TRUMPISTAN WATCH launched the “Indictment Rock City” playlist on Spotify to mark one year of TRUMPISTAN WATCH on February 20, 2018. It is TRUMPISTAN WATCH’s effort to conquer soft power and it is currently the #1 indictment playlist on Spotify! The song selections come from news stories that were paired with news related to indictments and those indicted or entering plea deals with the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the principal tasked with restoring law and order to these lands. Herewith the songs and the stories that come with them:
HAPPY INDICTMENT DAY TO ALL! MANAFORT + GATES TO SURRENDER!
October 30, 2017: To each and everyone and especially if you are nonwhite, Mexican, Muslim, a DREAMer, or belonging to any other one of the groups of “very fine people” the Trump trash regime has zeroed in on for scapegoating, a very special indictment day to one and all! ABC News reports in a tweet, “BREAKING: Paul Manafort and Rick Gates to surrender to federal authorities today in Washington, D.C., sources w/ direct knowledge tell @ABC,” and The New York Times adds, “Paul Manafort surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning”. The New York Times reports, “Mr. Manafort walked into the F.B.I.’s field office in Washington about 8:15 a.m. with his lawyer.” CNN reported Friday after close of business, “A federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter. The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are.” Uncork some champagne, put on the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and sing along to, “Glory, glory hallelujah,” and “The truth is marching on!”
FLY LIKE AN EAGLE, LET THE MILLIONS CARRY MANAFORT
November 1, 2017: Business Insider reports, “A newly unsealed docket in the criminal case against Paul Manafort and his longtime business associate Rick Gates alleged that both men had received ‘millions of dollars’ from Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs that would allow them ‘to live comfortably abroad’ and therefore make them a flight risk.” According to Business Insider, “Manafort and Gates, who both pleaded not guilty on Monday, were required to turn over their passports to the FBI and notify the bureau of their movements. According to the filing, Manafort currently has three passports with different numbers — and has ‘submitted ten US passport applications on ten different occasions’ over the past decade.”
From Business Insider.
TOUCH THE HEM OF HIS GARM
November 1, 2017: Bloomberg reports, “Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos made a significant claim in an email: Top Trump campaign officials agreed to a pre-election meeting with representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” Oops. There is also an Instagram post from @realdonaldtrump from March 31, 2016, where Papadopoulos is seated around an all male table with Trump at one head and Private Russian Sessions on the other end. According to Bloomberg, “Papadopoulos was one of five volunteer advisers on foreign policy identified by Trump in a March 2016 interview [with The Washington Post]. Over the next several months, according to court documents, he cultivated at least three contacts who promised ‘dirt’ on Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, and introductions to top-level Russians. He kept some people in the campaign apprised of his efforts by email,” because his emails! Oops. Also he did it again and again and again: “The communications, by Skype, Facebook, text and email, show the electronic trail the government is following to verify how the campaign handled Russian contacts.” No wonder Jared wanted cool spy comms! Bloomberg adds, “One of those people, identified in court documents as Foreign Contact 2, is Ivan Timofeev, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Tuesday. He works for the Moscow-based Russian International Affairs Council, a Kremlin-linked research group, and isn’t a foreign ministry employee, despite Papadopoulos’s assertion, she said.” In the post-Soviet world, the overlap between the ministries of foreign affairs and such think tanks is profound, so this is simply horseshit. Similarly, less you doubt, “Timofeev declined to comment by email but posted on his group’s site that he believed Papadopoulos was working on his own initiative. ‘Apparently, he was an enthusiast with little experience,’ he said.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH knows what you are, but what are we?
CHAIN OF FOOLS
November 1, 2017: The Washington Post reports, “in private exchanges, Joseph Mifsud was proud of his alleged high-level Moscow contacts, reporting that they had extended all the way to the top: He’d had, he told a former assistant late last year, a private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.” According to The Washington Post, “the boastfulness matches the portrait of Mifsud sketched in court papers unsealed Monday,” in George Papadopoulos’ case. The Washington Post reports, “In those papers — a plea agreement for former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos — Mifsud is not named. But the Maltese national and London-based academic confirmed Tuesday that he is the ‘professor’ mentioned in the probe.” Recall, “According to the court files, the professor took an interest in Papadopoulos after the latter joined the Trump campaign. Mifsud promised him ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton compiled by the Russians, including thousands of emails. He also offered to serve as a go-between in Papadopoulos’s efforts to connect the Trump campaign with the Kremlin, even going so far as introducing Papadopoulos to a woman he identified as Putin’s niece,” The Washington Post notes. While Mifsud denies involvement, “details that emerged Tuesday based on interviews with those who know him, his writings and his travels suggested a more complex picture, one that better matched the image of the professor in court files as a somewhat obscure European academic who longed for more.” So ego is what ensnared both gentlemen, because they are weak and not so smart. The Washington Post reports, “Hailing from Malta, the European Union’s smallest nation, he parlayed roles advising the government there into top positions with educational institutions that bear exalted-sounding names but are little-known even within academia. Those included president of the Slovenia-based Euro-Mediterranean University and honorary director at the London Academy of Diplomacy.” The Washington Post adds, “According to a biography on the London Centre of International Law Practice’s website, which was deleted Sunday, Mifsud ‘served prominently’ in Malta’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked as an adviser for Malta’s Ministry of Education.” The Washington Post notes, “Mifsud told the Telegraph that he introduced Papadopoulos to a program director of the Russian International Affairs Council, a state-funded Russian think tank that is close to the Foreign Ministry, and that he tried to set up meetings with experts on the European Union.” Additionally, “Mifsud’s contacts in Moscow go back to at least 2012, when a delegation from Moscow State University’s Faculty of Global Processes established a partnership with the London Diplomatic Academy,” The Washington Post notes.
From The Washington Post.
DON’T BE OUR BABY, ANYMORE
November 1, 2017: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman [Dmitry Peskov] has emphasized that the Kremlin sees no evidence of accusations of Russian meddling in the indictment handed down to U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and an associate.” This is how we know that in addition to being heartless and tone deaf, they also lack vision. Hilariously Peskov told journalists and propagandists in Moscow, “From what we have read in media reports and seen in statements by participants in the process, Russia so far does not figure in any way in the charges that have been issued,” adding, “Other countries and other people” such as their very own Viktor Yanukovych, currently in exile on Russian soil in Rostov-on-Don while Russian forces occupy the eastern half of Ukraine and illegally seized Crimea.
HOUSE ARREST ROCK
November 2, 2017: POLITICO reports, “A federal judge said Wednesday that a prosecution filing about the financial condition and travel histories of former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates won’t be enough to persuade her to alter the terms the two men were released on after being arraigned Monday on charges of money laundering and failing to register as foreign agents. On Tuesday, prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller submitted a court filing arguing that Manafort and Gates both pose a risk of flightdue to their wealth and their foreign travels.” POLITICO notes, “On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson released the two men under home detention. However, Manafort committed to forfeit $10 million to the court if he fails to appear and Gates pledged to give up $ 5 million if he jumps bond.” According to POLITICO, “‘Any requests for review of the conditions of release must be made in the form of a written motion to the Court,’ Jackson wrote in a brief order Wednesday. Both men have been ordered to appear before Jackson Thursday at 2 p.m. for her first hearing on the case.”
NOT SO SECRET AGENT MAN
November 2, 2017: Vice reports, “Looks like even alleged international criminals have shitty password practices.” Wait for, it’s really fucking good. Vice reports, former Trump campaign manager Paul “Manafort, whose alleged involvement in off-the-books Ukrainian government dealings and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign make him sound like a character from a spy novel, used to reference another character from a spy novel in his online passwords: James Bond. The password associated with both his former Adobe and Dropbox accounts were variations of ‘Bond007,’ according to two security researchers who asked not to be named citing professional concerns.” Good grief what a clown. He probably still suffers from the affliction of believing he is someone. Here is how this was uncovered: “In March, hacked text messages allegedly belonging to Manafort’s daughter, Andrea, were released on the dark web. Manafort confirmed to Politico that his daughter had experienced a breach. The messages contained what is believed to be Manafort’s former email address: email@example.com, uncovered by the security researcher known as Krypt3ia,” Vice reports. “By searching for the email address on HaveIBeenPwned.com, a website that helps users discern whether their data has been compromised as part of a major hack, the researcher discovered that firstname.lastname@example.org was indeed part of two breaches: the 2013 Adobe hack, as well as the 2012 Dropbox hack.” Then it was a matter of following the password hints and trying a few combinations. Beyond ridiculous.
MONEY (THAT’S WHAT I WANT)
November 3, 2017: The Daily Beast reports, “Buried deep in Robert Mueller’s indictment of Paul Manafort is a new link between Donald Trump’s former campaign and Russian organized crime. The indictment (PDF), unsealed on Monday, includes an extensive look into Paul Manafort’s byzantine financial dealings. In particular, it details how he used a company called Lucicle Consultants Limited to wire millions of dollars into the United States.” Well, The Daily Beast notes, “The Cyprus-based Lucicle Consultants Limited, in turn, reportedly received millions of dollars from a businessman and Ukrainian parliamentarian named Ivan Fursin, who is closely linked to one of Russia’s most notorious criminals: Semion Mogilevich.” Remember when this began and as it has gone on TRUMPISTAN WATCH has been very clear that the Oligarchs are not so important as who their roof is and all of Manafort’s associates in Ukraine as well as Trump’s friends in Russia share one in the godfather of godfathers, Semion Mogilevich. The Daily Beast notes Mogilevich is “Currently believed to be safe in Moscow,” and that “he is, according to the FBI, responsible for weapons trafficking, contract killings, and international prostitution.” They left out match fixing, albeit maybe because that is largely outsourced to a colleague. Rumor has it he lives rather openly in Russia and hangs out at the Ritz Moscow, site of the notorious “pee pee tape,” alongside other dossier and Trump orbit related folks like the Agalarovs. Also of note, “Fursin’s longtime business associate, Ukrainian billionaire Dmitry Firtash, has an off-again, on-again partnership with Manafort,” The Daily Beast reports. “Firtash has his own legal complications. He is currently under indictment in U.S. federal court for allegedly orchestrating an international titanium mining racket. The acting U.S. attorney in Chicago recently dubbed him an ‘organized-crime member’ and an ‘upper-echelon associat[e] of Russian organized crime,’” The Daily Beast adds. Naturally it follows that “A December 2005 report from the Austrian Federal Criminal Investigation Agency said the FBI described Fursin and Firtash as senior members of the Semion Mogilevich Organization.”
From The Daily Beast.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
November 3, 2017: POLITICO reports, “Former Trump campaign aide Sam Clovis, who has been swept up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, has withdrawn from consideration to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist, according to a letter Clovis sent on Wednesday to President Donald Trump.” C’est magnifique! POLITICO notes, “Clovis had been under criticism for months for his lack of science credentials and, in recent days, for his role supervising George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who struck a plea deal on charges he lied to FBI investigators about his communications with Russia-linked contacts.” POLITICO gets “Tom Vilsack, who was Agriculture secretary under former President Barack Obama,” on record saying, “It was only a matter of time”. Also as this is the deranged Trumpistani elite, he was also a noted bigot and racist in addition to being a climate change denier. POLITICO adds, “Clovis also made numerous racially charged allegations, including calling progressives ‘race trader’” and ‘race traitors,’ who want to keep black people ‘enslaved to the government.’ He called former Attorney General Eric Holder a ‘racist black,’ called Obama a narcissistic liar who has ‘been given a pass’ because he is black, and disparaged women who identify as Democrats.” USA Today reporter Steve Reilly also unearthed video of Clovis justifying the Russian invasion and occupation of Crimea, so all and all a real humanist. So far this is however the best reason for someone to withdraw their nomination: because he is a witness and possible defendant in a criminal prosecution. All in all, a good day when such things happen.
HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
November 6, 2017: NBC News reports, “The Trump administration has downplayed the role of foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos during the 2016 presidential campaign. But the public record shows that Papadopoulos, who attempted to set up a meeting between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, was a more prominent figure than previously understood.” NBC News notes, “Papadopoulos was in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention where he was invited by the American Jewish Committee to speak on a panel about U.S. foreign policy, organizers said.” Co-panelists included, “Reps. Tom Marino, R-Pa., and Ted Yoho, R-Fla., both members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee while Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, gave opening remarks.” Not too shabby. There is a photo as well to bolster the fact. Then “he met with Israeli leaders during the inauguration in January as a foreign policy adviser for the newly-sworn in president,” and was quoted in the Jerusalem Post, “We are looking forward to ushering in a new relationship with all of Israel, including the historic Judea and Samaria,” which is how extremists and zealots refer to the West Bank and Gaza, the implication being that they are historic lands belonging to the Jewish people. Have these people any self-imposed limits on their crazy?
From NBC News.
I SHALL BE RELEASED
November 6, 2017: Reuters reports, “President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort offered to post more than $12 million in real estate and life insurance assets and to limit his travel in a bid to avoid continued house arrest, according to court documents filed on Saturday.” Reuters adds, “In the Saturday court filing, Manafort offered to limit his travel to New York, Washington and Florida and pledged life insurance worth about $4.5 million as well as about $8 million in real estate assets, including a property on Fifth Avenue in New York that was identified by some media outlets as an apartment in Trump Tower.”
November 6, 2017: POLITICO reports, “A federal judge on Friday proposed a May 7 trial date for President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, another former campaign aide. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she would hear arguments about that date at a hearing scheduled for Nov. 6.”
REACH OUT (I’LL BE THERE)!
November 6, 2017: Bloomberg reports, “Authorities in Cyprus handed over bank and company records to U.S. investigators late last week related to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates, just before they were indicted in the U.S.” According to Bloomberg, “The Cypriot government was responding to a June 7 request from U.S. investigators for records related to Manafort, Gates and companies they set up in Cyprus and the Seychelles”.
TICKET — OR SECOND PASSPORT — TO RIDE
November 6, 2017: Bloomberg reports, “Rick Gates failed to disclose he had a second passport until three days after he surrendered to face charges with Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman that they hid their work as agents of Ukraine and laundered millions of dollars, prosecutors said.” That’s a good look. He also had a suitcase packed, a stash of granola bars and a golden pistol like Qaddafi’s. Just kidding – thus written so TRUMPISTAN WATCH does not get sued for libel for fantasizing about the traitor trash klan ending up like the Lion of Libya, fearful and alone, hiding in a drainage pipe. According to Bloomberg, “Prosecutors for Special Counsel Robert Mueller cited that omission as one of several reasons they oppose Gates’s request to ease his bail terms, which confine him to his home in Richmond, Virginia, with electronic monitoring.” Bloomberg notes, “The prosecutors said Gates’s lawyers didn’t tell them until Thursday about the second passport, even though he represented that he only had one when he pleaded not guilty in federal court in Washington on Monday.” Hello assholes! This is the federal government of the United States you are dealing with, do you not believe they might know more than you and exercise leverage around the world to crush the largest systemic threat to our state in our nation’s history? Stupid is as stupid does, sir.
TURN THE PAGE
November 6, 2017: Talking Points Memo reports, “Carter Page acknowledged Friday that he was copied on an email chain in which fellow Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos suggested hooking the Trump team up with Russian government officials. ‘I was one of many people on that email chain,’ the perpetually chatty Page told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an on-air interview,” referring to a March 24, 2016 email chain involving a Maltese professor and Kremlin cut-out, Joseph Mifsud.
From Talking Points Memo.
I BELIEVE I CAN FLY
November 7, 2017: Talking Points Memo reports, “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates will remain under house arrest for at least a few more dayswhile their attorneys work out an agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team on a bond package that would permit their release.” Excuse moi? Both are pretty massive flight risks. It must be very hard for them not to at the very least be free to move between the homes they purchased with dirty Russian and other foreign dictators’ money. Le sigh. The struggle is all too real for these two. MAGA = Manafort And Gates Arrested!
From Talking Points Memo.
November 9, 2017: POLITICO reports, “The federal judge overseeing the criminal case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates has issued a gag order limiting comments to the media and the public by lawyers, defendants and witnesses in the case.” POLITICO notes, “U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s directive released Wednesday doesn’t ban such statements outright, but prohibits any remarks that ‘pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case.’”
November 9, 2017: The BBC reports George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign’s foreign policy aide now facing federal charges of lying to the FBI who entered a plea bargain, “met a British Foreign Office official, two months before the US presidential election, for a ‘working level’ meeting.” Of course, “While such meetings may be routine diplomacy, the fact that Papadopoulos was presenting himself to the government of one of the US’s closest allies as a representative of the Trump campaign undercuts the White House’s recent assertion that Papadopoulos was a campaign volunteer of little importance,” BBC notes. Most curiously, BBC reports, “Word of the Papadopoulos sit-down in London was first reported by Scott Stedman, a California university student, in a post on the website Medium. He writes that the Trump adviser met ‘an unidentified, high-ranking member of the UK’s department that handles foreign affairs’.” A Foreign and Commonwealth spokesman did confirm the meeting however.
From the BBC.
ARRIVING ON A JET PLANE
November 9, 2017: POLITICO obtained audio of George Papadopoulos’ July arraignment. The only thing unusual about it is POLITICO reports, “Papadopoulos’ arrest seems to have been the product of some haste. Indeed, when he was arrested at Dulles Airport on July 27 after coming off a flight from Munich, prosecutors had no warrant for him and no indictment or criminal complaint. The complaint would be filed the following morning”. Then, “when prosecutors filed the complaint the next day they got a spoken order from Howell to seal it, but followed up with a written request that they could take to the magistrate in Alexandria, where they showed up almost an hour later than she expected,” POLITICO adds, noting, “All of it suggests something of a scramble, rather than a carefully prepared plan to take Papadopolous into custody.”
November 9, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports, “The Justice Department is seeking to reach a plea deal in its criminal investigation of the former son-in-law of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s one-time campaign chairman,” Jeffrey Yohai. The case is separate from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller case against Manafort.
From The Wall Street Journal.
SUBTERRANEAN HOMESICK BLUES
November 9, 2017: CNN reports, “Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese academic suspected of being a link between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, was once a regular on the foreign policy circuit, attending conferences the world over.” That’s right, “Last Thursday he disappeared from the private university in Rome where he teaches. Repeated attempts to reach him since have been unsuccessful, though he appears to have read some messages from CNN.” Does Lubyanka have enough porcelain for all these shit stains they helped create?
November 13, 2017: POLITICO reports, “Federal investigators have a name for a mysterious Russian woman who offered to help broker meetings between former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and Kremlin officials: Olga Vinogradova.” It turns out Vinogradova is her maiden name, The New York Times reports, adding her name is now Olga Polonskaya. Maybe? POLITICO notes, “Papadopoulos referred to Vinogradova by name in his campaign-era emails during the spring of 2016.” For color and motives for her presence, POLITICO adds, “in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica last week, he [Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud] referred to Vinogradova as ‘just a student, a very good-looking one.’ Papadopoulos’s interest in her, Mifsud said, was ‘very different from an academic one.’” The New York Times then sets the stage, “At midday on March 24, 2016, an improbable group gathered in a London cafe to discuss setting up a meeting between Donald J. Trump, then a candidate, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.” Among the guests to the party, “There was George Papadopoulos, a 28-year-old from Chicago with an inflated résumé who just days earlier had been publicly named as a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign. There was Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic in his mid-50s with a faltering career who boasted of having high-level contacts in the Russian government.” And then there was, “perhaps most mysteriously, there was Olga Polonskaya, a 30-year-old Russian from St. Petersburg and the former manager of a wine distribution company. Mr. Mifsud introduced her to Mr. Papadopoulos as Mr. Putin’s niece, according to court papers. Mr. Putin has no niece.” Meanwhile, “Papadopoulos was in regular contact that spring with top campaign officials, including Stephen Miller, now a senior adviser to President Trump, according to interviews and campaign documents reviewed by The New York Times.” Furthermore, “Exactly how Mr. Mifsud first met Ms. Polonskaya, the Russian woman who attended the London cafe meeting in March 2016, is unclear.”
WE ALL LIVE IN A YELLOW SUBMARINE
November 13, 2017: The New York Times reports Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud “did not exhibit any special interest or expertise in Russia until 2014, when his academy was beginning to stumble financially. It was at that time a 24-year-old Russian intern, Natalia Kutepova-Jamrom, turned up in his office with an improbably impressive résumé.” Straight from some KGB academy of lore, she was “Fluent in Russian, English, German and Chinese,” and “had worked in the Russian government as a legislative aide and would move on to a Russian state newspaper.” And so The New York Times reports, “Ms. Kutepova-Jamrom introduced Mr. Mifsud to senior Russian officials, diplomats and scholars. Despite Mr. Mifsud’s lack of qualifications, she managed to arrange an invitation for him to join the prestigious Valdai Discussion Club, an elite gathering of Western and Russian academics that meets each year with Mr. Putin.”
From The New York Times.
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL
November 13, 2017: The Guardian reports, “Boris Johnson is facing questions about the government’s links to key individuals named by the FBI in its Trump-Russia investigation, following the emergence of a photo of him with Joseph Mifsud, the ‘London professor’ with high-level Kremlin contacts.” Mifsud has since disappeared and will likely reemerge in Moscow some day, as happens. According to The Guardian, “The foreign secretary is facing accusations of a potential security breach following the emergence of the photo of him with Mifsud, whose identity emerged as part of investigations into alleged links between Donald Trump’s election campaign and Russia.” The Guardian notes, “This development comes less than a week after Johnson denied meeting the professor, and at a time when concern is growing about possible Russian interference in the Brexit campaign, in which the foreign secretary played a crucial role.” The Guardian adds that while “the FBI had known about Mifsud’s role as a high-level go-between linking the Trump campaign and the Russian government since at least July, it appears British intelligence did not warn the foreign secretary about the potential embarrassment or security implications before he attended a fundraising dinner with Mifsud on 19 October.” That could potentially become an important detail for a variety of reasons and with many possible implications.
From The Guardian.
November 13, 2017: Reuters reports, “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has questioned Sam Clovis, co-chairman of President Donald Trump’s election campaign, to determine if Trump or top aides knew of the extent of the campaign team’s contacts with Russia”. According to Reuters, “Clovis testified in late October before the grand jury in Mueller’s investigationinto Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. He is also cooperating with the Senate Intelligence Committee”.
GATES FOUGHT THE LAW + THE LAW WON
November 17, 2017: POLITICO reports, “Former Donald Trump campaign staffer Rick Gates, who’s facing charges in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, lost his bid Thursday to get out of strict home confinement rules so he can travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas and drive his four children to school and extracurricular activities, as well as continue his lobbying work.” It must be such an inconvenience living under house arrest. But hey this asshole is part of the reason we are all living under occupation, which is just a macro form of house arrest, so it is more like a goddamn pity he is not in jail as he would be if he were poors instead of a wealthy lobbyist.
OOPS I DID IT AGAIN
November 17, 2017: POLITICO reports, “George Papadopoulos claimed last year that Donald Trump telephoned him to discuss his new position as a foreign policy adviser to his presidential campaign and that the two had at least one personal introductory meeting that the White House has not acknowledged.” Oops! According to POLITICO, “Papadopoulos also claimed that he’d been given a ‘blank check’ to choose a senior Trump administration job and authorized to represent the candidate in overseas meetings with foreign leaders, and at a campaign event in New York.” That check presumably to book amateur hour? POLITICO adds, “Among Papadapoulos’s claims to a Kathimerini reporter and editor was that Trump called him personally in March 2016 after he had been tapped for Trump’s foreign policy advisory team. Papadopoulos said Trump him he had been recommended for the job by Trump’s former Republican primary rival, Ben Carson.”
November 29, 2017: Talking Points Memo reports, “Rick Gates’ side-job producing a handful of D-list films has come back to haunt him in the case brought against him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.” According to Talking Points Memo, “a separate fraud case brought in New York against some of Gates’ film producing associates is now causing Gates problems in his own criminal case.” Talking Points Memo reports, “The New York case involves allegations that a group of producers bamboozled investors, including a reality TV star, using falsified bank statements and other fraudulent means, to convince them to back film projects the producers claimed they were attached to. The producers instead would allegedly use the investors’ funding for personal expenses”. Talking Points Memo adds, “Gates shares an attorney with one of the producers in the New York case, Steven Brown. According to court filings last week, the two shared financial relationships that Gates failed to disclose to Mueller’s team as they hash out a bail deal.” Talking Points Memo adds, “Prosecutors have now asked a judge to review the potential conflict of Gates and Brown sharing the attorney, Walter Mack, in their respective cases, with a hearing on the issue scheduled for next week.” Shit, another fraudster around Trump and his team – what are the chances? Obviously a hoax perpetrated by Hillary Clinton disguised as a 400-pound Chinese man in a basement somewhere, with Seth Rich in the parlor with the candlestick! But her emails! Which brings us to…
From Talking Points Memo.
WHEN THE SHIP COMES IN
November 29, 2017: The Times of London reports, “An academic accused of interfering in the US election by offering information about Russian ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump’s aides has resigned from his role with a Scottish university.” This is of course Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud “who was a teaching fellow in the politics department at Stirling University,” until he “quit weeks after he was named as the mysterious professor in US court documents, placing him at the centre of an international scandal over Kremlin meddling in last year’s presidential election campaign.” Recall, “It was alleged that he acted as a go-between for Moscow by detailing ‘thousands of emails’ about Mrs Clinton to George Papadopoulos,” the now indicted Trump foreign policy aide who had no experience and is currently singing to the feds.
From The Times of London.
WAIT A MINUTE, MR. POSTMAN
December 5, 2017: Axios reports, “K.T. McFarland, President Trump’s former Deputy National Security Advisor testified in a Senate hearing that she knew nothing of Michael Flynn’s contacts with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. However, she discussed those contacts at the time over email”. But her emails?! Axios recalls, “McFarland was ousted from the White House in April but later nominated by Trump to serve as ambassador to Singapore. She testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July as part of the confirmation process, and was asked about Flynn and Kislyak’s communications.”
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
December 8, 2017: Reuters reports, “President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort did not violate a court gag order when he helped edit an opinion piece about his political work in Ukraine, his defense lawyer Kevin Downing argued in a court filing on Thursday.” Recall, “Thursday’s filing came after prosecutors working for Mueller said earlier this week that they no longer could agree to more lenient bail terms for Manafort after discovering that he was working with a colleague tied to Russian intelligence agencies on an opinion piece that cast his work in a favorable light,” Reuters adds, noting, “The piece appeared online in the English-language Kyiv Post on Thursday.” Reuters adds, “The article, which was authored by Oleg Voloshyn, a former spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign affairs ministry, praised Manafort’s political work in helping Ukraine secure better relations with the European Union,” which is heavy revisionist history as the man he actually supported, Viktor Yanukovych, refused to sign an Association Agreement with the EU. The result was months-long protests on Maidan Square and 100 dead after Yanukovych ordered demonstrators be fired upon. Details.
December 8, 2017: POLITICO reports, “Lawyers representing former Donald Trump campaign staffer Rick Gates filed a motion Thursday notifying the court that he has enlisted the help of two people willing to post their property as collateral to help guarantee his $5 million bondconditions.” POLITICO adds, “Gates’ attorneys said they had presented special counsel Robert Mueller’s office with the two individuals willing to put up their property on Gates’ behalf and that those individuals had been interviewed by the special prosecutor’s team. Gates’ lawyers did not identify the individuals, and their filing noted that they had asked Mueller’s team not to identify them either, in order to protect their privacy.” Are they Russian or known allies and/or proxies of the Russian mafia state?
HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN
December 8, 2017: Reuters reports, “The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia judge presiding over the criminal case for President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been recused from handling the case”. Reuters notes, “According to a court filing, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, who presided over a Dec. 1 hearing where Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russia, will no longer handle the case.” Instead, “Flynn’s sentencing will be overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan was appointed by former Democratic President Bill Clinton.”
HAVE MERCY JUDGE
December 11, 2017: POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, will face a different judge to be sentenced than the one who took Flynn’s guilty plea to a felony false statement charge last week, court records show. Judge Emmet Sullivan was randomly assigned to take over the case after Judge Rudolph Contreras recused himself.” POLITICO confirms a court spokewoman said, “the reassignment was due to Contreras’ recusal, but said the court generally does not disclose the reason that a judge begged off the case.” POLITICO notes, “Sullivan is an appointee of President Bill Clinton, and Contreras was appointed by President Barack Obama.”
MERCY MERCY ME
December 11, 2017: Bloomberg reports, “Paul Manafort, the onetime campaign chairman of President Donald Trump, suggested dozens of editing changes to an opinion piece that ran this week in an English-language Ukrainian newspaper, prosecutors for Special Counsel Robert Mueller said in a filing Friday.” Bloomberg adds, “Prosecutors presented recent emails and a Microsoft Word document they said showed comments Manafort added to the editorial draft on Nov. 29 using a ‘track changes’ feature.” (Plug: the TRUMPISTAN WATCH merch shop now sells Paul Manfort Tracks Changes women’s sweatshirts and tote bags as part of the Active Measures Active Wear collection.)
December 11, 2017: USA Today reports, “Special counsel Robert Mueller issued 15 search and seizure warrants and gathered more than hundreds of thousands of documents in the course of investigating President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business and campaign aide Rick Gates, according to new court filings.” USA Today notes, “In a status report on the case released by Mueller’s team on Friday, federal prosecutors said the government obtained more than 400,000 documents, including financial records, email communications, and corporate records. The prosecutor’s team also possesses imaged copies of 36 electronic devices such as laptops and phones.” USA Today adds, “The government prioritized foreign bank account records from Cyprus, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in its search. More than 116,000 domestic financial records are considered ‘particularly relevant,’ according to court documents. Separately, the government identified 2,000 other ‘hot’ documents that could contain crucial information for the case. Those include the defendants’ statements to law enforcement and copies of the search warrants.”
From USA Today.
LOVE POTION NO. 9
December 11, 2017: ABC News George Stephanopoulos had a totally bizarre interview with “The Italian fiancee of George Papadopoulos,” Simona Mangiante, who does not sound very Italian. She is confirmed as the daughter of Angelo Mangiante, a respected Sky Sports broadcaster one colleague offered, by the Italian media. In her interview with Stephanopoulos, Mangiante “offered the first public defense of the embattled former Trump campaign adviser, who in October was revealed as the first campaign adviser to plead guilty and cooperate with the special counsel’s Russia probe.” This is so odd for so many reasons: there is nothing compelling her to come forward now, we have not even heard from George’s family, and why isn’t she leaving him? Most troubling about her story, Mangiante said, “Both she and Papadopoulos had worked at different times for Professor Joseph Mifsud, then the director of the London Academy of Diplomacy.” She also told Stephanopoulos they met through LinkedIn in September 2016. Imagine how high this kid was flying, miles above his league. Recall, “Papadopoulos was arrested by the FBI when he arrived at Dulles International Airport on July 27 and charged under seal. Since that time, she said, he has been cooperating with investigators,” ABC News notes. Insanely and most suspect at the end, between giggles, Mangiante, said she believes he will now have a firm place in history as “the first domino in the Russia investigation.” Mangiante also denied she spoke Russian or is Russian and then looked to the side when Stephanopoulos asked. It would be helpful to know who the mother is, but TRUMPISTAN WATCH’s best educated guess based on Mangiante’s online trails is she is Bulgarian.
From ABC News.
December 12, 2017: Reuters reports, “A U.S. federal judge on Monday issued a stern warning to President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort to refrain from making statements to the media that could harm his right to a fair trial. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson chided Manafort for ghost-writing an opinion piece that was published last week in the Kyiv Post, an English-language newspaper in Ukraine, lauding Manafort’s political work for Ukraine. Jackson said she would consider any similar future behavior to be a violation of her Nov. 8 gag order not to discuss the case with the media or make public statements in ways that could affect the case’s outcome.” However, Reuters notes, “Jackson stopped short of granting a request from Special Counsel Robert Mueller to deny Manafort’s proposal for more lenient bail terms, saying she would take Manafort’s proposal to lift his house arrest in exchange for posting four real estate properties as collateral under advisement and rule at a later date.” Reuters adds, “Jackson set the next status conference hearing for Jan. 16. Jackson said she has some outstanding concerns about Manafort’s proposed bail package, including his reliance on the real estate website Zillow to come up with some of the property value estimates.” Additionally, Reuters reports, “Jackson also expressed frustration that the defendants were not always giving pre-trial services ample notice about their whereabouts, saying, ‘It has to be more than an hour in advance.’” (Merch plug: get the Active Measures Active Wear Paul Manafort Tracks Changes women’s sweatshirt and/or tote bag at the one and only TRUMPISTAN WATCH merch shop.)
December 18, 2017: Reuters reports, “A U.S. District Court judge on Friday said she would release former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets certain conditions, expressing satisfaction that the $10 million he agreed to forfeit would be available if he ever failed to appear for court proceedings.” That means Manafort is now free to flee by submarine or fake his own death – and he has many friends in the Russian mafia state perhaps still even now to assist in an exfiltration. Will he end up eventually in Rostov beside his old friend Yanukovych, also in exile, or some Caribbean island wearing a disguise? Reuters adds, “In her order, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to be released from home confinement, Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including two in New York, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and his Florida home.” Reuters notes, “He will be subject to restrictions including a curfew and electronic GPS monitoring but will be allowed to leave his home in Alexandria for his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, once he meets the conditions.” Reuters reports, “In case the forfeited properties do not raise $10 million, the judge said, Manafort’s wife, Kathleen, has deposited $5 million in an account and his daughter Andrea Manafort Shand, $2 million in a separate account, to make up any difference. The assets cannot be touched without a court order. Once in Florida, Manafort must stay within the area, unless he is traveling to Washington for court appearances or meetings with counsel, according to the order. He needs permission for any other domestic travel and cannot leave the country.” Any accommodation is bullshit. Think of the 100 dead in Maidan should you object or find this objective assessment to be wanting in terms of understanding just how dangerous this man is.
YOU GOTTA FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY
December 18, 2017: The Daily Mail reports, “One of the two Trump campaign aides charged in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe is stepping up his legal fight to clear his name with friends holding a fundraiser for him next week – in a calculated gesture of Republican defiance at the special counsel. Rick Gates is having a pre-Christmas fundraiser held to help pay for lawyers to fight federal charges brought against him by Mueller.” The Daily Mail notes, “The event is being held next Tuesday in Arlington, Virginia, with a goal of raising $250,000 for the ‘Defending American Rights Legal Fund’ which will benefit the political consultant.” The Daily Mail adds, “GOP lobbyist Jack Burkman, who is hosting Gates’ fundraiser, said he expects a crowd of around 150 DC movers and shakers to attend including members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, fellow lobbyists, lawyers and defense contractors.” Why no Russian agents or do they have their own separate fund?
From The Daily Mail.
SANTA CLAUSE IS COMING TO TOWN
December 19, 2017: Business Insider reports, “Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign who was arrested in October as a part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, asked a judge on Monday to let him go to the Hamptons for Christmas.” Business Insider notes, “US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted the request.” Bloomberg adds, “The Bridgehampton estate—complete with tennis court, pool, and golf green—has been of keen interest to prosecutors.”