Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Election

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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:40 am

putin and trump were supposed to meet in France but did not because of Macron's objection to them meeting on French soil :P



Random Observations on the Democrats Getting a Win and Trump Losing (Part 1)
1. Democrats won. Don't let any motherfuckers spin it any other way. It's that simple. No, Democrats didn't win as much as we would have wanted. Yes, they lost a couple of seats in the Senate. Yes, there were some heartbreakers, like Beto O'Rourke losing to the desert skink in a human skin suit, Ted Cruz. But, in the light of day, after all the counting is done, Democrats began Tuesday by having no power in federal government (beyond the Senate filibuster) and ended it with full subpoena and investigative power as the majority in the House of Representatives. That's a fucking unequivocal win, taking some longtime seats from the filthy hands of the GOP. And bathe yourself in the blood of the deaths of the political careers of Kris Kobach, Dana Rohrbacher, and Scott Walker, among so many other fucknuts. So quit bitching about the losses, hang in there for the recounts, get jazzed about the local and state victories, and get ready for the coming war.

2. We all want Nancy Pelosi to put on the deluxe spiked strap-on and ream the assholes of the Trump Administration. God, their yowls of pain would be like sweet music for the next two years. Lemme lay out a better strategy.
- Target the most corrupt cockmites in the White House, like Ryan Zinke and Wilbur Ross (although look for their resignations soon).
- Wreck the scumfucks in the GOP caucus, like Devin Nunes, Steve King, and Chris Collins, with ethics investigations. Demonstrate that we don't want traitors and Nazis and thieves in power.
- Shove a hearing enema into the sphincter of things like white nationalism, voter suppression, immigration fuckery, and anything that can shine a light on the shitpile of cruelty, negligence, and outright evil committed by the GOP and conservative nutzoids.
- And release the fuckin' hounds on judicial nominees. Yeah, the House doesn't vote on 'em, but it can sure as shit investigate if someone's a damn sexual predator.

3a. But pick the battles with Trump. Goddamn, I want him to suffer subpoena and arrests so fucking much that I can taste the orange tanning spray dripping off his sweaty face. I want him to watch his horrible jizzstain children sent to prison. I want him to see his fake empire burned to the fucking ground with lawsuits and bankruptcies until he is just another pathetic, poor old racist, mumbling to himself in some stinking room that he used to be someone. But the risk is turning Trump into a martyr because he loves playing the victim who needs his idiot hordes to defend him. Start with his taxes. Find out if he's really under "continuous audit," as he said today (Note: He's not because that's not a thing). Use that info to say he's a lying dickhole and should release his taxes. Then subpoena them. Then have a fuckin' fight. And when the Mueller report is issued (well, if it's issued now), use that as the basis for an investigation into how the Russians own Trump.

3b. The counter to this is that Trump is gonna whine and attack Democrats for any investigating at all, so, fuck it, may as well go whole hog. Go after all of 'em, from dumb thug Eric to skeevy thug Don, Jr. to incest model Ivanka, and make Jared cry. Go after Trump's finances, from his money-laundering to his hotels used as bribe machines to his dicking over of investors. Scorched earth this motherfucker. Fuck it. What do you think Trump's gonna do? Play nice? Make deals? Democrats won the House precisely to be a check on Trump. So fuckin' check away. And impeach the bitch.

4. Trump was a quivering, desperate little jelly man today at whatever the fuck that press conference was. He was lashing out at any reporters who dared to challenge him, going so far as calling an African American reporter "racist" for asking him about racism. You know he wanted to send goons to break CNN's Jim Acosta's legs. He was ranting and sweating and threatening and then trying to say he'd work with Democrats. He praised himself endlessly, going so far as to say that the only lesson he learned from the midterms was that "People really like me." He really said, "God plays a big role in my life." He claimed that candidates who he campaigned for won, despite the fact that that is objectively not true (he went to Montana four times, but Jon Tester won, for example). What we were watching were the wheels coming off the wagon as he realized that Democrats would now be able to show the Americans people that he really is just a tiny mushroom dick.

5. Shit's gonna get crazy pretty quickly. More on that tomorrow. ... crats.html

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Random Observations... (Part 2): How Crazy Will Shit Get?
As we tumble and twist to the end of the year and into the new one with Democrats having a whole fuckload of power more than they've had since the end of 2016, you gotta understand that shit's about to go fuckin' crazy. We have a crazy motherfucker in the White House who is getting crazier and crankier every day. He's surrounded by crazy motherfuckers, and the people who believe in him are crazy motherfuckers. And, as I've said so many times before, a motherfucker will fuck mothers. That is a motherfucker's primary purpose. So a whole bunch of mothers are about to get fucked in a motherfucking rage orgy. And when Democrats take over the House, it's gonna get even fuckier.

1. Shit's gonna get crazy in the lame duck session of Congress. The Republicans get to keep the House for four weeks of scheduled sessions before the Christmas break. You can bet that Paul Ryan and the Trump spunk gobblers in his caucus are gonna try to ram through an Affordable Care Act repeal, more tax cuts (or more permanent tax cuts), and whatever else they can. The honest-to-fuck shock is that there are some bipartisan bills that might pass, like criminal justice reform and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Hell, things might be just bizarro enough that they make a deal on immigration: DACA kids for the funding for the bullshit wall (the same deal that was negotiated before that Trump walked away from). But the Senate is gonna amp up the judge approvals, and they'll rubber stamp the asses of anyone Trump nominates to any post. He could send Roy Cohn's skull up for Attorney General, and Lindsey Graham would screech about how qualified it is and how Democrats are jerks for pointing out that it's not alive, Jeff Flake would sigh and tweet how wrong it is, and Orrin Hatch would tongue fuck the eyeholes, all before making Roy Cohn's skull AG.

2. Shit's gonna get crazy in the Justice Department. Right now, with the firing of America's most racist leprechaun, Jeff Sessions, we have a bugfuck insane, walking cockknob as Attorney General. Matthew Whitaker is a repulsive idiot, a filthy con man, and another Trump dick lamprey. Not only does the nation have to deal with the fallout of Sessions' bullshit approach to criminal justice, like ignoring the threat of far-right violence and gutting consent decrees on police brutality, but now we've got an asshole in there who is a walking conflict of interest. Whether or not the investigation of Robert Mueller gets to continue is now in the hands of Kingpin the AG. This is not to mention that we get to look forward to the confirmation hearing of, perhaps, Chris Christie, which will primarily consist of Republicans fighting each other to suckle at his man teats while Christie insults Democrats.

3. Shit's gonna get crazy with Trump's voters. The MAGA chodes have been told over and over that they will always be winning. Like monkeys who just had their favorite toy taken away, they're going to be confused by Democrats being able to subpoena their orange dolt god and force officials to testify under oath. Monkeys will break shit. They are in full death threat mode already, against Christine Blasey Ford, who dared to tell her story of sexual abuse by Brett Kavanaugh, and against any reporter that Trump calls out, especially April Ryan and Jim Acosta. You might have forgotten, but a MAGA puke sent a dozen bombs to Democrats and liberals opposed to the president just a week or so ago. These assholes have no chill. They are itching for the chance to take down some libtards. I promise you that right now, they're breaking out their ape memes to attack Michelle Obama for daring to say that Trump was full of shit about birther nonsense. I would lay money down that some piece of shit is locked and loaded and ready to go to Florida (or, more likely, is already living there) to stop the counting of ballots.

4. Trump's gonna go full apeshit. Or he's already doing it. Jesus, at that press conference thing, he mocked Republicans who lost, he shit-talked the media constantly when not being outright abusive, and his self-aggrandizement was the kind of ego rant that one usually associates with a high school student council member who wants more credit for putting together the homecoming dance decorations. One quick example: On North Korea, he said, "We made more progress in that four or five months than they’ve made in 70 years. And nobody else could have done what I’ve done." Bitch, we had actual deals with North Korea and they fell apart. You haven't done shit but put your tiny hand in Kim Jong-un's tiny hand and traded palm sweat. But watch for Trump to lash out even more harshly, as he did today, calling a reporter's question on the Mueller investigation "stupid," and look for executive orders piling up. Frankly, if we're not in a war by the end of 2019, I'll be surprised. Trump is a coward at heart. It's why he has always crumbled whenever he's been questioned under oath. He talks a good game about fighting, but he's one of those punk-ass mob bosses who never got his hands dirty. He's always had goons and lackeys do his bidding. When his family starts being arrested, he's gonna scream and throw shit around and demand his idiot horde battle for his honor.

5. How do you respond to shit going crazy? Simple: You keep poking the crazy until their crazy is clear. Trump and the GOP are gonna say that Democrats are "harassing" them by investigating. It won't matter if Democrats are probing the most obvious shit, like voter suppression. The second some official is forced to produce documents, Trump will say how "no man was ever treated worse." It won't matter. Every Democratic bill will be labeled "socialism." Every opposition to a nominee will be called "obstruction." He is going to war. So be in a war posture. Go on the offense (and I talked how to do that Wednesday), ignore the right-wing noise machine, and bring a modicum of sanity back.

Gird yer loins, sweet Americans. If you thought times have been intense already, we're about to barrel into maelstrom.

btw russian nesting doll Putin's lackey Rohrabacher lost :P eroding repub foothold in California

October 30: Trump sends 5000 troops to the border as a campaign stunt

November 10: Trump blows off remembrance ceremony bc of a light drizzle

November 12: Trump calls for the disenfranchisement of FL service members overseas

Larisa Alexandrovna

Larisa Alexandrovna Retweeted Дмитрий Смирнов
Whoa! This is Pravda Kremlin pool journo. I will translate for you:

"Never before has agent Donald been this close to falling (through the floor)/failure."

провалу means falling through the floor or into a well/hole/etc. It essentially translates to a crashing fail

Дмитрий Смирнов

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Никогда еще агент Дональд не был так близок к провалу

Larisa Alexandrovna

For the record, I don't think he is an "agent" because I reserve that term for intel ops. But he does owe a lot of money to the vory. The interesting part is the "falling through/failure" for me. Is that a threat? Again, very odd choice of wording

People have pointed out that this is a direct quote from Семнадцать мгновений весны mini series. Which makes it even more troubling of a joke against a sitting POTUS. I mean, yeah its funny. But it's not.

Saudi Spy Met With Team Trump About Taking Down Iran

Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the Saudi intelligence chief taking the fall for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, hobnobbed in New York with Michael Flynn and other members of the transition team shortly before Trump’s inauguration. The topic of their discussion: regime change in Iran.

Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful Saudi crown prince, dispatched Assiri from Riyadh for the meetings, which took place over the course of two days in early January 2017, according to communications reviewed by The Daily Beast. The January meetings have come under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office as part of his probe into foreign governments’ attempts to gain influence in the Trump campaign and in the White House, an individual familiar with the investigation told The Daily Beast. A spokesperson for Mueller declined to comment.

The New York meetings were attended and brokered by George Nader, a Lebanese-American with close ties to leaders in the United Arab Emirates who is currently cooperating with Mueller’s team. Also present at the meetings was Israeli social media strategist Joel Zamel, who has been questioned by Mueller for his role in pitching top campaign officials on an influence operation to help Trump win the election—overtures that could have broken federal election laws.

Steve Bannon was involved as well in conversations on Iran regime change during those two days in January, according to the communications.

The communications show that participants in the meetings discussed a multi-pronged strategy for eroding, and eventually ending, the current Iranian regime—including economic, information, and military tactics for weakening the Tehran government. Earlier this year The New York Times reported Nader was promoting a plan to carry out economic sabotage against Iran and pitched the plan in the Spring of 2017 to Saudi, UAE, and American officials. It’s unclear if that plan ever moved forward or if it was part of the larger project for regime change discussed in these January 2017 meetings.

“It smacks of covert action planning, which is the most sensitive thing the U.S. government does and is so uniquely the province of the sitting president.”

— Former acting CIA director John McLaughlin

Either way, former CIA acting director John McLaughlin told The Daily Beast, the get-togethers as described were very unusual.

“It’s concerning to me as a former intelligence official because of the fact that it smacks of covert action planning, which is the most sensitive thing the U.S. government does and is so uniquely the province of the sitting president,” he said.

A spokesperson for Zamel said his client had spoken to the special counsel’s office about his business but declined to comment on the January 2017 meeting. Bannon did not comment on the record for this story. A lawyer for Flynn declined to comment.

The meetings in New York, which have not yet been reported, show the depth of efforts by foreign officials and power brokers to influence the nascent Trump administration on the most sensitive foreign policy decisions. The discussions in New York came at a time when the Trump team was developing its Iran strategy and looking for input from individuals who were working on plans to counter Tehran’s influence. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose leaders made overtures to the campaign throughout the 2016 election, were at the time developing campaigns to thwart its regional adversaries, including Iran.

“It makes complete sense that Assiri would have been meeting with the Trump team during this time,” one former Pentagon official with close ties to the intelligence community told The Daily Beast. “The team was meeting with a lot of foreign influencers and Saudi was a country that wanted in on all anti-Iran projects.”

The meetings in New York not only reveal details of one of the Trump team’s first encounters with officials from Saudi Arabia—a country that is embroiled in one of the year’s most scandalous and consequential geopolitical incidents—but also sheds more light on Trumpworld’s relationship to Zamel, a self-styled Mark Zuckerberg of the national-security world with deep ties to Israeli intelligence.

Trump’s team drew in Zamel, a young strategist and entrepreneur, during the campaign. Zamel had pitched a plan in August 2016 to Donald Trump Jr. to help Trump win the presidential election, according to The New York Times. It’s unclear if that plan was ever put into action. Trump’s lawyer has previously stated that the candidate heard Zamel’s plan but did not move forward with it.

Zamel’s lawyer has also previously denied his client’s involvement in U.S. election or campaign efforts and told The Daily Beast that he is “not a target” of the Mueller investigation.

But it appears Zamel remained close to the Trump team throughout the election and into the transition. Part of the reason? He had an easy in. He had been introduced to Nader, closely connected with the Trump campaign, years earlier by John Hannah, a former aide to Dick Cheney now working as a senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a right-leaning think tank known for its anti-Iran work. Hannah is listed as a member of the advisory council of Wikistrat, one of Zamel’s companies, on the firm’s website. (Other members of that board, including former CIA chief Michael Hayden, say their involvement with Wikistrat is informal and at arms length.)

Hussein Ibish, senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, told The Daily Beast that Wikistrat doesn’t bill itself as a typical consulting firm.

“Wikistrat presents themselves as a kind of private intelligence service,” Ibish said. “If you look at the work they’ve done in Yemen, they’ve been a work for hire. It’s sort of like an intelligence-for-hire kind of thing.”

“If you have a very rudimentary conversation discussing the possibility of raising the question of regime change, then it’s not surprising to bring in a set of stakeholders including Wikistrat,” he added.

Details of the January 2017 meeting reviewed by The Daily Beast show how Zamel—already a familiar face in Trumpworld for his audacious plan to use social media influence campaigns to help beat Hillary Clinton—had ambitions beyond Trump’s election. According to communications reviewed by The Daily Beast, Zamel flew to New York to help pitch the Iran idea to Assiri and Trump's team, delivering a bound presentation full of tactics to undercut the country’s government.

“The communications show that participants discussed a multi-pronged strategy for eroding, and eventually ending, the current Iranian regime—including economic, information, and military tactics for weakening the Tehran government.”

The Trump team offered a new way forward for Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel, who had all grown frustrated by the Obama administration for its stance toward Iran and its brokering of the nuclear deal. Trump had campaigned, in part, on the promise that he would renegotiate the deal and take major steps against the Iranian regime during his first days in office. In his first public address after taking office, Flynn said the U.S. was “officially putting Iran on notice” after it carried out a missile test and attack on a Saudi warship by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Since then, the Trump administration has pulled out of the nuclear deal and levied snapback sanctions on the country.

The meetings in New York were part of a flurry of visits from influential foreigners to Trump Tower. Weeks before, Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed reportedly discussed Iran policy at Trump Tower with Bannon, Flynn, and Jared Kushner. The meetings appear to be part of Saudi and Emirati efforts to lobby the incoming Trump administration against Qatar and Iran, their top regional competitors. The New York Times reported earlier this year that Nader worked with Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy to urge the White House to take an aggressive stance against the two countries. (Nader also helped orchestrate the meeting between Blackwater founder and Trump ally Erik Prince and Moscow moneyman Kirill Dmitriev.)

Mohammed bin Salman—known by his initials, MBS— leaned on General Assiri to help carry out conversations with Western officials about Iran and the Saudi-led war in Yemen, according to two senior officials in the intelligence community. Assiri was previously the spokesperson for Saudi’s military offensive in Yemen. That effort, in concert with the UAE and backed by the United States and European countries, has drawn enormous outcry from human rights activists and members of Congress. The UN has called it the globe’s worst humanitarian crisis, and UN air chief Mark Lowcock said earlier this week that the war puts 14 million Yemeni people at risk of starvation.

Sources familiar with the Saudi footprint in Washington described Assiri as one of MBS’ closest allies and most trusted confidants. Before joining the intelligence service, he was top officer in the Saudi air force—an elite service branch tasked with shooting down missiles that target the country. A former U.S. defense official told The Daily Beast Assiri was highly regarded in his air force days.

The killing of Khashoggi has thrown Assiri, and his Saudi leaders, under the spotlight. While several Washington-based lobbying firms have dropped the kingdom as a client, the Trump administration says it is still mulling its options for punishment. Earlier this week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the administration would ban travel visas for the individuals involved in the operation in Istanbul. But it is unclear if the White House will approve financial measures levied against Saudi Arabia. If it does, those actions would most likely fall after the midterm elections.

—with additional reporting by Asawin Suebsaeng ... -down-iran

oh btw #2

the actual charge against these traitors in the end will be

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: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby liminalOyster » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:01 am

Special counsel witness says he expects to be charged in Mueller probe
By ALI DUKAKIS Nov 12, 2018, 7:52 PM ET

The former Infowars Washington bureau chief, who recently testified before a federal grand jury in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, tells ABC News that after two months of closed-door talks with investigators, the special counsel has now indicated he will be charged within a matter of days.

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“I don’t know what they’re going to charge me with,” said Jerome Corsi in an interview with ABC News on Monday. “I think my only crime was that I support Donald Trump. That's my crime, and now I'm going to go to prison for the rest of my life for cooperating with them,” he later added.

Corsi is one of more than a dozen individuals associated with political operative Roger Stone -- a longtime and close ally of President Donald Trump -- who have been contacted by the special counsel. The witnesses, many of whom have appeared before the grand jury impaneled by Mueller’s team, have told ABC News they were asked about Stone’s dealings during the 2016 election and what if any contact he may have had with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange through an intermediary, which Stone denies.

Much remains unknown about Mueller’s interest in Stone. But Corsi has emerged as a central figure of interest to Mueller as he builds his case, sources confirm to ABC News. Corsi, who Stone told ABC News he has known for years, has frequently appeared with Stone on-air for Infowars, where Stone currently serves as a contributor.

Corsi described his experience with the investigation as “a horror show” and “a nightmare,” telling ABC News the special counsel’s probe, “Is an inquisition worthy of the KGB or the Gestapo. I feel like I've been through an interrogation session in North Korea in the Korean war.”

PHOTO: Roger Stone, a longtime political adviser and friend to President Donald Trump, speaks during a visit to the Womens Republican Club of Miami, May 22, 2017, in Coral Gables, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Roger Stone, a longtime political adviser and friend to President Donald Trump, speaks during a visit to the Women's Republican Club of Miami, May 22, 2017, in Coral Gables, Florida.more +
The special counsel’s office declined to comment on Corsi’s remarks to ABC News.

In recent weeks, ABC News reported that Corsi returned to Washington, D.C., again for more closed-door meetings with special counsel investigators, and was scheduled to make a second appearance before the federal grand jury in the probe. However, Corsi’s second grand jury testimony was ultimately canceled, and Corsi says prosecutors with the special counsel’s office told his attorney to expect forthcoming charges.

Reached by ABC News on Monday, Corsi's lawyer, David Gray, declined to comment on the matter.

Shortly after his interview with ABC News, Corsi hosted a live stream on his YouTube page in which he reiterated his expectation to be indicted, telling supporters; “I fully anticipate in the next few days to be indicted by Mueller.”

Mueller’s interest in Corsi is believed to stem from his alleged early discussions about efforts to unearth then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails. The special counsel has evidence that suggests Corsi may have had advance knowledge that the email account of Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, had been hacked and that WikiLeaks had obtained a trove of damning emails from it, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told ABC News.

Corsi’s account to ABC News of his time spent with investigators also identifies Wikileaks’ release of Podesta’s hacked emails as key to the special counsel’s inquiry of him.

In response to ABC News’ interview with Corsi, Stone defended Corsi as “a man who has been squeezed hard but refuses to do anything but tell the truth,” and called into question both his and Corsi’s alleged connections to Wikileaks.

“Where is the Russian collusion? Where is the Wikileaks collaboration? Where is proof that I knew about the theft or content of John Podesta's emails or the content or the source of any of the allegedly hacked or stolen e-mails published by Wikileaks?” Stone asked, rhetorically.

“They seem to think you know that I knew in advance what Assange was going to do; I'm not going to go into details at this point, but that was the basis of it,” said Corsi. “And as far as I can recall, I had no contact with Assange. And that didn't seem to satisfy them.”

In response to ABC News’ interview with Corsi, Stone defended Corsi as “a man who has been squeezed hard but refuses to do anything but tell the truth,” and called into question both his and Corsi’s alleged connections to Wikileaks.

Corsi said he was first approached in late August by FBI agents at his home in New Jersey, who presented him with a subpoena to testify before Mueller’s grand jury. Corsi added that over the last two months, he’s spent 40 hours with investigators over the course of six meetings, which he says have included special counsel prosecutors and an FBI agent.

After the subpoena was served, Corsi said that he decided to cooperate with the special counsel’s office.

“I had two computers that I used, I handed them both over, a time machine that recorded all the emails in my computer in a contemporaneous state 2016 -- completely unaltered,” he said. “I worked with the FBI at Quantico so that they could easily recover all my tweets and my Google account. My Google account they could see every place I've been, every click I've made, everything Google records.”

After the FBI’s visit, Corsi said, he and his attorney agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s office and proffered to meet with special counsel investigators to answer their questions. “They have everything: Electronic surveillance -- everything electronic probably that I ever did in my life if they wanted -- every credit card, every phone call, every email, and I turned it all over to them as well,” he added.

Declining to give specific details on the matter until Corsi learns what he’s potentially charged with, he said the special counsel initially wanted him as a witness and told him he had not committed any crimes.

“And then it blows the end of two months...this deteriorates, and after a while, my mind became mush,” he said. “And every time I'm scared to death.”

Corsi said that from there, after two months of questioning, things deteriorated between him and investigators.

“They make it sound like it all fell apart and they were constantly pressing me on did I have a contact with Assange, and -- to the best of my knowledge -- I never had a contact with Assange,” Corsi said to ABC News. “And they just couldn't believe that because they said I seemed to know too much about what Assange was going to do. And I said you know that's what I do in my business: I try to connect the dots.”

While Corsi is not a widely-recognized figure, his handiwork in the political arena has at times become very well known. He has served as the pioneer of several enduring political smear campaigns during national campaigns throughout the 2000s.

Corsi’s most penetrating smear campaign is the same one that helped forge his bond with Trump. He is widely considered one of the early promoters of the so-called “birther” movement, which pursued the idea that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not in America. The theory was debunked and widely denounced as baseless, racist vitriol. Corsi and Trump have long been blasted for not walking back their claims even after Obama produced his long-form birth certificate. In fact, it was only in the final stretch of his successful 2016 presidential bid that Trump finally acknowledged that Obama was born in the U.S.

Corsi has also been cited as one of the architects of a 2004 effort to bring then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry’s war record into question through a 527 political organization called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The group attempted to cast doubt on Kerry’s Vietnam War record and question the injuries he sustained when he earned decorations that include a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts.

Corsi claims that his work is part of the reason he believes investigators are probing him.

“My conclusion was as much as they say they want only the truth, I believe that they have a narrative and they’re looking for fast facts to fit their narrative,” he said. “I've written 20 books since 2004 and I have reason to believe...that this is payback for those books.”

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, when Corsi joined the controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ right-wing outlet, Infowars, Jones reportedly boasted that Corsi “had a history” with Trump, and that the two had been acquainted for “40-plus years.”

When ABC News asked if he would be open to making a plea deal with the special counsel’s office should they charge him in coming days, Corsi replied, “What’s there to be a plea deal with?” and expressed his suspicions about the possible charges investigators may claim against him.

“They said I didn't commit any crimes. I can't remember all my emails I can't remember all my phone calls, [and] I tell them that. It's impossible; it's a perjury trap from the moment you get going,” Corsi said.

“My crime is that I didn't tell them what they wanted to hear. They won't believe it, but this is the most frightening experience of my lifetime. I'm being punished for trying to cooperate with them in a game that I was set to lose,” he added. “I couldn't win this wasn't a game; I was trying to tell them the truth. But you forget that somebody was in a meeting and you lied to them.” ... d=59148352
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:59 am

Thank you




What a coincidence being in Italy at the same time! :D

What's up with all the twitter accounts going silent?

FOX....Wikileaks....Jill Stein....National Enquirer..... Rudy Giuliani also went dark since November 9. Whatever that means, or huge coincidences..

Mueller working on Veterans Day...... :evilgrin

something to do with that meeting that Rupert and McConnell had on capitol hill the other night?

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BREAKING: Roger Stone pal Jerome Corsi tells my colleague @annaschecter that Mueller's investigators informed Corsi about a week ago he will be indicted for perjury. "When they have your emails and phone records...they're very good at the perjury trap," he says.

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3h3 hours ago
Ben Collins Retweeted Natasha Bertrand
Just for a timeline here...

Michael Cohen, who was in DC with lawyers today, traveled to Italy from July 9 to 17 in 2016.

This is a month after the Trump Tower meeting.

The Republican National Convention started July 18th.

July 22nd, the DNC emails were dropped by Wikileaks.

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Natasha Bertrand Retweeted Natasha Bertrand
Corsi says he was questioned extensively about a trip he took to Italy with his wife 2 years ago...he says it was for their anniversary.

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Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi on his livestream: “I’m gonna be indicted. That’s what we’re told. I’m fully expecting it.” He then asks for donations to his legal defense fund.
2:09 PM - 12 Nov 2018


Let's assume for the moment that legendary fabulist is telling the truth when he says he's going to be indicted for not telling the truth when it counted.

That's interesting for 2 reasons:
1) Ted Malloch seems to have given him immediate notice the FBI was onto him in March.

Malloch, of course, is close to Nigel Farage, who met with Roger Stone at the RNC.

2) Corsi was Stone's alibi in March 2017, when Congress first starting asking abt his foreknowledge. Lots of reason to believe Stone was establishing very complex alibi that collapsed.

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You can draw a straight line from McCarthy & Nixon to Trump through Cohn/Stone, like tumors that re-metastasized decades later in the US body politic. In THAT sense, Trump represents an unprecedentedly dangerous intersection, convergence, CULMINATION of historic American evils.
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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: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:01 pm


A lawyer claiming to represent Mifsud emerges and says he’s negotiating a senate appearance.

The Professor At The Heart Of The Trump-Russia Probe Wants To Testify Before The Senate, A Lawyer Claims
“We are working towards his appearance,” a lawyer closely associated with Joseph Mifsud wrote in an email to BuzzFeed News.

Headshot of Alberto Nardelli
Alberto Nardelli
BuzzFeed News Europe Editor
Map of London
Reporting From
Posted on November 13, 2018, at 12:05 p.m. ET

Juan Manuel Herrera / OAS / Flickr / Via Flickr: oasoea
LONDON — A lawyer closely associated with Joseph Mifsud claims that the Maltese professor, who allegedly delivered word of Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails to Donald Trump's campaign, is willing to testify to the US Senate.

Mifsud disappeared after he was identified as the unnamed professor alleged by FBI investigators in court documents unsealed in October 2017 to have told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of thousands of emails, months before the Democrats themselves were aware that their computer system had been hacked.

He has not been seen in public since November that year. His former girlfriend in Ukraine says he disappeared, prosecutors in Italy investigating a decade-old case couldn’t locate him, and US investigators have complained they weren’t able to interrogate the professor thoroughly when he was last in the US in February 2017. Democratic National Committee lawyers even suggested he may be dead.

But in an email to BuzzFeed News sent on Monday, Stephan Roh, a 51-year-old Swiss lawyer with a long history of dealings with Mifsud, wrote, “Prof Mifsud is to testify in front of the US Senate — we are working towards his appearance.”

Spokespeople for the Senate intelligence committee declined to comment, and BuzzFeed News has been unable to independently verify this claim.

Asked if a date for the testimony had been set, whether Mifsud would be traveling to the US in person to testify, and if any talks with Senate officials to schedule a testimony had already taken place, Roh replied, “we will not comment or answer further questions of journalists until the Senate hearing takes place — unless necessary and in the interest of Prof. Mifsud.”

Mifsud’s interactions with Papadopoulos reportedly kickstarted the FBI investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election — and remain one of the great mysteries in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe.

Should the Maltese academic suddenly reappear in public after more than a year to testify before the Senate, it could be a hugely significant moment in Mueller’s investigation.

Roh claims that Mifsud has done nothing wrong and was set up — and denies having ever told Papadopoulos the Russians had dirt on Clinton.

Last month, Roh emailed a photograph of Mifsud purportedly taken in May this year to several news organizations, including BuzzFeed News. Despite several requests, Roh has not granted BuzzFeed News — or other outlets — permission to publish the photo, the existence of which was first reported by the Associated Press.

In the photo, the Maltese professor, sporting stubble and with his stare fixed on the camera, is pictured seated at a table with the May 17, 2018, edition of a Swiss newspaper.

According to Roh, who was interviewed by the FBI last year as part of the Trump-Russia investigation, Mifsud, 58, was in Zurich days later, instructing legal representation and recording a witness statement with Roh’s law firm. A power-of-attorney document dated May 21 of this year can also clearly be seen in the photograph.

Roh said that Mifsud traveled to Zurich for their meeting by train from Italy. Two sources BuzzFeed News has spoken to in recent months have also claimed the Maltese professor was in Rome this summer. However, neither source provided corroborating evidence.

During the course of several email exchanges and telephone calls with BuzzFeed News — using different numbers with dialing codes originating in the United Arab Emirates and Russia — between early October and this week, Roh shared what he claims to be Mifsud’s side of the story.

Roh claims to have spoken to Mifsud multiple times this year directly, and through an intermediary, including from mobile and landline numbers with an Italian dialing code. The Swiss lawyer also said the academic spoke to him from Malta in December last year, where he was visiting his ill parents, and has told him of trips to other European countries this year.

BuzzFeed News has not been able to independently confirm any of these movements, nor to establish Mifsud’s current whereabouts.

George Papadopoulos
Yuri Gripas / Reuters

Papadopoulos was sentenced in September this year to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI.

Since his sentencing, Papadopoulos has repeatedly speculated on Twitter — without providing evidence — that he was targeted by British and Australian intelligence as part of a plot to sabotage the Trump campaign.

Mifsud acknowledged in the interview with the Italian newspaper in November 2017 that he met Papadopoulos “three or four times,” and facilitated connections between “official and unofficial sources,” but denied any wrongdoing.

Papadopoulos is reported to have later shared the information about the emails with the Australian high commissioner to the UK, whose government passed it to US authorities after WikiLeaks began publishing the emails in July 2016. That information sparked the FBI to launch the investigation that Mueller now leads.

According to the government’s sentencing memo, published in August, Papadopoulos’s statements “substantially hindered” investigators’ ability to effectively question Mifsud when the FBI located him in Washington, DC, in February 2017. “The defendant’s lies undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States,” the document states.

Mifsud and Roh’s careers intertwine at several junctions. Mifsud was a consultant at Roh’s law firm. The Swiss lawyer was advertised as a visiting fellow in a brochure promoting the diplomacy academy where Mifsud was a director. The two men, who have known each other for more than a decade, also co-authored a number of reports between 2015 and 2017. They spoke on the same panel at a Valdai Discussion Club in April 2016, an annual gathering of Russian and international political, media, and academic elites backed by the Kremlin. And both men have long had a professional relationship with Rome’s Link Campus University where Mifsud worked since the 2000s, and Roh was an investor.

Roh declined to discuss what Mifsud would say if he does testify.

1h1 hour ago
In its sentencing memo for Papadopoulos back in August, Mueller’s team blamed him for undermining the FBI’s ability to “potentially detain or arrest” Mifsud before he fled the United States.


The lawyer claiming to represent Mifsud has offered a proof of life dated to May 2018, but will not agree to its publication.
Image ... 0907859968

trump written answers to Mueller on Russian interference may be submitted this week
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:56 am

Brexit zooms into focus: per Jerome Corsi, Mueller is seeking info on Nigel Farage and Ted Malloch (who was previously asked about Roger Stone & Julian Assange), per NYT & WaPo Mueller is interested Brexit funder in Arron Banks

Exclusive: Jerome Corsi to Guardian – ‘They asked about Nigel’

Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

Jon SwaineTue 13 Nov 2018 13.07 EST
Exclusive: Jerome Corsi to Guardian – ‘They asked about Nigel’
Key Brexit figure Farage has denied involvement with Russia
Robert Mueller is seeking more information about Nigel Farage for his investigation into Russian interference in US politics, according to a target of the inquiry who expects to be criminally charged.

Jerome Corsi, a conservative author, said prosecutors working for Mueller questioned him about Farage, the key campaigner behind Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, two weeks ago in Washington.

Corsi said investigators for the special counsel also pressed him for information on Ted Malloch, a London-based American academic with ties to Farage, who informally advised Donald Trump and was interviewed by FBI agents earlier this year.

Sign up for the new US morning briefing
“They asked about both Nigel and Ted Malloch, I can affirm that they did,” Corsi told the Guardian on Tuesday. “But I’m really not going into detail because I respect the special counsel and the legal process.”

Mueller’s interest in Farage comes amid questions in the UK about whether Russia attempted to influence the June 2016 vote to leave the European Union, and Brexit’s most vocal political supporters.

A spokesman for Farage said of Corsi’s allegations: “This is ill-informed, intentionally malicious gossip and wholly untrue.”

Andy Wigmore, a spokesman for the pro-Brexit Leave campaign, said Farage had not been contacted by Mueller’s team.

Malloch’s publisher, Nick Magliato, said Malloch’s lawyer instructed the academic, who is in London, not to comment.

They asked about Nigel and Ted Malloch, I can affirm that they did. But I’m really not going into detail
Corsi and several other conservative operatives in the US have been under investigation by Mueller for months in relation to the theft of Democratic party emails in 2016 by Russian hackers, which disrupted Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Farage has consistently denied any involvement with Russia and has mocked reports that he was facing legal scrutiny. Farage forged close ties with the Trump campaign and White House through his close friendship and association with Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart editor and White House strategist. The Guardian first reported in June last year that Farage was a “person of interest” in the Russia investigation.

Asked if the questions on Farage related to Trump’s 2016 election campaign or that year’s referendum on the UK leaving the EU, Corsi said on Tuesday: “Predominantly US politics, but of course Brexit was in the background.”

The questioning of Corsi was not the first time that US prosecutors showed an interest in people closely associated with the Brexit campaign. Last March, Malloch said he had been stopped by Mueller’s investigators when he arrived in the US from the UK. News of the FBI’s action was first announced by Corsi.

In a statement at the time, Malloch told the Guardian he had been issued a subpoena and interrogated by the FBI at Boston’s Logan airport. He was questioned, he said, about his involvement in the Trump campaign and his relationship with the Republican strategist Roger Stone, and asked if he had ever visited Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks chief, at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The New York Times and Washington Post have reported that Mueller has taken an interest in the biggest funder of the pro-Brexit campaign, Arron Banks. The New York Times has reported that Mueller has obtained records of Banks’s communications with Russian diplomats.

Corsi said on Tuesday Banks’s name did not come up during his questioning.

Corsi, 72, is a former writer for the conspiracy website Infowars and was a leading proponent of the discredited theory that former president Barack Obama was not born in the US. He is a longtime associate of Stone, the Trump friend and “dirty trickster” who has advised Republican politicians since Richard Nixon.

On Monday, Corsi announced that he expected to be charged soon with lying to Mueller’s investigators, even though he believed he had been honest and candid during 40 hours of questions across six sessions. He said his brain had been turned to “mush” by the questioning and he may have inadvertently misspoken.

He said on Tuesday that after the last questioning session two weeks ago, one of Mueller’s officials told Corsi’s lawyer: “Prepare for plea discussions.” Such a remark would indicate that prosecutors believed they have grounds to charge Corsi with a crime. A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.

Corsi said Mueller’s questioning focused on the theft of emails from Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, which were published by WikiLeaks. US intelligence agencies concluded the emails were stolen in a Russian intelligence operation.

He said: “The issue they went to over and over and over again was: who was my source with Assange?”

He conceded on Tuesday that he had sent emails to associates boasting of inside information from WikiLeaks about the plan to publish the emails, but insisted that he was merely trying to boost his reputation and in fact only knew information that was already public. He said he had never met nor spoken to Assange.

Corsi declined to say which associates he emailed about the email hacking. He said Mueller’s investigators had reviewed his Apple computer and his electronic devices, and during questioning had wielded a binder packed with records of his telephone calls and electronic communications. But, he said, they declined to share the records with him. ... SApp_Other

Scott Stedman

Follow Follow @ScottMStedman
NEW: It wasn't just Aras Agalarov. The translator for the Trump Tower meeting, Anatoli Samochornov set up a consulting LLC in the weeks leading up to the meeting. I have the documents from the New York Department of Corporations:


I reached out to Samochornov but haven't heard back. This LLC was incorporated at a time that Agalarov was shifting around millions of dollars between his accounts and the accounts of others involved in the Trump Tower meeting (Emin, Kaveladze, Goldstone).

It's unclear if this LLC was in any way related to the Trump Tower meeting, but it was incorporated exactly 1 month before the meeting.

Here's the timeline:

5/9/16 - Samochornov sets up LLC in NY.
5/12/16 - Agalarov sets up LLC in Delaware with sketchy tax accountant
6/3/16 - Email to Don Jr setting up meeting, money begins flowing from Agalarov to Kaveladze.
6/9/16 - Trump Tower meeting

Spinario, for what it's worth, is a Greek sculpture of a boy pulling a thorn out of his foot dubbed "the boy with a secret" ... -a-secret/ ... 7438434306
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby Elvis » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:47 am

I wonder why Mueller team hasn't interviewed key figure Assange, who has expressed willingness.
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:47 am

Mueller does not interview a target

a la Roger Stone

Corsi wasn't a target until he lied to Mueller

Papadopoulos was not a target until he lied to Mueller......In its sentencing memo for Papadopoulos back in August, Mueller’s team blamed him for undermining the FBI’s ability to “potentially detain or arrest” Mifsud before he fled the United States.

Mifsud is coming back to be interviewed by the Senate

Papadopoulos lawyers asked a judge to quit him yesterday and the judge immediately said OK

Corsi and Michael Cohen in Italy at the same time in 2016 :evilgrin

'The Young Turks' Panel: Roger Stone Associate Jerome Corsi Anticipates Mueller Indictment
Posted By Ian Schwartz
On Date November 12, 2018

THE YOUNG TURKS: Jerome Corsi, a conspiracy theorist right-winger, thinks he’s going to be the latest indicted in Mueller’s probe. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

"An associate of longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone says he expects to be indicted by a federal grand jury in the special counsel's Russia investigation.

Conservative conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi said on his YouTube show Monday that negotiations fell apart with special counsel Robert Mueller's team and he expects to be charged with making false statements in the coming days.

Mueller's team has questioned Corsi as part of an investigation into Stone's connections with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election. American intelligence agencies have assessed that Russia hacked the emails of Democratic groups, including Hillary Clinton's campaign, and provided that material to WikiLeaks for release.

Corsi was formally the Washington bureau chief of the conspiracy theory outlet InfoWars." ... tment.html

Roger Stone repeatedly claimed contact with Donald Trump and his campaign while touting WikiLeaks connections

Roger Stone during an appearance on Anderson Cooper 360.
(CNN)Roger Stone claimed on several occasions during the 2016 presidential race that he was in communication with Donald Trump and his campaign, including declaring that he on average spoke with Trump weekly.

The nature of that communication is now part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the election. Stone is facing scrutiny for his claims to have had a backchannel to WikiLeaks during the campaign. Particularly, as CNN has previously reported, investigators are looking into whether Stone shared information that he believed was from WikiLeaks with members of Trump's presidential campaign, according to a source familiar with the probe.
Stone repeatedly said during the election that he had communicated with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange through a "backchannel," "intermediary" or "mutual acquaintance."
But Stone has issued conflicting and often inaccurate statements on his knowledge about the timing and content of WikiLeaks disclosures. He's also offered conflicting information in public comments about his backchannel's relationship to Assange, repeatedly commenting in 2016 that the person spoke with Assange.
In his November 2017 Facebook post outing New York progressive activist and radio host Randy Credico as his backchannel, Stone said that Credico never confirmed WikiLeaks information with Assange himself and instead had different contacts for WikiLeaks information.
Earlier this month, Stone revealed he discussed information about forthcoming WikiLeaks dumps with then-Trump campaign chief executive Steve Bannon. Stone has denied he shared that information with Trump, and Trump denied to The Associated Press last year he knew about the forthcoming WikiLeaks dumps of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta's emails in advance.
CNN's KFile reviewed Stone's 2016 media appearances that happened after he began claiming contact with WikiLeaks. In those appearances, Stone does not say whether he discussed WikiLeaks with Trump or the campaign, but repeatedly claims contact with both, including direct conversations with Trump.

Here's a timeline of Stone's comments:

August 4, 2016: Stone says on Infowars radio he spoke to Trump one day earlier. Stone claims in the same interview that Assange has proof of Clinton Foundation scandals.

"I spoke to a Donald Trump, uh, yesterday. He's in good spirits," Stone said.

"The Clinton campaign narrative that the Russians favor Donald Trump and the Russians are leaking this information, this is inoculation because as you said earlier, they know what is coming and it is devastating," Stone later adds. "Let's remember that their defense to all the Clinton Foundation scandals has been not 'we didn't do,' has been 'you have no proof, yes but you have no proof.' Well, I think Julian Assange has that proof and I think he is going to furnish it to the American people."

August 4, 2016: Stone responding on a conference call to a question about Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, says he recommend to Trump that he should hire Manafort, a former business partner of Stone's in the 1980s.

"I recommended him to Donald, because he called me on a Friday concerned about the fact that he had just been robbed of delegates in Louisiana."

Stone added later in the call, "Julian Assange is going to continue to drop information on the American voters that is going to roil this race."

August 17, 2016: Stone claims on Miami local radio he spoke in favor of adding Bannon and Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway to the campaign. Stone claims he spoke to Manafort that morning.

"I was in favor of these additions. I have spoken in favor of them internally over the last couple of days," Stone said. "Manafort's not going anywhere. I spoke to him this morning. He's very pleased with this expansion. He was in favor of it. I was in favor of it

August 21, 2016: Stone says on Baltimore local radio he was in on the deliberations about Manafort leaving the campaign. Manafort left the campaign two days earlier on August 19.

"Manafort is a close friend. I was in on his deliberations and the situation," Stone says.

August 22, 2016: Speaking again on Miami local radio, Stone claims to have repeatedly spoken to Manafort about Manafort's resignation from the Trump campaign.

"Putting the campaign and Trump first, Manafort resigned," Stone said. "It was not an easy decision. We talked about it several times. I think he's done the right thing. Steve Bannon who comes into the campaign as the new CEO, is a bomb-thrower in the Roger Stone mold. He is a good friend of mine."

September 16, 2016: Asked on Boston Herald Radio if he'd told Trump his view that he should release his tax returns, Stone said, "He is aware of my view." Stone said he's in touch with Assange "through an intermediary."

September 18, 2016: Stone says on "Morano in the Morning" on local New York radio that he spoke to Manafort the day before, adding that Manafort told him that he was "keeping in touch with a lot of friends in the campaign."

September 21, 2016: Stone claims on "The Joe Piscopo Show" on local New York radio that he spoke to Trump late the night before on the phone.

"Roger, you spoke with Donald Trump," Piscopo said. "It was like 3:00 in the morning, you told me?"

"He is, uh, very nocturnal," Stone said. "This guy gets very little sleep, he requires very little sleep. He is on the phone calling around the country to friends, talking to people. He'll call you. You don't call him at 3:00 in the morning. Three is a little bit of an exaggeration, but you know, 1:30, 1:00, 1:30, he's still up. He's still working."

November 2, 2016: Stone claims he spoke to Trump once a week on average, according to The Guardian.
November 11, 2016: Stone tells Infowars radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that he spoke to President-elect Trump the night before.

"I spoke to President-elect Trump last night at some length on a broad variety of topics and I'm not really at liberty to discuss that," Stone said. "But let me just say that he is, first of all, very grateful to the audience. He knows that you are the centerpiece of the resistance. He knows that he has gotten better treatment here than from anyone in the mainstream media. He is a very grateful and very thankful for your support and the support of your audience." ... index.html
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:05 pm

Six days before WikiLeaks began releasing Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, Roger Stone had a text message conversation with a friend about WikiLeaks, according to copies of phone records obtained exclusively by NBC News.

“Big news Wednesday,” the Stone pal, radio host Randy Credico, wrote on Oct. 1, 2016, according to the text messages provided by Stone. “Now pretend u don’t know me.”

“U died 5 years ago,” Stone replied.

“Great,” Credico wrote back. “Hillary’s campaign will die this week.”

Mueller is reportedly probing whether Roger Stone's messages to Randy Credico—including one where Stone told Credico to "prepare to die"—constitute witness intimidation

Mueller investigating claim Trump associate Roger Stone tried to intimidate a grand jury witness
14 NOV 2018 AT 14:13 ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly probing whether Trump confidante Roger Stone intimidated a witness who contradicted his story on his contact with WikiLeaks.

The Wall Street Journal reported the turn in the investigation based on sources in contact with Mueller’s team.

The probe reportedly revolves around Stone’s relationship with New York radio host Randy Credico, the man Stone claims was his “backchannel” to WikiLeaks. Credico denied Stone’s claim.

Filmmaker David Lugo, an acquaintance to both men, told the Wall Street Journal that he testified before the special counsel’s grand jury about a “harshly critical” blog post Stone helped him write about Credico.

Progressive activist and businessman Bill Samuels, a friend of Credico’s, told the newspaper that Mueller’s team questioned him about the radio host’s “reaction to allegedly threatening messages” sent by Stone.

Another person familiar with Mueller’s investigation said his team is looking into messages between the two men about Credico invoking the Fifth Amendment before Congress. ... es-report/

Mueller Probes Possible Witness Intimidation by Roger Stone

Former Trump adviser angry that radio personality Randy Credico denies being WikiLeaks conduit

Aruna Viswanatha Nov. 14, 2018 2:04 p.m. ET
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether Roger Stone, shown here before his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, had direct contact with WikiLeaks.
In grand jury sessions and interviews, prosecutors have repeatedly asked about emails, text messages and online posts involving Mr. Stone and his former friend, New York radio personality Randy Credico, the people said. Mr. Stone has asserted that Mr. Credico was his backchannel to WikiLeaks, a controversial transparency group, an assertion Mr. Credico denies.

Mr. Mueller’s investigators are probing whether Mr. Stone had direct contact with WikiLeaks and knew ahead of time about its release of stolen Democratic emails, as he claimed during the campaign and now denies. Mr. Stone says he is angry at Mr. Credico because his ex-friend has “refused to tell the truth” about being his conduit to WikiLeaks.

Filmmaker David Lugo, who knows both men, said in an interview he has testified before Mr. Mueller’s grand jury about a blog post Mr. Stone helped him draft that was harshly critical of Mr. Credico. Another witness, businessman Bill Samuels, said he was questioned by Mr. Mueller’s team about Mr. Credico’s reaction to allegedly threatening messages sent by Mr. Stone.

Prosecutors also are examining messages between Messrs. Stone and Credico that involve the radio personality’s decision to assert his Fifth Amendment before Congress, according to a person familiar with the probe.

WikiLeaks released thousands of emails from and to John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, before the 2016 election. Mr. Mueller’s office has alleged that the emails were illegally hacked by Russian intelligence operatives, then released through WikiLeaks and fake online personas to influence the election.

President Trump has repeatedly denied colluding with Russia, and Moscow has rejected assertions that it interfered in American politics. WikiLeaks didn’t respond to a request for comment.

In an email to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Stone categorically denied any effort to intimidate Mr. Credico. An attorney for Mr. Stone said he hasn’t been contacted by Mr. Mueller’s office. A spokesman for Mr. Mueller’s office declined to comment.

Radio personality Randy Credico outside federal court in Washington in September.
Radio personality Randy Credico outside federal court in Washington in September. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News
For the past few months, Mr. Credico has expressed concern about public attacks from Mr. Stone and his associates. “He’s getting his friends out there to slime me,” Mr. Credico said in a message to the Journal earlier this month. Mr. Credico appeared before the grand jury in September.

Mr. Mueller’s team is examining whether Mr. Stone, along with several other pro-Trump activists, knew in advance about WikiLeaks’ release of Democrats’ emails in the 2016 campaign, according to people familiar with the matter. At the heart of Mr. Mueller’s inquiry is the question of whether anyone in Mr. Trump’s orbit participated in Russia’s efforts to hack and release the materials.

During the campaign, Mr. Stone said repeatedly that he was in communication with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and predicted Mr. Assange would release batches of emails damaging to Mrs. Clinton, a prediction that proved accurate.

Since then, he has said his statements were exaggerated and that his knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans came from Mr. Credico, who had interviewed Mr. Assange on his radio program in August 2016. WikiLeaks has said it was not in touch with Mr. Stone at the time he was publicly claiming contact with the group.

Mr. Stone first cited Mr. Credico as a backchannel last fall before the House Intelligence Committee, and since then has attacked Mr. Credico directly and through associates. Mr. Credico has also publicly criticized Mr. Stone.

In emails sent to Mr. Credico and reviewed by the Journal, Mr. Stone threatened to “sue the f—” out of him, called him “a loser a liar and a rat” and told him to “prepare to die c— sucker.”

Mr. Stone was also involved in drafting a May blog post harshly criticizing Mr. Credico, which he gave to Mr. Lugo, the filmmaker.

Mr. Lugo published a version of the article for ArtVoice, a website Mr. Stone writes for, with the headline "Phony Russia Gate, Roger Stone & the lies of Randy Credico.” The piece asserted that Mr. Credico had said on multiple occasions that he was Mr. Stone’s conduit to WikiLeaks.

“They were looking into the intimidation stuff at first,” said Mr. Lugo in a text message to the Journal, referring to his talks with Mr. Mueller’s team. “They were following up on ‘conspiring’ ” to intimidate a witness, he said.

Mr. Lugo said that while it was his idea to write the blog piece, the first draft came from Mr. Stone, and he softened some of the language so it wasn’t “too personal.” “I gave them the entire email chain showing them how it was created, so we will see what happens,” said Mr. Lugo, who said the emails show he didn’t attempt to intimidate a witness.

Mr. Stone said he suggested Mr. Lugo write an op-ed because he and Mr. Lugo were frustrated with Mr. Credico’s “many lies in the press.” A writer who works for Mr. Stone helped with the draft, he said, because Mr. Lugo “is not an experienced writer.”

Mr. Lugo said he stands by his claim in the article that Mr. Credico told him he was Mr. Stone’s back channel to WikiLeaks in May of 2017. He also says he turned over to prosecutors a chain of combative messages that Mr. Credico sent to him after the story was published.

Mr. Credico has said his previous statements to Mr. Lugo and others about being Mr. Stone’s “back channel” were made in jest and at Mr. Stone’s urging.

Separately, Mr. Mueller’s investigators in September questioned Mr. Samuels, a businessman friend of Mr. Credico, about Mr. Credico’s reaction to the allegedly threatening messages from Mr. Stone. In some of those messages, Mr. Stone threatened to sue Mr. Credico and accused him of wearing a wire for Mr. Mueller, the Journal has reported.

Mr. Samuels told the Journal that Mr. Credico was intimidated almost to the point of a nervous breakdown. Mr. Samuels’ involvement in the Mueller probe was reported earlier this month by the New York Times.

Mr. Stone said, the “threatening messages he sent to me are as bad and worse. Our entire exchange is blunt vulgar and vicious but I never urged him to do anything other than tell the truth.”

In March, when Mr. Credico worried he was in the crosshairs of the Intelligence Committee, Mr. Stone assured him Democrats couldn’t act against him and the Republicans would not. “The Minority has no authority,” Mr. Stone wrote, in a message reviewed by the Journal.

Mr. Stone said that while he discussed with Mr. Credico whether to assert his Fifth Amendment rights, “text messages in my possession prove he did so on the advice of his attorney.”

The messages, which were reviewed by the Journal, show Mr. Credico telling Mr. Stone that his lawyers wanted him to take the Fifth. ... 1542222284

Manafort was also caught witness tampering

Exclusive text messages show Roger Stone and friend discussing WikiLeaks plans

Nov. 14, 2018 / 4:36 PM CST
Six days before WikiLeaks began releasing Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, Roger Stone had a text message conversation with a friend about WikiLeaks, according to copies of phone records obtained exclusively by NBC News.

“Big news Wednesday,” the Stone pal, radio host Randy Credico, wrote on Oct. 1, 2016, according to the text messages provided by Stone. “Now pretend u don’t know me.”

“U died 5 years ago,” Stone replied.

“Great,” Credico wrote back. “Hillary’s campaign will die this week.”

Credico turned out to be wrong on one count — nothing incriminating about Clinton came out that Wednesday. But two days later, on Oct. 7, WikiLeaks released its first dump of emails stolen from Podesta, altering the trajectory of the 2016 presidential election.

Stone, a confidante of then-candidate Donald Trump and notorious political trickster, has denied any collusion with WikiLeaks.

But the text messages provided by Stone to NBC News show that Credico appeared to be providing regular updates to Stone on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s plans in the days before the hacked emails were released. In the texts, Credico told Stone he had insights into Assange's plans through a longtime friend, who was also Assange’s lawyer, according to the text messages.

New York radio host Randy Credico appeared before the grand jury hearing evidence in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on Sept. 7, 2018, in Washington.Jacquelyn Martin / AP file
Reached Wednesday, Credico downplayed the text exchanges. “There's absolutely nothing there that I had any knowledge of anything that Assange was going to do because I didn't,” he told NBC News.

"Where's the smoking gun?" he added.

Stone said the messages support the story he's been telling all along. “These text messages prove beyond dispute that Randy Credico was the source who told me of the significance of the material that Julian Assange told CNN he had and would publish in June 2016 and that Credico’s source was indeed a woman attorney who worked for WikiLeaks," Stone said. "If Randy said anything different to the grand jury, he perjured himself under oath.”

Stone’s lawyer Grant Smith said the messages vindicate his client.

“The texts provided to NBC News demonstrate that my client, Roger Stone, has been consistent for the past two years in his assertion that Randy Credico was the person who was providing him what limited information Mr. Stone had regarding WikiLeaks,” Smith said.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating whether Stone had any advance knowledge of WikiLeaks' plans to publish Podesta's emails, according to people familiar with the investigation. Nearly a dozen Stone associates have been summoned by Mueller to appear before his Washington grand jury, the sources said.

The text messages obtained by NBC News appear to show that Stone and Credico exchanged messages about Assange having damaging information about Clinton at least as early as Aug. 27, 2016. The texts show that at 6:07 p.m. that day, Credico wrote to Stone, “Julian Assange has kryptonite on Hillary.”

Stone did not appear to reply to that particular message but the conversations ramped up over the following weeks.

“I think it’s on for tomorrow,” Credico texted Stone on Oct. 3, 2016, according to the messages obtained by NBC News.

The message is time-stamped 2:42 p.m. About 40 minutes earlier, Stone fired off a tweet suggesting he had intimate knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans. It’s not clear if a time zone difference meant that Stone had already received Credico’s message, or if there was another reason behind the timing of his tweet.

“I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon #LockHerUp,” read Stone’s tweet.

Later that day, Credico texted Stone asking, “Why can't you get Trump to come out and say that he would give Julian Assange Asylum[?]” according to the texts obtained by NBC News.

The texts appear to show that Credico sent another message less than three hours later: “Off the Record Hillary and her people are doing a full-court press they keep Assange from making the next dump…That's all I can tell you on this line…Please leave my name out of it."

Stone responded with a question: “So nothing will happen tonight?” according to the texts obtained by NBC News.

Credico responded: “tuesday….There is so much stuff out there… There will be an announcement but not on the balcony.”

Credico followed up five minutes later: “And by the way your friend did not have a meeting with Julian Assange that's a complete lie.”

Stone replied: “How would u know, rummy?” according to the texts obtained by NBC News.

According to Stone, the “friend” the men were referring to was blogger Charles Ortel, who Stone mistakenly thought had met with Assange.

Credico responded to that message: “Because I'm best friends with [Assange's] lawyer and leave it at that and leave it alone.”

The lawyer Credico referred to is Margaret Ratner Kunstler. Kunstler declined requests for comment.

The next day, Oct. 4, Assange announced that his organization would publish emails related to the 2016 campaign.

The email dump actually came three days later, only hours after The Washington Post released a recording of a lewd conversation between then-candidate Donald Trump and TV host Billy Bush.

Anna Schecter is a producer for the investigations unit of NBC News. ... ns-n936371
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby Elvis » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:49 am

seemslikeadream wrote:Mueller does not interview a target

If Assange is a target of Mueller's investigation, what is the specific crime Assange would be charged with?

Mueller may have tactical reasons for not interviewing someone, but he's not barred from questioning targets. The scope of the investigation includes Trump, for possible obstruction of justice, and Mueller does want to question Trump (but Trump's team resists).

In the grand jury, it's a prosecutor's duty to inform the jury of its "right and ability to seek evidence, ask questions, and hear directly from any available witnesses, including eyewitnesses." So I'd imagine the grand jury would want to hear from Assange, and I'd be surprised if they don't subpoena him (or it might be telling if they don't call him). ... thEdition/
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:39 am

Please remind me what dirt Assange published about trump and or Putin

or is it a fact that they are need of leaking on them

Any friend of Roger Stone is no friend to Democracy

Do we know that Assange has not been indicted? There are indictments under seal

why hasn't Mueller called the trump family in for questioning I said ....TARGETS

Anonymous Fed

I just spoke to a camera man outside the DC courthouse. He confirmed that they are there for the Grand Jury in the #MuellerProbe for the third day in a row. I have never seen this kind of media presence for a GJ and I’m telling y’all - something is afoot

Bob Mueller’s Grand Jury enters day three today and trump is on a new-level Twitter rant about Mueller first thing this mornin’.

EXCLUSIVE: The Freedom of the Press Foundation has routed half a million dollars to WikiLeaks. But Julian Assange’s embrace of Trump split the group’s board, which includes Edward Snowden, and now it’s on the verge of a major break

The free press group’s impending split with Assange is a microcosm of a broader anxiety over him amongst his erstwhile allies, now that WikiLeaks has made common cause with extreme right-wing forces, principally Trump and Putin

“Suddenly the voice of WikiLeaks seemed to be all about questioning one candidate—Hillary Clinton.” When the group’s tone began to resemble that of Nazi publications’, a source said, “something is wrong”

Snowden, sources close to him tell The Daily Beast, has felt for a long time that Assange has taken WikiLeaks far from a positive, constructive vision of what Snowden believes WikiLeaks could—or should—be

“When the guy in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, who is normally of the extreme left, is echoing Nazi publications, something is wrong”

After the 2016 election, when Trump’s fortunes had clearly turned, WikiLeaks floated to Trump Jr. the trial balloon of convincing Australia to appoint Assange as its next U.S. ambassador

“This is the final mark of someone who’s in it for himself,” says journalist James Ball, who once worked for WikiLeaks, of Julian Assange. “He’s a sad man in a broom cupboard”

I'll go with Barrett Brown

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Is Accused of Endangering Whistleblowers

WikiLeaks: Why is the Freedom of the Press Foundation cutting ties with Julian Assange?
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby Elvis » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:26 pm

Elvis wrote:If Assange is a target of Mueller's investigation, what is the specific crime Assange would be charged with?

It's a straightforward question. :shrug:
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:42 pm

.....I really do not care one way or another what happens to him....I don't care if he is arrested...goes to trial....gets convicted or stays where he is or's the trump crime family that is of real interest to me

The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to testify privately about Russian interference in the 2016 election. We know this because WikiLeaks, well, leaked the letter. ... sia-senate

maybe now that the dems are in power in the house they will question him

he is a stepping stone to the downfall of the house of trump ..that's what I think of him and of course I stand by Brown ....Dave Emory....Freedom of the Press Foundation

my bold

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Regarding my banishment from the Courage Foundation at the behest of Julian Assange.

This is the full statement I provided to The Daily Beast on the matter of the board of Courage terminating my “beneficiary” status with that organization, along with the text of the board’s e-mail to me on Sunday. Naomi Colvin’s statement in which she explains why she resigned rather than follow an order to get rid of me may be found here:

Rather unfortunately, I have been obliged to resign from Courage.
Since getting out of prison in late 2016, I have been increasingly vocal about my growing distaste for Wikileaks in general and Julian Assange in particular, largely due to his close and ongoing involvement with fascist entities, his outright lies about his role in the last U.S. election, and his willingness to have others tell similar lies on his behalf. I have also continued to support his rights against the state and private organizations that have pursued him from the very beginning, when his original mission of ethical transparency was still in play.

Given that the original FBI investigation into me stemmed directly from my involvement in defending Wikileaks from firms like HBGary, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Palantir, as made clear by the FBI’s own search warrant that may be found at Buzzfeed; and given that the charges I ultimately plead to were directly related to my efforts to ensure that the Stratfor leak was handled properly;

and given that Assange himself refrained from even mentioning my name in public until it became a clear that I was to become a cause celebre;
and given that the entirety of the legal defense fund that actually kept me from going away for decades was handled by the FreeBB organization, not Wikileaks or anyone associated with it; and given that Courage, though a fine organization staffed by extraordinary people, has provided me with something along the lines of $3500 out of the total $14,000 that has been donated for my benefit since FreeBB was incorporated into that organization;
and given that I voluntarily allowed the rest to go into a pool for other beneficiaries that would seem to include Assange himself; and given that Assange and close associates have nonetheless chosen to publicly imply that I am somehow indebted to Assange for having made me a beneficiary after I’d already been sentenced;
and given how much I’ve learned since my release about the degree of dishonesty and outright fabrication that Assange has engaged in along with those associates, much of which is already public record;
and given that Assange himself has repeatedly reached out through intermediaries to “explain” himself to me but has in each case failed to actually do so — given all of this,
I’m afraid I cannot agree with the stance, presented by the Courage board to me yesterday via a poorly-written e-mail, that I am somehow obligated to not only defend Assange’s rights — which I’m happy to do - but also to refrain from speaking out about the problems facing a movement that I risked a hundred years of prison time in order to defend. ... sange.html

I don't think it is a straightforward question.....and no straightforward answer

this is all extremely complicated

you can google just as well as I can to find that answer apparently I have to do it so here is some people discussing it ...I'm not a lawyer...I'm not on Mueller's team ...I have no idea what is happening to him or what will happen to him

I just know Mueller does not interview targets ...since Assange has not been interviewed I figure he could be a target

U.S. v. WikiLeaks: espionage and the First Amendment

Our legal panel predicts Assange will be indicted, but what are the implications for media on the Internet?

Image: Julian Assange Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
If the United States seeks to put on trial WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, what are the implications for freedom of speech, for protection of government secrets and for news organizations on the Internet? has convened a panel of legal specialists to explore questions raised by a prosecution.

As one of the panelists put it, “The WikiLeaks events tee up the question of defining ‘media’ in the new, Internet era like no previous case.”

The Justice Department has said it is exploring possible charges against WikiLeaks and Assange in the release of diplomatic messages. Attorney General Eric Holder said charges may be brought under a World War I-era law, the Espionage Act of 1917 (text here), or other laws.

In this written roundtable discussion, a diverse group of three panelists:

• Predict that Assange will be indicted and that the indictment will survive a legal challenge.

• Disagree on the question of whether Assange is a journalist. But they agree that even if he is deemed a journalist, that may not save him.

• Describe the prosecution's greatest weaknesses, starting with getting Assange onto U.S. soil for a trial.

• Discuss what may be an overwhelming handicap for the defense if there is a trial: Assange's personality. His statements that he intends to harm the United States won't help him with the judge. And a jury probably won't like him, the panelists predict.

Our panelists
Abbe D. Lowell (full bio), a noted defense lawyer, is a Washington partner in the firm of McDermott Will & Emery. He represented one of the defendants in the case usually cited as the closest modern-day parallel to the WikiLeaks case, in which the government dropped charges against two lobbyists for a pro-Israel lobbying group accused of violating the Espionage Act by trafficking in government secrets. In addition to representing many high-profile defendants, he has served the government as chief minority counsel to the U.S. House during impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton and was special counselor to the United Nations in prosecution of human rights violations and war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

Paul Rosenzweig (full bio) served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush as deputy assistant secretary for policy and as acting assistant secretary for international affairs. He's now at the Heritage Foundation as a visiting fellow at the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. He lectures at the George Washington University School of Law and is co-author of the 2005 book "Winning the Long War: Lessons from the Cold War for Defeating Terrorism and Preserving Freedom."

Stephen I. Vladeck (full bio) is a professor of law at American University Washington College of Law, where he teaches and writes on federal jurisdiction, constitutional law, national security law and international criminal law. He has been involved in several cases challenging U.S. government surveillance and detention of terrorism suspects and was part of the legal team that challenged the Bush administration's use of military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

Click through the eight questions here, and join the discussion in the comments section below.

Has Assange violated the Espionage Act?

The release of these diplomatic cables could not be more public, and about half of the 250,000 cables that WikiLeaks gave to newspapers are classified. Is there any doubt that Assange has violated the Espionage Act?

Abbe D. Lowell, defense attorney: There can be serious doubt, indeed, “reasonable doubt,” that Mr. Assange has violated the act. First, there has never been a prosecution under the act for a First Amendment-protected media outlet or reporter. The AIPAC case was the closest in that it charged lobbyists. [Lowell defended one of the lobbyists; the government dropped the charges.] It is not clear that a court would rule that the act can apply constitutionally in this context.

If a charge survived such a challenge, courts have then stated the government has a much higher burden of proof if First Amendment activity is involved — that burden requires the government prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Assange did the acts involved, did them with an intent to injure the U.S., and did them in bad faith. These are high bars in criminal cases.

So while it is not hard for a prosecutor to charge a case, obtaining a conviction is not assured.

Stephen I. Vladeck, law professor, American University: There’s little doubt that Assange knowingly redistributed classified information. The doubt, such as it is, is whether the Espionage Act requires more.

The act, for example, prohibits the willful communication, delivery, or transmission to “any person not entitled to receive it” of “any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” With regard to this last clause — that is, the disclosure of “information relating to the national defense” — courts have ruled that the defendant must have acted in “bad faith.” But what does that mean, here?

The single biggest problem with the Espionage Act is that its limits have never truly been tested, and so it is exceedingly difficult to say with any certainty what it does and doesn’t proscribe.

As the then-general counsel of the CIA summarized in 1979, “[o]n the one hand the laws stand idle and are not enforced at least in part because their meaning is so obscure, and on the other hand it is likely that the very obscurity of these laws serves to deter perfectly legitimate expression and debate by persons who must be as unsure of their liabilities as I am unsure of their obligations.”

Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security official: His actions seem to pretty readily fall within the strict terms of the act, but then so do those of The New York Times and dozens of other outlets.

The more interesting question is whether a violation of the act can be proven, given how the act has been interpreted. As recent failed efforts to prosecute two alleged recipients of classified material about Israel show, those prosecutions are fraught with challenges that make it hard to prove a violation beyond a reasonable doubt. Most notably, the courts have said that the act requires proof of some form of “specific intent” or “bad faith” for a conviction.

I think Assange’s assertion of a “good government/transparency” motive are patently self-serving flummery, but a jury might buy it.

I have no doubt that a colorable [seemingly valid] case can be made against Assange — but conviction is much less certain.

Does it matter that WikiLeaks didn't steal anything?

Does it matter that WikiLeaks is the recipient and distributor of stolen material, not the one who stole it?

Stephen I. Vladeck, law professor, American University: It may matter quite a bit, both politically and for First Amendment reasons that I’ll get to in a second. But for starters, it’s quite clear that the Espionage Act applies on its face regardless of whether the individual who is distributing classified information is the initial thief or an intermediary. Indeed, the plain text of the statute would suggest that even the 100th person to redistribute the same classified document might still be liable, so long as he had the requisite mens rea [criminal intent]. For better or worse, classified information doesn’t become unclassified simply because it has been wrongly disclosed to the public.

That being said, in the 93-year history of the Espionage Act, the U.S. government has brought exactly one prosecution under the statute of anyone other than the initial thief/spy/leaker, and that case — concerning two American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbyists accused of transmitting classified information to Israel — collapsed in 2009.

The elephant in the room here (as it was in the AIPAC case) is the First Amendment. Where information has already been leaked, there are many who believe that the First Amendment protects the right of Americans — journalists, in particular — to view and redistribute that information.

Abbe D. Lowell, defense attorney: As a technical and legal matter, each successive unauthorized disclosure of national defense (classified) information can be the basis of an Espionage Act prosecution, and so it would not prevent a charge against Mr. Assange.

But, his being a media recipient and distributor could matter in whether the Justice Department wants to bring such a theory that would be a precedent against all other media.

However, the government does not have to charge this conduct under the Espionage Act. The Attorney General has stated they are looking at other laws. Among these could be conspiracy, based on Mr. Assange being in an unlawful agreement with the person who actually stole the material, or the charge of theft of government property, which could apply to the person who stole the material and the person who “retains” it.

Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security official: Absolutely. We’ve successfully prosecuted many who have released classified material illegally — that’s how most spies are charged.

But because of First Amendment concerns, the U.S. has a very great hesitancy in punishing those who are the recipients of classified information and then republish it or transmit it onward. The Israeli case I mentioned above is the only such prosecution that I know of, and the government lost the case.

It may be that Assange can’t formally claim First Amendment protection — but it is certain that First Amendment principles and our history of protecting public discourse will cause the government to hesitate before prosecuting.

Is Assange a journalist?

Is Assange a journalist? Is WikiLeaks a news organization? If so, how does that affect a case? How is Assange any different from the newspapers that have republished the cables?

Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security official: I agree with Floyd Abrams (of Pentagon Papers fame). Like him, my opinion is that Assange is not a journalist and WikiLeaks is not a news organization.

News organizations pride themselves on adding value to news — they analyze and provide context. WikiLeaks does none of that. It’s more like a telephone directory — just a compiler of information, not a discriminating purveyor — and it demeans real news organizations to make the comparison.

Of course, Assange is sure to contest that conclusion if he is ever brought to trial, and the boundaries of the definition of a “news organization” in a complex Internet/blogging world have yet to be well drawn, so it is possible that a court will rule otherwise. But if I were a betting man I’d bet against this aspect of Assange’s defense.

Abbe D. Lowell, defense attorney: The issue of whether WikiLeaks is a media organization and whether Mr. Assange is a First Amendment-protected journalist are key questions when dealing with the Espionage Act, because journalists and the media get the most protection at the intersection of the First Amendment to the criminal law and because the government has the highest burden of proof in this context.

The WikiLeaks events tee up the question of defining “media” in the new, Internet era like no previous case.

The government will argue that providing a website for the dissemination of raw classified data is “not reporting” and has no editorial or traditional media activity.

However, the First Amendment is very broad and very strong, and WikiLeaks has the better of the argument that gathering information (even raw information) and reporting it (disclosing it) is the classic definition of protected freedom of the press activity.

Stephen I. Vladeck, law professor, American University: Legally, at least, I don’t think it matters whether or not Assange is a journalist or WikiLeaks is a news organization.

The Supreme Court has long resisted the invitation to recognize special constitutional protections for journalists, at least largely because it is so difficult to draw the line between the “mainstream media” and those private citizens who seek to publish information through other means, including blogs, Twitter feeds, or, if they still exist, pamphlets. In that sense, Assange may not be that different from The New York Times or other media outlets that have republished the cables. (Indeed, this will surely be one of his arguments.)

And I think this point goes a long way to explaining why this case is potentially so momentous. Although the U.S. government has never prosecuted a reporter or a newspaper for publishing classified information, the text of the Espionage Act would seem to permit such a prosecution, and several of the Supreme Court justices who decided the Pentagon Papers case in 1971 specifically suggested that The Times and The Washington Post could be prosecuted after the fact for publishing the Pentagon Papers, even while ruling that they couldn’t be enjoined from publication.

So the real question is whether any prosecution of Assange would set a dangerous precedent for potential future prosecutions of the press, or whether the government would rely upon a novel theory that draws a clearer distinction between what Assange did here and what any number of newspapers have done both recently and in the past.

Is he protected by First Amendment?

As a non-citizen acting outside the United States, is Assange entitled to First Amendment protections at all? Should the First Amendment ever protect the public dissemination of classified material?

Abbe D. Lowell, defense attorney: Like so many other aspects of this case, whether and to what extent the First Amendment applies to a non-citizen who might be accused of making a disclosure (in other words a form of speech) abroad (and not in the U.S.) is not entirely clear. However, if the U.S. is able to get jurisdiction over Mr. Assange by claiming his actions occurred in the U.S., then he should be able to assert that the same activity enjoys the benefit of the First Amendment, because free speech and free press protections apply to people in the country, not just citizens.

The First Amendment does not have a broad carve-out from its free speech and free press protections for classified information or “national defense information” (the proper phrase under the Espionage Act). It would be inconsistent with the whole idea of such freedoms for there to be wholesale exceptions in the First Amendment for such categories. Instead, the First Amendment will compel a court to determine other aspects of any disclosure — the intent behind the release, the purpose of the disclosure and whether the disclosure was in “bad faith.” Those are where the First Amendment will or will not protect the conduct alleged here.

Stephen I. Vladeck, law professor, American University: These are two very different questions. To the first, if it came to that point, Assange would be in the United States, sitting in a U.S. courtroom. Although the case law is decidedly unclear as to which rights non-citizens outside the United States are entitled to invoke, in that situation, I think Assange would have a very strong case that the First Amendment should apply.

But I doubt it will come to that. Because it is not even clear whether the Espionage Act applies to conduct that takes place overseas, I suspect that any Espionage Act prosecution would include an argument that some of the underlying acts took place within the territorial United States, even if it was simply the storage of some of these cables on servers physically located within the country. On that theory, if the crime happened “here,” I think it would be even clearer that Assange would be entitled to whatever protections the First Amendment would have to offer.

As to the second question, once we pull away all of the layers of the WikiLeaks onion, I think that this is the real issue for us to debate going forward. To be frank, I’m ambivalent about the answer. At the very least, though, it’s worth considering two sets of cases: (1) where the public good resulting from the disclosure clearly outweighs any potential harm to national security; and/or (2) where the disclosed information should not have been classified in the first place. In both sets of cases, I think there are compelling arguments in favor of allowing disclosure, or, at the very least, incentivizing a government employee to report misconduct to the appropriate government official in a whistleblowing case. And if the First Amendment doesn’t provide for such disclosure, perhaps a statute should. (Indeed, one of the many flaws in the Espionage Act as currently written is that it makes no exception for disclosures pursuant to federal whistleblower laws.)

Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security official: In general, no. Constitutional protections are only rarely extended to non-citizens and even more rarely applied outside of the United States, except in the context of when the U.S. government is an actor. Here it is certain that Assange will seek such protection, but doubtful whether he will get it.

It also may be irrelevant — the courts have resisted a formal distinction between the press and other publishers, so the First Amendment argument may be less than it seems.

As for the question of whether the First Amendment protects disclosure of classified information: Of course it does. It has for more than 200 years in one way or another. We still haven’t worked out exactly the right balance, but that is to be expected. Sometimes the disclosure will serve a positive purpose (think Pentagon Papers); other times it won’t (think Phillip Agee’s disclosure of the names of some of our covert CIA station chiefs), but that’s the price we pay for a robust democratic process and governmental transparency.

What hurdle does a prosecution face?

What is the greatest hurdle facing a prosecution? How might that be overcome?

Stephen I. Vladeck, law professor, American University: To my mind, the greatest hurdle is the weight of history. As I noted above, a prosecution of Assange for violating the Espionage Act would be unprecedented.

So many key questions about the scope of the Espionage Act and the government’s burden of proof remain unanswered, that it would be impossible for even the most talented prosecutors to fully anticipate the legal issues that might arise.

And although the novelty of legal issues isn’t an argument against bringing a case, it will make things that much harder for any prosecution, the strategy of which may depend upon the answers to these as-yet-unanswered questions.

Abbe D. Lowell, defense attorney: The greatest hurdle to a prosecution will be a court deciding that the Espionage Act cannot be constitutionally applied to a First Amendment-protected journalist or media outlet and that WikiLeaks and Assange get that protection.

A second great hurdle will be the higher burden of proof (intent to injure the U.S. and bad faith) if the case gets past a motion to dismiss.

There will be the additional obstacles of extradition of Mr. Assange to the U.S. (it is not automatic) and also whether other laws (like the theft of government property) can apply to someone who received the information.

The government can overcome these hurdles by distinguishing WikiLeaks from mainstream media, by using Mr. Assange’s various press statements to show he did indeed have an intent to harm the U.S., and by using statutes other than the Espionage Act to charge him.

Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security official: It seems highly unlikely that Assange will ever face trial in this country, because no country where he is located is likely to extradite him to America.

Extradition for “political offenses” is rare, and Sweden has a long history of granting political asylum/refusing political extradition. Only extreme diplomatic pressure (of a form I cannot readily imagine being actually applied) would be likely to compel the Swedes to yield him up for trial. The British might be more willing to extradite him, and our extradition treaty with them might cover these offenses. One would hope that the administration does not delay its extradition request until after Assange moves to a less-favorable jurisdiction.

In truth, I see this as a very high hurdle and have trouble envisioning how it would be overcome.

What is the defense weakness?

What is the greatest weakness of a defense? How might that be overcome?

Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security official: From a thematic point of view Assange seems like he would be a pretty unappealing defendant. In his public appearances he comes across as self-righteous and arrogant. There is more than a little hint of anti-Americanism in his rhetoric.

And his “supporters” today in the hacktivist anarchic community are adopting a scorched earth strategy that will rub off on Assange, to his detriment.

If he ever comes to trial, the jury will not like him. The obvious way to overcome it is to make him act more likeably — I wonder if that would be possible.

Abbe D. Lowell, defense attorney: The greatest hurdle for the defense will be the facts themselves — that huge data dumps of raw classified material will not be deemed to be covered by the First Amendment.

Close behind will be that neither Assange nor the type of large disclosure he did (as well as his public statements) will inspire sympathy from a judge ruling on the case or a trial jury deciding whether they like his conduct or him. He stands a serious risk that a court or jury will want to find ways to convict him.

He might overcome these obstacles by having the mainstream media and their legal groups take up his cause that he is protected by the First Amendment, by showing that what he did is not different that what other media have been doing in publishing the same material, and by moderating some of his press comments not to play into the hands of any prosecution.

Stephen I. Vladeck, law professor, American University: Some of the biggest issues for the defense may well arise out of statements Assange has already made publicly.

If the prosecution boils down to whether Assange acted in bad faith, and whether he reasonably should have known that these disclosures would harm U.S. national security, he may have hurt his own cause by being so publicly forthright throughout this controversy, especially with regard to the effects of future leaks. If Assange’s publicly stated goal is to bring down incumbent administrations, banks, and the like, it may be hard for the defense to portray him as someone who didn’t appreciate the harm that might result from the disclosures.

And if that weren’t enough, the U.S. government tried very hard to make sure he was on notice, with letters to Assange from both the State Department’s legal adviser and the Defense Department’s general counsel underlining the point prior to the latest round of disclosures.

How should the U.S. change the Espionage Act?

How should the U.S. deal with future Assanges? What should Congress do in response to this case in writing an Espionage Act of 2011?

Abbe D. Lowell, defense attorney: I was able to submit testimony in May 2010 [read the testimony here in a PDF file] on whether and how the Espionage Act should be amended. It is long overdue for changes.

No law should be changed to respond to a single person’s action, and a great deal of careful thought and debate would be required before a new law is passed so that true national security is balanced with precious constitutional rights.

However, any new statute should at least:

• Carefully define espionage differently than a separate offense for the improper disclosure of national defense information (NDI) and separately from the improper handing or disclosure of classified information that may or may not be NDI.

• Make clear that the statute only applies to NDI that is shown to be “closely held.” There are occasions when information is so available and pervasive that it can no longer be said to be “closely held.”

• Define the criminal intent needed for a conviction of each offense in terms that are clear (i.e., with a specific intent to injure the national defense of the U.S. without regard to whether it helps a foreign country) so people can conform their conduct and judges and juries can apply the law consistently.

• Make clear how the law covers tangible (documents or data) as well as non-tangible information (oral conversations) in a manner that protects First Amendment activity and whether and how, in the context of “leak,” it should ever be applied to those who are not government officials, such as the media.

Stephen I. Vladeck, law professor, American University: Long before WikiLeaks was on our radar screen, there was already a concerted effort to modernize the Espionage Act, and the WikiLeaks affair should only reinforce calls for reform.

But reform should not just be a knee-jerk reaction to Assange. Instead, Congress should consider three distinct sets of issues in “updating” the Espionage Act:

• Clarifying the circumstances in which the Espionage Act does apply to third-parties, and not just the original spy/thief/leaker, including whether the same mens rea [criminal intent] applies in those cases.

• Including specific exemptions from the Espionage Act for disclosures that are covered by federal whistleblower laws.

• Considering the addition of a defense to the Espionage Act for cases in which the relevant material was improperly classified.

This is just the tip of the iceberg — the Espionage Act regime as a whole is antiquated, outdated, and could benefit from a complete reworking. But at the very least, these steps might help clarify some of the most difficult legal issues that a prosecution of Assange might raise.

Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security official: It’s tough to draw a statute that is both consistent with our tradition of transparency in government and yet punishes those, like Assange, who seem clearly to have transgressed. That’s why moves for an American equivalent of an Official Secrets Act (from the UK) have been routinely rejected — including a relatively recent effort by Senator [Richard] Shelby [R-Ala.].

I think it is time for a careful reconsideration of the Espionage Act, to include some serious thinking about the following questions:

• Are Internet releases different from journalism?

• Is proof of specific intent to harm a reasonable requirement?

• Is stolen information equivalent to stolen property?

• How do we protect legitimate press activity or whistleblowers?

More broadly, the more profitable effort will be on the defensive side. It seems rather problematic that our classified systems have not been configured to detect and create alerts for prima facie [apparently illegal] policy violations automatically, as for example when files with certain attributes are transmitted outside the host organization or large volumes of material are downloaded. Nor apparently, have our systems been configured to alert on anomalies, such as the accessing of sensitive data inconsistent with normal usage patterns. One way for Congress to deal with future Assanges is for it to make the Executive Branch step up to the plate on information assurance.

Will he be indicted or convicted?

Prediction time: What is the likelihood of a U.S. indictment of Assange? What is the likelihood of an indictment surviving a motion to dismiss? What is the likelihood of a conviction if a case went to trial?

Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security official:

Indictment: 80 percent likely (it’s a political necessity).

Surviving a motion to dismiss: 80 percent (if it is a carefully drawn indictment).

Assange being extradited to the U.S. for trial: 10-20 percent (precisely because it’s a political necessity in the U.S.!).

Assange being convicted if he is tried: 60-70 percent (I don’t think a jury will be very sympathetic).

Bonus prediction: Some of Assange’s supporting hacktivists are identified, arrested, extradited, tried and ultimately convicted: 70-80 percent.

Abbe D. Lowell, defense attorney: The WikiLeaks disclosures are getting bolder and causing more controversy; the U.S. will find some way to bring charges (under the Espionage Act and/or other laws), because not doing so will be deemed bad legal precedent, bad foreign relations, and bad national politics.

A well-crafted, narrow indictment will not be dismissed because a court will probably rule that there is no absolute First Amendment bar to charging an entity like WikiLeaks for the kind of data dump it did and that the legal issues involved in the case (criminal intent, higher protection) require a trial.

A conviction will depend entirely on how jury instructions are drafted by a court (how high is the First Amendment bar) and whether a jury decides to follow those instructions (a jury in some area, perhaps Alexandria, Virginia, may decide the case differently than one in D.C.).

Stephen I. Vladeck, law professor, American University: Honestly, I have no idea.

I suspect that some of what happens here may depend upon what happens in the pending criminal case against him in Sweden. So long as the Swedish criminal process is running its course, we may well hold off on pursuing Assange (even if an indictment has already been obtained).

But if, for whatever reason, the case against Assange there doesn’t produce a conviction, I think it is extremely likely that the U.S. government will pursue an indictment (or unseal an indictment it has already obtained) and seek Assange’s extradition.

And I suspect that, at that point, the case would be strong enough to survive a motion to dismiss.

As for the likelihood of a conviction, that’s ultimately a question for 12 unknown citizens. ... -3mOa3MzdQ
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby Elvis » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:30 pm

seemslikeadream wrote:U.S. v. WikiLeaks: espionage and the First Amendment

Our legal panel predicts Assange will be indicted, but what are the implications for media on the Internet?

I'm well aware of the Espionage Act, but thank you—excellent article! It reveals all the weaknesses—and dangers—inherent in a prosecution of Assange. It shows clearly how the calls to prosecute Assange are politically motivated, not based on strong legal terms.

One may prefer the view of Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security official \<] whose thin legal arguments and political motivations are laid bare in the roundtable.

However, Rosenzweig himself points out the huge problem accompanying an Assange prosecution, and the peril to the First Amendment:

Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security official: His actions seem to pretty readily fall within the strict terms of the act, but then so do those of The New York Times and dozens of other outlets.

A lot of people have got their undergarments in a twist over an alleged political consequence of Assange's leaks. In demanding Assanges's prosecution, they really ought to be more careful about what they wish for. (I don't mean you, since you've said you don't care what happens.)

Much more to point out and parse in the article, but it's all self-evident in reading.
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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:40 pm

since you've said you don't care what happens. Assange

Roger Stone......Corsi.....trump crime family ....Manafort..are a different story


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Re: Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Elec

Postby Elvis » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:50 pm

seemslikeadream wrote:Roger Stone......Corsi.....trump crime family ....Manafort..are a different story

I'm with ya on that! :thumbsup
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