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The Russia Investigation: Trump Commutes Stone's Sentence

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Posted (edited)
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“On March 30, Russian leader Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by telephone, the first of five calls between the two over a period of three weeks, a flurry of communication unprecedented during Trump’s 3 1/2 years in office,” reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFERL).

One other aspect of this is the above, and maybe it's just coincidental, since this April 23rd report Trump has been very aggressive in overturning the VOA program, which includes RFEL, which often is a source for Russian diplomatic, intelligence and military scoop out of Europe itself.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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2 hours ago, knowledge dropper said:

"The Pentagon said in a statement late Tuesday evening that it had no corroborating evidence that Russian operatives offered bounties to the Taliban for American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan."

I read this like four times. Checked my calendar. This story was published on Monday, June 29. Why does it say "statement late Tuesday evening..."? Even better, why hasn't that been corrected if it's supposed to be late Monday evening? 

I've been working from home for a long time and have lost track of days. For a second there I thought "Is today Wednesday already?"

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12 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

One other aspect of this is the above, and maybe it's just coincidental, since this April 23rd report Trump has been very aggressive in overturning the VOA program, which includes RFEL, which often is a source for Russian diplomatic, intelligence and military scoop out of Europe itself.

my birthday keeps popping up for some reason.

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2 hours ago, whoknew said:

“The Department of Defense continues to evaluate intelligence that Russian GRU operatives were engaged in malign activity against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports," aid Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.

--

What does this mean?

What part is confusing to you?

They continue to evaluate the intelligence, but they have no evidence to validate the NYT story that Russia was offering bounties.

The NSA has also come out to say they have no information on Russian bounties either. 

 

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1 hour ago, sho nuff said:

Nothing good comes out of the Conservative Treehouse

This simply isn’t true. Not at all.

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33 minutes ago, Max Power said:

What part is confusing to you?

They continue to evaluate the intelligence, but they have no evidence to validate the NYT story that Russia was offering bounties.

The NSA has also come out to say they have no information on Russian bounties either. 

 

1) What does "engaged in malign activities" mean?

2) To what recent allegations are they specifically referring?

3) What are the open-source reports?

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Max Power said:

What part is confusing to you?

They continue to evaluate the intelligence, but they have no evidence to validate the NYT story that Russia was offering bounties.

The NSA has also come out to say they have no information on Russian bounties either. 

 

Yep: https://www.wsj.com/articles/nsa-differed-from-cia-others-on-russia-bounty-intelligence-11593534220

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, the moops said:

Was listening to Lawfare Podcast yesterday. Had the author of The Demagogue's Playbook on. Was a fascinating listen. The description of a demagogue was so spot on it was scary. I can't remember the exact wordage, but wikipedia has a list of methods by which demagogues have manipulated and incited crowds throughout history.

And holy #### is this Trump in a nutshell or what?

Scapegoating

Fearmongering

Lying

Emotional oratory and personal charisma

Accusing opponents of weakness and disloyalty

Promising the impossible

Violence and physical intimidation

Personal insults and ridicule

Vulgarity and outrageous behavior

Folksy posturing

Gross oversimplification

Attacking the news media

This is the most beautiful, easiest, list ever.  I would do it but I'm just a regular working man trying to make ends meet.  I'm not a politician.  All while democrats and the press want to take your freedom "flaky" Moops!

Edited by Green Balloons

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Max Power said:

The NSA has also come out to say they have no information on Russian bounties either. 

That's not what O'Brien said.  The NSA used the same weird language that SOD did, referring to not confirming the reports in the press as opposed to what the IC/Pentagon has learned while also saying they are taking steps to counteract against this thing which they just said the sentence before did not exist.

Note also both PNSA and SOD use the qualifier "recent" as to the reports from the press as what they're referring to.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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Heard an interview with Rep Gallegos who was in the briefing to Democrats this morning. He obviously couldn’t go into details but talked about being disturbed that Trump needs his briefings to be filtered to keep news from him that would upset him. From that I would guess that means that he wasn’t verbally told about it. And perhaps they slipped it into his written briefing believing that he would not read it. I believe that’s what they were told, i don’t know if it’s the truth.

There are plenty of questions to be answered like:

Why the separate briefings for each party? That only adds to the doubt they the Democrats got the full story.

Why the numerous calls to Putin following the date he was supposedly given the information, especially the unreported ones? And why did he come out of the calls looking to do favors for Russia?

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2 hours ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

That's not what O'Brien said.  The NSA used the same weird language that SOD did, referring to not confirming the reports in the press as opposed to what the IC/Pentagon has learned while also saying they are taking steps to counteract against this thing which they just said the sentence before did not exist.

Note also both PNSA and SOD use the qualifier "recent" as to the reports from the press as what they're referring to.

The fix is in. 

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1 hour ago, Biff84 said:

Why the separate briefings for each party? That only adds to the doubt they the Democrats got the full story.

I suspect this is fairly common - ideally you would want the Gang of 8 briefed at the same time - so there is a bi-partisan message delivered.

But, in the age of Coronavirus - smaller briefings were inevitable. (And I bet Obama WH held separate briefings for groups of Dems and GOPers at one time or another)  And, the GOP briefing would have been slightly different - more talking points style in terms of how to address the allegations in the media.  The Dems were probably more contentious - and with everyone there, that does become less productive.

 

I think the biggest red flag for me is that the briefings for both groups were delivered by White House officials, and not intelligence officials.  Congress on both sides should have heard from intel on the nature of the claims, and why they are, or are not believable, and what, if anything is being done to verify the claims.

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Interesting history lesson   


https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/06/30/the-insufferable-and-political-media-stupidity-around-the-russian-bounty-narrative/

 

The Insufferable and Political Media Stupidity Around “The Russian Bounty” Narrative…

Posted by sundance

In case you might have missed the latest faux-controversy assigned by political operatives to the media narrative engineers, the issue surrounds leaked sketchy intelligence reports, to the New York Times, claiming Russians were willing to pay Taliban members to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.  The evidence provided by the Timesincludes:

(New York Times Graphic Source)

From this tenuous evidence footnoted with “according to multiple officials familiar with the intelligence”, democrat operatives in media desperately clutch their pearls and stake out another batch of apoplexy claiming President Trump is not doing anything about it.

Setting aside for the moment that nothing claimed by media or the DNC political operatives in/around capitol hill has any substantive intelligence to prove the claim, let’s first look at the underlying premise: ‘Russians are paying the Taliban to kill American soldiers.’

First, obviously these same voices need to ignore that in 2010 Iran was paying insurgent fighters in multiple fields of combat including Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, to kill Americans. Those well-documented examples must be overlooked because despite the overwhelming evidence the Obama administration paid Iran over $170 billion in cash and entered a nuclear deal with them.  Once again, in order to retain their left-wing political position the media must pretend not to know things.

Iranian bounties on American soldiers during the 2010 Obama administration were rewarded. Contrast that against unsubstantiated rumors of Russian bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan in 2020 being the most horrific and alarming situation in history.

It was reported in 2010 that five Iranian companies were winning construction contracts in Afghanistan funded with foreign aid. The money was sent back to Iran via the underground hawala money transfer networks and was used to pay Taliban fighters $200 per month. If they kill a U.S. soldier, they get a $1,000 bonus and a $6,000 bonus for the destruction of a military vehicle. Bounties began being offered as early as February 2005, when a U.S. government document reported that Iran was offering $1,470 for the killing of Afghan soldiers and $3,841 for the death of Afghan officials.

Taliban and similar terrorists are also trained in Iran and are paid for their time. Hundreds go to Zahedan in the winter. The first month is focused on learning how to attack convoys without getting captured. Improvised explosive devices (IED) are the trade taught in the second month. In the last month, attacks on military outposts are simulated.  (LINK)

Again, ignoring that Iran also funds Hezbollah, which involves payments for the killing of U.S. and allied western soldiers, the politics of the narrative engineers are so hypocritical they are choking.

Additionally, when Russia invaded Afghanistan, guess who was paying the Mujahideen to kill Russians?  Yup, that would be USA.  Not only did we pay the Mujahideen (the early Taliban) to kill Russians, we also supplied all the arms and munitions they needed to do it.  The U.S. were paying bounty for the killing of Russians.  Hypocrisy much.

Decades later, when U.S. President George W Bush invaded Iraq, again we put bounties on the heads of Iraq commanding officers we wanted to kill or capture.  Anyone remember the paying cards with the faces and names of the targets?

Oh, and lets not forget the billions that President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta spent on bounties in Libya and Syria where we gave money and weapons to al-Qaeda factions to kill Libyan and Syrian soldiers.

All bounties are not created equal I guess.

The entire argument underpinning the pretext of the claim is ridiculous.  However, what’s even more ridiculous is how the media has to set aside all prior information and all pretense of journalism in order to sell a narrative that, even if true, is nothing more than a continuation of proxy war fighting where the U.S has been the largest financial player in history.

Does Russia pay elements, possibly Taliban in Afghanistan, to maintain a forceful position against the U.S.?  Hell, I would certainly think the answer is yes.  Why should Russia be more magnanimous to our Afghanistan boondoggle than we were to theirs?

Does Russia pay the Taliban directly to kill Americans?  There is no direct evidence supporting that claim; and specifically the U.S. intelligence apparatus including the NSA, CIA, NSC and ODNI have said there’s no such direct evidence; but that’s not really the point is it.

Even if there was direct evidence that Russia was offering bounties against U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, how is that different from Iran offering bounties against U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan during the Obama administration?

The entire premise of the outrage is ridiculous; and too make matters worse the number one facilitator of U.S. bounties paid to kill foreign fighters is Senator Lindsey Graham.

FUBAR.

Ayman Al Zawahiri and Osam Bin Laden

Mohamed Al Zawahiri was on the CTH radar since his release from prison in March 2011 during the Egyptian Islamist uprising.   The interim “governing” Egyptian leaders released Mohamed Al Zawahiri after they permitted the Muslim Brotherhood to re-organize following 30 years of banishment.   The Brotherhood then opened the jails to release all the Hosni Mubarak captured prisoners.

Mohamed al Zawahiri was the guy who coordinated and called for the protests at the U.S. embassy in Cairo September 11, 2012.  He is also the guy who coordinated with the Benghazi rebels in 2011 to assist their uprising against Libyan leader Qaddafi.

President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta paid these guys.

Mohamed planned to coordinate efforts in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Libya, Tunisia and Turkey toward al-Qaeda North Africa (AQIM).  Meanwhile his brother, Ayman al Zawahiri, continued the same efforts in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, while aligned with AQAP (al-Qaeda Arabian Peninsular).

In 1999, security forces picked up Mohamed Al Zawahiri in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he had settled with his family and was working as an engineer for a construction company.

He claims UAE authorities tortured him for four months — at the behest of the CIA — in an attempt to extract information about his brother. During that time, Zawahiri says, he offered to mediate between his brother and the West, something he believes could have prevented the Sept.11 attacks, but his overtures were rebuffed by UAE officials.

In 1999, he was extradited to Egypt to face terrorism charges related to Sadat’s assassination and conspiracy to topple the regime — charges he denies, but he was jailed by Mubarak in Egypt.   He was later acquitted upon appeal, but Mubarak refused to let him leave prison.   He remained in jail until March of 2011 when he was released.

Zawahiri spent the following five years in solitary confinement in Egypt’s notorious underground prisons. There, in a 6-by-6-foot cell with no access to sunlight, he says, he was repeatedly waterboarded, electrocuted, and subjected to sleep deprivation.

His family had no idea where he was, or even if he was alive, until it emerged that the United States wanted his DNA to compare it to a skull found in a cave in Afghanistan — one that might belong to his brother Ayman.

Zawahiri thinks that militant Islamist movements pose a big enough threat that the United States will ultimately yield to his demands. “Hundreds or thousands of attempts may fail, but one can succeed and destroy the Western civilization,” he writes in his proposal, citing al Qaeda’s attempts to obtain weapons of mass destruction and the escalation of violence in Iraq. “The next hit or string of attacks cannot be anticipated. No single group or persons can force themselves to control the situation or prevent it.”

Learn about his approach and his intentions in this article.

Judging by what the “West” has put this guy and his family through, it would be pretty darned difficult to think of him burying the hatchet per se’, without his intention to bury it deep in the psyche of the United States.

Apparently, “we” have created this monster, “we” have hardened him, and subsequently he holds MAJOR street cred with all factions of radical Islam.   This guy is a Martyr in life, he did not need death.  He says “pull the trigger” – everyone shoots.  

Given Mohamed’s  enormous Islamist pulpit, he will leverage influence over multiple varying factions within all of the aforementioned radicals (al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, Taliban, Salafists, Brotherhood etc).

Guess what happened next?…. Yep,  ISIS !

 

 

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1 hour ago, knowledge dropper said:

Posted by sundance

Who is this? My uncle had a yellow lab named Sundance. Sweet dog.

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15 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Who is this? My uncle had a yellow lab named Sundance. Sweet dog.

It’s a film festival but that’s not important right now.  

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23 hours ago, Biff84 said:

Heard an interview with Rep Gallegos who was in the briefing to Democrats this morning. He obviously couldn’t go into details but talked about being disturbed that Trump needs his briefings to be filtered to keep news from him that would upset him. From that I would guess that means that he wasn’t verbally told about it. And perhaps they slipped it into his written briefing believing that he would not read it. I believe that’s what they were told, i don’t know if it’s the truth.

There are plenty of questions to be answered like:

Why the separate briefings for each party? That only adds to the doubt they the Democrats got the full story.

Why the numerous calls to Putin following the date he was supposedly given the information, especially the unreported ones? And why did he come out of the calls looking to do favors for Russia?

This guy?  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruben_Gallego

Dude needs to be POTUS 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

The president's former NSA, at least two generals/admirals, a former general who was also the president's Secretary of Defense - we are being explicitly informed by those who have spent their lives charged with watching national security that the president is a danger to exactly that.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, knowledge dropper said:

Does Russia pay elements, possibly Taliban in Afghanistan, to maintain a forceful position against the U.S.?  Hell, I would certainly think the answer is yes.  ...

Does Russia pay the Taliban directly to kill Americans?  There is no direct evidence supporting that claim; and specifically the U.S. intelligence apparatus including the NSA, CIA, NSC and ODNI have said there’s no such direct evidence...

Redux - anon blogger who absolutely loves Trump and makes up stuff for him all the time, after laying out for 10 paragraphs how the Taliban has a history of taking money for war can't even bring himself (or herself, or themselves, who knows) to deny that yeah the claim they were paid by the Russians is certainly true - though somehow he/she/they feel the need to couch it as "forceful position" but supposedly not so forceful to kill Americans, which is self-contortionism.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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4 hours ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:
6 hours ago, knowledge dropper said:

Posted by sundance

Who is this? My uncle had a yellow lab named Sundance. Sweet dog.

Who taught the dog to write?

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1 minute ago, Green Balloons said:

Who taught the dog to write?

The Sundance I knew would have never written something like that.

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56 minutes ago, Green Balloons said:

Who taught the dog to write?

Dogs being writers would explain a lot from the Conservative Treehouse.

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On 6/29/2020 at 4:19 PM, timschochet said:

This is being contradicted everywhere: the Wall Street Journal, NBC News, Associated Press, the world press- they’re all reporting that there was a major meeting at the NSC to discuss this and that it was considered corroborated. I’m not saying your CBS reporter is wrong (how would I know?) but she certainly seems to be on a ledge by herself. 

The timing, as the US/Afghans discussed a peace deal and defense bills are on the docket, just seems too perfect.  This Andrew Cockburn article I posted a while back discussed how, like magic, there is always some new excuse for the Pentagon budget to increase.  Always some new excuse for more sanctions, more fighter jets, more tomahawk missiles.  These stories leak like clockwork and in the blink of an eye, American liberals and staunch neoconservatives are pounding their chests for Trump to be a bigger hawk toward Russia.  

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Trump Inaugural Committee Ordered to Hand Over Documents to Federal Investigators

Escalating one of the investigations into President Trump’s inaugural committee, federal prosecutors ordered on Monday that its officials turn over documents about donors, finances and activities, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.

The subpoena seeks documents related to all of the committee’s donors and guests; any benefits handed out, including tickets and photo opportunities with the president; federal disclosure filings; vendors; contracts; and more, one of the people said.

The new requests expand an investigation prosecutors opened late last year amid a flurry of scrutiny of the inaugural committee. And they showed that the investigations surrounding Mr. Trump, once centered on potential ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential election, have spread far beyond the special counsel’s office to include virtually all aspects of his adult life: his business, his campaign, his inauguration and his presidency.

In the subpoena, investigators also showed interest in whether any foreigners illegally donated to the committee, as well as whether committee staff members knew that such donations were illegal, asking for documents laying out legal requirements for donations. Federal law prohibits foreign contributions to federal campaigns, political action committees and inaugural funds.

Prosecutors also requested all documents related to vendors and contractors with the inaugural committee, which raised a record $107 million and spent lavishly.

People familiar with the subpoena said prosecutors are interested in potential money laundering as well as election fraud, though it is possible that the prosecutors do not suspect the inaugural committee of such violations. The prosecutors cited those crimes in the subpoena simply as justification for their demand for documents, the people said.

Only one individual was named as part of the subpoena’s demand for documents: Imaad Zuberi, a former fund-raiser for President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton who was seeking inroads with Mr. Trump, and whose company, Avenue Ventures, gave $900,000 to the inaugural committee. The subpoena also seeks documents related to his company.

A spokesman, Steve Rabinowitz, said Mr. Zuberi was unaware of having been named in the subpoena, and noted that he gave “generously and directly” to the inaugural committee, along with many others who donated more.

Another entity that the subpoena seeks documents on is Stripe, which created technology to help process credit card transactions. According to published reports, the company counts Josh Kushner, the brother of Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, among its investors. Josh Kushner is not named in the subpoena, and a spokesman for him declined to comment.

A spokesman for the inaugural committee said it was still reviewing the subpoena and intended to cooperate with the investigation. A spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment. ABC first reported that a subpoena was in the works.

Prosecutors have pursued the possibility that the inaugural committee made false statements to the Federal Election Commission, according to people familiar with the matter. It can be a crime to knowingly make false or fraudulent statements to a federal agency.

The inaugural committee disclosed a list of its donors to the commission, and the prosecutors are examining whether that list is complete and accurate, the person said. If a donor was omitted from the report, prosecutors could take an interest in that, as well.

The inaugural committee’s chairman was Thomas J. Barrack, a close friend of the president’s. Mr. Barrack’s close aide working on the committee was Rick Gates, the former deputy to Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who has been convicted of and pleaded guilty to several crimes in connection with the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Gates has pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to the F.B.I., and has been cooperating with Mr. Mueller’s team for nearly a year.

No one who worked for the committee has been accused of wrongdoing, and a subpoena is an initial step in the inquiry. Mr. Barrack and other inaugural committee officials are not named in it.

The United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn is separately investigating whether inaugural officials helped foreigners illegally funnel donations to Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee using so-called straw donors to disguise their donations, people briefed on that inquiry said.

As part of their own inquiry, the prosecutors in Manhattan are questioning whether foreign nationals illegally donated to Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee.

The Manhattan investigation into the inaugural committee grew out of the investigation into Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer. Mr. Cohen’s case was a referral from Mr. Mueller’s team to Manhattan federal prosecutors.

Mr. Cohen is due to begin a prison sentence next month after pleading guilty last year to a range of crimes, including one campaign finance-related charge in which he implicated the president.

Mr. Cohen has spent more than 70 hours with investigators with the Manhattan prosecutors and Mr. Mueller’s team.

In raids of Mr. Cohen’s office, home and hotel room in April, F.B.I. agents seized his cellphones, which included many dozens of voice recordings, mostly voice mail messages, according to people briefed on the seized material. On one recording, Mr. Trump spoke to Mr. Cohen about a payment to a woman who had claimed to have had an affair with Mr. Trump, which he has denied.

On another, Mr. Cohen spoke to Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who was a top official on the inaugural committee. Ms. Winston Wolkoff was fired as an adviser to the first lady, Melania Trump, in early 2018, after the committee released its financial disclosures showing that entities controlled by Ms. Winston Wolkoff were paid $26 million. The vast majority of those funds went to a subcontractor.

Ms. Winston Wolkoff’s company made a $1.6 million commission from that $26 million, which officials have previously said went to pay 14 people.

 

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Posted (edited)

The President and his lawyer, Bill Barr, sought to replace the SDNY US Attorney overseeing the inaugural investigation last week and tonight it's been reported that Trump-Barr are seeking to replace the US Attorney for EDNY/Brooklyn who is overseeing the associated inaugural committee investigation.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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3 hours ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

The President and his lawyer, Bill Barr, sought to replace the SDNY US Attorney overseeing the inaugural investigation last week and tonight it's been reported that Trump-Barr are seeking to replace the US Attorney for EDNY/Brooklyn who is overseeing the associated inaugural committee investigation.

I wish he tried half as hard to save lives as he tries to save his own ###.

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#BREAKING: Judge Sullivan is asking the full D.C. Circuit to rehear the three-judge panel decision granting the Flynn mandamus petition

 

 

Flynn case not going away just yet...

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55 minutes ago, The Gator said:

#BREAKING: Judge Sullivan is asking the full D.C. Circuit to rehear the three-judge panel decision granting the Flynn mandamus petition

 

 

Flynn case not going away just yet...

Noice noice noice noice noice

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4 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

Aaron Maté @aaronjmate

Colin Powell politely tells MSNBC that they (& many others) botched the Russian Bounty story w/ "hysterical" coverage. "Our military commanders did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspapers were reporting & television was reporting... It got almost hysterical."

BountyGate story was straight trash, it turns out.  Now liberals clap like little baby seals for neocon Lincoln Project ads telling Trump to go kill some Russians.  Morons

Most of us (not the media or posters here of course) knew this to begin with. Gotta really burn up the Democrats and neocons that Colin Powell took a liquid dump on them here. 

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The WH statement on Stone’s sentence being commuted is so laughably pathetic you can’t even be angry. 

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7 minutes ago, Trey said:

The WH statement on Stone’s sentence being commuted is so laughably pathetic you can’t even be angry. 

Classic Friday late afternoon #### too.  For a guy who said he would drain the swamp he does a pretty masterful job of being the swamp.  

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11 minutes ago, Trey said:

The WH statement on Stone’s sentence being commuted is so laughably pathetic you can’t even be angry. 

Corruption right out in the open

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4 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Corruption right out in the open

Most corrupt admin in our history.

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Roger must have told him he’d start talking if he even saw a prison cell.

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3 minutes ago, shader said:

Cliff notes on what Stone did? 

Witness tampering, perjury, obstruction. 

I believe 6 or 7 felony convictions in total. 

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Just now, Trey said:

Witness tampering, perjury, obstruction. 

I believe 6 or 7 felony convictions in total. 

buttery males

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I feel like this quote from Stone:

Quote

“He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him. It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.”

Is a pretty obvious indication that Trump did something illegal, right?

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