Author Topic: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters  (Read 137754 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Skullduggery ahead; who could have seen this coming?
« Reply #100 on: June 14, 2017, 06:20:34 PM »
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/us/politics/mueller-trump-special-counsel-investigation.html?emc=edit_na_20170614&nl=breaking-news&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0

"A former senior official said "  i.e. an Obama official


"Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, has never said what exactly prompted him to appoint Mr. Mueller, "
Q: What, if any, connections between AG Rosenstein and Comey?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 06:24:33 PM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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Karl Rove: What Trump has to fear from Mueller
« Reply #101 on: June 14, 2017, 07:20:22 PM »
second post

What Trump Has to Fear From Mueller
Special counsels can run amok. One went after me once for the crime of forgetfulness.
By Karl Rove
June 14, 2017 7:31 p.m. ET
35 COMMENTS

While Jeff Sessions was testifying Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Sen. Ron Wyden suggested that the attorney general had recused himself from investigating Russian electoral meddling because of unknown, “problematic” reasons. “There are none—I can tell you that for absolute certainty,” Mr. Sessions shot back, dismissing the supercilious charge as “secret innuendo.”

Good for Mr. Sessions. But since Democrats seem intent on preparing the battlefield for the 2018 midterm elections, expect more such baseless charges. Never mind the damage they do to public trust.

Consider the accusation that President Trump obstructed justice in the FBI investigation of former national security adviser Mike Flynn. According to former FBI Director James Comey, the president told him: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

“There’s no question he abused power,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said last week. Two Democratic backbenchers, Reps. Al Green of Texas and Brad Sherman of California, have even drafted articles of impeachment based on the charge.

But I talked to four legal experts—two former Justice Department officials, a former White House lawyer and a former U.S. attorney—who all agreed Mr. Trump has the rightful power, as head of the executive branch, to order the FBI to end any investigation.

One expert raised this thought experiment: If President John F. Kennedy had ordered FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to stop investigating Martin Luther King Jr., would that have constituted obstruction of justice?

It’s also far from clear Mr. Trump ordered anything. His words were vague. A hope is not an order. The president said he wanted to get to the bottom of Russian election meddling. He added that he hoped Mr. Comey would discover whether any of Mr. Trump’s “satellites”—an apparent reference to people who worked in his presidential campaign—had done anything wrong. Both statements suggest Mr. Trump wanted the Russian investigation to go forward and believed it would clear his name.

The statute that describes obstruction of justice speaks of “corrupt” conduct. Yet there is no evidence Mr. Trump acted with criminal purpose—for example, that he was bribed to shut down the Flynn investigation, or that he was trying to hide some personal financial interest in Mr. Flynn’s foreign lobbying. No wonder Mr. Comey, when discussing the conversation at the time with other officials, didn’t claim obstruction.

Still, Mr. Trump has created a potential problem for himself. At a Friday press conference, ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked the president whether he would be “willing to speak under oath to give your version of those events.” Mr. Trump replied: “One hundred percent.”

The president had better hope that Robert Mueller, the special counsel now looking into potential Russia-Trump ties, is nothing like Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel appointed in 2003 to investigate the leaking of a CIA official’s name to the columnist Robert Novak.

Mr. Fitzgerald knew within days, if not hours, of his appointment that the leak had come from Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage but that it violated no law since the CIA employee was no longer a covert operative.

Despite no underlying crime, Mr. Fitzgerald spent more than three years obsessed with trying to justify his existence by prosecuting someone in the Bush White House for lying under oath. I was one of those in his sights.

He focused on me because, while I could not remember a brief call in 2003 from a Time reporter, I had ordered my staff the following year to search for any evidence I had talked to the journalist. That was supposed to be proof I had lied. Mr. Fitzpatrick gave up hunting me only when he learned that my lawyer had directed me to search my files after hearing from the reporter’s colleague that I had talked with him.

Instead Mr. Fitzpatrick indicted the vice president’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a very good man, on a disagreement over who said what, when and to whom.

Today, given what we know, Mr. Trump is not vulnerable on obstruction of justice. But if Mr. Mueller turns out to be another Mr. Fitzgerald and finds no underlying offense, he may decide that he must still get someone for something, even over inconsequential differences of memory.

Promising to speak under oath is dangerous for Mr. Trump, since any trial would be in Washington, D.C. There were no Republicans on Mr. Libby’s jury, and Mr. Trump received a mere 4% of the vote there. The president better pray Robert Mueller is more responsible than Patrick Fitzgerald.

Mr. Rove helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads and is the author of “The Triumph of William McKinley ” (Simon & Schuster, 2015).

Appeared in the June 15, 2017, print edition.

ccp

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shock Oliver Stone
« Reply #102 on: June 16, 2017, 07:51:42 AM »



ccp

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Angus King
« Reply #105 on: June 18, 2017, 10:54:26 AM »
"20 % "done

lets see .  We need to get this to continue at least through Nov 2018.

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/angus-king-investigation-trump-russian/2017/06/18/id/796722/

Crafty_Dog

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POTH: How Michael Flynn’s Disdain for Limits Led to a Legal Quagmire
« Reply #106 on: June 19, 2017, 10:14:47 AM »
Yes, yes, it is Pravda on the Hudson, but there is a lot to chew on here:


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/18/us/politics/michael-flynn-intel-group-trump.html?rref=collection%2Fnewseventcollection%2FThe%20Trump%20White%20House&action=click&contentCollection=Politics&module=Collection&region=Marginalia&src=me&version=newsevent&pgtype=article


WASHINGTON — Michael T. Flynn was a man seething and thwarted. In the summer of 2014, after repeatedly clashing with other Obama administration officials over his management of the Defense Intelligence Agency — and what he saw as his unheeded warnings about the rising power of Islamic militants — Mr. Flynn was fired, bringing his military career to an abrupt end.

Mr. Flynn decided that the military’s loss would be his gain: He would parlay his contacts, his disdain for conventional bureaucracy, and his intelligence career battling Al Qaeda into a lucrative business advising cybersecurity firms and other government contractors. Over the next two years he would sign on as a consultant to nearly two dozen companies, while carving out a niche as a sought-after author and speaker — and ultimately becoming a top adviser to President Trump.

“I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit,” Mr. Flynn said in an interview in October 2015. In the military, he added, “I learned that following the way you’re supposed to do things isn’t always the way to accomplish a task.”

But instead of lofting him into the upper ranks of Beltway bandits, where some other top soldiers have landed, his foray into consulting has become a legal and political quagmire, driven by the same disdain for boundaries that once propelled his rise in the military. His business ties are now the subject of a broad inquiry by a special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump associates. That investigation now includes work Mr. Flynn did for Russian clients and for a Turkish businessman with ties to that country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


Mr. Flynn sometimes seemed to be trying to achieve through business what he could not accomplish in government. He believed that the United States was engaged in a “world war” against Islamist militants, and that Washington’s national security elite had so thoroughly politicized the country’s intelligence agencies that few left in government could see the threat. The United States, he believed, needed to take a tougher line against the Islamic State, and it needed to cultivate Russia as an ally in the fight.

“He got out of the service and had a passion to reform the intelligence community, where he saw some deficiencies,” said Todd Wilcox, a former Green Beret and C.I.A. officer who founded Patriot Capital, a Florida-based defense contractor that named Mr. Flynn to an advisory board in 2015.

But Mr. Flynn also became entangled with controversial clients. One company that paid him, OSY Technologies, is part of a cyberweapons company whose software has been used to hack Mexican activists and an opposition leader in the Middle East. Another, a Boston company selling a technology to replace lie detectors, is accused by its former chief scientist of marketing a counterfeit version of his technology to foreign clients.

Dozens of interviews and a review of public documents suggest that Mr. Flynn’s business was as scattershot as it was ambitious — and that there were few opportunities he would pass up. His clients ranged from a drone manufacturer in Florida to major software companies; at one point, Mr. Flynn took a $5,000 gig as an expert witness in a personal injury case. Some of his clients came through a tight-knit circle of Iranian-Americans, one of whom became a key partner in Mr. Flynn’s businesses.

Photo
Bijan R. Kian, second from right, with Mr. Flynn, right, in 2014. Mr. Kian, a business partner of Mr. Flynn’s, supervised much of the political work they did for Turkish interests. Credit Alfredo Flores/Alfredo Flores Photography, via Associated Press

Mr. Flynn’s work paid well — while it lasted. Financial disclosure forms released in March showed income of between $1.37 million and $1.47 million for a period that roughly covered 2016, the bulk of it from the Flynn Intel Group.

Mr. Flynn closed the Flynn Intel Group at the end of 2016, as he planned to join the Trump administration. But within months, he was fired as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser; the White House has said he was forced out for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Now under scrutiny by the F.B.I. and congressional investigators, Mr. Flynn faces legal bills that are well into the six figures, and former clients are scrambling to distance themselves from the ex-general whose counsel they once avidly sought.

Mr. Flynn declined to comment for this article, and his lawyer, Robert Kelner, declined to answer questions from The New York Times. But in an interview not long ago, Mr. Flynn expressed pride in his moneymaking skills. “I’m a capitalist at heart,” Mr. Flynn said in October. “If I’ve discovered anything, it’s that I’m a good businessman.”

A New Consulting Business

In the fall of 2014, Mr. Flynn registered his new company, Flynn Intel Group, from an Alexandria, Va., townhouse owned by Stanley A. McChrystal, a friend and fellow general-turned-consultant. Among his first clients was Palo Alto Networks, a rising Silicon Valley firm seeking to win more government contracts. A few months later, he inked a deal with the software giant Adobe, which paid him a six-figure fee to provide “periodic counsel to Adobe’s public sector team,” according to a company spokeswoman.

But Mr. Flynn also joined the board of a little-known company called GreenZone Systems, which marketed secure mobile communications systems. GreenZone was run by Bijan R. Kian, an Iranian-American businessman who served until 2011 as a director of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. A friend of Mr. Kian, the businessman Nasser Kazeminy, also hired Mr. Flynn as an adviser.

Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kian soon found a third partner: Philip Oakley, a former Army intelligence analyst, longtime Flynn friend, and owner of two small companies that provided software for defense and intelligence clients. They restarted Flynn Intel Group in June 2015, according to Delaware corporate records, pitching themselves as a premier private intelligence and cybersecurity advisory firm.

None of the partners responded to repeated attempts to contact them. But their business interests were closely intermingled. Beginning in 2015, Mr. Oakley’s firms employed Mr. Flynn as an adviser and paid him $90,000 in salary over 11 months.

Jim McGuire, a business partner of Mr. Kazeminy, said in an email that Mr. Flynn had provided guidance on public sector business opportunities.
Photo
Nasser Kazeminy, a businessman, also hired Mr. Flynn as an adviser. Credit Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

Mr. McGuire declined to say whether GreenZone had won any government business during Mr. Flynn’s tenure as an adviser, which ended last fall. If Mr. Oakley thought joining with Mr. Flynn would turbocharge his business, he may have been disappointed: Mr. Oakley’s companies do not appear to have received any new contracting work directly from the federal government, though government databases do not reliably include subcontractors.

Mr. Flynn continued to collect advisory board memberships, however: His credentials were a marketable asset. Fledgling contractors like Patriot Capital, Mr. Wilcox said, use advisory boards to “build some gravitas.”

Links to Russian Firms

Yet even as Mr. Flynn consulted for American cybersecurity companies, he was developing closer financial ties to Russia, a country whose own intelligence apparatus was moving aggressively to penetrate United States government systems. In 2015, Mr. Flynn accepted a payment from Kaspersky Lab, a Russian research firm that works to uncover Western government spyware and whose founder has long been suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence services.

In 2015, the firm’s American subsidiary, Kaspersky Government Security Solutions Inc., paid him $11,250. The same year, Mr. Flynn received the same amount from Volga-Dnepr Airlines, a Russian carrier that has been examined by the United Nations for bribery.

Both payments were for unspecified “services” provided by Mr. Flynn, according to a letter sent to the White House in March by Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, which is examining Mr. Flynn’s financial dealings. Kaspersky has said that Mr. Flynn was paid for remarks he delivered at a 2015 cybersecurity forum in Washington.

In December 2015, Mr. Flynn traveled to Moscow for a paid speaking engagement on behalf of RT, the Kremlin-financed news network that American intelligence agencies say is a Russian propaganda outlet. RT paid Mr. Flynn $45,000 for the trip, which also included an invitation to a lavish anniversary party for the network, where he was photographed sitting at the elbow of President Vladimir V. Putin.

The three payments from Russian companies are among the issues being investigated by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel leading the Justice Department inquiry.

Mr. Flynn believed that Moscow could be cultivated as an ally against Islamist militants. As director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, he had even visited the headquarters of the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence service.

Photo
Mr. Flynn, center left, sat beside President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, center right, at a dinner in Moscow on Nov. 17, 2016. Credit Pool photo by Mikhail Klimentyev

His colleagues in the American intelligence community took a less favorable view, especially when he continued to push for closer ties after Russia’s seizure of Crimea in 2014. They believed Mr. Flynn was willing to be used by Russia if he could advance his views on forging a united front to battle the Islamic State.
A Growing List of Clients

By early 2016, Mr. Flynn’s public profile was rising. He had signed a book deal and began hitting the public speaking circuit. The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria seemed to validate his criticism of Obama administration policy, and Mr. Flynn soon become a regular adviser to Mr. Trump’s insurgent presidential campaign.

But behind the scenes, his client list was also expanding.

That May, Mr. Flynn joined the advisory board of OSY Technologies, part of the NSO Group, a secretive cyberweapons dealer founded by former Israeli intelligence officials. He also consulted with Francisco Partners, an American private equity firm that controls NSO Group.

The same year, the company’s products were linked to an attempt to hack the cellphone of Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates. They were also used to harass public health advocates of a Mexican soda tax, who began receiving threatening text messages.

In a statement, NSO said it “only develops the software, and is not involved in any way, shape or form in operating the system.”

Steve Eisner, the general counsel of Francisco Partners, suggested that Mr. Flynn had served the company in a relatively limited advisory role.

“We routinely engage consultants to help us understand industries that we are investing in,” Mr. Eisner said. Mr. Flynn was paid a little more than $40,000 by OSY, and “less than $100,000” by Francisco, Mr. Eisner said.

Another client was Brainwave Science, a tiny Massachusetts company that purports to have technology that can scan the brain to determine if someone is lying.


Dr. Lawrence A. Farwell, the company’s former chief scientist and inventor of its technology, said in an interview that Brainwave was using a counterfeit version of his work and was the target of a federal investigation related to its product. He declined to provide further details.

A man previously listed as one of the company’s board members, Subrahmanyam M. Kota, the head of an I.T. consulting firm called the Boston Group, was caught in a sting in the 1990s and accused of trying to sell secrets to the K.G.B. As part of a deal that involved his testimony against another defendant, he eventually pleaded guilty to charges related to theft and tax evasion.

Mr. Kota denied in an interview that he had served on the board of Brainwave; Dr. Farwell said Mr. Kota was actually the principal investor. A lawyer for Brainwave declined to answer questions about the dispute with Dr. Farwell or Mr. Flynn’s work for the company.

Dr. Farwell added that he had warned Mr. Flynn against getting involved with the company. “I’m not going to make any representations as to what Flynn’s positions or words were, but I was in communication with him directly, and with his staff,” Dr. Farwell said.

A Slapdash Effort

By the fall of 2016, Mr. Flynn was spending significant time on the campaign trail with Mr. Trump. Back in Washington, Mr. Kian brought in a new client: A prominent Turkish businessman named Ekim Alptekin, who headed a Turkish trade association with ties to the country’s government.

Mr. Alptekin had come to know Mr. Kian during Mr. Kian’s days at the Export-Import Bank, Mr. Alptekin said in an interview this month. Last fall, after the failed July 2016 coup against the Turkish president, he wanted to fight back against those whom Mr. Erdogan blamed for the attempt: members of the Islamic religious movement led by Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who has lived in Pennsylvania since 1999.

“Like many Americans rolling up their sleeves in 9/11 to do something, I decided to do something,” Mr. Alptekin said.

His public explanations for hiring the Flynn Intel Group have not always been consistent: In March, he told a reporter that Mr. Flynn had been hired “to produce geopolitical analysis on Turkey and the region” for an Israeli energy company.

Photo
Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman, said he hired Mr. Flynn’s firm to lead a public relations campaign against a group that Turkey’s president blames for orchestrating a failed coup. Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mr. Alptekin now says that he wanted to hire a credible American firm to lead a public relations campaign against the Gulenists. Mr. Kian suggested the Flynn Intel Group, Mr. Alptekin said — though without disclosing his own involvement with the firm.

“You need independent work; you need research that is done by Americans,” Mr. Alptekin said. “Flynn was well credentialed; he was a head of D.I.A.”

The Flynn Intel Group promised what sounded like a sophisticated research and lobbying effort, employing former intelligence and military veterans, and led by Mr. Flynn himself. The company would produce a documentary and seek to persuade members of Congress that Mr. Gulen ought to be extradited. Mr. Alptekin agreed to pay $600,000 for the work.

But the effort appears to have been slapdash from the start, according to several people involved in the effort, who asked for anonymity because of the continuing federal investigations.

Mr. Flynn had little to say during meetings, though he would hand out signed copies of his book at each one. A former United States intelligence operative named Mike Boston appeared to be quarterbacking the assignment, but according to one person involved, he mostly sat in the corner or paced around the room saying nothing.

Mr. Flynn’s partners also appeared unsure of what legal requirements they faced, according to another person involved in the project. Yet another Kian friend, a lawyer named Robert Kelley, was brought in for advice, and later filed a lobbying disclosure on the company’s behalf, indicating that its client was Mr. Alptekin’s company, Inovo BV.

Mr. Kian later disclosed that he met twice in October 2016 with staff members for the House Committee on Homeland Security. According to a report in The Daily Caller, Mr. Kian at first pitched them on technology developed by GreenZone, the contracting firm he also ran. But at the second meeting, Mr. Kian initiated a discussion of the Gulen research, surprising the Hill staffers.

Mr. Flynn did not attend those meetings. But the day after the election, he published an op-ed calling Mr. Gulen “a shady Islamic mullah” and comparing his movement to the Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Alptekin said he advised Mr. Kian against publishing the op-ed and that the Flynn Intel Group eventually refunded the lobbying portion of his payments.

But the op-ed caught the attention of Justice Department lawyers, who opened an investigation into whether Mr. Flynn was in fact working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey — a matter that is now part of Mr. Mueller’s broader inquiry into Mr. Trump’s inner circle.

Months later, in March, Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kian filed additional disclosures under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The new disclosures acknowledged that the Gulen project “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.”

Around $270,000 worth of the fees Mr. Alptekin paid to Flynn Intel Group are not accounted for in the foreign agent disclosure, which details payments to roughly a dozen other individuals and firms associated with the Gulen project.

Mr. Alptekin says he does not know where the money went.

Danielle Ivory contributed reporting, and Doris Burke contributed research.


Crafty_Dog

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JW: NSC buries Susan Rice unmasking materials at Obama Library
« Reply #108 on: June 19, 2017, 06:46:18 PM »
BOMBSHELL:

Judicial Watch today announced that the National Security Council (NSC) on May 23, 2017, informed it by letter that the materials regarding the unmasking by Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” have been removed to the Obama Library. The NSC will ***not*** fulfill a Judicial Watch request for records regarding information relating to people “who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.” Specifically, the NSC told Judicial Watch: 'Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.' Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said: “Prosecutors, Congress, and the public will want to know when the National Security Council shipped off the records about potential intelligence abuses by the Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House to the memory hole of the Obama Presidential Library. We are considering our legal options but we hope that the Special Counsel and Congress also consider their options and get these records.”

DougMacG

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Re: JW: NSC buries Susan Rice unmasking materials at Obama Library
« Reply #109 on: June 20, 2017, 08:54:26 AM »
BOMBSHELL:
Judicial Watch today announced that the National Security Council (NSC) on May 23, 2017, informed it by letter that the materials regarding the unmasking by Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” have been removed to the Obama Library. The NSC will ***not*** fulfill a Judicial Watch request for records regarding information relating to people “who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.” Specifically, the NSC told Judicial Watch: 'Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.' Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said: “Prosecutors, Congress, and the public will want to know when the National Security Council shipped off the records about potential intelligence abuses by the Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House to the memory hole of the Obama Presidential Library. We are considering our legal options but we hope that the Special Counsel and Congress also consider their options and get these records.”

"We are considering our legal options but we hope that the Special Counsel and Congress also consider their options and get these records.”

Is it a library or a document burial ground?  This is evidence in a criminal investigation.  I would hope the SC already has that - or should be fired for incompetence.


Crafty_Dog

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The dog that didn't bark
« Reply #111 on: June 22, 2017, 01:11:56 PM »


No Drama Obama
By August, the FBI had evidence that Russian-backed hackers had targeted electoral systems in 21 American states, officials confirmed Wednesday. So why did the Obama administration wait until Oct. 7 to reveal the cyberattack on the U.S. elections process? Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, said Obama administration officials feared they would be blamed for trying to influence the election. “We were very concerned that we would not be perceived as taking sides in the election, injecting ourselves into a very heated campaign,” he said.


Also see

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-johnson-russia-20170621-story.html

ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #112 on: June 22, 2017, 02:00:30 PM »
on this board we wrote for years the risk of a DNC manipulation of e voting.

so other countries might try it is no surpise


DougMacG

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Re: WaPo: Obama, Putin, 2016 election
« Reply #114 on: June 23, 2017, 01:28:09 PM »
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/obama-putin-election-hacking/?hpid=hp_hp-banner-high_russiaobama-banner-7a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.8ddbfa156299

I can't tell if this is a soap opera or a tragedy they are covering.  It sounds like a parody of an American administration. 

They still don't have one voting machine hacked or one vote changed.  The most they have is the wikileaks dump that wikileaks says was not from the Russians and that contains documents that were under subpoena that we should have seen anyway.  The leakers we know of so far were hired by Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the DNC.  And also the FBI, the CIA, the NYT and the Washington Post.  The CIA has the ability to put Russian or any other fingerprints on cyber breaches.  The CIA under Brennan a partisan hack was too responsible and professional to do that?  ANd again, so what if it came from Russia.  (Prosecute them.)  It was information the voters deserved to know anyway.

The story that Putin feared and hated Clinton more than Trump is not credible to me.  One personal story about how she pissed him off versus all the past and future appeasement. Trump is the unknown, a greater rick to both ally and enemy IMO.  Putin is not capable of putting out disinformation like that he preferred HRC?  DNC was hacked.  Whose fault?  Sec State was hacked?  WHOSE FAULT?  RNC security held up to attacks, to whose credit?  Head of the RNC is now White House Chief of Staff.  All of this is to his credit, while they try to put a cloud on it.

Flynn could have been blackmailed (NYT story).  What about Hillary?  They had 22,000 emails about her that were not wedding planning or funeral.  They had her campaign chairman's account, with all the political cheating.  They would not want to blackmail Hillary as President?  Just give it up when she was winning anyway?  For what end?  I don't buy it.  Having these released during the campaign would have been liberating to her Presidency.  As the Clintons always say after months, yearts of stonewalling, "that old story?"

I hate to put the analysis of a radio show above that of professional journalists, but Rush L. correctly points out that the blame-Russia narrative was hatched by the Hillary campaign 24 hours after the election.  Notice that before the election we had all this running around and calling meetings to no end.

Nothing ties Trump to any of this - after a year of investigating.  Just a great big story about how scary and stressful it was to be in an administration trying to decide what kind of nothing response they should have about nothing.  MHO.   )

ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #115 on: June 23, 2017, 02:00:27 PM »
"most they have is the wikileaks dump that wikileaks says was not from the Russians and that contains documents that were under subpoena that we should have seen anyway"

Yep.  And the veracity of the information was never even disputed!

"Rush L. correctly points out that the blame-Russia narrative was hatched by the Hillary campaign 24 hours after the election"

I trust Rush far more then MSM jurnolisters!

He is still the king of radio.  Just no one like him who is so amazing at articulating his thoughts and so sharp with his logic and discussions with callers.


Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #116 on: June 23, 2017, 03:58:28 PM »
The amount of sources and methods exposed by this article is extraordinary  :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x

DougMacG

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #117 on: June 23, 2017, 04:30:13 PM »
"most they have is the wikileaks dump that wikileaks says was not from the Russians and that contains documents that were under subpoena that we should have seen anyway"

I should have added to that, they have other information that they agreed with the US Government not to disclose.  Whatever the hell that means.  Once again, it comes down to journ-o-listic trust, of which there is none.  Either the hidden info is significant or it isn't.  We have no way of knowing.

ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #118 on: June 23, 2017, 06:04:58 PM »
Two thing to take away from all this that seems to be ignored

if the DNC hadn't rigged the primary process to Hillary's favor and if Hillary was not a lying crook then any of these "leaks" would not have mattered.

Dems just can't get over they couldn't cover up their corruption. 




rickn

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rickn

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #120 on: June 24, 2017, 06:21:34 AM »
IMO, many Dem's think this is retaliation for the Obama was born in Kenya narrative made by many after his election in 2008.  Especially since Trump himself attempted to profit from it with his "reward" for "the real birth certificate."

Big difference though.  None of the actors in that false narrative were government officials, leaked government information, or created a plethora of government funded "investigations" to decide the issue. 

Also, if you scream loudly about the alleged "wolf" of Russian interference, you can distract investigators from those events that might be highly embarrassing to your side.  For example, Podesta's ties to Putin-backed Russian operatives get subsumed by the Trump narrative.  So, does Clinton's uranium deal.  And so does Podesta's embarrassing fall for a Russian phishing scheme for his gmail account.  And so does the Russian hack of the DNC network.   

This is why the Dem's began complaining loudly about Manafort's prior political consulting deals with the pro-Russian candidates in Ukraine.  And why they expanded upon it to include any Trump associate who may have done business in Russia - including the Trump corporations themselves. 

And when Trump surrogates float an idea to fire Mueller, that part of the bureaucracy responds with a leak that Mueller's group is "investigating" Trump's ties to Russia.  Which is nothing more likely than some people in that group were reviewing the FBI files on the entire matter.

The result will be billions of dollars and thousands of man hours spent investigating a non-event while the real Russian interference attempts get short shrift and the needed security measures to reduce the likelihood of successful future hacks are ignored and not implemented in the same manner that so many government agencies still operate on 30-50 year old computing networks that do not communicate with each other.

The inertia continues because all anyone seems interested in is protecting their phony baloney jobs.

ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #121 on: June 24, 2017, 07:02:03 AM »
I notice CNN is trying its best to ignore recent critical assessments of the way  Obama handled the exaggerated Russian interference and keep forcing pro Trump guests away from that and onto the repeated never ending assault like questioning of them on "what is Trump doing about this now".

We keep hearing "what is Trump doing now" over and over again.  What are the guests supposed to say?

The intelligence people are surely looking into it  and why do we need to discuss every detail about it in public?

I am glad Trump supporters are throwing the fake news back in their CNN faces.  Good to see them get a taste of their own medicine.


Crafty_Dog

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DougMacG

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #124 on: June 25, 2017, 01:20:54 PM »
The amount of sources and methods exposed by this article is extraordinary  :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x

Some people agreeing with you:

The story comes complete with this revelation: “Obama also approved a previously undisclosed covert measure that authorized planting cyber weapons in Russia’s infrastructure, the digital equivalent of bombs that could be detonated if the United States found itself in an escalating exchange with Moscow. The project, which Obama approved in a covert-action finding, was still in its planning stages when Obama left office. It would be up to President Trump to decide whether to use the capability.”
I’m sure Putin is grateful for the heads-up from the Post.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/an-epidemic-of-lawlessness.php

G M

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #125 on: June 25, 2017, 01:28:08 PM »
The amount of sources and methods exposed by this article is extraordinary  :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x

Some people agreeing with you:

The story comes complete with this revelation: “Obama also approved a previously undisclosed covert measure that authorized planting cyber weapons in Russia’s infrastructure, the digital equivalent of bombs that could be detonated if the United States found itself in an escalating exchange with Moscow. The project, which Obama approved in a covert-action finding, was still in its planning stages when Obama left office. It would be up to President Trump to decide whether to use the capability.”
I’m sure Putin is grateful for the heads-up from the Post.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/an-epidemic-of-lawlessness.php

The deep state is at war with both Trump and the American people.

Crafty_Dog

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M. Mukasey: Trump, Mueller, and Athur Anderson
« Reply #126 on: June 26, 2017, 06:30:45 AM »
Not quite sure I follow the relevance of the point about Arthur Anderson, but several legal points of interest raised herein:


Trump, Mueller and Arthur Andersen
Did the president act ‘corruptly’? Not from what we know—but then neither did the accounting firm.
Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the Senate in 2013.
Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the Senate in 2013. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
By Michael B. Mukasey
Mr. Mukasey served as U.S. attorney general (2007-09) and a U.S. district judge (1988-2006)
June 25, 2017 5:05 p.m. ET


What exactly is Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigating? The basis in law—regulation, actually—for Mr. Mueller’s appointment is a finding by the deputy attorney general that “criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted.”

According to some reports, the possible crime is obstruction of justice. The relevant criminal statute provides that “whoever corruptly . . . influences, obstructs or impedes or endeavors [to do so], the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had,” is guilty of a crime. The key word is “corruptly.”

President Trump’s critics describe two of his actions as constituting possible obstruction. One is an alleged request to then-FBI Director James Comey that he go easy on former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was under investigation for his dealings with Russia and possible false statements to investigators about them. According to Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” because “he is a good guy.”

An obstruction charge based on that act would face two hurdles. One is that the decision whether to charge Mr. Flynn was not Mr. Comey’s. As FBI director, his job was to supervise the investigation. It is up to prosecutors to decide whether charges were justified. The president’s confusion over the limits of Mr. Comey’s authority may be understandable. Mr. Comey’s overstepping of his authority last year, when he announced that no charges were warranted against Hillary Clinton, might have misled Mr. Trump about the actual scope of Mr. Comey’s authority. Nonetheless, the president’s confusion could not have conferred authority on Mr. Comey.

The other is the statutory requirement that a president have acted “corruptly.” In Arthur Andersen LLP v. U.S. (2005), the U.S. Supreme Court accepted the following definition: that the act be done “knowingly and dishonestly, with the specific intent to subvert or undermine the integrity” of a proceeding. Taking a prospective defendant’s character into account when deciding whether to charge him—as Mr. Comey says Mr. Trump asked him to do—is a routine exercise of prosecutorial discretion. It is hard to imagine that a properly instructed jury could decide that a single such request constituted acting “corruptly”—particularly when, according to Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump also told him to pursue evidence of criminality against any of the president’s “ ‘satellite’ associates.”

The second act said to carry the seed of obstruction is the firing of Mr. Comey as FBI director. The president certainly had the authority; it is his motive that his critics question. A memorandum to the president, from the deputy attorney general and endorsed by the attorney general, presented sufficient grounds for the firing: Mr. Comey’s usurpation of the prosecutor’s role in the Clinton matter and his improper public disclosure of information unfavorable to Mrs. Clinton. But the president’s detractors have raised questions about the timing—about 3½ months into the president’s term. They have also cited the president’s statement to Russian diplomats days afterward that the firing had eased the pressure on him.

The timing itself does not suggest a motive to obstruct. Rather, coming a few days after Mr. Comey refused to confirm publicly what he had told Mr. Trump three times—that the president himself was not the subject of a criminal investigation—the timing suggests no more than an understandable anger. The statement to Russian diplomats, which might have been intended to put the Russians at ease, collides with the simple fact that an investigation—conducted by agents in the field—proceeds regardless of whether the director continues in office, and thus hardly suggests the president acted “corruptly.”

One of Mr. Mueller’s early hires among the dozen-plus lawyers already aboard has a troubling history with the word “corruptly.” Andrew Weissmann led the Enron prosecution team that pressed an aggressive interpretation of “corruptly,” which permitted a conviction even absent the kind of guilty knowledge the law normally associates with criminal charges. As a result, the accounting firm Arthur Andersen was convicted. By the time the conviction was reversed on appeal to the Supreme Court in 2005—in large part due to the erroneous application of “corruptly” in the statute at issue—Arthur Andersen had already ceased operation.

What if—for some reason not apparent to the public now—Mr. Mueller were to conclude that the president did act “corruptly”? Could he initiate a criminal prosecution? The Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department, which sets policy for the department and other agencies of government, has already opined more than once—starting in 1973, during Watergate—that the answer is no. It would offend the Constitution for the executive branch to prosecute its head.

What else might Mr. Mueller do? Some have suggested that if he finds criminal activity occurred he could report his findings to the House so as to trigger an impeachment proceeding, as Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr did in 1998. But the law under which Mr. Starr was appointed has lapsed, and the regulations governing the special counsel provide for only two kinds of reports—either to Justice Department leadership when some urgent event occurs during the investigation, or to the attorney general to explain the decision to prosecute or not. Reports of either type are to be treated as confidential.

Mr. Mueller could simply take the bit in his teeth and write a public report on his own authority, or write a confidential report and leak it to the press. If he did either, he would be following Mr. Comey’s lawless example.

Or if, as appears from what we know now, there is no crime here, Mr. Mueller, notwithstanding his more than a dozen lawyers and unlimited budget, could live up to his advance billing for integrity and propriety and resist the urge to grab a headline—not necessarily his own urge but that of some he has hired.

Hold fast. It may be a rough ride.

Mr. Mukasey served as U.S. attorney general (2007-09) and a U.S. district judge (1988-2006).

DougMacG

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Re: M. Mukasey: Trump, Mueller, and Athur Anderson
« Reply #127 on: June 26, 2017, 07:48:43 AM »
Arthur Anderson is the case law name of the governing rule:

” In Arthur Andersen LLP v. U.S. (2005), the U.S. Supreme Court accepted the following definition: that the act be done “knowingly and dishonestly, with the specific intent to subvert or undermine the integrity” of a proceeding."

Saying "I hope" someone gets a good outcome might fall a bit short of “knowingly and dishonestly with the specific intent to subvert or undermine" to most reasonable people.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 07:54:06 AM by DougMacG »

DougMacG

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Dossier / DNC Scandal? FBI Too?
« Reply #128 on: June 26, 2017, 09:16:54 AM »
The latest twist seems to be alleged collusion between the Democratic Party and the phony Dossier:

The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House.
***
Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And in 2015, Democrat ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group.

the FBI has failed to cooperate with congressional investigators seeking documents.
http://nypost.com/2017/06/24/inside-the-shadowy-intelligence-firm-behind-the-trump-dossier/

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/analyze-this-26.php

DEMOCRATS, FBI COLLABORATED ON TRUMP SMEAR
What is shocking is the FBI’s apparent involvement in the effort to smear Trump with false rumors:

The FBI received a copy of the Democrat-funded dossier in August, during the heat of the campaign, and is said to have contracted in October to pay Steele $50,000 to help corroborate the dirt on Trump — a relationship that “raises substantial questions about the independence” of the bureau in investigating Trump, warned Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

It raises more questions than that. Why was the FBI meddling in a U.S. presidential election? Partisan interference in the election by public agencies like the FBI and major news sources like NBC are far more worrisome than anything Russians allegedly might do from afar.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/democrats-fbi-collaborated-on-trump-smear.php

« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 10:29:59 AM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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Jenkins/WSJ: A different take
« Reply #129 on: June 28, 2017, 09:19:10 AM »
 By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
June 27, 2017 7:00 p.m. ET
509 COMMENTS

In the Sunday Washington Post’s 7,000-word account of what President Obama knew about Russian election meddling and what he did about it, one absence is notable. Nowhere in the Post’s lengthy tick-tock is Mr. Obama presented with evidence of, or described as worried about, Trump collusion with Russia.

Moscow intervened in the election eight ways from Sunday, but it’s clearer than ever that what’s occupied Americans for the past six months are baseless accusations about the Trump campaign.

Among the evidence on Mr. Obama’s desk was proof that Vladimir Putin was personally directing the Russian espionage effort. For a variety of sensible reasons, though, the White House and U.S. intelligence also concluded that Russia’s meddling was “unlikely to materially affect the outcome of the election.”

President Obama made at least one inevitably political calculation: Hillary Clinton was going to win, so he would keep relatively mum on Russian interference to avoid provoking “escalation from Putin” or “potentially contaminating the expected Clinton triumph,” in the Post’s words.

Strangely missing from the Post account, however, is one Russian intervention, revealed by the paper’s own earlier reporting, that may really have, in farcical fashion, elected Donald Trump.

This was FBI Director James Comey’s ill-fated decision to clear Hillary Clinton publicly on intelligence-mishandling charges. His choice, it now appears, was partly shaped by a false intelligence document referring to a nonexistent Democratic email purporting to confirm that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch had vowed to quash any Hillary charges.

On April 23, the New York Times first alluded to the document’s existence in an 8,000-word story about Mr. Comey’s intervention.

On May 24, the Post provided a detailed description of the document and revealed that many in the FBI considered it “bad intelligence,” possibly a Russian plant.

On May 26, CNN adumbrated that Mr. Comey “knew that a critical piece of information relating to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email was fake—created by Russian intelligence—but he feared that if it became public it would undermine the probe and the Justice Department itself.”

“In at least one classified session [before Congress],” CNN added, “Comey cited that intelligence as the primary reason he took the unusual step of publicly announcing the end of the Clinton email probe. . . . Comey did not even mention the other reason he gave in public testimony for acting independently of the Justice Department—that Lynch was compromised because Bill Clinton boarded her plane and spoke to her during the investigation.”

Why has this apparently well-documented, and eminently documentable, episode fallen down the memory hole, in favor of a theory for which there is no evidence, of collusion by the outsider Mr. Trump?

The alternative history is incalculable, but consider: If Mr. Comey had followed established practice, the Hillary investigation would have been closed without an announcement, or the conflicted Ms. Lynch or an underling would have cleared Mrs. Clinton. How would this have played with voters and the media? Would the investigation’s reopening in the race’s final days, with discovery of the Weiner laptop, have taken place? Would the reopening have become public knowledge?

The noisy, obnoxious ways Russia meddled amounted to nothing. The public was able to discount them. It was only through a bumptious act of our own law-enforcement community, in a way the public didn’t know at the time may have been influenced by planted Russian intelligence, that the Kremlin conceivably really may have affected an extraordinarily close race in the Electoral College.

What also emerges from the Post’s tick-tock, as well as from public testimony by U.S. intelligence chiefs, is that Russia did not seek to hide its meddling. The Russian goal was to sow confusion and bring disrepute on the U.S. leadership class. If so, any investigation of Russian meddling that fails to focus on the Comey actions will amount to a coverup.

Expect a coverup: The truth is absolutely unacceptable to the establishment that Special Counsel Robert Mueller represents. There is no appetite for the truth among Democrats: They cling to Mr. Comey’s legal exoneration of Mrs. Clinton in the server matter.

There is no appetite among Republicans: Messrs. Comey and Mueller are Republicans, promoted in their careers by Republican presidents. There is no appetite in the Trump White House, which doesn’t want its win tainted in history by a Russian dirty trick.

There is no appetite in the Kremlin: Mr. Putin knows that relations with the American superpower are slipping toward an all-out hostility that he can’t afford.

In the U.S., to acknowledge the truth would be to complete the task Russia set itself in discrediting the U.S. leadership class.

A coverup is the only way to go.

Appeared in the June 28, 2017, print edition.




ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #133 on: July 01, 2017, 12:27:28 PM »
You mean the Trump campaign sought dirt on Hillary?

What a scandal !  :roll: :wink:

as though Dems would not have paid dearly for same no matter where or how it was gotten..................

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #134 on: July 01, 2017, 09:20:08 PM »
My reaction exactly!

Crafty_Dog

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Bartiromo vs. Podesta
« Reply #135 on: July 02, 2017, 10:05:47 AM »

G M

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Why is the DNC still hiding their hacked server from the FBI?
« Reply #136 on: July 07, 2017, 08:48:44 AM »
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/5/dnc-email-server-most-wanted-evidence-for-russia-i/

Hacked computer server that handled DNC email remains out of reach of Russia investigators


Former DHS Chief Says DNC Didn't Want Help After Their Systems Were Hacked

By Dan Boylan - The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 5, 2017
It is perhaps the key piece of forensic evidence in Russia’s suspected efforts to sway the November presidential election, but federal investigators have yet to get their hands on the hacked computer server that handled email from the Democratic National Committee.
Indeed, the only cybersecurity specialists who have taken a look at the server are from CrowdStrike, the Irvine, California-based private cybersecurity company that the DNC hired to investigate the hack — but which has come under fire itself for its work.
Some critics say CrowdStrike’s evidence for blaming Russia for the hack is thin. Members of Congress say they still believe Russia was responsible but wonder why the DNC has never allowed federal investigators to get a look at the key piece of evidence: the server. Either way, a key “witness” in the political scandal consuming the Trump administration remains beyond the reach of investigators.

“I want to find out from the company [that] did the forensics what their full findings were,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is leading the Judiciary Committee’s inquiry, told The Washington Times.
Scrutinizing the DNC server hack and CrowdStrike’s analysis has not factored heavily in multiple probes exploring the Russia issue. But behind the scenes, discussions are growing louder, congressional sources say.
President Trump will hold an official bilateral meeting on Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Germany, although it’s unclear how big the Russian election hacking scandal will loom in their private talk.
 

In recent days, questions about the server have taken on more importance as attention has focused on an email suggesting that the DNC and the Obama administration’s Justice Department were trying to limit the scope of the FBI’s investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s secret email account.
Mentioned in recent reporting and testimony from fired FBI Director James B. Comey, the correspondence reportedly shows Obama-era Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch privately assuring “someone in the Clinton campaign that the email investigation would not push too deeply into the matter.”
Some observers have wondered whether the information is real or is Russian disinformation.
The hacked server was last photographed in the basement of the DNC’s Washington headquarters near a file cabinet dating from the 1972 break-in of the DNC headquarters at the Watergate Hotel.
Both Republicans and Democrats say the DNC’s reaction to the hacking is troubling.
Jeh Johnson, who served as homeland security secretary under President Obama, told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last month that his department offered to assist the DNC during the campaign to determine what was happening, but Mr. Johnson said he was rebuffed.
“The DNC,” Mr. Johnson said at the time, “did not feel it needed DHS’ assistance at that time. I was anxious to know whether or not our folks were in there, and the response I got was the FBI had spoken to them, they don’t want our help, they have CrowdStrike.”
In January, Mr. Comey told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the FBI issued “multiple requests at different levels” to assist the DNC with a cyberforensic analysis. Those requests were also denied.
DNC officials said the Russian hack had already been discovered and dealt with when the Homeland Security Department approached them last summer.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris, California Democrat and a member of the Senate intelligence committee, said more needs to be known about the interaction.
“As a general point, there is no question that we need to look into everything in terms of who did what, what was invasive about hacking, and what they gained from it and why,” Ms. Harris told The Times. “Not only so we can establish what happened, but so it can teach us what is frankly inevitable about the next election cycle if we don’t figure out what happened.”
The White House has highlighted what it says is the DNC’s reluctance to accept help dealing with the server hack. President Trump, in a May 7 tweet, wondered: “When will the Fake Media ask about the Dems dealings with Russia & why the DNC wouldn’t allow the FBI to check their server or investigate?”
Clouds over CrowdStrike
The DNC hack produced embarrassing internal emails that were posted to WikiLeaks and sparked a nasty internal battle just as the party was preparing for its convention and refereeing a spirited primary contest between front-runner Hillary Clinton and the insurgent campaign of Sen. Bernard Sanders.
Some emails suggested that the DNC leadership — including Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz — had plotted to undermine Mr. Sanders’ ascent in the presidential race. The WikiLeaks revelations on July 22 eventually resulted in the departures of Ms. Wasserman Schultz and several other top DNC executives.
To explore the hack, the DNC called in CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity tech company launched in 2011 hoping to challenge better-known industry leaders such as Symantec and McAfee.
Co-founded by George Kurtz and Dmitri Alperovitch, both former McAfee employees, CrowdStrike quickly acquired a string of high-profile clients.
In 2014, it investigated the Sony Pictures leak, the disclosure of a trove of sensitive and embarrassing internal emails and executive salary data apparently orchestrated by hackers sympathetic to North Korea, and who objected to Sony’s comic depiction of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“We don’t have a mission statement — we are on a mission to protect our customers from breaches,” CrowdStrike’s website declares.
The firm also has found success in generating venture capital support. Fortune magazine reported that it has raised $256 million and boasts a “valuation exceeding $1 billion.”
Investors include Warburg Pincus, whose president, Timothy Geithner, worked for the Clinton and Obama administrations. The Clinton campaign’s largest corporate contributor, Google, whose employees donated more than $1.3 million to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign last year, also has funded CrowdStrike.
During the election cycle last year, the DNC paid CrowdStrike more than $410,000. This year, it has collected more than $121,000 from the party.
The DNC declined to answer questions about CrowdStrike. During a telephone call with The Times, DNC communications staff also refused to discuss the location of its infamous server.
In an ironic twist, CrowdStrike has added the National Republican Congressional Committee to its client list. The NRCC also declined to answer questions for this report.
In an email to The Times, CrowdStrike defended its record and said criticisms about its DNC work and interaction with U.S. law enforcement agencies are unfounded.
“In May 2016 CrowdStrike was brought to investigate the DNC network for signs of compromise, and under their direction we fully cooperated with every U.S. government request,” a spokesman wrote. The cooperation included the “providing of the forensic images of the DNC systems to the FBI, along with our investigation report and findings. Those agencies reviewed and subsequently independently validated our analysis.”
Questions
Still, the company faces increasing scrutiny, including over the impartiality of co-founder Mr. Alperovitch.
Mr. Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank focused on international issues that is partially funded by Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk, who reportedly has donated at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Late last year, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a respected British think tank, disputed CrowdStrike’s analysis of a Russian hack during Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists. CrowdStrike later revised and retracted portions of its analysis.
CrowdStrike’s most famous finding — that Russian-supported hackers penetrated the DNC server — has triggered the most questions.
Last year, that finding was wrapped into the assessment from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which first raised alarms about Russian meddling.
The DNI, which briefed Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump on the Russian meddling operation and issued classified and public assessments, concluded that “the Russian government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations,” meaning the DNC hack.
CrowdStrike said it found malware known as X-Agent on the DNC computers. Russia’s Federal Security Service and its main military intelligence branch, the GRU, have used this malware to penetrate unclassified networks at the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
CrowdStrike also said it had identified two teams of Russian hackers, with the code names “Fancy Bear” and “Cozy Bear,” operating inside the DNC network.
“We’ve had lots of experience with both of these actors attempting to target our customers in the past and know them well,” Mr. Alperovitch wrote on CrowdStrike’s blog in June 2016.
But cybersecurity consultant Jeffrey Carr questioned whether CrowdStrike’s evidence clinches the case.
“X-Agent has been around for ages and has always been attributed to the Russian government, but others use it,” said Mr. Carr, who has supplied the U.S. intelligence community with analysis.
Mr. Carr said in an interview that the malware can be recovered, reverse-engineered and reused. Copies of X-Agent exist outside Russian hands, including one with an American cybersecurity company. He said it’s possible CrowdStrike was duped — or simply sees Russia’s handiwork everywhere.
WikiLeaks has consistently denied that it received the material from the Kremlin amid reports that a leaker within the DNC might have abetted the hack. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Fox News in January: “We can say, we have said, repeatedly over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party.”
Atlanta-based hacker Robert David Graham, who runs a consultancy called Errata Security, said CrowdStrike’s certainty about the Russian role can’t be accepted uncritically.
“CrowdStrike is better than anything that the government has,” he said. “But once you decide it is Russia, you will go looking for Russia.”
Overall, he said, political factors distorted what needs to be a more scientific approach to who had access to the DNC servers.
“For good or bad, we make judgments based on our expertise and knowledge,” he said. “Sometimes they are insightful and awesomely correct. Sometimes they fall flat on their face.”
Mr. Graham, a libertarian like many others in the hacker community, said that from a privacy standpoint, he understands why the DNC would not want to hand over its server to the federal government. “What private company would?”
Congressional inquiry?
Whether CrowdStrike appears before a congressional inquiry anytime soon could depend on the momentum of the overall Russia investigations throughout Capitol Hill.
Late last month, after hearing Mr. Johnson say the DNC denied Homeland Security overtures to help secure its computers, Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said, “There may be something else on that server [that the DNC] didn’t want law enforcement to see.”
Mr. Graham has insisted he needs to know more about CrowdStrike.
“What did they find?” he asked.
Some on Capitol Hill have an even harsher take. Rep. Louie Gohmert, a conservative Texas Republican and a former prosecutor, said DNC and CrowdStrike are acting like defendants with something to hide in declining to allow government investigators access to the server.
“Why would they not invite them in?” Mr. Gohmert asked in a Fox News interview last month. “And I’m really interested in their excuse. But just from my own experience in all those years, usually the reason somebody didn’t want to invite law enforcement in to investigate is because they knew they would find that they had committed crimes if they came in and started investigating.”
The cybersecurity community also wants more answers.
“The only things that pay in the cybersecurity world are claims of attribution,” Mr. Carr said. “Which foreign government attacked you? If you are critical of the attack, you make zero money. CrowdStrike is the poster child for companies that operate like this.”
Last year, alongside one of the DNI assessments, the Obama administration released a spreadsheet containing part of CrowdStrike’s cyberforensic work. The data included digital signatures and IP addresses, which trace computer-to-computer communications and help identify hackers. Mr. Graham, the hacker, said the only way to dispel all doubt would be to analyze independently everything CrowdStrike has seen. To do so would mean getting access to the DNC server.
As for CrowdStrike, when asked whether officials would be willing to testify before a congressional inquiry, a spokesman reiterated in an email that the company already “provided the forensic images and our analysis to the FBI.” He said the company is “standing by the work it did for the DNC.”
In May, less than a week after Mr. Comey was fired as FBI director, CrowdStrike announced it had raised $100 million in venture capital.


G M

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Re: What do we think of this?
« Reply #138 on: July 08, 2017, 02:44:56 PM »
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/us/politics/trump-russia-kushner-manafort.html?emc=edit_ta_20170708&nl=top-stories&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0

Two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination last year, his eldest son arranged a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin, according to confidential government records described to The New York Times.

 :roll:

So, were these records created when Obama ordered the president elect spied upon?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 02:50:19 PM by G M »

G M

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TODAY IN COLLUSION
« Reply #139 on: July 09, 2017, 11:18:56 AM »
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/07/today-in-collusion-2.php

POSTED ON JULY 9, 2017 BY SCOTT JOHNSON IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, MEDIA, RUSSIA
TODAY IN COLLUSION

It’s been all quiet on the mainstream media’s “collusion” front since Shane Harris’s laughable Wall Street Journal’s articles last Friday and Saturday. Andrew McCarthy took up Harris’s contribution in “‘Collusion’ as farce: The hunt for Hillary’s hackers.” You have to wonder if anyone on the news side of the Journal is capable of embarrassment.

Today, however, the New York Times mounts another offensive on the “collusion” front. Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman report: “Trump Team met with lawyer linked to Kremlin during campaign.” The inanity of the article is difficult to capture without full immersion.

On June 9, 2016, a meeting was held in Trump Tower. Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort attended the meetng. They met “with a Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin, according to confidential government records described to The New York Times.” The Russian lawyer is identified as Natalia Veselnitskaya, “best known for mounting a multipronged attack against the Magnitsky Act[.]”

So what did they talk about? As described to the Times, the confidential government records apparently don’t say. The article also transforms those “confidential government records” into “documents, which were outlined by people familiar with them.” So where is the good stuff? “People familiar with [the documents” didn’t have any.

“In a statement,” however, “Donald Jr. described the meeting as primarily about an adoption program. The statement did not address whether the presidential campaign was discussed.” As I say, neither did the Times’s friends with confidential records.

The Times would really have a story here if they had a story. As it is, they are like geezers masticating their gums with their dentures removed. At great length. They won’t shut up. They want to review the greatest hits of days gone by. It’s almost funny.

In his statement, Donald Trump, Jr. said: “It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.”

He added: “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”

After the story was first posted online yesterday, a spokesman for the president’s lawyer noted that the Times may not have gotten the full story from its friends familiar with documents. The story now adds an unfunny complication:

Late Saturday, Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the president’s lawyer, issued a statement implying that the meeting was a setup. Ms. Veselnitskaya and the translator who accompanied her to the meeting “misrepresented who they were,” it said.

In an interview, Mr. Corallo explained that Ms. Veselnitskaya, in her anti-Magnitsky campaign, employs a private investigator whose firm, Fusion GPS, produced an intelligence dossier that contained unproven allegations against the president. In a statement, the firm said, “Fusion GPS learned about this meeting from news reports and had no prior knowledge of it. Any claim that Fusion GPS arranged or facilitated this meeting in any way is false.”

Sara Carter and John Solomon expand on the backstory here at Circa. They write:

The president’s legal team said Saturday they believe the entire meeting may have been part of a larger election-year opposition effort aimed at creating the appearance of improper connections between Trump family members and Russia that also included a now-discredited intelligence dossier produced by a former British intelligence agent named Christopher Steele who worked for a U.S. political firm known as Fusion GPS.

“We have learned from both our own investigation and public reports that the participants in the meeting misrepresented who they were and who they worked for,” said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Trump’s legal team. “Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier. ”

“These developments raise serious issues as to exactly who authorized and participated in any effort by Russian nationals to influence our election in any manner,” Corallo said.

Who sought the meeting? Someone is apparently saving that for tomorrow in “collusion.”

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #140 on: July 09, 2017, 12:32:49 PM »
Intriguing find-- and glad to have it with which to counter certain friends on FB  :-D

G M

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #141 on: July 09, 2017, 01:09:04 PM »
Intriguing find-- and glad to have it with which to counter certain friends on FB  :-D

Well, be sure to let those "friends" know that if they are interested in some documentation of collusion between an American president and Russia, there is plenty. Just not the one they want.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/07/08/surprise-american-communist-party-was-tool-of-ussr/

Several hundred American Communists carried their devotion to the Soviet Union even further, working, mostly without recompense, for Soviet intelligence agencies. Virtually all of the approximately 500 Americans who served as Soviet spies between the ’30s and early ’50s, including senior government officials like Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White and Laurence Duggan, were either Communists or Communist sympathizers. The C.P.U.S.A. had a clandestine apparatus that cooperated with the K.G.B. and the Soviet intelligence directorate, vetting potential recruits and occasionally suggesting useful sources. Three successive party leaders — Lovestone, Browder and Eugene Dennis — knew and approved of this relationship.

That the leaders of an American political party always under attack for its Soviet connections would take the incredibly risky step of actually working with Soviet intelligence speaks volumes about the ultimate loyalties of the American Communist Party. Rank and file members might have had no idea of such behavior, but anyone who remained in the C.P.U.S.A. for more than a short spell had to be aware that criticism of the Soviet Union was not tolerated. Those who stayed in the C.P.U.S.A. through one of its many changes of line knew that fealty to the homeland of socialism took precedence over any other allegiance. The dream of those who believed in an Americanized Communism was killed by this lie.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/03/the_washington_empostem_sugarcoats_obamas_communist_mentor.html

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mgQaFlo_p8




ccp

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what a tangled web
« Reply #145 on: July 10, 2017, 05:07:33 AM »

DougMacG

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G M

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Re: DNC breach was an inside job, not hacker
« Reply #147 on: July 10, 2017, 07:02:20 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #148 on: July 10, 2017, 10:50:02 AM »
Kelly Ann Conway had a real hard time with Chris Cuomo this morning defending Donald Jr's meeting with the Russian lawyer his changing versions of it.

Crafty_Dog

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Another shoe drops?
« Reply #149 on: July 10, 2017, 10:15:25 PM »