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The Russia Investigation: Mueller - "Over the course of my career, I've seen a number of challenges to our democracy.The Russian govt's effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious."

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and let me just say...money was almost impossible to follow even 10 years ago.  It was a blackhole and money just plopped out of thin air.  While that's still somewhat true today, the AML prosecutions of the Swiss and Germans, the Panama Papers, and vastly improved technology at the big banks have let the FBI (and others) learn how illicit big money really gets moved around.  So while they may not know the who (LLC and other legal entities are still very opaque on who owns them, etc), the actual money trail today is much easier to follow.  

I've said this before in this thread, but while the Russians know what they are doing to shield who the money comes from, Trump et al are relative amateurs and if there is a money trail, it may take time to unravel, but it can be.  

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3 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:
7 hours ago, cobalt_27 said:

This is absolutely outstanding work (as Maddow discussed with Remnick and @rodg12 eluded to above):

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/06/trump-putin-and-the-new-cold-war

It does less to advance any new material on Russia-Trump as it does explore Putin and Russia's background, our history of policy missteps, and the convergence of every crazy, wild affair to where we are today.  It's a great historical document.

Great read. Makes me question Kerry and Obama a bit more. Putin is dangerous. 

Remnick (New Yorker editor) was on Maddow last night and said while his magazine, the NYT and WaPo - and many other outlets - will stay after it. But there are limits to what investigative journalists can accomplish. Sooner of later this has to make it Congressional investigation or hearings, or it dies on the vine.

Kerry raised the specter of a 9/11 style commission. Obama nixed it because he thought it would politicize the issue. Plus I think they underestimated Trump (as did everyone), it seemed inconceivable Clinton could lose to such a terrible candidate. In the end they probably felt the risk of destabilization & causing distrust in the election process wasn't worth it.

Oops.

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On 2/27/2017 at 9:54 PM, moleculo said:

we can also circle back to that Financial Times article (I think this thread, even) that claimed Russian Mob used Trump Casinos to launder money.  That is, lower level guys (I think), not even the oligarch types.

I just wanted to try to bookmark these somehow since the search function stinks.

These are the FT articles I think you're referring to:

Quote

The FT reports on the DNI report. Among the powerful facts that DNI totally missed were the series of very deep studies published in the FT that examined the structure and history of several major Trump real estate projects from the last decade--the period after his seventh bankruptcy and the cancellation of all his bank lines of credit. What these exposés showed is that Trump pursued the projects hand in glove with Russian mobsters who work closely with Putin's Kremlin, lead by Russia's chief organized crime boss, Semën Mogilievich, and even appointed a number of Mogilievich's capos to management positions in the projects. Also, the money to build these projects flowed almost entirely from Russian sources. In other words, after his business crashed, Trump was floated and made to appear to operate a successful business enterprise through the infusion of hundreds of millions in cash from dark Russian sources. He was their man.
In response to several queries, here are the links to the major FT stories. I understand from a reporter there that two more stories on the same subject are still in the process of finalization and are likely to appear soon:
https://www.ft.com/con…/ea52a678-9cfb-11e6-8324-be63473ce146
https://www.ft.com/con…/33285dfa-9231-11e6-8df8-d3778b55a923
https://www.ft.com/con…/549ddfaa-5fa5-11e6-b38c-7b39cbb1138a

 

Quote

The shadowy Russian émigré touting Trump

US election raises ghosts of cold war-era spy games

 

Quote

FT probe finds evidence a Trump venture has links to alleged laundering network

 

Quote

The Republican nominee became the face of Bayrock, a developer with roots in the Soviet Union

- If you can think of any others that go with this please do so.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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On 2/28/2017 at 8:15 AM, BobbyLayne said:

Remnick (New Yorker editor) was on Maddow last night and said while his magazine, the NYT and WaPo - and many other outlets - will stay after it. But there are limits to what investigative journalists can accomplish. Sooner of later this has to make it Congressional investigation or hearings, or it dies on the vine.

Kerry raised the specter of a 9/11 style commission. Obama nixed it because he thought it would politicize the issue. Plus I think they underestimated Trump (as did everyone), it seemed inconceivable Clinton could lose to such a terrible candidate. In the end they probably felt the risk of destabilization & causing distrust in the election process wasn't worth it.

Oops.

IMO there is a 2 year window fro the Democrats to take over one of the houses of Congress.

Right now the options are:

1. - Let the 3 committees in Congress do their work. One of them, Nunes' House Intelligence Committee, is a joke.

2. - The FBI & IC. It's been reported the FBI alone has 3 investigations.

3. - Special Prosecutor. - Thinking about this some more the problem here may be if there was no true 'crime' involved. Trump types seem to be leaning on that idea right now.

4. - Independent Commission. - This may be the best in the final analysis. Any crimes would come out in teh wash. The main thing should be creating a process for moving forward with any fact finding in a public, non-partisan light.

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4 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

IMO there is a 2 year window fro the Democrats to take over one of the houses of Congress.

Right now the options are:

1. - Let the 3 committees in Congress do their work. One of them, Nunes' House Intelligence Committee, is a joke.

2. - The FBI & IC. It's been reported the FBI alone has 3 investigations.

3. - Special Prosecutor. - Thinking about this some more the problem here may be if there was no true 'crime' involved. Trump types seem to be leaning on that idea right now.

4. - Independent Commission. - This may be the best in the final analysis. Any crimes would come out in teh wash. The main thing should be creating a process for moving forward with any fact finding in a public, non-partisan light.

BTW 2 and 3 don't jive from an logical point of view.  If the FBI is investigating they at least think there is a possibility there is a crime involved.  

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Just now, Sammy3469 said:

BTW 2 and 3 don't jive from an logical point of view.  If the FBI is investigating they at least think there is a possibility there is a crime involved.  

Good point, I agree.

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The Sam Harris podcast with David Frum is worth a listen, as he brings the Russia stuff into focus in a very simple but effective way -- he said the Trump-Russia connection contains a good number of secrets, but few mysteries. Meaning the specifics of the conspiracies & transactions may be opaque but the connection is clearly there for all to see, as he clearly & concisely details all of the known Trump-Russia material that has been shown before plus some I wasn't aware of or hadn't considered enough in this context. For those still possessing sanity & reason, a pretty damning indictment imo. 

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Looks like Nunes folded a little and the House Intelligence Committee will investigate the ties, though it looks like they'll defer to the FBI on some things...meaning the FBI is investigating.

Also, MSNBC has a show on at 9 tonight and the WH was told to preserve all records.

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17 minutes ago, Sammy3469 said:

Looks like Nunes folded a little and the House Intelligence Committee will investigate the ties, though it looks like they'll defer to the FBI on some things...meaning the FBI is investigating.

Also, MSNBC has a show on at 9 tonight and the WH was told to preserve all records.

Tweet containing the statement about the investigation...

https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/837097496333672449

 

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1 minute ago, Sammy3469 said:

This is breadcrumbs for Congressional investigators. 

Obama administration was playing 4D chess

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7 minutes ago, Sammy3469 said:

Boom...Dutch and British intelligence have info on Trump associates meeting with Russians across Europe and we apparently have signals intercepts from within the Kremlin as well

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/us/politics/obama-trump-russia-election-hacking.html?referer=

Quote

More than a half-dozen current and former officials described various aspects of the effort to preserve and distribute the intelligence, and some said they were speaking to draw attention to the material and ensure proper investigation by Congress. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified information, nearly all of which remains secret, making an independent public assessment of the competing Obama and Trump administration claims impossible.

Drip drip drip. 

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Just want to say thanks for all the links, folks.  I'm trying to not get my hopes up because it would suck for nothing to happen.  It's looking worse (for Trump, better for America) with each article you guys post though.

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36 minutes ago, McGarnicle said:

The Sam Harris podcast with David Frum is worth a listen, as he brings the Russia stuff into focus in a very simple but effective way -- he said the Trump-Russia connection contains a good number of secrets, but few mysteries. Meaning the specifics of the conspiracies & transactions may be opaque but the connection is clearly there for all to see, as he clearly & concisely details all of the known Trump-Russia material that has been shown before plus some I wasn't aware of or hadn't considered enough in this context. For those still possessing sanity & reason, a pretty damning indictment imo.

Frum stresses how important it is to have an independent commission instead of/in concert with a special prosecutor. He was also generally pessimistic about the situation, he made it sound like Trump was more likely than not to get away with it.

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27 minutes ago, rodg12 said:

Tweet containing the statement about the investigation...

https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/837097496333672449

 

I would not get your hopes up.  The GOP will use its majority status to focus on the last bullet point - leaks of classified information.  They will decide quickly enough there is not enough evidence of Russian involvement in the election, or with Trump's campaign

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On 2/28/2017 at 0:04 AM, cobalt_27 said:

This is absolutely outstanding work (as Maddow discussed with Remnick and @rodg12 eluded to above):

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/06/trump-putin-and-the-new-cold-war

It does less to advance any new material on Russia-Trump as it does explore Putin and Russia's background, our history of policy missteps, and the convergence of every crazy, wild affair to where we are today.  It's a great historical document.

The authior of this article was on NPR this evening.

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7 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

I would not get your hopes up.  The GOP will use its majority status to focus on the last bullet point - leaks of classified information.  They will decide quickly enough there is not enough evidence of Russian involvement in the election, or with Trump's campaign

The evidence of his camp meeting with Russians in Europe is pretty damning.  Hard to sweep that under the rug, though they may try.

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Aside from Trump and his associates, there also needs to be an investigation into every member of congress that ran interference on an investigation. What were they trying to hide?

Edited by Bucky86

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11 minutes ago, SameSongNDance said:

Frum stresses how important it is to have an independent commission instead of/in concert with a special prosecutor. He was also generally pessimistic about the situation, he made it sound like Trump was more likely than not to get away with it.

I haven't seen anything thus far that gives me optimism otherwise.

Frum also gives a good explanation of our lax bribery laws and how hard it is to prove quid pro quo. Trump will likely profit in the billions off of his presidency.

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1 minute ago, rodg12 said:

The evidence of his camp meeting with Russians in Europe is pretty damning.  Hard to sweep that under the rug, though they may try.

They'll try but at a minimum the European press will pick this up now since there are elections in Holland, France, and Germany this year.  Make no mistake the reference to British and Dutch intelligence by these sources was intentional.

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As much as I like chaos - I think people may be reading too much into "meetings between Trump associates and Russian officials"

First, the article concedes that "russian officials" is a very nebulous term - where someone who is not officially a government official still reports to Putin - back channel.  Second, many of Trump "associates" have independent Russian business dealings - nothing yet to suggest any meeting was for anything other than business.  And, third, why would the Russian Government need to meet with Trump Associates?  That seems unnecessarily sloppy - on the Russian's part. 

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Treason is punishable by death, right? 

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Oh and the signals intelligence from inside the Kremlin was thrown in to tell Congress critters and our press what to press for.

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6 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

As much as I like chaos - I think people may be reading too much into "meetings between Trump associates and Russian officials"

First, the article concedes that "russian officials" is a very nebulous term - where someone who is not officially a government official still reports to Putin - back channel.  Second, many of Trump "associates" have independent Russian business dealings - nothing yet to suggest any meeting was for anything other than business.  And, third, why would the Russian Government need to meet with Trump Associates?  That seems unnecessarily sloppy - on the Russian's part. 

 Why would Russia care if one of the major candidates in the US election gets caught meeting with them, if turmoil and delegitimization are the point?

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Sessions spoke twice with Russian ambassador during Trump's presidential campaign, Justice officials say

Quote

 

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.

One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.

The previously undisclosed discussions could fuel new congressional calls for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election. As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, which have been leading investigations into Russian meddling and any links to Trump’s associates. He has so far resisted calls to recuse himself.

 

 

Edited by SameSongNDance
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3 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

As much as I like chaos - I think people may be reading too much into "meetings between Trump associates and Russian officials"

First, the article concedes that "russian officials" is a very nebulous term - where someone who is not officially a government official still reports to Putin - back channel.  Second, many of Trump "associates" have independent Russian business dealings - nothing yet to suggest any meeting was for anything other than business.  And, third, why would the Russian Government need to meet with Trump Associates?  That seems unnecessarily sloppy - on the Russian's part. 

 

Quote

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Mr. Trump’s associates.

- Now, this is a specific claim in the Steele dossier. It seems important if it is proved true. Business contacts do seem natural or normal - but only if they were indeed true business contacts meeting.

- It's a good question why they would feel the need to do that.

Reasons I can think of are: avoiding eavesdropping, delivery of letters personally, and open strategy discussion, far, far away from US press or IC.

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6 minutes ago, SameSongNDance said:
Quote

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.

 

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1 minute ago, rodg12 said:

Holy ####.  Get that corrupt ##### out as Attorney General right now.

Don't worry, the Senate will be all over this. Patriots, every last one.

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2 minutes ago, rodg12 said:

Holy ####.  Get that corrupt ##### out as Attorney General right now.

Ah...he didn't think talking to home was important, so it's all good.

 

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1 minute ago, Sammy3469 said:

Ah...he didn't think talking to home was important, so it's all good.

 

Yep.  Only member of the Armed Services committee to talk to him.  Totally not important.

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7 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

Whoah. And didn't disclose during hearings.

Quote

 

At his Jan. 10 Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign.

“I’m not aware of any of those activities,” he responded. He added: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Officials said Sessions did not consider the conversations relevant to the lawmakers’ questions and did not remember in detail what he discussed with Kislyak.

“There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer,” said Sarah Isgur Flores, Sessions’s spokeswoman.


 

It's just really hard for me to believe that all of these stooges would lie and cover #### up to this degree if they weren't guilty. What other possible motivation is there?

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1 minute ago, Henry Ford said:

 Why would Russia care if one of the major candidates in the US election gets caught meeting with them, if turmoil and delegitimization are the point?

I don't know - it really depends on Russia's end game here.  Destabilizing the US is not the end game- its just one piece on the board.

I think people should be thinking about this from Russia's perspective, and try to understand where they are going here.  Its unlikely to be much of a land grab - they already grabbed the important piece - Crimea.

I have to think there is really only one of two possible motives here.  First, seems petty, but can not be ruled out.  That would be to see the US suffer the same type of economic consequences Russia suffered at the end of the Cold War - pure revenge angle.

The second, and probably more likely, motive is Russia is positioning itself to be a world economic super power.  Russia seems to be moving pieces in place to exploit its gas and oil resources.  They need a few things to fall their way - namely the US to remove sanctions to allow western countries in to harvest more oil.  Russia also wants to corner the market on gas supplies to Europe - via its ports in Crimea, Syria, and with a pipeline through a now friendly Turkey.  I think Russia still wants to move OPEC off the US$, but does not yet have the clout.  That is where an increased Russian presence and a US in disarray could be a factor.  If that all happened, Russia and China would be the major global players, and Europe and Asia would have to fall in line with their leadership.

 

So - why would Russia interfere in the election?  Why would they leave breadcrumbs if they simply wanted to influence the election via wiki-leaks.  Outside of owing money to Russia Oligarchs/Putin/Mafia - why would Trump get involved, other than taking advantage of the leaks?

 

A lot of questions, and I doubt we get satisfactory answers to many of them. 

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Completely shocking to me that both the NYTimes and Post have major stories tonight.  It's almost like the IC knows what it's doing.

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1 minute ago, Sinn Fein said:

I don't know - it really depends on Russia's end game here.  Destabilizing the US is not the end game- its just one piece on the board.

I think people should be thinking about this from Russia's perspective, and try to understand where they are going here.  Its unlikely to be much of a land grab - they already grabbed the important piece - Crimea.

I have to think there is really only one of two possible motives here.  First, seems petty, but can not be ruled out.  That would be to see the US suffer the same type of economic consequences Russia suffered at the end of the Cold War - pure revenge angle.

The second, and probably more likely, motive is Russia is positioning itself to be a world economic super power.  Russia seems to be moving pieces in place to exploit its gas and oil resources.  They need a few things to fall their way - namely the US to remove sanctions to allow western countries in to harvest more oil.  Russia also wants to corner the market on gas supplies to Europe - via its ports in Crimea, Syria, and with a pipeline through a now friendly Turkey.  I think Russia still wants to move OPEC off the US$, but does not yet have the clout.  That is where an increased Russian presence and a US in disarray could be a factor.  If that all happened, Russia and China would be the major global players, and Europe and Asia would have to fall in line with their leadership.

 

So - why would Russia interfere in the election?  Why would they leave breadcrumbs if they simply wanted to influence the election via wiki-leaks.  Outside of owing money to Russia Oligarchs/Putin/Mafia - why would Trump get involved, other than taking advantage of the leaks?

 

A lot of questions, and I doubt we get satisfactory answers to many of them. 

Don't forget they thought Hillary would win like everyone else.  Trumps involved because so much of his wealth is tied to the oligarchs including Putin.

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1 minute ago, Sinn Fein said:

I don't know - it really depends on Russia's end game here.  Destabilizing the US is not the end game- its just one piece on the board.

I think people should be thinking about this from Russia's perspective, and try to understand where they are going here.  Its unlikely to be much of a land grab - they already grabbed the important piece - Crimea.

I have to think there is really only one of two possible motives here.  First, seems petty, but can not be ruled out.  That would be to see the US suffer the same type of economic consequences Russia suffered at the end of the Cold War - pure revenge angle.

The second, and probably more likely, motive is Russia is positioning itself to be a world economic super power.  Russia seems to be moving pieces in place to exploit its gas and oil resources.  They need a few things to fall their way - namely the US to remove sanctions to allow western countries in to harvest more oil.  Russia also wants to corner the market on gas supplies to Europe - via its ports in Crimea, Syria, and with a pipeline through a now friendly Turkey.  I think Russia still wants to move OPEC off the US$, but does not yet have the clout.  That is where an increased Russian presence and a US in disarray could be a factor.  If that all happened, Russia and China would be the major global players, and Europe and Asia would have to fall in line with their leadership.

 

So - why would Russia interfere in the election?  Why would they leave breadcrumbs if they simply wanted to influence the election via wiki-leaks.  Outside of owing money to Russia Oligarchs/Putin/Mafia - why would Trump get involved, other than taking advantage of the leaks?

 

A lot of questions, and I doubt we get satisfactory answers to many of them. 

I'll tell you what I used to tell students in International Trade, Finance, and Banking.  

The history of modern political science is the history of oil.  

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