Russiagate and Donald Trump-What Mueller’s Report Means, and Why It Matters.

Russiagate-What It Means, and Why It Matters.

Now that the Russiagate investigation seems to be winding down, and a conviction for the illegitimate president Donald Trump is not certain to appear as the light at the end of the tunnel, Republicans are gloating and he is acting vindicated, even before the report comes out. That is their prerogative, of course. But the proof is right there in the pudding.

The right-wing gloaters who say stupid things like “Their (us Democrats) narrative is breaking down” are far from correct when they do. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see him nailed to the wall, but that sure doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be. Trump both looks and is acting guilty and scared by the Russia investigation. A series of fresh disclosures on Tuesday showed that there is every reason for him to feel threatened by the shadow it has cast over his life, business and presidency. What we seek, solid information that Trump did indeed collude, probably sits in a deep crypt somewhere within the KGB building over there in Russia.

The truth has a way of coming out, though. Trump is too stupid and sloppy to hide forever. And when you are “Individual One” on the case of someone who’s already in prison and an international pariah, there’s a pretty good chance there are charges waiting for you somewhere. It’s against Justice Department regulations to indict a sitting president. But he won’t be in office forever.

Trump’s own conduct led to the investigation and has been the chief witness against him all the while. He’s deflected, minimized, rationalized, and flat out denied his role in all this, even as he called on Russia for help during the debates and got it. Robert Mueller will soon provide the voters with the information they need to decide what really happened, and even if Trump finds a way to block it, the damage is done already. It’s been done since the day James Comey was fired. We know who he is.

Even without a smoking gun, the cat is out of the bag.

The cat is out of the bag too on Putin’s blatantly anti-American plotting. His element of surprise is gone and with it his only chance to do more than giving us a bloody nose. Realigning the world to suit Russian interests will never happen for him now. The spotlight is on and it will stay on. We know now that they never considered the Cold War to really be over, and we’re watching for their next move. They will never do this to us again.

For more than three years now, we’ve been blowing the horn of alarm as to what the Russians and other foreign actors online have been doing to our politics. From the Macedonians running the Facebook groups of Bernie Sanders to Tad Devine, Bernie’s manager, having been Paul Manafort‘s old crony and Ukrainian election fixing buddy, all of it was more real than any of us wanted to believe. Public awareness has been thoroughly raised worldwide, and that means something.

Trump has been hooked up with the Russians since the 80s, and the Steele Dossier claimed the Russians have been cultivating Trump for at least five years.-which deceased American hero John McCain took seriously enough to pass on to the FBI. Trump recently reviled him for this yet again, even in the grave.

Say what you want about Putin, but he’s the single most powerful man on Earth. He’s not just some slob like Trump. He’s not going to put years into coming up with a plan just to blow it on something as basic as a written order delivered by hand- which is what it would have taken for Mueller to take down Trump directly. We never expected we’d be able to prove that.

What we can prove is bad enough, though. Three of the top strategists opposing Hillary Clinton in 2016 had been doing Putin’s bidding in this regard for over a decade, on both sides of our political spectrum. Calling that coincidence requires a suspension of belief so enormous that the average adult won’t be able to stomach it. The eyes of the world are on it now.

So what’s it all been for? If it’s not going to end with Trump in handcuffs, was it really worth it? What comes next? These are all the questions Americans are asking themselves right now, and for once and all time, we say yes. To protect the sanctity of elections is to safeguard democracy itself.

Thirty-two people found themselves behind bars for the part they played in this, with more to come. The next time some trash can of a slob decides to get in bed with America’s worst enemy, they’ll have this to refer to when considering the consequences and weighing the cost. Most will turn back, and there will be a strong precedent to smash into bits the would-be traitors who decide to cross the line.

Paul Manafort may well die in prison, and he earned the right to. Nobody can take that away from him. Not even Donald Trump.

In the last analysis, we fought this battle for the noblest of reasons- pure patriotism. We had to be sure that Putin’s puppets couldn’t run away with the White House. The last thing we needed was a fragile, easily manipulated president allied with one of the most corrupt and brutal regimes in the world. Taking that on was the true goal, and we did it.

So be proud, Democrats! You stood up when the going was hard, you fought through some of the worst conditions anyone has ever seen, and the United States of America is better for it. In order to safeguard our rights and our democracy, the most vigorous political action has been and will be necessary. The Russiagate investigation showed the world just how vigorous we can be once we’ve decided to fight.

That alone makes the struggle worthwhile.

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Does Trump Work For Putin Directly? The FBI Has Been Asking Since May of 2017.

Does Trump work for Putin directly? The FBI's been looking into it- and so have we.

One of the biggest bombshells yet in the Russiagate case was dropped on America this evening. As the #TrumpShutdown entered its third week and the first missing paycheck came up for millions of Americans, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced that it has been pursuing an investigation into whether Donald Trump was working for Vladimir Putin directly, either knowingly or unwittingly.

The New York Times reported late Friday that federal investigators are said to have become so alarmed by Trump’s conduct after he fired former FBI director James Comey that they at once opened a probe into whether the orange infant in the White House has been secretly working with Russia, all along, for Putin himself.

According to sources considered reliable by that venerable newspaper, counterintelligence officials were assigned to the case.

Let’s talk about that word for a minute, counterintelligence. Google Dictionary gives an excellent working definition. It refers to activities designed to prevent or thwart spying, intelligence gathering, and sabotage by an enemy or other foreign entity. Therefore, counterintelligence agents are only assigned to cases serious enough to be considered a risk to national security.

In other words, this is earth-shaking beyond all belief for Donald Trump.

Russia is and has for much of our history been the chief global rival of America. For our president to be in the actual employ of their president is clearly a worst-case scenario. We’ve been saying this for years, of course.

Now the big boys are saying it too.

For a counterintelligence committee to be examining not only whether Trump’s actions were undermining national security, but also whether he was working at the behest of the Kremlin, is clearly of the most phenomenal importance.

On Rachel Maddow‘s Friday night television show, AM Joy Reid of MSNBC was standing in, and hosted Former Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi for an interview. He said that the FBI would only even consider a decision of this magnitude without having evidence of the most utterly compelling nature, something on the level of taped conversations and the like.

Trump has been screaming for years that the whole Russian collusion story is nothing but fake news, and his sheer vehemence gave him some early successes in getting people to stop using the word.

Collusion is back on the table to stay, after this.

In related news, it came out this week that Paul Manafort broke the terms of his plea agreement in regards to his actively sharing and exchanging data from the Trump campaign with his Russian handlers. Turns out that $19 million dollars Manafort owed to Oleg Deripaska, Putin’s buddy the aluminum oligarch, came back to haunt him after all.

Just last week Time tracked down the man Deripaska used to get Manafort to pay up. “He owed us a lot of money,” Victor Boyarkin told Time. “And he was offering ways to pay it back … I came down on him hard.”

As much as Manafort is a detestable character, what does it say about America, that Russians can come over here and push our people around like this with impugnity? This has to be stopped at once. It is our opinion that the Russian Mafia, the feared ROC, should be pored over and removed from its influence from every scrap of our fair nation. Not even the garbage should be left over for them- aluminum cans are worth billions! Just ask Oleg Deripaska.

Manafort had a good friend from his glory days fixing Ukrainian elections for Putin, Konstantin Kilimnik, pictured here in this photograph, not far from Tad Devine of the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Top consultant to the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign Tad Devine, hanging out with Paul Manafort and Konstatin Kilimnik.
Top consultant to the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign Tad Devine, hanging out with Paul Manafort and Konstatin Kilimnik.

Kilimnik, a shadowy and truant figure long believed to hold many pieces of this puzzle, is known by the nickname of Manafort’s Manafort. He is connected to Russian intelligence services like the GRU, which also hosted Fancy Bear and Guccifer 2.0, the hackers who got Julian Assange the hacked DNC emails that he dumped on us through Wikileaks.

The Wikileaks succeeded beyond their wildest imaginations.

Nevertheless, the Bernie Bots and Bros rioted in the streets of Philadelphia over minor written exchanges proving that Debbie Wassermann-Schultz and Bernie did not like each other. It was the biggest single coup of the Trump campaign’s whole summer, and also the night that Russiagate became something tangible.

The Russians were said to be overjoyed. The emails themselves were played up so much by Trump and his base that by the time they were released, it did not matter what was in them, and it turned out to be nothing to an extent that was simply huge.

The information pipeline that got all this done featured Manafort, his campaign deputy Rick Gates, and Kilimnik funneling many files full of Trump campaign information to bring back to Deripaska, and received many back in return. It was reciprocal and totally coordinated. Manafort knew what he was doing to America every last step of the way.

Deripaska’s not that much of a political guy, but he does have one big interest in giving Trump a hand. He is extremely close to Putin and relies on him to keep his personal fortune. All of Russia works and eats at Putin’s order; he has more control than Stalin did over there.

Even Fox News hosts have been admitting that what Manafort did with the Russians constitutes collusion. There is no doubt about it, and this is, in its own way, even more damning for Trump than the Mueller investigation.

In the last analysis, Manafort was not chosen because of his consummate skill or charming personal characteristics. He was chosen because he was convenient, due to the money he owed for those Cayman Island hotels he burned up Deripaska’s friendship for. Many email exchanges between the two indicate Manafort’s frequent and pleading queries as to whether or not the two of them were “good”. He had that Boyarkin ogre ready to pick his bones, he was scared, and he’d been their guy so long by then that he felt there was no turning back.

So he made a devil’s bargain to sell out his country, in order to save his behind. That is the most rotten and cowardly choice that anyone can ever make. Manafort’s name will be reviled throughout all of human history, and as with the Benedict Arnolds and Vidkun Quislings of history, his name will be held up as an example of greed and cowardice to serve mankind’s final generations with a lesson that resounds with eternal importance.

Going forward, we must reexamine the entire concept of treason. We should view the Cold War as a conflict which never ended, but rather shifted forms and chosen new battlefields in the virtual realms of politics. In that scenario, Trump would be a traitor by every metric, and this is the most truthful narrative.

Cohen Sentenced, End In Sight For Trump Era. To You In The Alt-Right, Get Out In Time.

Cohen Sentenced! The Jig Is Up For Trump's Era.

Former fixer to the illegitimate 45th president of America Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison this morning. He has now joined the ranks of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, other major figures in the Trump 2016 campaign who turned out to be felons. Cohen, to his credit, took full public accountability during his sentencing, and will now go serve three years in prison. While he is there, he will have plenty of time to reflect on the errors of his ways. We wish him the best in regaining his soul and changing his life, and we thank him for thoroughly implicating Donald Trump.

But don’t feel too sorry for him! HA!

This tweet may have aged more poorly than any tweet in human history pic.twitter.com/dojbUoVWpz— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 12, 2018

According to Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, after the Robert Mueller investigation wraps up, Cohen wants “to state publicly all he knows about Mr. Trump. And that includes any appropriate congressional committee interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies.”

That is a clear reference to the Blue Wave that led to the Democratic retaking of the House, and the investigative committees that have already been formed. We are about to take off on the lousy bum in the White House, is what that means, and Cohen threw us the lob ball. It’s just floating there now, up in the sky. The end is coming soon for the most crooked presidential administration in the history of the country.

Cohen’s sentencing is big, but far bigger was the effect of Mueller releasing his sentencing memo for Michael Flynn last week. This came to us heavily redacted, meaning they didn’t want the public to see a good chunk of it. But one key piece of data was conspicuously left hanging out all over the place. Trump’s transition team was in up to their necks in Flynn’s illegal Russia dealings. Cohen was right there in the mix, fixing for the Russian-financed Trump.

In the midst of it all, Trump still thinks he’s getting his wall. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer cashed him for his “petulant tantrum.” Everyone laughed, just like when Pence’s chief of staff publicly turned him down to replace the dearly departing John Kelly and dissed him by refusing the job via Twitter. He’s become an even bigger joke than he used to be, but I’d bet anything his bosses aren’t laughing anymore.

This is about to backfire horribly on Russia. Former spy and National Rifle Association enthusiast Maria Butina just signed a plea deal. She used to be their lady, until American justice caught her, broke her in the hole, and turned her into an American asset. The Russian people will soon realize two things: that Vladimir Putin can’t protect them, and that Putin can’t protect himself. He’s old. He’ll soon be gone. And so will Donald Trump. They had better find a way to get rid of him.

Next, we would like to address any of you out there who might chance across this article who used to go around wearing those stupid red MAGA hats, who put those signs of his up in your yard, wore his buttons and T-shirts around, et cetera. Change sides before it is too late. As Gandalf said to Saruman, “You have been deep in the counsels of the enemy. There is much good you could still do.”

Learn from Michael Cohen and Maria Butina. Realize you’ve been played by a corrupt mobster dictator who hates the United States and wants to enrich Russia at our expense, to the global detriment of everyone. Understand in time that Trump was not who you hoped he was, and that he did not really share your conservative values. He is a debauched, corrupt old businessman from New York City. Since when has Middle America allowed itself to be taken in by the likes of that? Aren’t you sick of it yet? If you don’t want to find yourselves in a hole too deep to dig free of, you had better come back around and help us out while there’s still time.

This brings us to our next point- If you are a former member of the alt-right, or the alt-left for that matter, who has seen the error of your ways and want to come around and help the cause, write in to us! You may have been young two years ago, and youthful errors are not unique to you. But pretty soon you won’t be. You’ll just be old, alone, and in trouble. 
The alt-right is a shadow of its former self. Your leaders have taken your money and abandoned you, and were never real leaders to begin with. Take Richard Spencer, for example. According to our sources from within your organizations, that guy is a predator known for seducing the wives of all his comrades. He beats his own wife, according to her. You think he cares about you? That little psychopath James Fields had no one’s support except his mother’s when he got sentenced to life in prison recently for murdering Heather Heyer at Charlottesville last year. Your hero, “Baked Alaska”- His comments on the subject involved profanity, the word “murderer”, and “I’m out by the pool.”

Anything you’ve got that might be helpful, any information on what the alt-right leadership is doing or where they are doing it or who they are doing it to. Send it in to us, and we’ll publish it. Anything that has to be turned over to higher authorities will be, but you will be kept anonymous so long as you’re not confessing to any crimes. You have our word. 

All of us who were raised here in America know who the ultimate enemy was growing up. The Russians! Our fathers and our grandfathers who fought in World War Two, Vietnam, and Korea, would be horrified at what has happened here. Now that you have been forced to see, by Republican Robert Mueller, that Donald Trump really was a stooge for Putin, please come back to reason. You are being called upon to come back around and save your country. They’ve got malware in our power grids. This is not a game.

You guys should work together with us to make America greater, we at Millennial Democrats are with you! We don’t believe it ever stopped being great, and we sure aren’t with the socialists who say it is broken and ought to be discarded! We are in this together, and we ought to find some way to come to terms.

If you help us now, Fate will reward you, and Providence will receive you. Be good Americans at this moment of greatest need, and that is how you will be remembered when all this is over. Good people, who made a mistake, took accountability and learned from it on the way to doing what their country needed from them. Get out in time!

Don’t drag this out to the bitter end.

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.

Supreme Court Allows Immigrants Held Without Bond- A Slippery Slope.

A rotten decision.

The news has been flying hot and heavy lately on a number of different topics. One that has inspired a gigantic response, from both left and right, is the recent news from the Supreme Court that immigrants can be held by U.S. immigration officials indefinitely without receiving bond hearings, even if they have permanent legal status or are seeking asylum, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

In a 5-3 ruling Tuesday, with one recusal, the court ruled that immigrants do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.

 

The court affirmed the right of the government to detain immigrants indefinitely behind bars.

“Immigration officials are authorized to detain certain aliens in the course of immigration proceedings while they determine whether those aliens may be lawfully present in the country,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion.

There has been an ongoing class-action lawsuit about this, spearheaded by Alejandro Rodriguez, an immigrant with permanent legal status who was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and joyriding. He was detained by immigration officials for three years without a bond hearing.

The ACLU took up his case, eventually winning his release and the cancellation of his deportation order. The government’s appeal was begun under the Obama administration, and continued after Trump took office last year. That set a precedent which has now been reversed.

What’s really worth paying attention to here is that a man with permanent legal status, a citizen for all practical intents and purposes, has been yanked off the street on minor charges and done more time than he would have for the charges themselves, just because he was originally from another country.

Besides this decision being absolutely lousy according to any sort of ethical code, it’s also very dangerous.

The right-wing, particularly the ones who’ve been screaming apocalyptically that President Obama was coming for their guns and putting us all in FEMA camps these last eight years, ought to know what it’s like to live in fear of an authoritarian American government running rampant over the rights of the citizenry.

The incident of Ruby Ridge comes to mind as an example of a time when the far right themselves have been on the receiving end. Republicans need to be reminded of this, and it might even get through to some. More people took it seriously in a debate than I’d expected.

The significance of this event is heightened considerably by where it appears on the timeline of all this. It’s another brick in the wall in every possible sense; the Border Patrol is building a piece of wall on California’s land, right now. It’s another big sign that things are terribly wrong, in Donald Trump’s America.

This concerns us all. It’s a slippery slope leading right to the end of our democracy if we’re not careful. There’s no doubt at all that we’re in trouble on many different levels right now, and all of them are based on a steady attack on our nation’s institutions by its own president.

Mike Rogers, our current CIA director, warned the nation today that Trump has literally not given him permission to do anything to prevent the Russian efforts geared at hacking the new elections.

It was also confirmed today the Russians penetrated voter data in seven states at least and targeted at least 21. Still, though, Trump refuses to admit it’s anything but a hoax.

He’s been going around recently, boasting about the seven more years he’ll be in office. Now that Rick Gates is testifying against Manafort, though, it might not be seven more months.

Millennial Democrats will be releasing a piece soon on how to best protect your right to have your vote counted within the next day or two.

As this continues, we’re going to have to record these things for posterity and help to spread awareness as best we can, with the ultimate goal in mind of getting people to vote.

They cannot cheat us enough to win if we show up in our tens of millions.

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.

 

A Constitutional Crisis- Mueller Under Attack.

American Hero

In the irony of a lifetime, it is us Democrats who must now defend Robert Mueller, a Republican, from the slings and arrows of his own party.

According to Democrat Jackie Speier, rumour has it on Capitol Hill Trump is planning to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller as early as later this week. This is not something that could happen in an instant, but the threat is real and the thought is grotesque. It was probably kicked up because of the panic caused by the very idea. As a distraction from the tax plan, this was undoubtedly a big help to Trump.

It’s almost an application of Henry Kissinger’s old “madman” policy, e.g. You’d better make a deal with us because the guy with the keys is crazy. God only knows what he might do. In this case, the implication is, “You’d better back off, and let us have our tax plan victory, or we’re going to destroy your democracy”.

The alt-right propaganda pipeline has been preparing the groundwork for an attack on the Special Counsel Robert Mueller for the last month or so now. It’s really quite despicable. This man held the country together during 9/11, with less than a year’s experience.

What did Trump do during 9/11? He spent the day giving interviews boasting that one of his towers might well be the tallest in the city. At the cost of the World Trade Center. And thousands of lives.

Trump is hardly even going through the motions anymore of bothering to hide that Vladimir Putin is his boss. So he spreads this rumour, and he sends lawyers Mueller’s way next week. He wants to try and bully them into giving the assurance that Trump himself is no longer under fire- ironically, the same assurance James Comey gave freely, before he was randomly fired.

The truth of the matter, though, is that Trump is very much still under fire. In fact, the fire is spreading. The trials haven’t even started yet. Those will be a disaster for Trump.

Once Michael Flynn brings down Jared Kushner, it is very hard to believe he will stay loyal to elderly Donald at the cost of his own future. He won’t be able to take jail, in there wondering what Ivanka is up to. He’ll snitch his way out of everything he can, just like George Papadoupolis.

But long before any of this takes place, they’re going to try every dirty trick in the book.

The possibility that they’re laying the groundwork to get rid of Mueller cannot be discounted. We have passed the point of paranoia. Trump lies whenever he gets the chance. We will have to keep a close eye on how he handles this and be ready to meet up with national resistance efforts coordinated to take to the streets en masse.

Look for a scenario in which he fires the attorney general Jeff Sessions or the current head of the Department of Justice Rod Rosenstein. If either of them should suddenly depart the stage, watch out.

Those are the guys who would have to sign off on the termination of the Special Counsel. As Sessions recused himself and Rosenstein has stated he’d refuse to fire Mueller without cause, it’s unlikely it will happen with the two of them in charge. If they were to be replaced by some alt-right peons wielding rubber stamps, however, it would be possible.

Going forward, it’s important to keep our spirits up and our focus razor sharp. The Republicans have just passed their own demise in the form of this tax bill. We have to focus on winning elections. Every seat is crucial.

 

Earlier this evening, a Republican lobbyist called for President Donald Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. This pronouncement was made in Arlington, Virginia, to the sparse attendees of random guy Jack Burkman’s fundraiser, held to help cover the legal defenses of Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide facing several felony charges.

“I don’t like what Bob Mueller’s doing. I think Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn have been unfairly targeted, and I see Mueller as a desperate guy, an increasingly desperate prosecutor,” said the unhappy Mr. Burkman, sentiments that are echoed by a growing number of alt-right lunatics. These people have respect for nothing.

It has to be understood that if Trump wins this battle, our democracy will probably not recover.

This is not the same Congress that eviscerated Nixon for firing Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. The crisis we see on the horizon is simply this: If they strong-arm this investigation closed, it will cause a rift of trust between us and our leaders that never heals. It will take hundreds of years to undo the damage.

Putin will work his tendrils in, one millimetre at a time, until they become like strong ropes, tying down a giant for thousands of miles. It is happening all around us, even now. Robert Mueller is the most powerful defence we have against it. When we fight for him, we fight for the country.

#MuellerMonday- The First Indictments, The Writing on the Wall.

On Friday night, some long awaited good news finally showed up that special counsel Robert Mueller had criminal charges approved by a federal grand jury. It was a great weekend. We said goodbye to Roger Stone on Twitter, who spent Friday night expressing himself in the most obscene terms. He was very unhappy, as one might expect. His old partner Paul Manafort is going to prison.

On a glorious day in American history, known as #MuellerMonday, the indictments did indeed come rolling in. For Manafort and his henchman Rick Gates, a hard rain’s a-gonna fall. George Papadopoulos has already pled guilty and turned federal evidence.

Trump needs to come clean. He needs to tell us what he knows and do what he can to help his country to deal with this mess. But this will never happen. He has stalled on the application of the new Russian sanctions, and his attitude, in general, has been that Russia hasn’t done anything wrong.

He boasted yesterday when the news broke of Manafort’s indictment that it had nothing to do with him. But he was sweating after Papadopoulos, who’d been a close foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, had already accepted a guilty plea. Looks like he told on everybody.

It’s all about the sanctions. After the Russians seized the Crimea, we cramped their style with economic sanctions. They have been willing to resort to anything, in order to lift that burden and go back to their jet-set lifestyles. As a result, it’s amazing how fast the relationships between our two nations deteriorated.

Even fifteen years ago, things were significantly better. Joseph McCarthy was long gone. The Berlin Wall was torn down. Yeltsin seemed a decent enough sort. And when he vacated the office, leaving Putin behind as his chosen successor, I think most of us wanted to give him a chance.

The writer of this article remembers wishing him luck and hoping he did well for the Russian people, as a kid. It’s a sad thing, how we’ve had to become enemies with Russia again.

Of course, one of the names floated about the most was Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, who was in fact indicted on Monday. Manafort recently said he was expecting as much. Last week it was reported that Manafort was also under investigation by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office in an alleged money-laundering scandal.

Manafort’s financial relationship with billionaire Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, is stronger than had been previously thought. The two did roughly $60 million in business dealings together over the past decade. They obviously worked well together before Manafort ripped off his longtime partner. His involvement in this was most likely motivated by a desire to “get whole” with Deripaska.

In April 2008 Manafort took $18,938,400 from Deripaska, for which he promised to return up to $100 million in Ukrainian cable television and telecommunications companies. He failed to return a cent. It seems clear this was an arranged way for him to pay his debt.

By 2008 Deripaska was one of the richest men in the world, but that was not set in stone. It largely depended on the goodwill of Putin, whose singular person is the true master of Russia’s wealth. During the Great Recession, his fortunes took a tremendous tumble. If it were not for help from the Kremlin, he likely would not have survived.

For this reason, Deripaska has proven willing to endure rough treatment at the hands of Putin for a great many years and will always be of use to him any way he can.

For example, in 2009, the factory town of Pikalevo was experiencing the most serious social unrest Russia had seen since the start of the global economic crisis.

Anxious to ensure that the Pikalevo problem remained an isolated one, Putin sought to cast himself as the town’s savior – and Oleg Deripaska as its villain.

Putin, who like Adolf Hitler is a master at ritually humiliating his subordinates, likened Deripaska to a cockroach in front of crowds of angry workers. He forced him to accompany him on a tour of a cement plant he operated in the area.

“Why has your factory been so neglected?” he demanded. “They’ve turned it into a rubbish dump. Why was everyone running around like cockroaches before my arrival? Why was no one capable of making decisions?”

Deripaska has also been a tool for Putin in ways slightly more fitting of a man’s self-worth. In 2008, he successfully drew Lord Mandelson, the EU trade commissioner at the time, into scandal after entertaining him on his yacht.

This is a classic example of Kompromat, the Russian word for the gathering of scandalous material on a political adversary.

Soon after, Mandelson was loudly hailing improved relations between Britain and Russia.

Lord Mandelson’s own relations with Russia also improved. They have kept right along improving, and tightening bonds, and working together all they can.

By last June, he wrote a letter to Putin, asking him to arbitrate a legal dispute between the Sistema defense conglomerate, which Lord Mandelson works for, and Rosneft, a state-owned Russian oil giant.

This is Putin’s M.O. He sends some flunky of an oligarch like Deripaska around to throw a party. To buy some pretty girls and booze, and create a scenario to set up decent people.

Once he’s got the goods on them, he immediately turns on the charm. It’s easy to see, how it would be all too easy to choose to get rich rather than to get ruined. In this way, little by little, Putin extends his tentacles into the farthest reaches of our countries, and all too often, our leaders. Should they not cooperate, there’s always Wikileaks.

Putin uses psychological black operations like disinformation and Kompromat like you and I use a knife and fork. He’s about making the world a worse place, one dirty little secret at a time.

The Steele Dossier, which becomes more credible by the day, claims that Putin has been cultivating Trump for more than five years. It all started with that compromising pee-tape where Russian prostitutes micturate in a bed once slept in by the Obamas. Much like the unfortunate Lord Mandelson.

One has to assume he’s been ordering Trump around the world to act as a human lightning rod, just as he’s done with Deripaska and so many others. Trump was openly blackmailed by Putin against applying any new sanctions against Russia. Sergey Lavrov said that if all of Russia’s spy houses were not returned that “maybe more than one or two more meetings might come out. Maybe they even went to the toilet together.”

 

In the meantime, the prospect of a Saturday Night Massacre in which he fires Robert Mueller through executive order is starting to look realistic. Nothing indicates that any thoughts of the country’s well-being in the case of a constitutional crisis that severe would stop Trump from going this route. Nothing indicates that anything matters to Donald Trump excepting Donald Trump.

We’ve seen Trump’s viciousness when beaten before. His attempt to bargain with the lives of our DREAMers over funding for his inane dream of a border wall is one example. His sabotage of the Affordable Care Act is another.

Steve Bannon advised him in a phone call on Monday to be more aggressive in his approach toward special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russians. Bannon has been advocating for “a much more aggressive legal approach short of firing Mueller,” but it’s unlikely Trump will hesitate to do just that if he thinks for ten seconds it will save him.

The only effective weapons left in Trump’s arsenal are bluster and aggression. His core is dwindling. His approval ratings continue to paddle around the toilet of his life. His last real hope to restore some kind of order in the Oval Office, Chief of Staff John Kelly, is now himself beleaguered in drama regarding talks he recently gave praising Robert E. Lee and attributing the Civil War to a “lack of compromise.”

The writing is on the wall for Donald Trump, and he knows it. His bewilderment and frustration spilled out into a boiling series of tweets the other night, culminating in the two single most honest words he’s ever spoken.

“DO SOMETHING!”, he howled out at the unkind and indifferent stars. Perhaps he was talking to God, but it’s too late now, of course. From now on, Trump must realize that Putin has become his own personal Mephistopheles. In trying to become a king, he ended up a servant.

A Case Study in Fake News- Uranium One, The Scandal That Wasn’t.

The Uranium One story is a prime example of fake news.  It is a GOP talking point known to be false. That knowledge, however, is not very important to the Republicans, who have gone to great length to keep America talking about it this week.  The opposition has spent an awful lot of money to kick off the conversation.

The whole thing is a cheap attempt to shift the Russiagate narrative by blaming it all on Hillary Clinton.

As this was being written, the first news came back that Paul Manafort and his sidekick Rick Gates were indicted on money crimes going back to their Ukraine days. A jubilant Trump tweeted out a statement distancing himself from these activities.

But Mueller wasn’t finished. The true bombshell was yet to come.

It turns out that former foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, had admitted lying to the FBI about contacts with foreign officials close to the Russian government who discussed “dirt” relating to emails linked to Clinton. He was quietly arrested on July 27. He’s been fully cooperating with the government ever since. 

This is why we’ve spent the week hearing about the Uranium One deal.

The relation of truth to a given subject is not a considered factor when we’re talking about the Trump administration. This story was manufactured conservative disinformation from beginning to end. It has been threaded back into the national narrative as a political countersuit against Democrats.

It’s just Trump’s old Manhattan real estate strategy in his new role as president. This is the political equivalent of a countersuit. The ghost of Roy Cohn has got to be gnashing its teeth in glee, down there in hell.

Joy Reid recently summed up the Trump strategy by quoting from the presidential debate last summer. “I’m no puppet. You’re a puppet”.

The idea is that to relieve the pressure on him, Trump will attempt to shift the nation’s attention and anger toward Hillary Clinton.  Accuse your enemy, of that which you are guilty of. The concept is called swiftboating. Its purpose is to scare Democrats into shutting up and going home. To make us tap out due to fear for the safety of our leader. “You leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone. If not, there will be trouble.”

This is the face of fascism.  Manufactured excuses. Rampant what-aboutism. Legitimate science is either discarded or adapted. It all becomes part of the new authoritarian ideology. It is then gradually dripped into the heads of the people by the likes of Boris Epshteyn and Sebastian Gorka.

This concept is not abstract, or something that only happens elsewhere. Companies like the Sinclair Broadcasting Company, which is said to be in talks with conservative TV show host Bill O’Reilly, will be threading pro- Trump messaging into every aspect of television. Their virulent brand of right-wing commentary and so-called “classic propaganda” may soon reach three-quarters of US households.

Insofar as Democratic involvement is concerned in the U1 deal, there’s nothing controversial at all. It’s an attempt to shift the national narrative back against Trump’s enemies and give his supporters some new and soothing lie to hold on to.

The important issue here is why this ordinary transaction was cooked up into a scandal in the first place; and the troubling implications that it has for the future of American democracy.

As to the details of the controversy surrounding Uranium One, they are not very controversial.

The company is a subsidiary of Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear technology corporation. In 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State, Rosatom wished to acquire a majority share of Uranium One. In order for it to share in the control of uranium mines in the United States, the sale had to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment In the United States (CFIUS).

Because the deal would ultimately place Uranium One in control of 20% of U.S. uranium production capacity, the transaction required federal approval. During the 2016 election campaign, Trump asserted that Clinton “gave 20% of our uranium — gave Russia for a big payment.” This is untrue on every level.

The mining licenses remained with U.S. subsidiaries controlled by U.S. persons. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviewed the transaction and gave its approval. All nine members of the CFIUS board voted for it with a clear conscience and say today they’d do the same again.

Uranium One does not hold the proper export license, so none of its uranium can be exported. It can never be taken to Russia and turned into nukes.

All the committee members have told everyone Clinton was not involved in the decision.

This “scandal” consisted of a Canadian company, the Northern Uranium Corporation,  selling a Russian company some stock in uranium.

The nuclear recycling angle, specifically the Koch Industries interest in the valuable uranium that comes out of them, is likely of tantamount importance here. The educated guess of one expert who spoke with Millennial Democrats under the conditions of anonymity is that the Kochs did not want the competition from recycled uranium.

Most likely, this was why they needed a reason to keep recycled uranium politically unpopular. They also needed a reason to keep Hillary Clinton unpopular. It would seem they put two and two together.

These two things have nothing to do with one another, but it proved easy to make it seem otherwise. This is where the slanderous spin on Uranium One came from.

This libel has no basis in any historical record. It comes out of a wingnut book called Clinton Cash. Its production was financed by an organization called the Government Accountability Institute. This is a conservative nonprofit founded by the book’s author, Peter Schweitzer. They teamed up with Breitbart’s Steve Bannon to conduct the research for the book. Billionaire Robert Mercer, the same guy who is still paying the bills for Breitbart News, signed the check on this one, too.

Needless to say, it has been thoroughly dismantled by experts.

The story was ridiculous and crooked back then, but its revival in the national dialogue at this particular time is troubling in the extreme. It means the RNC is willing to drag a private citizen into government affairs, for no reason other than to deflect attention from the truth. You don’t prosecute your political opponents using show trials and Congress in order to attack anything but the fabric of our democracy.

Going forward, the Uranium One slander serves as an excellent case study for the examining and reverse-engineering of Republican propaganda. There will be more of this to come than we can imagine; Russian ads alone reached over 120 million on Facebook this year.

By thinking critically and staying alert, however, we can spot these things as they come. We can dismantle them, dissect them, and lay bare their innards to the light.  In this manner, we will come to see how they work.

Then we hold them up as examples of the disingenuity of our opponents. Our job is to expose lies and bear witness.

There’s still a lot we can do. We still have everything it takes to fight the attempts of Trump and Putin at tyranny. The time-honored power of the vote can still save us. Make a specific plan for voting, and do what you can to get others to do the same. Once we take back the Congress, we can rid ourselves of Trump. In short, #RiseAndOrganize.