The Shiny Object of the May 2017 Russian Investigation: The Evidence Mostly Came in after August 1

There’s a reason today’s NYT story so infuriates me — to say nothing of Trump’s efforts to declassify documents from the Russia investigation that, because of the personnel moves of virtually everyone involved, would mostly end by August 1, 2017.

That’s because it’s clear that — because Peter Strzok lost an August 2016 battle to investigate more aggressively in summer and fall 2016 — DOJ, FBI, and then Mueller were only obtaining key information around about August 1, 2017, a year later. It’s no surprise, then, that (as the frothy right has been obsessing about recently) Lisa Page and Strzok weren’t sure if there was evidence of “collusion” on May 17, 2017. Of course they weren’t. The government hadn’t started collecting the evidence in earnest yet.

Consider the following investigative steps:

FBI appears not to have sent a preservation request to Government Services Administration for George Papadopoulos’ material until March 9, 2017, and they appear not to have pursued his privately held call records (especially the Facebook ones that would have revealed the existence of Ivan Timofeev) until some time later.

On June 6, 2017, the Mueller team was still debating whether they would access Section 702 materials, something they otherwise do routinely with assessments, to say nothing of fully predicated national security investigations.

The John Dowd letter wrongly claiming unprecedented cooperation reveals that Mueller started to receive the documents requested by congressional committees on July 21; that would presumably be the first that the government obtained the version of the June 9 emails that included Paul Manafort’s replies.

Copies of all documents provided to the committees by the Campaign, and all search term lists and the privilege log, were also provided to the Special Counsel.

  • By letter dated May 17, 2017, the Campaign received a request for documents from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).
  • By letter dated June 7, 2017, the Campaign received a request for documents from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). The records requested included records generated from June 16, 2015, to 12pm on January 20, 2017, and hence, included the transition period.
  • The Campaign voluntarily responded to these requests by providing 840 documents on July 21, 2017, and another set of 4,800 documents on July 31, 2017. By letter dated July 19, 2017, the Campaign received a request for documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC).

Mueller sent a preservation request for Transition materials on June 22. He obtained all the emails and devices from 13 transition staffers in late August.

Specifically, on August 23, 2017, the FBI sent a letter (i.e., not a subpoena) to career GSA staff requesting copies of the emails, laptops, cell phones, and other materials associated with nine PTT members responsible for national security and policy matters. On August 30, 2017, the FBI sent a letter (again, not a subpoena) to career GSA staff requesting such materials for four additional senior PTT members.

The list of documents the White House provided, organized by Bates number, show that some key documents couldn’t have come in until July 2017. Indeed, documents pertaining to Comey’s firing appear to be the last of the document sets obtained, sometime after the disclosure of the June 9, 2016 meeting in July 2017.

BuzzFeed’s big scoop on financial transfers between Aras Agalarov and Ike Kaveladze around the time of the June 9 meeting shows banks didn’t start looking for such suspicious transfers until after the June 9 meeting was disclosed on July 8, 2017.

None of these transactions was discovered until 2017, after the New York Times revealed the Trump Tower meeting. Shortly after that report, investigators asked financial institutions to look back at their accounts to learn how money flowed among the people who planned and attended the meeting: Agalarov; Kaveladze; Agalarov’s pop star son, Emin; their employee, Rob Goldstone, who sent the original email to Trump Jr.; and others.

To unearth connections between some of their accounts, banks took an extraordinary step: They invoked a provision of the Patriot Act — a post-9/11 law that included new tools to track money laundering and terrorist financing. That provision, rarely used in the Trump-Russia investigation, allowed the banks to share information about customers with one another.

Three financial institutions — Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley — discovered the $3.3 million that flowed from Agalarov to Kaveladze.

My interview with the FBI (I believe I was the second source about one aspect of what I shared, but believe I was the first about the stuff that tied more obviously to the campaign) was July 14. I believe my materials were moved under Mueller when Ryan Dickey got moved under Mueller in November, 2017.

So the constant six-year old soccer chases by journalists trying to learn what happened in May 2017 — when things were chaotic because Trump was breaking all norms and firing people who actually weren’t investigating that aggressively — to the detriment of attention on what happened in the months thereafter really does a huge disservice to the truth. The investigation into Trump’s conspiracy with Russia started in earnest around about August 1, 2017. Once the government actually started looking for evidence, I imagine the evidence of conspiracy was pretty obvious.

As I disclosed in July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

57 replies
  1. jf-fl says:

    just went back and re-read a number of your posts from last year. i don’t agree w/all of your politics but as this is a really complex story, thankful we have someone as intelligent as you to cover it.

    saw today that it appeared jerome corsi (sic) testified at grand jury, so i guess this means the investigation is still ongoing even if perhaps indictments are on pause till nov?

    • Frank Probst says:

      Welcome!  The investigation is still ongoing.  Several people haven’t even been sentenced yet.  Jerome Corsi was almost certainly there to testify about Roger Stone.  There is really no indication one way or the other about whether indictments are “on pause” until the mid-terms.  Roger Stone isn’t running for office, and I don’t think he has any active connections to anyone else who’s running for office, so if Mueller wants to indict him, it could technically come down at any time.  The grand jury would almost certainly hear from Paul Manafort before a Stone indictment though, and we haven’t heard anything about that yet.  But since Manafort is already in jail, they could conceivably move him to and from the courthouse fairly discreetly.  I think it’s doubtful, though.  Corsi was the second-to-last witness Mueller wanted who was clearly Stone-related prior to Manafort flipping.  Mueller may wait for the last guy to testify before having Manafort testify.  Or he may just go with Manafort.  But I don’t think that Manafort would have testified before Corsi in any case.  As for exactly when an indictment might drop, we’re all pretty much making educated guesses.  I’m one of the lesser-educated posters here, so my guesses are next to worthless.

      • Bob Conyers says:

        We also don’t know what Mueller may have referred to other sections of DOJ or even the states. Tax crimes are an obvious candidate, and there has been reasonable suspicion that Trump’s foreign property has involved violations of anticorruption laws. Likewise, money laundering is not limited to Russians, and if Mueller’s team came across evidence of money flowing in from other countries, that could also be a possible separate investigation.

        There was recently a report of some toe stepping going on between NY State and the feds over tax issues and Cohen, so that is a good possible area of significant active investigation.

    • emptywheel says:

      The grand jury won’t be on pause in any case. Corsi’s testimony would be considered covert, as the government is not the one publicizing it. And while I believe Rosenstein has paused the overt side of things, it’s not clear Mueller was bound by that.

  2. Bob Conyers says:

    Also, the Manafort search wasn’t until the end of July 2017. Obviously they had been gathering information before then to make the case for the search, but the payoff didn’t happen until after then.

  3. Frank Probst says:

    As you say, the NYT story seems like a rather lame effort to, at a minimum, force the disclosure of McCabe’s memos, and–more likely–to provide cover for firing Rosenstein, which would allow for the firing of Mueller. What I really don’t get is what people in Trumpworld think is going to happen if Mueller is fired. Suppose he gets fired, and his whole team gets escorted out of the building Monday morning. Do people think the investigation is going to go away? Read the Manafort plea agreement. Read what legal experts have said about the Manafort plea agreement. Virtually any move made by Trump will accomplish little to nothing. Almost every possible move has been anticipated and essentially blocked. Do you honestly think that the people who crafted this agreement haven’t considered the possibility that Trump might fire them all, and that it might happen fairly quickly? And do you honestly think that those people haven’t used their deep knowledge of the FBI and the DoJ to set up a whole series of legal tripwires in the event that this happens? This investigation won’t be that easy to shut down. Trump can’t just end it with a bunch of tweets. It’s just not going to happen that way.

    • orionATL says:

      already thought thru for sure.

      – request for emergency injunction. litigation thru various court’s. possible challenge of efforts to speed up the process to get it to the supreme court (or not) depending on reading of politics.

        • orionATL says:

          sorry. this is getting embarrassing. i even got rid of my old v-keyboard. ibworry now there may be dozens of these.


          • Rayne says:

            There’s a few, LOL, but after +6K comments we “know” your style. It’s more administrative work whenever a new iteration shows up, though I’m sure you’d like to know when the AI overlord has cloned you. Logins are monitored because we do get sockpuppets and we do have the opportunity for duplicative usernames as Tracy and Tracy Lynn (who are different users) have recently shown.

            • orionATL says:

              “the AI overlord”

              verrily, it was bound to come about.

              i accept my fate.

              (fingers crossed behind my back)

    • Bri2k says:

      Thank you for a great post, Frank. Your thinking appears spot-on to me and I’ve been following this as closely as I can since summer 2016.

      Reading across various sources and comments from those who seem to know about how these things work, the consensus is indeed that this investigation now has a life of its own.

      I think the end-game will be one for the books and has the potential to be a terrifying ride to conclusion.

      I really hate living in “interesting” times…

    • Bob Conyers says:

      Think of the recent Meadows disaster about the “media leaking strategy” and the Ed Whelan doppleganger Zillow implosion. These people are peeking out from under their covers imagining that monsters are casting every shadow they see.

      And what’s infuriating about this one is that the NY Times published as fact a story whispered to them by the same scared kids who have been crying out about Dracula hiding in the closet every ten minutes all night long.

      Put some earplugs in, let them whimper, and next time, NY Times, don’t let them drink two liters of Mountain Dew right before bed.

      • Trip says:

        The Mike and Maggie show is like the early morning commute radio hosts who report gossip at face value. They live for their ratings like all shock jocks.

        There is never context, analysis or push back on sources. clickbaitclickbaitclickbait.

  4. orionATL says:

    i appreciate seeing this timeline for a formal fbi investigation laid out so clearly. i recall the matter of fbi delay in requesting phone records from one of your earlier.

    one thing that bothered me is that if nytimes is going to have a chronology that simply lists contacts between trump campaign and russians, than it can – and by parallelism should – have a fbi chronology that simply lists fbi contacts with sources, e.g., c. steele (we don’t need to debate this, it’s history, like steele or not)) re russians and trump, independent of any formal declaration of investigation. if the fbi chronology were thus enlarged it would stretch back at least to the 2015 fbi warnings to the dnc (and would suggest fbi indifference, compacency, fear, favoritism, etc).

    as i’ve read, cia’s john brenner had clearly done his homework; it’s inconceivable that adm, rodgers had not heard from his tao team and others. state must have been hearing some of this since chatting quietly among trusted professional friends and allies is part of their stock-in-trade. in late fall journalists began publishing from steele’s written concerns.

    putin was not so popular, except among the russian oligarch-robbers and the ultranationalst mob, that at least some brave souls in the know would not gossip.

    overall, in a future time without trump demagogue, the conduct of the comey-led fbi in not promptly enabling a counterintelligence investigation in late spring 2016 of russian involvement on the whispers they were hearing from other u.s. intelligence (and from steele for sure, and up close) has to be called into question, and demands an investigation of its own similar to the mueller ofc investigation.

  5. pseudonymous in nc says:

    “Once the government actually started looking for evidence, I imagine the evidence of conspiracy was pretty obvious.”

    It feels like time to look again at the Mueller roster not by area of expertise but by when they were brought in from the private sector or seconded from DOJ. Which of them, like Dickey, brought ongoing investigations with them?

    • emptywheel says:

      Weissmann effectively brought an ongoing investigation — the Manafort one — with him.

      A lot of the private sector people were people Mueller knew and trusted. Like Jeannie Rhee. It is my suspicion that she’s now running the main conspiracy case.

      • Kevin says:

        I think so too. She was listed after Weissman before Andres on the plea agreement letter. Titles for all of them and Freeny listed as “Senior/Assistant Special Counsels.” I suspect she and Weissman are the two head honchos (maybe with Quarles on obstruction?) with Rhee focusing on the conspiracy. The two of them also seemed to be running the show at the plea hearing (I think I mentioned this on Twitter too).

        • pseudonymous in nc says:

          Yeah, I think that fits: all of this spans the space between white-collar crime / public corruption and mobbed-up dirty money. And if ConFraudUS is the defining theory of the case, then Rhee is the name at the top.

  6. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Trying to respond to orionATL after 11 pm, but who among us knows how much Roger Stone’s meddling, along with Judi Ruliani and a host of other GOPers was tossing sand things. Also, even in May 2016, a lot of people could not get their heads around the idea of Trump prevailing over all the other GOP candidates, so the idea of his candidacy wasn’t taken seriously.

    FWIW, I happened to see Michael Moore on ‘Democracy Now’, and he relates a totally plausible story in which Trump only ran for President to enhance his negotiations with NBC on an ‘Apprentice’ renewal. Then NBC cancelled, and Trump sort of bumbled his way into large stadiums with crowds cheering the guy famous for ‘You’re fired’, and loved the adulation. As Hitler might have said, “The appetite grew with eating.”

    Trump is cunning, but increasingly impaired. The one thing that he’ll remember is ‘You’re fired’, and like a one-trick pony, he’ll fall back on the thing that made him famous, and got him great ratings. Until it didn’t.

    All the more reason to hope the NYT gets its act together, hollers a huge ‘mea culpa’, and figures out who pwned it. And then sets the record straight, no matter how bad the NYT appears.

    • Bri2k says:

      I think Moore’s story is on the mark and is something I’ve heard for a while now. I imagine Trump couldn’t believe his luck and was pinching himself after winning the nomination.

    • Rayne says:

      I don’t buy Moore’s opinion about Trump’s candidacy. Why would a stunt intended for leverage to launch another TV show commit repeated violations of federal law?

      Why would the campaign and Trump proxies accept meetings with Russians just for leverage?

      Why would the campaign make changes to the RNC’s platform in the middle of the convention just for leverage?

      Why would Team Trump risk pissing off the GOP by taking it hostage when its base represents at least half his audience?

      Nope. Not buying it.

      • Les Moor says:

        Rayne, they did it because Trump needed money and Russian money was all he could get his hands on.

        The GOP doesn’t control their base, their base controls them, and a big chunk of their base chose Trump.

        • Rayne says:

          That’s a very simplistic perspective.

          I’ll reply about the base: most of them are authoritarians and they do what they are told by authority figures. Think a bit more about the manner in which authority is constructed and who receives the illusion of that construct.

          Welcome to emptywheel, by the way.

          • Howamart says:

            Seems like Murdoch and Faux control the base, and Don the Con. What is Murdochs connection to the oligarchs? Seems so obvious, but have not seen even a bit of speculation on the connection.

            • Rayne says:

              During the Bush administration there was a clear link between Fox News content and the White House — the network’s talking points were synced with GOP’s on a daily basis, and continued into the Obama administration.

              This piece circa 2011 by Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone does a nice job profiling Roger Ailes and Fox News. Until recently they were one and the same with Rupert Murdoch’s expertise in news industry providing the infrastructure Ailes needed to build a propaganda machine masquerading as journalistic outlet. Ailes was the worst part of Movement Conservatism. But after the rise of the Koch-funded Tea Party in sync with the enactment of ACA, there was a slow reset which is still underway. Not quite a generational shift in that the Kochs and Mercers who took over (where the likes of Bozell, Weyrich, Coors et al are leaving off) are close in age but now powerful as newer money infused into and co-opting the right-wing.

              The problem now is that Movement Conservatism is dying and being replaced by something closer to naked fascism. There’s no respect for liberal democracy (and I mean classical liberalism, not leftism), only for power accumulated to business interests. Ailes having been booted for his history of sexual harassment left Fox without anyone powerful enough to restrain its movement away from Movement Conservatism (ugly as it was). What we see now is the fruit of a power vacuum and the influence of American oligarchs, whose interests often overlap with oligarchs in other parts of the globe, particularly around fossil fuel proliferation and increasing volatility which makes them more money.

              p.s. you now have three usernames, Howard Martin, howard martin, and howamart. Please stick to one so the community gets to know you. Thanks.

              • orionATL says:

                rayne –

                this is a jewel of a comment. i’ve not seen fox news’ history divided up analytically before.


                • Greenhouse says:

                  Yep, I second that motion. Absolutely beautiful, right on target Rayne! The economy and precision of prose — stunning!

              • Howamart says:

                Great history of F*X in the Rolling Stone article. Thank you. Of course Murdoch interests are aligned with oligarchs and US petro industry, and they don’t need to meet in broom closets at Trump Tower to coHoordinate. But I still wonder if/how they coordinate messages.

                I’ll stick with Howamart

                • Rayne says:

                  There is coordination. The Kochs have had bi-annual ‘network’ meetings with conservatives to sync their common goals. They also coordinate through think tanks and other nonprofits they fund, some of which are members in a state policy network. The coordination doesn’t stop there, though; there are other umbrella groups through which this occurs, like the Council for National Policy (heart of the long-term drive toward a Christo-fascist nation – see PDF of member directory) of which Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Jerome Corsi, Erik Prince’s mom Elsa, and Wayne LaPierre have been members and folks like the DeVos family have been funders. Oh, and speaking of LaPierre, shouldn’t forget NRA meetings as opportunities to coordinate.

                  Remember Hillary Clinton’s “vast right-wing conspiracy“? That — she was right. I just listed the bulk of it in three organizations.

                  • Howamart says:

                    I was referring to coordination with Russian counterparts. The American Christian fascist white nationalist GOP conspiracy is plain as as day

                    • Rayne says:

                      As I asked someone else earlier in the week – rhetorical question, no need to answer, just ponder: why did David Duke move to Moscow for nearly a decade?

        • timbo says:

          Les, yeah, I’d have to agree with that.  Trump saw no downside to continuing his campaign as the other candidates in the primary seemed to be out of their depth and unable to counter Trump’s lunges.  And now Trump and his corrupt henchmen are still seeking to bend and break our system of checks and balances.  People like Trump need an enemy to garner attention to themselves.  Hence the continued disparaging of H. Clinton and Obama.  He’s kept fascinating people with his patter and obvious lies.  And little if anything has been done about it.  But, again, where is his downside?  So far he’s gotten more attention than he could ever have imagined, much more coverage than “The Apprentice” ever would have.  Another thing Trump seems to thrive off of is controversy and petty bickering…in public.  If the country wants that above actual laws and checks and balances, is that really his fault?  Almost certainly, but that’s not how his followers see it at all, alas.

          Has anyone estimated the change in the value to Trump’s properties and other (known) investments between 2015 and early 2017 when he took office?  It certainly seems like most of the info has not been made available publicly but, as the 2016 campaign progressed, it must have been steadily increasing in value, likely at a rate higher than the campaign contributions were rolling into the campaign itself.  No downside…

          So now it’s about giving this guy some serious downside… But, alas, it appears that in the current political climate, Trump may be the only player capable of bringing that about.  Hopefully the Russia investigation can help push him over the edge into making mistakes (if he hasn’t already) that cripple his power to the point of him being irrelevant as a power center in our society.

  7. Kick the darkness says:

    “the constant six-year old soccer chases after what happened in May 2017”

    Somehow I was not expecting Marcy to envision team Trump as six year olds playing kick and chase. I get it, but, for six years old, kicking and running, you know, that’s the game, stripped to fundamentals. Some kids run faster, some kick better, some play smarter. Its the parents jumping up and down, screaming for red cards-that’s the ugly. Maybe part of an extended metaphor.

    I guess what I’m wondering is, if you’re Trump, and thank god none of us are, why do you need any more cover to fire Rosenstein? Courtesy of Nunes, Jordan, other snotty six year olds in baggy shorts, how many times has he been offered that kingly crown? Sure, this latest NYT nipple chain yank can be construed as directly fingering Rosenstein. But what has held Trump in check so far along those lines? What’s holding him back?

    • Bri2k says:

      I can’t remember their names and it’s far too early to research, but a couple of leading Republicant’s have said firing Rosenstein is a “red line”. I think this is what’s been keeping Trump in check.

      • Kick the darkness says:

        Yes, I remember that too.  Perhaps time will reveal that a “red line” threat from congressional Republican’s was credible.  But by and large they seem to range from excusers, to enablers and even possible conspirators.  Perhaps there is a root indecisiveness to Trump.  Any leverage from pardoning Manafort-seemingly gone.  Any leverage from running the table of DOJ to get rid of Mueller-the investigation seems to have progressed pretty far.  Maybe he truly believes his position will improve after the midterms.  If so, let us hope he is dramatically miscalculating.

    • emptywheel says:

      I was referring to the press, not Trump. What happened in May is not the interesting part. What happened after is.

      • Kick the darkness says:

        Ah-I see.  I took it as chasing the parts the fit their narrative.  But the press doing kick and chase makes sense.  In that case I’ll stand by the part where there’s at least one kid on the field who’s playing smarter than the others.

  8. Mitch Neher says:

    emptywheel wrote, ” . . . Peter Strzok lost an August 2016 battle to investigate aggressively in summer and fall 2016 . . .”

    Many events would have turned out differently had Strzok been given permission to investigate aggressively in July of 2016. For one thing, Strzok would have interviewed Carter Page straightaway. Carter Page almost certainly would have informed the Trump campaign that the FBI was investigating him. At a minimum, Trump would have leaked that information to his old pals Maggie and Mike at The NYT. Once that information had been made public, Trump would have cried foul on The FBI for investigating his campaign. But the public disclosure of that investigation would have come from Trump, himself–not from The FBI.

    The American people would have gone to the polls on November 8th, 2016, knowing full well that the campaign of the Republican nominee for president was under FBI investigation due to Russia’s attempts to cultivate members of the Trump Campaign.

    Many events would have turned out differently had Comey taken Strzok’s advice.

  9. klynn says:

    Thank you for the timeline. Thank you for giving the source to the NYT’s false storyline that runs amoke now “notice” with your timeline. Especially your personal part of the timeline. That was not an easy decision for you. Hopefully, some really good journalists will “get” what this post does and become the better headlining newstory. Again, thank you. And a thank you to Mr. Wheeler for suporting you through this.

  10. Kevin Finnerty says:

    Does anyone want to take odds that Ezra Cohen-Watnik was a source for the NYT story? He’s been burrowed at DOJ for some time now, and this kind of obvious distortion of facts fits his MO.

  11. Willis Warren says:

    Today is a great day, Judge Nap agrees that trump is fucked

    “Stated differently, Manafort can help Mueller paint the Trump Tower meeting and whatever followed it as an agreement by the campaign to accept something of value from a foreign entity, even if the thing of value never arrived: That would be a criminal conspiracy, which my media colleagues call “collusion,” a non-legal term. Manafort can also inform Mueller of his financial deals with Trump that preceded Trump’s candidacy, at least one of which involved Russian money.”

  12. The Rubberband Man says:

    I guess the irony is that the brass running the DOJ and FBI (not to mention the Obama administration) tried to avoid investigating like the plague out of fear of “influencing the election”… only for Trump to cut off the head of the slow-witted beast and Robert Mueller to take their place?

    Like I’m genuinely curious if Trump simply let Comey stay on, whether the investigation would have continued to be as lethargic and half-assed as it had been in 2016. Trump obviously freaked out when Comey announced the investigation publically before Congress, but who’s to say it would have produced any relevant findings?

    • Bob Conyers says:

      There’s no doubt Mueller gave the investigations focus and intensity above what was happening before. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if hiring Mueller or another prosecutor wasn’t in the cards anyway. Trump was clearly worried about Flynn, and he may have been worried about other dirty laundry (not necessarily Russia related), so I suspect there would be a stink regardless. It’s probably going to be revealed that a lot of evidence was just barely below the surface. We just may not have had things so far along or well developed.

  13. Sam M says:

    I hope this comment goes through as the following may be seen as a different view on some of the points even if they actually occurred. With reference to the money transfers re Buzzfeed article – I’m amazed anyone in law enforcement would share individual and/or corporate banking information as suggested, mostly due to the severity of the criminal act with distributing same. However, it reads to me like a full audit was completed and no further action was warranted or taken, and I’m not sure what the accusation actually is – ‘Ruskie business guy pays his bills’.

    June 9, 2016 meeting;
    In my view one of the best places to begin to ingather information about the June 9, 2016 meeting would be the lengthy 52 page written testimony of Natalia Veselnitskyaya. NV fully answers the questions and describes in detail about the brief meeting, how it came about etc.

    See link to NV, 52 page written testimony of November 20, 2017;

    May need a crash course of The Magnitsky Act and Bill Browder’s activities to understand what she is going on about (ha ha). The section of the legal case NV was involved in goes back to 2012 but Browder’s activities with the assistance amongst others of the known peace activist, John McCain go back way before 2012.

    Another aspect which becomes clear is the minimal interactions if any with Fusion GPS as they were retained by the US law firm Baker & Hostetler who in turn were retained by NV acting for the client. It certainly appears Fusion GPS were involved in a very limited way, mostly tracking down Bill Browder to serve a subpoena because the laddie kept running away and possibly translation of legal documents. I think it was Glenn Simpson who confirmed meeting NV either side of the June 9 meeting but the fuller explanation is much less dramatic. There was either a court date or case conference which I think was on the 8th of June, it seems GS was in attendance but there would have been a umber of people there and as Baker & Hostetler were running the case, I’m not sure what the significance of GS attendance could be. The other so-called ‘meeting’ was when Baker & Hostetler arranged a dinner a few days later for their folk involved with the legal case, approx 30 people having drinks and pizza. Not exactly a spook meeting as has been reported.

    Around this time there was also a screening of the film, ‘The Magnitsky Act – Behind The Scenes’.
    Bill Browder was trying to ban the film everywhere but hasn’t succeeded;
    Screenings and Awards –
    2016 Premiere an the European Parliament in Brussels – cancelled due to legal threats by Bill Browder and Marieluise Beck
    2016 ARTE broadcast – cancelled due to legal threats by Bill Browder and Marieluise Beck
    2016 The Newseum, Washington DC, USA.
    2016 The official world premier in Oslo.
    2016 The Norwegian Short Film Festival, Grimstad, Norway – cancelled due to legal threats by Bill Browder
    2016 Nordisk Panorama Film Festival, Malmö, Sweden
    2016 Moscow International Film Festival, Russia
    2016 Bergen International Film Festival, Norway
    2016 Kapittel Film, Stavanger, Norway
    2016 Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy, Finland
    2017 Eurodok, Oslo, Norway
    2017 Tampere Film Festival, Finland
    2017 Nordic/Docs, Fredrikstad, Norway
    2017 The Norwegian Short Film Festival, Grimstad, Norway
    2017 Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin, Germany
    2017 International Festival Signes de Nuit, Paris, France
    2018 Festival Internacional Signos de la Noche, Tucumán, Argentina
    2018 International Festival Signs of the Night, Bangkok, Thailand
    2018 Telepolis Salon, Munich, Germany
    2016 Special Commendation – Prix Europa TV Documentary
    2017 Main Award, Student Jury – Festival international Signes de Nuit, Paris
    2018 Night Award, Festival Internacional Signos de la Noche – Tucumán, Argentina
    2018 The Signs Award, 16th International Festival Signs of the Night, Bangkok, Thailand
    Here is a link for the film. The first 30 mins are a bit slow but stick with it as the story unravels.
    This is part 1 of 6 of Bill Browder April 15, 2015 Deposition. During the sworn deposition Browder fully admits Sergei Magnitsky was not a lawyer but an accountant. Browder also has to admit under penalty of perjury (unlike US committee hearings) that taxes owed from companies he was involved with were not paid from as far back as 2001, and unlawful schemes were used to evade taxes. This began with regional courts passing judgment of outstanding taxes which were ignored by Browder & Co, eventually over several years these ramped up to treasury department intervention, but the video depositions explain better than I can.
    The lawyer questioning Browder is Mark Cymrot of Baker Hostetler and for those that are interested, NV is one of the people sitting in on the video deposition.

    • Rayne says:

      You made your point in the first graf. The rest is bullshit and little more than a form of DDoS in this thread — a different shiny object. This is the second attempt to shift narrative you’ve posted inside the four days and three comments you’ve made, the first being an attempt to claim there was “nothing in the Flynn matter.”

      Except Flynn pleaded guilty. And we’re not looking into Browder or Magnitsky but the conspiracy to defraud the US out of its election.

      Knock it off or find the exit.

    • Kevin says:

      If Veselnitskaya was essentially cover for Agalarov to either get info to/from the Trump team or find out if they were hypothetically willing to accept help from Russia, she could have been sent there without any knowledge of what was really going on behind the scenes in Russia. That’s why I think Agalarov’s people are more interesting than Veselnitskaya.

  14. Tracy says:

    Looks like Rob Goldstone is doing interviews, has a book coming out Tues; in an article in WaPo yesterday about him, he’s still towing the company line that TT meeting was a waste of time about adoptions:

    I didn’t read it carefully, it looks like just the spin he wants to put on everything.

  15. orionATL says:

    from a political standpoint, the waffling – maybe/maybe not, sort of – position of american national government and media leaders toward the proposition that the russian government was directly interfering in the presidential election was a major disaster for the democratic party.

    there was interference. the cia’s john brennan saw it. director of national security, general clapper saw it. the nsa’s adm. rogers made a very fine distinction saying he saw a russian effort to hurt clinton but isn’t “quite” as sure as the other intell services that its purpose was to help trump. the combined u.s. intell services did manage to issue an oct 2016 report saying russia was interfering at the command of putin.

    nontheless, the nytimes was left with doubt, ambiguity, or the need to make rather fine distinctions involving the assertion that there was no evidence that the russians and the trump campaign colluded, resulting in the infamous article a week before the election:

    “…  Eric Lichtblau and Steven Lee Myers Oct. 31, 2016

    WASHINGTON — For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.

    Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.

    Hillary Clinton’s supporters, angry over what they regard as a lack of scrutiny of Mr. Trump by law enforcement officials, pushed for these investigations. In recent days they have also demanded that James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., discuss them publicly, as he did last week when he announced that a new batch of emails possibly connected to Mrs. Clinton had been discovered.

    Supporters of Mrs. Clinton have argued that Mr. Trump’s evident affinity for Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — Mr. Trump has called him a great leader and echoed his policies toward NATO, Ukraine and the war in Syria — and the hacks of leading Democrats like John D. Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign, are clear indications that Russia has taken sides in the presidential race and that voters should know what the F.B.I. has found….”

    this bit of very careful reporting was not very helpful to voters about to make a decision about whether mr. trump was a good vhoice to be president.

    but more to the point here, the times reporters, lichtbrau and myers, assert that there was an fbi investigation in 2016. was there or was there not? if there was, why do its details not show up in their “many moving parts” chronology of sept 2018?

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