The Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic Minority Report

Cheryl assigned me the homework of asked if I’d go through the Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic minority report on Russian active measures interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. The report can be found at this link. I want to highlight this important caveat from the final paragraph on page 1 (emphasis mine):

We still do not know the full story about the June 9 meeting at Trump Tower or, more broadly, the degree to which the campaign cooperated or communicated with Russia. 1 While Senate Judiciary Democrats have sought to conduct a robust and independent investigation, the lack of bipartisan agreement on what to investigate has limited the Committee’s examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election and who was involved. The Committee’s progress has also been hampered by the lack of cooperation from several key witnesses, identified in the Appendix that accompanies these findings. As a result, the Committee has been unable to answer a number of questions regarding contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The Democratic minority on the committee is telling us right up front that the committee has really not been able to conduct a proper investigation up to this point. From the news reporting, my take is that the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation has been better than the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s, but not as seemingly good as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s. So Senator Grassley has been better than Congressman Nunes in conducting his duties, but not as good as Senator Burr. While you’d like to see these committees actually doing their jobs, that is not possible right now given the ongoing corruption of congressional Republicans as the President remakes the GOP in his own image. While Senator Burr and Senator Warner seem to be on track, unless or until the Democrats were to retake the majority in either or both chambers, the real action will remain with Special Counsel Mueller and his various investigations.

The first thing that really jumped out at me is just how sloppy the players involved were. Especially in regard to their communications. While a lot of what is in the report, both substantive factual information and about the various individuals involved, has been previously reported, this sloppiness just sort of screams at the reader. For instance (emphasis mine):

On Friday June 3, 2016, at 10:36 a.m., Donald Trump Jr. received an email with the subject line “Russia – Clinton – private and confidential.” The email came from Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who represented Emin Agalarov, and offered assistance from Russia via Trump’s trusted friend Aras Agalarov. Goldstone wrote: Good morning. Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with [Emin’s] father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump—helped along by Aras and Emin.

This jumped out at me. Emin Agalarov called Goldstone, asked him to get a hold of Donald Trump, Jr., and gave Goldstone enough information so that he could convey the details when reaching out. HE CALLED HIM AND GAVE HIM ENOUGH INFORMATION TO CONVEY THE DETAILS!!!!! The Agalarovs are oligarchs and known to be connected to Putin and Goldstone is a British citizen and was in England at the time of the phone call. While this conversation, and the subsequent emails, took place about two months before the FBI opened their counterintelligence investigation, I would not be surprised at all to find out that Britain’s GCHQ routinely tracked phone calls, emails, and texts from the Agalarovs that came in to British citizens because of Aras Agalarov’s connections to Putin. I would also not be surprised if other of our allied intelligence partners in Europe who are concerned about Russia were also monitoring the Agalarov’s communications. And I would definitely not be surprised that if this SIGINT was captured by our allies, that the Special Counsel’s Office has it and knows exactly what Emin Agalarov told Rob Goldstone.

And this wasn’t a one off in sloppy communication (emphasis mine):

In the days leading up to the meeting, Mr. Trump Jr. exchanged a number of emails and phone calls with Mr. Goldstone and Emin Agalarov. On Monday, June 6, 2016, Mr. Goldstone emailed Mr. Trump Jr. and asked when he would be available to talk with Emin Agalarov “by phone about this Hillary info.”14 Mr. Trump Jr. responded, “Rob could we speak now?”15 Mr. Goldstone then told Mr. Trump Jr. that Emin Agalarov would call in twenty minutes.16

Emin called Mr. Trump Jr. at the designated time.17 Twenty-five minutes after this first call ended, Mr. Trump Jr. called Emin back and then emailed Mr. Goldstone, “Rob thanks for the help.”18 Despite phone records reflecting this exchange of phone calls, Mr. Trump Jr. testified that he did not recall whether he spoke to Emin or what they discussed.

The next day, June 7, Emin called Mr. Trump Jr. again.

While I have no way of knowing if there is SIGINT capture of these calls, if GCHQ or one of our other partner’s intelligence services that routinely monitors and captures the communications of Russian oligarchs, as well as officials, their families, and their employees, then I would expect that the Special Counsel’s Office has all of it and knows exactly what was discussed, what was promised, and what the responses were.

To me, the lack of any attempt to secure communications is what is really interesting. Everything else in the Democratic minority’s preliminary report has been reported at one time or another over the past year or so. But these descriptions of how the approach and the dangle were made by Goldstone and Agalarov to Donald Trump, Jr. on behalf of the Russian government really stand out. And they do so because they provide hints that there may be low hanging SIGINT fruit that has been plucked. If I were Jr, Goldstone, and/or the Agalarovs I would be very, very concerned that GCHQ captured everything. And that if they did, that they would have provided it to the counterintelligence investigation that Special Counsel Mueller inherited when he was appointed. There’s really no way to know, and even if Special Counsel Mueller knows, the rest of us may never know.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.

77 replies
  1. 1
    MomSense says:

    This is the point in the book where I just want to skip to the end to find out what happens. Aaarrggjh.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: The butler did it.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    OGLiberal says:

    Random cat observation….

    Kitchen counter contains, among other things:

    *fatty cubes of corned beef
    *an open stick of butter
    *a piece of bread, covered with butter

    Cat’s items of interest on same counter:

    *corner of Ziploc bag
    *palm frond cross from Palm Sunday

    The former was chewed on, the latter brought down to the floor and chewed on. The foodstuffs were ignored.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    West of the Rockies says:

    Thank you for the edifying post.

    When this story is all told, I imagine it’ll be a positively chunky 1,200 page paperback.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    Wag says:

    Further down and further down we fall.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @West of the Rockies: To me the bigger story today is this Ronan Farrow report. Apparently Congresswoman Waters had a tip about this last year and wrote to Secretary Mnuchin about it this past January. From the letter she sent Mnuchin:
    https://democrats-financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/1.10.2018_letter_to_mnuchin.pdf

    Have you ever directed, or has any other Trump Administration official, Trump campaign official or Trump family member called on you to direct U.S. Treasury officials or staff members to obscure, destroy, or withhold information implicating the President, Trump campaign officials, Trump family members or his associates?

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    @OGLiberal:
    Cat is messing with your head. Because why not?

    ReplyReply
  8. 8

    as the President remakes the GOP in his own image.

    This is my regularly scheduled nitpick that Trump is the symptom, not the disease. He was chosen by the GOP base in their own image. Deliberately and specifically, they picked the stupidest, angriest, meanest, most incoherent bigot on offer. GOP politicians aren’t that much different from their base.

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  9. 9
    sdhays says:

    @Adam L Silverman: They all did it.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    geg6 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yes. He really is kicking ass and taking names, isn’t he? Two missing SARs…wonder what happened to them?

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: At this point it is symbiotic. But he’s further warping a significant chunk of the congressional GOP member. Some because he’s giving them permission to let their freak flags fully fly. Others because they live in fear of mean tweet.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    B says:

    For those on Twitter Seth Abramson has over 200 tweets analyzing the testimony. He makes some very interesting and devastating points.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Rachel interviewed him tonight. I missed it and will have to catch the re-airing later.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Maybe replace “the GOP” with “the GOP power centers”? Sure, the rank-and-file of the GOP became more and more … deporable. But the people running the party were good ol’ “money is what makes the world go ’round” folks. That’s changed, for sure.

    I’m alluding to the distinction made in the UK between the “Labor Party” and the “Parliamentary Labor Party”. I’ve read that while Corbyn really has a strong following in the former, he’s had a lot of opposition in the latter.

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  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @geg6: The working theory is that either the Special Counsel’s Office or the Southern District of New York prosecutors had Fincen compartment them. Since banks are required to keep a master copy of these reports for five years, there should still be originals on file with the banks that filed them. If these were not compartmented by either the Special Counsel of the Southern District folks, then I expect that one or both has now, as a result of this reporting, secured copies directly from the banks.

    The bigger issue is going to be how the whistleblower covers their butt on this.

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  16. 16
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    Is it possible this low hanging fruit was intended to be picked up to further disrupt the elections? Adding to chaos? Or do the oligarchs not have much access to tradecraft?

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Whistleblower is either false flag or is toast. Anyone with a career in this has to know about firewalls.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    Mike in NC says:

    Creepy Rob Goldstone resembles the fat plumber on the “Doc Martin” TV show. Maybe he’ll get the part when they make the collusion miniseries.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: I doubt the whistleblower is a false flag. No one is going to put themselves at risk for a 20 year Federal felony prison sentence as a distraction. I think it is more likely that while it is, apparently, possible to compartment SARs in the FinCen database, it is so rarely done that it is not widely known. When you throw in that somehow Congresswoman Waters got wind of this at the end of last year, queried the Treasury Secretary, and never got a reply and we’ve got far more questions than answers.

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  20. 20

    @Chet Murthy:

    But the people running the party were good ol’ “money is what makes the world go ’round” folks. That’s changed, for sure.

    If it has, it changed when Obama became president, not when Trump did.

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  21. 21

    These guys just aren’t that smart. They don’t know any better than to do dumb shit, maybe because they’ve done dumb, shady shit all their lives, and they’ve never had to answer for any of it. It never crossed their minds that this might come back to hurt them.

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    If it has, it changed when Obama became president, not when Trump did.

    100% agreement. 100%.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Not false flag so much as set up to have this backfire when we find out law enforcement sequestered these docs.
    It just doesn’t make any sense a multi decade pro wouldn’t know that security lock down from 10,000 people in the system is possible.

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    Libraryguy says:

    Help!

    Just spoke with my absentee landlord. Nice person. Hasn’t kept up with bills for our place (and others). :( “A little short right now”.

    Anybody feel like some shopping (early Father’s Day?), you can do it here. We need to raise about $500 over the next few days.

    I’ll post this again later. Thanks for anything, folks.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Nothing is more shocking than the revelation that Trump actually repaid Cohen a little more than $100,000 he’d paid “a third party” in 2016.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Putin protects his pets. Especially the useful ones. That’s why he’s the krysha.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    At this point, I have no idea what time/day it is in Malaysia, but however far you are into Ramadan, I wish you easy fasts and joyful Iftars throughout the month.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    Platonailedit says:

    I think this is more damning than who called whom.

    Committee’s progress has also been hampered by the lack of cooperation from several key witnesses, identified in the Appendix that accompanies these findings. As a result, the Committee has been unable to answer a number of questions regarding contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    This shows how ineffective and toothless these committees are.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Honestly, this stuff is outside of my experience and therefore outside of my expertise. I have no idea how Treasury’s financial crimes folks do their classifications.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    B.B.A. says:

    Someday, when we rebuild our society from the (hopefully metaphorical) ashes of the present regime, it will be valuable to know the truth.

    But that’s all the fruit these investigations will bear. They won’t get Il Douche out of office and they won’t win us any elections. We (by which I mean, minimally, me and the mouse in my pocket) need to do that on our own.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: True.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @OGLiberal:

    They LOVE a palm frond cross from Palm Sunday. They’re loud and crunchy and light, and can be batted about the floor for ages.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Platonailedit: The minority members don’t have subpoena power, unless that has been worked out between the chair and ranking member. So if the chair won’t issue the subpoenas, then those witnesses aren’t going to appear. The committees are only ineffectual if the majority members decide to make them ineffectual.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    Platonailedit says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Majority members have all the power and do jacksquat.

    Minority members have no power and so can do jacksquat.

    Yeah, what I said. Ineffective and toothless.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Corner Stone: I think thats the explanation as well, but why sequester only 2 of the 3? That seems sloppy whether it’s Mueller or someone trying to cover this up, and by all accounts Mueller doesn’t do sloppy.

    I’ll be honest here though. I’m less angry at Trump and his spawn than I am at the rest of the republican party that have chosen to be accessories to this. Trump has always been a criminal, so I’m hardly shocked by any of this. But there’s some 250 Republicans out there cheerily covering up for those crimes. I figured at least a few of them wouldn’t be criminals. I thought wrong.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @🌷 Martin: I don’t honestly know. I can speculate that the other two lead to really dark paths that Mueller (LEO) want to keep dark until they nail the SOB’s. But that’s just guesswork.
    I will say though, as probably 80% of the commenters here already know, that you can’t touch a document or Dbase without leaving a record. And no matter how good you are, it exists in about 6 other places. And unless you’re hacking in God Mode, there is no one person who can disappear all of them. That, to me, screams security lockdown by a higher authority.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    Thank you for your kind wishes.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38

    @Platonailedit:
    Not if we retake control.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Platonailedit:
    Maybe this November you’ll have a big wave election like we just had here in Malaysia, and things will change.

    Speaking of which, @Adam L Silverman:
    Have you been tracking anything to do with 1MDB? I’ve read that with Malaysian Official One’s loss of political immunity, it will be easier for law enforcement in several countries to move onward in investigating him.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Amir Khalid: I wish you a less-eventual Ramadan this year! When I was 7 (1978), I spent Ramadan in Riyadh. It was quite the experience and I’ll never forget the joy and fellowship of everyone on the streets after dark. In this year of profound change in Malaysia, I hope it’s even more reaffirming.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Steeplejack says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Currently 12 hours ahead of EDT—now 10:43 a.m. Thursday in K.L.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Not very closely. I was aware that some US Federal law enforcement were going to get a round the world cruise when they bring the yacht back to the US. I hope they put in for hardship pay.//

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Bobby Thomson says:

    While you’d like to see these committees actually doing their jobs, that is not possible right now given the ongoing corruption of congressional Republicans as the President remakes the GOP in his own image.

    Incorrect. They were always corrupt.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    Jay C says:

    From the news reporting, my take is that the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation has been better than the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s, but not as seemingly good as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s.

    Low bar to hurdle here, Adam: You and I* snarking at other at long-distance removes on a blog could execute a better investigation than the HSPCI. Mainly because you or I* might want to actually find something out. Which probably can’t be said of the Republicans on that Committee….

    *or any two randomly-selected BJ commenters

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: this.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Jay C:

    Mainly because you or I* might want to actually find something out.

    Hey! They already know what went on, and don’t need any help to cover it up.

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    It’s kind of a pity that Malaysia doesn’t get much global attention, and the only really world-famous Malaysians are Michelle Yeoh, Jimmy Choo, and Fat Leonard.

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @Jay C:

    Mainly because you or I* might want to actually find something out. Which probably can’t be said of the Republicans on that Committee….

    *or any two randomly-selected BJ commenters

    Are you trying to honeypot the trolls?
    ETA Adam could set up a random drawing thread for the two BJ special investigators.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    PJ says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S): It would seem likely, if this was an official operation, since they would assume that these calls were monitored, like Kislyak’s contacts with Flynn and Kushner. Putin may figure that the US public knowing their politicians are working for him may be even better than them not knowing.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’ll see what I can do.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    Jay C says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S):

    Are you trying to honeypot the trolls?
    ETA Adam could set up a random drawing thread for the two BJ special investigators.

    So you’re not volunteering? ;)

    Even drawing trolls at random is likelier, IMO, to produce an improvement on the Majority bloc on the HSPCI: I find it really hard to recall when a Congressional Committee so blatantly (albeit ineptly) shirked any pretense of doing their jobs in favor of partisan hackery, and publicly embarrassed themselves thereby.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    Chet Murthy says:

    Reading Seth Abramson’s “Don Jr lies to congress” thread, I wonder why all these Russian agents are even consenting to be interviewed by our government? I mean, if Mifsud can go dark, why wouldn’t all these others (OK, other than Goldstone, who’s hangin’ out there flappin’ in the wind, god bless him *grin*) also go dark?

    Just don’t understand it. And Agalarov, giving interviews to Forbes … why? I mean, this is (to quote Adam) a decapitation strike against their main enemy: you don’t fuck around with that, I’d think.

    ETA: Adam says maybe Putin’s trying to tell the world he owns our government. But he already did that when the intelligence assessment was announced. I’d think that he’d want to -prolong- the agony, and hence, his agents should provide *no* info. None.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    piratedan says:

    @Chet Murthy: well… in a way, I think he’s letting this “cautionary” tale play out for other democracies. namely, if I can take down the US, I can take you down too and what can you do about it?

    meanwhile in the good ole USA, we focus on watching us get pantsed diplomatically by North Korea, toss a lighted gas can into the Middle East and scream about how immigrants are the cause of all of our racial strife if people would simply stop being so black.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    rikyrah says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    You tickle me how, even now, you don’t want to go to the obvious:
    Someone removed those SAR’s for Cohen. I’m going to begin with that position, and thank the whistleblower. If it does turn out that it was the Special Counsel’s office, ok. But, I will go to the dark side of this first.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    satby says:

    Not really directly on topic, but Karl Rove’s PAC OneNation is carpet bombing Indiana with anti-Donnelley ads.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rikyrah: So you want someone to burn his future by saying something explicitly?

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: I don’t have enough information about what happened and I know almost nothing about how FinCen works and how they, as well as Treasury, classifies things. I’m willing to speculate, but only when I have enough experience, expertise, and information to do so with a reasonable chance of accuracy.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: ALS said it was OK to assign him homework!

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Yarrow says:

    But these descriptions of how the approach and the dangle were made by Goldstone and Agalarov to Donald Trump, Jr. on behalf of the Russian government really stand out. And they do so because they provide hints that there may be low hanging SIGINT fruit that has been plucked. If I were Jr, Goldstone, and/or the Agalarovs I would be very, very concerned that GCHQ captured everything. And that if they did, that they would have provided it to the counterintelligence investigation that Special Counsel Mueller inherited when he was appointed.

    Of course they have everything. Everyone on the Trump side of things is too dumb to understand what was happening. And more is coming.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: No I did not. Not now. Not ever!

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I am going to bed.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    Kay says:

    The City National report shows that Broidy funnelled the payments through Real Estate Attorneys’ Group, a legal corporation. Broidy seems to have paid Davidson two hundred thousand dollars, and to have sent three payments, of $62,500 each, to Cohen—one to the Essential Consultants account and two to the account of Michael D. Cohen and Associates.

    Real Estate Attorneys’ Group. These guys. By the time this is over anyone says “real estate” we’ll think “aka money laundering”.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    piratedan says:

    @Yarrow: ttmf

    just hope that we have enough of a functioning democracy to see all of these fuckers in jail

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    Mary G says:

    I’ve been filling out my California primary ballot and going back and forth about DiFi. This makes me more inclined to give her another shot.

    Still astonished and appalled by the unpatriotic behavior of Republicans in Congress. With the remark yesterday by the gubernatorial candidate in Oklahoma that disabled people like me should be euthanized, and Trump’s remark today about immigrants being animals, we seem well down the path to authoritarian “othering” which has led to mass executions in the past.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
  66. 66
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: Yep. It seems to be pretty easy to launder money through real estate. No wonder they took advantage of it.

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    boatboy_srq says:

    The first thing that really jumped out at me is just how sloppy the players involved were.

    The “players” aren’t the typical GOTea MOTU set, have largely worked on the political periphery until less than 20 months ago, and until recently had nothing more complex than real-estate-investing-cum-money-laundering schemes to run. We should all be surprised that they’ve been this successful, sloppy or not. What is most galling is that the GOTea MOTUs seem to have gone along quite happily with the whole trainwreck seemingly without a moment’s thought that maybe the tRumpery wasn’t honest or law-abiding or, you know, patriotic.

    The Grand Old Party is about three unmaskings short of a nationwide conspiracy to betray the United States.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68

    @boatboy_srq:

    What is most galling is that the GOTea MOTUs seem to have gone along quite happily with the whole trainwreck seemingly without a moment’s thought

    Perhaps none of them are masterminds, and all of them are shitlords.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Chet Murthy says:

    @piratedan:

    well… in a way, I think he’s letting this “cautionary” tale play out for other democracies. namely, if I can take down the US, I can take you down too and what can you do about it?

    Yes, I agree that Putin gets points where it matters (in the intestines of his adversaries) by showing that he took us down. But that was already accomplished by the IC report on Russian intervention in the election. Again, what I don’t understand, is why he allows his Russian -agents- to be interviewed by USG and put on the record. And they fricken’ tell stories that inculpate Putin’s agent, Shitmidas himself. It doesn’t make sense. I mean, doesn’t Putin want to have Putinfelcher on station as long as possible? Doing as much damage as possible? I mean, the fucker’s so easily controllable — just bribe him a few tens of millions (apparently that $500m loan to the “theme park” yielded a few tens of millions for Trump Inc) and he folds like a cheap suit with a too-long red tie attached, right?

    Why mess all that up, by allowing his agents to be questioned. Hell, why haven’t his agents disappeared to cushy dachas in the Crimea? And again, he’s *already* got all the credit he’s ever gonna get: no credible secret service on the planet disbelieves that Putin pulled this off, after all.

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  70. 70
    Corner Stone says:

    @Quinerly: It’s a long, kind of boring read. I am waiting to see what happens next.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    Yarrow says:

    @Corner Stone: It was a lot of words about what he might have to say. It did lead me to read another article about what a spectacular failure Megyn Kelly’s show is, so that was kind of nice.

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  72. 72
    Yarrow says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    The Grand Old Party is about three unmaskings short of a nationwide conspiracy to betray the United States.

    They have betrayed the United States. They are traitors. And it’s an international conspiracy, not just a nationwide conspiracy, that they’re involved in.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    SgrAstar says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adam, lawyers are already weighing in on the questionable plausibility of the SC or SdNY having sequestered the missing SARS. Without further information, we can’t assume that bad people are not doing bad things, ie removing evidence. I am somewhat alarmed by this tale.

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  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @SgrAstar:

    Without further information, we can’t assume that bad people are not doing bad things, ie removing evidence. I am somewhat alarmed by this tale.

    We can’t assume bad people aren’t doing bad things, agreed. But let me give a little bit of comfort. These records exist in so many places that even if Thor wanted to blast them into the Dark World, there would be a Records Manager who popped up and said, “Eh? Yeah, that payment to and from is here.”

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    Chet Murthy says:

    @SgrAstar:

    I am somewhat alarmed by this tale.

    Watched Farrow on Dr. Maddow’s show. They discussed that both their orgs reached out to a bunch of “people who worked around FinCEN and know how things work” and all of them thought both (a) this is very, very irregular, and (b) they’ve never heard nor seen anything like this, EVER.

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  76. 76
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Corner Stone: you are mostly correct for a well designed and implemented system.
    For all we know, the SAR admins may be writing raw sql.
    Or have a sql injection vulnerability.

    If the records were removed, yes, there are very likely backups. But if you don’t suspect fraud, you would never search there for list data.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    D58826 says:

    Bad enough that they are crooks and traitors but they are not very good at either task

    ReplyReply

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