Breaking News: Natalia Veselnitskaya Charged With Obstruction of Justice by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York

NBC’s Tom Winter has the details:

The charges against Veselnitskaya are important for two separate reasons. The first is that the allegations fully put to bed the attempts by Veselnitskaya and supporters of the President that she is not working as an agent of the Russian government; specifically for senior lawyers in the office of Russia’s General Prosecutor. The second is that it raises the question of how the Southern District of New York’s prosecutors and investigators came by this information. Was it through their own investigative work or was this handed off to them by the Special Counsel from information developed through the joint counterintelligence task force that he inherited in 2016 and has been overseeing ever since. We don’t have answers to this question right now. And, we may never actually know. Regardless of how the Southern District of New York made the determination necessary to charge Veselnitskaya, the fact that US Federal prosecutors were able to do so should have a lot of people connected to Veselnitskaya very, very concerned. Especially as the original settlement in the case occurred shortly after former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara was fired by the President and because of the connections between people in the President’s orbit and the original Prevezon case.

Open thread.






135 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    ruemara says:

    I think January is going to be a fucking interesting year.

  3. 3
    Burnspbesq says:

    Hard to keep the players straight without a scorecard. Was it Veselnitskaya who attended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting?

  4. 4

    @Burnspbesq: Yes. She was touted before the meeting as “Putin’s cousin” (she isn’t) and as high up in Russian government.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    Another Russian contact. Is this number 18? Or is it subsumed under one of the other 17 contacts? We need a canonical list of Russians.

    ETA: It’s like one of those Russian novels with too many characters, each of whom has the same name, but different nicknames.

  6. 6
    Barbara says:

    I am assuming she is safely back in Russia but it means she won’t be coming back anytime soon.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Burnspbesq: Yes, that’s her.

  8. 8

    @Barbara: She is indeed in Russia.

    Here’s some background on the Prevezon case.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MattF: Actually there are more than 50 known contacts.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Are you counting the number of *people* associated with Trump or his campaign who’ve had Russian contacts, or are you counting the number of *instances* of contact between those people and the Russians?

  12. 12
    Barbara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Once her name surfaced in news accounts I assume both she and her handlers knew it was time to get out.

  13. 13
  14. 14

    Also:

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    Surprise twist puts murder-for-hire case in Mueller orbit

    Rachel Maddow reports on revelations in Russian media that a U.S. case against a Russian living in North Carolina, Leonid Teyf, for money laundering and murder-for-hire, is connected to one of 13 Russians indicted by Robert Mueller, Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose case has taken a twist of its own.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @low-tech cyclist: My understanding is that there are over 50 people in the President’s personal/familial, business, and campaign, and now administration orbits who have had contacts with Russian oligarchs, organized crime members, intelligence and/or other government agents or officials, and Russian governmental officials. Please keep in mind that there is a large amount of overlap between Russian oligarchs, Russian and other post Soviet state organized crime leaders, Russian intelligence, and Russian government officials. I’m sure the total number of instances of contact are well into three figures.

  17. 17
    Barbara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Different courts apply different rules, but you can file under seal at the same time you request to file under seal, and within short order provide legal support for the redactions. The court’s disposition to allow the under seal filing usually pertains to what kind of case it is and what kind of material is being redacted. Embarrassment isn’t enough.

  18. 18
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    The final chapter of this tedious and bizarro world Allen Drury tome has to include Russia being cut off from SWIFT and being carved out of Interpol, after which Putin gets kicked to death in his office by a gathering of oligarchs.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: It was a pleasant surprise to see Maddow say “schtupping his wife” on air twice last night in the same segment. A true tour de force. Well worth the time and money for me and my entire family. I liked it much better than Cats! I want to see it again and again and again.

  20. 20
    Ian G. says:

    The timing of this drop is great. Hopefully it will rattle combover Caligula and he’ll start yelling about witch hunts and “no collusion” instead of staying on script tonight and Stephen Miller (sporting a spray-on Jheri curl) will have to pull him away from the camera.

  21. 21
    germy says:

    Well, #45’s speech tonight should take Natalia and Manafort out of the news cycle.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ian G.:

    and Stephen Miller (sporting a spray-on Jheri curl)

    That would be a Jew-fro.

  23. 23
    MattF says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s a Rachel thang. See #schtupping.

  24. 24
    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    …there are more than 50 known contacts.

    So, we’re not counting the pee hookers then? :-)

  25. 25
    chris says:

    Huh. Has anyone looked into Pompeo’s ties to Russia? Just curious.

    The Trump administration has downgraded the diplomatic status of the European Union’s delegation to the United States

    Yup, and then “forgot” to tell them.

  26. 26
    Barbara says:

    @germy: It has been written more than once that Trump prefers having the shutdown occupy the news front and center rather than the Mueller investigation. Everyone who helps him in this regard is a traitor.

  27. 27
    germy says:

    @Barbara: It’s his one talent. Leading the press around by its nose. He’s been doing it since the early ’80s.

  28. 28
    Fair Economist says:

    I’m going to toss in a semi-related speculation about Flynn. There’s something in the sealed indictments against Flynn that really set off that judge – he used the term “treason”, and considered it bad enough to question whether Flynn should be let off in exchange for helping expose criminal undermining of the American electoral process (a d**n serious crime itself). We do know that a number of possible American agents in Russia got “disappeared” literally the day after Trump took office. Almost certainly somebody handed over a list of agents to Putin the moment they had access to it.

    Maybe Flynn was the man who handed over our Russian spying operation to Putin?

  29. 29
    catclub says:

    @MattF:

    It’s like one of those Russian novels with too many characters,

    You missed a shot with ‘Russian nesting dolls’

    Maybe that will be the followup.

  30. 30
    germy says:

    @Fair Economist: Why did that judge backtrack and apologize, though?

    What happened there? I’ve always felt like I missed part of that story.

  31. 31
    germy says:

    As New York officials pursued the financial investigation, they sent a formal request to Russian prosecutors for assistance. In response, Russian prosecutors sent what they called “the results of the investigation carried out in its territory,” according to the new indictment. The document laid out the reasons why the Russian government “was unwilling to provide the records requested,” according to the indictment.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-lawyer-at-trump-tower-meeting-charged-in-separate-case/2019/01/08/0f0303a0-1356-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html?utm_term=.c6a783955a52

  32. 32
    catclub says:

    @MattF: It is also a Shakespeare thing, Othello.
    ‘Yon Black is ram is tupping your white lamb’

    ETA, correction:
    IAGO
    Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
    Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Fair Economist: No, he would not have had that information. The DIA has very, very limited clandestine operations and he would not have been read onto the National Clandestine Services list of human sources that were being run in Russia.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MattF: @catclub: schtupping is a Yiddish word. I do not believe Shakespeare spoke, read, and/or wrote Yiddish.

  35. 35
    Jeffro says:

    @Fair Economist:

    There’s something in the sealed indictments against Flynn that really set off that judge – he used the term “treason”, and considered it bad enough to question whether Flynn should be let off in exchange for helping expose criminal undermining of the American electoral process (a d**n serious crime itself).

    Probably a conversation or three between Flynn and his Russian handler, Kisylak, about how Flynn was going to continue to manipulate Trumpov (under the guise of ‘working with the Russians in the war on terrorism’) in exchange for $$$? Something like that. “Protect your country by sticking with Trump and steering him our way, and you know, pick up a few rubles along the way…why not, right? A little payback, a chance to show that Obama was weak and Clinton would have been just as weak…”

    (say the quote with a Russian accent ;)

  36. 36
    catclub says:

    There was something ionSlate about a judge sanctioning/criticizing lawyers for a Russian company. I guess that is not the same ‘state-owned’ Company that is objecting to Mueller subpeonas – some super secret filings.

  37. 37

    Big day in the courts today. Here’s the latest development in the secret case before the Supreme Court.

  38. 38
    Fair Economist says:

    @germy:

    Why did that judge backtrack and apologize, though?

    What happened there? I’ve always felt like I missed part of that story.

    That part of the story is under seal. Two ideas I’ve read.

    1) It’s not *technically* treason (because we are not formally at war with Russia), which doesn’t matter in public discussion, but does matter for a judge’s statements in court.

    2) The judge apparently realized that he was hinting some information that was supposed to be under seal. For example, my speculation. It’s been obvious since the week Trump was inaugurated that somebody handed over those American operatives and Flynn was an obvious candidate for the hatchet man – but a lot less obvious that after the judge’s criticism.

    Re 1): I wonder if a Dem president in 2021 should declare war on Russia so that anyone continuing to help with coverups of all the Russian misdeeds *was* technically guilty of treason?

  39. 39
    patrick II says:

    Here is a good description of the Prevezon Case Settlement from Business Insider at the time of the settlement.
    I have been waiting for this shoe to drop for a long time. Trump Jr. has a meeting with Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya about the Magnitsky act and weeks later the U.S. Atty is told to settle the money laundering of ill gotten gains from Magnitsky’s clients original embezzlement case for $6 million instead of over $250 million the U.S. was seeking. I want to see the chain of command for that order telling the U.S. attorney to back off.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @catclub: No, that was from some court proceedings the other day involving Yevgeni Proghozin’s US company Concord Management Services. Proghozin, known as Putin’s chef or Putin’s caterer, funded and ran the “independent” from Russian intelligence cyber operation, the IRA, that is at the center of the Russian active measures and cyberwarfare campaign; specifically the bots and trolls portion of the operation. As a result, his company has been charged by Mueller. The attorney representing the company seems to think he’s doing a wonderful thing by trolling Mueller personally in his filings. The judge hearing the case, who is, by the way, a Trump appointee, is not amused. She basically read the attorney the riot act.

  41. 41
    zhena gogolia says:

    @catclub: @Adam L Silverman:

    Despite the similarity in sound, they don’t appear to be related. “Tup” is a Middle English word for “ram,” and “shtup” is a verb related to “push” or “poke.”

  42. 42
    MattF says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I speculated that it might be a common Germanic root, but the OED says that ‘tup’ comes from Scottish, so the two words are apparently unrelated.

  43. 43
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The attorney representing the company seems to think he’s doing a wonderful thing by trolling Mueller personally in his filings.

    What did he say?

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @zhena gogolia: I’ll take false cognates for $600.

  45. 45
    zhena gogolia says:

    Well, I’m leaving BJ airspace in a few minutes, and will not be watching TV or online tonight, so I’ll just have to wait until Thursday afternoon to find out what happened.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    JPL says:

    @germy: I wonder if his trip to the border is timed in order to bury other breaking news. There’s been rumors about Wilbur Ross, so who knows.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @zhena gogolia: You can check out, but you can never leave.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    Trump critics weigh perils of Trump against trauma of impeachment

    David Leonhardt, opinion columnist for the New York Times, talks with Rachel Maddow about whether the risk of Donald Trump continuing to serve in office is greater than the national trauma of impeaching an elected president.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    JPL says:

    @zhena gogolia: I’m not watching tonight either.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    This is not good!

  53. 53
    Enzymer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hmm, I’d always assumed “tupping” was a variant of “topping”. Balloon Juice University in session.

  54. 54
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Fair Economist: Presidents can’t declare war, only Congress can.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Enzymer: My understanding is that tupping is Scotts-English (Sconglish). It is likely that it is one of the derivations for topping in the context of a sex act.

  56. 56
    WaterGirl says:

    Adam, this article is most excellent. I would love to see you front page it.

    https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/01/08/how-ill-evaluate-the-democratic-presidential-candidates/

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Although Trump has never been able to attract the most talented, it appears that it is becoming more difficult to fill the top Cabinet positions. Kyl refused the Defense Secretary position. Are you
    hearing any new concerns about Trump from republicans.

  58. 58
    Enzymer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Speaking from personal experience, farmers use topping to describe the breeding act in cattle & sheep. Covering seems to be the word for horses. Never heard my pig breeder friends & relatives use a specific word for it. This is Midwesternese.

  59. 59
    WaterGirl says:

    @MattF: We need the list of characters that used to be at the beginning of Agatha Christie novels. I’d like the person’s name, a one line description of who they are, and a list of all the other players they are associated with.

    Does this exist somewhere? If not, it should.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    “Tup” is a Middle English word for “ram,” and “shtup” is a verb related to “push” or “poke.”

    “Tupping” is a British euphemism for “schtupping,” so obviously the same idea occurred across linguistic boundaries.

    Also, phrasing! 😂

  61. 61
  62. 62
    germy says:

    Tapping.

  63. 63
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Things are getting weirder and curiouser with every moment that passes. I’m not even going to try to summarize or paraphrase this story, but shall just outsource to Evan Hurst at Wonkette.

    https://www.wonkette.com/what-does-leonardo-da-vinci-have-to-do-with-the-russia-investigation-a-holy-sh-t-investigation-into-what-the-f-ck

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Wow. That dude sounds like a MAGA true believer, to say the least.

  65. 65
    Martin says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The only thing that determines what Presidents can and can’t do is what Congress holds them accountable for.

  66. 66
    trollhattan says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    I declare Lili Von Shtupp to be the true origin. My story and I’m stickin’ to it.

  67. 67
    WaterGirl says:

    @patrick II: At the link Adam supplied, they say that Sessions and the DOJ had nothing to do with it – solely the decision of Preet’s immediate replacement in the Southern District.

  68. 68
    catclub says:

    @rikyrah:

    talks with Rachel Maddow about whether the risk of Donald Trump continuing to serve in office is greater than the national trauma of impeaching an elected president.

    That consideration only seems to come up when the target is republican. I do not remember it coming up before the Clinton Impeachment,
    But I do remember it coming up when Reagan should have been thrown out for secret deals with Iran to fund Central American terrorists.

  69. 69
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Good news for Jared.

  70. 70
    scav says:

    If we can only convince the evangelicals that the internet and cell phone are the gateway drugs for the antichrist, the holy orange beast will be left without his favorite instant acolyte audience. Putie may not have thought this thing through all the way.

  71. 71
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: I’ve seen the twitter threads that Rosen wrote on these topics over the past several days. They’re very well done.

  72. 72
    WaterGirl says:

    @Martin: Thank you so much! Good for Politico, though I have to say I am kind of surprised.

  73. 73
    scav says:

    whee! I’m immoderate again –if only I knew why!?! eta bad email. sigh. that’s no fun.

  74. 74
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I haven’t seen those. Maybe when you front page the article :-) you can also front page Jay Rosen’s info and twitter feeds?

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: I hadn’t even heard that about Kyl. He’s got his own problems to worry about though:
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/top-trump-backer-financed-supreme-court-confirmation-fights-through-shadowy-network

    Both America Engaged and the BH Fund listed the Freedom and Opportunity Fund as an affiliated organization in their respective 2017 tax filings. The latter group’s 2017 tax filing is not yet publicly available, but in 2016 it reported donating $60,000 to an Arizona-based dark-money group called Prosper Inc.

    According to a recent financial-disclosure filing, former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) sat on Prosper’s board until September 2018, when he was appointed to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Prior to that appointment, Kyl had been both the top lobbyist for the Judicial Crisis Network, a Leo-affiliated advocacy outfit that led the push for Trump’s Supreme Court nominations, and the Senate shepherd for Kavanaugh’s nomination. Because of that, Kyl faced calls to recuse himself from voting on the Supreme Court nominee. He resisted those calls and cast doubt on Kavanaugh’s accusers, before casting a crucial vote for confirmation.

    And I don’t have any contacts with anyone who would tell me anything about Republican officials.

  76. 76

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    The buyer? Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince of Saudi Arabia, because all murder-happy Muslim crown princes like to come home to a nice picture of Jesus over the mantle after a hard day of ordering journalists bone-sawed to death. He seems to have overpaid for the painting, by about $300 million. The seller? Dmitry Rybolovlev, the fertilizer oligarch, one of Putin’s closest associates and a guy who’s shown up in the august pages of Wonkette very recently.

    Sometimes I think we are going to get a thousand stories out of this episode of American history, and then I read something like this that suggests it will all be wrapped up in one neat ball.

  77. 77
    Woodrow/Asim says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Agreed. I wasn’t even aware they’d pulled Zinni in to begin with; I know him lost from his on-point critique of the 2nd Iraq war in the book he did with Tom Clancy.

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I saw that this morning. By the reporter who did the story Wonkette is referring to. I think that overall it is a good, open source write up based on what is known through open sources. There may be a few connections made by the author that are a bit of a stretch, but I don’t even think those are outside of the realm of plausibility based on the open source reporting. Here’s the original article:
    https://narativ.org/2019/01/02/salvator-mundi-art-of-the-deal-the-lost-davinci/

    The reporter, Zev Shalev, is an emmy nominated producer with the CBC.

  79. 79
    Martin says:

    @JPL:

    Although Trump has never been able to attract the most talented, it appears that it is becoming more difficult to fill the top Cabinet positions.

    Maybe he should hold a competition where people can compete to be SecDef or Chief of Staff. They could see who could build 200m of wall the fastest, or who can fit the most children into a cage.

  80. 80

    Oh my.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    tobie says:

    It’s been a busy news day. Just saw this whopper:

    @nycsouthpaw
    6m6 minutes ago
    More
    southpaw Retweeted Jon Swaine
    Holy shitsouthpaw added,
    Jon Swaine
    Verified account

    @jonswaine
    🚨 NEW: Paul Manafort’s attorneys failed to properly redact their filing. They reveal that Mueller alleges Manafort “lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign”. Konstantin Kilimnik has alleged ties to Russian intelligence. 🚨
    Show this thread
    23 replies 91 retweets 212 likes
    Reply 23 Retweet 91 Like 212

  83. 83
    trollhattan says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    To be fair, keeping track of the Acrobat editing tools with each new version can be tricky!

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Here’s one:

    Here’s the other:

  85. 85
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Woodrow/Asim: I remember the announcement. I know both Zinni and his son, who is also a Marine officer. I don’t know them well, but I know them. Very, very sharp people.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: you were not kidding. That was fun!

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @tobie: Kilimnik doesn’t have alleged ties, he’s GRU and is Manafort’s handler.

  88. 88
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Fair Economist: Bit related–Anyone heard lof a book by Flynn and M Leeden about fighting Islam? Saw it recently on a list of books available to read free online.

  89. 89
    C. Isaac says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    Sounds like they’re overcharging for it.

  90. 90
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: I have. It’s typical Ledeen neo-Con hyper aggressive garbage.

  91. 91
    tobie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: @Adam L Silverman: Sorry, Cheryl, I didn’t see you posted about this. I hope you and/or Adam will write a post once you’ve had a chance to read through all the normally redacted material.

  92. 92
    sukabi says:

    Don’t know if this has been discussed yet. Seems important.

    Jon Swaine
    @jonswaine
    🚨 NEW: Paul Manafort’s attorneys failed to properly redact their filing. They reveal that Mueller alleges Manafort “lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign”. Konstantin Kilimnik has alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

    Ok, I see tobie got there.😊 as well as Cheryl & Adam…😟 note to self, peruse thread first.

  93. 93
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    I think this brings both the Illuminati connection and the Templar connection (Cyprus)
    Because…why not ….?

  94. 94
    germy says:

    @soledadobrien

    Here’s my prediction: CNN will open with a big, dramatic animated graphic. With music. There will be a pre-game: talking head panelists talking about the wall. It will not include experts on immigration. The President will speak. There will be no timely fact check.

    Then there will be the post-game. Again: political pundits, not immigration experts. It will be framed as yes wall/no wall. Oh, everybody will be white—including the anchors. Much of the conversation will center on “how the President did”, and less on the content.

    Even if it’s lies: the big question will be: how was the delivery? Did he seem Presidential (and likeable?). They will drag a short speech into the 10p hour where it will lead the 10 and 11p shows. No immigration experts will appear. Few or no Latinos. That’s my prediction.

  95. 95
    eric says:

    @sukabi: is there any reason to believe that this was a deliberate mistake, so as to alert others about what Mueller knows?

  96. 96
    JWL says:

    I sometimes wonder if the eyes of those that today sustain Putin have already opened, in realization he picked a fight they cannot win, with an implacable enemy-in-waiting. That is to say, the American people, who are now patiently waiting- and waiting, moreover, with fair minded resolve- before drawing the fundamental conclusions that will mark the Russian crime syndicate that Putin represents as their mortal enemies, in perpetuity.

    Because if they are, Putin’s head on a platter would be a swell way of beginning to make amends; say, by arresting and extraditing him to the United States to stand trial…

  97. 97
    Jeffro says:

    @tobie: @sukabi: “Polling data”, eh? Like, say, polling data from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania? Polling data on how well Russian disinformation ads were working (particularly to depress AA turnout)? Inquiring minds want to know!

  98. 98
    sukabi says:

    @eric: It seems to be a defense mistake…could be one or more of Manafort’s lawyers got tired of defending a traitor and this ‘mistake’ is a way to ‘get fired’.

  99. 99

    @germy: I don’t really care, do you.

  100. 100
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @WaterGirl: Some early Perry Mason books had a list of main characters with a brief description plus page number of their first appearance.

    There was also an early detective story publisher that prefaced each book with maps of exteriors and interiors of where the action took place. I believe some SS van Dine (sp?) books had these maps.

  101. 101
    eric says:

    @sukabi: right, but it also definitively says what Mueller knows about this very specific topic. I know mistakes can be made, but this is outside the norm.

  102. 102
    StringOnAStick says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Wow, that Wonkette post is very, very interesting. Which leads me to another thought that has been knocking at my brain lately. We see politics here are D v. R, but I’m strongly suspicious that this is just the easy stuff to keep us proles occupied scrabbling about for scraps. The real politics in the world is Oligarchs/big money/etc against all the rest of us non-oligarchs, played via massive and complex corruption on a global scale, and mostly by the authoritarians/oligarchs. There will be some D’s involved here but the vast majority will be R’s and I keep seeing stories that make me think it is so deeply embedded as to blow up our entire concept of the modern US democratic state. The release of the Panama Papers struck me at the time as something very significant but with a lot of complexity involved and much, much more to come. Since they we’ve gotten Trumpov, Bank of Cyprus, Cambridge Analytica, a never ending cast of Russian oligarchs, etc. I hope I’m wrong.

  103. 103
    tobie says:

    @Jeffro: Wasn’t Kellyanne Conway’s business polling? Oh, would I love to see her caught in this dragnet.

  104. 104
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @sukabi:

    lawyers got tired of defending

    Does not compute. As long as they are being paid, they will defend the traitor to the best of their abilities.

  105. 105
    J R in WV says:

    An amazing accumulation of important stories about Trump, his minions, and their treasonous-seeming acts in support of Trump. From the lowest level of the federal courts to the Supremes, from Russia to NYC, Washington, DC, North Carolina.

    Perhaps related to Trump’s declared intention to address the nation. They must be doing rewrite on his remarks over and over as the news breaks. Or not, just leaving it as it was… he can’t read anymore anyway.

  106. 106
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @MagdaInBlack: Any way to bring in all the ‘discoveries’ in Holy Blood, Holy Grail and the following book about the Templars and their supposed relation to the Free Masons?

  107. 107
    sukabi says:

    @J R in WV: doesn’t really matter what ‘the speech’ says, drumpf, unless they’ve found a true believer body double, is gonna do what he always does…go off script in an incoherent jumble of nonsense.

    It’s my fantasy that he has an epiphany declares MAGA, says “my work is done here” and resigns. Promptly followed by silver bracelets being employed and his being dragged off…

    If you’re gonna dream, dream big.

  108. 108
    WaterGirl says:

    @JWL: In many ways, Putin has already won.

    edit: That doesn’t mean that Putin necessarily gets the last word, but he has already gotten probably more than he ever hoped for. America did it to itself, just like we did after the towers came down after Sept 11.

  109. 109
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:
    …something to do with the Templars, their excavations in Jerusalem, the Ark, Revelations and End Times…….I’m sure we can tie it to Evangelicals ….with enough pins and string. ☺️

  110. 110
    Aleta says:

    (LA Times) Joshua Tree National Park will close to all visitors Thursday because of damage to the park during the partial government shutdown, now in its third week. Without rangers on hand, visitors created new roads by driving off pavement and defaced the park’s namesake Joshua trees, a park spokesman said Tuesday.
    “The way it looks right now because of resources or lack thereof, we have about eight rangers that oversee a large park, we will remain closed until appropriations are put into place to reopen,” spokesman George Land said Tuesday.
    The 790,636-acre park near Twentynine Palms, Calif., will close at 8 a.m. Thursday.

  111. 111
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I care, because that’s what some people who try to be well informed will watch.

  112. 112
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @StringOnAStick: The Trump investigations have made public some of the interconnectedness of the wealthy and of corporations.

    Without Trump’s election I’m not sure much of any of this would have become public.

    Was it Teddy Roosevelt that spoke of the ‘malefactors of great wealth’?

  113. 113
    TS (the original) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Current headline on WaPo

    Trump to make case for wall but not expected to declare national emergency

    For past 24 hours this was different (I can’t remember the wording) and implied that trump could well declare a national emergency. It’s a both sides piece and quoted Pence, without mentioning the LIES he told to support the president*’s position. I thought WaPo was better than the NYT and subscribed (getting an annual subscription at $20 helped) but lately – other than a few opinion writers, it is fulfilling the role discussed by Rosen in your links.

  114. 114
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Fair Economist:

    American agents in Russia got “disappeared” literally the day after Trump took office.

    Do you have any links or google terms to search with

  115. 115

    @WaterGirl:Immigration is an easy issue to demagogue because few Americans have had direct dealings with the immigration bureaucracy. I don’t really see that changing. Clearing up misconceptions about it is like banging one’s head on a desk. Check out the last thread if you don’t believe me.

  116. 116
    eemom says:

    Manafort’s attorneys appeared to have made a mistake in redacting their filing today

    Hilarious. How many gajillions are these clowns being paid?

    Attorney malpractice is, in fact, a thing. Can be hard to win, though.

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @tobie: It was, but she wasn’t very good at it. She was basically taught how to do political polling for campaigns by Frank Luntz. She’s an attorney by education and a GOP legal apparatchik by profession and got into polling late in her career.

  118. 118
    Gravenstone says:

    @germy: Man she really dislikes her former employers. The fact that she clearly has their number is just a bonus.

  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aleta: They all should have been closed from day one. Having them open without appropriate staffing places the parks themselves, as well as the few rangers required to work because they’re deemed essential at risk.

  120. 120
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TS (the original): Robert Costa, Republican whisperer and all around creepy dude I’d call the cops on if I saw within 100 feet of a park or a school.

  121. 121
    cain says:

    @ruemara:

    I think January is going to be a fucking interesting year.

    I saw what you did there. :)

  122. 122
    frosty fred says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: “Malefactors of great wealth” belongs to Teddy’s cousin Frank.

  123. 123
    rikyrah says:

    @germy:

    SHE DOESN’T LIE

  124. 124
    JWL says:

    @WaterGirl: We’re a free people yet, and we both can and will roll with any punch that can be thrown our way.

    Look at it this way: it was simply our tough luck that Bush/Cheney (et.al) exploited the tragedy of 9/11, and that the democratic party leadership subsequently endorsed the big lies that led us to War in Iraq (and have never confessed their culpability, either).. But even so, Americans today understand perfectly well that we were big lied into waging it. Although that fact has yet to be articulated by any major player in our two party system- not Kerry, Clinton, Biden, Gephart, or Daschle, certainly- Americans know the score, and have more or less drawn an accurate bead on those that engineered the great war crime. Regretably, it was our tough luck, too, those infamous big lies, once exposed, went unchallenged by the same democratic leadership.

    The good news is that while it’s obvious such courage does not exist within the democratic party ranks of Those That Got It Wrong In 2003, it no longer really matters. We’re on the verge of an historic political realignment in this country, and those democrats that blundered into that war will be marked forevermore as those that helped give birth to the presidency of Donald Trump. That is their fate, not the party’s fate, or the country’s fate. Our political fate remains in our hands, because we are a free people that can roll with any punch that gets thrown..

  125. 125
    Barry says:

    @germy: “What happened there? I’ve always felt like I missed part of that story.”

    ‘Treason’ is defined by the Constitution, and defined rather strictly.
    If Flynn was acting as a paid agent of Russia (or Turkey), and was handing over every scrap of classified information to them for money, that would still not be ‘treason’, since we are not at war with them. It would be espionage, and a zillion other crimes, but not treason.

  126. 126
    MomSense says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    I personally would like to see Putin and his oligarchs overrun by all the people who don’t have toilets or hot running water in their homes.

  127. 127
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:
    @frosty fred:

    “Malefactors of Great Wealth” is from Teddy Roosevelt.

    Address on the occasion of the laying of the cornerstone of the Pilgrim Memorial Monument, Provincetown, MA, August 20, 1907″ (p.47)

    There
    exists no more sordid and unlovely type
    of social development than a plutocracy,
    for there is a peculiar unwholesomeness
    in a social and governmental ideal where
    wealth by and of itself is held up as the
    greatest good. The materialism of such a
    view, whether it finds its expression in the
    life of a man who accumulates a vast for-
    tune in ways that are repugnant to every
    instinct of generosity and of fair dealing,
    or whether it finds its expression in the
    vapidly useless and self-indulgent life of
    the inheritor of that fortune, is contemptible
    in the eyes of all men capable of a thrill of
    lofty feeling.

    (The phrase is p 47; the block quote is pp 60-62.)

  128. 128
    Jay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    All Americans are immigrants, either Indigenous, Slaves, Refugees or Economic Immigrants.

    Funny how so many have forgotten this.

  129. 129
    Miss Bianca says:

    @rikyrah: “The 13 Russians”! Now coming to a theater near you!

  130. 130
    sgrAstar says:

    @Adam L Silverman: it’s my understanding that the Parks were ordered to stay open, in order to minimize citizen angst about the shutdown. Bad, bad idea, but no one thinks the trump apparatchiks give a shit about the National Parks. Joshua Tree is a pearl without price.

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JWL:

    Here’s the funny thing, though: if the anti-war crowd had put their feelings aside and voted for Kerry in 2004, we would have been out of Iraq by the end of 2005.

    But it was more important for the anti-war crowd to punish Democrats for Wrongthink than it was to actually end the war.

    So enjoy your self-righteousness, knowing that you personally helped kill hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East because in 2004, punishing Democrats at the ballot box was more important to you than ending the slaughter. Great job.

  132. 132
    Sebastian says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    More than that. Complete embargo. Air travel, goods and services, arrest of all oligarchs and any person connected to them, classification as rogue state, sponsor of state terrorism, confiscation of all funds and properties, everything everything everything.

  133. 133
    EthylEster says:

    AS wrote: the attempts by Veselnitskaya and supporters of the President that she is not working as an agent of the Russian government

    Apologies if someone has already pointed this out….missing words? the attempts by Veselnitskaya and supporters of the President TO CLAIM that she is not working as an agent of the Russian government

  134. 134
    misterpuff says:

    @zhena gogolia: So the Bard was making a pun…..Ram Tough!

  135. 135
    Hob says:

    @Mnemosyne: I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that anti-war voters who were mad at Kerry over Iraq had a significant effect on the election. Third-party votes were very minimal, and turnout was virtually the same as 2016 so it’s not like a lot of people stayed home. What am I missing?

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