—–INDICTMENT ROCK CITY: INDICTMENT DAY SPECIAL—–
GLORY, GLORY HALLELUJAH: MANAFORT + RICK GATES INDICTED!
The roof is on fire! POLITICO reports, “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian election interference has dramatically escalated, with authorities indicting former campaign chairman Paul Manafort”. POLITICO adds, “Authorities on Monday morning unsealed an indictment against Manafort and fellow campaign official Rick Gates that charged the men with money laundering, making false statements and other counts. The two former aides pleaded not guilty in federal court on Monday afternoon. Prosecutors asked that bond be set at $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for Gates but said both may be detained at home until they can post bail.” POLITICO notes, “While both Manafort and Gates had top roles in the Trump campaign, the criminal charges do not discuss any actions clearly related to the presidential race, although the indictment notes that a Ukrainian political party the men worked for had a pro-Russia outlook. The charges, however, could be used to apply pressure on the two former officials to more fully cooperate in Mueller’s larger investigation.” See below for the read along of the “12 counts,” from the “31-page indictment unsealed on Monday morning, including money laundering, operating as unregistered foreign agents of the government of Ukraine, failing to disclose overseas bank accounts and making false statements to federal authorities.” Yee-haw! Hope everyone had a lovely indictment day surrounded by family and friends and loved ones! And may you each have had the chance to politely and firmly tell a member of the Trumpenproletariat, “No, that’s not true,” concerning some bullshit they were fed by faux news Fox News.
WHAT’S IN THE INDICTMENT?: READ ALONG WITH TRUMPISTAN WATCH!
It’s breakfast time for many TRUMPISTAN WATCHians, so make a breakfast cocktail or a fine latté, and for those of you in Europe, a crisp dry wine or Eastern European moonshine-style liquor is in order. Get cozy! There will never be an indictment day quite like this one again! There is nothing quite like curling up with a great indictment. As a Soviet radio presenter said, “No one can predict the future, but the past is changing before our very eyes. Hereto with, the highlights:
PAGE 1: MANAFORT + GATES’ DIRTY EVIL LAUNDRY
“Between at least 2006 and 2015, MANAFORT and GATES acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions (a Ukrainian political party whose leader Viktor Yanukovych was president from 2010 to 2014), Yanukovych, and the Opposition Bloc (a successor of the Party of Regions that formed in 2014 when Yanukovych fled to Russia). MANAFORT and GATES generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work. In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, MANAFORT and GATES laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts.” Translation: for these two it’s all about the Benjamins. For Yanukovych, it was all about the ostriches, which he always stood for. Yanukovych killed 100 of his fellow citizens in Maidan in cold blood in February 2014 and then his exile kicked off a campaign against Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the annexation of Crimea and the illegal occupation of Donetsk and Luhansk. Manafort was willing to sell our republic and our future. They face only ten to fifteen years which is bullshit in the context of stories of American exonerees who were wrongfully incarcerated and spent twice as much time or more behind bars in far shittier facilities than the ones these men are destined for, and happened to be innocent. The Washington Post also notes, “Though it was not named, one of the firms referenced in the indictment is the Podesta Group,” which is why Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary’s campaign manager John Podesta, is a focus of the investigation. “The other firm is Mercury Public Affairs,” The Washington Post adds. Remember: money does not care who owns it.
PAGE 2: TAX AVOIDANCE + LAVISH DICTATOR CHIC LIVIN’
“MANAFORT and GATES funneled millions of dollars in payments” into accounts in countries “including Cyprus, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (Grenadines), and the Seychelles.” They also “falsely and repeatedly” lied “to their tax preparers and to the United States that they had no bank accounts.” They never declared their lobbying activities under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and lied to federal authorities who inquired in 2016. Of course Manafort used “his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on the income.” Manafort “spent millions of dollars on luxury goods and services for himself and his extended family through payments wired from offshore”. He also used the money to borrow more and then “defrauded the institutions that loaned money” on his real estate holdings. Recall, that not only did Manafort’s last major client before Trump, exiled Ukrainian ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, flee to Russia and stand with ostriches after ordering his fellow citizens murder in cold blood, he had a lavish estate, Mezhyhirya which is now open to the public. In other words, getting people killed does not bother anyone cited in the indictment thus far.
PAGE 3: HOW MUCH DID THESE BASTARDS MAKE OFF LIKE BANDITS WITH?
“In total, more than $75,000,000 flowed through the offshore accounts. MANAFORT laundered more than $18,000,000” and “GATES transferred more than $3,000,000 from the offshore accounts”. In post-Soviet money laundering terms, this is actually kind of small peanuts. So there very well may be more, much more.
PAGES 7-14: WHERE’D THE MONEY GO? WHY DID NO ONE ASK QUESTIONS?
These pages detail how Manafort spent his stolen, blood soaked millions. The vendors he transferred funds to are chronicled with all the dryness of an indictment and much the sensibility of the banality of evil. “Home improvement company in the Hamptons, New York,” “Home Automation, Lighting and Home Entertainment Company in Florida,” “Antique Rug Store in Alexandria, Virginia,” “Men’s Clothing Store in New York,” “Landscaper in the Hamptons, New York,” “Antique Dealer in New York,” “Clothing Store in Beverly Hills, California,” “Investment Company,” “Contractor in Florida,” “Landscaper in the Hamptons, New York,” “Payments Relating to three Range Rovers,” “Contractor in Virginia,” “Audio, Video, and Control System Home Integration and Installation in the Hamptons, New York,” “Purchase of Mercedes Benz,” “Purchase of Range Rover,” “Property Management Company in South Carolina,” “Art Gallery in Florida,” “Housekeeping in New York”.
PAGE 15: REMINDER! ACTING AS A FOREIGN AGENT IS ILLEGAL, ASSHOLES
Reminder! “It is illegal to act as an agent of a foreign principal engaged in certain United States influence activities without registering the affiliation.” Meet the new “weapons of mass destruction program related activities”! Only difference: this shit is real.
PAGE 16: SKADDEN, ARPS IS HEADED FOR HEADWINDS FROM THE FEDS
“MANAFORT and GATES also lobbied in connection with the roll out of a report concerning the [former President of Ukraine before Yanukovych, Yulia] Tymoshenko trial commissioned by the Government of Ukraine. MANAFORT and GATES used one of their offshore accounts to funnel $4 million to pay secretly for the report,” which was drafted by the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, according to a story in The New York Times late last month.
PAGE 23: COUNT #1 – CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE UNITED STATES
“From in or about and between 2006 and 2017… the defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., and RICHARD W. GATES III, together with others, knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States”.
PAGE 24: COUNT #2 – CONSPIRACY TO LAUNDER MONEY
“In or around and between 2006 and 2016… the defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., and RICHARD W. GATES III, did knowingly and intentionally conspire to” launder dirty, blood soaked money.
PAGE 25: COUNTS 3-6 – FAILURE TO FILE REPORTS OF FOREIGN BANK AND FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS FOR CALENDAR YEARS 2011-2014
They never told the Feds about their dirty, blood soaked money stashed abroad.
PAGE 26: COUNT 10 – UNREGISTERED AGENT OF A FOREIGN PRINCIPAL
Dumb and dumber worked for the Ukrainian government at a time when it was a a proxy of Russia, exclusively for Russian-backed Ukrainian President and mass murderer in exile, Viktor Yanukovych without telling anyone in the U.S. government.
PAGE 27: COUNT 11 – FALSE + MISLEADING FARA STATEMENTS
And they lied about it.
PAGE 28: COUNT 12 – FALSE STATEMENTS
They lied “on or about November 23, 2016 and February 10, 2017”.
PAGE 29-30: FORFEITURE ALLEGATION
Manafort has to give up a bunch of assets bought with his dirty, blood soaked money, which are again chronicled with all the dryness of an indictment and much the sensibility of the banality of evil. “377 Union Street, Brooklyn,” “29 Howard Street, #4D, New York, New York,” “1046 N. Edgewood Street, Arlington, Virginia,” “174 Jobs Lane, Water Mill, New York,” and his “Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Policy”.
LIKE FLIPPIN’ A FLAPJACK: GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS CHARGED!
He flipped like a pancake after he lied to the Feds. POLITICO reports the Feds unsealed “a plea deal with a foreign policy adviser who lied about meeting with Russia-linked contacts,” George Papadopoulos, which contained “more revealing details” about the campaign than Manafort’s indictment because he “cut a secret plea deal earlier this month for lying to the FBI about the campaign’s outreach to Russia-related officials.” POLITICO reports, “The document describes a series of conversations and meetings with contacts whom he understood to have connections to the Kremlin about obtaining ‘dirt’ on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and setting up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.” POLITICO adds, “Papadopoulos became a foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign in March 2016 and went on to cultivate relationships with two individuals apparently connected to Russia, labeled in the document only as ‘the Professor’ and the ‘Female Russian National.’ Papadopoulos also kept campaign officials appraised of his contacts and efforts including, on at least one occasion, at a meeting that Trump himself attended.” The Daily Beast adds, “George Papadopoulos started meeting with a woman he believed to be Vladimir Putin’s niece,” however, “the woman was not, in fact, Putin’s relative.” Collusion confusion? Nein! POLITICO quotes the unsealed plea deal: “The Professor told defendant PAPADOPOULOS, as defendant PAPADOPOULOS later described to the FBI, that ‘They [the Russians] have dirt on her’; ‘the Russians had emails of Clinton’; ‘they have thousands of emails.’” It turns out “Papadopoulos was arrested in July” and “The revelations in the plea deal appear to undercut Trump’s repeated claims that the sprawling probe is nothing more than a ‘witch hunt’ and that his campaign had no contacts with Russian officials,” POLITICO reports. So there is that. He implicates the fake president squatting in the White House. Delightful! POLITICO reports, “George Papadopoulos, 30, entered the guilty plea in a closed courtroom in Washington on Oct. 5, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office announced”. POLITICO adds Papadopoulos “was photographed at a meeting with Trump, and the president listed him among his advisers during a 2016 meeting with The Washington Post’s editorial board, characterizing him as an ‘excellent guy.’”
WHERE IS MY PAGE? CONCEDING NO CONFUSION ON COLLUSION
CNN reports, “Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page admitted that the topic of Russia ‘may have come up’ in emails with campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos”. According to CNN, “In an interview on MSNBC, Page, who’s scheduled to testify behind closed doors before a House intelligence committee panel Thursday, said he ‘might have been’ on email threads with Papadopoulos where Russia ‘may have come up from time to time,’ but clarified that ‘nothing major’ was discussed.”
FAKEBOOK SAYS 126 MILLION EXPOSED TO RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA
CNN reports, “Facebook will inform lawmakers this week that roughly 126 million Americans may have been exposed to content generated on its platform by the Russian government-linked troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency between June 2015 and August 2017”. Keep in mind that is the known and notorious Russian troll farm — there are others. CNN adds, “That estimate, which is equivalent to more than half of the total U.S. voting population, offers a new understanding of the scope of Russia’s use of social media to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and in American society generally.” Even as the exposure is wider than they have previously admitted, their general counsel sought to minimize the impact, which is just bullshit, sorry guys. F for fuck, you’re not even trying. Meanwhile, BuzzFeed reports, “Facebook provided political advertisers with a targetable breakdown of a fractured United States, which could’ve been used as a blueprint for exploiting the country’s divisions.”
GOOGLE TAKING BABY STEPS TO CONCEDING A MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM
ABC News reports, “Google says it found ‘some evidence’ of misuse of its platforms by a pro-Russian government group, but said the activity was ‘limited.’ It found that two accounts linked to the group spent $4,700 on ads its platforms during the 2016 election.” Notice how everything is minimized to miniscule levels in the tech world at the first go round and then it amplifies. ABC News adds, “Google also found 18 YouTube channels likely backed by Russian agents. The channels hosted 1,108 videos with 43 hours of material, although they racked up just 309,000 views in the U.S. between June 2015 and November 2016. Google said it has suspended the account.”
From ABC News.
IZVESTIA: VOLKER + SURKOV TO MEET AGAIN IN FIRST HALF OF NOVEMBER
The Kyiv Post cites a report in Russian publication Izvestia that states U.S. Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker and Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov are to meet in the first half of November to discuss Ukraine. Separately, The Kyiv Post also reports, “The withdrawal of Russian troops from areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions outside the Ukrainian government’s control is one of the priority measures necessary for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas, US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker said.”
PUTIN ASSASSINATION SUSPECT INJURED + WIFE KILLED IN KYIV
Deutsche Welle reports, “A man accused of plotting to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin has been injured and his wife killed in an attack outside Kyiv. The couple’s car was peppered with bullets in an ambush.” According to Deutsche Welle, “Adam Osmayev and Amina Okuyeva were shot at from bushes near a railway crossing on the outskirts of the capital, a Ukrainian interior ministry official said Monday.” Deutsche Welle notes, “Osmayev, a Chechan volunteer soldier, had long been sought by Moscow in connection with a botched bomb plot to assassinate President Vladimir Putin in 2012. He was held for two and a half years in a Ukrainian prison but, despite demands from Russian prosecutors, was never extradited to Russia. Osmayev and his Ukrainian wife are well-known in Ukraine, where they have fought alongside government forces battling pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country.”
From Deutsche Welle.
NAVALNY’S CAMPAIGN MANAGER DETAINED
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s presidential campaign chief in Moscow, Nikolai Lyaskin, has been detained by police. Lyaskin wrote on Twitter on October 31 that police stopped his car, ordered him to go with them, and took him to a police station.” Recall, “Lyaskin, a senior supporter of Navalny, was beaten with a metal pipe by unidentified attackers in September.”
ANOTHER RUSSIAN SOCIALITE JOINS RUSSIA’S FAKE ELECTION CIRCUS
Russian state-run RT reports, “Russian journalist, rights activist, singer-songwriter and all-round celebrity Yekaterina Gordon has announced she plans to run in the 2018 presidential race on a ticket of protecting women’s and children’s rights.” Russian state-run RT adds, “Gordon made the announcement by posting a video on YouTube on Monday. She also made several comments to Russian news agencies, put promised to convene a proper news conference in the nearest future.” If Russian state-run RT is covering it, you know what the Kremlin thinks of it. Remember, when you have enough bread, you can create your own circus.
From Russian state-run RT.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
TWENTY TOXIC TACTICS USED BY THE RUSSIANS
The Economist’s Edward Lucas for StopFake lists the twenty tried and true Kremlin tactics of “Russia’s well-stocked arsenal” that preys on human weakness. In addition to disinformation and propaganda, Lucas’ list includes:
“1. The targeted use of corruption;
- Cyber-attacks on the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data held on a target country’s computer systems;
- Diplomatic divide-and-rule games designed to weaken multilateral rule-based organizations, and to create the perception of the targeted country’s isolation and indefensibility;
- The exploitation of economic, ethnic, linguistic, regional, religious, social and other divisions;
- Economicsanctions such as import curbs and restrictions on exports and transit;
- Interference with energy supplies, especially natural gas;
- Stoking financial panics;
- Weaponizing history to besmirch the reputation of a target country and hide Kremlin crimes;
- Covert information operationssuch as the hacking and leaking attacks seen in the U.S. and French presidential elections;
- Abuse of the international legal system, such as issuing Interpol Red Notices to critics, mounting libel actions and vexatious lawsuits;
- Military bluffing and saber-rattling; irregular and regular warfare;
- The use of organized crimenetworks to demoralize decision-makers and public opinion;
- Overt and covert payments to buy influence in political parties, think tanks, media outlets and academic institutions;
- Physical intimidation of opponents and critics;
- Psychological warfare on an individual and collective basis;
- The exploitation of religious sentiment, especially among Orthodox believers;
- Physical sabotage of critical infrastructure;
- Subversion of social norms, public confidence and state institutions; and
- Support for violent anti-social behavior.”
Lucas concludes, “People in these countries—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Central Europe, Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere—warned us. In vain. The know-it-alls in the countries of the old West didn’t listen, saying that they understood Russia much better than the former captive nations. That arrogant complacency has been hugely costly. The least we can do now is learn from the hard-won experience of those who know our adversary best.” There are a trove of stories from both sides, U.S. and Western Europe and the Central or Eastern Europeans to support this statement. Ergo, preach!
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
PUTIN OPENS MEMORIAL TO VICTIMS OF STALINIST REPRESSION IN RUSSIA
BBC News reports, ‘President Vladimir Putin has unveiled Russia’s first monument to people killed in political repression under Communist dictator Joseph Stalin.” According to the BBC, “A group of dissidents from the Soviet era wrote to a news website that they considered the event to be ‘untimely and cynical’.”
From BBC News.
FATS DOMINO DIDN’T LIKE PUTIN’S RENDERING OF “BLUEBERRY HILL”
The San Francisco Chronicle reports TV host Trevor Noah “said Domino had complained about Vladimir Putin’s widely heard 2010 rendition of his ‘Blueberry Hill.’ According to Noah, Domino said he sang off-key and repeated the opening line over and over, as if he didn’t know the rest of the song.” To say nothing of the fact that Putin’s voice is that of diabolical evil.
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