OtherGround Forums Special Counsel for Trump/Russia Megathread

4/12/18 7:13 AM
4/24/07
Posts: 34508
Mr. Wright - 

good thread. you may be talking to yourself at times but at least you're not a total cunt like orcus. i'm definitely conservative and not a fan of everything trump does, but i hope all of this is done to the letter of the law and if trump ISN'T found guilty of collusion with Russia some of the people on this forum die in a fire. if he is found to have colluded with russia to steal the election i'll be the first to call for the fucking guillotine


Orcus, LnP Ninja and that ilk are the reason we can't have political discussions that don't devolve into calling each other names. PSL is a decent dude.
4/12/18 7:21 AM
2/22/11
Posts: 17868
David@accu -
Mr. Wright - 

good thread. you may be talking to yourself at times but at least you're not a total cunt like orcus. i'm definitely conservative and not a fan of everything trump does, but i hope all of this is done to the letter of the law and if trump ISN'T found guilty of collusion with Russia some of the people on this forum die in a fire. if he is found to have colluded with russia to steal the election i'll be the first to call for the fucking guillotine


Orcus, LnP Ninja and that ilk are the reason we can't have political discussions that don't devolve into calling each other names. PSL is a decent dude.

Agreed 

 

the funny thing is people can easily find this information from the “Steele Dossier”. Crazy how many people mentioned in Trump’s circle long before the indictments. 

4/12/18 3:34 PM
12/5/17
Posts: 2327

| Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) vs. James Risen |

This serves as a good contrast of perspective.

James Risen is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist and current investigative reporter at The Intercept. Author of State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration & Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. Risen was famously a target of surveillance and he fought against revealing the identity of confidential sources, and also fought against a subpoena in the case of CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling. He risked jail time for that and never wavered.

Glenn Greenwald doesn't need much of an introduction. He was a founder of The Intercept during the time he was working with Edward Snowden. He is a principled and reliable voice when it comes to skepticism of intelligence agencies in the U.S., U.S. foreign policy, and so on. He's also a real vicious cunt on Twitter and I added him to the Twitter feeds on the first page.

Risen is doing an on-going series of investigative reports starting with the strangely titled, "Is Donald Trump a Traitor?", and Part II, published today: "The Absent Professor: A Key Trump-Russia Intermediary Has Been Missing for Months, as the Case for Collusion Grows Stronger".

In short -- Glenn very much thinks that this is Russia hysteria; a form of McCarthyism, and that it's a deep state (& he properly defines the term) initiative. James thinks that there's a heap of publicly available evidence that suggests it's not some sort of conspiracy at all.

Readers @ The Intercept are very hostile towards Risen and the comments on his articles reflect that. Many think he was handed his ass by Greenwald after Glenn responded to his first article. The two men also sat down to debate the issues here:

 

4/12/18 3:49 PM
12/5/17
Posts: 2328

I respect both men (Risen & Greenwald) for risking their necks in the pursuit of transparency and information. They are among the real, valuable sources of information while Alex Jones, with all of his nonsense yapping, apologizes to Yogurt CEOs and sells snake-oil for profit.

4/12/18 9:48 PM
12/5/17
Posts: 2339

Mueller Will Label Dangling Pardons as Obstruction of Justice Just as He Drops More Conspiracy Charges (Wheeler)

"NBC has a refreshingly sober and detailed report, explaining that Mueller and the President’s lawyers are giving up, at least for now, on the idea that Trump will be interviewed by the special counsel team.

Far more interesting than that news are the details about Mueller’s plans for his report on obstruction of justice. The report, originally slated for May to July, may come even sooner...

Three sources familiar with the investigation said the findings Mueller has collected on Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice include: His intent for firing former FBI Director James Comey; his role in the crafting of a misleading public statement on the nature of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son and Russians; Trump’s dangling of pardons before grand jury witnesses who might testify against him; and pressuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

All of these are predictable (though some other details of obstruction, such as the role he asked Rod Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions to play to provide cover for Comey’s firing, are not in there).

But the most interesting is the no-nonsense claim that offering pardons to people who might incriminate him personally amounts to obstruction of justice.

That makes a lot of sense — but it is constitutionally aggressive, because it’s unclear whether there can be any limit to the president’s pardon power. And it will go to Congress in a report inviting impeachment around the same time as Mueller will be rolling out the far more serious charges against Trump’s spawn, probably with Trump himself named as a co-conspirator.

I’m not sure whether that report will affect Trump’s calculation on whether he should pardon people like Don Jr and Jared — or if Congress will act to impeach to limit the political damage of what’s coming to themselves.

But it may change the legal status of any pardons offered after that date."

-------

Too bold of a prediction?

 

4/12/18 10:02 PM
3/28/02
Posts: 5115

Dangling pardons....?

makes sense intellectually but seems a stretch legally perhaps?

If you cannot nail someone on clear well defined legal issues, I dont think its a good path to take.

This drama is polarizing enough - any results suggesting criminality need to be clear and easily explained, at least in my view.

4/12/18 10:06 PM
3/28/02
Posts: 5117

Yup I am the one who called Nunes Trump's PissBoy.  And still do I think.

One can disagree with some of Mueller's approachs in a reasonable way like Gowdy without being a hyper partisan clown like Nunes.  

It just seems like Nunes has no objectivity here - he is fully devoted to helping Trump.  Its the complete lack of objectivity that I find disturbing

4/12/18 10:08 PM
2/4/09
Posts: 1363
EazyG -

Dangling pardons....?

makes sense intellectually but seems a stretch legally perhaps?

If you cannot nail someone on clear well defined legal issues, I dont think its a good path to take.

This drama is polarizing enough - any results suggesting criminality need to be clear and easily explained, at least in my view.

should check emptywheels twitter feed. She's would seem.... obsessed?

 

Glad you put a vid of a reporter with some common sense though. Glen is great. Wish people would pay more attention to his articles about Yemen and the hypocrisy of some 

Edited: 4/12/18 11:36 PM
12/5/17
Posts: 2340
EazyG - 

Dangling pardons....?

makes sense intellectually but seems a stretch legally perhaps?

If you cannot nail someone on clear well defined legal issues, I dont think its a good path to take.

This drama is polarizing enough - any results suggesting criminality need to be clear and easily explained, at least in my view.

 

The NBC report just indicates that: "Trump’s dangling of pardons before grand jury witnesses who might testify against him" is one of four aspects of obstruction Mueller's team is working with.

This originated from a NY Times report in March claiming that John Dowd, who has since resigned, communicated with Flynn & Manafort's defense teams about the possibility of a pardon.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/28/trump-pardon-manafort-gates-white-house-489838

I'm not sure of the legality surrounding that. Trump absolutely has the power to pardon, but some commentators argue that the constitutional protection of that applies only to the application of a pardon, not that a pardon from the POTUS can't be a piece of an obstruction of justice charge when it involves an active investigation with Trump as a subject.

4/12/18 10:10 PM
12/5/17
Posts: 2341
NoNeed4aScreenName - 
EazyG -

Dangling pardons....?

makes sense intellectually but seems a stretch legally perhaps?

If you cannot nail someone on clear well defined legal issues, I dont think its a good path to take.

This drama is polarizing enough - any results suggesting criminality need to be clear and easily explained, at least in my view.

should check emptywheels twitter feed. She's would seem.... obsessed?

 

Glad you put a vid of a reporter with some common sense though. Glen is great. Wish people would pay more attention to his articles about Yemen and the hypocrisy of some 


It's her job.

4/12/18 10:14 PM
12/5/17
Posts: 2342
Pumpkin Spice Lazarus - 
NoNeed4aScreenName - 
EazyG -

Dangling pardons....?

makes sense intellectually but seems a stretch legally perhaps?

If you cannot nail someone on clear well defined legal issues, I dont think its a good path to take.

This drama is polarizing enough - any results suggesting criminality need to be clear and easily explained, at least in my view.

should check emptywheels twitter feed. She's would seem.... obsessed?

 

Glad you put a vid of a reporter with some common sense though. Glen is great. Wish people would pay more attention to his articles about Yemen and the hypocrisy of some 


It's her job.


^I'll add that most of the Twitter feeds linked on the first page are people who are constantly tweeting about these things. That's why I've linked them. Marcy is an independent journalist covering the sort of things we expect to be concerns to an outlet like The Intercept.

4/12/18 11:34 PM
1/25/07
Posts: 1902
Mr. Wright -

good thread. you may be talking to yourself at times but at least you're not a total cunt like orcus. i'm definitely conservative and not a fan of everything trump does, but i hope all of this is done to the letter of the law and if trump ISN'T found guilty of collusion with Russia some of the people on this forum die in a fire. if he is found to have colluded with russia to steal the election i'll be the first to call for the fucking guillotine

Awesome post! VU
4/13/18 12:31 AM
2/22/09
Posts: 11119
Pumpkin Spice Lazarus - 
HurtFeelings - 
Pumpkin Spice Lazarus -
HurtFeelings - 
Pumpkin Spice Lazarus -
Sogsteel -
Pumpkin Spice Lazarus -

Media round-up re: firing the special counsel:

Trump mulling firing Rosenstein: report(The Hill)

Trump tried to fire Mueller in December: report (The Hill)

Trump considering firing Rosenstein to check Mueller (CNN)

All published within the last few hours.

They should *chill out* on these reports.

The president should hire more attorneys and relax.

 

Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wrey are about to be held in contempt of congress and face calls for impeachment over refusing to hand over the document showing why the investigation was started in the first place

Links?

I’ve held back from making accusations against Nunes, but the chance that he’s actively running interference in direct co-ordination with the White House is strong imo. 

Not really caught up on that so I’m going to withold judgment for now. 

I can say that given the performance of the HPSCI — I would be hesitant to release anything of confidential value to Nunes. Which is pretty crazy given his chair status on the oversight committee. Wouldn’t be surprised if the DOJ is weighing their options to legally avoid that — all things considered.

Hahhhh so you're no longer referring to Nunes as "Trumps pissboy" like you have in other threads? Nice. You really give of the impression of being objective in this thread. LOL you're a funny dude.

That was not me.

If you have an example of me calling Nunes "Trumps pissboy" just share it, but I've never called him that. I've repeated that same idea -- that we can definitely argue that it looks like Nunes is running interference and he was definitely involved in the partisan fuckery that became of the HPSCI, but I'm not sure of all that. A lot of the stuff he has done -- from the memos on the Carter Page FISA application to just generally running a counter investigation and requesting materials from the FBI/DOJ have had broader support. We can't just dismiss them.

But if you take Trey Gowdy's comments on the Carter Page situation, which I think were valuable -- it's pretty clear to me that it's worth reviewing for compliance and the like. But it's not something that somehow invalidates the special counsel investigation. It's just being sold to some folks as that.

You sure that wasn't you? Maybe it was pumpkin spice Jesus then lol. Oh well. I don't have search or the option to dig through older threads from the app, otherwise I would. No need to derail your objective outlook thread.. I might be thinking of that LaynPray guy actually.


.

4/13/18 12:46 AM
1/10/06
Posts: 1046
yabadaba -
Pumpkin Spice Lazarus - 
HurtFeelings - 
Pumpkin Spice Lazarus -
HurtFeelings - 
Pumpkin Spice Lazarus -
Sogsteel -
Pumpkin Spice Lazarus -

Media round-up re: firing the special counsel:

Trump mulling firing Rosenstein: report(The Hill)

Trump tried to fire Mueller in December: report (The Hill)

Trump considering firing Rosenstein to check Mueller (CNN)

All published within the last few hours.

They should *chill out* on these reports.

The president should hire more attorneys and relax.

 

Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wrey are about to be held in contempt of congress and face calls for impeachment over refusing to hand over the document showing why the investigation was started in the first place

Links?

I’ve held back from making accusations against Nunes, but the chance that he’s actively running interference in direct co-ordination with the White House is strong imo. 

Not really caught up on that so I’m going to withold judgment for now. 

I can say that given the performance of the HPSCI — I would be hesitant to release anything of confidential value to Nunes. Which is pretty crazy given his chair status on the oversight committee. Wouldn’t be surprised if the DOJ is weighing their options to legally avoid that — all things considered.

Hahhhh so you're no longer referring to Nunes as "Trumps pissboy" like you have in other threads? Nice. You really give of the impression of being objective in this thread. LOL you're a funny dude.

That was not me.

If you have an example of me calling Nunes "Trumps pissboy" just share it, but I've never called him that. I've repeated that same idea -- that we can definitely argue that it looks like Nunes is running interference and he was definitely involved in the partisan fuckery that became of the HPSCI, but I'm not sure of all that. A lot of the stuff he has done -- from the memos on the Carter Page FISA application to just generally running a counter investigation and requesting materials from the FBI/DOJ have had broader support. We can't just dismiss them.

But if you take Trey Gowdy's comments on the Carter Page situation, which I think were valuable -- it's pretty clear to me that it's worth reviewing for compliance and the like. But it's not something that somehow invalidates the special counsel investigation. It's just being sold to some folks as that.

You sure that wasn't you? Maybe it was pumpkin spice Jesus then lol. Oh well. I don't have search or the option to dig through older threads from the app, otherwise I would. No need to derail your objective outlook thread.. I might be thinking of that LaynPray guy actually.


.

Oh Shit!!!!!

4/13/18 12:50 AM
12/5/17
Posts: 2346

^Holy shit

4/13/18 11:13 AM
3/28/02
Posts: 5120

Fucking awesome video/parody!

4/13/18 12:17 PM
12/5/17
Posts: 2350
Ill Portents - I didn't realize Marcy was so all-in:

"[Mueller's findings on Trump's obstruction of justice] will go to Congress in a report inviting impeachment around the same time as Mueller will be rolling out the far more serious charges against Trump’s spawn, probably with Trump himself named as a co-conspirator."

She is. She hasn’t said as much, but I suspect the Cohen raid sort of seals the deal for her. From her comments she finds it obvious that they’re working to flip Cohen, expects an indictment for Stone, etc. 

I won’t go that far, but she makes reasonable predictions.

4/13/18 8:26 PM
12/5/17
Posts: 2382

Let's file this under the |approach with caution| section:

Per McClatchy DC:

Sources: Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier

The Hill: Mueller can prove Cohen made secret trip to Prague before the election: report

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has proof that President Trump’s personal lawyer made a secret trip to Prague during the 2016 campaign despite his denial that he'd ever been there, McClatchy reported Friday.

It is not clear why Michael Cohen was in Prague. The claim he visited was originally made in a dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

Cohen denied that he'd ever been to Prague "in my life" after the dossier's publication, tweeting a photo of his passport.

McClatchy reported that Cohen entered the country through Germany during August or early September of 2016, which does not require a passport stamp.

The dossier claimed that in Prague Cohen met with a prominent ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Konstantin Kosachev, but it is not clear whether Mueller has evidence of such a meeting.

Koschahev was one of 24 Russian oligarchs slapped with U.S. sanctions earlier this month.

If such a meeting happened, it would be further evidence of ties between Trump associates and Putin. The dossier also claims that Cohen, among others, was deeply involved in a “cover up and damage limitation operation in the attempt to prevent the full details of Trump’s relationship with Russia being exposed.”

Neither Cohen nor Mueller commented on the story to McClatchy.

The report comes on the same day that U.S attorneys confirmed that they are investigating Cohen for criminal activity.

The FBI raided Cohen's office and home last week, in part on a referral from Mueller's office.

 

4/13/18 8:59 PM
12/5/17
Posts: 2383

& let's unpack this Cohen/Prague story a bit because it's a sensational report. First:

| Steele Dossier |

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html

For my purposes:

- Raw intelligence memos claimed by author to be 70-90% accurate

- Highly controversial

- Possible elements of source misinformation; basic understanding is that having the general outlines correct (e.g.: Cohen visited Prague) can be true, while the very important detail (that he did something wrong or related to the campaign & Russia) may not be. In this case -- the only reason I'm interested is because Cohen seems to have lied about it if the report is true. That demonstrates that he did something he wants to hide, and made a public effort to misinform.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Claims from the memos concerning Michael Cohen:

-Kremlin insider (caution) reports TRUMP lawyer COHEN's secret meeting /s with Kremlin officials in August 2016 (timeline) was / were held in Prague

- Russian parastatal organization Rossotrudnichestvo used as cover for this liason and premises in Czech capital may have been used for the meeting /s

- Pro-PUTIN leading Duma figure, KOSACHEV, reportedly involved as "plausibly deniable" facilitator and may have participated in the August meeting /s with COHEN

1. Speaking to a compatriot and friend on 19 October 2016, a Kremlin insider provided further details of reported clandestine meeting /s between Repubican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP's lawyer Michael COHEN and Kremlin representatives in August 2016. Although the communication betweem them had to be cryptic for security reasons, the Kremlin insider clearly indicated to his / her friend that the reported contact /s took place in Prague, Czech Republic.

2. Continuing on this theme, the Kremlin insider highlighted the importance of the Russian parastatal organization, Rossotrudnichestvo, in this contact between TRUMP campaign representatives /s and Kremlin officials. Rossotrudnichestvo was being used as cover for this relationship and its office in Prague may well have been used to cost the COHEN / Russian Presidential Administration (PA) meeting/s. It was considered a "plausibly deniable" vehicle for this, whilst remaining entirely under Kremlin control.

3. The Kremlin insider went on to identify leading pro-PUTIN Duma figure, Konstantin KOSACHEV (Head of the Foreign Relations Committee) as an important figure in the TRUMP campaign-Kremlin liaison operation. KOSACHEV, also "plausibly deniable" being part of the Russian legislature rather than executive, had facilitated the contact in Prague and by implication, may have attended the meeting/s with COHEN there in August

Company Comment

We reported previously, in our Company Intelligence Report 2016 /135 of 19 October 2016 from the same source, that COHEN met officials from the PA Legal Department clandestinely in an EU country in August 2016. This was in order to clean up the mess left behind by western media revelations of TRUMP ex-campaign manager MANAFORT's corrupt relationship with the former pro-Russian YANUKOVYCH regime in Ukraine and TRUMP foreign policy advisor, Carter PAGE's secret meetings in Moscow with senior regime figures in July 2016. According to Kremlin advisor, these meeting/s were originally scheduled for COHEN in Moscow but shifted to what was considered an operationally "soft" EU country when it was judged too compromising for him to travel to the Russian capital.

20 October 2016

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Takeaways:

-Both the dossier and the article claim that he visited in August 2016, though the report from today mentions "August or early September"

- Today's report claims: "Cohen entered the country through Germany during August or early September of 2016, which does not require a passport stamp"

- & that's the only corroborated claim from today's report. Approach with caution, but it's interesting to see media outlets referencing the dossier as they've been very hesitant to do so (for good reason)

4/13/18 10:48 PM
12/5/17
Posts: 2391
Pumpkin Spice Lazarus -

| Michael Cohen |

Role: personal lawyer to President Donald Trump; National Deputy Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee

Per Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Cohen_(lawyer)

- 'In late January 2017, Cohen met with Ukrainian opposition politician Andrey Artemenko and Felix Sater at the Loews Regency in Manhattan to discuss a plan to lift sanctions against Russia. The proposed plan would require that Russian forces withdraw from eastern Ukraine and that Ukraine hold a referendum on whether Crimea should be "leased" to Russia for 50 or 100 years. Cohen was given a written proposal in a sealed envelope that he delivered to then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in early February (A Back-Channel Plan for Ukraine and Russia, Courtesy of Trump Associates[NYT - 02/19/2017].)

- 'On April 9, 2018, the FBI raided his Cohen's office, as well as his hotel room at the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue, pursuant to a federal search warrant. The search occurred in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Agents seized emails, tax records, business records, and other matter related to several topics, including payments made by Cohen to Stormy Daniels. Cohen is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and violations of campaign finance law, according to media reports. The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familar with the matter, said that federal prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office are coordinating efforts with the Mueller investigation'

More:

- Special counsel has examined episodes involving Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer (The Washington Post - 03/06/2018)

Mueller probe tracking down Trump business partners, with Cohen a focus of queries (McClatchy - 04/06/2018)

 

Burp

4/14/18 10:48 AM
2/22/11
Posts: 17891

Pumpkin, what’s the word in the Russian deaths? Not much has been made public, but this dossier stuff is almost spot on. I heard one of the deaths was when Putin found out one agent was talking to Steele. The other 2 would be the people connected through...? Or am I missing something here 

4/15/18 9:39 AM
12/5/17
Posts: 2460
HernanCortes -

Pumpkin, what’s the word in the Russian deaths? Not much has been made public, but this dossier stuff is almost spot on. I heard one of the deaths was when Putin found out one agent was talking to Steele. The other 2 would be the people connected through...? Or am I missing something here 

Just noticed this. 

I’m not caught up on the Russian deaths. I think it might be too unknowable to really do much with, but I’ll take a closer look. 

4/15/18 9:40 AM
12/5/17
Posts: 2461

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/michael-cohen-and-the-end-stage-of-the-trump-presidency

^ Calling Cohen a “consigliere” is all the rage now. 

Edited: 4/15/18 11:38 AM
12/5/17
Posts: 2462

Re: the McClatchy DC Cohen report

Trying to get a sense of how trustworthy these authors (Peter Stone & Greg Gordon) are, and whether or not they might have reliable sources with insider knowledge. 

Gordon has an active Twitter account (@GregGordon2), but has made no comments and hasn’t answered any questions from his link to the article.

Peter Stone has an inactive Twitter account (@peterhstone1) with last activity in 2012.

I like journalists with verified Twitter accounts who actively engage with readers, but that’s just me. 

McClatchy does have a secure dropbox for anonymous tips, and Gordon seems to actively pursue them via Twitter, but they position this particular story as being something worked on over a few months, and I assume they directly worked with these sources. 

Maybe they were thinking it wasn’t concrete enough to publish, and then after the raid they either a) got further confirmation or b) said fuck it and published it to capitalize on the Cohen raid.

Check this out though:

Mueller probe tracking down Trump business partners, with Cohen a focus of queries

-Published by McClatchy on 04/06/18 with Gordon listed as one of three contributors at the top of article. Peter Stone is mentioned at the bottom of the article only:

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators this week questioned an associate of the Trump Organization who was involved in overseas deals with President Donald Trump’s company in recent years.

Armed with subpoenas compelling electronic records and sworn testimony, Mueller’s team showed up unannounced at the home of the business associate, who was a party to multiple transactions connected to Trump’s effort to expand his brand abroad, according to persons familiar with the proceedings.

Investigators were particularly interested in interactions involving Michael D. Cohen Trump’s longtime personal attorney and a former Trump Organization employee. Among other things, Cohen was involved in business deals secured or sought by the Trump Organization in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Russia.”

- This was pushed as an “exclusive” and cited “persons familiar with the proceedings” as the source. 

-Cohen was raided by the FBI 3 days after this article was published

4/15/18 11:49 AM
12/5/17
Posts: 2463

^So — that suggests that McClatchy’s team of investigative reporters had a source who was privy to someone related to Trump org being questioned in part about Cohen just prior to Cohen getting raided. 

That same source might be informing them about the evidence Mueller allegedly has showing Cohen did visit Prague in August/September. 

But... it’s possible as I mentioned that because they seemed to have an exclusive on Cohen being a target prior to his raid, that they felt (unjustifiably) confident that they could publish the Prague claim.