The Last Nail-Manafort To Cooperate With Mueller in Trump-Proof Deal.

Paul Manafort and his adoring public.

Paul Manafort, the man who has been seen as the key to understanding what Donald Trump’s role in Russia’s interference in our 2016 presidential election was, has finally figured out he’s not getting a pardon and agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller, according to Kevin Downing, his attorney.

Last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson formally accepted Manafort’s guilty plea, to two felony conspiracy counts.

This news was not unexpected, and in fact, probably represents the last nail in the coffin of the Trump presidency. It comes on the heels of Manafort’s courthouse defeat in Virginia last month, in which he was convicted on eight more felony charges. A mistrial was declared on the other ten counts, but the government reserves the right to retry them.

Manafort seems finally to have had enough. He has tapped out.

Ken Starr, the semi-pornographer who led the investigation into President Bill Clinton, said Sunday he was not surprised to see the former Trump campaign manager cooperate. “He was under tremendous pressure,” said Starr, a former judge.

No doubt, buddy.

White House Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform in the Obama administration, Norman Eisen, has predicted that Trump will not survive Manafort’s testimony.

Eisen, the Obama ethics lawyer, said there is a possibility Manafort will lead prosecutors to Trump. T.S. Ellis, the presiding judge in Manafort’s Virginia trial, reproached Mueller’s team last spring for trying to “get something on President Trump”, and implying that was the goal of prosecuting Manafort for tax and bank fraud in the first place.

Ellis took a sympathetic stance viz. Manafort many times during that trial, in our opinion, but he was found guilty on eight counts anyway, and he was facing yet another trial this month. Trump’s pat on the head for his “bravery” was not, apparently, worth doing life in prison for. Manafort has finally had enough.

And thus did the lone holdout, the one man perceived beyond all others to hold the key to understanding all of this, finally collapse. With it, Trump’s presidency is almost certain to fall as well.

Here at Millennial Democrats, we weren’t quite around to report on it last year when Donald Trump Jr.’s infamous meeting at Trump Tower with Kremlin-linked attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, which Mueller is said to have taken a keen interest in, was discovered.

But we were around when the New York Times reported last September that Manafort was informed of his impending indictment in August, during an early-morning raid at his Virginia home.

We were present a third time when the special counsel Robert Mueller gave Trump an early Christmas present, by way of getting the cooperation of Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn, a man who was at another famous meeting, this one in Russia with Manafort and Jill Stein– and Vladimir Putin.

All of these were nails in the coffin. After that, they started falling like rain. Rick Gates, Sam Nunberg, and so on. This time, however, we’re not just discussing another nail. We’re discussing the final nail.

If you were online and using social media, particularly Facebook, in 2016 and saw this whole thing taking place before your eyes, you probably tried to tell people.

The people you told probably rolled their eyes, especially when you told them about Bernie Sanders‘ campaign being involved(Bernie’s old manager Tad Devine was the first witness called at Manafort’s trial), and you got that. You knew you probably sounded paranoid, but just the same. Something was going on, and sooner or later, the authorities would get involved.

We just hoped it would be in time to salvage the election. It was not.

Manafort’s agreeing to cooperate represent the culmination of nearly two years worth of effort, at this point, and for those of us who have followed the Russiagate developments, nothing could ever possibly come as a better piece of news.

Later on Friday, we saw Mueller’s plea agreement with Manafort on Friday take all-but-unprecedented steps to undercut Trump’s ability to pardon his former campaign chairman. He Trump-proofed it by making sure Manafort knows that if he does accept a pardon, the government will take everything he owns.

To the kind of guy who would spend twelve grand on a pocketwatch, no punishment could be worse.

Good bye, Donald.

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Enemy of the People- Trump’s Attacks On Media Border The Deranged.

Our illegitimate president behaving like a thug.

When demagogues incite their followers to violence, they are to blame. Perhaps they are not solely responsible, but they play a key role, a bigger role than any other person. That is what Donald Trump either doesn’t understand- or understands all too well.

Controversy has emerged in recent days over a story carried by CNN in July that was co-written by Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame. In it, the story gets broken that Michael Cohen knew that Trump knew in advance about the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 between members of his campaign team and Russian individuals.

Cohen’s lawyer later said he misspoke, but CNN stands behind the story. Two of its employees told Business Insider senior politics reporter Allan Smith the network’s level of commitment to its story is “100%.”

On Wednesday, Trump called Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, who co-wrote the piece, “sloppy” and a “degenerate fool” in response. Bernstein retorted on Twitter that he has spent his “life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties.”

That may be true, but it sure isn’t what Trump wants to hear. And it isn’t what he wants people to do. That’s why he’s always going on vile rampages and outbursts against the American press, people whose jobs are getting more dangerous by the day.

Earlier this year five journalists were massacred at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, and for a few days in the aftermath, Trump toned down his slanders and slurs. He invited New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger to the White House, and for a second it had started to look like things would be okay.

But the next day he reverted to his Stalinist slogan, “Enemy of the People“, to incite his followers to future mayhem.

Not long after, Trump held a “campaign” rally in Tampa. At it, a frenzied mob went berserk with reviles and rage toward CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.

The scene left most of us who write about politics deeply shaken, including Acosta.

“It felt like we weren’t in America anymore,” Acosta said.

Earlier this week, a man named Robert D. Chain was arrested for allegedly threatening to murder journalists at the Boston Globe.  He was said to have been mimicking Trump’s language.

“You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every f***ing one of you.”

Anytime in the past that we’ve had this sort of thing, we’ve always come together to insist that we won’t have it. Whoever our leader has happened to be at the time has always done what they could to help things calm down. They certainly haven’t made it their policy to make things worse by inciting it.

The fact that Trump is doing just the opposite is yet another warning, a huge flashing neon sign, that things have gone wrong and we are now all in a really bad situation.

Earlier this year, we were dismayed to learn the U.S. has dropped to spot 45 in this year’s ranking of countries based on press freedom, conducted by the non-government association(NGO) Reporters Without Borders.

Their survey ranked 180 countries based on factors such as pluralism, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of their news.

Unsurprisingly, the report specifically calls out Trump as the reason for the United States’ reduced standing.

“A media-bashing enthusiast, Trump has referred to reporters as ‘enemies of the people,’ the term once used by Josef Stalin,” the report says.

Trump has done more than anyone to appropriate and misuse the term “fake news” in retaliation for critical reporting, even though his campaign was the source of most of the garbage that brought the term into common use.

He also got us bad marks for revoking the broadcasting licenses of media outlets who are critical of him and his lousy policies.

Last year Trump released a doctored pro wrestling video of his halcyon days hanging out at the Madison Square Garden, clotheslining an opponent who has the CNN logo slapped over his head. It was pretty ridiculous to think that such a man is now our president, but that is nevertheless how it went.

The first time it was merely silly, but nobody is laughing now.

This morning, on the topic, the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent wrote that whether rhetorical excesses can be blamed for violence or the threat of it is a complicated topic, with no easy answers.

I’m not sure I agree. The complexity lies only in degree; it seems pretty clear that people can whip each other up into violence if they’ve got a stage and a microphone.

You don’t have to be Adolf Hitler or Charles Manson, either; there’s no wizardry of dialect needed. Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst told his fans to “get angry” at Woodstock ’99, and they did, and people rioted, and a girl got gang-raped in the middle of the mosh pit.

Is Fred Durst a man who is blessed with the same rhetorical gifts as Cicero or Demosthenes? Doubtful, but he does at least seem to be better than Trump. Was he solely at fault? No. But he certainly helped to kick things off.

Likewise, our nation’s 45th president will have helped to kick off his own fanatical followers, if any of them decide again to actually do what he’s been nudging them to do, and treat members of the press as though they really were Enemies of the People.

Here at Millennial Democrats, we want to emphasize how important a free press is, how important it is to adhere to journalistic standards. Without one we’re back in the Dark Ages. The media is the friend of the people, because they bring the people its information. It’s good to promote this point of view, going forward.

Conservatives File To Impeach AG Rosenstein, Set Sights On Robert Mueller.

Conservatives target Rosenstein in transparent ploy.

A handful of conservatives in Congress officially filed articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday, a move they have been threatening for months.

The introduction was made by Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who is the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Meadows and Jordan have been critical of Rosenstein and the Justice Department for various reasons, all of which are completely insincere.

The real reason they are after Rosenstein is that he has overseen the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

A few months ago Steve Bannon was on TV for the first time since Breitbart let him go. He was on there to offer Trump some strategy tips as to how to end the investigation into Russian involvement with the Donald Trump campaign.

He suggested that to do this, the White House should stop cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is handling the probe.

And he suggested that he fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

That has been the simplest path out of this for them from the start.

As part of a broader inquiry into possible obstruction of justice, Mueller is examining Trump’s conduct from the beginning of his presidency and before.

He is preparing to make a recommendation whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation, specifically intimidating witnesses, and attempting to put the screws on senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.

Trump is terrified of what may come. That is why they are after Rosenstein.

In related news, CBS News’ Paula Reid has confirmed that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, is willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that the president knew in advance of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Mr. Trump’s son, top campaign officials and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

None of this will come as much of a surprise to the regular readers of this blog. Mueller is looking into Trump’s old tweets attacking Sessions and former FBI director James Comey, who wants to act like a Resister now but who hamstrung Hillary Clinton two Novembers ago. As Michael Avenatti tweeted today, the evidence appears to be there.

Speaking of Avenatti, he’ll be representing three more women Trump allegedly paid off in the months to come. Another piece of good news is that Trump’s organization finance chief has been called before a federal grand jury.

The real question is, what comes next? At this point, it’s still anybody’s guess.

For Robert Mueller, a lot of work. He’s hiring new prosecutors.

For us, getting ready.

A piece published Thursday afternoon by the Daily Beast shows that Russia is already trying to hack the 2018 midterm elections.

They got caught going after Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who is one of our best people, and up for reelection this year. Malware was sent as emails to a McCaskill aide from a server that likely belongs to Fancy Bear, the same Russian intelligence group that did many of the 2016 hacks.

We’ve been here before, and we know where this is going. We have seen the tactics of the enemy, and we know how to spot them. In the months to come, we’re going to be focusing in more and more on the midterm elections and the cyber-education that will come with keeping them safe.

There’s one other thought that comes to mind, also- It’s all for nothing if we don’t go vote. We’ve been resisting together all this time, down in the trenches. We have probably got this, so long as we do not let up. For a little while longer, at the very least, we have got to hold it together and get by as best we can. See you in the mix!

One Year In- 45th Fumes As Mueller Investigation Turns Two.

The Mueller investigation heats up as we enter Year Two.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the formation of the special counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller, and what a year it’s been.

Initially, its mandate was to investigate what the newly elected president knew about Russian interference into the 2016 election. But it quickly became clear that the president’s possible criminal tendencies would make it necessary to go a lot farther.

The president’s old lawyer, Ty Cobb, told him this would all be over by now. He got fired. The top lawyers in the country all refused to replace him. And then his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, got busted himself, and was replaced by former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is both over the hill and insane.

All is not well in the White House.

Over the past three decades, the man the Russians helped to elect as the president has allegedly committed just about every crime there is, from tax evasion to domestic abuse to sexual assault.

They say the past always catches up, and it seems like in this case, that is true.

In the last year, we have seen the myriad investigations into Donald Trump range all over the place, as America continues to learn more and more about what manner of man holds court in its highest office. This last week has illustrated the situation for us, in microcosm.

The Senate Judiciary Committee released hundreds of pages of interviews relating to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. A few from Donald Trump Jr. shed light on a critical meeting between Trump campaign brass and Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016.

The Senate Intelligence Committee announced that it agreed with the Intelligence Community’s assessment that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

And the Office of Government Ethics made public Trump’s 2017 financial disclosure statement.

That one hurts him.

This document is stone cold proof that he reimbursed Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer, for the $130,000 paid in hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Obviously very damning, but by then it was old news.

That one came courtesy of Trump’s lawyer, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who really loves to talk.

He told us all that Trump knew of the Cohen payments on Sean Hannity’s talk show a day after he got the spot on the bench of Trump’s legal team. You’d think that would have taught him to shut up, but it didn’t. Earlier this week, he was talking again, to CNN’s Dana Bash.

He was boasting that he had been told by the special counsel’s office that they did not believe they could indict a sitting president, as per Justice Department regulations established during the Nixon era.

Who expected that? We’re obviously not going to send the sitting president to prison! He’d have to stand up for the morning head count, in the middle of security briefings! That was never the plan, it would be ludicrous.

If Rudy’s intent was to console his capo, by reassuring him he’s not getting locked up next week, it seems to this Millennial Democrats contributor that he has admirably failed in that duty.

What Giuliani’s speech really did, was to let us know things have gotten so serious, that Mueller and his team have probably been considering disregarding the previous Justice Department regulations and locking him up anyway.

It’s hard to understand why a legal expert would do this much talking, even if he is demented and past his prime. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. But that’s the nature of this administration and life in the country during it. Nothing makes sense, everything is topsy-turvy.

The same celebrities we loved twenty years ago have all turned into monsters, because they stepped into the political arena. They’re all so many fish out of the water. They don’t look any happier to be in power as we are to have them there.

As we prepare to follow this investigation into its second year, the big takeaway from the first one is that Donald Trump is almost certainly at least as guilty as Richard Nixon. But unlike Nixon, he probably won’t resign for the good of the country. And that is where the true crisis lies.

When Robert Mueller makes his recommendation at the end of all this, he very well may ultimately walk up to the desk of Rod Rosenstein and say Yeah, he did it! He knew everything!

It would then be the duty of the legislative branch to impeach him. Judging from their past conduct, it’s all too possible that this Congress, with their Republican majority, may not. They have undermined the Russiagate investigation from its first day.

If Trump is guilty and the Republicans ignore it, our democracy will have faced its greatest peril. We’ve got to do everything in our power to see to it that the Republicans in control of the House and Senate act with honor and fulfill their pledge to defend this country against tyranny, from within or without.

If they do not, we will soon go the way of the Roman Empire. 

As this article was getting ready to publish, the news broke that Rudy Giuliani is talking again. This morning, he says that Robert Mueller has agreed to narrow the scope of his questioning in order to interview Donald Trump himself.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Rick Gates Cooperates- The End Comes For Donald Trump.

Rick Gates Cooperates

Things have been moving at a tremendous pace in the Russiagate investigation lately. Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, has staggered the “hoax” claims of Donald Trump with over a hundred new charges in the investigation.

This was coupled with the stunning news that Manafort’s associate Rick Gates, the former deputy campaign chair for the Trump campaign, has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation.

Mueller also charged Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, with a multimillion-dollar fraud related to mortgages.

This sounds innocuous, but Manafort has a history of shady real estate dealings; ripping off Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska on a multimillion-dollar hotel deal in the Cayman Islands is how he landed himself in this stew in the first place.

Both Gates and Manafort had earlier been charged with laundering millions of dollars that they had collected as lobbyists for the government of Ukraine.

Manafort in particular has been making millions since the 1980’s, lobbying for brutal world dictators who’ve been shunned by the rest of the world, such as Putin prop Victor Yanukovych, ousted as president of Ukraine after the Orange Revolution of 2004.

By Friday Gates had pleaded guilty to two different charges: conspiracy with regard to the financial crimes, and lying to investigators. Apparently, he told the lie during prior plea talks. Prosecutors prepared a revised indictment, this time directed only at Manafort.

Donald Trump also is shaking in his boots over perjury. His lawyers are trying to set terms for his testimony before special counsel Robert Mueller. Without a care in the world for their country and its well-being, they’re prepared to wage a court battle to shield him from testifying at all if their conditions aren’t met, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Sources familiar with the situation reported that Trump’s legal team is currently considering all its options in finding various ways for him to testify that would prevent him from perjuring himself, which they know full well he will do within minutes of starting the meeting.

If Trump is speaking, Trump is lying. It’s like breathing, to him.

A few days prior, a former attorney at the law firm Skadden Arps pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about conversations he had had with Gates regarding work that the firm did for Ukraine.

The week before that, Mueller indicted thirteen Russian nationals on charges related to their involvement in the Internet Research Agency, a social-media mill, alleging that it used illegal means to promote Trump’s candidacy.

Its efforts included buying ads on social media and digitally impersonating Trump supporters in Florida. It also involved giving plenty of help to the campaign of Bernie Sanders, one of only two Senators not to vote to sanction Russia this year.

Michael Flynn, the President’s former national-security adviser, had already pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. He had been in legal jeopardy anyway, thanks to his work as an unregistered foreign lobbyist. He too is now coöperating with the investigation. So is George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying about his foreign contacts.

As of yet, none of the charges formally accuse the Trump campaign knowingly colluded with the Russians, or whether the President himself obstructed justice. But the ever-growing list of people who are cooperating points to Mueller getting close on both points, particularly if Manafort joins them.

As campaign chairman, Gates sat in on the now famous June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who contacted Trump Jr. offering “dirt” on the Clinton campaign. Manafort left the campaign two months later. Gates, however, stayed on through the election. He may have much more to tell.

All along, Paul Manafort has come into view more and more clearly as the guy who knew how it all went down on the ground. He’s not testifying, probably out of fear for his life. The best case scenario for him is life in prison.

For Gates, it’s different. He was not the man on top, and it’s not too late for his redemption. In that case, he would go from being one of America’s most repugnant criminals to being one of its saviors, the guy who looked himself in the mirror and found courage enough in himself to decide to tell the truth and save the country.

It is the opinion of Millennia Democrats that if he knew what Manafort was doing, and he can testify that he was doing it with Trump’s blessing, that may very well be the final shot needed to bring down Trump.

This is also the opinion of former White House counsel to Richard Nixon, John Dean, one of the leading figures in the Watergate scandal. On Saturday, Dean said the news should be of great concern to former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who faces multiple charges in the case, as well as to the White House.

All of this is very different from the pornography film that was Ken Starr drooling in the tabloids twenty years ago. These are Americans, who have actively attempted to sell out America to its most hostile, powerful, and implacable foe. They deserve nothing less than the ultimate penalty of law.

In the last analysis, the biggest threat to Trump in the matter of Russiagate is not Robert Mueller or even Paul Manafort. It is he himself that is most to fear. His scorched-earth attacks on the FBI and on Mueller through the early part of the year failed to do anything but make him look more guilty. Something is in the air, and the tension is palpable. America will have to wait and see.

 

Trump Lawyers Get Scared, Advise Trump Against The Mueller Interview.

#RunningScared

Trump’s lawyers have advised him against sitting down for a wide-ranging interview with special counsel, Robert Mueller, according to four people briefed on the matter. This raises the spectre of a court battle that could drag out for months, over whether the president must answer questions under oath.

It is the opinion of John Dowd, the longtime Washington defence lawyer hired last summer to represent Trump in the investigation, that it’s best to rebuff Mueller’s interview request.

Almost certainly, this would indeed be best for Trump. What’s best for the country and its people is not considered at all.

As a brief aside, if it’s all fake news, why is this even a problem? It’s clear to the world that Donald Trump is hiding something.

Trump has a history of making what the rest of us call lies, and his lawyers call “false statements”. Contradicting himself and blathering on as he does would expose him to charges of lying to investigators. His counselors understandably wish to avoid this.

Dowd’s deputy Jay Sekulow and many other West Wing advisers are reportedly of similar mind. These lawyers believe the special counsel might be unwilling, to subpoena the orange malignance.  For some reason, they think he’d lose in court if he tried to subpoena Trump.

These poor unfortunate souls have managed to convince themselves that Mueller lacks the legal standing to question Trump about some of the matters he is investigating, like the president’s role in lying to the New York Times last summer about a meeting Trump’s son Donald Jr. had with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

They’re also trying to argue that in some cases, such as the time Trump asked James Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to end the investigation into former campaign adviser Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn, the president acted within his constitutional authority.  They say he cannot be questioned about acts that were legal. Why, exactly?

It seems to this Millennial Democrats contributor that President Obama had to be questioned, about whether or not he was even born here.

At any rate, this stance puts them at odds with Trump himself.

Trump says he wants to talk to Mueller, but this is most likely desperation and impatience.

Trump’s decision about whether to speak to prosecutors will be one of the most consequential decisions of this whole investigation. Refusing would open the door to the possibility that Mueller will actually subpoena Trump to testify before a grand jury. This would set up a court fight- and a constitutional crisis– of epic proportions, one that would drastically escalate the investigation and would require arbitration by the Supreme Court.

Rejecting an interview with Mueller would carry political consequences, at least outside of his deplorable base. It would make it more obvious, if that is possible, that the president is hiding something. It would also set the stage for a lengthy court fight, which could also prolong the inquiry.

All of this must make it awfully tempting to simply fire the special counsel.

All this is casting a shadow over Republicans as November’s midterm elections approach. If Trump gets a re-election campaign, it is certain to shadow that too.

In other news, while this whole drama with Trump and Russiagate has been playing out, Trump went on stage in Ohio and accused Democrats of committing treason, because we boycotted and refused applause to his ludicrous State of the Union address.

He was boasting about the low rates of black and Hispanic unemployment, as if that has anything to do with him and not Obama. We’re supposed to clap, while he takes credit for what he is actively trying to destroy? This man is a no-good liar. That’s all he is. He speaks with a forked tongue.

“Serve Yourself And Save” was the family slogan as patented by his father. He lives by that.

“Even on positive news like that, really positive news like that, they were like death(?) and un-American,” Trump said at a manufacturing plant outside Cincinnati. “Somebody said ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Shall we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”

We certainly don’t love you very much, Donald.

If there’s anyone in the world who ought to know what treason looks like, it is undoubtedly our forty-fifth president.

That is why his lawyers don’t want him to talk to Robert Mueller.

Flynn’s Lawyers Shut Down Info Pipeline for Trump- Deal in the Works?

Flynn cuts off Trump

Michael Flynn’s attorneys have informed Donald Trump’s attorneys that they intend to stop sharing information concerning Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into improper Russian influence during the 2016 presidential election.

This notification is a likely signal that Flynn is negotiating a deal to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, according to a Thanksgiving Day report by The New York Times.

Michael Flynn, who is a three-star general in the United States Army, is now best known for having held the office of National Security Adviser under the newly formed administration of Donald Trump. His 24-day tenure in office was the shortest in the office’s history. 

After information surfaced that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature and content of his communications with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak Flynn was forced to resign, but that was not to be the last we would hear of him.

April 27, 2017 was a big day for Russia. It was the 10 year anniversary of the first day of their undeclared, “non-linear”, transnational world war. A decade before, in 2007, the Kremlin had proven its ability to warp and disable entire sections of cyberspace when they knocked the highly wired Estonia offline for several days over an old war soldier like the one of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, where Heather Heyer was murdered by the alt-right this summer.

For the last decade, the rest of the European world has been dealing with this as it grew. Attempts to warn us have mostly fallen on deaf ears. Our opportunity to catch it early has already long passed us by. That’s what led to Trump getting in in the first place. But our eyes have opened. They’ve got our attention now.

On this day, the Pentagon’s Inspector General announced an investigation into whether Flynn had accepted money from foreign governments without the required approval, and requested that he preserve and make available all documents relating to that situation.

Initially, Flynn tried refusing to hand them over, citing the Fifth Amendment, saying that he didn’t want to incriminate himself. Apparently, that didn’t fly too far, because shortly thereafter it was announced that “a compromise had been reached.”

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that anyone who’s talking like that already knows he’s guilty.

On December 10, 2015, Flynn attended a gala dinner in Moscow, in honour of the Russian news outlet RT (formerly “Russia Today”). After he retired from U.S. government service he made semi-regular appearances on RT as an analyst.

That dinner has since become infamous. Everyone who was there that night is in big trouble now, including Jill Stein of the Green Party. Paul Manafort, of course, is under indictment and sitting locked at home on house arrest.

Journalist Michael Crowley of Politico reported that “at a moment of semi-hostility between the U.S. and Russia, the presence of such an important figure at Putin’s table startled” U.S. officials. As part of the festivities, Flynn gave a talk on world affairs for which he was paid at least $45,000. 

On Saturday, July 9, 2017, the first hard evidence of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians became a matter of public record. The New York Times reported Sunday that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, was offered “damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign”.

Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort confirmed that they met with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016— a mere two days after Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination. It’s clear they acted fast. Donald Trump has proven himself to be a very dangerous man, and behind him stands Putin, the most dangerous man on Earth.

On February 1, 2017, the ranking Democratic members on six House committees sent a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. The contents were a request for a Department of Defense investigation into Flynn’s connection to RT.

Our legislators had serious concerns about Flynn accepting so much money from RT, which was characterized earlier this year by the intelligence community of America as “The Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet”.

As a retired military intelligence officer, Flynn was required to obtain prior permission from the Defense Department and the State Department before receiving any money from foreign governments.

Flynn did not receive permission before the RT speech, and he did not report the payment when he applied for renewal of his security clearance two months later. Soon after Glenn Fine, the acting Defense Department Inspector General, confirmed that Flynn was under investigation

Earlier this month, reports indicated that Mueller believed he had enough evidence to bring charges in the investigation of Flynn. At that time, unidentified sources said Mueller was pressuring Flynn after issuing an indictment against Manafort.

During the interim, what does this mean to us? Of course, it is impossible to say for sure, but the probability that he has cut a deal with Mueller is the likeliest option by a sizeable margin. There’s no other reason that makes sense at all, actually, other than a random decision on the part of the general’s lawyers. Considering how rapid a pace the Russiagate investigation has been yielding results as of late, this does not seem very likely.

Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump’s legal team, said that the Flynn team’s decision to no longer share information “is not entirely unexpected”, but it can’t be weighing easily on Trump’s mind. Flynn is the big cheese. They’ve been after him from the minute Rod Rosenstein gave Mueller the job.

Michael Flynn has always been the guy who seemed most likely to hold the final keys to the puzzle. The fact of his team not sharing information with Trump anymore almost certainly means he’s getting ready to snitch. That would mean the end of Trump for sure, which is cause to be thankful if ever there was, and on that note, Happy Thanksgiving from Millennial Democrats!

Sessions’ Short Memory, and the Campaign Chaos Defense.

Donald Trump met with Vladimir Putin on his trip to Asia last week and endorsed his denial of hacking interference in our election. The intelligence agencies of America, who have unilaterally concluded otherwise, were thus laughed at and disregarded, by the President of the United States of America, in favor of an offhanded denial from the Russian president. It’s a sickening state of affairs.

Robert Mueller’s team dropped many a bomb this week, however. After the dust settles, there’s reason to hope for an early end. A number of former Watergate prosecutors believe that Mueller has all he needs already. All he has to do is gain access to the email inboxes of Jared Kushner, Stephen Miller, Hope Hicks and others. Kushner, for one, has been sending hundreds of emails from a private server ever since January.

With all the documentation of Russian collusion piling up, Trump’s best excuse so far may be that his people were too incompetent to organize a conspiracy. They are running out of plausible lies to tell. And so, for once, they’ve decided to tell the truth. The Slob Defense has been born.

A not-guilty-by-reason-of-stupidity defense has the virtue in this case of being plausible, but since when has ignorance been an excuse in our legal system? It’s true that Donald Trump Jr. is not an intelligent man, but why should he catch a break because of it? He’s been given every advantage. How often do poor people beat a case due to similar limitations? About as often as Donald Trump Sr. tells the truth.

We’ve known about the meeting he had with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya last year, to collect the “dirt” they had gathered on Hillary Clinton. He wasn’t very careful about hiding it, and he blurted out all he knew when questioned. That was huge. Yesterday’s revelations about Trump Jr’s private electronic conversations with Julian Assange of Wikileaks register on a similar scale.

Trump Jr. exchanged multiple private messages on Twitter with Wikileaks before the election. In several cases, it appears he acted on requests from the group. In one instance he tweeted a link it had sent his way.

This is solid proof that the Trump campaign was in direct contact with WikiLeaks, described by Trump’s own CIA director as “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

At the time, both WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, were under tremendous scrutiny for their role in disseminating stolen Democratic emails.The earliest known conversations with Trump Jr. were held just before their release.

Donald Trump Jr. is certainly having a rough week, but he is not the only member of the Trump clan under the Mueller microscope.

Jared Kushner has turned over all documents pertinent to his connection with the firing of then- FBI director James Comey earlier this year to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Kushner is said to be persona non grata around the Trump household these days. For all his blundering, though, he has made at least one important contribution to the Donald Trump administration.

His pleas of ignorance have inspired a pathetic go-to defense in the face of collusion charges. Over the summer, Kushner explained to congressional investigators, the Trump campaign was chaotic and disorganized to a miserable extent. So miserable, in fact, that even something as significant as a meeting between him and a number of other campaign aides and individuals with Russian ties didn’t even register.

We will not neglect to mention the email defense. Hillary Clinton was all but burned in effigy over the supposed carelessness of her handling of emails. In the Trump administration, carelessness is a best-case scenario.

“It was typical for me to receive 200 or more e-mails a day during the campaign. I did not have the time to read every one, especially long e-mails from unknown senders or e-mail chains to which I was added at some later point in the exchange,” Kushner said, claiming that he did not read an e-mail outlining the Russian effort to bolster Trump’s candidacy.

For a guy who claims to be a genius, he’s sure got a lousy memory.

Thus was born the Trump campaign’s chaos defense. Other aides have recognized in it their lifesaver, and are all rushing around vigorously, screaming out the tales of their incompetence. Anything to deflect from their own suspicious contacts and memory lapses.

Jeff Sessions spent the whole afternoon employing this technique. He was faced with a rough slate of questions, especially when Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) told Sessions flat out that he’s lying, either to the Senate or the House.

“That is exactly the opposite answer you gave under oath to the U.S. Senate,” Lieu replied, referencing Sessions’s Jan. 10 confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Either you’re lying to the U.S. Senate, or you’re lying to the U.S. House of Representatives.”

The House Judiciary Committee was prompted in their inquiry by a series of fresh revelations from campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, two other guys who spent some hours in front of that committee as of late.

The attorney general tried blaming his own short memory on the sloven and incompetence that surrounded Donald Trump during last year’s election.

“It was a form of chaos every day from day one,” Sessions told the committee. That statement does not adequately fill hearts with confidence.

Collusion notwithstanding, there’s always the 25th Amendment. If thirteen Cabinet members and a Vice-President who would like to escape the wrath to come will simply vote the President out as incompetent, it is not too late for them. They had better act fast, though. The other doors are all closing.

Russiagate’s First Criminal Charges Filed- The End of the Beginning.

CNN reported Friday night that a federal grand jury has formally approved the first round of criminal charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

It is still unclear what the exact nature of the charges are, as they remain sealed under orders from a federal judge. According to “sources briefed on the matter”, anyone charged faces incarceration on Monday.

The Mueller team’s information lockdown has been total. This is coming out because he wants it to.

The DC federal court in which the grand jury meets to hear testimony in the Russia investigation was host to Andrew Weissmann and other top lawyers who are helping to lead the Mueller probe.

Reporters present saw a flurry of activity in the grand jury room, but officials made no announcements.

Regardless of who they indict, this is a move guaranteed to send shockwaves throughout the Trump administration and the nation’s capital.

Until now, the Russia investigation has certainly cast its shadow over Trump’s mutated presidency, but the danger has been theoretical. A federal indictment of anyone connected to the Trump campaign or the White House will turn that theoretical danger into hard reality.

The GOP has been up to something all week. Intensifying conservative criticism of Mueller’s probe managed to dominate the headlines for a few days. Trump-aligned media figures latched onto a CNN report that Clinton campaign officials had funded the creation of the Steele dossier, in a transparent attempt to discredit the overall Russia investigation.

Mueller is authorized to investigate “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s order. That includes scrutinizing Trump and his associates’ financial ties to Russia.

This has had Trump making all sorts of noise earlier this week attempting to frame the old news regarding the Democratic funding of the latter half of the Steele dossier as a breaking scandal.

It seemed like a reach even for the Republicans, and the Millennial Democrats team felt it was nothing but a cheap and obvious distraction. It’s like their recent attempted revival of the uranium scandal that never was. Or the House decision to have one last dance with Hillary Clinton’s old emails.

With so many actors involved in the crimes, it’s impossible to know who exactly might be facing federal authorities on Monday, but the name of Paul Manafort, at the very least, seems like a shoo-in. The New York Times reported in September that Manafort was informed of his impending indictment in August, during an early-morning raid at his Virginia home.

Last year, the FBI ran an investigation monitoring the communications of Manafort, as well as former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as part of the investigation into Russian meddling. Earlier this month Page invoked the Fifth Amendment, refusing to speak to the Senate Intelligence committee

Then-director James Comey had his employment terminated for his failure to help Trump cover it up. Trump denied this at first but later admitted it openly against the advice of his attorneys.

POLITICO has learned that last week, the realtor who helped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort buy the Alexandria, Virginia condo that was recently raided by the FBI testified before the federal grand jury in the matter of Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

Mueller’s team has also examined foreign lobbying conducted by Manafort’s old partner Roger Stone, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and others.

His team has issued subpoenas for documents and testimony to a number of others involved in the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya,  Donald Trump Jr and other officials from the Trump campaign.

It also came out on Friday that Veselnitskaya shared the information, information she thought would be disparaging to then-candidate Hillary Clinton, she was going to give the campaign with the Kremlin first. This runs in direct contradiction to statements she herself has made. In the past, she has stated she was working alone and without state sanction.

Three committees on Capitol Hill are conducting their own investigations, independently of Mueller’s probe. The competitive atmosphere is a given.

We wish also to extend our thanks to Robert Mueller. He looked tired and sad today. It’s got to be heartbreaking, having to watch a thing like this take place after a lifetime of good service. It should never be forgotten that he came out of retirement for reasons of sincere patriotism.

The struggles ahead are going to register as the greatest legal showdown ever to touch a courtroom. The best America has to offer will be squaring off against Donald Trump, whose billions will undoubtedly raise a defensive army to dwarf even O.J. Simpson’s Dream Team.

We have reached a major turning point. The end of the beginning has come.

Trump is said to have become unhinged today upon learning of the imminent nature of the charges. If that is any indication, the beginning of the end has come as well.

It’s important to place the correct median of emphasis on the significance of this event. This is fantastic news, but it won’t end the case by this year. A great deal of patience will still be called for.

Sooner or later, this will burn Donald Trump and the Republicans down to the ground. In the meantime, we’ve got to start preparing for the midterms. Robert Mueller has performed a great service for the people of this nation, and he’s got his work cut out for him going forward. So do we.