The House Intelligence Committee Can and Should Subpoena the 18-Minute Gap on the Trump Tower Deal

Over the last few days the following happened:

  • Buzzfeed published a story stating what the evidence already shows: Trump suborned perjury
  • Mueller’s spox Peter Carr issued an unprecedented rebuttal to a specific story
  • WaPo, in a story presenting DOJ’s side of events, revealed that someone from Rod Rosenstein’s office (probably Ed O’Callaghan, who has managed most interactions with Mueller’s office) called to ask them if they were going to issue such a statement

I am not certain whether the call from Rosenstein’s office violated Special Counsel regulations protecting the Special Counsel from day-to-day interference in the office, but it certainly is something Jerry Nadler’s committee should inquire about.

And while I think Mueller’s office can make a very good case they needed to respond to Buzzfeed’s story for prosecutorial reasons, Rosenstein’s involvement seems far more suspect, particularly since he’s the guy who set the new DOJ standard that even warning a journalist off a story, as former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker did, may get you disciplined or referred for prosecution. By all appearances, Peter Carr was playing by Rosenstein’s rules in his interactions with Buzzfeed, so Rosenstein is the last person who should weigh in if he doesn’t like the outcome.

But — in addition to House Judiciary Committee (HJC) asking DOJ about contacts between Rosenstein’s office and Mueller’s, as well as contacts between Big Dick Toilet Salesman Matt Whitaker and Rosenstein and contacts between the White House and either one — Congress has a means of pursuing this question that should not harm Mueller’s investigation: Subpoena the information that Cohen, Felix Sater, the Trump Organization, and the campaign withheld from the House Intelligence Committee so as to sustain Cohen’s false testimony through March 22, 2018.

I’ve put the section of the House Intelligence Report that deals with the Trump Tower deal below, with the claims we now know to be false underlined. In addition to a caveat that the findings in the section are based on the documents turned over to the committee, the section includes the following claims we now know to be false given Cohen’s statement of the offense and/or Buzzfeeed’s extensive report on the deal:

  • The report claims the deal died in January but communications (which may or may not be limited to text messages) between Sater and Cohen show that it continued (at least) through June and Buzzfeed suggests the communications extended into July. Rudy Giuliani today stated publicly it may have gone through November.
  • The report claims Cohen was working with Sater’s company, which may or may not be true. But Buzzfeed makes it clear there should be an October 2015 email between Sater and Cohen — sent weeks before Trump signed the Letter of Intent — showing that VTB, a sanctioned bank, would provide financing. A December 19, 2015 communication (it’s unclear whether email or text) would have showed VTB would host Cohen. On December 31, 2015, Sater sent an image showing another sanctioned bank, GenBank, would instead provide financing. There would also be a letter dated late January from Andrey Ryabinskiy, a Russian mortgage tycoon.
  • The report claims Cohen never received a response from anyone associated with the Russian government. But Cohen received a January 20, 2016 email from Dmitry Peskov’s personal assistant, and his call records would reflect a 20 minute call to the number she provided him to call her on.
  • Sater claimed to HPSCI that his claims about Putin’s involvement was “mere puffery” and that “neither President Putin nor any element of the Russian government was actually directly involved in the project.” Yet on January 21, Sater wrote Cohen, “It’s about [Putin] they called today,” which would show still more response to Cohen from the Russian government. And a May 5 text message from Sater to Cohen conveyed Dmitry Peskov’s invitation to attend the St. Petersburg Forum, at which Cohen could discuss the deal with Peskov and he might meet Putin personally.
  • The report says the deal failed because the due diligence failed and  Trump Organization’s representative (it’s unclear whether this would be Cohen, Sater, or someone else) lost confidence in the licensee. That’s almost certainly not consistent with whatever reason Cohen gave Sater on June 14, three hours after WaPo reported that Russia had hacked the DNC, to say he would not be traveling to St. Petersburg after all. There may well be discussion of the WaPo report in the four texts Sater sent Cohen. There also may be communication reflecting Cohen’s assurances that “We’ll go after Cleveland.”
  • The report says the potential licensing deal was not related to the campaign but Cohen, “asked a senior campaign official about potential business travel to Russia.” It’s unclear whether there’s a paper trail of that or not. But there are communications reflecting Cohen’s consideration of other campaign events — definitely the Convention and probably the WaPo report on the DNC hack. And there should be communications showing it go through November, only to be halted — or rather, moved under Segei Millian and George Papadopoulos — once Trump got elected.

While it’s possible the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) received the 2015 communications indicating that Trump contemplated working with sanctioned banks during the time he was running for President (in which case it would be scandalous that the Republicans suppressed that detail, and the one that a former GRU officer was involved), much of the rest of these communications could not have been turned over to HPSCI when they requested documents in 2017. While some of the communications are limited to texts between Sater and Cohen, at least some of this paper trail (including Cohen’s meetings with Trump and Don Jr about it) would either reside at the campaign or Trump Organization (or both).

Remember, when SDNY got a warrant — one naming “many” thus far uncharged people — to raid Michael Cohen a month after subpoenaing Trump Organization, they explained there was a concern that documents would get destroyed.

One of the filings on Cohen (I’m still trying to chase down this reference) suggests Mueller had to get his communications on this matter from someone else. It seems likely Mueller had to get the text messages from Sater’s phone (or perhaps even from forensics on Cohen’s own phone).

Nevertheless, the public record identifies an abundant paper trail that should have been turned over to HPSCI, Senate Intelligence Committee (SSCI), and Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC), but could not have been, given what HPSCI reported last March. Additionally, Don Jr’s testimony to HPSCI is necessarily inconsistent with his SJC, yet still appears to include false claims about the Trump Tower deal (though some got cleaned up between his September testimony to SJC and his December testimony to HPSCI).

While Cohen was initially formally subpoenaed (though possibly only for Steele dossier documents), Trump Organization, Felix Sater, and the campaign were not.

Adam Schiff’s committee can make an important first step to clear up questions about the degree to which Trump only tacitly permitted Cohen, Sater, and his spawn to lie to Congress, or whether — as was the case with the June 9 response — his lawyers worked directly with witnesses to craft a false message to the public and Congress. If the June 9 response is any indication, there should be communications directly between Alan Futerfas or Garten with Cohen as he crafted his false story, which would go a long way to showing that their ultimate client suborned perjury.

Rosenstein’s intervention with Mueller’s office regarding Friday’s statement suggests that he, the Big Dick Toilet Salesman, or their boss, may be trying to tamp down discussions about Trump participating in Cohen’s lies. But because the discovery to HPSCI was so obviously incomplete, that committee has an available significant first step that could answer that question themselves, with little opportunity for DOJ to prevent that (and, given that the documents have already been identified in Buzzfeed’s story already, probably little risk of damaging the Mueller investigation in the way that further Cohen testimony might).

It may not be the kind of showboat witness testimony Schiff seems most interested in right now. But he has the ability to demand all the documents that show what details Cohen, Sater, and the President’s company and campaign knew to withhold to sustain Cohen’s lies. That — and a request for any communications about this matter, both in 2017 and in the wake of last year’s raid on Cohen — would go a long way towards answering a question that only Congress can deal with anyway: the degree to which Donald Trump orchestrated his lawyers’ lies about his ongoing business negotiations with Russia while Russia was helping him get elected.

House Intelligence Report

In approximately September 2015, he received a separate proposal for Trump Tower Moscow from a businessman named [Sater] According to Cohen, the concept of the project was that “[t]he Trump Organization would lend its name and management skills, but It was not going to borrow any money and it would not have any resulting debt for the purchase of the land and the building of the facility.”;~ Cohen worked on this idea with [Sater] and his company, the Bayrock Group, a real estate consultancy that had previously worked with the Trump Organization.

[gratuitous paragraph on what a colorful fellow Sater is]

(U) After signing a letter of intent with a local developer in October 2015,36 Cohen and [Sater] exchanged a number of emails and text messages in late 2015 detailing their attempts to move the project forward. For instance, in December 2015, [Sater] tried to get Cohen and candidate Trump to travel to Russia to work on the project.

(U) Several of [Sater’s] communications with Cohen involved an attempt to broker a meeting or other ties between candidate Trump and President Putin, and purported to convey Russian government interest in the project. Perhaps most notably, [Sater] told Cohen in a November 3, 2015, email, “[b]uddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it.” 39 [Sater] continued that if “Putin gets on stage with Donald for a ribbon cutting for Trump Moscow, . .. Donald owns the republican nomination.” 10 This assertion apparently arose from [Sater’s] rather grandiose theory that cementing a deal with a hostile U.S. adversary would increase candidate Trump’s foreign policy bona fides.41

(U) Sater testified that his communications with Cohen regarding President Putin were ”mere puffery,” designed to elicit a response from the · Trump Organization to move the project along.42 [Sater] explained that “[u]ntil the bank writes the check, it’s all salesmanship and promotion to try to get many, many, many parties towards the center to try to get the deal done.” 43 Cohen similarly characterized [Sater] as “a salesman” who “uses very colorful language.”44

(U) When the project started proceeding too slowly for the Trump Organization,45 Cohen and [Sater] began to exchange acrimonious text messages. 46 As part of those text messages [Sater] told Cohen that President Putin’s people were backing the deal, including “this is thru Putins [sic] administration, and nothing gets done there without approval from the top,” as well as meetings in Russia with “Ministers” and “Putins [sic] top administration people.”] [Sater] also mentioned Dmitry Peskov (President Putin’s spokesman) would “most likely” be included. 48

(U) Cohen thus attempted to reach out to members of the Russian government in an attempt to make the project proceed, but apparently did not have any direct points of contact. for example, Cohen sent an email to a general press mailbox at the Kremlin in an effort to reach Peskov.49 Cohen’s message notes that he has been working with a local partner to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and that communications have stalled with the local partner.50 The email further seeks contact with Peskov so they may ” discuss the specifics as well as arrang[e] meetings with the appropriate individuals.”51 Based on the documents produced to the Committee, it does not appear Cohen ever received a response from anyone affiliated with the Russian government.

(U) [Sater’s] testimony likewise made clear that neither President Putin nor any element of the Russian government was actually directly involved in the project. For instance, in one exchange, [Sater] testified he was offering the Trump Organization access to one of his acquaintances. This acquaintance was an acquaintance of someone else who is “partners on a real estate development with a friend of Putin’s.” 52

[Sater] testified that he was unaware of “any direct meetings with any [Russian] government officials” in connection with the Trump Tower Moscow project.53 In addition, neither candidate Trump nor Cohen traveled to Russia in support of the deal.54

[U] It appears the Trump Tower Moscow project failed in January 2016.57 Trump Jr. testified that, as of early June 2016, he believed the Trump Tower Moscow project was dormant.53 The project failed because “[t]he due diligence did not come through” and the Trump Organization’s representative “lost confidence in the licensee, and [he] abandoned the project.”59 In fact, the Trump Organization did not have a confirmed site, so the deal never reached the point where the company was discussing financing arrangements for the project.60 The Committee determined that the Trump Tower Moscow project did not progress beyond an early developmental phase, and that this potential licensing deal was not related to the Trump campaign.61

As I disclosed last 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. 

136 replies
    • Rayne says:

      Yup. Sure does.

      Going to ask readers to do me a favor if they have a Twitter account: grab the URL from this post and retweet it, or retweet Marcy’s post from this link. Thanks! Let’s make sure the House Intelligence Committee considers subpoenaing this material.

  1. Morgan Warstler says:

    When it turns out that multiple folks attempt to set up Trump RE deals in his organization every day…  AND it turns out that Cohen was trying to make as much hay as he could during Trump’s run and Cohen continued to do that after the election when he sold ‘Access” to companies….  AND Trump hears constantly from his people, as they say, I’m working on this deal boss…”  AND in Trump’s world (the real world) and DEAL is $$$ changes hands….

    Everyone in the real world (business) will yawn and say, “he didn’t think he was gonna win, he was still a private citizen.”

    THIS IS HOW CEOs are, and our future is ALL CEO POTUS, so you should get used to this state of affairs.

    • Rayne says:

      So you’re a fan and advocate of corruption, including violations of campaign finance law.

      Noted. *eye roll*

      And no, not all CEOs are like this. The overwhelming majority of U.S. corporations’ CEOs serving publicly-traded entities are fully aware when they sign their publicly-viewable financial statements they can be held personally liable for the accuracy of the statement’s contents. They can be sued by shareholders and prosecuted by federal law enforcement, have the SEC all up in their grill. They could lose value on any shares they own of the corporation because of their own corruption and have assets seized during prosecution.

      But that’s a big reason why Trump’s businesses aren’t publicly traded. The one time he took a business public was the Trump Hotels & Casinos and we all know how that turned out — what remains of it is privately held by Icahn Enterprises.

      If you’re going to troll here, bring a better game or save your time and move on.

      • Morgan Warstler says:

        We are going to see more CEOs run and win. Bezos, Zuck, Schultz… get used to it.  There is a clear lesson that Trump gets things done.  And for a lot of folks in the private sector, like myself, a CEO from either party is preferable over one who isn’t.

        Trump’s organization continued to run as it always had and only after he was elected was it explained they’d lay off future deals, but keep the current operations ongoing.

        The man OWNS the Hotel across the street from the White House.  No one is shocked that he wanted to use his campaign for his brand even if he lost.

        It’s FINE to play reddit detectives on actual collision….  but that requires Trump instructed Putin to hack the DNC (he didn’t), and they didn’t hack the DNC… it was more than likely some version of these fools:

        Note: Putin would kill his team of hackers if they were using unpaid bitly accounts and mass broadcasting malware and PDFs etc.  And EVERYONE was up inside Hillary’s server.

        Anyway, don’t get bogged down in Cohen trying to get himself a 5% deal fee on $300M for his boss up until it simply wasn’t gonna get done… because thats what happens everyday in business.

        And I’m not going to make Zuck or Bezos shut down their “control” of their babies just because they might give us some of their years as our POTUS.

        A new world requires new norms.

        • JD12 says:

          Jesus Christ.

          There is no indication Bezos has any interest in running. And with Zuck’s awful public speaking skills and poor crisis management, he has no shot.

          You’re going to lecture other people on the “real world”? Trump is as delusional as they come. What are you, some kind of Ayn Rand cultist or something?

          • Wajim says:

            Hey, at least Rand could sustain a somewhat coherent, if ultimately insane, narrative (have you read “We the Living”?).  This guy is merely a nut.

        • DrFunguy says:

          “A new world requires new norms.”
          Shorthand for I am so looking forward to the US becoming the next kleptocratic superpower.

        • Hobbs says:

          I believe the man leases the hotel across the street.

          Say what you will, but Jimmy Carter gave up his beloved peanut farm.

          The only “new norm” here is guys like you.

          • JD12 says:

            That’s the best way to prove to the country that you truly care about the people. If Carter didn’t sell the farm there would’ve been lots of peanut fans in places like Saudi Arabia.

            Even I thought the uproar over the emoluments clause was over the top at first, but looking closely it seems that Trump’s Washington Hotel (or the one he leases) is precisely what they were worried about. It is the new norm; bribery is as old as government. The Saudis spend lots of money at Trump’s hotel and they expect favors for it, they see nothing wrong with that.

            • koolmoe says:

              And not just the Saudis! Lots of influence-seekers over the past two years, and even fairly recently execs from companies looking for a big merger approval:


              Is it just a convenient location? Sure! Does it hurt from the petitioner side to go there instead of elsewhere if it helps sway a decision? Surely not!

              Is it ethical that Trump/family profit from folks seeking favorability from the President. Absofreakinlutely NOT

        • Rayne says:

          Well, David K. Peers — who’s posted 32 comments since late October using different account information — trolls fit a pattern of behavior which we don’t always share in complete detail with our readers.

          One of the pieces fitting a pattern of trolling is posting off-topic content with a degree of persistence.

          Another factor is not merely having an opposing opinion — I often do which is why my posts caution readers not to confuse mine with other contributors here. It’s taking positions which are both in complete opposition while providing poor to no reasoning and/or citations to back up one’s point. Here’s a fine example.

          There are other cumulative factors but sharing them is discretionary.

          Now that you’ve dropped into this thread and left two comments about trolling, do you have any well-reasoned comments focusing on a subpoena of the Trump Tower-Moscow deal documentation by the House Intelligence Committee?

  2. Semanticleo says:

    “Schiff’s committee can make an important first step to clear up questions about the degree to which Trump only tacitly permitted Cohen, Sater, and his spawn to lie to Congress, or whether — as was the case with the June 9 response — his lawyers worked directly with witnesses to craft a false message to the public and Congress.”

    Can Trump be just a little pregnant?

    Public support will depend on unequivocal criminal  behavior and it seems Trump mostly frames his behavior on Omerta but exceedingly on plausible deniability.  The Public Jury often sees no sin in faux ignorance of teh Law.

  3. P J Evans says:

    @ Morgan Warstler
    Wut? Try making sense next time.
    (Also, CEOs aren’t usually like that.
    Tr*mp is a very incompetent CEO – witness him going broke multiple times, including with a casino, and having to be bailed out by his father at least once.)

    • Morgan Warstler says:

      Businesses fail. That’s life.  You move on and do it again.

      Trump is an immensely successful businessman.  It’s a really bad error on your part rhetorically, to try and diminish a guy with his life and pile of accomplishments. Almost everyone who grew up with his opportunities did far less with those advantages.

      I’m not saying there aren’t better CEOs. And many CEOs will be better than Trump at being POTUS.

      I’m simply saying since it feels good to tell yourself Trump isn’t good at business, you should probably discount it as something that not’s true, but feels good to say.

      • Rayne says:

        LOL I can’t bring myself to bin your fairy tales because they are just too funny.

        Trump is a highly successful conman. You’ve bought his con so deeply you can’t let it go because you’d have to admit failure at assessing what’s true and not true; you might have to admit any business run based on similar models is problematic.

        Are some CEOs highly successful conmen? Sure. “Neutron Jack” Welch was one and the impact of his short-term con can be seen in what General Electric is today. But what Welch did was legal — unethical but legal.

        Trump, by comparison, doesn’t care if what his businesses do is ethical or legal.

        What a fascinating approach you’d bring to public relations work.

        p.s. It would behoove you to learn about information security.

  4. Alan says:

    @ Morgan Warstler

    > THIS IS HOW CEOs are, and our future is ALL CEO POTUS, so you should get used to this state of affairs.

    uh, no–this is not how “CEO’s” are, and it is completely unacceptable and we don’t have to “get used to it”. We have a right to demand integrity in government, and in business.

    • Morgan Warstler says:

      OK, I’m just telling you to look at the trend line.

      Look, in America, the private sector runs everything. We have 435 Congressional districts and in EACH ONE since there have been CDs, there are like 1-5 guys who are the largest employers, and regardless of party they run it like baseball farm teams. They toss money to the judges, the city council, the mayor, state reps, county commissioners, and on and on and from that farm team, historically the best producers for the private sector guys, MOVE UP to run for Congress.  And they get to Congress and they are still working for men back home.

      What we’re seeing now that DC is fun place to hang out and you can be ugly famous… is that the business guys are willing to do these jobs themselves and GUESS WHAT?

      They are smarter and better at getting things done, they have a general disgust for bureaucracy – you can be the worlds biggest progressive and if you have signed the front of paychecks, you are naturally inclined to focus on the government being efficient and firing bad employees, and killing non-performing projects…

      And this is a good thing!

      Many fiscal conservatives would be happy to vote for progressive who ran government like a business to increase welfare basket.  When something is a GOOD DEAL, you buy MORE OF IT.

      Right now its a terrible deal.

  5. Alan says:

    @ Semanticleo

    > Public support will depend on unequivocal criminal  behavior

    uh, no.  Public support will depend on a lot of factors.  I have no doubt there is a whole lot of unequivocal criminal  behavior in the Trump administration, but criminal behavior is a question of law, and law depends on facts and evidence and truth, and I have no doubt we will in time get the facts and evidence and uncover the truth.

  6. Brumel says:

    Occam would raze off the rather unlikely hypothesis that both Rosenstein broke the Regulations *and* Mueller actively complied, when the call from Rosenstein’s office may well have been made in response to a by-the-book Urgent Report of a “significant event” from Mueller, asking for consultation on further procedure. It’s easy to see how such action could morph into the sensationalist WaPo account.

  7. Trip says:

    Just to recap/reiterate: July 26, 2018
    Trump Organization Finance Chief Called to Testify Before Federal Grand Jury
    Longtime Trump executive Allen Weisselberg has been subpoenaed in Michael Cohen probe

    Allen Weisselberg, a longtime financial gatekeeper for President Donald Trump, has been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in the criminal probe of Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, according to people familiar with the investigation.

    Mr. Weisselberg is considered a witness in the investigation, the people said. It isn’t known whether he has already appeared before the grand jury or what questions prosecutors of New York’s Southern District have had for him.~WSJ

  8. Trip says:

    Rusharuse, a couple of them really like emailing. (and maybe scotch, bourbon or vodka).

    Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Threatens Stranger in Emails: ‘Watch Your Back, Bitch’

    Kasowitz replied with series of angry messages sent between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern time. One read: “I’m on you now.  You are fucking with me now Let’s see who you are Watch your back , bitch.”
    In another email, Kasowitz wrote: “Call me.  Don’t be afraid, you piece of shit.  Stand up.  If you don’t call, you’re just afraid.” And later: “I already know where you live, I’m on you.  You might as well call me. You will see me. I promise.  Bro.”
    Kasowitz’s spokesman, Michael Sitrick, said Thursday he couldn’t immediately reach Kasowitz for comment.

    Trump Attorney John Dowd Forwards Bizarre Email Rant Defending Robert E. Lee

  9. Diane says:

    Morgan, the likely troll, says in the future US voters will only elect CEOs as president.

    Seriously? Why would we do this, Morgan? Because Trump is doing such a bang-up job crunching the numbers? Trump’s personal debt is $480 million. He’s created a US debt of $21 TRILLION.

    The next time we elect a business person, we should insist it be a SUCCESSFUL business person, not someone who has run 17+ companies into the ground.

    • Trip says:

      There was an article somewhere, perhaps aggregated by rawstory or alternet, which reported that Trump voters don’t know (or don’t want to know) his history, and thus consider him a “self-made man”.

      • Morgan Warstler says:

        You’re being lied to.

        I did oppo for Perry on Trump way back when and my best guess was and still is…

        Trump’s single biggest reason for running was to get US companies to be able to bring their foreign earnings home. Mission accomplished.

        Trump’s biggest invention and it is what I’d call an invention, is that he figured out how to build and run 5 star hotels in  3rd world markets where he wasn’t allowed to own the land outright and government corruption is rampant.  The terms are outlined in his LOI with Trump World Tower with the Russians, go read them.

        Trump’s financials clearly showed that his US owned properties the ones he owns free and clear no debt – they generated about 5% returns YOY all his money, and that $ he used to buy more properties.  This isn’t people licensing his brand in US, and it’s not casinos airlines etc.   It’s country clubs, hotels, and condos.


        BUT, his foreign licensing deals 50%+ profits YOY.  And it’s my guess that those companies, like all smart businessmen, he’d set those up in Ireland and dump all the profits (I think between 500M-1B) there untaxed.

        The only actual policy idea he had when he announced was bringing corporate profits home and I’m pretty sure his tax returns show maybe 33% his current wealth was being held there.

        Anyway, yeah Trump is a successful businessman.

          • P J Evans says:

            Given that the Rapture is a non-biblical American religious thing, apparently invented by people who are afraid of both death and change – probably when they die. (And then they get to the Pearly Gates and discover that their deity isn’t the one there to greet them.)

        • Just Rob says:

          @ Mor’ War’, did you really just reference Trump’s tax returns?  And say, “I’m pretty sure?”


  10. Jockobadger says:

    Hey Trip, I’m as obtuse as usual, so I’ll just ask outright: Are you suggesting that Trump’s money man may have had info about Cohen’s testimony before Congress? Perhaps he overheard Trump giving Cohen “advice” prior to his testimony? Or something like that? Then Weisselberg gave it to the GJ or SDNY and Buzzfeed got it from….? Thanks much to all of you.

  11. CaliLawyer says:

    Rudy seems to be alleging that comms went both directly and indirectly via Trump’s attorneys and JDA, in which case the crime-fraud exception to the privilege would apply if DJT did indeed suborn perjury. Since suborning perjury and using attorneys to cover illegal acts seem to be TrumpCo MOs, I’m guessing BF got it right and the involvement of the attorneys is the source of the disagreement between SCO and SDNY about whether or not DJT himself suborned the perjury. It also confirms one thing I’ve suspected – that Cohen’s SoO was carefully limited in scope to be accurate but incomplete and confined to what was necessary to that plea deal. The SoO only covers the Tower deal through July if I recall correctly – the BF allegations address later activity which could we’ll have been suborned directly rather than sticking to a common and public script as the SoO swears. SCO has been extremely circumspect with anything involving the first family, which is both careful and smart, and is saving them for the very end (along with whatever else might be explosive and controversial). I believe only SDNY has IDd DJT as an unindicted co-conspirator, although someone here can correct me on that if not. SDNY loves publicity.

  12. Trip says:

    Jockobadger says:
    January 20, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    I don’t know. Here’s an excerpt from BuzzFeed (which was disputed by the SCO)

    The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.

    The GJ subpoena was sought by the SDNY, not Mueller’s team.

    I suppose someone might be floating stories, to see how Rudy responds, too. Already this AM, Rudy is saying Trump talked to Cohen about his testimony. Maybe it’s the old school poker game bluff used in police interrogations (where they mention X evidence) which may or may not be true, but it might elicit a confession.

  13. Jim_46 says:

    CaliLawyer @ January 20, 2019 at 12:05 pm: “I’m guessing BF got it right and the involvement of the attorneys is the source of the disagreement between SCO and SDNY about whether or not DJT himself suborned the perjury.”

    Excellent comment overall and in this detail especially. Thanks for this.

  14. Truthcanhurt says:

    Well, I have to tell you there is a huge kernel of truth about the CEO line above. You legal minds that have ventured beyond the ivory towers and legal halls have certainly seen the amoral, selfish nature of the men America now creates. Donald Trump is not some odd ball, he has been in business for decades and he brought with him and was funded well by the business elite. It may be nice to dismiss that all as a coincidence, but you know what they say about that. Trump is part, parcel and a direct product of America business, and the country would be foolish to think he’s an oddball one-off.

    • HRHTish says:

      Wrongo, buddy. The so called “business elite” has given Trump a wide berth for decades. He doe not run in their business or social circles. No US bank will loan him money. Only a high risk unit out of the corrupt Deutschebank has considered the high interest rates it’s charging him to be worth the risk he may ultimately default. The rest of what he obtains in financing is laundered.

      • Truthcanhurt says:

        I’ll make it more clear – Donald J Trumps style, mannerisms, and his outlook on life are shared overwhelmingly by the business class which is increasingly amoral and reckless with everything it touches. Trump ran, quite honestly and frankly, as a product of American business and intended to run government as such. He has made good on that promise and the legal and ethical folks don’t like what they see. His business is and was not a small mom and pop. The man knows everyone. If we want to see the country survive this, we have to face reality.

        • Rayne says:

          Do you have anything at all to add to the topic of this post which focuses on the House Intelligence Committee and its need to subpoena documentation on the Trump Tower deal?

          Because right now you have only two comments at this site ever, both made today in this thread, both tackling the same off-topic matter that a provocateur discussed in this same thread.

          I’m leaving your comments so our regular community members catch on to the nature of the problem.

          • EWTRTW says:

            I come to E.W. to learn about the nuances and finer points of the Trump-Russia scandal. I come not only to gain the insights of Marcie and other occasional authors, but also those of the highly intelligent cadre of those who comment on the topic at hand. I almost always read the entire thread and often find the comments as enlightening as the featured article. I don’t mind reading opposing views, even ones that may be ardently pro Tяump. In general I welcome a challenge to my perspective on all topics, and have always considered the debates in which my opinion has been swayed by some bit of the discussion that I hadn’t previously contemplated the most worthwhile.

            That said, I see nothing of value in these posts today by Morgan Warstler and Truthcanhurt (quite the ironic screen name ya got there). There are not intelligent contributions to the discussion, they’re not even remotely on topic, nor do they indicate that these pro-Tяump even possess the intellect to comprehend the topic at hand. No one here is going to be swayed by the ignorant ravings of Tяump cultists who can’t even parse the propaganda they’ve obviously been swilling from reality.

            Trump is not, was not and will never be a successful business man. He was handed a fortune by his father (much of which was actually stolen from the American public through illegal tax evasion schemes), which he proceeded to squander through his poor business judgement. This is one of the many reasons he won’t release his tax returns. His only true business talents have always been screwing over hard working people who trusted him, being shady enough to risk criminal prosecution for participate in money laundering schemes, and fooling gullible people into believing he is a successful business man (many of which, including those who made political contributions, were soon parted with their money). I can go just about anywhere on the web and read all the BS pro-Tяump propaganda. I come here for something more.

            [FYI, two breaks inserted to improve readability on smaller devices. /~Rayne]

  15. cue says:

    Who knows if the “Morgan Wharstler ” posting above was the real Morgan Wharstler who apparently was (and possibly still is) the ” Founder / CEO @GovWhiz Inc” according to a twitter account.

    Additional bonafides apparently are provided by various news accounts describing the employment of former Governor of Texas Rick Perry as an apparent GovWhizz Inc ‘grease monkey’ (or lobbyist for the professional privatization pearlclutchers) as follows:

    “Getting an audience with high-level state bureaucrats is a difficult task, but it pays off big time for companies hungry for a piece of the billions of dollars Texas doles out to private industry each year.

    Many companies hire lobbyists to get close to the money. Often, those lobbyists know their way around because they used to work in government, either as a lawmaker or state employee. Get a couple of those on your roster, add the state’s longest-serving governor, and you might just have the most connected company in Texas.

    A virtually unknown Austin company called GovWhiz accomplished just that in recent weeks.

    On Monday, former Gov. Rick Perry arranged a private meeting between GovWhiz and the top two officials at the Texas Lottery Commission.

    GovWhiz has become Exhibit A, ethics watchdogs say, of the pervasive influence-peddling that underscored Perry’s 14-year administration — a time of unprecedented privatization of state government and an era replete with contract scandals and high-level state appointments of the governor’s top donors.

    Any CEO who can respond to media questions about the above situation with the following:

    “The nature of the meeting with Perry, Walt, GovWhiz representatives and Krause was unclear, though the company’s efforts to sell to other state agencies show they’re interested in developing Web and phone applications.

    Comments made Friday on Twitter by GovWhiz chief executive Morgan Warstler suggest part of the business model includes outsourcing software development for state projects — already a booming cottage industry — and a hidden page on the company’s website suggest the company is affiliated with Fizzy Software, an outsource coding outfit based in Gurgaon, India.

    Warstler would not provide details to the American-Statesman about what he is selling but said, “It’s a whole new thing. It’s really that big of a deal.””

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A standard, uninventive broker arrangement.  Warstler sounds like an intermediary with no skills beyond salesmanship and a personal network.  He gets a piece of a corrupt pie by putting together an incompetent government determined to outsource to the private sector and a modest private sector service provider of indeterminate origin, resources, and intent.

      But I misspoke.  The key to such arrangements is for the intermediary to wildly overcharge for the modestly priced foreign vendor and keep the difference. The arrangement depends on the (foreign) vendor not having the status or network to maintain the relationship on its own.

      It’s the same logic movers shakers use when they charge a million bucks for a five-minute phone call to a guy who knows a guy who can make a problem go away.

      • Thomasa says:

        Much of this discussion makes me long for Doonsbury to reprise Uncle Duke’s adventures in Berzerkistan.

  16. Trip says:

    Fisher Island condo belonging to Trump friend, billionaire Agalarov, hit with foreclosure

    Morgan Stanley filed suit for $2.8M, after the bank froze accounts
    The ripple effect from the Trump-Russia investigation led to a problem for the Miami real estate holdings of Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov, a friend of President Trump. Morgan Stanley is suing Agalarov in a $2.8 million foreclosure action tied to a condo on ritzy Fisher Island..Morgan Stanley was one of three banks that froze Agalarov’s U.S. bank accounts last fall due to concerns over millions in transfers to those accounts from Russia, Agalarov’s New York attorney Scott Balber confirmed.

  17. Jonathan says:

    “This may be how a lot of CEOs are,” if they run small family businesses and never have to deal with the scrutiny/ pressure of the the big time or running a public company. But in corporate America, much of what you learn, through tacit messaging and experience, is which rules you can break and which ones you can’t. Trump would never have risen through the ranks of most decently run major corporations. You can bet that even large family companies (think Cargill, M&M Mars, Koch) are not run like this either.

    • Rayne says:

      Trump would have been fired and possibly reported to law enforcement for some of the crap he’s done with his own businesses had he worked at the corporations where I’ve worked in finance and legal departments.

      Speaking of which, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any journalist ask the folks who are key personnel in Trump businesses what company does their auditing.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I agree that Trump would have been filtered out quickly as a scam artist, even in a privately-held company, unless his dad was principal shareholder or CEO.  Trump worked there because he owned the place.

      Trump would not have been filtered out because of his business ethics, or rather his demonstrable lack of them.  He would have been filtered out because he was an arrogant dumb shit who couldn’t keep his pants zipped (not unusual), AND because he was a serial incompetent who could not learn, perform, keep his mouth shut, or fall on his sword for a superior.

      • P J Evans says:

        We had someone like that come in as a contract temp – they were good at bullshit, good enough to get through two interviews with it. But they couldn’t do the job, they couldn’t learn, and they kept letting their side scams take part of their work day. We were still cleaning up the messes they left in the database, a year after they’d been sent back to the agency who’d sent them, and they were still lying on their resume then (they’d signed up with major job networking site).

  18. Avattoir says:

    Jonathan, I’ve been involved in fairly substantial litigation against two of those three, and while their legal counsel tend to come across as a lot more smooth, I was never struck by any material difference in corporate ethos between either of them and Trump Org.

  19. cue says:

    “WeiserMazars’ clients include a taxi-medallion lender and a small perfume maker. It’s also Trump’s accounting firm, Crain’s has ascertained, although the Republican front-runner won’t name it, referring to it only as a “big accounting firm–one of the most respected.” It is, in fact, the nation’s 24th largest such firm. Respected? Certainly. Big? No.

    The firm is not eager to trumpet its relationship with The Donald, and would not comment for this story or confirm Trump is a client. However, public filings show the foundations controlled by Trump and his son Eric are both audited by WeiserMazars. Fellow accountants say it’s routine for their firms to audit the charitable activities of their top business clients. And Donald Bender, who signed the foundations’ returns, heads WeiserMazars’ Long Island real estate practice. He did not return a call.”

  20. CaliLawyer says:

    BF’s level of confidence tells me they’ve had direct access to a lot of the underlying source docs. You have to love the irony of Rudy getting devoured by the SDNY tabloid culture he, more than anyone, nurtured through mob boss perp walks and selective leaking.

  21. SteveB says:


    In the SDNY case they have all the evidence re Trump directing Cohen to participate in the hush payments scheme, and in consequence have a mass of evidence of the patterns of behaviour by Trump associates lying theiving and cheating in anticipation of his subsequent approval of their methods in general and occassionaly in particular

    Arguably SDNY, armed with such pattern of interaction evidence, would feel bullish about interpreting lies by Cohen in other contexts intended by him to work towards ends Trump would will, as being within a scheme authorised by Trump ie treating it as strong circumstantial evidence of prior approval that is tantamount to direction.
    The SCO may or may not have all the SDNY material on Cohen Trump, and in any case my take a different view as to its utility to them.

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Re VTB, “doing business” is a broad category that is defined differently for different purposes: regulatory, tax, legal, and so on. It does not necessarily require a completed deal – Trump’s apparent meaning – or the ongoing conduct of business in a country or with a particular party.

    Physically meeting and conducting negotiations with a prohibited person might easily qualify as conducting business for regulatory compliance purposes.

    It probably would for aiding a terrorist organization, for example, just as tenuous a relationship as leaving water in a desert for would be asylum seekers is regarded by this regime as criminal. It’s not as if Trump has a history of understanding, respecting or complying with these sorts of regulations or laws generally.

    Regarding the “failure” of the Trump Tower Moscow deal, there are many possible reasons. They include that Putin never intended it to become a reality: too unreliable a partner, too incompetent and financially compromised a partner, too many favors to pull in from oligarchs affected by such a deal, too much competition for existing investments in which Putin had an interest.

    But in my experience, executives as willful as Trump do not nix projects because of what due diligence reveals. They more often wish away the negatives. In a controlled corporation like Trump’s, my guess is that it’s never happened, even assuming it ever performed reasonable due diligence.

  23. lawrence a fisher says:

    This morning, Giuliani desperately trying to muddy water, especially in regards to when Cohen stopped briefing Trump on Trump Tower Moscow. He says between Oct or Nov 2016, while Cohen’s Congressional testimony was January. My claim is this project was more likely dead in the water by June, after the Trump tower NYC meeting of June 9, and supported by Cohen’s cancellation of his trip to Moscow on June 14. Also, the claim that Trump Org was going to earn $300 million on this deal seems far-fetched. Finally, is it possible that Trump Tower Moscow is code for Russian hacking and distribution of hacked material in order to help Trump become POTUS? Like when Russian adoptions was code for sanctions relief.

  24. Alan says:

    @ Morgan Warstler

    > The man OWNS the Hotel across the street from the White House.

    Dude, you are misinformed about many things. Since you are just here trolling, I won’t even try to get into all of them, but here’s an easy and indisputable basic fact that you can’t even get right: that building is owned by the Federal Government. The Trump organization has a lease for it, just like the laundromat down the street from you leases its space.

  25. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Cohen sent an email to a general press mailbox at the Kremlin in an effort to reach Peskov.49 Cohen’s message notes that he has been working with a local partner to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and that communications have stalled with the local partner.50

    In any regulatory state such as Russia, China, or Japan, this approach would be proof positive that the state and the relevant private parties would NOT want to do business with this foreign organization.

    It is grossly incompetent, it is demonstrably ignorant of host state business and political cultures.  Those host state parties might continue to conduct talks with such a foreign party.  But it is highly unlikely they would do so for any purpose but to manipulate them to some end of their own: the nominal project they would have discussed was never getting off the ground.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Re lawrence a fisher, yea, $300 million for a no-liability name licensing deal was a dangle, a trumped up number Moscow thought would plant the hook into the Don. It was never gonna happen.

    Nobody gets that much money for a name and marketing deal. Moscow was never gonna let a serial failure chump like Trump manage a signature project in the middle of Moscow that existed only because Putin had given it his imprimatur. A public failure that required a large renegotiation or refi in a place like that has real world consequences that Trump has never dreamt of.

  27. Savage Librarian says:

    @cue makes an interesting observation about @Morgan Warstler. Having worked for a local, a state and federal government, I have learned never to underestimate the devious things that sapiens do. Let’s hope the software mentioned is not related to elections. You might want to take a look at:

    CODE RED: Computerized elections and the War on American Democracy: Election 2018 ed (or even 2016 ed.) – by Jonathan D. Simon

    Jonathan D. Simon

    CODE RED: Computerized Elections and the War on American Democracy: Election 2018 Edition

  28. MattyG says:

    Redhats will welcome and even encourage talk of DTs shyster/illegal business practices if it diverts from the historically epic accusation of working in league with The Other Side.

    • Rayne says:

      Bingo. That’s exactly why we have a fresh influx of folks not commenting on the House Intel Committee or a subpoena in this thread.

      Denial of (comment) service by change of topic.

  29. Trip says:

    This entire narrative above by the “CEO brigade” is fucking stupid. end of. stop. period.

    Trump’s fortune is the result of tax evasion, skimming, cheating, stiffing, buying dirty politicians, being handed an enormous lump of inheritance, which he then squandered…

    Rescued later by opening a laundromat.

  30. P J Evans says:

    @Morgan le Troll
    “Trump is an immensely successful businessman.”
    Not by any evidence I’ve seen. He certainly wants people to think that – but multiple bankruptcies says he isn’t even close to being competent at business. Casinos are generally profitable – look at Las Vegas! – and he couldn’t make money with one.
    Successful businesspeople can retire from their businesses without having to worry about lawyers coming after them. They don’t need to have their egos fed every day by tame media, and they don’t need PR people to fluff them.

    • Rayne says:

      It took about six comments, a little research with an assist by one of our commenters, but I think we had a visit from someone who was intended to derail discussion. They picked a sensitive topic and leaned on it.


      Somebody doesn’t want us to talk about a subpoena.

      • MattyG says:

        hmmm… plotting troll frequency/intensity against post subject matter could yield interesting results. I haven’t been here all that long but there is definitely an ebb and flow to trollwork, and the EW site seems to attract a consistently “meaty” strain of it.

  31. quickbread says:

    Regarding this Morgan Warstler, I am no lawyer, but I AM an expert on written voice. I’d bet anything this is a troll persona, who also owns the Twitter feed of the same name. Based on this person’s tweets and posts, there are linguistic and word-choice oddities that are dead giveaways they are a non-native English speaker, and one of Slavic origin.

    Beyond that, this person completely misunderstands the regulations and chain of American corporate accountability, as well as the majority of CEOs’ respect for that system.

    Beyond that, CEOs have been failing at government longer than Trump’s been in office. I’ll point, for one example, to Bruce Rauner, former Illinois governor and multi-millionaire businessman. His “leadership” sent Illinois’ bond rating to one step above junk. That’s because governments can’t be run like businesses, private or public. In a business, if a CEO tells staff, “Jump,” staff asks, “How high?” In government, leaders actually need to negotiate and compromise to find solutions that serve all constituents. Turns out CEOs aren’t so adept at that.

  32. Willis Warren says:

    Morgan: “I did oppo for Perry on Trump way back when and my best guess was and still is…”

    LMAO @ anyone who would admit working for Perry.

    Full disclosure, I sort of did once, and my stories about him will blow your mind. The guy is a complete dumbass.

  33. P J Evans says:

    Hi, Rayne!
    Yeah, he got marching orders from someplace to troll here, and probably elseweb. But he’s not very good at it.
    I would like to know what was going on with that Moscow deal. I think some of it is that the Tr*mp family was desperate for money in 2015/2016, what with their media “empire” not working, their real estate losing tenants and money (bigly), and the golf courses being money sinks (overpriced for potential members, I suspect, and not well-maintained).

    • Rayne says:

      The desperation began earlier; I think the tipping point was the crash. Stuck in my brain Simpson’s Fusion GPS testimony about Bear Stearns’ bonds and Trump’s construction project financing at that time. Add to the fils talking about Russian money

      Donnie Jr, 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

      Eric, 2014 (after saying they had access to $100M): “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

      Did short-term “financing” for Trump’s preciousss — his golf courses — catch up with them?

      • P J Evans says:

        I think you’re right about the short-term financing. That’s the kind of thing where he’d be thinking that everything will turn around before the loan comes due – and he’s demonstrated that he doesn’t understand economics (or genuine honest business) at all, so he’d miss those signs. Kind of like all those ARMs that always go up much faster than they go down, and people who re-fi’d using them.

        • Rayne says:

          Exactly — the public including the entire real estate industry had it in their heads that real estate never loses value, never depreciates. It took a long time to see the crisis coming because in part this thinking helped resist attempts to change the subprime mortgage market (hello Eliot Spitzer’s Feb 14 2007 op-ed and subsequent death spiral).

          A narcissist like Trump is internally wired not to focus on outside cues the average person sees, would have been more resistant. Didn’t help he was getting fluffed regularly by The Apprentice’s production team, too, skewing his perception.

          Which suggests to me the reason why we’ve heard so much from les fils about the money — they may have been doing what Trump was too preoccupied with himself to do, desperately trying not to disappoint their father. Easily compromised, all of them.

      • lawrence a fisher says:

        Trump was allegedly buying properties including golf courses for cash. Financing for him was scarce, and I suspect that Deutsche Bank loans were sold or syndicated probably to Russian banks. If Trump was buying these properties for cash, I further suspect he’s a straw buyer for some Russian oligarchs. Maybe a piece of the Kompromat story.

        • Rayne says:

          It’s important to remember that the crash caused the golf industry to tank; it wasn’t just that it was overbuilt but that the target audience had been personally over-leveraged, cutting golf as they retrenched. Which means that golf course owners AND managers were hurting for cash flow and needed operating cash, not just financing for building new courses.

          The timing is what is suspicious to me — particularly the Trump-managed, Trump-branded Trump International Golf Club course in Puerto Rico which failed in mid-July 2015. Trumps did all kinds of denial about their responsibility. Meanwhile, Trump’s personal finance disclosure about the same time as that course went bankrupt has iffy valuations on most of his courses, making industry professionals scratch their heads.

          He is in love with golf almost as much as he’s in love with himself — and self-branded courses joins his biggest loves. Putting Trump’s golf courses at risk would be an easy way to compromise him but good because it is tied deeply with his psyche. I could see golf course financing as the stick to the Trump Tower-Moscow carrot: don’t cooperate and we fuck with your operating cash. Cooperate and you get a crack at that dream project in Moscow.

          I really should write about his golf courses at some point, but the shutdown takes precedent.

          • Eureka says:

            I’d love to read that analysis when you decide the time is right.  Seems like juicy ripe fruit, those golf courses.

  34. JD12 says:

    Judging by the links cue provided, Mr. Warstler is probably a real person and not trolling. Though debating him in good faith is probably worthless all the same.

    • Rayne says:

      First, I won’t share anything about the account “Morgan Warstler.”
      Second, there was and is no debate; that account had a particular POV and they were going to stick to it.
      Third, look at how much material in this thread was written in response to that account’s provocations (my bad, me too, but I had a reason for trying to engage), compared to the amount in this thread related to a possible House committee subpoena.

      Ask yourself why someone wouldn’t want this site’s community to consider the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaing documentation related to the Trump Tower Deal.

      Focus, people.

  35. Geoff says:

    As we used to say in the hey day of another blog which is now on comment-less autopilot : “don’t feed the trolls.”

  36. AitchD says:

    @Rayne 8:06 pm

    You say, “I really should write about his golf courses at some point, but the shutdown takes precedent.”

    Is there maybe a symbolic basis for the wall? As you know, after the March, 2016 WGC Cadillac event at Trump’s Doral, the PGA Tour and WGC moved that event to Mexico.

    • Rayne says:

      Perhaps. I think I need to map key events to their proximity to golf courses. I know the PGA left his LA golf club in July 2015, less than a month after he announced his candidacy because he shot his mouth off about Mexicans. That LA course is supposed to be one of the most expensive ever to build. His obsession with the wall could be as symbolic as his persistent attempt to starve Puerto Rico after the course failure there. Damn — the expense of the LA course and the problems he’s had with other construction in CA might also be key to his pissy attitude toward California. What a fucking toddler.

      Somewhere I read Eric T. said Trump had put a billion into golf over a decade, like from mid-2000s to mid-2010. That’s a fuckton of money. And somewhere I note there was a gap in new Trump courses between 2006-2009, then two courses in 2009 bought/opened.

  37. Gnome de Plume says:

    Wait, wait, wait!!!  Didn’t we already have a CEO President??  I thought George W was that.  He has an MBA from Harvard, but also failed at his various businesses.  He had a daddy set him up, too.   I confess I enjoyed reading Mr. Troll’s self-assurance and self-importance.  I could comment from 40 years of experience in real estate, construction and C-Suites, but I would not be following Rayne’s directive to focus on subpoenas.  Suffice it to say that what Mr. Troll says is true about some business people.  Every line of work, profession, occupation has levels or classes of players from the Big Leagues to  Bush Leagues or swamp dwellers.  Trump always dwelt in the swamp and bushes.  He’s been a joke since the 1970’s.   (By time I got to the end of these comments, I had to go back and see what the post was originally about!  Oh yes, House Subpoenas!)

    • Rayne says:

      Yes, House Intelligence Committee subpoenas. Subpoenas from the Committee on which both Schiff and Castro serve — the same two representatives who tweeted earliest after the BuzzFeed article about their concerns. And in Castro’s case, calling for more serious measures.

      Can’t imagine why somebody wouldn’t want us to talk about subpoenas…

  38. koolmoe says:

    No Reply issue:Chrome ‘inspector’ tool indicates ‘tinymce’ is not defined. TinyMCE is the little text toolbar that appears overtop of new Reply fields (like the one I’m typing in now) with various formatting options. If whatever software this site is running has a UI (admin page) that allows you to add/remove features, try removing ‘TinyMCE’ and that may fix the inability to Reply to posts.
    (or can try to remove, then re-add, or maybe tinyMCE needs an update…but just removing it may be easiest, if that’s an option).
    Just a suggestion; I know from lots of past posts its not a priority…but it may be a simple fix.

    • Reader 21 says:

      Another great post —quelle surprise—from EW, with customary great insights—and the comments have been terrific.  And, some terrific troll-swatting along the way, with good advice from Rayne—eyes on the prize.

      Rayne—when the time comes for your golf column, Josh at TPM did a podcast I thought was fascinating—golf courses are notorious money pits, so why—at the depths of the crash—was Individual-1 gobbling them up, and paying all cash, no less?  When he’d always financed them historically (self-proclaimed “King of Debt.”). Also coinciding with when certain highly-placed, connected Russians seemed particularly desperate to spirit as many rubles out of the country ASAP.  The Scottish course, especially, has always been a striking curiosity to golf industry insiders.

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks for the tip about the podcast. Buying so many courses AND screwing up the ones which were Trump-branded, Trump-managed, but not owned by Trump? I think this is what bothers me so much. Why were they putting hard cash into buying courses when the entire number of golfers declined by 20-25% and they were struggling to make money where they were only having to manage the course?

        One of Trump’s maxims pushed at his moronic Trump University for real estate investment was Use Other People’s Money. A Trump-branded, Trump-managed course should have been the best opportunity but nope — he screwed that up in Puerto Rico (and I believe elsewhere) and then spent cash?

        Mmm. I am dying to know as we get further into these investigations what details will come out about these kinds of investments which make no sense. I think there was more dangling than a Moscow tower.

        • AitchD says:

          I’m looking forward to your post (should you publish one) about the golf economy and Trump. I don’t know if you play(ed), but I know how engaged you were when Tiger was winning the Tour Championship.

          • Rayne says:

            I used to play golf fairly often, belonged to a few leagues. But I found myself trucking my kids around to all manner of extracurricular events, cutting into my golf time — not to mention the expense of equipment and golf fees even with a cheap course membership. I had to give it up. I’ll probably take it up again but by now I’ve lost my swing altogether. ~sigh~

            But having played golf for years and observing wealthy folks I know who belonged to chi-chi course clubs taught me a few things I may apply to a post about Trump’s golf businesses.

  39. Sandwichman says:

    Isn’t there such a thing as “duty to act”?
    1. Trump’s private lawyer lied to Congress about a matter related to national security and the integrity of elections.
    2. Trump swore an oath to execute the office of president and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
    3. Trump obviously knew that Cohen lied to Congress. Rudy Giuliani has confirmed.
    4. Trump failed to inform Congress that his private lawyer lied to it about a matter related to national security and the integrity of elections.

    Under a principle of “duty to act,” failure to act results in criminal liability. The question of whether Trump explicitly directed Cohen to lie becomes moot. By not reporting the lie, Trump condoned it and facilitated a deception of Congress.

    So my question is, is there any such legal principle as duty to act or did I just dream this whole thing up in a random Google search?

  40. Eureka says:

    Thank you for this public service.
    Yes, “The House Intelligence Committee Can and Should Subpoena the 18-Minute Gap on the Trump Tower Deal.”  And there is EVEN A ROAD MAP RIGHT HERE.

  41. CD54 says:

    And while they’re at it please subpoena Cohen’s recordings of Trump conspiring to violate campaign finance laws in a felonious manner. Seems like a “To Catch a Predator” faster line to impeachment.

  42. Adam J W says:

    So as far as the Trump Administration is concerned, everything AFTER Trump’s election is covered by executive privilege, right? This could mean that the talks went on during the transition and possibly up until now.

  43. Jonathan says:

    @Avattoir, Oh, I carry no brief for the corporate style evils of Cargill or Koch, or M&M Mars’s business of marketing obesity to children. But maybe that is what you were trying to say about smoothness vs ethos?

  44. Jockobadger says:

    All I can say is thank Dog you people are here. Looking at you Marcy, and Rayne, and Bmaz, and all of the Commentariat. Your work is helping to rid us of this POS. I’d call him swine but that’d be an insult to pigs everywhere.

  45. CD54 says:

    @ bmaz at 8:28: Yeah, I knew that was coming — but the image of cameras in the faces of Trump proxies was too strong.

  46. daisyb says:

    I have heard Schiff talking about releasing investigation findings to the public.

    After Mueller does his indict/no indict bit for the AG, can the House Intelligence Committee (or any of the other pertinent House cmtees) subpoena Mueller materials and release them, or prepare appropriately security-redacted summaries of Mueller findings and release those?

    If they can’t release subpoenaed Mueller material, can they use no-public-release (but avail to them) information as a road map to create materials that can be publicly released?

    New poster, follower from FDL, long-time EW lurker.

Comments are closed.