump’s forced to backtrack on FISA declassification order. Almost like when plan A to discredit DOJ failed, Trump allies moved to plan B, feeding convenient narrative to NYT.

🐣 RT @martylederman 1. A few thoughts on the Rosenstein story:
First, the Times headline and lede are surprisingly, and regrettably, far too credulous and unequivocal, asserting that RR in fact made serious suggestions about wearing a wire and moving toward use of the 25th. @adamgoldmanNYT @nytmike
📌 Thread: https://twitter.com/marty_lederman/status/1043256080971776001
… 4. Whether he meant the comments seriously or was speaking facetiously doesn’t really matter now, however, because the leak has already served both of its evident purposes: (i) to further discredit anything Mueller/DOJ/FBI does in the eyes of the Trump base; and …
… 5. … to give Trump a facially plausible pretext to remove RR. And what happens if Trump does fire RR? Unless & until the Senate confirms a new DAG, *most* of RR’s duties/functions would be performed by PADAG Ed O’Callaghan. But *not* oversight of the Russia/SDNY investigations.

🐣 RT @ShimonPro Two different sources close to the WH are indicating the Rosenstein allegations could serve as a pretext to put the president back in a mood to fire the Deputy Attorney General. @Acosta
⋙ 🐣 RT @Susan_Hennessey Firing Rosenstein is as good as firing Sessions or Mueller for the president’s purposes. Even if there would be a legitimate reason to fire him, it woul

🐣 RT @GlastnostGone Nothing to see here. Just 65 Russian tanks, 102 armoured vehicles, 41 pieces of artillery & 4 anti-aircraft systems seen by #OSCE in #Ukraine https://www.osce.org/special-monitoring-mission-to-ukraine/397055 …. All locations listed in my vid showing 1,000 pieces of Russian Hardware https://youtu.be/xuozzUWa5Gc  #Donbas #Donbass
https://twitter.com/GlasnostGone/status/1043246962999525378/photo/1

🐣 RT @HunterDK So the ppl with direct knowledge discount the story completely, the ppl with indirect knowledge have a different interpretation, and NYT goes with the second rather than the first. ¤ Bold and curious choice there.
⋙ 🐣 RT @KyleCheney Person in the room when Rosenstein discussed wearing a wire said: “I remember this meeting and remember the wire comment. The statement was sarcastic and was never discussed with any intention of recording a conversation with the president.”
… UPDATE: DOJ source says there are NO plans for Rosenstein to change anything about his supervision of the Mueller probe based on the NYT revelations.

🐣 RT @ezlusztig The stupidest and also most appropriate thing would be for a constitutional crisis to be precipitated by right-wing authoritarians running with an anonymously sourced NYT hit piece so just assume that’s what will happen.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 The same day Trump Jr. emailed “if it’s what you say I love it,” $3,300,000 began moving between two of the men who orchestrated the Trump Tower meeting: Aras Agalarov and Ike Kaveladze. Mueller is examining the transaction, BuzzFeed reports.
BuzzFeedNews: The Planners Of The Trump Tower Meeting Moved Millions, And Mueller Is Now Investigating http://bit.ly/2OIJ7bk
// Documents show suspicious transfers began six days before the controversial meeting.

NYT: In Reversal, Trump No Longer Demands Declassification of Russia Documents http://nyti.ms/2xGeZ9h

💙💙 NYT: Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Recording Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment http://nyti.ms/2zlKuaE

WaPo: Trump walks back his plan to declassify Russia probe documents http://wapo.st/2QSrtUb

🐣 RT @AFP #UPDATE Moscow and Beijing lash out Friday at Washington’s new anti-Russian sanctions that also target China for the first time, Beijing warning the US could ‘bear the consequences’
⋙ YahooNews: China, Russia warn US of consequences over sanctions http://yh2xHYUzK

‼️ 🐣 RT @TodayShow Rob Goldstone, the man behind the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, speaks out exclusively Monday on TODAY:
“I don’t know who wanted this meeting.” -Goldstone
“But it was a dirty offer.” – @CynthiaMcFadden
“Yes.” -Goldstone

TheWeek, William Falk: Closer to the truth http://bit.ly/2O5gjfU This is the editor’s letter in the current issue of The Week magazine.

🐣 .@ScottShaneNYT @MarkMazzettiNYT I really liked your article in the @NYTimes: The Plot to Subvert an Election ~ Unraveling the Russia Story http://nyti.ms/2NpLymt ⋙ The only factual issue I had was your referring to @ggreenwald as a “leftist.” He is truly in a class by himself.
Ygg
⭕ 20 Sep 2018

🐣 RT @20Committee OK, except Woodward is exculpatory on Trump’s Kremlin collusion only in a highly narrow and technical way, which makes perfect sense if you know Bob’s longstanding MO, which he’s been chugging at in DC for 45 years and counting. ¤ I shall elaborate….
📌 Thread: https://twitter.com/20committee/status/1041427138208051201

ABCNews: Michael Cohen spoke to Mueller team for hours; asked about Russia, possible collusion, pardon: Sources http://abcn.ws/2xsSTrw

ABCNews/AP, Chad Day: AP Explains: Mueller’s legal actions not overlooked by Trump http://abcn.ws/2NtCRHG

NYDailyNews Editorial: Rage against the machine: Trump’s latest offensive in his war on the Russia investigation http://nydn.us/2QK3J4p

WashingtonMonthly, Nancy LeTourneau: Trump Should Be More Worried About the Brennan Dossier http://bit.ly/2popwlx

ThinkProgress: Trump admits Fox News hosts influenced his decision to declassify key Russia documents http://bit.ly/2PSvF4G //➔ Who at @FoxNews is setting our national security policy? It was Ailes. Who is it now? Shouldn’t they have to pass a background check?
// “The great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the wonderful great Jeanie Pirro.”

TheTimes [UK]: President Trump ‘was afraid of angering Russia’ http://bit.ly/2xpDM2a “Trump rejected Theresa May’s plea for US retaliation over the poisoning of the Skripals although she was “95 per cent certain” of Russian involvement, according to a new book“

Bloomberg, Chris Strohm: The FBI Is Quietly Asserting Its Independence From Trump http://bloom.bg/2Dfap83
● Bureau to push redactions in Trump’s declassification order
● White House would have to order FBI probe of Kavanaugh claims

NBC, Elena Holodny: Russia, China embrace uneasily, aim for ‘desirable world order’ http://nbcnews.to/2PNLlpU
// Moscow-Beijing relations are “showing dynamic growth,” according to Chinese leader Xi Jinping. He also described Vladimir Putin as a “close friend.”

Politico, Kyle Cheney: Democrats fear Trump ‘October Surprise’ document dump http://politi.co/2prmuNI they ‘fear a plan to taint special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe, while simultaneously motivating Trump’s political base’
// Democrats worry that Trump and his allies are teeing up a series of document releases meant to gin up GOP voters before the midterms.

TIME: How Putin’s Oligarchs Got Inside the Trump Team http://ti.me/2QNEaiJ

USAToday, Cindy Otis: Ex-CIA analyst: Trump order on Russia documents abuses power, risks national security http://usat.ly/2xsF7Fh

NYT, Scott Shane and Mark Mazetti: The Plot to Subvert an Election ~ Unraveling the Russia Story So Far http://nyti.ms/2NpLymt #TrumpRussia
// For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack: hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies — and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means.
⋙ See under Entire Articles: NYT Shane Subvert Election 9-20-2018
⇈ ⇊
NYT: A Timeline Showing the Full Scale of Russia’s Unprecedented Interference in the 2016 Election, and Its Aftermath http://nyti.ms/2MR2Vay See also article: NYT: The Plot to Subvert an Election ~ Unraveling the Russia Story So Far http://nyti.ms/2NpLymt #TrumpRussia

⭕ 19 Sep 2018

ABCNews/AP, Chad Day: AP Explains: Mueller’s legal actions not overlooked by Trump http://abcn.ws/2NtCRHG

TheHill: Comey: Mueller may be in ‘fourth quarter’ of Russia probe http://bit.ly/2OBxWkM

🐣 RT @krassenstein: BREAKING: ABC News is reporting that the Steele Dossier sat in a New York FBI field office for several months in late 2016. ¤ Meanwhile FBI agents in D.C. had already been investigating Trump Campaign/Russian connections for months prior. ¤ “Deep State Hoax” Narrative DEAD!
⋙ ABCNews: Trump ‘dossier’ stuck in New York, didn’t trigger Russia investigation, sources say http://abcn.ws/2xnMgH2

Newsweek: Vladimir Putin Whispered to Donald Trump About Deep State Conspiracies Ruining Their Friendship: Book http://bit.ly/2MOAxpy in “The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy” by Greg Miller

AP: Trump: Declassified Russia probe papers expose ‘bad things http://bit.ly/2NTw3CO

Bloomberg: FBI, DOJ Plan Redactions Despite Trump’s Document Order http://bloom.bg/2NpPzHF

RCP/MSNBC: Hillary Clinton: Trump May Be A Witting Russian Tool; He Plays Checkers, Putin Playing Three-Dimensional Chess http://bit.ly/2pnyIa8

⭕ 18 Sep 2018

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand .@RepAdamSchiff says on @CNN that it was FBI Director Wray and Deputy AG Rosenstein who told him that the release of the Russia documents Trump wants declassified would be considered “a red line that must not be crossed as they may compromise sources and methods.”

NPR: Justice, Spy World Veterans Warn Of Consequences If Trump Releases Secret Docs http://n.pr/2OAv7An

🐣 RT @Susan_Hennessey Regarding Trump’s declassification order (or whatever it is), Democrats in the Gang of Eight are requesting an immediate briefing from DOJ, DNI, and FBI on the actual planned declassification process, proposed redactions, and Privacy Act compliance.
Text block: https://twitter.com/Susan_Hennessey/status/1042224513101062145/photo/1
⋙ DemLeader: [ Letter ] http://bit.ly/2pjmD5z

VOA: Trump Hints of More Declassifications in Russia Probe http://bit.ly/2PPmrqa “If I were a Russian with information useful to the US, Trump’s order would make me more nervous than before about my identity being kept secret, and thus less likely to share what I have … ”

TheRickWilson: So I’ve had a couple conversations this morning with some former and current IC people. ¤ The line crossed on this declassification-as-obstruction is redder than you can imagine.

NYT: Trump’s Growing Legal Team Has a Problem: It’s Operating Partly in the Dark http://nyti.ms/2xyqDTq

Politico: Trump-proof aspects of Manafort deal rankle lawyers http://politi.co/2MMypyV
// Robert Mueller seems to have built in safeguards to discourage the president from pardoning Manafort.

NYMag, Margaret Hartmann: Trump Declassifies Russia Probe Documents in Latest Attempt to Undermine Mueller http://nym.ag/2DiyuLg

The materials won’t immediately be made public. In a classic Trumpian move, the administration made the announcement before giving the Justice Department specific instructions about what it’s supposed to release, according to the Washington Post. The department responded with a statement saying it will review the information to ensure it doesn’t release anything that would put “national security interests” at risk.

“When the President issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests,” the statement said. “The Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the President’s order.”

For months Trump’s allies in Congress have worked to supply documentation to back up the president’s insistence that the Russia probe is a “witch hunt,” while the Justice Department has fought to withhold information that might damage the ongoing probe. Representative Matt Gaetz, one of the leaders in this fight, offered a peek at the narrative Republicans will push.

“These documents will reveal to the American people some of the systemic corruption and bias that took place at the highest levels of the DOJ and FBI, including using the tools of our intelligence community for par­tisan political ends,” said Gaetz.

NBC: Are intel officials trying to slow Trump order to declassify Russia probe documents? http://nbcnews.to/2xnd4Hh
// Officials hope the declassification review will happen, but express private outrage Trump and allies want to spill secrets for apparent political purposes.

Esquire, Charles Pierce: The President* Just Declassified Intelligence Materials to Please the Fox News Crowd http://bit.ly/2ML3McP “This probably won’t end well for America”

Make no mistake. The material being released is cherry-picked in order to keep the rubes riled and to throw sand in the gears of the ongoing investigations. (The release also may be timed to take some of the heat off Brett Kavanaugh, but I think that’s a minor consideration. This is about the president*’s chestnuts being in the fire.) It is a release tailored to fit the specifications of the increasingly febrile presidential base. I’m surprised they didn’t have Sean Hannity or Alex Jones do the vetting.

WaPo: ‘Really bad things were happening’: Trump suggests that his declassifying Russia documents will expose FBI wrongdoing http://wapo.st/2QGqGFC

NYT: Trump Orders Russia Investigation Documents Be Declassified http://nyti.ms/2NRvklt

RollingStone, Ryan Bort: Trump Made His Most Desperate Move Yet to Discredit the Russia Investigation http://rol.st/2Dbf0Ib
// The president has ordered the release of a trove of top-secret material related to the long-running probe

💙 TheHill, Mark Penn: Time for sunshine on Trump-Russia investigation http://bit.ly/2xlbxBw  //➔ To keep an open mind, I’ve been trying to see “the other side” of #TrumpRussia that didn’t sound hysterical or conspiratorial; Mark Penn does pretty good here. An interesting read.

Reuters: Anti-Kremlin activist was probably poisoned: Berlin MD http://reut.rs/2Oy0V8V “Pyotr Verzilov, publisher of a Russian online news outlet and affiliated with the anti-Kremlin band Pussy Riot … was probably poisoned with a substance that has affected his nervous system”

⭕ 17 Sep 2018

LawFare, Suzanne Spaulding and Harvey Rishikof: How Putin Works to Weaken Faith in the Rule of Law and Our Justice System http://bit.ly/2prHzaM

TheAtlantic: Key Senate Republicans Express Support for Mueller Probe http://bit.ly/2NQHjzT 
// Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Kennedy of Louisiana said on the Sunday shows that Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation, as did Ken Starr and Chris Christie.

NBC: In stunning move, Trump declassifies documents related to Russia probe http://nbcnews.to/2QEOrh9
// The move covers about 20 pages of the warrant obtained to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and FBI interviews.

🐣 RT @ChrisGeidner It’s declassification o’clock, per the president —> https://twitter.com/chrisgeidner/status/1041801231709229056/photo/1

🐣 RT @Countercheklist WikiLeaks is a GRU operation. Hostkey.ru is owned by P. Chayanov, who’s a RU hacker. He has access to the site’s SSL
https://twitter.com/counterchekist/status/858862125976047616/photo/1

🐣 RT @LincolnsBible
📌 Thread: https://mobile.twitter.com/LincolnsBible/status/1021746621313212417

SkyNews [UK]: Leak reveals Julian Assange plan to escape Britain and flee to Russia http://bit.ly/2QCIaT8 //➔ he’s a Russian tool; has been for years
// Leak shows plans for the WikiLeaks founder to escape Britian and gain a visa to travel to Russia in 2010.

AP showed the documents to former WikiLeaks associates and verified non-public details such as bank accounts, telephone numbers or airline tickets to check the authenticity of the files.

Assange’s relationship with Russia is of interest to America, with the FBI claiming Russia’s military intelligence agency directly gave WikiLeaks stolen emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and other Democratic figures ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.

⭕ 16 Sep 2018

TheAtlantic, Hillary Clinton: American Democracy Is in Crisis http://bit.ly/2NPdfVg
// Our democratic institutions and traditions are under siege. We need to do everything we can to fight back.

LondonTimes: I was a fool to think we could reset relations with Russia, says Johnson http://bit.ly/2OlCECN //➔ did he try a red button?

⭕ 15 Sep 2018

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Paul Manafort’s Modus Operandi: Accuse the Female Politician of Crimes She Didn’t Commit, Then Dodge Sanctions http://bit.ly/2MADAlk

NYT, Helene Cooper: Fraying Ties With Trump Put Jim Mattis’s Fate in Doubt http://nyti.ms/2xdBfaU

Reuters: Manafort cooperation could energize Mueller probe: legal experts http://reut.rs/2xdswWm Randall Eliason, Jed Shugerman

TheGuardian, Tim McCarthy: Trump and ‘collusion’: what we know so far about Mueller’s Russia investigation http://bit.ly/2xaFZy8
// The special counsel has secured multiple indictments, and an agreement with Paul Manafort that could pose a threat to Trump

CNN, Kara Scannell and Marshall Cohen: Here’s how Paul Manafort might be helpful to the Russia investigation http://cnn.it/2xlpf7F

TheAtlantic, John Sipher: Trump’s Soviet Approach to Intelligence http://bit.ly/2D27SxT
// Stalin ignored his spies when their findings contradicted his assumptions. Now the president is making the same mistake.

WaPo: ‘Robert Mueller’s real quest here is for the truth’: How Paul Manafort’s plea brings the special counsel probe closer to its end game http://wapo.st/2CX6vjQ

NYT, Andrew Kramer: How a Ukrainian Hairdresser Became a Front for Paul Manafort http://nyti.ms/2OuAmBK NYT: Fraying Ties With Trump Put Mattis’s Fate in Doubt http://nyti.ms/2xdBfaU

🐣 RT @TheAtlantic: “Arthur Schlesinger Jr. asked in 1973: ‘If the Nixon White House escapes the legal consequences of its illegal behavior, why will future Presidents and their associates not suppose themselves entitled to do what the Nixon White House has done?’”
⋙ TheAtlantic, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr (Nov 1973): Dealing With an Out-of-Control President, in 1973 http://bit.ly/2p715ZT
// 11/1/1973, In the midst of the Watergate scandal, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. considered how Richard Nixon had abused the powers of the presidency—and how constitutional order could be restored.

⭕ 14 Sep 2018

🐣 RT @kenvogel NEW: People who worked with MANAFORT in Ukraine think his real value to MUELLER may be flipping on the oligarchs, the pols they funded & the Western firms/operatives who assisted them, including ones he recruited, like TONY PODESTA, MERCURY & @SKADDENARPS.
⋙ NYT, Kenneth Vogel: Manafort Plea Deal Casts New Scrutiny on Lobbyists He Recruited http://nyti.ms/2CZ1Qhx

LawfareBlog, by Stephen Bates, Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittes (9/14): The Watergate ‘Road Map’ and the Coming Mueller Report http://bit.ly/2zsp3nl

📒 Manafort Superceding Criminal Information [pdf] http://on.wsj.com/2NhgtRR 76p
// more legible than ↧
⇈ ⇊
Lawfare: Document: Superseding Criminal Information Against Paul Manafort http://bit.ly/2p7qe6R
// plus plea deal (17p) and Statement of Offenses (24p)

Lawfare: The Manafort Guilty Plea, the Mueller Investigation, and the President http://bit.ly/2NhgZPN
// By Victoria Clark, Mikhaila Fogel, Matthew Kahn, Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, Benjamin Wittes

WaPo: Manafort’s guilty plea exposes hardball tactics he used to thrive in Washington swamp http://wapo.st/2xaJmW0

NYT, Jill Lepore: The Hacking of America [multimedia] http://nyti.ms/2p8kBFt
// Political and technological disruption have fed off each other since the nation’s founding. Now they are dangerously out of whack.

NYT Editorial: Welcome to the President’s Rat Pack, Paul Manafort http://nyti.ms/2QCMty2
// The demand for justice once again outweighs the president’s demand for loyalty.

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Mueller Just Called Bullshit on Lobbying Powerhouse Mercury LLC http://thebea.st/2NecUfi
// The special counsel’s latest files says that employees of the firm knew that they were working for a foreign government, and not disclosing it.

MMFA: Sean Hannity reacts to Manafort plea deal by attacking the “cancer” growing in “every single intelligence agency” http://bit.ly/2OnbCLx
// Hannity: “These once great instituitions tonight are hanging in the balance”

🐣 RT @MarkWarner Today’s admission of criminal guilt by Paul Manafort clearly demonstrates that the President’s 2016 campaign manager conducted illegal activity in conspiracy with Russian-backed entities and was beholden to Kremlin-linked officials.

WaPo: ‘Bada bing bada boom’: Paul Manafort’s attempt to smear a jailed Ukrainian politician http://wapo.st/2Mwficd

Politico, Darren Samuelson: Manafort’s surrender shows Mueller probe’s overwhelming force http://politi.co/2NMGs3c
// A surprise guilty plea from Trump’s former campaign chairman shows that Mueller’s high-powered probe has been nearly impossible to resist.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Here’s the text of the plea deal that spells bad news for Roger Stone, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and, last but not least, Junior’s dad and his BFF Vlad. And it’s good news for beleaguered US taxpayers, for our national security, and for justice:
⋙ RawStory: Paul Manafort’s entire plea agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller http://bit.ly/2NPsKfI

🐣 RT @craigunger In charging doc, note #Manafort’s use of #Lucicle as shell company for laundering $. Lucicle was in name of #IvanFursin, a key operative for Semion #Mogilevich who is the brains behind the RU Mafia, and whose operatives worked w Trump for more than 30 yrs. …

WaPo: Manafort’s guilty plea exposes hardball tactics he used to thrive in Washington swamp http://wapo.st/2xl4B6q

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman: Speed Read: ‘Obama Jews’ and Other Shocking Highlights From New Manafort Docs http://thebea.st/2NLOZ6l
// Special counsel Robert Mueller dropped fresh revelations about Paul Manafort ahead of the ex-Trump aide’s guilty plea in federal court Friday.

NewYorker, Adam Davidson: Parsing Paul Manafort’s Plea Agreement for How Much Dirt He Has on Trump http://bit.ly/2OnsIZK
⋙ See under Entire Articles: NYkr Parsing Manafort 9-14-2018

Mueller gets another guilty plea and avoids a potential loss at trial, which serves to undercut Trump’s repeated argument that the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt.” Even if Mueller already knows everything that Manafort has to offer, it would be helpful to have another voice confirming details at some future criminal trial for some other defendant.

At a minimum, Manafort should be able to provide more information about the Trump Tower meeting, in June, 2016, in which Donald Trump, Jr., Manafort, and Jared Kushner sat down with the Kremlin-associated lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and several others from the former Soviet Union. It is one of the more explicit moments in which senior members of the Trump campaign met with people close to the Kremlin to discuss working together to help elect Trump. Among the Trump team, Manafort would be, by far, the most experienced in dealing with emissaries from Russia and its allies, and the one most likely to understand the various agendas of those present. He surely knows what he told Trump, Jr., Trump himself, Kushner, and others, about the significance of the meeting. And, since Manafort has deep ties to many business and political associates of Vladimir Putin, he could well know about other possible connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

🐣💙💙 RT @jennycohn1 In Sept. 2017, senator Bob Corker announced his surprise retirement. The next month, Jeff Flake followed suit, & Lindsey Graham warmed to Trump after a round of golf. All 3 were vocal Trump critics & all 3 had used Smartech—hacked by Russia—for emails. http://bit.ly/2Ou2k04
📌 Thread on SmartTech: https://mobile.twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/1040366239623786496

🐣 RT @kenolin1 We’ve become so accustomed to the bombastic nonsense from Trump & Sons, that sometimes we need to take a moment… breathe… and take stock of the situation: Robert Mueller is taking down the most despicable and corrupt group of individuals ever to occupy the White House.

🐣 RT @Evan_McMullin If Manafort cooperates with investigators as he’s reportedly agreed to do, he’ll not only be a valuable source on potential Trump campaign conspiracy with Moscow, but also on the other criminal activities of Putin’s oligarchs in Europe and the US. That should worry Putin greatly.

TheHill: Mueller threat to Trump grows with Manafort deal http://bit.ly/2CX0e7H

🐣 RT @SecPompeo .@POTUS’ Executive Order made clear the U.S. won’t tolerate foreign interference in our democratic processes. Preserving the integrity of our elections is a matter of protecting sovereignty and national security. Any interference will be met with swift and painful consequences.
⋙ 🐣 Then why is Rick Perry in Moscow saying (on Russian TV) ‘the U.S. does not want to impose the #sanctions’ and ‘indicates they are not imminent’? per @JulieDavisNews.

WaPo, Greg Sargent: What can Paul Manafort tell Mueller? Adam Schiff offers some suggestions. http://wapo.st/2NNcUSQ

NYT, Noah Bookbinder, Barry Berke and Norm Eisen: Manafort Folds. Now What? http://nyti.ms/2Omc9NH
// His cooperation agreement with Robert Mueller is the start of a new chapter in the special counsel’s investigation.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote One of the YUGE parts of Manafort’s cooperation agreement is that he won’t be brought up on any future charges. That means if he cooperates fully, he avoids superseding indictments for crimes of collusion. That’s tremendously big and tremendously wet. #ManafortPlea

DailyBeast, BetsyWoodruff: Paul Manafort Pleads Guilty, Will Cooperate With Special Counsel Mueller http://thebea.st/2MvCCqx
// As part of the deal, he must forfeit tens of millions in assets, including his apartment in Trump Tower.

NYT: Paul Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Special Counsel; Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges http://nyti.ms/2xbVZzO

WaPo, Philip Bump: Robert Mueller may have just eliminated one of Trump’s biggest complaints http://wapo.st/2MwEK17
// Trump likes to complain about the cost of the Mueller probe. It might just have paid for itself.

VanityFair, Emily Jane Fox: Michael Cohen Is the Latest Former Trump Ally to Talk to Mueller http://bit.ly/2OpPTml
// In the wake of Manafort’s plea deal, sources confirm that it is now common knowledge among Cohen’s inner circle that Trump’s former lawyer has been in contact with the special counsel’s office.

🐣 RT @NormEisen Friends, other than talking to @JRubinBlogger for this incisive analysis of today’s bombshell, I have been crashing down on my own in-depth Manafort plea assessment which will be coming in a bit. Bottom line:this is the worst news yet for Trump & he’s had a lot of bad news lately
⋙ 🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger That’s the news Trump never wanted to hear. The prospect of just such a deal is why his lawyers reportedly dangled the promise of a pardon in front of Manafort’s lawyers
⋙⋙ WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump can start panicking now: Manafort will cooperate with the special counsel http://wapo.st/2OnVsBo

🐣 RT @bradheath NEW: Manafort’s agreement with DOJ requires him to “cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly,” including participating in debriefings, providing all relevant documents, and testifying if the government asks him to.
Text block: https://twitter.com/bradheath/status/1040662081450782720/photo/1

≣ Justice.gov: Manafort Plea Agreement [pdf] http://bit.ly/2CZiVb7 17p

TheAtlantic, Franklin Foer: What Paul Manafort Knows http://bit.ly/2xb9cJk
// Paul Manafort’s decision to cooperate with Robert Mueller could clarify several of the biggest mysteries of the Russia investigation.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Manafort’s cooperation agreement is broad and requires him to provide complete and truthful information “in any and all matters” which the government deems relevant. He would be wise to do so, as Mueller’s team has already shown that it will not tolerate obstruction of justice.

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Checkmate: The Manafort Cooperation Is Pardon Proof http://bit.ly/2NKpeDl
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1040677807528001536/photo/1

Here’s why this deal is pardon proof:
1. Mueller spent the hour and a half delay in arraignment doing … something. It’s possible Manafort even presented the key parts of testimony Mueller needs from him to the grand jury this morning.
2. The forfeiture in this plea is both criminal and civil, meaning DOJ will be able to get Manafort’s $46 million even with a pardon.
3. Some of the dismissed charges are financial ones that can be charged in various states.

Newsweek, Cristina Maza: Trump-Russia Investigation: Paul Manafort Guilty Plea Reveals Details of Foreign Influence on Campaign Chairman http://bit.ly/2CZmNJf

🐣 RT @JedShug Thread: A Pardon Won’t Save Manafort
Manafort is pleading guilty to only 2 charges (conspiracy against U.S. & witness tampering), but the criminal information today lists other crimes.
Mueller is preserving state prosecutions.
Last year, I wrote this:
⋙ Slate, Jed Shugerman (Nov 2017): Robert Mueller’s Brilliant Strategy for Outmaneuvering Trump Pardons http://bit.ly/2OlLmkB
// 11/23/2017, The president cannot save Paul Manafort.

🐣 RT @KenDilanian Alan Dershowitz on @MSNBC: Manafort cooperation is a “big win” for Mueller because “it opens doors that haven’t been opened before.” And it’s worrisome, he acknowledged, for @realDonaldTrump

🐣 RT @RVAwonk Paul Manafort was not a coffee boy.
He was not a low-level aide.
He was not some hanger-on.
He was the CHAIRMAN OF TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN.
… and he just pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States.
Take a moment to consider how profound and unprecedented this is.

🐣 RT @20Committee AHEM ===> “The possibility that Paul Manafort wound up at the heart of the Trump campaign not despite his deep Kremlin connections, rather because of them … may hold the key to the entire mystery about the president’s secret relationship with Russia.”
⋙ Observer, John Schindler (8/23): Now More Than Ever, Manafort Looks Like a Kremlin Agent http://bit.ly/2Mw6iDU
// 8/23/2018

WaPo, Paul Rosenzweig and Justin Florence: Trump cannot use a pardon to stop Manafort’s cooperation http://wapo.st/2Mxzv10

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Trump and Manafort have spent months sharing information about the Russia investigation. Now, Manafort has decided to help the government. Here’s a snapshot of what they could discuss (in addition to the Trump Tower meeting):
Text block: https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1040637305508294657/photo/1
TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Paul Manafort’s Cooperation With Mueller Is the Biggest Blow Yet to Trump http://bit.ly/2x8iqWI
// The president and his former campaign chairman have spent months sharing information about the Russia investigation. Now Manafort has decided to help the government.

WaPo: Manafort will cooperate with Mueller as part of guilty plea, prosecutor says http://wapo.st/2x9LVro

🐣 RT @jimsciutto This is big:
Cooperation agmt includes:
– interviews & briefings with the special counsel
– turning over documents
– testifying in other proceedings
Also, Manafort has waived right to have lawyers representing him present at any interviews.

🐣 RT @KatiePhang ‼️ NEW: Here is the superseding information just filed this morning against #PaulManafort He will be in court at 11 am ET. ¤ The yet-unanswered question is will he be cooperating with the #MuellerInvestigation or not?…
⋙ ≣ Lawfare: Document: Superseding Criminal Information Against Paul Manafort http://bit.ly/2p7qe6R

⭕ 13 Sep 2018

WaPo, Patrick Leahy: Brett Kavanaugh misled the Senate under oath. I cannot support his nomination. http://wapo.st/2NiwabK

WaPo: Russia is advancing on Ukraine again — and Ukraine isn’t going quietly http://wapo.st/2p7780p
// President Petro Poroshenko tells the Post how he wants the war to end.

TheAtlantic, David Frum: America’s Slide Toward Autocracy http://bit.ly/2xg93Uh
// Oct issue; Democracy has taken a beating under President Trump. Will the midterms make a difference?

NYT: U.S. Spies Rush to Protect Defectors After Skripal Poisoning http://nyti.ms/2Qti4C8

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen NEWS. Manafort and Mueller are close to a deal, my colleagues @evanperez and @kpolantz are reporting tonight. The deal would include charges in both DC and VA, where there was a mistrial on 10 counts. Unclear at this time if cooperation is on the table.
⋙ CNN: Paul Manafort and special counsel close to deal for guilty plea http://cnn.it/2OkoK49

JuliaDavisNews: Meanwhile in #Russia: ¤ Rick Perry says the U.S. does not want to impose the #sanctions and indicates they are not imminent. ¤ Perry: “Russian Energy Minister] Alexander Novak and I both agree that getting to that point where sanctions would be engaged is not where we want to go.”

Vox, Andrew Prokop: The big question about Manafort’s reported plea deal with Mueller: will he cooperate? http://bit.ly/2OlRSrw
// That is, will he flip on President Trump?

Politico, Josh Meyer: Alleged Russian spy Butina tried to score Trump meeting a year before government claimed http://politi.co/2NJHxIS in July 2015
// The early outreach illustrates Mariia Butina’s intent to cultivate Trump months before most were taking him seriously.

ABCNews: BREAKING: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has tentatively agreed to a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller that is expected to head off his upcoming trial, sources familiar with the negotiations tell @ABC News. https://abcn.ws/2Nc3VeG 

NYT, Michael Avenatti: The Case for Indicting the President http://nyti.ms/2Qyh7sm
// Justice Department lawyers have said a sitting president cannot be indicted. It’s time to test that proposition by bringing an indictment that can be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

DailyBeast, Kelly Weill: Michael Flynn To Appear At Far-Right Conference With Pizzagaters, Racist YouTube Stars http://thebea.st/2NaOVO4
// President Trump’s disgraced former national security adviser will be picking up an award from conspiracy-mongering outlet The Gateway Pundit.

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: How Trump and Manafort Are Helping Each Other in the Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2xflgsl
// The two have a joint-defense agreement, which allows their legal teams to share information—and could help the president’s former campaign chairman angle for a pardon.

TheHill: Secretive Russian GRU tests Trump with brazen tactics http://bit.ly/2x9ZJlE

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Not even Republicans trust Trump on Russia http://wapo.st/2Okvyyq

DailyBeast, Anna Nemtsova: Russia Shows Us What Happens to ‘Enemies of the People’: Bloodied Heads, Murdered Reporters, Poisoned Dissidents http://thebea.st/2QrqwBK
// Under Putin, dozens of journalists have been murdered because of their work. He may not have ordered the killings, but he created the deadly atmosphere. Trump’s doing the same.

⭕ 12 Sep 2018

ForeignPolicy, Tarah Wheeler: In Cyberwar, There are No Rules http://bit.ly/2x8GU1V
// Why the world desperately needs digital Geneva Conventions.

AtlanticCouncil: Trump’s Election Meddling Sanctions Will Not Deter Russia http://bit.ly/2NdJhdU

AP: Russia: Pussy Riot activist treated for possible poisoning http://bit.ly/2N7Gi74

TheAtlantic, Thomas Wright: The Return to Great-Power Rivalry Was Inevitable http://bit.ly/2NbYnkc
// With neo-authoritarianism on the rise, the old assumptions undergirding a common set of Western values just won’t do.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand “The harshest sanctions outlined in the order would be up to the president’s discretion…the order appears to be an effort to stave off bipartisan legislation that would mandate tough federal action.”
⋙ WaPo: Trump issues new order authorizing additional sanctions for interfering in upcoming U.S. elections http://wapo.st/2x73jNb

Newsweek: Fox News Host Sean Hannity Says Donald Trump Will Fire Robert Mueller After Hurricane Florence http://bit.ly/2MrRTIO

🐣 RT @ActiveMeasuresDoc As we have been saying things will likely get weirder and worse before they get better and normal. Hold on. #ActiveMeasures …

ABCNews: Manafort seeking plea deal with special counsel that would avoid cooperation ahead of second trial: Sources http://abcn.ws/2MpAGQf //➔ because of course he does

TheAtlantic, Anne Applebaum: A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come http://bit.ly/2NJIFwp
// Poland; Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. An obsession with loyalty. Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well.
⋙ See under Entire Articles: Atlntc Applebaum Worst to Come Oct 2018

Vox: Trump’s ties to the Russian mafia go back 3 decades http://bit.ly/2x7GVmf
// Journalist Craig Unger talks Russia, Trump, and “one of the greatest intelligence operations in history.”

🐣 RT @CabreraAngel In case you missed it, here is a link to the extraordinary panel on “Secrets, Presidents and Dissent” at the @ScharSchool @mvhaydencenter moderated by @NicolleDWallace http://ow.ly/Cm5830lMzdj via @cspan

🐣 RT @RVAwonk Buzzfeed has uncovered a “complex web of financial transactions among some of the [Trump Tower meeting] planners and participants who moved money from Russia and Switzerland to the British Virgin Islands, Bangkok, and a small office park in New Jersey.”
BuzzFeedNews, Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold: A Series Of Suspicious Money Transfers Followed The Trump Tower Meeting http://bit.ly/2p2UorW
// Investigators are focused on two bursts of banking activity — one shortly after the June 2016 meeting, the other immediately after the presidential election.

Eleven days later [after the Trump Tower meeting] — on June 20, the day Trump fired campaign chief Corey Lewandowski and put Manafort in charge — Aras Agalarov used a company called Silver Valley Consulting to move millions that bankers flagged as suspicious.

Silver Valley’s only address is a post office box in the capital of the British Virgin Islands, a country seen as a haven for money laundering and tax evasion. On June 20, Silver Valley sent through its Zurich-based account at Societe Generale Suisse a wire transfer for a little more than $19.5 million to Agalarov’s account at Morgan Stanley in the US.

That same day, another entity controlled by Agalarov — ZAO Crocus International, an arm of his business empire — sent a wire transfer through Societe Generale Suisse for about $43,000 to the same Morgan Stanley account.

Swiss employees of the bank told their American colleagues that the account was closed in May 2017, but that “due to Swiss confidentiality laws the requested information cannot be provided.”

After Trump won, as people scrambled for jobs, influence, and riches, a chain reaction of bank transfers started among the Agalarovs and their associates.

Beginning 13 days after the election, the Agalarovs’ bank account in Russia made 19 separate wire transfers to a New Jersey personal checking account belonging to Emin Agalarov and two friends from high school. That checking account, held at TD Bank, had been opened in 2012. Bank examiners thought it was unusual that the account had never before received a Russian wire transfer and that its only deposit since the summer of 2015 was for $200, in January 2016.

The postelection transfers to the checking account were in large, round-dollar amounts ranging from $15,000 to $175,000. Between November 2016 and July 2017, the sum topped $1.2 million.

But what triggered alarms wasn’t just that activity in the account had jumped since Trump’s election. It was also how the checking account handled the money. While some of it went toward credit card bills, mortgage installments, and other run-of-the-mill payments, TD Bank officials also saw the checking account quickly pass funds to an account controlled by another participant in the Trump Tower meeting.

On Nov. 21, 2016, Emin Agalarov’s checking account received $165,000 from an account based in Russia belonging to his family. The following day, the account sent $107,000 to Corsy International, a company run by Kaveladze, the longtime Agalarov associate who attended the Trump Tower meeting.

Bankers noted that Kaveladze — who after the election pushed for an additional get-together with the Trumps and some of the original Tower meeting participants — had previously been investigated for money laundering.

⭕ 11 Sep 2018

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff 7/11): Inside Mueller’s New Army http://thebea.st/2QE6za7
// As the special counsel zeroes in on Russia’s onarsonists, he’s brought in a new crew of cyberspy fighters—and a straight-up street crime prosecutor, too.

VanityFair, Emily Jane Fox: “The Man Has to Take Responsibility”: Awaiting Sentencing, Cohen Grapples with Trump’s Good Luck http://bit.ly/2xoIMUs

CIR (Comm to Investigate Russia): Is Russian Money Behind Graham’s Growing Defense of Trump? http://bit.ly/2O9H6Vg

🐣 RT @IlvesToomas From Bob Woodward’s book: “Russia had privately warned Mattis that if there was a war in the Baltics, Russia would not hesitate to use tactical nuclear weapons against NATO”
⋙ StockSector: Five key takeaways from Bob Woodward’s book on Trump’s White House http://bit.ly/2x5ziNT

🐣 RT @KenDilanianNBC The former NSA chief said he gave Trump detailed briefings on Russian hacking efforts, though Trump would tell him, “Mike, you know I’m in a different place.” Rogers added that he would reply, “Sir, this isn’t about politics, it isn’t about party…”
DailyBeast: Ex-NSA Boss Mike Rogers: I Wish Trump Had Pressed Putin on Election Meddling in Helsinki http://thebea.st/2NC37in

🐣 RT @realBobWoodward “I am convinced that people need to wake up and not kind of pretend this is just politics or this is partisan. … We are at a pivot point in history.” @nprfreshair

🐣 RT @AudreyLeigh86 Admiral Rodgers states that our #institutions are under attack and that the real treats to our democracy is from #distrust of institutions. #haydensecrets @ScharSchool @mvhaydencenter @GeorgeMasonU – at GMU – Founder’s Hall

🐣 Today’s @LincolnsBible thread on Trump’s mafia ties – and 9/11. I learn so much from his threads. If you liked @ActiveMeasures, know that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 📌 https://twitter.com/LincolnsBible/status/1039503481411760128

DailyBeast: Team Trump Warns Russia of ‘Total Economic Isolation’ Over Possible Syria Bloodbath http://thebea.st/2N74h6b
// The Russians are playing tough, but on this issue the Trump administration may play tougher.

🐣 RT @LauraAJarrett Statement from Strzok’s atty: “The term ‘media leak strategy’ in Mr. Strzok’s text refers to a Department-wide initiative to detect and stop leaks to the media. The President and his enablers are once again peddling unfounded conspiracy theories to mislead the American People.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @real New Strzok-Page texts reveal “Media Leak Strategy.” @FoxNews So terrible, and NOTHING is being done at DOJ or FBI – but the world is watching, and they get it completely.

🐣 RT @ProudResister The FBI is not in “tatters.” ¤ The Media is not the “enemy.” ¤ The Probe is not a “witch hunt.” ¤ The President is just a paranoid criminal who is lashing out at the world b/c after getting away with breaking the law for his entire adult life, he now finds himself in legal jeopardy.

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq If Manafort simply pleads guilty alone, it could just be that he is running out of money and is banking on a pardon in 6-9 months. ¤ If his plea includes a cooperation agreement, though, all hell could break loose.

🐣 RT @jedshug @maddow is quoting from Woodward’s book, confirming @emptywheel: Trump knew directly about Flynn’s contacts with Russia about sanctions in Dec 2016. And Flynn lied to FBI about those contacts. @emptywheel suggests Mueller already has hard evidence, and it’s worse than Logan Act.

🔆 New ⋙ WaPo: Manafort in talks with prosecutors about possible plea, according to people familiar with the discussions http://wapo.st/2x6nJFv

FoxNews: Strzok-Page texts on ‘media leak strategy’ fuel Trump fury at DOJ: ‘NOTHING is being done’ http://fxn.ws/2oWYH82 //➔ newest brewing at Fox; for context, see: PolitiFact: [Today] The FBI, the Steele dossier and wiretapping, explained http://bit.ly/2oYc0oL

VICENews: Trump has to get tougher on Russia thanks to this obscure ’90s law http://bit.ly/2QhBdHb

NYMag, Cristian Farias: Why the Mueller Probe’s Papadopoulos Bombshell Fizzled http://nym.ag/2oWY0vs

USAToday: Donald Trump Jr. says he’s not afraid of going to jail in Russia investigation http://usat.ly/2oYLHyv

Alternet: Former CIA Head John Brennan Says Information In Trump-Russia Dossier ‘Was In Line With’ the Agency’s ‘Own Sources’: Bob Woodward http://bit.ly/2O8qFbK
// The Trump critic gave even more credence to the infamous dossier.

WaPo: On Sept. 11 anniversary, Trump launches fresh attacks on FBI and Justice Department with dubious allegation http://wapo.st/2CNEXgI

🐣 RT @DWNews With over 300,000 soldiers and 36,000 vehicles on the ground, Russia is staging its biggest military exercises since the end of the Cold War.
💽 https://twitter.com/dwnews/status/1039606001178095616/photo/1

🐣 RT @MollyMcKew Think we understand Mueller portfolio? First, go back to this from of last year, re fundamentalist Mormons connected to Turkish businessmen who hired Flynn (and who also have significant financial ties to Russian interests): /1
📌 Thread: https://mobile.twitter.com/MollyMcKew/status/1039658759205920768
⋙ ProPublica, Isaac Arnsdorf: Robert Mueller Subpoenas an Associate of the Man Who Hired Michael Flynn as a Lobbyist http://bit.ly/2p1pTlO
// 9/29/2017, The special counsel wanted to question a Turkish businessman with interests in Turkey, Russia and the U.S. — and ties to people with criminal records.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @MollyMcKew Then, check this out from @natecarlisle of @sltrib: /2
⋙ SLTrib, Nate Carlisle: The strange and winding fraud case against two Kingston brothers turns up ties to polygamy, Turkey, even the Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2MlbPNB
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @MollyMcKew Corruption begets corruption, and attracts the corrupt. A lot of stuff is going to spin out of the Russia investigation that will expose how much worse global corruption networks are than we think. /3

WSJ: Trump to Issue Order Allowing Sanctions on Foreigners Meddling in U.S. Elections http://on.wsj.com/2p1lyz2
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1039652607042744320/photo/1
// Executive order could come as soon as Wednesday

✅ PolitiFact: [New] The FBI, the Steele dossier and wiretapping, explained http://bit.ly/2oYc0oL background on Trump’s and Mark Meadows’ attacks on Bruce and Nellie Ohr and their connections to Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier

🐣 RT @RNicholasBurns Seventeen years ago, our #NATO allies invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty to defend us after the 9/11 attacks. They are still with us in Afghanistan today. As U.S. Ambassador to NATO that day, I felt the power of our alliance and will be forever grateful.

🐣 RT @craigunger Even today–9/11–@realDonaldTrump can’t stop going after someone who was on the frontlines fighting #SemionMogilevich–in this case, #LisaPage, former member of #Mueller’s team who had been a DOJ atty w FBI’s Budapest Task Force against #RussianMafia.
⋙🐣 RT @real New Strzok-Page texts reveal “Media Leak Strategy.” @FoxNews So terrible, and NOTHING is being done at DOJ or FBI – but the world is watching, and they get it completely.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Woodward P. 68 Trump told intel leaders, “I don’t believe in human sources.” ¤ “These are people who sold their souls and sold out their country.” ¤ John Brennan, CIA chief at the time, said he wouldn’t tell that to his employees, whose work relies almost entirely on human sources.
⋙ 🐣 Iow, for Trump it’s all about loyalty, not the sources’ credibility or our national security. Hmmm.

🐣 RT @McFaul Mr. President, please present evidence “showing collusion between the FBI & DOJ, the Hillary campaign, foreign spies & Russians…” Otherwise, for just one day, stop spreading disinformation about people serving out country at FBI & DOJ & allow Americans to unite. Just one day.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real “We have found nothing to show collusion between President Trump & Russia, absolutely zero, but every day we get more documentation showing collusion between the FBI & DOJ, the Hillary campaign, foreign spies & Russians, incredible.” @SaraCarterDC @LouDobbs

CNN: Declassification of Russia investigation materials poses a risky gambit for GOP http://cnn.it/2Nwkr8J

NBC: U.S. officials suspect Russia in mystery ‘attacks’ on diplomats in Cuba, China http://nbcnews.to/2O6T95F
// The strong suspicion that Russia was behind the alleged attacks is backed by signals intelligence, meaning intercepted communications, say U.S. officials.

🐣 From “Fear”:
Mueller was not buying.
Dowd and Sekulow left the building.
“What do you think?” Sekulow asked.
“He ain’t testifying,” Dowd said. It had been a complete fantasy to think that Mueller would decline prosecution.

⭕ 10 Sep 2018

MSNBC, MaddowShow: Trump and allies aim to ruin career of key Russia investigator http://on.msnbc.com/2x24Nrg
// Rachel Maddow points out that Donald Trump and his Republican and media allies, in their effort to undermine the Trump Russia investigation are set to embark on blowing up another DoJ official’s career, this time targeting Bruce Ohr, an expert investigator of Russian organized crime.

NYT: Sessions’s Lawyer Defends His Account of Trump Campaign Meeting http://nyti.ms/2oXKLKS

TheIntellectualist: Lindsey Graham Received Campaign Donations From Firm Tied To Russian Oligarch http://bit.ly/2MjL2RK //➔ Story links to DallasNews article
⋙ DallasNews, Ruth May (5/8/2018): How Putin’s oligarchs funneled millions into GOP campaigns http://bit.ly/2QmdaXF
// 5/8/2018, Editor’s note: This column originally published December 15, 2017 [sic]. New allegations about $500k in payments from a Russian oligarch made to Trump attorney Michael Cohen have placed it back in the news.

In 2015-16, everything changed. Blavatnik’s political contributions soared and made a hard right turn as he pumped $6.35 million into GOP political action committees, with millions of dollars going to top Republican leaders including Sens. Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham.

Tags: Viktor Vekselberg Oleg Deripaska Blavatnik Paul Manafort
↥ ↧
⋙ ⋙ DallasNews, Ruth May (Jul 2017): GOP campaigns took $7.35 million from oligarch linked to Russia http://bit.ly/2vAMStx (original article published in 2017; updated 5/8/2018 to include payments to Michael Cohen
// July 2017, original article

RollingStone, Tim Dickinson: Documents Reveal Maria Butina Has Offered to Betray Her Lover (a GOP Operative) http://rol.st/
// In a new court filing, prosecutors say alleged Russian agent Maria Butina is willing to divulge new information on Paul Erickson’s “illegal activities”

RollingStone, Tessa Stuart (11/2/2016): A Timeline of the 23 October Surprises of the 2016 Election http://rol.st/2MivL3r //➔ a taste what’s to come?
// 11/2/2016, Rather than one October surprise, we got nearly two dozen this year

🐣 RT @McFaul I reviewed her book in 2006. Check out my take: WaPo: Vladimir the Terrible http://wapo.st/2Oa7rlZ
// 2/14/2006, review of PUTIN’S RUSSIA ~ Life in a Failing Democracy
⋙ 🐣 RT @titoinchito Thought on “Putin’s Russia” by the late Anna Politkovkaya?

🐣 RT @OlgaNYC1211 An agent in the Russian embassy in Rome who had a role of obtaining NATO classified info was recruited by MI6. He decided to cooperate bec he believes that Putin is determined to get into a conflict w the West ¤ The threat from Putin needs to be addressed
⋙ TheExpress [UK]: Novichok Attack: Apollo… the agent groomed by MI6 http://bit.ly/2x3tvs7
// 9/9/2018

🐣 RT @craigunger Other reasons to be suspicious: 1300 Trump branded condos sold to shell companies; multiple mobsters(#Bogatin, #Ivankov) tied to #Mogilevich ran ops out of Trump bldgs, #Bayrock’s partnership w Trump; punishment of #LisaPage, #BruceOhr & others who investigated Mogi.@DLeonhardt
⋙ 🐣 RT @DLeonhardt Sons who brag about Russian money. A history of shady Russian deals. Paranoia about scrutiny of his businesses. And a harassment campaign against the government’s top experts in Russian crime. ¤ There really are a lot of reasons to worry about laundering.

⭕ 9 Sep 2018

🐣 RT @JMPSimor Our PM and Home Secretary have stated that Putin ordered the murder of people in Britain and that he wants to destroy the EU & the rules based international order. If they believe this then they must halt Brexit. A Government’s first responsibility is the security of its people.

NYT, David Leonhardt: The Urgent Question of Trump and Money Laundering http://nyti.ms/2MYribo
// How Bruce Ohr, President Trump’s latest Twitter target, fits a suspicious pattern of behavior on Russia.

[Trump] could make his life easier if only he treated Vladimir Putin the way he treats most people who cause problems — and cast Putin aside. Yet Trump can’t bring himself to do so.

This odd refusal is arguably the biggest reason to believe that Putin really does have leverage over Trump. Maybe it’s something shocking, like a sex tape or evidence of campaign collusion by Trump himself. Or maybe it’s the scandal that’s been staring us in the face all along: Illicit financial dealings — money laundering — between Trump’s business and Russia.

The latest reason to be suspicious is Trump’s attacks on a formerly obscure Justice Department official named Bruce Ohr. Trump has repeatedly criticized Ohr and called for him to be fired. Ohr’s sin is that he appears to have been marginally involved in inquiries into Trump’s Russian links. But Ohr fits a larger pattern. In his highly respected three-decade career in law enforcement, he has specialized in going after Russian organized crime.

It just so happens that most of the once-obscure bureaucrats whom Trump has tried to discredit also are experts in some combination of Russia, organized crime and money laundering.

It’s true of Andrew McCabe (the former deputy F.B.I. director whose firing Trump successfully lobbied for), Andrew Weissmann (the only official working for Robert Mueller whom Trump singles out publicly) and others. They are all Trump bogeymen — and all among “the Kremlin’s biggest adversaries in the U.S. government,” as Natasha Bertrand wrote in The Atlantic. Trump, she explained, seems to be trying to rid the government of experts in Russian organized crime.

Consider: The financially rickety Trump Organization, shunned by most mainstream banks, long relied on less scrupulous Russian investors. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. said a decade ago. “We have all the funding we need out of Russia,” Eric Trump reportedly said in 2013. And what was the rare major bank to work with Trump? Deutsche Bank, which has a history of illegal Russian money laundering.

Trump also had a habit of selling real estate to Russians in all-cash deals. Money launderers like such deals, because they can turn illegally earned cash into a legitimate asset, usually at an inflated price that rewards the seller for the risk. One especially dubious deal was Trump’s $95 million sale of a Palm Beach house to a Russian magnate in 2008 — during the housing bust, only four years after Trump had bought the house for $41 million.

For months, Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has been trying to get Congress to pay attention to the possibility of money laundering. He points out that Mueller’s mandate does not necessarily include a full investigation of Trump’s businesses. But those businesses could still have behaved in ways that give Putin, a hostile foreign leader, leverage over the president of the United States.

🔄◕ ECFR , Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Introduction: Putin’s hydra: Inside Russia’s intelligence services http://bit.ly/2NZWN1h
● People flowchart: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1038670500577402880/photo/1
// 5/11/2016, European Council on Foreign Relations
⋙ 📒 ECFR, Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Report: Putin’s Hydra: Inside Russia’s Intelligence Services [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NYjG5b 20p
● Overlaps: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1038671057698390016/photo/1
// May 2016, Full report

Far from being an all-powerful “spookocracy” that controls the Kremlin, Russia’s intelligence services are internally divided, distracted by bureaucratic turf wars, and often produce poor quality intelligence – ultimately threatening the interests of Vladimir Putin himself.

The agencies often replicate each others’ work, engaging in bloody competition rather than sharing intelligence. The need to please the Kremlin and deliver quick results leads to shoddy information gathering and analysis. Intelligence chiefs must shape and sugarcoat the facts to suit the president – or risk their jobs.

🔄 NYT: Russian Hacking and Influence in the U.S. Election http://nyti.ms/2NqFXeY
// compilation of Trump Russia stories #TrumpRussia

⭕ 8 Sep 2018

AlJazeera, James Reinl: Trump’s scandals: An unprecedented president http://bit.ly/2MVfHdb
// US president has faced multiple scandals since taking office, with the Mueller probe of chief concern.

⭕ 7 Sep 2018

Bloomberg: Former Nixon Aide Warns Kavanaugh Would Shield the White House http://bloom.bg/2CJuX8d

● Former White House counsel John Dean testifies before Senate committee
● He says Kavanaugh would weaken check on presidential power

VanityFair, Abigail Tracy: “Bob Is Not Afraid of Anything”: Inside the Mueller-Giuliani Chess Match http://bit.ly/2CHTGK4

💙💙 WaPo, John McLaughlin: Why so many former intelligence officers are speaking out http://wapo.st/2wUVwlw

Failure to warn is the ultimate sin in the intelligence world. It feels equally sinful in the world of citizenship.

[W]e would all love to be back in right-side-up world, where it would be unimaginable for a president to advocate jailing an election opponent, assail the Justice Department and the FBI, call a free press “the enemy of the people,” insult allies, and, most important, refuse to combat a well-documented covert foreign attack on U.S. elections — in the process weakening efforts by others to do so and encouraging Russia to keep it up.

All of us in intelligence have been shaped by careers assessing societies where free speech, democratic institutions and rule of law don’t exist or are under attack — places such as Russia and China. We have also seen how fragile democracy can be and how it can be eroded almost imperceptibly — consider Turkey and parts of Central Europe. So our senses are finely tuned to the classic warning signs: attacks on institutions, neutralization of opponents, cowed legislatures, publics numbed by repeated falsehoods.

All those are now visible here to various degrees. While others may say our democracy can’t erode that way, we know we’ve heard that before, somewhere else. The stakes are too high for complacency here.

NYT: Dmitry Rybolovlev, The Billionaire Who Bought Trump’s Mansion Faces Scrutiny in Monaco http://nyti.ms/2CBfpTV

🐣 RT @TrickFreee I’m calling it now. Dmitry Klyuev likely personally ordered the hits on ¤ Litvinkenko, Skripal, Magnitsky, Perepilichnyy, and Gorokhov. And possibly even Bereskovsky. Dmitry Klyuev is under the protection of the Kremlin.

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom Your Friday Tweetstorm (rebooted).
Trumpers are mounting a lot of desperate defenses of the week’s bad news, with lots of shouting at the Never Trumpers (because we don’t matter) and anxiety about who wil be left on “the day after.”
This is because they know we’re right. /1
● There’s no more question about “who will be proved right.” The Never Trumpers were right, and our worst fears are playing out right now. Yes, the GOP got its judges. And no, the economy hasn’t collapsed. (yet). The rest is happening as we speak. /2
● By this I mean continuing attacks on our constitutional norms by the WH itself; a war on our IC and LE communities; the attempt to politicize the DoJ; even the shredding of the AG. (Karmic payback for Sessions, but wow.) /3
● Executive depts are functioning by default, aides are managing up (to put it gently) as they try to whack each other out; policies diverge between sensible stuff the bureaucrats can do, and exec orders that vary from stupid to cruel, and meant mostly as theater for the rubes. /4
● In foreign policy, the Russians are rightfully laughing at us; the Chinese and North Koreans have a free pass; we’re in a tariff war with our own allies; NATO has been dangerously undermined, Canada is bewildered and angry. Immense damage to US strength. /5
● The GOP as a party, meanwhile, is now a cult of personality, bereft of conservative ideals, except for one: That “conservatism” must be carried forward by unelected judges, which is totally not a conservative ideal. Veteran GOPers see what’s coming – and have wisely retired. /6
● All that’s left to see is just how badly the Trumpers got it wrong. It’s no longer a matter, for example, of *whether* collusion with Russia happened, it’s *how far it went and who knew*. Even if there were no more revelations, this alone is shocking. But there will be more. /7
● Elsewhere, POTUS is implicated in two felonies (at least two, for now) involving payouts to a porn star – forcing every GOPer who ever blathered about “character” and “integrity” and “you can’t trust a man if his wife can’t” to eat those words and swallow them dry, forever. /8
● It was unwise for Trump loyalists to double, triple, quadruple, and quintuple down on all this. They were warned: there is no better Trump. It will actually get *worse* from here, which most of them have assured themselves is impossible. And yet it will. And this scares them. /9
● In the end, it’s a false question about “who will be proved right.” Even with a honeymoon grace period, that debate should have ended after Helsinki. But it’s over now as we enter this time of national crisis. They know this. It’s why they’ll yell louder: It’s panic time. /10x

NBC: John Dean: If Kavanaugh’s confirmed, a president who shoots someone on Fifth Avenue can’t be prosecuted in office http://nbcnews.to/2M9obba
// The former Nixon White House counsel was among the witnesses called by Democrats to testify at the fourth and final day of the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation hearings this week.

Bloomberg: DNC Lawyers Raise Prospect That Papadopoulos’s U.K. Contact May Be Dead http://bloom.bg/2wTnvS1

🐣 RT @DHSgov Breaking news from the @SecretService today regarding Russian hacking. https://go.usa.gov/xPa9n 
// Andrei Tyurin bank hacking

Vox: Nixon White House counsel: Trump doesn’t respect the rule of law http://bit.ly/2MW28KH
// John Dean says that’s the difference between the sitting president and Richard Nixon.

Bloomberg: Manafort Weighing Plea Deal to Avoid New Criminal Trial, Source Says http://bloom.bg/2MaLiSL

● Talks said to center on possible admissions, sentencing length
● Ex-Trump campaign chief was convicted in Virginia last month

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Pro-Trump commentator Scottie Nell Hughes has landed a full-time position as an anchor on the Russian propaganda network RT. Her multiyear deal was described as “lucrative.””It’s an honor and privilege to anchor RT America’s weeknight newscasts,” she said.
⋙ 🐣 To be fair, Larry King landed there and so did Ed Schulz.

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Republicans Balk At Democrats’ Pledge to Snub Hackers http://bit.ly/2wSrMoy
// So far, only House Democrats have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable for how they plan to handle any stolen documents that come their way.

Newsweek: John Dean: Under Brett Kavanaugh’s Recommendation, Trump Could Shoot Someone Dead and Not Be Prosecuted in Office http://bit.ly/2MVih30

🐣 RT @alfranken Everybody on the Republican side of the dais knows Kavanaugh’s nomination is purely to further the Republican agenda. Everybody’s in on it. It is maddening. So I wrote about it for USA Today.
⋙ USAToday: Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings showcase Republican partisanship, hypocrisy: Al Franken http://usat.ly/2oQoQ8A

🐣 RT @SenFeinstein Brett Kavanaugh has said a president can’t be investigated or indicted and that a president can fire a special counsel at will. These views are especially troubling given Trump has been implicated in felonies.
⋙ JustSecurity (Jul): Setting the Record Straight: Brett Kavanaugh’s Views on Criminal Investigation of the President http://bit.ly/2oPRVkf
// 7/12/2018

CNN: “I don’t want to be set up with a perjury trap”: President Trump said he is concerned he could open himself up to perjury if he sits down with special counsel Robert Mueller for questioning, echoing the worries of his personal attorneys https://cnn.it/2Cua6px 

USAToday: Donald Trump says he will testify before Bob Mueller ‘under certain circumstances’ http://usat.ly/2wUZFVE

ApNews: The Latest: Trump aide Papadopoulos gets 14 days in prison http://bit.ly/2NUYRHW

⭕ 6 Sep 2018

NYT: Frustration and Finger-Pointing as G.O.P. Pulls Out of Deal Talks on Hacked Materials http://nyti.ms/2wSXCTa

House Republicans withdrew on Thursday from negotiations with Democrats over a pact that would have effectively barred both parties from using hacked or stolen material on the campaign trail this fall.

Leaders of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans, and their counterparts at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had labored for much of the summer over rules that would have governed the way the congressionally run committees and their candidates treated material like the thousands of pages of damaging Democratic documents stolen and leaked by Russian hackers in 2016.

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind This has a feel of a smoking gun – and Kamala is on it! ¤ Get that under oath. Nothing these people say is credible unless under oath (and even then, not always).
⋙ 🐣 RT @CaroleLenning Update:
– Kavanaugh acknowledges close friendship with Kasowitz atty Ed McNally
– White House and Kasowitz firm say McNally neither helped prep Kavaugh nor discussed Mueller probe with him

🐣 RT @secdef19 The nuclear football travels with the POTUS at all times, usually as close as the next room. In order to initiate a launch order, the order must be authenticated using the nuclear “biscuit” carried by POTUS and is then sent out through NMCC. This order can not be countermanded.

🐣 RT @MichaelAvenatti I sincerely hope (1) those four docs that were released this morning by Mr. Booker really were still confidential, so he can prove the GOP is lying and (2) that Ms. Harris discloses the evidence of the communications she suggested last night exists and then eviscerates Kavanaugh.

🐣 RT @matthewamiller If he won’t even answer in writing, it’s not because they’re worried he would lie in the room, the excuse they’ve been giving. It’s because they know truthful answers are incriminating.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jonlamire NEW: President Trump will not answer questions, in person or in writing, about obstruction of justice. ¤ That declaration from Rudy Giuliani tonight is the most definitive rejection yet of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s efforts to interview the president
⋙⋙ AP: Giuliani to AP: Trump will not answer obstruction questions http://bit.ly/2QaFeNm

✅ factcheckdotorg Some Democrats have expressed concern that Kavanaugh was hand-picked by Trump to protect the president from Mueller’s criminal investigation. We look at the judge’s record on executive privilege.
⋙ FactCheck: Kavanaugh File: Executive Privilege http://bit.ly/2NqCQDC

NBC: Kavanaugh questioned on forcing Trump to answer in Russia probe http://nbcnews.to/2MWhnTA
// Brett Kavanaugh declined to answer if a sitting president could be forced to answer a subpoena or pardon himself, but praised the Supreme Court’s 1974 ruling requiring President Nixon to abide by a subpoena during Watergate.

WaPo: Conservative GOP members ask Trump to declassify documents related to Russia probe http://wapo.st/2wOCgVY

🐣 RT @gelles BREAKING: Russia has warned the US military twice in the last week that its forces, along with Syrian regime units, are prepared to attack in an area where dozens of US troops are located, according to several US defense officials. @barbarastarrcnn reports

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Putin’s ‘Friend’ Had Early Access to Trump’s Infamous Pro-Russia Speech http://thebea.st/2wMjWNU

⭕ 5 Sep 2018

NBC (9/5): Mueller subpoenas Jerome Corsi, birther and ex-Alex Jones associate http://nbcnews.to/2O9uWea
// 9/5/2018, A lawyer for the conspiracy theorist says he believes Corsi will be asked about his contacts with former Trump aide Roger Stone.

Slate, Jamelle Bouie: The Incapacitated President http://bit.ly/2MUNjrN
// Trump’s own aides don’t trust him to lead the country. Meanwhile, the only people who can stop this crisis pretend it doesn’t exist.

@cspan .@senkamalaharris asks if Judge Kavanaugh has discussed Mueller Investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson Torres law firm.
#Kavanaugh: “I would like to know the person you’re thinking of.”
Sen. Harris: “I think you’re thinking of someone and you don’t want to tell us.”
💽 https://twitter.com/cspan/status/1037514830490607617/photo/1

🐣 RT @TimOBrien Team Trump was so concerned abt Trump’s fitness that they pondered the 25th Amendment, but opted to avoid a “constitutional crisis.” Now these same unknowns and unelecteds run the country sans oversight. Isn’t that, by definition, a constitutional crisis?
🐣 RT @McFaul: Putin has banned me from traveling to Russia. His prosecutor general has suggested that they want to arrest me for crimes I allegedly committed while working at the White House. & people still ask, why are you a Russiaphobe? & btw, Im not a Russiaphobe. Im a Putin-phobe.

NYT, Anonymous (❗): I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration http://nyti.ms/2NQFL5z
// I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.

Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.

The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.

The result is a two-track presidency.

Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.

Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.

Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.

We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.

There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.

Politico Mag, Molly McKew: Trump Is Russia’s Weapon—Not Its End State http://politi.co/2wN0q43 //➔ 9 Big Ideas That Explain Politics In 2018
// Sep-Oct 2018, The president is a useful disruption in a broader campaign by the Kremlin that we need to worry about.

🐣 RT @GlostnostGone Salisbury #Novichok poisoning: 2 Russians have been named as suspects by #UK police. Today in Parliament, Prime Minister May said suspects using names – Alexander Petrov & Ruslan Boshirov are officers of Russia’s Military Intelligence (GRU). https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45421445 … #Skripal
⋙ BBC: Salisbury Novichok poisoning: Two Russian nationals named as suspects http://bbc.in/2Q78F2X

🐣 [To Avenatti and others] Okay. Here is the Email I sent to @MoveOn. I can’t think of another way to rally people very quickly any other way, though I’m sure others can think of some. @womensmarch @AMarch4OurLives #Resistance @Dems @DNC
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1037296418166325249/photo/1

The true inflection point for the future of the Mueller investigation (and much more) is likely going to be the Kavanaugh confirmation. If we wait to protest until after he is confirmed, it could be too late.

MoveOn is the only organization I know ready to seize the moment. You have hundreds of groups ready to protest if Mueller is fired. I’m suggesting that you use them pre-emptively to rally against Kavanaugh since Kavanaugh is all about giving the President unprecedented powers to not only fire Mueller (and others) but to endow himself with powers and impunity worthy of a tyrant.

I encourage you to think about it.

⭕ 4 Sep 2018

ForeignPolicy, Edward Joseph: How to Restart War in the Balkans http://bit.ly/2N73PVn
// The Trump administration will regret looking for simple solutions to Eastern Europe’s territorial disputes.

🐣 RT @StevenBeschloss Bob Woodward is no Omarosa. If Trump were not a sick and dangerous mess, he’d keep his flap shut. But he can’t. Because he is.
⋙ 🐣 RT @davidmaraniss I’ve watched close-hand how Bob Woodward works and have learned from him for 41years. He is a singularly meticulous gatherer of facts and documents and I would bet my life on his reliability. He is an American treasure

💙💙 NewYorker, Adam Davidson: Where Will the Trump Investigations Go Next? http://bit.ly/2Q3SIKN
See under Entire Articles: NYkr Trump Invstg 9-4-2018
Names Key People:
Ivanka
Don Jr
Allen Weisselberg – Accountant
Rhona Graff – Administrative Assistant
George Sorial – Executive VP
Michael Cohen – Personal Lawyer (“Fixer”)
Roy Cohn – Former Lawyer
Jason Greenblatt – Lead Lawyer
⋙ Fat Tony Salerno (Genovese)
⋙ Mammadov family
Keith Schiller – Bodyguard
Matthew Calamari – Bodyguard

NewYorker, Adam Davidson: Where Will the Trump Investigations Go Next? http://bit.ly/2Q3SIKN
See under Entire Articles: NYkr Trump Invstg 9-4-2018

🐣 RT @CindyOtis_ [Former CIA Agent on feelings of despair among the #Resistance, Left and Center]
📌 Thread: https://mobile.twitter.com/CindyOtis_/status/1036981354486018048

Kavanaugh’s hearing started. As a political scientist/former intel officer, it’s hard to believe we’re here after all the evidence of corruption under this a[d]min. Cue the replies telling me this is how it is now in the US. And that’s actually what I want tweet about this AM. (1/)

There’s a serious danger to simply accepting what’s happening as the new normal. I can’t overstate it. To be honest, I think it gives some a feeling of intellectual superiority. THEY see what we’ve really turned into whereas the rest of us are naive for being outraged. (2/)

Not even two years in, and I’d wager a significant portion of the Left and Center are at this point mentally. And, as someone who covered authoritarian regimes for a time, that is terrifying. Authoritarian regimes don’t come to power on their own. (3/)

Sure, these regimes need their supporters. But they also need a large portion of their society to feel demoralized, like there’s nothing that can be done. And they need those voices who think they’re intellectually superior saying, “This is just the way it is now.” (4/)

In case I’m not being clear enough, those voices of acceptance ARE how authoritarian regimes come to power & stay. People who think this is over once Trump is out of office are wrong. This administration has broken norms and precedents that will have lasting consequences. (5/)

I know people are exhausted. Truly, I get it. I also understand why people think it will be easier in the short-term to just accept what’s happening & wait for a brighter day. But there will come a point where it gets MUCH harder to fix what’s been broken. (6/)

We’re not there yet, but we will be if the prevailing opinion is this is just the way things are. That’s how authoritarianism works. We’re not the first country to go through this. It’s an odd thing to take comfort in, I suppose, but use it as a guide. (7/)

Stay angry. Stay outraged. Take action. It’s not naive. It’s how we fix this. To be anything else simply enables authoritarianism. Shame on us for treating civic engagement as an option and politics as an impolite topic. We’re seeing the result. Let’s never go back. (8/8)

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog Republicans could have picked from a lot of conservative judges, but only Kavanaugh has taken a particular position on the prosecution of a sitting president…
💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1037151487934255104/photo/1

WaPo, David Ignatius: Working with Russia on cybercrime is like hiring a burglar to protect the family jewels http://wapo.st/2wKoJPZ

Euromaidan: What the UK, Sweden & Baltics did to be “full-scale defenders” against Kremlin subversion http://bit.ly/2PAD7Bq

Reuters: Kremlin dismisses Trump warning on Syria’s Idlib http://reut.rs/2NQz9V3

⭕ 3 Sep 2018

NYT: Democrats, Eyeing a Majority, Prepare an Investigative Onslaught http://nyti.ms/2Q0eUW9
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1036819043003629573/photo/1

● House Oversight and Govt Reform: Elijah Cummings (MD)
● Intelligence: Adam B. Schiff (CA)
● Judiciary: Jerrold Nadler (NY)
● Financial Services: Maxine Waters (CA)
● Foreign Affairs: Eliot Engel (NY)
● Armed Services: Adam Smith (WA)
● Homeland Security: Bennie Thompson (MS)
● Veterans Affairs: Tim Walz – retiring (MN)
● Ways and Means: Richard Neal (MA)
● Budget: John Yarmouth (KY)
● Appropriations: Nita Lowey (NY)
● Small Business: Nydia Velázquez (NY)
● Education and the Workforce: Bobby Scott (VA)
● Energy and Commerce: Frank Pallone (NJ)
● Science, Space and Technology: Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX)
● Agriculture: Collin Peterson (MN)
● Natural Resources: Raúl Grijalva (AZ)
● Transportarion and Infrastructure: Peter DeFasio (OR)
● Ethics: Ted Deutch (FL)

🐣 RT @RBReich If Trump blocks Mueller from releasing his final report, Trump is guilty of 2 more impeachable offenses: obstruction of justice, and failure to faithfully execute the laws.
⋙ TheHill: Giuliani: Trump legal team may try to block Mueller from releasing final report http://bit.ly/2NcMVnv

Documentary: ACTIVE MEASURES https://www.activemeasures.com
// Release Date: 8/31/2018

Chronicles the most successful espionage operation in Russian history, the American presidential election of 2016. Filmmaker Jack Bryan exposes a 30-year history of covert political warfare devised by Vladmir Putin to disrupt, and ultimately control world events. In the process, the filmmakers follow a trail of money, real estate, mob connections, and on the record confessions to expose an insidious plot that leads directly back to The White House. With democracy hanging in the balance, ACTIVE MEASURES is essential viewing. Unraveling the true depth and scope of “the Russia story” as we have come to know it, this film a jarring reminder that some conspiracies hide in plain sight.

Original Interviews With:

Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State (2008–2013)
Toomás Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia (2006–2016)
Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia (2004 – 2013)
Senator John McCain, Senate Armed Services Committee
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Senate Judiciary Committee
Congressman Eric Swalwell, House Intelligence Committee
Steven Hall, CIA Chief of Russia Operations (1985–2013)
Michael McFaul, U.S. Ambassador to Russia (2012–2014)
Nina Burleigh, Journalist and Newsweek Correspondent
Craig Unger, Journalist and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor
James Woolsey, Director of Central Intelligence (1993–1995)
John Mattes, Bernie Sanders Organizer, Investigative Journalist
Richard Fontaine, President, Center for New American Security
Michael Isikoff, Author, Russian Roulette
John Dean, White House Counsel to President Nixon (1970–1973)
Dr. Herb Lin, Director Cyber Policy and Security, Stanford University
Clint Watts, Former FBI Special Agent on Joint Terrorism Task Force
Evan McMullin, U.S. 2016 Presidential Candidate, CIA Operative (1999–2010)
Dr. Alina Polyakova, Brookings Institution, Foreign Policy Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe
John Podesta, Chair, Hillary for America, Founder, Center for American Progress
Jonathan Winer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Law Enforcement (1994–1999)
Jeremy Bash, CIA Chief of Staff (2009–2011), Pentagon Chief of Staff (2011–2013)
Ambassador Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2005–2009)
Scott Horton, International Law and Human Rights Attorney, Columbia Law School
Heather Conley, “Kremlin Playbook” Author, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Steven Pifer, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (1997–2000), U.S. Department of State (1978–2004)
Asha Rangappa, FBI Special Agent on Counterintelligence (2002 – 2005), Associate Dean of Yale Law
Molly McKew, Information Warfare Expert
Alexandra Chalupa, DNC Consultant

⭕ 2 Sep 2018

🐣 RT @RichardHaass One additional thought RE the memorial service for John McCain: it was an important foreign policy statement to the world, that the America they had long known and admired still exists. Acting in ways others respect and want to associate with is soft power at its most potent.

Brookings, Alina Polyakova and Spencer Phipps Boyer (Mar): The future of political warfare: Russia, the West, and the coming age of global digital competition http://brook.gs/2wDbL5W
⋙ Report [pdf] http://brook.gs/2ouzOQK 24p
// Mar 2018

ReportingProject: Dossier: Semion Mogilevich http://bit.ly/2wBG9OF

🔄📒≣ ReportingProject: Dossiers http://bit.ly/2wBG9OF

AZDailyStar: Star Opinion: Don’t replace McCain with a Trump supporter http://bit.ly/2NbcsO7 “It would dishonor McCain, and do an extreme disservice to the voters who elected him in 2016, to install a Trump supporter in McCain’s Senate seat.” @dougduce

Motherboard, Kim Zetter (Jul): Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States http://bit.ly/2LqL8HD
// 7/17/2018, Remote-access software and modems on election equipment ‘is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.’

⭕ 1 Sep 2018

🐣 RT @mitchellreports [To @real] FISA courts don’t hold hearings. They are secret courts – by degrees motion. Established by Congress.

TheIndependent [UK]: Belgian steel executive working for Russia’s richest man falls to his death from Moscow balcony http://ind.pn/2MFOFGy
// Police sources are ruling out foul play, but suspicions remain

A Belgian steel executive who worked for Russia’s richest man has been found dead on the pavement beneath his central Moscow home. 

According to police sources, Bruno Charles de Cooman, 61, an employee of Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK), returned to his ninth-floor apartment shortly before plunging to his death at approximately 3.50pm local time on Wednesday. He had left friends by the building entrance. They reportedly saw him fall out of a window. …

During the year-long period Mr De Cooman worked for the company,  Novolipetsk Steel recorded record earnings, helping to make its owner, Vladimir Lisin, Russia’s richest man. That title completed a remarkable journey for the oligarch, who started out as an electrical fitter in a Siberian coal mine in the 1970s. In addition to controlling one of the world’s largest steel companies, Mr Lisin, 62, also heads the country’s largest freight rail operator. 

Before his appointment as vice-president in 2017, Mr De Cooman worked as an academic, specialising in materials science and engineering. Novolipetsk Steel had created a new position for him, placing him in charge of research and development.

According to Mash, a Telegram media channel understood to work closely with Russian law enforcement, Mr De Cooman’s death is not being treated as suspicious. No one was with the executive at the time of his death, the publication claims. 

At the same time, it adds, the Belgian was sober and had not talked of suicide in the time leading up to the incident. 

AIST: Leading steel researcher and noted AIST member Dr. Bruno Charles De Cooman died Wednesday after he reportedly fell from a window in his Moscow apartment building. http://bit.ly/2N8Ed9P //➔ people fall out windows a lot in Russia

🐣 RT @schnee Alfa Bank in context
https://twitter.com/schnee/status/1035941703985897473/photo/1

🐣 RT @john_sipher Watch closely. Right out of the Kremlin playbook. Create a problem. Stoke it. Express outrage at those defending themselves, make accusations, pretend to be a victim, and then double down.
⋙ NYT: Ukrainian Separatist Leader Is Killed in Restaurant Bombing http://nyti.ms/

NYT: A Complex Web: The F.B.I., Russian Oligarchs, Bruce Ohr and the Trump Campaign http://nyti.ms/2LM1dXI “Between 2014 and 2016, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department unsuccessfully tried to turn Mr. Deripaska into an informant”
// Kenneth Vogel and Matthew Rosenberg

In the estimation of American officials, Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin, has faced credible accusations of extortion, bribery and even murder.

They also thought he might make a good source.

Between 2014 and 2016, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department unsuccessfully tried to turn Mr. Deripaska into an informant. They signaled that they might provide help with his trouble in getting visas for the United States or even explore other steps to address his legal problems. In exchange, they were hoping for information on Russian organized crime and, later, on possible Russian aid to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, according to current and former officials and associates of Mr. Deripaska.

In one dramatic encounter, F.B.I. agents appeared unannounced and uninvited at a home Mr. Deripaska maintains in New York and pressed him on whether Paul Manafort, a former business partner of his who went on to become chairman of Mr. Trump’s campaign, had served as a link between the campaign and the Kremlin.

The attempt to flip Mr. Deripaska was part of a broader, clandestine American effort to gauge the possibility of gaining cooperation from roughly a half-dozen of Russia’s richest men, nearly all of whom, like Mr. Deripaska, depend on President Vladimir V. Putin to maintain their wealth, the officials said.

Two of the players in the effort were Bruce G. Ohr, the Justice Department official who has recently become a target of attacks by Mr. Trump, and Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled a dossier of purported links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The systematic effort to win the cooperation of the oligarchs, which has not previously been revealed, does not appear to have scored any successes. And in Mr. Deripaska’s case, he told the American investigators that he disagreed with their theories about Russian organized crime and Kremlin collusion in the campaign, a person familiar with the exchanges said. The person added that Mr. Deripaska even notified the Kremlin about the American efforts to cultivate him.

Mr. Deripaska was the subject of many of the contacts between the two men between 2014 and 2016.

The outreach to Mr. Deripaska, who is so close to the Russian president that he has been called “Putin’s oligarch,” was not as much of a long shot as it might have appeared.

He had worked with the United States government in the past, including on a thwarted effort to rescue an F.B.I. agent captured in Iran, on which he reportedly spent as much as $25 million of his own money. And he had incentive to cooperate again in the run-up to the 2016 election, as he tried to win permission to travel more easily to the United States, where he has long sought more freedom to do business and greater acceptance as a global power broker.

[F]irst date on which the two [Ohr and Steele] discussed cultivating Mr. Deripaska: a meeting in Washington on Nov. 21, 2014, roughly seven months before Mr. Trump announced that he was running for president.

[The sources] also said they did not want Mr. Trump and his allies to use the program’s secrecy as a screen with which they could cherry-pick facts and present them, sheared of context, to undermine the special counsel’s investigation. That, too, they said they feared, would damage American security.

It was not only the F.B.I. that was concerned about Russian interference in the final months of the campaign. American spy agencies were sounding an alarm after months of intelligence reports about contacts between Trump associates and Russians, and Moscow’s hacking of Democratic Party emails. (American intelligence agencies would later conclude that the interefence was real and that Russia had acted to boost Mr. Trump’s candidacy.)

Mr. Deripaska, though, told the F.B.I. agents that while he had no love for Mr. Manafort, with whom he was in a bitter business dispute, he found their theories about his role on the campaign “preposterous.” He also disputed that there were any connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to the person familiar with the exchange.

This past April, the Treasury Department imposed potentially crippling sanctions against Mr. Deripaska and his mammoth aluminum company, saying he had profited from the “malign activities” of Russia around the world. In announcing the sanctions, the Trump administration cited accusations that Mr. Deripaska had been accused of extortion, racketeering, bribery, links to organized crime and even ordering the murder of a businessman.

Mr. Deripaska has denied the allegations, and his allies contend that the sanctions are punishment for refusing to play ball with the Americans.

Yet just as it was becoming clear that Mr. Deripaska would provide little help to the Americans, Mr. Steele was talking to Mr. Ohr about an entirely new issue: the dossier.

Over a breakfast in Washington, Mr. Steele said he believed that Russian intelligence had Mr. Trump “over a barrel,” according to a person familiar with the discussion. But the person said that it was more of a friendly heads-up, and that Mr. Steele had separately been in touch with an F.B.I. agent in a bid to get his work to investigators.

The research by that point was being funded by the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, and Mr. Steele believed that what he had found was damning enough that he needed to get it to American law enforcement.

F.B.I. agents would later meet with Mr. Steele to discuss his work. But former senior officials from the bureau and the Justice Department have said that the investigation into ties between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia was well underway by the time they got the dossier.

Nonetheless, Mr. Trump and his allies have seized on the fact that Mr. Ohr and Mr. Steele were in touch about elements of the dossier to attack the investigation into Russian election interference as a “rigged witch hunt.”

Mr. Trump and his allies have cast Mr. Steele’s research — and the serious consideration it was given by Mr. Ohr and the F.B.I. — as part of a plot by rogue officials and Mrs. Clinton’s allies to undermine Mr. Trump’s campaign and his presidency.

Among the documents produced to Congress by the Justice Department is an undated — and previously unreported — handwritten note jotted down by Mr. Ohr indicating that Mr. Deripaska and one of his London-based lawyers, Paul Hauser, were “almost ready to talk” to American government officials regarding the money that “Manafort stole.”

Last year, Mr. Ohr asked someone who communicated with Mr. Deripaska to urge the oligarch to “give up Manafort,” according to a person familiar with the exchange.

And Mr. Deripaska sought to engage with Congress.

The oligarch took out newspaper advertisements in the United States last year volunteering to testify in any congressional hearings examining his work with Mr. Manafort. The ads were in response to an Associated Press report that Mr. Manafort had secretly worked for Mr. Deripaska on a plan to “greatly benefit the Putin government” in the mid-2000s.

Mr. Deripaska deplored that assertion as “malicious” and a “lie,” and subsequently sued The A.P. for libel, though he later dropped the lawsuit without receiving a settlement or payment.

WaPo, Vladimir Kara-Murza: John McCain saw through Vladimir Putin better than anyone http://wapo.st/2oBm9Yp
// 8/27/2018

🔄≣💙 DocumentCloud: Papadopoulos Sentencing Memo http://bit.ly/2C66AkK

🐣 RT @DeptOfDefense “Senator John McCain, a man whose name alone provides a better description of a patriot than all the words in a dictionary’s definition – everything I love about America is resident in this man.” – #SecDef Mattis
https://twitter.com/DeptofDefense/status/1035889107900219392/photo/1

🐣 RT @naretevduorp As an American Hero is laid to rest, an American Traitor lies in protest.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real “You have a Fake Dossier, gathered by Steele, paid by the Clinton team to get information on Trump. The Dossier is Fake, nothing in it has been verified. It then filters into our American court system in order to spy on Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s political opponent……

Lawfare, Barbara McQuade: How President Trump’s Comments on ‘Flipping’ Witnesses Undermine Law Enforcement http://bit.ly/2wz8ftZ

⭕ 31 Aug 2018

🐣 RT @agenthades1 Fun! ¤ Lanny Wiles was the one who provided the seat to Vesilnitskaya at the McFaul hearing.
https://twitter.com/Agenthades1/status/1035705867243405312/photo/1
https://twitter.com/Agenthades1/status/1035705867243405312/photo/2

🐣 RT @ninaandtito I call MAJOR WTF on this @politico story. Susan Wiles, who is quoted, is married to Lanny Wiles.
⋙ Politico: ‘Something was weird’: Inside the Russian effort to bamboozle Florida http://politi.co/2PXn1TF
// 2/16/2018, The operation in the nation’s largest swing state was in a class by itself.
📌 Thread: https://twitter.com/ninaandtito/status/964703637778780160

🐣 RT @leahmcelrath This assassination comes as Russia reportedly has been moving armaments from Siberia to near the Ukraine border. 💥💥
📌 Thread: https://mobile.twitter.com/leahmcelrath/status/1035568389127856128

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog Rachel Maddow on the finances around the Donald Trump inauguration: ‘It’s all so freaking shady!’
💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1035707620001308678/photo/1
↥ ↧
NYT (Feb): Trump’s Inaugural Committee Paid $26 Million to Firm of First Lady’s Adviser http://nyti.ms/2wAhmK6
// 2/15/2018

KyivPost (1/21/2017): Taras Kuzio: Incompetence in Ukraine’s foreign policy represents threat to national security http://bit.ly/2N7Yw7l

… Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers.” (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446). …
// can’t find this ⇈

NYT: She Gambled on Her Claim to Link Russians and Trump. She Is Losing http://nyti.ms/2oqL9Bp

🐣 RT @imthemadridista Deripaska has not only employed Manafort & Gates but also, Foreigner A, Konstantin Kilimink, Sam Patten’s business partner. ¤ Deripaska has hired other DC lobbying firms, including Endeavor Group, Haley Barbour/BGR Group & guess who? Yup, Robert “Bob” Dole.
⋙ RFE/RL (2017): White House Shrugs Off Report That Former Trump Aide Manafort Proposed Plan To Benefit Putin http://bit.ly/2C4ADt4
// 3/22/2018
https://twitter.com/imthemadridista/status/1035606543549509639/photo/1

WaPo: American political consultant admits foreign money was funneled to Trump inaugural http://wapo.st/2LNZz7M

Politico.eu, Toomas Hendrik Ilves: John McCain’s European example http://politi.co/2wuKzXR
// The American was the greatest transatlanticist of the post-Cold-War era.

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: The Real Reason Russia Is Rooting for Republicans in the Midterms http://thebea.st/2LL4XJ4
//. State-controlled media joke about abetting Trump and believe his tough talk on sanctions is just a ploy. If the Republicans win the midterms, they say, he’ll come around.

🔄 📋 Investigators List: @kelly2277 @LuluLemew @WZRichard @ninaandtito @truthteller8889 @JamesFourM @BGHeaven @Redrum_of_Crows @patrickLSimpson @funder @grantstern @JuddLegum @RanttMedia @PoliticusSarah @ushadrons @LouiseMensch @TeaPainUSA @SethAbramson @pwnallthethings @benjaminwittes

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok In addition to funneling illegal money to Trump inauguration, Patten helped Yanuk aide Lovochkin get meetings to lobby Congress and helped him author op-ed arguing “Ukraine will be fine under President Trump” & should get along w/ its neighbors 😒 ie lobbying for Russian interests.
https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1035637737943064577/photo/1
https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1035637737943064577/photo/2

🐣 RT @AltCyberCommand Let Biden’s words echo throughout the halls of Washington: “[We] cannot stand the abuse of power… in whatever form. [We] love basic values: honesty, respect, giving hate no harbor, leaving no one behind and understanding we are part of something much bigger than ourselves.”

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok In addition to funneling illegal money to Trump inauguration, Patten helped Yanuk aide Lovochkin get meetings to lobby Congress and helped him author op-ed arguing “Ukraine will be fine under President Trump” & should get along w/ its neighbors 😒 ie lobbying for Russian interests.
https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1035637737943064577/photo/1
https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1035637737943064577/photo/2

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Trump’s latest rally rant is much more alarming and dangerous than usual http://wapo.st/2wsLyaQ “Trump … lashed out at the FBI and the Justice Department, claiming that ‘people are angry’ and threatening to personally ‘get involved.’”

Today’s Democrat Party is held hostage by left-wing haters, angry mobs, deep-state radicals, establishment cronies and their fake-news allies,” Trump railed. “Our biggest obstacle and their greatest ally actually is the media.”

In case there is any doubt about what Trump meant by the “deep state” that is supposedly allied with the news media, Trump also lashed out at the FBI and the Justice Department, claiming that “people are angry” and threatening to personally “get involved.”

TheHill: NATO considers naming headquarters after McCain http://bit.ly/2osbDCF

🐣 RT @MSNBC In plea deal, Manafort-linked lobbyist admits he made a $50,000 donation through a straw donor to President Trump’s Inauguration Cmte. for a Russian and a Ukrainian, documents show, though they do not suggest the cmte. was aware of the straw purchase.
⋙ NBC, Ken Dilanian et al: Manafort-linked lobbyist W. Samuel Patten admits using straw donor to buy Trump inaugural tickets for Russian, Ukrainian http://nbcnews.to/2wxxzAt
// The operative pleaded guilty in court Friday and has agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller.

🐣 RT @gelles Samuel Patten, a DC lobbyist who worked with an alleged Russian intelligence agent, has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel. He’s admitted to funneling foreign money to purchase tickets to the Trump inauguration. Mueller is probing the record $106.8 million raised.

🐣 Vox, Andrew Prokop (7/5): Why Trump’s inauguration money is a major part of Mueller’s Russia investigation http://bit.ly/2NqCeLw
// 7/5/2018, Russia-tied donations and oligarch connections have drawn Mueller’s interest.

TPM, Tierney Sneed: GOP Operative Who Pleaded Guilty To Foreign Lobbying Charge Also Aided Illegal Inauguration Ticket Purchase http://bit.ly/2NCxulG

The GOP operative who pleaded guilty Friday to failing to register his Ukrainian lobbying work in the U.S. also lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee, deleted documents that would have revealed those false statements and aided with an illegal straw purchase of tickets to President Trump’s inauguration for a Ukrainian oligarch, according to court documents.

Lobbyist Sam Patten is not being charged for that conduct, according to the statement of offense filed with his guilty plea to the foreign lobbying charge. The prosecution was handled by the U.S. Attorneys Office in D.C.; however, Patten’s plea agreement calls for cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller and members of Mueller’s team were present at his plea hearing in D.C.’s federal courthouse.

🐣 RT @ShimonPro Significance of today: ¤ With Samuel Patten’s guilty plea we now have direct confirmation that foreign money was used to buy tickets to Donald Trump’s inauguration. Paid by foreigners through straw purchasers ¤ His cooperation with Mueller crucial now in that larger investigation

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay: Republican Lobbyist Steered Foreign Money to Trump’s Inaugural Committee http://thebea.st/2N3NoZb
// Republican lobbyist Sam Patten, who previously worked with the Trump campaign’s data firm, is the latest to be nabbed in the Mueller probe.

WaPo: Washington consultant for Ukraine party pleads guilty to violating lobbyist disclosure law http://wapo.st/2Poi4lE

TheGuardian: Paul Manafort associate who worked with Cambridge Analytica charged http://bit.ly/2LJD4kB
Sam Patten charged under Foreign Agents Registration Act
Republican once worked with controversial consultancy

A Republican political consultant linked to Paul Manafort, who also once worked for Cambridge Analytica, has been charged with operating illegally in the US as an agent for pro-Russia politicians from Ukraine.

Sam Patten is accused of “willfully” acting as an agent for the Ukrainian political party Opposition Bloc between 2014 and this year, according to a filing to federal court in Washington DC on Friday.

Patten, 47, was charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara) by failing to register with the US government as an agent for a foreign country.

The charge was brought by the US attorney’s office in the capital. The case was referred to that office by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian election interference, links between Trump aides and Moscow and potential obstruction of justice by the president.

US prosecutors said Patten’s company was paid $1m for advising Opposition Bloc and lobbying US politicians on its behalf. The funds were allegedly paid via an offshore account in Cyprus from a “prominent Ukraine oligarch” who is an Opposition Bloc member.

A page on Patten’s website that has since been removed said he “worked with one of London’s most innovative strategic communications companies to introduce new technologies and methodologies” during the 2014 US election.

During an interview last year with a British academic researcher, Patten said: “I’ve worked in Ukraine, Iraq, I’ve worked in deeply corrupt countries, and [the American] system isn’t very different.”

🐣 RT @ShimonPro !!!! Prosecutors say Samuel Patten sought tickets to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on behalf of a prominent Ukrainian oligarch. Patten acted as a “straw purchaser,” funneling the Ukrainian’s money secretly to the inauguration committee through a Cypriot bank account.

CNN: Ohr says Steele told him Russian intel believed they had Trump ‘over a barrel’ http://cnn.it/2wwK7Zb

≣ DocumentCloud: New filing in United States v. Patten: Information – Felony http://bit.ly/2Pm3lYs

This thread by @aliasvaughn really helped me understand why the @AP article yesterday about Bruce Ohr was so important https://twitter.com/aliasvaughn/status/1035562083503484930
↥ ↧
📌 Thread: 🐣 RT @aliasvaughn https://twitter.com/aliasvaughn/status/1035574743284572162
… 30.
20. This excellent AP story goes on asking an essential question: “Why does Trump risk so much politically by even threatening to pull the security clearances of an active DoJ official without any of the ordinary procedures for doing so?”
19. And guess who Firtash partnered with? PAUL MANAFORT and Semion Mogilevich. This is where the connection is essential… there’s HIGH likelihood that Gates and other Manafort witnesses KNOW what Firtash did with Manafort. You can rest damn well assured Mueller KNOWS all this.
18. AP correctly notes: “little attention was paid to what may well be the most interesting item on Page’s resume — her considerable experience prosecuting money laundering cases involving Russian organized crime.” Page worked with FBI task force in Budapest vs? DMITRY FIRTASH.
17. Based on the above and on the fact Ohr is a Mogilevich specialist who went after him BIG time, I’m sure you can see why Trump has PLENTY of reasons to want to discredit Ohr. Guess who ELSE Trump went after who worked with FBI task force on RU money laundering? LISA PAGE.
16. “Over the years, no fewer than 1,300 Trump-branded condos were sold in all cash purchases to anonymous shell companies—the two criteria that set off alarm bells among anti-money laundering authorities.” You don’t say? The only thing Trump is capable of actually loving? MONEY
15. “If one tracks Trump’s ties to Russia, the name Mogilevich pops up more than any single name, beginning in 1984 when alleged Mogilevich operative David Bogatin bought five condos in Trump Tower for $6 mln in cash.” And we know how Trump loves his laundered money.
14. AP truth: ” If the FBI’s investigations turn toward Trump’s ties to Russian organized crime, which is entirely foreseeable, Trump may be interested in trying to delegitimize those efforts as he has attempted with other aspects of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.”
13. Ohr being an expert in international organized crime, like Steele, is the cherry on the cake. Trump is deeply involved with Russian mafia (see: Semion Mogilevich, whom Ohr faced off against). Mogilevich operatives have used Trump properties to launder millions of $$$.
12. All of the above literally DESTROYS Trump and the Trump lackey wagon conspiracy theory about the FBI being biased, or the Steele dossier being the reason why the Russia investigation started. And THIS is why Trump detests Ohr and knows he’s his sworn enemy.
11. Kindly note: once his Steele ties were brought to light, Ohr was REASSIGNED. So the FBI promptly acted even when, quite frankly, it wasn’t necessary. but, transparency and objectivity above all, so he was reassigned. And he provided Congress with new details re: reassignment.
10. Ohr told Congress he couldn’t vouch for the accuracy of Steele’s information (bc duh, he wasn’t there) BUT said he considers him a reliable FBI informant who delivered “credible and actionable intelligence, including his probe into corruption at FIFA”.
9. “The breakfast took place amid ongoing FBI concerns about Russian election interference and possible communication with Trump associates. By then RU hackers had penetrated Dem email accounts including Podesta’s and Papadopoulos had said Russians had “dirt” on HRC via emails.”
8. Ohr also told Congress that Steele said Carter Page had met with more senior Russian’ officials than he had acknowledged meeting with. (meantime, Page has been forced to acknowledge meeting with at least a couple of them.)
7. Naturally, Ohr can also testify that the FBI investigation was already WELL under way by the time FBI received Steele’s dossier. Ohr can also testify that despite being friends with Steele, he was NOT the original source of information from it. So Trump is freaking out.
6. Attacking them publicly is meant to discredit them as witnesses. It doesn’t matter that it won’t work as they will testify against him anyway, it’s witness tampering at a minimum. This influences public perception, on top of the previous point I made about obstruction.
5. Trump’s tactic is to intimidate witnesses and to eliminate anyone at DoJ (see: McCabe) who is a witness against him, so that fewer people with deep knowledge of the Russian investigation and of obstruction of justice remain there. In so doing, he is obstructing justice
4. An unnamed former Ru intelligence official said that Russian intelligence believed “they had Trump over a barrel”, that’s the quote that was reported. Steele and Ohr have known each other for over a decade. They shared interest in international organized crime.
3. So if Trump so much as THINKS of touching Bruce Ohr, that is direct obstruction of justice, and his tweets already constitute witness tampering. AND everyone in Congress who was present at the interview KNOWS that. Just so you know who to hold accountable.
2. These details pertain to a breakfast that happened on July 30, 2016. Ohr described the breakfast to CONGRESS this week in a private interview. And that’s how the GOP Trump lackeys went to tell Trump, he found out and decided he can’t have a witness at DoJ.
1. Bruce Ohr is the Justice Department lawyer who was told by Christopher Steele that Russian intelligence believed it had Trump “over a barrel”. Start seeing why Trump is going after him?
⋙ 🐣 RT @jjouvenal Sources say Justice Department lawyer was told Russian intelligence had “Trump over a barrel”
⋙⋙ AP sources: Lawyer was told Russia had ‘Trump over a barrel’ http://bit.ly/2wxzy7U

🐣 RT @leahmcelrath This assassination comes as Russia reportedly has been moving armaments from Siberia to near the Ukraine border.
⋙@NBCNewsWorld BREAKING: Explosion at cafe has killed Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, separatist and Russian news agencies report.

Vox: A Paul Manafort and Cambridge Analytica associate just struck a plea deal http://bit.ly/2NC3u9D
// Mueller handed off the investigation into Sam Patten — but seems to still be interested in what he has to say.

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand (Apr): A Suspected Russian Spy, With Curious Ties to Washington http://bit.ly/2NBrfP6
// 4/6/2018, A longtime Republican operative has been in contact with a suspected Russian intelligence agent for nearly two decades. What does it mean for Robert Mueller’s investigation?

🐣 Unreal: Both McCain and Aretha Franklin services, Ohr testimony leaks, Mueller plea deal drops, Pro-Russian head of Unkraine insurgency assassinated and Canadian trade deal falls through when CA finds out Trump insulted them … Next?
// Both Sessions and Rosenstein are at McCain service
↥ ↧
💥💥💥Things Exploding 💥💥💥 (Little things)

🐣 RT @anders_aslund The leader of the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, Alexander Zakharchenko has been killed in an explosion in a cafe in the region’s capital, Interfax

Bloomberg: Manafort Ally Agrees to Cooperate With U.S. After Guilty Plea http://bloom.bg/2wyAubC

🐣 RT @ChadSDay DOJ official confirms case of DC lobbyist Sam Patten was a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team
⋙ AP: DC lobbyist charged with failing to file as foreign agent http://bit.ly/2MHcyh6

AP, Jeff Horwitz and Maria Danilova (Jul): Russian charged with Trump’s ex-campaign chief is key figure http://bit.ly/2NBSRDL
// 7/2/2018

Medium, Nafeez Ahmed (2017): Inside the secret Trump lobby that wants to profit from the break-up of Iraq http://bit.ly/2PofaNB via @chrisinsilico
// A network tied to Cambridge Analytica, Islamist insurgents, ExxonMobil and Koch convinced Trump to let go of Iraqi unity
// 3/21/2017

🔆 This❗️⋙ AP sources: DOJ Lawyer Bruce Ohr was told Russia had ‘Trump over a barrel’ http://bit.ly/2wxzy7U
⋙ See under Entire Articles: AP Trump over Barrel 8-31-2018

🐣 RT @brianklaas If a ‘blue wave’ happens, Democrats should start working to transform broken norms into unbreakable laws. Protect special counsels. Require tax returns. Stronger anti-nepotism laws. And making clear that the president is not above the law. My column:
⋙ WaPo, Brian Klaas: http://wapo.st/

🐣 RT @TopRopeTravis JUST IN: Approval ratings of Trump among Republicans drops below 80% for the first time. ¤ Disapproval of Trump jumps to 60% among all voters. ¤ 63% approve of Mueller’s investigation, up 11%. ¤ And for the first time, more favor impeachment proceedings than disapprove.
https://twitter.com/TopRopeTravis/status/1035495274423177217/photo/1
// chart: Approval, Support to Mueller, Impeachment
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @EricBoehlert Trump has a 3% approval rating among black voters.
🐣 RT @ABCPolitics 60% disapprove of Pres. Trump, numerically the highest of his presidency; 53% disapprove strongly, the first time more than half have said so in an @ABC News/WaPo poll.
⋙ ABCNews: Trouble for Trump: Disapproval at a high, 63% back Mueller, half favor impeachment http://abcn.ws/2C6bDls
↥ ↧
📊 WaPo/ABC Poll: 60 percent disapprove of Trump, while clear majorities back Mueller and Sessions http://wapo.st/2PTYe2M Only 36% approve, 24%strongly; 53% STRONGLY disapprove
● Trend in Approval: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1035508618291040256/photo/1
● Trump approval sinks to record lows, views on economy slip and many see admin as corrupt
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1035516193078239233/photo/1
● 63% support Mueller investigation. 53% believe Trump has tried to interfere with it (obstruction) https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1035517156270780416/photo/1
● Two-thirds think case for trying Manafort was justified. Only 18% think he should be pardoned https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1035518249331507200/photo/1
● Only 23% side with Trump is his battle with AG Sessions; 62% stand with Sessions https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1035522208997601280/photo/1
● 61% say if Trump directed Cohen to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, it would be a crime https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1035522624225460224/photo/1
● Almost half (49%) think Congress should begin impeachment hearings. 25% of those polled identified as Republican; in this poll, only 78% of them approve of Trump’s performance https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1035524589307215872/photo/1
⇈ ⇊
Note: The WaPo/ABC Poll that came out today (http://wapo.st/2PTYe2M) is rated A+ by FiveThirtyEight’s pollster ratings http://53eig.ht/2MDDZYU Of major polls, only Monmouth also scores an A+, although several smaller polling operations do.

🐣 RT @McFaul Last week, many asked me about my take on oligarchs, privatization, etc in Yeltsin era. So I tracked down this PDF of a piece I wrote back in the 1995 on privatization in Russia. Tragically, holds up pretty well:
⋙ CambridgeUnivPress (World Politics), Michael McFaul (Jan 1995): State Power, Institutional Change and the Politics of Privatization in Russia [pdf] http://bit.ly/2LK4Bm1 35p
// Jan 1995

🐣 RT @lovetogive2 🤔#McGahn’s former law firm #JonesDay not only rep’d Russian companies like #Gazprom, they also rep’d #Diebold —#IndictedForWorldwideFraud, makers of known-to-be-#hackable #VotingMachines?
⋙ 🐣 RT @sprzyslp Yes McGahn is Koch lawyer[.] Jones Day’s biggest client is Diebold. Diebold is now ES&S easily hacked voting machines used by GOP to rig elections since early 90s. Then of course Diebold makes ATM software for Alfa Bank. Follow money law firms banks and oil.
// 7/2/2018

🐣 RT @Yascha_Mounk Need a reminder of the human cost of dictatorship? All these are journalists who criticized Putin–and died under mysterious circumstances
https://twitter.com/Yascha_Mounk/status/886276943888429056/photo/1
// 7/15/2017, trail of dead Russians; bio: Lecturer @Harvard, Senior Fellow @NewAmerica, Columnist @Slate, Host of The Good Fight podcast. Defending liberal democracy against the illiberal international.

⭕ 30 Aug 2018

ForeignPolicy, Stephen Walt (8/30): Planning for the Post-Trump Wreckage http://bit.ly/2OkTL7R
// When the president eventually exits the White House, the rest of us will quickly have to make sense of the world he’s left behind.

Slate, Oona Hathaway: Bruce Ohr Is One of the DOJ’s Top Russia Crime Fighters Is that why the president wants him fired? http://bit.ly/2NDNUKG

Politico: Anticipation builds around Mueller as 60-day election window nears http://politi.co/2PNlLlT
// The cutoff is not a hard and fast rule, but some former prosecutors expect Mueller to bend over backward to avoid taking steps that might be construed as improper before the midterms.

WaPo, Michael Gerson: This is the new GOP: Angry and afraid http://wapo.st/2LIXgml “Republicans must pick their own point of principled resistance to a corrosive populism, if they have one at all.”
// authoritarianism

But Republican leaders need to prepare themselves. This compromise is likely to be temporary. Trump is not only making a challenge to the Republican establishment; he is also increasingly impatient with structures of democratic accountability. As Edward Luce argues in “The Retreat of Western Liberalism,” “the true populist loses patience with the rules of the democratic game.” He comes to view himself as the embodied voice of the people, and opponents as (in Trump’s words) “un-American” and “treasonous.”

… If the GOP narrowly retains control of the House, Trump and others will take it as the vindication of his whole approach to politics. The president will doubtlessly go further in targeting his enemies for investigation and other harm. He will doubtlessly attack the independence of the FBI and attempt to make it an instrument of his will. He will doubtlessly continue his vendetta against responsible journalism and increase his pressure on media companies that don’t please him. On a broad front, Trump’s lunacy will become operational.

The separation of powers does not work automatically, like a washing machine. Republicans must pick their own point of principled resistance to a corrosive populism, if they have one at all.

Republican leaders may dread it, but they will eventually be forced to identify that final area where they keep themselves — or find there is no one there.

WaPo, Ashley Parker: ‘Totally dishonest’: Trump asserts only he can be trusted over opponents and ‘fake news’ http://wapo.st/2wr94VG
// authoritarianism

“This is Trump at war — war with the elites; war with the permanent political class; war with the opposition party media, tech oligarchs, the Antifa anarchists,” Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s former White House chief strategist, wrote in a text message. “This is the reason Trump is president — to take on the vested interests in this country for hard working Americans.”

At a rally later Thursday in Indiana, Trump took aim at the news media, describing them as “dishonest, terrible people” and telling the crowd, “When you get good ratings, you can say anything.”

“The widening circle of the parties that he’s accusing is predictable because I see Donald Trump as an authoritarian in the making or an authoritarian wannabe, and there’s always a transition process of this sort of leader asserting himself above all the authorities,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a history professor at New York University who studies authoritarianism. “Every authoritarian leader eventually asserts himself as the only arbiter of truth.”

The spate of frenetic tweets also underscores both “a confidence and desperation” on the part of the president,” said Frank Sesno, a former CNN Washington bureau chief who is now the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. 

“Confidence that he is, in fact, the only reliable source,” Sesno said, “and desperation in that he is losing control of the narrative and needs to reassert his version of the truth.”

DailyBeast: Rudy Giuliani Is Putting Together a ‘Counter-Report’ to Question Robert Mueller’s ‘Legitimacy’ http://thebea.st/2N0xJKk
// It’s being done with the explicit blessing of Trump who is ‘happy’ that this is part of his legal team’s ‘strategy,’ the president’s lawyer says.

According to Giuliani, the bulk of the report will be divided into two sections. One section will seek to question the legitimacy of the Mueller probe generally by alleging “possible conflicts” of interest by federal law enforcement authorities. The other section will respond to more substantive allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russian government agents to sway the 2016 election, and obstruction of justice allegations stemming from, among other things, the president’s firing of former FBI director James Comey.

WaPo: Former Nixon counsel John Dean to be witness opposed to Kavanaugh nomination to Supreme Court http://wapo.st/2LHb8h2

Democrats seeking to defeat the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh have recruited former Nixon White House counsel John Dean to testify during next week’s hearing on Capitol Hill, focusing on concerns about Kavanaugh’s views on presidential power and executive privilege.

In a telephone interview, Dean said he would focus on Kavanaugh’s views on executive power and his statements about the case, U.S. v. Nixon, in which the Supreme Court ruled that Nixon had to turn over secretly recorded White House tapes.

Kavanaugh’s view on the case is murky. He said in a 1999 panel discussion that “maybe Nixon was wrongly decided — heresy though it is to say so. Nixon took away the power of the president to control information in the executive branch . . . that was a huge step with implications to this day that most people do no fully appreciate.”

Dean also said he would focus on Kavanaugh’s 2009 Minnesota Law Review article, in which the federal appeals court judge wrote that a president is too busy to be distracted by civil suits and criminal investigation while in office. Kavanaugh’s view has come under scrutiny because he played the lead role in laying out the grounds for impeaching President Bill Clinton when he helped write a report to Congress for independent counsel Kenneth Starr.

Dean, who has said Trump is “more dangerous” than Nixon, said it is a “correct presumption” that he is opposed to Kavanaugh’s nomination. The hearings are slated to begin Tuesday, and Dean is scheduled to testify on Friday.

FBI.gov: The FBI Launches a Combating Foreign Influence Webpage http://bit.ly/2Pmm2Lv

NYT, Alex Whiting and Ryan Goodman: Will Trump Pardon Manafort? http://nyti.ms/2N5mKzd
// By speculating about it, the president and his surrogates have already acted improperly.

🐣 Semion Mogilevich bio https://twitter.com/Redrum_of_Crows/status/1035403015618850816/photo/1

💙💙 TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Trump’s Top Targets in the Russia Probe Are Experts in Organized Crime http://bit.ly/2LGGSTm
// Some of President Trump’s favorite targets in the Russia probe have spent their careers in the Justice Department and FBI investigating organized crime and money laundering, particularly as they pertain to Russia.

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.

As Trump praised and defended Russian President Vladimir Putin along the campaign trail, financial analysts and money-laundering experts questioned whether the real-estate mogul had any financial incentives—including business ties or outstanding debt—to seek better relations with Moscow. Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed in May 2017 to investigate a potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, assembled a team with revealing expertise in fraud, racketeering, money laundering, and other financial crimes.

Trump’s fixation with seeing Ohr ousted from the Justice Department … 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.

And then there’s Andy McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI who spent more than a decade investigating Russian organized crime and served as a supervisory special agent of a task force that scrutinized Eurasian crime syndicates.

One member of Mueller’s team, meanwhile, has provoked more ire from the president’s allies than others: Andrew Weissmann, a seasoned prosecutor who oversaw cases against high-ranking organized criminals on Wall Street in the early 1990s and, later, against 30 people implicated in the Enron fraud scandal. Trump has also villainized the former Mueller team member Lisa Page, a trial attorney in the Justice Department’s organized-crime section whose cases centered on international organized crime and money laundering.

Mueller’s probe is first and foremost a counterintelligence investigation, and Trump famously declared last year that any examination of his personal finances would cross a “red line.” But Russia’s criminal syndicates have become increasingly intertwined with its intelligence services, blurring the line between Mafia dons and spies.

[Trump’s] 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 …

By the early 2000s, a third of the buyers of Trump Tower’s most expensive condos were Russia-linked shell companies or individuals from the former Soviet Union—including Eduard Nektalov, a mob-connected diamond dealer from Uzbekistan, and David Bogatin, a Russian-émigré mobster who specialized in bootlegging gasoline. Bogatin’s brother was involved in an elaborate stock fraud with the top Russian mob boss Mogilevich, who himself is allied with Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov—another Russian mob leader who ran an entire gambling and money-laundering network out of Unit 63A in Trump Tower, just three floors below Trump’s own residence. (Tokhtakhounov was a VIP attendee at Trump’s Miss Universe pageant in Moscow just seven months after the gambling ring was busted by the FBI.) Trump’s own sons have boasted of the Trump Organization’s dependence on Russian money. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. said in 2008. “We don’t rely on American banks,” Eric Trump reportedly told a golfing buddy in 2014. “We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen—who pleaded guilty last week to tax fraud and campaign-finance violations, in which he implicated the president—once bragged that he was part of the Russian mob, according to The Wall Street Journal. Cohen’s uncle, with whom he was close, owned a Brooklyn catering hall called El Caribe, in which Cohen had a stake—a hall that “for decades was the scene of mob weddings and Christmas parties,” the Times reported, and housed the offices of “two of New York’s most notorious Russian mobsters.”

It is ironic, then, that Trump’s attacks have shone a bright light on the experts inside and outside the government who have been investigating him—individuals who share a deep expertise in organized crime, money laundering, fraud, and racketeering. Even Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, spent years as an investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal digging into Russian organized crime. In a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee last year, Simpson explained that “real-estate deals” were a common Russian method of hiding and moving money. Asked whether Fusion had found “evidence” of corruption and illicit finance related to the purchase of Trump properties, Simpson replied that his firm had seen “patterns of buying and selling that we thought were suggestive of money laundering,” including “fast-turnover deals and deals where there seemed to have been efforts to disguise the identity of the buyer.”

It’s not just Trump Tower or Trump Taj Mahal. NBC News reported in November that Trump’s Panama hotel had organized-crime ties, and a Russian state-owned bank under U.S. sanctions, whose CEO met with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in December 2016, helped finance the construction of the president’s 65-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto.

“The Russian Mafia is essentially under the dominion of the Russian government and Russian intelligence services,” Simpson said in his congressional testimony. But Trump, continuing on the curious theme of defending Moscow while throwing U.S. intelligence officials under the bus, has, conveniently for Putin, persisted in making a spectacle of some of the Kremlin’s biggest adversaries in the U.S. government.

📊 Suffolk Univ/USAToday Poll (8/23-28) http://bit.ly/2Pjz8Ji
Trump approval/disapproval ⋙ 40/58%
Trust Mueller probe ⋙ 55%
Don’t trust Trump denial of collusion ⋙ 59%
Cohen plea raises ?s about Trump ⋙ 61%❗
Believe Russia meddled ⋙ 69%
Corruption worse under Trump ⋙ 57%

Fifty-eight percent of likely voters said they hold an unfavorable view of the president, compared to 52 percent in June, while his favorable rate has held steady at 40 percent since the early-summer poll. Trump’s job approval numbers tell a similar story, with 56 percent of voters either disapproving or strongly disapproving of his job performance, and 40 percent of voters saying they approve or strongly approve.

“Voters’ negative views of Trump have fluctuated over time, but his current troubles likely relate to the recent conviction of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the guilty plea of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.

Bloomberg: Trump Interview Highlights: WTO, Sessions, Capital Gains Taxes http://bloom.bg/2N96GMK

● On pulling out of the World Trade Organization: “If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO.”
● On the EU’s proposal to eliminate auto tariffs: “It’s not good enough.”
● On social media companies: “I mean, look the conservatives have been treated very unfairly.”
● On Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe: “I view it as an illegal investigation. I’m not saying anything, I’m just telling you this: You read the great scholars, the great legal- there should have never been a special counsel.”

Bloomberg: Sessions Is Safe at Least Until November Elections, Trump Says http://bloom.bg/2PWxDlE Mueller probe is ‘an illegal investigation,’ president says

● The attorney general has resisted Trump’s pressure to resign
● Mueller probe is ‘an illegal investigation,’ president says

“I view it differently. I view it as an illegal investigation” because “great scholars” have said that “there never should have been a special counsel,” the president said.

Trump has ridiculed Sessions, a former Republican senator and an early supporter of his presidential candidacy, as “weak” for failing to aggressively pursue Republican allegations of anti-Trump bias in the Justice Department and FBI. Trump has tried to no avail to pressure Sessions to quit, which would open the way to appointing a successor who could oust Mueller or rein in his inquiry.

Sessions’s inability to “control” his department was “a regrettable thing,” Trump said in an interview last week with Fox News, adding that the Justice Department seems “to go after a lot of Republicans.”

Sessions responded then in a defiant statement, saying, “While I am attorney general, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”

NYT, Ken Jaworowski: Review: ‘Active Measures’ Looks at Links Between Trump and Russia http://nyti.ms/2MCyOZf Directed by Jack Bryan
Text block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1035289265817772032/photo/1

Eager to make you uncomfortable, “Active Measures” piles on the ire as it outlines Russian efforts to manipulate world events, particularly the 2016 American presidential election.

This formidable film is sometimes zealous to a fault: The credits cite more than 200 sources of archival material, from The Washington Post to YouTube channels. It’s a lot to take in, as names and numbers zip by, yet missing some of its points may be healthy. To explore every moment is to risk overdosing on outrage.

“Is This the Documentary That Can Take Down Trump?” asks the headline of a recent article on the film in Vanity Fair. The answer: probably not. Much of what’s asserted here has already been reported elsewhere. Yet if, by the end, you’re angry about what you’ve seen — and you’re likely to be — Mr. Bryan will probably be pleased.

Vox, Andrew Prokop: The Michael Cohen, CNN, and Trump-Russia controversy, explained http://bit.ly/2PivMGD

Reuters: Trump seeks to backtrack on 2017 comments on Comey firing http://reut.rs/2wASOk2

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay: Rudy Giuliani Is Putting Together a ‘Counter-Report’ to Question Robert Mueller’s ‘Legitimacy’ http://thebea.st/2N0xJKk
// It’s being done with the explicit blessing of Trump who is ‘happy’ that this is part of his legal team’s ‘strategy,’ the president’s lawyer says.

🐣 RT @matttglesias Really worth emphasizing that there’s a good (~25%) chance Republicans hold the House, gain a senate seat or two, replace McCain/Flake/Corker with Trump loyalists, Mueller gets fired, Manafort gets pardoned, and then that’s game over — the coverup worked.

CFR, Jonathan Masters (2017): U.S. Foreign Policy Powers: Congress and the President ~ Backgrounder http://on.cfr.org/2N4fYtu
// 3/2/2018, The separation of powers has spawned a great deal of debate over the roles of the president and Congress in foreign affairs, as well as over the limits on their respective authorities, explains this Backgrounder.

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom [ClintWatts] Here it comes, Trump suggesting to his followers anything negative toward him “may have been altered”. Fake audio, fake video will soon be a cover for getting away with anything.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real [fudged data … ]

🐣 RT @Acosta Imagine what life would be like if the only “trusted” news source is the government, mandating what’s reported and controlling what appears in internet search engine results. I’ve visited places like that. They are not the United States of America.

NBC, Ted Lieu and Kathleen Rice: Trump’s claim that campaign finance violations ‘are not a crime’ is an attack on the laws that protect democracy http://nbcnews.to/2Ny1OOo
// The president is undermining the safeguards that are designed specifically to prevent candidates from rigging elections.

🐣 RT @real Wow, Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr’s wife, is a Russia expert who is fluent in Russian. She worked for Fusion GPS where she was paid a lot. Collusion! Bruce was a boss at the Department of Justice and is, unbelievably, still there!
⋙ 🐣 Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich
Oh yeah ~ Didn’t he have something to do with
Semion Mogilevich?

🐣 RT @tribelaw Nearly 16 months after Trump confessed to Lester Holt that he’d fired Comey over “the Russia thing,” he suddenly claims that NBC had “fudged” the tape of Holt’s national interview❗This obvious lie is itself a confession that Trump now realizes the import of what he admitted.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real What’s going on at @CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks – with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!

🐣 RT @NormOrnstein Who are you gonna believe, a legendary investigative reporter or a serial liar? How to decide, how to decide?
⋙ 🐣 RT @carlbernstein .@realdonaIdtrump- I have spent my life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties. No taunt will diminish my commitment to that mission, which is the essential role of a free press. @CNN stands by its story, and I stand by my reporting.

JustSecurity, Oona Hathaway: The President’s Personal Assault on Bruce Ohr—and its dangerous effects http://bit.ly/2wy2z2I

Ohr had a number of connections to Fusion GPS.  First and foremost, his wife, Nellie Ohr, is a Russian linguist who worked for Fusion GPS and, it appears, worked on the opposition research on Trump. But that was not Ohr’s only connection to Fusion GPS.  He knew both Simpson and Steele because they had traveled in similar professional circles—and had met at conferences on fighting organized crime over the years. Steele and Ohr had also worked together busting Russian corruption in FIFA (Steele reportedly used some of the same sources in compiling his dossier on Trump).  In his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Simpson testified that Steele had suggested that Simpson speak directly to Ohr about the information Fusion GPS had unearthed about Trump.

… House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif) publicly released a memo from “HPSCI Majority Staff” to the “HPSCI Majority Members” claiming that the Steele dossier was a key source for the FISA application to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The Nunes memo claimed, moreover, that the FISA application relied on the dossier without acknowledging its possible bias and inaccuracies. That claim, however, was later decisively proven wrong when, in an extraordinary turn of events, the application was released (in redacted form)—the first ever such release. That application made clear that the FBI put the political origins of the dossier in context in the application. What’s more, the dossier was one of many sources used by the FBI to support the application. Carter Page, moreover, was already subject to an earlier FISA warrant — which was very likely a strong basis for the 2016 warrant.

What we have, then, is an all out personal assault on an almost three-decade civil servant by the President of the United States and significant members of the Republican leadership. For years, Ohr has made major contributions to U.S. government efforts to fight Russian organized crime. In 2006, he was one of several government officials who played a role in revoking the visa of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire and aluminum magnate, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin, and who has been tied to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.  Craig Unger, who has published a book on Trump’s ties to Russian organized crime, also recently claimed in a tweet on August 28 that Trump is punishing Ohr because he investigated Semion Mogilevich and “wld know abt RU Mafia laundering $$ thru Trump condos, RU Mafia ties w Kremlin, & Mafia operations run from Trump Tower.”

TheHill: Trump rips CNN boss: ‘His ratings suck & AT&T should fire him’ http://bit.ly/2PgDpgL “When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!” he added. //➔ say whut?! #Unhinged

🐣 RT @MelissaRyan Per @mikeallen the GOP plans to derail next week’s Senate Intel hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media platforms with this conservative bias nonsense.
⋙ Axios: 1 big thing … Trump’s new fake news: fake social http://bit.ly/2C2zdzz

🐣 RT @chucktodd I miss the days when people muttered nutty conspiracy theories to themselves while meandering down a sidewalk. Now they share it on Twitter w/millions of followers and for some reason some folks amplify it. Treat these tweets the way you’d treat the sidewalk mumbler, look away
⋙ 🐣 “He is a loathesome, offensive brute. Yet I can’t look away.” – Seinfeld https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1035132925363281921/photo/1

⭕ 29 Aug 2018

VoxUkraine, Andreas Umland: Whom Does Crimea Belong to? http://bit.ly/2NagV3K
// Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian Peninsula and the question of historical justice

🐣 RT @AdamRamsay Netanyahu is terrifying.
⋙ 🐣 RT @IsraelPM The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.
⋙ ⋙ 🐣 Good lord. He sounds like a nazi.

WaPo, Max Boot: The West may be sleepwalking into another catastrophe http://wapo.st/2C9jvSW

🐣 RT @CNNCommunications Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie. We report the news. And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters. There may be many fools in this story but @carlbernstein is not one of them.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake. Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News

Snopes/AP: CNN Stands by Story About Whether Trump Knew of Russian Meeting http://bit.ly/2MFfta4 Carl Bernstein and CNN breathe new life into the claim that Trump had prior knowledge of Trump Tower meeting //➔ no wonder Trump is furious
// CNN is sticking by a story casting doubt on President Donald Trump’s claim that he did not have prior knowledge of a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Despite a key source backing off his assertion, CNN is sticking by a story casting doubt on President Donald Trump’s claim that he did not have prior knowledge of a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

CNN said it had more than one source for its story, co-authored by Jim Sciutto and Watergate legend Carl Bernstein.

CNN’s story, written on July 27, said that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was willing to say that he heard Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tell his father about the Russians’ offer to share material about Clinton, his Democratic rival for the presidency. It also said that Trump gave the go-ahead to take the meeting at Trump Tower. If true, that would contradict what Trump and representatives have long said, that he didn’t know about the meeting until long after it happened.

Such information would be of great interest to special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 American presidential campaign.

Yet, if Davis was actually an anonymous source for CNN, the story should not also say that Cohen’s lawyer declined to comment. You can’t have it both ways. That’s a big no-no in journalism.

If real doubt can be raised about CNN’s reporting on an important, damaging story regarding Trump and the Russia investigation, it gives Trump and his supporters major ammunition in its ongoing effort to make CNN seem like an unreliable news source.

Politico: Mueller wants to review emails between Manafort, former lawyer http://politi.co/2MCV6dj
// Manafort’s emails are a special case, Mueller’s team argued in a court motion Wednesday. Attorney-client privilege doesn’t apply when the client enlists a lawyer’s help to commit a crime — and that’s what Mueller’s team is arguing that Manafort did.

DemWritePress, Kseniya Kirillova: Why Russian “Soft Power” is Much More Dangerous Than Western “Soft Power” http://bit.ly/2PR7tR1 in Democracy, Political Corruption

MilitaryTimes: Trump makes it clear: No military exercises with South Korea http://bit.ly/2ww1KaI //➔ Trump appears to override Mattis, tauts ‘very good and warm’ relationship w Kim

CrimeRussia: Senior executive of steel plant in Russia, Bruno Charles de Kooman, falls out of window in Moscow http://bit.ly/2wrPCYZ
⋙ 🐣 RT @guitr25 List of Russians who have fallen from windows: Maxim Borodin, 32, reporter; Ivan Safranov, 2007; Olga Kotovskya, 2009; Victor Aphanesenko, 2012; Mikhail Lesin, 2015, Wash, DC fall in room; Nikolai Gorokhov, 2017 (moving bath tub (?) fell from 4th floor, survived) …

CNBC/Reuters: Trump presses Supreme Court chief justice for action on Russia dossier http://cnb.cx/2LGdigT

● The U.S. Supreme Court chief justice should order the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to question FBI and Justice Department officials about their use of a so-called Russia dossier, the president tweeted on Wednesday.
● Rosemary Collyer is the presiding judge for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees electronic surveillance requests and search warrants sought by federal authorities.
● U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia tried to help Trump win the 2016 election but the Kremlin denies meddling. Trump denies any collusion and has said Steele’s Russia dossier is “bogus.”

Bloomberg, Mark Gongloff: Russia’s Putin Trap http://bloom.bg/2LGITzj
// Without the rule of law, economic rebirth is impossible.

WaPo: Trump suggests Bruce Ohr, Justice official linked to Russia dossier, should be fired http://wapo.st/2MDHXkn

VanityFair, Abigail Tracy: Don McGahn’s Exit Signals an Explosive New Phase in the Russia Probe http://bit.ly/2MC1Ybd
// With the White House counsel on his way out—and Jeff Sessions likely to follow—Trump is setting in motion a series of changes that could fundamentally alter the balance of power between the Justice Department and the president.

Reuters: Trump presses Supreme Court chief justice for action on Russia dossier http://reut.rs/2MDGg6v

NYT: Trump Attacks CNN After Source Raises Doubts About Report on Russia Meeting http://nyti.ms/2om1vLv

WaPo: ‘Winter is coming’: Allies fear Trump isn’t prepared for gathering legal storm http://wapo.st/2PPCKnq

TheAtlantic: Russia Is Co-opting Angry Young Men http://bit.ly/2LCo7R7
// Fight clubs, neo-Nazi soccer hooligans, and motorcycle gangs serve as conduits for the Kremlin’s influence operations in Western countries.

🐣 RT @MaggieNYT McGahn believes Kushner and Ivanka helped push out news about him to force his hand, ppl close to him say. Ivanka Trump complained bitterly to her father about Times story on McGahn intvu w Mueller a few weeks back, per people briefed
⋙ NYT: Don McGahn to Leave White House Counsel Job This Fall, Trump Says http://nyti.ms/2MD7muv

BuzzFeedNews, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier: “Suspicious” Transactions At Russian Embassy Sparked Deeper Bank Probe Than Previously Known http://bit.ly/2Nvsmjj
// The former Russian ambassador received a salary payment twice as large as past years, and bankers blocked a $150,000 withdrawal.

ForeignAffairs,James Goldgeier and Elizabeth N. Saunders: The Unconstrained Presidency http://fam.ag/2MB1amJ
// Checks and Balances Eroded Long Before Trump

CNN: Don McGahn to leave job as White House counsel, Trump says http://cnn.it/2BYXRAX

◕🐣💙💙 @jzikah’s awesome hand-drawn chart of #TrumpRussia
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1034829014907736065/photo/1
// Semion Mogilevich: Smart Don; Trump: Dumb Don

New media have always been disruptive: Printing Press: Reformation; Pamphlets: French & American Revolutions, Radio: Hitler (&Roosevelt), TV: McCarthy, Age of Spectacle, Reality TV. The Internet is the Mother-of-All-Media. Of COURSE it’s disruptive!

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Maria Butina: Private Messages Reveal Accused Russian Spy’s True Ties to D.C. Wise Man http://thebea.st/2wp8EPL
// The head of the Center for the National Interest said his interaction with Butina was limited, but emails and direct messages show it was closer than previously understood.

When federal prosecutors charged Maria Butina with covertly infiltrating the conservative movement on behalf of the Kremlin, questions began to swirl around a Washington think tank that had published her pro-GOP writing—and hosted then-candidate Donald Trump’s Russia-friendly first foreign policy speech.

But previously unreported emails and direct messages between Butina and officials at the Center show her relationship with the think tank’s president—former Richard Nixon adviser Dimitri Simes—was closer than previously understood. The two didn’t just make plans to have dinner together. According to emails and Twitter DMs reviewed by The Daily Beast, Simes looked to use his connections with Butina and her associate, Russian Central Bank official Alexandr Torshin, to advance the business interests of one of the Center’s most generous donors.

An attorney for the donor—Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the one-time CEO of insurance and financial services giant AIG—said he did nothing inappropriate

The meeting never happened. But if anyone could have pulled it off, it might have been the Moscow-born [Dmitri] Simes. A fixture of the D.C. foreign policy establishment, he worked at some of Washington’s most prestigious institutions—including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies—before being selected by Richard Nixon to lead the Center for National Interest. Simes is widely viewed as one of the Washingtonians with the closest Kremlin connections. And his think tank argues for foreign policy realism, including warmer relations between Washington and Moscow.

In other words, Butina and Simes exchanged multiple emails discussing the logistics of what could have been high-level Moscow meetings between an American billionaire and a powerful Kremlin official whom The Wall Street Journal characterizes as a Putin ally.

🐣 RT @ForeignPolicy He revealed a list of secret payments made by a Ukrainian pro-Russia party to Paul Manafort and others. We sat down with Serhiy Leshchenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, to discuss Manafort’s recent conviction.
⋙ ForeignPolicy, Elias Groll: The Ukrainian Who Sunk Paul Manafort http://bit.ly/2MAQDbp
// 8/27/2018, The politician and former journalist Serhiy Leshchenko says Ukraine needs its own Robert Mueller.

🐣 RT @real [11:11pm] Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA, Dirty Dossier etc.), their credibility will be forever gone!
⋙ 🚫 [Disinfo] DailyCaller: SOURCES: China Hacked Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server | The Daily Caller http://bit.ly/2wDAVl1
// mentioned: Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Comey, Sally Yates, James Comey (of course)

● A Chinese-owned company penetrated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server, according to sources briefed on the matter.
● The company inserted code that forwarded copies of Clinton’s emails to the Chinese company in real time.
● The Intelligence Community Inspector General warned of the problem, but the FBI subsequently failed to act, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert said during a July hearing.

🐣 RT @anders_aslund Thanks, as I have argued for years, Gazprom is not a commercial company but an organized crime syndicate focused on corrupt rent seeking of Putin cronies & geopolitics. How can Germany allow an organized crime syndicate dominate its gas supplies?! Stop NS2!
⋙ 🐣 RT @bneeditor all change in Russian stocks. Novatek overtakes Gazprom to become 2nd most valuable stock behind Rosneft. ¤ Gazprom is now worth less than own oil subsid Gazprom Neft. ¤ & Rosneft’s charm offensive to be nice to investors seems to be working as its shares up 28% YTD vs flat RTS

🐣 RT @MaxBoot Reagan said: “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally–not a 20 percent traitor.” Republicans now disagree. Someone like McCain who agreed with them 87 percent of the time is, it seems, a traitor after all. Me:
🐣 RT @MaxBoot The GOP’s embrace of Trump and rejection of McCain is emblematic of the atavistic tribalism, ideological extremism, and authoritarian cultism that the senator spent his entire life combating. Me in @PostOpinions:
⋙ WaPo, MaxBoot: Republicans rejected McCain and embraced Trump. What does that say about them? http://wapo.st/2NsuRmk

🐣 RT @anders_aslund The connections between the #Trump gang & #Mogilevich are well known. It is indicative that Trump attacks the US experts on Mogilevich. This looks like half a confession from Trump. Mueller probably knows the truth.

🐣 RT @TrickFreee What if the “Budapest Bridge” was a metaphor for the bridge between the FSB/KGB and the Mogilevich Organization? Mogilevich ran the organization from Moscow, but it was based in Budapest. Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr spent a lot of time on those Budapest TOC investigations…
⋙ 🐣 RT @craigunger Nance is right. Ex-KGB Gen. Oleg Kalugin told me precisely that. Which makes it deeply disturbing that so many Russian mobsters laundered $ thru, lived in, and ran operations in the home of the man who is now president. #Mogilevich compromised @realDonaldTrump many times over.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MalcolmNance Russian mafia is just an extension of Russian Intelligence. They’re not taking chances.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Tom_Winter NBC News: Banker who played key role in Paul Manafort investigation has apartment broken into. Briefcase and other items stolen.
Latest from @jonathan4ny
⋙⋙⋙⋙ NBCNewYork: One-Time Paul Manafort Banker Robbed of iPad, Briefcase in Mysterious Overnight Break-in at His NYC Penthouse: Sources http://bit.ly/2PPnVS7
// David Fallarino was one of three so-called key figures not called by Robert Mueller’s office to testify at the trial of Paul Manafort

⭕ 28 Aug 2018

📒 StratComCOE (Spring 2018): Gatis Krūmiņš: Soviet Economic Gaslighting of Latvia and the Baltic States. http://bit.ly/2NwvZ8u
// Spring 2018, NATO Strategic Command

🐣 RT @StacyJannis Oh and don’t forget how the Bank of New York case was litigated. Dershowitz represented the Kremlin.
⋙ NBC/AP (2008): Russia uses RICO statute to sue Bank of N.Y. http://nbcnews.to/2BXKMbb
// 7/27/2008
↥ ↧
LATimes (1999): Russian Money Trail Leading to More Banks : Scandal: U.S. is investigating international institutions’ reports of ‘suspicious activity’ that might be linked to possible laundering through a New York bank. http://lat.ms/2MAIyDA
// 8/31/1999, DeutscheBank, Bank of New York

Deutsche Bank and other international financial institutions have reported to U.S. authorities on suspicious account activity that could be linked to possible money laundering by Russian organized crime figures through Bank of New York Co., sources said Monday. …

But the case has emphasized the murky nature of international finance in the post-Soviet era. Money has been draining out of Russia at an alarming rate–some estimate $150 billion since 1991–as businesses and the political elite seek to protect their assets from economic collapse and Russia’s tax system.

Investigators now are trying to determine how much–if any–of the money flowing through the bank came from fraud related to Russian government contracts, commodities sales or securities.

But much of the capital flight from Russia is legal. Since Russian banks are notoriously unsafe, legal businesses find ways to convert their earnings to dollars, francs or deutsche marks and transfer them to banks in Switzerland, London or New York.

Still, U.S. officials have reported that Russia’s banks have contributed to the problem by assisting fraudulent schemes that allow profits to be concealed in offshore tax havens.

Investigators also have seen a rise in the use of forged securities by organized crime groups in financial transactions and in the emerging Russian stock market. One person allegedly linked to a similar scheme in the U.S. is Semyon Mogilevich, a reputed mobster who is believed to control YBM Magnex International, a Pennsylvania firm that pleaded guilty in June to securities fraud in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

Benex recently vouched for several Mogilevich associates who were seeking visas to enter the U.S., according to people familiar with the case. Russian authorities believed them to be mob associates and blocked the visas, the sources said.

🐣 RT @Evan_McMullin Like any other wannabe tyrant, Trump wants us to believe that true information is false and false information is true so that he won’t suffer the consequences of his corruption. He knows that even threatening the use of regulatory action against media will hinder their work.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. […]

WaPo (Feb): Justice Dept. official who helped oversee Clinton, Russia probes steps down http://wapo.st/2PLqtAs chief of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section @maddow
// 2/7/2018, David Laufman

A Justice Department official who helped oversee the controversial probes of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and Russian interference in the 2016 election stepped down this week.

David Laufman, an experienced federal prosecutor who in 2014 became chief of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, said farewell to colleagues Wednesday. He cited personal reasons.

His departure from the high-pressure job comes as President Trump and his Republican allies have stepped up attacks on the Justice Department, the FBI and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III for their handling of the Russia probe.

Politico, Josh Meyer: McCain’s choice of Russian dissident as pallbearer is final dig at Putin, Trump http://politi.co/2LBG3v4

RollingStone, Seth Hettena: Michael Cohen, Lanny Davis and the Russian Mafia http://rol.st/2LyfCXi
// President Trump’s former fixer may not be the most notorious client of power lawyer Lanny Davis at this moment

WaPo: Trump privately revived the idea of firing Sessions this month, according to people familiar with the discussions http://wapo.st/2wwQGtT //➔ (why is this “Breaking”?)

NYMag, Benjamin Hart: Lanny Davis Says He Was Source for CNN Trump Tower Story http://nym.ag/2MDU8O3 //➔ @NickAckerman just said on @AriMelber’s show he thinks Cohen is cooperating w Mueller who made Lanny Davis recant his statements about what Cohen knew when re tower mtg

Politico, Kyle Cheney: GOP lawmakers grill DOJ official Ohr over Trump dossier http://politi.co/2NuXZJE

Ohr, who appeared for a closed-door interview in a Capitol office building, has become the Trump allies’ latest focus in their efforts to raise questions about the investigators who ran the probe into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia. As a senior Justice Department staffer, Ohr passed along Steele’s information to the FBI, even after the bureau terminated its formal relationship with Steele over media leaks.

At least seven GOP lawmakers — members of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees — attended as well: Reps. Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, Trey Gowdy, John Ratcliffe, Darrell Issa, Matt Gaetz and Andy Biggs. No Democratic lawmakers were on hand, but staffers of both parties attended.

Gaetz, emerging from the interview after nearly two hours, said Ohr appeared to be answering questions forthrightly but that his testimony about the timing of his contacts with Fusion appeared to conflict with answers given to lawmakers by Fusion GPS cofounder Glenn Simpson and former FBI attorney Lisa Page.

Gaetz, Meadows and Issa told reporters that Ohr’s testimony revealed that the FBI had more significant doubts about the credibility of the Steele dossier than the bureau revealed when it applied for a court-ordered surveillance warrant on a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, in October 2016.

BuzzFeedNews, Craig Silverman: Revealed: Notorious Pro-Trump Misinformation Site True Pundit Is Run By An Ex-Journalist With A Grudge Against The FBI http://bit.ly/2ohqD68
// How award-winning former journalist Michael D. Moore came to run a site filled with false reports and conspiracies.

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Devin Nunes’s Curious Trip to London http://bit.ly/2MWcpFF
// The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee flew to London to gather intel on Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who compiled the dossier alleging Trump-campaign ties with Russia. But MI5, MI6, and GCHQ didn’t seem interested.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Lindsey Graham is on @foxandfriends, where he says that if any other American did what Clinton did with her emails “they’d be in jail” and that Russia did interfere in the election…using the Steele dossier. Topic then moved on to John McCain.

💙💙 Medium, Jay McKenzie: Trump, Putin and the mob. Research collection. Part 1: Trump campaign connections. http://bit.ly/2wqY4XJ
// 8/21/2017, Six parts

🐣 RT @craigunger Now we’re getting there. Why was Bruce Ohr punished by Trump? He was going after Mogilevich, the RU Mafia’s financial genius whose operatives were living in and laundering $ thru Trump Tower for decades. For everything you wanted to know abt Mogi: http://bit.ly/TrumpPutinBook 

🐣 RT @LincolnsBible Will Mueller go after SM?
⋙ 🐣 Miller? I doubt it. I wish he could, but it don’t think SM’s been involved in any criminal activity. Unless The Hague charges him w Crimes against Humanity or the Congress grows a conscience. He is the most odious jerk in the WH, imho.

⭕ 27 Aug 2018

Law&Crime: Alleged Russian Troll Farm Vows to Challenge Robert Mueller’s Authority — Again http://bit.ly/2PL63aK

🐣 RT @wgeary The U.S. and Russia are the world’s largest weapons dealers. I mapped the flows of arms exports leaving the U.S. and USSR/Russia from 1950 to 2017. Full video (with audio) available here: https://vimeo.com/286751571
💽 https://twitter.com/wgeary/status/1034077099026526208/photo/1
// arms sales video graphic

💙 NYT, Paul Krugman: Why It Can Happen Here http://nyti.ms/2PcLq6d
// We’re very close to becoming another Poland or Hungary.

🐣 RT @BillBrowder @vkaramurza and I pay tribute to John McCain on @AliVelshi @MSNBC. Sen. John McCain stood up for the victims of Putin’s dictatorship including Sergei Magnitsky and we got some measure of justice with the passage of the Magnitsky Act. RIP hero John McCain
⋙ 💽 MSNBC: Russian dissident on McCain: He was never an enemy to Russia or its people http://on.msnbc.com/2C2f1xM
// Bill Browder and Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza remember John McCain’s tireless efforts to expose the perils of Russia’s influence on foreign governments and reflect on how much McCain “hated injustice, and found a tool to address this injustice” through the Magnitsky Act.

🐣 RT @TrickFreee Federal prosecutors specifically reserved the right to make additional prosecutions related to Cohen with the explicit mention of 18 USC 1961, better known as the RICO Act.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MaddowBlog Federal prosecutors are reserving the right to charge something here as an organized criminal entity under the RICO statutes. And that relates to Michael Cohen.
💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1034251542155735040/photo/1

🐣 RT @SteveKornacki
Mueller investigation (Fox News poll, August 2018)
Approve 59%
Disapprove 37%

Starr investigation (Fox News poll, August 1998)
Approve 36%
Disapprove 44%

Bloomberg (Mar): Czechs Extradite Russian Hacker Suspect to U.S., Snubbing Moscow http://bloom.bg/2LutjGB
// Yevgeniy Nikulin

🚫🐣 RT @maxbergmann Stone knew in August that Podesta had been hacked – weeks before Podesta knew himself. If Stone knew, Trump knew. ¤ We also know the Trump campaign knew the Russians had “thousands of emails” from Papadopoulos’ meeting w/ the Maltese prof. ¤ This is what a conspiracy looks like.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Roger Stone says in an Instagram video that a story is coming in The New Yorker which says Stone explicitly told Trump in October 2016 that WikiLeaks had/was going to dump the Podesta emails.
● Photo: https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1034186365792079872/photo/1
[Note: 🚫 means I find interesting but not confident enough to RT]

WSJ: Manafort Sought Deal in Next Trial, but Talks Broke Down http://on.wsj.com/2wlVT8p
// Negotiations stalled after Mueller raised issues

VanityFair, Gabriel Sherman: “Trump Is Nuts. This Time Really Feels Different”: Trump Rejects “War Council” Intervention, Goes It Alone http://bit.ly/2P8QuZt
// With his closest allies defecting, the president increasingly trusts only his instincts. He “got joy” from stripping former C.I.A. director John Brennan’s security clearance. And after betrayals by Allen Weisselberg and David Pecker, a former White House official says, Trump “spent the weekend calling people and screaming.”
⇈ ⇊
🐣 RT @AntiTrumpReport VanityFair: “Trump is nuts” [Thread] http://bit.ly/2Pc5nKr
VanityFair: (THREAD) Senior officials talked about inviting Giuliani and a group of Trump’s NY real-estate friends including Tom Barrack, Richard LeFrak, & Howard Lorber to the WH to stage an “intervention” last week. “It was supposed to be a war council.”

“Trump is nuts,” said one former West Wing official. “This time really feels different.” Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine has privately expressed concern, a source said, telling a friend that Trump’s emotional state is “very tender.”

Even Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are unsettled that Trump is so gleefully acting on his most self-destructive impulses as his legal peril grows. According to a source,

Jared and Ivanka told Trump that stripping security clearances from former intelligence officials would backfire, but Trump ignored them. Kushner later told a friend Trump “got joy” out of taking away John Brennan’s clearance.

Cohen’s plea and Paul Manafort’s conviction, which were followed by revelations that Trump Org C.F.O. Allen Weisselberg and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker are cooperating with federal prosecutors, have rattled Trump like few other turns in the investigation have.

Flying on Air Force One to his West Virginia rally last week, Trump seemed “bummed” and “down and out,” a person briefed on the matter said. “He was acting like, ‘I know the news is bad, but I don’t know what to do about it,’” the source said.

By the weekend, though, his anger had returned. “He spent the weekend calling people and screaming,” one former White House official said. According to sources, the president feels cornered with no clear way out.

His months-long campaign to get Sessions to resign—so that Trump could appoint a new AG to shut down the Russia probe—not only failed to get Sessions to step down, but it’s caused him to dig in, as evidenced by Sessions’s rare statement asserting the independence of the DOJ.

“Trump knows at least through the midterms he won’t get another A.G.,” a former White House official said.

After Cohen effectively named Trump an unindicted co-conspirator in campaign-finance crimes with the payments to Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, Trump’s public posture was that the payments weren’t crimes.

Privately, according to two sources, Trump attorneys suggested that a strategy for dealing with the issue could be for Trump to admit to having affairs with women and paying hush money to them for years.

That way, he could assert that the payments to Daniels and McDougal were normal business—not campaign donations meant to influence the 2016 election. Trump, according to the sources, rejected this advice. “It was because of Melania,” one source said.

Inside the West Wing, a sense of numbness and dread has set in among senior advisers as they gird for what Trump will do next. “It’s a return to the abyss,” said one former official who’s in frequent contact with the White House.

“This is back to being a one-man show, and everyone is on the outside looking in.”

Two sources said that Trump continues to raise the possibility of a pardon for Manafort. Trump has been clashing with WH counsel Don McGahn, who is strongly against granting Manafort a pardon.

Trump has told people he’s considering bringing in a new lawyer to draft a Manafort pardon, if McGahn won’t. “He really at this point does not care,” a former official said. “He would rather fight the battle. He doesn’t want to do anything that would cede executive authority.”

🐣 RT @brianklaas Roger Stone says (in an Instagram video posted 2 hours ago) that the New Yorker is about to drop a story about someone claiming they overheard Stone telling Trump about a Wikileaks dump in Oct. 2016 and giving a preview of it. Stone denies it in the video. H/t @NatashaBertrand

💙💙 NYT: Bruce Ohr Fought Russian Organized Crime. Now He’s a Target of Trump. http://nyti.ms/2BREuK0
⋙ See under Entire Articles: NYT Ohr 8-27-2018

As President Trump has threatened to take away the security clearance of Bruce G. Ohr, a career Justice Department official, he has described him as a “creep,” accused him of profiting off “disgraced” information and wondered aloud why he still works in the executive branch.

But Mr. Ohr is far from corrupt, friends and former colleagues said. An experienced law enforcement official who spent years battling Russian organized crime, he developed a deep understanding of that dangerous underworld, they said, including raising concerns about at least one oligarch whose name has resurfaced amid the scrutiny of contacts between Trump associates and Russia.

As part of this work, Mr. Ohr, 56, met a British spy who specialized in Russia, Christopher Steele, and the two men developed a bond based on their shared expertise. Mr. Steele went on to investigate ties between Mr. Trump and Russia for the same research firm, Fusion GPS, where Mr. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked as a contractor.

Those connections have upended Mr. Ohr’s once relatively anonymous life, dragging him into the maelstrom of the Russia investigation. His meetings with Mr. Steele, who compiled a dossier of salacious, unverified material about Mr. Trump and was an F.B.I. informant, have prompted the president and his allies, armed with little evidence, to cast Mr. Ohr and his wife as villains, part of a pro-Clinton cabal out to destroy the president.

More consequently, Justice Department officials transferred Mr. Ohr, an associate deputy attorney general, to a less powerful post last year after learning about his contacts with Mr. Steele and the scope of his wife’s work. If he loses his security clearance, which is under review along with those of former senior national security officials viewed by Mr. Trump as political enemies, he would probably be forced to leave federal law enforcement after nearly three decades.

Mr. Ohr’s section supported the 2000 prosecution of Pavlo Lazarenko, the former prime minister of Ukraine, who was convicted of money laundering, wire fraud and extortion in a case brought by the office of the United States attorney in San Francisco at the time, Robert S. Mueller III, who is now the special counsel.

Also under Mr. Ohr’s oversight, a Russian crime boss, Semion Mogilevich, was indicted in 2003 on charges of defrauding a company outside of Philadelphia out of $150 million. The case made headlines and laid the groundwork for Justice Department efforts to combat Russian organized crime overseas.

In 2006, Mr. Ohr was part of a group of government officials who revoked the visa of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire and aluminum magnate.

Mr. Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, has been tied to the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort … In April, the United States imposed sanctions on Mr. Deripaska.

In 2007, Mr. Ohr met Mr. Steele, who was still with MI-6, the British spy service …

For the F.B.I., their relationship would come in handy. A longtime informant who provided valuable tips on corruption, Mr. Steele violated his confidentiality agreement with the F.B.I. when he disclosed to a reporter in the months before the 2016 election that he had been working with the bureau. He had expressed frustration that his information about Mr. Trump, gathered for Fusion GPS, the research firm that hired him on behalf of Democrats to research the candidate, had gone seemingly nowhere in the F.B.I.

In early November 2016, the agent handling Mr. Steele told him not to obtain intelligence “on behalf of the F.B.I.”

That did not stop F.B.I. agents from collecting coveted information from Mr. Steele. While the F.B.I. could no longer considered him a confidential informant, former officials said, agents eager to assess the dossier as part of their counterintelligence investigation into links between Trump associates and Russia’s election interference could still document what he was telling a third party — Mr. Ohr.

Mr. Ohr met with Mr. Steele almost a dozen times beginning in late 2016 through May 2017, according to congressional officials. F.B.I. agents interviewed Mr. Ohr after the meetings and documented the information.

Republicans have seized on the meetings. …

Conservatives have also targeted Ms. Ohr, whose contract work at Fusion GPS involved monitoring Russian news media and compiling connections between Mr. Trump and Russia from public documents. She did not work on the dossier, according to a person familiar with her work for GPS.

Mr. Ohr still has a job at the Justice Department, though he is functionally no longer a manager. It is unclear how long that will last. Mr. Trump has called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mr. Ohr.

“It seems that Bruce had two sins: He met with Chris Steele and his wife worked for Fusion GPS. None of that seems wrong to me,” Mr. Lowrie said. “Bruce is a straight arrow. He was totally nonpartisan, as we all were expected” to be.

🐣 RT @KKurzNHL Here’s something I didn’t know…Robert Mueller is a hockey player
https://twitter.com/KKurzNHL/status/1033456223528468480/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 Swift, powerful and accurate.

🐣 RT @RusEmbassyUSA Washington’s hostile sanctions will have no effect on our determination to follow our own course in international relations. #US public has to know that sanctions against @Russia are futile. They meet the interests of neither Russian, nor American people http://bit.ly/2MTb9TW

WaPo: Too big to sanction? U.S. struggles with punishing large Russian businesses. http://wapo.st/2wpDwQf
// Oleg Deripaska

TheAtlantic, Franklin Foer: John McCain’s Epiphany About Paul Manafort http://bit.ly/2wk6Nvn
// Manafort saw managing the 2008 Republican Convention as almost a birthright. But McCain denied him the job. He couldn’t abide Manafort’s pro-Russian clients—and told him so.  

🐣 RT @AP: BREAKING: French President Macron announces new push for European defense project, says continent’s security shouldn’t rely on U.S.

Politico, Josh Gerstein: ‘Sleeper’ case could torpedo Mueller report http://politi.co/2LtQNfh
// It might even keep the special counsel from sending a report to Congress, shaking Democrats’ hopes that such a document could provide the impetus for impeachment proceedings.

⭕ 26 Aug 2018

TheAtlantic: Trump’s Contempt for the Law Will Be His Downfall http://bit.ly/2BTZJuM
// The president can keep crying “witch hunt,” but it won’t stop the evidence against him from mounting.

◕💙💙 Dkos: After Cohen/Manafort, we’re (still) only at the beginning of #TrumpRussia http://bit.ly/2wm9Mmi
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1033767818968420352/photo/1
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1033769409297489920/photo/1

◕🐣💙💙 RT @rigel2020 Here are the 3 examples SIZE wise of how trump touched / was aided by Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross dealings / see all the shell companies and connections to Russia.. https://bit.ly/FraudMapV3 
https://twitter.com/rigel2020/status/1020852691142971393/photo/1
https://twitter.com/rigel2020/status/1020852691142971393/photo/2
// 7/21/2018; awesome interactive graphics charts

🐣 RT @MeetThePress FULL INTERVIEW: @RepJerryNadler joins #MTP and says Congress’ role is not to protect the president and that the House Judiciary Committee should be conducting investigations. https://nbcnews.to/2PCvc7v 
// Ranking member

🐣 RT @AltUSPressSec “Russia’s leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power.” ¤
“Putin wants to restore the Russian empire. That’s his ambition; he’s stated it many times.”
—Sen. John S. McCain III #WeHaveTheWatch

🐣 RT @FranklinFoer When John McCain realized that Paul Manafort was trying to exploit his campaign in 2007, he banished him and wanted nothing to do with him.

🐣 RT @TrickFreee “One of Manafort’s biggest clients was the dubious pro-Russian Ukrainian billionaire Dmytri Firtash. By his own admission, Firtash maintains strong ties with a recurrent figure on this scene, the reputed Ukrainian/Russian mob boss Semion Mogilevich.”
⋙ TheAmericanInterest, James Henry (2016): The Curious World of Donald Trump’s Private Russian Connections http://bit.ly/2NgeIQP ¤ #TrumpRussia ¤ #LongRead ¤ #HighlyRec
// 12/19/2016
See under Entire Articles: AmInt Curious Connect 12-19-2016

⭕ 25 Aug 2018

NYT, Peter Wehner: The Full-Spectrum Corruption of Donald Trump http://nyti.ms/2LsVR3l
// Everyone and everything he touches rots.

It is a stunning turnabout. A party that once spoke with urgency and apparent conviction about the importance of ethical leadership — fidelity, honesty, honor, decency, good manners, setting a good example — has hitched its wagon to the most thoroughly and comprehensively corrupt individual who has ever been elected president. Some of the men who have been elected president have been unscrupulous in certain areas — infidelity, lying, dirty tricks, financial misdeeds — but we’ve never before had the full-spectrum corruption we see in the life of Donald Trump.

A warning to my Republican friends: The worst is yet to come. Thanks to the work of Robert Mueller — a distinguished public servant, not the leader of a “group of Angry Democrat Thugs” — we are going to discover deeper and deeper layers to Mr. Trump’s corruption. When we do, I expect Mr. Trump will unravel further as he feels more cornered, more desperate, more enraged; his behavior will become ever more erratic, disordered and crazed.

Most Republicans, having thrown their MAGA hats over the Trump wall, will stay with him until the end. Was a tax cut, deregulation and court appointments really worth all this?

WaPo: ‘He can’t get rid of any of this’: Trump’s wall of secrecy erodes amid growing legal challenges http://wapo.st/2No5eDq

DailyBeast: Ex-CIA Director John Brennan to Bill Maher: Trump Is ‘A Real Threat to Our National Security’ http://thebea.st/2wfTYSW
// The former CIA director under President Obama—and the architect of the bin Laden raid—sat down with Bill Maher on ‘Real Time’ to discuss Trump revoking his security clearance.

🐣 RT @JohnBrennan [7/16] Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

“There are two principal reasons why I used that term,” Brennan explained to Maher of the “treasonous” comment. “One, I think I exhausted all the other adjectives in the English language to describe Donald Trump’s failures to fulfill his responsibilities as president of the United States. And two, I saw him on that stage in Helsinki failing to be able to say to the world and to Vladimir Putin that Russia tried to interfere in our election, that it never should have happened and it never should happen again, and if it does Russia is going to pay some very severe consequences as a result, but he didn’t do that.”

He went on to describe how unique the revocation was. “I didn’t ask to keep my security clearances—former directors don’t do that. We keep those clearances because sometimes, those in government want to avail themselves of our experience, our expertise, our knowledge about certain issues,” Brennan said. “This is the first time in 38 years that I haven’t had a security clearance, and the basis for the revocation is bogus. Mr. Trump and the administration didn’t adhere even to the process that they reaffirmed last year, and the politicization of security clearances, either the granting or the revocation, is a real threat to our national security.”

Later on, Maher claimed that Trump’s presidency is “the third great crisis in American history” behind the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, before asking Brennan if he agreed with that ranking.

“I would,” said Brennan. “And I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better, because don’t forget: Donald Trump has the authority of the president of the United States in his hands, in terms of what he can do domestically here and as well as what he can do internationally to try to distract attention, whether or not he’s going to try to pursue some type of foreign adventure, military or otherwise. But fundamentally though, what he’s doing to this country: he’s dividing us.”

🐣 RT @BillKristol History will record that @LindseyGrahamSC went out of his way to court favor with Donald Trump at precisely the moment when Trump and his enablers needed to hear a message of resistance to his evident desire to act to subvert the rule of law.

⭕ 24 Aug 2018

TheAtlantic, James Fallows: The Greatest Disappointment of the Trump Presidency http://bit.ly/2LoCWXj
// The institutional fabric of the United States has proven more tenacious and resilient in responding than many feared. The Republican Congress has not.

WaPo, James Hohmann: Fox fallout shows why Trump’s lawyers don’t want Mueller to get an interview http://wapo.st/2MMZtC4

🐣 RT @AC360 Manafort juror, who supports Trump, says she wishes Manafort was convicted on all counts, add POTUS ought not to extend a pardon: ¤ “I feel it would be a grave mistake for Pres. Trump to pardon Manafort. Justice was done. The evidence was there, and that’s where it should stop.”
💽 https://twitter.com/AC360/status/1033153444322758656/photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump warns of economic collapse, Giuliani of civil unrest, Stone of blood in the streets. Whoa! Bringing down a president, even one as vile and disgusting as DJT, is a grave matter. But it needn’t be the apocalypse, and leaving such an ogre in power is no small matter either.

WaPo, Kathleen Parker: The juror who could save America http://wapo.st/2BS3oZQ
// Juror No. 0302 may not have sought fame, but Paula Duncan will long be remembered in connection with Paul Manafort, whom she and 11 others convicted on eight counts of financial crime.

WaPo, Philip Bump: The three illegal acts that may have helped Trump win the presidency http://wapo.st/2MvQOVp

NYT, Roger Cohen: How Far America Has Fallen http://nyti.ms/2MuL8uG
// The thing with every shocking revelation about Trump is that it’s already baked into his image. I’ve never met a Trump supporter who did not know exactly who he is.

There’s a deeper question, which comes back to the extraordinary Western landscape and the high American idea enshrined in it. Americans elected Trump. Nobody else did. They came down to his level. White Christian males losing their place in the social order decided they’d do anything to save themselves, and to heck with morality. They made a bargain with the devil in full knowledge. So the real question is: What does it mean to be an American today? Who are we, goddamit? What have we become?

Trump was a symptom, not a cause. The problem is way deeper than him.

NYT: Allen Weisselberg, Top Trump Organization Official, Was Granted Immunity for Testimony http://nyti.ms/2wpBTB9
// “but the deal was narrow in scope” (front page tag line only)

Politico Mag, Michael Kruse: Trump on Weisselberg: ‘He Did Whatever Was Necessary’ http://politi.co/2o8Z9Q1
// Perhaps the most important person in the Trump Organization has had the lowest profile. Until he agreed to cooperate with federal investigators.

CNN: Exclusive: Ex-Trump World Tower doorman releases ‘catch-and-kill’ contract about alleged Trump affair http://cnn.it/2P29jxi “I was instructed not to criticize President Trump’s former housekeeper due to a prior relationship she had with President Trump, which produced a child.”

NYPost, Rich Lowry: Trump’s best bet to survive: Come clean about the payoffs http://nyp.st/2Ngw2Fu

FiveThirtyEight (2017): The 4 Types Of Constitutional Crises http://53eig.ht/2MNcCLw
// 2/9/2017, And which ones are most likely to come up during Trump’s presidency.

🐣 RT @RogueSNRadvisor Increasingly, the smart move for Trump is resignation & I think even he’s starting to understand that. As the reality of Nov grows closer & the feds keep getting closer there’s going to be a tipping point – we’re almost there, but not yet.

Msnbc: The biggest domino to fall, so far, in Trump’s New York ‘empire’ http://on.msnbc.com/2MVBbGd
// NBC’s Ken Dilanian, former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance, former federal prosecutor Paul Butler, and Rev. Al Sharpton on the immunity deal granted to Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg, the latest in Trump’s inner circle to cooperate with federal prosecutors on the heels of Michael Cohen’s plea deal

🐣 Tony Schwartz was the ghost writer for “The Art of the Deal.” He knows Trump well.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TonySchwartz Trump will be at his most dangerous and unstable in the weeks and months ahead. Drowning, he will want to take as many of us down with him as he can. He should never have had access to the nuclear codes but especially not now.

Bloomberg, Kartikay Mehrotra: Jailed Russian of Interest in U.S. Election Probe, Official Says http://bloom.bg/2LmCXLn “Prosecutors are as eager to find out what, if anything, Nikulin knows about election meddling as they are to get to the bottom of the LinkedIn and Dropbox hacks”
● Lawyers say Russian embassy keen on visiting accused hacker
● Judge questions pychiatrist chosen to examine Yevgeniy Nikulin

NYT: Kremlin Sources Go Quiet, Leaving C.I.A. in the Dark About Putin’s Plans for Midterms http://nyti.ms/2BLOcxH

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Admin official said the White House puts out readouts for every call Trump has with Putin, knowing that it “would’ve been a disaster if news leaked of a secret call.” The Russian state media may be threatening Trump with the possibility of such a leak.©
⋙ JuliaDavisNews: Russian state media touts the secret hotline between the White House and Moscow http://bit.ly/2P6qG05

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand It only took slightly more than a year for two of the president’s longest-serving employees, considered by many to be the last who would ever turn on him, to cooperate with federal investigators—and, in Cohen’s case, directly implicate Trump in a crime.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Lanny Davis admits he anonymously confirmed CNN’s reporting on Cohen/Trump Tower when he didn’t actually know if was right. Yikes.

🐣 RT @ArmandOnAir Holy moly. I just learned that Weisselberg wasn’t just granted “use immunity” but rather “complete immunity from prosecution” – which my legal pal @KatiePhang will surely confirm only happens when you’ve got ALL the goods #FollowTheMoney

🐣 RT @BillKristol Trump, Giuliani, Sekulow, Sanders, Shine, Conway….They’re all liars. Shameless liars.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Delavegalaw You don’t get to “walk back” a detail-rich assertion that Trump talked with you “a few weeks ago,” during the Manafort trial, explicitly about a pardon for Manafort, and simply now say it was a generic conversation in June. One of these statements is a lie. We all know which one.
⋙ ⋙ 🐣 RT @JDiamond1 .@RudyGiuliani walks back his comment earlier today suggesting Trump wanted to pardon Manafort & he/attorneys convinced him to hold off until after the Mueller investigation. Giuliani now says he & Trump talked about pardons once — back in June — and it wasn’t Manafort-specific
Statement: https://twitter.com/JDiamond1/status/1032785778068336640/photo/1

🐣 RT @RusEmbUSA #Zakharova: We have to once again draw attention to the loose interpretation of the content of contacts between the high-ranking Russian and #US representatives by the American side. @statedeptspox remarks contradict the reality
⋙ FB link: http://bit.ly/2PvO5ca

💙💙 TheAtlantic, Eliot Cohen: How This Will End http://bit.ly/2MueclS
// Sooner or later, tyrants are always abandoned by their followers.

Michael Gerson, one of the most eloquent and principled critics of Donald Trump, insists that we are at June 1973, the moment when John Dean’s testimony broke the dam that a year later swept Richard Nixon off into disgrace. Others agree: This is an inflection point. And yet an equally well-informed friend insists, “I no longer believe in political inflection points and neither should you.” Who knows? But even if we do not recognize the turning points in the moment, we can anticipate what the end will feel like when it does arrive.

To be sure, Trump could hang on until the 2020 election. It is even possible, if considerably less likely, that he could be re-elected and march off into a glitzy retirement at Trump properties in Florida and New Jersey, his retreat from public life punctuated only by bursts of increasingly senile bombast. But it does seem more likely than once it was that he will go down in disgrace.

But to really get the feel for the Trump administration’s end, we must turn to the finest political psychologist of them all, William Shakespeare. The text is in the final act of what superstitious actors only refer to as “the Scottish play.” One of the nobles who has turned on their murderous usurper king describes Macbeth’s predicament:

Those he commands move only in command,
Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title
Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe
Upon a dwarfish thief.

And so it will be for Trump. To be clear, these are very different people. Macbeth is an utterly absorbing, troubling, tragic, and compelling figure. Unlike America’s germaphobic president, who copped five draft deferments and has yet to visit the thousands of American soldiers on front lines in Afghanistan or Iraq, he is physically brave. In fact, the first thing we hear about him is that in the heat of battle with a rebel against King Duncan (who he later murders) Macbeth unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops. He is apparently faithful to wife, has a conscience (that he overcomes), knows guilt and remorse, and has self-knowledge. He also has a pretty good command of the English language. In all these respects he is as unlike Trump as one can be.

But in the moment of losing power, the two will be alike. A tyrant is unloved, and although the laws and institutions of the United States have proven a brake on Trump, his spirit remains tyrannical—that is, utterly self-absorbed and self-concerned, indifferent to the suffering of others, knowing no moral restraint. He expects fealty and gives none. Such people can exert power for a long time, by playing on the fear and cupidity, the gullibility and the hatreds of those around them. Ideological fervor can substitute for personal affection and attachment for a time, and so too can blind terror and sheer stupidity, but in the end these fall away as well.

And thus their courtiers abandon even monumental tyrants like Mussolini—who at least had his mistress, Claretta Petacci, with him at his ignominious end. (Melania’s affections are considerably less certain.) The normal course of events is sudden, epic desertion, in which an all-powerful political figure who loomed over everything is suddenly left shrunken and pitiful, a wretched little figure in gaudy robes absurdly too big for him, a figure of ridicule as much as, and even more than, hatred.

For the moment, the Republicans will not turn on Trump. They fear a peasant revolt, many of them; they still crave favors; they may think his castle impregnable, although less so if they believe what the polls tell them about some of its tottering walls. But if they suffer a medieval-style slaughter on Election Day, the remnants of the knights of the GOP will know a greater fear than that of being primaried. And at the moment when they no longer fear being swept away in 2020, when the economy may be in recession and the Mueller probe is complete with revelations whose ghastliness would delight the three witches of the Scottish play, they will suddenly turn on Trump. Act V of this play will also have a non-linear finish.

And what of Trump himself? In this respect he will be like Macbeth. Where Nixon, who was a statesman, saw the inevitable and resigned, this president is more likely to go down spitting defiance. As for the rest of us, Macduff says to the cornered king just before their final death grapple:

This is going to happen to Trump at some point. Of the Republicans in Congress it may be said of most of them: Those he commands move only in command, nothing in love. For now, admittedly, there are those who still court his favor—Senator Lindsey Graham, for example, once the trusty vassal of Senator John McCain, the bravest of warriors and noblest of dukes, seems to have switched his allegiance from his dying lord to the swaggering upstart aged prince. But that is about ambition, not affection.

live to be the show and gaze o’ th’ time.
We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted upon a pole, and underwrit
‘Here may you see the tyrant’

And so it will likely be, as Americans gaze back and wonder how on earth this rare monster, now deposed, ended up as their president.

WaPo: Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg, who allegedly helped arrange hush-money reimbursement to Cohen, granted immunity http://wapo.st/2NfJt8F

CNBC: Longtime Trump Organization CFO Weisselberg granted immunity in Cohen probe http://cnb.cx/2P4D0Ot
● Allen Weisselberg, longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, has been granted immunity by federal prosecutors as part of their investigation into President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
● Weisselberg’s ties to the president go back decades: He has overseen the Trump Organization’s finances, been involved in the Trump Foundation, the president’s charity, and has managed Trump’s private trust alongside his eldest sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.
● Weisselberg was subpoenaed by prosecutors earlier this year to testify before a grand jury as part of that probe.

🐣 RT @tonyschwartz [Trump biographer] The other shoe has dropped — the smoking gun equivalent to Nixon’s tapes. Alan Weisselberg knows everything. Trump will resign as I always assumed. Only matter of time now.
🐣 RT @maggieNYT Huge []
🐣 RT @Lawrence HUGE: Trump’s life of (tax) crime is passing before his eyes. []
↥ ↧
🔥💥🔥 WSJ: Allen Weisselberg, Longtime Trump Organization CFO, Is Granted Immunity in Cohen Probe http://on.wsj.com/2BHW8Qh
// Weisselberg earlier this year was subpoenaed to testify before grand jury

🐣 RT @RWPUSA He said during the campaign that he would use DOJ to jail his political opponents. His fanatical base screamed “lock her up.” ¤ He is now urging his AG to do just that. ¤ This alone is a violation of his oath of office. ¤ Congress must impeach, convict and remove him NOW.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real “Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.” Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants, so look into all of the corruption on the “other side” including deleted Emails, Comey lies & leaks, Mueller conflicts, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr……

◕🐣 RT @rachaelmyrow Pretty but troubling infographic of the US political landscape on @twitter shows echo chambers and intertwined network of elected officials, press, and policy professionals. There are extremes, but they are mediated through a robust middle. https://buff.ly/2OXgaYV via @techreview
https://twitter.com/rachaelmyrow/status/1033007786429480960/photo/1
// internet graphic

🌎◕🐣 How did June 2018 compare to the previous 50 years? #climate
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1033012672055402497/photo/1
// global warming climate change

🐣 RT @BillKrisrol Trump’s last tweet last night: 12:21 am. First tweet this morning: 5:57 am. ¤ Methought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more! ¤ David Pecker does murder sleep.”
⋙ MacBeth quotations abound lately. Makes sense ~ the downfall of a man who stole an election, err, kingdom.

WEF: This team of #Saudi women won a hackathon with their app to make the Hajj safer https://wef.ch/2KY5JSv  #technology
Hajj At-A-Glance https://twitter.com/wef/status/1032968277104963585/photo/1

🐣 RT @electionland The White House argued the bill was redundant to DHS’s existing powers and flew in the face of federalism
⋙ YahooNews: White House blocks bill that would protect elections http://yhoo.it/2N8AhTo
// Sponsors: Lankford Harris Kobuchar Graham Collins; Secure Elections Act

🌎◕ 🐣 RT @taxfoundation What’s the real value of $100 in your state? ¤ Adjusting incomes for price level can substantially change our perceptions of which states are truly rich or poor. ¤ #PurchasingPower ¤ http://bit.ly/2MJpJNv @ericadyork #CostofLiving
https://twitter.com/taxfoundation/status/1032979600501075971/photo/1
// cost of living by state

◕ WEF: Over 2000 years of economic #history, in one chart https://wef.ch/2HXOwrg  #economics https://twitter.com/wef/status/1032979613016903680/photo/1
// fave chart; GDP by country over time

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand “Dangling a pardon—essentially saying, ‘A pardon will be available for you at some point down the line,’ is tantamount to obstruction of justice and witness tampering,” says @sethwaxman
⋙ TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Paul Manafort and Trump’s Pardon Pattern http://bit.ly/2Py2Lrj
// As he has with Manafort, President Trump has decried the government’s “unfair” treatment of all three men he has pardoned to date. But will the pattern hold with his former campaign manager?

⭕ 23 Aug 2018

DailyBeast, Dean Obeiallah: This Idea That a President Can’t Be Indicted Is a Myth http://thebea.st/2MROYgG
// There’s no law saying a president can’t be indicted. Just a couple of Justice Department memos. And they can be rewritten.

Politico Mag, Michael Kruse: Trump’s Long War with Justice http://politi.co/2wbbCaj
// He fought the law—and won. Could he do it again?

🐣 RT @RVAwonk Those of you who have followed me for a while likely already know this, but this is how I ended up studying/writing about Russian information warfare. I was studying vaccine- and outbreak-related misinformation on social media, and a ton of it traced back to… Russia.
⋙ 🐣 @RVAwonk RT A new AJPH study looked at how Russian bots & trolls amplify disinformation surrounding vaccines. –> “Whereas bots…disseminated anti-vaccine messages, Russian trolls promoted divisions,” which ultimately “erod[ed] public consensus on vaccination.”
⋙⋙ AJPH, David Broniatowski et al: Weaponized Health Communication: Twitter Bots and Russian Trolls Amplify the Vaccine Debate http://bit.ly/2PC9G2X

WaPo, David Ignatius: Last chance, Republicans http://wapo.st/2o4Nd1N

Here’s how his lawyer, Lanny Davis, described the implication of Cohen’s plea that he facilitated payments to an adult-film star and Playboy Playmate: “Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election.”

The Cohen case, so far, has nothing to do with the two central allegations at the heart of the Mueller probe: obstruction of justice and election collusion with Russia. But interestingly, Russia does figure in Cohen’s motivations, according to Davis: After watching Trump support Russian President Vladimir Putin against U.S. intelligence agencies at the news conference following the Helsinki summit, Cohen “worried about the future of the country with somebody who was aligning himself with Mr. Putin,” Davis told NBC on Wednesday.

But this week, it seems more likely that America is heading toward a gradual recovery from the trauma of the Trump presidency. For Republicans, there is a last chance over these next two months to finally show some guts and principle by separating themselves from Trump.

Then come the November elections, and it seems a reasonable bet, after Tuesday, to trust in the good sense of the American public

WaPo, Michael Gerson: A cancer on the presidency http://wapo.st/2waMgcx

In the course of Michael Cohen’s guilty plea this week, a lawyer close to the president has admitted his part in a high-level cover-up, including the use of hush money, designed to influence the 2016 election. And he accused President Trump of directing this violation.

This is different from our daily dose of the president’s outrageous tweets and attacks. It is an inflection point in the Trump presidency. He has been credibly accused, not of violating civic norms, but of personal involvement in criminal law-breaking. If Trump were not the president, he might well be indicted, convicted and face jail time.

His violation of civic norms, by the way, is not a minor matter. The payment to Stormy Daniels was made 12 days before the election. This timing indicates not the prevention of personal mortification, but an attempt to deny voters relevant information. As a result, the 2016 presidential election will always have an asterisk — “outcome may have been influenced by Russian hacking and campaign fraud.”

Every time we gain a peek into the inner workings of Trump world, we see a leader with the ethics of an Atlantic City casino owner who surrounds himself with people chosen for their willingness to lie and cheat at his bidding. A world in which Paul Manafort is “a very good person.” A world in which payoffs and election tampering are all in a day’s work.

Left to his investigation, Mueller will expose this world to the light. And the choice for Congress is likely to be clear: Impeach, or tolerate massive corruption.

WaPo: Critics fear Trump’s attacks are doing lasting damage to the justice system http://wapo.st/2o8p2j0

💽 Msnbc: Republicans warn Trump against pardoning Manafort http://on.msnbc.com/2MLmg14
// Rudy Giuliani told the Washington Post that Trump discussed the possibility of pardoning Manafort with his lawyers “several weeks ago.”

💙💙 ForeignAffairs, Philip Gordon: The Worst Deals Ever http://fam.ag/2o8kYzg
// excellent: #highlyrec; What Trump Misses About the Art of Foreign Policy Negotiation

In fact, Trump is an ineffective negotiator not only because he is poorly versed in basic facts, inconsistent in his bottom lines, and susceptible to flattery but also because his entire approach is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of dealmaking. He wrongly views international relations as a zero-sum game and confuses punishing others with enhancing his own country’s long-term prosperity, security, and well-being.

Trump seems to believe that the United States’ trade deficits mean that the country is “losing” to other countries who are “stealing our wealth.” This misguided view overlooks the fact that when the United States runs a bilateral trade deficit its consumers and producers are not just sending money abroad; they are receiving the goods and services they want at the best prices available. Tariffs and other protectionist measures could theoretically reduce a trade deficit with one particular country, such as China. But this will simply lead to a trade deficit with a different country so long as the United States remains near full employment and is running foreign-financed budget deficits, which drive up the value of the dollar and make U.S. goods less competitive. 

Beijing has retaliated with higher tariffs of its own, particularly on U.S. agricultural exports such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. The damage to the U.S. farming sector has been significant. July saw the biggest drop in U.S. farm export prices in more than six years, and prices are likely to fall much further if the standoff continues and Chinese importers turn to other countries, such as Brazil, for new and more reliable suppliers. Already, the situation is dire enough that Trump has had to offer $12 billion in emergency subsidies to U.S. farmers to compensate them for the consequences of his own trade policy—at taxpayers’ expense. ¤ [D]espite Trump’s claim that tariffs are “leading us to great new trade deals,” he has yet to negotiate a single one. 

Newsweek: Donald Trump Says if He Got Impeached ‘Everybody Would Be Very Poor’ http://bit.ly/2BJvI0w

Politico: Republicans: Sessions gone after midterms http://politi.co/2wqp2hW
// As the president renewed his attacks on his attorney general, two Senate Republicans indicated they’d be open to replacing him — sparking a quick smackdown from GOP leaders.

🚫🐣 RT @timinhonolulu Giuliani’s threat of a revolt if Congress seeks to engage in Constitutional duty to review fitness of the President to remain in office is a clear act of incitement and @RudyGiuliani should be taken into custody and held without bail for violating 18 U.S. Code § 2383. @FBIWFO

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs Many populists miss that the Bretton Woods system worked as well as it did and for as long as it did thanks only to the United States’ exceptional dominance of the global economy.
⋙ ForeignAffairs: Brand New Left, Same Old Problems http://fam.ag/2P2bNvH
// What Populism Can and Can’t Achieve

NewYorker, Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow: The Conspiracy Memo About Obama Aides That Circulated in the Trump White House http://bit.ly/2wpqOjg
// 8/23/2018, The 2017 document, titled “The Echo Chamber,” accused former Obama officials of undermining the incoming Administration.
⋙ See under Entire Articles: NYkr Farrow Conspiracy 8-23-2018

✅ Snopes: Election Law Violations Compared: Obama 2008 vs Trump 2016 http://bit.ly/2P2iqhE
// FactCheck, Federal Election Commission violations are a civil matter, while Michael Cohen is guilty of multiple felonies.

✅ Snopes (2017): Is James Comey ‘Best Friends’ with Robert Mueller, And Is That Friendship a Conflict of Interest? http://bit.ly/2MrPZNb
// 6/16/2017, FactCheck, Comey’s attorney said that the two men know each other from working together but are hardly “best friends”, and experts told us the relationship doesn’t meet conflict of interest legal criteria.

🐣 RT @jonathanswan Doesn’t get less subtle. Trump – on record – calls Manafort “brave” for not flipping, then Rudy goes on record to float pardon.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JDiamond1 The President, via his attorney, is essentially telegraphing that he’ll likely pardon Manafort after the Mueller investigation has wrapped. Meaning Manafort just has to stick it out, not offer damaging information about Trump & he’ll be home free

AP: National Enquirer hid damaging Trump stories in a safe http://bit.ly/2MK4A5U

“When it comes to the pickle Mr Pecker has put the president in…” – @maddow. Yeah, that’s 😆

NYT: Manhattan D.A. Eyes Criminal Charges Against Trump Organization http://nyti.ms/2NgboFk

🐣 RT @ChuckTodd After days of playing extra coy about whether they’d offer pardons, Giuliani is less coy now, signaling that pardons are on the table, just not until AFTER Mueller finishes. That’s quite the enticement to keep folks from flipping.
⋙ 🐣 RT @HallieJackson NEW / Rudy Giuliani tells @NBCNews the president agreed earlier this summer with his lawyers advice that he “shouldn’t do pardons” during the special counsel investigation: “We talked about pardons in general in June & he agreed he shouldn’t do pardons during investigation.”

🐣 RT @HeathaT An amazing photo spread shows how the National Enquirer covered Hillary Clinton’s campaign. From @jackshafer last year on Trump’s “mouthpiece”
NatEnq covers: https://twitter.com/HeathaT/status/1032701233205837829/photo/1
⋙ Politico Mag (2017): Pravda on the Checkout Line http://politi.co/2PzkHSA
// Jan-Feb 2017 issue, First Donald Trump got an endorsement from the tabloids. Now he’s getting a mouthpiece.

🐣 RT @maninthehoodie David Pecker used the National Enquirer to buy negative stories about Trump and kill them. He just got immunity and all those stories just rose from the dead. Mueller is the good witch.

🐣 RT @CatherineRampell ‘It should be illegal to testify against co-conspirators’ is definitely an argument innocent people make

🐣 RT @RenatoMariotti “One source close to Cohen told me Cohen wants to tell Mueller that Trump discussed the release of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s e-mails during the weekend when the Access Hollywood ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ tape dominated the news cycle.”
⋙ VanityFair, Gabriel Sherman: “Holy Shit, I Thought Pecker Would Be the Last One to Turn”: Trump’s National Enquirer Allies Are the Latest to Defect http://bit.ly/2o6NBwM
// David Pecker and Dylan Howard corroborated Michael Cohen’s account implicating the president in a federal crime. And Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, says there are more revelations to come.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance David Pecker, Trump friend, National Enquirer, “catch & kill” guy who kept stories that were bad for candidate Trump out of public view, is cooperating with federal prosecutors. This goes a long way to explaining why Trump is upset about “flipping.”
⋙ WSJ: David Pecker, CEO of National Enquirer Publisher, Granted Immunity in Michael Cohen Case http://on.wsj.com/2LmBpBd
// Publishing executive met with prosecutors to describe involvement of Cohen, Trump in hush-money deals to women ahead of 2016 election

🐣 RT @JohnHarwood Trump to Fox: “flipping almost ought to be illegal. 30-40 years I’ve been watching flippers” ¤ 32 years ago, crime boss Tony Salerno, who supplied Trump Plaza concrete, was convicted of racketeering. His top deputy flipped to help FBI ¤ lawyer for both Salerno and Trump: Roy Cohn

YahooNews: White House blocks bill that would protect elections http://yhoo.it/2N8AhTo

The Secure Elections Act, introduced by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., in December 2017, had co-sponsorship from two of the Senate’s most prominent liberals, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as well as from conservative stalwart Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and consummate centrist Susan Collins, R-Me.

As it currently stands, the legislation would grant every state’s top election official security clearance to receive threat information. It would also formalize the practice of information-sharing between the federal government—in particular, the Department of Homeland Security—and states regarding threats to electoral infrastructure. A technical advisory board would establish best practices related to election cybersecurity. Perhaps most significantly, the law would mandate that every state conduct a statistically significant audit following a federal election. It would also incentivize the purchase of voting machines that leave a paper record of votes cast, as opposed to some all-electronic models that do not. This would signify a marked shift away from all-electronic voting, which was encouraged with the passage of the Help Americans Vote Act in 2002.

NYT: Jeff Sessions Rejects Trump’s Latest Attack, Says Justice Dept. Will Not Be Influenced by Politics http://nyti.ms/2P1CPmY

WSJ: David Pecker Granted Immunity in Cohen Case http://on.wsj.com/2Ln7Ejw
// Publishing executive met with prosecutors to describe involvement of Cohen, Trump in hush-money deals to women ahead of 2016 election

Bloomberg: Key Republicans Signal Trump May Fire Sessions After Election http://bloom.bg/2MsCddl

NYT: Manafort Jury Holdout Blocked Guilty Verdicts on 10 of 18 Charges, Juror Says http://nyti.ms/2BFsqLV

That juror, Paula Duncan, who described herself as a supporter of President Trump, said on Fox News that the rest of the jury believed that Mr. Manafort was guilty on all charges, but the holdout would agree to only eight.

Despite four days of deliberations and pleas from the other 11 jurors, the 12th one, whom Ms. Duncan only described as a female, did not budge in her belief that prosecutors had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Manafort was guilty.

“We all tried to convince her to look at the paper trail,” Ms. Duncan said in an interview on “Fox News at Night with Shannon Bream.” “We laid it out in front of her again and again. She still said she had reasonable doubt. That’s the way the jury worked.”

🐣 RT @JohnBrennan I take no delight in seeing the steady collapse of a U.S. Presidency, but I do take strong comfort in knowing that the rule of law & our great government institutions are prevailing. Things ultimately will get better, and we will heal as a Nation.

Fortune: ‘He Makes a Better Deal When He Uses Me.’ Trump Accuses Michael Cohen of ‘Flipping’ http://for.tn/2wjqbrC

🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump tells FOX, pointing at his own head, “I can’t be impeached. You would be poor without me.” Recall when he said “I alone can fix it”? He really meant it — and really thinks he’s beyond the reach of law because of his imagined genius at doing stuff.

🐣 RT @StevenBeschloss Trump’s “friends” are abandoning him. They’re talking to prosecutors while Mueller methodically prepares his case. Trump can try to spin another fantasy and imagine he’ll escape punishment again. But it may be dawning on him this time it won’t work. ¤ No wonder he’s unraveling.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Trump hammers Jeff Sessions: “He took the job and then he said, ‘I’m going to recuse myself’ I said, ‘what kind of a man is this?’ And by the way, he was on the campaign. The only reason I gave him the job I felt loyalty.” (via Fox)
💽 F&F: https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1032592040058605568/photo/1
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @JenniferJJacobs “I guess it says something like high crimes and all. I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who’s done a great job. I’ll tell you what, if I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash,” Trump said in Fox News interview.
💽 https://twitter.com/JenniferJJacobs/status/1032589350930923520/photo/1

BBC: Trump insists hush money payments by Cohen were legal http://bbc.in/2MsciSJ

FoxNews: Manafort juror reveals lone holdout prevented Mueller team from winning conviction on all counts http://fxn.ws/2widoWA

🐣 12:10 am. Up past his bedtime.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real NO COLLUSION – RIGGED WITCH HUNT!

⭕ 22 Aug 2018

ForeignAffairs, Nigel Gould-Davies: Sanctions on Russia Are Working http://fam.ag/2LBsn3u
// Why It’s Important to Keep Up the Pressure

NewYorker, Susan Glasser: “The Worst Hour of His Entire Life”: Cohen, Manafort, and the Twin Courtroom Dramas That Changed Trump’s Presidency http://bit.ly/2BU3Xm2
// 8/22/2018, Is this finally the President’s accountability moment?
⋙ See under Entire Articles: NYkr Glasser Worst Hr 8-22-2018

WSJ: Why Michael Cohen Agreed to Plead Guilty—And Implicate the President http://on.wsj.com/2wiYSO9
// Prosecutors had reams of evidence and a long list of counts, which also could have included the lawyer’s wife

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Trump Tries to Deny His Crime With Cohen, Confesses by Mistake http://nym.ag/2LmETnm

Trump’s own defense, offered on Fox & Friends, is even more confused. Trump insisted he is in the clear because the payments “weren’t taken out of campaign finance … They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me.” That is not a defense. That is why it’s a crime. If the money came from the campaign, it would have been legal.

💙💙 NYMag, Benjamin Wittes: The Most Damaging Thing That’s Happened to Trump http://nym.ag/2LoHTzE
// It wasn’t what Michael Cohen alleged in court, or the conviction of his campaign chair.

NYT: Anatomy of a Crime: Sex, Hush Money and a Trump Fixer’s Guilty Plea http://nyti.ms/2BGWsio

The federal campaign finance and tax evasion case that is embroiling the White House began in the unlikeliest of places: the world of supermarket tabloids.

It is populated by porn stars and Playboy models, shadowy “story brokers” and the ultra rich and powerful, who can buy back their secrets on an underground exchange run by gossip scribes who set the rules, the prices and, frequently, the reputational toll.

That world has now come to life on the stark pages of federal court documents that detail violations of campaign finance and tax laws, implicating President Trump and reprising Watergate-era talk of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and possible impeachment.

The filings revealed the involvement of executives at The Trump Organization, who routed reimbursements to Mr. Cohen through a Trump trust using “sham invoices.”

For the first time, prosecutors said that the tabloid publisher American Media Inc. had been involved in deals to buy the silence of both Ms. Clifford and Ms. McDougal. And as early as August 2015, prosecutors revealed, Mr. Cohen communicated with the chairman of American Media, David J. Pecker, who agreed to turn the organization’s tip line into a trip wire that could detect potential trouble for Mr. Trump. Mr. Pecker agreed to “help deal with negative stories,” about Mr. Trump’s “relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided.”

Prosecutors and Mr. Cohen said that he undertook his work with A.M.I. at Mr. Trump’s direction — an assertion the president denied, telling Fox News on Wednesday that he learned of the payments only later.

[McDougal] has said that she decided to sell her story in 2016 when another former Playboy model hinted at it on Twitter, causing her to worry that it would become public whether she liked it or not. After a friend convinced her that she might as well make money from it, she decided to approach the tabloids and hired a Los Angeles lawyer, Keith M. Davidson, to help her do it.

According to prosecutors, when Ms. McDougal and Mr. Davidson approached American Media, Mr. Pecker, along with his top editorial executive, Dylan Howard, immediately informed Mr. Cohen. More important, the prosecutors allege, Mr. Cohen then urged A.M.I. to buy her story in order to suppress it, “so as to prevent it from influencing the election.”

But a media company makes an illegal corporate contribution if it acts outside its “legitimate press function” in coordinating with a campaign to spend money to influence an election. Such activity “is not like the action of a media company deciding what to cover and exercising editorial judgment,” [Trevor] Potter said.

Ms. Clifford met Mr. Trump in July 2006, at the American Century Championship golf tournament, where Mr. Trump also had an assignation with Ms. McDougal.

She had starred in pornographic movies including “Space Nuts” and “Love Potion 69”; Mr. Trump was on a top television show, “The Apprentice.” The idea that he would be president and she would pose a later legal threat would have seemed improbable as they spent one of their dates watching “Shark Week.” (Ms. Clifford has said they had sex only once; Mr. Trump denies the affair.)

But it was Ms. Clifford who helped blow open the case earlier this year, along with her aggressive, media-ready lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who could match Mr. Trump tweet for tweet, quip for quip — so much so that he says he is now considering a run for the presidency himself. Mr. Avenatti has been representing Ms. Clifford in a lawsuit to nullify her deal.

In the fall of 2016, Ms. Clifford was discussing selling her story at an inopportune time for Mr. Trump, just after a recording leaked of raw “Access Hollywood” footage in which he boasted about groping women.

Once again, the American Media trip wire alerted Mr. Cohen of trouble for Mr. Trump. Prosecutors reported Tuesday that an agent approached Mr. Howard, the A.M.I. editor, to tell him that Ms. Clifford was preparing to talk about her encounters with Mr. Trump. In fact, the prosecutors said, Mr. Howard and Mr. Pecker connected Mr. Cohen with Mr. Davidson, the lawyer who represented Ms. Clifford then.

According to prosecutors, executives at the company signed off on paying Mr. Cohen $420,000, which included a $60,000 bonus, money to cover any taxes on the payment to Mr. Cohen and a reimbursement for undefined “tech services.” As prosecutors noted, Mr. Cohen would be paid in $35,000 installments. Mr. Cohen submitted invoices that falsely identified the payments as part of a “retainer agreement.”

Upon receiving the first two invoices, a company executive whom prosecutors identified as “Executive-1” forwarded the invoice to “another executive of the company (‘Executive -2’),” and the fraudulent invoice was approved, according to the prosecutors. Several people familiar with the investigation said one of those executives was Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization chief financial officer. It is unclear who the other executive was.

Testifying under oath on Tuesday, Mr. Cohen said he arranged the payment “for the principal purpose of influencing the election,” and told the judge he knew at the time that he was doing so in violation of campaign finance laws.

TheAtlantic, Ben Judah: Washington Is Turning Into Moscow http://bit.ly/2LlAwJ9
// What upsets the Putin regime isn’t research into its military strength, but anything exploring its illicit finances. Something similar might now be said of the White House.
Dark skies over White House: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1032635762909560839/photo/1

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Those “non-crimes” are punishable by up to five years in prison and $250,000 fine. Each.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime. President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!

🐣 RT @ReSwalwell And there you have it. The #Manafort trial hung 11-1 on the other counts. Not uncommon. But shows how powerful the case was. In perspective: 96-0 was the cumulative vote count for guiltys on the eight convicted counts. 110-10 on the hung counts. I see a re-trial as likely.

HillReporter, Brian Krassenstein: Michael Cohen Subpoenaed in New York State Probe of The Trump Foundation http://bit.ly/2Li3Pw1

Slate, Jeremy Stahl: Michael Cohen’s Guilty Plea Is a Massive Victory for Robert Mueller’s Divide-and-Conquer Strategy http://bit.ly/2NcqQCk

🐣 RT @jwpetersNYT Just talked one of Trump’s earliest supporters & true believers – very rattled – who’s been talking to big GOP donors. They want to support Trump. They tried hard to ignore all the noise. They can’t anymore. “They’re over it. This is not how a president comports himself.”

🐣 RT @DavidJollyFL This interview is damning, and will be cited for its historical significance. ¤ Wherein Trump directly confesses to being a co-conspirator with Michael Cohen during an exclusive interview with, wait for it, Fox News. ¤ Each of his actual lawyers just gasped, again.
💽 F&F: EXCLUSIVE: President @realDonaldTrump on if he knew about the Cohen payments./photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw Too bad election law crimes seem so technical. If Trump had paid to have his accusers, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, physically gagged on the eve of the election so he could win, nobody would doubt the enormity of his crime. What Trump did was no better. It’s huge.

🐣 RT @nickconfessore Obama’s campaign, not Obama personally, paid a fine for what was essentially late or accidentally erroneous paperwork on a large number of small contributions. ¤ Cohen and the president personally engaged in a deliberate scheme to hide a payoff and lie about it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime. President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!

🐣 RT @NormEisen BREAKING: In running away from Cohen’s claims today, Trump bumbled right into admitting that he lied on his financial disclosures & violated 18 USC 1001. This was already the subject of a @CREWcrew criminal complaint that led to an OGE referral to DOJ–Trump just proved our case!

🐣 RT @jaketapper Jury convicts his campaign chair on 8 felony counts; president pooh-poohs the charges, derides the process, praises the felon, compliments the felon for not flipping, and seems to be setting the stage for a pardon.

WSJ: Why Michael Cohen Agreed to Plead Guilty—And Implicate the President http://on.wsj.com/2wiYSO9
// Prosecutors had reams of evidence and a long list of counts, which also could have included the lawyer’s wife

WaPo: ‘How do you spin a fact?’ White House grapples with response to Cohen, Manafort convictions. http://wapo.st/2nZG3Ma

NYT, Bret Stephens: Donald Trump’s High Crimes and Misdemeanors http://nyti.ms/2Lgp81a
// The principled case for impeachment is clear. What’s missing is the courage.

… The Constitution’s standard for impeachment is “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The standard is now met.

Trump’s longtime fixer acknowledged in court on Tuesday that he violated campaign finance laws by paying hush money to two women “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.” That means Trump. That means that, as a candidate, Trump is credibly alleged to have purposefully conspired with Cohen to commit criminal acts. That means the duo did so “for purposes of influencing [an] election for Federal office,” which is the legal definition of a campaign contribution.

It also means that, as president, Trump allegedly sought to conceal the arrangement by failing to note in his 2017 financial disclosure forms his reimbursements to Cohen. The president most likely continues to lie to the American people about the nature and purpose of those payments.

As for the Edwards standard, the case failed because prosecutors could not prove that the former North Carolina senator received campaign donations from benefactors to influence an election, rather than simply cover up an embarrassing affair. In Trump’s case, there is little doubt about the purpose of the payment to Stormy Daniels: To prevent disclosure of their alleged liaison, less than a month before the election and barely two weeks after the Access Hollywood tape came to light.

To suggest that this doesn’t amount to a felonious act also doesn’t pass the smell test. The president is now, in effect, an unindicted co-conspirator on charges already prosecuted by the government as a criminal matter against Cohen. Why should a lighter standard apply to Trump, since he’s the one at whose direction Cohen claims to have carried out the payments?

Pragmatists will rejoin that there’s no sense in advocating impeachment when the G.O.P. controls Congress. I’m sorry that so many congressional Republicans have lost their sense of moral principle and institutional self-respect, but that’s a reason to seek Democratic victories in the fall. The Constitution matters more than a tax cut. What the Constitution demands is the impeachment and removal from office of this lawless president.

NYT Editorial: Congress, Do Your Job http://nyti.ms/2w3V1FA
// After President Trump’s Terrible Tuesday, Republican lawmakers need to stop pretending that there are any red lines that he won’t cross.

… If Mr. Trump arranged secret payments to hush up his affairs, then he conspired to deny voters information he feared would harm his electoral chances. His efforts to hide the money trail suggest he knew his behavior wasn’t kosher. And while the initial payments to the women were made before Mr. Trump won the election, he didn’t begin compensating Mr. Cohen until February of 2017 — thus any conspiracy was carried straight into the Oval Office.

Congress, unfortunately, remains crouched and trembling in a dark corner, hoping this is all a bad dream. It’s not. Republican lawmakers need to buck up, remind themselves of their constitutional responsibilities and erect some basic guardrails to ensure that — in a fit of rage, panic or mere pique — this president does not wake up one morning and decide to drive American democracy off a cliff.

NYT, Sahil Chinoy et al: Trump’s Growing Obsession With the ‘Witch Hunt’ http://nyti.ms/2MKtxhr

NYT: Republicans Urge Embattled Incumbents to Speak Out on Trump http://nyti.ms/2PsmoB0 “Where there’s smoke, and there’s a lot of smoke, there may well be fire.”

Senior Republican Party leaders began urging their most imperiled incumbents on Wednesday to speak out about the wrongdoing surrounding President Trump, with Representative Tom Cole, a former House Republican campaign chairman, warning, “Where there’s smoke, and there’s a lot of smoke, there may well be fire.”

Democrats face their own pressure to shed their cautious midterm strategy and hammer the opposition for fostering what Democratic leaders are labeling “a culture of corruption” that starts at Mr. Trump and cascades through two indicted House Republicans to a series of smaller scandals breaking out in the party’s backbenches.

🐣 RT @TheDailyEdge That moment when POTUS admits that he personally paid hush money to the porn star he slept with without a condom while his 3rd wife was home nursing their only child. His lawyer, his lawyer’s lawyers and a federal judge confirmed yesterday this was a crime
[F&F interview:] 💽 https://twitter.com/TheDailyEdge/status/1032327915889934336/photo/1

💙💙 TheHill: Cohen’s lawyer on Trump Tower meeting: Cohen was ‘present at a discussion with’ Trump and Trump Jr. http://bit.ly/2OVXBEv
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @joshtpm “at this juncture I can only say that he was present during a discussion with junior and dad” about the Trump Tower meeting. [CNN Situation Room:]
💽 https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1032395729099214848/photo/1

WaPo FactChecker: Not just misleading. Not merely false. A lie. http://wapo.st/2LlYCDt Payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal
// timeline

📊 FoxNews Poll: Democrats maintain lead in race for House http://fxn.ws/2nZaW3s
Support for Mueller Probe: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1032522745706409987/photo/1
Impeachable Offense: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1032523192542420993/photo/1
Vote in Midterms (Party): https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1032523524483760128/photo/1

🐣 RT @PreetBharara Practice note: Trump has no effective way to shut down any investigation being conducted by SDNY. That office is more insulated, enduring and “sovereign” than the Special Counsel’s Office. You can fire Mueller. You can fire the US Attorney. You can’t fire the SDNY.

🐣 RT @amandacarpenter Worth reminding folks, Michael Cohen also served as Deputy Finance Chairman for the RNC. And, he’s about to plead guilty to campaign finance crimes.

NYT: Democratic Party Says It Thwarted Attempted Hack of Voter Database http://nyti.ms/2LkXfVw

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw “Mr Cohen has direct knowledge … that suggests, I’m not sure it proves, that Mr Trump was aware of Russian government agents hacking illegally, committing computer crimes, to the detriment of the candidate he was running against, Hillary Clinton.” -Michael Cohen’s lawyer on PBS

🐣 RT @joshtpm Davis: ” I don’t know if it’s a smoking gun or how decisive it is. What I’m suggesting is that Mr. Cohen was an observer and was a witness to Mr. Trump’s awareness of those e-mails before they were dropped, and it would pertain to the hacking of the e-mail accounts.”
💽 https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1032393228652371973/photo/1

RollingStone, Andrew Cohen: The Only Thing Keeping Trump Out of Jail http://rol.st/2Pw0tJa
// After Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort went down, Trump’s world suddenly became smaller and more dangerous

🐣 RT @AP BREAKING: Dem official: Hackers attempted to break into DNC voter file with phishing campaign.

CNBC, John Harwood: The reckoning is here for Donald Trump and the Republican Party, and it will only get worse for them http://cnb.cx/2whtpfq

● The reckoning has arrived for Donald Trump. The trouble for him and fellow Republicans will only get worse from here.
● Trump and his allies sought comfort asserting that none of Tuesday’s legal proceedings involved collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 election. That is true.
● But all the president’s men under prosecutorial scrutiny have important Russian connections that are problematic for Trump.

TheGuardian: Paul Manafort went to Kyrgyzstan to ‘strengthen Russia’s position’ http://bit.ly/2PrmatU
// Investigation claims former Trump campaign chair promoted Russian interests

🐣 RT @kremlintrolls Trump on the hush money payments: “They didn’t come out of the campaign. They came from me.” ¤ Appears that Trump is implicating himself. Oops. ¤ @kylegriffin1 m/t
💽 https://twitter.com/KremlinTrolls/status/1032369707465076736/photo/1

🐣 Some of the best and brightest voices now on @msnbc are the conservatives who have broken with Trumpism, especially those on @DeadlineWH hosted by @NicolleDWallace, incl @SteveSchmidtSES @JRubinBlogger @BillKristol etc. They make me believe someday we will come through this.

🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES This means Trump’s Presidency is not only illegitimate but criminal. It means a Presidential election was compromised by the most insidious criminal conspiracy in American History. It means Trump is a traitor and Putin determined the outcome. The impeachment bar has been reached

WaPo,Max Boot: Trump is an illegitimate president whose election is tainted by fraud http://wapo.st/2MMeUui

The Manafort charges of tax and bank fraud do not directly implicate the president, but they do vindicate the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, showing that his inquiry is no “Rigged Witch Hunt” but a serious investigation that has produced 35 indictments, six guilty pleas and one conviction. No special counsel has done more, faster. If Manafort had been found not guilty, it would have been a massive blow to Mueller. Because he was found guilty, it is a blow to Trump.

But not nearly as a big a blow as Cohen’s admission under oath that he violated federal campaign laws by arranging illicit payments to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy playmate Karen McDougal “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.” For the first time since Watergate, the president is now an alleged co-conspirator in the commission of a federal crime. As Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, said, his client “testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election. If those payments were a crime for Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?”

And Cohen may only have begun implicating the president. Davis said on MSNBC that Cohen would be happy to share other incriminating information with the special counsel, including “knowledge about the computer crime of hacking and whether or not Mr. Trump knew ahead of time about that crime and even cheered it on.” This would seem to vindicate an earlier leak that Cohen may be able provide the “smoking gun” evidence showing that Trump himself gave the go-ahead to collusion with the Kremlin.

In short, there is growing evidence that the president is, to use the word favored by Richard Nixon, “a crook.” Even buying the silence of his reputed playmates could by itself have been enough to swing an exceedingly close election decided by fewer than 80,000 votes in three states. Trump certainly would not have authorized the payments unless he thought it was politically imperative to do so. There is also considerable evidence, as I previously argued, that Russia’s intervention on Trump’s behalf affected the outcome. Even more than Nixon, Trump is now an illegitimate president whose election is tainted by fraud.

… A responsible Congress would have by now already convened an impeachment inquiry. But that is not the Congress we have. We have a Congress dominated by political hacks and moral invertebrates who are determined to act as the president’s enablers and legitimizers at all costs.

Terrible Tuesday also included the indictment of one of his earliest congressional supporters, Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.), and his wife, on charges of misusing campaign funds to pay personal expenses. This comes shortly after another of Trump’s early endorsers, Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), decided not to seek reelection after being indicted on insider-trading charges.

… They involve violating their oaths of office by failing to hold the president accountable for misusing his office. Some, such as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), have gone much further by actively attempting to impede the Justice Department investigation into Trump’s alleged misconduct. They have become, in a moral if not legal sense, accessories to obstruction of justice.

And they have gotten away with it because the congressional leadership has allowed them to do so.

The voters of the United States must now say to this Congress what Oliver Cromwell said to the Rump Parliament in 1653: “Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. . . . Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance. . . . Go, get you out! Make haste! . . . In the name of God, go!”

🐣 RT @costareports “No day during President Trump’s 19 months in office could prove as dangerous or debilitating as Tuesday.” @danbalz
⋙ WaPo, Dan Balz: After two convictions, pressure mounts on Trump http://wapo.st/2OT7nXV

TheHill: Cohen’s lawyer: Mueller a ‘great man’ http://bit.ly/2MHaLrl Cohen’s lawyer: Mueller is a “great man” operating like a silent submarine

🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw Rudy Giuliani publicly stated Trump directed Cohen to make the hush money payments; thus, Trump directed a crime & he was part of the cover-up. Now Cohen’s lawyer says Michael Cohen will tell Mueller of a “Conspiracy to Collude” With Russia. It’s not Witch Hunt, it’s Which Hunt!
https://twitter.com/ChrisAlbertoLaw/status/1032265880367972353/photo/1

RT @tribelaw From pg.60: “While creating the Constitution, [the Framers] repeatedly described corrupt acquisition of the presidency as a paradigm case for impeachment.” //➔ Wouldn’t Pence be equally illegitimate, having ascended to his position by the same act of corruption?

🐣 RT @blakehounshell This might be Trump’s best tweet.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!

🐣 RT @real I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!

🐣 RT @ChuckGrassley will somebody at the WH ask @POTUS to read Gerald Seib’s WSJ article on pg4 2day? good advice to strengthen his presidency
⋙ 🐣 I think it’s time you guys look for a lifeboat.
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1032253631221952513/photo/1
// Titanic named Trump

🐣 RT @yamiche Just got off the phone with Lanny Davis, Michael Cohen’s lawyer, who told me: “I have an impression that Mr. Cohen could address topics of interest to Mr. Mueller relating to whether Mr. Trump had advanced knowledge of the hacking of emails for political purposes.”

🐣 RT @tribelaw In addition to being impeachable, Trump’s election law offenses were FEDERAL CRIMES committed when he was a private citizen in Trump Tower. If Mueller decides he shouldn’t indict @POTUS in DC, the US Attorney for SDNY might give thought to doing so in NY. He has the evidence now.
⋙ 🐣 RT @tribelaw From pg.60: “While creating the Constitution, [the Framers] repeatedly described corrupt acquisition of the presidency as a paradigm case for impeachment.” The guilty plea by Trump’s private counsel Michael Cohen in SDNY on August 21 makes that case.
⋙⋙ 🐣 In that case, wouldn’t Pence be equally illegitimate, in that he would have ascended to the position he’s in by the same act of corruption?

🐣 RT @anbayanyay Russia always was a kleptocracy, still is. They’re just flying a different pirate banner now. The Soviet Union faked its own death, or today’s Russia is the zombie of the USSR, your pick, same diff.
⋙ 🐣 I read an article recently that made that point. I need to learn a lot more. It was such a mystery when I was growing up, then it kind of ‘disappeared’ from the radar after 1990 when we turned to the Middle East. It’s sure back with a vengeance!

CommonDreams, Jake Johnson: In a Functional Democracy, This Would Be a No-Brainer’: Warren Unveils Bold Anti-Corruption Legislation http://bit.ly/2w4lHFV
// “These reforms have one simple aim: to take power in Washington away from the wealthy, the powerful, and the well-connected who have corrupted our government and put power back in the hands of the American people.”

NBC: In case of Mueller firing, break glass: Democrats prep an emergency plan http://nbcnews.to/2wq8IxZ
// Congressional action and protest rallies are among the contingencies being planned if Trump tries to shut down the Russia probe.

🐣 MichaelCohenTruthFund.com (GoFundMe)

🐣 RT @PreetBharara Trump is the greatest magnet for corruption the swamp has ever seen. His endorsers, his fixers, his lawyers, his campaign managers, his cabinet members. It is never-ending corruption. And many are being locked up, as the chant goes.

🐣 The entire Republican Party crawled into bed with Donald Trump and now they’re going to get screwed.

TheAtlantic, Conor Friedersdorf: Trump Robbed Voters of What They Deserved to Know http://bit.ly/2w40rAa
// The 2016 election was won amid a coverup of illegal conduct designed to keep the truth from the electorate.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis suggests his client has knowledge implicating Trump in ‘criminal conspiracy’ to hack Democratic emails http://wapo.st/2w0K1c2
Text block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1032196068044357633/photo/1
// on The Rachel Maddow Show @maddow TRMS

[Lanny] Davis told The Washington Post that Cohen’s knowledge reached beyond “the obvious possibility of a conspiracy to collude” and included also the question of Trump’s participation in a “criminal conspiracy” to hack into the emails of Democratic officials during the 2016 election.

On “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Davis, who is a veteran of the Clinton White House, said his client had “knowledge about the computer crime of hacking and whether or not Mr. Trump knew ahead of time about that crime and even cheered it on.”

⭕ 21 Aug 2018

WaPo: Trump’s company approved $420,000 in payments to Cohen, relying on ‘sham’ invoices, prosecutors say http://wapo.st/2BGCioE

Globe&Mail, Sarah Kendzior: For Paul Manafort, justice is finally served – but is it too late for America? http://tgam.ca/2PvCfil

🐣 RT @ezraklein A Trump rally thunderously chanting “lock her up” about Hillary Clinton on the very day Trump’s campaign manager and personal lawyer face jail time really tells you all you need to know about GOP politics right now.
⋙ Vox: Trump rally crowd chants “lock her up” as Trump ignores Manafort and Cohen: That’s 2018 in a nutshell. http://bit.ly/2Pwd52T

🐣 RT @AmandaCarpenter Any other Republicans concerned that our National Security Advisor John Bolton was caught doing favors for known Russian spy Maria Butina? Anyone?

💙 WaPo Editorial: Twin convictions are a stunning rebuke of Trump http://wapo.st/2MGxvb6

🐣 RT @MichaelAvenatti The developments of today will permit us to have the stay lifted in the civil case & should also permit us to proceed with an expedited deposition of Trump under oath about what he knew, when he knew it, and what he did about it. We will disclose it all to the public.

Slate, Isaac Chotiner: Interview: Jeffrey Toobin on What the Craziest News Day of the Year Means for Trump http://bit.ly/2N6JfAB

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance This is cynical and it’s wrong. It’s not who we are as a country. We need to guard against people who inexplicably trivialize our history & experience in order to prop up the current occupant of the White House.
⋙ FoxNews: .@AlanDersh: “Every candidate violates the election laws when they run for president…here they’re trying to elevate this into an impeachable offense or a felony against the president.” #Tucker
💽 https://twitter.com/FoxNews/status/1032071989433966598/photo/1

🐣 RT @dlippman “The verdict in the Manafort trial isn’t nearly as worrisome to me as the Cohen agreement and the Cohen statement,” said former Trump adviser Michael Caputo. “It’s probably the worst thing so far in this whole investigation stage of the presidency.”
⋙ Politico, Christopher Cadelago, Andrew Restuccia, Nancy Cook and Daniel Lippman: ‘It’s the only excuse they’ll need’: Legal blows fuel impeachment fears http://politi.co/2wi6Dns
// (great photo) The conviction of Trump’s former campaign chairman, guilty plea of his former personal lawyer and indictment of a leading congressional supporter raise Trump’s risks.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Michael Cohen: Trump’s greatest fear comes true http://wapo.st/2MpydtO

WaPo, Karen Tumulty: Nope, not a witch hunt http://wapo.st/2BB3zJ4

🐣 RT @nowthisnews This parody song about Michael Cohen and Trump’s other leaking ex-staffers will add some much-needed levity to your night http://bit.ly/2LeatmZ
https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1032113380348362752/photo/1 😂 ;-D

NYT: 6 Takeaways From Michael Cohen’s Guilty Plea http://nyti.ms/2OVeXRE

💙 NYT, Noah Bookbinder, Barry Berke and Norman Eisen: What the Manafort Verdict Means http://nyti.ms/2nWF2o9
// It’s Robert Mueller’s biggest victory yet, in one of the most successful special counsel investigations in history.

💙 NYT Editorial: All the President’s Crooks http://nyti.ms/2whvJ5T
// One of them, Mr. Trump’s own lawyer, has now implicated him in a crime.

🐣 RT @brianstelter An admitted felon is “saying that his co-conspirator and/or his aider and abetter was the president of the United States. That is something that I think is basically without precedent in American history” —@JeffreyToobin

🐣 RT @brianstelter Trump mocking the press: “Where is the collusion? You know they’re still looking for collusion. Where is the collusion? Find some collusion. We want to find the collusion.”

CNN, Brian Stelter: Stranger than fiction: Journalists marvel at a day almost hard to believe http://cnn.mon.ie/2Pv7vOD

🐣 RT @brianstelter Page One headline of Wednesday’s @washingtonpost: “Convictions tighten squeeze on Trump” https://twitter.com/brianstelter/status/1032089204224864256/photo/1

🐣 RT @brianstelter NYT page one: “PLEADING GUILTY, COHEN IMPLICATES PRESIDENT” https://twitter.com/brianstelter/status/1032098147181453313/photo/1

🐣 RT @JohnHarwood Lanny Davis, on Rachel Maddow, suggests strongly that his client Michael Cohen has information for Mueller on Trump campaign collusion with Russia and Trump’s knowledge of plans for Russian hacking before the hacking occurred

‼️NYT: Paul Manafort Guilty of 8 Charges in Fraud Trial http://nyti.ms/2Lh1npw

‼️NYT: COHEN PLEADS GUILTY, IMPLICATING PRESIDENT http://nyti.ms/2nZGKFm Michael Cohen Says He Arranged Payments to Women at Trump’s Direction

🐣 RT @SethAbramson In June ’16, Felix Sater wrote Michael Cohen and said if Cohen accepted an invitation to Moscow for before the GOP convention, he’d meet Putin. Cohen declined—then went to Italy for a “vacation” where his alibi on where he went has fallen apart. The dossier wasn’t wrong on Cohen.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Michael Cohen’s lawyer says that Cohen has been having frequent chats with John Dean, ex-White House counsel who turned on Nixon.

🐣 RT @DavidCornDC If Bill Clinton’s actions deserved impeachment, then certainly Trump’s should warrant a congressional investigation.

🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Seems like a good day to quote Kenny Rogers. “You can’t outrun the long arm of the law”. Dedicated to Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Chris Collins, Duncan Hunter and the Trump crime family.

🐣 RT @davidaxelrod This Cohen plea is as bad as it could be for @POTUS and maybe as bad as he feared.

🐣 RT @tribelaw 🐣 RT @tribelaw Whether or not *called* an unindicted co-conspirator, that’s what the sitting president IS as of close of business today, August 21, 2018, a day that will live in legal infamy. That’s the import of two of Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas.

🐣 RT @JimAcosta Source close to WH says WH had hoped for favorable verdict in Manafort case as they had plans to attack the Mueller investigation in the event of mistrial or not guilty verdict. The plan was to attack the Mueller investigation if the Manafort case had gone their way, source said.

🐣 RT @DanPfeiffer Amidst all the noise, the pleas, the convictions, the split screens, etc, here’s what matters — Michael Cohen stood in court and said that the President of the United States directed him to commit a crime

🐣 RT @MichaelAvenatti We. Are. Coming. We are going to end this dumpster fire of a presidency one way or another.
💽 Msnbc: https://twitter.com/MichaelAvenatti/status/1032023697891176448/photo/1

🐣 RT @EricHolder In spite of spurious, unjustified and unprecedented attacks, people in federal law enforcement did their jobs and, as usual, did them well. Guilty plea. Guilty verdict. Criminal acts. This is not a witch hunt.

🐣 RT @JohnHarwood President Trump’s campaign chairman, national security adviser and personal lawyer are now all convicted or admitted felons

🐣 RT @bradheath DOJ says Cohen billed “the Company” $180,035 for the payment to Stormy Daniels and what he called “tech services.” (He also wanted to be reimbursed the $35 wire fee.) Executives “grossed up” the payment to $360,000, then threw in a $60,000 bonus.

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Christopher Steele’s Victory in a D.C. Court http://bit.ly/2LgQlAH
// A D.C. judge has dismissed a defamation suit filed by Russia’s Alfa Bank against the former British intelligence officer and author of the dossier alleging ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

🐣 RT @LannyDavis Michael Cohen took this step today so that his family can move on to the next chapter. This is Michael fulfilling his promise made on July 2nd to put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump.
🐣 RT @LannyDavis Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election. If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?
// Lanny Davis is Cohen’s Lawyer

🐣 It’s a  Good Day  in America. It’s a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day in Trumpmerica. #MAGA-Not!

💥 WaPo: Michael Cohen says he worked to silence two women ‘in coordination’ with Trump to influence 2016 election http://wapo.st/2OSVIZi

💥 WaPo: Manafort convicted on 8 counts; mistrial declared on 10 others http://wapo.st/2Bxf8kz

JustSecurity, John Sipher (Jan 2018): The Steele Dossier in 2018: Everyone’s Favorite Weapon http://bit.ly/2nVJxPK

JustSecurity, John Sipher (Sep 2017): A Second Look at the Steele Dossier: Knowing What We Know Now http://bit.ly/2wHK6BO
// 9/26/2017

Editor: In this special Just Security article, highly respected former member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, John Sipher examines the Steele dossier using methods that an intelligence officer would to try to validate such information

Although the reports were produced episodically, almost erratically, over a five-month period, they present a coherent narrative of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. …Orbis was not saying that everything that it reported was accurate, but that it had made a good-faith effort to pass along faithfully what its identified insiders said was accurate.

The dossier of FSB-collected information on Hillary Clinton was managed by Kremlin chief spokesman Dimitry Peskov.

They allege that Paul Manafort managed the conspiracy to exploit political information on Hillary Clinton in return for information on Russian oligarchs outside Russia, and an agreement to “sideline” Ukraine as a campaign issue.

Carter Page is also said to have played a role in shuttling information to Moscow … Michael Cohen, reportedly took over efforts after Manafort left the campaign, personally providing cash payments for Russian hackers. In one account, Putin and his aides expressed concern over kick-backs of cash to Manafort from former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which they feared might be discoverable by U.S. authorities. 

In late fall 2016, the Orbis team reported that a Russian-supported company had been “using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct ‘altering operations’ against the Democratic Party leadership.”  Hackers recruited by the FSB under duress were involved in the operations.  According to the report, Michael Cohen insisted that payments be made quickly and discreetly, and that cyber operators should go to ground and cover their tracks.

While in London [Steele] worked as the personal handler of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko.

Well before any public knowledge of these events, the Orbis report identified multiple elements of the Russian operation including a cyber campaign, leaked documents related to Hillary Clinton, and meetings with Paul Manafort and other Trump affiliates to discuss the receipt of stolen documents.  Mr. Steele could not have known that the Russians stole information on Hillary Clinton, or that they were considering means to weaponize them in the U.S. election, all of which turned out to be stunningly accurate.

We learned that when Carter Page traveled to Moscow in July 2016, he met with close Putin ally and Chairman of the Russian state oil company, Igor Sechin.  A later Steele report also claimed that he met with Parliamentary Secretary Igor Divyekin while in Moscow.  Renowned investigative journalist Michael Isikoff reported in September 2016 that U.S. intelligence sources confirmed that Page met with both Sechin and Divyekin during his July trip to Russia. What’s more, the Justice Department obtained a wiretap in summer 2016 on Page after satisfying a court that there was sufficient evidence to show Page was operating as a Russian agent.

… In late December 2016, Sechin’s chief of staff, Oleg Erovinkin “who may have been a source for ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s Trump dossier,” according to multiple reports, was found dead in the back of his car in Moscow.

While the Orbis team had no way to know it, subsequent reports from U.S. officials confirmed that Washington-based diplomat Mikhail Kalugin was an undercover intelligence officer and was pulled out of the Embassy and sent home in summer 2016.

Xollowing the inauguration, Cohen was involved, again with Felix Sater, to engage in back-channel negotiations seeking a means to lift sanctions via a semi-developed Russian-Ukrainian plan (which also included the hand delivery of derogatory information on Ukrainian leaders) also fits with Orbis reporting related to Cohen.

Of the hundreds of Republican positions and proposals, they altered only the single sentence that called for maintaining or increasing sanctions against Russia,

The important factor to consider is that Trump did not engage with the prostitutes himself, but instead allegedly sought to denigrate Obama.  If there is anything consistent in what we have learned about President Trump, it seems that his policies are almost exclusively about overturning and eradicating anything related to President Obama’s tenure.

While it is not worth serious exploration, the notion that Trump might be involved with beautiful young women as alleged in the reports doesn’t seem to be much of a stretch. [Written before Stormy Daniels story broke]

Suffice it to say that Trumps obsequiousness toward Putin, his continued cover-ups, and his irrational acquiescence to Russian interests, often in direct opposition to his own Administration and Party, keep the issue on the table. [Again, this is Sep 2017]

[T]he hesitancy to be honest about contacts with Russia is consistent with allegations of a conspiracy.

DailyBeast: Russian Journalists Murdered in Africa May Have Been Set Up http://thebea.st/2OUvzcp
// The three thought they knew the risks, but the Central African Republic is a new military and mining playground for Putin and his greedy friends. Journalists aren’t welcome.

🐣 RT @brianklaas Trump’s cowardly remarks during his press conference in Helsinki make him effectively complicit in these ongoing Kremlin-directed cyber attacks against the US. He all but invited Putin to continue these attacks by again acting as Putin’s chief apologist.
RT @RVAwonk BREAKING: Microsoft has detected & seized websites created by Russian govt hackers targeting conservative US think tanks that have broken with Trump & are pushing for continued sanctions against Moscow, exposing oligarchs, or pressing for human rights.
⋙ NYT: New Russian Hacking of Republican Groups that have Broken with Trump, Microsoft Says http://nyti.ms/2BulCAt

⭕ 20 Aug 2018

🐣 RT @GenHayden And the special ops admiral who had tactical control of the bin Laden raid
⋙ 🐣 RT @NedPrice Trump is assailing the Marine who led the FBI in the years after 9/11 and the career CIA official who ended up coordinating the Bin Laden raid. That says a lot more about him than them.

DeadlineWH: Don McGahn…. has seen everything, knows everything and [he] is going to tell the truth. That is why the President had a meltdown. He figured out this weekend that the White House counsel is not your lawyer and he didn’t lie for you”- @SteveSchmidtSES w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1031671114504855552/photo/1

🐣 RT @stuartstevens Keep pointing out that Gore 2000 campaign received stolen Bush debate book, which would have helped tremendously in prep. (I had one of few copies; it was well done.) They turned it over to FBI. That stolen info came from Austin, not Russia. What Rudy is saying is so absurd.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jonallendc Stunned by the number of people, including Rudy Giuliani, who confess the belief that anyone in politics would take stolen information from an adversarial foreign government to win an election. In this view, there are no means to victory that are not justified by victory.

FastCompany, Sarah Kendzior: Donald Trump Will Do Anything To Avoid Prosecution–And John Bolton Will Help http://bit.ly/2nViyUy

🐣 Reuters: Exclusive: FBI probing cyber attack on congressional campaign in California – sources http://reut.rs/2nUim8a

🐣💙💙 RT @BillKristol Trump tweets that Robert Mueller is “disgraced and discredited” and has working with him a “whole group of Angry Democrat Thugs.” The truth:
💽 https://twitter.com/BillKristol/status/1031525995885547520/photo/1

WaPo, Paul Waldman: The most intense and dangerous period of the Trump presidency is about to begin http://wapo.st/2N767jC

🐣 RT @JillWineBanks 45 said don’t believe what you see or hear and Giuliani ssid “truth isn’t truth”, but the evidence is clear whether it’s about getting help from Russia, Trump Tower meeting, firing Comey, revoking security clearances as punishment for speaking against 45, and more.

🐣 RT @antontroian Putin quote for ages: “As for who to believe, who you can’t believe, can you believe at all — you can’t believe anyone.”

🐣 Chuck Todd gave Giuliani several chances to ‘take back the stupid.’ Don’t forget that a couple days earlier, he denied that Trump ever even talked to Comey about Flynn, then lied when a confronted w taped evidence. (Also, I seriously doubt that he wrote that recantation tweet.)

WaPo, Paul Waldman: The most intense and dangerous period of the Trump presidency is about to begin http://wapo.st/2Ppz5g0

WaPo: Brennan says he’s willing to take Trump to court over security clearances http://wapo.st/2N2FvQs

🐣 RT @MichaelAvenatti Contrary to Trump, Giuliani and the rest of Trump’s con men, Truth IS Truth. We need to end this con job.
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”-John Adams

🐣 To: @real Obstruction of Justice is like a “Chinese Finger Trap.” The harder you try to “FIGHT BACK” the harder it is to get free. In fact, if you “FIGHT BACK” by bullying, bribing, or coordinating with witnesses, you can get nailed for Witness Tampering.
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1031531380818280448/photo/1
🐣 To: @real Obstruction of Justice is a crime. So are witness tampering, bribery, bank fraud, tax evasion and money laundering. So is perjury. Abuse of power, though not crime, is an impeachable offense, as Nixon found out.
🐣 To: @real Conspiracy to defraud the United States is the crime.

🐣 .@MerriamWebster has its Word of the Year: Councel.

🔥⋙ FoxNews: “John Bolton on Sunday suggested that former CIA Dir John Brennan might have misused classified information, and that the ‘unprecedented leaks’ from the admin may prompt broader changes in how security clearances are handled.” http://fxn.ws/2BodKAs  @Morning_Joe

🐣 RT @jonallendc Stunned by the number of people, including Rudy Giuliani, who confess the belief that anyone in politics would take stolen information from an adversarial foreign government to win an election. In this view, there are no means to victory that are not justified by victory.

🐣 Wow! About 250 intel officials have now signed on to the letter rebuking Trump for politicizing security clearances, per @JoeNBC on @Morning_Joe @MSNBC

⭕ 19 Aug 2018

🐣 RT @BFriedmanDC Let’s talk about national security and what it means to be a patriot. This is the Situation Room during the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden. These are the people responsible for it. And this is what Donald Trump has to say about each of them. ¤ I know whose side I’m on.
https://twitter.com/BFriedmanDC/status/1031253617301446658/photo/1
// photo annotated w Tweets

🐣 RT @AaronBlake … And the coup de grace: “Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and *The Russian government attorney* who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.” http://wapo.st/2MA16CW
⋙ “All they knew that a woman with a Russian name was going to meet with them, they didn’t know she represented the Russian government,” @RudyGiuliani says on the Trump tower meeting. #MTP

🐣 RT @JohnHarwood it’s the most important fact in the entire Trump/Russia scandal
⋙ 🐣 RT @armandodkos It’s amazing that this basic fact has not sunk in with parts of the Media- Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner took a meeting in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016 expecting to meet and conspire with officials of the Russian government to help Trump get elected.

🐣 RT @bjaninemorison Why is it that “FAKE NEWS” only became a phrase only after we had a “FAKE PRESIDENT” elected with the help of Russian hacking and collusion.
https://twitter.com/bjaninemorison/status/1031451559958212609/photo/1
// “You tell people a lie 3 times, they will believe anything …” ~ Art of the Deal

🐣 RT @CarlosLozadaWP
*When @seanspicer said inaugural crowd was the biggest, he wanted us to believe a specific untruth.
*When @KellyannePolls invoked “alternative truths,” it meant we could choose any truth.
*When Giuliani says “truth isn’t truth,” he means there is no truth but Trump’s.
#StepByStep

WaPo, EJ Dionne: America is slouching toward autocracy http://wapo.st/2OS6zTf

🐣 RT @djrothkopf To those of you who are too young to remember Watergate, rest assured, this is worse. Trump is a much less competent, much more dangerous, vastly more corrupt president than Nixon. And this time his co-conspirators are the entire GOP leadership of the Congress.

🐣 RT @MichaelBeschloss Soviet tanks roll into Prague to crush liberalization, 50 years ago today: https://twitter.com/BeschlossDC/status/1031402022078173184/photo/1
// newspaper

🐣 RT @justinhendrix Giuliani: “Truth isn’t truth.”
Trump: “Remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
Orwell: “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1031408861402550272/photo/1
// 1984, stark white on black ⇈

🐣 RT @AaronBlake By far the most notable thing here is that Trump considers a guy who exposed a major presidential scandal to be a “RAT.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @real The failing @nytimes wrote a Fake piece today implying that because White House Councel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel, he must be a John Dean type “RAT.” But I allowed him and all others to testify – I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide……

🐣 RT @NormEisen With @JohnBrennan raising possibility of legal action, give a listen to this from @BrookingsInst in which I explain his valid Constitutional claim (tho getting a court to order relief on that claim is a steep hill to climb)
⋙ @NormEisen explains in five minutes why Trump’s action to revoke @JohnBrennan’s security clearance may violate the First Amendment

🐣 RT @walterdellinger Hugo Black, for whom I earlier clerked, wrote these words at age 85 in his own shaky but firm handwriting. He believed these words passionately
// free press; “The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people”

🔄🐣 Can’t wait for the next episode of @MuellerSheWrote! It’s gonna be a doozy! https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1031390547380977664/photo/1

🐣 RT @brianklaas THIS IS A LIE. The e-mail proposing the meeting to Don Jr. specifically said: “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Don Jr. replied “I love it” and eagerly set-up the meeting.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MeetThePress “All they knew that a woman with a Russian name was going to meet with them, they didn’t know she represented the Russian government,” @RudyGiuliani says on the Trump tower meeting. #MTP

🐣 RT @AriMelber No, truth *is* truth *in court* — which is why witnesses are under oath, and courts rule on lies like perjury. ¤ Giuliani knows that as a prosecutor; and Trump knows that as the most litigious person to ever become President.

🐣 RT @DanRather Truth isn’t Truth” – It is as if Rudy Giuliani revels in writing the book titles for the historians of the future who will have to try to make sense of this President and all that is transpiring under his Administration.

🐣 RT @Kasparov63 Destroying the concept of objective truth is both a general principle for autocrats and a legal defense strategy. Trump needs both. [re: RG]

🐣 RT @JohnHarwood Slate’s Slow Burn podcast reminds us how long Nixon allies stuck w/him, refusing to accept who he was and what he had done. called it “witch hunt,” blamed partisan Dems/biased media, said public didn’t care, let the president do his job etc. But truth came out, and won out. 1/2
🐣 RT @JohnHarwood [I]t was political tribalism before the term came into common usage. Nixon allies found affirmation in him because he picked the right enemies 2/2

🐣 RT @EricBoehlert reminder as Mueller’s team works in 100% anonymity, Ken Starr’s team used to leak to the press ALL THE TEAM. ¤ his prosecutors practically set up conference calls w/ reporters to leak **while they were investigating POTUS**

NYT: Cohen, Trump’s Ex-Lawyer, Investigated for Bank Fraud in Excess of $20 Million http://nyti.ms/2PrHakq

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok 🔥🎯 Historian @jmeacham says not only did @JohnBrennan have a right to call Trump treasonous, he had a duty as a statesman to say it if he felt it appropriate. Treason is defined in our constitution as giving aid & comfort to an enemy. This isn’t a time to dance around words.
💽 (msnbc clip)https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1031342883981340672

🐣 Lol @maggieNYT and @nytmike get to take a victory lap, describing the 🔥💥🔥 when the White House realized what their earlier article (http://nyti.ms/2N0qwqo) was saying ⋙
⋙ NYT: Trump Lawyers’ Sudden Realization: They Don’t Know What Don McGahn Told Mueller’s Team http://nyti.ms/2Mo1iG8
// Yeah, they probably finally read the article closely, and realized Mueller was not a source but McGahn most likely was (“a person familiar”). It implies McGahn felt he might be pressed out by new legal team; now they can’t do much. Nor can they box him out or keep him from meeting with Mueller without raising suspicions. Oh, the wicked web …
🐣 Love how @maggienyt and @nytmike make sure they get both exiled Bannon and Christie to rub Trump’s face in it, as well as allowing Dowd to cover his a**. The Schadenfreude is palpable as the #FakenewsNYT shows what it’s made of.

President Trump’s lawyers do not know just how much the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, told the special counsel’s investigators during months of interviews, a lapse that has contributed to a growing recognition that an early strategy of full cooperation with the inquiry was a potentially damaging mistake.

The president’s lawyers said on Sunday that they were confident that Mr. McGahn had said nothing injurious to the president during the 30 hours of interviews. But Mr. McGahn’s lawyer has offered only a limited accounting of what Mr. McGahn told the investigators, according to two people close to the president.

That has prompted concern among Mr. Trump’s advisers that Mr. McGahn’s statements could help serve as a key component for a damning report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which the Justice Department could send to Congress, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers realized on Saturday that they had not been provided a full accounting after The New York Times published an article describing Mr. McGahn’s extensive cooperation with Mr. Mueller’s office. After Mr. McGahn was initially interviewed by the special counsel’s office in November, Mr. Trump’s lawyers never asked for a complete description of what Mr. McGahn had said, according to a person close to the president.

Mr. McGahn’s lawyer, William A. Burck, gave the president’s lawyers a short overview of the interview but few details, and he did not inform them of what Mr. McGahn said in subsequent interactions with the investigators, according to a person close to Mr. Trump.

But Mr. McGahn, who as White House counsel is not the president’s personal lawyer, has repeatedly made clear to the president that his role is as a protector of the presidency, not of Mr. Trump personally.

Legal experts and former White House counsels said the president’s lawyers had been careless in not asking Mr. McGahn what he had planned to tell Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors.

The report by The Times also reignited a debate about whether Mr. Trump had been given bad advice by his former lawyers Mr. Dowd and Ty Cobb to allow full cooperation with Mr. Mueller’s team, including by waiving attorney-client privilege. Mr. Dowd and Mr. Cobb believed that the cooperation would help prove that the president had done nothing wrong and bring a swifter end to the investigation.

But the strategy “put Don McGahn in an impossible situation, because once you waive that privilege and you turn over all those documents, Don McGahn has no choice then but to go in and answer everything, every question they could ask him,” Chris Christie, a former United States attorney and a close ally of Mr. Trump, said on ABC News’s “This Week.”

“It’s bad legal advice, bad lawyering, and this is a result of it,” Mr. Christie added.

Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, who had argued last summer against cooperating with Mr. Mueller, said, “This was a reckless and dangerously naïve strategy, and I’ve vocally said that since the time I left the White House, and I’ve said it to the president.”

In an email to members of Mr. Trump’s legal team and other associates, which was obtained by The Times, Mr. Dowd said he had made the right choice in urging cooperation.

“We protected President by not asserting attorney-client privilege,” Mr. Dowd wrote. He added that, had the lawyers forced the Mueller team to subpoena witnesses, they would have lost the ability to exert privilege over witnesses and documents.

Last fall, Mr. McGahn believed that he was being set up to be blamed for any wrongdoing by the president in part because of an article published in The Times in September, which described a conversation that a reporter had overheard between Mr. Dowd and Mr. Cobb.

In the conversation — which occurred over lunch at a table on the sidewalk outside the Washington steakhouse B.L.T. — Mr. Cobb discussed the White House’s production of documents to Mr. Mueller’s office. Mr. Cobb talked about how Mr. McGahn was opposed to cooperation and had documents locked in his safe.

After the account of the lunch conversation was published, Mr. McGahn became convinced that Mr. Cobb believed that he was hiding documents. Concerned that he would be blamed, he decided to try to demonstrate to Mr. Mueller that he and other White House lawyers had done nothing wrong.

As Mr. Trump’s lawyers have shifted to a more antagonistic approach toward Mr. Mueller, it has seemed increasingly unlikely that Mr. Trump will sit for a voluntary interview. On “Meet the Press,” Mr. Giuliani repeated his fear of a “perjury trap.”

“It’s somebody’s version of the truth, not the truth,” Mr. Giuliani said of any statements by the president in such an interview.

“Truth is truth,” the show’s host, Chuck Todd, answered.

“No, it isn’t truth,” Mr. Giuliani replied. “Truth isn’t truth.”

🐣 RT @ReliableSources As a a former Russia analyst .. I am convinced that the President of the United States is in thrall to Vladimir Putin,” says Lt. Col. Ralph Peters
💽 https://twitter.com/ReliableSources/status/1031200171542163460/photo/1
// accused former colleagues at Fox of being “prostitutes” in same interview

🐣 Giuliani said no one knew the meeting had to do “with the Russian government”
TheGuardian (7/11/2017): Full text of the emails between Donald Trump Jr and Rob Goldstone http://bit.ly/2L8Riej
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1031232459357278208/photo/1

🐣 .@secupp ~ @Ocasio2018 has NOT dominated news coverage on MSNBC, NYT, WaPo, WSJ or anything I watch/read. Trump’s meltdowns, his foreign policy debacles and separated families have. You must still watch @FoxNews @CNNsotu

DailyBeast: Ex-Fox News Analyst Ralph Peters Calls Former Colleagues Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson ‘Prostitutes’ http://thebea.st/2wdZuok
// ‘The polite word is prostitutes, so we’ll just leave it that,’ Ralph Peters said when he was asked about Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.

VanityFair: How Donald Trump and Roy Cohn’s Ruthless Symbiosis Changed America http://bit.ly/2Bnk63l
// 6/28/2017, In 1973, a brash young would-be developer from Queens met one of New York’s premier power brokers: Roy Cohn, whose name is still synonymous with the rise of McCarthyism and its dark political arts. With the ruthless attorney as a guide, Trump propelled himself into the city’s power circles and learned many of the tactics that would inexplicably lead him to the White House years later.

🐣 RT @renati_marriotti “Truth isn’t truth.” – Rudy Giuliani
This is their mantra. They overload the media with falsehoods because they know the falsehoods will be repeated and public opinion will shift accordingly. The Administration’s falsehoods should not be reported without proper context.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MeetThePress ..@RudyGiuliani on Trump testifying with Mueller: “I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury… it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth.”
@chucktodd: “Truth is truth”
GIULIANI: “No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth.” #MTP

🐣 RT @JakeTapper “Tough as he was, Roy (Cohn, McCarthy’s protege) always had a lot of friends, and I’m not embarrassed to say I was one. He was a truly loyal guy…a great guy to have on your side…” ¤ – Donald Trump. “The Art of the Deal”
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!

🐣 RT @ McCarthy’s chief counsel, Roy Cohn, was Trump’s lawyer and mentor in the 70s and ’80s. Trump still idolizes Cohn, even though Cohn used him as an easy mark who’d buy up tons and tons of concrete from Cohn’s other clients of the day…the Gambino and Genovese crime families.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!

🐣 Enjoy! 1984 http://amzn.to/2L5UYO8 1hr 50mins
McCarthy Hearings.: “Point of Order” https://youtu.be/wJHsur3HqcI 1hr 35mins

🐣 RT @GOPLeader Another day, another example of conservatives being censored on social media. @jack easy fix: explain to Congress what is going on. #StopTheBias cc @IngrahamAngle https://twitter.com/GOPLeader/status/1030501196879089670/photo/1
🐣 She controls that account setting.

Zakaria: 10% of companies ~ 80% of corporate profits. Productivity gains due to technology; intellectual property.

🐣 Between @RudyGiuliani and @AmbJohnBolton we’re definitely in Newspeak territory. #1984

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw The cruel irony of John Bolton’s justifying security clearance revocations will not be lost on many.
Bolton: “[@JohnBrennan] and others in the Obama administration were politicizing intelligence. I think that’s a very dangerous thing to do.”
💽 On @ThisWeekABC https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1031179538670206978/photo/1

🐣 RT @EdKrassen No Joke!
@RudyGiuliani really just said “Truth isn’t Truth” ¤
Truth has always been the truth.
Truth is based on facts.
Truth is what really happened.
Something is either True or it is False! ¤
I can’t believe people actually support this crap!
WAKE UP!
💽 ⋙ 🐣 RT @MeetThePress https://twitter.com/EdKrassen/status/1031176014276304896/photo/1

🐣 RT @Rschooley I smell a convention theme. https://twitter.com/Rschooley/status/1031197902322843648/photo/1
🐣 RT @Rschooley Counterpoint: This will be a very good meme. https://twitter.com/Rschooley/status/1031193402983870464/photo/1
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @NBCNewsPR –> “Truth isn’t truth.”
Rudy Giuliani, lawyer for President Trump, just told @MeetThePress’ @ChuckTodd. #MTP
⋙ 🐣 Right up there with what the meaning of the word “is” is.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand What??? The email to Don Jr. said the meeting was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @MeetThePress “All they knew that a woman with a Russian name was going to meet with them, they didn’t know she represented the Russian government,” @RudyGiuliani says on the Trump tower meeting. #MTP

🐣 RT @jk_rowling I do’nt care what Kids at School call me because they are all Disgusting Fake Losers and my Real Friends go to a diffrent Scool you haven’t heard of and they think Im the Coolest and Smartest and we go to parties and I don’t have to tell you there Names for this to be True.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Some members of the media are very Angry at the Fake Story in the New York Times. They actually called to complain and apologize – a big step forward. From the day I announced, the Times has been Fake News, and with their disgusting new Board Member, it will only get worse!

🐣 RT @emptywheel One does not need a secret source (or 12 of them!) at WH to show that Don McGahn’s in the thick of Roger Stone’s 2016 rat-fuckery. He’s on court filings for them. And public record shows that’s a focus of Mueller’s investigation.

🐣 [Why Hillary lost] I made a list the day after the election which is still on the refrigerator. 60+ reasons. And it didn’t even include Russia.

🐣 Rudy Giuliani: “Truth isn’t truth.” Srsly. It’s just someone’s version of the truth. To @chucktodd on @MeetThePress

🐣 RT @JoeNBC Anyone who has known Trump for years, and doesn’t have a stake in his political career or the GOP, says the same. He is unwell and has been getting progressively worse over the past 18 months.
⋙ 🐣 RT @PeterWehner Mr. Trump was emotionally/psychologically unwell when he became president. His condition is clearly worsening. He’s becoming more volatile, erratic and unstable. At some point he’s going to blow apart. When he does it’ll create a crisis. This won’t end well. Pray for our country.

🐣 RT @CNN: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: “The common denominator among all of us that have been speaking up though is genuine concern about the jeopardy or threats of our institutions and values” #CNNSOT
💽 https://twitter.com/CNNPolitics/status/1031167201317986304/photo/1
// Chryon: Clapper: I didn’t mean Trump committed treason

🐣 Wow. @JohnBrennan does not deny @chucktodd’s challenge that he is accusing Trump of treason. @MeetThePress

🐣 RT @real Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!
⋙ Psssst: You’re McCarthy. Mueller is Welch: “You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

🐣 RT @PalmerReport WHAT THE HELL IS A COUNCEL?
⋙ 🐣 He used to refer the Special Counsel a “Council.” My guess is someone tried to correct him and he went half-way to “Councel.” He’s been using “Councel” for a while now.

⭕ 18 Aug 2018

🐣 RT @JohnDean Nixon, generally very competent, bungled and botched his handling of Watergate. Trump, a total incompetent, is bungling and botching his handling of Russiagate. Fate is never kind to bunglers and/or botchers! Unlike Nixon, however, Trump won’t leave willingly or graciously.

ABCNews: The conservative DC legal group behind a challenge to Mueller probe http://abcn.ws/2vUnai4 //➔ behind the refusal of Roger Sone’s associate, Andrew Miller, to appear before a grand jury is a plan “to mount a broad legal challenge to the legitimacy of the special counsel probe”

The National Legal and Policy Center is backing a subpoena fight launched by Andrew Miller, a former associate of Trump confidant and political provocateur Roger Stone, who has refused a demand from prosecutors to appear before a grand jury. He is objecting, the lawyers said, in order to mount a broad legal challenge to the legitimacy of the special counsel probe.

Slate, Isaac Chotiner: What John Dean Has to Say About the NYT’s Blockbuster Don McGahn Story http://bit.ly/2vWsFwV

🐣 RT @Frank_Schaefer Republicans have a habit of rejecting awkward facts and attributing them to conspiracies. It’s not a big jump from claiming that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the scientific community to asserting that Trump is the blameless target of a vast deep state conspiracy.

💽≣💙💙 MSNBC/TRMS, Steve Benen: Rachel Maddow interviews John Brennan: Read the full transcript http://on.msnbc.com/2BqJTaV
// with video

“I know what the Russians did in interfering in the election. I have 100% confidence in what they did. For Mr. Trump to stand on that stage in Helsinki with all the world’s eyes upon him and he doesn’t understand why would the Russians interfere in the elections. He’s given them a pass time after time after time and keeps referring to it as a witch-hunt and bogus and, to me, this was an attack against the foundational principle of our republic the right of all Americans to choose their elected leaders.” – Ex-CIA Director John Brennan

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: The Michael Cohen Bribery Scandal Is Now a Trump Bribery Scandal http://nym.ag/2OLjru8
// 5/16/2018

🐣 RT @GenMhayden Interesting theme. Since the Brennan thing started, the meme in the intel community is “I am Spartacus”
// context: The quote “I am Spartacus” is dervied from the 1960 movie “Spartacus” directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas as the titular role. Near the end of the film, a Roman general announces to a group of former slaves that unsuccesfully fought againsts their rulers that unless Spartacus is turned over to them, all of the slaves will be crucified. Spartacus is then willing to turn himself in to protect his friends by standing up and proclaiming “I am Spartacus!”, but then the rest of the slaves show their loyalty to him by also proclaming that himself is Spartacus in great numbers. Since the general still doesn’t know who the real Spartacus is, all of the slaves are led to crucifixion.

🐣 RT @SenJeffMerkley Elie Wiesel said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

NYT, Paul Krugman: The Slippery Slope of Complicity http://nyti.ms/2vX1dii

At this point, you have to be a truly fanatical practitioner of bothsidesism not to see that Trump is every bit as terrible a human being, and every bit as much a menace to the republic, as some of us warned when all the cool kids were busy snarking about Clinton’s emails.

The real news of the past few weeks isn’t that Trump is a wannabe Mussolini who can’t even make the trains run on time. It’s the absence of any meaningful pushback from Congressional Republicans.

Make no mistake: if Republicans hold both houses of Congress this November, Trump will go full authoritarian, abusing institutions like the I.R.S., trying to jail opponents and journalists on, er, trumped-up charges, and more — and he’ll do it with full support from his party.

But my guess is that most Republican politicians are spineless rather than sinister — or, more accurately, sinister in their spinelessness. They’re not really ideologues so much as careerists, whose instinct is always to go along with the party line. And this instinct has drawn them ever deeper into complicity.

To some extent this is just human weakness in action. But there are some special aspects of the modern GOP that make it especially vulnerable to this kind of slide into leader-worship. The party has long been in the habit of rejecting awkward facts and attributing them to conspiracies: it’s not a big jump from claiming that climate change is a giant hoax perpetrated by the entire scientific community to asserting that Trump is the blameless target of a vast deep state conspiracy.

And modern Republican politicians are, with few exceptions, apparatchiks: they are creatures of a monolithic movement that doesn’t allow dissent but protects the loyal from risk.

Even now, I don’t think most political commentators have grasped how deep the rot goes. I don’t think they understand, or at any rate admit to themselves, that democracy really could die just a few months from now.

And if it doesn’t, if Republicans lose Congress and Trump leaves office on or before January 2021, the same people who kept declaring that Trump just became president will try to go back to pretending that Republican politicians are serious, honorable people who care about policy. But they aren’t.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Brennan’s security revocation, as part of an orgy of revocations and threats overtly designed to punish and gag Trump’s critics and cripple those investigating him, is an unconstitutional and impeachable abuse of power endangering our national security.

🔄◕💙 NYT, Linda Qiu: Truth-Testing Trump’s 250-Plus Attacks on the Russia Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2MY609E
Attacks accelerating: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1031092360728530945/photo/1
// We assessed President Trump’s claims about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the ensuing federal investigation of his campaign.

💙💙 NYT: McGahn, White House Counsel, Has Cooperated Extensively in Mueller Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2PmqQ4m
// by Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman

In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s fury toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it. He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer.

Among them were Mr. Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and Mr. Trump’s obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the inquiry, including his repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of it. Mr. McGahn was also centrally involved in Mr. Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which investigators might not have discovered without him.

Mr. McGahn’s cooperation began in part as a result of a decision by Mr. Trump’s first team of criminal lawyers to collaborate fully with Mr. Mueller.

Mr. McGahn and his lawyer, William A. Burck, could not understand why Mr. Trump was so willing to allow Mr. McGahn to speak freely to the special counsel and feared Mr. Trump was setting up Mr. McGahn to take the blame for any possible illegal acts of obstruction, according to people close to him. So he and Mr. Burck devised their own strategy to do as much as possible to cooperate with Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that Mr. McGahn did nothing wrong.

It is not clear that Mr. Trump appreciates the extent to which Mr. McGahn has cooperated with the special counsel. The president wrongly believed that Mr. McGahn would act as a personal lawyer would for clients and solely defend his interests to investigators, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking.

But the two rarely speak one on one — the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and other advisers are usually present for their meetings — and Mr. Trump has questioned Mr. McGahn’s loyalty. In turn, Mr. Trump’s behavior has so exasperated Mr. McGahn that he has called the president “King Kong” behind his back, to connote his volcanic anger, people close to Mr. McGahn said.

As White House counsel, not a personal lawyer, he viewed his role as protector of the presidency, not of Mr. Trump.

Mr. McGahn’s decision to cooperate with the special counsel grew out of Mr. Dowd’s and Mr. Cobb’s game plan, now seen as misguided by some close to the president.

Mr. McGahn was stunned, as was Mr. Burck, whom he had recently hired out of concern that he needed help to stay out of legal jeopardy, according to people close to Mr. McGahn. Mr. Burck has explained to others that he told White House advisers that they did not appreciate the president’s legal exposure and that it was “insane” that Mr. Trump did not fight a McGahn interview in court.

Even if the president did nothing wrong, Mr. Burck told White House lawyers, the White House has to understand that a client like Mr. Trump probably made politically damaging statements to Mr. McGahn as he weighed whether to intervene in the Russia investigation.

Worried that Mr. Trump would ultimately blame him in the inquiry, Mr. McGahn told people he was determined to avoid the fate of the White House counsel for President Richard M. Nixon, John W. Dean, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Watergate scandal.

Mr. McGahn decided to fully cooperate with Mr. Mueller. It was, he believed, the only choice he had to protect himself.

“This sure has echoes of Richard Nixon’s White House counsel, John Dean, who in 1973 feared that Nixon was setting him up as a fall guy for Watergate and secretly gave investigators crucial help while still in his job,” said the historian Michael Beschloss.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers still had a chance to keep Mr. McGahn’s insider knowledge from the special counsel. By exerting attorney-client privilege, which allows the president to legally withhold information, they would have gained the right to learn what Mr. McGahn planned to tell investigators and what he might reveal that could damage the president. But the president’s lawyers never went through that process …

Mr. Mueller has told the president’s lawyers that he will follow Justice Department guidance that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. Rather than charge Mr. Trump if he finds evidence of wrongdoing, he is more likely to write a report that can be sent to Congress for lawmakers to consider impeachment proceedings.

Unencumbered, Mr. Burck and Mr. McGahn met the special counsel team in November for the first time and shared all that Mr. McGahn knew.

To investigators, Mr. McGahn was a fruitful witness, people familiar with the investigation said. He had been directly involved in nearly every episode they are scrutinizing to determine whether the president obstructed justice. To make an obstruction case, prosecutors who lack a piece of slam-dunk evidence generally point to a range of actions that prove that the suspect tried to interfere with the inquiry.

Mr. McGahn gave to Mr. Mueller’s investigators, the people said, a sense of the president’s mind-set in the days leading to the firing of Mr. Comey; how the White House handled the firing of the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn; and how Mr. Trump repeatedly berated Mr. Sessions, tried to get him to assert control over the investigation and threatened to fire him.

Mr. Mueller, armed with Mr. McGahn’s account, is still trying to interview witnesses close to the president. But the White House has a new lawyer for the investigation, Emmet T. Flood, who has strong views on privilege issues. When the special counsel asked to interview Mr. Kelly, Mr. Flood contested the request, rather than fully cooperate.

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs The term “multiculturalism” at first was about large cultural groups, such as French-speaking Canadians, or Muslim immigrants, or African Americans. But soon it became a vision of a society fragmented into many small groups with distinct experiences.
⋙ 💙💙 ForeignAffairs, Francis Fukuyama: Against Identity Politics ~ The New Tribalism and the Crisis of Democracy http://fam.ag/2wbOJmd
// Sep-Oct 2018 issue

⭕ 17 Aug 2018

ForeignAffairs, Alina Polyakova and Benjamin Haddad: Europe in the New Era of Great Power Competition http://fam.ag/2OQbcwP //➔ Europe begins to slip away
Text (End): https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1031414066361847808/photo/1
// How the EU Can Stand Up to Trump and China

🐣 RT @MalcolmNance WARNING: What happened to Austrian Intelligence (BVT) by the Russian backed Far Right Freedom Party government (founded by WW2 Nazis) is what Trump wants to do to the CIA … gut it for personal reasons.
⋙ WaPo: Austria’s far-right ordered a raid on its own intelligence service. Now allies are freezing the country out. http://wapo.st/2wcVLqT

NYT: Mueller Asks for Jail Time for Papadopoulos, Saying He Repeatedly Lied http://nyti.ms/2Bk1cdz

The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has told a judge that a former adviser to the Trump campaign repeatedly lied about his contacts with Russian operatives and “caused damage” to the government’s inquiry.

In a document filed Friday evening, the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said that the former adviser, George Papadopoulos, misled investigators about the “timing, extent and nature” of the meetings. During one of them, Mr. Papadopoulos was told that Russia had damaging information about Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”

“The defendant lied in order to conceal his contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries during the campaign,” the memo said. It happened early in the investigation “when key investigative decisions, including who to interview and when, were being made.”

In particular, the document said that during a January 2017 interview with the F.B.I., Mr. Papadopoulos misled agents about his conversations with Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor who investigators believe reached out to Mr. Papadopoulos on behalf of the Russian government.

“The defendant’s lies undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States,” the memo said. “The government understands that the professor left the United States on Feb. 11, 2017, and he has not returned to the United States since then.”

During a meeting in spring 2016, shortly after he was named as an adviser to the Trump campaign, Mr. Papadopoulos was told by Professor Mifsud that the Russians had thousands of incriminating emails about Mrs. Clinton. It has long been a mystery whether Mr. Papadopoulos told anyone inside the Trump campaign about the Russian dirt, and the document filed Friday does not answer the question.

Mr. Papadopoulos did, however, make reference to the Russian dirt during a conversation he had in a London bar in May 2016 with the senior Australian diplomat in Britain. The Australians passed the information to the United States and, in July 2016, the F.B.I. opened its investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Mr. Mueller’s memo said Mr. Papadopoulos did not provide “substantial assistance” to the investigation, and that “much of the information provided by the defendant came only after the government confronted him with his own emails, text messages, internet search history and other information it had obtained via search warrants and subpoenas.”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 John Brennan: “I think he’s out of control. He has the steering wheel of the American vehicle in his hands and he’s veering wildly right now. He’s trying to preserve and protect himself. And so what more demonstration do you want? When things get really, really bad?” @maddow

🐣 RT @GovHowardDean Let’s not forget through all this that Trump is nothing but a cheap crook in his soul. He happens to be President so he can avoid his ultimate fate for a time. But eventually he will go down because has never been anything but a cheap crook.

🐣 RT @NBC Sixty former CIA officials sign letter responding to the removal of former CIA Director Brennan’s security clearance: ¤ “The country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”
Letter & Sigs: https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1030624090703503365/photo/1
Rest of Sigs: https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1030624090703503365/photo/2

🐣 RT @JoshTPM 3/ fled the US after speaking to the FBI.
🐣 RT @JoshTPM 2/ Special Counsels office locates Mifsud a couple weeks after talking to Papadopoulos. But GP had lied to them. So their information about his activities was limited and they couldn’t question him effectively or detail him. The dates suggest that he more or less immediately …
🐣 RT @JoshTPM As far as I know, this is the first time we’ve heard that Jospeh Mifsud was in the United States. If I’m reading the document correctly he was in the US soon after President Trump’s inauguration. Why? The other point I take from the sentencing recommendation is that …

🐣 RT @MSNBC WATCH: Segment 3: Brennan raises the prospect to @maddow that President Trump could also revoke the security clearances of Mueller team investigators, effectively disabling their ability to carry out the investigation: “How desperate is he going to get?”
⋙ MSNBC: Brennan: Russian intrusion did not end with Trump inauguration http://on.msnbc.com/2L4g1ka
// John Brennan, former CIA director, talks with Rachel Maddow about Russia’s continued efforts to impose itself on American politics to ensure its interests are being served.

🐣 RT @MSNBC Trump claimed he has no ties to Russia, but reporting in a new book by Craig Unger describes Russian mafia-linked money laundering involving Trump properties that goes back to the 1980s.
⋙ MSNBC: Craig Unger: Trump is a Russian asset in the White House http://on.msnbc.com/2M
// Unger tells Ari Melber that he found “at least 1300 times” over the past “20 or 30 years” where Russian money helped “Trump get rich again”.

🐣 RT @SethAbramson Based on all we know, the chances the “other country besides Russia” Papadopoulos got money from was *Israel* is extremely high, and there is a reasonable chance the money came from someone associated with WikiStrat, whose CEO met with Nader, Prince, and Trump Jr. in August 2016.

🐣 RT @bradheath Mueller’s office has noticed the comments Papadopoulos’ wife has been making to the press professing his innocence, and has a detailed footnote about why they’re false. https://twitter.com/bradheath/status/1030641962758692864/photo/1

WaPo: White House drafts more clearance cancellations demanded by Trump http://wapo.st/2KZOtw1 “… Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Bill Shine, the newly named deputy chief of staff, have discussed the optimum times to release them as a distraction during unfavorable news cycles.”

🐣 RT @BillKristol Trump on a career DOJ attorney’s security clearance: “I suspect I’ll be taking it away very quickly.” But it’s not clear Trump can legally do this. The president has broad authority but he’s not unfettered by laws, rules and procedures. The rule of law constrains the president.

Observer, John Schindler: ‘Idiocracy’ Come True: Even Pentagon Says Morons Are Inheriting the Earth http://bit.ly/2wcDWsb

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand JUST IN: Mueller says “a sentence of incarceration” for Papadopoulos of between 0-6 months would be “appropriate and warranted.”
Court doc: https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1030613454217007104/photo/1

≣ Statement by 60 ex-CIA officials condemning Trump’s revocation of John Brennan’s security clearance. “The country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1030631298707152897/photo/1

🐣 RT @KyleGriffin1 “As part of their efforts, prosecutors have subpoenaed casino magnate Steve Wynn, the former RNC finance chairman and longtime Trump friend, for copies of records and communications related to Broidy.”
⋙ WaPo: GOP fundraiser Broidy under investigation for alleged effort to sell government influence, people familiar with probe say http://wapo.st/2waA7nq

The Justice Department is investigating whether longtime Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy sought to sell his influence with the Trump administration by offering to deliver U.S. government actions for foreign officials in exchange for tens of millions of dollars, according to three people familiar with the probe.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand This is false. The alleged message said, “afraid they will be exposed.” Says nothing about an “anti trump Russia probe.” And “they” in this context meant the sensitive dossier sources.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real “Fox News has learned that Bruce Ohr wrote Christopher Steele following the firing of James Comey saying that he was afraid the anti-Trump Russia probe will be exposed.” Charles Payne @FoxBusiness How much more does Mueller have to see? They have blinders on – RIGGED!

🐣 RT @BillKristol Trump’s claim that he can personally choose to remove individuals’ clearances without consulting the agencies at which they work or used to work, without going through any of the normal procedures, with no documented showing of cause, etc., is another blow to the rule of law.

NYT, Tim Weiner: Trump Is Not a King http://nyti.ms/2nO2eEQ
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1031015213917773824/photo/1
// Mr. Weiner is the author of histories of the F.B.I. and C.I.A.; A group of top former intelligence and military leaders are sending a message to the nation’s troops and spies: think twice before following the president’s orders in a crisis.

In times of crisis, the leaders of the military and intelligence communities try to put aside their differences, often many and sundry, and work together for the good of the country. That’s what’s happening today with a remarkable group of retired generals, admirals and spymasters who have signed up for the resistance, telling the president of the United States, in so many words, that he is not a king.

The president aims to rid the government and the airwaves of his real and imagined enemies, especially anyone connected with the Russia investigation.

It’s clear that Mr. Brennan’s fierce political and personal attacks rattled the china in the Oval Office. The president essentially has accused Mr. Brennan of lèse majesté — the crime of criticizing the monarch, tantamount to treason.

It’s not a crime in the United States. That’s why we fought a revolution against a mad king.

You don’t need a secret decoder ring to see what’s happening here. John Brennan, who knows whereof he speaks, believes that the president is a threat to the security of the United States — a counterintelligence threat, no less, in thrall to President Vladimir Putin of Russia. The president attacks him, severing Mr. Brennan’s access to classified information. The deans of national security rise up to defend him — and, by implication, intelligence officers and federal investigators who are closing in on the White House.

They are sending a message to active-duty generals and admirals, soldiers and spies. Remember your oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Think twice before following this man’s orders in a crisis. You might first consider throwing down your stars.

NYT, Jeffrey Smith: Was It Illegal for Trump to Revoke Brennan’s Security Clearance? http://nyti.ms/2BiOSdG //➔ Mr. Smith is a former general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency
// The president not only violated the former C.I.A. director’s First Amendment rights but also made it harder for the government to draw on his expertise.

WaPo: White House drafts more clearance cancellations demanded by Trump http://wapo.st/2PjVWt8

CNN: Brian Klaas: Trump is inflicting long-term damage on ‘political culture’ http://cnnmon.ie/2OJXTxZ

🐣 RT @TrickFreee Donald Trump is afraid of the big bad former Director of the Organized Crime division for the U.S. Attorney Generals Office and member of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, Bruce Ohr.
// 8/11/2018

NYT: Embracing Conspiracy Theory, Trump Escalates Attack on Bruce Ohr http://nyti.ms/2BmwBfu

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Why the FBI Fired an Agent Who Wrote Anti-Trump Texts http://bit.ly/2Mzdh2X “Bowdich made a decision to have Strzok summarily dismissed … because he broke the cardinal rule that every agent is taught: Never embarrass the bureau.”
// The FBI’s disciplinary office had recommended Peter Strzok be suspended for two months but was overruled by the bureau’s deputy director.

The paperwork was signed. The former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who had become a lightning rod for efforts to undermine the Russia investigation, was set to receive a two-month suspension and a demotion as punishment for his alleged misconduct during the 2016 election. Then the FBI’s deputy director, David Bowdich, stepped in and fired him, saying he had undermined “the credibility of the FBI.”

James Gagliano, a retired FBI supervisory special agent who worked at the bureau for 25 years, acknowledged that Bowdich’s decision to overrule OPR was unusual. But “this was an unprecedented offense,” he argued. “OPR came up with what they thought was the most appropriate punishment, but Bowdich made a decision to have Strzok summarily dismissed instead, because he broke the cardinal rule that every agent is taught: Never embarrass the bureau.”

Bowdich told Strzok in a letter that he had no basis to appeal his dismissal, since it was made at a level above OPR, and it is still unclear whether Strzok plans to take legal action against the bureau for wrongful termination. “We’re considering our options,” his lawyer, Aitan Goelman, told me. For now, Strzok is fielding calls from book publishers and media outlets eager for a tell-all, according to a person familiar with his situation. But it’s a far cry from where he had hoped to be at this point. “He wanted to stay at the bureau,” this person said. “Obviously, now that’s no longer in the cards.”

💙💙 PoliticusUSA, Leo Vidal: Russian Oligarch Tweets Threat to Trump Over ‘Russiaphobia’ http://bit.ly/2Pg3UUh //➔ friend of Putin tweeted on 7/24 that Trump should stop access to secrets for Brennan, Hayden, Comey, McCabe, Clapper & Rice. Two days later, Trump wrote the order. 🔥

Klyushin is the Putin friend and oligarch who once claimed that it was because of him that Trump was elected president. Since he believes he is the one who put him in the White house, he now thinks it is up to him to control his behavior to make the U.S. more “Russia friendly.”

In his tweet, the powerful Russian businessman sent a warning to Trump that he needs to immediately stop encouraging a culture of fake news that spreads what he called “Russophobia.”

“Democrats and Republicans in the United States compete in the one who no longer loves Russia and who will come up with crueler sanctions. They stuff political points on this, and the people of Russia suffer. If Donald Trump does not extinguish the fire kindling FAKE NEWS Russophobia – it will be his last term,” Klyushin wrote according to Microsoft and Google translation applications. [sic]

Klyushin has also sent warnings to some Trump critics who the president has targeted for revocation of security clearances. In that tweet he wrote:

“Ex-CIA directors John Brennan and Michael Hayden, ex-FBI director James Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe, ex-director of the National Intelligence Service James Clapper, ex-national security adviser Susan Rice say goodbye to access to classified materials. Welcome to the real world!”

That tweet was sent out BEFORE Trump revoked Brennan’s security clearance.

It almost seems like Russian oligarchs now believe the United States is under their control the same way Russia is.

President Trump has often attacked the news media for presenting “fake news” instead of his version of the truth. Because of Trump’s attacks on the press, the United States Senate introduced a new resolution standing up for journalists against the president’s attacks.

“We swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, including the First Amendment,” Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, a Democrat and an sponsor of the resolution told Reuters. “Today, every senator upheld that oath by sending a message that we support the First Amendment, and we support the freedom of the press in the face of these attacks.”

So now Donald Trump is really in a difficult situation. On one hand he is being threatened by Russians. On the other hand, he is being attacked in the press. It seems that these competing interests cannot be reconciled. Either he will give up on attacking the press for “fake news” or he will continue fighting them and seeking to control the media the way his friend Putin does in Russia.

Based on what he has done so far, it is likely that Donald Trump will try to please Putin and his oligarch friends rather than the American people. Expect the attacks on freedom of the press to continue.

💙 WaPo: Trump gears up to strip more clearances from officials tied to Russia investigation http://wapo.st/2vRNQjH

NYT Editorial: Donald Trump, the Payback President http://nyti.ms/2L0ECpO
// What fun is it being president if you can’t use the tools of government to punish your critics?

… Mr. Brennan’s spanking is just the latest display of what has become standard operating procedure for this president: using the official levers of government to punish critics and to encourage other detractors to sit down and shut up.

Mr. Trump’s act of spite against Mr. Brennan is less ambitious and, frankly, less imaginative, than some of the other avenues of retribution he has explored[:] Aggrieved over what he considers insufficiently obsequious coverage by The Washington Post, Mr. Trump has repeatedly threatened to punish the paper’s owner, Jeff Bezos, by raising the postal rates paid by the online retail giant Amazon, of which Mr. Bezos is the founder and chief executive. Similarly, in the midst of his snit over the protests by National Football League players who have taken a knee during the national anthem, Mr. Trump instructed aides to brainstorm ideas for going after the league in last year’s tax-reform package.

Then there was the president’s failed attempt to block the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, which pretty much everyone recognized as part of his long-simmering animus toward the news media in general and CNN in particular. (The network is owned by Time Warner.)

At other times, Mr. Trump is vastly more forthright, as when explaining in an interview later Wednesday that he took away Mr. Brennan’s security clearance in part because of the latter’s early role in the Russia inquiry. Raging about how “these people” had led the “rigged witch hunt,” Mr. Trump reasoned, “So I think it’s something that had to be done.” The revelation was a remarkable echo of the president’s admission to NBC’s Lester Holt last year that he had fired the F.B.I. director, James Comey, in part over “this Russia thing” rather than the ludicrous official line that he had done so because of Mr. Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

At this point, one might ask why the White House even bothers to invent cover stories that the president himself will inevitably contradict. Mr. Trump obviously cherishes — and actively cultivates — his reputation as someone who will work to crush those who dare defy him.

Following the Group of 7 summit in June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada held a news conference in which he said that his country would respond in kind to any steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the United States and he promised that Canadians “will not be pushed around.” Outraged, Mr. Trump vowed to make Mr. Trudeau and his entire country pay for such impudence. “That’s going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada,” said Mr. Trump. “He learned. You can’t do that. You can’t do that.”

Politically palatable excuses aside, the president wants everyone to know that this is how he operates. It fuels his image as a tough guy. Where is the fun in punishing your enemies if you can’t rub their noses in it?

There’s a word for an approach to leadership that features treating the tax code, postal rates, antitrust laws and the First Amendment as weapons to settle one’s personal grudges. And that word is not “democratic.”

🐣 EUvsDisinformation (Jun): The Burrito Theft Theory http://bit.ly/2MQHk2T 11 different ways Russian disinformation works to not tell the truth, using the example of ~ a burrito

Yesterday should be forever known as “Trump 👋Smackdown👋 Day.” Smacked down by the American Legion over military parade, by the Senate for calling the press “the enemy of the people” and by ex-Intel Chiefs for revoking Brennan’s security clearance. Oh, and Omarosa.

🐣 Statement by Former Heads of the U.S. Intelligence Agencies on President Trump’s revoking of Former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance – Aug 16, 2018 (orig posted by @GenHayden and @JakeTapper)
Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1030348128011124736/photo/1
// reformatted pdf to landscape, still small errors in text; they are clearly trying to stave off Trump moving forward with additional revocations; hoping Brennan gets his day in court
⋙ List from @mitchellreports includes Webster, Tenet, Hayden, Panetta, Petraeus, Goss, Clapper, Kappes, McLaughlin, Morell, Haines, Cohen

Slate, Fred Kaplan: Spy Vs. President http://slate.me/2Pe8Skl
// The nation’s top former intelligence officials come together to issue a stunning rebuke to Trump

⭕ 16 Aug 2018

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Elijah Cummings has sent a letter to John Kelly demanding a briefing and documents on the decision to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance. https://bit.ly/2MSjXGp https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1030164824095895552/photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw I’ve reluctantly concluded Mueller should proceed w/out subpoenaing Trump and gambling on how Justice Kavanaugh would vote only to have Trump take the 5th. The evidence already available almost certainly supports a report finding conspiracy with Russia and obstruction of justice

🐣 RT @mitchellreports List of former CIA and other agency officials supporting @JohnBrennan and criticizing Trump decision includes Webster, Tenet, Hayden, Panetta, Petraeus, Goss, Clapper, Kappes, McLaughlin, Morell, Haines, Cohen – bipartisan, military and civilian

RollingStone, Anna Merlan: A Deep Dive Into the Deep State: Unpacking the Summer of Trump Conspiracy Theories http://rol.st/
// Three of the year’s best-selling books claim shadowy forces in the U.S. government — and Hillary Clinton — are to blame for the ongoing Russia investigation

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: A crucial point made by John Brennan http://wapo.st/2PhGn5x
// what Don Jr did privately by email, DJT did publicly, before a group of reporters

NYT: Revoking Clearance, Trump Aims Presidential Power at Russia Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2vQvjEa

DailyBeast: Former CIA Chiefs Blast Trump’s ‘Outrageous’ Move on Brennan http://thebea.st/2MRCIJS
// ‘We’re better than this,’ said former CIA director John Brennan, after the White House revoked his security clearance. ‘We have to be better than this.’

🐣 So why was the Russian who offered prostitutes to Trump http://bit.ly/2MqpLtL tweeting out the names of intel professionals on Trump’s hit list two days before date on Trump’s original order to strip Brennan of his clearance? https://twitter.com/ARTEM_KLYUSHIN/status/1021714949473808387
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1030289169011154944/photo/1
⇈ ⇊
@ARTEM_KLYUSHIN [Москва, Россия 7/24/2018] Экс-директоры ЦРУ Джон Бреннан и Майкл Хэйден, экс-директор ФБР Джеймс Коми и его заместитель Эндрю МакКейб, экс-директор Национальной разведслужбы Джеймс Клаппер, экс-советник по нацбезопасности Сьюзан Райс прощаются с доступами к секретным материалам. Welcome to the real world!
Auto-Translated: Former CIA directors John Brennan and Michael Hayden, former FBI director James Komi and his deputy Andrew McCabe, former director of the National Intelligence James Clapper, ex-adviser on Homeland Susan Rice are forgiven for access to classified materials. Welcome to the real world!

🐣 RT @AmicaAli “He (#Trump) is not after his critics, he’s after the witnesses.” -#RachelMaddow https://twitter.com/AmicaAli/status/1030269614738038791 /photo/1
// List: Brenner, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Rice, Yates, Hayden, Page, Ohr
⇈ ⇊
MaddowBlog: These people with unique and important perspectives on the Trump campaign’s relationship to Russia, what would revoking their security clearance do to their ability to prepare testimony and to testify? 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1030269072871747584/photo/1

🐣 RT @TrickFreee
$13.5 million – Robert Mercer
$10 million – Sheldon Adelson
$6 million – Linda McMahon
$7 million – Bernard Marcus
$2+ million – Geoffrey Palmer
$2 million – Ronald M Cameron
$1.25 million – Peter Thiel
$1 million – Walter Buckley Jr,
$1 million – Cherna Moskowitz…
⋙ @Parscale Latest tape from Omarosa shows how much Trump family cares about pocketbooks of our donors when @LaraLeaTrump warns about all campaign $$ coming from average Americans. Lara says the right thing protecting our donors and helping people understand we are powered by the people!

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Trump has now fired or threatened most senior officials related to the Russia investigation http://wapo.st/2MQSkgB A tally

🐣 Rachel Maddow: Trump “isn’t after his critics. He’s after the witnesses.” – The Rachel Maddow Show @MSNBC @maddow

DefenseOne, Evelyn Farkas: We Regret to Inform You That Russia Is (Probably) At It Again http://bit.ly/2wcfhUn

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Russia accuses US of “discrimination, psychological pressure and humiliation” of accused Russian agent Maria Butina. Embassy diplomats say the 29yo was apparently strip-searched in jail and denied medical attention for arthritis.
https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1030246207744954369/photo/1
https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1030246207744954369/photo/2

NYT: Meet the Special Counsel Team: So Careful They Won’t Even Disclose Their Shake Shack Order http://nyti.ms/2KYPkgG

NYMag, Margaret Hartmann: Trump Admits Revoking Brennan’s Security Clearance Was About the Mueller Probe http://nym.ag/2nJrdt3

HuffPo, Veronica Stracqualursi: Trump connects revoking Brennan’s security clearance to Russia investigation http://cnn.it/2MRbtPC

🐣 RT @WillDonnelly Bill McRaven, retired US Navy admiral who oversaw operation that killed Osama bin Laden, says he would “consider it an honor” for President Trump to also revoke his security clearance in solidarity with former CIA Director John Brennan
⋙ 🐣 RT @NBCNews McRaven: “Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation. If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken”
↥ ↧
WaPo, William McRaven: Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President http://wapo.st/2OLgie7
// Entire:

Dear Mr. President:

Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.

A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.

Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.

If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.

🐣 RT @davidaxelrod I wonder how morale is today within the Intel Community, now that some of their most decorated and respected leaders have been placed on an enemies list by the @POTUS?

RawStory: Here’s how the Russian mob used cash from a multi-billion dollar gas scam to get their hooks into Trump http://bit.ly/2OHedzw

President Donald Trump got his start laundering money for the Russian mob more than 30 years ago as part of one of the biggest scams in U.S. history, according to a new book.

Investigative reporter Craig Unger has described Trump Tower as a “cathedral to money laundering,” and his new book — “House of Trump, House of Putin” — examines the depth of the president’s relationship with the Russian mafia, which he says has no meaningful distinction from the country’s intelligence agencies.

“After seven years in New York, Bogatin had stashed away enough money to buy real estate anywhere he wanted,” Unger wrote. “For roughly a decade, thousands of Russian Jews like him had been pouring into Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. But Bogatin had his eyes on something more prestigious.”

Bogatin became fixated on a “garish” 58-story building that had opened a year before — Trump Tower — and he paid $6 million in cash from his fuel tax scheme for five apartments there.

Unger tracked more than 1,300 similar cash transactions at Trump Tower over the next three decades involving mobsters that ensnared the future president in the closely tied web of Russian spies and mobsters.

“Russian Mafia and Russian intelligence operatives successfully targeted, compromised, and implanted either a willfully ignorant or an inexplicably unaware Russian asset in the White House as the most powerful man on earth,” Unger concludes.

“In doing so, without firing a shot, the Russians helped put in power a man who would immediately begin to undermine the Western Alliance,” he added, “which has been the foundation of American national security for more than 70 years; who would start massive trade wars with America’s longtime allies; fuel right‐wing anti‐immigrant populism; and assault the rule of law in the United States.”

TheAtlantic, Julia Ioffe (2017): Russian Money in Silicon Valley http://bit.ly/2wdtctq
// 11/9/2017, The Paradise Papers tell a story about the Kremlin’s evolving methods of manipulating the internet—and how it exported them.

🐣 RT @aliasvaughn So Russians tweeting a list of those whose clearances should be r