The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Frelga
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The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

Post by Frelga »

[Note: I split this off from the Trump's America thread - VtF]

Voronwë, any comment on this? (from CBS)
MORE: All of Rick Gates' attorneys of-record -- the ones who have entered appearances with the court -- are seeking to withdraw from the case https://www.cbsnews.com/news/attorneys- ... -from-case
That doesn't sound like business as usual.

Gates was indicted along with Manafort for money laundering, conspiracy against the US, and more.
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Frelga wrote:Voronwë, any comment on this? (from CBS)
MORE: All of Rick Gates' attorneys of-record -- the ones who have entered appearances with the court -- are seeking to withdraw from the case https://www.cbsnews.com/news/attorneys- ... -from-case
That doesn't sound like business as usual.

Gates was indicted along with Manafort for money laundering, conspiracy against the US, and more.
For all the hubbub about the Nunes memo (which, don't get me wrong, is a big deal), this could turn out to be the biggest news of the day. It most likely is am indication that Gates has reached or is close to reaching a plea deal. A month or two ago it was reported that he had hired a well-known D.C. attorney known for negotiating plea deals as a consultant and now that his attorneys of record have withdrawn it is very likely that is what has happened. At the very least, this is bad news for Manafort with regard to the money laundering charges, but it is certainly possible that Gates has information about collusion that could implicate Manafort and maybe others higher than Manafort.

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Re: Trump's America

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Here's the infamous Nunes memo, fact checked and annotated by the NPR journalists.

https://www.npr.org/2018/02/02/58282846 ... -committee
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Frelga wrote:Here's the infamous Nunes memo, fact checked and annotated by the NPR journalists.

https://www.npr.org/2018/02/02/58282846 ... -committee
And here is a six-page rebuttal written by Jerrold Nadler, the Ranking Member (top Democratic) of the House Judiciary Committee, who unlike Nunes has actually read the underlying intelligence and the actual FISA warrant application (this is not the rebuttal memo written by the Dems on the Intelligence Committee, which is still classified):

http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2018/images/02/0 ... letter.pdf
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Re: Trump's America

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The Hill wrote:Bannon won’t comply with subpoena to appear before House Intelligence Committee: reports https://t.co/KDtLVb1vf3 https://t.co/bpdORuvfYI
I didn't realize it was an option?
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Anything is an option, though sometimes choices have consequences. In this case, in theory Bannon could be held in contempt of congress and jailed, but it will never happen because the GOP House members will work out a deal with the White House that will allow Bannon to avoid answering their questions.

But he won't be able to avoid answering Mueller's team's questions. (Unlike Trump, who will never voluntarily meet with Mueller despite his claiming that he was "looking forward to it.)
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Re: Trump's America

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This seems important.

From the NPR Twitter
#Breaking: Special Counsel Robert Mueller say a grand jury has returned an indictment against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for interfering in U.S. elections.

"The indictment charges all of the defendants with conspiracy to defraud the United States, three defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft,” Mueller says.
They didn't include the link, but the CNN just posted the story.

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/02/16/poli ... terference
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

The "communicated with 'unwitting' individuals tied to Trump campaign" suggests that, at least as associated with these defendants, Mueller and his team do not intend to try to prove collusion on the part of anyone associated with the Trump campaign. But I don't believe that any of the people involved in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Trump, Jr., Kushner, and Manafort are among those charged in this indictment and the hacking of the DNC and then posting the emails on WikiLeaks is not included among the alleged activities.
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Re: Trump's America

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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:The "communicated with 'unwitting' individuals tied to Trump campaign" suggests that, at least as associated with these defendants, Mueller and his team do not intend to try to prove collusion on the part of anyone associated with the Trump campaign. But I don't believe that any of the people involved in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Trump, Jr., Kushner, and Manafort are among those charged in this indictment and the hacking of the DNC and then posting the emails on WikiLeaks is not included among the alleged activities.
V, I'm having trouble parsing this for some reason (probably because I'm late having lunch and my brain needs food). Are you saying that these specific indictments are not tied to the campaign, but that there may be more indictments for different people and activities?
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Dave_LF »

That's how I read it. It probably makes sense to first establish that meddling did occur, then go after anyone in the US government who may have abetted it.
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Yes, that's pretty much it. The Russian campaign was multi-faceted. This indictment primarily relate to the use of identity theft and wire fraud and bank fraud in order to manipulate social media to support the Trump campaign. But another facet of the campaign was to hack the DNC and post those emails in order to damage the Clinton campaign. We know that there was some contact between Russian agents and high level members of the Trump campaign about "dirt" about Clinton. Known of that is mentioned in this indictment at all. Whether there is ever another indictment that does mention that is unclear at this time. And of course if there is another indictment, it may or may not target Trump campaign members. But we do know that the investigation is ongoing.
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Re: Trump's America

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OK, now that I had lunch, my reading comprehension is back.

I do recall that the last bit of big news out of Mueller's investigation came in the form of a one-two punch, where the second move was much closer to Trump than the first. I wonder if we'll see a similar pattern.
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

The next move is probably going to be Gates' plea deal, but unless he knows things that no one knows he knows, that is likely to be more of a problem for Manafort than anyone else.

ETA: But whatever the next move is, it will likely be done on a Friday!
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Re: Trump's America

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I thought this was the second shoe, but this seems to be related to Manafort trying to use a house as bail after he heavily mortgaged it through illegal structures.
JUST IN: Mueller accuses Manafort of "additional criminal conduct" including multiple bank frauds
http://thehill.com/homenews/administrat ... al-conduct
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

It is highly likely that the additional criminal conduct that they discovered since the original charges were filed came from turning Gates.

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Re: Trump's America

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Ah, here we go
Former Trump aide Rick Gates will plead guilty and has agreed to testify against Manafort, sources tell @latimes
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-p ... story.html
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

While it appears at this point unlikely that Gates has information about collusion that could implicate Trump or those close to him the other question is whether Mueller will now be able to turn Manafort, who might have such information.

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Re: Trump's America

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Well, the first fruit of Gates' cooperation appear to be something completely different, a new indictment charging someone named Alex Van Der Zwaan, an attorney employed by a firm hired by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice to prepare a report on the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister of Ukraine, who allegedly lied to the FBI about communications with Gates and deleted emails requested by Mueller's office. Presumably, they learned about these communications and emails from Gates. The message here is that Mueller is going after anyone and everyone that they find has violated the law, including those who have obstructed the investigation.

Can we think of anyone else who may have obstructed the investigation?
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Here's some more information: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics ... spartanntp

It appears that Van Der Zwaan is expected to plead guilty and is cooperating. There is also apparently a mysterious "Person A" that Van Der Zwaan is alleged to have lied about his communications with in addition to Gates. I wonder who that is and why it is necessary to keep him (or her) anonymous? This could be more significant than I had initially thought. Or not.
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Re: Trump's America

Post by Primula Baggins »

I feel better knowing that Mueller is moving forward with care and determination. The more broadly he moves against people who have obstructed the investigation, the harder it will be for Trump to fire him or orchestrate his firing without shining a bright spotlight on his own obstruction.

Or so I hope. I haven't seen many signs of hope lately, other than those incredible kids at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
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