Friday, December 7, 2018

Slate: Robert Mueller’s Bigger Collusion Picture Is Starting to Emerge

Mod: In case you were wondering why Donald sent out those wild and crazy tweets yesterday. He is painfully aware of what is heading his way. 

Robert Mueller’s Bigger Collusion Picture Is Starting to Emerge (Slate link): For the past two years, attempting to understand the complexities of the Mueller investigation and President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia has felt like stumbling through a smoke-filled landscape. For every news story that seemed to chart a path forward, a new layer of unanswered questions would cloud the way. The past seven days may have marked the point at which things began to change, when the smoke began to dissipate, if only the tiniest amount.

One of the biggest developments of the past week, Robert Mueller’s Wednesday sentencing memo for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, can be read in a very straightforward way. Despite the insistence of the president and his surrogates, Mueller still has plenty to reveal, and a lot of it will get to the heart of the question of whether any Trump officials colluded with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. Full of redactions, the filing is another reminder that the investigation is looking into something much bigger and far-reaching than it may sometimes seem, especially when we talk about individual indictments and convictions for “process crimes” such as lying to investigators. This is a giant counterintelligence case involving possible election-law violations, money laundering, and who knows what other criminal behaviors.

Flynn started working with Mueller after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions, as a member of the Trump transition team, with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the runup to Trump’s inauguration.

As Mueller’s memo lays out, Flynn began helping investigators early and often, giving “substantial” information to not just Mueller’s inquiry into collusion but at least two other Justice Department investigations, one of which we know from the memo is a criminal investigation. The details about the second and third investigations are mostly redacted, but given Mueller’s description of Flynn’s assistance and his recommendation that Flynn not serve time in jail, we can infer that the former three-star general and head of the Defense Intelligence Agency provided very useful information.

That Flynn is helping with not only Mueller’s immediate probe into team Trump’s interactions with Russians during the campaign but also the two other investigations indicates that the collusion question is tied to something broader.

For more than a year, Mueller’s team and other investigators have been looking into Trump and his associates’ business dealings, in part because they could very plausibly be tied to that issue of collusion. A former U.S. intelligence officer with experience in Eastern Europe told me using such deals to draw in potential assets would be typical Russian intelligence tradecraft: “I do believe this is about business in Russia or in places Russia has influence. That’s how you pull someone in, by making them offers that are harder and harder to refuse. … This is all about trading favors for future Russian spoils.”

Mod: The rest of the article is available at the link.

NYPD investigates bomb threat at CNN 30 minutes after Trump tweets "FAKE NEWS, ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE"


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25 comments:

  1. I'd like to see a RICO case out of this.

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  2. It is counterintutive to think that Trump can just go ahead and incite threats of violence against the media without repercussions. We know that his words should not have any weight at all, but they do have weight...to weak people. What this shows is that if there is no enforcement of the law, no enforcement against harmful actions...then law only exists for us.

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  3. State GOP chairman warns California is 'canary in the coal mine' for national party

    The outgoing chair of the California GOP — the nation’s largest state Republican Party — has issued a dire warning that his state represents “the canary in the coal mine” for the party‘s national fortunes unless it confronts demographic shifts that have already turned California into a majority-minority state.

    “We have not yet been able to figure out how to effectively communicate and get significant numbers of votes from non-whites,’’ said former state Sen. Jim Brulte, who’s held the job of state GOP chair since 2013 and will retire in February.

    Despite trend lines that show the “the entire country will be majority minority by 2044,’’ he said, the GOP has failed to confront the reality of those changes — or recognize the possibility that the recent "blue tsunami" midterm election in California was a harbinger of what lies ahead for the national party.

    Brulte said he‘s repeatedly warned that the party’s overwhelmingly white and male candidates must “figure out how we get votes from people who don’t look like you.’’

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/07/california-elections-2018-republican-party-jim-brulte-1048192

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  4. Trump Is Losing His Influence - The president can no longer count on his party’s support. That suggests dangerous times ahead.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-11-30/trump-is-losing-his-influence

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    Replies
    1. It was always going to be that way. They made him swear an oath in the primaries then they allowed him to push forth his nonsense because it served their interest. Then when he overstays his welcome he gets axes and they move to the next. All the while keeping their power.


      Just like game of thrones

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    2. Putin is ditching him as well. He has now outlived his usefulness, and has become a problem.

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    3. He is a problem to all of us. People, the environment, the earth.
      "That suggests dangerous times ahead"??? WTF? to me that suggests better times ahead, hurry up and lets end this embarrassing circus and move on building a stronger better self of a nation. Seriously, bring and end to this crap. Now. No more talking. Enough with the late night host jokes. They've been great. They will continue to resonate. But really. Be done. Get that moron outta there. Now. Seriously See how crazy I am?

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    4. Trump is a traitor. Try and act like an American for once.

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  5. They chant their affection for him in France,he says,let trump go to France..........

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    Replies
    1. You have to wonder who was behind all that.

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  6. Somebody remind me. Who is getting locked up again?

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    Replies
    1. So far, Flynn, Manafort, Cohen and a few other trump cronies

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    2. Speaking of locking up, should be a lot of Manafort news today.

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    3. Unless you watch Fox News. There they are covering the war on Christmas.

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  7. The word "collusion" has outworn any usefulness it ever had in describing Trump's ties with the Russians.The operative word is "conspiracy" and that conspiracy was against the United States.

    Likewise, the notion the Trump "sold" properties to Russians downplays the true nature of the "money laundering" that took place.

    Trump, his family, and the Trump Organization are nothing more than a crime syndicate. The Don and his Capo children need a taste of justice.

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  8. Has any innocent person, ever in the history of law enforcement, attacked a prosecutor and investigators so much?

    Has any innocent person, ever in the history of law enforcement, squealed his innocence so much?

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  9. Photo shows Bill Clinton looking envious with the hand grasping and Michelle's hubby looks like spaghetti hands man !
    Comey in the hot seat four hours and counting.

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    Replies
    1. Ha! Ha! The lame duck Republicans are taking one last stab at behaving like asses. My guess is they will be successful at it.

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  10. Once again the 'gReAt OnE' says this about the nations $21 trillion dollars plus debt. Trump says he doesn't care about predicted US national debt explosion because ‘I won't be here’ Donald Trump is reportedly refusing to tackle the US’s spiraling national debt because he will not be in office by the time the situation is expected to reach a crisis point.

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  11. Replies
    1. Hahaha ever-loyal crybaby trollflake so desperate

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  12. I guess all the trump trolls are pleading the 5th today

    😂😂😂

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  13. Another trump fascist goes down!!

    James Fields Found Guilty of Murdering Anti-Racism Protester Heather Heyer in Charlottesville

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  14. When it comes too a fool and his hair. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/07/rex-tillerson-trump-undisciplined-doesnt-like-read-tries-do-illegal-things/

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  15. Oh my this is looking bad, again. https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Dumb-and-lazy-Trump-responds-to-Tillerson-13450348.php

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