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benson13

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  1. Indictments and Plea Deals 1) George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, was arrested in July 2017 and pleaded guilty in October 2017 to making false statements to the FBI. He got a 14-day sentence. 2) Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, was indicted on a total of 25 different counts by Mueller’s team, related mainly to his past work for Ukrainian politicians and his finances. He had two trials scheduled, and the first ended in a conviction on eight counts of financial crimes. To avert the second trial, Manafort struck a plea deal with Mueller in September 2018 (though Mueller’s team said in November that he breached that agreement by lying to them). He was sentenced to a combined seven and a half years in prison. 3) Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. But in February 2018 he agreed to a plea deal with Mueller’s team, pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge. 4) Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to making false statements to the FBI. 5-20) 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign. The companies involved are the Internet Research Agency, often described as a “Russian troll farm,” and two other companies that helped finance it. The Russian nationals indicted include 12 of the agency’s employees and its alleged financier, Yevgeny Prigozhin. 21) Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months of home detention in October 2018. 22) Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates and another unnamed person based in Ukraine. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and has completed his sentence. 23) Konstantin Kilimnik: This longtime business associate of Manafort and Gates, who’s currently based in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with attempting to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses in Manafort’s pending case last year. 24-35) 12 Russian GRU officers: These officers of Russia’s military intelligence service were charged with crimes related to the hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails in 2016. 36) Michael Cohen: In August 2018, Trump’s former lawyer pleaded guilty to 8 counts — tax and bank charges, related to his finances and taxi business, and campaign finance violations — related to hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with Donald Trump, as part of a separate investigation in New York (that Mueller had handed off). But in November, he made a plea deal with Mueller too, for lying to Congress about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. 37) Roger Stone: In January 2019, Mueller indicted longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone on 7 counts. He accused Stone of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his efforts to get in touch with WikiLeaks during the campaign, and tampering with a witness who could have debunked his story. He was convicted on all counts after a November 2019 trial. Finally, there is one other person Mueller initially investigated, but handed over to others in the Justice Department to charge: Sam Patten. This Republican operative and lobbyist pleaded guilty to not registering as a foreign agent with his work for Ukrainian political bigwigs, and agreed to cooperate with the government. That’s the full list, but we’ll delve into the charges in a bit more detail below. The five ex-Trump aides who struck plea deals with Mueller Mark Wilson/Getty Images So far, no Trump associates have been specifically charged with any crimes relating to helping Russia interfere with the 2016 election. Yet five have pleaded guilty to other crimes. Manafort and Gates were charged with a series of offenses related to their past work for Ukrainian politicians and their finances. Papadopoulos and Flynn both admitted making false statements to investigators to hide their contacts with Russians, and Cohen admitted making false statements to Congress. Papadopoulos: Back in April 2016, Papadopoulos got a tip from a foreign professor he understood to have Russian government connections that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” He then proceeded to have extensive contacts with the professor and two Russian nationals, during which he tried to plan a Trump campaign trip to Russia. But when the FBI interviewed Papadopoulos about all this in January 2017, he repeatedly lied about what happened, he now admits. So he was arrested in July 2017, and later agreed to plead guilty to a false statements charge, which was dramatically unsealed in October 2017. Initially, it seemed as if Papadopoulos was cooperating with Mueller’s probe. But we later learned that the special counsel cut off contact with him in late 2017, after he talked to the press. In the end, he didn’t provide much information of note, Mueller’s team said in court filing. His involvement with the investigation now appears to be over, and in September 2018, he was sentenced to 14 days incarceration. Flynn: In December 2016, during the transition, Flynn spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions that President Barack Obama had just placed on Russia, and about a planned United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements. But when FBI agents interviewed him about all this in January 2017, Flynn lied to them about what his talks with Kislyak entailed, he now admits. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to a false statements charge and began cooperating with Mueller’s investigation. We haven’t seen the fruits of his cooperation yet, and he has not yet been sentenced. Manafort and Gates: This pair worked for Ukrainian politicians (and, eventually, the Ukrainian government) for several years prior to the Trump campaign, and made an enormous amount of money for it. Mueller charged them with hiding their lobbying work and the money they made from it from the government, as well as other financial crimes and attempts to interfere with the investigation. Gates was the first to strike a plea deal. In February, Mueller dropped most of the charges he had brought against him. In exchange, Gates pleaded guilty to two counts — one conspiracy to defraud the United States charge encompassing the overall Ukrainian lobbying and money allegations, and a false statements charge. (With the latter, Gates admitted lying to Mueller’s team during a meeting this February. A Dutch lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI related to his Ukrainian work with Gates.) Manafort, meanwhile, fought the charges in two venues, Washington, DC, and Virginia. His first trial was in Virginia, and in August, it ended with his conviction on eight counts — five counts of subscribing to false income tax returns, one count of failing to report his foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. The jury deadlocked on another 10 counts, so for those, the judge declared a mistrial. The conviction finally brought Manafort to the table, and on September 14, he and Mueller’s team struck a plea deal requiring his cooperation. Manafort pleaded guilty to just two more counts — conspiracy to defraud the United States, and an attempted obstruction of justice charge. But he admitted that the other allegations Mueller previously made against him were true as well. The cooperation element of his plea deal fell apart in November, though, as Mueller’s team accused Manafort of lying to them. Manafort ended up being sentenced to a combined seven and a half years in prison. Cohen: Mueller’s team was investigating Trump’s former attorney in 2017, but at some point, they referred the Cohen probe to the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). It was SDNY that authorized the FBI raid of Cohen’s residence and office in April. In August, Cohen cut a deal with SDNY. He agreed to plead guilty to 8 counts. Six of them involved his own finances — 5 tax counts involving hiding various income related to his taxi medallion business and other financial transactions from the US government, and a bank fraud count. Cohen also admitted participating in a scheme to violate campaign finance laws in connection with hush money payments to women alleging affairs with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Then, in November, Cohen made his deal with Mueller. Here, he agreed to plead guilty to making false statements to Congress, to try and cover up his work on behalf of a Trump Tower Moscow project during the campaign. Cohen had told Congress that the Trump Tower Moscow project ended early in the campaign, that he hadn’t discussed it much with others at Trump’s company, and that he hadn’t successfully gotten in touch with the Russian government about it. In fact, he now admits, the project was still active months later, he’d talked about it with Trump more than he’d admitted (and with unnamed Trump family members), and he’d talked about it with an assistant for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary. Roger Stone was the final Trump associate indicted in the investigation Then, on January 25, another political operative with a decades-long history with Trump — Roger Stone — was indicted. Various statements by Stone, including many public ones, raised questions about whether he had some sort of inside knowledge about WikiLeaks’s posting of Democrats’ hacked emails during the 2016 campaign. Stone has long denied having any such knowledge — and claimed that anything he knew about WikiLeaks came through an intermediary, radio host Randy Credico. Mueller’s indictment alleges that this story was false — and that Stone’s telling it to the House Intelligence Committee was criminal. Mueller’s indictment of Stone alleges that the GOP operative gave a false story to explain his knowledge about WikiLeaks. Stone was accused of lying about this to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, and trying to tamper with a witness — Credico — so that he would stick to that false story. And, after a November 2019 trial, Stone was found guilty on all counts. About two dozen overseas Russians have been charged with election interference Mueller has also filed two major indictments of Russian nationals and a few Russian companies for crimes related to alleged interference with the 2016 election: the troll farm indictment, and the email hacking indictment. The troll farm indictment: In February, Mueller brought charges related to the propaganda efforts of one Russian group in particular: the Internet Research Agency. That group’s operations — which included social media posts, online ads, and organization of rallies in the US — were, the indictment alleges, often (but not exclusively) aimed at denigrating Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy and supporting Donald Trump’s. Mueller indicted the Internet Research Agency, two other shell companies involved in financing the agency, its alleged financier (Yevgeny Prigozhin), and 12 other Russian nationals who allegedly worked for it. The specific charges in the case include one broad “conspiracy to defraud the United States” count, but the rest are far narrower — one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and six counts of identity theft. It is highly unlikely that the indicted Russian individuals will ever come to the US to face trial, but one company involved, Concord Catering, is fighting back in court. No Americans have been charged with being witting participants in this Russian election interference effort. However, one American, Richard Pinedo of California, pleaded guilty to an identity fraud charge, seemingly because he sold bank account numbers created with stolen identities to the Russians. Pinedo agreed to cooperate with the probe as part of his plea deal. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months home detention in October. The email hacking indictment: Brought in July, here Mueller charged 12 officers of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, with crimes committed to the high-profile hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails during the 2016 campaign. Specifically indicted were nine officers of the GRU’s “Unit 26165,” which Mueller alleges “had primary responsibility for hacking the DCCC and DNC, as well as the email accounts of individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign” like John Podesta. Three other GRU officers, Mueller alleges, “assisted in the release of stolen documents,” “the promotion of those releases,” “and the publication of anti-Clinton content on social media accounts operated by the GRU.” A trial here is unlikely, since all of the people indicted live in Russia. Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort associate, has been charged with obstruction of justice Then, Konstantin Kilimnik — who worked with Manafort in Ukraine and is now based in Russia — was charged alongside Manafort with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, in June. Mueller argued that, earlier in 2018, Manafort and Kilimnik worked together to contact potential witnesses against Manafort and encourage them to give false testimony. He argues that this is attempted witness tampering, and qualifies as obstruction of justice. The alleged tampering relates to the “Hapsburg group”— a group of former senior European politicians Manafort paid to advocate for Ukraine’s interests. Both Manafort and Kilimnik tried to contact witnesses to get them to claim the Hapsburg group only operated in Europe (where US foreign lobbying laws don’t apply). But Mueller says there’s ample evidence that the group did work in the US too, and the witnesses thought Manafort and Kilimnik were trying to get them to commit perjury. In Manafort’s September plea deal, he admitted to this. Kilimnik, however, is in Russia, and will likely remain there rather than face charges. Sam Patten struck a plea deal after Mueller referred his investigation elsewhere There’re another instance in which where Mueller surfaced incriminating information about someone, but handed off the investigation to elsewhere in the Justice Department. Sam Patten: A GOP lobbyist who had worked in some of the same Ukrainian circles as Manafort and alongside Konstantin Kilimnik, Mueller’s team began investigating Patten, but at some point handed him off to the DC US attorney’s office. However, the plea deal Patten eventually struck obligated him to cooperate with Mueller. According to a criminal information document filed by the DC US attorney’s office, Patten and Kilimnik (who is not named but referred to as “Foreigner A”) founded a lobbying and consulting company together. They did campaign work in Ukraine and lobbying work in the US, and were paid over $1 million between 2015 and 2017. Specifically, the document claims that Patten contacted members of Congress and their staffers, State Department officials, and members of the press on behalf of his Ukrainian clients — all without registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, as required by law. Patten also admits to helping his Ukrainian oligarch client get around the prohibition on foreign donations to Donald Trump’s inauguration committee. The oligarch sent $50,000 to Patten’s company, and then he gave that money to a US citizen, who bought the four tickets. The tickets were given to the oligarch, Kilimnik, another Ukrainian, and Patten himself. Finally, Patten also admits to misleading the Senate Intelligence Committee and withholding documents from them during testimony this January. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
  2. 'This is not your grandfather's GOP anymore' Indictments and Plea Deals 1) George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, was arrested in July 2017 and pleaded guilty in October 2017 to making false statements to the FBI. He got a 14-day sentence. 2) Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, was indicted on a total of 25 different counts by Mueller’s team, related mainly to his past work for Ukrainian politicians and his finances. He had two trials scheduled, and the first ended in a conviction on eight counts of financial crimes. To avert the second trial, Manafort struck a plea deal with Mueller in September 2018 (though Mueller’s team said in November that he breached that agreement by lying to them). He was sentenced to a combined seven and a half years in prison. 3) Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. But in February 2018 he agreed to a plea deal with Mueller’s team, pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge. 4) Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to making false statements to the FBI. 5-20) 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign. The companies involved are the Internet Research Agency, often described as a “Russian troll farm,” and two other companies that helped finance it. The Russian nationals indicted include 12 of the agency’s employees and its alleged financier, Yevgeny Prigozhin. 21) Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months of home detention in October 2018. 22) Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates and another unnamed person based in Ukraine. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and has completed his sentence. 23) Konstantin Kilimnik: This longtime business associate of Manafort and Gates, who’s currently based in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with attempting to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses in Manafort’s pending case last year. 24-35) 12 Russian GRU officers: These officers of Russia’s military intelligence service were charged with crimes related to the hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails in 2016. 36) Michael Cohen: In August 2018, Trump’s former lawyer pleaded guilty to 8 counts — tax and bank charges, related to his finances and taxi business, and campaign finance violations — related to hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with Donald Trump, as part of a separate investigation in New York (that Mueller had handed off). But in November, he made a plea deal with Mueller too, for lying to Congress about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. 37) Roger Stone: In January 2019, Mueller indicted longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone on 7 counts. He accused Stone of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his efforts to get in touch with WikiLeaks during the campaign, and tampering with a witness who could have debunked his story. He was convicted on all counts after a November 2019 trial. Finally, there is one other person Mueller initially investigated, but handed over to others in the Justice Department to charge: Sam Patten. This Republican operative and lobbyist pleaded guilty to not registering as a foreign agent with his work for Ukrainian political bigwigs, and agreed to cooperate with the government. That’s the full list, but we’ll delve into the charges in a bit more detail below. The five ex-Trump aides who struck plea deals with Mueller Mark Wilson/Getty Images So far, no Trump associates have been specifically charged with any crimes relating to helping Russia interfere with the 2016 election. Yet five have pleaded guilty to other crimes. Manafort and Gates were charged with a series of offenses related to their past work for Ukrainian politicians and their finances. Papadopoulos and Flynn both admitted making false statements to investigators to hide their contacts with Russians, and Cohen admitted making false statements to Congress. Papadopoulos: Back in April 2016, Papadopoulos got a tip from a foreign professor he understood to have Russian government connections that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” He then proceeded to have extensive contacts with the professor and two Russian nationals, during which he tried to plan a Trump campaign trip to Russia. But when the FBI interviewed Papadopoulos about all this in January 2017, he repeatedly lied about what happened, he now admits. So he was arrested in July 2017, and later agreed to plead guilty to a false statements charge, which was dramatically unsealed in October 2017. Initially, it seemed as if Papadopoulos was cooperating with Mueller’s probe. But we later learned that the special counsel cut off contact with him in late 2017, after he talked to the press. In the end, he didn’t provide much information of note, Mueller’s team said in court filing. His involvement with the investigation now appears to be over, and in September 2018, he was sentenced to 14 days incarceration. Flynn: In December 2016, during the transition, Flynn spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions that President Barack Obama had just placed on Russia, and about a planned United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements. But when FBI agents interviewed him about all this in January 2017, Flynn lied to them about what his talks with Kislyak entailed, he now admits. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to a false statements charge and began cooperating with Mueller’s investigation. We haven’t seen the fruits of his cooperation yet, and he has not yet been sentenced. Manafort and Gates: This pair worked for Ukrainian politicians (and, eventually, the Ukrainian government) for several years prior to the Trump campaign, and made an enormous amount of money for it. Mueller charged them with hiding their lobbying work and the money they made from it from the government, as well as other financial crimes and attempts to interfere with the investigation. Gates was the first to strike a plea deal. In February, Mueller dropped most of the charges he had brought against him. In exchange, Gates pleaded guilty to two counts — one conspiracy to defraud the United States charge encompassing the overall Ukrainian lobbying and money allegations, and a false statements charge. (With the latter, Gates admitted lying to Mueller’s team during a meeting this February. A Dutch lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI related to his Ukrainian work with Gates.) Manafort, meanwhile, fought the charges in two venues, Washington, DC, and Virginia. His first trial was in Virginia, and in August, it ended with his conviction on eight counts — five counts of subscribing to false income tax returns, one count of failing to report his foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. The jury deadlocked on another 10 counts, so for those, the judge declared a mistrial. The conviction finally brought Manafort to the table, and on September 14, he and Mueller’s team struck a plea deal requiring his cooperation. Manafort pleaded guilty to just two more counts — conspiracy to defraud the United States, and an attempted obstruction of justice charge. But he admitted that the other allegations Mueller previously made against him were true as well. The cooperation element of his plea deal fell apart in November, though, as Mueller’s team accused Manafort of lying to them. Manafort ended up being sentenced to a combined seven and a half years in prison. Cohen: Mueller’s team was investigating Trump’s former attorney in 2017, but at some point, they referred the Cohen probe to the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). It was SDNY that authorized the FBI raid of Cohen’s residence and office in April. In August, Cohen cut a deal with SDNY. He agreed to plead guilty to 8 counts. Six of them involved his own finances — 5 tax counts involving hiding various income related to his taxi medallion business and other financial transactions from the US government, and a bank fraud count. Cohen also admitted participating in a scheme to violate campaign finance laws in connection with hush money payments to women alleging affairs with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Then, in November, Cohen made his deal with Mueller. Here, he agreed to plead guilty to making false statements to Congress, to try and cover up his work on behalf of a Trump Tower Moscow project during the campaign. Cohen had told Congress that the Trump Tower Moscow project ended early in the campaign, that he hadn’t discussed it much with others at Trump’s company, and that he hadn’t successfully gotten in touch with the Russian government about it. In fact, he now admits, the project was still active months later, he’d talked about it with Trump more than he’d admitted (and with unnamed Trump family members), and he’d talked about it with an assistant for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary. Roger Stone was the final Trump associate indicted in the investigation Then, on January 25, another political operative with a decades-long history with Trump — Roger Stone — was indicted. Various statements by Stone, including many public ones, raised questions about whether he had some sort of inside knowledge about WikiLeaks’s posting of Democrats’ hacked emails during the 2016 campaign. Stone has long denied having any such knowledge — and claimed that anything he knew about WikiLeaks came through an intermediary, radio host Randy Credico. Mueller’s indictment alleges that this story was false — and that Stone’s telling it to the House Intelligence Committee was criminal. Mueller’s indictment of Stone alleges that the GOP operative gave a false story to explain his knowledge about WikiLeaks. Stone was accused of lying about this to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, and trying to tamper with a witness — Credico — so that he would stick to that false story. And, after a November 2019 trial, Stone was found guilty on all counts. About two dozen overseas Russians have been charged with election interference Mueller has also filed two major indictments of Russian nationals and a few Russian companies for crimes related to alleged interference with the 2016 election: the troll farm indictment, and the email hacking indictment. The troll farm indictment: In February, Mueller brought charges related to the propaganda efforts of one Russian group in particular: the Internet Research Agency. That group’s operations — which included social media posts, online ads, and organization of rallies in the US — were, the indictment alleges, often (but not exclusively) aimed at denigrating Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy and supporting Donald Trump’s. Mueller indicted the Internet Research Agency, two other shell companies involved in financing the agency, its alleged financier (Yevgeny Prigozhin), and 12 other Russian nationals who allegedly worked for it. The specific charges in the case include one broad “conspiracy to defraud the United States” count, but the rest are far narrower — one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and six counts of identity theft. It is highly unlikely that the indicted Russian individuals will ever come to the US to face trial, but one company involved, Concord Catering, is fighting back in court. No Americans have been charged with being witting participants in this Russian election interference effort. However, one American, Richard Pinedo of California, pleaded guilty to an identity fraud charge, seemingly because he sold bank account numbers created with stolen identities to the Russians. Pinedo agreed to cooperate with the probe as part of his plea deal. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months home detention in October. The email hacking indictment: Brought in July, here Mueller charged 12 officers of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, with crimes committed to the high-profile hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails during the 2016 campaign. Specifically indicted were nine officers of the GRU’s “Unit 26165,” which Mueller alleges “had primary responsibility for hacking the DCCC and DNC, as well as the email accounts of individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign” like John Podesta. Three other GRU officers, Mueller alleges, “assisted in the release of stolen documents,” “the promotion of those releases,” “and the publication of anti-Clinton content on social media accounts operated by the GRU.” A trial here is unlikely, since all of the people indicted live in Russia. Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort associate, has been charged with obstruction of justice Then, Konstantin Kilimnik — who worked with Manafort in Ukraine and is now based in Russia — was charged alongside Manafort with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, in June. Mueller argued that, earlier in 2018, Manafort and Kilimnik worked together to contact potential witnesses against Manafort and encourage them to give false testimony. He argues that this is attempted witness tampering, and qualifies as obstruction of justice. The alleged tampering relates to the “Hapsburg group”— a group of former senior European politicians Manafort paid to advocate for Ukraine’s interests. Both Manafort and Kilimnik tried to contact witnesses to get them to claim the Hapsburg group only operated in Europe (where US foreign lobbying laws don’t apply). But Mueller says there’s ample evidence that the group did work in the US too, and the witnesses thought Manafort and Kilimnik were trying to get them to commit perjury. In Manafort’s September plea deal, he admitted to this. Kilimnik, however, is in Russia, and will likely remain there rather than face charges. Sam Patten struck a plea deal after Mueller referred his investigation elsewhere There’re another instance in which where Mueller surfaced incriminating information about someone, but handed off the investigation to elsewhere in the Justice Department. Sam Patten: A GOP lobbyist who had worked in some of the same Ukrainian circles as Manafort and alongside Konstantin Kilimnik, Mueller’s team began investigating Patten, but at some point handed him off to the DC US attorney’s office. However, the plea deal Patten eventually struck obligated him to cooperate with Mueller. According to a criminal information document filed by the DC US attorney’s office, Patten and Kilimnik (who is not named but referred to as “Foreigner A”) founded a lobbying and consulting company together. They did campaign work in Ukraine and lobbying work in the US, and were paid over $1 million between 2015 and 2017. Specifically, the document claims that Patten contacted members of Congress and their staffers, State Department officials, and members of the press on behalf of his Ukrainian clients — all without registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, as required by law. Patten also admits to helping his Ukrainian oligarch client get around the prohibition on foreign donations to Donald Trump’s inauguration committee. The oligarch sent $50,000 to Patten’s company, and then he gave that money to a US citizen, who bought the four tickets. The tickets were given to the oligarch, Kilimnik, another Ukrainian, and Patten himself. Finally, Patten also admits to misleading the Senate Intelligence Committee and withholding documents from them during testimony this January. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
  3. "Wasn't it Grant who strongly suggested that the government maintain a presence in the south for years after the Civil War to ensure that the violent, traitorous mentality of the south was stamped out?" GM Demo...Yup, Grants and Shermans suggestion
  4. Indictments and Plea Deals 1) George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, was arrested in July 2017 and pleaded guilty in October 2017 to making false statements to the FBI. He got a 14-day sentence. 2) Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, was indicted on a total of 25 different counts by Mueller’s team, related mainly to his past work for Ukrainian politicians and his finances. He had two trials scheduled, and the first ended in a conviction on eight counts of financial crimes. To avert the second trial, Manafort struck a plea deal with Mueller in September 2018 (though Mueller’s team said in November that he breached that agreement by lying to them). He was sentenced to a combined seven and a half years in prison. 3) Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. But in February 2018 he agreed to a plea deal with Mueller’s team, pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge. 4) Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to making false statements to the FBI. 5-20) 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign. The companies involved are the Internet Research Agency, often described as a “Russian troll farm,” and two other companies that helped finance it. The Russian nationals indicted include 12 of the agency’s employees and its alleged financier, Yevgeny Prigozhin. 21) Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months of home detention in October 2018. 22) Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates and another unnamed person based in Ukraine. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and has completed his sentence. 23) Konstantin Kilimnik: This longtime business associate of Manafort and Gates, who’s currently based in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with attempting to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses in Manafort’s pending case last year. 24-35) 12 Russian GRU officers: These officers of Russia’s military intelligence service were charged with crimes related to the hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails in 2016. 36) Michael Cohen: In August 2018, Trump’s former lawyer pleaded guilty to 8 counts — tax and bank charges, related to his finances and taxi business, and campaign finance violations — related to hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with Donald Trump, as part of a separate investigation in New York (that Mueller had handed off). But in November, he made a plea deal with Mueller too, for lying to Congress about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. 37) Roger Stone: In January 2019, Mueller indicted longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone on 7 counts. He accused Stone of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his efforts to get in touch with WikiLeaks during the campaign, and tampering with a witness who could have debunked his story. He was convicted on all counts after a November 2019 trial. Finally, there is one other person Mueller initially investigated, but handed over to others in the Justice Department to charge: Sam Patten. This Republican operative and lobbyist pleaded guilty to not registering as a foreign agent with his work for Ukrainian political bigwigs, and agreed to cooperate with the government. That’s the full list, but we’ll delve into the charges in a bit more detail below. The five ex-Trump aides who struck plea deals with Mueller Mark Wilson/Getty Images So far, no Trump associates have been specifically charged with any crimes relating to helping Russia interfere with the 2016 election. Yet five have pleaded guilty to other crimes. Manafort and Gates were charged with a series of offenses related to their past work for Ukrainian politicians and their finances. Papadopoulos and Flynn both admitted making false statements to investigators to hide their contacts with Russians, and Cohen admitted making false statements to Congress. Papadopoulos: Back in April 2016, Papadopoulos got a tip from a foreign professor he understood to have Russian government connections that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” He then proceeded to have extensive contacts with the professor and two Russian nationals, during which he tried to plan a Trump campaign trip to Russia. But when the FBI interviewed Papadopoulos about all this in January 2017, he repeatedly lied about what happened, he now admits. So he was arrested in July 2017, and later agreed to plead guilty to a false statements charge, which was dramatically unsealed in October 2017. Initially, it seemed as if Papadopoulos was cooperating with Mueller’s probe. But we later learned that the special counsel cut off contact with him in late 2017, after he talked to the press. In the end, he didn’t provide much information of note, Mueller’s team said in court filing. His involvement with the investigation now appears to be over, and in September 2018, he was sentenced to 14 days incarceration. Flynn: In December 2016, during the transition, Flynn spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions that President Barack Obama had just placed on Russia, and about a planned United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements. But when FBI agents interviewed him about all this in January 2017, Flynn lied to them about what his talks with Kislyak entailed, he now admits. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to a false statements charge and began cooperating with Mueller’s investigation. We haven’t seen the fruits of his cooperation yet, and he has not yet been sentenced. Manafort and Gates: This pair worked for Ukrainian politicians (and, eventually, the Ukrainian government) for several years prior to the Trump campaign, and made an enormous amount of money for it. Mueller charged them with hiding their lobbying work and the money they made from it from the government, as well as other financial crimes and attempts to interfere with the investigation. Gates was the first to strike a plea deal. In February, Mueller dropped most of the charges he had brought against him. In exchange, Gates pleaded guilty to two counts — one conspiracy to defraud the United States charge encompassing the overall Ukrainian lobbying and money allegations, and a false statements charge. (With the latter, Gates admitted lying to Mueller’s team during a meeting this February. A Dutch lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI related to his Ukrainian work with Gates.) Manafort, meanwhile, fought the charges in two venues, Washington, DC, and Virginia. His first trial was in Virginia, and in August, it ended with his conviction on eight counts — five counts of subscribing to false income tax returns, one count of failing to report his foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. The jury deadlocked on another 10 counts, so for those, the judge declared a mistrial. The conviction finally brought Manafort to the table, and on September 14, he and Mueller’s team struck a plea deal requiring his cooperation. Manafort pleaded guilty to just two more counts — conspiracy to defraud the United States, and an attempted obstruction of justice charge. But he admitted that the other allegations Mueller previously made against him were true as well. The cooperation element of his plea deal fell apart in November, though, as Mueller’s team accused Manafort of lying to them. Manafort ended up being sentenced to a combined seven and a half years in prison. Cohen: Mueller’s team was investigating Trump’s former attorney in 2017, but at some point, they referred the Cohen probe to the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). It was SDNY that authorized the FBI raid of Cohen’s residence and office in April. In August, Cohen cut a deal with SDNY. He agreed to plead guilty to 8 counts. Six of them involved his own finances — 5 tax counts involving hiding various income related to his taxi medallion business and other financial transactions from the US government, and a bank fraud count. Cohen also admitted participating in a scheme to violate campaign finance laws in connection with hush money payments to women alleging affairs with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Then, in November, Cohen made his deal with Mueller. Here, he agreed to plead guilty to making false statements to Congress, to try and cover up his work on behalf of a Trump Tower Moscow project during the campaign. Cohen had told Congress that the Trump Tower Moscow project ended early in the campaign, that he hadn’t discussed it much with others at Trump’s company, and that he hadn’t successfully gotten in touch with the Russian government about it. In fact, he now admits, the project was still active months later, he’d talked about it with Trump more than he’d admitted (and with unnamed Trump family members), and he’d talked about it with an assistant for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary. Roger Stone was the final Trump associate indicted in the investigation Then, on January 25, another political operative with a decades-long history with Trump — Roger Stone — was indicted. Various statements by Stone, including many public ones, raised questions about whether he had some sort of inside knowledge about WikiLeaks’s posting of Democrats’ hacked emails during the 2016 campaign. Stone has long denied having any such knowledge — and claimed that anything he knew about WikiLeaks came through an intermediary, radio host Randy Credico. Mueller’s indictment alleges that this story was false — and that Stone’s telling it to the House Intelligence Committee was criminal. Mueller’s indictment of Stone alleges that the GOP operative gave a false story to explain his knowledge about WikiLeaks. Stone was accused of lying about this to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, and trying to tamper with a witness — Credico — so that he would stick to that false story. And, after a November 2019 trial, Stone was found guilty on all counts. About two dozen overseas Russians have been charged with election interference Mueller has also filed two major indictments of Russian nationals and a few Russian companies for crimes related to alleged interference with the 2016 election: the troll farm indictment, and the email hacking indictment. The troll farm indictment: In February, Mueller brought charges related to the propaganda efforts of one Russian group in particular: the Internet Research Agency. That group’s operations — which included social media posts, online ads, and organization of rallies in the US — were, the indictment alleges, often (but not exclusively) aimed at denigrating Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy and supporting Donald Trump’s. Mueller indicted the Internet Research Agency, two other shell companies involved in financing the agency, its alleged financier (Yevgeny Prigozhin), and 12 other Russian nationals who allegedly worked for it. The specific charges in the case include one broad “conspiracy to defraud the United States” count, but the rest are far narrower — one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and six counts of identity theft. It is highly unlikely that the indicted Russian individuals will ever come to the US to face trial, but one company involved, Concord Catering, is fighting back in court. No Americans have been charged with being witting participants in this Russian election interference effort. However, one American, Richard Pinedo of California, pleaded guilty to an identity fraud charge, seemingly because he sold bank account numbers created with stolen identities to the Russians. Pinedo agreed to cooperate with the probe as part of his plea deal. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months home detention in October. The email hacking indictment: Brought in July, here Mueller charged 12 officers of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, with crimes committed to the high-profile hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails during the 2016 campaign. Specifically indicted were nine officers of the GRU’s “Unit 26165,” which Mueller alleges “had primary responsibility for hacking the DCCC and DNC, as well as the email accounts of individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign” like John Podesta. Three other GRU officers, Mueller alleges, “assisted in the release of stolen documents,” “the promotion of those releases,” “and the publication of anti-Clinton content on social media accounts operated by the GRU.” A trial here is unlikely, since all of the people indicted live in Russia. Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort associate, has been charged with obstruction of justice Then, Konstantin Kilimnik — who worked with Manafort in Ukraine and is now based in Russia — was charged alongside Manafort with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, in June. Mueller argued that, earlier in 2018, Manafort and Kilimnik worked together to contact potential witnesses against Manafort and encourage them to give false testimony. He argues that this is attempted witness tampering, and qualifies as obstruction of justice. The alleged tampering relates to the “Hapsburg group”— a group of former senior European politicians Manafort paid to advocate for Ukraine’s interests. Both Manafort and Kilimnik tried to contact witnesses to get them to claim the Hapsburg group only operated in Europe (where US foreign lobbying laws don’t apply). But Mueller says there’s ample evidence that the group did work in the US too, and the witnesses thought Manafort and Kilimnik were trying to get them to commit perjury. In Manafort’s September plea deal, he admitted to this. Kilimnik, however, is in Russia, and will likely remain there rather than face charges. Sam Patten struck a plea deal after Mueller referred his investigation elsewhere There’re another instance in which where Mueller surfaced incriminating information about someone, but handed off the investigation to elsewhere in the Justice Department. Sam Patten: A GOP lobbyist who had worked in some of the same Ukrainian circles as Manafort and alongside Konstantin Kilimnik, Mueller’s team began investigating Patten, but at some point handed him off to the DC US attorney’s office. However, the plea deal Patten eventually struck obligated him to cooperate with Mueller. According to a criminal information document filed by the DC US attorney’s office, Patten and Kilimnik (who is not named but referred to as “Foreigner A”) founded a lobbying and consulting company together. They did campaign work in Ukraine and lobbying work in the US, and were paid over $1 million between 2015 and 2017. Specifically, the document claims that Patten contacted members of Congress and their staffers, State Department officials, and members of the press on behalf of his Ukrainian clients — all without registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, as required by law. Patten also admits to helping his Ukrainian oligarch client get around the prohibition on foreign donations to Donald Trump’s inauguration committee. The oligarch sent $50,000 to Patten’s company, and then he gave that money to a US citizen, who bought the four tickets. The tickets were given to the oligarch, Kilimnik, another Ukrainian, and Patten himself. Finally, Patten also admits to misleading the Senate Intelligence Committee and withholding documents from them during testimony this January. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
  5. Stone's arrest: He was taken into custody in an early morning FBI raid in Florida Jan. 25 after being indicted on charges that lied about alleged communications with the Trump campaign about hacked emails possessed by WikiLeaks. Cohen's guilty plea and sentence: He pleaded guilty to eight counts related to tax fraud, making false statements to a financial institution, excessive campaign contributions, and unlawful corporate contributions. He said he was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of an unnamed candidate — implicating Trump. In November, Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2017 about the length and scope of plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. He originally told the committee the work stopped in January 2016 and was not discussed with others in the Trump campaign. Mueller claims Cohen discussed getting Russian approval for the project as late as June 2016. In December, Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Russia: Trump Tower meeting: The June 2016 meeting between Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian national in which they were expecting damaging information about Hillary Clinton, but didn't get it. Russian ambassador meeting: Kushner and Michael Flynn met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016. Flynn later asked Kislyak not to escalate Russia's response to new sanctions imposed in the last days of the Obama administration, and then lied to the FBI about it. Page meeting: Carter Page met in Moscow with Russia's deputy prime minister and a Russian oil official in June 2016. Papadopoulos meeting: George Papadopoulos met in London in March 2016 with a professor who later told him Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Election interference: 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian entities were indicted on charges of violating criminal laws to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. On the same day, Mueller struck a plea deal with California resident Richard Pinedo who was accused of knowingly making tens of thousands of dollars by transferring hundreds of bank account numbers that were ultimately used to commit wire fraud. The hacking: 12 Russian military officers were indicted for hacking and releasing the emails of Democratic campaign organizations, including the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, in an effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. The Manafort verdict: Manafort was found guilty on 8 criminal counts, including bank fraud, tax fraud and hiding a foreign bank account. The verdicts were focused on his activities as a lobbyist for Ukraine. Mueller's team alleged Manafort violated his plea deal by lying repeatedly to federal investigators and the Mueller's team about his contact with the administration and a Russian. Who's not on the list: Donald Trump Jr. The bigger intrigue is about why there have been no reports that Mueller's team has questioned Trump Jr., given that he is a key player in one of the biggest events: the Trump Tower meeting with Manafort and Kushner. (He did testify before a Senate committee.) President Trump has submitted written answers about pre-election dimensions of the Russia probe to Mueller's team, but did not answer questions about his behavior as president, including allegations of obstruction of justice.
  6. """Trumps first term was Obstructed""" you mean...he wasn't able to watch Foxagada all day and tweet 100 times daily??? reminder....13,000+ LIES so far...
  7. Corruption, Greed, Brazen Lies, abused power of nixon, raygun and bush = trump The administrations and legacies of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush combine to tell a long, sorry tale of corruption, greed, brazen lies, abused power and religious fundamentalism gone wild that, in whole and in part, put us where we are today. Remove any one of those men from that painting, and from history, and Donald Trump would likely be just another late-night punchline you slept through, again. Nixon, Reagan and W. Bush made Donald Trump possible. It is telling, and perhaps deliberate, that the painting finds Donald Trump seated at the right hand of Nixon. Who better than the Beast of San Clemente to frame the groaning reality of this White House? Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” – courting brazen segregationists like South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond while stoking racial animosities wherever he and his fixers could find them – won him two presidential elections and greased the rails for every Republican presidential nominee to follow. The construction of a Republican Electoral College fortress in the South began with Nixon and remains standing, very nearly brick for brick, to this day. Trump’s victory in 2016 happened because of that fortress. If he wins re-election in 2020, he will have Nixon’s deeply racist campaign strategy to thank once again. Beyond that, Nixon’s disdain for the rule of law, combined with his venomous hatred of the press, set the tone for the latter half of the 20th century and laid a precedent Trump has followed practically to the note. Though he never served a day in prison for his crimes, thanks to a pardon from one of the other fellows featured in the painting, Richard Nixon was ultimately forced to pay a steep price for his transgressions. The same cannot be said for Ronald Reagan, whose administration sold missiles to Iran and used the proceeds to fund an illegal war in Central America. The Iran/Contra scandal was a vast, sweeping international affair for which the president eluded punishment by dint of 124 separate “I don’t remember” replies during the congressional inquiry. Vivid public dishonesty by that president set yet another precedent Trump has taken full advantage of over the course of two long years. Lie straight to their faces, goes the thinking, and dare them to do something about it. The juggernaut rolls on. Reagan’s most indelible imprint on the country, the one Trump has taken greatest advantage of, is cultural. He oversaw a rollicking festival of across-the-board deregulation while preaching the polluted gospel of trickle-down economics that endures to this day. Donald Trump came of age in the Reagan era, and learned the dark arts of the con man by watching the master in the White House. Anyone who can say with a straight face that Trump has not benefitted from the mainline injection of racism into conventional Republican politics should immediately apply for a gig at the White House. More than anything else, Reagan’s courting of what became known as the “Religious Right” changed the face of the country. Conservative Protestant evangelical leaders like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Billy Graham actively helped solidify and expand the religious fervor of the Republican base, creating one of the most reliable voter blocs in modern US history. Their legendary loyalty to the GOP, even in the face of myriad scandals and shameful episodes, has proven to be one of Donald Trump’s great strengths. Another lasting Reagan legacy that Donald Trump has capitalized on is the muscular approach Reagan’s strategists took to Nixon’s racist “Southern Strategy.” Reagan adviser Lee Atwater, the infamous Southern Republican political operative who showed Karl Rove the ropes, explained during a 1981 interview the long, sure process of making virulent racism mainstream by hiding it in plain sight. “You say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff,” said Atwater, “and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, Blacks get hurt worse than whites. ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing.” Anyone who can say with a straight face that Trump has not benefitted from the mainline injection of racism into conventional Republican politics should immediately apply for a gig at the White House. From Nixon to Reagan to Trump, the Republican “Southern Strategy” traded in the white robes of the Klan for a suit, a tie and some buzzwords to obscure the truth. The strategy has proven to be highly effective for the Republican Party, and toxic to the rest of the country, particularly to communities of color. Sixteen years before the ascendancy of Donald Trump, George W. Bush adopted every fetid, discredited Nixon/Reagan ploy as his own. The 2000 GOP primary in South Carolina was a festival of racist gutter tactics that set Bush on course for the presidency, thanks entirely to the lessons Rove absorbed at Atwater’s knee. Bush survived the 2000 general election and was re-elected four years later, thanks in part to the thick white walls of that electoral fortress Nixon and Reagan built in the Southern states. Like Nixon and Reagan, Bush had little use for the truth, and less use for observing the democratic norms that hold the republic together. Like Reagan, Bush embraced the power of the evangelical Christian right to the continued detriment of all. Nixon and Reagan lied about wars, but Bush lied us into a pair of wars that grind on to this day. Like his predecessors, George W. Bush paid no legal price for his serial crimes and astonishing dishonesty. The rank racism of the “Southern Strategy.” The nonsense and classism of trickle-down economics. The grim fusion of politics and extremist evangelical Christianity. The bold power of the shameless lie. It has all flowed from Nixon to Reagan to Bush and finally to Trump, the inheritor of that poisoned estate. But for them, we would not have him. It’s all there in the painting, if you find your way to see it. ReplyForward
  8. Lincoln really F'd up...after he kicked the shiit out of the (Manipulated by the Plantation Owners) rednecks...he should have made them Secede..and given all their land to the slaves.
  9. Trump is a symptom of something far more insidious. This country is infected with a pox, a cancer of ill-informed and propaganda-fed conservative traitors whose vision for the nation is of a theocratic, fascist, confederate, science-denying, polluted, unregulated, white supremacist. robber baron dystopia. We need to stop pretending that these scum are just Americans with a different opinion. They are not. They are the greatest threat the Republic has ever faced. They are traitors to the Republic. Every last one of them.
  10. n a tweet this Thursday, former Arkansas governor and current Fox News host Mike Huckabee raised a few eyebrows announcing an upcoming appearance on Sean Hannity’s show, where he said he’ll be explaining why President Trump is “eligible for a 3rd term.” “I’ll be on @seanhannity 2nite @FoxNews at 9pm ET and will explain how @realDonaldTrump will be eligible for a 3rd term due to the illegal attempts by Comey, Dems, and media , et al attempting to oust him as @POTUS so that’s why I was named to head up the 2024 re-election,” Huckabee tweeted.
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