Tag Archives: money laundering

Mystery Mueller grand jury subpoena appealed to SCOTUS again

An unidentified company wholly owned by a sovereign foreign government can proceed in filing a sealed request to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider its appeal of a Robert Mueller-linked grand jury subpoena, the court announced Tuesday. Mystery Grand Jury Company Asks SCOTUS To Hear Appeal In Redacted Filing:

A redacted version of the request has been made available to the public. REDACTED Petition For a Writ of Certiorari (.pdf).

The move will allow the unnamed firm – reportedly a financial institution – a chance at winning an appeal before the Supreme Court.

The mysterious company was ordered to file redacted versions of its court papers for the public record.

Little is known about the company in the case in question. A contempt order issued by a lower court that SCOTUS declined to block is forcing the firm to pay a fine of $50,000 per day as long as it refuses to comply with the grand jury subpoena. Today’s redacted filing confirms that the company is “wholly owned” by a foreign state, meaning that it would have no other shareholders.

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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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Not just Russia – the Middle East leg of the Mueller investigation

From time to time there has been reporting on another leg of the Mueller investigation into Middle East countries attempting to influence the 2016 election — the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel — and possible “collusion” with the Trump campaign. It does not receive nearly as much attention as the Russia leg of the Mueller investigation.

The Daily Beast reports that this may be about to change early next year. Get Ready for Mueller’s Phase Two: The Middle East Connection:

Over the past year, the indictments, convictions, and guilty pleas have largely been connected, in one way or another, to Russia. But now, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is preparing to reveal to the public a different side of his investigation. In court filings that are set to drop in early 2019, prosecutors will begin to unveil Middle Eastern countries’ attempts to influence American politics, three sources familiar with this side of the probe told The Daily Beast.

While one part of the Mueller team has indicted Russian spies and troll-masters, another cadre has been spending its time focusing on how Middle Eastern countries pushed cash to Washington politicos in an attempt to sway policy under President Trump’s administration. Various witnesses affiliated with the Trump campaign have been questioned about their conversations with deeply connected individuals from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, according to people familiar with the probe. Topics in those meetings ranged from the use of social-media manipulation to help install Trump in the White House to the overthrow of the regime in Iran.

Now, according to those same sources, the Special Counsel’s Office is ready to outline what cooperating witnesses have told them about foreigners’ plans to help Trump win the presidency. Two sources with knowledge of the probe said Mueller’s team has for months discussed the possibility of issuing new charges on this side of the investigation.

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SDNY prosecutors close the circle around unindicted co-conspirator ‘Individual 1,’ Donald Trump (Updated)

Unindicted co-conspirator “Individual 1,” Donald Trump, saw his convicted co-conspirator, consigliere and “fixer” Michael Cohen sentenced to prison today. Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years After Implicating Trump in Hush-Money Scandal:

Michael D. Cohen, a former lawyer for President Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday after denouncing Mr. Trump and explaining that “I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”

Mr. Cohen gave an emotional apology to the court for his involvement in a hush-money scandal to buy the silence of two women who said they had had affairs with Mr. Trump, payments that Mr. Cohen has said were meant to influence the 2016 election. He said his blind loyalty to Mr. Trump led him to ignore “my own inner voice and my moral compass.”

“I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today,” he said, “and it was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man” — a reference to Mr. Trump — “that led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”

Mr. Cohen then apologized to the public: “You deserve to know the truth and lying to you was unjust.”

Judge William H. Pauley III said Mr. Cohen called Mr. Cohen’s crimes a “veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct” and added, “Each of the crimes involved deception and each appears to have been motivated by personal greed and ambition.”

He added that Mr. Cohen’s particular crimes — breaking campaign finance laws, tax evasion and lying to Congress — “implicate a far more insidious harm to our democratic institutions.”

“As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better,” the judge said.

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