Patterico's Pontifications


Trump Organization Exec Emailed Putin’s Spokesman for Help on a Deal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

New reports raise further questions about Donald Trump’s businesses and Russia:

A top executive from Donald Trump’s real estate company emailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s personal spokesman during the U.S. presidential campaign last year to ask for help advancing a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow, according to documents submitted to Congress on Monday.

The request came in a mid-January 2016 email from Michael Cohen, one of Trump’s closest business advisers, who asked longtime Putin lieutenant Dmitry Peskov for assistance in reviving a deal that Cohen suggested was languishing.

. . . .

Cohen’s email to Peskov provides an example of a Trump business official directly seeking Kremlin assistance in advancing Trump’s business interests.

The project appears to have gone nowhere. It does not look like evidence of “collusion” between Trump and Putin. It just causes any reasonable person to wonder whether the prospect of financial gain played or plays any part in Trump’s unrelenting praise for Vladimir Putin, a ruthless Soviet-style dictator who imprisons, tortures, and kills his political opponents.

I recently read Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice. It’s a compelling read about the imprisonment, torture, and murder of Sergei Magnitsky, whose death led to the U.S. passage of the Magnitsky Act to retaliate against those involved. (That’s the same law that a Kremlin-connected lawyer talked to Manafort and Jr. about getting repealed. Repeal of the Magnitsky Act is one of Putin’s top priorities.) I’ll have a review when I get a chance. In the meantime, watch the first 20 minutes of this. (Keep watching if you’re hooked.)

This is what we’re dealing with in Putin. It’s no joke. The fact that we have a President who praises this man is a continual source of astonishment to me.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Berkeley Mayor: We Need To Shut Down Free Speech Week Because Conservatives Provoke Criminal Thugs

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:57 am

[guest post by Dana]

Berkeley, no longer a bastion of free speech:

In the aftermath of a right-wing rally Sunday that ended with anarchists chasing attendees from a downtown park, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin urged UC Berkeley on Monday to cancel conservatives’ plans for a Free Speech Week next month to avoid making the city the center of more violent unrest.

“I don’t want Berkeley being used as a punching bag,” said Arreguin, whose city has been the site of several showdowns this year between, on the one hand, the left and its fringe anarchist wing, and on the other, supporters of President Trump who at times have included white nationalists.

“I am concerned about these groups using large protests to create mayhem,” Arreguin said. “It’s something we have seen in Oakland and in Berkeley.”

Believing that the presence of “right-wing” speakers would cause left-wing, militant thug extremists to become violent and out of control, the mayor believes the only workable solution is to cancel events involving “right-wing” speakers. You know, as opposed to increasing the presence of law enforcement and arresting those who break the law:

I’m very concerned about Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter and some of these other right-wing speakers coming to the Berkeley campus, because it’s just a target for black bloc to come out and commit mayhem on the Berkeley campus and have that potentially spill out on the street.

And about that pesky issue of free speech:

“I obviously believe in freedom of speech, but there is a line between freedom of speech and then posing a risk to public safety,” the mayor said. “That is where we have to really be very careful — that while protecting people’s free-speech rights, we are not putting our citizens in a potentially dangerous situation and costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing the windows of businesses.”

Because more speech that challenges the status quo could never be a solution, or something…

On a side note, Ben Shapiro is scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley on Sept. 14. And UC Berkeley is charging the organizers $15,000 to exercise their First Amendment rights.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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