Manafort Renewed His Outreach to FBC Group after Mueller’s Early April Revelations

As I noted, last night Mueller’s team moved to revoke Paul Manafort’s bail because — they allege — he has been attempting to suborn perjury from witnesses associated with the FBC Group PR firm. In addition to a declaration laying out the evidence for that claim, Mueller’s team included a list of contacts between Manafort himself and Konstantin Kilimnik with people at FBC Group. Amy Berman Jackson has scheduled a hearing for June 15 to consider the motion.

As the declaration lays out, person D1 (likely Alan Friedman) hadn’t spoken to Manafort since last July, probably before his public raid by the FBI and around the time Friedman started cooperating with the government. He hung up when Manafort called him in February and regarded the outreach as an effort to suborn perjury.

Person D1 told the government that in or around this period, Manafort called Person D1, and that the two had not spoken since July of the previous year. Person D1 stated that after answering the call and after the caller identified himself as Manafort, Manafort stated that he wanted to give Person D1 a heads-up about Hapsburg. Person D1 immediately ended the call because he was concerned about the outreach.

[snip]

Person D1 told the government that Person D1 understood Manafort’s messages to be an effort to “suborn perjury” by influencing Person D1’s potential statements. Person D1 well knew and believed from frequent interactions with its members that the Hapsburg group in fact lobbied in the United States, and that Manafort and Person A knew that fact.

Most of the declaration focuses on a set of communications immediately in the wake of Rick Gates’ plea deal, which made it clear Mueller had expanded Manafort’s prosecution to include actions of the Hapsburg Group — a bunch of European bigwigs Manafort hired to lie about Ukraine publicly and to Congress. I noted the day of Manafort’s first call that Friedman was surely cooperating with Mueller, but apparently I’m smarter than Manafort.

What I’m interested in, however, is that on April 4, Kilimnik tried again, with WhatsApp and Telegram outreach to both D1 and the PR person on the project.

Unlike the Hapsburg specific outreach, the declaration offers no explanation for Kilimnik’s April outreach.

Approximately one month later, Person A reached out to Person D1 directly as well. On April 4, 2018, Person A sent a message to Person D1: “Hi. This is [Person A’s first initial]. My friend P is looking for ways to connect to you to pass you several messages. Can we arrange that.” Person A reached out to Person D2 the same day, and reiterated his need for help in connecting Person D1 with Manafort. Person A added in his text to Person D2: “I tried him [i.e., Person D1] on all numbers.”

This outreach is non-specific. Kilimnik just appears to have an urgent need to reach out to (presumably) Friedman, in Manafort’s name, on April 4.

The timing is particularly interesting to me. The outreach happens in the wake of the Alex Van Der Zwaan sentencing filings, which provided more detail on Skadden Arp’s involvement in the Yulia Tymoshenko whitewash, and as such may have concerned the Hapsburg players. In addition, the prosecution filing for the first time made (and repeated Rick Gates’ indirect) allegations that Kilimnik himself was and might still be a Russian intelligence officer.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents assisting the Special Counsel’s Office assess that Person A has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016. During his first interview with the Special Counsel’s Office, van der Zwaan admitted that he knew of that connection, stating that Gates told him Person A was a former Russian Intelligence Officer with the GRU.

The outreach also happened in the wake of Mueller’s filing of the Rosenstein Memo, as well as public claims that included Oleg Deripaska in the scope of the investigation.

So it’s likely that Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik regarded those early April filings as impacting in some way on FBC Group, and possibly on Alan Friedman personally.

Of course, Friedman wasn’t playing Manafort’s games by that point, and hadn’t been already for over a month (and probably over 8 or 9 months).

Whatever else Manafort learned with yesterday’s filings, he likely also confirmed that. Whatever added risk those early April filings posed to Manafort, FBC Group is probably part of the risk, not part of his efforts to dodge the risk.

Update: I made an error in this post originally, by saying that it pertains to Mercury (Company A or B in Mueller’s findings). Josh Gerstein correctly IDs the company as FBC Media, which would make D1 Alan Friedman.

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71 replies
  1. aubrey mcfate says:

    emptywheel,

    Do you remember that Donald Rumsfeld episode years back? Or a Chris Christie tip I had? That’s me vouching for myself — could you drop me a line?

  2. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Exhibit N (the ‘open source timeline’ – ha!) reveals some opsec by Person A.  While Manafort attempted some phone calls via WhatsApp, they were never answered.  And Person A never attempted a WhatsApp phone call.

    Though, apparently they did chat via WhatsApp.

    Why either one of them thought WhatsApp chat was really secure, who knows?

    But Person A was avoiding WhatsApp phone calls.
    Maybe, avoiding any phone call.

  3. Bob Conyers says:

    I’d forgotten under the avalanche of data that Vin Weber was in the mix. It was interesting to me because way back in the Tip O’Neill and Jim Wright days, Weber was very tight with Gingrich and a major stategist of the no compromise wave in the House GOP.

    I wonder whether Gingrich has taken a clue from Weber and decided to tread carefully. Newt and Callista owe Trump big time for her appointment as Vatican Ambassdor, which is by itself a giant middle finger to Pope Francis, but Newt’s always been a miserable self-important twerp, and he might be thinking a lot  about Vin’s predicament as he is recruited to defend Trump on cable.

    • joejoejoe says:

      Mercury LLC had it’s best year ever in 2017 and continues to thrive. Weber doesn’t have Manafort’s financial woes or enemies so he’s making a good business move by talking. Pro tip: It pays not to owe bad people big money.

  4. SpaceLifeForm says:

    How the chats were obtained, almost certainly.

    jULY 28, 2016 BY JONATHAN ZDZIARSKI
    WhatsApp Forensic Artifacts: Chats Aren’t Being Deleted

    http://www.zdziarski.com/blog/?p=6143

    The WhatsApp chat database gets copied over from the iPhone during a backup, which means it will show up in your iCloud backup and in a desktop backup. Fortunately, desktop backups can be encrypted by enabling the “Encrypt Backups” option in iTunes. Unfortunately, iCloud backups do not honor this encryption, leaving your WhatsApp database subject to law enforcement warrants.

  5. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Another early April 2018 event
    Judge skewers Manafort’s civil case challenging Mueller’s powers
    https://www.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1HB0E7

    “I don’t really understand what is left of your case,” U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to Kevin Downing, Manafort’s attorney, after peppering him with a lengthy series of questions.

     

    [And it was obvious then even though ABJ did not rule until end of month]

     

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    OT, on bmaz’s tweet about the unctuous Starbucks founder and CEO, Howard Schultz, he is indeed a dry wick.  Worth an estimated $2.8 billion – there’s a reason his drinks are so expensive – he seems to be considering a run for public office. That would be a bad idea for everyone else.

    Schultz was a generic salesman who made a fabulous success selling coffee to a country that thought Taster’s Choice was great coffee.  He honed his business model and took it around the world.  But his business model is only slight more employee friendly than Jeff Bezos’s.

    His coffee happens to be mediocre.  Much of what he sells is coffee-flavored, highly sugared caffeine, a nice, virtually addictive contribution to metabolic syndrome.  His pastries, originally sourced locally, have long been made and distributed nationally.  Dry as toast.  Coffee and sugar, along with tobacco, are the food drugs of choice that powered the original industrial revolution.  But Howard offers free wi-fi.

    More importantly, behind his salesman’s bonhomie, Schultz is a vindictive monopolist.  His tax-planning techniques rival those of Apple and Amazon.  His use of his Dutch and Irish subsidiaries is particularly creative.  And he takes home the savings.  IMHO, he is not someone an interested citizen would want with influence, let alone control, over their government or their future.

    A good primer on the business is Mark Pendergrast. 2010. Uncommon Grounds:The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World.

      • Palli says:

        Hey, wait, 64 yr old 2X billionaire Schultz does not represent me, a 70 yr old Boomer. My husband & I have worked for non-profits all but a few years. We are retired at $23,000/yr. There are millions of us.

        On the other hand, I totally agree: NO more rich fuckers.

    • Ed Walker says:

      Years ago I represented a guy who owned a couple of really good coffee shops, wi-fi and couches and odds and ends of good coffee making equipment ; then added a coffee roaster and sold really good beans. Starbucks came to Nashville and opened stores within 2 blocks of his stores. He was out of business 6 months later. Those stores paid my friend a decent, not especially enormous, living, an jobs to several people who perhaps didn’t line up exactly with Nashville sensibilities, what with the tats and piercings. Earlier he operated a really nice kitchen store. That ended when Williams-Sonoma opened in a nearby mall.

      I’d rather drink charcoal than Starbucks. In fact, I’d rather drink that stuff the French call coffee, and I do, especially when there’s a Starbucks across the street.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Classic Schultz.  Learn from the best, like Peet, then put ’em out of business.

        Like the big box stores, his employment practices are also parasitic.  He partially replaces the employees he puts out of business.  But the employment is less secure, less well-paid, with poorer working conditions. And the money earned is not recirculated locally.

        Starbucks apparently used to, or does, evaluate employees solely by arithmetic – how many ounces poured.  (That was made illegal in the EU – evaluation by humans of human skills was made mandatory.)

        No credit for personality, for bringing in repeat customers, for efficiently doing the prep and clean-up, for ability to learn, for dependability, timeliness and good sense – such as not calling police because two black guys are waiting for a friend before ordering coffee.

        Starbucks will have to do a helluva lot more than “racial sensitivity” training if it wants to improve how well its people manage customers and grow their business.  But I’d rather see a hundred flowers grow than one immense potted plant grow bigger. Then, again, I like what the French call coffee.

        • bmaz says:

          You know, the second I saw this comment by Ed, my first thought was that if his friend/client had owned a local hardware store killed by Home Depot, he would truly have the perfect trifecta.

          And it is no laughing matter at this point. What small business is not capable of being consumed by a mega-chain? The farmers tried to tell us decades ago.

          • posaune says:

            Decades ago in Philadelphia, around the corner from Curtis Institute, there was a pharmacy with a lunch counter and soda fountain.   The owner and RPh, Harry, ran the place down to the last detail.   And he had an eagle eye for a truly-starving music student, quietly spotting him/her lunch on a bad day.    He also had a four-ticket group of season tickets to the Philadelphia Orchestra and often he would ask a student if he/she wanted to hear the orchestra that evening, and instruct the young musician to “go to the side door of the Academy and tell the usher that ‘Harry sent me.'”  It always worked.

            Wonderful man whose business was eventually decimated by a chain store.   Such a loss.

          • Bob Conyers says:

            Supposedly independent bookstores have stabilized. Borders is gone, Barnes and Noble is struggling, which means that if you want a brick and mortar alternative to Amazon, you have a good shot at going with an independent store.

            Independent brewers are going pretty strong. The big brewers are buying up some of the successful small fish, but I think the independent local brewers will continue to do decent business.

            Toys R Us has gone bankrupt, and independent toy stores selling high end stuff can make a living — there’s one not too far from me.

            What these places have in common is that they sell to the higher end of the marketplace. I think those niches will stick around for a while, since it’s very tough for a megacorp to fill those spots, and the private equity boondoggles have a way of driving some of the big competition for some of those niches into the dirt.

            Unfortunately, these are pretty specific niches serving higher income customers. That’s not to say that things like donut shops and AC repairers and the like can’t survive as independent businesses as well, but I think we’ll be looking at a continuing trend where we’ll see a lot of small businesses getting squeezed, especially where it’s tough to differentiate their products and sell for a decent markup over their costs.

  7. Avattoir says:

    With the right show runner, this could be an educational as well as entertaining both sequel to American Hustle and cable TV series Fargo to movie Fargo –

    Minnesota Kompromats: The Vin Weber Story.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    To what extent might Manafort’s use of Kilimnik, apparently self-destructive, be an open message to Putin that Manafort was still playing his game, that he had not gone over to the other side?

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      To me, that feels a little overdetermined. I don’t think Manafort has many friends left.

      • Avattoir says:

        ‘Friendships’ in criminal enterprises and organizations tend to be transactional or by blood relation. If neither exists, they never happened.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The next Tribute to America Mr. Trump has planned apparently includes dozens of new pardons. Predictably, none of them will have come through the established pardon process or be normally eligible for a presidential pardon. Few of them will have served their sentences. None of them will be contrite, none will have admitted their crimes or demonstrated through action that they have changed their ways and are now seeking to improve the lot of the people around them.

    No, Mr. Trump will pardon celebrity criminals, criminals he most likes and are most like him. Their crimes will have the most resonance with the Don: financial crimes, money laundering and tax evasion, organized crime figures, campaign finance violators, those who lied to obstruct justice, who are white, right wing, resolutely anti-government, and anti-social.

    They will be celebrity criminals whose pardons are the most outrageous, because that keeps Trump on the front page. What it does to the criminal justice system and social justice in America, Trump couldn’t begin to answer. He doesn’t care, because those things are not about him. But they are about the kind of America we want to live in.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      An anachronistic title Franklin Foer or his editor chose for that article.

      That Konstantin Kilimnik (“Kostya” or “KK”), a close Manafort aide who had been and might well be a Russian Military Intelligence officer (not a “pawn”), has been in the public domain since at least August 2016. Here’s a more recent article from March 2018.

      What is Foer and the Atlantic doing using an outdated CNN-style “Breaking News”  spiel?  Nothing else to do with old corn beef but to add potatoes and make hash?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A more useful article in the Atlantic is about debunking the Marshmallow Effect: the idea that children who learn to delay gratification do better in life than those who choose immediate gratification.

      The original study from the 1960s was based on 90 kids who attended a grade school on the Stanford campus, very upscale then and now, and very white.  If they could delay eating a marshmallow for fifteen minutes, they would get a second.  Follow-up studies suggested those who could wait were more successful.

      A more recent study used a larger cohort, 900 students, from more varied racial and social backgrounds.  It suggests that being able to defer gratification has a tenuous connection to later success.  Being able to defer it, and for that to be adaptive or beneficial, depends on social and economic factors, not individual will.  (Neoliberal shibboleths notwithstanding.)

      That is, race and economic circumstances play a much larger role in current and later success than simply learning to wait.  The utility of deferral depends, for example, on whether a student could expect to have three squares a day or could count only on one free lunch at school.  Waiting would not be adaptive if it was not routine for the marshmallow to be there fifteen minutes later, or if having waited, the second marshmallow failed to appear, or if the student hadn’t eaten in half a day or more.

      The point is to reaffirm the benefit of challenging assumptions and accepted “wisdom”.  EW does it every day and we do it by reading her.  It is to reinforce how important racial and social justice are in building a sustainable place worth living in.

      Groucho Marx critiqued social stratification by saying he would not join a club that would have him as a member.  Whereas, Donald Trump and others in the 0.01% would never turn down the offer, but would promptly pull up the ladder after them.  We can do better.

      • Bob Conyers says:

        The field of psychology deserves some genuine credit for pushing to retest a lot of old experiments and challenging old results. It’s a process a lot of other fields (hello, economics) ought to be following much more seriously.

        But wow, are there some ugly rear guard actions and refusals of accountablity in the field. Probably most relevant to this blog is the abuse by the contract psychologists involved in the Bush era torture programs. They’ve suffered some setbacks, but they really should have been drummed out of the profession and all of their findings repudiated as the junk science that it was.

        It’s encouraging that quite a few psychological researchers are genuinely committed to reproducabilty, and research going forward is getting more rigorous design review, but I think the jury is out as to how well the effort will turn out.

      • harpie says:

        It’s how I try to get the Reply function to work…the idea is to delete it as soon as I get the box to open up where I would like to comment, but I sometimes [as here] don’t manage to do that. I know it’s a pain for bmaz, etc, and I apologize!, but I really like to try to nest my comments in the right place…I have a hard enough time trying to keep up with the conversation here even so.  There are supposedly other ways to do this, but I haven’t been able to get them to work.

        • Trip says:

          Don’t worry Harpie, I wasn’t grilling you, I was just curious. No need to apologize.

        • bmaz says:

          Listen, yes there may be an issue with the “reply” and “nesting” function.

          We know. Constant griping and carping about it does absolutely nothing. Things were far better off when comments were linear, not nested. And then this bullshit harping would not constantly occur.

          • harpie says:

            Trip is right, bmaz. I was not griping…far from it!

            I feel bad about it. Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

            • bmaz says:

              Harpie – No intention to single you out. None at all, and I hope and think you know that. There is a lot of day to day griping I see here (not by you!) as to the “reply” and “nesting” function, and it gets tiring.

              We provide the best comment space we can, albeit it not perfect.

              • harpie says:

                Thanks, bmaz. I think the comment space is great…[the best around for a lot of reasons] and I know you have a lot of work to do to keep it that way. I’m afraid that the way I do this reply thing adds to that.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          Most of the time (but not always), if you right-click/long press and open in new tab, then scroll to bottom, what you post will thread properly.

  10. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Rudy, Cohen, and Manafort, you might want to try the following bs line that Alexander Nix threw out today to UK Parliament when you are asked about Trump.

    “Apart from my close personal relationship with him, he could have been a stranger”

    And throw in the ‘global liberal media’ too.

    • Trip says:

      That’s quote the literary quote, LMAO.

      Did you see this?

      Cambridge Analytica director ‘met Assange to discuss US election’
      Brittany Kaiser also claims to have channelled payments and donations to WikiLeaks
      …. visitor logs from the Ecuador embassy obtained by the Guardian and Focus Ecuador appear to show that Brittany Kaiser, a senior executive at Cambridge Analytica until earlier this year, visited Assange on 17 February 2017. Information passed to the DCMS committee in the UK and the Senate judiciary committee in the US states that the meeting was “a retrospective to discuss the US election”.

      Kaiser is also alleged to have said that she had funnelled money to WikiLeaks in the form of cryptocurrency. She called the organisation her “favourite charity”. The reports passed to investigators say that money was given to her by third parties in the form of “gifts and payments”.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/06/cambridge-analytica-brittany-kaiser-julian-assange-wikileaks

      Hmm, third parties channeling money through CA to Wikileaks.

      • SpaceLifeForm says:

        Two things fishy.
        The Clinton emails that probably are not out there.
        And the ‘third parties’.

        Someone bit and was laundering money to buy dirt.
        Dirt that probably does not exist.

    • Rusharuse says:

      President Donald Trump doesn’t lie he just has a “different style of communication”

      Scaramucci 6\5\18

      Alrighty then!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        George Orwell, Politics and the English Language:

        “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible….. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements….”

         

    • Trip says:

      Might be Hannity*, too. I’m sure Avenatti wants to hammer Trump first and foremost.

      *That’s probably why Cohen wanted to assert privilege. Likely a lot of shady shit going down with Hannity to cover Trump rump.

    • SteveB says:

      Complaint alleges it includes Trump.

      I read somewhere, and I am trying to find the reference, but Marc Kasowitz was the arbitrator for one of the NDAs involving Cohen and/or Davidson, So IWNSTFOOM to discover MK was being referred to in this context.

      • SteveB says:

        My bad, Kasowitz was involved as an arbitrator of one of O’Reilly’s NDAs , having previously represented him.

  11. harpie says:

    CNBC, 6/6/18:
    “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is requesting that witnesses turn in their personal phones to inspect their encrypted messaging programs” https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/06/mueller-team-zeroes-in-on-encrypted-apps-as-witness-turn-in-phones.html

    [quote][…] Since as early as April, Mueller’s team has been asking witnesses in the Russia probe to turn over phones for agents to examine private conversations on WhatsApp, Confide, Signal and Dust, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Fearing a subpoena, the witnesses have complied with the request and have given over their phones, the sources said. […] [end quote]

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Greitens better be included.

      Big issue. Greitens and 19 staff used Confide. Violating records laws.

      https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/06/disgraced-ex-governor-still-faces-lawsuit-over-alleged-use-of-ephemeral-messaging/

      [He got out of felony by agreeing to resign. But he did not officially resign until 2018-06-01-17:00. But there was a court order that he had to turn over some records tied to dark money by the exact same time. That did not happen. His lawyers argue that it is moot. The problem for Greitens is that he was still the Governer until that point, and did all kinds of stuff. If he can legally do that stuff until officially out of office, then his lawyers arguments are pure bullshit. You can not pardon, veto, commute, sign legislation unless you are still in office. His lawyers are trying to hide money laundering]

    • Bob Conyers says:

      I would guess they’re not only fearing a subpoena, they’re fearing people they’ve communicated with have already shared messages with Mueller.

      The basic problem with communicating by supposedly secure methods is that you have no way of controlling what the person on the other end does with your messages. Even supposedly destructive forms of messaging can be easily captured on the other end. And if you’ve lost your copy, you lose your ability to keep your story straight.

      Secure messaging creates a false sense of security that leads to sloppiness — people will say things in supposedly secure apps that they would never say out in the open, and they would generally be better off using plain old email with Mueller already cc’d into the loop so that everyone stays on their toes. I really hope this includes Kushner, because he was known to be blowing off warnings about messaging for quite a while into 2017, and I would love to see him get in trouble for thinking he knew how to get away with it.

  12. SteveB says:

    Any ideas on the meaning and import of Senate vote to assist the DOJ with a pending investigation? As tweeted by Mana Raju

  13. Rugger9 says:

    One of the things that will continue to be a problem for the palace and its minions (past and current) is their inability to keep their traps shut.  Today Rudy not only managed to insult KJU in a culture that is hyper-sensitive to face (“begging on his knees” is too similar to the kowtow to be missed as an insult) and will probably torpedo the summit (which was probably the plan), but he also slammed Ms. Clifford for her career choices as somehow being worth less because of it.  Why he didn’t go into full “fallen woman” mode will be interesting to find out.  After all, this was in Tel Aviv and there is no question this would get press so the message to be received is of course that the War on women continues by the GOP and the palace still doesn’t “get it”.

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/ive-been-wondering-the-same-thing-all-day

    https://www.rawstory.com/2018/06/giuliani-launches-disgusting-attack-stormy-daniels-trump-innocent-sells-body/

    As a bonus, there is still some details to be worked out, but I’ll believe Sally over Don any day.
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/yates-mcgahn-meeting

    And, a double bonus, there will be trouble in the palace shortly from this:
    https://www.rawstory.com/2018/06/mueller-gotten-witnesses-turn-phones-team-can-access-encrypted-messages-report/

    • Trip says:

      What the hell is the insane giant floating balloon head doing in Tel Aviv?  Since when does a president’s personal propaganda pope take part in international diplomacy? Is Rudy pushing for a crisis with NK to get Trump’s investigation off the front page, in addition to warmongering with Bolton?

      Beautiful women of value? That apparently doesn’t/didn’t include the mother of his children and ex-wife, Donna Hanover, (who he cheated on with his soon to be ex-wife Judith Nathan) who only found out about their divorce by news reports, and who was humiliated publicly along with the kids (while Rudy’s first marriage was annulled because he married his own freakin’ second cousin, even though that wedding was sanctioned, having occurred in the Catholic church). What a man of honor, who respects women in general! Exhibit A: https://twitter.com/YaelFreidson/status/1004345109532561408  Avenatti had a good point about the hypocrisy of denigrating Daniels, while FLOTUS had a past of provocative (adult nude) poses. Ain’t no one paying to have sex with, or view naked pictures of Rudy or Donald, because there is nothing valuable, beautiful or sexually desirable about flabby old misogynistic buzzards. But that doesn’t stop them from being the biggest whores who sell out the US citizenry for their own enrichment. At least the First Lady and Daniels caused no harm to others in the sex industry.

      McGahn is attached to Bannon (and Priebus) via Burke. The fuckery that went down with coordination between those parties and the fake executive privilege nonsense during the committee testimony should not be forgotten. When does Bannon get indicted for his conspiracy with Cambridge Analytica? When will it be decided that Burck has a conflict of interest by representing multiple players in this saga? McGahn continued playing the game long after Yates left.

      As to the phones: I thought this was a reference to Manafort’s case, but maybe you are right in that the exposure is much vaster.

      Pet peeve: What the hell is Chris Cuomo doing having Huckster-b on, the female Goebbels (or Leni Riefenstahl) to spew more propaganda and lies? CNN, and Cuomo in particular, are doing what they did before the election, and that is subversively promoting Trump and accomplices by exclusively providing their narrative and allowing them to double down. You mean to tell me that he can’t get opposition to sit down? This is theater, so he can pretend he’s getting bona fides as a hard-hitting journalist. It is shameful. Let’s be honest: He landed this spot through nepotism by proxy of power (the Republican-light governor). Less Cuomo, please. Less facial and fact contortionist extraordinaire, Huckster-b Sanders, please.

      End of rant.

  14. Trip says:

    Wherein “The DOJ will not be Extorted” Rosenstein allows further extortion of investigative materials once again under another briefing :
    Justice Department offers lawmakers new material on FBI’s Russia investigation
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-department-offers-lawmakers-new-material-on-fbis-russia-investigation/2018/06/07/e562b8d2-6a37-11e8-bf8c-f9ed2e672adf_story.html

    Democrats have voiced concerns that such briefings could allow the president’s legal team to get access to sensitive details of the investigation. On Tuesday, Democratic members of the Gang of Eight sent a letter to the FBI and Justice Department seeking assurances that “outside of an appropriate judicial proceeding,” neither the president nor members of his staff or legal team would be briefed on classified information about the FBI’s source.

    Yeah, RIGHT.

  15. Rugger9 says:

    Whatever McTurtle, LyinRyan, Nunes (as head of the HPSCI) find out will go to the palace immediately, since they’re all compromised in this together.

    Rosenstein and Mueller may need to be careful on what they let out.

  16. greengiant says:

    The rules are still the same. Trump is going nowhere unless there are 67 votes in the Senate. Does anyone see any traction in Donald’s base figuring out that he lies with every single word. I don’t. despite Giuliani trying to help.

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