Patterico's Pontifications

5/9/2018

Russian Oligarch’s Firm Paid Cash to Trump Fixer Michael Cohen, and Mueller Wants to Know Why

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am



The Wall Street Journal reports:

A company created by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, received $500,000 in 2017 from an investment fund linked to a Russian oligarch, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Separately, AT&T Inc. said it made payments to Mr. Cohen’s company in 2017 for “insights” into the administration at a time when the telecommunications giant needed government approval for an $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc.

Oddly, both AT&T and the investment fund funneled — can I say “funneled,” Rudy? Is that cool? Great! — funneled their payments to Essential Consultants LLC. The, uh, same company that paid off Stormy Daniels.

This doesn’t mean that the Russians were the ones who paid off Daniels, of course. Because Daniels’s attorney seemed to know about the investment fund’s payment before the news broke, and alleged a connection, some speculated about that possibility — but if Mueller had evidence that the Russians had paid off Stormy, it seems (at least at first blush) counterintuitive that he would have handed off the Cohen investigation to the Southern District of New York.

Regardless of any Stomy connection, Mueller’s investigators are interested in the payments from the Russian oligarch’s U.S. affiliate:

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company’s US affiliate made to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of asset manager Renova Group, is an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, and last month the Trump administration placed him on a list of sanctioned Russians for activities including election interference. The purpose of the payments, which predate the sanctions, and the nature of the business relationship between Vekselberg and Cohen is unclear.

When you see things like “linked to” and “US affiliate” you want to know more, of course. The Daily Beast has more on the connection between Vekselberg and Columbus Nova, which made the payments:

In a statement, Columbus Nova lawyer Richard Owens of Latham & Watkins insisted that Vekselberg did not have a controlling interest in the firm. “Reports today that Viktor Vekselberg used Columbus Nova as a conduit for payments to Michael Cohen are false. The claim that Viktor Vekselberg was involved in or provided any funding for Columbus Nova’s engagement of Michael Cohen is patently untrue,” Owens said. “Neither Viktor Vekselberg nor anyone else outside of Columbus Nova was involved in the decision to hire Cohen or provided funding for his engagement.”

However, up until Tuesday night, Columbus Nova’s own website described the company is “the U.S. investment vehicle for the Renova Group”—Vekselberg’s asset-management firm. The site also noted that Intrater “is a former Director and current Member of the Executive Board of Renova Group.” (That page of the site was suddenly removed early Wednesday morning.)

In addition, Columbus Nova was listed on the website for the Renova Group as one of its “companies” until late last year, as NBC News reported. (That website is currently “under construction.”)

(Intrater is Vekselberg’s cousin. He runs Columbus Nova.)

As for AT&T, it does not appear that Cohen did legal or lobbying work for AT&T. They paid the president’s fixer for insights, is all. You see.

Caveat lector: every story on this seems sourced to a single person “familiar with the matter.” It’s apparently not Avenatti, since the Beast quotes the source as bewildered at how Avenatti found out. (Which could mean that the source told Avenatti and wanted to pretend like he hadn’t.) But it is worth noting that the New York Times says they have reviewed financial records that confirm the payments. So there’s that.

Whether the payments are illegal in any way, I can’t say. But man, does this look swampy.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

399 Responses to “Russian Oligarch’s Firm Paid Cash to Trump Fixer Michael Cohen, and Mueller Wants to Know Why”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Talk and allegations are cheap. And allegators are far from being an endangered species in this day and age.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  3. 2. Could’ve summed up that post in six words, Colonel: The swamp smells. I don’t care.

    Gryph (08c844)

  4. Apparently they weren’t smart enough to set up something called The Trump Foundation where all those contributions could be funneled and tagged for “humanitarian” causes.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  5. Shouldn’t someone somewhere be asking what the source and validity of these claims are? Anonymous sources, particularly in regards to the Trump administration have a very poor track record. President Trump seems to come out closer to the truth than many of his anonymous detractors and mudslingers.

    TXdino (0d3728)

  6. Something smells and it ain’t the swamp. For starters, how did the porn star’s mouthpiece get access to Cohen’s bank records?

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  7. If you used rhapsody, vekaelberg was an investor, delete it fast. Its from the fugazi ambulance chaser.

    narciso (d1f714)

  8. In Mr. Wolff’s book, Mr. Bannon is quoted as saying that Mr. Trump’s most serious exposure was the Mueller investigation’s interest in money laundering. Mr. Trump’s “red line” on investigation of his finances appears congruent with Mr. Bannon’s opinion.

    John Boddie (90de0d)

  9. And when I say “mouthpiece”, I’m not talking about an AIDS prophylactic. I’m talking about her scum-sucking lawyer.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  10. Distinction without a difference coronello, you know how they shut Cambridge analytical down meanwhile the story of how kahl and company were doing favors for a Taiwanese company trying to break into the Iranian market goes unreported mostly.

    narciso (d1f714)

  11. this is just fake news from Stormy’s pimp

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  12. 6. What porn star? You mean the one Trump banged? Right after the birth of his son with his wife? That porn star? Oh geez, I dunno. Good question.

    Gryph (08c844)

  13. The one who backdated her diary by ten years, shows roman doesn’t always get it right, but shes a more presentable package,

    narciso (d1f714)

  14. Doesn’t appear paying Cohen for “consulting” is worth much. Viktor Vekselberg was banned from the US, and US citizens banned from doing business with in, in April, 2018. And AT &T—the Trump DOJ has asked a court to block its merger with Time Warner.

    pete (a65bac)

  15. So…

    Regardless of any Stomy connection, Mueller’s investigators are interested in the payments from the Russian oligarch’s U.S. affiliate:

    Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company’s US affiliate made to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter.

    Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of asset manager Renova Group, is an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, and last month the Trump administration placed him on a list of sanctioned Russians for activities including election interference.

    Ok. Now the narrative is that Russian oligarchs paid for influence of their stooge Trump, via his lawyer, and then Trump turns around and sanctions those same Russians companies costing them billions of dollars because that’s what your paid stooge does… stabs you in the back? And Mueller is interested in… what exactly? That stooges are doing the opposite of what they were paid to do?

    Mueller: “Trumps lawyer has multiple clients and business dealings — some involving foreigners — and is taking money for this work. Trumps doing the opposite of what Russian stooges are supposed to do by sanctioning these companies and hurting them financially as well as hurting Russia. QUICK! TO THE JUSTICE MOBILE!”

    Holy s*** I hope Mueller starts investigating EVERY PRIVATE PRACTICE ATTORNEY AND LAW FIRM in the United States who has both public servants and foreigners for clients. You know, just to be sure we uncover any and all Russian influence peddling that may or may not be occurring.

    Also what is $500,000 to a billionaire like Trump. That’s the question no one seems to be asking — all of these supposed payments amount to pocket change for Trump. It’s not like he was some half broke rapist hick from Arkansas making his way into the White House and then pocketing foreign money left and right to make him and his family ridiculously rich.

    I’m not discounting the idea that some Trump hanger-ons might be stupid enough to try and make money off such foreign sources but tying that to Trump is gonna be hard — you know since he is sanctioning the Russians, playing hardball with them, and doing everything the opposite of a paid Russian stooge.

    Caveat lector: every story on this seems sourced to a single person “familiar with the matter.” It’s apparently not Avenatti, since the Beast quotes the source as bewildered at how Avenatti found out. (Which could mean that the source told Avenatti and wanted to pretend like he hadn’t.) But it is worth noting that the New York Times says they have reviewed financial records that confirm the payments. So there’s that.

    Considering that only three groups have access to these records — Michael Cohen, his financial institution, and the Federal officers who raided his office — let’s deduce, based on the historical precedent of leaking everything about the “collusion” investigation as soon as it is juicy enough to hurt Trump (even if it is wrong), who might have released them.

    Whether the payments are illegal in any way, I can’t say. But man, does this look swampy.

    Ask Michael Caputo whether the Mueller hit squad cares if it is legal or not:

    “I think they want to destroy the president, they want to destroy his family,” Caputo said. “They want to destroy his businesses. They want to destroy his friends so that no billionaire in let’s say 50 years wakes up and tells his wife, ‘You know this country is broken and only I can fix it.’ His wife will say, ‘Are you crazy? Did you see what happened to Donald Trump and everybody around him?’ That’s what this is about.”

    Nevyan (693812)

  16. US lawyers can’t be trusted anymore cause the gestapo FBI can just walk in and grab their files any second

    this concludes failmerica’s pivot from a trust society to a police state

    and it’s because the dirty un-American men and women of the FBI are super butt-hurt how their criminal pig candidate with the potentially historic boobies got lazy and drunk after nabbing the Democratic nomination through shady machinations that disenfranchised Sanders voters

    they are not belief in democracy

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  17. Patterico’s News of teh World
    aka National Perspirer.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  18. Back in my free wheeling days I gave Morgan Stanley some money to invest for me, does that mean I owned or controlled them?

    They and some of their funds where my investment vehicle. So I must have.

    Rich people investing family members money, there is a shock.

    Either ignorant reporters with no clue what they are talking about or dishonest reporters who know what they are talking about and choose to frame it dishonestly.

    After 20+ years of being told nothing was wrong with Clinton and Rhodam family members getting all sorts of investments I’m not going to lose any sleep over this. What exactly was Terry McAuliffi’s expertise in Electric cars that deserved so much tax payor money?

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  19. 15 “Mueller is interested in… what exactly? That stooges are doing the opposite of what they were paid to do?”

    Breach of an oral or implied contract? Mueller will impeach Trump for failing to deliver on being paid off by the Russians. Oh the irony. Law is law you can’t be a paid stooge and not serve your master.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  20. Podesta doesn’t get the treatment, because he embezzled his money in that garish art, that prompted Edward munch.

    narciso (d1f714)

  21. “Apparently they weren’t smart enough to set up something called The Trump Foundation where all those contributions could be funneled and tagged for “humanitarian” causes.”

    – random viking

    Apparently not. So not only are they corrupt, they are stupid as well.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  22. Columbus Nova has been around for quite a while. I believe the cousin, Intrater, was born and has always lived in the US. He has a long Wall Street bio, and graduated from Rutgers.

    There are at least two other very big companies that hired Cohen as a “consultant” — drug maker Novartis, and Korean Airlines.

    The idea that people close to an incoming President set up shop and sell themselves as having “insight” and “access” is pretty much a long-established “norm” as many around here like to label things.

    The payments by this firm, if they originated with Intrater’s cousin, all came AFTER the Trump Administration KNEW there was an FBI and IC investigation into ties between Trump and Russia.

    So, being contrarian, which seems more plausible —

    1. That Trump would greenlight Cohen to take $500,000 in a thinly disguised payoff from a well-known Russian oligarch who is certainly close to Putin; or

    2. That Cohen, now detached from Trump Inc., might look to cash in after Trump won the election by “selling” his access to Trump and Trump Inc., veterans now inside Govt; or

    3. Putin, seeking to further drive the Dems and Never Trumpers crazy, commissioned Vekelsberg — who has billions invested around the world — to “target” Cohen and put money in his pocket knowing that it would eventually come to light (heck, they could even leak it if they want … I wonder how Avenatti ends up with the info???).

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  23. ikes Roger Simon goes there

    ONE OTHER THING: In writing about this, I would be remiss in not acknowledging something I find personally shameful because I am Jewish. Four particularly sexually disturbed liberal politicians/icons — Spitzer, Weiner, Weinstein and Schneiderman — are my co-religionists. (Massachusetts’ Stan Rosenberg is a fifth.) Is this merely an accident? Possibly. I don’t know. But I think Jewish groups, in the interest of honest self-criticism and improvement, should examine this situation. Perhaps it would provide an additional chapter to Norman Podhoretz’s Why Jews Are Liberals. (Thankfully, not all of us are.)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  24. Stormy’s Mack Daddy lawyer portrays his profession perfectly. Just like a hoar.

    mg (9e54f8)

  25. IMO its very likely that the source for Avenatti — and maybe the SC too — is someone inside the bank. Most of the major news outlets who reported on the story yesterday said they were provided “documents” to review, without describing the nature of the documents, and that makes me speculate that what they were given was bank records showing the transactions and the identity of the contributing party – maybe wire instructions or something similar. This would explain not describing the documents, as that would be a strong hint about where they came from.

    And IIRC, CNN stated in their early reporting that the documents showed the transactions and the dates, but that was the only basis to link the $500,000 to the Stormy payouff — the relationship in time (75 days according to Avanetti in his interviews). The Danies payoff comes in late October, and the first payment from Columbus Nova is in January 2017.

    From those two data points, Avanetti began shouting at the top of his lungs that the Russians had covered the cost of Trump’s payment to Daniels.

    The press didn’t go quite that far because of the inconsistency of having payments hit the same account from ATT, Novartis, and Korean Air. Its not any more plausible that the Russians were paying for the Daniels payoff than it is that Korean Air was paying for it.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  26. good work Mr. shipwreck

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  27. Apparently not. So not only are they corrupt, they are stupid as well.

    Leviticus (efada1) — 5/9/2018 @ 8:52 am

    Or none of the above. Corporations paying to get insight on how people think and what their priorities are is a very old practice, certainly no less “above the line” than paying miscreants for info on the criminal activities of their associates.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  28. and on 22 — if you haven’t seen the reporting, there were a series of transactions with Columbus Nova that all added up to $500,000.

    The final transaction was in August 2017.

    So, all those Never Trumpers and the media pointing to this as evidence of collusion, need to explain how it makes any sense at all that Trump’s personal attorney would be taking payoff money from the Russians on Trump’s behalf over a period that continued for 3 months AFTER a Special Counsel was named to investigate all aspects of any relationship between Trump and any Russian person or firm.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  29. Reasonable conjecture, but Isnt there an affirmative obligation not to leak confidential info, if it is indeed true, remember Daniel Jones and the plague squirrel.

    narciso (d1f714)

  30. how it makes any sense at all that Trump’s personal attorney would be taking payoff money from the Russians

    Stormy Daniels, and American woman, has obscenely large cartoon tits.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  31. ugh *an* American woman I mean

    I made typo

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  32. Shouldn’t Stormy be indicted for blackmailing Trump? Any candidate for important elected office is vulnerable to claims of secret sexual shenanigans, actual or imaginary. Demanding cash payoffs for silence is clearly illegal, but going public after cashing-in only adds insult to injury.

    Stormy not only extorted Trump during his run for POTUS, but then she also reneged on her non-disclosure agreement. She’s a vindictive crook and should be made to return Trump’s money and do time for extortion/blackmail.

    ropelight (4f079d)

  33. To summarize: Trump’s personal lawyer was getting six-figure payoffs from a Russian crony of Putin who was sanctioned the US government over meddling in the election that put Trump in office.

    Nothing to see here! No collusion! Witchhunt!

    Also just appearing on the radar, per Rudy’s intimation that Cohen “may have” paid other women besides Stormy on Trump’s behalf:

    Did RNC apparatchik Elliot Broidy, who resigned after it was revealed Cohen paid Playboy playmate Shera Bechard $1.6M (in an agreement that used identical fake names to the one with Stormy Daniels), actually take the fall for Trump, and was Ms. Beshard’s pregnancy (and subsequent abortion) really Spanky’s handiwork?

    As Allahpundit observes, following Paul Campos:

    there’s no reason to think Broidy would be dating playmates or using Cohen to handle sensitive business, but there *is* reason to think Broidy might take the fall for Trump to spare him from the firestorm of an abortion scandal.

    Campos thinks Broidy was, in effect, bribing Trump by agreeing to pay the $1.6M. It turns out he has a history of bribery and has paid off the girlfriends of politicians he was bribing in the past. In a remarkable coincidence, Bechard’s attorney who negotiated the pay-off was the same one who got Stormy her $130K. The pattern of behavior implausibly attributed to Broidy – right down to having unprotected sex with an adult entertainer – is pure Trump.

    At the time the Broidy pay-off story first appeared, Michael Avenatti made the pointed comment:

    “I think at some point we are going to find out, if in fact the client in connection with the [$1.6 million] settlement was, in fact, Mr. Broidy. I’m going to leave it at that.”

    What say you Trumpsters? If your boy knocked up a Playboy playmate and then generously sprung for her abortion – who cares, right?

    Dave (445e97)

  34. What say you Trumpsters? If your boy knocked up a Playboy playmate and then generously sprung for her abortion – who cares, right?

    So here is the three things NeverTrumpers forget:

    1. Trump was a middle finger to the career politicians on BOTH sides by a frustrated electorate. That was why Trump flipped some blue states to win.

    2. All candidates come with baggage. Dig far enough and I’m sure you will find a crime (see Harvey Silvergates book) or some other questionable activity which will make someone say “Oh no. I do have the vapors.” I’m not electing Jesus to be President of the United States — I’m electing someone who has MY interests in mind.

    3. People weigh their vote on more than a single issue (OH NO! CONSENUAL SEX BETWEEN ADULTS! THE HORROR! THE HORROR!)

    and the ECONOMY and NATIONAL SECURITY continuously trend as the top issues year over year. Do you think rural Pennsylvanians and folks from Michigan came over to Trump because of Russian oligarchs buying Facebook ads or because they need an economic recovery to provide jobs to pay bills and put food on the table?

    Never Trumpers will never be satisfied unless Jesus Himself ran and won the election. Except even Jesus came with baggage and the NYT would run the headline:

    “Rabbi Preaching Love and Tolerance – Assaults Local Businessmen in Temple”

    Nevyan (693812)

  35. RedState dismantles Stormy and her pimp on this today

    Other companies that paid Michael Cohen for consulting include AT&T and Korea Aerospace Industries. It should also be noted that Columbus Nova, despite some of the headlines you may be seeing, is not a Russia firm run by Putin. It’s an American firm who simply has a Russian client. In case you weren’t aware, Russian money spends just as well as the rest.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  36. First things first. Did I read it correctly? The NY Times said that Cohen’s financial records confirm the payment? Uh, since the FBI seized all of Cohen’s records, how did those records end up in the hands of the NY Times?

    Michael D Giles (a5a0c5)

  37. BREAKING: Trump passes the 3000 lie milestone, 466 days into his presidency

    If you’re keeping score, that’s an average of 6.5 lies per day, every day, but the man who “tells it like it is” has really been hitting stride recently, averaging a whopping 9 lies per day over the last two months.

    Today he tweeted a revealing threat against the First Amendment:

    “The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”

    Get that? The definition of “fake” is “negative”, as far as President Snowflake is concerned! There can be no accurate negative coverage, according to him.

    Dave (445e97)

  38. breitbart also pimp-slaps CNN fake news for the way they bend over for Stormy’s pimp here

    Using a porn star’s lawyer as an assignment editor might be an all-new kind of low for the American media, but watching it blow up in the media’s ridiculous faces is nothing less than glorious.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  39. how did those records end up in the hands of the NY Times?

    the corrupt lawless men and women of the sleazy FBI just DGAF

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  40. 36 — “financial records” could be nothing more than bank statements. And you can get those from a friendly “leaker” inside the bank.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  41. Uh, since the FBI seized all of Cohen’s records, how did those records end up in the hands of the NY Times?

    Released by Cohen and/or Trump’s attorneys. It’s called “getting out in front of the story”, just like Rudy’s acknowledgement, contradicting months of lies and deception, that Trump was fully aware of the hush money payment.

    They know all this stuff is going to come out eventually in the indictment(s) and lawsuit(s) against Cohen. This way, they can control the release of the story, AND make it look like a leak to discredit the prosecutors.

    Dave (445e97)

  42. What say you Trumpsters? If your boy knocked up a Playboy playmate and then generously sprung for her abortion – who cares, right?

    Dave (445e97) — 5/9/2018 @ 10:00 am

    Save that for the other faculty lounge ladies…

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  43. “…to discredit the prosecutors.”

    As if they needed any help with that, lol…

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  44. So Vekselberg, who owns Renova Group, is the biggest client of Columbus Nova, which is owned by Cousin Andy. Personally, I think Cousin Andy’s company could use a nice, thorough forensic audit, right after one is done on all of Cohen’s enterprises.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  45. yes yes as we was talking about the police state has arrived (fbi police state)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  46. yes yes as we was talking about the police state has arrived (fbi police state)

    Vekselberg is one of Putin’s pet oligarchs, and Cousin Andy’s firm was only one of the ways that he tried to buy access (link). Mueller not only interviewed Cousin Andy, he went straight to the Putineer source (link).

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  47. And he lost two billion last month, so that was an expensive wager.

    narciso (d1f714)

  48. The same leaker is it dreeben or weissman or zebley.

    narciso (d1f714)

  49. vekaelberg started in aluminum branched out into oil, one of the key players behind tnk the partner to British petroleum.

    narciso (d1f714)

  50. Paul,

    Russia and the USA have been doing billions of dollars of business with each other.

    Engineering groups, lawyers, sports groups, oil companies, financial service firms etc.

    Hillary Clinton’s husband was paid 500,000 dollars by the same man during the election.

    Go figure, Cohen was and still is being paid for insights to the president , probably by more than att, Korean airways etc.

    This is what happens when you work for someone who gets elected president.

    I remember mrs Daschle wife of the senate majority leader during the democrat controlled majority, being paid 2 million a year by Boeing for her insight…

    EPWJ (402fdb)

  51. Harry Reid’s sons were made extremely wealthy men by these insight payments, so were the Biden family

    EPWJ (402fdb)

  52. “In 2017, according to IWB, Nancy Pelosi is worth around $196,299,990. CRP reported Pelosi’s average net worth in 2014 was $101,273,023 having ranked 8th out of 25 wealthiest members of Congress. According to Business Insider, Pelosi was worth $29,350,000 in 2012. How come there is such a massive increase in wealth in the last 5 years?

    If any of this is true? Why the massive increase

    EPWJ (402fdb)

  53. Frequent Trump critic Jazz Shaw dismantles and dismembers the story, piece by piece.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/05/09/avenatti-cohen-oligarchs-oh/

    After the latest, breathless round of headlines regarding Stormy Daniels’ attorney revealing that he somehow learned of various large payments made to Michael Cohen, I read Allahpundit’s coverage of it last night. Most of the key background info is there in case you somehow missed it, but I came away with some troubling questions. It’s true that pretty much everyone on the left is in a frenzy, once again concluding that they’ve finally “got” the President on something big.

    The left is in quite a frenzy.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  54. @51 and 52

    Hillary Clinton’s husband was paid 500,000 dollars by the same man during the election.

    I remember mrs Daschle wife of the senate majority leader during the democrat controlled majority, being paid 2 million a year by Boeing for her insight…

    Harry Reid’s sons were made extremely wealthy men by these insight payments, so were the Biden family

    But see they weren’t named Trump or associated with anyone named Trump.

    Luckily for all of us we are finally getting to see what the Caste System is in America when it comes to the law and what is or is not investigated or prosecuted.

    Nevyan (693812)

  55. And some of the transfers were to another Michael cohen and the treasury department has opened a criminal investigation of Avenatti and the press.

    Muhawhaw

    EPWJ (402fdb)

  56. Apparently Novartis is russian now?

    narciso (d1f714)

  57. This just in… David Hogg to put-off attending college to pursue a career in TV ass clownery…

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  58. AT&T paid for “administration insight?!!?”

    AT&T Cable could have shown that to them on multiple channels for a lot less. There’s a flyer in the mail pitching that from them once a week. Reach out and touch some one else, fellas.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  59. Yeah the Joyce foundations pet is already on minute 14:

    https://nypost.com/2018/05/07/david-hogg-is-postponing-college-to-push-gun-control/

    narciso (d1f714)

  60. According to some bank officials, it seems like someone at the bank did a Cohen sars inquiry catching hundreds of transactions, Avenatti cherry picked the ones he chose to disclose.

    Don’t know if it’s true, but if Avenatti knew it was illegally obtained information, hmmmmmm

    EPWJ (402fdb)

  61. This showing is a marked decline from his support in 2012, when Manchin received almost 80% of the Democratic primary vote. Even more distressing for Manchin is the decline in the number of votes he received. Manchin got 52,302 fewer votes this yearthan in his last primary, even while 47,710 more votes were cast in the Republican primary than in 2012. And compared to the 2014 midterm, Republican turnout was up 61% yesterday, compared to just a 14% increase for Democrats.”

    Blue wave?

    EPWJ (402fdb)

  62. The left is in quite a frenzy.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438) — 5/9/2018 @ 11:35 am

    LOL… when are they not? They don’t call it feverswamp for nothing!

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  63. everyone can’t wait to get out and support President Trump in honor of all his accomplish

    so suck it John McCain everyone hates you anyway

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  64. So, all those Never Trumpers and the media pointing to this as evidence of collusion, need to explain how it makes any sense at all that Trump’s personal attorney would be taking payoff money from the Russians on Trump’s behalf over a period that continued for 3 months AFTER a Special Counsel was named to investigate all aspects of any relationship between Trump and any Russian person or firm.

    How does it make any sense that Trump’s personal attorney and fixer would collect *any* money — payoff money or not — from a firm tied to a Russian oligarch after the Special Council (as Trump spells it) was appointed?

    IOW, even if it’s not payoff money, isn’t this seven flavors of crazy and stupid?

    I don’t know what it means, but I know it looks fishy.

    Patterico (6fba59)

  65. everyone can’t wait to get out and support President Trump in honor of all his accomplish

    so suck it John McCain everyone hates you anyway

    In lieu of flowers the McCain family asks that you donate to the Democratic Presidential Campaign for 2020.

    Nevyan (693812)

  66. After 20+ years of being told nothing was wrong with Clinton and Rhodam family members getting

    Hey, at least we have moved from “Trump will drain the swamp” to “OK, even if Trump and his buddies are swampy they aren’t the first ones to be!”

    It’s an argument that has been used by partisans for both sides forever.

    Patterico (6fba59)

  67. Is funnel cake now on the menu at Mar-a-Lago?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  68. The part about AT&T paying Cohen has been confirmed by AT&T, so that’s definitely not fake news. If companies like AT&T are paying that mutt six-figure sums to or through him for “access” or “strategic insight,” that’s a red flag the size of Trump Tower, with or without Russians.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  69. so suck it John McCain everyone hates you anyway

    The day McCain dies, I will moderate you for a week.

    Patterico (6fba59)

  70. Can I be on the Special Council? I ran for Student Council once, but I was lucky enough to lose. I didn’t think they had Student Council at New York Military Academy.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  71. I definitely want a pro rata rebate on my last two years’ AT&T internet service bills.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  72. Yes and they’ve lost on the merger, which means timewarner will ruin another enterprise, as they did with aol.

    narciso (d1f714)

  73. So the point of this, is they leak any document, clearly the special master did not disclose any of this.

    narciso (d1f714)

  74. i’ll be on good behaves i promise i will be so sad he’s such an integral part of my life

    memories will light the corners of my mind

    misty water color memories cause of i be so sad

    we had joy we had fun we had seasons now they’re done

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  75. @65. John’s a tad prickly of late given all the Arizona cacti he represents Mr. Feet; overlook his barbs.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  76. DJT and his cronies really are arrogant enough to pull a stunt like this. Somehow, I just don’t see this as an actual “thing.” I predicted DJT will not fill out his term. I stand by that.

    Not to hijack this thread….I am offended and repulsed over the massive PR about the returning DPRK hostages. Sure, it’s great for those individuals. I am glad for them. The public rapture over the fate of THREE people in the context of the immensity of the issues? Obscene. /end rant

    Ed from SFV (291f4c)

  77. i’ll be on good behaves i promise i will be so sad he’s such an integral part of my life

    Taking no chances.

    Patterico (6fba59)

  78. the massive PR about the returning DPRK hostages

    it’s symbolic of a new era of relations, it generates feelgood and goodwill on all sides, it costs nothing, and the keyword here is freedom, not hostages

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  79. that’s incredibly cynical and a tad uncharitable i think, and such a horrible way to mark his passing

    to cage someone in moderation where they lie on a dirty straw mat choking on their own silence

    unable to communicate

    trapped in a solitary confinement with maybe not even one bowl of porridge a day

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  80. Patterico: Don’t negotiate with terrorists. It encourages them.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  81. Who cares but trump haters. Republicans running in primaries run on being more trump then trump. Libertarian free trade conservatives are finished!

    hit the road jack (60dc38)

  82. I’m sure this will get coverage as “obstruction of justice” or something by the usual suspects.

    Treasury watchdog probing how stormy Daniels lawyer got Cohen’s bank records

    I’m waiting for folks to defend the theft and leaking of someones private financial records as just and necessary.

    Rule of law and all…

    Nevyan (693812)

  83. The day McCain dies, I will moderate you for a week.

    hf: But feelings.

    Hooray! Hat tip to you Pat! He needs to scale back his scumminess.

    Tillman (a95660)

  84. Don’t be surprised if our Captain reveals he’s meeting w/Kim on the decks of the USS Pueblo and as part of his grand negotiating skills, announces he’s talked North Korea into giving us back our own ship they stole fifty years ago.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  85. hat’s incredibly cynical and a tad uncharitable i think, and such a horrible way to mark his passing

    My resolve does not emerge from a vacuum. There is a history that richly supports my view.

    Patterico (6fba59)

  86. The WP is reporting — based on an article in The Hill — that the Treasury Dept is investigating whether Avenetti was provided access to or copies of Suspicious Activity Reports filed by Cohen’s bank(s) with regard to the deposits into the account in question.

    One thing that readers should understand, SAR’s don’t necessarily mean the transaction in question was necessarily “suspicious”. SARs (and Currency Transaction Reports – CTRs), are required by the Bank Secrecy Act, and for SARs there is no defined basis in the banking regulations for when a bank should file and SAR.

    The bank regulators put out “guidance” and “opinions” periodically about what banks should be watching for, but the main guideline is simply the old saying “know your customers”.

    That means that banks are best positioned to know when a customer’s banking habits undergo a significant alteration without explanation. An account with no history of receiving consistent large deposits in the five and six figure range might suddently appear “suspicious” if for no obvious reason a dozen such transactions happen over a 3-4 month period.

    Six figure incoming or outgoing wire transfers to/from foreign banks are also usually flagged for attention.

    STRs are sent as a matter of practice to a group of investigators in each judicial district. Usually there is an ad hoc task force of agents and prosecutors — the number depends on the size of the office and the size of the financial services industry in the district — and there is a manual screening process where the STRs are divided up and briefly examined to determine if there is any reason to be suspicious. Its really a “needle in a haystack” exercise because nearly all the STRs are meaningless. Big banks in big cities generate dozens of them a day.

    Banks tend to be “overly” sensitive because they don’t want to be second guessed by bank regulators when they come asking — remember there are often 2 banks in these transactions, and it looks bad for one bank who doesn’t generate an STR, and the other bank does, and then it turns out that the transaction was involving some sort of criminal enterprise. The non-reporting bank might get sanctioned by the bank regulator for failing to report.

    At the same time, customers don’t like to be reported — especially customers who have done nothing wrong — because every now and then it means an FBI agent or IRS agent shows up at the customers house or business with the STR in hand, and wants to ask a few questions. So banks in competition with each other have to walk a fine line — being overtly cautious, report everything, and piss off customers who did nothing wrong and don’t appreciate being visited by the feds; or don’t report so aggressively, and have the bank regulators come around and ask why you aren’t reporting large transactions by front company for a Mexican drug cartel.

    Its actually quite an issue in the back office of big banks, and for upper bank management personnel.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  87. it’s just not fair though if everyone else gets to celebrate

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  88. 73… a lawyer with banker’s blood. Who woulda thunk it!?!?

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  89. 66 — we’re talking about Michael Cohen here, the guy who graduated from the lowest ranked law school in the US, and who apparently has millions of dollars in loans with his father-in-law that are apparently tied to Taxicab medallions in NY and Chicago.

    Whose to say he even knew who Columbus Nova was when they contacted him about “consulting” on real estate deals in New York and elsewhere. And I think it might be difficult to trace a direct link from Columbus Nova to the Russian company that supposedly has money invested through Columbus Nova — how would Cohen know that?

    IMO, this is EXACTLY out of the playbook of an intelligence agent like Putin when the only real goal is to stir up trouble.

    I agree is looks “fishy”, but its too obvious and “too cute by half” to have been a meaningful effort to actually steer money in Trump’s direction for the purpose of influencing him.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  90. if you got SARs on you i’d imagine you’re better off not living in a state with a corrupt AG like New York

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  91. Mr. Cohen’s a bona fide real estate consultant just ask Mr. Hannity he’ll tell ya

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  92. 68 — I think there is still a bit of space between Trump buddies trying to cash in for themselves, and the creation of an entire Clintonian corporate structure designed to monetize the continuing Clinton influence in Washington and Dem political circles.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  93. Daily Caller: Avenatti accuses wrong Michael Cohens of making ‘fraudulent’ payments

    So in addition to receiving SARS on the presidents attorney and releasing the information to the public Avenatti also received and released SARS on totally unrelated Michael Cohens. Jesus… if only there was some sort of ‘code of ethics’ or ‘professional responsibilities’ or something similar for attorneys.

    But hey… it has the potential to make Trump look bad so it’s all ok.

    Nevyan (693812)

  94. “It’s an argument that has been used by partisans for both sides forever.”

    What’s swampy? A business paid for information. Now if the Russians paid Cohen then Trump approved selling them 20% of our Uranium I would have problems.

    So far everyone that has paid Cohen hasn’t received any benefit. Are you complaining that people trying to buy favor aren’t getting adequate return on their money?

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  95. 66 “IOW, even if it’s not payoff money, isn’t this seven flavors of crazy and stupid?”

    Only if your doing something wrong, is it not possible anymore for those in office to be acting legally?

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  96. 52 as a long time Vegas resident, Reid’s accumulation of wealth was legendary, both his personal then family. Every couple years we lock up a handful of Democrats trying to follow in his footsteps.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  97. Insight payments are quite common, wonder how many bill got when Hillary was sec of state?

    EPWJ (86bb64)

  98. it’s just not fair though if everyone else gets to celebrate

    Heh. I think they call that a statement against interest.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  99. 95 — what an idiot. Avenatti is doing more for Trump’s defense than Trump’s own lawyers.

    And, for anyone here who didn’t know, Avanetti interned for Rahm Emanuel in some position or another 15 years ago.

    The guy is a political operative no less than someone like David Brock and Steve Bannon.

    This error probably set back his effort to get MSNBC to give him his own show. LMAO.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  100. 94 my understanding is selling access is legal, selling results is a crime. Based on the results how can anyone expect Trump is selling outcomes? Everyone supposedly bribing him have had negative results.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  101. 99 — and you have to view the efforts made by multi-nationals like Novartis and ATT through the prism of them knowing they can’t just go out and hire a traditional GOP linked lobbying firm in the same manner the swamp has operated or decades. Trump was stridently NOT a creature of either party when he came to town, and obvious paths to persons of influence in the WH weren’t marked on the sidewalks between the WH and Capitol Hill as had always been the case.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  102. Well he would right up with that fmr seal, who said Islamic state should target trump properties in turkey, because Dogan had sold him the licensing rights.

    narciso (d1f714)

  103. 97. Possible? Yes. Likely? No.

    Gryph (08c844)

  104. Of Dogan had been an opposition voice to erdogan, until he brought him to heal

    narciso (d1f714)

  105. 99… Corporations paying to get insight on how people think and what their priorities are is a very old practice, certainly no less “above the line” or appropriate than paying miscreants for info on the criminal activities of their associates.

    No need to twist it to fit any narrative.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  106. Here’s why this is a big bag of dog poop that Avenatti had to light on fire yesterday for CNN and NBC/MSNBC:

    According to The Hill, Novartis says it was asked LAST YEAR by Mueller’s team about its payments to Cohen.

    The Swiss drug company Novartis on Wednesday revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller contacted the company last year about payments it made to Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal attorney.

    “Novartis cooperated fully with the special counsel’s office and provided all the information requested,” the company said in a statement.

    Novartis said it hired Cohen in February 2017 as part of a one-year contract for consulting services. The company said it paid Cohen $100,000 per month, for a total of $1.2 million.

    What we know now is that the Special Counsel has come across significant information about Cohen – including the STRs that are apparently the basis for Avenatti’s claims in the media — and the SC opted to send the Cohen matter to the SDNY for prosecution — meaning it didn’t find any significant link between the payments to Cohen by Columbus Nova and whatever Russian actors might be connected to Columbus Nova.

    In other words, the Special Counsel has already looked at this — including the fact that they detained and questioned Vekselberg when he last tried to enter the US — and thereafter sent it to be handled by DOJ rather than as part of the SC’s Russian investigation.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  107. Rancid bear grease re that classic snl sketch

    narciso (d1f714)

  108. 108. It didn’t have anything to do with the 2016 election. And it’s been pointed out that the Russian payments = influence buying – came after the election. Mark Simone says tis is waht hapepnes when someone unexpected gets elected and then a bllionaire (or whoever) tried to get close to the newly elected official , when they weren’t close before. They look foir opeoplle believed to be close to the new person.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  109. Trump fans, I have a straight-up, non-snarky, sincere question for any or all of you, because I’m genuinely curious:

    The headline for this post is, “Russian Oligarch’s Firm Paid Cash to Trump Fixer Michael Cohen, and Mueller Wants to Know Why.”

    So my very simple question is: Do you?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  110. I don’t believe it. I just can’t believe that even Trump or his lawyer (Cohen) are this stupid.

    noel (b4d580)

  111. (Re #112, I don’t mean to discourage or rule out anyone’s explanation or comments, mind you! But this is a yes/no question, so please answer it with a yes or a no, along with whatever else you’d like to say. I’m interested in all, but especially interested in whether you’ve said yes or whether you’ve said no.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  112. @ noel (#113): I stopped using that phrase when it was revealed that Sean Hannity was Cohen’s mystery third client. But that’s not the question, and it was addressed to Trump fans. 😉

    Beldar (fa637a)

  113. Trump fans, I have a straight-up, non-snarky, sincere question for any or all of you, because I’m genuinely curious:

    That should be “Trump fans who I have not blocked….”, meaning Beldar’s directing this to one or two people.

    Here’s my answer, which he won’t see:

    Yes, I want to know why. Silly question. Along those lines, here’s a question for Trump haters:

    Any politician may or may not be associated with fishy characters. Are you interested in knowing? If yes, then I assume you support appointing special prosecutors for every congressman, senator, and governor so as to find out. If not, why not?

    random viking (92ce59)

  114. Of all the people in the entire world population of 7 billion… who is giving $500,000 to an account set up by Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer? A Russian Oligarch? A Russian guy who is sanctioned by the US government? All DURING an investigation into Russia meddling?

    No way. Trump must have tweeted a denial the minute that idiotic story hit the airwaves. Right?

    noel (b4d580)

  115. 112:

    Assumes many facts not in evidence.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  116. To me, the payment by Novartis is more entertaining. They sign a contract for $100,000 a month for 12 months for consultation on health care issues. They quickly realize that Cohen really can’t help them with anything, and end their conversations on policy issues. But they paid the entire contract because they had signed it – stupidly as it turns out.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  117. 112:

    Non snarky answer for Beldar:

    Do you really think a Russian oligarch was trying to buy influence with Trump by paying Cohen $500,000 over a 7 month period when EVERYONE knew there investigations busting out all over LOOKING for such arrangements??

    Which is more plausible, that they were trying to buy influence, or that a hostile foreign regime that had spent millions of dollars trying to turn the US election system upside down over the past 2 years thought this might be an interesting little “Easter egg” to hide, knowing that someone sooner or later would uncover it, and then hilarity would ensue?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  118. Not interested in questioning events that never happened. The Russian’s firm never made a payment to Cohen. Thus nothing to question.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  119. Mueller has already interviewed the Russian and the American firm who made the payment. He handed off the case which implies he already has the answer.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  120. Ummm collusion payments, wouldn’t they be going the other way?

    Also the 1.2 million contract was for goodwill access to the president, more common that one would think. What would make it illegal if trump was getting some of that. Since he earned I think 483 million in his one leaked tax return, I doubt that trump would risk everything for a such a transparent arrangement.

    EPWJ (86bb64)

  121. 51. Go figure, Cohen was and still is being paid for insights to the president.

    Leaving aside the whataboutism, EPWJ, there’s also the hypocrisy of Trump complaining about Hillary engaging in pay-to-play and big donors buying access, and here we have Trumpalistas engaging in pay-to-play and buying access. I don’t buy for a second that AT&T was buying “insights” when Cohen has no particular expertise in the telecom industry. His only self-proclaimed specialty was being Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer”. There’s only one reason why they would pay him $200,000 while they’re trying to get approval for a blockbuster merger with Time-Warner, and that’s to get backdoor access and influence. Let’s get honest here.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  122. You know what I can’t wait for?

    When Muellers deep deep investigation produces nothing tangible before fizzling out and then we find out the HUGE millions of dollar price tag it cost.

    Will the Never Trumper “fiscal conservatives” have enough energy left to complain about the waste of money or will it just be ignored.

    What a waste of public funds for this charade.

    Nevyan (c7bf46)

  123. Here are another couple of facts that point to this being a fantasy of gasbag Avenatti:

    CNN reported on April 4, 2018, that Mueller’s team had stopped and questioned Russian Oligarchs about payments made to the Trump campaign or inauguration. That report doesn’t identify the Russian involved.

    The NYT reported May 4 that Vekselberg was that person, but it doesn’t say when the questioning took place.

    But if it took place before April 4 at least, the search of Cohen’s business office and apartment took place on April 9 — meaning the SC had sent the Cohen matter, including the payment by Columbus Nova, and Vekselberg’s connection thereto — if any — to the SDNY, and did not keep it as part of his investigation.

    And the May 4 NYT article has a bit more background on Vekselberg:

    Mr. Vekselberg’s ticket to the inauguration came from his cousin and business associate, Andrew Intrater. Mr. Intrater, an American who lives in New York, donated $250,000 to Mr. Trump’s inauguration, campaign finance records show.

    Mr. Mueller’s investigators have questioned Mr. Intrater, according to a person briefed on the matter, though there is no indication that he is suspected of wrongdoing. A person close to Mr. Intrater said that he was encouraged to attend the inauguration by an American friend, and that he had wanted to use the trip as an opportunity to meet with business associates in Washington. Documents the person provided indicated that Mr. Intrater intended to hold business meetings during the weekend of the inauguration.

    Mr. Intrater is the chief executive of Columbus Nova, an investment management firm whose biggest client is the Renova Group, Mr. Vekselberg’s sprawling conglomerate that operates in the energy sector and elsewhere.

    At one point, Renova donated $50,000 to $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

    Mr. Vekselberg, who has a net worth estimated at more than $13 billion by Forbes, has primarily made his fortune in oil and metals. And as his wealth has risen, he appears to have maintained strong ties to the Kremlin.

    Mr. Vekselberg is among the select Russian oligarchs who made their fortunes in the early post-Soviet period and managed to retain wealth under Mr. Putin while others went to prison or into exile. In 2010, Dmitri A. Medvedev, the Russian president at the time, appointed Mr. Vekselberg to help lead a technology-business project near Moscow.

    Mr. Vekselberg, who is believed to have a favorable relationship with Mr. Putin, was one of seven Kremlin-linked oligarchs hit with sanctions in April by the Trump administration.

    The Trump administration’s decision to target Mr. Vekselberg and the Renova Group with sanctions underscored his perceived closeness to the Kremlin. The sanctions — against seven of Russia’s richest men and their companies as well as 17 top government officials — were aimed at penalizing those seen as enriching themselves from Mr. Putin’s government.

    And yet, Mr. Vekselberg, a native of Ukraine, has long-running business ties to the United States. He founded Renova in 1990 as a Russian-American joint venture, according to an archived version of the company’s website.

    And during a thaw in United States-Russian relations — the so-called reset orchestrated by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state — Mr. Vekselberg was appointed to help attract Silicon Valley investors to the technology park outside Moscow, known as Skolkovo.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  124. The headline for this post is, “Russian Oligarch’s Firm Paid Cash to Trump Fixer Michael Cohen, and Mueller Wants to Know Why.”

    So my very simple question is: Do you?

    I dispute all the premises of the question. See the link in my comment #54.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  125. Paul you apparently have no idea who AT&T is or what all they have their hand in. Further read a bio on Cohen, he has done far more in his life than act as a closer. The straws your grasping at is sad.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  126. Paul,

    Hillary’s pay to play directly benefited her, the cash was paid to her. She solicited the payments, kept a private server to hid the evidence and deleted the tens of thousands of emails when the were subpoenaed.b also it was an astonishing amount of money and we are now finding out That she has and had foreign charities where the reporting requirements are huge gray areas.

    Cohen

    These were insight payments, just about every governor, senator, etc has some family member, close friend, former or current business partner getting them. Dashes wife was hired by Boeing to a multimillion dollar contract. The current gov on Virginia was paid forty million for his insight in a California telecom merger weeks after the clintons left the White House

    Terry McAuliffe was an expert in telecom mergers?

    So the fainting couches and heavy breathing’s going to have to wait.

    Mueller Btw was director of the FBI when this nonsense went down, oh he prosecuted the ceo who paid mcauliffe, but not terry.

    EPWJ (86bb64)

  127. In AT&T-Time Warner merger trial, US government wants CNN parent to be spun off

    ‘The Department of Justice wants AT&T to divest either DIRECTV or Turner Broadcasting if it goes through with its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner. That’s what we learned in newly unsealed documents upon the conclusion of their federal trial.

    The government has gone against the telecom company for anti-competitive concerns, posing that the resulting company would create an unfair competitive advantage and drive prices higher — this in spite of the fact that the two parties work in different, non-competing industries and that courts have rarely ruled against mergers and acquisitions of this nature.

    The Department of Justice says that while it is against the acquisition as a whole, the deal would be less of a threat to competition if Turner, which controls several TV channels, were separated from channel provider DIRECTV. Turner Broadcasting owns Cartoon Network, the Bleach Report, NBA TV, TBS, TNT, truTV and, most importantly, CNN. President Donald Trump has been adversarial to the news network for what he perceived to be unfair media coverage throughout his political campaign and into his administration. AT&T acquired satellite television provider DIRECTV in 2015 and has integrated its services into sales packages combining landline and wireless services.

    Rumors say that the department requested AT&T to divest Turner prior to its suit, though CEO Randall Stephenson denied the claim. “Divestitures here would destroy the very consumer value this merger is designed to unlock,” AT&T stated in its case.District Judge Richard Leon is expected to decide on the case June 12.’ -source, pocketnow, 5-8-18

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  128. 128. Paul you apparently have no idea who AT&T is or what all they have their hand in. Further read a bio on Cohen, he has done far more in his life than act as a closer. The straws your grasping at is sad.

    I am always entertained when people who don’t know me from Adam go on and tell me what I don’t know. It’s amusing, really.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  129. Avanetti’s “Dossier” on Cohen is no longer available at the various links where it was posted yesterday. LOL.

    Must be busy scrubbing the “Wrong” Michael Cohen entries.

    I wonder if Avanetti is a common name in Italy? Seems to not have dawned on him that he was working with a Jewish family name that’s just about the equivalent of “Smith” in the US.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  130. Parlor game for all reading these comments:

    How many “Michael Cohens” do you know who are not the personal attorney of POTUS?

    I know one.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  131. 129. So the fainting couches and heavy breathing’s going to have to wait.

    I often wonder how old the commenters are here, because this “everybody does it” defense is smack out of the Clinton playbook, which Bill & Hillary and their squadron of operatives executed to perfection two decades ago.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  132. 134 — “Two decades ago??”” How about “For the last two decades pretty much continuously.”

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  133. Ken “Popehat” White wrote this today (paragraph breaks added by Beldar):

    [I]t’s important to remember that Special Counsel Robert Mueller spun off the Cohen investigation to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He presumably did that because the Cohen investigation was not within his brief — that is, not about Russian interference in the 2016 election or directly arising from that.

    That fact is inconsistent with Michael Avenatti’s suggestion that the $500,000 payment from Columbus Nova to Michael Cohen’s LLC represents part of the Russian “collusion” that the Special Counsel is investigating. If Mueller thought that, he likely would have kept that part of the investigation under his own control rather than handing it off to SDNY. Federal prosecutors — particularly methodical ones like Mueller — tend to be control freaks. If an investigation (especially one with big showy risky moves like the search of an attorney’s office) is going to yield evidence key to their case, they want to be controlling it.

    But it’s early days, and the urge to speculate doesn’t lead reliably to truth.

    I certainly agree that based on what we now know, Ken’s speculation is at least plausible. I’m not convinced that it’s the only plausible explanation, nor am I convinced that Trump ought to feel particularly relieved if, in fact, it’s only SDNY that’s looking into Cohen on an on-going basis. I certainly do agree, though, with the “early days” remark, slightly adjusted. Certainly we’re only in the “early days” of public disclosures, official or leaked or otherwise, regarding either SDNY’s investigation of Cohen or Mueller’s investigation of whatever it is that he and Rod Rosenstein consider to be on Mueller’s plate. We’re all blind men, but I’m amused by the vehemence with which some folks insist on arguing about the nature of the elephant based on the piece they are holding onto at the moment.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  134. Paul,

    Cohen was asked by various highly regarded companies what his long time client now the president felt about certain matters. This has been going on in Washington since 1789

    What hasn’t happened before, is a sec of state opening 9 figure charities, which 7 figure salaries for her family and friends and even advisers were paid to run them. Selling access, with her government position.

    Again we don’t have all the facts, so we all are guessing but the news that Avenatti is under investigation is not surprising but it maybe months or years till we find out what happened

    EPWJ (50f638)

  135. I’ll amend my question (#112) to avoid the quibbling.

    Essential Consultants, a Delaware LLC created, owned, and controlled by Michael Cohen, is reported in the press to have $500,000 in payments in 2017 from an investment-management firm called Columbus Nova. AT&T & Novartis have also admitted making six-figure payments to Essential Consultants, LLC. Presume for this quesiton that either Mueller and/or USAO-SDNY want to know why.

    Do you, Trump fans?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  136. *”to have received $500,000 in payments,” that ought have read (#138).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  137. EPJW did it ever occur to that “payment for insights” is exactly the swampy behavior all those voters tired of swampism thought Trump would end when they voted for him?

    Fascinating but predictable to see the usual suspects proclaiming it’s bad only when a person not associated with Trump does it.

    It’s possible that Cohen was doing this all on his own, and Trump knew nothing about it. But that’s the only defense of Trump in this that isn’t hypocritical.

    Kishnevi (83552a)

  138. Here’s my own answer: Yes, I want to know why. I want to know what Cohen said to convince these companies to pay his company those sums. I want to know whether and how Trump’s name was discussed by Cohen in connection with these payments. And I want to know whether Trump, Cohen’s sole client as a lawyer for all practical purposes, knew of these discussions and these payments, and whether he did anything to either promote or dispel claims by Cohen that he had either marketable information or marketable skills & services to offer in exchange for these hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    I want to know this regardless of whether Russians are involved, and regardless of whether it’s Mueller or USAO-SDNY asking.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  139. Herr Mueller already knows why Mr. Cohen was remunerated by Columbus Nova and he decided it has nothing to do with his mandate.

    That’s why Cohen has a whole different set of gestapo assigned to him now.

    Mr. Cohen’s gestapo are New York-based ones.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  140. Kishn

    Cohen was not a member of the trump campaign, just a long time contractor.

    EPWJ (50f638)

  141. 142. Ya’ think Mr. Cohen needs a lawyer, Mr. Feet?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  142. Beldar

    Why would you want to know this

    And what has this got to do with collusion?

    EPWJ (50f638)

  143. How many “Michael Cohens” do you know who are not the personal attorney of POTUS?

    I know one.

    I know none.Which surprised me when I scanned my memory for the name, seeing I’m a Jew from a Northern urban background which ought to be full of Michael Cohens.
    I know plenty of Cohens but none with the right pronomen.

    Tangential trivia: the last name Katz often indicates a family of Aaronic ancestry. It’s an abbreviation: Kohen Tzedek–righteous priest.

    Kishnevi (83552a)

  144. 138 — that is a reasonable inquiry. But I have little faith in the wisdom or foresight of a guy who has millions of dollars in debt secured by taxicab medallions in NYC and Chicago, while trying to rennovate a $9 million apartment in New York (according to reports).

    That sounds like someone who might be desperate for reasons wholly unconnected to any of his clients.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  145. Mr. Cohen got caught up in a fascist prosecution by the dirty, panicked, trashy men and women of the sleazy sordid FBI Mr. DCSCA.

    It could happen to anyone.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  146. $500,000 from a Russian oligarch to the President’s exclusive personal lawyer (oh sorry, he has TWO paying clients). Just another indicator that there was “no collusion, no collusion, no collusion….”.

    The game of Twister. That’s what it’s like for defenders of this President.

    noel (b4d580)

  147. 141 — Novartis has gone on record with what Cohen said to them, and why they took him at his word only to almost immediately regret it.

    The Korean company was actively trying to obtain a $16 billion contract to sell trainer jets to the Air Force.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  148. Short EPJW
    I don’t care about corruption when it’s my guy that’s corrupt.

    You know, at those people who voted Foley into the mayor’s office benefited from his corruption.

    What’s your excuse?

    Kishnevi (83552a)

  149. He did not have sex with that woman, Stormy Daniels. Then, he did not pay her off with $130,000. Then he did not have contact with Russians. Then…. well, those of you still believing him…. should be blushing by now.

    noel (b4d580)

  150. 119.To me, the payment by Novartis is more entertaining.

    OTOH, it never ceases to amuse when ‘the phone company’ gets their bell rung.

    “You know, one thing I learned from my patients… they all hate the phone company. It’s interesting; even the stock holders of the phone company hate the phone company!” – Dr. Sidney Schaefer [James Coburn] – ‘The President’s Analyst’ 1967

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  151. Here’s my own answer: Yes, I want to know why. I want to know what Cohen said to convince these companies to pay his company those sums. I want to know whether and how Trump’s name was discussed by Cohen in connection with these payments.

    What’s the basis for you having any right to know about those transactions? There are a lot of things I would like to know, but that doesn’t mean I’m entitled to that info.

    That said, if someone who actually knows publishes that info, sure, I’d read that piece. If it’s just more NYT bs based on unnamed sources, no, I doubt I’ll read. Though, that doesn’t mean various rumor mongers won’t spread the gossip far and wide.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  152. Short EPJW
    I don’t care about corruption when it’s my guy that’s corrupt.

    Shorter Kishnevi: I only want special counsels investigating politicians I don’t like.

    random viking (92ce59)

  153. Cohen’s confidence building response to Avenatti’s claims w/a TeeVee street reporter as he climbed into a Manhattan cab:

    “His documents is inaccurate.”

    Nervous, eh, Mikey.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  154. Kishn

    Claiming someone is corrupt is a wide accusation. Thinking that because of the heavy hand of the government, individuals, companies, citizen groups cannot try to access or evaluate their issues seems to be denying them their basic rights.

    EPWJ (50f638)

  155. This was a product of a misrepepresented memo, re a interview concerning a counter intelligence investigation of a fisa warrant based on a phoney dossier from unverifiable russian sources paid through a campaign cutout from a 10 million dollar slush fund.

    narciso (d1f714)

  156. Narcisco,

    And that was paid from a law firms trust fund….

    Wonder when their offices are going to be raided

    EPWJ (50f638)

  157. Cohen was asked by various highly regarded companies what his long time client now the president felt about certain matters. This has been going on in Washington since 1789

    Um, yes, EP, now you’re just reiterating the “everybody does it” defense, which is a swamp-filling exercise, not the swamp-draining sort. I’m losing optimism that you’ll come up with something new or original.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  158. Mous gets full credit for both civility and responsiveness, thank you, sir or ma’am!

    No other Trump fans have yet posted a responsive answer, so I encourage others to keep trying. I’m genuinely curious; I found Mous’ answer enlightening, for instance, and I’m not fussing at him about any part of it or trying to trick him somehow.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  159. I would say never just like with Patton boggs firtashs counsel, whichever shingle Waldman has flocked for derasha and Waldman (that makes him source a) Greg Craig is allowed to resign quietly from skadden pat Fitzgerald they don’t even bother with that formality, baker hostedler who hires veselnitskaya same deal.

    narciso (d1f714)

  160. 141. I want to know what Cohen said to convince these companies to pay his company those sums.

    Novartis stepped up, Beldar, and the answer is that they were not seeking Cohen’s expertise on the pharmaceutical industry.

    The curious relationship between one of the world’s biggest drug makers and President Trump’s personal lawyer began early last year when Michael Cohen, a longtime fixer for the president, reached out to Novartis’s then-chief executive officer Joe Jimenez, promising help gaining access to Trump and influential officials in the new administration, according to an employee inside Novartis familiar with the matter.

    Emphasis mine.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  161. We aren’t under oath, Hillary’s pet team of scourges, get to look in any corner, because rosenstein who has had their back for 20 years determines so.

    narciso (d1f714)

  162. Paul,

    Clinton played this card repeatedly during whitewater investigation which, in fact, was interesting because his wife’s law firm billing records from the rose law firm had disappeared. Records subpoenaed somehow couldn’t be located. Until they were found in the whitehouse residence after the Starr inquiry concluded.

    You’re trying to conflate the fact that Cohen is rich and knows rich people, to people using their government office to enrich themselves.

    EPWJ (50f638)

  163. @ EPWJ, who wrote (#145), suspecting a devious lawyer trap:

    Why would you want to know this[?]

    And what has this got to do with collusion?

    I’m curious about the current settings of various commenters’ respective Overton Windows. And I didn’t say that it does or doesn’t have anything to do with “collusion,” whether with the Russians or otherwise, whether as part of an illegal conspiracy or otherwise. I’m trying not to include anything like that in the premise, to cut off the quibbling so that people can respond to a common question with meaningful comparative results.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  164. No other Trump fans have yet posted a responsive answer

    LOL

    random viking (6a54c2)

  165. 166. You’re trying to conflate the fact that Cohen is rich and knows rich people, to people using their government office to enrich themselves.

    The Clinton’s selling access to the Lincoln Bedroom to big donors is little different from Cohen selling Cousin Andy access to Trump, except in that example, Cohen got rich from the arrangements and the Clintons kept their campaign finance gravy train rolling. It really is interesting how Trumpalistas are recycling the same defenses as the Clintonistas, perhaps because Trump was an erstwhile Democrat and Clinton supporter?

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  166. President Trump can be justifiably proud of everything he’s accomplished.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  167. “Fifth Avenue Booster”?…. Some of you are getting real close to that “shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue” devotee status.

    noel (b4d580)

  168. He did not have sex with that woman, Stormy Daniels. Then, he did not pay her off with $130,000. Then he did not have contact with Russians. Then…. well, those of you still believing him…. should be blushing by now.

    noel (b4d580)

    noel teh republican… I can’t wait for the day when your phony expectations all come tumbling down, as things normally do absent a solid foundation.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  169. Beldar,

    No trap, just wondering why you would want to know all those questions. And what conclusions you would come to if they were answered?

    EPWJ (d3e432)

  170. Sorry to disappoint you, Colonel Haiku. My expectations are very, very low.

    noel (b4d580)

  171. I’m curious about the current settings of various commenters’ respective Overton Windows.
    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/9/2018 @ 5:25 pm

    You have hit upon something important here, imho. I have been wondering how to discern a person’s “setting” without getting into the mud.

    felipe (023cc9)

  172. “Here’s my own answer: Yes, I want to know why. I want to know what Cohen said to convince these companies to pay his company those sums. I want to know whether and how Trump’s name was discussed by Cohen in connection with these payments.”

    I think Trump is so not of this political world – like a space alien, in fact – that corporations, especially multinational corporations, would have a genuine interest in learning what his thinking is, how he thinks, what his priorities are, to give them a better sense of what to expect. Business likes consistency, not guesswork, they like stability, not erratic personalities, they need to have a reasonable level of comfort that they know what they can expect, because much depends on it.

    Somewhat like anony mous, if relevant info is published in an ethical manner, I may have an interest in reading it. Muckrakers can kiss my mamajammin’ ass.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  173. @ random viking (#116 & #168): I’m not using the blocking script, but I just overlooked your response. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. You, likewise, get full credit for responsiveness and civility.

    In like spirit, I’ll answer the question you asked, which was:

    Any politician may or may not be associated with fishy characters. Are you interested in knowing? If yes, then I assume you support appointing special prosecutors for every congressman, senator, and governor so as to find out. If not, why not?

    Yes, I am interested in knowing when politicians are associated with fishy characters. I don’t support appointing special prosecutors to find out; special counsel are the exception, not the rule, and they’re supposed to be reserved for situations in which there is both an exceptional public interest (which is present with most investigations relating to public servants), and either a conflict of interest within a U.S. Attorney’s office or litigation division of the DoJ or “other extraordinary circumstances.” In the ordinary course, there’s no conflict; regular line prosecutors can and do investigate and prosecute public officials; and while almost every investigation involving a public official involves the public interest, it’s neither exceptional or extraordinary for public officials to need investigating.

    Spiro Agnew, for instance, was investigated and prosecuted by, and then negotiated his resignation from office with, regular prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, where Rod Rosenstein was the U.S. Attorney before his appointment and confirmation as Assistant AG. Even if there are reasons to go outside a particular U.S. Attorney’s office, e.g., to get someone from way outside the Beltway — as Rosenstein just did in appointing Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber to work with the DoJ’s IG — that should be done with regular DoJ personnel whenever possible, rather than bringing someone in from outside the DoJ.

    And if, for example, Rosenstein hadn’t taken Jim Comey’s bait, he could indeed have assigned someone like Huber to handle the foreign intelligence investigation and any criminal investigations spun off therefrom, without ever having to notify the chairs and ranking members of the Judiciary Committee and without anyone in the public every having any awareness that the investigation even existed. Had that been done, the first we’d have known if it would have been when that non-special counsel, i.e., that regular DoJ prosecutor from outside the Beltway and with no arguable conflicts, filed the first public indictment. Note: I’m saying my judgment on whether a special counsel was appropriate is different than Rosenstein’s was, but that’s not the same as me accusing Rosenstein of making a misjudgment.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  174. The money involved is a relative pittance, who should expect earth shattering rumor mongering?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  175. @ Haiku (#176): Thank you, that’s also both responsive and civil.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  176. My interest lies in seeing this self-interested, monolithic, embedded bureaucracy that is trying to overturn a duly elected president exposed for what it is. And culpable players prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  177. @ EPWJ (#173): I meant that you were suspecting me of trying to lay a trap. I’m trying to reassure you that I’m not. And I genuinely don’t have any preconceptions on what, if any, broader conclusions can be drawn; there may be none, or they may be quite contrary to what I might have expected.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  178. “The money involved is a relative pittance” Colonel Haiku says.

    Hahaha…… Oh, you are being serious.

    noel (b4d580)

  179. i wanna know if the hapless losers in the lesser communities of law enforcement are ashamed of the example set by the dirty lawless men and women of the gestapo fbi

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  180. So happyfeet, what you are saying is that the FBI needs a fixer??

    noel (b4d580)

  181. can’t be fixed it’s wholly corrupt

    you lost sight of the mission bro

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  182. @148. Yes but look at our Captain’s employment numbers; he’s making America great by keeping all those ambulance chasers working, Mr. Feet!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  183. you mock

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  184. McCain urges Senate to reject Haspel’s nomination
    Senate
    — 25m 27s ago

    when he does this it usually means he dropped his sippy cup

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  185. Shouldn’t Stormy be indicted for blackmailing Trump? Any candidate for important elected office is vulnerable to claims of secret sexual shenanigans, actual or imaginary. Demanding cash payoffs for silence is clearly illegal, but going public after cashing-in only adds insult to injury.

    Stormy not only extorted Trump during his run for POTUS, but then she also reneged on her non-disclosure agreement. She’s a vindictive crook and should be made to return Trump’s money and do time for extortion/blackmail.

    ropelight (4f079d) — 5/9/2018 @ 9:50 am

    Ha, ha, ha! Busy today, but I’m glad I caught this. ropelight is claiming that Trump was being blackmailed by a hooker? Not a Russian hooker, that we know of, still …. ROFL

    nk (dbc370)

  186. By publicly appointing someone of Mueller’s wide name recognition and general stature, someone who’d been appointed by a GOP POTUS but retained by his Dem successor, even to the point of getting special legislation passed to extend his statutory term as FBI Director, Mueller gave Trump a public target to rail against daily, as he’s been doing for a year now.

    Rosenstein thereby created this situation where we’ve had a year of very, very fervent, combative, adversarial speculation that may correspond only roughly, or even not at all, to what’s actually going on inside Mueller’s team.

    Whether you like or dislike Trump, or Clinton or Obama for that matter, it’s very hard to argue that the country is better off for having been consumed by these speculations and arguments based thereupon for the past year.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  187. Lemme ax you. Would Trump be eligible for a security clearance with all the “it’s only sex and we knew about it before the election” baggage he’s carrying?

    nk (dbc370)

  188. Ack: That ought to have read, “… Rosenstein gave Trump a public target (i.e., Mueller) to rail against daily, as Trump has been doing for a year now.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  189. @187. You can’t mock success, Mr. Feet! Do hope he gets the USS Pueblo back from North Korea in his dealings, too. A president needs a yacht to relax and to replace the Sequoia Mr. Carter sold off.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  190. @188. Don’t believe he has ever held a private sector job, Mr. Feet. Not even a paper route as a kid.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  191. noel… your perspective will mature as you grow older and, hopefully, accumulate some wealth. I’m sure given your circumstances, this appears to be a great deal of money. It’s amusingly naive. Thanks for teh chuckle.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  192. Whether you like or dislike Trump, or Clinton or Obama for that matter, it’s very hard to argue that the country is better off for having been consumed by these speculations and arguments based thereupon for the past year.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/9/2018 @ 6:04 pm

    ^^This^^ is a big reason why I find some people to be incredibly short-sighted and disappointingly malevolent when they carry on and carry water for the sort of people who try to hamstring our law enforcement and military, refuse to secure our borders, champion the most destructive of behaviors, and care little for the standing or future of these United States of America. They well-fvcking know better and yet they persist.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  193. he’s never had a real job and the one he has he doesn’t even bother to show up to

    soy un perdedor he sings

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  194. And echoing Michael Caputo, damn these people to Hell.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  195. @189.

    Ha, ha, ha! Busy today, but I’m glad I caught this. ropelight is claiming that Trump was being blackmailed by a hooker?

    New York Penal Code § 155.05 2.e “Extortion” (v) and (ix)

    (e) By extortion.

    A person obtains property by extortion when he compels or induces another person to deliver such property to himself or to a third person by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the property is not so delivered, the actor or another will:

    (v) Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule;

    (ix) Perform any other act which would not in itself materially benefit the actor but which is calculated to harm another person materially with respect to his health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation or personal relationships. or

    I wonder if any of that could apply to Stormy Daniels receiving a payment in lieu of her talking about an extramarital affair with a well known business person — NDA notwithstanding. Well it will never happen — no extortion charges and no civil suit for violating the NDA.

    Stormy has much deeper pockets backing her now and they are playing a different game altogether for a bigger prize then $130,000 payment to a porn star. Stormy knows what hand is feeding her at the moment and like the w***e she is she will take the money and play whatever game her new masters want her to play. Oh wait… you thought her disclosures were all about principles?

    And I’m sure Avenatti is doing all this pro bono and just for the media attention as well.

    Nevyan (ef4292)

  196. I’m curious about the current settings of various commenters’ respective Overton Windows.
    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/9/2018 @ 5:25 pm

    You have hit upon something important here, imho. I have been wondering how to discern a person’s “setting” without getting into the mud.

    felipe (023cc9) — 5/9/2018 @ 5:48 pm

    Forget teh Overton Windows, lemme see their Manson Lamps… they’re a window to their souls.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  197. I recently finished Ron Chernow’s excellent biography, Grant, which I recommend. I’d read Grant’s own autobiography, and probably three dozen books about the Civil War, or in particular about his Civil War service. But I didn’t know very much about Grant’s two-term presidency, nor the extent of his role in Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, and this book ably fills the gaping holes in my knowledge.

    Grant valued personal loyalty, as he perceived it, above all — and he thus became, to put it very charitably, far too trusting of those around him who were expert in subjects on which he was not. From time to time as POTUS he took up the mantle of civil service reform and endeavored to clear the Washington swamp that had deepened, broadened, and thickened during the Civil War; but inevitably, he ended up just shuffling the players, who enriched themselves at government (or even Grant’s personal) expense. So end the end, the book ends up exonerating Grant of personal corruption on grounds of naivete.

    I think Trump is similarly inclined to make poor choices based on perceptions of personal loyalty that have little to do with either competence or integrity. Cohen’s a conspicuous example.

    I don’t think Trump is naive in the way Grant was, though. I don’t the things about Cohen that make me shudder were viewed by Trump as features, not bugs. Chernow ended up being pretty kind to Grant, but it remains to be seen whether any historians will be kind to Trump (except, of course, for the ones Trump hires to write about him).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  198. Nk,

    Would clinton?
    JFK?
    LBJ?
    FDR?
    Biden?

    EPWJ (eac13a)

  199. 201… who knows what the future holds… we may yet find ourselves in desperate straits, up against it and he may surprise us all. I overlook his serious personality flaws and approve of much of what he has done. That’s what’s important to me.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  200. Thanks – but no thanks – for the memories… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKIZV0wIsS0

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  201. @197. Rest EZ, Mr. Feet; you don’t cancel a popular show. If our Captain survives the storm and Stormy, shares in a ‘peace’ of a Nobel, he’ll be reelected. There’s nobody who comes close to beating him at his own game– except possibly Oprah, of course.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  202. Another individual with deep ties to the Washington lobbying world put it this way: “Everyone said Trump won’t win. Everyone had all of these Hillary (Clinton) consultants lined up and realized when Trump won, they had nobody.“

    EPWJ (eac13a)

  203. Bah. I can’t manage a complete sentence tonight. “I don’t think the things about Cohen that made me shudder …,” that ought to have read. Sorry.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  204. BTW… who was the idiot who stated Mueller doesn’t leak?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  205. As Charles ortel has pointed out, rosenstein has been a loyal retainer for a long time, the Wellington yueh in this palace.

    narciso (d1f714)

  206. Of course, Obergruppenführer Mueller wants to know

    Neo (d1c681)

  207. The link up above suggests Prince talal is abenatti paymaster.

    narciso (d1f714)

  208. Hot Air “McCain: I Gave The Dossier To Comey Because ‘Duty Demanded’ It”

    McCain recounts how he put the dossier in a safe in his office and called Comey’s office to request a meeting: “I went to see him at his earliest convenience, handed him the dossier, explained how it had come into my possession.”

    “I said I didn’t know what to make of it, and I trusted the FBI would examine it carefully and investigate its claims. With that, I thanked the director and left. The entire meeting had probably not lasted longer than ten minutes. I did what duty demanded I do,” McCain concludes.

    Yeah, the FBI sure knew what to do with the dossier alright.

    Nevyan (ef4292)

  209. nk: Lemme ax you. Would Trump be eligible for a security clearance with all the “it’s only sex and we knew about it before the election” baggage he’s carrying?

    Peter Strzok still has his, so why not?

    random viking (6a54c2)

  210. @ Haiku (#208): What specifically do you claim Mueller leaked, and what’s your basis for attributing it to him?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  211. It would be easier to ask what hasn’t he leaked or allowed other to do in the last year and a half.

    narciso (d1f714)

  212. Not sure what to make of this — curious if true. From the Daily Caller:

    WaPo reported Justice Department and intelligence community officials issued a stark warning to the White House on May 2 against a request from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. Nunes had submitted a subpoena to the Justice Department on April 24 for records related to the Russia probe.

    Justice Department and intelligence community officials argued to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly that complying with the subpoena would reveal the identity of a top-secret source and would undermine protocol regarding intelligence sources, according to WaPo.

    WaPo provided one small clue about the source: he or she is American.

    Kelly discussed the issue with Trump, who sided with the intelligence officials.

    So, Nunes and the Intel Xomm Repubs are continuing to batter DOJ for more specifics on origins of FBI Russia investigation. DOJ and IC tell them “We can’t give you the info you want because it could potentially review a top secret source who has been providing information. DOJ and the IC take the matter to Kelly, and Kelly takes it to Trump. And Trump sides with DOJ and the IC.

    ASSUMING this is accurate, does Trump get any credit from his critics here???

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  213. @183. Feet: Speaking as a person retired from one of those “lesser law enforcement communities”, you need not worry for them. Most practitioners, now and back then, did not hold the FBI in high regard. “Friendly But Ignorant” and “Friendly But Incompetent” were commonly used descriptors, at the actual working levels of the agencies, not necessarily in the top command ranks.

    Gramps (85597f)

  214. Trump vs. Jong-Un… Battle of teh Hair-Don’ts

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  215. Another piece from Devlin Barrett, who was the recipient of mccabes leak and who has been receiving every scrap of paper from Muellers file, remember when they made that threat over the first house memo

    narciso (d1f714)

  216. i’m glad you told me that I like hearing the FBI is held in general disregard by their peers

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  217. Put teh Bitter Sore Losers in the Rearview Mirror.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  218. Avanetti might want to prepare his office for the possibility of a search warrant. LOL.

    Improper disclosure of SARs is a criminal offense. The persons subject to prosecution are banks and other financial institutions who have an obligation to generate such reports under the Bank Secrecy Act.

    The potential target here would be persons at the bank, if there is evidence that the SARs came to Avenetti from the bank.

    As Cohen learned, just because you are a lawyer doesn’t make you immune from a search warrant.

    If there is PC to believe that Avenetti has “evidence” of a crime in his law firm, the feds can kick his door down.

    But he’s not a journalist, and the bank is not his client.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  219. No, that’s cheap and lazy, Haiku.

    What did you have in mind when you wrote #208?

    In this post, for example, our host wrote:

    Daniels’s attorney [Avenetti] seemed to know about the investment fund’s payment before the news broke, and alleged a connection ….

    He apparently posted, but may have taken down, some sort of list. To similar effect, swcrank wrote above:

    The WP is reporting — based on an article in The Hill — that the Treasury Dept is investigating whether Avenetti was provided access to or copies of Suspicious Activity Reports filed by Cohen’s bank(s) with regard to the deposits into the account in question.

    Okay, if you claim Mueller leaked to Avenetti, tell us why. Tell us how you ruled out the possibility that some bank employees leaked. Tell us how you ruled out everyone inside USAO-SDNY, which — as our host and practically everyone else has noted here, appears to be running the Cohen investigation. Tell us why we should only suspect Mueller and his staff — indeed, not only suspect him, but positively assert, as a matter of undisputed fact, that he’s guilty.

    Or were you being … imprecise? Taking poetic license? Going along with the Trumpkin flow? Just tell us why you made this assertion, so we can decide whether to take it (or you) seriously?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  220. ^^This^^ is a big reason why I find some people to be incredibly short-sighted and disappointingly malevolent when they carry on and carry water for the sort of people who try to hamstring our law enforcement and military, refuse to secure our borders, champion the most destructive of behaviors, and care little for the standing or future of these United States of America. They well-fvcking know better and yet they persist.

    Look in the mirror Haiku.

    His hamstringing the military and making the border less secure are unintentional, but you just described Trump!

    Kishnevi (e266d6)

  221. * June 3, 2017: The Associated Press revealed Mueller’s team had taken over a criminal probe of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
    * July 22, 2017: Two sources claiming direct knowledge told Reuters Mueller’s investigators were hoping to use evidence of money laundering or other financial crimes to pressure Manafort to cooperate in the collusion probe.
    * August 3, 2017: Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Wall Street Journal reported a grand jury had been impaneled by Mueller. White House attorney Ty Cobb said at the time he was unaware of the grand jury’s existence.
    * August 9, 2017: The Washington Post reported FBI agents conducted a predawn raid of Manafort’s Virginia home on July 26 to seize documents and other materials related to Mueller’s investigation. According to the Post, people familiar with the search said a warrant sought financial records and the evidence collected included binders Manafort had prepared for his congressional testimony.
    * August 24, 2017: “A source close to the investigation” provided Fox News with new details of the raid of Manafort’s house and claimed it was “heavy-handed, designed to intimidate.”
    * August 25, 2017: “People familiar with the matter” informed the Wall Street Journal that Mueller was investigating Flynn’s involvement in a private effort to obtain Hillary Clinton’s email from Russian hackers.
    * August 28, 2017: According to NBC News, three sources said Mueller’s investigators were focused on Trump’s role in writing a response to media reports about a meeting between campaign officials and Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016.
    * September 1, 2017: The Washington Post reported Mueller’s investigators had a copy of a draft letter prepared by Trump aide Stephen Miller to justify the firing of Comey in May 2017.
    * September 20, 2017: Emails reportedly turned over to Mueller’s team and Senate investigators leaked to the Washington Post revealed that Manafort offered to provide private briefings to a Russian billionaire with ties to the Kremlin during the 2016 campaign.
    * October 4, 2017: Reuters cited three “sources familiar with the investigation” saying that Mueller’s team had taken over the FBI’s inquiries into a dossier of allegations regarding Trump’s Russia ties compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. Two officials also reportedly told Reuters Mueller was looking into whether Manafort or others helped the Kremlin target hacking efforts and social media posts to influence the election.
    * October 27, 2017: “Sources briefed on the matter” told CNN that the first charges in Mueller’s investigation had been filed under seal. The following Monday, charges were unsealed Manafort and campaign aide Robert Gates, as well as a guilty plea by former adviser George Papadopoulos.
    * November 5, 2017: NBC News reported multiple sources said Mueller had enough evidence to bring charges against Flynn and his son. According to NBC, the FBI was also investigating a possible effort by Flynn to extradite a Muslim cleric in the U.S. whom Turkish President Recep Erdogan blamed for a coup attempt.
    * November 16, 2017: The Wall Street Journal cited a “person familiar with the matter” reporting that Mueller’s team had subpoenaed Russia-related documents from Trump’s campaign, including documents and emails written by several campaign officials.
    * December 2, 2017: Multiple “people familiar with the matter” told the Washington Post that former top counterintelligence official Peter Strzok was removed from Mueller’s team because of anti-Trump texts between him and an FBI attorney with whom he was having an affair. Details of many of those texts, which were under investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General’s Office, have since been leaked to various media outlets.
    * January 2, 2018: A source detailed the physical characteristics, clothing, race, and gender of grand jury members to the New York Post and alleged that the grand jury room “looks like a Bernie Sanders rally.”
    * February 17, 2018: CNN cited anonymous sources stating that Gates was close to negotiating a plea deal with Mueller and that new charges against Manafort were being prepared. Less than a week later, Gates entered a guilty plea to conspiracy and lying to the FBI, and a superseding indictment was filed against Manafort.
    * February 27, 2018: CNN reported that three “people familiar with the matter” said Mueller had recently questioned witnesses about Trump’s business activities in Russia and negotiations surrounding a potential Trump Tower in Moscow.
    * February 28, 2018: An unnamed former Trump campaign aide told CNN Mueller’s team asked about comments former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks made during her interview with investigators about possible contacts between the campaign and Russian operatives.
    * March 2, 2018: Witnesses and others familiar with the investigation reportedly told NBC News Mueller’s team was asking questions about Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s business ties. The following week, NBC cited sources familiar with the matter saying Qatari officials withheld damaging information about the United Arab Emirates’ influence on Kushner from Mueller.
    * March 3, 2018: According to the New York Times, Mueller was looking into attempts by the United Arab Emirates to buy political influence on Trump and the role of Lebanese-American businessman George Nader.
    * March 4, 2018: Axios obtained a copy of a subpoena sent to a former Trump campaign official by Mueller’s team. Sam Nunberg later confirmed he was the source and spoke extensively to the media about the investigation.
    * March 7, 2018: “People familiar with the matter” told the Washington Post Mueller had evidence from a cooperating witness that a secret meeting in Seychelles between a Trump ally and a Russian official prior to inauguration was an attempt to establish a back channel between the administration and the Kremlin.
    * March 15, 2018: The New York Times reported that Mueller had subpoenaed documents from the Trump Organization.
    * April 9, 2018: The New York Times learned federal investigators had raided Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s office and hotel room. Hours later, sources told the Washington Post Cohen was under investigation for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
    * April 30, 2018: The New York Times obtained a list of questions Mueller wanted to ask Trump. According to the Times, the list was prepared by Trump’s attorneys after speaking to investigators but it was not given to reporters by Trump’s legal team.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  222. “I think they want to destroy the president, they want to destroy his family,” Caputo said. “They want to destroy his businesses. They want to destroy his friends so that no billionaire in let’s say 50 years wakes up and tells his wife, ‘You know this country is broken and only I can fix it.’ His wife will say, ‘Are you crazy? Did you see what happened to Donald Trump and everybody around him?’ That’s what this is about.”

    Yes, exactly this. By making it impossible for someone with active business interests, and especially entrepreneurial business interests, to serve in high office, they skew the field to the Left. Unless your business can be run by hired managers or distant bankers you are going to be fighting this kind of crap your entire term.

    Sure, Trump is not exactly the poster boy for corporate chieftains serving in office, but, like speech, if you only protect the “good guys” rights are largely worthless.

    I know there are some who would smash anything flat that stood between Trump and impeachment, but I refer those to Sir Thomas Moore in A Man for all Seasons:

    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

    Kevin M (752a26)

  223. And sorry, Haiku, I meant to address my #223 to both you & narciso, since the “cheap & lazy” remark was really directed at narciso’s #215. I see narsico daily claim that Mueller is leaking; I never see any proof or even persuasive circumstantial evidence, though.

    So do you have any? Or is this just more “Trump good/Mueller bad” analysis?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  224. His hamstringing the military and making the border less secure are unintentional, but you just described Trump!

    Kishnevi (e266d6) — 5/9/2018 @ 7:19 pm

    That you would excuse the Democrats does not speak well of you, Kishnevi. You should have sat thru today’s grilling of the nominee to head the CIA… if you had, you would hang your head in shame.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  225. No, Haiku, none of the list that you cut & pasted from somewhere actually negates the other possible leak suspects.

    Indeed, the last one clearly was a leak by Trump’s WH, if not necessarily someone on Trump’s “legal team,” unless you think that Jay Sekulow is a Mueller plant (since its his work product that was leaked). Trump went on Twitter complaining about that leak, but it’s his own damn people leaking. It’s not just wrong, it’s actively misleading bullsh!t.

    So you have to do better than that. Are you claiming that Mueller leaked to Aventti, or not? Quit dodging and either admit you just made that up, or give us some basis to believe it’s true.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  226. Beldar–

    It is more likely that someone involved in the investigations leaked these than someone in Cohen’s bank. Or do you have information that says the info was all from the one bank? Reports are that some of what the lawyer dumped involve other people of the same name.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  227. After all, quo bono?

    Kevin M (752a26)

  228. Where’d you cut & paste the list from, btw? It appears to be here, where we read:

    Since he was appointed nearly a year ago, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election has been described as both remarkably leak-free and a constant source of illegal leaksdesigned to damage the president, depending on who you ask.

    ….

    Regardless, leaks from vaguely-described sources about the special counsel’s probe, avenues investigators are pursuing, witnesses they are interviewing, and Mueller’s strategy have generated many exclusive reports by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other news outlets.

    Among the developments that have been leaked:

    And then there’s the list you cut & pasted.

    So yes, as your source asserted, there have been lots of leaks. No, this list doesn’t even purport to be a list of leaks by Mueller.

    So this list doesn’t support your argument, and you’ve sort of been less than candid with us about what it even claims to be. Got anything better?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  229. Well, Beldar, it doesn’t eliminate Mueller as a suspect does it. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and Mueller doesn’t have the most stellar history of not making mistakes.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  230. I elaborate enabled others, there are other possible like longtime comey deputy uttam chillin, but going by the descriptorsm

    narciso (d1f714)

  231. @ Kevin M: Re-read, sir. The investigation is being done by USAO-SDNY, not Mueller. If you want to jump to the assumption that it had to be someone from a prosecutor’s office, which I do not think is a reasonable assumption, why do you point at Mueller instead of the prosecutorial office running the Mueller investigation?

    Mueller ≠ USAO-SDNY. Washington, D.C. ≠ Manhattan.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  232. It supports my argument just fine, thank you. I certainly don’t want or need your approval, thanks l.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  233. Bah. “… the office running the Cohen investigation,” I meant in #235.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  234. Intel sources have confirm tonight that Putin and Vekselberg got together earlier this evening and watched the last 30 minutes of Absence of Malice.

    They shared a bottle of red wine and laughed their asses off.

    Shipwreckedcrew (5bd9a8)

  235. Okay, Haiku. You’ve reaffirmed my opinion about how seriously to take your factual assertions. I hope those who were perhaps wondering will find this useful.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  236. A Trump supporter writing, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire,” on the day we learn that Trump’s fixer has been paid six-figure sums by a bunch of companies who normally wouldn’t touch Cohen with a 10-foot pole, is genuinely funny — funnier than any verse you’ve written here in years, Haiku. Thanks for that belly-laugh!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  237. Ah ues i was thinking of that film, abenatti is fishing with dynamite.

    narciso (d1f714)

  238. To quote our esteemed host, GFY, Beldar.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  239. I think Trump is similarly inclined to make poor choices based on perceptions of personal loyalty that have little to do with either competence or integrity. Cohen’s a conspicuous example.

    I don’t think Trump is naive in the way Grant was, though. I don’t the things about Cohen that make me shudder were viewed by Trump as features, not bugs. Chernow ended up being pretty kind to Grant, but it remains to be seen whether any historians will be kind to Trump (except, of course, for the ones Trump hires to write about him).

    I recently read The Republic for Which it Stands on Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, in which Grant figures quite prominently. Chernow’s Grant is sitting in my Nook folder, waiting for its turn…

    Anyway, I think you’re over-complicating this.

    Grant was a good man.
    Trump is an evil man.
    The end.

    Dave (445e97)

  240. 240… who better than this Cohen fellow to provide insight to Trump? Your over-inflated ego gets the better of you most days, counselor. It’s not a feature, it’s a bug.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  241. For those who dont recall it was about a story that Sally fields ave reporter does about union boss Newman re an investigation into the disappearance of a union steward based on a file junior prosecutor balaban let’s her see.

    narciso (d1f714)

  242. Also, I take this opportunity to preemptively denounce myself for a misused “its” in #229, which should have read “it’s his work product.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  243. @223

    He apparently posted, but may have taken down, some sort of list.

    Beldar see my post @95.

    But pretty much the news broke that list of documents posted online by Avenatti also included MULTIPLE different people named Michael Cohen (not just the presidents attorney) whose bank information was also included in the leak. Once that story broke Avenatti rushed to take down the list because… you know… its a federal crime to post information like that.

    Daily Caller: Avenatti Accuses The Wrong Michael Cohens Of Making ‘Fraudulent’ Payments

    Nevyan (ef4292)

  244. That you would excuse the Democrats does not speak well of you, Kishnevi. You should have sat thru today’s grilling of the nominee to head the CIA… if you had, you would hang your head in shame.

    This from a man who supports Trump.
    I wasn’t excusing Democrats.
    I was pointing out your comment actually describes Trump and those who support him.
    Do you, for instance, realize he’s done more damage to American “soft power” in foreign affairs since he came into office than Obama did in two terms? Usually not what he did–I didn’t like the Paris accords and the Iran deal–but how he did it.

    Kishnevi (e266d6)

  245. Sorry for not closing the italics.

    Kishnevi (e266d6)

  246. When Obama looked the other way when neda sultans head exploded because of a basij gunman, it’s rare that our betrayal of a people is so clearly illustrated. So we want to talk about Syria traded like a poker chip the withdrawal of missile defense from Poland and czechoslavakia.

    narciso (d1f714)

  247. Off-topic: Arkansas State physics professor holds student’s child while lecturing

    It’s really never too early to give your toddler their first look at the laws of thermodynamics.

    Dave (445e97)

  248. Although Clinton’s reaction to the brothers to the rescue shoot down and his authorizing the Elian rendition are good prologue.

    narciso (d1f714)

  249. Obama had no soft power, we were used by everyone while he was in office.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  250. Do you, for instance, realize he’s done more damage to American “soft power” in foreign affairs since he came into office than Obama did in two terms? Usually not what he did–I didn’t like the Paris accords and the Iran deal–but how he did it.

    No, I guess I don’t. Please explain how you’ve come to that conclusion.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  251. Who besides the government would have a list of transactions from multiple banks for multiple Michael Cohen?

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  252. @255

    The one bank used by Cohen’s shell company?

    Davethulhu (7e7722)

  253. @ Nate Ogden: Banks talk to each other, leaving records of each other’s transactions in the records of each. Every interbank transaction leaves records at two banks, at a minimum. But beyond that, they also communicate through interbank clearinghouses. Within government, these records also are likely to have been shared, at a minimum, by officials in both the Justice and Treasury Departments. Thus the question you ask is one that the Treasury Department’s IG should ask, and he will be in a position to get definitive answers.

    If Mueller were the leading suspect for this leak based on nonpublic info, though, we’d expect that it would be the DoJ IG doing this investigation, right? It ain’t.

    I’m certainly curious to know how Avenetti got whatever he got, and from whom. But with due respect, I don’t think you’re enough of an expert, Mr. Ogden, to be drawing compelling inferences here. Neither am I, even as a trial lawyer who’s dealt with dozens and dozens of bank subpoenas in various contexts — although I do know enough about the complexity of this subject to know that the average person doesn’t have a very clear grasp of it.

    Moreover, as I’ve now said about six times: Mueller and USAO-SDNY are distinct operations. So I ask you, as I have others: Even if you presume that someone leaked to Avenniti and that someone was connected to prosecutors, where is your basis for presuming that it was someone on Mueller’s team in Washington instead of someone from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York?

    This is an example of what I mentioned earlier, when I wrote that by naming someone high-profile as special counsel, Rosenstein gave Trump and Trump fans a famous foil to blame for everything, including the leaks Trump himself orchestrates.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  254. The STRs could all be from one bank, and the bank happens to have more than one customer by the name of Michael Cohen, and included STRs for the “wrong” Michael Cohens among the records that were given to Avenatti.

    The two most likely sources for the lead IMO is Cohen’s deposit institution, and the SDNY.

    That office has a long history of leaking like a sieve.

    I do not think the Special Counsel leaked this. I think that outfit has been run pretty tightly during its year in operation. The way Mueller dumped Strzok sent a message to everyone involved that misconduct won’t be tolerated.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  255. “leak”

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  256. Thats probably true about Mueller what about the other 17 members of his team. That report is like waiting for godot.

    Anyways Newman’s character has an alibi for the accusation that prompted the investigation, but its disclosure is devastating to all concerned.

    narciso (d1f714)

  257. @256

    The one bank used by Cohen’s shell company?

    Yeah… no.

    The SAR information posted by Avenatti included financial transactions by an Israeli named Michael Cohen from his brother working in Nigeria as well as other people sharing the same name. The only way this banking information, which is collected by Treasury, with same names could have been released was for someone at Treasury to do a query of “Michael Cohen” (thus capturing all the different Michael Cohen’s information) in the SAR database and presenting the results to Avenatti.

    Hey… a real federal crime!

    Nevyan (ef4292)

  258. Transactions from HungAry Singapore and Taiwan, like the same mistake in the original dossier re plague.

    narciso (d1f714)

  259. @ Kevin M: Re-read, sir. The investigation is being done by USAO-SDNY, not Mueller. If you want to jump to the assumption that it had to be someone from a prosecutor’s office, which I do not think is a reasonable assumption, why do you point at Mueller instead of the prosecutorial office running the Mueller investigation?

    Mueller ≠ USAO-SDNY. Washington, D.C. ≠ Manhattan.

    I will humbly apologize when you find a recent post of mine asserting it was Mueller or his stalwarts who did the leaking. I think it possible, but I said “someone involved in the investigations” and was quite careful to do so.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  260. That last was for Beldar at #235

    Kevin M (752a26)

  261. Looks like Cousin Andy has been scrubbing his ties to Putin’s pet oligarch Vekselberg.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  262. I do not think the Special Counsel leaked this. I think that outfit has been run pretty tightly during its year in operation. The way Mueller dumped Strzok sent a message to everyone involved that misconduct won’t be tolerated.

    Yeahm I have trouble arguing with that. Mueller has faults, but one of them is the giant stick up his ass that would never condone back-alley tactics.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  263. Avenetti, as lawyer for Stormy, is an obvious conduit for some government-employed Trump-hating employee to use in getting into the press something you’re trying to leak to embarrass Trump.

    But he’s about the last person I’d trust if I were engaged in conduct that might cost me my job; there’s certainly no privilege, not even the shield law/regulation/policy privileges that might be asserted by a journalist to whom the material was leaked directly. Maybe this particular leaker is an amateur without contacts in the press, and it’s a one-off?

    swc or others with more experience on intra-government workings, is it typical for a Treasury Department IG to investigate a leak suspected of having originated in either a U.S. Attorney’s office or a special counsel’s staff? Why would Treasury investigate DoJ? Or would IGs for two different executive departments do this jointly?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  264. @ Kevin M (#263 & #264): Fair enough, and I stand corrected.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  265. No problem. I’ve conflated posts before, too.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  266. You have a strikingly unwarranted belief in Mueller’s competence if not ethics.

    narciso (d1f714)

  267. @267

    I’m gonna call it like this:

    The leak is going to originate at Treasury because they maintain the SAR database. The leaker will probably turn out to be some mid-tier employee who did a database query for “Michael Cohen” copied the information that popped up to a removable drive and passed it to Avenatti. When Avenatti posted ALL the information to the internet and started bragging about it and others looked at it and said “Hey this isn’t THE Michael Cohen this is some schmuck in Israel/Taiwan/Nigeria” the “source” got scared because they knew it would be tracked back to them.

    The only way ALL of those Michael Cohens various SAR could be in what document dump is if it came from Treasury.

    Nevyan (ef4292)

  268. I really doubt that Stormy’s lawyer had contact with the leaker. It just came in the mail, and traces back to some anonymous public mailbox. The fact that the release contained some extraneous material suggests that there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for questions.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  269. You have a strikingly unwarranted belief in Mueller’s competence if not ethics.

    I think his ethics come from a three-ring binder and not from any innate sense or belief.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  270. The leak is going to originate at Treasury because they maintain the SAR database.

    I think you’re assuming far too much. Law enforcement agencies across the country have access to the database – that’s the whole point of it. The FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) website says:

    Direct Access to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Data

    Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies can access the Bank Secrecy Act data through a secure web connection after their agency has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with FinCEN. FinCEN provides training, and monitors use to ensure that the BSA information is properly used, disseminated, and kept secure.

    It says elsewhere that international law enforcement agencies can also obtain access.

    So basically anyone with a web browser in any local, county, state, federal or international law enforcement agency potentially has access to this data, if they’ve jumped through the required bureaucratic hoops.

    Presumably all activity is logged, and there would be a trail pointing to whoever did the search(es).

    Dave (445e97)

  271. Remember Joe wurzelbacher and the Ohio dept of revenue.

    narciso (d1f714)

  272. I think his ethics come from a three-ring binder and not from any innate sense or belief.

    Yeah, it’s not like he volunteered for infantry service with the Marines in Vietnam when he could have taken a deferment, volunteered for Airborne school, volunteered for Ranger school, was decorated twice for valor under fire, and was wounded in action.

    Oh, wait.

    His Bronze Star (with “V”) citation recounts his heroism when his platoon was taking the point of company size combat patrol and “came under a heavy volume of small arms, automatic weapons and grenade launcher fire from a North Vietnamese Army company.” According to the citation

    “Quickly establishing a defensive perimeter, Second Lieutenant Mueller fearlessly moved from one position to another, directing the accurate counterfire of his men and shouting words of encouragement to them. With complete disregard for his own safety, he then skillfully supervised the evacuation of casualties from the hazardous area and, on one occasion, personally led a fire team across the fire-swept terrain to recover a mortally wounded Marine who had fallen in a position forward of the friendly lines. Second Lieutenant Mueller’s courage, aggressive initiative and unwavering devotion to duty at great personal risk were instrumental in the defeat of the enemy force and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps”

    For his second decoration for valor, the Navy Commendation Medal with “V”:

    “a squad-sized patrol from First Lieutenant Mueller’s platoon was heavily engaged by a large North Vietnamese Army force in the northern sector of I Corps Tactical Zone. Completely disregarding his own safety, First Lieutenant Mueller led the remainder of his platoon in an attempt to relive the beleaguered squad. While approaching the designated area, the platoon cam under a heavy volume of enemy fire from its right flank. Skillfully requesting and direction supporting Marine artillery fire on the enemy positions, First Lieutenant Mueller ensured that fire superiority was gained over the hostile unit. Although seriously wounded during the fire fight, he resolutely maintained his position and, ably directing the fire of his platoon, was instrumental in defeating the North Vietnamese Army force. By his courage, aggressive leadership and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, First Lieutenant Mueller inspired all who observed him and upheld the finest traditions of the Marine Corps”

    So, yeah, from a three-ring binder, pretty much.

    Dave (445e97)

  273. 267 Beldar — Treasury OIG is the first to look at it since these are Bank Secrecy Act documents that are delivered to bank regulators. The fact that Treasury IG is the first to jump means there might be some suspicion that the source was either someone in Treasury, or a federally regulated bank.

    The IGs are strange creatures — not all are alike. Some have only internal investigatory powers — meaning they look only for misconduct within the agency they are IG for — and some have broader investigative powers and are the functional equivalent of the FBI with a jurisdiction that allows them to investigate anyone suspected of violating a narrow range of statutes or regulatory violations. For example, HHS OIG handles health care fraud cases. FDA OIG handles criminal matters involving mislabeling or sale of unapproved medical devices or drugs. They bring cases for criminal prosecution to the US Attorneys offices, they can get search warrants, and they have arrest powers in the same fashion that the FBI does. The difference is that the FBI has authority to investigate any federal crime under any statute. The IGs authority is limited to the affairs of the agency.

    I never worked with Treasury OIG, so I can’t say for certain which “beast” they are. My Bank Secrecy Act cases – I did 4 good ones — were all handled by FBI and IRS.

    But from the reporting, I get the feeling that Treasury OIG can investigate all forms of criminal activity involving Treasury regulations, and not just internal misconduct by Treasury employees.

    The reason some IGs were vested with a broader investigatory mandate is because there is sometimes a level of technical expertise necessary — I found that out in the two FDA cases I did — and the IG agents have more specific training. Carving those types of cases out from the FBI mandate allows the FBI to focus on the crimes that other agencies are not authorized to investigate.

    So I think they are looking both internally in the Comptroller of Currency regulates federal banks, and is a recipient of STRs filed by those banks.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  274. @220– Feet: There are those who would take umbrage at your use of “peers” in this context.

    Gramps (85597f)

  275. That is useful insight and well put, thank you swc.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  276. 267 is unlikely.

    So far as we know, only 3 Michael Cohens had STR information delivered to Avanetti, whatever the source.

    But I would guess that the are 100 or more Michael Cohens nationwide who have had STRs filed by their banks.

    I think its more likely that the source is a back office employee of a New York bank who came across one or more of the large wire transactions to “Michael Cohen” and recognized his name from all the Stormy Daniels coverage. He/she is probably a rabid Anti-Trump Democrat, and probably under 30 (these are not high level banking jobs). A quick data base query inside the bank would have revealed all “Michael Cohen” STRs going back to the election, and the person probably pulled them all without taking a moment to determine if they were all the same bank customer — or maybe they did but still made a mistake on the two erroneous ones.

    The person then tracked down Avanetti on the internet, made contact, and then passed the information along.

    Avanetti prepared a spreadsheet, which is what he originally posted, and he showed reporters the STRs to establish the veracity of his spreadsheet. But he did not give any reporters copies of the STRs, and likely has an agreement that they won’t specifically describe the nature of the source documents as a condition of being allowed to look at them.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  277. 279 — I working to mend fences a bit, no matter our disagreements.

    The future is more important than the past.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  278. Mueller should be inhaling kileauea sulfur.

    mg (9e54f8)

  279. This story is melting away like the Wicked Witch with water thrown on her.

    The key revelation today was that Mueller’s team looked at these payments last year, questioned Vekselberg and Intrator about the payment, and THEN kicked the whole Cohen case over to the SDNY.

    So, Avanetti played the press, and made chumps out of them.

    Like I said earlier, he lit a bag of dog poop on fire on CNN yesterday, and all the liberal media establishment came out to stomp on it, thinking that it surely would be the smoking gun for Trump-Russian collusion. Instead they only have dog sheet stuck to their shoes.

    ROTFLMFAO.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  280. So, Avanetti played the press, and made chumps out of them.

    To what purpose?

    Dave (445e97)

  281. He’s a self-promoter and a Democrat operative. Any day that has an anti-Trump headline dominating the news is a “win” for him.

    The press are suckers for “anti-Trump” news. They won’t hold it against him.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  282. Trump’s Hush fund. Getting ONLY $500,000 from that Russian oligarch must have been real insulting. Perhaps you are right, Colonel Haiku.

    noel (b4d580)

  283. Slush fund. Hush fund. As some of you regularly point out…. I get confused.

    noel (b4d580)

  284. Swc, beldar,

    It’s always best in these days, to wait 36 hours, storiesvchange sooo fast in this new age of journadvocacy

    EPWJ (9b19e9)

  285. Just you watch. The guy with the hush fund and the fixer is gonna clean up Washington. Believe me!

    noel (b4d580)

  286. 270… perhaps it’s that square jaw, narciso. Mueller’s the thinking man’s Dudley Doright.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  287. OK. So you won’t listen to me. Others have had that lapse in judgement too, but maybe Judge Andrew Napolitano will get your attention….

    “Why was a Russian billionaire giving a half-a-million dollars to the president’s lawyer at the time the lawyer was paying not only Stormy Daniels but, according to Rudy Giuliani, other women to remain silent about their relationships to the president? The president’s lawyer getting indicted can’t be good for the president,”

    noel (b4d580)

  288. Haiku…. I just thought of this… you can give $500,000 to Patterico with the understanding that half will go to mr. noel and, flash bang grenade, you have proven your point about such amounts being a pittance!

    noel (b4d580)

  289. “I guess Mueller thought it was a freebie, for sure,” former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy told The Daily Caller News Foundation after the court proceeding.

    “He thought it could make this association (of Russian collusion) and it would never be challenged in court,” McCarthy, also a National Review contributing editor, said

    Oops

    EPWJ (50f638)

  290. A takeaway… when jobs are created, judges are appointed, regulations are rolled back, lies are debunked, memes are challenged and some semblance of sanity restored, some people get irritated and distractions ensue.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  291. WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lawyers for Russian company Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, formally entered a “not guilty” plea in federal court Monday in a case special counsel Robert Mueller probably never thought would happen.

    Mueller, weathering significant criticism that his Russian collusion case was thin, unveiled a grandiose indictment Feb. 16 against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies. The 13 Russians in question were charged with waging “information warfare” in the United States, interfering with the 2016 presidential election, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

    Mueller generated headlines with the February indictment, safe in the knowledge the 13 Russians were beyond U.S. jurisdiction. Therefore, there would be no trial — only sensational Russian collusion accusations.

    Mueller may now have to try the case, and Concord’s lawyers have put the special counsel on notice. The Russian company’s lawyers intend to invoke “discovery” to obtain U.S. intelligence about what they knew of Russian activities.

    Grand standing overreaching rarely ends well in court

    EPWJ (50f638)

  292. When the new head of the nra who was also a decorated Vietnam vet, had been doing everything to keep the sandinistas off the ball, there were no such encomiums, in fact zakaria who had yet to plagiarize said he Mcfarlane and poindexter constituted a junta in the nsc. Kerry’s partners in crime spun lurid tales that Gary webb would recycle a decade later. Admirals denton and Stockdale col day and thorsness never got the same attention as Mccain.

    narciso (d1f714)

  293. So when Mccain in his waning days makes common cause with the man who murdered 3,000 Americans with the planner behind the Cole bombing with the organizer behind the cells that would have taken down the library tower, I tend to notice.

    narciso (d1f714)

  294. Avanetti prepared a spreadsheet, which is what he originally posted, and he showed reporters the STRs to establish the veracity of his spreadsheet.

    Apparently Avenatti shared his “PROJECT SUNIGHT” files with reporters via a dropbox link adding to questions about whether he’s adhering to the bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct for “Trial Publicity.”

    crazy (5c5b07)

  295. 295 Mid July court date for Concord Mgmt, Mueller’s entire investigation might collapse before the midterms which would not be good for the Blue Wave we are told is going to happen.

    Stormy’s attorney with his unpaid taxes, stiffing small business, and now possible illegal release of multiple individuals banking info might not be here for the long haul either.

    If Dems are forced to run on policy and ideas it’s not going to be a good election for them.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  296. Some of you are worried about Avenatti’s ethical code of conduct? While you shill for Cohen the Fixer?

    noel (b4d580)

  297. Nope. Thought the firsthand account of what Avenatti’s sharing and her questions would be interesting to inquiring minds. There are no clean hands here but the ends, no matter how noble, never justify illegal or improper means.

    crazy (5c5b07)

  298. 257 Beldar

    Maybe I should have linked some of the facts, or claimed facts. Cohen says he never had a Bank of America account which a Michael Cohen received money in. Only two banks would be aware of a transaction, the one sending and the one receiving. Actually there is a slight * to that, some small banks contract with larger banks to clear their transactions. But to have transactions from multiple Cohens pretty much guarantees this wasn’t leaked from a bank. To many financial institutions involved to have a single common source.

    Someone at ACH leaked the records, I don’t think it’s technically possible let alone probable.

    “But with due respect, I don’t think you’re enough of an expert, Mr. Ogden, to be drawing compelling inferences here.”

    In my past in healthcare administration I moved tens to hundreds of millions of dollars through banks every year using wires, ach, checks, various credit card methods and a little cash. Expert is a subjective term but I have 20+ years of doing it on a sizable scale.

    “Moreover, as I’ve now said about six times:” Ok, I never once said it was Mueller. My full comment was; “Who besides the government would have a list of transactions from multiple banks for multiple Michael Cohen?”

    It didn’t even necessarily have to come from a prosecutor, it could have come from some low level bureaucrat in some agency somewhere. Ala the Cincinnati office of the IRS and the Tea Party abuse or the release of Joe the Plumber’s taxes. Or Trump’s taxes, or any of the other 100s of times supposedly private info on conservatives gets leaked.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  299. Got it. But I cannot fathom what it takes to continue to believe these guys. OK…. Russian oligarchs depositing money in the President’s hush fund?????? That doesn’t do it? God help us.

    noel (b4d580)

  300. 266 Kevin M, I read some pretty long stories on Mueller’s pass of questionable tactics and cases, he has no problem rolling in the mud. Just one;

    “Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz not only called Special Counsel Robert Mueller a “zealot,” but said he uses tactics that “are very questionable.”

    Many other attorneys who opposed him have said the same thing. The image sold when he was appointed wasn’t who he really is.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  301. Noel, can you find even one link or shread of evidence that a Russian Ogligarch deposited even one cent into any account linked to Trump?

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  302. “OK…. Russian oligarchs depositing money in the President’s hush fund?????? That doesn’t do it? God help us.”

    Yes. I just referred to my own quote. Sorry, but many of the others aren’t worth noting. As I see it, Trump fans have two choices. Willful ignorance. Or the other kind.

    noel (b4d580)

  303. Hey Nate. I will refer you to your mentor, Judge Napolitano. Comment #291 above.

    noel (b4d580)

  304. An American tech empresaroo who has Russian roots contracted.

    narciso (94d505)

  305. I don’t think opinion talkers on TV count as evidence.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  306. Prigizhin better stick to the stroganoff, since Wagner corps has been underformong of late.

    narciso (94d505)

  307. He’s a libertarian only part of the time, then he jumps as if he saw a mouse.

    narciso (94d505)

  308. I don’t think opinion talkers on TV count as evidence.
    Nate Ogden (223c65) — 5/10/2018 @ 8:08 am

    Maybe $500,000 does??

    noel (b4d580)

  309. But he was right about the wiretap as was scary Larry, whose blog disappeared as if thAnos snapped his fingers

    narciso (94d505)

  310. Deripasha has to give up rusal, vekselberg lost 2 billion, that’s all of his petty cash.

    narciso (94d505)

  311. Comey consulted Mueller’s office before testimony? Right. He did before he released his book too, I believe. That is evidence of a conspiracy? Or is it just making sure he doesn’t damage an investigation? Just asking.

    noel (b4d580)

  312. noel (b4d580) — 5/10/2018 @ 5:25 am

    “Why was a Russian billionaire giving a half-a-million dollars to the president’s lawyer at the time the lawyer was paying not only Stormy Daniels but, according to Rudy Giuliani, other women to remain silent about their relationships to the president?”

    I don’t think that’s true.

    He paid it into the same bank account, but Norvatis, AT&T and otehrs also paid into that bank accountm, and it was not at the time that the lawyer was paying…women to remain silent about their relationships to [Donald Trump]? ”

    It’s only the idea that he got reimbursed by the company connected to that Russian that connects the two things, but there is no real reason to think so – he was also getting asmonthly payment from a Donald Trump trust account until it was stopped in January or February of this year.

    Michel Cohen seems to have established his company about 10 days before he paid Stormy Daniels, but we don’t even know that’s why he established it. He may have used that because it was convenient for him.

    The bank fraud may involve his telling the bank he wanted toi do real estate consulting. Perhaps he did, but then Trump got elected and he thought he could cash in, at least after he found out that Donald Trump was not going to appoint him Chief of Staff or anything.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  313. 316. noel (b4d580) — 5/10/2018 @ 8:36 am

    316.Comey consulted Mueller’s office before testimony? Right. He did before he released his book too, I believe. That is evidence of a conspiracy? Or is it just making sure he doesn’t damage an investigation? Just asking

    Comey didn’t have to turn over his notes to Mueller. He did that to avoid letting the committee see them (as they had been, or were likely to be, subpoenaed)

    As it is, the notes don’t seem, at least at first glance, to differ much or at all from his Senate testimony but that doesn’t mean that they don’t differ from, or distort, the truth, or that they are truly all contemporaneous.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  314. He had knowingly misrepresented the substance of the memos to have Mueller appointed has lawfare issued cotrections.

    narciso (94d505)

  315. OK. Remember that there are seven billion folks in this world. What are the odds that a Russian oligarch’s American subsidiary is depositing money in the hush account of President Trump and its all on the up and up? Simultaneously with sleazy hush payments and during the Russia investigation. This passes your smell test?

    Come on people. Time to see an ENT.

    noel (b4d580)

  316. again Noel, your facts are wrong. Facts that are easily found on the internet. If you can’t get basics like who owns the company right nothing else you say has any validity. Especially when you repeat the same lie multiple times.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  317. The Judicial Watch story may show Comey maintained friendly access with DOJ but it also shows DOJ told him you should talk to US through your lawyer but if you’re OK with talking to US directly about DOJ’s institutional privileges and prerogatives… ie, the IG’s watching.

    crazy (5c5b07)

  318. noel: As I see it, Trump fans have two choices. Willful ignorance. Or the other kind.

    Special counsels should only be appointed to dig up stuff on politicians you don’t like. Got it, noel. Otherwise, you’d want a special counsel or IG to target everyone in public office. Do you think we’d find much? You have the same two choices.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  319. Alright, Random Viking. Let’s see if I can follow your thinking. Russia meddled in this last election so we should not investigate. Trump’s lawyer is getting a half million dollars from Russians so we should look the other way. Am I following you so far?

    noel (b4d580)

  320. noel teh republican…

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  321. I am relying on Judge Napolitano here, Nate. Take it up with him.

    noel (b4d580)

  322. he derides Fox News, but holds up Judge Napolitano as teh Authoritay…

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  323. There! Finally. My day is not complete without Colonel Haiku trying to change the subject to me. Calling me some effing name. Or reminding everyone of my one weakness. Registering as a Republican.

    noel (b4d580)

  324. For once, Fox is in alignment with reality. I am sure Napolitano will be punished for this deviation.

    noel (b4d580)

  325. “republican”*

    *not really

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  326. authoriteh!!!

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  327. noel: Russia meddled in this last election so we should not investigate.

    I reject your premise. The investigation has been a shell game. So is your logic. I won’t play.

    If there really was interest in Russian meddling, the focus of the investigation would be on the Steele Dossier and those who pushed it to obtain FISA warrants. But, you have “willful ignorance” on all this.

    random viking (ab961c)

  328. Let’s see if I can follow your thinking. Russia meddled in this last election so we should not investigate.

    To the degree that Russia “meddled”, every country “meddles”. The US, the old USSR, UK, China, others even more so. This idiocy started with the idea that the Russians-under-the-bed had software in our voting machines, there was zero proof of that and things back peddled and back peddled to where we are today, some people said some things. So what? They’ve meddled far worse in the past. McCarthy had more of a point than this idiocy.

    We have bad actors zipping up and down our highways at 5 – 10 mph over the speed limit too! Hire more cops!

    Skorcher (5ba7f6)

  329. “It took a long time and even a court battle to find out that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the Fusion GPS dossier, a fact that was disclosed only after the damage was done, as former British spy and the dossier’s compiler, Christopher Steele, had already created a vast echo chamber as though the material he was peddling had been verified in some way — which, of course, it never was. Now Avenatti is being allowed to repeat this same process, mixing truths with half-truths and evading accountability.”

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  330. Mueller is a disgusting human and when he goes on trial I pray he loses everything. I hope he goes broke defending himself.

    mg (9e54f8)

  331. Michael Avenatti got his start in political dirty work while employed by Rahm Emanuel’s opposition research firm. He was involved in over 100 political campaigns digging up dirt on GOP candidates.

    Avenatti won’t say who is paying for his services, but we know it isn’t Stormy Daniels. Nor will Avenatti reveal the source of the several Michael Cohen bank records he has, even though they were illegally obtained and transfered to Avenatti.

    Stormy and Avenatti are running a high stakes badger game aganist Trump and both belong under the jail.

    ropelight (a43f57)

  332. noel: Russia meddled in this last election so we should not investigate.

    randomviking: I reject your premise.

    So you think Trump’s secretary of state (both of them), national security advisor (at least the the last two of them), chief of staff, defense secretary, and his nominee for CIA director, to name just a few, are all lying about this?

    If it’s all a Deeeeeeeeeep Staaaaaaaaaate hoax, why can’t Trump find more Flat-Earthers like himself (and you) to try to cover-up this foreign attack on the United States of which he was the intended and actual beneficiary?

    Dave (445e97)

  333. The Russians give Trump’s fixer $500,000 for the President’s hush fund and what does Haiku ask? Who is paying Avenatti. Of course.

    noel (b4d580)

  334. because neither the cia or the fbi did their own investigation they are following crowdstrike, which is a campaign cutout, which Mueller recommended

    narciso (d1f714)

  335. Skorcher…..”We have bad actors zipping up and down our highways at 5 – 10 mph over the speed limit too! Hire more cops!”

    Don’t you dare. I live in a very, very rural redspace.

    noel (b4d580)

  336. Shorter Dave: I don’t care how the FISA warrants were obtained, nor how they were used.

    random viking (ab961c)

  337. Shorter random viking: Look, a squirrel!

    Dave (445e97)

  338. McCabe was running interference and running out the clock:

    https://twitter.com/JudicialWatch/status/989148423512305664

    narciso (d1f714)

  339. i explained why earlier:

    https://www.redstate.com/streiff/2018/05/09/rod-rosenstein-gets-rolled-devin-nunes-again…for-fifth-time/?utm_source=rsmorningbriefing

    narciso (d1f714)

  340. Layers covering for lawyers is the worst disease in the world. Lock them up.

    mg (9e54f8)

  341. And throw away the key. I hope their cell mates are homosexual.

    mg (9e54f8)

  342. Shorter random viking: Look, a squirrel!

    Yes, Dave, and if only I had the resources of federal law enforcement to back up my diversion, like the ultimate squirrel Mueller who you seem to be so impressed with.

    random viking (ab961c)

  343. Don’t you dare. I live in a very, very rural redspace.

    noel (b4d580) — 5/10/2018 @ 10:21 am

    Sharing 10 teeth between them… zip code: eieiO.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  344. rv: Quit trying to change the subject. You denied that Russia meddled in the election.

    Trump’s own cabinet and staff disagree with you. It happened.

    The special counsel was appointed because Trump tried (and is still trying) to cover it up.

    Dave (445e97)

  345. Living the dream, narciso.
    Mueller and his ilk are a farce.

    mg (9e54f8)

  346. rv: Quit trying to change the subject. You denied that Russia meddled in the election.

    Quit lying. I did not. Russia meddled, including via the Steele Dossier. That is not changing the subject. It’s just a subject you don’t give a rat’s ass about.

    I rejected the premise that investigating Russia meddling means you unleash the special counsel dogs on Trump.

    random viking (ab961c)

  347. ConDave insists on making this an extension of teh Faculty Lounge.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  348. ropelight @339. A web search of your badger game description led me to 1790’s Hamilton-Reynolds Sex Scandal. It was interesting to see how little things have changed since the origin of our republic. Good point, thanks.

    crazy (5c5b07)

  349. I rejected the premise that investigating Russia meddling means you unleash the special counsel dogs on Trump.

    LOL. That’s wasn’t the premise, that was the conclusion.

    premise: a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion.

    noel: Russia meddled in this last election so we should not investigate.

    randomviking: I reject your premise.

    noel’s premise (in bold), which you said you rejected, was that Russia meddled in this last election. His conclusion (in italics) was that we should not investigate.

    Dave (445e97)

  350. Dave wins the pedantry award.

    noel (and you) cannot go from “investigate Russia meddling” to “Trump’s lawyer is getting a half million dollars from Russians” without unleashing the special counsel dogs on Trump. The ongoing premise with you is “I despise Trump”, and the conclusion then becomes “therefore he should be investigated”. This is Stasi-thought. I reject it. You like it.

    Still waiting for your rationale for rejecting the significance of the Steele dossier, if indeed you care about Russia meddling.

    random viking (ab961c)

  351. “Aaron Blake

    @AaronBlake
    Unemployment rate is lowest since 2000.

    3 hostages returned from North Korea, as progress continues.

    5 top ISIS leaders captured.

    Getting a lot easier for 40-45% of the country to overlook domestic scandals.
    7:38 AM – May 10, 2018”

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  352. Still waiting for your rationale for rejecting the significance of the Steele dossier, if indeed you care about Russia meddling.

    I don’t reject its significance at all. It’s damning evidence against Trump and Manafort, and much of it has been confirmed.

    Dave (445e97)

  353. Dave – quote the parts that have been confirmed.

    The dossier in its entirety is online.

    Put here for us the sections of the various memos (7 in all I think), which have been “confirmed”, and gives us links to the source showing the confirmation.

    We’ll wait.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  354. 362.

    The dossier in its entirety is online.

    Where?

    I believe there are different versions of it, and in any case it is incompete (it is really Christopher Steele’s Greatest Hits)

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/01/13/the-released-dossier-is-not-the-complete-dossier

    The gaps are immediately identifiable from the report numbering, which (as released) goes like this:
    •080: June 20, 2016, serif
    •086: July 26, 2015 (citing events in 2016), serif
    •095: not dated, serif
    •94: July 19, 2016, serif

    etc etc

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  355. 337. Colonel Haiku (45621b) — 5/10/2018 @ 9:33 am

    “It took a long time and even a court battle to find out that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the Fusion GPS dossier, a fact that…

    James Comey is still not willing to concede.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/385112-comey-asserts-republicans-first-paid-for-steele-dossier

    When did you learn that the [Democratic National Committee] DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign had funded Christopher Steele’s work?” Fox News anchor Brett Baier asked Comey on “Special Report,” referring to the dossier compiled by Steele, a former British spy.

    “I still don’t know that for a fact,” Comey responded. “I’ve only seen it in the media. I never knew exactly which Democrats had funded. I knew it was funded first by Republicans.”

    “That’s not true,” Baier interjected, referring to funding by Republicans.

    “My understanding is that his work started … as oppo research funded by Republicans,” Comey maintained, adding the activity was “then picked up by Democrats opposed to Donald Trump.”

    Now Fusion GPS has admitted they were funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC through Perkins Coie. The “Republicans” is the Washington Free Beacon, but they say they never paid for any spy or private investigator. It was purely a public records search with them.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  356. 361… I call Bullschiff.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  357. 320. I think Mueller got appointed on the basis that on;y aspecial counsel could be free of fear of being fired.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  358. Comey in his recent interviews als o claimed he cpuldn’t say the prostitues with the bed incident wasn’t true.

    Mueller is not all that bad. he alsmot had to leak that his office had NOT conformed any trip by Micchael Xohen to Prague. (This is where supposedl;y the Trump campaign agreed to split the cost of hacking the Democrats with the Russians.)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  359. Now Fusion GPS has admitted they were funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC through Perkins Coie. The “Republicans” is the Washington Free Beacon, but they say they never paid for any spy or private investigator. It was purely a public records search with them.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146) — 5/10/2018 @

    So has that stalwart, Lady Liberty gazing, epitome-of-Law-enforcement sunuva biscuit Comey manned-up?

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  360. 361… you see it’s yohans like ConDave that make me lose faith in the future of mankind.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  361. Just basic, rudimentary Intelligence…

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  362. the dossier named three oligarchs Khaan aven and Fridman the first two were part of tyumen oil which in turn were tied to tnk who were partners with bp. The last was part of alpha group which is a much more diversified enterprise.

    narciso (d1f714)

  363. The dossier had alot of (probably deliberate) mistakes in it.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  364. Dave – quote the parts that have been confirmed.

    The dossier in its entirety is online.

    Put here for us the sections of the various memos (7 in all I think), which have been “confirmed”, and gives us links to the source showing the confirmation.

    We’ll wait.

    Sorry, you’re talking about hours of work. You don’t do that kind of work for free, and neither do I.

    Let’s start with page 1.

    First item:

    “Russian regime has been cultivating supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in the western alliance.”

    Confirmed.

    Second item:

    “So far TRUMP has declined various sweetener real estate business deals offered him in Russia in order to further the Kremlin’s cultivation of him. However he and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.”

    Confirmed and confirmed.

    Third item:

    “Former top Russian intelligence officer claims FSB has compromised TRUMP through his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to blackmail him. … [Allegations of perverted sexual acts]”

    Unconfirmed. But entirely consistent with information that has come to light since the report.

    Fourth item:

    “A dossier of compromising material on Hillary CLINTON has been collated by the Russian Intelligence Services over many years.”

    Confirmed.

    Page 4, description of Russian cyberwarfare methods: Confirmed in substance

    Page 8, “cauterisation” of Ukraine intervention as a campaign issue: Confirmed.

    Page 9, Carter Page secret meetings with Igor Sechin in Moscow: Confirmed in testimony under oath by Page.

    Page 17, DNC email leaks targeted at Sanders supporters: Confirmed.

    Page 12, Cohen’s meeting in Prague during late August/early September 2016 is mentioned in several places, but has not yet been confirmed. Time will tell.

    Page 20, Manafort laundering kick-backs from Putin’s Ukrainian puppet: Confirmed in every detail.

    Much of the dossier consists of “inside baseball” stuff about how the election meddling, and reaction to it, played out among various factions inside the Russian government. It is not all that material, except to the extent that direction of the election tampering at the highest levels has been independently confirmed.

    Dave (445e97)

  365. swc: and gives us links to the source showing the confirmation.

    You neglected that part, Dave. Maybe because the parts you claim are “Confirmed”, aren’t. And yes, the parts “Unconfirmed” are exactly that.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  366. Honestly Dave, McCabe couldn’t handle the task when questioned by Congress so I don’t expect you to. The good thing is that you don’t have the power to issue FISA warrants. Lord help us if you did.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  367. Still more important than employment rate, nuke talks, freed Americans, or righting the wrongs of 0bama… https://static.pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Stormy-Daniels-YouTube-screenshot-Pornhub.jpg

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  368. At least to the Knobs of Teh Media, NeverTrump, Commies and Democrats.

    But I repeat myself.

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  369. 373/

    “Russian regime has been cultivating supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in the western alliance.”

    Confirmed.

    Untrue. That would go back to 2012. They were supporting Hillary in 2013, and the break didn’t come till 2014.

    Or, if the idea is that they were supporting Trump to encourage divisions, was Trump really especially active in politics then?

    “So far TRUMP has declined various sweetener real estate business deals offered him in Russia in order to further the Kremlin’s cultivation of him. However he and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.”

    Confirmed and confirmed.

    Where is there the slightest evidence of that? That is, that “Trump and his inner circle” were getting “a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.” Regular, for years. Really?

    “A dossier of compromising material on Hillary CLINTON has been collated by the Russian Intelligence Services over many years.”

    Confirmed.

    How come they never leaked it during the 2016 election?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  370. A few things are confirmed, but what do they have to do with Trump?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  371. Michael Avenetti possibly seems to be guilty of more fiancial crimes than Michael Cohen:

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/before-stormy-daniels-her-attorney-faced-allegations-of-dubious-business-dealings

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4433390-Avenatti-Bar-Complaint.html

    And then there’s his obtaining of bank records of both the important Michael Cohen and other Michael Cohens.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/378847170/Cohen-v-USA-Cohen-Letter-to-Court-Re-Michael-Avenatti-May-9-2018

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  372. Where were the assets interviewed, since steele could not travel to Russia.

    narciso (d1f714)

  373. A few things are confirmed, but what do they have to do with Trump?

    The fact that his campaign aide was a paid/bribed covert agent of the Russian government?

    The fact that his campaign manager was bought and paid for by Putin and his Ukrainian puppet?

    The fact that the Ukrainian problem was “cauterised” by removing tough language from the GOP platform?

    Dave (445e97)

  374. 373:

    1. The moon is made of green cheese.

    Confirmed — I’ve was just there last week to deliver some red wine for a party.

    2. The newest Ferrari is powered by ocean water.

    Confirmed — mine gets 134 mpg.

    3. Pyrite and gold are actually identical at the molecular level.

    Confirmed — I have converted all my hard assets to Pyrite, and purchased an extra safe to store my wealth.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  375. Where were the assets interviewed, since steele could not travel to Russia.

    That was the “good” Russia meddling, so just forget about it.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  376. He was a lobbyist for russian interests like Podesta except he embezzled the money in art, his partner was hired from Mccain thinktank, another firm baker hostedler hired the russian pepperpot,

    narciso (d1f714)

  377. Draining the Swamp, The Apprentice Edition: AT&T Paid Michael Cohen $600,000 Specifically For “Advice” On Time-Warner Acquisition

    Allahpundit riffs with his usual wry wit:

    It adds up. Logically, who else would you call for advice on a multibillion-dollar merger that would reshape America’s telecom industry but noted super-lawyer Michael “Hush Money” Cohen?

    It’d be like Wall Street multinationals rolling out a complex new financial instrument and dialing up, say, Hugh Hefner’s lawyer for input. If Hef suddenly found himself in charge of the executive branch of the federal government, that is.

    Dave (445e97)

  378. Apparently, Dave thinks Bruce Ohr requested a demotion and reassignment. It wasn’t forced on him for some reason related to the dossier. Dave, correct me if I’m wrong.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  379. Dave can’t walk and chew gum UN aided.

    narciso (d1f714)

  380. MAGA meme for 2020? “Trump can’t be bought … but his attorneys offer very attractive leasing terms!”

    Dave (445e97)

  381. Heh!

    Actually, now that I think of, “Fox & Friends” seems to have some meaningful influence over Trump. Has anyone tried cutting Steve Doocy or Ainsley Earhardt a check to sneak a little “telecom mergers are good!” chitchat into the morning banter?

    nk (dbc370)

  382. Dave is in full on squirrel mode.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  383. Spiny Norman hedgehog, they didn’t get much more OT though.

    narciso (d1f714)

  384. “According to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe ongoing litigation…”

    Democracy Dies in Nameless, Faceless, Chickenschiff Anonymity

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  385. Just HotAir in Sails…

    Colonel Haiku (45621b)

  386. Ah Larry noble, Lois lerners boss, who told us she would never interfere in elections like she did.

    narciso (d1f714)

  387. Did they get the right Michael Cohen this time?

    Richard Aubrey (415087)

  388. Pelosi gives nks work today, two thumbs up!

    EPWJ (eac13a)

  389. Gee. Look around at all the fancy folks. But listen to me, Jared…. when the Titanic starts to founder, whatever you do, don’t get between Donald and the life raft.

    noel (b4d580)

  390. The times does note there were 31 firms contracted by at&t, just in the last quarter

    narciso (d1f714)


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