Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on Iran

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Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on Iran

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun May 06, 2018 5:35 pm

Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on Iran arms deal

Julian Borger
Last modified on Sat 5 May 2018 17.11 EDT

Israeli agency told to find incriminating material on Obama diplomats who negotiated deal with Tehran

Aides to Donald Trump, the US president, hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a “dirty ops” campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, the Observer can reveal.

People in the Trump camp contacted private investigators in May last year to “get dirt” on Ben Rhodes, who had been one of Barack Obama’s top national security advisers, and Colin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama, as part of an elaborate attempt to discredit the deal.

The extraordinary revelations come days before Trump’s 12 May deadline to either scrap or continue to abide by the international deal limiting Iran’s nuclear programme.

Jack Straw, who as foreign secretary was involved in earlier efforts to restrict Iranian weapons, said: “These are extraordinary and appalling allegations but which also illustrate a high level of desperation by Trump and [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, not so much to discredit the deal but to undermine those around it.”

One former high-ranking British diplomat with wide experience of negotiating international peace agreements, requesting anonymity, said: “It’s bloody outrageous to do this. The whole point of negotiations is to not play dirty tricks like this.”

Sources said that officials linked to Trump’s team contacted investigators days after Trump visited Tel Aviv a year ago, his first foreign tour as US president. Trump promised Netanyahu that Iran would never have nuclear weapons and suggested that the Iranians thought they could “do what they want” since negotiating the nuclear deal in 2015. A source with details of the “dirty tricks campaign” said: “The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it.”

Benjamin Netanyahu on Israeli television, describing how Iran has continued with its plans to make nuclear weapons.
Benjamin Netanyahu on Israeli television, describing how Iran has continued with its plans to make nuclear weapons. Photograph: Jim Hollander/EPA
According to incendiary documents seen by the Observer, investigators contracted by the private intelligence agency were told to dig into the personal lives and political careers of Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, and Kahl, a national security adviser to the former vice-president Joe Biden. Among other things they were looking at personal relationships, any involvement with Iran-friendly lobbyists, and if they had benefited personally or politically from the peace deal.

Investigators were also apparently told to contact prominent Iranian Americans as well as pro-deal journalists – from the New York Times, MSNBC television, the Atlantic, Vox website and Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper among others – who had frequent contact with Rhodes and Kahl in an attempt to establish whether they had violated any protocols by sharing sensitive intelligence. They are believed to have looked at comments made by Rhodes in a 2016 New York Times profile in which he admitted relying on inexperienced reporters to create an “echo chamber” that helped sway public opinion to secure the deal. It is also understood that the smear campaign wanted to establish if Rhodes was among those who backed a request by Susan Rice, Obama’s final national security adviser, to unmask the identities of Trump transition officials caught up in the surveillance of foreign targets.

Although sources have confirmed that contact and an initial plan of attack was provided to private investigators by representatives of Trump, it is not clear how much work was actually undertaken, for how long or what became of any material unearthed.

Neither is it known if the black ops constituted only a strand of a wider Trump-Netanyahu collaboration to undermine the deal or if investigators targeted other individuals such as John Kerry, the lead American signatory to the deal. Both Rhodes and Kahl said they had no idea of the campaign against them. Rhodes said: “I was not aware, though sadly am not surprised. I would say that digging up dirt on someone for carrying out their professional responsibilities in their positions as White House officials is a chillingly authoritarian thing to do.”

A spokesman for the White House’s national security council offered “no comment” when approached. However, the revelations are not the first time that claims of “dirty tricks” have been aimed at the Trump camp. Special counsel Robert Mueller is leading an investigation into apparent attempts by Trump’s inner-circle to dig up damaging information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Of particular interest is a meeting involving the US president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chair Paul Manafort and a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer who had promised damaging information about Clinton.

Trump has repeatedly signalled his intention to scrap the Iran deal, denouncing it as “the worst deal ever.” In a January speech the US president accused his predecessor of having “curried favour with the Iranian regime in order to push through the disastrously flawed Iran nuclear deal.”

Last Monday, Netanyahu, accused Iran of continuing to hide and expand its nuclear weapons know-how after the 2015 deal, presenting what he claimed was “new and conclusive proof” of violations.

However, European powers including Britain responded by saying the Israeli prime minister’s claims reinforced the need to keep the deal.

On Thursday the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres urged Trump not to walk away from the deal, warning that there was a real risk of war if the 2015 agreement was not preserved. The following day details emerged of some unusual shadow diplomacy by Kerry, meeting a top-ranking Iranian official in New York to discuss how to preserve the deal.

It was the second time in around two months that Kerry had met foreign minister Javad Zarif to apparently strategise over rescuing a pact they spent years negotiating during the Obama administration. Straw, who was foreign secretary between 2001 and 2006, said: “The campaign against the JCPOA has been characterised by abuse and misinformation. It is the best chance of ensuring Iran never develops a nuclear weapons programme, and it is insane to suggest abandoning the deal could do anything but endanger international security.”
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... CMP=twt_gu



If Trump was willing to contract a foreign intelligence service to undermine U.S. policy as president, do you really think he wouldn't be willing to work with a foreign government to undermine his opponent as a presidential candidate?


((MRW))

So, Trump literally tore a page from the Putin Propaganda PlaybSo, Trump literally tore a page from the Putin Propaganda Playbook in a scheme (w. a foreign country) to deliberately lie to the American people and undermine the Iran deal. If that's not violating your oath and blatant corruption, please, tell me what is.


Norm Eisen

There’s a reason this has not happened since Nixon. It exposes the Trump aides to criminal and civil liability, depending on the nature of the “dirty ops,” see eg 18 USC 242, 50 USC 1809, 42 USC 1983. Team Trump is out of control. Expect an investigation.



Colin Kahl


<THREAD> According to this story, in May of last year, Team Trump asked an Israeli intel firm to dig up dirt on me as part of an effort to discredit the Iran deal.

Tonight, as my wife read this story, that date triggered a very creepy memory.


Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on Iran arms deal

Julian BorgerLast modified on Sat 5 May 2018 20.04 EDT
Israeli agency told to find incriminating material on Obama diplomats who negotiated deal with Tehran



Last year, my wife was serving on the fundraising committee of my daughter's public charter school in DC. One day, out of the blue, she received an email from someone claiming to represent a socially responsible private equity firm in the UK. 2/10



This "UK person" said "she" was flying to DC soon and wanted to have coffee with my wife to discuss the possibility of including my daughter's school in their educational fund network. 3/10


This was not a generic "Nigerian prince" scam. This person had all sorts of specific information on my wife's volunteer duties at an obscure DC elementary school. 4/10


There was a website for the firm (which no longer exists, by the way), but it had no depth to it, and there was no detailed information about the "UK person" who reached out to my wife. 5/10


My wife shared the email with me and a few people we know in both the finance and education fields. All agreed that the entire scenario seemed implausible and seemed like an approach by a foreign intelligence entity. 6/10

To test the implausibility, my wife kept trying to encourage the "UK person" over email to meet with other school fundraising officers & leadership while "she" was in DC, providing relevant contact info. But the "UK person" kept insisting that "she" had to meet with my wife. 7/10


At that point, my wife stopped corresponding.

This all happened in late May and early June of last year. 8/10



Perhaps it was just a coincidence that this obvious scam targeting my family had all the hallmarks of an intel op and coincided with Team Trump's reported efforts to "dig up dirt" on me. 9/10


But the fact that I even have to think about the possibility that my family was targeted by people working for the President is yet another sign of the fundamental degradation of our country that Trump has produced. 10/10



Laura Rozen

Thread. Sounds like MO used by Black Cube as documented in Ronan Farrow Weinstein exposeLaura Rozen added,
Colin Kahl

Last year, my wife was serving on the fundraising committee of my daughter's public charter school in DC. One day, out of the blue, she received an email from someone claiming to represent a socially responsible private equity firm in the UK. 2/10

Confirmed with @ColinKahl same fake firm name used to approach his wife that Black Cube used to try to suppress Harvey Weinstein stories

Fake firm that approached @ColinKahl wife (left). same fake firm per @RonanFarrow that went after weinstein accusers https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-des ... y-of-spies
Image
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Odds that Reuben Cap’ls (alias) “Adriana Gavrilo”= (aliases) “Diana Filip”/“Ana” =Stella Penn Pechanac?
https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/former- ... -1.5464301 … @ColinKahl
Image
https://twitter.com/True_Benefits/statu ... 0284057602



Amichai Stein

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#BREAKING: Full Black Cube comment on the reports they were the company hired by Trump admin officials to spy & dig dirt on @brhodes & @ColinKahl: "Our policy is never discuss, confirm or deny any speculation made with regard to the company’s

Image

work"https://twitter.com/AmichaiStein1/status/993220970575007747


Israeli Spy Firm Black Cube Denies Trump Aides Hired It to Discredit ex-Obama Officials

The private intelligence company, however, does not deny or confirm that it was hired by Harvey Weinstein in a separate case

Amir Tibon (Washington) May 06, 2018 8:37 PM

WASHINGTON — Israeli private intelligence company Black Cube strongly denied Sunday that it was hired by aides to U.S. President Donald Trump to spy on former Obama administration officials.

The denial comes a day after The Observer reported that an Israeli intelligence firm had been hired by Trump’s aides to spy on former Obama administration officials who helped craft the Iranian nuclear deal.

“Black Cube had nothing to do with this,” a spokesman for the company told Haaretz, adding that any claims to the contrary were “false.”

On Sunday, a potential connection to Black Cube was offered by American journalist Laura Rozen.

Writing on Twitter, the Washington-based reporter said a fake company that was allegedly used by Black Cube to spy on complainants against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was also used to contact the wife of Colin Kahl, a former national security official in the Obama administration.

Kahl, who was national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, wrote on Twitter Saturday that his wife was contacted last year by a woman supposedly representing a British financial firm in order to discuss possible contributions to his children’s school.

The woman contacted his wife around the time the Israeli intelligence firm was allegedly hired by the Trump aides to “get dirt” on former Obama administration officials, including Kahl.

According to Kahl, the woman tried to arrange a meeting with his wife but gave up after Kahl’s wife insisted that she contact other people at the school besides her.

Rozen tweeted that she had confirmed with Kahl that the woman who contacted his wife presented herself as an employee of Reuben Capital Partners, a financial firm based in London.

The name Reuben Capital Partners was first mentioned in a New Yorker story last year detailing Weinstein’s attempts to spy on women accusing him of sexual assault. The New Yorker report, which won a Pulitzer Prize, described Reuben Capital Partners as a fake company used by Black Cube, which was hired by Weinstein to spy on his victims and stop them from complaining about his conduct.

While Black Cube denied any connection to the Trump-Obama-Iran issue, the company did not deny or confirm that it was hired by Weinstein, nor did it deny or confirm The New Yorker’s claim about using a Reuben Capital Partners as a front company.

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premiu ... -1.6060707


Vincent Tchenguiz settles Black Cube legal dispute

Simon BowersMon 22 Apr 2013 10.02 EDT
Hearing to determine claims and counterclaims halted after tycoon settles fraud wrangle with Israeli intelligence experts

Mayfair investment tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz has settled a dispute with a band of former Israeli intelligence operatives who had been at the heart of his activities.

The intelligence experts, trading as Black Cube, became important figures in Tchenguiz's inner circle as he pursued international legal claims after the failure of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing in 2008, an event that threatened much of his business empire.

It emerged last week that Tchenguiz, a Conservative party donor, had thrown Black Cube staff out of his Park Lane office and nearby £15m home in February, accusing them of "a wholesale fraud … for a prolonged period". They, in turn, claimed he had breached a contract and left £330,000 in bills unpaid.

Last week the Guardian revealed his employees had secretly recorded private discussions between senior Black Cube executives, attempting to build evidence of alleged fraud.

Tchenguiz had filed a legal claim in Israel against them; meanwhile, Black Cube lodged a claim in the British courts against him.

A hearing to determine where the claims and counterclaims should be heard had been due to take place in London on Monday morning, but was called off at the last minute when a settlement was reach at the weekend and the lawsuits dropped.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed but include an undertaking not to discuss further details with the media.

Lawyers for Tchenguiz said in court filings that £820,000 had been paid to Black Cube over 13 months, suggesting this sum was provided for "open source intelligence".

Black Cube describes itself as providing creative intelligence, and operates out of London and Tel Aviv.

Vincent and his brother, Robert Tchenguiz, had been among the biggest borrowers from Kaupthing and, with the help of Black Cube, they fought a series of disputes over what loan collateral they should surrender to the bank's administrators.

At issue had been interests in Vincent Tchenguiz's £2bn UK residential property ground rent portfolio and the company once behind Peverel property management operations. Stakes Robert Tchenguiz had built in J Sainsbury and Mitchells & Butlers, as well as proceeds from the £1.56bn sale of Somerfield supermarkets, had also been claimed as loan security by Kaupthing administrators.

Black Cube also helped successfully demonstrate that a Serious Fraud Office corruption case – examining the brothers' relationship with former senior Kaupthing bankers – was flawed and that grounds for suspecting Vincent Tchenguiz were entirely misunderstood and baseless.

The investigation into the brothers, as well as former Kaupthing bankers, was dropped last year and Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz are seeking £300m in damages from UK taxpayers.
http://www.newsweek.com/mueller-has-all ... ays-910777
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on I

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun May 06, 2018 6:30 pm

Will Donald Trump’s Data-Analytics Company Allow Russia to Access Research on U.S. Citizens?

Tracing the suspicious-looking, and messy, ties between a Ukrainian oligarch, an elections-information firm, and the GOP candidate’s former campaign manager

The Trump campaign has hired Ted Cruz’s former data-analysis firm, Cambridge Analytica—and in doing so, it has connected itself with a British property tycoon, Vincent Tchenguiz, and through him with the Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, a business associate of Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who resigned last week. It would be hard to find a better example of why the ownership of the companies that collect data on the American electorate matters.

What Cambridge does is what marketers have done for some time now: segment potential customers (in this case, voters) by their buying habits, lifestyle, and psychology. It most famously worked on the “Leave.” campaign during Brexit voting in the United Kingdom.

Cambridge Analytica’s British parent company, SCL, has attracted criticism for some unusual strategies, such as trying to persuade opposition supporters not to vote in a Nigerian election, using the influence of “local religious figures.”

Mainly, though, SCL and CA both seem to have some pretty tired ideas. “The firm groups people according to where they fall on the so-called OCEAN scale, which psychologists use to measure how open, conscientious, extroverted, agreeable, or neurotic they are,” Wired reported in April. There’s nothing evil—or particularly smart—about this “psychological profiling,” which has been around for decades, and it’s questionable if it actually works to predict voting behavior.

CA obviously didn’t sprinkle the right kind of fairy dust for Cruz; a recent news item has it that the campaign felt it was CA to develop its product. Others say the firm doesn’t quite “get” American politics and has reliability issues: As Advertising Age quoted a consultant: “The product comes late or it’s not quite what you envisioned.”

But what’s worrisome is that CA, as The Wall Street Journal reports, is not just relying on public records:

Cambridge Analytica is surveying tens of thousands of Britons across the country on issues including partisanship, personality, and their concerns about EU membership. The company will then fuse those findings with other publicly available data on voters to produce advice for how “Leave. EU” should target their messaging more specifically through multiple channels.

Between “big data,” cyberwarfare, and new levels of detail in election polling, Americans ought to be thinking seriously about who owns the firms that collect this data.

And because CA is linked to U.K. property mogul Vincent Tchenguiz, who himself has connections to Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, a Putin protégé (and Paul Manafort business associate) it’s possible the information CA collects might be shared with people who are not friendly to American democracy—not that Donald Trump thinks there’s anything wrong with Putin, Firtash, and others like them.

For 10 years, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company’s largest shareholder was Vincent Tchenguiz, who, together with his brother Robert, is estimated to be worth £850 million (about $1.1 billion). Even today, a year after Tchenguiz divested his shares, SCL Group Chairman Julian Wheatland, who is also one of the company’s four directors, is a Tchenguiz employee.

Tchenguiz used the same Guernsey holding company, Wheddon Ltd., to invest both in Cambridge Analytica’s parent company in the U.K. and in another privately held U.K. business whose largest shareholder was the Ukrainian gas middleman Dmitry Firtash. (To buy into a privately held business you normally need the approval of the biggest shareholders, who were Firtash and Raymond Asquith, who also works for Firtash.) Firtash, indicted in 2014 by the United States in a complex bribery case, is under a sort of house arrest in Austria, free on $175 million bail, while the U.S. continues to attempt, unsuccessfully, to extradite him. He has already been stripped of some of his Ukrainian assets by prosecutors there.

Many articles have reported that the U.S. billionaire Robert Mercer is the owner of Cambridge, but some basic Googling would have shown that this isn’t true. The Daily Beast got it right; Cambridge Analytica’s press releases refer to it as “the U.S. subsidiary of SCL Group.” But the relationship between Cambridge Analytica and SCL is far from easy to decipher.

The privately-held SCL Group Ltd. (UK co. #05514098) has a half-dozen subsidiaries, with an overlapping group of directors. One subsidiary is SCL Elections. Cambridge Analytica’s website in December 2015 listed its New York address as Suite 2703 in the News Corp. building, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, the same New York address formerly listed on SCL Elections’ website as its New York office. (Both websites have since been updated, with new addresses.) SCL Elections is entirely owned by executive Alexander Nix.

Meanwhile, another related company, SCL USA, incorporated in January 2015 and entirely owned by SCL Elections, changed its name to Cambridge Analytica UK Ltd. on April 14 of this year. Confusingly, its U.K. address, 1 Westferry Circle, is not the same as either the address of SCL Elections or the London address of Cambridge Analytica at 1-6 Yarmouth Place in Mayfair. And it’s unclear if there’s a Cambridge Analytica incorporated anywhere in the United States; one would have to search registers in all 50 states.

Ad Age reported that CA “will not discuss its investors,” but the mothership, SCL Group, has pretty straightforward ownership: From shortly after its incorporation in 2005 until June 2015, according to the company’s obligatory Companies House filings, the largest of the 15 shareholders of SCL Group was Tchenguiz.

Tchenguiz made his money in London’s highly competitive real estate market and is said to be smart as a whip. He and his brother Robert are also known as big Tory donors. But what they’re best known for isn’t something any entrepreneur seeks out.

In March 2011 the brothers were arrested in dramatic predawn raids as part of an investigation into the 2008 collapse of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing. Just before its collapse, Kaupthing’s loans to the Tchenguiz brothers totaled 40 percent of its capital. It has been charged that Kaupthing—which had a far-from-transparent ownership structure—was effectively the Tchenguiz brothers’ bank and that they looted the bank, leading to its collapse. Various Kaupthing executives ended up in jail. Yet Vincent Tchenguiz managed to beat the charges, and even to win restitution from the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office after charges were dropped. Many think the SFO badly mishandled the case.

That’s not all. Kaupthing’s largest shareholder, Meidur, now called Exista, which owned 25 percent of its shares, had ties to Alfa Bank, the largest Russian commercial bank; Alfa chairman was “deep state” figure Mikhail Fridman, chairman and co-founder of Alfa Group, the parent of Alfa Bank. Meanwhile, Trump adviser Richard Burt is on the “senior advisory board” of Alfa Bank. (None of which is illegal or secret.)

Vincent Tchenguiz’s investment in SCL Group Ltd. began soon after the company’s incorporation July 20, 2005. In the fall of 2005, Tchenguiz’s Consensus Business Group acquired 22,533 shares of SCL—the largest single shareholding, representing 24 percent of its then-95,134 shares. On Nov. 11, 2006, a new director was appointed to represent Tchenguiz’s interests—Julian David Wheatland, who was listed as “chairman” in the 2010 and 2011 accounts and on the SCL Group website.

Wheatland was formerly “head of the International Division at U.K. structured-finance house Consensus Business Group.” Consensus is Tchenguiz’s holding company. Wheatland is currently CEO of Consensus Community, a part of Consensus Business Group, which in turn manages investments for Investec Trust (Guernsey) Ltd., a trustee for the Tchenguiz Family Trust.

The 2006 accounts (available online) of SCL Group show a whopping loss of £2.3 million ($3.02 million), but no “going concern” statement was included. In May 2013, SCL Group’s auditor resigned; the 2011 accounts were the last audited accounts filed. Shareholders’ equity plummeted from: £681,000 in 2006 to a modest £273,000 in 2012 to £4,424 in 2013 and £87,420 in 2014—a very poor showing compared to similar companies.

Tchenguiz remained involved in SCL Group for 10 years, despite its lack of financial returns. Vincent Tchenguiz is mainly known as a real estate investor; his reasons for acquiring shares in SCL in the first place are as opaque as his reason for divesting them. From the outside, it seems an odd, unprofitable sideline. But SCL is a private company, so we can only follow the filings: Tchenguiz’s 22,533 shares were initially held by Consensus Business Group and later owned by Wheddon Ltd., another vehicle owned by his family holding company, Investec Trust.

Then, as of June 10, 2015, SCL canceled Wheddon’s 22,533 shares and paid Wheddon £147,746 (about $194,500)—a tiny amount in relation to Tchenguiz’s estimated wealth. It also changed its name from Strategic Communications Laboratories Ltd. to its current name, SCL Group Ltd. Julian Wheatland signed the “special resolution,” which, in U.K. business is a move “to protect minority shareholders against important decisions being taken without proper consideration and, to the extent possible, consensus.”

Did Tchenguiz change the name and remove his shareholding as an attempt to rebrand, in preparation for going to work for Ted Cruz? If that’s so, the Cruz campaign did only an imitation of due diligence, looking only at the company’s current ownership, not even bothering with the previous year, and not noticing that Tchenguiz still has a director on the company. Though Tchenguiz no longer owns shares in SCL, he would likely retain influence on the company operations: His director, Julian Wheatland is still SCL’s chairman and one of SCL’s four directors to this day. Wheatland is also a director of two other companies in the SCL family: SCL Analytics Ltd. and SCL Strategics Ltd.

Tchenguiz has branched out beyond his core ground-rents business before—and this is what connects him to Manafort partner Dmitry Firtash. Around the same time that he bought into SCL, in 2005-2006, Vincent Tchenguiz began giving interviews publicizing a new interest: “green” investing. One of these seemingly anodyne investments was in a privately held U.K. company called Zander Group Ltd. that has a very complex capital structure.

What does Zander do? Zander says on one of its subsidiaries’ websites that it is in the business of soil regeneration. It doesn’t seem to get a lot of work, but on March 2007, according to a posting on its website from January 2012 (since removed), it signed a contract to work on anti-desertification in Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya. An ex-director of Zander Group, Geoffrey Stuart Pearson, was jailed in Britain for his role in the collapse of Langbar Corp., the U.K.’s biggest AIM market fraud. (At the time, the U.K.’s SFO shut Langbar down in fall 2005, Zander shares were its only investment. The SFO apparently never found this interesting.)

As the obligatory Companies House filings show, Tchenguiz invested in Zander Group in 2005-2006 through his Vantania Holdings Ltd.; on Sept. 11, 2015, Vantania transferred its shares to Wheddon Ltd. (This was just after Wheddon had divested its shares in SCL Group Ltd.)

Here’s the Firtash link: From 2006 until 2011, the largest single shareholding in Zander Group, 28 percent of the total shares, was owned by a Cyprus company called Spadi Trading. And Spadi was owned by Group DF, as in Dmitry Firtash, in the British Virgin Islands. This holding company is one of 153 companies worldwide the U.S. is trying to seize pursuant to its indictment of Firtash. (Spadi’s ultimate owner is Robert Shetler-Jones, also a Group DF board member.).

There’s no proof that Tchenguiz knows Firtash, but it’s hard to imagine he’d be able to buy into a closely-held private business like Zander without the approval of the largest shareholder, even though Tchenguiz only bought 74,075 out of 11.5 million Zander Group shares in 2006. Moreover, Zander Group’s chairman, and its biggest shareholder, is Raymond Asquith, an English peer who doubles as an executive of Group DF.

Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, had numerous dealings with Dmitry Firtash’s Group DF. Firtash is probably the most savory person with whom Manafort has worked; others include Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch formerly barred from the United States for Russian mob ties, ex-Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich, Mobutu Sese Seko, Ferdinand Marcos, and African warlord Jonas Savimbi. The fact that Vincent Tchenguiz’s man Wheatland is still the chairman and a director of SCL Group and that Tchenguiz is also a co-investor with the Firtash crew might give some candidates pause—but there’s no reason to think Trump is one of them. (As far as the public record indicates, Trump has never worked directly with Tchenguiz and Paul Manafort is not a director of any English companies, though he might be a shareholder; this information is not easily searchable.)

The moral may be, we ought to be paying closer attention to who owns the companies collecting data on American voters.
http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-an ... ian-access
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on I

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun May 06, 2018 10:29 pm

Stunning Developments on Trump/Private Black Ops Oppo Targeting Obama Staffers

Josh Marshall
We have a pretty stunning development about aides to Donald Trump apparently (though they deny it) hiring the same Israeli dirty ops/private intel firm that Harvey Weinstein used to cover up his history to mount an operation against public supporters of the Iran deal.

We start with this story in The Guardian. It’s very hedged and key details are not included. But the gist is that aides to Donald Trump hired an Israeli security firm to dig up dirt on two prominent supporters of the Iran nuclear deal. They are Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl, both Obama administration national security hands who were involved in the negotiation. They both continue to be prominent supporters of it into the Trump era. Last night I said that it sounded like Black Cube, the firm that surveilled and ran black ops operations against Harvey Weinstein’s accusers on his behalf.

Then overnight Kahl came forward with a story from around the time the firm was reportedly hired in which someone approached his wife about investing in their children’s charter school. You can read the thread here. There was a backstory and details. But it sounded to the Kahls like an intelligence operation – not altogether uncommon for people in that line of work to see. So they eventually cut off communication.

Then a short time ago, Laura Rozen confirmed with Kahl that the purported firm which reached out to the Kahls was ‘Reuben Capital Partners’. That’s the same name used by Black Cube in the Weinstein operations, first reported in The New Yorker by Ronan Farrow last year.

Black Cube is now vehemently denying it was hired to spy on or run dirty tricks against Rhodes or Kahl. It’s not clear to me whether that denial came before or after Rozen uncovered the apparent link between the two cases. The denial seems to be unambiguous. But it is very hard to believe that two separate operations would stumble on the same name for a front operation. Conceivably, two different firms worked in concert with yet another firm that was running this front operation. But that’s a very far-fetched hypothetical in contrast to a very straightforward explanations. It was Black Cube working for Weinstein and the Trump aides and they’re simply lying about their involvement.

More soon.
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/st ... -black-ops



Israeli Operatives That Aided Harvey Weinstein Collected Information on Former Obama Administration Officials

Ronan Farrow
In June, 2017, Ann Norris, a former State Department official, received an e-mail containing an unusual proposal. Norris is married to Ben Rhodes, a former foreign-policy adviser to President Obama and a prominent advocate of the Iranian nuclear deal. In the e-mail, a woman, who introduced herself as Eva Novak and claimed to work for a London-based film company called Shell Productions, asked Norris to consult on a movie that she described as “ ‘All the President’s’ Men meets ‘The West Wing’ ”: it would follow the personal lives of “government officials in the positions that determine war and Peace” during times of geopolitical crisis, including “nuclear negotiations with a hostile nation.” Recalling the exchange, Ann Norris said that she found Eva Novak’s request “bizarre” and that she “never responded.”

The e-mail appears to be part of an undercover campaign by an Israeli private-intelligence firm to discredit Obama officials who had been leading proponents of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The campaign was first reported on Saturday by the British newspaper the Observer. Two sources familiar with the effort told me on Sunday that the operation was carried out by Black Cube—a firm that was also employed by Harvey Weinstein and that offers its clients access to operatives from “Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” including the Mossad.
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-des ... -officials
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on I

Postby Harvey » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:01 am

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-iran-files-daniel-ellsberg-assange-whistleblower-b1782341.html

Daniel Ellsberg

“I believe, I have very little doubt, there is highly classified planning going on to provoke an Iranian action, a response to our provocation, that will give a pretext to launch an attack as [Donald Trump] has wanted to do for years,” he said.

“He has 17 or 18 days left to do that. More than enough time. It's also enough time to block him by an informed public, if that information got out.”

“I think people who have access to that, I would encourage, I do encourage you to share that information, not only with the Congress, especially the House, and for press, so that we have a chance of avoiding that [conflict].”
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"


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