🇷🇺 Trump/Russia 2019 🇺🇸

 

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 recent articles

🇷🇺 Press Here For 7/26/2017 through 2018

 
💽Recommended⋙ Mueller She Wrote Podcasthttp://bit.ly/2PgTKWs  or Press   ⇊  ⇊
 

Other Podcasts:

    Dial M for Mueller (Carole Cadwalladr) [UK]
    Mueller Time (Eric Leval, Chris Carey)
    All The President’s Lawyers (J Barro, R Lowry)
    Dworkin Report (Scott Dworkin)
    Gaslit Nation (Sarah Kendzior, Andrea Chalupa)
    The Lawfare Podcast (Benjamin Wittes, Brookings)
    The Josh Marshall Podcast (TPM)
    The Mother Jones Podcast (David Corn)
    On Topic (Renato Mariotti)
    Skullduggery (Michael Isikoff, Yahoo)
    Trump Inc (ProPublica)
    Trumpcast (Slate)

 
Twitter List: INVESTIGATORS: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/lists/investigators
// Investigative reporters, Trump-Russia sleuths, Intelligence Community, Legislators, “alt-gov,” and Targets
 

Russian Intelligence Services:

Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) – The Foreign Intelligence Service reports directly to the President of Russia.
GRU – Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces.
Federal Security Service (FSB) – The Federal Security Service is responsible for counter-intelligence, state security and anti-terrorist operations

🔄 ECFR , Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Introduction: Putin’s hydra: Inside Russia’s intelligence services http://bit.ly/2NZWN1h
// 5/11/2016, Intro
⋙ 📒 ECFR, Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Report: Putin’s Hydra: Inside Russia’s Intelligence Services [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NYjG5b 20p
// May 2016, Full report

 

 
Key People: Roman Abramovich, Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rinat Akhmetov, Rinat Akhmetshin, Yulya Alferova, Anatoly Antonov, Andrii Artemenko, Arron Banks, Andrey Baronov, Vitaly Bespalov, Leonid “Len” Blavatnik, Anna Bogacheva, David Bogatin, Victor Boyarkin, Wm Browder, Mariia Butina, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Caputo, Yuri Chaika, Igor Chekunov, Michael Cohen, George Cottrell, Oleg Deripaska, Igor Divyekin, Kirill Dmitriev, Aleksandr Dugin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Paul Erickson, Oleg Erovinkin, Nigel Farage, Dmitri Firtash, John Fotiadis, Gene (Evgeny) Friedman, Daniel Gelbinovich, Rob Goldstone, Sergei Gorkov, Henry Greenberg, Andrew Intrater, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Brittany Kaiser, Mikhail Kalugin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Saak Karapetyan, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab), Denis Katsyv, Irakly (“Ike”) Kaveladze, Michael Khodarkovsky, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Artem Klyushin, Konstantin Kosachev, Aleksandra Krylova, Elena Khusyaynova, Simon Kukes, Alexander Litvinenko, Howard Lorber, Simona Mangiante, Alexander Mashkevich, Viktor Medvedchek, Josef Mifsud, Semion Mogilevich (Don Semyon), Konstantin Molofeev, George Nader, Alexei Navalny, Eduard Nektalov, Konstantin Nikolaev, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Yevgeniy Nikulin, Alexander Nix, Isabel Oakeshoff, George Papadopoulos, Sam Patten, Alexander Perepilichnyy, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Pisarsky, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Vladimir Putin, George Ramishvili, Dmitry Rogozin, Alexander Rovt, Giorgi Rtskhiladze, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Konstantin Rykov, Mikheil Saakashvili, Felix Sater, Igor Sechin, Anastasia Shevchenko, Christopher Steele, Ruslan Stoyanov, Oleg Solodukhin, Peter Strzok, Taiwanchik (aka Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov), Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (aka Taiwanchik), Aleksandr Torshin, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka), Viktor Vekselberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Vyacheslav Volodin, Curt Weldon, Andy Wigmore, Alexander Yakovenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Ivan Yermakov, Viktor Yushchenko, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Maria Zakharova, Joel Zamel

 

Bios w links (Wikipedia unless otherwise noted): Roman Abramovich, Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rinat Akhmetov, Rinat Akhmetshin, Yulya Alferova (National Compass), Anatoly Antonov, Andrii Artemenko, Arron Banks, Andrey Baranov (Bloomberg), Vitaly Bespalov (NBC), Leonid “Len” Blavatnik, Anna Bogacheva (NYT), David Bogatin (NYT), Victor Boyarkin (TrumpRussia), William Browder, Mariia Butina, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Caputo, Yuri Chaika, Igor Chekunov, Michael Cohen, George Cottrell, Oleg Deripaska, Igor Divyekin, Kirill Dmitriev, Aleksandr Dugin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Paul Erickson, Oleg Erovinkin, Nigel Farage, Dmitri Firtash, John Fotiadis (Archinect), Gene (Evgeny) Friedman, Daniel Gelbinovich (Daily Beast), Rob Goldstone, Sergei Gorkov, Henry Greenberg (Miami Herald), Andrew Intrater, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Brittany Kaiser (Cambridge Analytica), Mikhail Kalugin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Saak Karapetyan /a>, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab), Denis Katsyv, Irakly Kaveladze, Michael Khodarkovsky, Elena Khusyaynova, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Artem Klyushin (National Compass), Konstantin Kosachev, Aleksandra Krylova (NYT), Simon Kukes, Alexander Litvinenko, Howard Lorber, Konstantin Malofeev, Simona Mangiante (Papadopoulos), Alexander Mashkevich, Viktor Medvedchek, Josef Mifsud, Semion Mogilevich (Don Semyon), Alexei Navalny, Eduard Nektalov (NYMag), Konstantin Nikolaev, Yevgeniy Nikulin, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Alexander Nix, Isabel Oakeshoff, George Papadopoulos, Sam Patten, Alexander Perepilichny, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Pisarsky (RIM), Yevgeny Prigozhin, Vladimir Putin, George Ramishvili (Bloomberg), Dmitry Rogozin, Alexander Rovt, Giorgi Rtskhiladze (CNBC), Nastya Rybka (aka Anastasia Vashukevich) (WaPo), Dmitry Rybolovlev, Konstantin Rykov, Mikheil Saakashvili, Felix Sater, Igor Sechin, Anastasia Shevchenko (Amnesty Intl), Oleg Solodukhin, Christopher Steele, Ruslan Stoyanov, Peter Strzok, Taiwanchik (aka Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov), Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (aka Taiwanchik), Aleksandr Torshin, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka) (WaPo), Viktor Vekselberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Vyacheslav Volodin, Curt Weldon, Andy Wigmore, Alexander Yakovenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Ivan Yermakov (Moscow Proj), Viktor Yushchenko, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Maria Zakharova, Joel Zamel

 

By @jzikah has a new book! Cartoon President http://amzn.to/2QUeZhk

 

Key Documents

 
🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 LawfareBlog: Litigation Documents Related to the Mueller Investigation http://bit.ly/2OVch6n
// new November 2018, to be continually updated

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 Court Filing (1/17/2019): Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-03501 [pdf] http://cnn.it/2CBddZy (111p) Democratic National Committee v.: Russian Federation, DJ Trump For President, Inc (and others)
// 1/17/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Yoni Appelbaum: Impeach Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2FykFIP
//March 2019 cover story

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Politico Mag, Darren Samuelsohn: The Only Impeachment Guide You’ll Ever Need http://politi.co/2QHcJGi
// 1/11/2019, As talk of the I-word heats up, here’s POLITICO Magazine’s soup-to-nuts answers to all your questions about the politics—and the practical realities—of removing a president.

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo, Max Boot: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset http://wapo.st/2D7IJQ9
// 1/13/2019
 

By @jzikah

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg (Editor): UNTHINKABLE: 50 Moments That Define an Improbable Presidency http://bit.ly/2RvDFOn
// Jan 2019; Donald Trump’s 50 Most Unthinkable Moments ~ 50 Articles

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Wikipedia: Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2018) http://bit.ly/2Bh12jP

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Axios: Timeline: Every big move in the Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2Euh3H9
// 12/12/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Moyers&Co: Interactive Timeline: Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump http://bit.ly/2uVHc9j
// continually updated

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 DocumentCloud: Steele Dossier [pdf] http://bit.ly/2y5ZhnF 35p

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 FBIRecordsVault: Records Between FBI and Christopher Steele http://bit.ly/2KqLoF1

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ AP: Mueller Investigation documents http://bit.ly/2ihbK0l

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CitJourno: Trump/Russian Mob Connections http://www.citjourno.org
 

By @jzikah

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CNN, Marshall Cohen, Tal Yellen & Liz Stark: Tracking the Russia investigations (documents) http://cnn.it/2hVCpU5

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Russian Hacking and Influence in the U.S. Election http://nyti.ms/2NqFXeY

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ BrennanCenter: Trump-Russia Investigations http://bit.ly/2yRKcu6

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Politico: The people connected to the Russia probes [ Interactive ] http://politi.co/2FUDhz2 //➔ Democrats, Prosecutors, Law Enforcement/Lobbyists/Media,Team Trump, Foreign Nationals

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheMoscowProject: Trump’s Russia Cover-Up By the Numbers http://bit.ly/2ycY959
// Center for American Progress; 80+ contacts with Russia-linked operatives https://themoscowproject.org/about/ http://bit.ly/2ycY959
 

By @jzikah

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NBCNews: Russia timeline: Key players, meetings and investigation details http://nbcnews.to/2vtR3YW

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DailyBeast: Democrats Release the Fusion GPS Testimony on Trump and Russia http://thebea.st/2qMmH1d w attachment [pdf] ⋙ via Dianne Feinstein http://bit.ly/2FjtlPP

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Justice Department Gives Congress Comey’s Memos on Trump http://nyti.ms/2HdLe2Z
// 4/19/2018 ➔ DocumentCloud: http://bit.ly/2HOGC4z

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DOJ: Indictment of Internet Research Agency LLC et al … [PDF] http://bit.ly/2CqdHzD 37p //➔ Mueller Investigation
// 2/16/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Amy Siskind: The Weekly List ~ “This is How Democracy Ends” https://theweeklylist.org

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Mueller Has List of Questions for Trump http://nyti.ms/2rfDuqK + http://nyti.ms/2HExEKi
// 4/30/2018, Majority Relate to if Trump Obstructed Inquiry on Russia

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Trump Lawyers’ Confidential Memo to Mueller, Explained [ Document ] http://nyti.ms/2kKPgq9
// 6/2/2018, NYT article about document: http://nyti.ms/2swIZSc
 

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: The Arguments President Trump Has Made Against the Mueller Investigation http://ti.me/2MdeARX
// 6/8/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: Wikipedia: Links between Trump associates and Russian officials http://bit.ly/2K42VDF

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ WaPo: Who has been charged in the Russia probe and why http://wapo.st/2toNwH2
// continually updated; WaPo Russia page

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ ForeignAffairs Anthology: A New Cold War? Russia and America, Then and Now 1947- http://fam.ag/2KEA4dF

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Justice.gov: Mueller Indictment of 12 Russians in the GRU for Election Hacking [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NbphV6 29p
// 7/13/2018

 

By @jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ FactCheck.org: Timeline of Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2KZ4qaQ
// posted 6/7/2018, updated 7/13/2018; Key moments in the FBI probe of Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election; Readable

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Legal Process Server: DNC Lawsuit vs Russia, Wikileaks, et al http://bit.ly/2KIOhBq

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT, Linda Qiu: Truth-Testing Trump’s 250-Plus Attacks on the Russia Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2MY609E
// 8/18/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Justice.gov: Manafort Plea Agreement [pdf] http://bit.ly/2CZiVb7 17p
// 9/14/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄💽 NYT: Opinion | Operation Infektion: A three-part video series on Russian disinformation http://nyti.ms/2OHqSSV
// 11/12/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ PasteMag, Jacob Weindling: A Year of Trump and Russia: The 75 Stories That Defined the Mueller Investigation in 2018 http://bit.ly/2QWN1SU
// 12/28/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ LawFareBlog: Document: Indictment of Roger Stone [pdf] http://bit.ly/2UdQgmj 24p
// 1/25/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄📋 NYT: Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2MAZCps
// 1/26/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 BuzzFeedNews: These Secret Files Show How The Trump Moscow Talks Unfolded While Trump Heaped Praise On Putin http://bit.ly/2DWQ2ed
// 2/5/2019; ⏳TIMELINE ⌛️

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: What we learned about Trumpworld outreach to Russia since Mueller’s investigation began http://wapo.st/2twkXYE
// 2/19/2019, And what we still don’t know.

⋙ 💙💙🔄 ◕📋 NYT, Larry Buchanan and Karen Yourish: Trump Has Publicly Attacked the Russia Investigation More Than 1,100 Times http://nyti.ms/2T2HSsN
// 2/19/2019

 

@jzikah has a new book! Cartoon President http://amzn.to/2QUeZhk
 

 

⭕ 21 Feb 2019

Salon, Lucian Truscott IV: Trump isn’t colluding with Russians — he’s conspiring with Putin http://bit.ly/2EkagOU
// Trump’s Russia collusion didn’t stop with the election — but what he’s done since taking office is even worse

⭕ 20 Feb 2019

💽 MSNBC, TheBeatWithAri: Why Mueller could ask AG Barr to indict Trump in office http://on.msnbc.com/2Xh7QrK

In a special report, MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent, Ari Melber, breaks down a central question in modern American politics: Can a sitting President be indicted? Melber examines how the constitution’s core remedy for a President who commits “high crimes or misdemeanours” is through Congress and the power of impeachment, but that this doesn’t legally mean a sitting President cannot be indicted. Melber also walks through how both the Special Counsel in the Watergate investigation and Ken Starr, in the investigation of Bill Clinton, have both argued that a President could, in fact, be indicted while in Office and that while DOJ guidelines recommend against it, if Mueller thought there was a public interest requirement to indict Trump, he could ask Attorney General Bill Barr for an exception.

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi Michael Cohen will come before the @OversightDems & @HouseIntel Committees next week. Congress has an independent duty under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch, and any efforts to intimidate family members or pressure witnesses will not be tolerated.

WaPo: Trump trains his sights on McCabe as the Mueller report on Russian interference looms http://wapo.st/2SPCmun

AVNews: Andrew McCabe tells Stephen Colbert that Trump-Russia is “more suspicious every day” http://bit.ly/2tu1AiO

CNN: Justice Department preparing for Mueller report as early as next week http://cnn.it/2E5lUfc

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade: Trump May Be Committing Obstruction of Justice in Plain Sight http://bit.ly/2VbMHxA
// Trump may be attempting to negate the ability of prosecutors to prove an essential element of an obstruction charge: corrupt intent.

DailyBeast, Asawin Suebsaeng: Trump Is Beyond Obsessed With Andrew McCabe http://bit.ly/2E4VkTs
// The president despises the man who he believes tried to remove him via a coup.

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman: Coast Guard Officer Accused of Racist Mass-Murder Plot, Kept ‘Hit List’ of Democrats and MSNBC Hosts http://bit.ly/2VbKIt3
// Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson hoarded guns and drugs and wrote about ‘kill[ing] almost every last person on the earth’ in pursuit of a white homeland in America.

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom [Clint Watts] President Trump – Master Checkers player. North Korea and KJU move to develop weapons targeting U.S., and you talk regime change and war. What are you going to do now that you opened the doors to Russia doing this?
⋙ 🐣 RT @AP BREAKING: President Vladimir Putin warns new Russian weapons will target US if it deploys missiles to Europe. https://twitter.com/AP/status/1098171635151110145

NYT: White House Panel Will Study Whether Climate Change Is a National Security Threat. It Includes a Climate Denialist. http://nyti.ms/2BMWdzI

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Matthew Whitaker’s testimony about Trump trying to influence the Cohen inquiry was cagey. Now we might know why. http://wapo.st/2Ta6ksc
// Whitaker told lawmakers Trump never pressured him to take any action related to the SDNY investigation of Michael Cohen. A New York Times report tells a different story.

WaPo, Philip Bump: How little of Mueller’s work can the Trump administration get away with releasing? http://wapo.st/2Sc7nna

WaPo: Justice Department preparing for Mueller report in coming days http://wapo.st/2XdT8lr

🐣 Listening to Andrew McCabe is the opposite of Trump: completely clear, factual, detailed, straight-forward. No spin. So refreshing. @Morning_Joe

WaPo: Putin warns new weapons will target U.S. if missiles are deployed in Europe http://wapo.st/2SLPKzy

⭕ 19 Feb 2019

Politico: Nancy Pelosi to Europe: Trump is not the boss http://politi.co/2XgM8nN
// The house speaker underlined ‘power of the purse’ belongs to Congress, not the president.

💙💙 WaPo: What we learned about Trumpworld outreach to Russia since Mueller’s investigation began http://wapo.st/2twkXYE
// And what we still don’t know.

WaPo: Trump grows frustrated with DNI Coats, leading some to fear he might be fired http://wapo.st/2T4xOzC
// Director of National Inteligence

🐣 RT @keithboykin Andrew McCabe says he told “The Gang of 8” that the FBI had opened a investigation into Donald Trump, and no one objected. The Gang of Eight:
   1. Richard Burr
   2. Mitch McConnell
   3. Devin Nunes
   4. Nancy Pelosi
   5. Paul Ryan
   6. Adam Schiff
   7. Chuck Schumer
   8. Mark Warner

ABCNews: Bernie Sanders raises $4 million in less than 1 day of presidential campaign http://abcn.ws/2V7Siom
// The senator from Vermont announced his campaign on Tuesday.

Esquire, Charles Pierce: This Is Count After Count on a Bill of Impeachment http://bit.ly/2T2cz1o
// A New York Times report is full of Trumpian abuses of power and assaults on the rule of law.

💽 MSNBC, 11thHour: Jeremy Bash: Both Russia and Trump are trying to undermine our democracy http://on.msnbc.com/2SWSCJt
// MSNBC National Security Analyst Jeremy Bash reacts to the latest New York Times report on the president’s efforts to stymie the Russia investigation.

NYT: Justice Clarence Thomas Calls for Reconsideration of Landmark Libel Ruling http://nyti.ms/2BJCgKi //➔ First Amendment and Freedom of the Press At risk

DailyBeast: Fox’s Judge Napolitano: Trump’s Call to Whitaker Sure Looks Like ‘Attempted Obstruction’ of Justice http://bit.ly/2InJnOo
// The judge said Trump’s reported call to Whitaker was ‘an effort to use the levers of power… for a corrupt purpose to deflect an investigation into himself or his allies.’

DailyBeast: Devin Nunes Alum Scott Glabe Joins Trump White House http://bit.ly/2T5DGsi
// Scott Glabe joins Kash Patel as another Nunes aide who has recently joined the Trump’s White House team.

DailyBeast: CNN Staffers ‘Demoralized’ by Hiring of GOP Operative Sarah Isgur to Edit 2020 Coverage http://bit.ly/2DW9PZR
// The former Jeff Sessions flack has zero journalistic experience and yet she is tasked with guiding CNN’s 2020 reporting. CNN staffers and media critics alike are not pleased.

DailyBeast: Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe: ‘It’s Possible’ Trump Could Be a Russian Asset http://bit.ly/2NewCo0
// The former FBI chief told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Trump is actively ‘undermining the role of law enforcement.’

TheGuardian: Trump-Russia: FBI had ‘backup plan’ to save investigation evidence –as it happened http://bit.ly/2EjK1IB
// Plan created after Comey firing to ensure information would survive firings or reassignments of top officials

💙◕📋 NYT, Larry Buchanan and Karen Yourish: Trump Has Publicly Attacked the Russia Investigation More Than 1,100 Times http://nyti.ms/2T2HSsN

USAToday: Andrew McCabe: Top lawmakers were told the FBI was investigating Trump and ‘no one objected’ http://bit.ly/2SMoIIr

CNN, Chris Cillizza: 1 sentence that explains Donald Trump and the Russia investigation http://cnn.it/2U3WOEB

The New York Times published a 4,536-word opus on President Donald Trump’s two-year-long (and running!) attempt to thwart the multiple investigations into his 2016 presidential campaign and its ties to Russia.

The entire thing is worth reading. It’s chock-a-block with news — like that Trump reportedly asked acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to install an ally to oversee the Southern District of New York investigation into Michael Cohen!! — and insights into the world (and White House) of Donald Trump.

Amid all those words, one sentence in the piece stood out to me as deeply important when it comes to thinking about Trump, the investigation and what special counsel Robert Mueller knows.

Here’s the sentence:

“The episode was among the first of multiple ham-handed efforts by the president to carry out a dual strategy: publicly casting the Russia story as an overblown hoax and privately trying to contain the investigation’s reach.”

The “episode” specifically referred to in the quote is Trump, in the midst of a meeting on how to handle the departure of national security adviser Michael Flynn, latching onto a rumor that then-Speaker Paul Ryan had said that the President had fired Flynn. No one in the meeting knew the real
story and, as the Times piece makes clear, Trump didn’t shed any light on it or really seem to care what the truth was. He quickly convinced himself that the idea of him firing Flynn would put any concerns about undue Russian influence on his 2016 campaign behind him. So he instructed then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer to go sell that line to the press. …

The reason that sentence above is so important is because it reveals the conundrum at the center of Trump’s ongoing response to the various investigations into his campaign and White House: Why, if he is totally innocent — as he has declared many, many times — is he working so damn hard over such a long time to influence, obfuscate and seemingly obstruct federal investigations? …

💙💙 ≣ HouseOversightComm: Multiple Whistleblowers Raise Grave Concerns with White House Efforts to Transfer Sensitive U.S. Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia http://bit.ly/2TW0Oql

NPR: In potential violation of the law, Trump Officials Tried To Rush Nuclear Technology To Saudis, House Panel Finds http://n.pr/2V7i8sC

CNN: Trump asked Whitaker if he could put prosecutor in charge of Cohen probe http://cnn.it/2GQ8gQg

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Dangling pardons. Attempting to get a prosecutor to unrecuse. Threatening a cooperating witness. False public statements. Encouraging congressional allies to investigate the investigators to protect him. ¤ All of it a pattern of obstruction. All of it dangerous to the rule of law.
⋙ 🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him http://nyti.ms/2ttTMgU
// President Trump’s efforts have exposed him to accusations of obstruction of justice as Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, finishes his work.

🔆 This❗️⋙ DNI (1/23/2019): National Intelligence Strategy NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY of the United States of America 2019 [pdf] http://bit.ly/2RNzddZ //➔ acc to Chris Ruddy of NewsMax, DNI Dir Coats is being axed for sharing this w the public @mitchellreports
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1097916877593108480/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Andrew McCabe Couldn’t Believe the Things Trump Said About Putin http://bit.ly/2TWlb6Z interview
// The former deputy director of the FBI explains why the bureau felt obligated to investigate the president—and how the Mueller probe might end.

⭕ 18 Feb 2019

NBC, Frank Figliuzzi: Andrew McCabe worried Trump was a potential national security threat. America should listen to his warning. http://nbcnews.to/2V7mK28
// FBI agents are trained to identify and mitigate threats. McCabe’s new book suggests he had identified just such a potential threat — in the Oval Office.

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH NEWS: MSNBC National Security Analyst Jeremy Bash tells us more than 40 national security officials will sign joint declarations explaining why Trump’s actions undermine national security and his declaration doesn’t meet the test of an emergency w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1097636340311695361/photo/1

🐣💽 RT @MedicalPedia How your Body heals https://twitter.com/Medicalspedia/status/1097792725221556224/photo/1

Newsweek: ‘Something Bizarre and Sinister’ About Donald Trump’s Relationship With Russia, CNN Analyst Warns http://bit.ly/2SIpK8c Jeffrey Toobin

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe vs. President Trump, explained http://bit.ly/2tsG9yw
// The 25th Amendment, “I believe Putin,” a leak investigation, and more.

USAToday: From the 25th Amendment to Vladimir Putin: Five takeaways from Andrew McCabe’s 60 Minutes interview http://bit.ly/2BItbRR

TheHill: McCabe: Trump ‘may have’ committed a crime in blocking Russia probe
http://bit.ly/2GQV1yU

NPR: Andrew McCabe, Ex-FBI Deputy, Describes ‘Remarkable’ Number Of Trump-Russia Contacts http://n.pr/2XcgyHK

🐣 RT @20committee When your crazy words give your top counterintelligence officials reason to wonder if you, the new POTUS, are loyal to a hostile foreign power, not the USA, that’s not an “attempted coup” — it’s “pondering one’s constitutional obligations per one’s oath as a USG employee.”

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Four Sentences: What the Legal System Has Said about the Suspect Loyalty of Trump’s Aides http://bit.ly/2V6u5is

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind Notice that Trump allies Alan Dershowitz and Lindsey Graham have both raised the specter of a “coup” against him in recent days. Almost as if they are priming the country for an alternative truth. ¤ Also note there is concern that both of these men may be compromised/blackmailed.

🐣 RT @VladisKrebs The #TrumpRussia investigation is not a “WITCH” hunt — it is a “WHICH” hunt! ¤ WHICH people and orgnizations were key to connecting Putin associates and Trump associates during the 2016 US Presidential election and subsequent transition?
◕ ⋙ TheNetworkThinkers: Paths to Putin http://bit.ly/2V4xe21
// connectivity charts

NYT: Graham Vows to Investigate Whether ‘Bureaucratic Coup’ Tried to Oust Trump http://nyti.ms/2GvVNC2

DailyBeast: Trump Accuses McCabe and Rosenstein of Plotting Treason Against Him http://bit.ly/2TVJim4

🐣 RT @JuddLegum Trump tweets, last 24 hrs:
1. My deputy attorney general is a criminal
2. I’m being targeted by an “illegal coup”
3. The people investigating me should be jailed
4. Television networks that air jokes about Republicans should face “retribution”

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind It’s worth observing how shocked we would have been to hear the contents of McCabe’s “60 Minutes” interview in 2017, but how unimpactful and unsurprising it feels today. We are that frog in water coming to boil, degree by degree.

🐣 RT @JF991 In the last 5 days:
– Kremlin media calling for larger invasion of Ukraine, prepping domestic audience.
– Fringe GOP think tank calling for larger invasion of Ukraine
– Kremlin funded anti-Ukraine “protest” in Germany
– Today in central (Russian controlled) Donetsk, 3 bombs
⋙ 🐣 RT @ChristopherJM Reports of 3 explosions, cause unknown, in central Donetsk city. RBK cites Russian state media citing Moscow-backed separatist authorities as saying occurred near 7 Pushkin Blvd, not far from offices of authorities and hotel where @OSCE_SMM known to stay.

≣ TIME: Read the Full Transcript of Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s ’60 Minutes’ Interview http://bit.ly/2SFAlRB

🐣 RT @brianklaas In the last 72 hours, Trump has declared a national emergency over a manufactured crisis to bypass Congress, called for “retribution” against a comedy show for making fun of him, used Stalinist rhetoric to attack the press, and suggested those who investigate him should be jailed

DailyBeast, Ankit Panda: U.S. Intelligence: Russia Tried to Con the World With Bogus Missile http://bit.ly/2TVcuJW
// The Russians hyped a cruise missile launch earlier this year. But a briefing by the CIA and a second agency determined that it was essentially a hoax.

⭕ 17 Feb 2019

DailyBeast, Matt Wilstein: Fox News’ Chris Wallace Hammers Stephen Miller: How Is This a ‘National Emergency?’ http://bit.ly/2V4JEah
// Trump admitted he ‘didn’t need to do this,’ Chris Wallace asked his guest, so ‘how does that justify a national emergency?’

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: The Dumb, the Selfish and the Cynical Are Who Keeps Trump’s Support From Collapsing http://bit.ly/2EeS9dt
// Thirty percent of the country is with him no matter what. Who’s in the other 10 percent of his support?

NYT: Rift Between Trump and Europe Is Now Open and Angry http://nyti.ms/2tsVSh3

WaPo, Anne Applebaum: An off-key Pence sings from the Trump hymnal to a stony European reception http://wapo.st/2GONJeM

🐣 RT @tonyschwartz Trump is upping the intensity of his attacks on the Mueller investigation, which suggests he’s increasingly fearful. He’s determined to do anything he can to attack Mueller’s credibility. What he can’t attack are facts. They will show that Trump has committed countless crimes.

🐣 RT @shimonpro “I don’t care. I believe Putin” ¤ ANDREW MCCABE: Intelligence officials in the briefing responded that that was not consistent with any of the intelligence our government possesses to which the president replied, “I don’t care. I believe Putin.”

🐣 RT @tribelaw Speechless.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real “These guys, the investigators, ought to be in jail. What they have done, working with the Obama intelligence agencies, is simply unprecedented. This is one of the greatest political hoaxes ever perpetrated on the people of this Country, and Mueller is a coverup.” Rush Limbaugh

🐣 RT @60Minutes “I believe I was fired because I opened a case against the President of the United States,” says McCabe, who lost his job just a day before he would have been able to collect his full pension. He is considering suing the government over this. https://cbsn.ws/2GwLWLZ 
🐣 RT @60Minutes McCabe says his notes from his conversations with President Trump and Rod Rosenstein have been turned over to special counsel Robert Mueller. “Those memos are in the custody of the special counsel’s team.”
💽 🔆 This❗️⋙ CBS: Andrew McCabe “60 Minutes” interview http://cbsn.ws/2NcxNUP
Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe talks President Trump investigation and taking over for James Comey during the Russia investigation — full transcript – CBS News

DailyBeast, Allison Quinn: Andrew McCabe on Trump’s ‘Bizarre’ Job Interview, ‘Astounding’ Putin Comments http://bit.ly/2BGbBxY
// The former acting FBI director says Trump was almost “gleeful” after firing Comey and unleashing “chaos” on the FBI, but the version of events he was selling was “not reality.”

CNN: Russia bristles as fresh US sanctions loom http://cnn.it/2tr1A2Y

CBS, 60Minutes: McCabe says possible “inappropriate relationship” between Trump, Russia prompted probe http://cbsn.ws/2Gtd0vX

NYPost: Trump told Rosenstein to include Russia in letter firing Comey http://nyp.st/2GwdEsr

Bloomberg: Trump Wanted Russia in Memo Firing Comey, Former FBI Leader Says http://bloom.bg/2X9pTQB
● McCabe said Trump took Putin’s word about N. Korean missiles
● Former acting FBI director makes comments on ‘60 Minutes’

CNN/60Minutes: Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe: Trump’s ‘own words’ prompted counterintelligence investigation http://cnn.it/2S94cwn

Politico/CNN: ‘Evidence in plain sight’ of Trump collusion with Russia, Schiff says http://politi.co/2SWdiRO

TheHill: “The United States will never give up on our allies. We need you and I hope you think you need us.” ¤ Yesterday, former VP Joe Biden spoke at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany. 💽 https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1097103617721581569/photo/1

TheGuardian: Mueller questions Cambridge Analytica director Brittany Kaiser http://bit.ly/2BDtSM8
// Second former employee of controversial data firm to be questioned by special counsel’s inquiry into Russia collusion

⭕ 16 Feb 2019

🐣 RT @kasparov63 Having Russian officials speak the Munich Security Conference is like having a medical conference on fighting cancer and inviting tobacco companies to explain why cancer isn’t really a problem.
⋙ 🐣 RT @chessninja You don’t negotiate with your cancer, you remove it before it kills you. It’s a self-destructive fantasy that Putin’s damage can be limited by giving him what he wants.

Newsweek: Roger Stone Communicated With WikiLeaks and Russian Hackers: Mueller http://bit.ly/2TT2ml8

NYT, Dwight Garner: In ‘The Threat,’ Andrew McCabe Issues the Latest Warning Call About Trump’s America http://nyti.ms/2BHbsKK

WaPo Editorial: Pompeo and Pence send a poor message with their bumbling tour of Europe http://wapo.st/2SRY0NS

🐣 RT @Kasparov63 Obviously. The problem is that Trump doesn’t see that as a problem. The question is why
⋙ 🐣 RT @RFERL: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that a hasty U.S. pullout from Syria runs the risk of strengthening the roles of Russia and Iran in the Middle East. http://ow.ly/mLIi30nIRPp 

Bloomberg: Nuclear Fears Haunt Leaders With U.S.-Russian Arms Pact’s Demise http://bloom.bg/2IwqQ2v
● Arms-race specter raises alarm at global security conference
● Looming standoff revives memory of 1962 Cuban missile crisis

NYT, Nick Kristof: ‘The Trump-Russia Story’: Cue the Stage Lights http://nyti.ms/2GqJoPy
// In this drama, the stakes are enormous.

Politico Mag, Jack Shafer: Week 91: Mueller’s Case for Collusion Comes Into View http://politi.co/2GtVh7o
// The special counsel has begun to draw sharper lines between Russia, Wikileaks, Roger Stone and the Trump campaign.

Politico: Dems prepare to force Trump to reveal private talks with Putin http://politi.co/2NbrAIP
// Key chairmen met with the House general counsel in a bid to put any subpoena fight on firm legal ground.

🐣 RT @BillBrowder BREAKING: Russian judge orders Mike Calvey kept in custody until April 13th. Based on my experience with the Russian criminal justice system, this is an ominous sign that his ordeal is just beginning. His business rivals want something big from him
⋙ Reuters: Russian court orders Baring Vostok’s Calvey to be kept in custody until April 13 http://reut.rs/2EcEvXX

⭕ 15 Feb 2019

DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley And Erin Banco: 69-Year-Old ‘Unrepentant Crook’ Paul Manafort Looking at Decades In Prison http://bit.ly2Een1dM/
// The recommendation for a long sentence came as he’s still facing sentencing in a separate case where a judge voided his plea deal after he lied to investigators.

Politico: Cummings: 2 Trump attorneys may have lied about Cohen payments http://politi.co/2BGYVHc

Reuters: U.S. investigators probing years of WikiLeaks activities: sources http://reut.rs/2tqSt2s

🐣 RT @JohnWDean Aiding and abetting Russia to win an election for Trump is treason. Not surprising from a man who worships Nixon and lies to make a living. But the ultimate dirty trick in presidential politics failed and he has been caught! He’s not nearly as smart as he thinks. Bye-bye, Roger!
⋙ CNN: BREAKING: Special counsel prosecutors say they have communications of Roger Stone with WikiLeaks https://cnn.it/2Ece4BL 

NPR: Senate Panel Launches Bipartisan Probe Into Think Tank Linked To Butina, Torshin http://n.pr/2DMBQ68

Politico: Mueller: Guidelines call for Manafort to get up to 24.5 years in prison for Virginia convictions http://politi.co/2trl6wt
// Prosecutors made a clear reference to Manafort’s time atop Trump’s 2016 campaign, noting his ‘repeated misrepresentations to financial institutions were brazen’ during that time.

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog At the cost of potentially dying in prison, Paul Manafort lied to cover up the (or “a”) channel of communication between the Trump campaign when he was chairman and Russian intelligence during the time that Russia was interfering in the U.S. presidential election to help Trump. 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1096600498042478594/photo/1

🐣 RT @McFaul If they can arrest Calvey, they are not afraid to arrest anyone. To my Americans friends still doing in business in Russia, it’s time to come home.
⋙ Meduza: Here’s what we know so far about the criminal case against one of Russia’s biggest foreign investors, U.S. citizen Michael Calvey. (Venture capitalists are calling it a disaster for Russia.) http://bit.ly/2X7hsFC

🐣 RT @juliaioffe Oh, look! The guy who created Novichok—and has been publicly contradicting the Kremlin’s denial of its existence—is now under police investigation for alleged pedophilia (this after he was hit by a car and survived).
📌 https://twitter.com/juliaioffe/status/1096537987649859584
⋙ BBC: Разработчику “Новичка” в Анапе устроили анонимную травлю http://bbc.in/2T1u16k

WaPo: Special counsel calls Manafort’s crimes ‘serious, longstanding, and bold’ but recommends no specific sentence http://wapo.st/2X4GBk6

🐣 RT @awprokop Just out: Mueller says that in Russian hacker investigation, several search warrants were executed “on accounts that contained Stone’s communications with Guccifer 2.0 and with Organization 1” (WikiLeaks). Warrants discussed further in sealed addendum 📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/awprokop/status/1096520849052626944

CNN: Special counsel prosecutors say they have communications of Stone with WikiLeaks http://cnn.it/2tmo7OD

Reuters: U.S. judge issues gag order in trial of former Trump adviser Roger Stone http://reut.rs/2S61yrp

📊 FiveThirtyEight: WaPo Poll: Independents Trust Mueller, Which Could Be Bad News For Trump http://53eig.ht/2GLhMnN overall 57/36% think Mueller is mostly interested in uncovering the truth

The poll also suggests that independents may be the deciding factor in whether the public supports Trump’s impeachment, if it comes to that. Per the Post poll, if Mueller’s report finds that Trump obstructed justice by trying to undermine the Russia investigation, Americans believe — 65 percent to 29 percent — that Congress should impeach Trump and try to remove him from office.1 And if the report concludes that Trump authorized his campaign staff to collude with Russia, Americans support impeachment and attempted removal by a similar margin: 61 percent to 33 percent.

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Why Mueller said Roger Stone’s case is “related” to his Russian hacker indictment http://bit.ly/2SDo2F2
// Stone is disputing this and asking for a different judge.

WaPo: ‘They deserve to know if Donald Trump is an agent of the Russian Federation’: Democratic senator makes case for Trump being compromised http://wapo.st/2TSy4yP Sen Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

🐣 RT @SenJeffMerkley Looking forward to voting for a resolution nullifying this fake emergency declaration. Defending the Constitution and the role of Congress in deciding how taxpayer dollars are spent shouldn’t be partisan. Hope my #GOP colleagues will rise to the occasion.

🐣 RT @EvanMcMullin This emergency declaration is unlike those before. First, the facts show that there’s no border “invasion” or “crisis,” regardless of prudent security needs. Second, Congress has already decided in accordance with its authorities and after much consideration against this.

TheAtlantic, Noah Rothman: Trump Crosses the Rubicon http://bit.ly/2GJKJjP
// His national-emergency declaration is setting a precedent that all Americans, but conservative Americans in particular, will long regret.

🐣 RT @lisamurkowski We know that the threat of cyberattacks by our foreign adversaries and other sophisticated entities is real and growing, and the consequences of a successful cyberattack would be widespread and devastating.

KyivPost [UKR]: Kremlin media pundits beat drums of war http://bit.ly/2Igr7X6

Russian state media and less official propaganda outlets have gone into overdrive in their efforts to criticize and negatively characterize Ukraine as the country approached and started its election period. The Kremlin-controlled Rossiya 1 TV channel, RT (formerly known as Russia Today) and Sputnik have been leading the charge.

But beyond the usual disinformation or anti-Ukrainian propaganda, an increase in fiery rhetoric on state television that advocates for war and, in some cases, the total destruction of Ukraine, has also been noticed by concerned observers.

Through newspapers and online media, the Kremlin is also increasingly pushing its agenda, ideology and banging the drum for aggressive neo-colonialism.

Vladislav Surkov, a top aide and strategist for President Putin, published a lengthy op-ed in the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta on Feb. 11 where, among other things, he championed Russia as an expansionist power and called for “Putinism” to become Russia’s official ideology.

He also said that the ideology should be exported to neighboring countries, and that Russian expansionism doesn’t only require economic and military aggression.

Surkov also admitted, in an extraordinary and revealing article, that Russia interferes in foreign countries, but appeared to boast that it was actually “far more serious” than many know.

Russia had “started an information counter-offensive,” he wrote in the op-ed.

“Foreign politicians believe that Russia interferes in elections and referendums worldwide” but in fact “it interferes in their brains and they don’t know what to do with their altered state of consciousness,” he further stated.

“Surkov’s text should be taken very seriously,” wrote Ukrainian journalist and news editor Volodymyr Yermolenko, in a Feb. 13 response for the Atlantic Council think-tank.

“It epitomizes how Russian elites think and how we should expect Moscow to behave, even beyond the Putin era. The key element is expansion, which isn’t limited to military power or geopolitics. It also wants to export its ideology and political model.”

As Russian pundits and officials openly discuss an all-out invasion of Ukraine and the destruction of its statehood in the country’s state-owned media, western experts say that Putin should be made more aware of the cost of such actions.

“Putin will continue to seriously consider and plan for overt Russian military action against Ukraine unless he is convinced the price to pay would be too high,” wrote Steven Hall, an American security analyst and former CIA chief focused on Russia in a Feb. 14 tweet.

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi .@realDonaldTrump’s actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution. The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the Courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.

DailyBeast: Top U.S. General Joseph Votel: Trump Is Wrong on Syria and ISIS http://bit.ly/2BBtRbO

⭕ 14 Feb 2019

VanityFair, Bess Levin: William Barr’s Son-in-Law Just Landed a Job Advising Trump on “Legal Issues” http://bit.ly/2T2k9Jl
// Tyler McGaughey’s work will intersect with the Russia investigation

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff and Spencer Ackerman: Boyfriend’s Email: Butina ‘Manipulated’ Russian Spy Agency for NRA Trip http://bit.ly/2N5XlTu
// According to her boyfriend, Russian agent Maria Butina had major sway with the FSB officers ‘assigned’ to her.

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade: Mueller May Find ‘No Collusion,’ but Still Find Crimes http://bit.ly/2tqVyPO
// Sen. Richard Burr’s comments were trumpeted by the president. He shouldn’t be so sanguine about semantics.

💙 WaPo Editorial: Trump’s presidency enters a new imperial phase — and Mitch McConnell just rolls over http://wapo.st/2GphK5L

🐣 RT @brianklaas The president’s former campaign chairman, a convicted felon, secretly passed campaign data to a man with links to Russian intelligence and lied about his contacts with him to try to cover it up but don’t worry because Trump keeps tweeting NO COLLUSION so I’m sure it’s fine.

🐣 RT @GlennKirschner You know what sounds like collusion? A three-way meeting with Gates, Manafort and Russian Op Kilimnik in a smoky cigar bar during the height of the presidential campaign. AND they they were careful to leave by three separate doors = consciousness of guilt! No collusion my . . .
⋙ 🐣 RT @sasss31 #ConsciousnessofGuilt the one and only @glennkirschner2 breaking it down succinctly and precisely on the implications 💽 https://twitter.com/sasss31/status/1095864059348410369/photo/1

🐣 RT @TheDemCoalition Here’s a photo we found of Senator Lindsey Graham & Alan Dershowitz with a billionaire who made his fortune off Russian oil. He gave Graham’s campaign & PAC $870,500. He also gave McConnell’s PAC $3.5M, Rubio’s PAC $1.5M & $1M to Trump’s inaug, which Mueller’s now investigating. https://twitter.com/TheDemCoalition/status/1096077537711738880/photo/1

🐣 RT @IlvesToomas WHAT??!?!?!?! Counterintelligence head of a NATO country under arrest?
⋙ EuropeanViews: Belgian Counterintelligence Chief Suspected of Spying for Russia http://bit.ly/2SUWBWI
// Belgium’s intelligence service ADIV has been plagued by a long-standing conflict between its intelligence and counter-intelligence departments.
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🐣 RT @SethAbramson This is the husband of Trump’s Director of Strategic Communications saying “Mueller will be gone soon” because of the new AG William Barr, implying that Trump will soon order Barr to fire Mueller or Barr will do it on his own initiative.
⋙ 🐣 RT @mschlapp Tomorrow will be the first day that President Trump will have a fully operational confirmed Attorney General. Let that sink in. Mueller will be gone soon.

💽 MSNBC, MTP Daily: Brennan and Wittes: ‘Russians could do potential damage’ in Trump-Russia investigation http://on.msnbc.com/2BC2G0q
// Former CIA Director John Brennan and Lawfare’s Ben Wittes join to discuss Andrew McCabe’s take that Trump can’t be trusted. McCabe wrote that people have forgotten how far we’ve strayed from “normal standards of presidential accountability.”

RFI/RL: U.S. Judge Orders Officials To Turn Over Lesin Autopsy Records http://bit.ly/2UXgGZV

A Washington judge has ordered the city medical examiner to turn over dozens of autopsy records and other files in the investigation of Mikhail Lesin, the former Russian press minister who was found dead in a D.C. hotel room under suspicious circumstances more than three years ago.

Once a powerful media adviser to President Vladimir Putin, Lesin fell out of favor sometime around 2012 and had largely been out of sight before his body was found in the Dupont Circle Hotel. Despite the official conclusion that his death was “accidental,” suspicion has focused on whether he was killed to keep him from sharing information with the Justice Department.

NYT: Trump’s Face-Saving Way Out of Political Crisis Raises Fears Over Rule of Law http://nyti.ms/2XcMz2G

🐣 RT @FiveThirtyEight The act of declaring a national emergency to build a wall is even more unpopular than the wall itself. https://53eig.ht/2SP9l18 
https://twitter.com/FiveThirtyEight/status/1096247563815010307/photo/1
// poll: 4 polls, avg 32/65%

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok “No President in US history has EVER been suspected of having ANY kind of relationship w/ a (hostile) foreign power”—@carlbernstein. THIS is the backdrop to every conversation & debate about Trump. It can’t be repeated enough #TrumpRussia #McCabe #FBI #Mueller #RussiaProbe #AC360
https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1096247487042473984/photo/1

RollingStone, Andy Kroll: Why Does Paul Manafort Keep Lying About Russia? http://bit.ly/2BxP06r
// A judge ruled that Trump’s former campaign chairman lied to Mueller’s investigators, shredding his plea deal

NBC: Ex-FBI official McCabe speaks out, comes under fire from both Trump and DOJ http://nbcnews.to/2EcJSqh
// Trump attacked McCabe on Thursday, calling him “a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax — a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey.”

Axios: House Democrats may target Ivanka Trump in their Russia probe http://bit.ly/2TSpGiQ

CNBC, Kevin Breuninger: FBI’s Andrew McCabe feared he would be fired before Trump investigations were on ‘solid ground’ http://cnb.cx/2SBTeVq
● Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe feared that he might be ousted before the obstruction-of-justice and counterintelligence investigations into President Donald Trump’s Russia ties were “on absolutely solid ground.”
● McCabe said that he launched the probes a day after speaking with Trump in May 2017, in a conversation following the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
● Eight days after Comey was fired, special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to carry out the investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley: Robert Mueller Might Be Wrapping Things Up. Has He Proved a Conspiracy Between Trump and Russia? http://bit.ly/2Gs6dme

WaPo, David Ignatius: We’re entering a new phase of the Trump-Russia investigation http://wapo.st/2V1HU1D

💙 NYT Editorial: A Trump-Made Emergency http://nyti.ms/2GHLdqJ
// The president decides that fulfilling a campaign promise is more important than respecting the separation of powers.

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok McCabe’s book confirms Putin has been calling the shots on North Korea. As I said in this thread, Trump was parroting Kremlin talking points and even language on NK, as he’s done re NATO, Ukraine, Crimea, Montenegro, Afghanistan, etc. Russia is dictating Trump’s foreign policy
⋙ 🐣 RT @PaulaChertok [Jun 2018] Thread on the Trump show at #G7. A “10” it was not. He came with a list of “grievances”—something Putin & Lavrov do! He also tried to humiliate & threaten our allies. …You gotta wonder not IF Russia’s moles have infiltrated this admin, but how many. (The Trudeau detail OMG) 📌 https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1005529550107729921?s=20

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler: “This is a gross abuse of power that cannot be tolerated … I will fully support the enactment of a joint resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration … and intend to pursue all other available legal options.”

WaPo, Greg Miller: Andrew McCabe’s disturbing account of working for Sessions and Trump http://wapo.st/2GO1mLv

🐣 RT @RBReich Authoritarians throughout history have used manufactured crises to circumvent the legislative process and consolidate their own power. We must remain vigilant. These are perilous times for our democracy.

TheAtlantic, Elizabeth Gotein: What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency http://bit.ly/2S1TOe5
// Jan-Feb Issue; From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things.

💙 TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: The Senate’s Russia Probe Is Facing a Reckoning http://bit.ly/2Ie0Okm
// Meanwhile, the Democratic-led House committee is gearing up for a reinvigorated inquiry.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Trump is declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress, to build a wall we don’t need, to address a crisis that doesn’t exist, by claiming an authority he doesn’t have. ¤ If that sounds like nonsense, it’s because it is. It’s also plainly unconstitutional.

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that @realDonaldTrump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall.

Politico: McCabe says he opened investigations into Trump to put Russia probe ‘on solid ground’ http://politi.co/2X2iH94

Politico: Trump shocks GOP with emergency declaration http://politi.co/2N5KEbu
// Senate Republicans were stunned to learn Trump is ignoring their warnings against such a move.

🐣 RT @kasparov63 [2016] The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.

Medium, Scott Stedman: Amid Mueller scrutiny, Swiss parent company of Psy Group scrubs online presence http://bit.ly/2S0cd6N

BuzzFeedNews, Alberto Nardelli: A Longtime Friend Of Vladimir Putin’s Has Been Invited To Speak At An EU-Funded Conference http://bit.ly/2DPSyld
// Some EU officials view the invitation to Vladimir Yakunin, who is the target of US sanctions, as the latest example of the EU’s foreign policy chief being too soft towards Russia.

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes The man has a story to tell. And whatever Andrew McCabe may have done, nobody will ever take away from him that he led the FBI with dignity and honor at a moment of true crisis, surrounded by people at the White House and DOJ who lacked dignity and honor.
⋙ 🔆 This❗️⋙ TheAtlantic, Andrew McCabe: Every Day Is a New Low in Trump’s White House http://bit.ly/2SzolRp
// The president steps over bright ethical and moral lines wherever he encounters them. Everyone in America saw it when he fired my boss. But I saw it firsthand time and time again.

🐣 .@SenatorBurr spoke the eqivalent of “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” only the “jury” in this case is the American people @MarkWarner Why?

CNN, Stephen Collinson: Manafort bombshell deepens mystery in Russia probe http://cnn.it/2GnJDLn

🐣 RT @WendySiegelman Significance of Sam Patten plea deal isn’t clear to most people yet – Konstantin Kilimnik (ex-GRU) worked for Patten in Russia 2001-2003 before Kilimnik worked for Manafort, Patten & Kilimnik formed company in 2015 & Patten contracted on shady Cambridge Analytica deals since 2014
📌 https://twitter.com/WendySiegelman/status/1035670357619998720

⭕ 13 Feb 2019

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 A bipartisan group of senators have introduced a bill that would impose stiff new sanctions on Russia over its meddling in U.S. elections and aggression against Ukraine, the latest congressional effort to push Trump to ratchet up D.C.’s response to Moscow.
⋙ SenateCommFR: Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Hold Russia Accountable http://bit.ly/2V0JVuQ

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) today introduced the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) of 2019. The comprehensive legislation seeks to increase economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation in response to Russia’s interference in democratic processes abroad, malign influence in Syria, and aggression against Ukraine, including in the Kerch Strait.

The legislation establishes a comprehensive policy response to better position the U.S. government to address Kremlin aggression by creating new policy offices on cyber defenses and sanctions coordination.  The bill stands up for NATO and prevents the President from pulling the U.S. out of the Alliance without a Senate vote.  It also increases sanctions pressure on Moscow for its interference in democratic processes abroad and continued aggression against Ukraine.

DailyBeast, Erin Banco, Betsy Woodruff: Trump’s DHS Guts Task Forces Protecting Elections From Foreign Meddling http://bit.ly/2DHVeRQ
// “It’s very curious why the leadership has not committed resources to prepare for the 2020 election,” one DHS official tells The Daily Beast.

DailyBeast, David Lurie: Trump Is Immune From Impeachment if Mueller Can’t Share His Evidence http://bit.ly/2EbpG8p

🐣 RT @MSNBC Michael Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis to Sen. Burr: “We’re coming. There were no false excuses.”
⋙ MSNBC, Hallie Jackson: Cohen lawyer to Sen. Burr: ‘We’re coming. There were no false excuses.’ http://on.msnbc.com/2SO82Q1
// Lanny Davis, Michael Cohen’s attorney and communications adviser, speaks with Hallie Jackson about his client’s controversial postponement of his Senate testimony due to ‘medical needs’ after a recent shoulder surgery.

🐣 RT @JillWineBanks House Judiciary Committee should request all Mueller evidence relevant to actions of Trump before, during and after the election and during his presidency. Federal rules allow this. Watergate Judge Sirica said public right to know allowed release of grand jury evidence. Here too.

DailyBeast: Senate Intel Chief Richard Burr Covered for Trump While Russia Attacked 2016 Election http://bit.ly/2Gnzm1T

◕📊 FiveThirtyEight: Public Opinion Of The Mueller Investigation Has Become More Partisan http://53eig.ht/2GNqKkz
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1095963855895871488/photo/1

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Judge rules that Manafort deliberately lied to Mueller’s team during cooperation http://bit.ly/2tnwKs2
// The former Trump campaign chair may now get a tougher sentence.

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom What I find remarkable about the Manafort-Kilimnik meeting is the timeline. August 2, 2016 – just after Trump’s “Russia if you have those emails” & Stone messaging to find dirt. Just before Manafort spouts Russia propaganda on CNN & just weeks before leaves campaign
⋙ 🐣 RT @selectedwisdom When looking for indicators & warnings of Collusion, I always say do surveillance at a “dinner meeting at a private cigar room” – How Manafort’s 2016 meeting with a Russian employee at New York cigar club goes to ‘the heart’ of Mueller’s probe
📌 https://twitter.com/selectedwisdom/status/1095716460616450048

WaPo: Trump claims ‘no collusion’ with Russia as leading Democrat says conclusion is premature http://wapo.st/2DE7qmw Intel Comm Ranking Member Sen Mark Warner (D-VA)

📊 CNN, Brian Stelter: How a single poll question illustrates America’s divide over Trump and Russia http://cnn.it/2RY0LbS //➔ 43% of all but just 19% of GOP say Mueller has proven Russian tried to interfere; (also true under Watergate until the evidence became irrefutable)

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Here’s what stands out to me from today’s ruling:
¤ Manafort lied about his contacts with an individual affiliated with Russian intelligence. And he lied intentionally.
¤ If Manafort had told the truth, it would have been so damaging to Trump as to negate his chances of a pardon.

🐣 RT @ScotMStedman August 2 – Manafort shares private, detailed polling data w Kilimnik
August 3 – Don Jr meets with Zamel who touts his social media manipulation tools
Also August 3 – Kilmnik flies from NY to Moscow on Deripaska’s jet
August 4 – Spike in Alfa Bank-Trump Tower server communications

WaPo: Federal judge finds Paul Manafort lied to Mueller probe about contacts with Russian aide http://wapo.st/2S1MLhg

🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN: Judge voids Paul Manafort plea deal, says he ‘intentionally’ lied to the FBI, special counsel and grand jury http://cnn.it/2BweLnO

💙 🐣 RT @MSNBC for Special Counsel Robert Mueller have proved 3 of the 5 examples they cite as occurrences when Manafort lied to them in the course of his cooperation.
💽 https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1095831723483512832/photo/1

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Senate Intel chair Richard Burr can’t be a trusted voice on the Russia probe. Important piece by @rgoodlaw, weaving together Burr’s actions & statements since teaming up w/ the Trump campaign, to paint a darker & more cynical picture than we imagined.
⋙ 💙 JustSecurity, Ryan Goodman: Who is Richard Burr, Really? Why the public can’t trust his voice in the Russia probe http://bit.ly/2RYLJCQ

MilitaryTimes: After Trump’s treaty withdrawal, NATO is getting ready for a Russia with a lot more missiles http://bit.ly/2GGZYdf

Vox, Aaron Rupar: Trump’s tweet that Senate investigators found “NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION,” explained http://bit.ly/2tkND6J
// Trump wants you to believe Richard Burr is the final word on Russia. He isn’t.

💽 🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN, Marshall Cohen et all: How Team Trump keeps changing its story in the Russia investigation http://cnn.it/2TOSVD1 Timeline with videos
// By Marshall Cohen, Sam Fossum, Em Steck, Tal Yellin; Videos produced by McKenna Ewen

Politico: ‘Mr. Manafort did not lie’: Attorneys take final stand against Mueller charges http://politi.co/2E7nz5t
// The special counsel has accused Manafort of breaching a plea deal when he lied about interactions with an associate allegedly linked to Russian intelligence.

🐣 RT @annalecta FEC probing Rebuilding America Now—a pro-Trump super PAC facing allegations of illegal coordination & a wire transfer to Paul Manafort flagged by special counsel Robert Mueller—for failing to disclose $1M received on the eve of the 2016 election for years
⋙ TPM, Josh Kovensky and Allegra Kirkland: Manafort-Linked PAC Failed To Report $1 Million And The FEC Wants To Know Why http://bit.ly/2GJ4B6H

🐣 RT @RepSwalwell THREAD: Let’s talk about direct vs circumstantial evidence. The law treats them the same. @SenatorBurr says there’s no “direct evidence of collusion” b/w Trump & Russians. Put aside the fact that @MarkWarner doesn’t agree w/ this. What matters is if there’s evidence of collusion. 📌 https://twitter.com/RepSwalwell/status/1095754587368292353

CNN: Senators target Russia with massive bipartisan bill http://cnn.it/2TKTw8Q
// Bob Menendez, Lindsey Graham

They’ve proposed a massive bill that aims to, among other things, force the administration to assess whether Russia is a state sponsor of terror.

It would also require a two-thirds Senate vote if Trump decides to leave NATO, a report on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s net worth and assets, and title insurance companies in the US to report information on who owns entities that buy high-priced homes here — as well as would hammer Russia with a host of additional sanctions and new ways of cracking down on Russian disinformation and cyber-crimes.

“The sanctions and other measures contained in this bill are the most hard-hitting ever imposed — and a direct result of Putin’s continued desire to undermine American democracy. The sanctions and measures we propose are designed to respond in the strongest possible fashion,” [Graham] added.

Wednesday’s legislative announcement comes a day after the US released a sweeping list of prominent Russian business and political figures, implementing a congressional law designed to punish Russia for election interference.

The US Treasury report, published shortly before a midnight deadline, listed every senior member of the political administration at the Kremlin, and every Russian oligarch with a net worth of $1 billion or more.

MoscowProject: Burr’s Blind Eye To Collusion http://bit.ly/2SUOxWc

TheAtlantic, Joseph Augustyn: Maria Butina Is Not Unique http://bit.ly/2UYPmul
// For years, countries including Russia and China have used their citizens who study in the U.S. as an intelligence-gathering resource.

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok US and EU close to agreeing on new #sanctions to check #Russia’s aggression toward #Ukraine in the Sea of Azov (where Russians attacked & seized 3 ships & 24 Ukrainian sailors passing thru Kerch Strait in November) | Financial Times
⋙ FinancialTimes: US and EU close to agreeing new sanctions to check Russia [paywall]

⭕ 12 Feb 2019

TheAtlantic, Saahil Desai: Does Anyone Know What the End of the Russia Investigation Really Means? http://bit.ly/2TO9jDO
// Does it mean “clearing” the president? Does it mean one more spree of indictments, a devastating final report?

TheAtlantic, Mikhaila Fogel and Benjamin Wittes: The Much-Heralded End of the Mueller Investigation http://bit.ly/2GGwnkb
// No one knows when it will actually “wrap up”—or what it will mean when it does.

Axios, Mike Allen: House Democrats plan vast Russia probe http://bit.ly/2GKkf1T

🐣 RT @tribelaw Burr is out on a limb that his non-GOP colleagues are sawing off. He’s being a partisan. Plus his definition of “evidence” is wildly unrealistic. Nobody ever imagined Trump saying to Putin, “Hey, I’ll lift the sanctions if you make me president.” That’s not how it works
⋙ CNNPolitics Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, rejected Republican Chairman Richard Burr’s recent statements that the committee has not found evidence of collusion https://cnn.it/2E7JQzS 

Newsweek, Cristina Maza: Mike Pompeo Warns Vladimir Putin Is Threatening Democracies Everywhere, Says West Took Its Eye Off Russia http://bit.ly/2TTPmeM //➔ wow, has he cleared this with the boss?

🐣 RT @DeadlineDH “[Senate Intel doesn’t] have nearly the tools that Bob Mueller has. The most important tool they don’t have is the threat to indict people for crimes & the ability to reduce their sentences of people that come and cooperate” – @matthewamiller w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1095458146443816964/photo/1

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews #Russia’s state TV: ¤ Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Soloviev interviews RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan re: alleged US info-ops. He asks whether any US politicians disseminate Russian agitprop in conjunction with RT. Simonyan replies: “Only one. Donald Trump. Just kidding.”

🐣 RT @JohnBrennan Senate Intel Committee is doing good work, but it does not conduct criminal investigations. It is up to Special Counsel to charge those who criminally conspired with Russia. Don’t conflate collusion, which occured, with criminal conspiracy. Stay tuned.
⋙ NBC, Ken Dilanian: Senate has uncovered no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia http://nbcnews.to/2BwdmxK
// “We were never going to find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collude,'” one Democratic aide said.

MotherJones, Dan Friedman: Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats Dispute Claims That Russia Probe Found No Collusion http://bit.ly/2UXKUMt
// “The president is terrified about where our investigation…may lead.”

WaPo, Philip Bump: Why early August 2016 has become central to the Russia investigation: A timeline http://wapo.st/2I579yi

USAToday: Yes, the Mueller investigation is costly. But the millions seized from Manafort have it on track to break even http://bit.ly/2TQhW0Y

DailyBeast, Erin Banco and Adam Rawnsley: Swiss Mystery Company Is at the Heart of a Mueller Puzzle http://bit.ly/2BC2UEN
// You’ve never heard of Zurich-based Salix Services AG. But Robert Mueller’s team has.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: A Russian oligarch offers a significant denial in the Mueller probe http://wapo.st/2Gnd3Jt

WaPo: Senate Intel chair slams Trump fixer Michael Cohen, as House Democrats staff up probes http://wapo.st/2Sxps4b Richard Burr (R-NC)

🐣 RT @emptywheel Congratulations to the WaPo which, unlike the NYT, can report that the polling handoff happened at the same meeting Manafort was talking sanctions relief.
⋙ 🐣 RT @CarolLeonnig What I like most in this story: ¤ It takes you to a cigar bar in Aug 2016, & a Russian operative w/ “important messages” to give Trump campaign chair. ¤ It knits together string that @PostRoz, @thamburger and WaPo team have been gathering for 2 1/2 years.
⋙⋙ 🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: How Manafort’s 2016 meeting with a Russian employee at New York cigar club goes to ‘the heart’ of Mueller’s probe http://wapo.st/2SKfTy1

The Aug. 2, 2016, encounter between the senior Trump campaign officials and Kilimnik, who prosecutors allege has ties to Russian intelligence, has emerged in recent days as a potential fulcrum in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.

It was at that meeting that prosecutors believe Manafort and Kilimnik may have exchanged key information relevant to Russia and Trump’s presidential bid. The encounter goes “very much to the heart of what the special counsel’s office is investigating,” prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told a federal judge in a sealed hearing last week.

One subject the men discussed was a proposed resolution to the conflict over Ukraine, an issue of great interest to the Russian government, according to a partially redacted transcript of the Feb. 4 hearing.

During the hearing, the judge also appeared to allude to another possible interaction at the Havana Room gathering: a handoff by Manafort of internal polling data from Trump’s presidential campaign to his Russian associate.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews #Russia’s state TV selected this imagery to go along with the quote by senior Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov, who wrote that— beyond election interference across the globe— Russia alters Western consciousness and is engaged in “an information counteroffensive against the West.” https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1095326502365904897/photo/1
// photo of Trump, Macron etc

🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 The Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine on Tuesday, Feb 12, presented the “White Book of Special Information Operations Against Ukraine, 2014-2018.” ¤ Have always said that Ukraine was a testing ground for the war Russia launched on the West.
⋙ Unian: Ukraine’s ministry of information policy presents “White Book” of info-ops against Ukraine http://bit.ly/2SQYinY
// It contains descriptions of Russia’s information campaigns aimed against Ukraine, carried out in 2014-2018.

Newsweek, Cristina Maza: Vladimir Putin’s Adviser Tells Americans: ‘Russia Interferes in Your Brains, We Change Your Conscience’ http://bit.ly/2GB7VRo

Americans who worry about Russia election interference should stop focusing on such trivialities and instead realize that the idea that they have a choice over how they are governed is a mere illusion, Vladislav Surkov, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, wrote in an op-ed published this week.

“The illusion of choice is the most important illusion, the main trick of Western democracy especially…. The rejection of this illusion in favor of the reality that everything is predestined will allow society to reflect first on our vision of democratic development,” Surkov wrote. “Foreign politicians talk about Russia’s interference in elections and referendums around the world. In fact, the matter is even more serious: Russia interferes in your brains, we change your conscience, and there is nothing you can do about it.”

In his op-ed for the Russian publication Nezavisimaya Gazeta, or “Independent Newspaper,” Surkov also laid out Putin’s vision of returning Russia to its rightful role as a global superpower and exporting “Putinism” as an ideology to be adopted around the world.

“After having fallen from the USSR to the Russian Federation, Russia stopped collapsing and began to recover and return to its natural and only possible state as a large nation that is on the rise,” he wrote.

“The great role assigned to our country in the history of the world does not allow us to leave the stage or keep silent among the crowd…. It does not promise peace…. Putin’s great political machine is only gaining momentum and gearing up for a long, difficult, and interesting job,” Surkov continued.

He then went on to describe Putin as the founder of modern Russia, similar to the Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk or France’s Charles de Gaulle. “Putinism is the ideology of the future,” he wrote. “The political system created in Russia is suitable not only for the future of local areas, it clearly has significant export potential.”

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Senate Intelligence Committee aide tells me, re: NBC story, that right now there is “a common set of facts” that the panel is working with, “and a disagreement about what those facts mean.” ¤ They add: “We are closer to the end than the beginning, but we’re not wrapping up.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Re: the headline, “Senate has uncovered no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia,” same aide says: “the word ‘direct’ is doing a lot of work here.”

🐣 RT @krassenstein
Cost of Mueller Probe thus far: $25,000,000
Fines and Forfeitures Brought in by Mueller/SDNY Probe:
Manafort – $26,740,000
Cohen – $1,850,100
Flynn – $500
Papadopoulos – $9,500
Gates – $20,000
van der Zwaan – $20,000
TOTAL: $28,640,100
Total Profit: $3,640,100
Go MUELLER!

📊 Politico: Poll: More Americans have confidence in Mueller than Trump http://politi.co/2GJ9mNs 56% to 33%, according to a recent poll by The Washington Post and George Mason University’s Schar School

💽 MSNBC: Figliuzzi: Russia-Trump collusion question is not yet answered [Video] http://on.msnbc.com/2I7ZYpd

WaPo, Scott Clement and Matt Zapotosky: Americans view Mueller as more credible than Trump, but views of his probe are scattered http://wapo.st/2SwN7BT

⭕ 11 Feb 2019

💽 MSNBC, The Beat With Ari: Meet the Mueller prosecutor who scares Trump more than Mueller http://on.msnbc.com/ 2V2yh2t

In a special report, MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber examines the tactics of a hardball Federal Prosecutor on Special Counsel Mueller’s team, Andrew Weissmann, who many refer to as Mueller’s “legal pit bull”. Melber breaks down how Weissmann honed his hardball strategy in the Enron investigation, one of the most far-reaching, aggressive and controversial prosecutions in modern American law and how he built a reputation of effective and controversial prosecution, by charging targets that many prosecutors avoid: like a defendant’s own family members.

🐣 RT @eorden Attorneys for the Donald J. Trump Foundation accused the New York attorney general’s office of political motivation in its civil lawsuit against the nonprofit, citing recent comments made by Attorney General Letitia James.
📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/Trumpnado2016/status/1095020835163787264
⋙ CNN, Erica Orden: Trump Foundation says NY AG’s comments show lawsuit is political http://cnn.it/2WYcZ8c

🐣 RT @bradheath Mueller’s former deputy: “A public narrative has built an expectation that the special counsel will explain his conclusions, but I think that expectation may be seriously misplaced.”
⋙ USAToday: Robert Mueller has spent two years investigating Trump, and he hasn’t said a word. It’s possible he never will. http://bit.ly/2By4veI

🔆 This❗️⋙ EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: A Primer on How to Read: So the NYT Can Stop Telling Paul Manafort’s Lies http://bit.ly/2tqQECN //➔ Critique of NYT: In Closed Hearing, a Clue About ‘the Heart’ of Mueller’s Russia Inquiry

DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley: Are Russian DisInfo Warriors Meta-Trolling Us With Mueller’s Trial? http://bit.ly/2TJjvh1
// Frat-house antics in the courtroom, winking at its own celebrity—what’s behind the spate of bizarre behavior from the IRA, Russia’s notorious troll factory?

✅ PBS: AP fact check: Trump claims he’s vindicated in Russia probe http://to.pbs.org/2MZHGVS

He’s tweeting that Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, has “announced” the panel found no collusion or conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. That’s taking it too far. Burr did say in a published interview that he had found no evidence so far of collusion after two years of investigation, but the probe is continuing. Burr also indicated the committee’s final report may not even reach a conclusion on the question, leaving it up to the public to decide.

Newsweek: Trump Officials ‘Doing Russia’s Bidding’ to Get Richer Against U.S. National Interests, Former Deputy Asst AG Harry Litman Says http://bit.ly/2N2gZ2E

NewYorker, Jeffrey Toobin: Roger Stone’s and Jerome Corsi’s Time in the Barrel http://bit.ly/2DAkcCi
// Feb 18&25 Issue; Why the mismatched operatives matter to Trump—and to the Mueller investigation.

WaPo, Philip Bump: If there was collusion with Russia, here’s where it might have occurred http://wapo.st/2WV2EKa
// The known links are not very strong.

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Quid Pro Quo Redux, Part One: The Trump Tower Dangle http://bit.ly/2RVpc9V

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom He’s not wrong. And it’s our fault.
⋙ 🐣 RT @olex_sherba Putin’s adviser Surkov to those “who cry about Russian meddling in elections”: “Things are much more serious: we meddle with your brains, we change your conscience – and you have no clue what to do about it”. http://bit.ly/2SJMSlY

🐣 RT @Liveuamap Putin’s adviser Surkov in the article in “Nezavisimaya gazeta” says that Putin managed to create “state of new type” – “Putinism” is a new form of government(like Republic), Putinism will be in Russia for coming century even after Putin http://bit.ly/2I7i0Ia via @oldLentach
⋙ 🐣 “Putinism” IOW “Mobster Oligarchy” ~ No, thanks.

⭕ 10 Feb 2019

🐣 RT @MikeL_Jollett Wow. Without all the makeup and stuff, Trump looks like Old Man Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life. https://twitter.com/Mikel_Jollett/status/1094683340714594304/photo/1-2

🐣📊 RT @pewresearch Pew Poll: 62% of Americans had a favorable opinion of NATO in our 2017 survey. U.S. goodwill toward the alliance was significantly higher than in 2016, when 53% had a favorable view https://pewrsr.ch/2MXHAwL 

WaPo: New Trump-Russia probe will focus on reports of money laundering, ‘financial compromise,’ Schiff says http://wapo.st/2Sq7yAf

TheAtlantic, Quinta Jurecic: A Confederacy of Grift http://bit.ly/2BuAOLv
// The subjects of Robert Mueller’s investigation are cashing in.

🌀 Mueller v Trump SCORECARD https://twitter.com/mcspocky/status/1094388982996238336/photo/1

Politico: Schiff questions Mueller’s approach on Deutsche Bank http://politi.co/2DqBOka

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote This sounds to me like AMI wanting people to stop looking beyond Dirty Sanchez. (That’s what we’re calling him. He’s a Stone Ally). What do you guys think?
⋙ The brother is the Occam’s Razor explanation. But, Bezos has the resources and the best investigators working for him. It’s hard to think he would bring up the Saudis with no proof whatsoever. He might find himself on the wrong side of a bone saw.
⋙ DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay: Mistress’ Brother Leaked Bezos’ Racy Texts to Enquirer, Sources Say http://bit.ly/2Gle6JP //➔ Never underestimate Occam’s Razor
// Multiples sources tell The Daily Beast that Michael Sanchez, a Trumpworld associate and brother to Bezos’ lover, gave the couple’s texts to The National Enquirer.

WaPo: House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) voices concern that Mueller’s scrutiny of Trump’s finances isn’t adequate http://wapo.st/2Gk2pmW

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Senate Intel chairman Burr “told CBS last week that the committee’s investigators ‘don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion.’ But Weissmann’s remarks seem to suggest that for the special counsel that avenue of inquiry is still alive.”
🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: In Closed Hearing, a Clue About ‘the Heart’ of Mueller’s Russia Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2SqF3T2 //➔ did the Trump campaign (and later the Trump admin) pursue a grand bargain that would lift Magnitsky sanctions and would also have advanced Trump Tower Moscow?

Comments by one of Mr. Mueller’s lead prosecutors, disclosed in a transcript of a closed-door hearing, suggest that the special counsel continues to pursue at least one theory: that starting while Russia was taking steps to bolster Mr. Trump’s candidacy, people in his orbit were discussing deals to end a dispute over Russia’s incursions into Ukraine and possibly give Moscow relief from economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.

The theory was offered almost as an aside by the prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, during a discussion of contacts between Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a longtime Russian associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, whom investigators have linked to Russian intelligence.

“Trump’s unusual sympathy and receptivity to Putin and the Kremlin was evident throughout the campaign” and the first few months of his presidency, said John E. Herbst, a former United States ambassador to Ukraine. That pattern, he said, fueled the notion that Mr. Trump might seek a “grand bargain” that would end sanctions, possibly on terms deeply unfavorable to Ukraine.

The sanctions also limited business opportunities with Russia. Mr. Trump had long sought a marquee Trump Tower project in Moscow, and at least two aides were pursuing separate nuclear power projects that would have benefited from an end to the sanctions.

As Mr. Trump took office, some State Department officials described worrying inquiries that suggested the White House might be preparing to precipitously drop the sanctions. And various intermediaries floated proposals they said would end the sporadic combat in eastern Ukraine between Russian-funded separatist fighters and Ukrainian forces trying to hold back the loss of more territory.

Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime fixer, told The New York Times that he left a sealed envelope containing one such plan on Mr. Flynn’s White House desk. …

Mr. Kilimnik, meanwhile, was trying to use his extensive ties to Mr. Manafort to advance another. It envisioned the return of Viktor F. Yanukovych, a pro-Russia politician who had risen to the presidency of Ukraine in 2010 with the help of Mr. Manafort, who was paid tens of millions of dollars for his efforts.

Mr. Yanukovych was forced from office by a popular uprising in 2014 and fled to Russia. Mr. Kilimnik wanted to resurrect him as a semiautonomous leader in eastern Ukraine, a division of the country fiercely opposed by most Ukrainians.

In a February 2017 interview with The Times, Mr. Kilimnik described Mr. Manafort as a possible negotiator for the deal. He said that Mr. Manafort had told him that “there is only one enemy — the chaos.”

What Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kilimnik discussed about the Russia-Ukraine conflict is not all that concerned prosecutors. Another issue is a directive from Mr. Manafort to Mr. Gates to turn over Trump campaign polling data to Mr. Kilimnik in the midst of the presidential race.

The transcript suggests that Mr. Manafort claims that he wanted only public data transferred. But Mr. Weissmann told the judge that the question of whether any American, wittingly or unwittingly, engaged with Russians who were interfering in the election relates to “the core” of the special counsel’s inquiry.

⭕ 9 Feb 2019

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Matthew Whitaker Plays to an Audience of One http://bit.ly/2tc3owS
// Throughout a contentious oversight hearing, the acting attorney general seemed to be auditioning for his next job in the Trump administration.

NYT: Trump Defies Congressional Deadline on Khashoggi Report http://nyti.ms/2tgGYud

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Paul Manafort Sold Out Donald Trump — and His Anonymous Leakers Are Lying about It Publicly http://bit.ly/2Ih0f9x

🐣 RT @juliettekayyem A few notes on Bezos’ security apparatus. The guys I knew at FBI and Secret Service often ended up in VIP Protection, a lucrative post-government position where salaries can be in the high 6 digits. It’s a serious job, especially to protect the richest of the rich. 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/juliettekayyem/status/1094272500320612352

Unian [UKR]: Russian intel offering Ukrainians US$2,000 for setting on fire churches of former Moscow Patriarchate http://bit.ly/2MXLI0R
// Russian spies and Moscow-controlled “security services” in the occupied parts of Donbas have been working to recruit Ukrainian nationals who would commit arson attacks on temples operated by Orthodox priests of what was until recently called the Moscow Patriarchate.

WaPo, Max Boot (Dec): An Israeli tech firm is selling spy software to dictators, betraying the country’s ideals http://wapo.st/2SkX3hA newly relevant
// 12/5/2018

Newsweek: Donald Trump Jr. ‘Expects to be Indicted’ and is in ‘More Immediate Jeopardy’ Than Jared Kushner, Journalist Natasha Bertrand Says http://bit.ly/2SprYt2

Inquisitr: Kremlin ‘Proud’ Of ‘Operation’ To Get Trump Elected, Says Former US Ambassador To Russia Michael McFaul http://bit.ly/2SoeQEo

TheGuardian: Mark Galeotti: ‘We should laugh at Russia more’ http://bit.ly/2WUEMGk
// The Russian politics expert on why the West misreads Putin, Trump’s election, the Skripals and why he loathes Game of Thrones

⭕ 8 Feb 2019

JustSecurity, Sam Berger: Trump’s Plan to Have the Military Build a Wall is Illegal http://bit.ly/2DBpduk

🐣 RT @JohnWDean The world knew the National Enquirer was sleazy. It was not known it’s kind of journalism was much like the mob, extortion and blackmail. Thank you Jeff Bezos for rolling over the log so we all can see what crawls out. Pecker can’t do dirty from prison!
⋙ WaPo Editorial: The truth about the National Enquirer comes crawling out http://wapo.st/2TMMdhb

TheObserver, John Schindler: Inside the Spy Scandal at the Heart of Jeff Bezos’ War With the National Enquirer http://bit.ly/2Bs8g5D

RawStory, Travis Gettys: Cohen pal Donny Deutsch predicts anti-mob laws will take down entire Trump Organization http://bit.ly/2TB3WYM

Deutsch said the SDNY investigation was beginning to look like a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, case.

“I’m going to throw out the term RICO,” Deutsch said. “(It) was introduced, basically, for mob bosses. Police said, ‘Okay, if somebody in your organization killed somebody we can pin it on you.’”

“I think from here on in,” he said, “to the day Donald Trump dies, until those children are wherever they go, they will be picking apart this organization, because what they want to make an example of is this president who showed up and tried to undo 250 years of what our grandfathers fought for, and this organization will eventually be RICO’d and take the entire thing down. This is just the beginning.”

🐣 RT @tribelaw Are Donald Trump and the murderous Saudi Prince bin Salman co-conspirators with David Pecker and AMI in a failed criminal plot to blackmail and extort Jeff Bezos as owner of the Washington Post? Asking for a friend in the Southern District of New York.

TPM, Allegra Kirkland: Ex-Enquirer Editor Jerry George: Bezos Story Was ‘Means Of Kissing And Making Up With’ Trump http://bit.ly/2RQ5oER

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade: New Trump Probe Looks a Lot Like a RICO Investigation http://bit.ly/2BtpFdV
// The crimes reportedly under investigation—money laundering, fraud, conspiracy—could amount to a criminal enterprise. That’s how my team of prosecutors put away Detroit’s mayor.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: What we learned from the Matthew G. Whitaker hearing http://wapo.st/2RS5vj6
// The showdown between House Democrats and Trump’s acting attorney general could provide a glimpse of what’s to come.
1. Whitaker was in over his head
2. Won’t deny Mueller is on a ‘witch hunt’
3. No subpoena showdown yet — but . . .
4. A sitting president cannot be indicted
5. The most inexplicable moment
⋙ This was the moment Whitaker was elevated to the top law enforcement position in the United States. And he says he cannot remember exactly how he first learned he got that job? That certainly seems like something that would be etched into memory — especially three months in.

NYT Editorial: Saudi Arabia’s Threadbare Cover-Up of Khashoggi’s Killing Unravels Further http://nyti.ms/2UTt7Gh
// The crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was overheard threatening to silence the self-exiled Washington Post journalist “with a bullet.”

NYT: Jeff Bezos’ Extortion Claim Said to Be Under Review by Prosecutors http://nyti.ms/2td2jEV

🐣 RT @mkraju Siding with Saudi crown prince, WH will NOT make determination on punishing those responsible for Khashoggi murder under Magnitsky Act. “The President maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when appropriate,” official tells @Kevinliptakcnn 📌 https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/1093925586739888128

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman (Mar 2018): Trump’s Publisher Pal Puts Saudi Propaganda Magazine in U.S. Supermarkets http://bit.ly/2RNsBHS
// 3/26/2018; The owners of the National Enquirer have a slick, ad-free magazine on U.S. newsstands praising crown prince Mohammed bin Salman—and insist they had no outside help for it.

Bloomberg, David Glovin and Andrew Martin: Manafort Prosecutors Have Questions About $1 Million Condo Loan http://bloom.bg/2MWl6xs

DailyBeast: Federal Prosecutors Probing National Enquirer’s Jeff Bezos Story: Report http://bit.ly/2BqCc1Z

DailyBeast, Michael Daly: Bezos Could Put National Enquirer Brass in Jail http://bit.ly/2N13DEc
// ‘D*ck pic’ threat looks like a crime in New York. That could void AMI’s deal with feds and let them use everything David Pecker and Dylan Howard said.

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng and Maxwell Tani: Private Eyes Detail Inner Workings of National Enquirer ‘Blackmail’ Machine http://bit.ly/2UNBqDp
// Threatening to reveal Jeff Bezos’ “dick p*ck” was just the latest strong-arm tactic. “The nice way of calling it was quid pro quo,” one veteran said, “but really it was blackmail.”

Politico, Josh Gerstein: Mueller: Manafort downplayed Russian associate’s conduct even after plea deal http://politi.co/2I04JkI

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Mueller’s team discusses pardons and the Trump administration in a new Manafort transcript http://bit.ly/2GiUqqd
// What the new document tells us about the Mueller investigation.

5:28p 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Anyone have eyes on the ground? This is the second report I’ve heard of this, but no photos or MSM coverage. @CNN @ShimonPro @MSNBC
⋙ 2:54p 🐣 RT @M_Quirk The Kushner residence in Long Branch New Jersey appears as if it is being raided by the FBI #KushnerRaid
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @M_Quirk This is the primary residence of Charlie Kushner, Jared’s father

TheObserver, John Schindler: Inside the Spy Scandal at the Heart of Jeff Bezos’ War With the National Enquirer http://bit.ly/2Bs8g5D

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Saudi state minister for foreign affairs (former foreign minister) responds to questions about Saudi/AMI relationship, calls it “a soap opera” but hedges when asked whether the Saudis played a role in the leaked Bezos stories. “I doubt it,” he says.
⋙ 🐣 RT @yarabayoumy Saudi’s Jubeir on AMI/National Enquirer: “It’s a soap opera.” Asked if KSA played any role urging David Pecker/AMI to leak negative stories about Bezos: “I doubt it”, followed by “As far as I know, flat no.” ¤ Read @TheAtlantic’s story on the saga here:
⋙ ⋙ TheAtlantic, Alana Semuels: Jeff Bezos Brings the Receipts http://bit.ly/2UOx2nr
// The Amazon founder is at war with a tabloid.

TheAtlantic, Alana Semuels: Jeff Bezos Brings the Receipts http://bit.ly/2UOx2nr
// The Amazon founder is at war with a tabloid.

NYT (Mar 2018): Wooing Saudi Business, Tabloid Mogul Had a Powerful Friend: Trump http://nyti.ms/2GgoR0e
// 3/29/2018

WaPo: Ivanka Trump has ‘zero concern’ about Mueller probe, plays down pursuit of Trump Tower in Moscow http://wapo.st/2DZHdQz

NBC: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer owner of ‘extortion and blackmail’ http://nbcnews.to/2DiZEyd
// Emails published by Bezos appear to show that the tabloid publisher threatened to publish embarrassing photos if Washington Post owner didn’t back off an investigation.

⭕ 7 Feb 2019

ForeignAffairs, Konstantin Skorkin: Putin’s Game Plan in Ukraine http://fam.ag/2WVgxIj
// How Moscow Aims to Force Concessions Out of Kiev

MotherJones, Mark Follman and Hannah Levintova: The NRA Welcomed Maria Butina—Even As She Worked to Arm Anti-American Thugs Abroad http://bit.ly/2WORSoN
// While NRA leaders embraced her, Butina denounced US sanctions and advised a militia group helping Putin seize Crimea.

🐣 RT @BillKristol Re-reading Bezos’s post, I’m struck that he goes out of his way to note AMI’s Trump and Saudi connections, which in the past have been “mixe[d]… all together.” Bezos seems to believe Trump and the Saudis are relevant to understanding what happened here.
⋙ 💙💙 Medium, Jeff Bezos: No thank you, Mr. Pecker http://bit.ly/2UJslv6

VanityFair, Emily Jane Fox: “I Am Disgusted”: Behind the Scenes of Trump’s Increasingly Scrutinized $107 Million Inauguration http://bit.ly/2Bpr0m8
// Stephanie Winston Wolkoff was the mastermind event producer behind Trump’s inaugural celebration, which has since come under S.D.N.Y. investigation. Now, taped conversations reveal Wolkoff’s concerns with how money was being spent, the general chaos of the process, the involvement of the Trump family, and the people in charge, namely Rick Gates and Tom Barrack.

NYT: Year Before Killing, Saudi Prince Told Aide He Would Use ‘a Bullet’ on Jamal Khashoggi http://nyti.ms/2Gx6yTB intelligence intercepts

📊 CNN Poll: Almost everyone wants a public report on Mueller’s findings http://cnn.it/2DZLzr6 87% say investigators should release a public report, including 80% of Republicans

WaPo: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer of extortion over intimate photos http://wapo.st/2TEAhxA

Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, wrote that the Enquirer wanted him to make a false public statement that he and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”

Bezos declined to do so. Instead, he published what he said were emails from Enquirer executives to a lawyer representing de Becker. In one, top Enquirer editor Dylan Howard appears to suggest that the tabloid would publish a series of photos of Bezos and of Sanchez, some of them salacious, if AMI’s terms weren’t met.

“I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our newsgathering,” Howard wrote, going on to say that the Enquirer had a “below the belt selfie” of Bezos, among other shots. Howard added, “It would give no editor pleasure to send this email. I hope common sense can prevail — and quickly.” …

AMI’s chief executive, David Pecker, has had a long friendship with President Trump, who has repeatedly attacked Bezos, Amazon and The Washington Post. Pecker directed the Enquirer to write favorable stories about Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, while paying $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to suppress her claim of a long-running affair with Trump.

On Jan. 31, de Becker was quoted in the Daily Beast suggesting that the Enquirer’s pursuit of Bezos was politically motivated. …

Bezos’s public letter seems to suggest that federal agents should investigate whether AMI may have violated the terms of its non-prosecution agreement with prosecutors in Manhattan over its role in the 2016 hush money payments. …

In addition, he included emails from AMI’s deputy general counsel, Jon Fine, detailing a list of terms under which AMI said it would withhold publication of the photos. One of those terms was a statement from Bezos and de Becker “affirming that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that [AMI’s] coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”

In his post on Medium, Bezos called his ownership of The Post “a complexifier” for him. He wrote that it’s “unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy. President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets. Also, The Post’s essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles.”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 87% of Americans say investigators should release a public Mueller report, just 9% say they should not, according to CNN. ¤ Support for a public release is at 80% among Republicans and those who approve of Trump, 92% among Democrats, 88% among independents.

USAToday, Frank Clemente and William Rice: Donald Trump’s tax returns would answer 4 serious questions about his fitness and our laws http://bit.ly/2TBzWM9

WaPo, Joyce Vance and Matthew Miller: The Mueller investigation has sprouted. Therein lies the jeopardy for Trump. http://wapo.st/2tckBpW
// It’s not the crime; it’s the offspring of the crime

TheGuardian, Ben Jacobs: Bezos blackmail claims add new twist to tale of Trump, Russia and the media http://bit.ly/2WOthjW
// Trump’s vitriol toward Amazon CEO and long ties to National Enquirer collided last month, when tabloid ran story on Bezos’s affair

CNN: As Mueller probe winds down, House Trump investigation powers up http://cnn.it/2tce3I0

🔊 NPR: ‘NYT’ Reporter Covering Trump: We’ve Almost ‘Lost The Ability To Be Shocked’ [Audio] http://n.pr/2DYQmJm Terry Gross interviews NYT’s Michael Schmidt

≣ CNN: Read: Transcript of closed-door Manafort hearing http://cnn.it/2WQ4A6s 143p
// A federal court released a partial transcript from Paul Manafort’s four-and-a-half hour sealed court hearing held on Monday.

Spiegel, Christoph Scheunemann and Jörg Schmitt [GER]: Dossier at Heart of Trump Scandal Still Dogs President http://bit.ly/2WP52lJ
// At the heart of Donald Trump’s Russia scandal is a mysterious dossier prepared by a former British intelligence agent. Many of the suspicions in the papers have been confirmed and have hounded his presidency for two years now.

TheGuardian/AP: Democrats launch new investigation into Trump’s finances and Russia links http://bit.ly/2WODugb
// Announcement comes the day after Trump criticized ‘ridiculous partisan investigations’ in his State of the Union speech

WaPo: Sergei Millian, identified as an unwitting source for the Steele dossier, sought proximity to Trump’s world in 2016 http://wapo.st/2WP30C7

🔆 This❗️⋙ Politico: Senate Intelligence chairman: No evidence of Trump-Russia collusion http://politi.co/2Djq2b8 Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)

“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” Burr told CBS.

Still, the senator said some questions raised over the investigation could occupy the committee “for the next decade,” and that portions of the final report could be so classified that they are never revealed to the public. Burr said his committee is “close to pushing out the door” a report on the Obama administration’s response to Russian election interference, a release that the chairman said could come within a “matter of weeks.”

Burr also described an environment of bipartisanship within the committee, which he oversees with Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.). Burr told CBS he found it difficult to believe the committee would splinter along partisan lines, as was the case in the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, which was shuttered by its then-GOP majority last year.

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay: White House Waives Ethics Rules for Its New Lawyers http://bit.ly/2WJaKWd
// Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin were excused from provisions of a law that would bar them from making decisions that could affect the financial interests of past employers.

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: ‘They Hate This Guy’: Matt Whitaker Braces for Showdown With Dems http://bit.ly/2TAdPFW
// ‘We don’t know what we’re up against with the House Judiciary Committee,’ one Justice Department source told The Daily Beast. ‘We have no idea.’

⭕ 6 Feb 2019

Bloomberg: Trump Wanted $20 Million for 2006 Moscow Deal: Developer http://bloom.bg/2GoVcBf
● Ukrainian-Russian provides new details of an early negotiation
● Pavel Fuks describes meeting Trump, hosting children in Moscow

🐣 RT @justinhendrix Richard Nixon, 1974: “I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of the matter to an end.” ¤ Donald Trump, 2019: “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.” ¤ Both beg for investigations to end: 💽 https://twitter.com/justinhendrix/status/1093134844572459008/photo/1

NBC: On Trump’s calendar, just 17 intelligence briefings in 85 days http://nbcnews.to/2GeKXQy
// U.S. officials also say Trump does not regularly read the written intelligence briefing sent over daily.

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff and Erin Banco: Paul Erickson, Russian Agent Maria Butina’s Boyfriend, Indicted for Fraud http://bit.ly/2SvgnIe
// The federal indictment in South Dakota alleges that he ran a criminal scheme from 1996 to 2018 using a chain of assisted living homes.

NYPost: Trump associate and Maria Butina’s ex Paul Erickson indicted http://nyp.st/2MXgG9G

WSJ: OPEC Pursues Formal Pact With Russia http://on.wsj.com/2ScOyoK
// An alliance with a 10-nation group led by Moscow would transform the cartel, which is under pressure from Trump and U.S. producers

💙💙 Salon, Heather Digby Parton: Final stages of the Russia probe: Trump is under assault from all directions http://bit.ly/2WGQNzj
// As Mueller untangles the Russia web, prosecutors probe Trump’s company and inauguration. He’s running scared

Bloomberg: Trump Wanted $20 Million for 2006 Moscow Deal, Developer Says http://bloom.bg/2GoVcBf
● Ukrainian-Russian provides new details of an early negotiation
● Pavel Fuks describes meeting Trump, hosting children in Moscow

Politico: House Intel votes to send witness transcripts to Mueller for possible perjury charges http://politi.co/2DZpk4r

Politico: Schumer: Trump is ‘scared’ of congressional oversight http://politi.co/2BkiRzi

TheHill: Schiff hits back at Trump: He’s ‘terrified’ of House Russia probe http://bit.ly/2Sg9hry

Newsweek, Cristina Maza: Donald Trump Was in Negotiations to Build Mall in Russia as Far Back as the 1990s, Former Moscow Mayor Says http://bit.ly/2MTAbj9

WIRED, Garrett Graff: What Robert Mueller Knows—and Isn’t Telling Us http://bit.ly/2WLTkrX

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman: House Intel Democrats Just Restarted and Supercharged the Trump-Russia Probe http://bit.ly/2t9bAxK
// Armed with subpoena power, Schiff will look at whether anyone connected to Trump was at risk of being co-opted by a foreign power—and that’s going to have an expansive scope.

WaPo: New Trump-Russia probe will focus on reports of money laundering, ‘financial compromise,’ Schiff says http://wapo.st/2t7jQOZ

NYT: House Expands Russia Inquiry as Pelosi Declares Democrats Will Not Be Cowed http://nyti.ms/2RHushm

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Schiff: The House Intel Committee’s Russia investigation “will focus principally on five interconnected lines of inquiry, beginning with these incomplete or unexamined investigative threads:”
Text Block: https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1093194527198900227/photo/1

🐣 I know Virginia lies at the heart of a national media market etc, but the non-stop coverage of state scandals has drowned out important news:
1) CNN on US arms going to Al Queda via Saudis,
2) BuzzFeed dump of docs proving collusion over Trump Tower Moscow
@MSNBC @CNN @NBC

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Schiff postpones Cohen’s testimony -> 2/28 “in the interest of the investigation.” Sounds like Mueller wants to get the other transcripts and charge everyone that lied about the Moscow Tower (like Junior?) before they talk to Cohen and risk leaks. #beans
⋙ TheHill: House Intel panel postpones Cohen testimony http://bit.ly/2SuddEK

🐣 The only reason Trump offered up domestic goodies was so he could snatch them back again to hold as ransom for ending investigations which Congress is Constitutionally required to pursue. There’s no there there. There never was.

⭕ 5 Feb 2019

ForeignAffairs, Jill Lepore: A New Americanism ~ Why a Nation Needs a National Story http://fam.ag/2DqhHT2

WNYC: Confidential Memo: Company of Trump Inaugural Chair Tom Barrack Sought to Profit from Connection to Administration, Foreigners http://bit.ly/2SaJ9i1

WaPo: In dissonant State of the Union speech, Trump seeks unity while depicting ruin http://wapo.st/2WDTZLU

🐣 RT @matthewamiller This is really smart. First step in forcing the WH to formally declare executive privilege, which the House can then litigate, is a subpoena. Makes clear Whitaker can’t avoid answering q’s about conversations with Trump by just declining to.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Jerry Nadler says he may subpoena Matt Whitaker: “In an abundance of caution—to ensure that Mr. Whitaker both appears in the hearing room on Friday morning and answers our questions cleanly—I have asked the Committee to authorize me to issue a subpoena to compel his testimony.”

Salon, Igor Derysh: Russian-born lobbyist got “suspicious” payments right before and after June 2016 Trump Tower meeting http://bit.ly/2UGKDNJ Rinat Akhmetshin
// A Washington lobbyist and former Soviet officer who attended the famous meeting received unexplained payments

NYT: Firms Recruited by Paul Manafort Are Investigated Over Foreign Payments http://nyti.ms/2De9Is2

TheIndependent [UK]: Newly unearthed video shows Trump ‘meeting with Russians in Moscow in 1995’ over ‘building project’ http://ind.pn/2UHP2Qn
// Video alleges to show US president meeting with former Russian officials in Moscow to discuss building an underground mall

CBC [CA]: Chris Christie warned Trump not to ‘poke the bear’ by attacking Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2Dep1B9
// Jared Kushner put ‘an axe to my head with Donald Trump,’ former governor says of firing

Politico: Dems revive push to shield Mueller from firing and make his final report public http://politi.co/2t6XnS3
// There’s growing Republican support for making Mueller’s findings public.

Vox, Andrew Prokop: The investigation into Trump’s inauguration money looks quite serious http://bit.ly/2TxacAz
//. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York subpoenaed the inaugural committee on Monday.

LVSun Editorial: Despite his tough talk, Trump has been consistently soft on Russia http://bit.ly/2DbkjEs

DailyBeast/CPI: Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Oppose Trump’s Withdrawal From Nuclear Pact http://bit.ly/2UHbOYP
// Univ of MD PollTrump wants out, says Russia has violated the treaty’s terms, but even most Republicans oppose withdrawal.

CNN: As Trump seeks an exit from Afghanistan, Moscow steps in http://cnn.it/2t5ZxBl

WaPo, Aaron Blake: The 7 big investigations of Trump, explained http://wapo.st/2HRzqbD

Reuters: As U.S. withdraws, top general warns on Islamic State threat in Syria http://reut.rs/2RHgQ5q “The remarks by U.S. General Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, represent the latest warning by current and former U.S. officials about the risk of a resurgence”

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙 BuzzFeedNews: These Secret Files Show How The Trump Moscow Talks Unfolded While Trump Heaped Praise On Putin http://bit.ly/2DWQ2ed
// Ahead of Michael Cohen’s testimony, read the original paper trail behind the campaign to build Europe’s tallest tower in Moscow — and how it played out alongside Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Ahead of Michael Cohen’s testimony, read the original paper trail behind the campaign to build Europe’s tallest tower in Moscow — and how it played out alongside Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

BuzzFeed News is today publishing a cache of internal Trump Organization documents that lay bare the secret negotiations that continued long after Cohen claimed the deal had been abandoned. The documents, many of which have been exclusively obtained by BuzzFeed News, reveal that — despite Trump’s claim that the development was never more than a passing notion — the effort to get the tower built was long-running, detail-oriented, and directly entwined with the ups and downs of his campaign.

As Trump went from rally to rally, vociferously denying any dealings in Russia, his representatives, Michael Cohen and his associate Felix Sater, worked with Trump Organization lawyers and even Ivanka Trump to push forward negotiations to build a 100-story edifice just miles from the Kremlin. The fixers believed they needed Putin’s support to pull off the lucrative deal, and they planned to use Trump’s public praise for him to help secure it. At the same time, they plotted to persuade Putin to openly declare his support for Trump’s candidacy. “If he says it we own this election,” Sater wrote to Cohen.

🐣 RT @krassenstein They Admitted COLLUSION! ¤ Felix Sater to Michael Cohen: ¤ “We can own this election. Michael my next steps are very sensitive with Putins very very close people, we can pull this off. Michael lets go. 2 boys from Brooklyn getting a USA president elected. This is good really good”
↥ ↧
💙💙 🐣 RT @krassenstein I know I am constantly claiming that this is what will bring Trump down, but this 284 page cache of emails, texts and communications between Felix Sater and Michael Cohen shows CLEAR Collusion. ¤ Oh… and I told you so!
⋙ DocCloud: Trump Tower Moscow Planning http://bit.ly/2Stn4dF 284p
⋙ 🐣 Just paged through it. This page really struck me … https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1092879550097301504/photo/1
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @krassenstein Don’t you dare tell em there is ‘NO COLLUSION’ ¤ Read this email from Felix Sater to Michael Cohen. ¤ Read it ALL! https://twitter.com/krassenstein/status/1092864407871328261/photo/1

TPM, Tierney Sneed: House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) Sets Stage For Matt Whitaker Subpoena Showdown http://bit.ly/2TwkLnr

TPM, Josh Kovensky and Allegra Kirkland: What Jumps Out From The Subpoena Of The Trump Inaugural Committee http://bit.ly/2WGPhwY

TPM, Josh Kovensky and Allegra Kirkland: What Jumps Out From The Subpoena Of The Trump Inaugural Committee http://bit.ly/2WGPhwY

🔊NewYorker: David Remnick on Putin’s Russia. [Podcast] http://bit.ly/2GbTV1a 21mins

ForeignAffairs, Eliot Cohen: America’s Long Goodbye http://fam.ag/2t8ZxAF
// Jan-Feb issue; The Real Crisis of the Trump Era

⭕ 4 Feb 2019

Slate, Mike Pesca: To Russia With Love http://bit.ly/2MSALO2
// It may not be a smoking gun, but the Trump campaign team was so foolish as to stun even the Kremlin officials they spoke with.

NYT, Michelle Goldberg: Latvia Above Us, Croatia Below http://nyti.ms/2DT7wI5
// Under Trump, America is no longer in the top tier of democratic countries.

WaPo, Dan Balz and Griff Witte: Europeans fear Trump may threaten not just the transatlantic bond, but the state of their union http://wapo.st/2UFh7bd

MiddleEastMonitor: Russian FM: Discussing launching Syria Constitutional Committee in Iran http://bit.ly/2D73ASA

NYT, Franz Sedelmeyer: The Putin I Knew; the Putin I Know http://nyti.ms/2WJL3F5
// I met Vladimir Putin and trusted him in the early 1990s, when he was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg. Now that he’s Russia’s president, he’s different. He’s no friend of democracy.

WaPo, Max Boot: The problem with Trump’s “America First”: If the US is pursuing only its self-interest, why should other countries help us? And if other countries don’t help us, how can we achieve our national security objectives? My @PostOpinions column:
⋙ WaPo, Max Boot: Trump doesn’t get it: America pays the cost for betraying allies http://wapo.st/2t60Pwn

🐣 RT @ProudResister This is a big development:
SDNY prosecutors are investigating @realDonaldTrump’s inaugural committee for crimes related to…
— Mail Fraud
— Wire Fraud
— False Statements
— Money Laundering
— Conspiracy to defraud the United States
#TrumpCrimeFamily

VICE, Greg Walters: Don Jr. and Jared Kushner’s congressional testimonies are finally going to Mueller http://bit.ly/2SbanFd

WaPo, Devlin Barrett: End of Mueller investigation could spark battle between Justice Dept. and Congress over release of special counsel’s report http://wapo.st/2DT5tE2

🐣 RT @CREWcrew Maybe it’s a coincidence that so many Russians with connections to crime have bought properties from Trump. ¤ Maybe.
🌀 https://twitter.com/CREWcrew/status/1092618865367048193/photo/1

WSJ: Lawyers for Trump Inaugural Committee Receive Subpoena for Documents http://on.wsj.com/2DVS1iH
// Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office has been investigating president’s inaugural fund

NYT: Trump Inaugural Committee Ordered to Hand Over Documents to Federal Investigators http://nyti.ms/2BhVXJ2

Slate, Mike Pesca: To Russia With Love [Audio] http://bit.ly/2GmteGd
// It may not be a smoking gun, but the Trump campaign team was so foolish as to stun even the Kremlin officials they spoke with.

ABCNews: New York prosecutors seek records from Trump inauguration committee: Sources http://abcn.ws/2DUrthR

🐣 RT @jedshug Akhmetshin is a former Soviet spy who lobbies for Russian oligarchs and money launderers against sanctions… who just happens to meet Kushner, Jr, and Manafort in Trump Tower. ¤ Why on earth is a Trump campaign insider paying him big money in 2016-17?
⋙ BuzzFeedNews: A Lobbyist At The Trump Tower Meeting Received Half A Million Dollars In Suspicious Payments http://bit.ly/2UEjSta
// A bank flagged transactions, including large cash deposits, made before and after Rinat Akhmetshin attended the 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

🐣 RT @TeaPainUSA This is the hold-up that may have kept Don Jr. from bein’ indicted so far. The House Intel Committee will vote on Wednesday to send the transcripts to Mueller’s team.
If Mueller gets these on Weds, pay close attention if there’s a Grand Jury on Thurs.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand .@RepAdamSchiff said last week that the committee will vote to send “all of these transcripts of all the witnesses to Bob Mueller so that he can consider whether additional perjury charges are warranted.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand here we go… Members of House Intel will gather on Wednesday at 10 a.m. to vote on the “transmission of Certain Committee Transcripts to the Department of Justice.” http://bit.ly/2Sq1A1v

TheObserver, John Schindler: In Moscow, There’s No Longer Any Line Between Spies, Lies & Terrorists http://bit.ly/2TxnBsm

PBS: AP fact check: Trump’s untruths on Russia probe, wall, jobs http://to.pbs.org/2MPmGkC

PublicIntegrity, Alex Finley: The Trump team’s persistent lying about Russia creates counterintelligence challenge http://bit.ly/2S8XUBR

WaPo, Steven Hall: I was in the CIA. Trump’s petty fights and insults will make us all less safe. http://wapo.st/2MPTLwC

Reuters, Polina Devitt and Arshad Mohammed: Questions linger over Deripaska’s Rusal influence after U.S. deal http://reut.rs/2HRX0Vy

⭕ 3 Feb 2019

MSN: Trump said ‘you have to get rid of’ the Russia probe and parroted a Kremlin talking point in a wide-ranging interview http://bit.ly/2UHNvtR

NBC: Trump says he doesn’t know if he wants Mueller report made public http://nbcnews.to/2BiJuEV
// It depends,” Trump said. “I have no idea what it’s going to say.”

TheHill, Douglas Schoen: Trump tension with intel community worsens threats of Russia and China http://bit.ly/2UEajKG

🐣 RT @FaceTheNation When asked if he would make the Mueller report public, @realDonaldTrump says it’s “totally up to to the Attorney General.”
Text Block: /https://twitter.com/FaceTheNation/status/1092192158499684357photo/1

🐣 RT @MalcolmNance Must read thread: Is the 2020 election already under attack by Weaponized AI pushing proTrump bots? Seems we are on @YouTube
⋙ 🐣 RT @smartereveryday I’m an Engineer who loves America.
I just figured something out I want to talk about it.
Let’s talk about weaponized bots, algorithm exploitation, countermeasures, and counter-countermeasures.
📌
https://twitter.com/smartereveryday/status/1091833011262423040

WaPo/AP: Where the investigations related to President Trump stand http://wapo.st/2SmWzqp

BBC, Gareth Evans: Robert Mueller: America’s most mysterious public figure http://bbc.in/2DSuu2b

🚫 RussiaInsider: Trump Is Right: The Intelligence Community Needs to ‘Go Back to School’ http://bit.ly/2S6DUQ9
// “The current crop of national intelligence chiefs are careerists who have risen to the top through their willingness to conform to a system that is designed not to challenge conventional thinking”
https://twitter.com/RussiaInsider/status/1091956468964679680/photo/1
//➔ disinfo but I like this drawing lol

⭕ 2 Feb 2019

NYT, Katie Benner: Trump Says He Is Not a Target in Investigations, but the Question Is Complicated http://nyti.ms/2BcQAuz

🐣 RT @SethAbramson Putin wanted out of the pact. Trump obliged him by going first and making Putin’s action seem reasonable and warranted. Another win for Putin—another loss for America. And still we can’t get one Republican in D.C. to do more than frown slightly and give the dirt a desultory kick. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1091740727720271873

ABCNews: Putin ally suggests Seychelles meeting with Erik Prince more than chance encounter over a beer http://abcn.ws/2t2gjRK no kidding

CNN: Author of controversial Nunes memo joining National Security Council http://cnn.it/2HQPyKq

NYT: Trump Sought a Loan During the 2016 Campaign. Deutsche Bank Said No. http://nyti.ms/2SiuG2M

WSJ: Deutsche Bank in Late 2016 Raced to Shed Loan It Made to Russian Bank VTB http://on.wsj.com/2WLsmAO
// German lender sold a chunk of the loan to Russian financial institution Alfa Bank but Citigroup took a pass, documents and people familiar with the matter indicate

🐣 RT @W7VOA “Two intelligence officers even reported that they have been warned to avoid giving the President intelligence assessments that contradict stances he has taken in public,” reports @TIME.
💙💙 ⋙ TIME, John Walcott: ‘Willful Ignorance.’ Inside President Trump’s Troubled Intelligence Briefings http://bit.ly/2HIzkD0

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Russia Is Attacking the U.S. System From Within http://bit.ly/2GgsaUi
// A new filing by Special Counsel Robert Mueller shows how Russia uses the federal courts to go after its adversaries.

Politico, Jack Shafer: Week 89: The Russians Meddle and the Trumps Soft Pedal http://politi.co/2WD5MKo
// CNN broke stories on stolen files from Mueller team and Don Jr.’s mysterious calls. And for once the Trumps didn’t scream “Fake News.”

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Why Putin won’t be mad about Trump pulling out of the INF Treaty http://wapo.st/2Toogwo

⭕ 1 Feb 2019

WaysAndMeans: Trump Proposal Threatens Due Process in Social Security Appeals | Ways and Means Committee http://bit.ly/2t69xus
// Proposed Regulation Would Eliminate Americans’ Right to In-Person Hearing on Disability Appeals, Threatening Earned Benefits

NYT, Linda Qiu: Fact-Checking President Trump’s Interview With The New York Times http://nyti.ms/2MUIn2V
// In the wide-ranging interview, the president made numerous inaccurate or misleading statements about trade, the military and border security, among other topics.

CNN: Author of controversial Nunes memo joining National Security Council http://cnn.it/2HQPyKq

VICE, Greg Walters: Why Mueller’s final move could be a grand conspiracy case http://bit.ly/2RyhemT
// The Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals provide clues to the Russia endgame.

Seth Waxman, a former federal prosecutor based in Washington, D.C., said Mueller has laid the groundwork to incorporate his previous allegations into one overarching, broad conspiracy.

Waxman pointed out that under the law, criminal conspiracies can evolve and take on new members as they develop. So a plot that began exclusively among Russians to hack the Democrats in 2015 could be said to have morphed and grown by mid-2016, when Americans may have joined in to help coordinate the release of the emails.

“I think Mueller has his eyes on one big prize: a vast conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 election,” Waxman said. “I think we’re going to see a new conspiracy in which the things that we’ve already seen charged are included.” …

“As we read Mueller’s theory under [the general conspiracy statute], as long as they acted knowingly to join a scheme to deceive the U.S. government to frustrate its enforcement authority and took some action in pursuit of that scheme, they too would be guilty,” Kohse and Wittes wrote. “Mueller’s theory involves a well-established legal doctrine that has been deployed in roughly analogous situations, and it is potentially extremely powerful.”

Some of the targeted Americans could be members of Trump’s family, according to Peter Zeidenberg, a former prosecutor and deputy special counsel for the prosecution of former White House aide Scooter Libby.

“Mueller is building a conspiracy case that’s likely to ensnare Trump and his family,” Zeidenberg wrote in a December column for USA Today. “In short order, expect to see a case of conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 election to be laid out in court.” …

SFChronicle: Pelosi: Trump’s suspension of arms treaty with Russia is ‘irresponsible’ http://bit.ly/2UztkxZ

CNN, Eliot Engel and Adam Smith: US pulling out of the INF treaty rewards Putin, hurts NATO http://cnn.it/2sZTm1E

NPR: New Information From Senate Investigation Adds Clarity To Trump Tower Meeting http://n.pr/2t3U26e

ForeignPolicy, Michael Hirsh: Trump Once Wanted to Negotiate With Russia Over Nukes. Then Mueller Happened. http://bit.ly/2D45JOJ
// The U.S. president might be too hemmed in by the Russia probe to attempt a successor to the INF or START treaties.

Esquire, Charles Pierce: This Administration* Is Playing Russian Roulette for Idiots http://bit.ly/2Gi8YFA
// The US is suspending participation in a Cold War-era nuclear treaty with Russia. This is an odds-on decision to start another nuclear arms race in Europe.

WaPo, George Will: Only Democrats can save this president http://wapo.st/2WzW4Zc

WaPo: McConnell privately cautions Trump about emergency declaration on border wall http://wapo.st/2RuacQ8

TheHill: Five takeaways on Trump decision to suspend nuclear treaty with Russia http://bit.ly/2DPRFKo
● To Trump, this is Russia’s ‘final chance’
● Door is open for new U.S. missiles
● Allies back U.S. move, but worry about future
● Questions swirl on separate pact
● China casts shadow over decision

CNN: Adelsons give $500,000 to pro-Trump legal fund that helps aides caught up in Russia probe http://cnn.it/2D1X27G

NewYorker, Susan Glasser: Trump Lost the Shutdown, But At Least God Made Him President, and He’s Building That Wall http://bit.ly/2Tsdxku

TheGuardian: Donald Trump confirms US withdrawal from INF nuclear treaty http://bit.ly/2Bfh7Y6
// Announcement gives Russia 180 days to destroy violating missiles and launchers to avoid new arms race

DailyBeast, Olivia Messer: Speed Read: The 7 Craziest Bits in Trump’s New York Times Interview http://bit.ly/2GhgCQv
// He FIRED Mattis. His ‘failing’ nemesis owes him ‘one great story.’ And George Washington ran a business as president, too. That and more from the Times’ Oval Office report.

Vox, Andrew Prokop: The news about Donald Trump Jr.’s mysterious calls before the Trump Tower meeting, explained http://bit.ly/2t1n8TF
// The president is claiming vindication after new reports, but Democrats still have questions.

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Donald Trump Jr. Called a ‘Family Friend’ Who Was Also a Link to Moscow http://nym.ag/2SmDLYq Howard Lorber

The recipient of one of the phone calls was Howard Lorber who is, yes, a “family friend.” But he is also a longtime point of contact in Trump’s ambitions to build a tower in Moscow, which date back to the 1980s. Lorber accompanied Trump on a 1996 visit to Moscow to explore building there. “Howard has major investments in Russia,” Trump boasted to a Russian politician at the time. As Craig Unger notes, Lorber’s dealings in Russia put him in contact with Russian mobsters.

WaPo: Russian escort says she gave Trump info to Russian tycoon http://wapo.st/2t1XkHe Nastya Rybka

🐣 RT @Newsweek Donald Trump claims Trump Tower Moscow doesn’t count as “business” with Russia https://trib.al/W3OoN3u 

MotherJones: The Trump Administration Said It Would Impose Tough New Sanctions on Russia. It Still Hasn’t. http://bit.ly/2TrBzMu
// It has yet to fulfill its pledge to punish the Kremlin for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal.

🐣 RT @nycsouthpaw Good morning moon,
Good morning stars,
Good morning camera crews staking out Jerome Corsi’s house in rental cars

NYT: Excerpts From Trump’s Interview With The Times http://nyti.ms/2G0p2MZ

NBC: Trump’s foreign policy faces growing dissent in Congress http://nbcnews.to/2WzMvK3
// On issues ranging from Syria to North Korea and NATO, Trump’s policies are being rebuked by both parties.

🐣 RT @McFaul Not in America’s national interest. Remember, Reagan signed this one!
⋙ CNN: US expected to announce US suspension of landmark INF arms control treaty http://cnn.it/2MLhFt8

⭕ 31 Jan 2019

LawfareBlog, Benjamin Wittes: What an Old Watergate Document Can Teach the House Judiciary Committee http://bit.ly/2sZtdzU

💽 MSNBC, RachelMaddowShow: Fading NRA panics over exposed ties to Russia http://on.msnbc.com/2D79bIK
// Rachel Maddow looks at the waning fortunes of the NRA and the latest round of infighting as their infiltration by Russian interests, including admitted Russian agent Maria Butina, are exposed.

NewYorker, Isaac Chotiner: Does Democracy Need Truth?: A Conversation with the Historian Sophia Rosenfeld http://bit.ly/2Bd2LaI

NewYorker, David Rohde: Is Trump Trying to Bully America’s Intelligence Agencies Into Silence? http://bit.ly/2UEX6BJ

Bloomberg, Travis Tritten: ‘Erratic’ Trump Undermines Iran, Russia Policies, Report Says http://bit.ly/2t0b70M
● Ex-Trump adviser McMaster decries `partisan discourse’
President’s `unilateral whims’ seen putting progress at risk

NBC: ISIS could reclaim territory in months without military pressure, warns Pentagon in draft report http://nbcnews.to/2UzKdZE
// A draft report says ISIS wants to regain land in Syria, and that with no military pressure, the terror group could retake land in months.

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “Jared Kushner [turned] out to be the George Costanza of the Trump administration…every piece of advice he gives is exactly and horribly wrong, including his advice to fire Comey… & that firing Flynn would end the ‘Russia thing'” – @RonaldKlain w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1091100485099159555/photo/1

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Posting without speculation, because we don’t know if these are related to Mueller. They are in DC. Who is on your Fantasy Indictment Team this week? Junior? Superseding Stone? Superseding Manafort? Erickson? Rando? #FantasyIndictmentLeague #FelonyFriday 📌 https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1091167449486024705
⋙ 🐣 RT @WMerthin These are all CR cases, which generally indicates an indictment. Two of them also have case flag B, which is the case flag for an indictment. The cat B’s were filed on 29th and 30th. The other two were filed yesterday and today. Let me know if that isn’t clear. https://twitter.com/WMerthon/status/1091161265324605440/photo/1-2

🐣 RT @muellertimepod Four more sealed indictments were filed on the DC Court docket today. Cross your fingers #MuellerFriday

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Intel Committee member Rep. Jackie Speier: Trump is “becoming a national security threat himself.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, AndreaMitchellReports: Rep. Speier: President Trump ‘becoming a national security threat himself’ http://on.msnbc.com/2BeLY7b
// President Trump is lashing out at his own intelligence appointees, pushing back on Tuesday’s testimony from the CIA director and Director of National Intelligence before a Senate committee – both contradicting the president on subjects ranging from North Korea to Syria and ISIS. California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who serves on the Intelligence Committee, joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss.

🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 Bank & financial records aren’t common evidence of obstruction & witness tampering crimes like those in Stone indictment. Could suggest other possible crimes were listed in the search warrant application. Maybe explains why Trump/Graham are so worked up about the search?

🐣 RT @maziehirono Our country faces real national security challenges from Russia. China, North Korea, Iran. We rely on our intel agencies to tell us the truth. They did that on Tuesday before the Senate Intel Committee. Trump attacks their truths at our country’s peril. Up to us to fight back.

🐣 RT @MarkWarner The media didn’t make the President wake up on Wednesday and trash the intelligence community on Twitter. No tweet or Oval Office photo-op can undo two years of the President’s total disrespect for the intelligence community.

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri Stolen DNC, Clinton emails had “very strategic releases” that “would have required somebody inside” the Trump campaign “to have strategized” Watergate prosecutor @nickakerman on Roger Stone indictment:
💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1091111079181201409/photo/1

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Nancy Pelosi on whether Russia has compromising information on Trump: “I think it’s a question. By the way. I’ve been asking that question for two years … I’ve always said that. What is this? What is this? Something is wrong with this picture.” Via ABC
💽 https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1091011989994905600/photo/1

🐣 RT @AngrierWHStaff Trump’s feed is abso-fucking-lutely nuts today, but there’s a strategy to it. Iran! China! Wall is started! Can’t build wall, Dems blocking! We’re gonna build the wall anyway! Abortion! Did I mention the wall that the Dems are blocking is almost done?
“LOOK ANYWHERE BUT HERE!”

🐣 RT @craigunger 1/Fascinating that “blocked #” phone call circa 2016 Trump Tower meeting went to real estate developer Howard Lorber who was much more than just a family friend. In ’96, when Trump went to RU to try to develop Trump Tower in Moscow, Lorber came w his partner Bennett LeBow.
📌 https://twitter.com/craigunger/status/1091176835407335424

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Alright. I wasn’t gonna, but if an indictment drops tomorrow and Miller met with the grand jury today, it’s Stone. Otherwise super space beans on Assange or Erickson. And a side of beans on an emergency declaration to distract. #FelonyFriday [link]

🐣 RT @AngrierWHstaff Trump’s been panicking all day. I wonder who’s going to jail tomorrow? Man I hope it’s Jr.

Inquisitr, Jonathan Vankin: Who Is Howard Lorber? Donald Trump’s Russia-Tied ‘Best Friend’ Got Call From Trump Jr. Ahead Of Tower Meeting http://bit.ly/2G2LTr3 citing WaPo
// Donald Trump Jr. called Howard Lorber after he learned that Russia was offering ‘incriminating’ information about Hillary Clinton at a meeting held in Trump Tower.

Lorber — who was named to Trump’s campaign economic advisory council about two months after the Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr. and the Russians — also has “deep ties to Russia,” according to a Washington Post profile.
↥ ↧
⋙ WaPo, Josh Rogin (2016): Another Trump adviser with deep ties to Russia http://wapo.st/2DLVfW7 //➔ blocked number called by Don Jr after Trump Tower meeting
// 8/10/2016

Forbes, Steve Denning: The Strange Places Trump Gets His Intelligence From http://bit.ly/2S4TtIt

Politico: Trump claims his intel chiefs were ‘misquoted’ when they publicly broke with him http://politi.co/2UzLJuJ

Politico: Dems ready first subpoena fight with Trump administration http://politi.co/2MJsxYP
// Lawmakers don’t expect Treasury to comply with their demand for documents on the decision to ease sanctions on companies tied to Oleg Deripaska.

Vox, Alex Ward: Trump just lied about what his intelligence officials said http://bit.ly/2WxE1mI
// He says you should read the “COMPLETE testimony.” The problem is it proves he’s wrong.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Trump claims his intelligence chiefs said they were ‘totally misquoted.’ They spoke in public. http://wapo.st/2S1ZnK3

WaPo, Jacqueline Alemany: Power Up: Trump rift with his own intelligence chiefs widens global opening for Putin http://wapo.st/2CVczWR

💽 HuffPo: Nicolle Wallace Reads Very Long List Of The Times Donald Trump Has Taken Russia’s Side [Video] http://bit.ly/2WActwH
// “Here’s all the stuff Putin is getting,” said the MSNBC host.

CNN: Exclusive: Trump Jr.’s mysterious calls weren’t with his father http://cnn.it/2SlMbz6

💙💙 NewYorker, Masha Gessen: The Trump-Russia Investigation and the Mafia State http://bit.ly/2CWRDih
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1091166406048141313/photo/1

What we are observing is not most accurately described as the subversion of American democracy by a hostile power. Instead, it is an attempt at state capture by an international crime syndicate. What unites Yanukovych, Veselnitskaya, Manafort, Stone, WikiLeaks’s Julian Assange, the Russian troll factory, the Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos and his partners in crime, the “Professor” (whose academic credentials are in doubt), and the “Female Russian National” (who appears to have fraudulently presented herself as Putin’s niece) is that they are all crooks and frauds. This is not a moral assessment, or an attempt to downplay their importance. It is an attempt to stop talking in terms of states and geopolitics and begin looking at Mafias and profits.

🐣 RT @maggieNYT NEWS: In an Oval Office intvw, POTUS tells @peterbakernyt and me that he’s essentially done negotiating w Congress,denies directing someone to coordinate w Stone on Wikileaks, says he never directed WH officials to order Kushner to get a security clearance
⋙ NYT: Trump, in Interview, Calls Wall Talks ‘Waste of Time’ and Dismisses Investigations http://nyti.ms/2HJs5Lh with audio

CNN, James Gagliano: Retired FBI agent: The Roger Stone raid was totally by the book http://cnn.it/2S0uwhe

WaPo, Josh Rogin: How Russia is corrupting the liberal world order http://wapo.st/2CVaquh

🐣 RT @JeffRathke Very informative thread on Intel Community threat assessments, from someone who knows. Via @conradtribble
⋙ 🐣 RT @EricBrewerM There’s a lot of bad info floating around out there about how the IC works and how it does the Worldwide Threat Assessment. So as someone who has helped draft these documents (including on issues like Iran!), let me try and set a few things straight in this thread: 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/BrewerEricM/status/1090989219428872193

WaPo: It’s not just the White House: At Pentagon and State Dept., the press is out in the cold, too http://wapo.st/2sW1zUA

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Stone is now subject to a protective order. He can’t talk about what the government shows him in terms of evidence prior to the trial.
⋙ 🐣 RT @big_cases New filing in United States v. Stone: Protective Order http://bit.ly/2BdcLRg https://twitter.com/big_cases/status/1091046172838510595/photo/1-4

JustSecurity, John Sipher and Benjamin Haas: Trump’s Moves Against the Intelligence Community Are Hurting U.S. National Security http://bit.ly/2sW1gZW

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff and Asawin Suebsaeng: White House Abruptly Canceled Trump’s Meeting With Intel Chiefs http://bit.ly/2UxmFEq
// The cancellation came a day after top officials gave testimony to congress seemingly contradicting key parts of the president’s foreign policy.

🐣 RT @Hardball The Senate delivered a rebuke to the President on Thursday by backing Senator McConnell’s amendment disapproving the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Syria by a vote of 68-23.
⋙ MSNBC, Hardball: Senate votes against withdrawing troops from Syria, Afghanistan http://on.msnbc.com/2DMtxIJ

CNN, Katelyn Polantz: Court begins to fill in details of mystery Mueller case http://cnn.it/2sYSYAs

🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump just said we didn’t see and hear what we saw and heard his own Intelligence Chiefs tell Congress yesterday. This is what tyrants do. They try to get us to believe them over our own eyes and ears. This is the time to tell him to shove it.

NBC: ‘Whistleblower’ in White House security clearance office gets suspended http://nbcnews.to/2G1gQMr
// Tricia Newbold was suspended less than a week after NBC reported Jared Kushner’s top-secret security clearance was approved over staff objections.

HuffPo: Chris Cuomo: Donald Trump’s Distorted Reality Is A National Security Threat http://bit.ly/2UsuHyv
// The CNN host took the president to task over his latest attack on intelligence officials.

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom [Clint Watts] Russian subversion worked 2016 & now because Pres. Trump attacks his own appointed leaders. Trump is Divider-in-Chief, he & Putin both attack U.S. institutions, elected leaders. Trump puts faith in Putin, Kim Jung Un, Erdogan, MBS, but U.S. public servants get wrath. Why? https://twitter.com/selectedwisdom/status/1090621477928558592/photo/1

💙 Salon, Lucian Truscott IV: Mueller closes the circle of Russian collusion on Trump http://bit.ly/2WvHP7T (we shall see … )
// The next indictment will tie together the Russians, WikiLeaks, and the top of the Trump campaign

The indictment last Friday of long-time Republican bad boy and Trump political adviser Roger Stone marks the key turning point in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian connections to Donald Trump and his campaign. Mueller has finally revealed the strategy he has been working on all along. He has finished indicting the people he has talked to, and now he’s turning to those he hasn’t.

… Mueller’s indictments of the Russians were not for “process crimes” at all, but rather for various specific crimes surrounding the underlying crime of conspiring to defraud the United States of America.The indictments of 13 Russians from the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, and 12 Russian intelligence agents working for the Russian intelligence agency the GRU in Moscow are at the heart of Mueller’s overall strategy. He is has been investigating a conspiracy by the Russians and other “persons known and unknown to the grand jury,” to “interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” according to the specific wording of the indictments of the Russians.

Mueller is after this conspiracy: At one end were the Russians in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and at the other end were the “persons known and unknown” in the United States, all of whom are associated with the Trump campaign. Facilitating the two ends of the conspiracy was WikiLeaks, located in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

The next arrest and indictment you’re going to see from Mueller will be his biggest yet. One morning in the not too distant future, he’s going to sweep up everyone remaining who was associated with using the Democratic Party emails stolen by the Russians. Julian Assange will be indicted. So will Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner. Roger Stone will probably face a superseding indictment along with the others for defrauding the United States by conspiring with WikiLeaks and the Russian intelligence service, the GRU, to steal Democratic Party campaign documents and use them to interfere with the American presidential election of 2016, the same charge he made against the Russians. Mueller will probably follow Justice Department guidelines and the example set by Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski in Watergate. He will probably not indict the president, but he will name him as an unindicted co-conspirator, just as Richard Nixon was in Watergate.

It’s going to be a jaw-dropping arrest and indictment because it has to be. Mueller can no longer issue indictments piecemeal and get guilty pleas or convictions one by one. This time, he must lay out a case that Trump and his campaign officials committed crimes that are so egregious, it will be impossible for the congress to fail to protect him from being fired. If Mueller were to indict Kushner alone, or Trump Jr. alone, it would be too easy for Trump to feign outrage and fire him. That’s why Mueller’s next move will be his last, and it will be the big one, sweeping up everyone who is left at once. …

Mueller has been building slowly to an indictment of people at the very top of the Trump campaign who knew that the Russians had hacked the Democrats’ documents. These are the “persons known and unknown” who conspired with WikiLeaks about how to use the Democrats’ emails in the closing months of the campaign. One of those people was hinted at in the Stone indictment when Mueller said a “top campaign official” had been “directed” to contact Stone about “additional releases” of Democratic emails by WikiLeaks.

Who “directed” that Stone be contacted will be revealed in the next Mueller indictment, along with whoever Stone contacted overseas or within the Trump campaign by using encrypted programs that will now be available to Mueller’s investigators on Stone’s phones and computers.

There are only three top people associated with the Trump campaign who Mueller’s investigators haven’t talked to: Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and Trump himself. We know that both Kushner and Trump Jr. had meetings with Russians during the campaign. We don’t know if Trump himself took part in meetings with people like Sergey Kislyak, and we don’t know if Trump was informed about other meetings with Russians like the one that took place at Trump Tower.

From the Stone indictment, we know that the Trump campaign was well-informed about the Democratic Party documents that WikiLeaks had received from the Russian GRU. We don’t know if Trump himself was informed in advance what WikiLeaks would be revealing, such as the release of John Podesta’s emails that came late in the campaign as an “October surprise.”

But we do know that Donald Trump encouraged the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails and that the Russian GRU did just that on the very night Trump made his request. And we know that Trump mentioned WikiLeaks more than 160 times during the campaign.

Mueller has been working on establishing the “collusion,” if you want to call it that, between the Russian GRU, WikiLeaks, and the Trump campaign. His investigators are sitting on a gigantic mountain of evidence they have gotten from the NSA and the CIA about connections between the foreign elements of the conspiracy — between Assange and the GRU, for example, and between the GRU and people like Mifsud and Kilimnik.

WikiLeaks is the hub through which the GRU distributed the Democrats’ stolen documents to the media in an attempt to influence the presidential campaign of 2016 in favor of Donald Trump. The next indictment you will see from Mueller will be his last, and it will close the circle of collusion by connecting Trump and his campaign on one end, and the Russian GRU on the other end, through WikiLeaks.

⭕ 30 Jan 2019

Bloomberg, David Kocieniewski: The Civil Rights Warrior Who May Have Linked Roger Stone to WikiLeaks http://bloom.bg/2RB3uYG
● Margaret Ratner Kunstler’s legal work spans Attica to Assange
● U.S. alleges lawyer was forwarded email seeking Clinton dirt

LATimes, Virginia Heffernan: Jared Kushner shouldn’t be allowed to play government http://lat.ms/2D2tbMs

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs “Governments need to share intelligence, coordinate policies, conduct joint exercises, allow one another access to military bases, and collaborate to develop new defense technologies. Failing to strike security deals will leave Americans out in the cold.”
ForeignAffairs, Brandon Kinne: Trump Is Abandoning Security Cooperation http://fam.ag/2FYdxpa
// What America Loses By Going It Alone

WaPo: Trump facing more pushback in Congress — from both parties http://wapo.st/2MJfiHl
// Lawmakers are increasingly eager to challenge the White House on matters of foreign policy and oversight. In the Senate, a vote is expected today on an amendment introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that rebukes the president’s decision to pull back troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

PoliticusUSA: Schiff: Intel Chiefs’ Testimony Means Trump Can’t Declare National Emergency http://bit.ly/2Wxe4U4

🐣 RT @KFILE Jerome Corsi told @jaketapper on Sunday: “It’s my recollection that Roger mentioned that this Billy Bush was coming, and he wanted to know if Assange could begin dropping e-mails.” 💽 https://twitter.com/KFILE/status/1090658040326561792/photo/1

USAToday, Tom Nichols: Donald Trump and his Republican minions are playing with nuclear fire on NATO and Russia http://bit.ly/2HHIek6
// NATO opponents are like the anti-vaccine movement. They see no need for something that has kept them safe in ways they do not understand. It’s madness.

🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 Stop minimizing SCO prosecutions as so-called process crimes. Perjury & obstruction are like a “baseball game where the defendant throws sand in the umpire’s eyes.” Let them go & the whole system falls apart. Great article by @RDEliason
⋙ WaPo, Randall Eliason: How Trump defenders try to play down charges against his associates http://wapo.st/2FYUlrB

USAToday, Cindy Otis: Flashback: Trump’s world view makes him uniquely impervious to intelligence analysis http://bit.ly/2BfqerL

🐣 RT @mkraju Schumer to Dan Coats: “I believe it is incumbent on you, Director Wray and Director Haspel to insist on an immediate meeting with the President to educate him about the facts…He is .. hurting the national interest in the process. You must find a way to make that clear to him.” https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/1090784753593339905/photo/1

Politico: Mueller: Shared evidence was used to discredit special counsel probe http://politi.co/2MI9X31

CNN: Trump singled out Dan Coats in morning rant about intelligence community http://cnn.it/2RpsNwB

CNN, Josh Campbell: Trump can’t bully his intelligence agencies into submission http://cnn.it/2sXeQfx

🐣 RT @ScottMStedman Mystery company fighting Mueller subpoena:
-Wholly owned by a foriegn government (court docs)
-Has business in the US (court docs)
-Financial institution (per WaPo)
-Represented by Alston & Bird (per BuzzFeed and CNN)
📌 https://twitter.com/ScottMStedman/status/1090724683899531269
⋙ [Last:] 🐣 RT @ScottMStedman This leaves two clear frontrunners:
-Vnesheconombank (VEB) – CEO met with Kushner during transition
-Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) – Official met with Cohen during transition

NBC: GOP delay in naming House Intelligence Committee members may have cost Mueller http://nbcnews.to/2HGhNeS
// Democrats have been unable to authorize release of witness transcripts to the special counsel without GOP members who were just named Wednesday.

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ For the dodos who still don’t get why bringing criminal charges in a counterintel investigation is difficult, here’s the latest filing from Mueller in the Concord Management case which runs Russia’s troll farm and is owned by an oligarch close to Pooty 1/
📌 https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1090783029335871488

Newsweek: Russia vs. Ukraine War: Vladimir Putin Ally Wants to Create Autonomous Zone in Occupied Donbas Region http://bit.ly/2SeNdgp

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: The Disinformation Campaign Targeting Mueller and the Delayed Briefing to SSCI on Russian Election Interference http://bit.ly/2DKYXiw

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: NRA Heavyweight Wanted Access to Putin: Leaked Email http://bit.ly/2RrKPOT
// “[I]mpressing the NRA’s Russian hosts is the quickest way to secure a private interview with President Putin,” an organizer of the NRA’s infamous 2015 trip to Moscow wrote.

PoliticusUSA/Msnbc: Former CIA Director John Brennan Calls Trump’s Blind Arrogance A National Security Threat http://bit.ly/2WvQbMQ

DailyBeast, Kevin Poulsen: Mueller: Russian Trolls Hijacked and ‘Altered’ Evidence for New Disinformation Operation http://bit.ly/2TlZ6hS
// Evidence that was reportedly shared only with lawyers representing Russia’s Internet Research Agency was altered in a bid to “discredit the investigation,” Mueller warns.

RollingStone, Ryan Bort: Trump Had Yet Another Secret Meeting With Putin http://bit.ly/2sZz1JG
// No U.S. officials were reportedly present during the president’s meeting with the Russian leader at the 2018 G-20 summit

VanityFair, Bess Levin: Trump Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Meeting in Private with Putin http://bit.ly/2TmTQut
// The Donald has a fever, and the only cure is more covert meetings with the president of Russia.

USAToday, Tom Nichols: Donald Trump and his Republican minions are playing with nuclear fire on NATO and Russia http://bit.ly/2HHIek6

TheGuardian: Russians leaked Mueller investigation evidence online, prosecutors say http://bit.ly/2S0jtnY
// More than 1,000 files shared confidentially appeared to have been uploaded to a filesharing site, according to court documents

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: The Peculiar Logic of the Trump-Russia Scandal Deniers http://nym.ag/2RZlReZ

🔆 This❗️⋙ NBC, Tom Winter: Mueller says Russians using his discovery materials in disinformation effort http://nbcnews.to/2HHJnbD

🐣 RT @kasie there were plenty of theories as to why naming this list took so long but here it is, released this week as @GOPLeader told @chucktodd on Sunday it would be
⋙ 🐣 RT @AlexNBCNews NEW: Republicans were just named to the House Intelligence Committee on House floor: Nunes, Devin CA ¤ Conaway, Mike TX ¤ Turner, Michael OH ¤ Wenstrup, Brad OH ¤ Stewart, Chris UT ¤ Crawford, Rick  AR ¤ Stefanik, Elise NY ¤ Hurd, Will  TX ¤ Ratcliffe, John, TX

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Wow. So the Russians are taking non-sensitive discovery from the Concord Management case from Mueller, changing it, forging it, and disseminating it as part of a disinformation campaign to discredit Mueller. Yeah. Mueller’s going to win this case.
⋙ 🐣 RT @nycsouthpaw In a new filing in the Internet Research Agency case, Mueller’s team says they’ve found evidence discovery documents were forged as part of a “disinformation campaign aimed (apparently) at discrediting ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the US political system.” https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1090701941880115202/photo/1-2

🐣 RT @matthewamiller From the “Nazi Germany” tweet during the transition to Helsinki to this, attacks on the IC have been one of Trump’s most enduring themes. Any independent arbiter of the truth is a threat to his entire political strategy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ddale8 The president mocks his own intelligence chiefs, demands different conclusions from the intelligence community. https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1090611006009692160/photo/1

NYT, Thomas Edsall: The ‘Rotten Equilibrium’ of Republican Politics http://nyti.ms/2RogaSF
// Charlatans rise. Government falls.

NYT Editorial: House of Pain for President Trump http://nyti.ms/2HHgVX9
// The new Democratic majority in Congress maps out its investigations of the Trump administration.

NYT: Trump Calls Intelligence Officials ‘Naive’ After They Contradict Him http://nyti.ms/2UtLHEy “‘Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school,’ Mr. Trump said on Twitter.”

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff and Erin Banco: Mueller Witness’ Team Gamed Out Russian Meddling … in 2015 http://bit.ly/2FYlHxM
// One former analyst at the Wikistrat consulting firm called it ‘disturbing.’

🐣 In the past 24 hours, McConnell has:
1) Denounced shutdowns, is open to legislation to prevent,
2) Supported slowing of removal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan,
3) Called for Mueller report to be released in as full a form as possible.
⋙ What’s up?

🐣 In the past 24 hours, McConnell has: 1) Denounced shutdowns, is open to legislation to prevent, 2) supports slowing of removal of troops from Syria and Afgh, 3) called for Mueller report to be released in as full a form as possible. What’s up?

⭕ 29 Jan 2019

ABCNews: Barr confirmation vote delayed after Democrats raise Mueller report concerns http://abcn.ws/2GjBKpk

NBC, Glenn Kirschner: Trump adviser Roger Stone’s indictment in the Mueller probe suggests conspiracy charges may still be forthcoming http://nbcnews.to/2WB43FB
// The special counsel’s many investigatory dots are starting to connect.

Medium, Umair Haque: All Nationalisms End in Fascism http://bit.ly/2G0NQVa
// The Unlearned Lesson of American and British Collapse

📔DNI Daniel Coats: Statement for the Record: 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community [pdf] http://bit.ly/2HGsuhw 42p
● Cover: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1090830267676348419/photo/1

NYT Editorial: What Keeps the Spies Up at Night http://nyti.ms/2t0b4lv
// Trump isn’t entirely wrong about the dangers America faces.

TheGuardian, Jonathan Myerson: How I got inside Mueller’s head: the writer of a new Trump-Russia play tells all http://bit.ly/2WtX29y
// How do you make an up-to-the-moment drama about the Mueller investigation when every day brings a fresh sensation? With proper detective work, says the man behind the BBC’s new thriller

🐣 RT @gtconway3d Without a doubt, and I’ve thought this since Feb. 13, 2018, when the potential for an SDNY investigation became apparent.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AriMelber “I think the Mueller investigation is not the President’s biggest problem… the Southern District of New York investigation has always been *much more dangerous* — and has much more hazard to it — than… Mueller.” ¤ Chris Christie, a former fed prosecutor, to @NicolleDWallace

TheHill: McConnell calls for releasing as much of Mueller’s report as possible http://bit.ly/2Rltual

USAToday, Richard Painter and Virginia Canter: William Barr’s view of Russia recusal could undermine all government ethics programs http://bit.ly/2sWstvG

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 DNI Dan Coats: “The Kremlin is stepping up its campaign to divide western, political and security institutions … We expect Russia will continue to wage its information war against democracies and to use social media to attempt to divide our societies.”

DailyBeast, Kelly Weill: How the Proud Boys Became Roger Stone’s Personal Army http://bit.ly/2CU0Tnn
// The dirty trickster started his initiation last year. Now the ‘Western chauvinist’ group has his back against Mueller and the media.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Trust me. It will soon be Donald Trump Junior’s time in the barrel. #beans

🔆 This❗️⋙ Bloomberg: McConnell Bucks Trump on Withdrawal From Syria, Afghanistan http://bloom.bg/2TklEzn Measure would recognize ‘danger’ of fast withdrawal, he says
// Spy chief Coats warns Islamic State still commands thousands

🐣 RT @ABCpolitics The Senate Judiciary Committee postpones a vote on attorney general nominee William Barr by one week after Democrats raise concerns about how Barr will handle special counsel Robert Mueller’s report https://abcn.ws/2DFYw96 

NYT, Peter Baker: A Growing Chorus of Republican Critics for Trump’s Foreign Policy http://nyti.ms/2GapAPJ

🐣 RT @Bill_Maxwell_ Mnuchin’s $25 million transaction with Len Blavatnik, a conflict of interest as Mnuchin & #Pence pushed for Oleg Deripaska’s company to get sanction relief which benefits Blavatnik Bigly! ¤ Len Blavatnik also donated $3.5 million to #McConnell.
⋙ NYT: Steven Mnuchin Draws Claims of Conflict of Interest in Decision on Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska http://nyti.ms/2RrYV2A

DailyBeast, Julia Arciga and Will Sommer: Roger Stone Pleads Not Guilty, While Proud Boys and InfoWars Fight the #Resistance Outside http://bit.ly/2DJwY2Z
// Stone was indicted last week on charges of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and making false statements.

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade: Why Is Mueller Hiding Who Ultimately ‘Directed’ Roger Stone to Contact WikiLeaks? http://bit.ly/2DHJ1NZ
// The omission isn’t by accident. It could mean a conspiracy charge is coming, or even that Trump played a role.

🐣 RT @TheHill NEW: Pelosi puts tight grip on talk of Trump impeachment http://hill.cm/dtT3ynh 

NYT/Reuters: Factbox: Guilty Pleas, Indictments Abound in Trump-Russia Probe http://nyti.ms/2Rmcu3P

USAToday, Joyce White Vance: Here’s why you should have faith in Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation http://bit.ly/2Bb4VI1

TheGuardian, Peter Stone: Is Oleg Deripaska the missing link in the Trump-Russia investigation? http://bit.ly/2RUFjt8
// The Russian oligarch could face greater scrutiny after disclosure that Paul Manafort discussed Ukraine peace plan with associate

Vox: Trump met Putin without staff or note takers present — again http://bit.ly/2RZL4WD “According to the Financial Times, Trump spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin during last November’s G20 summit in Argentina without a US official present to take notes”
// Trump reportedly keeps finding a way to meet the Russian leader privately.

DailyBeast, Mimi Rocah: Roger Stone’s Indictment Says Mueller Ain’t Done Yet http://bit.ly/2sR3LwA
// Matthew Whitaker says the investigation is ‘close to being completed.’ If true, why did the Special Counsel say so much about the Trump campaign and execute search warrants?

DailyBeast: Howard Schultz Blames Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for His Decision to Run as Independent http://bit.ly/2WsT8O9 //➔ he’s intentionally ‼️ running to kill Dems chances

DefenseOne, Patrick Tucker: Intelligence Chiefs Diverge From Trump On Main Threats to US http://bit.ly/2FVF2Qh

Newsweek: Trump’s America Is Becoming More Corrupt, Report Says: ‘Erosion of Ethical Norms at the Highest Levels of Power’ http://bit.ly/2G8rGiV

Under President Donald Trump, the United States has received its worst score on a global corruption index in seven years, according to a new report.

The United States scored 71 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2018, a fall of four points since 2017 and the nation’s lowest score since 2011. Transparency International is an anti-corruption watchdog that tracks interactions between money and politics worldwide and ranks countries based on perceived corruption in the public sector. 

CNN: Belarusian ‘sex coach’ says she was warned to keep quiet about oligarch Oleg Deripaska http://cnn.it/2DHhE6R

In an exclusive interview with CNN on Tuesday, Vashukevich said she was instructed by Russian security services not to talk about Deripaska, an ex-business associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

“I had some talk when I was in Russian jail,” she said. “And they explained to me very clear(ly) what should I do, what should I say and what I shouldn’t say.”

Asked who explained that to her, Vashukevich said “Russian agents,” adding, “They said to me, ‘Don’t touch Oleg Deripaska anymore.'”

The model, who goes by the name Nastya Rybka on social media, was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport earlier this month on prostitution allegations after being deported from Thailand, where she had spent nearly a year behind bars for soliciting. She was freed from police custody last week. …

WaPo: Roger Stone wanted WikiLeaks dump to distract from ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, Mueller witness says http://wapo.st/2CWVa0a

💙 Medium, Scott Stedman: Russian developer had active Delaware shell company at time of Trump Tower Moscow negotiations http://bit.ly/2GfmSZl (for #TrumpRussia deep dives, follow @ScottMStedman)

MotherJones: Democrats to Investigate Treasury’s Decision to Lift Sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s Companies http://bit.ly/2sSZubR
// They claim the oligarch will “retain significant influence, if not de facto control” of the firms.

WaPo, Max Boot: The intelligence chiefs’ report strikes a blow for truth in the Age of Trump http://wapo.st/2RYAZcu

WaPo: Russia secretly offered North Korea a nuclear power plant, officials say http://wapo.st/2RW50cY

WaPo, Harry Litman: Is Mueller’s report really ‘close to being completed’? I doubt it. http://wapo.st/2TnaWZc

WaPo: Testimony by intelligence chiefs on global threats highlights differences with president http://wapo.st/2CUYU2d

MMFA: Roger Stone repeatedly bragged about talking with Trump and senior campaign staffers during presidential campaign http://bit.ly/2DHxRbW
// Stone: “I have access to all the right people”

⭕ 28 Jan 2019

Quartz, Justin Rohrlich: A Trump insider got a board position right after the US lifted sanctions on a Russian company http://bit.ly/2RVay7o

🐣 RT @neal_katyal It’s stories like this which make me skeptical of Acting fake AG statement today that Mueller is almost finished. As @JeffreyToobin said well,Whitaker is so out of his depth, and so compromised,it is impossible to know. Everything he says should be doubted
⋙ CNN: Mueller team signals to Stone associate Andrew Miller another indictment may be in the works http://cnn.it/2B8mdFn

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Trump is a fraud http://wapo.st/2sS96nv

Meanwhile, in a variety of global negotiations, American opponents need only master one method: flattery. In Trump’s words, “I know people, because deals are people. . . . If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin respects me, and if Putin wants to call me brilliant, and other things that he said which were, frankly, very nice, I’ll accept that.” Taken at face value, Trump is arguing: Deals are people. People who praise me have good judgment. Thus, people who praise me make good deals. Hearing these sentiments from an American president is enough to gag a historian. It is pathetic gullibility elevated into the realm of theory. It should concern us that the American president is a source of global derision and national shame.

🐣 RT @TrueFactsStated Think about this. Canada is being taxed for Aluminum and Russia was granted an exemption. Ask yourself why.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BruceAHeyman The more I think about Russia getting an exemption for Aluminum tariffs & Canada being taxed on the grounds of national security the more insensed I become. Not right! Not even close. Where are the Republicans? Who among them will stand up for Canada? Let us hear your voice. Now!

🐣 This the b.s. @RT spreads …
⋙ 🐣 RT @RT ‘CIA-backed’ mercenaries spread HIV in S. Africa, ex-member claims ¤ https://on.rt.com/9n7o 

🐣 RT @SethAbramson (THREAD) Here are 20 indications that Mueller has *months* of work left to do. I write this thread in the shadow of a vague, hesitant, afterthought-like remark that AG Whitaker made today. I hope you’ll read on and retweet; this may be the most important issue before the country. 📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1090077060788310016

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Former Treasury official told @MaxBoot it was “shocking” the U.S. government would approve such an agreement, because it “does not follow the spirit of the legislation or stated policy objectives and sets an incredibly bad precedent for weak enforcement.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews The Treasury’s sweetheart deal w/ #Deripaska “may have been less punitive than advertised,” contains provisions that free him “from hundreds of millions of dollars in debt while leaving him & his allies w/ majority ownership of his most important company.”
⋙⋙ WaPo, Max Boot: Memo to Republicans: ‘Trump first’ is not the same thing as ‘America first’ http://wapo.st/2sToFLr

VOA: Attorney General Pick Says Trump Has Not Discussed Mueller Probe http://bit.ly/2MJUQGB //➔ “discusses,” no; YELLS ABOUT IT on Twitter, on the phone and at anyone within earshot, YES‼️

🐣 .@KenDilanianNBC reports Matt Whitaker says Mueller probe almost done citing publicly available reports, iow @KenDilanianNBC

🐣 RT @neal_katyal It is absolutely unforgiveable that Whitaker is in any position to know anything about the Mueller investigation,let alone claim to be “reviewing” it. He has just about as much business doing that as a fox does in a henhouse. Unconstitutional, unwise, and will ultimately undo him
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal It’s stories like this which make me skeptical of Acting fake AG statement today that Mueller is almost finished. As @JeffreyToobin said well,Whitaker is so out of his depth, and so compromised,it is impossible to know. Everything he says should be doubted
⋙⋙ CNN: Mueller team signals to Stone associate another indictment may be in the works http://cnn.it/2B8mdFn

🔆 This❗️⋙ HuffPo, Ryan Reilly: William Barr: Concerns Over Trump’s Privacy Could Shield Robert Mueller Conclusions http://bit.ly/2FUsglc //➔ so, if a sitting president can’t be charged, that’s the whole ballgame
// The likely attorney general said prosecutors need “to be sensitive to the privacy and reputational interests of uncharged third parties.”

DailyBeast, Justin Lynch: While Putin Hardens His Line in Ukraine, Trump Goes Squishy http://bit.ly/2MBk2yE
// A report from the front lines in eastern Ukraine and in Washington D.C.

CNS/PBS: Rep. Swalwell: ‘It’s Pretty Clear’ Trump Is a Russian Agent ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ http://bit.ly/2CLWkLy

WaPo, Aaron Blake: 20 lies and alleged lies the Trump team has told in the Mueller probe, dissected http://wapo.st/2B7MFzg

🐣 RT @ScottMStedman “I believe they are going to try to charge the President and the Vice President… with some case of Russian collusion” -Roger Stone on Hannity

🐣 RT @kelly2277 😳 Folks, Corsi just admitted to COLLUSION w Wikileaks to time release of stolen GRU Podesta emails to drop in order to distract from the “grab em by the Pussy” tape that was going to be released ‼️
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri “I had one call with Roger” on “the day that Wikileaks did begin in October dropping the final emails on John Podesta” ¤ He said “we’ve got this timing issue, because the Billy Bush tape is going to be released” – Jerome Corsi
💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1090036333769302016/photo/1

🐣 RT @BillKristol What Whitaker said is alarming. He saw a chance to add pressure on Mueller to get it over with, after the Stone indictment suggested how dangerous the probe is to Trump if allowed to run unimpeded. And he tried to normalize the idea of higher-ups messing with Mueller’s findings.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff An Acting Attorney General who refuses to follow the advice of ethics lawyers and recuse himself from an investigation in which he has shown a clear bias is the last person who should speak for the Special Counsel. ¤ While the probe is ongoing, Mueller can speak for himself.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @renatto_mariotti I couldn’t agree more. I hope that when this is over, Mueller will publicly make clear the extent of any interference with his investigation from anyone.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 This is exactly why Whitaker should have recused himself from overseeing the SCO probe. We should be able to have faith & trust that the AG is acting in the interests finding the truth & not (as many will be) skeptical that he is in some way pressuring Mueller to wrap it up.

TPM: Barr Hints Full Mueller Report Might Not Be Sent To Congress After All http://bit.ly/2DEXFFW

TPM, Tierney Sneed: Trump Camp Pushed Stone For More Wikileaks Info At Key Moment In 2016 http://bit.ly/2HCTTRm

DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley: Trump’s Treasury Just Rolled Back Sanctions on Companies Linked to Putin Pal Oleg Deripaska. That’s Just Business as Usual. http://bit.ly/2FUOu6E
// The Treasury Department says he’s a shady Putin crony. Here’s why it’s still rolling back sanctions on companies linked to him.

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti After viewing the clip, it seems like Whitaker didn’t intend to say anything new here. He was nervous and trying to say that he now has confidence in the investigation. ¤ It will be interesting to see if anyone at DOJ walks this back.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @PaulaReidCBS “I think close to being completed and I hope we can get the report from director Mueller as soon as possible,” Acting AG Whitaker suggests Mueller may wrap-up soon. President Trump will be pleased to hear that, which is also why we must be skeptical. @CBSNews 💽 https://twitter.com/PaulaReidCBS/status/1090022321849540610/photo/1

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 New: Adam Schiff says that Michael Cohen has agreed to appear voluntarily before the House Intelligence Committee “for closed testimony on February 8, 2019.” ¤ “We will continue to work with Mr. Cohen and law enforcement in order to protect Mr. Cohen and his family.”

NewYorker, Masha Gessen: The Unnerving Kitsch of New York City’s New K.G.B. Spy Museum http://bit.ly/2SeSnZQ

Politico: Nadler pledges not to blindside GOP with subpoenas http://politi.co/2G4nJvM
// House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) agreed to consult with his GOP counterpart for two days before issuing a subpoena to force witnesses to testify. Should ranking Republican Doug Collins of Georgia object, Nadler said he would put the subpoena to a vote of the committee.

WaPo, Randall Eliason: There’s evidence of collusion everywhere. But is it a criminal conspiracy? http://wapo.st/2MDegNh

Statesman, Jonathan Tilove: First Reading. Memo to Mueller: A pretty complete history of my meals, drinks and texts with Roger Stone http://atxne.ws/2SgZII6

AP: Trump AG pick says he’s discussed Mueller probe with Pence http://bit.ly/2Wr1XrC

TheHill: Senators introduce bill to require special counsel report be made public http://bit.ly/2RWqBlw

◕📊 AP/NORC Poll: Most Americans oppose Trump’s foreign policy http://bit.ly/2HB0xHN Overall 35% Approve, 63% Disapprove, but 76% of Republicans Approve

◕ Since Trump announced his tariffs last year, the trade deficit has only widened http://bit.ly/2sZqiHPhttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1089900073159442432/photo/1
// Fall 2017-Oct 2018

🐣 RT @moscow_project The Treasury Department just lifted sanctions on three companies owned by Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch with an extensive history of financing Kremlin-backed political parties throughout Europe and Asia. CNN: http://cnn.it/2UolQ0N
… One of Deripaska’s main allies in those efforts: Paul Manafort, whom Deripaska paid millions to run his political campaigns—and who joined the campaign desperately looking to “get whole” with Deripaska over past failed investments. MoscowProject: http://bit.ly/2G9jmzD
… The move came despite congressional efforts to keep the sanctions in place, plus reports that Deripaska’s sweetheart deal effectively allows him to profit from evading sanctions. NYT: http://nyti.ms/2FFXpIH

FiveThirtyEight, Amelia Thomson-Deveaux: 5 Scenarios For How Mueller’s Investigation Could End http://53eig.ht/2CQ36Qt
// And what they mean for Trump.

● Scenario 1: Trump is implicated in some form of coordination with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election
● Scenario 2: Trump is implicated in obstruction of justice
● Scenario 3: Trump isn’t accused of wrongdoing, but someone close to him is
● Scenario 4: Mueller’s findings aren’t made public, so we don’t know whether Trump is implicated in wrongdoing
● Scenario 5: The findings are made public, and neither the president nor any of his close associates are implicated in further wrongdoing

NYT, Ivan Krastev: Putin’s Next Playground or the E.U.’s Last Moral Stand? http://nyti.ms/2sROOKB
// The Balkans has once again become a playground for great power politics.

WaPo: ‘Maybe I didn’t return her phone call’: Trump ridicules Ann Coulter, slams Fox News in fallout over wall http://wapo.st/2Timhtr wow

⭕ 27 Jan 2019

BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow: The rent is too damned high because money-laundering oligarchs bought all the real-estate to clean their oil money http://bit.ly/2Gk0s9d

TheGuardian: Review: Where’s my Roy Cohn? review – damning documentary on villainous lawyer http://bit.ly/2RTjZEd
// In a formulaic yet fascinating film, the corrupt hate figure and his association with Donald Trump is brought to light

Politico: Jerome Corsi says he’s ‘happy’ to testify against Stone http://politi.co/2G6ChLq

Politico: Stone: I’ll talk to Mueller about conversations with Trump http://politi.co/2G4pjO1

TheHill: Chris Christie: Trump, Kushner thought Flynn firing would end Russia controversy http://bit.ly/2G3auve

CNN, Samantha Vinograd: The disturbing signal Trump’s silence sends to Russia http://cnn.it/2FScIOF

The President’s “witch hunt” response to the special counsel’s indictment — especially when considered along with his response to previous ones — will likely be interpreted by many around the world as a sign that when it comes to Russia, he’s conflicted. By crying witch hunt louder than he decries Russia’s attack, he’s setting us up for another very dangerous election season. His failure to condemn illegal Russian behavior, especially when it involves his own associates and family, will probably be interpreted as condoning it. That opens the US to a lot of risk going forward.

🐣💙 RT @kenvogel UPDATE: After @USTreasury lifted sanctions against OLEG DERIPASKA’s companies, the main one (EN+) named 7 new directors, including Chris Burnham, who served on TRUMP’s transition team & worked for @AmbJohnBolton at United Nations.
🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a leading critic of lifting sanctions on Deripaska’s companies, called it “just one more step in undermining the sanctions law, which President Trump has obstructed at every opportunity, while Russian aggression remains unabated.”
⋙ NYT: Treasury Dept. Lifts Sanctions on Russian Oligarch’s Companies http://nyti.ms/2CTq6OS Oleg Deripaska 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a leading critic of lifting sanctions on Deripaska’s companies, called it “just one more step in undermining the sanctions law, which President Trump has obstructed at every opportunity, while Russian aggression remains unabated.”
⋙ NYT: Treasury Dept. Lifts Sanctions on Russian Oligarch’s Companies http://nyti.ms/2CTq6OS Oleg Deripaska

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Two Details That Many Are Missing in/about the Stone Indictment http://bit.ly/2Tmh5Vy

… [O]ne of the only new details in the indictment show[s]that an unidentified Steve Bannon associate congratulated Stone on October 7.

On or about October 7, 2016, Organization 1 released the first set of emails stolen from the Clinton Campaign chairman. Shortly after Organization 1’s release, an associate of the high-ranking Trump Campaign official sent a text message to STONE that read “well done.” In subsequent conversations with senior Trump Campaign officials, STONE claimed credit for having correctly predicted the October 7, 2016 release.

This detail shows that the Trump campaign at least believed that Stone succeeded in getting WikiLeaks to drop the John Podesta emails to distract attention from the Access Hollywood video, which in turn is consistent with a claim Jerome Corsi made about Stone having advance knowledge of the Access Hollywood video and that he and Stone succeeded in timing the email release. …

While Stone disputes Corsi’s claim and Corsi feigns forgetfulness about precisely what happened, by including a communication showing Stone getting credit for the timing, Mueller is suggesting that Corsi is right — and that he has credible, corroborating evidence to prove it.

That’s more coordination — between Corsi and Stone, but more importantly between some go-between and WikiLeaks — than would be the case if Stone’s indictment were all Mueller had. It would put Stone and Corsi in a conspiracy with WikiLeaks and their go-between(s).

Then there’s this detail from the motion to seal Stone’s indictment that no one has yet offered a full explanation for (indeed, most of the reports that noted that Amy Berman Jackson had been assigned the case didn’t explain this detail at all).

Someone — and it would almost certainly have to be the prosecutors (including one who, DC US Attorney’s office prosecutor Jonathan Kravis, is on the internet Research Agency case), — told the court that Stone’s namby pamby “process crime” is related to the big conspiracy case involving WIkiLeaks with a bunch of Russian hackers. And while it’s true that Stone is described in the GRU indictment, he is not named in a way that the court would identify that by themselves. WikiLeaks shows up in both, but there’s no need to tie WikiLeaks cases together unless some defendant is going to show up to face prosecution (and WikiLeaks is does not take any of the overt acts described in the Stone indictment).

USAToday, Barbara McQuade: Stone indictment: Serious Russia investigation charges hint Mueller has more coming http://bit.ly/2WjVWND

NYT: Trump Thought Firing Flynn Would End ‘Russia Thing,’ Chris Christie Writes in Book http://nyti.ms/2HD8zQq

TheGuardian: Trump lifts sanctions on firms linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska http://bit.ly/2MzfGrT

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchmidt Donald Trump wanted Russian help to build a lucrative Trump Tower in Moscow. ¤ His campaign wanted Russian help in the form of stolen emails and dirt on Hilary Clinton. ¤ And the Russians wanted Trump’s help in removing sanctions. ¤ The convergence of interests is hard to ignore.
ThisWeek: https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1089568822506463233/photo/1

🐣 RT @MollyJongFast “Russia, if you’re listening.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @selectedwisdom Question 3: Did Wikileaks &/or Assange know the stolen emails they were posting came from Russia? This is a close the loop question for conspiracy, showing them as a conduit between Russia-Trump campaign
⇈ ⇊
🐣 RT @selectedwisdom Regarding Trump campaign & Russia: “Toward a conclusion on Collusion or instead a Collusion illusion” – there’s only a few questions Mueller team needs to answer…… 📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/selectedwisdom/status/1089546216323592192

WaPo: Trump advisers lied over and over again, Mueller says. The question is, why? http://wapo.st/2CRRWem

TheIntercept, Trevor Aaronson: There’s a Better Battlefield for the War Against Trump’s Lies: the Courts http://bit.ly/2RUIWze

⭕ 26 Jan 2019

🔊 NPR: Journalist: Russia’s Interference Is An ‘Assault On The Western Liberal Order’ [Audio] http://n.pr/2N1MFFH

Journalist Luke Harding has an insider’s understanding of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Harding served as Moscow bureau chief for the British newspaper The Guardian from 2007 until 2011. During his tenure, Russian agents followed him, tapped his phone and repeatedly broke into his home.

“I almost feel like I could write the KGB handbook, I lived it for quite a long time,” he tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross.

Salon, Lucian Truscott IV (1/26): What the Stone indictment doesn’t say is what you need to know about Mueller’s Trump Russia probe http://bit.ly/2MHDRod
// What Mueller doesn’t say is more important than what he does say

🐣 RT @JenniferTaub 🧵Thread We Have Seen the Mueller Report –– And It’s Spectacular
📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/jentaub/status/1089193853230505984
⋙ See under Entire Articles: 📌 Taub Spectacular 1-26-2019

NYT Editorial: Saving NATO http://nyti.ms/2Ui8Klz
// The House voted overwhelmingly to block President Trump’s threat to quit the Atlantic alliance. The Senate should promptly follow suit.

DailyBeast, Peter Zeidenberg: No Escape for Roger Stone: Mueller’s Case Is a Slam Dunk and He’s Too Slimy to Get Flipped http://bit.ly/2FQzXZo
// Prosecutor who helped convict Dick Cheney aide Scooter Libby for lying and obstruction says the case against Trump’s old pal is virtually perfect.

… [D]o not expect to see special counsel Robert Mueller make any attempt to flip Stone and have him cooperate. A defendant like Stone is far more trouble than he is worth to a prosecutor. Stone is too untrustworthy for a prosecutor to ever rely upon. He has told so many documented lies, and bragged so often about his dirty tricks, that he simply has too much baggage to deal with even if here to want to cooperate—which seems unlikely in any event. Mueller, I suspect, would not even be willing to engage in a preliminary debrief with Stone to just test the possibility of cooperation out of concern that Stone would immediately go on television with his pals at Fox News to decry Mueller’s Gestapo tactics. 

In short, Mueller does not need Stone to get to someone else and, even if he did, he could not rely on whatever Stone told him. Stone has nothing to sell that Mueller would be interested in buying.

Stone is clearly enjoying being in the spotlight now. He should enjoy it while he can. His remaining years won’t be nearly as pleasant.

Crooks&Liars: Malcolm Nance: Trump Administration May Have Set Up Secret Network To Share Intel With Russia http://bit.ly/2DBjE0d
// Former intelligence officer Malcolm Nance didn’t pull any punches on what the House needs to be investigating following the recent bombshell that Jared Kushner’s security clearance was granted after a Trump crony overruled the FBI.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote THREAD 1/ So who is the U.K. go-between mentioned in the Stone indictment? The answer is Ted Malloch. Back in April, we reported that Malloch was detained at the Boston Logan Airport by the FBI & questioned about his ties to Farage, Assange, Wikileaks, Stone, Brexit, & Cam Ana
📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1089264856211943424/photo/1

ForeignAffairs, Richard Haass: How a World Order Ends http://fam.ag/2DCczMY
// And What Comes in Its Wake
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1089378282112512000/photo/1

The deterioration of a world order can set in motion trends that spell catastrophe. World War I broke out some 60 years after the Concert of Europe had for all intents and purposes broken down in Crimea. What we are seeing today resembles the mid-nineteenth century in important ways: the post–World War II, post–Cold War order cannot be restored, but the world is not yet on the edge of a systemic crisis. Now is the time to make sure one never materializes, be it from a breakdown in U.S.-Chinese relations, a clash with Russia, a conflagration in the Middle East, or the cumulative effects of climate change. 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.

Lawfare, Chuck Rosenberg: Roger Stone’s Arrest Was Appropriate, Not Heavy-Handed http://bit.ly/2RTbLMm

🚫🐣 RT @Redrum_of_Crows ‘Shortly after Trump had won the election, 19.5 percent of Rosneft was sold to unknown buyers, in a complicated three-nation deal. Trump may have pocketed $200-$250 million out of the deal…’
⋙ news.com.au, Charles Firth (2017): What really happened at the Mayflower Hotel? http://bit.ly/2WmpDxq
// 4/5/2017

[ Note: This is a THEORY: ] Well, remember the dossier of dirt on Trump that Buzzfeed released at the end of last year? It was written in the months after that April 27th meeting, and it alleged there was a deal that Trump would drop the sanctions against Russia and let them sell 19 percent of oil company Rosneft, and that Trump would benefit from this transaction.

The thing is that in early December, shortly after Trump had won the election, 19.5 percent of Rosneft was sold to unknown buyers, in a complicated three-nation deal. Who were the countries party to the deal? Russia, Italy and Singapore.

While the details of the deal are secret, the dossier implied that if Trump was elected, and let the deal slide through, he would receive a “brokerage fee” for helping make it happen. If that fee was the extra 0.5 percent on the transaction, that means that Trump may have pocketed $200-$250 million out of the transaction.

🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 At age 17 I was sworn into the US Armed Forces. We pledged to protect the Constitution NOT allegiance to an individual or a Party. I believe Trump is a serious threat to our Constitution. No character. No judgement. Putin has something on him.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Why didn’t Mueller charge Stone with conspiracy? The rules in federal cases require that prosecutors provide defendants with broad discovery. By indicting Stone on a fairly narrow set of charges, Mueller limits what has to be disclosed & can protect ongoing investigation.

NYPost: Pelosi: What does Putin have on the President? http://nyp.st/2G3UKrG

NYT: Jared Kushner, a Confident Negotiator, Finds Immigration Deal to Be Elusive http://nyti.ms/2MyYv9U
// Jared Kushner agreed to take the lead when President Trump, his father-in-law, asked him to find a way to end the monthlong stalemate over funding for a southern border wall.

🐣 RT @frontlinepbs Roger Stone was indicted for giving “false and misleading” testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. Stone and President Trump’s paths have been intertwined for decades. Here’s a look back at their relationship: https://to.pbs.org/2sPz3ns 

DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley: Who ‘Directed’ Roger Stone to Hook Up With WikiLeaks? http://bit.ly/2DCuq6x
// Mueller says Trump campaign officials were eager to cash in on Stone’s WikiLeaks hookup, but there are plenty of suspects

DailyBeast, Michael Daly: The Despicable History of Roger Stone http://bit.ly/2UjSPDg
// After a half-century of dirty tricks, there’s finally the case of United States versus Roger Jason Stone, Jr.

Newsweek/CNN: Roger Stone Says He Does Not Believe He Will Be Convicted Of Mueller Charges http://bit.ly/2B6vKgt

Salon, Lucian Truscott: What the Stone indictment doesn’t say is what you need to know about Mueller’s Trump Russia probe http://bit.ly/2HICEOm
// What Mueller doesn’t say is more important than what he does say

TheAtlantic, Ken White: Roger Stone’s Greatest Liability http://bit.ly/2DCeEsn
// The longtime Trump adviser’s attention-seeking ways made him an easy target for Robert Mueller.

USAToday: After indictment, Roger Stone mocks Mueller with doctored photo on Instagram http://bit.ly/2DC1Nq2

CNN, Paul Callan: Roger Stone must have made Mueller really angry http://cnn.it/2B8My6l

NYT: A Conspiracy or Not? Here’s What We Know About the Mueller Case http://nyti.ms/2Dz3XXm

Bloomberg, Chris Strohm: Roger Stone’s Arrest May Hurt Trump’s ‘Love’ of Wikileaks http://bloom.bg/2FOWxBP
● ‘I love WikiLeaks,’ candidate Trump proclaimed in October 2016
● U.S. intelligence already had warned it was a Russian tool

NYMag, Margaret Hartmann and Nick Tabor: Everything We’ve Learned From Robert Mueller’s Investigation http://nym.ag/2RQCWHH

AP, Eric Tucker and Todd Day: In Trump ally Stone’s case, Mueller finds crime in cover-up http://bit.ly/2WgGX73

TheGuardian, Jill Abramson: Roger Stone’s indictment shows us Robert Mueller is steaming ahead http://bit.ly/2CMe2i5
// The Stone indictment is crucially important in linking the Trump campaign to WikiLeaks – the puzzle pieces are beginning to fit together

TheIntercept, James Risen: Roger Stone Made His Name as a Dirty Trickster, But the Trump-Russia Coverup May Finally Bring Him Down http://bit.ly/2B8LMWZ

NPR: Roger Stone Indictment Raises More Big Questions About Russia, Trump 2016 Campaign http://n.pr/2sM994d

DailyBeast, BetsyWoodruff: ‘I Will Piss on Your Grave’: Emails Reveal Roger Stone’s Abuse of Frenemy Randy Credico http://bit.ly/2RiNquv

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman: Dithering GOP Stalls House’s New Trump-Russia Probe http://bit.ly/2UjBwCe
// Democrats now in control of the crucial intelligence committee want to get back to their Russia probe. It can’t happen until the Republicans formally join.

Politico, Jack Shafer: Week 88: Did Stone’s Indictment Finally Tie Trump’s Campaign to Russia? http://politi.co/2S6Gfdg
// A tantalizing reference to a high-level campaign official hints at why the Trump confidant allegedly lied to Congress about his contacts with Wikileaks.

WaPo, Max Boot: Nancy Pelosi ran rings around Trump. Imagine what Kim Jong Un and the Taliban will do. http://wapo.st/2Uq5JQv

NYT: Mueller’s Real Target in the Roger Stone Indictment http://nyti.ms/2HvRRCs
// It was probably not Stone himself, but rather his electronic devices.

🐣 RT @JohnBrenner Your cabal of unprincipled, unethical, dishonest, and sycophantic cronies is being methodically brought to justice. We all know where this trail leads. If your utter incompetence is not enough to run you out of office, your increasingly obvious political corruption surely will.

🐣 RT @Neal_Katyal This is simply astounding. Astounding. Particularly in juxtaposition to all those Trump lies about having nothing to do with Russia.
⋙ 📋 💙💙 NYT: Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2MAZCps

⭕ 25 Jan 2019

💙 Medium, Scott Stedman: The Moscow Project and the missing 6 billion rubles http://bit.ly/2Tj6daG

Newsweek: Will Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner Be Indicted? Odds Rise Following Roger Stone Arrest http://bit.ly/2DzAxs8

WaPo, Carlos Lozada: WHAT IT WOULD TAKE: Can impeachment appear legitimate in a hyper-partisan universe? http://wapo.st/2Myz34o

… [I]f lawmakers do begin an impeachment process, truth, not partisan fury, must remain the foremost value — and that means offering a full accounting of Trump’s offenses. There is a compulsion on the part of some of the president’s critics to hinge everything on the work of special counsel Robert Mueller, the Godot of the Trump era, as if specific legal misdeeds are the only issue. “Proof that a crime occurred can feel comfortingly objective,” Tribe and Matz write. “It relieves us of the need to exercise judgment and casts a technical gloss over bitterly divisive political questions.”

Obstruction of justice, violation of the emoluments clause, the betrayal of trust to a foreign adversary — any one of these is a significant misdeed that should be core to any impeachment process. Yet they all reflect Trump’s greatest offense against the American public and the American experiment, which is his lack of interest in faithfully executing the office of the president. His biggest lie, out of so many, occurred when he swore the oath and then, in his inaugural address, pledged to be a leader for all Americans. Trump governs for his own interests and those of his family, and for the cheers of his base. His opponents righteously declare that he is “not my president,” forgetting that Trump made that choice for them long ago.

JustSecurity, Bob Bauer: The Withering of the Giuliani Defense of “No Crime of Collusion” in Wake of Roger Stone’s Indictment http://bit.ly/2ThKjEK

NewYorker, Adam Davidson: Robert Mueller Got Roger Stone http://bit.ly/2HAfZ77

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog: The House Intelligence Committee can’t send testimony transcripts to Robert Mueller until they have a full set of members. So far, Republicans are not naming any members to the Intelligence Committee. They managed it for 23 other committees, but…
💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1088992076027572224/photo/1

Vice, Greg Walters: Roger Stone’s Arrest Brings Mueller’s Case For Collusion Closer to Trump Than Ever Before http://bit.ly/2B4F70a
// “This brings the investigation into the Trump campaign.”

NYT Editorial: Roger Stone Lied. What Was He Hiding? http://nyti.ms/2Wf16Ky
// Could the Trump campaign really not have known that in dealing with WikiLeaks it was dealing with Russia?

Newsweek: Robert Mueller Will Indict a Lot of People in the Next 60 Days: ‘They Will Be Quite Familiar to the Average American,’ Says Former CIA Director John Brennan http://bit.ly/2CPj1yH

TPM, Allegra Kirkland: This Week: The Long-Awaited Roger Stone Indictment Arrives http://bit.ly/2RU939F

TPM, Josh Marshall: Simple: There Was a Trump Campaign/Wikileaks BackChannel http://bit.ly/2Rieuty

TPM, John Light: Putting The Stone Indictment In Context http://bit.ly/2WlH5Cd

NBC, Daren Gregorian: Nixon Foundation objects to calling Roger Stone an ‘aide’ to disgraced ex-president http://nbcnews.to/2G12ieS
Nixon tattoo https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1089025591616114689/photo/1
// The former Trump adviser and self-described GOP “dirty trickster’ was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Vox, Andrew Prokop: All of Robert Mueller’s indictments and plea deals in the Russia investigation so far http://bit.ly/2Dzgydg

Vox, Andrew Prokop: All of Robert Mueller’s indictments and plea deals in the Russia investigation so far http://bit.ly/2Dzgydg

DailyBeast, Marlowe Stern: Ann Coulter Finally Comes Clean to Bill Maher on Trump: ‘I’m a Very Stupid Girl’ http://bit.ly/2Hv0a1d
// The far-right pundit appeared on Maher’s HBO program ‘Real Time’ Friday night and admitted that she was very wrong about President Trump.

PoliticoMag, Ben Zimmer: Roger Stone and ‘Ratf—ing’: A Short History http://politi.co/2TbzBQ1
// The flamboyant political aide is often tagged with the term. But its origins—and Stone’s relationship with the word—are complicated.

🐣 .@SpeakerPelosi: “Our values unify us … our diversity is our strength … but our unity is our power” ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1089012265624440832/photo/1

No I don’t unify our caucus, our values unify us. And I’m sure it’s the same in the Senate. And the fact is, is that our diversity is our strength. The differences of so many different ways including differences of opinion. That’s our strength, but our unity is our power. And that is what maybe the president underestimated.” (Via AP)

PoliticoMag, Michael Kruse: Roger Stone’s Last Dirty Trick http://politi.co/2CJATef
// He promoted Donald Trump’s political rise decades before anyone. Now he’s been indicted for the bruising style of politics he wielded gleefully on Trump’s behalf.

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi What does Putin have on @realDonaldTrump, politically, personally or financially?

NYT: Indicting Roger Stone, Mueller Shows Link Between Trump Campaign and WikiLeaks http://nyti.ms/2CO4Ytj

Politico, Darren Samuelsohn: The juiciest morsel in Mueller’s charges against Roger Stone http://politi.co/2B6umdt
// The special counsel offered the clearest evidence to date of the Trump campaign’s alleged attempts to cooperate with WikiLeaks.

🐣 RT @RonKlain Here’s an idea: Trump could use the 21 days to read Article I, Sec. 9 of the US Constitution, which says “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” And then he could consider that he swore to uphold it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @PressSec In 21 days President @realDonaldTrump is moving forward building the wall with or without the Democrats. The only outstanding question is whether the Democrats want something or nothing

Politico, Darren Samuelsohn: The juiciest morsel in Mueller’s charges against Roger Stone http://politi.co/2B6umdt
// The special counsel offered the clearest evidence to date of the Trump campaign’s alleged attempts to cooperate with WikiLeaks.

TheAtlantic, David Frum: Roger Stone’s Arrest Is the Signal for Congress to Act http://bit.ly/2S3iUJx
// Robert Mueller is looking for crimes. It’s up to legislators to safeguard the country.

TheNationalInterest, W James Antle III: Does the Roger Stone Indictment Mean Trump Is in Jeopardy? http://bit.ly/2S7ZR0y
// It’s the unknown unknowns that may determine the course of a presidency.

VanityFair, Abigail Tracy: “We Can See Collusion”: With the Stone Indictment, Mueller Begins Making His Case http://bit.ly/2TeMngX
// The special counsel’s office didn’t charge Roger Stone with conspiracy. Between the lines of the indictment, however, legal experts see a giant red arrow pointing to the president. “Either Trump was in on it,” says one former Justice official, “or he goes down as the most clueless boss and president in the 242-year history of the Republic.”

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Roger Stone’s arrest and indictment, explained http://bit.ly/2ThL6pi
// The longtime Trump adviser has been in Mueller’s crosshairs for some time.

USAToday: Roger Stone indictment: Mueller pushes deeper into Trump campaign; highlights effort to use Russia hacks to derail Clinton bid http://bit.ly/2TbvkMt
// by Kevin Johnson, Bart Jansen and Brad Heath

🐣 Trump wanted steel slats and he got a Steel Lady. @SpeakerPelosi

🐣 I can’t wait until @SpeakerPelosi addresses the American people to say, “Our long national nightmare is over.”

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi Roger Stone’s indictment makes clear there was a deliberate, coordinated effort by top Trump campaign officials to subvert the will of the American people during the 2016 Election. #FollowTheFacts

Axios: Pelosi questions Trump’s ties to Putin in wake of Stone arrest http://bit.ly/2TfJvjZ
// Full Statement from Speaker Pelosi:

“The indictment of Roger Stone makes clear that there was a deliberate, coordinated attempt by top Trump campaign officials to influence the 2016 election and subvert the will of the American people. It is staggering that the President has chosen to surround himself with people who violated the integrity of our democracy and lied to the FBI and Congress about it.

In the face of 37 indictments, the President’s continued actions to undermine the Special Counsel investigation raises the questions: what does Putin have on the President, politically, personally or financially? Why has the Trump Administration continued to discuss pulling the U.S. out of NATO, which would be a massive victory for Putin?

Lying to Congress and witness tampering constitute grave crimes. All who commit these illegal acts should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We cannot allow any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from appearing before Congress.

The Special Counsel investigation is working, and the House will continue to exercise our constitutional oversight responsibility and ensure that the Special Counsel investigation can continue free from interference from the White House.”

🐣 RT @ProudResister I hope people continue waking up to just how much damage the GOP has done to America and it didn’t all start with Trump. It’s been going on since Nixon. They’ve been committing crimes, destroying the middle class, starting fake wars and stealing elections for 50 fucking years.

🐣 RT @EricHolder A person who is pardoned can be put in a grand jury and asked about everything, including the acts for which he was pardoned. Obliged to tell the truth-or perjury charges. A president – through use of the pardon power – cannot therefore insulate himself.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Nancy Pelosi on the Roger Stone indictment: “It is staggering that the President has chosen to surround himself with people who violated the integrity of our democracy and lied to the FBI and Congress about it.”

WSJ: Beyond the Shutdown: The Trump-Pelosi Dynamic Defines Washington http://on.wsj.com/2G2OQYa //➔ even the WSJ plays nice
// Spending and immigration fight driven by clashing personalities signals how divided government might play out

🐣 RT @tribelaw Russia —> WikiLeaks —> Stone —> “a senior Trump campaign official” (indictment para 12) —> Trump! That “senior” official must be Trump or someone just one step away. So Coordination, collusion, conspiracy: for indictment purposes, it may matter. For impeachment, not so much.

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Huge Trove of Leaked Russian Documents Is Published by Transparency Advocates http://nyti.ms/2sMZ9rt “Distributed Denial of Secrets” or DDoSecrets

[T]he sheer volume of the material — 175 gigabytes — and the technical challenges of searching it meant that its full impact may not be felt for some time. The volume is many times greater than the total known material stolen by Russian military intelligence from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign nearly three years ago.
↥ ↧
📋💙💙 DDoSecrets: Leaked Russian Documents http://bit.ly/2sLAsvl

TheHill: Transparency advocate group releases trove of hacked Russian documents http://bit.ly/2G2R7lV

FiveThirtyEight, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux: What The Roger Stone Indictment Does (And Doesn’t) Tell Us http://53eig.ht/2WgFe1D

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: Cosplaying Supervillain Roger Stone Meets Robert Mueller’s Real-Life Feds http://bit.ly/2RgCuNQ
// Stone lied to the Special Counsel because he trusted WhatsApp, which is a grandpa mistake of the first order.

🐣 RT @chunkled Hi. ¤ I love you. ¤ (sound up)
💽 https://twitter.com/chunkled/status/1068137230370308096/photo/1
// Mueller dancing #2 not a 🌀

🐣 RT @20committee WikiLeaks is a front for Russian intelligence. Fact. As even Pompeo, as Trump’s D/CIA, admitted publicly. ANY direct link between WL (ie GRU) and Team Trump isn’t “collusion” — it’s conspiracy and possibly espionage under USC.
📌 https://twitter.com/20committee/status/1088796725408612353

🐣 RT @John_Hudson Mike Pompeo just named Eliot Abrams his new special envoy for Venezuela. Abrams plead guilty to withholding information from Congress about the Iran-Contra affair. Pompeo says Abrams will be in charge of “all things related to our efforts to restore Democracy in Venezuela.”

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri “I’m going to assert as a matter of probability that Donald Trump was in the loop on the effort to get the Russians to help his election prospects by releasing the emails” – @BillKristol 💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1088938670944591879/photo/1

MMFA: Alex Jones melts down after Roger Stone indicted: Indict “whore” Hillary Clinton instead http://bit.ly/2FYUCda

🚫 DisobedientMedia (Sep): Emails ~ Forensicator’s Analysis Supports Assange’s Statements On The DNC, Podesta Emails http://bit.ly/2Tgm49Y //➔ fails MediaBias FactCheck: High on “Conspiracy Theories”: http://bit.ly/2G00HpD
// 9/24/2018

🐣 RT @State_Duma Leonid Slutskiy: #US is behind the attempt to overthrow the legitimate President @NicolasMaduro. The #US continues the policy of external pressure, interference in affairs of sovereign states, only the Venezuelan must decide who will be the head of state […]
⋙ TheStateDuma [RU]: Head of the International Committee Leonid Slutskiy commented on events in Venezuela http://bit.ly/2DA9OMg Warning from the Russian Duma:
Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1088941345308401664/photo/1

Leonid Slutskiy, Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs, believes that the United States is behind the attempt to overthrow the legitimate President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. The United States continues the policy of external pressure and interference in the affairs of sovereign states, but only the people of Venezuela must decide who will be the head of state, the parliamentarian stressed.

“As for Venezuela: very rude and destructive. The United States continues the policy of external pressure and interference in the affairs of sovereign states. Now it is Caracas’s turn. Washington has already announced the recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaidó as an interim president of the country and threatened to toughen the sanction if the power is not transferred to him, allowing otherwise ”all options for action“ on its part.

There is no protection of democracy. This is another forceful imposition of American hegemony and the demolishing of unwanted regimes. ¤ Only the people of Venezuela must decide who will be the president of the country. And only by means of elections.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Just in: Statement from House Intel chair @RepAdamSchiff—“This is now the second witness who has been indicted for or plead guilty to making false statements in testimony before our Committee.”
https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1088841962571075584/photo/1

NBC, Ken Dilanian: Roger Stone indictment: Is this all Mueller has, or is he closing in on Trump? http://nbcnews.to/2UhOJLU
// Analysis: The charges do not allege Russian coordination, but Mueller might be building a conspiracy case.

MotherJones, David Corn: What the Roger Stone Indictment Left Out: How He Helped Russia Attack the 2016 Election http://bit.ly/2CLOMbX
// His greatest act of villainy isn’t included in Robert Mueller’s charging document.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand He relished his late-night calls with Trump in 2016. He was in regular touch with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks’ plans to destroy Trump’s foe, Hillary Clinton. And now Roger Stone has met his reckoning via Trump’s other biggest foe: Robert Mueller.
⋙ 💙 TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Decades of Dirty Tricks Finally Catch Up to Roger Stone http://bit.ly/2FXXRkW
// Trump’s longtime adviser said after appearing in federal court, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

🐣 RT @Leah_McElrath Abrams is a un-indicted felony equivalent #IranContra coconspirator. ¤ Just so y’all know where this is likely headed.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Phil_Mattingly .@SecPompeo just announced that Elliot Abrams to lead U.S. efforts on Venezuela.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 6′ 3″…239-ish. Big on Twitter.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Evan_McMullin Now the question is who ordered Steve Bannon to reach out to Roger Stone about Wikileaks?
🐣 RT @tedlieu Roger Stone is the 6th associate of @realDonaldTrump to get indicted. ¤ Republicans and Trump like to talk about running government like a business. ¤ I simply note that any CEO of a company who has had 6 of his associates indicted would have resigned or been fired by now.
🐣 💙 RT @AnaCabrera 37 people and entities have now been charged by special counsel Robert Mueller, including 6 associates of President Donald Trump: Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen, and Roger Stone. Mueller has brought 199 total criminal charges in all.

🐣 RT @rickwtyler Nancy to Chuck: You just grab him by the b@££s. When you’re the Speaker, he’ll just let you do it. You can do anything.

🐣 RT @RogueFirstLady Everyone hiding now as The Donald watch news coverage of him humiliation.

🐣 RT @GlennKesslerWP A reminder; No one has any idea where Trump gets this tale of the duct-taped women.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 6′ 3″…239-ish. Big on Twitter.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Evan_McMullin Now the question is who ordered Steve Bannon to reach out to Roger Stone about Wikileaks?

HomelandSecurityNewsWire: Kremlin dispatches Russian security personnel to protect Venezuela’s Maduro http://bit.ly/2WlMLMj  //➔ US opposition be damned

Private Russian military contractors have been dispatched by the Kremlin to Venezuela in the past few days to shore up security for President Nicolas Maduro. The Russian move appears to be in response to the recognition by the United States and most of Latin America’s countries of Juan Guaido, who declares himself as Venezuela’s interm president earlier this week. Russian sources told Reuters that the Russian contingent sent to protect Maduro is about 400 strong.

WaPo: ‘It’s better to be infamous’: Even under indictment, Roger Stone relishes his time in the spotlight http://wapo.st/2DA1lIS

🐣 RT @MikeI_Jollett Trump promised a WALL but delivered a CAVE.

🐣 RT @davidaxelrod These Mueller indictments are like watching Wheel of Fortune. The puzzle fills in with each letter. Now add in the Stone indictment, and the word coming into focus looks very much like COLLUSION.

🐣 RT @KurtEichenwald 1. Every step in investigating the flow of information from the conspiracy involving Corsi/Stone/Russian hackers/Assange to conservative media is getting worse and worse. THIS is a major outrage, and a sign of the utter collapse of American journalism. Now, @CNN is involved… 📌 https://twitter.com/kurteichenwald/status/1088928675431661568

WaPo/Bloomberg, Laurence Arnold: Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga http://wapo.st/2FYD5BS

🐣 RT @j363j In 1972, a 22 year old #RogerStone became a political dirty tricks understudy of Bart Porter, via an internship position in the Nixon White House, arranged by Donald Trump’s lawyer (one year later) #RoyCohn.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: President Trump lost. Period. http://wapo.st/2WgTk2Q

🐣 RT @j363j In 1972, a 22 year old #RogerStone became a political dirty tricks understudy of Bart Porter, via an internship position in the Nixon White House, arranged by Donald Trump’s lawyer (one year later) #RoyCohn.

🐣 RT @chrislhayes Pelosi taking the SOTU away worked.

NYT: Trump Announces Deal to Reopen Government, in Surprise Retreat From Wall http://nyti.ms/2UcB20I

🐣 RT @danpfeiffer This is an important point. Democratic control of the House means that bad news cycles are no longer the only mechanism for political accountability and Trump’s power to change the conversation to the next outrage has been essentially neutered
⋙ 🐣 RT @matthewamiller I bet Jared Kushner is pretty happy today the latest story on his security clearance has been blasted out of the news. But unlike the past two years, the news cycle changing doesn’t mean the issue is dead – subpoenas are still coming.

🐣 RT @AltUSPressSecy They’ll never say one word, but every national security analyst is reaching their breaking point along with the air traffic controllers. ¤ We cannot continue to operate the United States Government in this fashion.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Nat’l Air Traffic Controllers Assoc.: “We have warned about what could happen as a result of the prolonged shutdown. Many controllers have reached the breaking point of exhaustion, stress, and worry caused by this shutdown. Each hour that goes by … makes the situation worse.”

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa To those claiming that there is no suggestion of collusion in the Stone indictment: One of the most important things in it is that Russian disinformation talking points were being passed to the campaign to create a narrative surrounding the released documents
💽 [CNN] https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1088865632584720384/photo/1

🐣 RT @tonyschwartz You know Trump’s character by character of the people he chooses:: Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, Michael Cohen, Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Ryan Zinke, Jeff Sessions, Scott Pruitt, Rob Porter, Tom Price, Stephen Miller, Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote No emergency declaration. Trump is folding like a cheap suit. No money for the wall. Much better than what I thought he was going to do.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Hey Roger Stone fans: ¤ Bannon ratted him out. ¤ You’re welcome. ¤ Fight amongst yourselves.

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw In Paul Manafort’s own words: ¤ ”Roger’s relationship with Trump has been so interconnected that it’s hard to define what’s Roger and what’s Donald.”
💽 https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1088828739054649345/photo/1

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger what did Trump know and when did he know it?

🐣 RT @juliaioffe He’s been waiting to do that for decades, hasn’t he? https://twitter.com/juliaioffe/status/1088860231466172417/photo/1
// Nixon double-V salute

🐣 RT @ZevShalev If you follow the Stone trail, you’re sure to pass Steven Bannon before reaching Rebekah and Robert Mercer and look out for the hidden path to Bibi Netanyahu. @traciemac_Bmore #MuellerFriday

🐣 RT @craigunger As per @anastasiaki, @MoscowTimes is purging content that links alleged Russian Mafioso to @RudyGiuliani.
⋙ 🐣 RT @anastasiaki This is a scandal. The article – @RudyGiuliani Donor Linked to Russian Mobs (#Mogilevich and Chernoy) just disapeared from the website of @MoscowTimes Guess what, I did snapshots from google cash and I will remain
https://twitter.com/anastasiaki/status/1088804606145187840?s=20/photo/1-3

MotherJones: Nancy Pelosi just slammed Donald Trump over his ties to Russia: “It’s bothersome to see his connections to Russia and the president’s suggestions that we should question whether we should be in NATO—which is a dream come true for Vladimir Putin.”
💽 https://twitter.com/MotherJones/status/1088855666435870720/photo/1

🐣 RT @tweetjaleesa Congrats, Roger Stone! You’re that much closer to Nixon’s criminal legacy. Maybe someday someone will get your big dumb face tattooed on their back.

🐣 RT @woodruffbets Roger Stone outside the courthouse, over boos: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about”

🐣 RT @DanRather I’ve followed the career of Roger Stone for decades, and he always struck me as a man who thought he was too smart to get caught.

🐣 RT @WilDonnelly Most Successful Witch Hunt ever!
Witch 1 Flynn
Witch 2 Papadopoulos
Witch 3 Gates
Witch 4 Manafort
Witch 5 Cohen
Witch 6 Pineda
Witch 7 Patten
Witch 8 van der Zwaan
Witch 9 Kilimnik
Witch 10 Butina
Witch 11-23 – 13 Russians
Witch 24-36 – 12 Russian intel officers

🐣 RT @ABCNews Chris Christie on Roger Stone indictment: “When I read this indictment this morning, it once again proved out just how smart and careful Robert Mueller is being… This has got to be a very disturbing day for some senior members of the Trump campaign.” https://abcn.ws/2DyQtuL 

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Stone says there is “no circumstance” under which he will plead guilty to the charges and says he intends to go to trial in DC.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Beans come true. Roger Atone has been indicted.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Mueller’s grand jury took testimony from Jerome Corsi’s stepson today. The last time the grand jury convened on a Thursday, Russian indictments dropped the next day. Should we be expecting a felony Friday for Roger Stonehenge? (That means his whole gang). #felonyfriday #beans

🐣 RT @HoarseWhisperer I could watch the FBI swarming on Roger Stone’s house all day.
💽 https://twitter.com/HoarseWisperer/status/1088780413512925189/photo/1

🐣 RT @real Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?

🐣 No GOPer has won fair and square since Eisenhower: Nixon: Secret reach-out to N Viet Nam to delay peace talks; Reagan: Secret reach-out to Iran on hostages; GWBH: Willie Horton; GWB: SCOTUS ruling, (Term 2:) Ohio shenanigans; and now #TrumpRussia They’re ALL Dirty #TreasonParty

🐣 RT @matthewamiller Stone’s behavior as described in the indictment is so incredibly reckless. Find it hard to believe he takes such a huge risk just to protect outreach to Wikileaks that *he had already bragged about publicly.* Has to be a bigger secret.

Politico: Roger Stone’s Last Dirty Trick http://politi.co/2CJATef
// He promoted Donald Trump’s political rise decades before anyone. Now he’s been indicted for the bruising style of politics he wielded gleefully on Trump’s behalf.

CNBC: Trump associate Roger Stone arrested on 7 counts, including lying to Congress, in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe http://cnb.cx/
● Roger Stone, a longtime political advisor to President Trump, has been arrested in Florida.
● Stone faces seven counts, including witness tampering, obstruction of justice and making false statements to Congress.
● The indictment alleges that Stone had been in contact with top-ranking Trump campaign officials about efforts to leak damaging information about Hillary Clinton just before the 2016 election.
● According to a person with direct knowledge of the manner, one of the senior officials who reached out to Stone was Steve Bannon, who served as CEO of the Trump campaign during the election’s final stages.

🐣 RT @DavidCornDC Roger Stone kept saying he expected to be indicted for a side issue. But he’s been indicted for a core matter: lying to cover up his attempts to communicate with WikiLeaks about the Russian hacks while he was communicating with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks.

🐣 RT @KatyTur 5 days after sr campaign official told to contact Stone, Trump makes plea to Russia ¤ “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” ¤ That night, per prev Mueller indictment, Russian hackers tried to get into Clinton’s personal email https://twitter.com/KatyTurNBC/status/1088789556739170304/photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw “After the July 2016 release of stolen DNC emails by [Wikileaks], a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases [of] other damaging information . . . regarding the Clinton Campaign.” WHO “DIRECTS” A SENIOR TRUMP CAMPAIGN OFFICIAL?

🐣 RT @RepSwalwell #RogerStone worked overtime to get his hands on Russian-hacked emails to help @realDonaldTrump. Then Stone took out the shovels to bury and hide his dirty deeds from investigators. Put this in context with all the others eager to work with Russians. This was a campaign of cheats.

🐣 RT @krassenstein In case anyone needs to know. From the Roger Stone Indictment:
Person 1 = Jerome Corsi
Person 2 = Roger Credico
Organization 1 = Wikileaks
Head of Organization 1 = Julian Assange

🐣 RT @neeratanden Yes. This has always been the issue. The Trump campaign wanted Wikileaks out precisely because Access Hollywood had just gone up
⋙ 🐣 RT @vermontgmg Remember the day a Trump official texted Stone “well done” for Wikileaks’ dump of Clinton emails, that was hours after the Access Hollywood tape released. Was Wikileaks dump coordinated to cover-up embarrassing tape?

🐣 RT @Neal_Katyal A simple 3 step guide to understanding the morning’s news:
1. Read tweet below
2. Read Mueller indictment of Roger Stone
3. Ask yourself why a sitting President of the US would have felt compelled to tweet the below. At some point, # of criminals surrounding Trump not coincidence
⋙ 🐣 RT @real [12/3/2018] “I will never testify against Trump.” This statement was recently made by Roger 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 @JohnJHarwood key passage in Roger Stone indictment: he “was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases” of stolen information by Wikileaks

🔆 This❗️⋙ ≣ LawFareBlog: Document: Indictment of Roger Stone [pdf] http://bit.ly/2UdQgmj 24p

An indictment of Trump associate Roger Stone has been unsealed in connection with the Mueller investigation. Stone is indicted on one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering. The document is
available here and below. …

🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 Roger Stone has been indicted for working w WikiLeaks to release stolen info for Trump and Russia during election. Trump has known Stone and Manafort since around 1980 through his mentor Roy Cohn. Don Jr also communicated w WikiLeaks!
⋙ 🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 There goes Roger Stone’s defense that he never communicated with Wikileaks .. ¤ Dm messages released via @NatashaBertrand show otherwise ¤ How many members of the @realDonaldTrump camp had DIRECT communications w Wikileaks?? ¤ Stone, Don Jr.. and I’m sure many more will be revealed
https://twitter.com/olgaNYC1211/status/968631729195044865/photo/1-2

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone indicted by special counsel in Russia investigation http://wapo.st/2UjXqph

🐣 RT @JohnPodesta Rogers’s time in the barrel—and it’s headed over Niagara Falls. Roger Stone, Adviser to Trump, Is Indicted in Mueller Investigation via @NYTimes
⋙ 🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Roger Stone Arrested in Mueller Investigation Into Trump Campaign http://nyti.ms/2WqEB5E

OCCRP: Yevgeny Prigozhin ran the infamous “troll farm” and other pro-Putin media operations. One of his operatives came clean to reporters, sharing some of the dirty work he and his team did for the oligarch, including murder. ¤ Then he vanished.
⋙ OCCRP (Dec 2018): Operative for “Putin’s Chef” Shares Secrets, Vanishes — Then Reappears and Retracts http://bit.ly/2S7SS7V
// 12/17/2018

YahooNews/Newsweek (2017): Jared Kushner Doesn’t Read And Gets Tired Of Talking About The Middle East, Joe Scarborough Says http://yhoo.it/2CNEVT4
// 11/17/2017

ScienceMag: Fake news on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election http://bit.ly/2Dw9xd4

Our findings suggest immediate points of leverage to reduce the spread of misinformation. Social media platforms could discourage users from following or sharing content from the handful of established fake news sources that are most pervasive. They could also adopt policies that disincentivize frequent posting, which would be effective against flooding techniques (25) while affecting only a small number of accounts. For example, platforms could algorithmically demote content from frequent posters or prioritize users who have not posted that day. For illustrative purposes, a simulation of capping political URLs at 20 per day resulted in a reduction of 32% of content from fake news sources while affecting only 1% of content posted by nonsupersharers. (SM S.15). Finally, because fake news sources have shared audiences, platforms could establish closer partnerships with fact-checking organizations to proactively watch top producers of misinformation and examine content from new sites that emerge in the vicinity of fake news sources in a coexposure network. Such interventions do raise the question of what roles platforms should play in constraining the information people consume. Nonetheless, the proposed interventions could contribute to delivering corrective information to affected populations, increase the effectiveness of corrections, foster equal balance of voice and attention on social media, and more broadly enhance the resiliency of information systems to misinformation campaigns during key moments of the democratic process.

⭕ 24 Jan 2019

Salon, Lucian Truscott IV (1/24): Trump’s Moscow tower deal is the key http://bit.ly/2CXEXaG
// It’s at the heart of Trump’s Russia connections, and that’s why he and Giuliani have lied about it repeatedly

Msnbc: Kushner security clearance rejection overruled by Trump appointee http://on.msnbc.com/2MucQV2
// Rachel Maddow shares breaking news from NBC News that being rejected for security clearance by two separate career security officials, Jared Kushner and at least 30 others had their rejections overruled by a Trump-appointed supervisor [Carl Kline]. Bradley Moss, a national security attorney specializing in security clearance law, lends his expertise to the story.

Newsweek: Trump Administration Neglects to Implement Required Russia Sanctions, Saying There’s ‘No Deadline’ http://bit.ly/2WhbnpB

NBC: Twitter is testing a new way to determine where a tweet started http://nbcnews.to/2RLfueU
// Twitter’s changes come as many journalists and power users have said they are re-evaluating their Twitter habits.

🐣 RT @NicolleDWallace Omg
⋙ 🐣 RT @davidgura Asked by if U.S. soldiers would defend a NATO ally “if needed,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says, “I’m not going to get into hypotheticals…”
Text Block: https://twitter.com/davidgura/status/1088448404030660608/photo/1

WaPo: Witness in special counsel probe, former Stone associate, collected payments from Infowars through job Stone arranged http://wapo.st/2sMcMa5

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom It’s also my view, and I’m not a Democrat. Trump is a simple man who responds to simple lessons: if he wins on this, he’ll be treated like a conquering hero by the right, and he’ll want that same jolt of adrenaline over and over. There’s a lot more at stake here than policy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @baseballcrank This as much as anything is the Democrats’ point of view on the shutdown – it’s not about policy at all, it’s about setting the terms of partisan power for the next two years
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @markknoller Addressing @usmayors, @SpeakerPelosi says Democrats “must hold the line” against the President on border wall, otherwise he’ll use a Government shutdown “anytime he doesn’t get his way.” She says he’s holding the American people hostage “to a campaign applause line.

PoliticusUSA: ‘The Days Of Mob Rule Are Over’: Rep. Eric Swalwell Tells Trump He’s Going Down http://bit.ly/2HwKeeX

RawStory: ‘When the country goes to hell’: 2014 video shows Trump bragging he would ‘crash the economy’ to get his way http://bit.ly/2Te0KC6

🐣 RT @brianklaas The president’s unqualified son-in-law raised major red flags during his security clearance review, was initially rejected by security specialists, but then their supervisor overruled them. Nepotism and security risks wrapped up in one. What a dangerous joke.
🐣 RT @matthewamiller Massive. Not just Kushner, but for more than 30 other WH staffers as well? Their handling of clearances has never added up, and this looks like an enormous scandal.
🔆 This❗️⋙ NBC: Officials rejected Jared Kushner for top secret security clearance, but were overruled http://nbcnews.to/2FWmChy Jared Kushner was rejected for a top secret clearance by 2 career security specialists, but their supervisor overruled them & approved him, say sources.
// by Laura Strickler, Ken Dilanian and Peter Alexander

The official, Carl Kline, is a former Pentagon employee who was installed as director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017. Kushner’s was one of at least 30 cases in which Kline overruled career security experts and approved a top secret clearance for incoming Trump officials despite unfavorable information, the two sources said. They said the number of rejections that were overruled was unprecedented — it had happened only once in the three years preceding Kline’s arrival.

After reviewing the file, CIA officers who make clearance decisions balked, two of the people familiar with the matter said. One called over to the White House security division, wondering how Kushner got even a top secret clearance, the sources said. Top secret information is defined as material that would cause “exceptionally grave damage” to national security if disclosed to adversaries.

Meduza: Russia’s risks in Venezuela, the latest Internet crackdown legislation moves forward, Deripaska’s escort may have been with the FSB http://bit.ly/2RLsnWu //➔ I don’t know this source well but fyi @MuellerSheWrote

💄 Kashin says Rybka is a former FSB sex worker and bonafide political prisoner In an op-ed for Republic, columnist Oleg Kashin argues that “sex trainer” Anastasia Vashukevich (“Nastya Rybka”) should be considered a political prisoner, not a tabloid sideshow. Kashin says Vashukevich’s “strange,” reckless behavior before and after Navalny’s exposé indicates that she believed she was safe from reprisals by someone as rich and powerful as Oleg Deripaska. According to journalist Sergey Kanev’s source in Russia’s prostitution world, Vashukevich apparently worked with the Federal Security Service. Kashin says this means the FSB likely used her to attack Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko. When the agency got what it wanted from these individuals, the FSB did what it does with any expendable resource and cut Vashukevich loose.

The prostitution case against Vashukevich in Moscow suggests that Russia’s authorities have actively turned on their former call girl, Kashin argues. Whether the motivation is “corruption” or staging a cautionary tale for potentially loose-lipped sex workers, the state is now persecuting Vashukevich, Kashin says, which makes her a political prisoner. (A day after Kashin’s article was published, Vashukevich and Alexander Kirillov were released on their own recognizance from pretrial detention in Moscow.)

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: When it comes to Russia, maybe voters do care about facts http://wapo.st/2MvGiKj

ChicagoSunTimes: If Trump looks and talks like a Russian stooge … http://bit.ly/2WgSmnm

🐣 RT @clarecmc POTUS just said that the Rs that voted with the Democrats today to re-open the government did so because of hurricane relief money in the bill. The R Senators that voted that way were from Alaska, Colorado, Tennessee, Utah, Maine, and Georgia.

Newsweek: Deutsche Bank Willing To Report Jared Kushner’s ‘Suspicious Transactions’ To Robert Mueller: Report http://bit.ly/2Hw2Snv

🐣 RT @FoundDemocracy To be effective, you have to fight in a way that a bully understands. #TeamPelosi
⋙ CNN, Chris Cillizza: How Nancy Pelosi beat Donald Trump at his own game (and why it matters) http://cnn.it/2CHNcYs

NBC: Skripal poisoning: Trump admin yet to impose new Russia sanctions required by law http://nbcnews.to/2HwqBDY
// The European Union punished four Russians this week in connection with the Skripal poisoning, but the U.S. hasn’t moved forward with its own penalties.

DailyBeast, Matt Lewis: SOTU There!: Pelosi Proves That Congress Actually Is a Co-Equal Branch of Government http://bit.ly/2FQqIbZ
// The State of the Union battle is largely symbolic. But symbols matter, and Donald Trump learned that his new adversary won’t be pushed around.

NYMag, Nick Tabor: Everything We Know About BuzzFeed’s Michael Cohen Scoop, and Why Mueller Shot It Down http://nym.ag/2RO2O7j

Bloomberg: Manafort Fires Back at Mueller’s Claims That He Broke Deal by Lying http://bloom.bg/2RMIG5f
● Mueller says Manafort lied about five matters when cooperating
● Judge orders ex-Trump campaign aide to appear Friday in court

VanityFair, Abigail Tracy: “It Is a High-Wire Act”: D.O.J. Vets Have Theories About Mueller’s Message to BuzzFeed http://bit.ly/2ROZngk

CNN: As Stone waits for Mueller, he’s back to going out for pizza on Fridays http://cnn.it/2RgomEw

Meduza: What does Russia stand to lose in Venezuela? http://bit.ly/2CJYGLa

📊 CNN: Poll: More Americans believe Mueller investigation is justified than politically motivated http://cnn.it/2CKUryX CBSNews Poll: 50/45%

WaPo, Greg Sargent: There is only one way to break Trump’s pathology. Pelosi has found it. http://wapo.st/2FXoiY2

💙 TheAtlantic, Bernard-Henri Lévy: The New American Empire http://bit.ly/2DxBscU Bernard-Henri Lévy is a philosopher, activist, filmmaker, and author of over thirty books
// What is the internet if not a modern panopticon? But it is a two-sided one, a panopticon that can be turned around.

TheAtlantic, Josh Rubin: NATO Fears That This Town Will Be the Epicenter of Conflict With Russia http://bit.ly/2FXjhPc
// Narva, a small Estonian town that borders Russia, used to be part of the USSR. Most people there speak only Russian. Will Putin try to invade like he did in Crimea?

RollingStone, Tim Dickinson: Eight Questions About Robert Mueller, Russia and the NRA http://bit.ly/2B4LFvx
// Trump’s ties to the gun group are reportedly in the special counsel’s sights as the special counsel investigation enters 2019

Did anyone inside the NRA knowingly participate in the conspiracy for which Butina is now jailed and her handler, Alexander Torshin, was hit with U.S. sanctions?

Was the NRA’s invitation and trip to Moscow in 2015 — which the Daily Beast reports was authorized by the Kremlin, citing “a U.S. intelligence report” — evidence of collusion by the gun group with Russian officials, or did the NRA have the wool pulled over its eyes by its Russian hosts, Torshin and Butina?

Did Russian money pass through the NRA to help fund Trump’s bid for the White House, which McClatchy reported in January 2018 was the subject of an FBI investigation?

If Russian money did wind up in NRA coffers, did the NRA know the source of the cash? And how much (if any) of the record $30 million that the NRA spent on behalf of Trump in 2016 did this Russian cash represent?

If the NRA did receive Russian money, which other Republicans benefited from the tainted largesse of 2016? As a reminder, the gun group spent more than $6 million on behalf of Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and at least $3 million each on behalf of Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).

Could any of this alleged Russian money have been used in the political campaigns to help seat supreme court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh? (The NRA reportedly spent about $1 million on each nomination fight.)

Why did NRA president Pete Brownell, who attended the 2015 Moscow gathering, abruptly step down last May, a year before the end of his term, being quickly replaced by Col. Oliver North?

If Russian money was flowing to the NRA, has it since dried up? Do the NRA’s entanglements with the Russians have anything to do with its current financial mess, which the gun group has argued in court documents could leave it unable to exist?

CNN: Q & A with the Russian pop star tied to Trump and why he canceled his North American tour http://cnn.it/2G1F7Rw Emin Agalarov

CREW: Russia Renewed Ivanka Trump’s Trademarks Shortly Before the 2016 Election http://bit.ly/2B3ZFFO

CNBC: Michael Cohen adviser Lanny Davis wants Trump censured by Congress for ‘witness tampering,’ as president blasts ‘bad lawyer’ http://cnb.cx/2FXLSnt

● Michael Cohen’s legal adviser Lanny Davis called for President Trump to be censured by the House for “witness tampering,” and for Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani to be criminally investigated for the alleged misconduct.
● Davis’ call comes a day after Cohen postponed his congressional testimony due to alleged “threats” against his family by the president and Giuliani.
● Cohen, who is cooperating with Robert Mueller’s probe of Trump, pleaded guilty in 2018 to lying to Congress about a Trump real estate effort in Russia, and about hush-money payments to two purported Trump paramours, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.

💙 Salon/DeepState, Jefferson Morley: In a challenge to Trump, U.S. intelligence targets Russia http://bit.ly/2RcDJxw
// The rise of Trump has coincided with the decline of counterterrorism as a declared U.S. policy priority

It is safe to say President Trump did not read the new National Intelligence Strategy of the United States (NIS) released on Tuesday.

Which is a good thing.

The document shows the intelligence community (meaning the 17 U.S. government intelligence agencies) has mobilized against the threat posed by President Trump, his incoherent impulses on war and peace, and his furtive machinations with Russia.If Trump had read them, he would have noticed his government’s 17 clandestine services had targeted his friends in Moscow, his business partners in the skyscraper hotel business.

The IC is on the record (again) as saying the threat of Russian penetration is not “fake news,” not a hoax, but a menace.

Is it time to confront Russia? Is the National Intelligence Strategy a declaration of Cold War II?

Russia has been elevated as a threat, but it is not defined as an existential threat, as jihadist terrorism was from 2001 to 2018.

I think the IC — or, if you prefer, “the deep state” — is looking for legitimacy, which Trump threatens. Russia now seems more threatening to the U.S. intelligence community than Iran or jihadist terror. This is accurate but no reason for a new Cold War. It is a reason to reduce and eliminate Russia’s nuclear arsenal—and to do the same with our own nukes.

Bottom line: Russia is the growing threat to the United States, according to the intelligence community. If the president says Russia is no threat, well, he doesn’t read U.S. intelligence reports, least of all this one.

This report is a sign that Trump is losing control of his government. Don’t take it from me. Listen to the insiders.

RFE/RL: Russia Slams U.S. Backing For Venezuela Opposition Leader http://bit.ly/2FPeCzE

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Michael Cohen’s claim that President Trump is threatening his family, explained http://bit.ly/2sMDGyN
// Trump made ominous innuendos about Cohen’s father-in-law. Now Cohen’s congressional testimony may be off.

WaPo/AP: Where the investigations related to President Trump stand http://wapo.st/2CIWLXf

USAToday: Putin warns against ‘destructive interference’ in Venezuela after Trump recognizes Juan Guaido http://bit.ly/2TcVezN

WaPo: Venezuela and U.S. locked in tense standoff as Russia warns against American ‘intervention’ http://wapo.st/2TdPJR8

🐣 Pompeo denounces Maduro. Russia supports him. Call to Trump from Putin coming?

🐣 Judiciary to re-open Hillary email case? Dems should use the opportunity to look into the FBI leaks to Guiliani that forced Comey’s hand re: the Wiener laptop @AmyKlobuchar @KamalaHarris @SenWhitehouse

🐣 RT @tribelaw Why did Buzzfeed story about Trump’s subornation of perjury cause a Tsunami while his witness tampering in plain view causes only a ripple? This is an even more serious crime (20 yrs v 5 yrs). Looks like only hidden POTUS crimes shock people. Crimes in plain view, not so much.

🐣 RT @MSNBC JUST IN: Michael Cohen has been subpoenaed to testify before the Senate Intel Cmte., a source close to Cohen tells @NBCNews. ¤ https://on.msnbc.com/2HvvQUv 

TheGuardian: Russia and key allies vow to stand by Maduro in Venezuela crisis http://bit.ly/2T6w59S uh oh
// Attempts to force Venezuela’s president from power are illegal, says Russian senator

🔆 This❗️⋙ DailyBeast, Kevin Poulson: This Time It’s Russia’s Emails Getting Leaked http://bit.ly/2Dw97DK
// The Russian oligarchs and Kremlin apparatchiks spared by WikiLeaks in the past will not be so lucky this week, when transparency activists drop a massive archive of leaked docs.

⭕ 23 Jan 2019

💙 WashingtonMonthly, Martin Longman: A Connection Between the Moscow Tower and the Trump Tower Meeting http://bit.ly/2Rh2JUl
// Sberbank; read entire article; see 25 Jan: Medium, Scott Stedman: The Moscow Project and the missing 6 billion rubles http://bit.ly/2Tj6daG

Sater is in the news again because of his central role in brokering a deal between IC Expert CEO Andrey Rozov and the Trump Organization to build a skyscraper in Moscow that would have been the tallest building in Europe. On Tuesday, Buzzfeed News published the detailed plans for that tower. I now have reason to believe that there’s a connection between the Moscow Tower deal, which was formalized in a letter of intent signed on October 28, 2015, and the infamous Trump Tower meeting that occurred on June 9, 2016.

It’s not that surprising that Sater and Rozov were working on two distinct real estate deals at the same time, but the New York-based accountant, Ilya Bykov, who was involved in the West 38th Street transaction is the same accountant who helped Azerbaijani oligarch Aras Agalarov create a shell company in Delaware just prior to the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Agalarov, you will remember, was responsible for bringing Donald Trump’s beauty contest to Moscow in 2013, and it was his son Emil who reached out to Donald Trump Jr. to offer dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The shell company, called Silver Valley Consulting, has attracted the attention of investigators because eleven days before the June 9 meeting, Mr. Agalarov moved “$19.5 million from an offshore investment vehicle to a US bank account” for the newly established corporation.

As independent investigator Scott Stedman put it, “The intersection of Rozov, Sater, Bykov, Agalarov and the shell company that purchased 22 West 38th Street, resulting in an $8M profit for Rozov in the midst of negotiating Trump Tower Moscow will surely pique the interest of congressional and federal authorities.”

Up until now, there has been no suggestion that there was a similar connection between the Moscow Tower proposal and the Magnitsky Act, but some of same players are emerging as having been involved in both of these negotiations. For example, the accountant Ilya Bykov connects both with Sater and Rozov’s real estate deal and with Agalarov’s shell company. In the latter case, the suspicion is that Agalarov was moving $20 million into an American account for some purpose related to the Trump Tower meeting. …

As for the implications for the Russia investigation, there is clear evidence here that the Trump Organization was looking for ways to ingratiate itself with Vladimir Putin in furtherance of getting a deal to build a tower in Moscow. The Russians dangled a deal, got Trump to sign on the dotted line, and then held that over him as they attempted to get him to make commitments should he actually become president. The Magnitsky Act was one of their main targets, but so was undermining the European Union, breaking up NATO, getting America to leave Syria, getting a recognition of their right to Crimea, and sanctions relief. Trump has pursued all of these things and more since becoming president.

BuzzFeedNews, Kevin Collier: It Looks Like Russian Hackers Are Still At It In 2019 http://bit.ly/2MwPHkO
// A British think tank that counters Russian information operations has been hacked — and Russian media outlets are all over the leaked material.

RFE/RL: ‘Your Turn To Lie’: Former Russian State TV Cameraman Describes ‘The Business Of Misinforming Viewers’ http://bit.ly/2FZ4tzJ

Politico: Schiff, Waters plan joint Deutsche Bank investigation http://politi.co/2FPwx9o House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters

Politico: Manafort to confront lying charges in court Friday http://politi.co/2Ul3I8b
// Robert Mueller has accused the former Trump campaign chairman of lying during grand jury testimony and in cooperation sessions with the special counsel.

HomelandSecurityNewsWire: GRU’s suspected plan to link Skripal poisoning to Steele Dossier http://bit.ly/ 2sFonb8
// Excerpts from paywalled: TheTelegraph, Robert Mendick [UK] (1/20/2019): Kremlin accused of laying false trail linking Sergei Skripal to ex-MI6 officer behind Trump dossier [$] http://bit.ly/2S9c05i

TheHill: Trump disapproval rating at all-time high amid shutdown, Russia concerns: poll http://bit.ly/2CFqBM6

Newsweek: ‘Putin Knows a Lot More Than the American Public Knows’ About Trump’s Dealings With Russia, Says Ex-CIA Chief Brennan http://bit.ly/2Dvt7Gq

🐣 RT @RepAdamShiff The shutdown’s impact on federal workers is bad enough, but the FBI is also losing counter-terrorism sources and is unable to fund key efforts to target terror suspects, drug traffickers and sexual predators. ¤ Time to reopen the government and stop putting our security at risk.
[ Tlink https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1088179749401305088 ]
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand New: The wheels of justice are grinding to a halt. FBI agents say the shutdown is costing them irreplaceable sources, postponing indictments, & slow-rolling investigations. The fed judiciary and US Attorneys’ offices are running out of money. It’s day 33. [ Link ]

RFE/RL: Russian Court Orders House Arrest For Activist Charged Under ‘Undesirable’ Law http://bit.ly/2Duyoy7

A Russian court has ordered nearly two months of house arrest for an activist affiliated with а civil society group founded by former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The case against Anastasia Shevchenko appears to be the first time that Russian authorities have criminally prosecuted someone under the “undesirable organization” law — a controversial measure signed into law nearly four years ago by President Vladimir Putin.

Politico: Ocasio-Cortez and Freedom Caucus ready for battle http://politi.co/2DtV5Cm
// Liberal freshmen Democrats and conservative GOP hard-liners are set to face off in the House Oversight Committee.

🐣 RT @Green_Footballs When the era of the Trump Horror is finally over, that’s not the end of it. This country needs to have a serious talk with itself about how this blatant crime family could ever be allowed into the White House. Our institutions were clearly not prepared for a monster like this.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews #Russia’s state TV: ¤ Politician Sergey Stankevich says that Trump has the power to unilaterally withdraw the United States from NATO without going through Congress. ¤ Host Olga Skabeeva: “And who told him he could do that? Putin!”
https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1088111071943184385/photo/1

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Cummings and Schiff: “We will not let the President’s tactics prevent Congress from fulfilling our constitutionally mandated oversight responsibilities. This will not stop us from getting to the truth. We expect Mr. Cohen to appear before both Committees.”
🐣 RT @tedlieu Cohen is delaying his testimony due to threats from Trump and Giuliani. ¤ Here is 18 U.S.C. § 1512: ¤ “Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens … or attempts to do so … with intent to … influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person” is guilty of a felony.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Lanny Davis: “Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr. Cohen’s continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date.”

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Trump’s position is weakening fast. Here’s how Democrats can exploit that. http://wapo.st/2Ua0Bzz

WaPo, Brian Klaas: For two years, Trump has been undermining American democracy. Here’s a damage report. http://wapo.st/2R9vT7O

NBC, Ken Dilanian: House Democrats probe how Jared Kushner got security clearance http://nbcnews.to/2U9Pxm0
// The probe was launched “in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings.

≣ Director of National Intelligence (DNI): National Intelligence Strategy NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY of the United States of America 2019 [pdf] http://bit.ly/2RNzddZ 36p https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1088098420466896897/photo/1

WaPo, James Hohman: The Daily 202: 10 sobering quotes from the new National Intelligence Strategy http://wapo.st/2Hs5vXh “This is part of an effort by Coats to be more transparent in the face of sustained attacks from the president and his allies on the right”

In the past, there’s been a public report and a separate classified version. But this year there is only one version – and it’s entirely unclassified. This is part of an effort by Coats to be more transparent in the face of sustained attacks from the president and his allies on the right against what they’ve taken to calling the Deep State.

📊 DailyBeast: Politico/Morning Consult Poll: 57 percent believe it’s likely that Russia “has compromising information“ on Trump http://bit.ly/2Wd3wJL
Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1088087424369086464/photo/1

Only 7 percent of American voters surveyed support giving Donald Trump funding for his Mexico border wall to end the U.S. government shutdown, according to a new poll. The results of poll, carried out for Politico and Morning Consult, reveal a series of damning numbers for the president, including those that show his disapproval rating at an all-time-high. Fifty-seven percent said they disapprove of Trump’s job performance, while 54 percent of voters blame Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill for the government shutdown. While 43 percent of voters support the border wall, just 7 percent of voters said that they support dedicating funding to a border wall if it was the only way to end the government shutdown. And further bad news for the White House: The poll also shows that a majority of the respondents, 57 percent, believe it’s likely that Russia “has compromising information“ on Trump.

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Translation: we prefer the Russian model of limiting information the public receives so as to make it more likely that our preferred viewpoint is the only one they’re likely to hear.
⋙ 🐣 RT @esaagar Sarah Sanders this AM on the lack of press briefings: “We’re in the business of getting information to the American people, not making stars out of people that want to become contributors on CNN”

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: The Wheels of Justice Are Grinding to a Halt http://bit.ly/2WdphZV
// FBI agents say the government shutdown is costing them confidential sources, postponing indictments, and shutting down investigations. 

🐣 RT @CraigCaplan 357-22: House passes bill to prohibit the use of federal funds for US withdrawal from @NATO 29-member international alliance.
https://twitter.com/CraigCaplan/status/1087878173231120384/photo/1

🐣📊 RT @davidfrum Only 31% of Americans feel confident that Russia is *not* blackmailing the president according to Morning Consult poll
⋙ Politico: Poll: Shutdown, Russia drive Trump to all-time high disapproval http://politi.co/2My590l

Nearly 6-in-10 voters — 57 percent — disapprove of Trump’s job performance, compared to the 40 percent that approve. In addition, 54 percent of voters blame Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill for the government shutdown. Only 35 percent blame congressional Democrats.

⭕ 22 Jan 2019

NewYorker, John Cassidy: Halfway Through the Trump Presidency, the Resistance Is Winning http://bit.ly/2FJ1RXh

AlterNet/DeadlineWH (MSNBC): ‘I see criminal conspiracy’ in the Trump-Russia investigation: former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah http://bit.ly/2Hrl55t

WaPo Editorial: Trump’s lies on his business dealings in Russia were a profound betrayal of voters http://wapo.st/2DtQnog

CNN: Mueller wants to know about 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to NRA http://cnn.it/2FI3AMq

RollingStone, Tim Dickinson: What’s Really Going on with Trump and the Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska? http://bit.ly/2Uagcix
// A sanctions deal cut by the Treasury Dept. provides “Putin’s favorite industrialist” with “hundreds of millions” in debt relief

USAToday Editorial: Trump pursued a deal in Russia and hid it from voters http://bit.ly/2FSFldR

🐣 RT @emptywheel ICYMI, today Jerome Corsi and Larry Klayman today asked for what I think is a gazillion dollars in their lawsuit against Mueller before they realized this was supposed to be a serious lawsuit and pretended to replace gazillion with a real number. https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1087808123354664960/photo/1
📌 https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1087808123354664960
⋙ Court Filing: http://bit.ly/2FFxd1b

🐣 RT @emptywheel Nadler just sent a letter to the Big Dick Toilet Salesman asking (among other things) if he talked to the White House before Mueller’s office issued Friday’s statement. https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1087827728345296896/photo/1
⋙ HouseJudiciaryComm: http://bit.ly/2S8jZzS

🐣 RT @MollyMcKew Was thinking about @kenvogel piece on Treasury allowing Deripaska to restructure companies to evade sanctions in icky ways, & decided to go look at the foreign agent (FARA) filings for Deripaska’s reps ¤ This revealed some remarkable FARA BS shared below /1 📌 https://twitter.com/MollyMcKew/status/1087939154909057025

🐣 RT @Axios NEW: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ro Khanna, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib — all members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — have been named to the House Oversight Committee
⋙ Axios: 4 progressive Democrats named to House Oversight Committee http://bit.ly/2U9MoTu

🐣 .@ARTEM_KLYUSHIN The Nastya Rybka story is all over the U.S. news ~ featured on the most popular cable news show, @maddow. She is a 🌟 DailyBeast, Amy Knight: The Sex Worker Who Could Hold Keys to Mueller Probe Freed From Moscow Jail http://bit.ly/2FQAAS1 👁‍🗨👁‍🗨 👁‍🗨👁‍🗨

🔆 This❗️⋙ Crooks&Liars/DeadlineWH (MSNBC): Frank Figliuzzi: Trump Lies Because Russians Won Presidency For Him http://bit.ly/2CHuGzE //➔ took my breath away, not the least because Figliuzzi is always so guarded and precise. Figliuzzi is the former Asst Dir for Counterintel at the FBI.
Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1087937638986903552/photo/1

… I am left now with only one conclusion, that the news on Russia, the truth about Russia, is so bad that no one can afford to let it leak out. We have too many people covering up the same thing over and over again and the only conclusion I have is that it’s about as bad as it can be.

… I’m developing a real sense here that there is now knowledge within the Trump circle that the Russians did assist with, in a successful way, the winning of the presidency. I am increasingly convinced that this is what people are trying to cover.

… All of this points to knowledge, in my mind, that the Russians were — it was understood that the Russians were assisting the campaign, and that they did so in such a way — remember, we have over two dozen Russians indicted already between hacking and social media propaganda in support of the campaign. We have Vladimir Putin saying in Helsinki to a reporter’s question, did you tell your government to put their full force and support behind candidate trump? Answer, ‘Yes.’ I believe there’s knowledge of that, I believe there’s great fear about the extent to which they assisted. And I think that’s at the root of what people are lying about.

🐣 RT @TheLeadCNN NEW: Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is interested in the Trump campaign’s relationship with the NRA during the 2016 campaign, CNN’s @SaraMurray reports. https://cnn.it/2FEnBU8 https://twitter.com/TheLeadCNN/status/1087819257411452930/photo/1

🐣 RT @kasparov63 Trump doesn’t want an immigration solution. He needs a crisis and if there isn’t one, he’ll invent it. As I’ve said about Putin for 10 years now, confrontation itself is the goal. There’s no negotiating with that, only winning or losing.
… This is why “just give him what he wants” or “meet him halfway” is so stupid. What he wants is conflict. There’s no appeasing that, only losing over and over.

RawStory, Bob Brigham: Ex-FBI counter-intel chief warns Trump is ‘the greatest threat of all’ facing America http://bit.ly/2Dtd2kA

NBC News national security contributor Frank Figliuzzi joined MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” with Nicolle Wallace on Tuesday to analyze the in-depth report on the shutdown released by the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA).

“There are Champagne corks being popped back in the Kremlin right now, because they couldn’t have engineered a better scenario than a demoralized FBI that can’t pay its bills, can’t pay informants and, yes, the leadership is responsible for this,” Figliuzzi replied.

“The leader responsible for this is the guy who said he owns this and he’ll take — he’ll take it on the chin for the shutdown and that’s Donald Trump,” he concluded. “So that’s a reflection of the degree to which our president is putting self-interest over national interest.”

WaPo, Damian Paletta and Josh Dawsey: ‘Knock them in the teeth.’ How Trump turns crises into leverage. http://wapo.st/2R5Iau8

🐣 RT @NormOrnstein Mitch McConnell says blocking Merrick Garland was the most consequential thing he has ever done. I would say a close second is blackmailing Obama and the intelligence community to keep a lid on Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Both are utterly nefarious acts.

HuffPo: John Kerry Says Donald Trump Should Resign http://bit.ly/2S2DfOZ
// “He doesn’t take any of this seriously,” the former secretary of state said during a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

NBC: Supreme Court releases censored appeal by foreign government in mystery Mueller case http://nbcnews.to/2T9ch5w
// An unidentified foreign government is asking the Supreme Court to get involved in a case that may be part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

BuzzFeedNews: Trump Tower Moscow: Rudy Giuliani Said There Were “No Plans.” Here They Are. http://bit.ly/2sBUqbY

YahooNews, Jenna McLaughlin and Sean D. Naylor: Shutdown hits national security employees across government http://yhoo.it/2Mouhq0

💙 ≣ OfficeDirectorNationalIntelligence (ODNI): Press Release: Strategy Promotes Integration, Innovation, Partnerships, and Transparency for the 17 Intelligence Elements http://bit.ly/2Hu4j5F

🐣 RT @inteldotgov The National Intelligence Strategy provides guidance and direction for the U.S. Intelligence Community. Here’s your “at a glance” guide to this key document:
💙 ⋙ ≣ NIS: Public’s Daily Brief ~ 2019 NIS At A Glance [Interactive] http://bit.ly/2sJPxNP
// Dan Coates

🐣 .@torshin_ru The Nastya Rybka story is all over the U.S. news ~ featured on the most popular cable news show, @maddow. DailyBeast, Amy Knight: The Sex Worker Who Could Hold Keys to Mueller Probe Freed From Moscow Jail http://bit.ly/2FQAAS1 👁‍🗨👁‍🗨👁‍🗨

Bloomberg, Cass Sunstein: William Barr’s Baffling and Alarming View of Executive Power http://bloom.bg/2R3GWQ0
// Suppose the president can make sure the Justice Department never files criminal charges against him?

🐣 RT @Acosta CNN: FBI has lost several informants who had penetrated target groups at the center of terrorism investigations, a joint terrorism task force coordinator said anonymously in a report released Tuesday by the FBI Agents Association. via @davidgshortell and @SchneiderCNN

🐣 RT @KyivPost United Nations: 13,000 killed, 30,000 injured in Donbas since 2014 https://buff.ly/2RGoySl #UN #Donbas #Ukraine #war

🐣 RT @BillBrowder BREAKING: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approves Magnitsky Report 95-3 calling on all Council of Europe member states to pass Global Magnitsky Acts in their countries to sanction human rights abusers
⋙ ParliamentaryAssembly: Sergei Magnitsky and beyond – fighting impunity by targeted sanctions http://bit.ly/2RFPB0a

MotherJones, David Corn: Yes, There Was Collusion. Look at the Manafort Case http://bit.ly/2FHNSRt
// A load of evidence is hiding in plain sight.

CNN: Republicans: Cohen lawyer says key topics off-limits for congressional hearing http://cnn.it/2RMPQ9W

Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony next month will exclude any topic that’s “under investigation,” Republicans say they were told by Cohen’s lawyer, which could mean Cohen won’t discuss lying to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project or the payments made to women during the 2016 campaign for their silence.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: The growing ‘leverage’ questions about Trump and Russia http://wapo.st/2Hs5rqy
// What once seemed like a far-fetched conspiracy theory has come up again and again in recent weeks.

DailyBeast, Amy Knight: The Sex Worker Who Could Hold Keys to Mueller Probe Freed From Moscow Jail http://bit.ly/2FQAAS1
// Nastya Rybka may not know as much as she claims about a sanctioned Russian oligarch and Paul Manafort. But if not, why did the oligarch try so hard to keep her in prison?

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s nemesis, the 28-year-old Belarusian self-declared “seductress” and “huntress of billionaires” known as Nastya Rybka [aka Anastasia Vashukevich], just got out of jail in Moscow.

And Deripaska must have thought things were going so well.

As we now know, he worked hard to keep her locked up in Thailand, or Russia—wherever, as long as she would quit telling her stories and showing her videotapes about him talking American politics, Trump politics, with a deputy prime minister of Russia at the height of the U.S. elections.

Whether Rybka’s information sheds light on the Russia collusion investigation or not, the fact that Deripaska used to be a client of jailed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort makes those conversations highly suspicious. …

Then Rybka and her associate Alexander Kirillov were released. And that surprise came just after—perhaps because of—a highly damning exposé about Deripaska and the petite, blonde Rybka (real name Anastasia Vashukevich) was posted by Russian opposition democrat Aleksei Navalny. …

It told the story of a 2016 yachting excursion off the coast of Norway that Rybka had taken with Deripaska. That report, based on Rybka’s photos and videos, revealed that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko was also on board and that he and Deripaska had discussed the U.S. election campaign. …

Navalny directed a message to Deripaska and Prikhodko: “You yourselves, not Rybka, are to blame. You called for prostitutes on the yacht. Well, you should have understood that they will not provide you with confidentiality. Order next time through the FSO [the Federal Protection Service]. Let Rybka collect her things and get home to Belarus. Cancel your order.  Maybe you will decide to teach her a severe lesson in the SIZO [detention cell] or even have her die. But for you this will not end well. That’s for sure.”

WaPo: Model who claimed U.S.-Russia collusion evidence freed from jail in Moscow http://wapo.st/2RKmgSn

Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, and her partner, Alexander Kirillov, still face possible prostitution charges stemming from a “sex-training seminar” they held in Thailand last year, Kirillov’s lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina said in a phone interview.

Vashukevich, who also worked as an escort, made headlines last year after video footage she posted to social media surfaced showing her on a yacht with Russian metals magnate Oleg Deripaska and a then-deputy prime minister. After her arrest in Thailand, she pleaded for U.S. help and said she had recordings documenting links between Deripaska and Donald Trump’s campaign.

The claim was notable because Deripaska used to work with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. But no recordings related to the campaign — or proof that they exist — have surfaced.

The pair’s release came after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko appeared to get involved. His spokeswoman told the Belarusian edition of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that he had ordered his diplomats to “immediately start working for the release of the Belarusian citizen.” A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, Deripaska posted on Instagram that he had gone “to fish” in Lake Baikal rather than attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This appeared to be a pun. “Rybka” means “little fish” in Russian.

TheHill: U.S. banker tied to Russia sought access to Trump transition team: report http://bit.ly/2FSsmZJ

ABC News reports that Robert Foresman, a banker who lived in Moscow for years and has been advertised by his company as someone with connections to Putin’s closest advisers, sought a meeting with Tom Barrack, the chairman of Trump’s inauguration fund.

Foresman never met with Barrack, according to the report, and later sought access to Trump’s transition team a second time through a meeting with Michael Flynn, who would end up becoming Trump’s first national security adviser.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand New: FBI Agents Association just released a 72-page report about the shutdown. “The shutdown has eliminated any ability to operate,” says 1 agent. “The US Attorney’s Office is unable to issue grand jury subpoenas for financial institutions,” says another.
⋙ FBIAA Report: VOICES FROM THE FIELD ~ FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Conseequences of the Government Shutdown [pdf] http://bit.ly/2W9fvrM 72p

🐣 RT @McFaul These are not the actions of a great country or a secure leader.
⋙ 🐣 RT @vkaramurza Membership in an opposition group is now a “crime” in Russia. My Open Russia colleague Anastasia Shevchenko became the first person arrested for belonging to an “undesirable organization.” Orwellian thoughtcrimes becoming a reality under Putin’s regime.

🐣 Anastasia Vashukevich (Nastya Rybka) needs a @Wikipedia entry.

TheBulwark, Jennifer Horn: RNC Signals Trump’s Weakness with Push to Endorse Him Now http://bit.ly/2T369Ma
// (Note: The Bulwark is Bill Kristol’s new ‘zine, replacing The Weekly Standard as a #NeverTrumper saferoom); “If the president were in a stronger position, resolutions to declare him the ‘presumptive nominee’ would be unnecessary”

🐣 RT @McFaul What? Why? Assistant Secretary Mitchell just got there ! He has a reputation for being tough on Russia, supportive of NATO, etc. Is his departure related to these views? Please send links as journalists uncover the story.
⋙ 🐣 RT @StateDeputySpox Assistant Secretary Mitchell is stepping down as leader of the @StateDept Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. His departure is effective February 15, 2019. Elisabeth Millard, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, will serve as acting Assistant Secretary of State.

🐣 Check out my blog (actually a sub-blog) on 🇺🇸Trump/Russia🇷🇺 https://wp.me/PDKwi-6Kc It has resources, timelines, maps by @Jzikah, and a comprehensive list of articles and Tweets by key people @MuellerSheWrote

CrimeRussia: Nastya Rybka and Alex Leslie resealed [sic] from police, no charges brought http://bit.ly/2sBcnr8

Nastya Rybka (Anastasia Vashukevich) and her sex mentor Alex Leslie (Alexander Kirillov) were released from the police, the Head of the Association Agora Pavel Chikov reports in his Telegram channel.

“Nastya Rybka and Alex Leslie have just been released from the police, reports the lawyer of the latter Svetlana Sidorkina. Charge is not brought, the appearance obligation is withdrawn,” writes Chikov. …

Today the Nagatinsky District Court of Moscow was to elect a preventive measure for Vashukevich and Leslie in the case of Inducing to Prostitution (part 2 of Art. 240 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

Vashukevich and Kirillov became known after Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) showed pictures from Instagram of the girl, in which a man similar to Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko, stayed on a yacht of oligarch Oleg Deripaska, accompanied by escort girls. Later the FBK published an interview with the author of the book titled A Diary About Seducing a Billionaire Nastya Rybka and her sex trainer Alex Leslie.

Deripaska filed a lawsuit with the Ust-Labinsku Court of Krasnodar region, and it recognized the investigation as violating the businessman’s privacy rights and charged 500 thousand rubles from the defendants. The investigation and reports in the media about the businessman were included by Roskomnadzor in the register of prohibited information. …

AJC: Model who said she had dirt on Russian oligarch walks free http://on-ajc.com/2WcY2ii //➔ Nastya Rybka (aka Anastasia Vashukevich), Oleg Deripaska

🐣 .@nytimes and @washingtonpost need to pick up the story of #NastyaRybka’s release ASAP. #SaveNastyaRybka

RFE/RL: ‘Sex Trainer,’ Escort ‘Nastya Rybka’ Released But Remains Suspect, Lawyer Says http://bit.ly/2FFOtTT

🐣 RT @BillBrowder Wow. Russian authorities just released Nastya Rybka. That was unexpected.
⋙ Meduza: ‘Sex trainers’ who leaked Deripaska yacht footage are unexpectedly released from Moscow jail http://bit.ly/2FLdJZ5
⋙ 🐣 Let’s hope her international profile offers her some protection.
⋙ 🐣 #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka ¤ #SaveNastyaRybka

💙 JustSecurity, John Sipher: Western Covert Action and Russian Active Measures http://bit.ly/2DrhjF7 //➔ the case against “whataboutism”

🔆 This❗️⋙ The moral high ground in international affairs is not defined by whether or not states defend themselves, or have militaries and intelligence services, but by what they stand for. … For this reason, many former national security practitioners have been critical of President Trump’s comments and actions. They realize it is precisely this moral cause and higher purpose that President Trump threatens with his dismissal of the liberal world order, attack on legal and ethical norms, and his embrace of tyrants. His behavior potentially damages our domestic political discourse and alienates our allies and friends. Perhaps more importantly, however, our military, diplomatic and intelligence professionals may find it much harder to justify their sacrifices if they sense America is changing it stripes, and no longer reflects noble intentions and a desire to do good in the world. As Trump continues to shred American institutions and values, he is also weakening our ability to act on its behalf. Those who vigorously defend America on the front lines do so because it is special, not only because we happen to live here.

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Here’s the audio of the alleged conspiracy to keep #Deripaska’s escort Nastya #Rybka locked up in Thailand. Call begins in Russian, switches to English when Russian man & woman give instructions to “William” Via @navalny @KirkseniyaSF https://youtu.be/zqU2L_05yUI #Maddow #TrumpRussia
[ TLink: https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1087722252404051968 ]

Salon, Matthew Rozsa: What happens if Putin wins? Michael McFaul on “the end of the liberal international order” http://bit.ly/2FOC8Mq
// Salon speaks with Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia and a man that Vladimir Putin wants to interrogate

🐣 RT @SenBlumenthal Trump’s gift to Putin oligarch, Deripaska, even more egregious than previously known—Senate should move again to block lifting sanctions on Russian henchmen.
[ Tlink NYT https://twitter.com/SenBlumenthal/status/1087712057875664896 ]

🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 Ukraine amps up their air defense amid a buildup of Russian troops and military equipment along Ukraine’s borders that significantly increased since November. Lots of activity going on the past week
⋙ Unian: Ukraine beefs up air defense amid massing of Russian troops near Ukrainian borders http://bit.ly/2R6Pwxt
// The Chief of the General Staff is in charge of air defense.

FiveThirtyEight, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux: Could A Slew Of New Congressional Investigations Erode Trump’s Approval Rating? http://53eig.ht/2AWNnip

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes Process point: When a person consistently gives you information with zero relation to the truth, that person is not a useful source. ¤ Implication for L’Affare Russe journalism: Stop interviewing Rudy Giuliani and stop treating what he says as probative of anything.

⭕ 21 Jan 2019

🔄💙 RanttMedia, Ahmed Baba: Your Guide To Every Day Of Trump’s First 2 Years As President http://bit.ly/2UbTLtg
// Here’s a summary of America’s experience in President Trump’s first two years and an index linking to contemporaneous analysis covering every single day.

WashingtonMonthly, Martin Longman: It’s a Bit Late to Conclude that Trump Is Compromised by the Russians http://bit.ly/2CBVroR

NewYorker, Isaac Chotiner: “Even If He Did Do It, It Wouldn’t Be a Crime”: Rudy Giuliani on President Trump http://bit.ly/2Czt0be

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog Leaked audio records allegedly show how Oleg Deripaska’s associates plotted the arrest of the ‘sex trainers’ who claimed to have ‘RussiaGate’ dirt on him
https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1087536773092294656/photo/1
⋙ Meduza: Leaked audio records allegedly show how Oleg Deripaska’s associates plotted the arrest of the ‘sex trainers’ who claimed to have ‘RussiaGate’ dirt on him http://bit.ly/2T9xigG
// Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka)

TheGuardian, Mark Galeoti (2018): Gangster’s paradise: how organised crime took over Russia http://bit.ly/2FEQQ9r
// 3/23/2018; Under Vladmir Putin, gangsterism on the streets has given way to kleptocracy in the state.

🐣 RT @Hardball “If anyone other than Rudy Giuliani said this, it would have been an extremely big deal.” @benjaminwittes on Giuliani saying Trump could have pursued the Moscow tower deal up to the 2016 election. #Hardball

TheHill: Russian pop star linked to Trump Tower meeting cancels US tour http://bit.ly/2AQsmpN

NYT: 5 Times the Trump Administration Has Been Tougher Than Trump on Russia http://nyti.ms/2sGC7m0

CNN: Giuliani tries to clean up comments about Trump Tower Moscow http://cnn.it/2REtN4Z

ChicagoTrib: Talk of the County: Trump hat should say ‘Make Russia Great Again’ http://trib.in/2DqlP6G
// This message is for the 99 percent of Republicans and Trump supporters who are the Putin wing of the Republican Party: When are you guys going to start jumping off the Putin-Trump ship?

NYT: Russian Oligarch and Allies Could Benefit From Sanctions Deal, Document Shows http://nyti.ms/2FFXpIH

💙 WaPo, Michael Glennon: If Trump is impeachable, so is Pence http://wapo.st/2RKJ18Q Michael J. Glennon is a law professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
// He is the author of “When No Majority Rules: The Electoral College and Presidential Succession.”

🐣 RT @Axios Rudy Giuliani said yesterday that Trump’s talks with Michael Cohen about the Moscow project could have gone up to the 2016 election. Today he’s saying those comments were “hypothetical” and not based on conversations with Trump.

WaPo, Max Boot: Trump should not take solace from Mueller’s cryptic correction http://wapo.st/2AX3kW9

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff While Trump was pursuing deal worth hundreds of millions in Russia…
He was advocating eliminating sanctions worth billions to Putin.
He was asking Russia to hack Clinton’s emails.
His son was meeting Russian officials to get dirt on Clinton.
And Rudy says it’s no big deal?

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Citing leaked phone recordings, @navalny claims that #Deripaska organized the jailing of Nastya Rybka, the Belarusian escort who published photos and audio of Deripaska discussing the U.S. election on a yacht with a top Kremlin official, Sergei Prikhodko. [ Tlink to Russian https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1087387273862230016 ]

WaPo, Paul Waldman: Trump’s corruption keeps getting more obvious http://wapo.st/2HoCMTd

Bloomberg, Zaid Sabah and Ivan Levingston: Israel Strikes Iranian Targets in Syria, 11 Reported Dead http://bloom.bg/2RZiaF8
● Targets include arms depots, intelligence site, Israel says
● Syria says its air defense has shot down dozens of missiles

🐣 RT @ McFaul Remember, if true, this means that Trump has lied to the American people multiple times about his dealings with Putin’s regime. That outrages me. Why all Americans are not outraged as well baffles me.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MeetThePress WATCH: @rudygiuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, says that negotiations over Trump Tower Moscow likely went up to the 2016 election. #MTP
💽 https://twitter.com/MeetThePress/status/1086987147209519104/photo/1

⭕ 20 Jan 2019

TheTelegraph, Robert Mendick [UK]: Kremlin accused of laying false trail linking Sergei Skripal to ex-MI6 officer behind Trump dossier [$] http://bit.ly/2S9c05i
// paywall [$], but excerpts under HomelandSecurityNewsWire (1/23/2019): GRU’s suspected plan to link Skripal poisoning to Steele Dossier http://bit.ly/ 2sFonb8

Russian intelligence created a false trail linking the double agent Sergei Skripal to the former MI6 officer behind the Trump dossier before carrying out the Salisbury nerve agent attack, the Telegraph has been told.

Well-placed sources now believe that the plot to kill Col Skripal may have included a ‘black ops’ attempt to sow doubt on the veracity of the explosive dossier that claims Donald Trump received Kremlin backing.

💙💙 BuzzFeedNews, Hannes Grassegger: The Unbelievable Story Of The Plot Against George Soros http://bit.ly/2Wfp1cX
// How two Jewish American political consultants helped create the world’s largest anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

NYT, Peter Baker: U.S. Policy on Russia? Trump and His Team Might Give Different Answers http://nyti.ms/2HBL9Lt

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Putin’s Russia supports the idea of the wall, the chaos caused by the shutdown, anti-immigrant animus, racial tensions in the US, because those cracks in our foundation make us weaker. That’s also why the Kremlin enjoys Trump’s divisive actions & rhetoric. [ Tlink Russia State TV https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1087207415593033729 ]

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 A Harvard and a Yale psychiatrist on Trump: “He is unimpeded by empathy, duty, or shame and is wedded, in dangerous ways, only to what nurtures his exaggerated self-image … As things stand, his disregard for truth imperils our country and the world.” [ Tlink BostonGlobe https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1087198098450010113 ]

🐣 RT @gtconway3d “‘Rudy is the gift that keeps on creating issues that do not otherwise exist. He should have taken the Mueller statement [denying the BuzzFeed story], embraced it and not said another word,’ said a prominent criminal defense lawyer … active in Robert Mueller’s investigation.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jonathanvswan Top Washington criminal defense lawyers, both Democrats and Republicans, told me they couldn’t understand what Giuliani was trying to achieve with his TV appearance.
⋙⋙ Axios, Jonathan Swan: Rudy’s remarkable interview http://bit.ly/2R0ASYl

In a remarkable interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper today, the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested it was possible — and would be “perfectly normal” — that Trump talked to Michael Cohen before he testified about him to Congress. Giuliani added he didn’t know if Trump and Cohen had such a conversation.

Salon/RawStory, Tana Ganeva: Security analyst: Russia “collected receipts” to blackmail Trump before he even won a primary http://bit.ly/2FLsQkc
// Marcy Wheeler concludes Trump may have been compromised by Putin far earlier than the Trump tower meeting

VanityFair: Giuliani: “So What?” If Trump and Cohen Discussed Testimony Before Congress http://bit.ly/2Dn1pf9
// The president’s lawyer acknowledged Trump may have spoken with Michael Cohen before his congressional perjury.

TheGuardian: Trump may have spoken to Cohen before false testimony to Congress – Giuliani http://bit.ly/2DolDFa
// President’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said it would have been ‘perfectly normal’ for Trump to discuss testimony with Cohen

💽 CNN, Reliable Sources: Bernstein: Trump has lied at every turn about Russia http://cnn.it/2RWRchv
// Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein discusses the truthfulness of President Donald Trump with CNN’s Brian Stelter.

NYMag, Chas Danner: Giuliani: Moscow Tower Talks Continued Until Election, Trump and Cohen May Have Discussed Testimony http://bit.ly/2FEpwbA

TheIntercept, Glenn Greenwald: Beyond BuzzFeed: The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump/Russia Story http://bit.ly/2R3Vwqy
// 🚫 GG is a troll …

MotherJones: BuzzFeed Defends Trump-Russia Blockbuster and Promises to Run Down New Details http://bit.ly/2DnNDZD “Our reporting is going to be borne out.”

DefenseOne, Richard Fontaine: The Shutdown Is Great News for Russia http://bit.ly/2R4KFgl
// The competition of democracy versus dictatorship is to a degree a contest of narratives.

The longest government shutdown in American history is making headlines around the world. It will also have global effects, none of them good. U.S. political leaders, so unable to compromise, should understand how their decisions chip away at national security.

NYT: Moscow Skyscraper Talks Continued Through ‘the Day I Won,’ Trump Is Said to Acknowledge http://nyti.ms/2RBzK2w

🐣 This agonizing over the @BuzzFeedNews story confounds me. Trump is the Boy Who Cried Wolf on this. He calls ALL stories he doesn’t like #FakeNews. So what moral ground does he have to call this one out? My guess is most of the BF story is right. They do good work.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d Leave it to Rudy to destroy the momentary respite that BuzzFeed had given his client.

🐣 Why does Mueller need corroborating documents when he’s got Giuliani?

🐣 RT @ryanstruyk TAPPER: “You just acknowledged that President Trump might have talked to [Cohen] about his testimony.” ¤ GIULIANI: “And so what if he talked to him about it?”

🐣 RT @juliaioffe This means Trump was working on a deal in Russia while praising Putin, calling for an end to Russia sanctions, calling NATO “obsolete,” and AFTER the US government warned that Russia was trying to influence the election in his favor.
🐣 RT @jonathanweisman Trump was seeking a Moscow tower deal as he called for an end to sanctions against Russia. He was seeking a deal when he questioned the legitimacy of NATO. He was seeking a deal when he called on Russia to release hacked Democratic emails.
🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 New: Rudy Giuliani told NYT that Trump “recalls a series of conversations” with Michael Cohen about the Trump Tower Moscow project during the campaign. ¤ Giuliani added that Trump recalled, “‘It was all going from the day I announced to the day I won.'” 🐣 RT @selectedwisdom So the President lied throughout his campaign. The pivot continues, as debate ensues over a news story, slip out an important admission “Giuliani Says Talks for Trump Tower in Moscow Lasted Through 2016 Election” – The New York Times
⋙ NYT: Giuliani Says Talks for Trump Tower in Moscow Lasted Through 2016 Election http://nyti.ms/2sDEKF4

🐣 RT @joshtpm Whether Trump told Cohen to lie, allowed him to or winked and nudged is infinitely less important than what is now freely admitted: that throughout the 2016 campaign Putin was dangling a 9-figure payday in front of Trump. … via @TPM
🔆 This❗️⋙ TPM, Josh Marshall: The Hotel Deal Is Really All That Matters http://bit.ly/2W6gVDq

… [W]hether and how he lied about it is legally interesting. But that’s the cover-up rather than the thing itself. That deal was with sanctioned individuals and sanctioned banks. Whether it was even legal to be entering into the negotiations is not clear to me. But certainly the post-2014 sanctions against Russia had to be lifted before the deal could be finalized. That is the central issue. It’s not simply that Trump had “business” with Russia and deceived the public about it during the campaign and after. It’s more specific and direct. Why was Trump so solicitous of Russia and Vladimir Putin during the campaign? Well, a lot of possible reasons. But a major and likely the major reason was because Putin was dangling a multi-hundreds of millions of dollars payday in front of him. That’s a big incentive, especially for Donald Trump. ¤ To get that money, Trump had to court Putin and he’d eventually need to lift sanctions against him.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand 🚨Giuliani is doubling down on his claim that the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations lasted until Nov 2016. ¤ If true, Trump was secretly trying to strike a multimillion $ deal with Moscow even after FBI warned him of the counterintel threat posed by Russia.
⋙ 💽 NBC: Giuliani: Trump Tower Moscow negotiations ‘as far as October, November’ 2016 http://nbcnews.to/2RWNrIL
// Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, says that negotiations over Trump Tower Moscow likely went up to the 2016 election, during an interview with Meet the Press.

FaceTheNation: .@brett_mcgurk on @realDonaldTrump’s decision to withdraw from Syria: “Announcing you are going to withdraw without a plan, and there wasn’t a plan, increases vulnerabilities for our troops”
💽 https://twitter.com/FaceTheNation/status/1087025499140964352/photo/1

⭕ 19 Jan 2019

AmericanOversight: Republicans’ Threats to Boycott Congressional Investigation Jeopardize Their Own Credibility — Not the Investigation’s http://bit.ly/2AYk13a

🐣 RT @kasparov63 Typical with Putin’s Russia, a good domestic US example of why “both sides” demands often fail. When one side wants the crisis itself, good-faith negotiation are a waste of time. [ TLink Fox https://twitter.com/Kasparov63/status/1086727558849331200 ]
… Trump doesn’t want an immigration solution. He needs a crisis and if there isn’t one, he’ll invent it. As I’ve said about Putin for 10 years now, confrontation itself is the goal. There’s no negotiating with that, only winning or losing.
… This is why “just give him what he wants” or “meet him halfway” is so stupid. What he wants is conflict. There’s no appeasing that, only losing over and over.

DailyBeast, Clive Irving: Trump Follows Nixon’s Last Lines of Defense as Walls Close In http://bit.ly/2W6gBo3
// Suborning perjury, hush money, obstruction of justice, impeachment: they all echo Nixon as he made his historic confessions to my old colleague David Frost.

Whether or not the BuzzFeed story about Michael Cohen and his testimony to Congress can actually support the fevered response it provoked, the fact is that the fired-up investigations by congressional committees under the control of Democrats will rip away two years of Republican obstruction and drive relentlessly toward the truth—independently of the Mueller investigation.

💽 MSNBC, MTPdaily: Kasparov: All Trump’s ‘big decisions’ are ‘connected to Putin’s interests’ http://on.msnbc.com/2HotGpD
// Gary Kasparov joins MTP Daily and tells Chuck, “All Trump’s big decisions, they are somehow connected to Putin’s interests and always help Putin to reach his geopolitical goals.”

CrimeRussia: Ambulance called for detained Nastya Rybka http://bit.ly/2U2eO1y

🐣 RT @StZaryn In 1947#Kremlin falsified elections in PL to legitimise occupation in #Poland and own brutal politics. Kremil did the same in the #Crimea, #Donbass and Luhansk after agression on #Ukraine. Falsyfying the reality is typical for #Russian agressive efforts. #history @Disinfo_Digest [Tlink https://twitter.com/StZaryn/status/1086721205682487298 ]

Axios, Zachary Basu: What we now know about Don Jr. and Russia http://bit.ly/2W7Jd0r

LATimes: Trump acts like an asset of Russia. Whether he intends to be one is less important http://lat.ms/2R1JnSY

✅ AP FACT CHECK: Trump on the wall, drugs, Russia, vets http://bit.ly/2FDDxpQ

RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

RUDY GIULIANI: Trump’s lawyer: “I never said there was no collusion between the campaign (and Russia).” — interview Wednesday with CNN.

THE FACTS: Actually, he did deny in the past that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians.

Asked by Fox News in July if that was his position, he said, “Correct.” Giuliani has previously called the idea of the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia “total fake news.” ″No collusion,” he also said.

Giuliani continued to deny that Trump himself was involved any collusion, whatever others in his campaign may or may not have done.

He sought to clarify his remarks after, saying he had no knowledge of collusion “by any of the thousands of people who worked on the campaign.”

Evidence so far points to a broad range of Trump associates who had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition period, and some have been caught lying about it.

BBC: Four questions about Trump’s tower in Moscow that never was http://bbc.in/2TZvqXG

1. Did Donald Trump build anything in Moscow?
2. How is Michael Cohen involved?
3. Just how deeply was Trump involved?
4. Why is all this controversial?

NYT, Anastasia Edel: No, I Won’t Take Trump Home to Russia With Me http://nyti.ms/2AVQZRN Ms. Edel is a writer who grew up in southern Russia.
// The American president has changed my relationship with both my old country and my new one.
⋙ See under Entire Articles: WaPo Basics Trump/Russia 1/19/2019

WaPo/Bloomberg: Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga http://wapo.st/2W5iXDJ

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Everyone’s been all in a kerfuffle about the BuzzFeed/Mueller issue, but I think it’s important to remember that the arc of Trump’s recent history is long and always bends towards Russia.

🐣 .@SpeakerPelosi is fighting to establish the terms by which policy can be addressed with fact-based solutions, as the condition upon which any actual progress must be predicated. Is Trump educable? TBD.
⋙ 🐣 .@SpeakerPelosi is the teacher Trump smacked in elementary school. To his Hellen Keller, she is Anne Sullivan.

🐣 RT @KFILE New @BuzzFeedNews statement on their story
“As we’ve re-confirmed our reporting, we’ve seen no indication that any specific aspect of our story is inaccurate. We remain confident in what we’ve reported, and will share more as we are able.”
@mattmittenthal , spokesperson for BF

🐣 RT @BillBrowder The Nastya Rybka case is standard Putin playbook. The regime can’t have mistresses & escorts talking about what they hear while sleeping with officials & oligarchs. They will make an extreme example out of her to make sure that no other person in her position will ever talk again
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews “Rybka” clearly knows this case is not really about prostitution.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Anastasia Vashukevich, aka “Nastya Rybka,” appears in Moscow court, says she regrets that her actions have compromised #Deripaska, promises that she won’t disseminate any info about Deripaska and accepts blame for his enemies using her story against him. [Link to Russian]

WaPo, Paul Farhi: BuzzFeed’s stumble is highest-profile misstep at a time when press is under greatest scrutiny http://wapo.st/2ANRKMT

TheGuardian, David Smith: Mueller’s disavowal of bombshell Cohen report fuels Trump’s war with media http://bit.ly/2Mmw0Mo
// The special counsel’s office broke its silence to dispute a claim by Buzzfeed that Trump had ordered his fixer to lie to Congress

⭕ 18 Jan 2019

NewYorker, Susan Glasser (1/18): “Are We Really Where We Are?”: Trump, Putin, and Washington’s Unbelievable New Normal http://bit.ly/2UjcKCu

This is not the end, of course. There will be more goalpost moving, and many more Giuliani cable-TV appearances to parse. But the idea that the President of the United States colluded with Russia in the midst of an American election seems a lot less unthinkable now than it was before the White House changed its story, again and again and again. This was one of those weeks in the Trump era when it seemed fair to think that, if the world feels like it is falling apart, maybe that’s because it actually is. And, however incredibly, it almost surely won’t be the last.

💙 ForeignAffairs, Thomas Wright: Trump’s Foreign Policy Is No Longer Unpredictable http://fam.ag/2Du8BGk
Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1088113563728838658/photo/1
// Gone Are the Days of a Divided Administration

The unpredictability of this administration originated not in Trump’s views but in the struggle between the president and his political advisers on the one hand and the national security establishment on the other. Until recently, these two camps vied for supremacy, and it was difficult to know which would win on any given issue.

At the two-year mark, it is now clear that the president is dominating this struggle, even if he has not yet won outright. For the first time, it is possible to identify a singular Trump administration foreign policy, as the president’s team coalesces around his ideas. This policy consists of a narrow, transactional relationship with other nations, a preference for authoritarian governments over other democracies, a mercantilist approach to international economic policy, a general disregard for human rights and the rule of law, and the promotion of nationalism and unilateralism at the expense of multilateralism.

NBC, Mimi Rocah and Joyce Vance (1/18): No (Trump) collusion? Rudy Giuliani’s defense strategy doubles down as evidence mounts in Mueller probe http://nbcnews.to/2AWUFTE
// Giuliani’s position — that Trump was unaware of what others might have done — won’t get him very far with anyone who is paying attention

ForeignPolicy, Stephen Hadley: It’s Time to Stand Up to Russia’s Aggression in Ukraine http://bit.ly/2FzVfuc
// Putin’s latest ploy in the Kerch Strait must be countered fast.

SanFranChronical Editorial: How Trump works for the Russians http://bit.ly/2FBh6BJ

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Mueller says NOPE!
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote So @BuzzFeed is saying Mueller has evidence of @realDonaldTrump telling @MichaelCohen212 to lie to Congress about how long talks over Trump Tower Moscow lasted. We know 45 doesn’t text or email. Lordy, I hope there are tapes. @Comey #JusticePorn

🐣 RT @matthewamiller You can spend hours parsing the Carr statement, but given how unusual it is for any DOJ office to issue this sort of on the record denial, let alone this office, suspect it means the story’s core contention that they have evidence Trump told Cohen to lie is fundamentally wrong.

🐣 RT @tribelaw This seems to be why Mueller decided to get people to chill about the Buzzfeed bombshell. Note that Mueller’s rare statement did NOT deny that Cohen lied to Congress about the Moscow project at the direction of Individual 1. Congress must begin investigating this NOW.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT Listen, if Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to know this ASAP. Mueller shouldn’t end his inquiry, but it’s about time for him to show Congress his cards before it’s too late for us to act.
[link to BuzzFeed]

🐣 RT @gtconway3 “Directives” is clearly a reference to the campaign finance violations, where Cohen states that he was following instructions. There’s nothing in the section on the congressional testimony that amounts to a direction to Cohen.

🐣 RT @tribelaw To be clear, Bob Bauer didn’t overlook an explicit, judicially enforceable command in Art. I. The Senate’s clear duty to conduct a trial after the House impeaches flows from the structure, history, function, and logic of the Impeachment Power, not from any mandating language.
⋙ 🐣 RT @tribelaw Obama WH counsel Bob Bauer told @chucktodd that McConnell could simply refuse to try Trump on impeachment charges voted by the House. Not so. Under Article I Sec 2 the Senate must “try” all impeachments, with the Chief Justice presiding. Its options don’t include doing nothing.

🔆 This❗️⋙ 🐣 RT @BuzzFeedBen In response to the statement tonight from the Special Counsel’s spokesman: We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing.
// BuzzFeed Editor

🐣 RT @emptywheel Now consider that SCO doesn’t need Cohen to prove a campaign finance case against Trump, bc they’ve got people like Weisselberg who didn’t themselves commit perjury. That meant they could aggressively characterize Trump’s instructions to Cohen.

WaPo, Michael Hayden and Neal Katyal: The House should investigate impeaching Trump http://wapo.st/2CxKPYf

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: In a rare move, Mueller’s office denies BuzzFeed report that Trump told Cohen to lie about Moscow project http://wapo.st/2FIu67H

WaPo, George Will: The shabbiest U.S. president ever is an inexpressibly sad specimen http://wapo.st/2MgPiTq

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade: Trump and Cohen’s Alleged Moscow Lie Would Be a Crime. The Truth Could Be Even Worse. http://bit.ly/2FFXPz9
// What could be so bad about a business deal in Russia that the president and his attorney might have to break the law to conceal it?

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff and Asawin Suebsaeng: John Dowd, President Trump’s Old Lawyer, Is Still Whispering in His Ear http://bit.ly/2T28iHX
// That’s according to Dowd himself, and confirmed to The Daily Beast by the president’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “It is one of the most dramatic and potentially devastating developments in the Donald Trump vs Michael Cohen saga, to date: a new report so damning that if true could very well put in motion Donald Trump’s impeachment…”- @NicolleDWallace

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote So @BuzzFeed is saying Mueller has evidence of @realDonaldTrump telling @MichaelCohen212 to lie to Congress about how long talks over Trump Tower Moscow lasted. We know 45 doesn’t text or email. Lordy, I hope there are tapes. @Comey #JusticePorn

NYT, Frank Bruni: BuzzFeed’s Cohen Story Suggests Trump Never Wanted to Be President http://nyti.ms/2W4nfLr
// His campaign was a marketing venture. Why else refuse to put business on hold

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Five big takeaways from the stunning report that Trump told Cohen to lie http://wapo.st/2MhMyp4

LawfareBlog: The Latest Revelation From BuzzFeed News: Trump Reportedly Directed Cohen to Lie to Congress http://bit.ly/2MkFgRa By Mikhaila Fogel, Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, Matthew Kahn, Benjamin Wittes

🐣 RT @SenJeffMerkley If this report of Trump suborning false testimony is confirmed, then Trump committed a felony and must resign or be impeached.

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Why Democrats Have Suddenly Started Talking About Impeachment http://bit.ly/2sBiifE
// A BuzzFeed report says President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, prompting the talk of impeachment even before the special counsel finishes his probe.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Mueller might finally have a smoking gun http://wapo.st/2SXgfOF

TheIntercept, Mehdi Hasan: Trump’s Articles of Impeachment are Writing Themselves, with Echoes of Richard Nixon Growing Stronger http://bit.ly/2Fysq1f

🐣 RT @BillBrowder This is outrageous. Natalia Rybka is attested and brutally manhandled the moment she touched down in Moscow after being deported from Thailand. Just to remind you, she secretly taped Deripaska on his yacht with a senior Russian official talking about manipulating US politics
⋙ 🐣 RT @Navalny [translated] At the airport twisted dangerous criminal-Nastya rybku. Her guilt is great: she was a prostitute on the yacht of billionaire Deripaska and filmed a video, which was hit by the Vice Prime Minister Prikhodko. So now Rybka hands, and Prikhodko and Deripaska the police claims no
💽 https://twitter.com/navalny/status/1086174510292844545/photo/1

🐣 RT @SenWhitehouse If this is true, this is plain, slam-dunk, criminal obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. 1505, 1512), subornation of perjury (18 U.S.C. 1622), conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371) and likely aiding and abetting perjury (18 U.S.C. 2). [link to Buzzfeed]

WaPo: 14 sitting Republican senators are on-record holding a president accountable for obstruction: Bill Clinton http://wapo.st/2FJTzh1

🐣 RT @joshcampbell These explosive @Buzzfeed revelations should cause soul-searching by those who have assisted @realDonaldTrump in attacking Mueller & the FBI. They should prepare themselves for the possibility they may have been wrong, they may have been used, and the President might be a crook.
💽 CNN https://twitter.com/joshscampbell/status/1086243156775952386/photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw If this report is accurate, Trump committed subornation of perjury, punishable by five years imprisonment under 18 U.S. Code § 1622.
⋙ Axios: BuzzFeed: Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress about Moscow tower http://bit.ly/2Hs1aDE

⭕ 17 Jan 2019

🔄 💙💙 📔 Court Filing (1/17/2019): Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-03501 [pdf] http://cnn.it/2CBddZy (111p) Democratic National Committee v.: Russian Federation, DJ Trump For President, Inc (and others)
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE, Plaintiff, v.:
THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION;
ARAS ISKENEROVICH AGALAROV;
EMIN ARAZ AGALAROV;
JOSEPH MIFSUD;
WIKILEAKS;
JULIAN ASSANGE;
DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT, INC.;
DONALD J. TRUMP, JR.;
PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR.;
ROGER J. STONE, JR.;
JARED C. KUSHNER;
GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS;
RICHARD W. GATES, III;
Defendants.

Project-Syndicate, Carl Bildt: The Trump Administration’s Farewell to Aims http://bit.ly/2DlNPID
// Whereas previous US political leaders used speeches in Cairo to explain America’s broad objectives in the Middle East, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently opted for a different approach. Rather than articulate a strategy to bring peace and reform to the region, he promised only further confrontation.

🐣 RT @joshtmp Look. He lied. He told someone to lie. But it’s not like he was lying about a serious issue. Only about $300 million he hoped to make by allying himself with a foreign autocrat and betraying his own country.
// dripping sarcasm

CNN: Trump startled by cozy Barr-Mueller relationship http://cnn.it/2U2zxm1

“I told him how well I knew Bob Mueller and that the Barrs and Muellers were good friends and would be good friends when this was all over,” Barr said. “Bob is a straight-shooter and should be dealt with as such.”

While Barr said during his hearing that Trump “was interested” in hearing about the friendship, the details that emerged this week caught the President off guard, the three sources said. He bristled at Barr’s description of the close relationship, complaining to aides he didn’t realize how much their work overlapped or that they were so close.

🐣 RT @BeschlossDC Article One of Nixon bill of impeachment, approved by House Judiciary Committee, accused Nixon of “approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counselling witnesses with respect to…false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings.”

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq In 1974, after the smoking gun tape came out, Senator Goldwater led a group of GOP Senators to the WH for a heart to heart moment. ¤ If the Buzzfeed story is true, who will play the role of Goldwater this time?

BuzzFeedNews, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier: President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project http://bit.ly/2Dj8Gwl
// Trump received 10 personal updates from Michael Cohen and encouraged a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin.

WaPo: Mitch McConnell: Behold the Democrat Politician Protection Act http://wapo.st/2SZ55cf

🐣 RT @SethAbramson Has anyone considered letting Putin give the State of the Union from Moscow?

🐣 RT @annalecta NEW: Foreign agents—including revolving door Senator David Vitter, who left the Senate in 2017—were paid $650,000 since May 2018 for lobbying to ease U.S. sanctions on firms tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, FARA disclosures on @OpenSecretsDC show
⋙ OpenSecrets: Former Senator Vitter among foreign agents paid to ease sanctions on Russian oligarch’s firm http://bit.ly/2HiU4Ba

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Anastasia Vashukevich, the model from Belarus who claimed to have recordings involving Oleg Deripaska that she said would shed light on the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, has been detained at a Moscow airport on prostitution allegations, WaPo reports.
⋙ WaPo: Model who claimed U.S.-Russian collusion tape held in Moscow on prostitution charges http://wapo.st/2CqDlGo
// Anastasia Vashukevich
↥ ↧
WaPo (Feb 2018): A self-described sex expert says she will spill information on Trump and Russia to get out of a Thai jail http://wapo.st/2RSCbwX
// 2/27/2018, Anastasia Vashukevich

WaPo, Paul Waldman: Michael Cohen is about to sing, and Trump is in big trouble http://wapo.st/2W0FxgT

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand A similar bill, called the NATO Support Act, was introduced in the House today by Dem Rep. Jimmy Panetta. Co-sponsored by 5 Dems and 5 Republicans, including Reps. Hurd, Upton, Kinzinger, Don Bacon & Mike Gallagher
⋙ 🐣 RT @RobbieGramer NEW: 8 senators are going to introduce a bill to “prevent any president from leaving NATO” this afternoon. This bill, from 4 Dems and 4 Republicans, come amid fears Trump could legally unilaterally withdraw from NATO without any Congressional input

Vox, Aaron Ruper: Rudy Giuliani’s disastrous CNN interview created more problems for Trump http://bit.ly/2QRf69z
// In a stunning revelation, Giuliani conceded that Trump’s campaign manager may have colluded with Russia

🐣 RT @tribelaw This comparison of Trump to Jefferson Davis strikes a deeply persuasive — and disturbing— chord:
⋙  TheIntercept, James Risen: Why Doesn’t Donald Trump’s Cozy Relationship With Vladimir Putin Worry His Supporters? Jefferson Davis’s Treason Case Holds a Clue. http://bit.ly/2syE97r

🐣 RT @NormOrnstein Congratulations to Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, John Thune and so many others for being recognized by official Russian television for their service to Russia.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TrueFactsStated Russian State Television celebrating lifting of sanctions and their ownership of the GOP. https://twitter.com/TrueFactsStated/status/1086016726846844928/photo/1

🐣 RT @ The CODEL to Afghanistan included a required stop in Brussels for pilot rest. In Brussels, the delegation was scheduled to meet with top NATO commanders, U.S. military leaders and key allies–to affirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the NATO alliance. (1/4) 📌 https://twitter.com/Drew_Hammill/status/1085997662846009344
// from Pelosi’s office: Trump canceled trip

ThinkProgress: The latest front in Russian infiltration: America’s right-wing homeschooling movement http://bit.ly/2FzDjA2
// This is the latest connection between Russia and the American religious right.

WaPo: In rebuke to Trump administration, more than 130 Republicans break ranks to oppose Treasury plan to lift sanctions against Putin ally http://wapo.st/2FGNdPw

🐣 RT @rolltidebmz With everyone focused on Russia sanctions, good time to remind folks that the administration still needs to come forward with a second round of mandatory sanctions under the CBW Act. Something both R’s and D’s should demand from admin.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ForeignAffairsGOP It is unacceptable that the administration lacks a plan – or even a timeline – for action on the second round of mandatory sanctions against Russia required by U.S. law
// 11/6/2018

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler (12/9/2018): Information in Amended DNC Lawsuit Reveals that Roger Stone Is at Significantly Greater Risk for CFAA Indictment http://bit.ly/2ASNWtF
// 12/9/2018

Criterion, Roger Kimball (1992): The treason of the intellectuals & “The Undoing of Thought” http://bit.ly/2HiOr5Q
// On the abandonment of Enlightenment intellectualism, and the emergence of a new form of Volksgeist.
● When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture, the life of the mind loses all meaning.
—Alain Finkielkraut,The Undoing of Thought
● Today we are trying to spread knowledge everywhere. Who knows if in centuries to come there will not be universities for re-establishing our former ignorance?
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

WaPo: The quintessential Trump campaign story: A bag of cash, Michael Cohen and a rigged online poll http://wapo.st/2AQQPv7

🐣 RT @kasparov63 Bret nails it as usual. It’s become unpopular to talk about Western values, the free world, and even leadership, but the catastrophe in their absence is now apparent. Demagoguery and dictatorship have filled the vacuum.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BretStephensNYT: The West is now rudderless. To be rudderless puts you at the mercy of elements. The elemental forces of politics today are tribalism, populism, authoritarianism and the sewage pipes of social media.
⋙⋙ NYT, Bret Stephens: The Rudderless West http://nyti.ms/2FGgnyo
// We are drifting, in the absence of mind and will, toward a moment of civilizational self-negation.

WaPo, Adam Taylor: How defeated is the Islamic State? http://wapo.st/2Hg7AWf

CNN, Barbara Starr: Trump is fraying nerves inside the Pentagon http://cnn.it/2QSw8nG

Bloomberg, Shannon Pettypiece: Mueller’s Quiet Cooperator Rick Gates Has Key Role in Trump Probe http://bloom.bg/2QTdyvF
● Former campaign aide maintained ties to Trump aides into 2017
● Gates sentencing delayed by Mueller amid continued cooperation

 TheAtlantic, Yoni Appelbaum: Impeach Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2FykFIP March 2019 cover story
// March 2019; Starting the process will rein in a president who is undermining American ideals—and bring the debate about his fitness for office into Congress, where it belongs.

⭕ 16 Jan 2019

📊 TheHill: Trump loses support from key constituency of white people without a college degree: poll http://bit.ly/2Fz1X3P
CNN Poll: 45% approv now; 54% in Dec
Quinn Poll: 53% now; 56% in (Dec?)

Forty-five percent of whites without college degrees approved of the job done by Trump in a new CNN poll released Monday, compared to 54 percent who had backed him in a poll conducted in December.
A Quinnipiac University National Poll also released Monday shows a similar trend. In that survey, approval for Trump among non-college educated whites dropped from 56 to 53 percent, with Trump still getting a majority of support from the group. Disapproval rose from 37 to 43 percent.

🐣 RT @djrothkopf There is absolutely no national security justification to lifting sanctions on Deripaska, no benefit whatsoever to the US and considerable risk associated with condoning his behavior, support for Kremlin crimes against the US.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto Breaking: GOP defeats Democratic effort to maintain sanctions on key Kremlin ally Oleg Deripaska. Dems needed 60 votes, got only 57, incl 11 Republicans. Treasury accused him of election interference, bribery, ordering murder of a businessman & links to Russian organized crime

🐣 RT @tribelaw The 57-43 Senate vote today fell short of the 60 needed to block Trump’s outrageous lifting of the election-related sanctions against Derepaska and his companies. Eleven Republicans voted against Trump but the pro-Putin cowards included Senators McConnell, Graham, and Romney.

WaPo, Carolyn Maloney: How the Trump administration tries to skew democracy by attacking the census http://wapo.st/2ASCpur

TheHill: Fox’s Griffin: Was told by diplomat that Syria attack was ‘direct result’ of US pullout decision http://bit.ly/2RxzVMn

WaPo, EJ Dionne: The many red flags raised by William Barr’s hearing http://wapo.st/ 2T45udC

Politico: ‘She’s satin and steel’: Pelosi wages war on Trump http://politi.co/2FFuILt
// Her move to derail Trump’s State of the Union address underscores her aggressive challenge to the president.

TheWeek: Trump reportedly called up a journalist to defend Russia right after a private meeting with Putin in 2017 http://bit.ly/2FCx2CR

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Trump Lawyer No Longer Denying Campaign Colluded With Russia http://nym.ag/2QWK3t7

🐣 RT @AdamSerwer William Barr’s testimony during his confirmation hearing was reassuring … until you look at the fine print. https://twitter.com/AdamSerwer/status/1085589453777879040/photo/1
⋙ TheAtlantic, AdamSerwer: Barr May Do Exactly What Trump Wants http://bit.ly/2RQOM3X
// The nominee for attorney general vowed independence, but his answers raised disturbing questions.

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “Clearly what’s happening here is we see Trump with Vladimir Putin in his head, manipulating his thoughts, influencing what comes out of the President of the United States’ mouth …” – Jeremy Bash w/ @NicolleDWallace
💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1085682319187419137/photo/1

🐣 RT @GregMiller I’d never seen this footage before – Trump sending clenched-fist solidarity signals to Putin at a G20 dinner.
⋙ Here’s Donald Trump desperately trying to get Vlad’s attention at the G20 dinner.
🌀 https://twitter.com/Scout_Finch/status/887791141839568896/photo/1
// fist bump thumbs up

RawStory, Dominique Jackson: Robert Mueller’s team packed with ‘bribery experts’ to expose favors between Trump-Putin: report http://bit.ly/2TT3AfB

🐣 RT @mikercarpenter Nikolai Patrushev, Putin’s national security advisor, has just threatened Ukraine with “loss of statehood.” Is anyone in this administration still awake?
⋙ TASS: Russian security chief warns Ukraine could lose statehood http://bit.ly/2Hjy4pM
// 1/15/2019, “The Kiev authorities are doing everything to split Ukraine, implementing the West’s scenario to break Ukraine away from Russia, while ignoring the interests of its own people,” said Nikolai Patrushev

“As a result, the country was de facto split. The population of the western regions does not trust natives of southeast considering them to be supporters of the ‘Russian world.” In southern and eastern regions, Kiev’s power is ensured, to a large extent, at the expense of moral and physical pressure exerted on the local population by radical nationalists,” Patrushev stressed.

“Because of that, anti-government sentiment in the aforementioned regions is mounting, with the public rift exacerbated by the inter-church standoff,” he added.

🐣 RT @kasparov63 For loyalty to Trump or the love of a Russian oligarch’s money? Every one of these Republicans should keep the name of Ronald Reagan out of their mouths forever. It’s the party of Trump now.
⋙ 🐣 RT @LauraLitvan NEW: Senate just BLOCKED a Chuck Schumer measure that would prevent the Trump admin from lifting sanctions on three firms linked to Russian oligarch and Putin ally Oleg Deripaska. ¤ The vote in the GOP-led Senate was 57-42, short of the 60 needed to move it to a final vote.

Politico, Darren Samuelson: GOP wants Mueller transparency — with caveats http://politi.co/2RQt6VD
// The approach appears aimed at undercutting critics worried the White House and DOJ chief nominee William Barr could withhold crucial parts of Mueller’s work.

🐣 RT @AdamSchiff Barr does not believe a president can be indicted, and that impeachment is the constitutional remedy. ¤ Yet Barr will not commit to sharing the contents of Mueller’s report with Congress, so we may determine what remedy is appropriate. ¤ That is immunity, not the rule of law.

🐣 RT @LauraLitvan NEW: Dem Senators Bob Menendez & Jack Reed tell Trump they want immediate access to interpreters present at all his interactions w Vladimir Putin, incl at the Helsinki summit https://twitter.com/LauraLitvan/status/1085654113860300801/photo/1

Msnbc, TheBeatWithAri: Judiciary chairman: Trump ‘must have known’ about Russian contact http://on.msnbc.com/2FCodc8
// Special Counsel Mueller releases a new document laying out exactly what Paul Manafort lied about after he started cooperating with the Russia probe, as Senators grill Mueller’s prospective new boss in confirmation hearings. House Judiciary Chair, Rep. Jerry Nadler, tells Ari Melber that Republicans have “not been playing it straight” by leaking information about a potential investigation and that the leaks “must stop”. Rep. Nadler also tells Ari Melber that if Trump’s nominee for Attorney General wants to “go down in history as someone who helped protect the rule of law” he will ensure that the Mueller probe report is made “public”.

WaPo, Samantha Vinograd: Trump’s alarming failure to engage in basic counterintelligence hygiene with Putin http://wapo.st/2MdGjT2

🐣 RT @Acosta Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov: “What kind of nonsense are you asking. This is stupid, why even comment on that? This is already in the realm when it’s even embarrassing to talk about it… how can the President of the United States be an agent of another country?”

🐣 RT @TonySchwartz How do you fight evil — Trump, Steve King, Alex Jones, the Sackler Oxycontin family, just from today’s headlines — without being infected by hatred yourself? This the dilemma I find myself struggling with again this morning.
⋙ ♫ “Onward, Christian soldiers … ”

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I have a secret dream that Barr is such good friends with Mueller, he wrote that bullshit memo to trick Trump into hiring him so he could protect the investigation. Like the Comey/Mueller/Ashcroft hospital room trick. I know it’s not true. Just let me have my justice porn.

RollingStone, Tim Dickinson: Trump-Loyal Senators Make Russian Oligarch’s Day http://bit.ly/2FyXGNy
// Led by Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans ensure sanctions will be lifted on companies of “Putin’s favorite industrialist”

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Facing Trump’s tantrum, Pelosi takes away the TV http://wapo.st/2SZ2Up1

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Trump advisers are cynically feeding his raging ego, and we’re all the victims http://wapo.st/2RQ8IUw

WaPo, Michael McFaul: Sorry, but Trump is not ‘tough on Russia’ http://wapo.st/2SXuC5F

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Mueller’s heavily redacted new filing about Paul Manafort, decoded http://bit.ly/2MgF4T9
// There are references to shady payments, meetings with a Russian associate, mysterious work, and more.

WaPo, Anton Troianovski: The Russians know exactly what Putin and Trump talked about, but we probably won’t find out for decades http://wapo.st/2RxICq3

The interpreters working for Soviet leaders were trained to take nearly verbatim stenographic notes. Declassified Soviet records of Cold War talks are often more detailed than official American notes on the same conversations, said Svetlana Savranskaya, the director of Russia programs at the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

💙💙 WIRED, Garrett Graff: Trump Must Be a Russian Agent; the Alternative Is Too Awful http://bit.ly/2McHzWu
// It would be rather embarrassing for Donald Trump at this point if Robert Mueller were to declare that the president isn’t an agent of Russian intelligence.

The pattern of his pro-Putin, pro-Russia, anti-FBI, anti-intelligence community actions are so one-sided, and the lies and obfuscation surrounding every single Russian meeting and conversation so consistent that if this president isn’t actually hiding a massive conspiracy, it means the alternative is worse: America elected a chief executive so oblivious to geopolitics, so self-centered and personally insecure, so naturally predisposed to undermine democratic institutions and coddle authoritarians, and so terrible a manager and leader that he cluelessly surrounded himself with crooks, grifters, and agents of foreign powers that he’s compromised the national security of the US government and undermined 75 years of critical foreign alliances, just to satiate his own ego.

In short, we’ve reached a point in the Mueller probe where there are only two scenarios left: Either the president is compromised by the Russian government and has been working covertly to cooperate with Vladimir Putin after Russia helped win him the 2016 election—or Trump will go down in history as the world’s most famous “useful idiot,” as communists used to call those who could be co-opted to the cause without realizing it.

At least the former scenario—that the president of the United States is actively working to advance the interests of our country’s foremost, long-standing, traditional foreign adversary—would make him seem smarter and wilier. The latter scenario is simply a tragedy, or maybe a farce for everyone involved.

We’re left here—in a place unprecedented in American political history, wondering how much worse the truth is than we already know—after four days of fresh revelations in the public drip-drip-drip of the Russia investigation. The past two months have seen the public understanding of the case advance into almost unthinkable territory. Now we’re simply trying to figure out how bad things really are.

Consider: On Friday, The New York Times reported that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation of the president himself in 2017; on Saturday, The Washington Post published a story saying that Trump has gone to great lengths to cover up and hide—even from his own aides—his interactions with Putin; on Sunday, columnist Max Boot outlined the case for Trump as a Russian asset; and on Tuesday the Times came back with an authoritative recounting of Trump and Putin’s interactions, a recounting that included a bizarre telephone call from Air Force One where the president tried to argue off the record that contrary to the unanimous conclusion of his own intelligence community, “that the Russians were falsely accused of election interference.”

CNN: Senate Democrats’ effort to block Trump move on Russia sanctions fails http://cnn.it/2RuATsO

DailyBeast: Rick Gates Tells Mueller About Trump Team’s Dealings With Israeli Intelligence Firm http://bit.ly/2TRxDEz
// Psy Group delivered plans for ‘social media manipulation’ in 2016 and the special counsel is digging in as part of his probe into Mideast influence.
↥ ↧
DailyBeast (Oct 2018): Saudi Spy Met With Team Trump About Taking Down Iran http://bit.ly/2FwAHTt
// 10/25/2018, 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.

CNN: Pence declares ‘ISIS has been defeated’ on the same day as deadly Syria attack http://cnn.it/2RunQrk

Newsweek: Former CIA Director John Brennan Agrees Donald Trump Is a ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to U.S. National Security http://bit.ly/2RwaScz

🐣 RT @laraseligman As the attack today triples the American death toll in Syria, Trump’s national security team is tearing at the seams. My latest:
⋙ ForeignPolicy, Lara Seligman: American Troops Die in Syria as Trump Team Squabbles http://bit.ly/2MdqETU
// U.S. Syria policy is dogged by infighting and confusion.

🐣 RT @KrauseForIowa One of those rare times that I agree with Sen. #LindseyGraham, who said today that he is concerned that #Trump’s statements about withdrawing from Syria have “emboldened the enemy” to target US forces. #TrumpRussia #Syria #ISIS
⋙ CNN: US service members killed in ISIS-claimed attack in Syria http://cnn.it/2FDPon1

Haaretz: WATCH Bill Maher Explains Why He Is Now for Impeaching Trump http://bit.ly/2QPTQRy
// Maher tells MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, ‘It’s about time. I’ve been using the word ‘treason’ the whole time he’s been in’

💙 TheAtlantic, Jurecic Quinta and Benjamin Wittes: The Real Significance of the FBI’s Probe Into Trump http://bit.ly/2ssXXcq
// It’s a big deal.

Axios, Jonathan Swan: How the White House is prepping for Democrats’ onslaught http://bit.ly/2RwhurA

TheWeek, W James Antle III: Is the FBI overreaching in its investigation of Trump’s Russia relations? http://bit.ly/2McoJie

💽 Newsweek/Msnbc: Donald Trump is Not ‘Unwitting Agent’ to Russia, ‘Knows Exactly What He is Doing’ Says House Intelligence Democrat Eric Swalwell http://bit.ly/2HiWG1R

WaPo, Dana Milbank: Why would William Barr take this job? The answer should alarm Trump. http://wapo.st/2MfskfI

It was William P. Barr’s confirmation hearing. But it was Robert S. Mueller III’s affirmation hearing.

President Trump had nominated Barr to be his new attorney general to shield him from Mueller’s hoax of a rigged witch hunt. But Barr spent much of his seven-hour confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday lavishing praise on his future boss’s tormentor. And Republicans, for the most part, didn’t defend Trump — and occasionally joined in the Mueller veneration.

Just about everybody but Trump regards Mueller as an upstanding man doing honest work. Even Trump’s potential new attorney general.

Barr described declining an earlier request to join Trump’s legal defense team, saying, “I didn’t want to stick my head into that meat grinder.” He recalled telling Trump at the time that “Bob is a straight shooter and should be dealt with as such.”

Regarding his “good friend” of three decades, Barr vowed unequivocally: “On my watch, Bob will be allowed to finish his work.” If ordered to fire Mueller without cause, he said, “I would not carry out that instruction.”

And what if Trump’s lawyers attempt to edit the Mueller report, as has been threatened? “That will not happen.” Barr warned that the president’s interference in cases involving himself and his associates could be unconstitutional or criminal.

The rule of law, Barr said, “is the heartbeat of this country,” and he vowed to “protect the independence and the reputation of the department.” Trump’s treatment of subordinates “might give me pause if I was 45 or 50 years old, but it doesn’t give me pause right now,” Barr continued. He added, “I will not be bullied into doing anything I think is wrong.”

Barr spent decades building his reputation. Why would he throw it away now by becoming the guy who buried the Mueller report?

Axios: Exclusive excerpt: Chris Christie torches Jared http://bit.ly/2Mc2nh3

DailyBeast: Deripaska’s Rusal Installs Kremlin Fanboy as White House Aims to Lift Sanctions http://bit.ly/2CnVFA4 by Betsy Woodruff, Allison Quinn and Erin Banco
// The move further concerned lawmakers already worried that the changes made to comply with Treasury’s demands would prove cosmetic.

CNN, Stephen Collinson: Another good day for Putin as turmoil grips US and UK http://cnn.it/2Dcmxoj

CNN: Senate Republicans break with Trump on Russia sanctions http://cnn.it/2HepOHr

In a rebuke to the Trump administration on Russia, 11 Senate Republicans joined with Democrats to advance a measure Tuesday that would stop the Treasury Department from relaxing sanctions on three Russian companies with ties to oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a Kremlin ally.

The Senate voted 57-42 to proceed to a resolution from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that would reverse the Trump administration’s decision to lift sanctions on the firms, a vote Schumer forced under a provision in a 2017 Russia sanctions law.

Sixty senators will be required to pass the resolution in a vote expected to be held on Wednesday. At least two Republicans would have to change their votes for the measure to pass.

⭕ 15 Jan 2019

BrennanCenter, Andrew Cohen (1/15): William Barr’s Slick Performance Shouldn’t Fool Anyone http://bit.ly/2T7jDXi
// He needs to recuse from the Mueller probe, argues Brennan Center fellow Andrew Cohen.

NYT, KK Rebecca Lai Jim: Every Time Trump Has Talked to Putin [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2T0HSGA
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1085650489444712448?s=20/photo/1

President Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia have had at least five face-to-face meetings and nine publicly reported conversations over the phone since Mr. Trump won the election in 2016. Reports of Mr. Trump’s efforts to hide the details of some of these conversations have drawn fresh scrutiny to his relationship with the Russian president. http://nyti.ms/

💙 NYT (Peter Baker): Trump and Putin Have Met Five Times. What Was Said Is a Mystery. http://nyti.ms/2AOPRiK

DailyBeast, Dick Kirk and Christopher Dickey: Trump Doesn’t Want Alliances Like NATO, He Wants U.S. Soldiers to Be Guns for Hire http://bit.ly/2RA06Cl
// From Europe to the Korean Peninsula, Trump insists countries pay more for the U.S. troops. Meanwhile Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un enjoy the spectacle of shattering alliances.

Newsweek: Putin Spokesman Backs Up Trump, Calling Russia Collusion a ‘Conspiracy Theory’ http://bit.ly/2ANT6XI

💙 RollingStone, Ryan Bort: A Damning New Timeline Argues Trump’s Collusion Is Hiding in Plain Sight http://bit.ly/2W4GzbI
// A Twitter thread by a Russian policy expert and a former federal prosecutor @andrewsweiss illustrates Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin
📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/andrewsweiss/status/1084802080051736577

TheGuardian, Jon Swain: Mueller: Manafort worked with alleged Russian agent even after criminal charges http://bit.ly/2QSOCVg
// Former Trump campaign chief started communicating with Konstantin Kilimnik on plan for future of Ukraine in 2016

WaPo: Belarusan model who touted evidence of Trump-Russia ties pleads guilty in Thailand http://wapo.st/2Rviooc Anastasia Vashukevich

VanityFair, Abigail Tracy: “The President Has Been Acting on Russia’s Behalf”: U.S. Officials Are Shocked by Trump’s Asset-Like Behavior http://bit.ly/2TZt9fl

TheAtlantic, David Graham: Donald Trump’s Pattern of Deference to the Kremlin Is Clear http://bit.ly/2HfGazO
// Now it’s on the president to explain his posture.

Politico, Darren Samuelson: New Trump-Russia subplot: Mueller and Barr are ‘good friends’ http://politi.co/2FBjqHT
// Trump’s attorney general nominee told senators the president knows about his 30-year relationship with the special counsel, whom Trump says is out to get him.

WaPo: New court filing indicates prosecutors have extensive details on Manafort actions not yet made public http://wapo.st/2MdX7tb

WSJ: Mueller Probe Likely to Restrict Michael Cohen’s Testimony http://on.wsj.com/2swnW2w
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1085296266702143489?s=20/photo/1
// Trump’s former lawyer may be barred from discussing matters related to talks with the special counsel and Manhattan federal prosecutors

While Mr. Cohen’s testimony may be restricted, he is expected to give an explosive recounting of his experience working for Mr. Trump. His testimony is expected to focus on his life story, examining how he went from serving as one of Mr. Trump’s most loyal aides for more than a decade to publicly breaking with him last year and implicating him in two federal crimes.

“He’s going to tell the story of what it’s like to work for a madman, and why he did it for so long,” said the person close to Mr. Cohen. “He’s going to say things that will give you chills.”

Alternet/RawStory: Sally Yates’ warnings about Russia’s stronghold on Mike Flynn just took on a whole new significance http://bit.ly/2srsMyj
// The day before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey, acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified to Congress about the activities of Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Alternet/RawStory: Sally Yates’ warnings about Russia’s stronghold on Mike Flynn just took on a whole new significance http://bit.ly/2srsMyj
// The day before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey, acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified to Congress about the activities of Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Lindsey Graham is Nunes #2. Spouts Trump propaganda at #Barr hearing. Reads Strzok texts, slams Steele dossier, slams FBI opening counterintel investigation of Trump: “We’re relying on you to clean this place up…make sure they don’t have an agenda. Will u look into it?”—“I will” https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1085195854753890305?s=20/photo/1

DailyBeast: William Barr: I ‘Can Conceive of Situations’ Where Journalists Might Be Jailed ‘as Last Resort’ http://bit.ly/2SVmliD

🐣 RT @matthewamiller Barr’s commitment to seek but not necessarily follow the advice of ethics officials is the Whitaker standard and falls short of what Holder, Sessions, Rosenstein, and Yates all committed to – to follow that advice. It’s obviously deliberate that he’s breaking precedent.

RollCall: Adam Schiff hiring full-time team to investigate Trump’s Russia connections http://bit.ly/2CrC5CH
// House Intelligence Committee chairman hiring more investigators to revive House Russia probe

CNN, Chris Cillizza: The 1 giant question Donald Trump still hasn’t answered on Russia http://cnn.it/2Fu5hgv

Vice: Rick Gates is still cooperating in “several ongoing investigations” Mueller says http://bit.ly/2stRH47

⭕ 14 Jan 2019

TheAtlantic, David Frum: Subpoena the Interpreter http://bit.ly/2ROa3er
// There are real costs to such a move—but the public needs to know what was said between Trump and Putin.

Vox: The US apparently kept no detailed notes of Trump-Putin meetings for the past 2 years http://bit.ly/2Ddblrz
// That’s a huge problem.

WaPo, Amy Wang: ‘Like I said: A puppet’: Hillary Clinton doubles down on Trump and Russia http://wapo.st/2FsevtG

NYT, Paul Krugman: Donald Trump and His Team of Morons http://nyti.ms/2RTckF8
// Nobody left besides those with no reputation to lose.

NYRB, Christopher Browning (Oct 2018): The Suffocation of Democracy http://bit.ly/2O8INWU
// 10/25/2018

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews There are few things that Putin desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance of the US, Europe & Canada that has deterred Soviet & Russian aggression for 70 yrs. Several times in 2018, Trump privately said he wanted to withdraw from NATO.
NYT: Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia http://nyti.ms/2Mb9aaF

🐣 RT @PassTheSalty “The president of the United States is a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.” – David Laufman, former chief of DOJ’s counterintelligence ¤ 😳 ¤ NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN AND WOMEN TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR COUNTRY!
💽 https://twitter.com/PassTheSalty/status/1085039197424181248?s=20/photo/1

NYT Editorial: Donald Trump: The Russia File http://nyti.ms/2FCRfsl
// Americans deserve to know what the president and Vladimir Putin are talking about.

NYT: At Trump’s Inauguration, $10,000 for Makeup and Lots of Room Service http://nyti.ms/2D9A9Rd

🐣 RT @JanzAndrew It looks like prosecutors are investigating Devin Nunes regarding a secret meeting with convicted criminal Michael Flynn and others. We may soon discover why Nunes risked it all to cover up for Trump last year.
⋙ DailyBeast: Mueller Probes an Event With Nunes, Flynn, and Foreign Officials at Trump’s D.C. Hotel http://bit.ly/2Da1sut by Erin Banco, Asawin Suebsaeng, Betsy Woodruff, Spencer Ackerman
// Devin Nunes has been a pitbull for the president, growling at the prosecutorsinvestigating Trumpworld. Now an event that Nunes himself attended is under Mueller’s microscope.

MotherJones, David Corn: Donald Trump Was Always a Counterintelligence Nightmare http://bit.ly/2SUCzZp
// Why did it take so long for the FBI to investigate and what did it find?

WaPo, Chris Coons: Here are the commitments William Barr needs to make to be attorney general http://wapo.st/2DaAW4a

WaPo: Ask the Trump White House for comment and you might get a non-denial denial http://wapo.st/2MgKk9z

WaPo: Barr vows to let special counsel investigation finish and says it is ‘very important’ Congress and the public be told of the findings http://wapo.st/2FqMjr3

CNN: Attorney General nominee says Mueller should be allowed to finish report http://cnn.it/2CjBu6d

🐣 RT @JohnBrennen Questions Congress should ask the American translator in Helsinki: Were written notes passed between Mr. Trump & Mr. Putin? Did Mr. Trump ask Mr. Putin to conceal anything about the past? Were any promises made? Were you asked to step aside at any time?

NYT: Top Democrats Warn Trump Over Comments on Michael Cohen http://nyti.ms/2HeKQWv

ThisWeek, Joel Mathis: 4 takeaways from the weekend’s bombshell reports about Trump and Russia http://bit.ly/2stMEAB

CNN: Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was ‘following directions’ of Russia http://cnn.it/2DabID3 “The congressional transcripts obtained by CNN reveal new details into how the FBI launched the investigation into Trump and the discussions that were going on”
// by Jeremy Herb, Pamela Brown and Laura Jarrett

TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg (Editor): UNTHINKABLE: 50 Moments That Define an Improbable Presidency http://bit.ly/2RvDFOn 50 Articles
// Jan 2019; Donald Trump’s 50 Most Unthinkable Moments ~ 50 Articles

CNN, Stephen Collinson: Trump’s Putin problem seizes the spotlight in a time of turmoil http://cnn.it/2H8GwrT

⭕ 13 Jan 2019

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom [Clint Watts] Regarding this NYT story from this weekend, imagine you are a FBI Agent working Russian counterintelligence in 2016 and you witness the following:
📌 https://mobile.twitter.com/selectedwisdom/status/1085932216440496128

TheAtlantic, Tom Nichols: In Trump’s World, Reality Is Negotiable http://bit.ly/2RPVc3m
// The president’s resistance to learning will long outlive his administration.

Lawfare, Jack Goldsmith: On What Grounds Can the FBI Investigate the President as a Counterintelligence Threat? http://bit.ly/2ANwQxc

💙💙 WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: No president has ever been asked: Are you a Russian agent? http://wapo.st/2FvQH7n

Mueller inherited the FBI investigation, meaning whatever the FBI learned or concluded went into his bank of evidence in an investigation that was both a criminal and a counterintelligence inquiry. Constitutional scholar Larry Tribe tells me, “Under settled FBI protocol, no such investigation, whose purposes include protecting America from future attack, can be opened without a strong evidentiary basis and careful internal clearance or closed without either effectively ‘neutralizing’ its target — an impossibility with a sitting president as long as he remains in office — or clearing that target.”

In essence, as Lawfare’s Ben Wittes put it, “It was about Russia. It was always about Russia. Full stop.” The obstruction of the investigation was not simply to protect Trump, in this telling, but also was part of the pattern of collusion, cooperation and conspiracy between Trump and his associates, on one hand, and, on the other, the Kremlin. Trump didn’t fire James B. Comey just because Comey was going to find incriminating information on him; he did it also to protect the Russians and his relationship with the Russians — or so the story goes.

The FBI decision to undertake such an unprecedented inquiry, writes former Justice Department lawyer David Kris, wasn’t out of bounds, given the evidence: Russian meddling, the Steele dossier, the Carter Page warrant, the firing of Comey, the confession to Lester Holt that Trump fired Comey because of Russia and, finally, Trump telling Russians in the Oval Office that Comey was a “nut job” and his firing took off “great pressure because of Russia.” Kris argues that “the FBI was not merely justified, but actually compelled, to investigate the president.”

USAToday, Tom Nichols: All signs point the same way: Vladimir Putin has compromising information on Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2FpB9mn
// Trump’s behavior toward Russia has always been a security concern, and the FBI had no choice but to open a counterintelligence operation. It did its job.

WaPo, Asha Rangappa: The FBI can’t neutralize a security threat if the president is the threat http://wapo.st/2Rssqq9
// Mueller — and Congress — could pick up where counterintelligence hits its limits

WaPo, Anne Applebaum: The Trump-Putin revelations tell us what we knew all along http://wapo.st/2sn0DIA

Reuters: Key Republican to ask FBI about report of Trump counterintelligence probe http://bit.ly/2TMqRjh Sen Lindsey Graham

USAToday, Tom Nichols: All signs point the same way: Vladimir Putin has compromising information on Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2FpB9mn

💙💙 WaPo, Max Boot: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset http://wapo.st/2D7IJQ9

Newsweek: Mueller Draft Report Says Trump ‘Helped Putin Destabilize the United States’, Watergate Journalist Carl Bernstein Says http://bit.ly/2SYl7mR

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Kremlin Blessed Russia’s NRA Operation, U.S. Intel Report Says http://bit.ly/2D8MDbM
// When Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin’s brought NRA bigwigs to Moscow, it wasn’t a rogue mission. It was okayed from the very top, according to a report reviewed by The Beast.

WaPo: Revelations about Manafort’s 2016 interactions with Russian associate show special counsel’s intense focus on Russia contacts http://wapo.st/2M8OEYe

NYT, Michael Tomasky: What’s the Best Way to Dump Trump? http://nyti.ms/2M75JSh
// Impeachment is tempting. But there’s a stronger case for waiting for the 2020 election.

NYT: Trump’s Efforts to Hide Details of Putin Talks May Set Up Fight With Congress http://nyti.ms/2FoMLGd

⭕ 12 Jan 2019

Lawfare, David Kris: Why the FBI’s Investigation Into the President Was Unavoidable http://bit.ly/2FyPA78

NYT Editorial: With Barr, Will Justice Be Done? http://nyti.ms/2AGUtI0
The nominee to be attorney general has backed some of the president’s worst impulses on the Russia inquiry.

Newsweek: Mueller Investigation Could Have Classified Communications Intercepts Proving Trump Worked With Russia: Former FBI Chief Frank Figliuzzi http://bit.ly/2Hb2b2J

💙 NYT, Maureen Dowd: Nancy Pelosi Spanks the First Brat http://nyti.ms/2sngDKD

Two men, sons of immigrants, rising to be the head of their own empires, powerful forces in their ethnic communities. Both dapper and mustachioed with commanding personalities. And both wielding a potent influence on the children who learned at their knees and followed them into the family businesses.

But here’s the difference: Big Tommy D’Alesandro Jr. taught little Nancy how to count. Fred Trump taught Donald, from the time he was a baby, that he didn’t have to count — or be accountable; Daddy’s money made him and buoyed him.

Fred, a dictatorial builder in Brooklyn and Queens from German stock, and Big Tommy, a charming Maryland congressman and mayor of Baltimore from Italian stock, are long gone. But their roles in shaping Donald and Nancy remain vivid, bleeding into our punishing, pressing national debate over immigration, a government shutdown and that inescapable and vexing Wall.

CNN, AxeFiles: Former US ambassador to NATO: The United States is ‘no longer the most important actor’ http://cnn.it/2QG8xXi

NBC, Chuck Rosenberg and Joyce Vance: Trump’s firing of Comey triggered an FBI counterintelligence investigation. Here’s what ‘counterintelligence’ entails. http://nbcnews.to/2AHB5L0
// It is crucial that we have a robust counterintelligence capability housed within the FBI, even if you may not see most of its work.

🐣 RT @kenvogel NEW: Senate Dems will push for a vote as soon as Tuesday to stop @USTreasury from lifting sanctions against OLEG DERIPASKA’s companies. @SenSchumer cites the oligarch’s work with PAUL MANAFORT as a reason to keep the sanctions until MUELLER finishes.
⋙ NYT: Democrats Push to Block Sanctions Relief for Russian Oligarch’s Companies http://nyti.ms/2AGGZMg

🐣 RT @mkraju Another sign of Trump’s new reality: Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel to probe Trump-Putin contacts.”We will be holding hearings on the mysteries swirling around Trump’s bizarre relationship with Putin and his cronies, and how those dark dealings affect our national security”

Politico: Trump pledges transparency on Putin conversations after bombshell report http://politi.co/2M6eXyi

President Donald Trump on Saturday said he would be willing to release the details of his private conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last summer.

“I would. I don’t care,” Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview, adding: “I’m not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn’t care less.”

💙💙 🔊 LawfarePodcast: The Lawfare Podcast: Special Edition: The FBI’s Counterintelligence Investigation of Donald Trump http://bit.ly/ 2D62hEy

Politico, Jack Shafer: Week 86: FBI’s Blockbuster Probe of Trump’s Loyalty Revealed http://politi.co/2RJuZDv
// Meanwhile, thanks to a paperwork goof there’s little doubt Manafort sent campaign polling data to a Ukrainian pal who might be a Russian spy

NewYorker, John Cassidy: As the Shutdown Drags On, the Trump-Russia Story Is Back at Center Stage http://bit.ly/2TJz1Jf

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Mueller Is Investigating Trump as a Russian Asset http://nym.ag/2TJyAyB

Vox, Andrew Prokop: How the big new New York Times scoop changes our understanding of the Trump-Russia probe http://bit.ly/2Cti7I7
// In May 2017, the FBI opened an investigation into whether President Trump was working on Russia’s behalf.

NYT: Trump Tweets Lengthy Attack on F.B.I. Over Inquiry Into Possible Aid to Russia http://nyti.ms/2RQw6S0

TheGuardian: Trump vents fury over Russia stories and again threatens national emergency http://bit.ly/2M7Cfnh

🐣 RT @Comey The perfect day to see “To Kill a Mockingbird” on Broadway. Amazing cast and vital message: “All rise.”

🐣 RT @emptywheel Let’s just imagine, for the moment, that Trump got himself badly compromised and can’t find a way out. He fears what Putin has more than what Mueller has (which is NOT a pee tape).
⋙ EmptyWheel: Lawfare’s Theory of L’Affaire Russe Misses the Kompromat for the Pee Glee http://bit.ly/2QK3GnR
// 8/2/2018

🐣 RT @brianklaas After Trump snatched notes of his private meeting with Putin from the interpreter & concealed them from US officials, the only detail the interpreter confirmed was: Trump said “I believe you” when Putin denied the Kremlin’s information warfare operation.
🐣 RT @McFaul This Trump behavior is abnormal, strange, and not in US national interest: “Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration”
🐣 RT @MaxBoot “We were frustrated because we didn’t get a readout,” a former senior admin official said. “The State Department & NSC were never comfortable” with Trump’s interactions with Putin. “God only knows what they were going to talk about or agree to.”
🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Former chief of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section at DOJ 👇
⋙ Now is the time for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of their country
🐣 RT @ NEW: After closed door mtg with Putin, Trump took his interpreter’s notes, told linguist not to reveal what had transpired to other administration officials. Pattern of concealing communications with Putin.
⋙ WaPo: Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration http://wapo.st/2CiEeka
⋙ 🐣 RT @hanny_hawkins And let’s not forget America learned of this meeting when Tass, the Russian news agency, posted these pix. ¤ This is when Trump told the Russians about Irael’s top secret source inside ISIS, spilling not only one of America’s top state secrets, but Israel’s. https://twitter.com/hanny_hawkins/status/1084233324569157632?s=20/photo/1-4

NewYorker, Isaac Chotiner: How the Times Reported the F.B.I. Counterintelligence Investigation Into President Trump: An Interview with the Journalist Adam Goldman http://bit.ly/2AEcp5J

WashingtonMonthly, Martin Longman: The Intelligence Community Has Long Suspected Trump of Being Under Russian Influence http://bit.ly/2RmNqOS

🐣 RT @Evan_McMullin I’ve always been fascinated by traitors. They consider themselves highly intelligent, yet fail to understand how likely they are to be caught. When they are, they become men without a home, having betrayed their countrymen and been used by an enemy. So it will be with this one.

🐣 RT @sarvay Destroying NATO. Destabilizing the UK and the European Union. Pushing China closer to Russia. A warm water military port in the Mediterranean. I’m pretty sure the list of gifts received by Putin far exceeds his original expectations.

⭕ 11 Jan 2019

NYT: As U.S. Exits Syria, Mideast Faces a Post-American Era http://nyti.ms/2Cj0M4w

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Stepping back for a minute: If no other reporting existed on Trump/Russia, the fact that the FBI started a CI investigation to determine whether or not the sitting president of the US was either comprised by or an agent of Russia, it would be the biggest political story…ever.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand The NYT report highlights the fact that many assume Trump has only ever been officially under investigation for obstruction of justice. The new takeaway (though probably already assumed by most) is that Trump himself was also an individual subject of a counterintel investigation.

🔄 💙💙 Politico Mag, Darren Samuelsohn: The Only Impeachment Guide You’ll Ever Need http://politi.co/2QHcJGi
// 1/11/2019, As talk of the I-word heats up, here’s POLITICO Magazine’s soup-to-nuts answers to all your questions about the politics—and the practical realities—of removing a president.

DailyBeast: Ex-FBI Officials Say Spy Inquiry into President Trump Is ‘Uncharted Territory’ http://bit.ly/2QIsRaC by Spencer Ackerman, Erin Banco and Betsy Woodruff
// If the Times’ story is right, retired agents and officials say that means the highest levels of Justice and the FBI knew the president was—and may still be—under investigation.

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Senate Democrats Call For DOJ Ethics Probe After Whitaker Non-Recusal http://bit.ly/2RINjwj
// Senate Democrats sent the letter just days before Attorney General nominee William Barr’s confirmation hearing.

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes It was about Russia. Full stop. It was always about Russia.

🐣 RT @leahmcelrath Russian oligarch, Putin ally, and Trump friend makes a thinly-veiled threat against SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg:
🐣 RT @ARTEM_KLYUSHIN Пришла пора выводить Рут Гинзбург из состава судей Верховного суда. Гинзбург, звезда либеральной юриспруденции, находится в Верховном суде уже 25 лет. Пора ей отдохнуть
⋙ [Trans:] The time has come to bring Ruth Ginsburg out of the Supreme Court judges. Ginzburg, the star of liberal jurisprudence, has been in the Supreme Court for 25 years. It’s time for her to rest @realDonaldTrump

💙💙 Lawfare, Benjamin Wittes: What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York’s Times’s Latest Bombshell http://bit.ly/2SQAg9A
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @brianklaas It’s not a good sign when the FBI thinks there is a credible possibility that the President of the United States is either actively or unwittingly an agent of the Kremlin, but here we are.
🐣 RT @JohnWDean A headline that will be in the history books…
💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia http://nyti.ms/2SL2UJ8

CNN, Jeremy Herb et al: Michael Cohen’s big day may not be about Russia http://cnn.it/2TGRUwv

MotherJones: The Russian Pop Star Behind the Trump Tower Meeting Is About to Tour the US. Will Robert Mueller Be There? http://bit.ly/2spEwkU Emin Agalarov
// “The only singing he may have to do is before a grand jury.”

NBC: Senate intel committee grilling ex-Trump campaign members in Russia probe http://nbcnews.to/2D5ig5W
//Investigators asked former Trump aide Sam Nunberg about the president’s business dealings and how he formulated his policies toward Moscow.

CNN, Stephen Collinson: Trump seeks to expand powers as Mueller, Democrats threaten to constrain http://cnn.it/2RmTJC3

LATimes, Chris Megerian et al: Russia investigation could spark battle to learn Robert Mueller’s findings http://lat.ms/2QGDpab

WaPo, Christian Caryl: There’s a way to know if Russia threw the election to Trump http://wapo.st/2QG7Ayi

Sinan Aral, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, … says he and his colleagues want to study the Russian influence campaign in precisely this geographical context. The MIT scholars have developed a robust methodology for assessing how social media campaigns influence the behavior of their targets — and now they want to bring it to bear on the Russian meddling in 2016. “We need a rigorous, scientific postmortem on Russian misinformation to harden our democracy against future attacks,” he told me. “While current analyses focus on Russia’s reach, what we’re missing is an analysis of their impact – who their misinformation targeted and what effect it had.”

Aral and his MIT research partner Dean Eckles sent me what they call a “blueprint” for such a study. They propose zeroing in on the issue of “causality” by analyzing how different levels of disinformation changed behavior and opinions. They would use randomized experiments to estimate shifts in voter turnout and voting.

⭕ 10 Jan 2019

VanityFair, Bess Levin: Mnuchin Tells Democrat’s to Just “Trust” Trump on Russia http://bit.ly/2CiCZkS
// The House Speaker called the classified briefing “one of the worst” Congress has ever received from the administration.

NYT: Trump and Pompeo Embrace Autocrats and Disparage Opponents at Home http://nyti.ms/2M7thqb

AmericanProspect, Adele Stan: Shutdown Antics Obscure Big Moment in Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2soCjGa
// Foreign intervention in U.S. election not nearly as interesting as table-slamming petulance.

Given the headlines, you might think that the partial shutdown of the federal government was about President Donald J. Trump’s need to satisfy his base and the message-crafters at Fox News, but that’s only a partial truth. Were it not for the manufactured drama you might call Wall Quest, think of what the headlines would be: Trump’s emissary snubbed by Turkey’s president; Trump retreats on his get-out-of-Syria-now policy; Yemen catastrophe continues with U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia; Mueller investigation grows ever closer to the president. Shutting down the government as a means of extorting Congress offers a noisy, newsy diversion from all of that—with the added bonus of stage-setting for a potential declaration of a national state of emergency for the exercise of authoritarian power. 

With Wall Quest coverage sucking up the majority of minutes on newscasts and cable talk shows, you’d be forgiven for missing the extraordinary developments this week in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the role of Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign. Taking the cake is the spectacular blunder made Tuesday in a court filing by attorneys for former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, when they inadvertently revealed that Manafort, between March and August 2016, passed Trump campaign polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Manafort business associate with ties to Russian intelligence services. The New York Times reports that Manafort asked Kilimnik to pass on the data to two Ukrainian oligarchs who are aligned with the Kremlin. 

Whoa, that’s getting kind of close to the big guy. Though what the president knew about these doings remains unknown, a pretty damning circumstantial timeline is being developed. (For the record, Trump said he knew nothing of Manfort’s poll-passing gambit.) Consider the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, at which Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties, sat with Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner to offer dirt on Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. The Russian lawyer appeared to suggest a quid pro quo for the “dirt” promised by the intermediary who set up the meeting: Should Trump win the election, he should back a repeal of the Magnitsky Act, under which Russia suffers U.S. sanctions for its seizure of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. 

On Tuesday, Velselnitskaya was charged by federal prosecutors in New York with obstruction of justice in a different case, but one with repercussions for the Russia investigation, since this New York case portrays her as an agent of the Russian government.

Add to the pile those curious, predictive comments made in August 2016 by Trump campaign adviser and former Manafort business partner Roger Stone, who seemed to enjoy advance knowledge of the release of Clinton campaign emails by WikiLeaks. And a report in The Guardian on claims that Manafort visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in March 2016 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has taken up quarters in a kind of self-imposed exile in order to avoid facing a number of charges against him, most seriously in the United States. The Trump campaign honcho’s reported visit to Assange coincides with the timeframe during which Manafort was passing campaign data to Kiliminik, going by the Times report. …

Yes, the shutdown sucks. Yes, it’s hurting the economy. No, you can’t allow the president to extort the Congress. 

But something bigger looms on the horizon—bigger than the impact on the economy, bigger than the stories of the individual people going without pay because of the president’s malicious caprice. The bigger thing, over which the darkest of clouds looms, is the fate of democracy itself.

TIME, Simon Shuster: Russians Indicted by Mueller Linked to Journalists’ Murder http://bit.ly/2M4hadz

A pair of Russians indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for meddling in the U.S. elections of 2016 were involved in a plot that led to the murder of three Russian journalists in Africa, according to a private investigation funded by the journalists’ former employer, the exiled Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Data revealed by Khodorkovsky at a briefing in London on Thursday suggests that several Russians linked to Evgeny Prigozhin, a powerful ally of President Vladimir Putin, conspired to lure the murdered journalists into an ambush on a country road in the Central African Republic, where they were shot dead on the night of July 30. Among those implicated in the investigation was Mikhail Burchik, who was indicted alongside Prigozhin last year for allegedly interfering in the U.S. presidential elections.

The three murdered journalists—conflict reporter Orkhan Dzhemal, documentary filmmaker Alexander Rastorguev and cameraman Kirill Radchenko—arrived in the Central African Republic in late July to work on a film about Russian private military contractors, whose operations across Africa have intensified in recent years.

TIME, Simon Shuster: Russians Indicted by Mueller Linked to Journalists’ Murder http://bit.ly/2M4hadz

WaPo Editorial: Congress gave the president too many powers. Now it must scale them back. http://wapo.st/2RoK65Z

WaPo, Erica Newland: I worked in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. I hope its lawyers won’t give Trump an alibi. http://wapo.st/2M5aKuO

💙 NewYorker, Sue Halpern: Why Would Paul Manafort Share Polling Data with Russia? http://bit.ly/2RllKdd

🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 As you know, it’s not an “oppressive legal theory” it’s a well-established legal principle in the Federal Rules of Evidence that someone’s admissions and statements made publicly or privately can be used against them. Surely you advised your client of that.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RudyGiuliani Read CNN article that Mueller’s gang of angry Democrats wants to use the President’s public comments as part of an obstruction claim. According to this latest oppressive legal theory you can’t even defend yourself. But who says Mueller’s team doesn’t leak. Extremely unethical.

NYT: Prosecutors Examining Ukrainians Who Flocked to Trump Inaugural http://nyti.ms/2M4CKi2

JustSecurity, Paul Seamus Ryan: Trump Campaign in Legal Jeopardy Over Manafort’s Sharing Data with Russian Agent http://bit.ly/2soajlX

NYT: Mnuchin Defends Easing Sanctions on Russian Oligarch’s Companies http://nyti.ms/2FhIfJP

CNN: Exclusive: Robert Mueller met with Trump’s pollster http://cnn.it/2FkK9Jl

Mueller’s team met with pollster Tony Fabrizio in February 2018, an interview that has not been previously reported and takes on new significance after Manafort’s attorneys revealed Tuesday that Mueller’s team is still interested in how Manafort shared polling data with his Russian intelligence-linked colleague.

CNN, Chris Cillizza: This is the week the game changed in the Russia investigation http://cnn.it/2H7eEUS

CNN: As Robert Mueller writes his report, a potential battle brews over obstruction of justice http://cnn.it/2D35Hbo

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti THREAD: What does the recent revelation that Paul Manafort provided internal polling data from the Trump campaign with an alleged Russian intelligence operative tell us? (A lot.) 📌 https://twitter.com/renato_mariotti/status/1083523261395337216?s=20

WaPo, Randall Eliason: This is exactly what collusion looks like http://wapo.st/2ADeGyo

NYT: Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Agrees to Testify to Congress http://nyti.ms/2Cdj2Mv

BusinessInsider, Sonam Sheth: Grading the Steele dossier 2 years later: what’s been corroborated and what’s still unclear http://read.bi/2VJaPZp

Vox, Aaron Rupar: Trump accidentally admits there’s no actual emergency at the border. Oops. http://bit.ly/2H7JKM8
⋙ 🐣 RT @RiegerReport TRUMP: I have the absolute right to do national emergency if I want.
Reporter: What’s your threshold for when you might make that decision?
Trump: My threshold will be if I can’t make a deal with people that are unreasonable.

CNBC, Dan Mangan: Trump says he knew ‘nothing’ about his campaign chief Paul Manafort sharing polling data with alleged Russian spy http://cnb.cx/2M5jyAH
● President Donald Trump says he knew “nothing” about his then-campaign chief Paul Manafort sharing polling data with an alleged Russian spy.
● Manafort’s criminal defense lawyers inadvertently disclosed that special counsel Robert Mueller has accused Manafort of lying to the special counsel’s team about sharing such data with the alleged spy, Konstantin Kilimnik.
● The disclosure is the strongest piece of evidence known publicly that a high-ranking official in Trump’s campaign may have been coordinating with Russians during the campaign in an effort to get Trump elected.

WSJ: America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door—and Russia Walked Through It http://on.wsj.com/2QCSrO0
// A Wall Street Journal reconstruction of the worst known hack into the nation’s power system reveals attacks on hundreds of small contractors

⭕ 9 Jan 2019

TheNationalInterest, Colin P. Clarke and William Courtney (1/9): America’s Absence Could Be Syria’s New Nightmare http://bit.ly/2DfPm2X
// U.S. withdrawal from Syria will give Bashar al-Assad, Iran and Russia freer rein to subdue opposition forces. But also, Assad will feel emboldened to act with greater impunity and brutality.

by Colin P. Clarke William Courtney

Observer, John Schindler: Exclusive: Mueller Is Holding Top Secret Intelligence That Will Sink the Trump Presidency http://bit.ly/2TU2FLT

FoxNews, Alex Pappas: ‘Somebody’s already been killed’ because of Trump dossier, Fusion GPS rep revealed http://fxn.ws/2QENO6a

CNN: Manafort intended for polling data to go to 2 Ukrainian oligarchs who owed him millions http://cnn.it/2RjWJze

🐣 RT @BillKristol Why the sudden decision in December by Trump to shut down the government over the wall? Trump had no idea of how to deal with markets swooning, Mattis quitting, Dems taking over the House. So have a fake fight to secure his base in light of a possible Mueller report or showdown.

AP: Graham says Barr expressed confidence in special counsel http://bit.ly/2RlUN98

WashingtonExaminer: Andrew Napolitano: Mueller can show Trump campaign ‘had a connection to Russian intelligence’ http://washex.am/2AEtwo5

Bloomberg, Noah Feldman: Rosenstein Bent the Rules to Protect Mueller — and It Worked http://bloom.bg/2RkOd2T
// The deputy attorney general should have recused himself at least twice, but didn’t, and stood up to Trump in the process

Politico, Marianne Levine: Dems to use Mueller probe as cudgel against Barr http://politi.co/2FlGz1C
// Democrats want Trump’s nominee for attorney general to assure them he won’t interfere in the special counsel’s investigation.

CNBC: Lawyers for Russian oligarch, Republicans now involved in possible Mueller mystery case: Report http://cnb.cx/
● The law firm Alston & Bird is involved in an effort by a mysterious foreign-owned company to avoid complying with a subpoena believed to be related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, a new report says.
● The firm in the past has represented Russian interests and the Republican Party in a fight over Hillary Clinton’s emails.
● The Supreme Court is weighing whether to allow the unidentified company to continue to challenge a grand jury subpoena that is believed to be connected to Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election that sent Donald Trump to the White House.

💽 CNN, Erin Burnett Out Front: Law firm linked to mystery subpoena has Russia ties [Video] http://cnn.it/2SKZu9b
// One law firm involved in a foreign government-owned company’s challenge of a mysterious grand jury subpoena related to the Robert Mueller investigation is Alston & Bird, CNN has learned, a firm that has previously represented Russian interests, including working for a Russian oligarch and a contractor of the Russian government.

Mediaite, John Ziegler: It Is Pretty Clear the Trump Team & Russia ‘Flirted’. But Did They Actually ‘Hook Up’? http://bit.ly/2Cd48pn

NewYorker, Joshua Yaffa: How the Charge Against Natalia Veselnitskaya Could Lead Back to the Trump Campaign http://bit.ly/2CbhRNE

WaPo, James Hohman: The new Russia revelations are more consequential than Trump’s newsless immigration speech http://wapo.st/2M66H1m

WaPo: GOP senators promise AG nominee Barr won’t touch Mueller’s probe http://wapo.st/2TEFJA6

WaPo: A beefed-up White House legal team prepares aggressive defense of Trump’s executive privilege as investigations loom large http://wapo.st/2AOmltR

TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand: Manafort’s Own Lawyers May Have Hastened His Downfall http://bit.ly/2RhHKWz
// The initial failure to redact a sensitive document was the latest in a series of missteps by Paul Manafort’s lawyers.

DailyBeast, David Litt: Trump’s Big Problem: His Reality-TV Shtick Is Getting Boring http://bit.ly/2CekdeN
// Tuesday night’s Oval Office address illustrated how unimaginative the president’s approach truly is.

Newsweek, Cristina Maza: Russian Diplomats Say Trump Administration Won’t Pull out of Syria After Confusing Messages Emerge From Washington http://bit.ly/2ABSJzC

ForeignAffairs, Ilan Goldenberg and Nicholas Heras: If Trump Wants to Get Out of Syria, He Should Strike a Deal With Russia http://fam.ag/2AGGpy1
// Making the Best of a Bad Idea

CNBC, Kevin Breuninger: Trump attorney general nominee William Barr would let Mueller finish Russia probe, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham says http://cnb.cx/2RArwXR
● Attorney general nominee William Barr would let special counsel Robert Mueller complete his ongoing Russia investigation, Sen. Lindsey Graham says.
● Graham’s reassurance comes amid reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, is planning to voluntarily step down from his No. 2 role at the Justice Department within the next month.
● Graham’s role in tamping down concerns about Trump’s pick to lead the Justice Department offers another display of the influence the Republican senator still maintains in the upper echelons of the Trump administration.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: One more Russian contact: Here’s why it matters http://wapo.st/2H7Hogj

“The most innocent possible explanation here is that Trump hired an international criminal who was trying to give campaign information to a Russian oligarch in exchange for debt relief, and using a Russian intelligence asset as his go between,” says former Department of Justice spokesman Matthew Miller. “But it’s hard to see what good polling data would be to a Russian oligarch, so it raises the question of whether Manafort’s actual goal was to get the information to the Russian government itself.” Whether this was all about Manafort and his finances or whether this was part of a larger quid quo pro between Trump and the Russians isn’t yet clear.

WaPo, Max Boot: The collusion case against Trump just got a lot stronger http://wapo.st/2M2z1RX

USAToday: Donald Trump’s team had 100 contacts with Russian-linked officials: report http://bit.ly/2CcwzDT

WaPo, Henry Olsen: The Manafort revelations raise a haunting question for Trump http://wapo.st/2FoNB4T

Salon, Dean Obeidallah: Why Donald Trump and his children will be charged with crimes http://bit.ly/2FlOQ5Q
// Watch “Proof of Collusion” author Seth Abramson analyze Trump’s Russia connections from every angle on SalonTV

‼️ABCNews: Rosenstein expected to depart DOJ in coming weeks once new attorney general confirmed http://abcn.ws/2FhiVUg

⭕ 8 Jan 2019

ForeignAffairs, Margaret MacMillan (1/8): Warnings From Versailles ~ The Lessons of 1919, a Hundred Years On http://fam.ag/2sxGuQk

Law&Crime, Matt Naham: Rudy Giuliani Rumored to Be Bracing for ‘Horrific’ Report from Robert Mueller http://bit.ly/2QEhFvH

🐣 RT @Jzikah Thank you. This is how you take down a strong man. Make him look weak. #LaughterKills #RidiculeRifle https://twitter.com/jzikah/status/1082781439794532352?s=20/photo/1

CNN, Katelyn Polantz: Mueller believes Manafort fed information to Russian with intel ties http://cnn.it/2VGtJjq

ForeignAffairs, Colin Clarke and Ariane Tabatabai: Withdrawing From Syria Leaves a Vacuum That Iran Will Fill http://fam.ag/2LZXTdb
// Shiite Militias Are in the Region to Stay

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Having grown up in the Soviet Union, I second that.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Martina [Navratilova] I can tell you all this for sure- whatever ridiculous propaganda we were fed in then Czechoslovakia, which was mandated by Soviet Union- pales next to the lies being told and repeated by trump and his ilk. I am not kidding… ¤ trump truly trumps the communists. And that’s not easy

🐣 RT @SenBlumenthal Internal polling data is precious. It reveals your strengths— & your weaknesses. Why share such valuable information with a foreign adversary—unless that adversary was really a friend?
⋙ LATimes, Chris Megerian: Manafort, Trump’s campaign chair, shared polling data with Russian during 2016 campaign, court filing says http://lat.ms/2VFzIFa

🐣 RT @joshtpm I think the full meaning and impact of the Times revelation about that polling data hasn’t sunk in yet. Trump’s campaign manager was secretly sharing confidential campaign polling data with oligarch closely tied to Vladimir Putin. Probably bigger than Trump Tower meeting.

DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley: Line Between Trump Tower Meet Lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya and Moscow Gets Even Blurrier http://bit.ly/2VEavLB
// We all knew she was tight with Russian prosecutors, but today’s indictment showed the receipts.

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Trump’s Campaign Manager Gave Polling Data to Russian Agent http://nym.ag/2RymbQP
// Konstantin Kilimnik

The idea that Donald Trump’s campaign did not collude with Russia always rested on an implausible scenario, in which every single one of the many trails connecting Trump Tower to Moscow ended short of contact. A court document shared today by Paul Manafort’s lawyers inadvertently spills a detail that makes the no-collusion scenario even more remote.

The document by Manafort’s lawyers attempts to redact several key details, but mistakenly left them legible. The most important detail is that Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, shared polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian intelligence agent. The detail comes up because the special counsel is charging Manafort with omitting this fact when he cooperated with them, while Manafort’s lawyers maintain he merely forgot about it. But the real significance of this event is not why he failed to share it but that it happened at all.

USAToday: Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chief, accused of lying about sharing polling data with Russian http://bit.ly/2H5rpPR

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Natalia Veselnitskaya’s indictment, explained http://bit.ly/2SF2Uud
// The Russian lawyer who met Don Jr. at Trump Tower was indicted on a separate matter.

MotherJones, Dan Friedman: Paul Manafort’s Botched Redactions Reveal New Details on Trump-Russia Interactions http://bit.ly/2TCP3Vb
// Here’s more info on his curious relationship with an alleged Russian intelligence associate.

WaPo, Philip Bump: A new link between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence that’s more evocative than definitive http://wapo.st/2FgCE6y

TheGuardian: Manafort shared polling data on 2016 election with elusive Russian – Mueller http://bit.ly/2sqc1DL
● Manafort attorneys disclosed allegation in court filing
● Konstantin Kilimnik said to have ties to Russian intelligence

WaPo, Paul Waldman: Those pesky Russians keep coming back to haunt Trump http://wapo.st/2CWSDEi

💙💙 NYT: Manafort Accused of Sharing Trump Campaign Data With Russian Associate http://nyti.ms/2M11lEd … and was involved in proposed back-channel “peace plan” for Ukraine
// “Russian associate” = Konstantin Kilimnik

As a top official in President Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort shared political polling data with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence, according to a court filing unsealed on Tuesday. The document provided the clearest evidence to date that the Trump campaign may have tried to coordinate with Russians during the 2016 presidential race.

Mr. Manafort’s lawyers made the disclosure by accident, through a formatting error in a document …

The document also revealed that during the campaign, Mr. Manafort and his Russian associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, discussed a plan for peace in Ukraine. Throughout the campaign and the early days of the Trump administration, Russia and its allies were pushing various plans for Ukraine in the hope of gaining relief from American-led sanctions imposed after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

“This is the closest thing we have seen to collusion,” Clint Watts, a senior fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said of the data-sharing. “The question now is, did the president know about it?”

Both Mr. Manafort and Rick Gates, the deputy campaign manager, transferred the data to Mr. Kilimnik in the spring of 2016 as Mr. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination, according to a person knowledgeable about the situation. Most of the data was public, but some of it was developed by a private polling firm working for the campaign, according to the person.

Mr. Manafort asked Mr. Gates to tell Mr. Kilimnik to pass the data to Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to the Kremlin and who has claimed that Mr. Manafort owed him money from a failed business venture, the person said. It is unclear whether Mr. Manafort was acting at the campaign’s behest or independently, trying to gain favor with someone to whom he was deeply in debt.

WaPo: Supreme Court rules against mystery corporation from ‘Country A’ fighting subpoena in Mueller investigation http://wapo.st/2Fk17He

NYT: Manafort Shared Trump Campaign Data With Russian Associate, Prosecutors Say http://nyti.ms/2TCXSOL

🐣 RT @Evan_McMullin There is no “crisis” on the border. Trump is using a familiar authoritarian tactic of inspiring national security fear to justify abuses intended to protect himself from political and legal threats. If he declares a national emergency, it will set a truly dangerous precedent.

🐣 RT @BillKristol The hype, the lies, the use of a pseudo-dramatic speech in an attempt to rally the base—that is demagogic business as usual. The assumption of emergency powers would be an act of a whole different order. It would create a genuine constitutional crisis.

NYT: Veselnitskaya, Russian in Trump Tower Meeting, Is Charged in Case That Shows Kremlin Ties http://nyti.ms/2QxSdHQ

⭕ 7 Jan 2019

WaPo: ‘No different from my original statements’: Trump denies changes to Syria exit plan http://wapo.st/2C9O33R

NYT: Bolton Walked Back Syria Statement. His Disdain for Debate Helped Produce It. http://nyti.ms/2Vz3w6F

Politico: House Democrats prepare fusillade of Trump investigations http://politi.co/2TCIq5w
// Trump Hotel, taxes, Cabinet members are all targets.

✅ KITF: AP FACT CHECK: Trump claims innocence in probe; wall myths http://bit.ly/2CUZcr1

💽 RCP: Rachel Maddow: Trump Curiously Well Versed In Specific Russian Talking Points [Video] http://bit.ly/2TBColz

WashingtonMonthly, Nancy LeTourneau: If Trump Is Not a Russian Asset, What Explains His Behavior? http://bit.ly/2AvXpa8

CNBC: Blackwater founder Erik Prince says Mueller asked about meeting Russian Putin pal in Seychelles: ‘You probably would rather go to a proctology exam’ http://cnb.cx/2CW5Xsu
● Blackwater founder Erik Prince said he would have preferred getting a “proctology exam” to being interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators.
● Prince was questioned by Mueller’s team about his meeting in the Seychelles islands shortly before President Donald Trump’s inauguration with Kirill Dmitriev, who was appointed by Russian leader Vladmir Putin to run a sovereign wealth fund.
● A member of the delegation of the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, who was meeting with Prince, suggested the former Navy SEAL speak with Dmitriev, according to Prince.

Haaretz: ‘Someone’s Puppet:’ Trump Under Fire for Echoing Russian Talking Points http://bit.ly/2SGNfKZ
// Here is a look at where the investigations related to President Donald Trump and Russia stand and what may lie ahead for him

NBC: Trump-appointed judge defends Mueller, scolds lawyer for Russian firm http://nbcnews.to/2QvEXUq
// “You have undermined your credibility in this courthouse,” Judge Dabney Friedrich said. “Knock it off.”

TheGuardian,Tom McCarthy: Will Adam Schiff pose a bigger threat to Trump than Robert Mueller? http://bit.ly/2seycMX
//. New chairman of the House intelligence committee leads pack of antagonists as he plans to investigate the details of Trump’s businesses, his lenders, and his partners in the US and abroad

CNN, Marshall Cohen and Jeremy Herb: Revisiting the Trump-Russia dossier: What’s right, wrong and still unclear? http://cnn.it/2CV2tq2

LawfareBlog: Case Closed: The Justice Department Won’t Stand Behind its Report on Immigrants and Terrorism http://bit.ly/2QqPjF3

⭕ 6 Jan 2019

WaPo: While Trump wallows in the White House, America’s allies are left on their own http://wapo.st/2Aw5g7G
// “While President Trump was ‘over Christmas, watching the ‘guys out on the lawn with machine guns,’ Russia’s Vladi­mir Putin seemed to be contemplating another war with Ukraine. While his top aides issued threatening statements, the Ukrainian government and some Western observers warned of suspicious movements of Russian aircraft and equipment.”

TheHill: Five things to know about the Trump Tower Moscow proposal http://bit.ly/2LYaiOY

PhillyInquirer, Will Bunch: The crazy new evidence that Trump’s Russia problem is far worse than we all thought http://bit.ly/2AzBi2N

⭕ 5 Jan 2019

DailyBeast, Clive Irving (1/5/2019): We Need to Know What Happened When Trump Was Left Alone With Putin http://bit.ly/2H9fyjS
// From the Holocaust to Watergate, there are plenty of examples of how easily bad stuff happens when, like in Helsinki, there is no record of what is said.

NYT, David Leonhardt: The People vs. Donald J. Trump http://nyti.ms/2QubMRB
// He is demonstrably unfit for office. What are we waiting for?

VOA/AP: AP Fact Check: Trump’s Afghanistan Comments Inaccurate http://bit.ly/2sfbuo2

Reuters: Grand jury extended in U.S. special counsel’s Trump-Russia probe http://reut.rs/2Rc0GG0

⭕ 4 Jan 2019

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff and Andrew Desiderio: Dems Move to Block Trump From Lifting Sanctions on Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska http://bit.ly/2Fd6ZT8
// Newly empowered Democrats are trying to force the administration’s hand on Manafort-linked Oleg Deripaska.

TheAtlantic, Gregory Pfeiffer: The Truth About the Soviet War in Afghanistan http://bit.ly/2FdC7kJ
// Trump mischaracterized it in an attempt to justify his own disastrous policy in the region.

NYT: Congress Is Examining Decision to Lift Sanctions on Russian’s Firms http://nyti.ms/2Vsjork

Reuters: Grand jury extended in U.S. special counsel’s Trump-Russia probe http://reut.rs/2Rc0GG0

⭕ 3 Jan 2019

⭕ 2 Jan 2019

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Trump’s bizarre history lesson on the Soviet Union, Russia and Afghanistan http://wapo.st/2s7ERso

Trump: “Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia, because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. Russia. … The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is, it was a tough fight. And literally they went bankrupt; they went into being called Russia again, as opposed to the Soviet Union. You know, a lot of these places you’re reading about now are no longer part of Russia, because of Afghanistan.”

⭕ 1 Jan 2019

🐣 The way I read it, Mitt Romney is the new leader of the GOP. As opposed to the extremist Trump faction. Let’s hope.

WaPo, Mitt Romney: The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short. http://wapo.st/2LJlPRS

The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down.

To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.

The world is also watching. America has long been looked to for leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed. Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world. In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Sweden believed the American president would “do the right thing in world affairs.” One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent.

… The alternative to U.S. world leadership offered by China and Russia is autocratic, corrupt and brutal.

The world needs American leadership, and it is in America’s interest to provide it. A world led by authoritarian regimes is a world — and an America — with less prosperity, less freedom, less peace.

To reassume our leadership in world politics, we must repair failings in our politics at home. That project begins, of course, with the highest office once again acting to inspire and unite us. It includes political parties promoting policies that strengthen us rather than promote tribalism by exploiting fear and resentment. Our leaders must defend our vital institutions despite their inevitable failings: a free press, the rule of law, strong churches, and responsible corporations and unions.

America is strongest when our arms are linked with other nations. We want a unified and strong Europe, not a disintegrating union. We want stable relationships with the nations of Asia that strengthen our mutual security and prosperity.

… I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions.

… [N]oble instincts live in the hearts of Americans. The people of this great land will eschew the politics of anger and fear if they are summoned to the responsibility by leaders in homes, in churches, in schools, in businesses, in government — who raise our sights and respect the dignity of every child of God — the ideal that is the essence of America.

🐣 RT @JakeTapper 1/4 Retired four-star Admiral William McRaven, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014 (which included the OBL mission), just issued the following statement to CNN in response to POTUS attacking GEN McChrystal on twitter:
2/4 “Stan McChrystal is one of the great generals of this generation and the finest officer I ever served with. He is a deep strategic thinker, tactically brilliant, with unparalleled personal courage. His leadership of special operations forces in Iraq and Afghanistan…
3/4 “… unquestionably saved the lives of thousands of American and allied troops, as well as countless civilians. No general I know has given more in the service of this country.”
4/4 Trump’s tweet this morning attacking McChrystal was in response to the general saying the president is dishonest and immoral:
⋙ CNN: Trump attacks McChrystal after retired general called Trump immoral http://cnn.it/2ApIY7F
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @TheLoyalO Retired generals, regardless political persuasion, continue to sound alarm bells about the danger Trump poses, yet Republicans refuse to take responsibility for the traitor in their ranks.
⋙ CNN: Retired Gen Stanley McChrystal hits President Trump as immoral, dishonest https://cnn.it/2CJ5pGf 

NPR, Philip Ewing: Here’s What Could Be Ahead In The Russia Investigations In 2019 http://BCNews: http://n.pr/2s5Wd90

TheHill: A timeline of the Mueller probe’s biggest developments http://bit.ly/2s2u7eC

VoiceOfAmerica, Jamie Dettmer: Ukraine Fears Breakout Offensive as Russia Breaks ‘New Year’s Truce’ http://bit.ly/2AsLvhh



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