Investigate All the Sleazy Influence Peddlers!

Back when CNN revealed that Paul Manafort had been the subject of a FISA order prior to his work on Trump’s campaign, only to have a new one approved after events of the campaign raised new concerns, I suggested Tony Podesta likely had been included on that first FISA order.

Manafort was first targeted under FISA for his (and associated consulting companies, probably including Tony Podesta) Ukrainian influence peddling in 2014.

As CNN noted, the earlier investigation pertained to Manafort’s and Podesta’s work for Viktor Yanukovych.

The FBI interest in Manafort dates back at least to 2014, partly as an outgrowth of a US investigation of Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president whose pro-Russian regime was ousted amid street protests. Yanukovych’s Party of Regions was accused of corruption, and Ukrainian authorities claimed he squirreled millions of dollars out of the country.

Investigators have spent years probing any possible role played by Manafort’s firm and other US consultants, including the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC, that worked with the former Ukraine regime. The basis for the case hinged on the failure by the US firms to register under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law that the Justice Department only rarely uses to bring charges.

[snip]

Last year, Justice Department prosecutors concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges against Manafort or anyone of the other US subjects in the probe, according to sources briefed on the investigation.

Today, NBC reports that Robert Mueller has opened a separate investigation into Podesta on the activities targeted in the original FISA order.

Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group are now the subjects of a federal investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, three sources with knowledge of the matter told NBC News.

The probe of Podesta and his Democratic-leaning lobbying firm grew out of Mueller’s inquiry into the finances of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to the sources. As special counsel, Mueller has been tasked with investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Manafort had organized a public relations campaign for a non-profit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU). Podesta’s company was one of many firms that worked on the campaign, which promoted Ukraine’s image in the West.

The sources said the investigation into Podesta and his company began as more of a fact-finding mission about the ECMU and Manafort’s role in the campaign, but has now morphed into a criminal inquiry into whether the firm violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA.

Presumably, as Mueller collected evidence against Manafort, he got some on Podesta that merited (re)opening this investigation, and he feels it sufficiently tied to the Russian investigation to keep it under his supervision.

This is a lovely development, and not just because all DC’s sleazy influence peddlers deserve far more legal scrutiny.

Now that it’s public that one of the most important names in Democratic politics — Podesta (nevermind that it’s Tony and not John — the wingnuts can never tell the brothers apart) — is also targeted by Mueller’s probe, it will change the politics around the investigation, at least a little. The nutjobs are likely to scream mightily about Podesta’s corruption (conflating Tony with John). But as they do so, they’ll also be making a case that Manafort (who set up the non-profit in question) is also corrupt. So to the extent that the nutjobs wail about Podesta (Tony or John), it will make it harder for Trump to pardon Manafort, when that time comes. It may also buy Mueller some time to work through the entire investigation.

Update: This, from August, provides detail on both what Podesta did and how closely it was tied to the Russian government. Notably, John Podesta’s brother was pitching DC power brokers using quotes from some of the same people who would, four years later, attack the campaign his brother was running.

To try to sanitize Ukraine’s elections, the firm distributed materials to Hill staff with quotes from election observers praising Ukraine’s process. It was a tall order, given Yanukovych’s penchant for imprisoning his political opponents. But the Podesta Group did its best.

“Initial Reactions from International Observers Positive,” claimed one Podesta Group document.

One person they quoted to make that argument was Sergey Markov, described as “Observer—The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.”

“The elections to the Ukrainian parliament were successful, democratic and organized according to standards even better than some of the European Union member states,” he said.

Markov likely relished the chance to bash the EU. He was no ordinary election observer; rather, Markov is well-known as an informal adviser to Vladimir Putin. He also advised Yanukovych on campaign tactics, according to a former State Department official with knowledge of the region’s politics. The official said Markov was likely in Ukraine helping Yanukovych at Putin’s behest.

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 Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, 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 in Grand Rapids, MI.

53 replies
  1. lefty665 says:

    Now that Mueller has breached the partisan divide, will he get around to Hill and Bill and the $145 million they collected for greasing the sale of North American Uranium to the Russians? He was involved in that, so maybe not.

  2. greengiant says:

    Believe Mueller is a deus ex machina when I see it. One can think about his record at the FBI. One possible outcome has been a deal where Trump is pardoned along with a bunch of others from both right and left. Would explain the crookedHillary signaling. Removing Bowder’s visa for Putin to get more Magnitsky act revenge is over the top Trump the puppet or Trump/Putin reign through maximizing havoc and distraction.

    Need a scorecard to keep track of the Ukrainian connections.  Include Biden’s son,  Kerry’s step son,  Chalupa and so on.

  3. pseudonymous in nc says:

    In other news, Ed Rogers continues to have a regular outlet at the Washington Post.

    I would like for this to scare the McMansion dwellers of McLean, VA, but mercenary consulting for the world’s worst regimes is apparently a valued US export industry.

  4. Bay State Librul says:

    I agree. Go where the dots connect. We need reforms. Any idea where the new development is coming from (Mueller’s team does not leak?)

  5. orionATL says:

    there’s a reason the “clintons sold american uranium” propaganda which dear old lefty cites above is still going around today (i heard it again last week from a very sincere young woman) . you can guess the reason by looking at this breitbart shocker :) from the 2016 time machine – note date and headline:

    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/07/25/flashback-clintons-loved-russia-enough-sell-uranium/

    the new york times also published an article based about this new clinton scandal (see april, 2015), having paid author peter schweizer (“clinton cash”) for rights.

    neither newspaper ever lets facts get in the way of a good clinton fable – about hill, bill, or both.

    check out the basic facts on this piece of republican propaganda lefty brought us:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/10/26/the-facts-behind-trumps-repeated-claim-about-hillary-clintons-role-in-the-russian-uranium-deal/?utm_term=.dea13e8f90ca

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jun/30/donald-trump/donald-trump-inaccurately-suggests-clinton-got-pai/

    there more debunking of this jewel of republican propaganda if you’re interested.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If the target is sleaze, then can we ask why we have 1000 troops in Niger, who knew it and when?

    If we’re going to offer condolences for the four Americans who were killed, should we not offer them to the families of the four Nigerian soldiers who were also killed?  They seem to get lost in the ether about as often as the MSM forgets to mention that when Trump suspended the Jones Act for Puerto Rico, it was only for ten days, making it useless to Puerto Ricans except to taunt them with what we could do but won’t.

    Also lost in the ether are the 800 or so bases the US maintains outside the United States, and that we have soldiers in virtually every country on the planet.  Congresscritters ought to tell us how well informed they are about that.

    As for Sgt. Johnson’s wife’s questions – is that my husband’s body, how and where did he die, and why can’t I see him? – perhaps Congresswoman Wilson can help her arrange for a second autopsy. If the Pentagon knows so little about what happened to him that it needs to open an investigation to find out, it would seem unwise to believe their current statements without verification.

    Independent DNA testing, for example, should confirm identity.  Examination might verify cause of death, notwithstanding what will have been done to the remains.  Given the location and circumstances – forty-eight hours is a long time – the possibilities would seem to be beyond the range usually offered by the military and would include trauma, gunshot, exposure, torture, and animal predation.

    We collectively sent Sgt. Johnson into harm’s way.  We should know what happens to the men and woman we send there.  Apart from answering Mrs. Johnson’s questions, it might help the rest of us rethink how often and for what purposes we do that.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Why the troops are in Niger (1000 of them, apparently) may tie all the way back to Shrub’s WH, since the reason Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA Non-Official-Cover agent was to get back at her hubby Joseph Wilson’s expose about yellowcake uranium, in Niger.

      Where there is uranium to be sold, I’m sure Southern Command would want to make sure it did not get into the hands of those we do not like (then Saddam as well as Iran then and now).

      48 hours in the tropics is a long time for various creatures to do things to a body and close casket is the best option. Now, with that said I like the idea of an autopsy, if for no other reason to determine the actual time of death.

      What is clear is that there is some reason that the Kaiser is doubling and tripling down (read the Atlantic on the rapid POTUS notifications for Gold Star families) , I suspect that SGT Johnson was left out there to die in a botched mission, otherwise why take this much heat, even from Petraeus?

       

  7. Willis Warren says:

    The uranium claim is so mind numbingly dumb it’s embarrassing to anyone that posts it, lefty. While it may be improper for Bill to take speaking fees while his wife is SOS, it’s not illegal. Claiming that Mueller somehow was in on it is a “prove it or shut the fuck up” level claim.

  8. matt says:

    greengiant, curious as to your insight here… I’m not taking sides with Russia… just a little confused as to how Manafort was allowed by our CIA and pro NATO/democracy influence peddlers (Open Society Institute, Freedom House, National Endowment for Democracy and other privatized foreign policy NGO’s active in Ukraine), to operate in opposition to them and the State Department.  USA has spent millions influencing Ukrainian elections and energy policy.  It would have been obviously known that Manafort was “working for the enemy.”

    It is equally confusing, that while brothers are free to oppose one another, Tony Podesta was working with Manafort with full knowledge that Hillary’s State Department and potential presidency was anti-Putin/Russia control of Ukraine.

    Am I out in “wingnut” land to even think that John Podesta was a mole for Trump/Russia interests in light of his involvement with the DNC hack and his brother’s allegiance to pro Russian operations? AND, how can the Secretary of State who is privy to State secrets and presumably all details of US involvement in Ukraine not know that her campaign manager’s brother lobbied for the Kremlin nor that his close associate Manifort was undermining her foreign policy objectives??

     

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2017/02/18/no-one-mentions-that-the-russian-trail-leads-to-democratic-lobbyists/#304475db3991

    • greengiant says:

      The crime syndicates, Mogilevich, the oligarchs, Putin have been thieving in the US for decades.  They have entrapped, bribed and attacked the press, politicians, law enforcement, and finally the 2016 election. The SCOTUS ruling on McDonald may make FARA and foreign payments more prosecutable than local bribery while local election hacking is a state and not a federal offense?

      The dossier seems to be an entrapment attempt on Clinton,  while the Tower meetings and so forth an entrapment attempt on Trump. Nothing but upside for Putin.

      Biden’s and Kerry’s relatives  were working for the same side as Manafort.  https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/world/europe/corruption-ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-biden-ties.html

      Do not let all the crooked fish divert the immediate need for ridding the US of the most pernicious malignancy.  Answering “what about” questions is only for entertainment purposes.

  9. lefty665 says:

    Sigh, you guys are in denial. Y’all would be screaming bloody murder if Trump had voted to sell US uranium to the Russians, Melania had scored a cool half million from them, and had pictures laughing it up with Putin.

    Mueller was director of the FBI when, starting in 2009, they investigated corruption surrounding the uranium sale and apparently did not inform the cabinet level committee (Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States) that approved the sale. Hillary was a member of the committee and voted for the sale. Holder was also a committee member, and Timmy Geithner the chair. Holder was Mueller’s boss. Later they apparently did not inform the FBI Deputy Director in charge of criminal prosecutions when they got around to jailing the Ruskie and a couple of others involved for bribery and extortion, nor did they tell Congress critters who had been asking the right questions, like Chuck Grassley.

    The Clinton Foundation scored $145,000,000 and Bill did not do badly with $500,000 personally for a speech arranged by a uranium involved Russian bank. There is a picture of him yuckking it up with Putin when he was in Moscow for the speech in this NYT article from 2015: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

    The recent “The Hill” article is here: http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/355749-fbi-uncovered-russian-bribery-plot-before-obama-administration

    Y’all can poke at the Breitbart straw man all you want, but I personally don’t take off of Breitbart in the first place. Then tell us that Hillary did not know about $145 million to her foundation or the Russian $500k to her hubby, or that she did not vote for the sale. Then pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

    This story is actual Russian bribery, extortion and corruption of US citizens with people convicted and gone to jail. FBIers Mueller, Rod Rosenstein and McCabe (already under investigation for Clinton buddy McAuliffe’s $100k “contribution” to his wife) were up to their ears in it. They also threatened their insider to the deal with jail if he violated his non disclosure agreement and spilled the beans to Congress.

    We have a corrupt pool of D.C. elite insiders. They all need to go, politicians and bureaucrats alike.

    • lefty665 says:

      Point being in support of EW’s post that it is appropriate to be investigating Podesta (Tony) as well as Manafort for their Ukranian connections, and that they are just the tip of the iceberg. Our political culture is mostly corrupt, Repubs and Dems alike.  From his past it seems unlikely that Mueller is the right guy to go after it. Dunno who is, but that is part of the question.

    • orionATL says:

      lefty the propaganda monger writes:

      “… Y’all would be screaming bloody murder if Trump had voted to sell US uranium to the Russians ….”

      that is a flagrantly false statement, lefty; you really are shameless. hillary clinton did not vote for or against a uranium sale.

      the clinton foundation works in underdeveloped nations, has a good reputation for its activities, and has a very low “overhead charge”.

      http://www.factcheck.org/2015/06/where-does-clinton-foundation-money-go/

      • lefty665 says:

        Enough of your ad hominem insults. They do nothing to further the discussion.  Folks around here bitch at our bickering. But it ain’t me, it’s your personal attacks.

        Hillary was the State Dept. member of the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States. You back up your claim that she did not vote on that issue.  Was she derelict in her duty to vote to prevent sale of US uranium to the Russians, did she speak for or against it in committee? Did she declare a conflict of interest and recuse herself due to the half million dollars her husband got for a speech? (Note to those on the speech circuit, Russian banks pay better than Goldman-Sachs).

        Why do you suppose the Russians directed $145 million to the Clinton Foundation at that time, or plied Bill with $500k in cool cash? Hint, it was not a sudden beneficent Russian urge to help the little chilrun of the world, it was for greasing the skids for the uranium deal. Be nice to get the sex tapes from Bill’s visit to Moscow to add to the phony Trump ones. $500k would rent him some first class talent in Moscow, with change left over. Bill’s proclivities are documented in a US government report.

        Perhaps you will share your enthusiasm for Trump to sell more of our uranium to Russia as a patriotic endeavor and to revive the Trump foundation to receive millions for his efforts. It would all be in the name of a low overhead (heh) charity for all the people of the world. Sounds like a good thing, right? No reason for anyone to be displeased, or to criticize. Karl Marx observed that “A capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with”, but we don’t listen to him do we?

        Our political culture is mostly corrupt, and it is bipartisan. Us boomers have screwed the pooch good and proper. Be nice if we could clean it up for our kids and grandkids, but we seem mostly intent on making it worse.  Manafort and Podesta are a start.

         

         

        • orionATL says:

          lefty writes:

          “… Hillary was the State Dept. member of the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States. You back up your claim that she did not vote on that issue…”

          the claim is well backed up, lefty, by numerous critiques of this uranium slander. you can’t continue to refuse to read or accept the critiques while claiming there is no evidence you are wrong.

          as for your perpetual whining about ad hominem insults, if a horse thief is called a horsethief, that is both ad hominem comment and an accurate description.

          by bringing up this bogus uranium baloney, you are a propaganda monger, lefty.

          your initial comment at 11:06 am did not belong because it is not just a personal opinion, rsther it is a long-running bit of republican anti-clinton propaganda.

          • lefty665 says:

            No proof for your assertion orion, none. Show some evidence that Hillary opposed the uranium deal she profited from. You cannot. There is none.

            bmaz, I’ve about had it with the personal crap from orion. I’ve stuck to the issues and not responded in kind.

             

            • Rugger9 says:

              Show us the links to prove your case.  I’ve posted mine several times and you have done nothing to disprove them except to yammer on.

              Links, not jabber.

            • orionATL says:

              like the man said, lefty, “links, not jabber”.

              you are employing a very obvious old con trick – just keep asserting something is true no matter what.

              the info is there to read, but i cant make you acknowledge its prescence, or read it.

  10. matt says:

    … I don’t doubt your analysis, lefty.  But, I would wonder why Putin “hated” Hillary if she and Bill were complicit in his score of uranium in the US?

    • lefty665 says:

      Putin’s dislike for Hillary apparently has a lot to do with her meddling in Russian elections as Sec State.  We tend to forget we have screwed with their system far more than anything they have done here that has even been hinted at in the Trump investigation so far. It goes back aways too. Remember that in the last millennium Boris Yeltsin made the cover of Time as “Our man in Moscow” after an election we had our fingers deeply in. Some Russians still resent the Yeltsin years.

      Putin is also a pragmatist. He will take what he can get, and maybe enjoy a little irony that for money Hillary was actually helping him against the best interests of her own country. Old communist stereotypes of capitalist corruption and immorality confirmed.

  11. Rugger9 says:

    To “Lefty’s” point, the NKVD would play as many sides of the political arena (don’t forget Jill Stein of the Greens) in order to sow maximum discord and confusion into the process.  In that case “Lefty” is right for the wrong reason.

    • lefty665 says:

      Nice to see we agree, even if for the wrong reasons.  Both we and the Russians have made it policy to sow political discord in the other’s domestic politics, in addition to specific projects like Yeltsin, uranium or the overthrow of the elected government of the Ukraine. That gets us back to Manafort and Podesta and something else Putin did not like about Hillary. That was Victoria Nuland and her $5 billion spent to overthrow the Ukranian government that were Hillary neocon legacies at State.  All gets rather tangled doesn’t it?

      The Greens were a big disappointment in ’16. They pretty much disappeared after their convention. Seemed they were so afraid of being “Nadarized” again that they ensured they would not attract enough attention to be portrayed as a spoiler.  That did not save them, they got their licks from Hillary for causing her loss along with Obama, Sanders, Comey, Russians, pesky voters, etc, etc, etc anyway.

       

  12. matt says:

    You guys are both smart… but… Lefty is right on the ad hominem attacks.  You are attacking his personal character by describing his contributions as “whining” and justifying your name calling with circular reasoning- e.g. it is not ad hominem because Lefty is the “horse-thief” that I perceive him to be.  You do not have authority to judge his character… only the authority (in respectable debate) to discuss what is known about the facts.  And, I’ll add that, in a forum like this we are piecing together the facts of a very complicated investigation and a foreign policy who’s objectives is often unknown or purposely obfuscated.

    His link was “the Hill” article.  Please discredit the allegations in that.  Today Hillary has something to say about it, although she gives the same argument as Trump when he is attacked- that is, fake news from partisan detractors.  That is NOT convincing.

     

    http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/356793-clinton-pushes-back-on-russian-uranium-deal-reports-baloney

     

    • orionATL says:

      matt:

      “His link was “the Hill” article.  Please discredit the allegations in that.”

      did you happen to see the links i posted much earlier. they are still the core response.

      i would advise you develop a bit of scepticism when an issue like this suddenly pops back up into public view after being dead for a year. see my comment at 7:58p for what this issue is really about. hint – it ain’t clinton, that’s what makes the hill story sound an awful lot like a breitbart story.

      • orionATL says:

        i’ll also give you a little free advise about people who scream “ad hominem” – they are just manipulating you to keep you from using normal english to accurately describe their behavior. in my experience fighting them, the people who whine about ad hominem the most are rightwing trolls, in fact its use is almost a give away.

        simple example:

        – if trump lies and i call him a liar that is an ad hominem statement. do you have trouble calling trump a liar when he lies?

        – if putin steals and takes bribes and kickbacks and i call him a kleptocrat i am engaging in ad hominem commentary. does that bother me? not a whit. does it bother you? if yes, you are going to be played for a sucker over and again in political speech. people who try to put psychological restrictions on language like “ad hominem” and “politicly correct” are manipulators who are trying to control others’ speech.

        • matt says:

          Not sure I see any Right-wing trolls here…. yes, if you call Trump a liar, that is an ad hominem attack- what he said in a specific instance is a lie vs. his essential character being that of a liar.

          This is not about “political correctness” or “psychological restrictions” on language.  It’s about defending/rebuking the ideological issues rather than the personal character of those whom make them.

          • bmaz says:

            Welp:

            This is not about “political correctness” or “psychological restrictions” on language. It’s about defending/rebuking the ideological issues rather than the personal character of those whom make them.

            Interesting. Can you explicate?

            • matt says:

              … looks like I jumped in the middle of lefty vs. orion, while I respect both as knowledgeable contributors to this forum I did side with lefty’s protest about the name calling (aka ad hominem).  Excerpt you questioned above was a response to that…

              • bmaz says:

                Ah, did not notice that when I saw your comment. Thanks. And condolences on getting in the middle of those two. I have been trying for a long time to get them to knock off the relentless confrontation. To little avail though.

  13. orionATL says:

    i think i understand now what all the sudden yowling about how hillary clinton gave away u. s. ‘s uranium is all about.

    for example:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/10/how_much_did_mueller_and_rosenstein_know_about_uranium_one.html

    https://prowhiteparty.wordpress.com/2017/10/21/clinton-uranium-scandal-resurfaces-will-the-swamp-be-drained/

    this story is really not aimed at clinton at all. it’s aimed at special counsel mueller and asst attorney general rosenstein. it is an attempt to deflect attention from and to undermine mueller’s investigation. that’s why the young woman i mentioned earlier above would have become aware of it now and be chatting with me about it. i asked her if her source was facebook. she said no it was fox news, and, she added, the new york post. that she would even know about the post surprised me, but republican propaganda travels fast and far these days.

    crooks and liars has a story about the “new murdoch” sinclair broadcasting to which trump appointee fcc chair ajit pai just gave dozens of broadcast teevee stations around the country allowing right wing propaganda to get a still stronger hold on the nation’s citizens.

    http://crooksandliars.com/2017/10/st-louis-hannity-wannabe-pushes-debunked

    • lefty665 says:

      You really are not able to pay attention or follow a post, curious. You might try going back to my original post at 3:48 that lays out the issues with links to legitimate sources. It is about Hillary and Bill, but also embraces FBIers Mueller, Rosenstein, and one you missed, McCabe.

      I’ve noted the following above in two places, so this will be the third time I’ve told you:

      “This story is actual Russian bribery, extortion and corruption of US citizens with people convicted and gone to jail. FBIers Mueller, Rod Rosenstein and McCabe (already under investigation for Clinton buddy McAuliffe’s $100k “contribution” to his wife) were up to their ears in it. They also threatened their insider to the deal with jail if he violated his non disclosure agreement and spilled the beans to Congress. We have a corrupt pool of D.C. elite insiders. They all need to go, politicians and bureaucrats alike…

      Our political culture is mostly corrupt, and it is bipartisan. Us boomers have screwed the pooch good and proper. Be nice if we could clean it up for our kids and grandkids, but we seem mostly intent on making it worse.  Manafort and Podesta are a start.”

      Your dissembling takes after Hillary’s (http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/356793-clinton-pushes-back-on-russian-uranium-deal-reports-baloney) and resembles what Woodward and Bernstein called “non denial denials” when Nixon used similar tactics. It is no more attractive now than it was 40+ years ago. The smell of sulphur clings to it.

  14. matt says:

    I’m new to Emptywheel, and want to say that the blog and comments are top notch.  A welcome to reprieve to cnn, msnbc, foxnews, npr, reuters, etc… in that, all of you here are trying to figure out what is really happening behind the headlines.

    … Right wing media,  despite their partisan political point of view is not ALWAYS wrong.  I’m a liberal (in the Enlightenment/Lockean sort of way) … but get frustrated with lockstep allegiance to “liberal” or “conservative” media commentary.

    As noted in one of the links above, all of what is reported about Bill’s half mill paid speech and donations to the Clinton Foundation associated to Uranium One are true.  But, we don’t know if Bill and Hillary were complicit in these dealings or just happy recipients of donor cash.  You can see that by not vetting their donors they were vulnerable to circumstantial complicity. May this have been an entrapment plot?

    …might I also bring up my 2:14pm comment and ask the group again, am I out in “wingnut” land to even think that John Podesta was a mole for Trump/Russia interests in light of his involvement with the DNC hack and his brother’s allegiance to pro Russian operations?…

  15. greengiant says:

    Lefty is a useful fool for Breitbart’s ratfucker Peter Schweizer author of Clinton Cash.  Don’t just go off and trust Snopes but here you go. https://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-uranium-russia-deal/   TheHill, NYPost, National Enquirer, DailyBreeze NationalReview Breitbart zerohedge Faux and on and on are all Trumpian sockpuppets.  Just check out the KEKs and Hoopla in the Trumpian ratfucker circuit after one of these media mob flashes takes place. Like the Gucifer2.0 had to be in the DNC story. Personally I would hate to be caught parroting one of these ratfuckers.  Yes the real good ones will get everything right except for the money shot when their track record will seduce people to believe their lie. Other than that quoting these sources is like quoting Trump’s tweets.  It just says what lies does MAGA believe in today and why do the puppetmasters want MAGA to believe this.

    Agree with OrionATL that this is a scheme to defeat Mueller.  Russian oligarch dumps 100 mil for Trump’s house, Russian mafia and fronts buy units in Trump Tower or in the case of Trump SOHO  fractional owner units they can’t live more than 120 days a year in. But we hear what about crookedHillary and crooked Mueller.

  16. lefty665 says:

    Welcome matt.  EW (Marcy) and several of the posters here, as opposed to us miscreants who hang out in the comments, thrive on facts and pulling meaning out of masses of words, especially government words. They are the value in the blog. I’d suggest reading the “about” section to get a little background on them. Marcy hooked me a number of years and a couple of blog iterations ago. Lots of good stuff over time.

    Marcy was pretty careful in her post to distinguish between John and Tony Podesta. I expect she did that for good reason.  I’m of the view that most of our elite political and bureaucratic culture is corrupt and capable of most anything. But I have no particular reason to question John Podesta’s loyalty to the Clinton campaign.

    If you have not run across it, Consortium News https://consortiumnews.com/ is another good source of independent journalism that provides an alternative to the MSM zombies.  I have it bookmarked in the tab next to emptywheel in my browser.

     

    • matt says:

      Thanks for the welcome and recommendation on Consortium News.  Yes, Marcy’s posts (and the others) are top notch!…and, I suppose you all in the comments section have a healthy history of banter over the years.   :)

  17. Bay State Librul says:

    Lefty,

    At first, I asked you to change your moniker since you are no lefty.

    Now, unfortunately, I have to call you the “Steve Bannon of the Progressive Movement.”

    While you attentions may be in the right place, you can’t get past Hillary.

    You battle Clinton each time. You bombs her intentions. You sully her name. You rip her apart.

    Like a character from Going after Cacciato, you have left the reservation, horrified and hallucinating.

    Come back to the Democratic Party and reclaim your senses.

    We wait.

     

    • lefty665 says:

      Dems have to come back to me. They’re who has changed, not me. At the party conference in Las Vegas last week they removed Sanders supporters from positions in the DNC.  The corrupt elitist, neolib, neocons are still in charge. There’s no hope for the party, or the country, until that changes.

  18. Willis Warren says:

    I would just like to point out that Lefty is citing two hit pieces, one from “conservative author” in the NYT and the other from the Hill, which was a Washington Times guy who claims that a single source provided the informaiton.

    Both sources suck. Ad hominem? maybe, but they suck

    • orionATL says:

      thanks for the tip about the hill author; the article seemed so brazen. i checked out john solomon, apparently now formerly of the washington times.

      guess what. apparently he’s been working for the media corporation and rightwing propaganda machine, sinclair broadcasting corporation. he was hired to work on a digital platform called ‘circa’:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/12/07/john-solomon-leaves-washington-times-joins-circa-re-launch/?

      i mentioned sinclair broadcasting, “the new murdoch”, in my comment at 7:58p above.

      of solomon, wapo’s eric wimple wrote:

      “… If Sinclair needs someone to evangelize the world on behalf of Circa, it made a wise choice in Solomon, who is among journalism’s best at preaching the wonders and revolutionary developments at whatever organization he happens to be working for. And there have been many: UPI, AP, Washington Post, Washington Times (two stints at top positions)… “

  19. matt says:

    OK, I concede to opinion that this uranium/Clinton thing is hyped like Benghazi and the private email server. After much reading, it seems that Bill was friends with Guistra, got some plane rides and big ass money into the Clinton foundation. So what? That money cannot be used for Hilary’s campaigning and is a drop compared to the dark money going into elections from the Libertarians/Republicans. Guistra, made out with some sweet deals with a foot in the door from Bill. So what? again. That is how business is done. Bill didn’t get paid off personally to do it. Unless you are worried that the Clinton Foundation is his personal bank account… by most accounts the foundation is legit and actually does a lot of good in the world. Finally, Hillary did not have anything to do with the sale of Guistra’s mines to the Russian’s other than it happened while she was Secretary of State- How in God’s name is she responsible for a private sale between private parties?

    • matt says:

      … and I was thinking… “The Russians” own plenty of Real-Estate and business interests in the US.  Just like the Chinese, Saudi’s, Japanese Etc.  There is no crime in that.

  20. lefty665 says:

    Today we learn that Hillary and the DNC paid for the “dodgy dossier”. That adds her and Debbie to the list of “sleazy influence peddlers” that need investigating. Hillary hid her sleazy influence peddling behind payments to her lawyers in part to keep from having to disclose them to the FEC. She has yes to acknowledge that it was her that paid Russians to produce the sleazy crap in the dossier. Will she take the 5th to hide criminal behavior like the Fusion employees did the other day? One of these days you guys are going to have to admit that your goddess has feet of shit. When that happens there will be hope for the Dem party, lord knows it needs it, and for getting back to the needs of the country and the New Deal.

    Funny, the less of a leg you guys have got to stand on, the more vitriolic your ad hominem tantrums aimed at me. Grow up babies, we’re discussing events and issues not the folks who present views that vary from your hysterical obsessions.

  21. Bay State Librul says:

    Lefty,

    You are jumping to conclusions.

    The Mueller Investigation will tell us who is lying.

    I agree with TPM

    “The country owes the Democrats a debt of gratitude for keeping Steele’s research going. The FBI had apparently missed a lot of what he found.”

    Let’s be honest, you believe Trump (who is muddying the Mississippi) over the truth.

     

     

     

    • lefty665 says:

      I don’t believe Trump any more than I do you.

      You, the Dem Party and the country would be better off if you invested in reforming your corrupt, elitist, neolib, neocon Party instead of poking at me. But it seems you like the Party the way it is, dysfunctional and auguring in, and that supports Trump.

      Respectfully suggest you read Marcy’s current post, and think seriously about what she has to say:
      Reasons Why Dems Have Been Fucking Stupid on the Steele Dossier, a Long Essay

      You might also go back and listen to Pete Seeger’s “Knee Deep in the Big Muddy” for some insight into the folly of following lemming like.

  22. matt says:

    …My problem with the Clinton-Obama establishment is that I have to accept Military-Industrial-Energy-Wall-St dominion of our country (and the world) along with “traditional” liberal ideals of progressive taxation, public education, access to health care, gender identity equality, and social security.  Yes, a better compromise than what Trump is doing, but liberals, Dems, Greens, or whatever must be critical of “our” leaders too.

    • lefty665 says:

      Yep, that’s the rub.

      My wife and I quit the Dems in ’11 because we could not stand to defend the indefensible any longer, and because the Party really did not want anyone talking reform and return to New Deal values from inside the party. It was shut up and sit down, the Repubs might hear you.

      You were not hanging out here during the campaign, my position was that Hillary and Donald were both evil, but in different ways. Between them they pretty much had the evil waterfront covered. My fear was that one of them was going to win, and sure enough one of them did. We’ve seen Trump’s evil on a daily basis since January, and now we’re getting a chance to see more of Hillary’s. We voted Green last year, not because we thought they would win, but because they had a decent platform and we could not stand to not vote for the first time in almost 50 years.

      Does not seem there is much hope in the Repubs, although Kansas is showing signs. That leaves the Dems, but to be an effective political party they need to reform, dump the greed, corruption, neolibs and neocons and get back to helping the people of our country they dumped to curry favor with the fat cat elites. That intra-party fight is in progress, and so far reform is losing.

      Investigating all the sleazy influence peddlers is a wonderful place to start cleaning out the stables.

      • matt says:

        Yes, you are not a “Tea-Party Dem”… as, ahem… someone pegged you…

        I know, many, many people who feel the same- how else can you explain the Bernie Sanders phenomenon of 2016 that was the inverse/anti-matter response of the Universe to the EVIL VORTEX that is T R U M P (… and the lords of wealth that created him).

Comments are closed.