“I Have Been Sending Everything to Victor:” On Paul Manafort’s Treasury-Sanctioned Meeting Planner, Viktor Boyarkin

Because the Mueller Report is a prosecutions and declinations report, it’s pretty circumspect in its suggestions that someone might be a spy. Admittedly, it makes an exception for Konstantin Kilimnik, about whom it provides five pieces of evidence and a comment redacted for sources and methods reasons — on top of repeating the FBI’s assessment — that he’s spooked up.

Manafort told the Office that he did not believe Kilimnik was working as a Russian “spy.”859 The FBI, however, assesses that Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence.860 Several pieces of the Office’s evidence-including witness interviews and emails obtained through court-authorized search warrants-support that assessment:

  • Kilimnik was born on April 27, 1970, in Dnipropetrovsk Ob last, then of the Soviet Union, and attended the Military Institute of the Ministry of Defense from 1987 until 1992.861 Sam Patten, a business partner to Kilimnik,862 stated that Kilimnik told him that he was a translator in the Russian army for seven years and that he later worked in the Russian armament industry selling arms and military equipment. 863
  • U.S. government visa records reveal that Kilimnik obtained a visa to travel to the United States with a Russian diplomatic passport in 1997. 864
  • Kilimnik worked for the International Republican Institute’ s (IRI) Moscow office, where he did translation work and general office management from 1998 to 2005.865 While another official recalled the incident differently,866 one former associate of Kilimnik’s at TRI told the FBI that Kilimnik was fired from his post because his links to Russian intelligence were too strong. The same individual stated that it was well known at IRI that Kilimnik had links to the Russian government.867
  • Jonathan Hawker, a British national who was a public relations consultant at FTI Consulting, worked with DMI on a public relations campaign for Yanukovych. After Hawker’s work for DMI ended, Kilimnik contacted Hawker about working for a Russian government entity on a public-relations project that would promote, in Western and Ukrainian media, Russia’s position on its 2014 invasion of Crimea. 868
  • Gates suspected that Kilimnik was a “spy,” a view that he shared with Manafort, Hawker, and Alexander van der Zwaan,869 an attorney who had worked with DMI on a report for the Ukrainian Ministry of ForeignAffairs.870

[Investigative Technique Redaction]

For others, they simply note — as they do here for Kilimnik — that a non-diplomat came to the US on a diplomatic or military visa. That’s what they do for Viktor Boyarkin, another close Deripaska aide: they just casually mention that he was in the US on a visa that doesn’t match the rest of his biography.

Kilimnik also maintained a relationship with Deripaska’s deputy, Viktor Boyarkin,857 a Russian national who previously served in the defense attache office of the Russian Embassy to the United States.858

For some reason, Mueller doesn’t invoke another description of Boyarkin in his report: That Trump’s own Treasury Department sanctioned him in December.


Victor Alekseyevich Boyarkin (Boyarkin) is a former GRU officer who reports directly to Deripaska and has led business negotiations on Deripaska’s behalf.  Deripaska and Boyarkin were involved in providing Russian financial support to a Montenegrin political party ahead of Montenegro’s 2016 elections.  Boyarkin was designated pursuant to Executive Orders (E.O.) 13661 and 13662 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Oleg Deripaska, who was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13661 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of a senior Russian government official, as well as pursuant to E.O. 13662 for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy, as well as with entities 50 percent or more owned by designated persons.

And while that sanction description is itself fairly coy, Boyarkin’s company in that batch of sanctions is telling: It includes several entities related to the Internet Research Agency’s trolling project, nine of the GRU officers indicted in the DNC hack, some of the related GRU officers who hacked the World Anti-Doping Federation, and the two GRU officers who tried to kill Sergei Skripal.

I guess noting that Kilimnik has ties to a guy who got sanctioned with all the other key players in the election year interference would be too obvious?

In an interview with Time last fall, Boyarkin boasted that Manafort spent his time running Trump’s campaign “offering ways to pay [the money he owed Oleg Deripaska] back.

Boyarkin told TIME this fall that he was in touch with Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in the heat of the presidential race on behalf of the Russian oligarch. “He owed us a lot of money,” Boyarkin says. “And he was offering ways to pay it back.”

That same Time article suggests that Manafort may have been involved, through Deripaska, in Montenegro’s 2016 election that resulted in a coup attempt, which is what Boyarkin got sanctioned for.

Boyarkin, you see, is the guy through whom Kilimnik was sending the stuff ultimately designated for Deripaska. The Mueller Report notes that explicitly with regards to the reporting Manafort did on his role in the campaign to his paymasters.

Immediately upon joining the Campaign, Manafort directed Gates to prepare for his review separate memoranda addressed to Deripaska, Akhmetov, Serhiy Lyovochkin, and Boris Kolesnikov,879 the last three being Ukrainian oligarchs who were senior Opposition Bloc officials. 880 The memoranda described Manafort’ s appointment to the Trump Campaign and indicated his willingness to consult on Ukrainian politics in the future. On March 30, 2016, Gates emailed the memoranda and a press release announcing Manafort’ s appointment to Kilimnik for translation and dissemination.881 Manafort later followed up with Kilimnik to ensure his messages had been delivered, emailing on April 11, 2016 to ask whether Kilimnik had shown “our friends” the media coverage of his new role. 882 Kilimnik replied, “Absolutely. Every article.” Manafort further asked: “How do we use to get whole. Has Ovd [Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska] operation seen?” Kilimnik wrote back the same day, “Yes, I have been sending everything to Victor [Boyarkin, Deripaska’s deputy], who has been forwarding the coverage directly to OVD.”883

Manafort’s July offer for briefings for Deripaska also went through Boyarkin.

For example, in response to a July 7, 20 I 6, email from a Ukrainian reporter about Manafort’ s failed Deripaska-backed investment, Manafort asked Kilimnik whether there had been any movement on “this issue with our friend.”897 Gates stated that “our friend” likely referred to Deripaska,898 and Manafort told the Office that the “issue” (and “our biggest interest,” as stated below) was a solution to the Deripaska-Pericles issue.899 Kilimnik replied:

I am carefully optimistic on the question of our biggest interest. Our friend [Boyarkin] said there is lately significantly more attention to the campaign in his boss’ [Deripaska’s] mind, and he will be most likely looking for ways to reach out to you pretty soon, understanding all the time sensitivity. I am more than sure that it will be resolved and we will get back to the original relationship with V. ‘s boss [Deripaska].900

Eight minutes later, Manafort replied that Kilimnik should tell Boyarkin’s “boss,” a reference to Deripaska, “that if he needs private briefings we can accommodate.”901

Presumably, if Kilimnik sent everything designated for Deripaska to Boyarkin, that would include polling data and the campaign’s plans on how to win Michigan (indeed, there’s a redaction in the breach hearing that likely refers to Boyarkin) shared in that meeting on August 2, 2016 where Manafort and Kilimnik also discussed how to carve up Ukraine and how to get his debts forgiven by Deripaska.

That’s what makes a second meeting in Madrid (there’s a February one that Kilimnik also attended, which was included among the lies reviewed in Manafort’s breach determination) so interesting. In January, Manafort met with yet another Deripaska guy who once had an inexplicable diplomatic visa for the US, Georgiy Oganov.

Manafort’s activities in early 2017 included meetings relating to Ukraine and Russia. The first meeting, which took place in Madrid, Spain in January 2017, was with Georgiy Oganov. Oganov, who had previously worked at the Russian Embassy in the United States, was a senior executive at a Deripaska company and was believed to report directly to Deripaska.940 Manafort initially denied attending the meeting. When he later acknowledged it, he claimed that the meeting had been arranged by his lawyers and concerned only the Pericles lawsuit.941 Other evidence, however, provides reason to doubt Manafort’s statement that the sole topic of the meeting was the Pericles lawsuit. In particular, text messages to Manafort from a number associated with Kilimnik suggest that Kilimnik and Boyarkin-not Manafort’s counsel-had arranged the meeting between Manafort and Oganov.942 Kilimnik’s message states that the meeting was supposed to be “not about money or Pericles” but instead “about recreating [the] old friendship”-ostensibly between Manafort and Deripaska-“and talking about global politics.”943 Manafort also replied by text that he “need[s] this finished before Jan. 20,”944 which appears to be a reference to resolving Pericles before the inauguration.

While this wasn’t detailed in discernible way in Manafort’s breach determination, according to the report, he nevertheless lied about this meeting, too, in particular that it was not primarily about debt relief, but was instead about setting up his old relationship with Deripaska, which Rick Gates explained, “Deripaska used Manafort to install friendly political officials in countries where Deripaska had business interests.”

Boyarkin — the guy whom Treasury sanctioned along with a bunch of other key players in the election year operation — set up that meeting to “recreate the old friendship.”

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. 

59 replies
  1. OldTulsaDude says:

    “Deripaska used Manafort to install friendly political officials in countries where Deripaska had business interests.”

    And now, as soon as his personal sanctions were lifted, Deripaska is pouring $200 million into Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky. I guess he got a friendly face “installed”.

  2. horses says:

    Putin’s original beef is being caught in the doping scandal.

    Think about the 1936 Summer Olympics, when Jesse Owens, a black dude, mopped the floor with Hitler’s chosen candlestick.

    That’s a bad look for a wannabe dictator. It projects weakness.

    I think all Putin’s public misbehavior is a reaction to that humiliation.

    He’s not especially smart.

    • Americana says:

      You’re minimizing Putin’s reasons for noxious global outreach. Sure, Putin may be furious at the loss of prestige of Russian athletes after the doping scandal but he’s far more concerned about Russian political and financial penetration into countries around the world. That’s what galvanizes Putin to take the actions that he does whether that involves spying or planting friendly politicians or whatever social media efforts the Russians take… Putin is paving the way for Russian globalist outreach and hopefully a return to alliances w/a power(s) that assures Russian hegemony.

      • P J Evans says:

        Russia has been wanting that kind of power since Ivan the Terrible. They saw the way western Europe traveled and traded, and its power and wealth, and saw they couldn’t get it without warm-water ports and alliances they didn’t have. (They did have some, before the Mongols invaded, but those were limited.)

      • William Bennett says:

        Pushing the US toward becoming a Russia-style oligarchy-slash-single-party autocracy is certainly part of the plan. Easy enough to get the Republicans on board for that, since it was where they’ve been headed for the last 30 years anyway.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      “Putin’s Regime and the Ideological Market: A Difficult Balancing Game “ -Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – Marlene Laruelle
      (see link below to read article)

      Although this article is a couple of years old, it gives some valuable insight into Putin’s world and frame of reference.

      A few key quotes from this article that eerily parallel what is happening in the DT administration:

      “It provides a large repertoire for collective consumption:”

      “It has focused…..on shaping the population’s worldviews by controlling media, especially television, print media, and, increasingly, the Internet. This worldview is more implicit than explicit and more visual—for example, the glamorized branding of Putin’s personality—than doctrinal. It aims at marginalizing and delegitimizing those who challenge the regime, but remains vague enough that a vast number of people will subscribe to it.”

      “It thus plays the role of the lowest common denominator— pride for the country’s revamped international status and patriotism based on shared, but diluted, Soviet values.”


  3. Mitch Neher says:

    emptywheel asked, “I guess noting that Kilimnik has ties to a guy who got sanctioned with all the other key players in the election year interference would be too obvious?”

    All of the Russian members of Deripaska’s 2016 crew are still on the playing field for the 2020 U. S. election. It’s only the American members of Deripaska’s 2016 crew that have been taken off the playing field for 2020. In order for Putin to “go back, Vlad, do it again,” Deripaska is going to need replacement partners on the American side of the 2020 operation.

    At this point, any new American partners for Deripaska would probably have to have been already compromised by Russia. If Mueller has a working knowledge of who those compromised American replacement partners are going to be in 2020, then Mueller might be wary of tipping them off with too much public disclosure. Huh? What?

    Okay. I have no idea what Mueller’s doing. Sorry.

    • P J Evans says:

      Actually, a lot of the American players are still around – the ones in Congress and the administration. Think the ones who went to Moscow for the 4th, and the ones refusing to increase actual security for voting (not the @#$%^&*(!!! “voter ID” stuff).

      • Mitch Neher says:

        You’re right, of course. I forgot about those guys.

        There’s a bunch of “constitutional business” about the “Speech and Debate clause.” Don’t ask me.

        Sometimes I think the constitution is a “passel of antinomies” designed to assure that nothing much of anything ever really happens–unless . . . We the People get completely and totally bent out of shape.

  4. Bay State Librul says:

    According to lawyers Wilkin and Small, lawyers should “Get to the Point”
    No dillies
    No dallies.
    In my view, Mueller violated this principle.
    It took him 448 pages to come up with a non verdict.
    Not good.
    Press point man Peter Carr never answered questions.
    Maybe, if he is a good professional writer, they could have charged him with a secondary duty to “get to the point” by framing the report so common folks can understand.
    In any case, we are running down rabbit holes and red herrings swim freely down the stream.
    Not good. Not good at all.
    I’m very, very impatient

    • bmaz says:

      No, maybe it could be argued that he should have “gotten to the point” in the executive summaries, but the 448 page length is not only okay, it is commendable that he put out that much information, facts and cites. That is absolutely a good thing.

      As to being impatient, that is not on Mueller, he clearly has a few things left in wrapping up his duties. That is okay.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        Absolutely, the report is a good source document.
        My objection is with the framing.
        The other bitch from me is “he failed to see the insidiousness and duplicity of Barr”. Bob must read the news.
        Content A+
        Source Documents A+
        Framing D-
        Public impact C
        Political insight C
        Pissing me off F

        • Bri2k says:

          My favorite take on the Silent Bob report came from Harry Shearer who said something along the lines of “Gee if he was never even going to consider referring charges against the president, he should’ve said so at the beginning and saved us all two years.”

          I couldn’t agree more.

        • bmaz says:

          That is just pure baloney. The investigation was necessary irrespective of whether anything was charged.

        • orionATL says:

          bri2k –

          it was never mueller’s job to do to president trump what you or bay state librul might have wanted him to do. the osc job was to find out what happened; to untangle the web of alliances and deceit that won donald trump an illegitimate presidential election victory.

          it’s called “discovery” and it is the most important job that robert mueller and his osc team did for the nation. whatever your evaluation, i can guarantee robert mueller’s osc team will be remembered thankfully by history for their work.

          discovery is the part of a legal case in which the opposing sides question individuals and collect documents and document-like items (photos, recordings, receipts, etc) to determine in as great a detail as possible/necessary who did what and, if needed, to whom.

          there is nothing more important that robert mueller and his team have done than the discovery work they did that makes up the heart of useful information in the mueller report. this is the material that historians – and the rare journalists like emptywheel – can use now and decades later, along with other sources, to demonstrate and prove what we guess, and our president knows, to be the case – that donald j. trump betrayed his country to win the presidency (“… that’s the end of my presidency. i’m fucked”) and is now a russian lackey destroying our economic and security arrangements to repay his debt to putin (just as his equally amoral campaign chair manafort engaged in spying in what has been said to be concern to repay deripaksa).

          our president trump: greed for fame, money and fame power; a feral, ignorant faustus lacking the intellect and learning. our president is now engaged, with the critical help of attorney general barr, in covering up his betrayal of the nation, like a cat covering its scat.

        • BobCon says:

          Just to add, in addition to journalists and historians, this is also a foundation for continuing law enforcement and counterintelligence.

          Nobody should fall for the GOP spin that this case is closed.

          One of the top goals of the GOP and Putin is to turn hopelessness into self harm. Screw that.

        • dwfreeman says:

          He did raise objections to Barr. In fact, Barr lied about them, because they were contained in letters serving as a permanent reminder of his displeasure and a professional challenge on the record for colleagues and historians.

          And you forget one other salient fact that most of us keep underplaying, they are both Republicans. And this entire enterprise is a Republican shit-show, which has put the onus on Democrats to swallow and deal with. And Democrats, as the only adults in the room, have to acknowlege this responsibility and their constitutional responsibility to act and impeach now.

        • Americana says:

          Sorry, I think Mueller felt Barr would uphold the law. They’ve known each other for years. Their wives go to Bible study together. On and on… That friendship may have splintered the moment Barr held up Mueller’s rebuke letter and he said, “This is pretty snitty. I bet Bob had an assistant write this letter.” Barr was trying to minimize the nature of that letter and its contents. Insults won’t quite cut it though.

          Worse yet for Barr, we’ve now got over 850+ DOJ alumni attorneys who’ve signed a letter in support of Mueller’s report and stating it’s clear Mueller was referring Trump to Congress to take the logical step of impeachment.

          As for grading, Mueller’s final grade is going to come from me only after he’s testified. I think his letter to Barr was a brilliant move, a shot across Barr’s bow that will be a historic point in these events. I’ve seen only good fallout from that Mueller letter, from the support from fellow DOJ alumni to the greater arousal in the American electorate.

      • AMG says:

        i’ve still only read vol 2, but i’m wiling to argue the point that at least in vol. 2, mueller did in fact get to the point in the executive summary – and furthermore, i’d argue that mueller got to the point in the first 2 pages.

        in fact, you can even skip the intro paragraph and just read the “four considerations” and that’s everything you need to know.
        1) DOJ policy/OLC opinion says we cannot indict and furthermore, we can’t even accuse.
        2) that being said, we can conduct a factual investigation and preserve the evidence for a future prosecution once POTUS is no longer POTUS (or he gets impeached).
        3) we can’t indict and we can’t even accuse and heck, we can’t even do a sealed indictment or even write a secret internal only report so we really can’t even conduct the investigation with the standard approach of assessing if the president’s behavior “constitutes a federal offense.”
        4) and i’ll just quote this one:
        “Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President
        clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

  5. jaango says:

    Marcy, your excellence is again, well-recognized.

    More so, when ‘historians’ become “worth their weight in gold.” and today’s cutting edge is defined by the much higher standards personified by our good buddy, Marcy. As such, my tip of the hat to Marcy.

    And not necessarily last, an Investigative Journalist and who writes the consummate book on the FISA Court, the warrants issued and not issued, will lead to a national recognition for such and in the form of a Pulitzer Prize, among others.

  6. Worried says:

    Thanks Ms Wheeler.
    To understand the intricacies of Mueller’s report, it looks like it takes very careful reading (and re-reading) of all the available materials.
    Clearly, not many members of Congress are capable and/or willing to undertake such an effort.
    I can’t help but believe that Mr Mueller knew that would be the case and that he was aware of the few diligent people like you that would highlight the crimes that the evidence suggests.
    He relied upon you.
    Thank you for your priceless contributions to our society.

  7. Savage Librarian says:

    SPIEF 2016

    In the very tangled web of the Trump-Russia saga, here is an interesting document from a significant event that took place in Russia in mid-June 2016.
    I share this because it lists discussions and presenters that may have connections to other events and topics of interest. You may want to use it for further research of your own.

    This is the event that DT and Cohen were both urged to attend by Russia. Cohen agreed to and then declined at the last minute. DT’s office typed a letter to decline his attending. But he never signed the letter.

    2016 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2016) –
    Roster of events with names:

    While many more presenters are listed in the schedule of events, this is a shorter list I found interesting of notable and/or recognizable names and where they appear in the 47 page document. It may help to draw further conclusions that did not appear significant before.

    Chayka, Yuri – p.18
    Deripaska, Oleg V. – p.19, 29, 35, 41
    Dmitriev, Kirill – p.21, 37
    Dubrovsky, Boris – p.5, 22
    Gamble, Hadley – p.21
    Gorkov, Sergey – p.9, 34
    Gref, Herman – p.15, 25
    Gurko, Alexander – p.11
    Ki-Moon, Ban – p.8
    Ivanov, Sergei – p.29
    Juncker, Jean Claude- p.8
    Kostin, Andrey – p.36
    Kudrin, Alexey – p.2, 10, 22, 31, 38
    Lavrov, Sergey – p.10
    Likhachev, Alexey – p.6, 7, 9, 22, 24
    Nazarbayev, Nursultan – p.14, 38
    Novak, Alexander- p.10, 19
    Pankin, Dmitry – p.6, 22, 24
    Peskov, Dmitry – p.40, 44, 46
    Petrishenko, Igor – p.6
    Prikhodko, Sergei – p.8
    Putin, Vladimir – p.38
    Renzi, Matteo – p.38
    Ruhl, Christof – p.39
    Sarkozy, Nicholas – p.8
    Sechin, Igor – p.15
    Tillerson, Rex – p.15
    Vekselberg, Victor – p.26
    Yakunin, Vladimir – p.6
    Zakaria, Fareed – p.38
    Zhukov, Alexander – p.6

    • Americana says:

      Thank you for giving names/page numbers. It will make reading the Mueller report and other stories far more fruitful! The number of Russians who play roles at the highest level in the economic and political spheres in Russia is relatively limited. Those roles often involve dual jobs for the intelligence services. Most American businessmen, if they were honest, would admit and/or understand such dualities existed from the moment they were introduced to those Russians. Trump likely would pretend not to know this but everyone else does.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A note to MSNBC regarding commentary on today’s Deutsche Bank whistleblower story in the NYT. DB did not have trouble “navigating” the laws regarding disclosure of suspicious financial activity. It has people who know those rules backwards and forwards. But it has a long history of breaking those rules, over $600 million in fines worth of history. Nor is “aggressive” enforcement by Treasury an issue. Rather, the issue is basic compliance with routine prudential regulations.

    That’s all the more serious given the notoriety of some of its clients, such as Donald Trump and Jared Kushner. Greater, not lesser, scrutiny was obviously called for regarding their financial transactions, especially after they moved into the White House. What would appear to be at stake is not just revenue from Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner’s business. It is revenue from their patrons, who might well be Russian oligarchs connected to Mr. Putin, who probably contribute orders of magnitude more to DB’s profit margins.

    DB has computer systems in place to identify suspicious financial activity and for mid-level managers to review them. It’s senior management, though, prefer to be pirates. That begs the question why US financial regulators and DB’s largest stakeholders have not demanded that executives and business practices be changed. Not removing them is costing DB many hundreds of millions.

    Mr. Trump and his son-in-law appear to have similar problems complying with financial laws. Did Mr. Mueller ignore that? Was it outside the scope of his investigation or part of his CI probe that seems to have disappeared down the memory hole? Regardless, House investigators are obligated to pursue the obvious potential financial crimes and the related potential for manipulation by foreign interests. That starts with their tax returns.

    • Americana says:

      I don’t think Mueller was ignoring Deutsche Bank or other banks used by Trump. I seem to remember Mueller making the effort to subpoena Trump’s Deutsche Bank records and that Deutsche Bank refused. Perhaps DB refused because it had previously ignored the flagged account activity mentioned in the story. DB seems to thrive on money laundering. Perhaps DB considers money laundering the most profitable part of its business and paying the fines, huge though they might be, to be small potatoes.

    • Ruthie says:

      I’ve been reading research about the legal marijuana industry. There’s abundant evidence that the obstacles posed by anti money laundering statutes are well understood by the nascent industry. It’s impossible that a large, sophisticated financial institution like Deutsche Bank wouldn’t, as you say, know those rules backward and forward. Literally impossible. This is willful blindness, period.

    • Reader 21 says:

      Deutsche Bank is key—repeatedly cited for money laundering, and the only reputable FI willing to do business with Individual-1. Recall: News reports indicated Mueller DID subpoena Deutsche, but something happened—what was it? DB issued a carefully-worded response to press inquiries, about complying with “lawfully-issued subpoenas”—did Rosenstein intervene, and tell them not to worry? Gullible Mikey and Maggie indicated Hair Furor went ballistic—did RR interfere with a lawfully issued subpoena, to save his job? We the American people need answers. We need to hear from Rosenstein.

      PS. Thank you, Marcy.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The once staunch Guardian joins the NYT and CNN in normalizing Trump. Its top headline today shouts:

      Trump: New York Times report on Deutsche Bank transactions is “phony”

      No doubt accurate, and it uses a scare quote around Trump’s favorite epithet – phony – for coverage he does not like. But it manipulates the casual reader into thinking the NYT got it wrong.

      Headlines normally summarize an event rather than quote disagreement with its coverage. On first impression, it buttresses Trump’s use of “phony” without being critical of it – a win for Trump and an own goal for the Guardian. A better headline would have been easy to write: Trump “denies,” “refutes,” “angry at,” the NYT’s report of his history with troubled Deutsche Bank.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The Guardian smartly rewords both the headline and text of Jasper Jolly’s report on Trump’s irritation over the NYT’s reporting on his relationship with the troubled Deutsche Bank [https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/may/20/trump-deutsche-bank-transactions-new-york-times-report]:

        Trump reacts angrily to New York Times report on Deutsche Bank transactions

        A more accurate headline. Jolly also reworks his opening (links omitted):

        Donald Trump sought on Monday to discredit a New York Times report that Deutsche Bank employees flagged concerns over transactions involving legal entities controlled by the president and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

        Altogether better work. But why did the Guardian need a do over? The article does not indicate it’s been revised and a search for the earlier version came up empty. If accurate, that would be bad form.

  9. Bay State Librul says:

    Marcy’s All In with Chris Hayes on Friday was glorious.
    The problem is that Mueller must testify, and soon!
    Time is of the essence.
    I think Marcy is correct when she calls the current situations as “Mueller’s Dance”
    To wit, Ralph Nader is 85 years old and writes “the Democratic party cannot defend our nation against the most corrupt, ignorant, Wall Street-indentured, warmongering, corporatist, pro-corporate welfare, antiworker, anti-consumer, anti-environmentalist Republican Party since it was created in 1854.
    Look, I like Mueller but that doesn’t mean I can’t criticize his legalistic world view.
    Remember, he is a Republican. If a Democratic was in charge of the probe, they would have hung up Trump up by his balls.
    No one is above the fucking law.
    No one.
    The DOJ is being run by a fucking, deceitful, asshole

    • P J Evans says:

      Nader is one of the people who helped get us into this mess. He still won’t accept that.

  10. P J Evans says:

    One of the better diarists over at the Great Orange Satan has a post assessing the Steele dossier; bmaz and ew may want to take a look at it. (He scores it as: totally confirmed, 24; partially confirmed: 17; unconfirmed: 11; partially debunked:2; totally debunked: 2.)

    • bmaz says:

      My thing is….I really could care less about the Dossier. It is, and long has been, a mostly irrelevant red herring. It is what it is, which was always the rawest of intel. Steele was clearly a trusted source and there was no problem using him, regardless of the final analysis of his raw work. That kind of source is used every day in federal warrant apps, and most of them are shakier than Steele and the affidavits still hold up. Not to mention, it strikes me that there was almost surely more than sufficient info in the warrant apps to pass probable cause even if you excise the Steele matter.

      Continued belaboring the Dossier plays into the Trump team and howlers’ framing and is silly. When somebody actually puts on an Franks evidentiary hearing on the record, and a competent court at the conclusion finds one or more of the affidavits invalid in light of Franks v. Delaware, spare me. And that is how this works. And that is not going to happen. Howlers like Chuck Ross, Tucker Carlson, and most all of the rest don’t know jack about the real standards and presumptions. Don’t let them play you.

      • P J Evans says:

        They’re comparing it against Mueller’s report, and known events, so it’s reasonably intelligent work.

        • bmaz says:

          Mueller’s report is irrelevant to this consideration. And anybody arguing that it is some kind of standard of judging this is ignorant of warrant law.

        • bmaz says:

          And I will go one step further, I don’t think any putatively aggrieved person (Page is the one we know, but let’s throw Papadopolous in too just for grins) could even make out the preliminary showing necessary to even get a Franks hearing. It is easy for clucks to bandy this crap about on the Daily Caller, Fox News and wherever, but actually doing it is a whole different ballgame. And they will never get there.

        • bmaz says:

          And what I have related even holds in a civil setting, in addition to, obviously, a criminal one. Here is a relatively good, and short, primer. It is oriented to civil actions, but the principles are effectively the same as a criminal court would apply. Take a look, I think you will see why I have always called bullshit on the clacking clucks who think the affidavits, that only partially included some references to Steele and his Dossier, are bad are, themselves, just ill informed and full of garbage.

        • jaango says:

          You’re correct. As voters and if we ‘required’ our Elected Officials to ‘read’ the context and content of the five computers located in the basement of the CIA, ‘raw intelligence’ would be readily recognized as ‘raw intelligence. And if this was required and did occur, the Oath of Office taken by Elected Officials, would be predicated for and into a national debate.

  11. Bay State Librul says:

    Is your Nader reference, his 3 million votes in Florida, that kicked Gore down the road to an also ran?
    “Liberals are very bad at coining phrases, Nader says, “They don’t even use “corporate crime.” They let it be “white-collar ” which brings to mind some employee embezzling from a bank. The big corporate crime is Wells Fargo embezzling from the American people.” He concludes by the way that there is no corporate prosecution of Wells Fargo.
    I’ll add also Deutsche Bank!

    Please Bob Mueller. Finish the fucking job.
    “Finish the job of justice” as William Sloane Coffin said many years ago.
    No by-standing allowed

  12. Tom says:

    There should be an organization like the Gideons International who would leave copies of the Mueller Report in the bedrooms of every Trump hotel and golf club around the world.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump’s lawyers’ novel legal arguments attempting to prevent the disclosure and release to Congress of certain of his financial records from his accountants, Mazars, are without merit. Fairly obvious, but their dismissal by DC District Court Judge Amit Mehta was thorough and understated:

    “Plaintiffs have cited no case since Kilbourn from 1880 in which the Supreme Court or the D.C. Circuit has interfered with a congressional subpoena — because it either intrudes on the law enforcement prerogatives of the Executive or Judicial branches, seeks personal information unrelated to a legislative purpose, or demands records that lack “pertinency.” This case does not merit becoming the first in nearly 140 years….”

    Plaintiffs have not shown that their challenge to the Mazars subpoena presents “serious legal questions going to the merits, so serious, substantial, difficult as to make them a fair ground of litigation….”

    “[T]he balance of equities and the public interest weigh heavily in favor of denying [injunctive] relief.”


  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Kris Kobach has stellar academic credentials – summa this and phi beta that from the best universities in the world. But his grasp of practical reality seems limited to whatever the Koch brothers tell him.

    In his supposed voter fraud (really, voter suppression) campaign earlier in the Trump administration, he forced a trial judge in Kansas to pull a Prof. Kingsfield on him. The fictional contracts professor at Harvard Law, in a full lecture room, once gave a student who refused to answer his question a dime, told him to call his mother, and tell her he would not be becoming a lawyer.

    Similarly, the trial judge in Kansas was so appalled at Kobach’s performance in court that she required the once-secretary of state of Kansas – a graduate of Harvard, Yale and Oxford – to take a remedial course in the law of evidence.

    Anyone less obtuse than Kobach would have pulled his tail further between his legs and meekly sat down. Not Kris. (Kingsfield’s fictional student, with more brains and street smarts – and in a different situation than Kobach – called Kingsfield a son of a bitch. Kingsfield said that was the smartest thing the student had said yet and told him to sit down.)

    The unrepentant Kobach is still at it. He thinks he can out-negotiate the Great Orange Punch Bowl. His price to be Trump’s new immigration “czar” is that Trump will pay him top dollar, give him walk-in access to Trump’s office, a private jet on 24-hour standby, a security detail, and make him Sec’y of DHS by November.

    Everyone knows Trump has a bully’s love of ultimatums, but he hates receiving them more than he would a crew cut. It’s tempting to think that Kobach is making Trump an offer he would have to refuse. But I don’t think he’s that smart. It’s possible Trump will hire him, wait six weeks, then fire him on live television. But I don’t think Trump is that patient. He is, however, rapidly making his intentionally cruel immigration policies the lynch pin of his re-election campaign. That might make the dim-witted Big Dick Toilet Salesman wannabe Kobach a disposable idiot worth twice the price.


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The world is full of people who can out-negotiate Trump, but most of them are bidnessmen and other dictators. I think Kobach’s attraction – apart from his having been a Koch addict his entire career – is his willful ignorance and his eagerness to break the law, to separate children from their families, to put them in desert concentration camps, to maintain no records of who and how many he has sent where, and to lie about it all in service to his political patrons.

      The apocryphal meets Trump’s GOP: “When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waiving a cross.”

  15. mospeck says:

    “I have been sending everything to Victor”-catchy, and even like a song, Marcy :)
    We’re sending all our love, Viktor (especially Mitch).
    But troubling is this constant background hum about where’s the MR CI?
    It just seems like the dog that doesn’t bark in a Sherlock Holmes

Comments are closed.