Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Will Putin-Gate Lead To Impeachment?


Looks like his decision to not seek reelection has set Jason Chaffetz free from at least some partisan obligations to the Trumpist Regime. Watch that video above. Responding to a question about Trump/Putin crony Michael Flynn, Chaffetz said "As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else. And it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate. And there are repercussions for the violation of law." CNN reported that "The announcement about Flynn comes a week after CNN reported that Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a senior adviser to the President, has yet to detail to the federal government all of his foreign contacts, a condition of receiving his top secret security clearance, CNN has learned. When Kushner first submitted his forms to the FBI, he left the section about foreign contacts blank-- despite the fact that he had met with a large number of foreign emissaries and leaders once Donald Trump became the president-elect and he became the point man for international contacts for the incoming Trump administration."

Trumpist flack Spicy Spice then went on the air to say that Chaffetz's and the House Oversight Committee’s request for documents on Flynn is "pretty outlandish," defending the Regime's shocking denial of the request. The number of Americans who want an independent, non-partisan professional investigation into Putin-Gate has been growing by leaps and bounds, According to the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll the number of Americans who want an independent probe is now 73%. And 61% of respondents say they have little to no confidence in Congress conducting a fair and impartial investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.

Putin-Gate is now a giant octopus of interconnected scandals that is quickly swallowing the entire Trump Regime. It's no longer just about Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Carter Page-- all of whom are likely to see prison terms-- but has spread right to the top, including Kushner-in-law. Devin Nunes, head of the Intelligence Committee was forced to recuse himself from the investigation (as was Attorney General Jeff Sessions) and Nunes is now under investigation himself for having participated in a coverup.

Yesterday Politico reported that Flynn's stint as a secret lobbyist for Turkey was tied to-- wait for it-- Putin!
The Turkish man who gave Mike Flynn a $600,000 lobbying deal just before President Donald Trump picked him to be national security adviser has business ties to Russia, including a 2009 aviation financing deal negotiated with Vladimir Putin, according to court records.

The man, Ekim Alptekin, has in recent years helped to coordinate Turkish lobbying in Washington with Dmitri “David” Zaikin, a Soviet-born former executive in Russian energy and mining companies who also has had dealings with Putin’s government, according to three people with direct knowledge of the activities.

This unusual arrangement, in which Alptekin and Zaikin have helped steer Turkish lobbying through various groups since at least 2015, raises questions about both the agenda of the two men and the source of the funds used to pay the lobbyists.

Although Turkey is a NATO ally, its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has grown increasingly authoritarian and friendly with Putin. And the hiring of Flynn by Alptekin came at a time when Flynn was working for Trump’s campaign and Putin’s government was under investigation for interfering with the U.S. election.

Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, declined to comment. In a filing with the Justice Department, Flynn said he relied on assurances from Alptekin that he was not directly or indirectly funded by a foreign government. But shifting explanations and a web of business ties raise questions about the arrangement.

Flynn has offered evolving accounts of his lobbying work for Alptekin. In September, Flynn reported his client as a Dutch shell company owned by Alptekin. After being forced to leave the White House-- reportedly because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations during the transition with the Russian ambassador-- Flynn filed new paperwork in March acknowledging that his lobbying work “principally benefitted” the Turkish government.

The revelation of Russian business ties to the man who hired Flynn-- which has not been previously reported-- threatens to complicate the White House’s struggle to escape the shadow of the FBI investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian agents.

Flynn has been a focus for concerns about Russian ties to both the Trump campaign, for which he was a key adviser and surrogate, and the Trump administration, in which, as national security adviser, he had access to the most sensitive state secrets.
Yesterday's NY Times reported that the same Kremlin hackers who put Trump into the White House have begun working on winning the French election for neo-Nazi Marine Le Pen. Nicole Perlroth wrote that "The campaign of the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been targeted by what appear to be the same Russian operatives responsible for hacks of Democratic campaign officials before last year’s American presidential election, a cybersecurity firm warns in a new report. The report has heightened concerns that Russia may turn its playbook on France in an effort to harm Mr. Macron’s candidacy and bolster that of Mr. Macron’s rival, the National Front leader Marine Le Pen, in the final weeks of the French presidential campaign. Security researchers at the cybersecurity firm, Trend Micro, said that on March 15 they spotted a hacking group they believe to be a Russian intelligence unit turn its weapons on Mr. Macron’s campaign-- sending emails to campaign officials and others with links to fake websites designed to bait them into turning over passwords. The group began registering several decoy internet addresses last month and as recently as April 15, naming one and another to mimic the name of Mr. Macron’s political party, En Marche. Those websites were registered to a block of web addresses that Trend Micro’s researchers say belong to the Russian intelligence unit they refer to as Pawn Storm, but is alternatively known as Fancy Bear, APT 28 or the Sofacy Group. American and European intelligence agencies and American private security researchers determined that the group was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee last year."

Putin has his intelligence forces going all in to do in France and Germany exactly what he was able to a chief in the U.S.-- undermine democracy and placing political leadership into the hands of a divisive, incompetent and friendly politician. It's worth mentioning that the Republican passage of Jeff Flake's bill to allow internet service providers to sell everyone's personal information-- which was swiftly and secretly signed by Trump-- will make these kinds of operations-- allowing the Russians to gain access to the campaigns' email accounts-- all the easier.
“The phishing pages we are talking about are very personalized web pages to look like the real address,” Mr. Mahjoubi added. Anyone could easily think he was logging into his own email. “They were pixel perfect,” he said Monday night. “It’s exactly the same page. That means there was talent behind it and time went into it: talent, money, experience, time and will.”

The goal was to obtain the email passwords of campaign staff members so a cyberattacker could lurk unseen inside an email account reading confidential correspondence. “If you are speed reading as you sign on, and everybody speed reads online, it’s something you might not notice,” Mr. Mahjoubi said. “For instance, it uses a hyphen instead of a dot, and if you are speed reading you don’t look at the URL.”

Unlike the attacks aimed at Mrs. Clinton’s staff, those directed at the Macron camp, Mr. Mahjoubi said, failed to gain access to any email accounts used by the candidate or his lieutenants.

This winter, the campaign’s website also came under attack. The attacks coincided with highly slanted articles about Mr. Macron on the French language services of Sputnik and RT, formerly Russia Today. Both are state-funded Russian news media outlets.

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At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm Russian elites buying our elections or US elites. Now according to my lesser of two evils guide... I should root for????

Face it, Russia Inc. is a just another version of a multi-national corporation and under Citizens United is entitled to free political speech. Hi hypocrisy!

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Will Putin-Gate Lead To Impeachment?"

Oh HELL No! Nothing bad ever happens to Republicans. Impeachment is only for fellated Democorrupts!

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

It looks like the move towards impeachment is inevitable - the Republicans may wind up having no choice. Unfortunately, this process is way too slow moving and Trump will likely manage to ruin us before this occurs. He will surely resort to more bombing, as he got such immediate positive feedback when he did so. This was an abomination - we had no grounds for the bombing in Syria, for many reasons. And he gave Putin advance notice, who passed this onto Assad, without even telling Congress! He is a freaking traitor, among other horrible things. Nicholas Kristof and other media, and much of Congress, Dems as well as Reps, were way too quick to support him for the bombing. It stinks! We never learn! Trump will get us into a new war very soon, I fear, with his ignorance, poor judgment, impulsivity, lack of awareness or concern about the consequences of his actions, and need to boost his ego. The latter is a bottomless pit. He is a disturbed monster and much of the media and Congress keep trying to normalize him. Wake up!

At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. No impeachment. Certain R foreign operatives may lose their jobs or even get indicted. But I'd expect blanket pardons from der fuhrer.

Face it. Rs are party first, second, third... all the way to last. Country doesn't mean anything to them. Doesn't matter to their voters either. All are tribal and stupid (props to Bill Maher for that one).

And don't expect anything from the democraps. Even in a majority, doubtful if they'd impeach. They need the Rs to be horrible to seem worse than they are.

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...their voters...are tribal and stupid (props to Bill Maher for that one)."

I have to agree. I was listening to the Ralph Nader Hour with George Lakoff the other day. Lakoff described the differences between the two parties as being The Authoritarian Father on the GOP side, and a more nurturing environment on the Democrat side (although I would challenge that concept based on their neoliberal actions across twenty-plus years).

BUT. . .

Should a member of their approved activities (church, school, etc.) become in need of assistance, all of a sudden it's OK for The Authoritarian Father to become surprisingly liberal and agree to provide the necessary support. This aid can extend to friendly neighboring tribes, but don't expect the neighborhood to extend too far. That is asking too much.

As long as the tribe is cared for, the Republicans are capable of generosity. Just don't expect to become part of the tribe if you aren't born into it.

At 1:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, given the Clinton's (and their foundation's) relationships with world governments/leaders, we can only presume that the policy of "resistance" Democrats is: one may USE high/est positions of power in the US for personal enrichment but NO one who has, or whose associates have, previously committed high-holy global capitalism may run for said highest office(s)? So the debate is between two, extremely elevated levels of cynicism? (h/t Anon @2:42PM)

And if HRC had won? What would Dems say about GOP howling for impeachment because of intimate relations of her staff with Russian devils, in part lobbying for a immunity from US sanctions for a Russian bank (brother of campaign chair, Podesta) AND, among others, the $500,000 WJ Clinton received from another Russian bank for a Moscow speech? ( see "Renaissance Capital" and link to financial disclosure statements.)

What percentage of American's want "a fair and impartial investigation" into AIPAC's control of our government policy toward the state of Israel and, thus, our entire Middle East policy? You mean the "Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll" didn't ask that? Did it ask potential respondents if they knew the Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murderdoch?

I am anxiously awaiting version 2.0 of "impeachment is off the table" sometime prior to election day November 2018.

Did the poll that found 73% of respondents wanting a full/fair investigation into alleged "Russian devil-gate" also ask whether impeachment should follow if appropriate or is that merely more, all too characteristic, DWT conflation?

John Puma

At 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good points, JP.

If it looks like the democraps may win back either chamber in '18, I'd expect either/both scummer and Pelosi to make that declaration... to put the money, but also the imbeciles who vote, at ease that their properties and delicate sensibilities won't be upset with any such distraction in congress from moving wealth upward.

As you should know, americans have a capacity to connect the dots asymptotic to zero. So polling a question of "if A, then B?" would totally flummox 98.7% of those polled.

Might as well poll why, if they overwhelmingly support A, then why do 99% of them always vote for candidates who are anti-A.


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