Tag Archives: conspiracy

The Russia investigation is closing in

On Tuesday, Judges Tatel, Griffith and Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a contempt citation against the unnamed defendant in In re: Grand Jury Subpoena, the case of the mystery subpoena filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against a foreign bank first reported by Politico late last year. The full ruling is here. (h/t Lawfare Blog).

This follows the Supreme Court ruling mystery company must pay fines while it challenges Mueller-related subpoena.

The Supreme Court Monday turned away an effort by an unnamed foreign government-owned corporation to resist a subpoena related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The court’s order restores a daily fine the company will face that had been put on hold by Chief Justice John Roberts while the full court considered the issue. It is an apparent loss for the company and marks the full court’s first foray into the Mueller probe.

The order will put pressure on the company to turn over information to the grand jury or otherwise cooperate with Mueller as contempt fines continue to accumulate.

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McClatchy stands by its reporting that Michael Cohen was in Prague in 2016

In April of this year, McClatchy reported Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier:

The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to retired British spy [Christopher Steele’s] report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

* * *

Cohen has vehemently denied for months that he ever has been in Prague or colluded with Russia during the campaign. Neither he nor his lawyer responded to requests for comment for this story.

Other news organizations were unable to confirm McClathcy’s reporting through their sources.

McClatchy today adds circumstantial evidence to build its case that Michael Cohen was in Prague in late-summer in 2016. Cell signal puts Cohen outside Prague around time of purported Russian meeting:

A mobile phone traced to President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen met secretly there with Russian officials, four people with knowledge of the matter say.

During the same period of late August or early September, electronic eavesdropping by an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up a conversation among Russians, one of whom remarked that Cohen was in Prague, two people familiar with the incident said.

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Obstruction of justice in pain sight: a ‘slow-motion Saturday night massacre’ at DOJ

I have previously explained that President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker is unconstitutional and illegal. That unlawful act is being challenged in court, and the Legal challenges to Matthew Whitaker appointment are now before the Supreme Court.

The Court’s had better act quickly because this highly unethical individual who is currently under FBI investigation for his company that allegedly scammed customers out of $26 million, is now planning to take control of the Mueller investigation despite a DOJ ethics opinion recommending his recusal. Acting Attorney General Whitaker Won’t Recuse Himself From Russia Inquiry:

Matthew G. Whitaker, the acting attorney general, has decided not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, despite being advised otherwise by a career ethics official, according to a Justice Department letter sent to Senate leaders. Mr. Whitaker will now have final say over any major developments made in that inquiry.

Read the letter.

The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who has been overseeing the investigation while Mr. Whitaker spoke with ethics lawyers, will continue to manage it day to day, according to a senior department official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Mr. Whitaker has not yet been briefed on any aspect of the investigation, although one of his advisers has been briefed on major developments, according to the senior department official. That adviser has not shared information with Mr. Whitaker, and it is not clear when the acting attorney general will have his first briefing.

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Mystery grand jury witness partially revealed in Mueller probe

We now have a few more clues, but the Sealed grand jury appeal hearing in Mueller probe remains a mystery.

POLITICO reports Mueller appears victorious in mystery subpoena dispute:

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered a mystery corporation owned by a foreign country to comply with a subpoena that appears to be from special counsel Robert Mueller.

The three-page opinion released by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is the latest twist in an opaque dispute that POLITICO and other media outlets have tied to Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The ruling offers the intriguing detail that the entity fighting the Mueller subpoena is a foreign government-owned company, not a specific individual, as many experts had speculated.

But the ruling also still leaves many important aspects of the fight shielded from public view, including the kind of work done by the company, the name of the country that owns the firm and just what information is being sought. The order also offers no direct confirmation that the matter involves Mueller’s team.

In the opinion, Judges David Tatel, Thomas Griffith and Stephen Williams unanimously sided with a lower federal district court in Washington, which had rejected the company’s attempts to quash the subpoena.

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A White House Under Siege (Updated)

The cascade of investigations into the Trump crime family of grifters accelerated late last week with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the Trump Inauguration Committee is under investigation, Trump Inauguration Spending Under Criminal Investigation by Federal Prosecutors (subscriber content), and the New York Times following up to add that a Trump Super PAC is also under criminal investigation. Trump Inaugural Fund and Super PAC Said to Be Scrutinized for Illegal Foreign Donations:

Federal prosecutors are examining whether foreigners illegally funneled donations to President Trump’s inaugural committee and a pro-Trump super PAC, Rebuilding America Now, in hopes of buying influence over American policy, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

The inquiry focuses on whether people from Middle Eastern nations — including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — used straw donors to disguise their donations to the two funds. Federal law prohibits foreign contributions to federal campaigns, political action committees and inaugural funds.

The line of questioning underscores the growing scope of criminal inquiries that pose a threat to Mr. Trump’s presidency.

The inquiry into potential foreign donations to the inaugural fund and the super PAC is yet another front being pursued by multiple teams of prosecutors.

MSNBC put together a graphic for the burgeoning number of  investigations.

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The Washington Post attempts to summarize all of the current investigations that are known. Mounting legal threats surround Trump as nearly every organization he has led is under investigation:

Two years after Donald Trump won the presidency, nearly every organization he has led in the past decade is under investigation.

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