Saturday, August 5, 2017

FBI Sources Say Obstruction Case "Powerful, Stronger Than Trump Ever Imagined"

Mod: Someday all of this is going to make a great movie.

Top FBI officials could testify against Trump (Vox link): Shortly after the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller in May, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told several of the highest-ranking managers of the bureau they should consider themselves possible witnesses in any investigation into whether President Donald Trump engaged in obstruction of justice, according to two senior federal law enforcement officials.

McCabe has told colleagues that he too is a potential witness in the probe of whether Trump broke the law by trying to thwart the FBI's Russia investigation and the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Two senior federal law enforcement officials have told me that the new revelations illustrate why they believe the potential case against Trump is stronger than outsiders have thought.

“What you are going to have is the potential for a powerful obstruction case,” a senior law enforcement official said. “You are going to have the [former] FBI director testify, and then the acting director, the chief of staff to the FBI director, the FBI’s general counsel, and then others, one right after another. This has never been the word of Trump against what [James Comey] has had to say. This is more like the Federal Bureau of Investigation versus Donald Trump.”

Trump and his supporters have long argued that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for the special counsel to bring an obstruction case against Trump. The case would rely on the word of one man versus another, that of the president of the United States versus the FBI director he fired. But this was never the case.

Including Comey, as many as 10, and possibly more, of the nation’s most senior law enforcement officials are likely to be questioned as part of the investigation into whether Trump committed obstruction of justice, according to two government investigators with firsthand knowledge of the matter. Comey’s notes on his conversations could also be used as evidence, according to many reports.

New Report Reveals McConnell And Ryan Took Millions From Russian Oligarch Tied To Putin (Washington Jounal link): A series of top Republican elected officials have just been exposed for accepting outsized donations from one of the world’s richest men,  Leonid “Len” Blavatnik. Blavatnik is a Ukrainian-born businessman whose fortune comes from owning a company purchased by Putin’s Rosneft, the state-run Russian oil company cited in the infamous Russian “pee tape” dossier.

Americans have asked why Congressional Republicans continued to defend President Trump’s secret relationship with Putin and their collision in last year’s elections, and these massive Super PAC donations could help explain why.

The Dallas News just issued a stunning report based on public records recently uncovered by the Democratic Coalition, that the Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority leader McConnell have taken a Putin-connected billionaire Blavatnik’s cash:

Len Blavatnik now owns Warner Group Music and has become a pillar of the Republican Party’s donor class, but many of his billions come from windfall profits on a Russian oil deal personally orchestrated by Vladimir Putin.

These days, Blavatnik is so close to the Trump administration that he recently announced a partnership deal with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to finance Hollywood films!

Republicans have reaped a major benefit from Russian oil money for twenty years, since the dark days of Jack Abramoff, whose lobbying scandal led to multiple felony corruption convictions and the GOP losing the House of Representatives.

In the last election, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) received over $8 million dollars from McConnell’s Super PAC in last year’s election. He later became part of Trump’s transition team and is now heading the Senate’s investigation into Russian election interference.


One year into the FBI's Russia investigation, Mueller is on the Trump money trail (CNN link): Federal investigators exploring whether Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russian spies have seized on Trump and his associates' financial ties to Russia as one of the most fertile avenues for moving their probe forward, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The web of financial ties could offer a more concrete path toward potential prosecution than the broader and murkier questions of collusion in the 2016 campaign, these sources said.

One year after the FBI opened an investigation, the probe is now managed by special counsel Robert Mueller. Sources described an investigation that has widened to focus on possible financial crimes, some unconnected to the 2016 elections, alongside the ongoing scrutiny of possible illegal coordination with Russian spy agencies and alleged attempts by President Donald Trump and others to obstruct the FBI investigation.

Even investigative leads that have nothing to do with Russia but involve Trump associates are being referred to the special counsel to encourage subjects of the investigation to cooperate, according to two law enforcement sources.

White House as crime scene: how Robert Mueller is closing in on Trump (The Guardian link): The legal net around Donald Trump’s beleaguered presidency tightened dramatically this week with news that a grand jury has been established a few hundred yards from the White House, to pursue evidence of collusion with the Kremlin.

It is a troubling development for the president, for several reasons. In the US legal system, a grand jury has broad powers to issue subpoenas, and ultimately indictments, at the request of prosecutors. The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US election, former FBI chief Robert Mueller, had been using a sitting grand jury in Virginia to authorise his team’s demands for documents and witnesses.

The convening of a separate grand jury in Washington suggests the Mueller team – working in a suite of offices a few blocks’ walk from where the 20-odd jurors sit – is going to be making extensive use of it. It will not be hospitable terrain for the president. Trump won only 4% of the vote in the District of Columbia.

“This sets the scene of action for criminal trials, where charges will be laid, in the worst possible jurisdiction for Trump,” said Scott Horton, a lecturer at Columbia Law School. “Compared to Virginia, Republicans in DC are few and far between.”

The grand jury is also clear evidence that the inquiry is widening, not tapering off. It suggests that the special counsel is exploring possible crimes committed inside the District of Columbia.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

46 comments:

  1. They could impeach him, but I doubt they could convene 218 yay votes in the House, 51 yay votes in the Senate, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court before the nukes left their silos.

    The more likely scenario would be:
    1) Trump orders the nuclear strike
    2) James Mattis says no.
    3) Trump fires Mattis and Patrick Shanahan takes over as he is Deputy Secretary of Defense.
    4) Mattis calls Mike Pence
    5) Mike Pence tries to convince eight of the 15 cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment and declare Trump unfit for office
    6) Pence and the eight cabinet members send a message to the Speaker of the House (Paul Ryan) and Senate President Pro Tempore (Orrin Hatch) that Pence is Acting-President of the United States.

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    1. Let's just hope he is gone before it gets that serious.

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    2. Sounds like a coup.

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    3. There s a reason why Trump has been surrounded by so many Generals. They are scared to death to leave him alone.

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    4. You forgot:

      7) Pence orders the nuclear strike.

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    5. 8) Claims to the few thousand still living that he did it to fulfill Biblical prophecy.

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  2. Trump's support from white voters without a college degree has gone from 66% to 43% - I guess they're not as stupid as he thinks they are.

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  3. Apprentice' editor reveals how they covered for Trump, made him appear wealthy, of sound mind

    Braun said the team of editors would have to “reverse-engineer the show to make it look like his judgment had some basis in reality. Sometimes it would be very hard to do, because the person he chose did nothing. We had to figure out how to edit the show to make it work, to show the people he chose to fire as looking bad—even if they had done a great job.”

    Trump’s frequent lies also presented a problem. Braun explained:

    “He would say things like, ‘We had a million applicants and we chose this small group to be contestants on the show,’” Braun recalled. “And I would turn to my producer and say, ‘A million applicants? Really?’ And the producer would shake his head no. Trump would just take numbers and throw them around. I mean, from Season One to Season Two, he said his net worth tripled. One day he said he had a billion dollars and then later it would become three billion; he just made stuff up.”

    https://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/2016/11/an-apprentice-mea-cupla/

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    1. "reality blurred is your guide to the world of reality television and unscripted entertainment, from soapy reality shows to strategic competitions to artful documentary series."
      Seriously we're quoting TV show reviews as news?
      Reality television is never what it seems (reality) It's Hollywood and a standard and necessary part of producing a show.
      trump did have good writers,producers,and staff though,the best money could buy.

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    2. It is the testimony of people who worked with Trump on a reality TV show. Not the show itself. Apparently they came away from the experience believing he is mentally ill.

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  4. The noose of treason is tightening around this administration.

    Treason. I can't tell you how many times Dems, liberals, progressives or whatever you want to call us have been accused by the other side of hating this country, but this is beyond that.

    What the Republican party has done, beginning on the night of Obama's inauguration, when they decided to not help govern this nation, but instead obstruct everything Obama and the Dems tried to get done. To my mind that was sedition at the least.

    But when they colluded with a hostile foreign power to win an election, that is treason pure and simple. All our security guys that I've heard quoted or interviewed are saying how serious this is because it was not only hacking God knows how many voting machines and election rolls, but it was also a sophisticated psychological operation designed to sway voters in swing states and key communities in those states by planting propaganda.

    This is TREASON. It is ugly. It is disgusting. It is foul. And it MUST NOT STAND.

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  5. 8:17am. So you are saying you like your ObamaCare!!! Total Dem driven.
    LOL, the FBI and Special Council. That branch of Government has put itself into a very compromised position of appearing dumber than they appear. Talk about obstruction.
    Big waste of money; but go ahead with this pre planned Special Council inquiries.
    In the end of the Grand Jury probes, many in the Democratic party will be so disgusted that they will re register to other parties.
    Now the scenario for "lock her up", is in motion.
    So Hollywood; will you still commit?

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    1. Thanks, Comrade!

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    2. Sounds like you're kinda off your meds? Hope you can make it through the weekend without your doctor that the ACA provides you.

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    3. 8:52 seems to have forgotten that the Republicans control both Houses plus the White House, but still couldn't repeal Obamacare.

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  6. Mueller, Comey, Obama; Hillary's Special " Tools"!

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    1. Yes. American law enforcement as typified by the FBI is in the pocket of a politician. A very Russian viewpoint.

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    2. 9:11 - have a french fry.

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    3. 9:11 can knock Hillary all he wants, but he needs to remember one thing. She got 3 million more votes than Combover Wonderboy.

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  7. If you actually look at the sentences that come out of Trump's mouth, it is obvious that he cannot even follow a lucid train of thought. All of this stuff about fake news usually starts with someone just quoting what he says.
    In my world, I think Trump should stay in for four years. Why? I think Pence with a majority in charge would be awful. Whereas, while Trump is in power nothing is really getting accomplished. Day after day, he does something stupid that diverts from "their agenda". Additionally, he is really a lousy leader if he can't even get a health care bill passed on something they have yelled about for almost 8 years. As someone else pointed out, for Trump it is about winning, not doing the right thing. Look at the transcripts of his phone calls to foreign leaders! Geez, what a bully and whiner. Let's keep him in, the USA can survive him, I hope. Clean slate in four years with new candidates.

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  8. Harry Truman, on Republicans, said 70 years ago. Still relevant today.

    "Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home — but not for housing. They are strong for labor — but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. They favor minimum wage — the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all — but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine — for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing — but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing — so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Now, my friends, that is the Wall Street Republican way of life.

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  9. 9:22am. Treasonous. You support the leaks coming from classified conversations, you must have voted for President Obama.
    The Dems will be lucky if that party can locate a candidate competent to run in four years.
    How about N. Pelosi and M. Waters? on the ticket!

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    1. It's not about the leaks, Squeaky. It's about the treason.

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    2. The majority of Americans voted for Obama twice,trump has never had a majority vote for it.Leaking "classified" conversations of a traitor,fascist,madman is patriotism. There is a big difference between a leaker and a foreign agent.

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  10. Okay Trumpers, go ahead and try to focus on these proven lies, one by one.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/opinion/trumps-lies.html?_r=0

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  11. Politico Just Published An Unedited Transcript Of Trump Sounding Like A Complete & Utter Moron
    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/08/505709/

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  12. Former Mexican President to Trump: ‘I’m not going to pay for that wall
    President Fox was correct,Trump in insane.

    https://youtu.be/x4OwJOVi0ec

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    Replies
    1. Vincente Fox has made has made a number of videos making fun of Trump and his wall. They're hugely popular in Mexico.

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  13. Wait! Didn't Trump say he loved leaks? Oh, that only applied to Hillary.

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    1. Trump only loves the ones Putin gets for him.

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  14. Even trolls are getting desperate.

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  15. The fact is and was that Obama Care was in place and working. It has been said by many that it has it's problems and needs to be fixed. So why aren't we fixing it? It's not being fixed because the hate is so great against the blacks, women and the Dem's that logic has not won out. That is some pretty strong hate to take medical attention away from so many. Take from the poor and give to the rich when you look at it.

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  16. trump is not Tweeting today,he's too busy fantasizing over Putins' beefcake photos.

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  17. I believe in the Biblical prophecy.

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    1. He who would fulfill it would need to be the devil.

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    2. What version and which prophecy do you enjoy believing? I hope it comforts you whichever fairy tale you choose.

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    3. Why? You think the person who would start a nuclear armageddon is Santa?

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  18. We should be glad more of Government has caught on. Truth is being sought as we breath. Blacks and Women are speaking up. Our system is working. Be patient and involved because the truth will be told.

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  19. Time to drain the swamp in the White House where is that flush handle?

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  20. 10:15, Putin probably let Hillary win the popular vote to remind Trump just who is boss.

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    1. Putin's people only targeted those areas having electoral college significance.

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  21. Shakespeare already wrote this tragedy.

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  22. Great article today filled with researched facts. Thanks, Mod!

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  23. 71-year-old man needs military general to manage his Twitter use

    John Kelly .. a former United States Marine Corps general ... may have just embarked on his toughest assignment yet: controlling the Twitter habits and impulsive decision-making of a 71-year-old man ...

    “He knows the problems. He knows how difficult it’s going to be,” told The Washington Post Friday. “It’s like being dropped into the middle of a combat zone” ...

    ... one major problem Kelly has identified as being in need of fixing is the way Trump makes decisions on important issues ...

    The way Trump consumes advice and intelligence is a stark departure from previous incumbents of the Oval Office. Hampered by the president’s notoriously short attention span, National Security Council officials have resorted to tactics such as inserting Trump’s name into as many paragraphs as possible because reading his own name is one way to maintain his interest ...

    http://www.newsweek.com/trump-twitter-general-john-kelly-646960

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