OT: Trump/Russians/Robert Mueller

concordtom
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B.A. Bearacus said:


It's very sad.
Rudy did a great job during 9/11. Yet, he's turned himself into an evil and ugly man. Big time.
BearNIt
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Looks like the Feds wiretapped Cohen's phone lines and that at least one call between the WH and Cohen was obtained. The wiretap existed for at least several weeks before the raid on Cohen's office, home, storage unit, and hotel. Despite being warned not to call Cohen, the Big Cheeto did anyway. The Feds had to show cause to get the wiretap and had show cause for the raid. The question is what did they get to justify both the wiretap and the raid. They had to have evidence to show a judge to get them to sign off on the tap and the raid. Trump must be face palming right now. What is Gulliani going to say now? Jesus, Mueller is good, very shark like just biding his time making sure he has all the information before delivering the death blow. Distanced himself by handing info over to the Feds and had them make the decision on moving forward which they did.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/feds-tapped-trump-lawyer-michael-cohen-s-phones-n871011

Jared must be overjoyed that he is disposable. Could he be a possible witness for Mueller soon. A pool should be started on when Michael Cohen will flip on the Big Cheeto, because Cohen is SCREWED.
Another Bear
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The incompetence is truly staggering. Trump, Cohen and their pals were use to working as criminals in the open without the FBI...who were apparently tracking them most of the time.

The craziest part: Trump is technically running this country.
B.A. Bearacus
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So one or more conversations between sloppy Donald and Cohen are in the possession of investigators.

Trump, he DONE.
dajo9
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concordtom said:

B.A. Bearacus said:


It's very sad.
Rudy did a great job during 9/11. Yet, he's turned himself into an evil and ugly man. Big time.


Rudy benefited more from favorable press than anybody in the history of New York
blungld
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It's time for the Democrats and the media to stop playing nice. They need to demand over and over the way Republicans repeat their sound bytes: Mr. President it is time to stand up and be accountable to the American public under oath. There needs to be a clear demand that no spin or soft peddle can avoid.

And, they need to start calling out co-conspirators and demand they too speak under oath and that they are under jeopardy. For too long the lying and spin is permitted as "politics." No more. You lie for this President and your reputation and legal standing should be at risk too. No more playing nice. Someone needs to come out and say openly what seems conspicuously obvious: FOX and Congress are not just protecting the President because of politics, they are protecting him because they may be guilty too (lots of signs of Russian money floating in the NRA/RNC sphere, and obstruction, false statements, working against their oath and the American public, etc).
Unit2Sucks
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B.A. Bearacus said:

So one or more conservations between sloppy Donald and Cohen are in the possession of investigators.

Trump, he DONE.
Whispers that Trump's conversation with Cohen concerned destruction of evidence and that's what spurred the Feds to raid Cohen's offices. HOAX!! "WITCH HUNT"!
Another Bear
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Democrats are finally doing politics the way Republicans do

blungld
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Another Bear said:

Democrats are finally doing politics the way Republicans do


Good find. Not a fan of polarization, but I do want Dems to stand for something and quit always compromising and effectively being moderate Republicans. We have very little "left" in our politics despite what FOX would say.

It would be poetic justice that instead of working with Dems while they could, the Reps own greed and criminal overreach will cost them big time as Dems regain power and perhaps this time actually press their advantage and change things.
NYCGOBEARS
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blungld said:

Another Bear said:

Democrats are finally doing politics the way Republicans do


Good find. Not a fan of polarization, but I do want Dems to stand for something and quit always compromising and effectively being moderate Republicans. We have very little "left" in our politics despite what FOX would say.

It would be poetic justice that instead of working with Dems while they could, the Reps own greed and criminal overreach will cost them big time as Dems regain power and perhaps this time actually press their advantage and change things.

Like I keep saying, I'm sick of Dems bringing a knife to a gun fight.
Another Bear
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Michelle Wolf nailed in the WHCD. I had to groan because...she's right. Hopefully they turn this around.
Quote:

"Republicans are easy to make fun of. It's like shooting fish in a Chris Christie. But I also want to make fun of Democrats. Democrats are harder to make fun of because you guys don't do anything.

"People think you might flip the House and Senate this November, but you guys always find a way to mess it up. You're somehow going to lose by 12 points to a guy named Jeff Pedophile Nazi Doctor."



concordtom
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blungld said:

It's time for the Democrats and the media to stop playing nice. They need to demand over and over the way Republicans repeat their sound bytes: Mr. President it is time to stand up and be accountable to the American public under oath. There needs to be a clear demand that no spin or soft peddle can avoid.

And, they need to start calling out co-conspirators and demand they too speak under oath and that they are under jeopardy. For too long the lying and spin is permitted as "politics." No more. You lie for this President and your reputation and legal standing should be at risk too. No more playing nice. Someone needs to come out and say openly what seems conspicuously obvious: FOX and Congress are not just protecting the President because of politics, they are protecting him because they may be guilty too (lots of signs of Russian money floating in the NRA/RNC sphere, and obstruction, false statements, working against their oath and the American public, etc).
Maybe it's time for the populace to storm the Bastille.
concordtom
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Quote:

Michelle Wolf nailed in the WHCD. I had to groan because...she's right. Hopefully they turn this around.
Quote:

"Republicans are easy to make fun of. It's like shooting fish in a Chris Christie. But I also want to make fun of Democrats. Democrats are harder to make fun of because you guys don't do anything.

"People think you might flip the House and Senate this November, but you guys always find a way to mess it up. You're somehow going to lose by 12 points to a guy named Jeff Pedophile Nazi Doctor."

The fat joke was in very poor taste!
And if she wanted to riff on something regarding Dems and doing something, she should have brought up the gerrymandering advantage that the GOP has. Makes it kinda hard.

If the Dems take over in time for the 2020 gerrymander re-do, the GOP will be sunk for a very long time. There are a few good jokes in there, better than the ones she made.

Her routine was 75% crap, I thought!
B.A. Bearacus
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CNN with a major correction:

"The correction was announced on MSNBC during "Meet the Press Daily" by the story's lead reporter, Tom Winter. He said US officials had told him that it "was not a wiretap" but instead a "pen register."

"In plain English, that means it was a log of phone calls that were made from specific phone line -- from a specific phone line or specific phone lines," Winter said.

Calling it an "important distinction," Winter explained that a pen register meant authorities were "not able to listen in in real-time or record his conversations." Instead, they were only able to monitor incoming and outgoing calls. Winter's initial story cited two sources with knowledge of legal proceedings involving Cohen.
Unit2Sucks
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Ok yeah that's a pretty big difference. I doubt if a phone call from Trump to Cohen in and of itself is enough for them to get a no-knock warrant based on prevention of destruction of evidence.
Another Bear
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concordtom said:


Quote:

Michelle Wolf nailed in the WHCD. I had to groan because...she's right. Hopefully they turn this around.
Quote:

"Republicans are easy to make fun of. It's like shooting fish in a Chris Christie. But I also want to make fun of Democrats. Democrats are harder to make fun of because you guys don't do anything.

"People think you might flip the House and Senate this November, but you guys always find a way to mess it up. You're somehow going to lose by 12 points to a guy named Jeff Pedophile Nazi Doctor."

The fat joke was in very poor taste!
And if she wanted to riff on something regarding Dems and doing something, she should have brought up the gerrymandering advantage that the GOP has. Makes it kinda hard.

If the Dems take over in time for the 2020 gerrymander re-do, the GOP will be sunk for a very long time. There are a few good jokes in there, better than the ones she made.

Her routine was 75% crap, I thought!
Disagree, it was more of a barrel joke thatn a fat joke, and Chris Christie is fair game. But she's 120% right on the dems ability to muff this stuff. I thought Jeff Pedophile, Nazi Doctor was hilarious...because there's a grain of truth to it.
Another Bear
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As 'the king of debt,' Trump borrowed to build his empire. Then he began spending hundreds of millions in cash.

This is a good read. WaPo is establishing a Russian motive here.

Trump famously said in the past he was the king of debt because that's how developers make bank; by using other people's money. So this was Trump basic biz model...then everything switched.

Despite advocating max leverage and using other people's money, suddenly Trump started paying cash for everything, and following up purchases with major renovations...again using cash, lots of cash, hundreds of millions.

So the question is, why the switch and who is lending/giving him the cash. The answer seems obvious, it's the Russians, probably the Russian mob, or Putin via the Russian mob...but the WaPo is going to grind this one out by procedure.

okaydo
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okaydo
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Another Bear
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Trump's lawyers tried to walk the president through a practice interview with Mueller. It didn't go well.
bearister
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https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/russian-campaign-to-infiltrate-nra-elect-trump-w518587
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Another Bear
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Good find. So the NRA are traitors too...or just stupidly blind faux patriots?
Quote:

But Russia experts believe Torshin's interest in U.S. gun culture masked a dark, ulterior motive. "It's all a big charade, basically," Glenn Simpson, founder of the research firm behind the infamous Steele Dossier, testified to the House Intelligence Committee. Much of what passes for civil society in modern Russia is, in fact, controlled by Putin. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee published a January 2018 report on "Putin's Asymmetric Assault on Democracy," which describes how the Kremlin has "sought to co-opt civil society by 'devot[ing] massive resources to the creation and activities of state-sponsored and state-controlled NGOs."

Some of these faux grassroots groups buttress the Kremlin's domestic agenda. Others are projections of Putin's foreign policy. Sen. Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the committee, says it is common for Russian groups that "appear to be independent" but are "really Putin groups" to build relationships with civic groups in Western democracies, like the NRA "to have tentacles," Cardin says, "to try and influence public opinion here in the United States. It is certainly part of Putin's MO."

Hall agrees. "The idea of private gun ownership is anathema to Putin," he says. "So then the question is, 'Why?' " Why was a pro-gun campaign being hatched by a leader in Putin's own party? The answer, according to Hall, is that Putin was baiting a trap. "He's reaching out to attract the NRA, specifically, over to Russia."
bearister
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https://www.thedailybeast.com/michael-cohen-took-cash-from-russian-oligarch-after-election

I'm afraid this is going to require a 3 dimensional crime board.

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BearNIt
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bearister said:


https://www.thedailybeast.com/michael-cohen-took-cash-from-russian-oligarch-after-election

I'm afraid this is going to require a 3 dimensional crime board.


Avenatti has just supplied financial documents that were reviewed and verify that Cohen to $500,000.00 from a Russian Oligarch who had been partners with Wilbur Ross in a greek bank in Cyprus that was laundering Russian money. That individual, Viktor Vekselberg -- a Russian oligarch with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, also had an American cousin through an investment firm give the Trump campaign $250,000. Vekselberg was identified as the Russian that was pulled of a plane in the U.S. and had his phone confiscated and was asked specific questions about Trump. Mueller knows what happened and is going to bury Cohen unless he cooperates. Cohen is having money problems, has a family, and is looking at a long prison sentence the only question is when is he going to roll over like a puppy. Trump has to be worried with all the lawyers, money, and Russians Mueller has put on his doorstep. Does Trump dare make a move with the New York AG resigning and Mueller getting ever closer. There could be no better time if he was going to make a move.

Oh, lets not forget that today he announced that he was getting out of the Iranian Nuclear Deal.
BearDevil
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Tear down this wall, Mr Gorbachev, so the Russian Mafia and Oligararchs can launder money in America and mess with our elections.
NYCGOBEARS
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Loving Avenatti. Trump is jealous that a porn star has a better attorney than a sitting president.
Another Bear
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Okay then...the Russkies are involved. The porn industry is involved. So why are the corporations lagging? Apparently they're not. You can't make this crap up. Guess AT&T didn't vet Cohen or his mob connections.

Avenatti is bringing the lumber...and it looks like he's pummeling Trump and Cohen with it.


AT&T confirms it paid Michael Cohen for 'insights' on Trump admin
Quote:


AT&T confirmed Tuesday that it paid President Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen for "insights" on the Trump administration.

AT&T said in a statement obtained by The Hill that Cohen's company "was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration."

"They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017," AT&T added in its statement, which was first reported by CNBC.

The payment was first revealed on Tuesday in a document published by Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who is suing the president and Cohen.

Avenatti had claimed that AT&T, drug company Novartis and a Russian oligarch had all made payments to Cohen's shell company, Essential Consultants.

NYCGOBEARS
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"Bringing the wood?" Stormy does have expertise in this area. Seems she chose really well
Another Bear
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Yeah...I went back and changed that to lumber...I got the double entree.
Another Bear
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Russian Leverage Over Trump Is Not Just a Theory. It's Now Fact.
Quote:

For all the speculation about the existence of the pee tape, the latest revelations prove what is tantamount to the same thing. Russia could leverage the president and his fixer who, recall, hand-delivered a pro-Russian "peace plan" with Ukraine to Trump's national security adviser in January 2017 by threatening to expose secrets they were desperate to keep hidden. Whether those secrets were limited to illegal payments, or included knowledge of sexual affairs, is a question of degree but not of kind.

A bigger question given the Russkies is if the international community will shut down the Russian-Kremlin-Russkie mob operations of Putin that seems to be global. Sure there's political risk but the Russian mob was basically tossed out of Spain.
Another Bear
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Michael Cohen is either really lazy or not very smart...perhaps both. He used the same LLC to send money to Stormy Daniels and to receive fund from Russian oligarchs and corporate "lobbying" money. Sorta like in Ghostbusters when the crossed streams. They crossed the money trail to the porn trail. BRILLIANT!
bearister
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NYCGOBEARS said:

Loving Avenatti. Trump is jealous that a porn star has a better attorney than a sitting president.


Avenatti is like the head cheer girl that tRump desperately wants on his arm at the fraternity Spring formal, but he has to settle for Cohen and Rudy.
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blungld
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Images like the one below are starting to surface. I'm sure there are details here are that are spot on and some details that are incorrect but the overall picture is a depiction of what collusion looks like. Collusion is not a cartoon meeting where a Russian spy twists his mustache and Trump shakes his hand and says, "heh heh heh, let's commit collusion!"

The collusion we are talking about is years long influence campaign where financial interests are so intertwined between Russia, RNC, PACs, FOX, NRA, certain American businesses, organized crime, and Trump organization that the line between self-interest, American interest, and Russian interest is so blurred that there is plausible deniability and no single event to point to. It works in the margins, in the gray area of legality, and through offshore accounts and shell companies.

Collude means "to act together through a secret understanding, especially with evil or harmful intent." Even with just the evidence that is now public, how is that not exactly what has happened? There have clearly been "secret understandings" between members of the Trump organization/administration for personal financial gain with pro-Russian interests against or without consideration of American interest. That happened.

This investigation looks like it is on a crash course to a Constitutional crisis with Republicans arguing that this or that is not technically illegal--taking no ethical stand or accountability for the buying and selling of the public good and the total abandonment of their oath of office. The corruption is so broad that corrupt officers (Nunes/McConnel/Ryan) are covering for other corrupt officers (Trump).

This conversation needs to escalate to trials for espionage, aiding foreign agents, violation of the Constitution, and TREASON--not dithering about accounting and registering as a lobbyist. It looks to me that we have a system of government on trial and the American public is going to have to decide what it is to be American (and not a party loyalist) all over again. To think that the brilliance of the Founding Fathers has devolved to this--and the very people who are destroying our ideals dress up in Tea Party clothing and think they have protected the Constitution because they carry a gun, are against abortion, and can't stand gay marriage. They will boo a black man who kneels for social justice at an American flag but applaud a white man who kneels for bribes at a Russian flag. It would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic.

Are we soon to see large percentages of citizens actually side with foreign interests over their fellow Americans? Have they been so conditioned to hate Liberals that they do not see their fellow Americans as citizens at all--and that they would rather be aligned with other nations than their own brethren. If true, that is such an indictment on the hatred-generating propaganda of the right. No longer "Better Dead Than Red" but rather "I'm In Bed With Red."

We are so in need of total political reform and new stringent anti-corruption laws. We HAVE to make financial contributions to PACS, lobbyists, politicians, and even campaigns illegal. There is not a justification for this version of grift-tinged democracy unless you directly benefit from oligarchy and corruption. We fought a revolution against the tyranny of corruption.





Another Bear
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I think we've hit a major juncture with the discovery of Michael Cohen's slush and porn pay out fund and as you have pointed out...things are starting to clarify and connect. It's not a question of if...but how and how deep.

The question now is how does this go down and end. I think we're in for a long summer, but perhaps we'll get a major summer blockbuster surprise or script flip. If I were to guess, I think Michael Cohen goes full stooly and dump his load...during the dog days of August when DC is on recess. That's a good time to drop a bomb, when everyone is gone.
blungld
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Another Bear said:

I think we've hit a major juncture with the discovery of Michael Cohen's slush and porn pay out fund and as you have pointed out...things are starting to clarify and connect. It's not a question of if...but how and how deep.

The question now is how does this go down and end. I think we're in for a long summer, but perhaps we'll get a major summer blockbuster surprise or script flip. If I were to guess, I think Michael Cohen goes full stooly and dump his load...during the dog days of August when DC is on recess. That's a good time to drop a bomb, when everyone is gone.

That's a pretty good bet.

I just can't fathom how a corrupt group of political leaders will end up prosecuting themselves. If this corruption reaches Nunes, McConnel, Ryan, Pence, the RNC, the NRA, Trump....etc, how do you evacuate and indict so many power brokers and not be accused of a coup, keep government functioning, and fight uphill against powerful men who have everything to lose?

The mafia analogies keep coming, but it's almost like Michael Corleone taking out the heads of the five families.

I wonder several things: Do the innocent and just members of government have the clout and endurance to see this out? Do many of the corrupt strike behind the scenes deals to stay in power and rat out the other guys? Does the American public have the moral fiber and political will to clean house? Can the Democrats resist the temptation of consolidating their own power rather than taking reins and removing money from the system?

There is going to be a McCarthyesque feeding frenzy of one form or another the next 6 months. Either the corrupt turning on one another in a feeding frenzy of political justice, or the unjust turning the Trump base and media machine on the just to "end a coup" in a feeding frenzy of political injustice.
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