While Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues working quietly behind the scenes, there have been several excellent pieces of investigative journalism in recent days following leads on the Russian collusion thread of the investigation. These are lengthy investigative reports that I will not attempt to parse out here.
Luckily, Andrew Prokop at Vox.com has already posted an excellent summary. The past 48 hours in Mueller investigation news, explained (paragraphs reordered for clarity):
New reports over the past two days have brought increased attention to three long-simmering subplots in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
First, the Wall Street Journal revealed new details about GOP operative Peter W. Smith’s quest to obtain Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers during the 2016 campaign — including that he raised at least $100,000 for the effort and then pitched in $50,000 of his own money. (Smith was found dead last year, and local authorities ruled his death a suicide.)
Peter W. Smith: what happened when he sought Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers?
What we already knew: During the 2016 campaign, 80-year-old GOP operative Peter W. Smith recruited a team to try to obtain Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails from “dark web” hackers — including hackers he thought were “probably around the Russian government.” It’s not clear if Smith had any success, but we know he tried because he freely admitted all this to reporter Shane Harris in May 2017.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Corruption, Courts, Crime, GOP War On..., International, Justice, Law Enforcement, President, Russian Affair, Scandals, War
Tagged collusion, Cyber Crime, Cyber War, Department of Justice, FBI, Russia, Special Counsel
Russian asset – and unindicted co-conspirator – mafia “Don” Trump has systematically been hollowing out America’s federal law enforcement officials who investigate international organized crime since becoming president.
Already he has removed acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord, FBI Assistant Director Mike Kortan, FBI Chief of the Counterespionage Section Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page, a lawyer in the Justice Department’s organized-crime section whose cases centered on international organized crime and money laundering.
Putin’s Russian mafia has infiltrated the U.S. government and has its puppet on the inside of American law enforcement to do its bidding.
Trump’s latest target is Department of Justice attorney Bruce Ohr, an expert in Russia and Russian organized crime.
Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic reports, Trump’s Top Targets in the Russia Probe Are Experts in Organized Crime:
Bruce Ohr. Lisa Page. Andrew Weissmann. Andrew McCabe. President Donald Trump has relentlessly attacked these FBI and Justice Department officials as dishonest “Democrats” engaged in a partisan “witch hunt” led by the special counsel determined to tie his campaign to Russia. But Trump’s attacks have also served to highlight another thread among these officials and others who have investigated his campaign: their extensive experience in probing money laundering and organized crime, particularly as they pertain to Russia.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Congress, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Scandals, Taxes, War
Tagged accesories, conspiracy, Cyber Crime, Cyber War, Department of Justice, FBI, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Intelligence Agencies, money laundering, National Security, obstruction of justice, organized crime, racketeering, RICO, Russia, Special Counsel, Tax Evasion, traitor
The New York Times reported earlier this week that Facing New Russian Hacking, Senators Signal They Are Ready to Act:
Faced with new evidence that Russian hackers are targeting conservative American research groups and the Senate’s own web pages, key lawmakers from both parties signaled on Tuesday that they were ready to move forward with punishing new sanctions legislation capable of crippling the Russian economy.
And in three separate hearings on Capitol Hill, senators prodded the Trump administration to do more with its existing authorities to deter Russia and protect the United States’ political infrastructure.
But administration officials argued that the current sanctions regime provided all the authority they needed, and they dismissed concerns that President Trump’s equivocation on questions of Russian interference had harmed their efforts.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Congress, Corruption, Election Integrity, Elections, International, Legislation, Party Politics, President, Russian Affair, Scandals, War
Tagged Cyber Crime, Cyber War, cybersecurity, Russia
Earlier this year when Gov. Ducey kicked off his reelection campaign, it appears to have unleashed a horde of Twitter bots, similar to the Russian intelligence influence campaign in 2016. “A flurry of these kind of fake Twitter accounts have followed influencers and journalists in the Valley, all promoting Ducey’s re-election campaign.” We spoke to real people being used as pro-Ducey Twitter bots. Here’s what they said. “Regarding this recent rash of Twitter bots supporting Ducey, his campaign spokesperson Patrick Ptak told 12 News, “we saw it too. Not us.””
So the Ruskies love them some Doug Ducey, do they?
The local media quickly dismissed this incident and disappeared it down the memory hole.
But not so fast.
Facebook today announced it Has Identified Ongoing Political Influence Campaign:
Facebook announced on Tuesday that it has identified a coordinated political influence campaign, with dozens of inauthentic accounts and pages that are believed to be engaging in political activity around divisive social issues ahead of November’s midterm elections.
In a series of briefings on Capitol Hill this week and a public post on Tuesday, the company told lawmakers that it had detected and removed 32 pages and accounts connected to the influence campaign on Facebook and Instagram as part of its investigations into election interference. It publicly said it had been unable to tie the accounts to Russia, whose Internet Research Agency was at the center of an indictment earlier this year for interfering in the 2016 election, but company officials told Capitol Hill that Russia was possibly involved, according to two officials briefed on the matter.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Congress, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, GOP War On..., International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Russian Affair, Scandals, War
Tagged Cyber Crime, Cyber War, Foreign Policy, National Security, Russia