Tag Archives: Cyber Crime

Dirty trickster Roger Stone concocts a new conspiracy theory for Dear Leader

The thing about conspiracy theorists is that when their conspiracy theory is debunked, they never concede “Sorry, my bad. I was wrong.” No, they just alter their conspiracy theory and keep it alive.

A few weeks ago Donald Trump and his GOPropagandists at FAUX News aka Trump TV, in particular Trump’s Minister of Propaganda Sean Hannity, were pushing the “Spygate” conspiracy theory, asserting than an FBI informant was embedded as a “spy” in the Trump campaign.

This manufactured conspiracy theory quickly fell apart when Rep. Trey Gowdy, himself the purveyor of the “Benghazi!” conspiracy theory, went on Trump TV and dismissed President Trump’s ridiculous claim that his campaign was spied on by the FBI in 2016. Trey Gowdy rejects Trump’s Spygate theory. “I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got,” Gowdy told Trump TV.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said later that House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy was “accurate” when he argued the FBI has acted appropriately in its ongoing probe of potential Russian links to the Trump campaign. House Speaker Paul Ryan sides with Trey Gowdy over Trump on ‘Spygate’.

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Message to Trump: Paul Manafort sent to jail for witness tampering

Permanent musical accompaniment: I Fought The Law (And The Law Won), by the Bobby Fuller Four (1966).

The Special Counsel and U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sent President Trump a clear message today: tamper with witnesses, and you will be going to jail; you can share a cell with your former campaign manager. Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges:

A federal judge ordered Paul Manafort to jail Friday over charges he tampered with witnesses while out on bail — a major blow for President Trump’s former campaign chairman as he awaits trial on federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges next month.

“You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Manafort. “The government motion will be granted, and the defendant will be detained.”

The judge said sending Manafort to a cell was “an extraordinarily difficult decision” but said his conduct — allegedly contacting witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie to investigators — left her little choice.

“This is not middle school. I can’t take away his cellphone,” she said. “If I tell him not to call 56 witnesses, will he call the 57th?” She said she should not have to draft a court order spelling out the entire criminal code for him to avoid violations.

“This hearing is not about politics. It is not about the conduct of the office of special counsel. It is about the defendant’s conduct,” Jackson said. “I’m concerned you seem to treat these proceedings as another marketing exercise.”

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DOJ Inspector General finds fault, but no political bias in FBI investigations

The long-anticipated Department of Justice Inspector General Report, “A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election,” was released today. DOJ OIG Press Release (.pdf), and Full Report (download).

The New York Times reports, Comey Cited as ‘Insubordinate,’ but Report Finds No Bias in F.B.I. Decision to Clear Clinton:

The former F.B.I. director James B. Comey was “insubordinate” in his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, a critical Justice Department report concluded on Thursday.

But the report, by the department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, does not challenge the decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton. Nor does it conclude that political bias at the F.B.I. influenced that decision, the officials said.

“We found no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations,” the report said. “Rather, we concluded that they were based on the prosecutor’s assessment of facts, the law, and past department practice.”

The report has been highly anticipated in Washington, not least by President Trump, who has argued that a secret coterie of F.B.I. agents rigged the investigation to help Mrs. Clinton win the presidency. The findings cite no evidence to support that [conspiracy] theory.

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Resist normalizing criminal behavior in the age of Trump

This is not normal and should not be happening. Period. Full stop.

Today the FBI and intelligence agencies will provide a briefing in an ongoing criminal investigation of the Trump campaign’s “collusion” with Russia to Midnight Run Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee chairman who previously had to recuse himself from his own committee’s Russia investigation because he was caught conspiring with the Trump administration to fabricate the conspiracy theories that the Obama administration surveilled Trump Tower and inappropriately unmasked the identities of Trump campaign officials picked up on signal intelligence to undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation; and Trey “Benghazi!” Gowdy, who spent years promoting Benghazi conspiracy theories against Hillary Clinton that amounted to nothing according to the findings of his own committee reports. These are two of the least credible partisan members of Congress.

More importantly, this meeting is going to occur without the presence of their Democratic counterparts. This is entirely improper and unacceptable. Moreover, Trey Gowdy does not possess the necessary security clearance for this classified intelligence briefing (he is not a member of the Gang of Eight).

There is no doubt that this meeting is certain to result in Nunes and/or Gowdy selectively leaking cherry-picked classified intelligence (a crime) to FAUX News aka Trump TV as soon as today to support the new conspiracy theory of “Spygate,” a label that Trump and his propaganda machine have concocted in order to undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation. The Special Counsel should be considering charging them as accessories to Trump’s conspiracy to obstruct justice, which is what this briefing constitutes.

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The Trump crime family cashes in before the Special Counsel closes in

Most of you are already familiar with the three emoluments clause cases filed against Donald Trump for profiting off of foreign governments at his properties as president.

The first case filed by the ethics group CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) was dismissed for lack of standing, but that case is currently on appeal.

In the second case brought by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia (No. 8:17-cv-01596), U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte of the District of Maryland ruled that D.C., Maryland can proceed with lawsuit alleging Trump violated emoluments clauses. Judge Messitte rejected an argument made by critics of the lawsuit — that, under the Constitution, only Congress may decide whether the president has violated the emoluments clauses. But Messitte’s ruling also narrowed the lawsuit’s scope to the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., saying that the District and Maryland had standing to sue because they could plausibly claim to have been injured by Trump’s receipt of payments from foreign and state governments.

The third case was filed by more than 200 Democratic members of Congress, Blumental et. al v. Trump in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (No. 1:17-cv-01154), and is presently scheduled for a hearing on a motion to dismiss on June 7, 2018.

The Trump Hotel is only the tip of the iceberg according to reporting over the past week.

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Senate Judiciary Committee defies Mitch McConnell, votes to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller

On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Senate Judiciary Committee defied Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and voted for a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by the chief suspect in his investigation, President Trump (this is a protection that existed under the old Independent Counsel law that Congress allowed to expire after Ken Starr). Senate panel approves bill to protect special counsel:

In a 14-7 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bipartisan proposal that deeply divided Republicans on the committee.

With every committee Democrat backing the legislation, only one Republican was needed to secure passage.

In the end, four Republicans voted for the bill: Sens. Thom Tillis (N.C.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.).

Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ben Sasse (Neb.), John Kennedy (La.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) opposed it.

The vote marks the first time Congress has advanced legislation to formally protect Mueller from being fired by President Trump, who has railed against him in public and reportedly talked in private of dismissing him.

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