Yet More Proof Obama Didn’t “Tapp” Trump

CNN is reporting that Robert Mueller’s investigation only recently learned of the June 9, 2016 meeting between Don Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Natalia Veselnitskaya, but will now include it in the scope of the investigation.

The details of the interactions between Trump Jr., Goldstone and Veselnitskaya weren’t fully known to federal investigators until recently, according to three US officials familiar with the probe. The FBI, as part of its counter intelligence probe and the investigation into Russian meddling, has scrutinized some of Donald Trump Jr.’s business dealings and meetings even before the latest meeting was disclosed, one of the US officials said.

Now, Mueller’s probe will look at the meeting and email exchanges that Trump Jr. disclosed as part of its investigation, according to the US official briefed on the matter.

A different CNN report strongly suggests the government learned it as a result of Kushner’s revisions to his SF86 forms — which it sounds like he has revised almost as many times as Karl Rove revised his grand jury testimony in the CIA leak case.

The emails with Donald Trump Jr. about the Russian meeting were discovered as Kushner and his legal team prepared for his testimony before Congress as they were doing a document review, a source familiar with the process told CNN.

As soon as the document was discovered, Kushner’s disclosure form was amended to include the meeting, the source said.

This means that Kushner’s SF-86 changed a number of times: First, the inaccurate form, which left blank the foreign contacts section. Next (and the next day), the form was amended to say that he had multiple contacts and would disclose those. The process of gathering information progressed throughout the winter and spring. Then the form was amended yet again to include the Trump Jr. meeting as soon as it was discovered, a source with knowledge of the process told CNN.

In other words, until Kushner himself revealed these emails, the FBI didn’t have them, or even know about this meeting.

Which further confirms what I noted here: in addition to all the other things this email indicates, it confirms the Obama NSA did not “tapp” the Trump campaign.

That may not be a surprise: as a British citizen and someone who spends some or most of his time in the US, Rob Goldstone would not be easily targetable in NSA spying, and the Russian names included in the email would not be targetable under “about” collection.

But this also means that the FBI found nothing to justify collecting the email accounts of these recipients themselves, including Don Jr, Kushner, and even Manafort, the latter of whom has been under investigation for money laundering (though it’s not clear what emails these are).

So either this means the FBI only recent started collecting the emails of these men (and in so doing discovered the meeting), or still hasn’t.

Once again, whatever else the dumbass son did by releasing this email, he has helped to prove, once and for all, that Obama did not “tapp” Trump’s campaign.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

21 replies
  1. harpie says:

    o/t
    bmaz‏ @bmaz  7m:7 minutes ago

    Well, Lindsay Graham has rediscovered his inner right wing apologist asshole side. What a shock. Falsely equating Clinton Ukraine w/Trump RU

    Emptywheel retweeted:

    Raphael Satter‏Verified account @razhael [journalist for AP] 
    The long-dormant account of CyberBerkut, alleged to be linked 2 Kremlin, comes alive & begins tweeting about links between Clinton & Ukraine

  2. John Casper says:

    “— which it sounds like he has revised almost as many times as Karl Rove revised his grand jury testimony in the CIA leak case.”

    LMAO.

     

  3. Bob In Portland says:

    And the NSA and/or CIA never looked at anything produced by Trump and Company? For all you know, the CIA set up the meeting with Junior.

     

  4. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Alternate (outside the box) angle:

    The 12333 intel sharing is not working as expected.

    Sometimes the lack of signal *IS* the signal.

  5. Cold N. Holefield says:

    Here’s what I think. The Deep State saw Russia’s intent and let it play out. It didn’t choke. Why? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? It’s an awfully sick strategy, but what’s The End Game or is there an End Game?

    The irony is, Trump didn’t even need any of this dirt on Clinton. She is the only candidate Trump could have defeated and The Democrats ran her anyway, or allowed her to run as their nominee. These Democratic Strategists get paid Big Money and yet for the past eight years or more, considering all the money Pelosi has raised and spent, The Democrats have Less Than Zero to show for it. Either they’re Colossal F*ckups or they’re ALL just in it for The Gravy Train until The Gravy Train runs dry or, this seeming capitulation to Trump & The Republicans is by design.

    If by design, for what end? I suppose if it is by design, we’ll find out soon enough. If it is by design, it’s beyond cynical. I mean, how low can you go? Apparently, pretty f*cking low, like to the point of completely despoiling nearly a century of hard-fought Goodwill and ruining completely, once and for all, America’s reputation as a quasi-honest Broker, quasi being the operative word there. America has always maintained, in appearance at least if not in substance, a reputation as an honest Broker, but with Trump even the appearance of such is now vanquished.

    • bmaz says:

      That’s awesome. Ooooooh, the “Deep State”!! You have anything else, more germane, to back that up with as opposed to  common rote Fox News jabberwocky?

  6. SpaceLifeForm says:

    SB ‘Whine of the month club’
    No surprise. No wine either.

    https:[email protected]/theshadowbrokers-are-not-making-america-great-again

    TheShadowBrokers ripped me off. I paid 500 XMR for their “Wine of the Month Club” and only they sent me a single tool that already requires me to have a box exploited. A tool, not even an exploit! The tool also looks to be old, and not close to what theShadowBrokers said could be in their subscription service.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Either Trump did know and is lying about it, or he didn’t know and he’s not in charge.  However, every bit of his business life paints a picture of someone who is obsessed with being in on everything (not just decisions, for example let’s look at the use of the Mar-A-Lago switchboard for bugging) and who relishes waving the baton.  He also has the long track record of dodging responsibility for his decisions when they don’t work, sometimes suing to make the point.

      So, fundamentally, what’s really more likely?  Trump probably knew, even if it was only on the level of “will no one rid me of that impudent priest?”, go get ’em tiger instruction to find the dirt.

      On the previous companion thread, I had tossed out the pardon idea, and it was correctly noted that it would remove the ability to invoke the 5th Amendment to avoid testifying against oneself.  What I am not sure about is what can be done by Mueller if the witness clams up anyway, especially if the pardon is broad like Ford’s was of Nixon which included crimes that may have been committed (IIRC).  The witness might probably try to claim double jeopardy on all topics because they were pardoned for it already.  Is there any precedent on this situation?

      • SpaceLifeForm says:

        Not sure of clear precedent. There is ‘inherent contempt’, but that relies on Congress (House or Senate) having a spine. I.E., Congressional jail until they talk. They usually talk, but sometimes cut a deal.

        Note that Robert Mueller is ‘special counsel’, not a ‘select committee’ nor ‘independent comission’. The ‘indepedent comission’ can not happen at this time politically.

        It just has to play out. Nothing likely to happen until after 2018 elections, if then.
        (other than a lot more evidence collection)

  7. SpaceLifeForm says:

    When there is clearly visible smoke, there may have been some earlier smoldering smoke.
    Some will dismiss as fake news, but there are other dots.

    Jay Sekulow probably has not located the bus station yet. He should be able to smell the diesel soon.

    Miss USA pageant

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/12/politics/video-trump-relationships-russian-associates/index.html

    The video shows the future President Donald Trump attending a dinner with an Azerbaijani-Russian family who became Trump’s business partners in Las Vegas in June 2013. It also shows their publicist, Rob Goldstone, who would later send Donald Trump Jr. the emails that have brought the eldest Trump son to the center of the controversy over possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Correction. Miss Universe Pageant.

      Doh, If it was MIss USA Pageant, it would not have occurred in Moscow.

      Maybe next year. Trump may be working on it.

  8. Watson says:

    In furtherance of the ‘treacherous Russia’ meme, WaPo and others have published a photo of newly infamous Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing last year apparently taking an over-the-shoulder look at the laptop of former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russian-lawyer-who-met-with-trump-jr-has-long-history-fighting-sanctions/2017/07/11/05e2467c-65b1-11e7-94ab-5b1f0ff459df_story.html?utm_term=.a56430f8311f

    But, hey. We spy, they spy. We don’t view spying is as morally wrong. It’s accepted as normal behavior among nation states.

    On the other hand, if Ms. Veselnitskaya was actually up to no good, what does this pic say about McFaul? Incompetent? Or caught in the act passing info to Russia?

    And speaking of normal behavior among nation states, apparently Russia ran a regime-change op against the US in our last election. But we can’t say that the Russians were morally wrong, because we run regime-change ops all the time. We openly threaten disfavored nations with them. Spying and regime-change ops are hostile acts, but they’re baked into the competitive arrangement of nation states that we insisted on after we won the Cold War.

  9. Cold N. Holefield says:

    Russia IS treacherous, and so too is America’s Ruling Class.

    There is no WE in America. There is The Ruling Class comprised of The Rich and their Enabling Minions, and then there is The Little People.

    I never spied on anyone. I never engaged in Regime Change nor did I ever support, through voting or in sentiment or explicit words, it.

    For me, there is no WE. There is the malformed & misinformed Little People and there is The Ruling Class.

    The Ruling Class has set it up to where it can externalize its culpability and responsibility to The Little People and The Little People, because they have been malformed through potential-neutering education and continually misinformed via a captive & prostituted Press that engages not in Fake News but rather propaganda, accept that culpability & responsibility readily even though they have no say or part in the havoc & carnage. It’s a brilliant strategy if you’re a member of The Ruling Class. Sick & twisted, yes, but brilliant as well.

    What The Ruling Class has revealed in this latest Game with Russia is that they have always been Sell-Outs to the Highest Bidder. That’s what Donald Trump is and he is emblematic of The Ruling Class.

    Putin is a clever Son-of-a-Bitch, I’ll give the Diminutive Murdering Midget that. He knew the way to turn America on itself is to do it through The Rich who are largely The Ruling Class. Afterall, The Rich have all the power. With Citizen’s United, The Rich own The Government legally & outright and The Government serves at The Rich’s behest, not The Little People’s. So, Putin does what is most efficient. He approaches The Rich and turns them to his favor and they do his bidding as Donald Trump and his entourage have been doing for quite some time now.

    Here we are. America, via Putin’s compromising The Rich, is quickly becoming a Russian Kleptocratic Client State because The Rich don’t worship a God or serve a Nation, they worship & serve Money & Power and Putin is all about Money & Power.

    Turn The News off. Even reacting to it is to be neutralized by it. It’s not genuine. It’s feigned. It’s Propaganda. If Donald Trump ran as a Democrat and won, and he would have by hook or crook just as he won the election as a Republican, the Democrats would be acting like The Republicans and vice versa.

    There is only one principle in play here for members of The Establishment. Expediency. You do whatever you have to do at the moment to further concentrate your wealth & power or in the least hold on to what you have left. That’s it. It’s incredibly transparent if you’re observant.

    You know the experiment where children are given the choice of a marshmallow now or two later, don’t you? The Ruling Class and The Establishment that enables it are the children who take the marshmallow now and they Rule The World. The experiment’s implication is that those who wait are more well-adjusted. Isn’t that ironic? The Ruling Class, according to that experiment, are impulsive psychopathic greedy bastards who just so happen to Rule The World.

    I think it’s time for those of us who have deferred that one marshmallow for two to collect our two marshmallows from The Children of The Marshmallow (versus Corn). Don’t you?

  10. John Casper says:

    Cold N. Hole,

    Are you Evanglesita?

    How much have you donated to this site? You put over 800 words in two homilies on this thread. Servers aren’t cheap. How much can you commit to in this thread?

    I gave north of $300 last year, I’ll try to do better this year.

    “Here’s what I think.”

    Once Donald Jr. deep throated the President’s administration, the elites figured they try you preaching “Turn The News off.”

    You called POTUS a “Diminutive Murdering Midget.” You’ve got the wrong guy. Trump is 6′ 2.” That’s taller than Obama.

  11. M. says:

    Donald has a superhuman ability of persuasion, although a large maybe is just a sociopathic shamelessness and disregard for anything like honesty, and certain shrewdness — such as getting mentored by Roy Cohn; if one wanted to be a complete scumbag in NYC in the 70s, there was no better teacher. But intelligent or smart: Donald has never shown himself to be either.

    The kids, meanwhile, fall far short of Donald’s abilities. So calling Jr. a dumbass is pointing out the obvious. As watching him on the TV or other video-type screen doesn’t make it obvious.

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