Daily Archives: June 8, 2018

Superseding indictment filed against Paul Manafort and his Russian associate for witness tampering

Last week, the Special Counsel’s office Mueller accuses Paul Manafort of witness tampering:

Federal prosecutors accused former Trump presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort of witness tampering in a pleading filed late Monday in his criminal case and asked a federal judge to consider revoking or revising his pretrial release. [Manafort is subject to home confinement, and is wearing two ankle bracelet court monitors.]

Prosecutors accused Manafort and a longtime associate they linked to Russian intelligence of repeatedly contacting two members of a public relations firm and asking them to falsely testify about secret lobbying they did at Manafort’s behest.

The firm of former senior European officials, informally called the “Hapsburg group,” was secretly retained in 2012 by Manafort to advocate for Ukraine, where Manafort had clients, prosecutors charged.

In court documents, prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III allege that Manafort and his associate — referred to only as Person A — tried to contact the two witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps. The description of Person A matches his longtime business colleague in Ukraine, Konstantin Kilimnik.

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Putin’s puppet pays off big at the ‘G6 Plus One’ Summit

Russia’s Vladimir Putin is laughing today at his unimaginable success in undermining America’s role as the leader of the post-war economic order of the liberal western democracies, and undermining the European Union and the Western alliance (and NATO). Putin’s puppet, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, is doing his bidding for him.

What was the G8 Summit until Russia was kicked out after its annexation of Crimea, became the G7 Summit. With Putin’s puppet Donald Trump doing his bidding, it has now become the “G6 plus one” Summit: Allies’ frustration with U.S. mounts ahead of G7 summit:

President Trump is expecting tough talks with U.S. allies Canada, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and Japan at the G7 summit Friday. Relations are tense after the president put new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from the European Union, Mexico, and Canada. Those nations are threatening new tariffs of their own on U.S. goods. President Trump tweeted Friday morning: “Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries. If it doesn’t happen, we come out even better!”

Mr. Trump’s “America first” mantra has led to policy decisions that have angered U.S. allies. G7 finance ministers met ahead of the summit and described the group as “G6 plus one,” with the U.S. in the rare role of an outlier.

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GOP sabotage of ‘Obamacare’ now in the courts

The Trump administration in a brief filed Thursday night says that it will not defend the Affordable Care Act against the latest legal challenge to its constitutionality — a dramatic break from the executive branch’s tradition of arguing to uphold existing statutes and a land mine for health insurance changes the ACA brought about. Trump administration won’t defend ACA in case brought by GOP states:

In a brief filed in a Texas federal court and an accompanying letter to the House and Senate leaders of both parties, the Justice Department agrees in large part with the 20 Republican-led states that brought the suit. They contend that the ACA provision requiring most Americans to carry health insurance soon will no longer be constitutional — because The GOP Tax Bill Repealed Obamacare’s Individual Mandateand that, as a result, consumer insurance protections under the law (e.g. preexisting conditions) will not be valid, either.

The three-page letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions begins by saying that Justice adopted its position “with the approval of the President of the United States.” The letter acknowledges that the decision not to defend an existing law deviates from history but contends that it is not unprecedented.

The bold swipe at the ACA, a Republican whipping post since its 2010 passage, does not immediately affect any of its provisions. But it puts the law on far more wobbly legal footing in the case, which is being heard by a GOP-appointed judge [in what was a shameless case of forum shopping] who has in other recent cases ruled against more minor aspects.

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