Friday, March 24, 2017

Yes, There Was Collusion, But How Far Up The Chain Did It Go? To Trump?


Adam Schiff is very focused on Putin-Gate and when he was on Meet the Press the other day, he told Chuck Todd that "There is more than circumstantial evidence now... and is very much worthy of investigation." The next day CNN reported that the FBI has information that indicates associates-- is that Roger Stone? Steve Bannon? Flynn? Carter Page? Gorka? Manafort? Tillerson? Ross? -- of Trump "communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign." Remember, when Comey testified Monday he said the FBI has been investigating coordination between the Trumpists and Putin since July and that the Bureau had "a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power."

Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, and Trump's spokesperson, Sean Spicer, both denied everything. CNN's source told them that "people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready."
One of the obstacles the sources say the FBI now faces in finding conclusive intelligence is that communications between Trump's associates and Russians have ceased in recent months given the public focus on Russia's alleged ties to the Trump campaign. Some Russian officials have also changed their methods of communications, making monitoring more difficult, the officials said.

Last July, Russian intelligence agencies began orchestrating the release of hacked emails stolen in a breach of the Democratic National Committee and associated organizations, as well as email accounts belonging to Clinton campaign officials, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

The Russian operation was also in part focused on the publication of so-called "fake news" stories aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton's campaign. But FBI investigators say they are less focused on the coordination and publication of those "fake news" stories, in part because those publications are generally protected free speech.

The release of the stolen emails, meanwhile, transformed an ordinary cyber-intrusion investigation into a much bigger case handled by the FBI's counterintelligence division.
CNN followed up this morning with another report about more evidence of collusion between Trump and Putin, again, coming from Schiff sources. Schiff said it's grand jury level evidence not trial jury evidence (which means "beyond a reasonable doubt." But he said, "we're at the beginning of an investigation, and given the gravity of the subject matter, I think that the evidence certainly warrants us doing a thorough investigation."

Manafort bleeds borsht-- will he roll over on Trump though?

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At 9:02 PM, Blogger bowtiejack said...

Anybody remember Spiro Agnew?
That case was made in the classic organized crime manner by squeezing a little guy who could only save himself by giving up a bigger guy. You then squeeze that guy to work your way up the chain for bigger and bigger fish. Sort of a domino effect. The final domino in Agnew's case turned out OMG! to be the Vice President himself!

Manafort, Stone and the rest of these pustules were only in it for the money. And the rule in these cases is the first guy to 'fess up is the one who gets the best deal (e.g. probation, community service, couple months in a half-way house).
If you get nailed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act it can be a 5-year felony for each count. FARA has not been aggressively enforced lately, but Manafort, Flynn, Stone and Carter Page all look vulnerable. Maybe someone wants to make a deal?

At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: "Russian intelligence agencies began orchestrating the release of hacked emails stolen in a breach of the Democratic National Committee and associated organizations"

Oh, really?

The DNC has refused the request of the FBI to examine the DNC'c allegedly Russian-hacked servers. Instead they had the servers examined by tech companies.

This is essentially the "thinking" that brought us corporate made/controlled voting machines.

Where's the DNC's vehement demands for a public investigation of the "mysterious" death of one of its staffers right after the hack-leak story was disseminated?

John Puma


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