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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 5:23 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
How/why would Avenatti have access to the financial docs for that shell company?


Good question. It is possible that he got it through discovery in the California lawsuit that he filed on Stormy's behalf to get out the nondisclosure agreement, but I don't think that he had time to do so before the judge stayed that case because of his belief that Cohen is likely to soon be indicted. More likely, he hired a semi-nefarious investigator that managed to find a link in the bank.

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Once again, I'm wondering how Michael Avenatti came to be Stormy Daniels attorney. A pundit asked Avenatti how he came to be on this case and he was cagey about it. I don't think Stormy just happened to hire him by coincidence (or did he approach her?). She thought she had been represented by Keith Richardson.


Who is Keith Richardson? I've not heard that name before. As has just been mentioned, her former lawyer was Keith Davidson, who apparently had numerous interactions with Cohen, in which it appear to my eyes that Davidson did not have his client's best interests at heart. As for how Avenatti became Stormy Daniels' attorney, apparently she realized that she was not being well-represented by Davidson and found someone who would do a better a job. I don't think there is anything more nefarious than that.

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:26 pm 
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Not quite sure what to make of this. The company associated with the Russian oligarch that paid Cohen half a million dollars was also registering alt-right websites during the election season. :scratch:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics ... spartanntp

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 3:00 pm 
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Because of course it was. :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 4:23 pm 
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Daily Beast:
Quote:
Something fishy here.

Novartis paid Cohen $100k-a-month to do…. nothing.

The company paid its actual lobbying firms $12,000-a-month during that same time period.

https://t.co/Wn3Uw1EQSJ


Eta: ProPublica
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New: The Russian oligarch-linked firm that paid Michael Cohen, was also represented by another Trump personal lawyer: Marc Kasowitz https://t.co/RRUmQ42NGZ

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 9:09 pm 
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Giuliani's defense of Cohen and Trump has been shot down by his own (now former) law firm.

Quote:
The law firm that Rudy Giuliani formerly worked for, Greenberg Traurig, released a statement on Thursday rejecting his defense of a $130,000 payment that President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Giuliani, a recent addition to Trump's legal team, has suggested that it's common for lawyers to make secret payments to individuals to keep them quiet the way Cohen paid Daniels over her alleged affair with Trump.

"We cannot speak for Mr. Giuliani with respect to what was intended by his remarks," a spokeswoman for the law firm said in a statement. "Speaking for ourselves, we would not condone payments of the nature alleged to have been made or otherwise without the knowledge and direction of a client."


https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/10/politics ... index.html

It had originally been announced that Giuliani was taking a leave from the firm. Now, not surprisingly, his resignation has been made permanent.

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:57 pm 
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https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/sta ... 0328213504

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News: Judge in Manafort case has DENIED his motion to dismiss special counsel's superseding indictment. The indictment "falls squarely within that portion of the authority granted to the Special Counsel," she writes.


Is that the same judge who was quoted earlier as saying that the investigation is trying to make Manafort sing?

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‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 11:57 pm 
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No, this is the D.C. judge, Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee. The other judge is in Eastern Virginia, T.S. Ellis, a Reagan appointee. I glanced through Jackson's 38-page ruling and it is very comprehensive. It will be difficult for Ellis to make a contrary ruling, much as he might want to.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 3:17 pm 
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Grrrr! I wrote a long post with a lot of information that apparently never posted. Grrr!

One thing that I wrote about was an article written by Ronan Farrow at the New Yorker that revealed that the reason Avenatti had the information about Cohen's financial dealings is that a whistle-blower at the Treasury Department released it because he was concerned that two other suspicious activity reports about Cohen had gone missing from the Treasury Department database. This is potentially an explosive development.

Quote:
Suspicious-activity reports are kept strictly confidential, as a matter of law. “SARs are secret, to protect the government and to protect financial institutions,” the former prosecutor told me. “I don’t think there’s a safe harbor for somebody who discloses it.” According to FinCEN, disclosing a SAR is a federal offense, carrying penalties including fines of up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment for up to five years. The official who released the suspicious-activity reports was aware of the risks, but said fears that the missing reports might be suppressed compelled the disclosure. “We’ve accepted this as normal, and this is not normal,” the official said. “Things that stand out as abnormal, like documents being removed from a system, are of grave concern to me.” Of the potential for legal consequences, the official said, “To say that I am terrified right now would be an understatement.” But, referring to the released report, as well as the potential contents of the missing reports, the official also added, “This is a terrifying time to be an American, to be in this situation, and to watch all of this unfold.”


https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-des ... al-records
(It's worth reading the whole article.)

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 3:25 pm 
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One of the other things that I wrote about was that the New York Times revealed the other day that a Trump campaign worker, John Mashburn, had testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he recalled receiving an email, that he was sure was also sent to other campaign officials, from Popadopoulos, saying that the Russians had damaging information about Hillary Clinton, in the first half of 2016. The problem is no one can find the email. This seems to a pattern of explosive evidence going missing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/15/us/p ... oulos.html

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 3:30 pm 
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One other thing that I wrote about on this, the one year anniversary of Mueller's appointment, is that the Senate Judiciary committee released yesterday thousands of pages of transcripts and other documents about the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Nothing earthshattering has come out, but it gives a fuller a picture of what people were saying about the meeting, and the contradictions between various stories. At the very least, it makes it very clear that Trump, Jr. was ready and willing to collude with the Russians. Their only defense at this point is that the Russians didn't come through with their promised material. Which makes little sense, since they clearly had material, and wanted to use it to help the Trump campaign. There really isn't any question that there was collusion. It just is a question of whether enough evidence can be discovered to actually prosecute anyone for it.

Also, the Senate Intelligence committee put out a bipartisan statement confirming that they (unlike the GOP majority of the House Intelligence committee) found that the Russians did attempt to meddle in the election specifically to help the Trump campaign.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 3:38 pm 
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One more post to cover what I had written in the missing post.

On this one year anniversary of Mueller's appointment (though of course the investigation long predates that), and with all the various stuff going on, our president tweeted: "Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History...and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction. The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!"

:roll:

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 6:05 pm 
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Donald Trump Jr. Called Blocked Number Before and After Trump Tower Meeting With Russians

I wonder if the Mueller team has any way of tracing a blocked number?

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 6:14 pm 
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Ugh. What a tangled web of deceit. It's obvious (to me) that the Trump camp saw the presidency as a means to gain personal influence, power, and wealth. I don't think that family understands what Government 'service' is. They are Trump government for hire.

I heard Trump Jr. said he 'DIdn't remember' 171 times in his testimony about the Russian/Trump tower meeting. Wow. His memory is worse than mine. :P Experts have said that Mueller almost certainly has a way to trace the blocked phone # that was called.

From what I've read there is no such 'crime' of collusion, it would be a conspiracy (?) and that to conspire/actively and knowingly seek out aid/information from a foreign government does not require proof of actually having received aid/information. It is the guess of some experts that the Russians had the damaging information at that meeting but they were waiting for some 'quid' of the 'quid pro quo'.

As for the 2 missing SAR's, it was stated that the earlier reports MAY have been removed by the Mueller team. SAR records are available to tens/hundreds of thousands of law enforcement persons and, although unheard of, critical information that may put national security at risk can be removed. This would make sense to me and I hope it is the case.

As an aside, Ronan Farrow is Mia's son. He looks like her.

As for Trump's complaints about how long this 'witch hunt' is taking, they spent 28 months on Benghazi. This investigation has so many tentacles, the article is correct, it will take years, if not decades, to know all of what is going on with the Trumps/this investigation.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 6:22 pm 
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Does ANYONE with a working brain believe that Don jr. NEVER discussed that meeting with his father? If so, have I got a deal for you!

I don't understand this line from the MSN article:
Quote:
“So can you show us how does this money go to Hillary?” Trump Jr. asked Veselnitskaya, one attendee told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
How does money come into this? I thought it was about Hillary's emails? What is that supposed to mean?


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 6:57 pm 
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Supposedly, Veselnitskaya was offering information about Democratic donors stealing money from Russia. So far as I know, there was no specific mention of Clinton's emails or other emails hacked.

[OT] Ronan is also, at least officially, Woodie Allen's son, though they are completely at odds with each other over allegations that Allen abused Ronan's sister Dylan Farrow, as well as Allen's affair and subsequent marriage to his half-sister, Soon-Yi. Mia has raised the possibility, however, that Ronan's actual biological father was Frank Sinatra. In any event, Ronan is a tremendously brilliant, though troubled, young man who graduated from Bard College at the age of 15, then graduated from Yale Law School and was admitted to the New York Bar, before eventually going into journalism. Among other things, he broke the story about Harvey Weinstein, which he took to the New Yorker when NBC, who he was working for at the time, balked at running it. That led to his Pulitzer Prize. [/OT]

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Democratic donors stealing money from Russia? How did I miss this? Is this in connection with the Uranium deal/conspiracy stuff?

From the MSN article (emphasis mine):
Quote:
After the meeting, Goldstone also bemoaned its fallout. On June 27, 2017—about two weeks before The New York Times broke the news of the meeting—Goldstone emailed Emin to complain.

“That meeting I set up in October with Trump campaign for your father for that Russian attorney and her colleagues is causing massive problems,” Goldstone wrote Emin on June 27, 2017. “I have today been interviewed by attorneys for the second time about it. They are concerned because it links Don Jr. to officials from Russia - which he has always denied meeting. I did say at the time this was an awful idea and a terrible meeting... It’s a really potentially serious situation—so you and your father should be aware.”
It's tidbits like that let us know that Mueller & his team are 2 steps ahead of us (and the media) and that is a very good thing.

[OT]Yes, Ronan seems brilliant. I was aware of his book and his Weinstein story/Pulitzer, but until I saw him on TV I hadn't realized 'who' he was.[/OT]


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 7:53 pm 
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While I agree that the Mueller team is very on the ball, I believe that the attorney's that Goldstone was referring to in June last year were attorneys for the Trump Organization recognizing that the doodoo was about to hit the fan and trying to coordinate everyone's stories.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 6:00 pm 
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Manafort's former son-in-law and business partner, Jeffrey Yohai, had entered into a plea deal in a separate case that requires that he cooperate with investigators, including potentially Mueller's team.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1II2YM

Meanwhile Giuliani, the gift that keeps on giving, gave a 40 minute interview to CNN this morning that included his usual wide range of eye-popping quotes.

Rudy Giuliani's 35 most eyebrow raising quotes in his 40-minute(!) CNN interview

The most significant is his claim that Mueller has agreed to limit the scope of any interview with Trump to two subjects, rather than five. I take that -- as anything that Giuliani says -- with a huge grain of salt.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 6:28 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Meanwhile Giuliani, the gift that keeps on giving, gave a 40 minute interview to CNN this morning that included his usual wide range of eye-popping quotes.

Those two deserve each other.

Quote:
10. " The question of whether there was collusion with the Russians had been resolved in the first investigation by the FBI which "The Times" revealed"
[narrator voice]: They didn't.

Wait; was that an Arrested Development reference? Appropriate, since AD correctly anticipated several aspects of the Trump years (as absurdist comedy, it must be pointed out).


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 6:46 pm 
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What is Giuliani up to? Trump has become his own communications director and uses Giuliani as a mouthpiece. It seems they intentionally concoct these crazy statements as a way of sowing doubt, confusion, and getting their 'alternate facts' established in the court of public opinion. It's what narcissists do. They know people tend to believe the first version of a story they hear in spite of what they may later learn (if they ever bother to take the time to investigate). Trump & Giuliani ... I was going to say something here, but words fail me.


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