GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Czer, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Wilbur Ross broke law, violated Constitution in census decision, judge rules
    March 6

    Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acted in “bad faith,” broke several laws and violated the constitutional underpinning of representative democracy when he added a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

    In finding a breach of the Constitution’s enumeration clause, which requires a census every 10 years to determine each state’s representation in Congress, the 126-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco went further than a similar decision on Jan. 15 by Judge Jesse Furman in New York.

    The Supreme Court has already agreed to review Furman’s narrower decision, with arguments set for April 23, but may now need to expand its inquiry to constitutional dimensions.

    The Commerce Department did not respond to requests for comment.

    The administration has been on the losing end of scores of court decisions involving immigration issues since President Trump took office. But the census case has taken on special significance because it strikes at the heart of the United States’ form of government and because of what Seeborg described as a “strong showing of bad faith” by a Cabinet secretary who, influenced in part by White House advisers, tried to conceal his motives.

    The cases against Ross have been brought by jurisdictions with significant immigrant populations. Only two have completed trials, the case heard by Furman and brought by 18 states led by New York, and today’s challenge, initiated by the state of California and combined with a suit brought by the city of San Jose.

    Unable to find any expert in the Census Bureau who approved of his plan to add the citizenship question, Seeborg wrote, Ross engaged in a “cynical search to find some reason, any reason” to justify the decision.

    He was fully aware that the question would produce a census undercount, particularly among Latinos, the judge said.

    That would have probably reduced the representation in Congress — and thus in the electoral college that decides the presidency — of states with significant immigrant populations, notably California.

    Because census data is used to apportion distribution of federal funds, an undercount would also have cheated these same jurisdictions, the judge said.

    Seeborg, like Furman, found after a trial that Ross misrepresented both to the public and Congress his reasons for adding the citizenship question last March. Ross claimed he was acting at the request of the Justice Department in the interest of enforcing the Voting Rights Act.

    In reality, the “evidence establishes” that the voting rights explanation was just “a pretext” and that Ross “acted in bad faith” when he claimed otherwise.

    He pursued the citizenship question after hearing from then-White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon and Kris Kobach, the vice chair of Trump’s now-disbanded voting fraud commission.

    Apart from violating the Constitution, Seeborg ruled, the Commerce Department breached the Administrative Procedure Act by acting “arbitrarily and capriciously” and violated Census Act restrictions on modifying questions.
  2. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Rahm Emanuel: Yup, Ilhan Omar Is Definitely Anti-Semitic
    Mar 07, 2019


    Current Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel penned an opinion piece in The Atlantic on Thursday, condemning Rep. Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitic comments.

    Emanuel's position is far different than other Democrats who say Omar's comments weren't anti-Semitic but rather a criticism of Israel. The Chicago Mayor was blunt about his position, saying, "Her remarks are not anti-Israel; they are anti-Semitic."

    No one is questioning the right of members of Congress and others to criticize Israeli policies. But Omar is crossing a line that should not be crossed in political discourse. Her remarks are not anti-Israel; they are anti-Semitic.

    Whether consciously or not, Representative Omar is repeating some of the ugliest stereotypes about Jews—tropes that have been unleashed by anti-Semites throughout history. She is casting Jewish Americans as the other, suggesting a dual loyalty that calls our devotion to America into question.

    He also explained why Omar's comments bother him:

    Maybe I’m sensitive to this charge of dual allegiance because it’s been wielded against me in some of my political campaigns. I’ve been accused of actually being a citizen of Israel. (That’s not true, although my father was an Israeli immigrant to the United States.) In 2002, well before Donald Trump and other “birthers” questioned Barack Obama’s citizenship, I had to produce my U.S. birth certificate in my first run for Congress to disprove false assertions about my background and loyalties.

    But it’s not just me who’s been subject to questions of dual loyalty. For centuries, this trope has been aimed at Jews in countries around the world. In embracing it, Omar is associating herself with calamities from the Spanish Inquisition to the Russian pogroms to the Holocaust. That’s not historical company that any American should want to keep.

    One doesn’t have to be Jewish to recognize the deep and abiding relationship between the United States and Israel. Yes, there might be serious problems with Israel’s democracy—just as we’re currently experiencing our own. But Israel shares fundamental values with the United States that most of its neighbors have never embraced.

    In Israel, women can vote and serve in the armed forces. So can members of the LGBTQ community. Its Arab citizens can vote, form political parties, and serve in the Israeli Parliament. And Israeli women can drive—just as badly as the rest of the population.

    But he made one thing very clear: a politician can be critical of Israel without being anti-Semitic

    As for Jewish Americans who support Israel as a friend and ally of the United States, we do so because we recognize the commonality of our values and national interests. And many of us don’t hesitate to criticize Israel when its policies are wrong—or to champion American interests when they come into tension with Israeli goals.

    Yes, Omar has to overcome some adversities for being a Muslim in Congress but that doesn't mean that she should be given a pass for the remarks she's made. At least someone in the Democratic Party isn't afraid to call Omar what she is. We have to give Emanuel credit for that.
  3. Sanlaven

    Sanlaven TZT Abuser

    Post Count:
    Has there ever been a documented case of a politician criticizing Israel and not being called anti-Semitic?
  4. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

    Post Count:
  5. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard

    Post Count:
  6. Utumno

    Utumno Administrator Staff Member

    Post Count:
    Let me know when that swamp is drained boys!

    Yang previously showed no political engagement before Trump ran for office in 2016, having not voted for the 10 years prior to his White House bid, The Herald reported.

    The businesswoman has since attended several Republican political events, including being invited to the White House in February 2018 for an event hosted by the Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative, an advisory commission Trump established by executive order the year before.

    Her Facebook page includes a signed photograph of her standing next to the president.

    Additional images show her posing with Republican Sen. Rick Scott, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the president’s adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric.

    In addition to attending Republican fundraisers and galas, often clutching a rhinestone encrusted “MAGA” purse, the Herald found records of Yang’s political contributions.

    Yang and her close relatives have donated more than $42,000 to Trump Victory, a political action committee, and more than $16,000 to the Trump campaign, the newspaper reported.
  7. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard

    Post Count:
    The handie business is fucking *BOOMING*
  8. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Erik Prince acknowledges 2016 Trump Tower meeting for first time
    When pressed by Mehdi Hasan on Head to Head, Blackwater founder Erik Prince said the meeting was about 'Iran policy'.

    Erik Prince, founder of the private American security company Blackwater, has admitted to meeting with members of the Trump campaign in August 2016 after, according to a public transcript, apparently failing to disclose the gathering during his testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee last year.

    When asked by Mehdi Hasan on Al Jazeera's Head to Head programme about the August 3, 2016 Trump Tower meeting that reportedly took place between Prince, Donald Trump campaign officials, an Israeli social media specialist and an emissary for two Gulf princes, the former Blackwater CEO did not deny the meeting took place.

    "We were there … to talk about Iran policy," Prince said when pressed by Hasan.

    According to the New York Times, that meeting was attended by Prince, Donald Trump Jr, George Nader, a former Blackwater employee and emissary for the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Stephen Miller, then a top aide to the Trump campaign and currently a senior policy adviser to the president and Joel Zamel, whose company, Psy-Group, employed former Israeli intelligence operatives and specialised in social media manipulation, and was reportedly contacted by Rick Gates, a top Trump campaign official, for proposals for social media manipulation to help Trump win the election.

    Prince apparently did not, however, disclose information about the meeting when testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on November 30, 2017, according to a public transcript.

    Prince testified under oath that he had "no official, or, really unofficial role" in the Trump campaign. He also told the House panel that he did not have any formal communications or contact with the campaign other than policy papers given to Steve Bannon, attending some fundraisers and a "yard sign".

    When asked by Al Jazeera's Hasan about why he didn't then disclose the August 2016 Trump Tower meeting, Prince initially said he "disclosed any meetings, the very, very few" he had.

    When pressed further by Hasan, Prince said, "I don't believe I was asked that question."

    Prince later contradicted himself, saying he did tell the panel about the meeting. When asked to explain why it was not in the transcript, Prince said, "I don't know if they got the transcript wrong."

    He later also said that "not all of the discussion that day was transcribed".

    He added that he "certainly" remembers discussing the meeting with "investigators".

    A staff member of the House Intelligence Committee told Al Jazeera that Prince was not asked about the August 3, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower during his testimony and any redactions that were made to that testimony were done to protect personally identifiable information.

    The Blackwater founder's comments to Hasan is the first time that Prince or anyone else who reportedly attended the meeting has publicly acknowledged it and the first indication that it could have been about Iran policy. At the time, Nader was reportedlyseeking to advance a clandestine plan to destabilise Iran through the use of private military contractors.

    Since coming to office, Trump has taken a hawkish stance towards Iran, pulling out of the nuclear deal in 2018 and blaming the country for the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS). Last month in Warsaw, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the conference, "You can't achieve stability in the Middle East without confronting Iran". US National Security Advisor John Bolton has also advocated for regime change in the country.

    In Head to Head’s wide-ranging interview with Prince, the Blackwater founder also responds to questions about his meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian businessman close to the Kremlin and discusses the private security company’s history during the Iraq War, including the Nisour Square massacre, as well as his proposal for ending the war in Afghanistan.
  9. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
  10. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Erik Prince: Blackwater founder admits Trump Tower meeting with Donald Jr in disastrous interview
    'Sure looks like Erik Prince committed perjury,' congressman says

    Donald Trump ally Erik Prince may have committed perjury, a congressman has said, after the former Navy Seal said for the first time he held a meeting with one of the US president’s sons to discuss “Iran policy”.

    Mr Prince, founder of controversial military contractor Blackwater USA, admitted he met Donald Trump Jr and an emissary for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Trump Tower ahead of the presidential election.

    The admission comes more than a year after the 49-year-old, brother of US education secretary Betsy DeVos, failed to disclose the meeting under oath to the House intelligence committee, according to a public transcript.

    According to The New York Times, Mr Prince organised the August 2016 meeting with Mr Trump’s eldest son and Lebanese-American businessman George Nader, who reportedly revealed Saudi Arabia and the UAE wanted to help Mr Trump in his bid for the presidency.

    The meeting also reportedly included Stephen Miller, now Mr Trump’s senior policy adviser, and an Israeli social media expert called Joel Zamel.

    During the devastating televised interview with Al Jazeera' Mehdi Hasan, which was aired on Friday, Mr Prince acknowledged the meeting happened, but said he was not asked about contacts with the Trump campaign by the House committee.

    Facing intense and meticulous interrogation from Hasan, he later changed tack, suggesting he did reveal the meeting during the testimony to lawmakers.

    According to the transcript, Republican congressman Tom Rooney asked Mr Prince, “So there was no other formal communications or contact with the campaign?” in reference to the Trump campaign.

    Mr Prince replied: “Correct.”

    Pressed by Mr Hasan, Mr Prince suggested they “may have got the transcript wrong”, to audible laughs from the studio audience.

    “I don’t know, I certainly remember discussing it with the investigators,” Mr Prince added.

    Ted Lieu, a congressman for California and a frequent Trump critic, shared footage of the interview on Twitter, and wrote: “Sure looks like Erik Prince committed perjury.”

    A former special counsel at the Department of Defense, Ryan Goodman, tweeted: “Now seems obvious that Erik Prince lied to Congress about Aug 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Don Jr.”

    Mr Prince’s comments are the first time anyone reportedly involved in the meeting has publicly spoken out about it, and the first suggestion it could have been about Iran.

    The New York Times reported Mr Nader was offering “help” on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to Mr Trump’s candidacy, while Mr Zemel touted a proposal by his company to assist the campaign using social media manipulation.

    lawyer for Donald Trump Jr told the newspaper last year his client “recalls” a meeting involving Mr Prince and Mr Nader about a “social media platform or marketing strategy”.

    “He was not interested and that was the end of it,” he added.

    Blackwater, which Mr Prince sold in 2010, made headlines three years earlier when its mercenaries killed 17 unarmed civilians in Iraq when they opened fire in a crowded square in Baghdad.

    Since Blackwater’s creation, the company has been awarded billions of dollars in US government security contracts, as well as hundreds of millions in classified contracts from the CIA.

    Mr Prince has been contacted for comment.

  11. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Manafort’s 47 Months: A Sentence That Drew Gasps From Around the Country
    March 8, 2019

    Judge T.S. Ellis III praised the character of Paul Manafort, saying he “lived an otherwise blameless life.”

    WASHINGTON — Judge T.S. Ellis III offered some pointed advice for those who expected him to throw the book at President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, for perpetrating a decade-long, multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.

    “Go and spend a day in the jail or penitentiary of the federal government,” Judge Ellis said on Thursday night from the bench in the United States District Court in Alexandria, Va. “Spend a week there. He has to spend 47 months.”

    Judge Ellis dismissed as “vindictive” and “way out of whack” sentencing guidelines that recommended a prison term of 19 to 24 years for Mr. Manafort, 69.

    But to more than a few legal experts, it was Judge Ellis’s sentence that was out of whack. They cited it as a glaring example of the leniency that wealthy white-collar criminals often receive because they have the money to defend themselves or because judges find it easier to empathize with them.

    “There are a lot of defendants who are going to prison for a lot longer for offenses that are far less serious,” said Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor who specialized in financial crimes. “This sentence is leaving me and a lot of people who do this every day scratching our heads.”

    By some calculations, with credit for the nine months he has already spent in jail, plus a break included in a sentencing law just approved by Congress, Mr. Manafort could serve out Judge Ellis’s sentence in just 22 months.

    The judge had predicted some pushback, but he may not have expected how his decision reverberated around the nation, provoking a social media firestorm that swept up public defenders, prosecutors and ordinary citizens. William N. Nettles, a former United States attorney in South Carolina, called Judge Ellis’s decision “sentencing disparity on steroids.”

    “How in the world can we make sense of the sentences that we have been handing down to the poor and to those people of color who didn’t have nearly the opportunities that Paul Manafort had to make an honest living?” asked Mr. Nettles, who was an Obama administration appointee.

    Scott Hechinger, a public defender in Brooklyn and a pithy presence on criminal justice on Twitter, made a similar point. “For context on Manafort’s 47 months in prison, my client yesterday was offered 36-72 months in prison for stealing $100 worth of quarters from a residential laundry room,” he wrote.

    Many legal experts criticize sentencing guidelines as unduly punitive. But in four out of five criminal cases, sentences fall within or above the guideline range, unless the government specifically requests a lighter punishment. In Mr. Manafort’s case, prosecutors recommended no specific punishment, but said the range of 19 to 24 years had been rightly calculated.

    Rachel E. Barkow, a former member of the United States Sentencing Commission, said she had expected Mr. Manafort’s punishment to fall below the guidelines. In fraud cases, the recommended penalty can skyrocket depending on the amount of money involved, she said, leading many judges to opt for a lighter sentence.

    Mr. Manafort’s lawyers played on Judge Ellis’s distaste for special counsels, insisting that their client had been unfairly pursued by prosecutors.

    But Judge Ellis cut the punishment far more drastically than she expected, said Ms. Barkow, a law professor at New York University.

    Judge Ellis said the guidelines for Mr. Manafort’s crimes were distorted by a 2017 decision by the Justice Department that increased the recommended punishment for failing to disclose a foreign bank account, which was one of eight counts Mr. Manafort was convicted of after a lengthy jury trial in his courtroom. He also noted that he had sentenced another defendant who had hidden $200 million in overseas accounts and evaded $18 million in taxes to only seven months in prison, plus restitution.

    Greg D. Andres, the lead prosecutor on the case, argued that Mr. Manafort was different because the jury had found him guilty not only of hiding his wealth and evading $6 million in taxes, but also of deceiving banks to obtain millions of dollars in loans. The two bank fraud counts were the most serious charges he was convicted of, each carrying a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

    Mr. Andres also urged Judge Ellis to take the broader picture of Mr. Manafort’s behavior into account, including the crimes he admitted to as part of his plea agreement in a related case in Washington. Mr. Manafort acknowledged he was guilty of 10 other felonies on which the Virginia jury had deadlocked 11 to 1, including several more counts of bank fraud.

    But Judge Ellis seemed to see Mr. Manafort’s case as more strictly about tax evasion. He noted that one fraudulent loan application was never actually approved, and questioned whether Mr. Manafort had in fact intended to cause that bank a loss when he lied to get another loan. “I don’t know that there’s any other way to defraud a bank and not intend it to lose the money,” Mr. Andres replied.

    Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, said Judge Ellis’s sentence seemed strangely light, especially given that the judge denied every objection raised by Mr. Manafort’s lawyers to the sentencing guidelines. “He refuted all of the arguments of the defense, yet ultimately ruled very much in favor of their client,” Mr. Tobias said.

    He was also struck, he said, by the judge’s praise of Mr. Manafort’s character. “He’s lived an otherwise blameless life,” Judge Ellis said of a man who acknowledged orchestrating a sophisticated financial fraud scheme that lasted a decade. “And he’s also earned the admiration of a number of people.”

    To the very end, Judge Ellis showed his distaste for special counsels. He said the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had the authority to prosecute Mr. Manafort, but “that doesn’t mean that I decided the wisdom or appropriateness of delegating to special prosecutors broad powers.” Judge Ellis cut off a prosecutor as he tried to explain the special counsel’s position on the appropriate fine for Mr. Manafort, admonishing: “That’s the government’s position. I don’t want to hear special counsel.”

    The defense has played on the judge’s sentiments, insisting that Mr. Manafort has been relentlessly pursued for garden-variety crimes only because of his importance to the special counsel’s inquiry into Russian interference in 2016 presidential election. On Thursday, Kevin Downing, Mr. Manafort’s lead lawyer, took up that refrain again, repeatedly saying that a local United States attorney’s office would have handled the case differently.

    In federal court in Washington, where Judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Mr. Manafort next week on two conspiracy charges, that strategy has been noticeably less effective.

    Some legal experts suggested that Mr. Mueller’s team might respond to Judge Ellis’s decision by asking Judge Jackson for a specific sentence on the two conspiracy charges, which each carry a maximum penalty of five years.

    But few expect her to be influenced by the Virginia judge’s decision. “It’s not her job to use her sentence as a moment to correct what she thinks went wrong in this case,” Ms. Barkow said.

    One of the biggest issues remaining for Mr. Manafort is whether he will be allowed to serve out his two sentences simultaneously. Prosecutors have taken no stand on that so far, but indicated in a sentencing memorandum that they might do so after Judge Ellis’s decision.
  12. Sanlaven

    Sanlaven TZT Abuser

    Post Count:
    Reagan judge

    “Otherwise blameless life” lol
  13. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard

    Post Count:
    Pauly M gonna do that time standing on his head
  14. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is ‘not a state of all its citizens’
    PM has been accused of demonising Israeli Arabs in lead-up to April election
    10 Mar 2019

    Benjamin Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting Israel was the ‘nation state only of the Jewish people’.

    Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel is “not a state of all its citizens”, in a reference to the country’s Arab population.

    In comments on Instagram, the prime minister went on to say all citizens, including Arabs, had equal rights, but he referred to a deeply controversial law passed last year declaring Israel the nation state of the Jewish people.

    “Israel is not a state of all its citizens,” he wrote in response to criticism from an Israeli actor, Rotem Sela. “According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people – and only it.

    “As you wrote, there is no problem with the Arab citizens of Israel. They have equal rights like all of us and the Likud government has invested more in the Arab sector than any other government,” he said of his rightwing party.

    As the comments caused waves in Israel, Netanyahu again spoke of the issue at the start of a cabinet meeting. He called Israel a “Jewish, democratic state” with equal rights, but “the nation state not of all its citizens but only of the Jewish people”.

    Netanyahu has been accused of demonising Israeli Arabs, who make up about 17% of the population, in an attempt to boost rightwing turnout in elections due on 9 April.

    He has continually warned that his opponents will receive the support of Arab parties and that they will make significant concessions to the Palestinians.

    Netanyahu, under threat of indictment for corruption, is facing a tough challenge from a centrist political alliance led by Benny Gantz, a former military chief of staff, and Yair Lapid, an ex-finance minister.

    The alliance’s centrist positions and its security credentials – it includes three former military chiefs of staff – have helped it beat back Netanyahu’s claims that its leaders are “weak” leftists.

    Arab parties would be extremely unlikely to be part of any coalition government after elections.

    Arab Israelis are Palestinians who remained on their land after the 1948 creation of Israel and are largely supportive of the Palestinian cause.

    Netanyahu leads what is seen as the most rightwing government in Israel’s history and says he wants a similar coalition after the upcoming polls.
  15. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Schiff: Erik Prince 'certainly not telling the truth' about House testimony
    March 10, 2019

    Washington (CNN)House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said President Donald Trump's associate Erik Prince was not truthful in a recent interview about his testimony before Congress.

    The assertion from Schiff raised further questions about Prince's testimony and the potential that he misled House investigators.

    Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is best known for founding the security firm Blackwater, and in recent years, he has engendered further controversy over his ties to Trump.

    He appeared before the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017 and came under fire by Democrats following his testimony for possibly misleading Congress about a meeting he had with a Russian banker in the Seychelles islands.

    The New York Times later reported about a meeting Prince organized with Donald Trump Jr. and others in Trump Tower ahead of the 2016 election, and Prince acknowledged the meeting in a recent interview with Mehdi Hasan on Al Jazeera.

    But when asked in that interview why he did not disclose the meeting before Congress, Prince claimed he did tell investigators about it. Pressed on the issue, Prince said, "I don't know if they got the transcript wrong," referring to the publicly available transcript from the committee of his testimony.

    Schiff, however, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Prince was "certainly not telling the truth in that interview."

    "There's nothing wrong with our transcript," Schiff said. "There was nothing wrong with the reporter who transcribed his testimony. He did not disclose that meeting to our committee."

    Schiff said Prince's comments in the interview looked "inconsistent" with his testimony before the House panel and noted that special counsel Robert Mueller could review Prince's testimony as well.

    "Bob Mueller will have to make the decision about whether that rises to the level of deliberate falsehood," Schiff said. Mueller has been aggressive about prosecuting Trump associates who lied to the FBI or Congress.

    For his part, Prince has denied wrongdoing and said last year he had "cooperated" with Mueller.

    CNN has reached out to Frontier Services Group, a company that lists Prince as its executive director, for comment.

    Prince never officially worked for the Trump campaign, transition or administration. But he is a prominent Trump supporter and donated $250,000 to pro-Trump efforts during the 2016 campaign, according to federal election commission records.

    Prince spent time around senior Trump officials during the transition and continued informally advising the Trump White House on some major foreign policy decisions.
  16. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Robert Mueller Not-So-Subtly Nudges D.C. Judge to Throw the Book at Paul Manafort
    March 11th, 2019

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s office submitted a filing in Washington, D.C. federal court on Monday ahead of Paul Manafort‘s sentencing for his money laundering case. Manafort pleaded guilty in D.C. after a jury found him guilty in a related case in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA). It seems pretty clear Mueller wants the former Trump campaign chair to face a tougher punishment than he just received in the EDVA case.

    In an “I’m-just-gonna-leave-this-here” move, Mueller’s prosecutors Andrew Weissmann, Jeannie Rhee, and Greg Andres filed a one-paragraph status report with D.C. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, saying:

    The United States of America, by and through Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III, files this status report to apprise the Court of a recent development in United States v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr., No. 1:18-cr-83 (E.D. Va.) that is pertinent to this Court’s upcoming sentencing decision. Attached to this status report as Exhibit A is the transcript from the sentencing hearing on March 7, 2019.

    Mueller’s team then attaches the 96-page transcript of Manafort’s sentencing hearing, where Judge T.S. Ellis III went far below the sentencing guidelines, giving Manafort a punishment of just 47 months for his tax and bank fraud case.

    The Special Counsel’s Office prosecutors did not provide any argument or request in their filing, simply stating that Manafort’s sentencing in the EDVA case is “pertinent” to Judge Jackson’s sentencing decision, which is expected to be announced on Wednesday.

    Manafort faces up to ten years in prison in the D.C. case, for conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice, in a case where he was accused of laundering money he earned while working in Ukraine, as well as witness tampering.

    With the light sentence in the EDVA case, where Manafort had faced up to 24 years and got less than four, Mueller and his team are clearly hoping that Jackson will issue a sentence on the higher end in the D.C. case, or at least make this sentence run consecutive to the sentence in the Virginia case.
  17. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Mueller probe already financed through September: officials
    MARCH 11, 2019

    The operations and funding of Mueller’s office were not addressed in the budget requests for the next government fiscal year issued by the White House and Justice Department on Monday because Mueller’s office is financed by the U.S. Treasury under special regulations issued by the Justice Department, the officials said.

    “The Special Counsel is funded by the Independent Counsel appropriation, a permanent indefinite appropriation established in the Department’s 1988 Appropriations Act,” a Justice Department spokesman said.

    There has been increased speculation in recent weeks that Mueller’s team is close to winding up its work and is likely to deliver a report summarizing its findings to Attorney General William Barr any day or week now. Mueller’s office has not commented on the news reports suggesting an imminent release.

    Representatives of key congressional committees involved in Trump-related investigations say they have received no guidance from Mueller’s office regarding his investigation’s progress or future plans.

    The probe, which began in May 2017, is examining whether there were any links or coordination between the Russian government led by Vladimir Putin and the 2016 presidential campaign of Trump, according to an order signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    Critics of the probe, including Trump allies, have suggested the investigation is a misuse of taxpayer funds and should be wrapped up quickly.

    Justice Department documents show that Mueller’s office reported spending around $9 million during the fiscal year which ran from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018. No figures are available for the current fiscal year.

    Ninety days before the beginning of a federal government fiscal year, which starts on Oct. 1, special counsels such as Mueller “shall report to the Attorney General the status of the investigation and provide a budget request for the following year,” according to the regulations.

    Department officials said that under these regulations, a special counsel should request funding for the next fiscal year by the end of June. It is not known if Mueller is preparing such a request for fiscal year 2020.

    Russia has denied meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has said there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and has labeled Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.”
  18. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Mueller says former Trump adviser Flynn's cooperation 'otherwise complete'
    MARCH 12, 2019

    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn has completed his cooperation with the special counsel’s Russia investigation, although he is still aiding another federal probe, according to a court filing on Tuesday.

    The disclosure came in a joint court filing between Flynn’s lawyers and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office in which they asked for another delay in Flynn’s sentencing, citing his ongoing cooperation with the other federal investigation.

    The other investigation is a case brought by prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) against Flynn’s former business partner, Bijan Rafiekian, for unregistered lobbying on behalf of Turkey. Rafiekian has pleaded not guilty and Flynn could be a witness at a trial scheduled to begin in July.

    “While the defendant remains in a position to cooperate with law enforcement authorities, and could testify in the EDVA case should it proceed to trial, in the government’s view his cooperation is otherwise complete,” Mueller wrote in the filing.

    The comment is the latest sign that Mueller may be winding up his 22-month probe into the links between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

    Flynn and Mueller’s office had been given a deadline of March 13 to update U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan about Flynn’s cooperation. The deadline was set in December when Sullivan excoriated Flynn, including by suggesting he may have committed treason, and recommended he put off Flynn’s sentencing until his cooperation was complete and he could get full credit for it.

    In Tuesday’s filing, Flynn’s lawyers asked to report back again to Sullivan in 90 days.

    Flynn has been cooperating with Mueller since pleading guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his conversations in late 2016 with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador in Washington, about U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow by the administration of Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama. The conversations took place between Trump’s November 2016 election victory and his inauguration in January 2017.

    The indictment against Rafiekian accuses him of working with Turkish government officials on a secret plan to return Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is living in exile in Pennsylvania, to Turkey — all without registering as a lobbyist as is required by law.

    Flynn worked with Rafiekian, a former director at the U.S. Export-Import Bank, on that project.
  19. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Trump Warns: It Would Be ‘Very Bad’ if My Police, Biker Gang Fans Decided to Get ‘Tough’ on My Opponents

    President Trump issued a bizarre, indirect warning Monday that his supporters could get “tough” on his political enemies at a “certain point,” in a clip of a Breitbart interview spotted Thursday by The Toronto Star. “You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny,” the president told Breibart’s Matthew Boyle. “I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump–I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
  20. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    House votes 420-0 to make Mueller's report public

    Everyone wants to see the Mueller report. Yes, literally everyone.

    Attorney General William Barr has so far refused to promise to make the contents of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe public — an issue that led most Senate Democrats to oppose his confirmation in the first place. Yet it seems even Republicans are fed up with the secrecy, as the House voted unanimously Thursday on a resolution demanding the report be made public.

    Both sides of the aisle teamed up, voting 420-0 to make Mueller's report on potential ties between President Trump's campaign and Russian election interference available to Congress and the public. Eight members of Congress didn't vote and four Republicans voted "present," but no one voted against the non-binding resolution. The decision can't force Barr to release the entire report to the public or even Congress, prompting some Republicans to say it was a "waste of time," The Washington Post notes. There's also no indication that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will bring it for a vote.

    Still, the resolution serves as an overwhelming reminder to Barr of what many lawmakers want from him. House Democrats have already started their own probe into the Trump campaign and administration, potentially to duplicate and expand on Mueller's or provide what Barr may withhold. Mueller has reportedly been wrapping up his investigation, and is expected to release it to Barr in the next few months.