No Nunes Is Good Nunes… Wait, What? Time’s Got Carter Page’s Correspondence? Uh Oh!


Take it away Time!

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page bragged that he was an adviser to the Kremlin in a letter obtained by TIME that raises new questions about the extent of Page’s contacts with the Russian government over the years.

The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page.

“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” the letter reads.

In June 2013, the FBI interviewed Page regarding his contacts with the Russians, Page says. The FBI believed that Russian intelligence services had attempted to recruit Page as an agent with promises of business opportunities in Russia, according to the 2015 court documents.

Page told the FBI at their June 2013 meeting that the officers might better spend their time investigating the Boston Marathon bombing, which had occurred the previous April, according to a letter Page sent to Democrats on Nunes’ committee last May. Page says that thereafter the FBI began a retaliatory campaign against him. According to published reports, the FBI obtained a first FISA warrant to eavesdrop on Page’s electronic communications during 2013. And they have been paying attention to him, on and off, ever since.

Two months after his meeting with the FBI, Page sent the letter claiming to be a Kremlin adviser. In addition to his work as an energy consultant, Page has studied and written on Russian affairs, and had submitted a book for publication by the academic press. Page felt frustrated by the fact that he had revised his manuscript about Russian relations is Central Asia and it had not been reviewed again, according to the editor who has worked with Page in the past and who requested anonymity due to the confidential nature of the matter.

The letter to the manuscript reviewer is not the first example of Page touting his relationship with Russia. McClatchy reported last year that in 2008, the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan sent a cable to the U.S. State Department describing how Page had met with government officials in the country, which was formerly part of the Soviet Union, about possibly working for their oil companies. The cable described how he touted his work with the Russian-run company Gazprom.

Well how about that bowl of borscht?

Stay frosty or Congressman Nunes will write a memo claiming you’ve violated Kremlin advisor Carter Page’s civil liberties.

Open thread!

Ohhhhh, Internet, I Love it When You Give it to Me Good Like That

Just hold me and whisper this story into my ear baby:

Meet Chris Christie, former New Jersey governor and current nobody at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The two-term Republican, who left office on Jan. 16, was blocked from a VIP entrance he had used for eight years, and directed to stand in Transportation Security Administration screening lines at Terminal B like anyone else, according to a person familiar with the incident.

The order came from police for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, according to the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about security matters. The Port Authority also operates the George Washington Bridge, the target of a plot by Christie aides and allies to tie up traffic for political punishment in 2013.

Christie, and the state trooper who accompanied him for his security detail, complied with the instructions, the person said.

The former governor used the entrance, reserved for some airport employees and flyers who need extra security, for his two terms. He spent more than half of 2015 out of New Jersey traveling and campaigning for his failed White House bid.

If I smoked I’d need a cigarette so instead I think I will just take a nap.

Bannon Out at Breitbart

Details as they emerge, but I imagine that since their advertisers are nonexistent these days and the only thing propping that shithole up is wingnut welfare from the Mercers and others, Bannon just had to go.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Remember — A Marathon, Not A Sprint


Technology has sped up many processes in the years since Watergate, but it still takes just as long to incubate a homegrown tomato or a healthy baby. Trump’s unlikely to be the only person disappointed when Mueller doesn’t “wrap things up” in time for the New Year’s Eve champagne, but he may well be the most surprised. Per the Washington Post:

White House lawyers are expected to meet with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s office late this week seeking good news: that his sprawling investigation’s focus on President Trump will soon end and their client will be cleared.

But people familiar with the probe say that such assurances are unlikely and that the meeting could trigger a new, more contentious phase between the special counsel and a frustrated president, according to administration officials and advisers close to Trump…

White House lawyers have told the president he could be exonerated as early as the beginning of the year, after previously reassuring him that he would be cleared by Thanksgiving and Christmas, as The Washington Post previously reported. They have stated publicly that all White House interviews are over and that Mueller’s team is no longer seeking White House documents.

In the meeting this week, they plan to ask Mueller’s investigators if they need more information before reaching a conclusion that the probe as related to Trump is complete, according to a person familiar with the Trump team’s plan who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.

The question that White House lawyers will pose to the special counsel’s office, according to the person: “You’ve had all these witnesses, all these records. Is there anything else you need from the White House?”…

“I think it’s possible Mueller’s team could give them an idea of how much longer they anticipate their investigation will last,” said Peter Zeidenberg, the former deputy special counsel who helped investigate the leak of Valerie Plame’s covert role as a CIA operative. “I would be shocked if they have a timeline anything similar to what we’ve heard coming from the White House.”

“As far as a clean bill of health, I can’t imagine they are going to be prepared to make a decision like that at this point,” he said of the special counsel’s team. “They are not going to be in a position to make that call until they finish this case and finish discussing all the evidence they have.”

Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team, said he thinks it is unlikely that the probe wraps up by the end of the year, but he said he believes it could conclude in the spring. He said that Mueller is aware of the political implications surrounding his investigation.

“Bob understands you can’t have a president who is living under this cloud of uncertainty,” Corallo said, adding that he believes it is possible that the special counsel will at some point call Trump’s lawyers and say, “We are done with the president. There is nothing there.”…

The attacks on Mueller’s investigation grew this weekend after an attorney for the presidential transition told congressional investigators Saturday that thousands of pages of the organization’s communications were provided to Mueller by the federal General Services Administration.

Trump’s lawyers learned Mueller had the emails this month when witnesses were quizzed on the material. Some of the documents contained sensitive information that wasn’t related to the Russia investigation, according to a person familiar with the material.

A GSA spokeswoman declined to comment. Mueller’s team said it obtained all documents legally.

Open Thread: #Persisting



Meanwhile, on Planet Repub…


Further Russiagate Open Thread: A Caution from Kindly Uncle Ben…

a/k/a Benjamin Wittes, at LawFare:


That being said…

Early Morning Open Thread: Roy Moore — Take the Money & Sc(r)am?

Huntsville, Alabama news station WHNT:

The Republican Senate Nominee Roy Moore was the keynote speaker Thursday night at the Madison County Liberty Gala. It was his first major public appearance since several news stories broke this week involving his personal and campaign finances.

Most notably, the Washington Post ran a story about him taking more than a million dollars in undisclosed money from a charity, later run by Moore’s wife.

Moore was scheduled to speak to reporters after the speech, but we got word just about an hour before his address that Moore was not going to be taking any questions.

No reason was given for why that was canceled.

Moore did not directly address any of the controversies that surrounded his campaign but did say, he’s been accused of things he has not done…

Urban cynic that I am, I begin to suspect that ol’ Judge Moore had settled happily into a quasi-legitimate semi-retirement grift until the unexpected success of a certain Donald Trump roiled up the rubes all across thisyere great nation. What with a Godless fella like Trump getting his face and philosophy all over the tee-vee, suddenly doing a trickle of expense-account speaking gigs while his family cashed steady checks for their talent at being related to Judge Moore just didn’t seem… sufficient for God’s devoted servant.

Then the WaPo struck again — “Charity once led by Roy Moore has listed its headquarters for sale, a move that could bring him $540,000 windfall”:

The 1850s-era building was put on the market in April for nearly $1.9 million by Moore’s wife, Kayla, now president of the charity, said Ed Fleming, the listing agent for the property. Fleming said Kayla Moore and her husband were “thinking of moving and retiring” at the time.

“I deal with Kayla. She made the decision,” he said.

The circumstances of the listing add to questions swirling around the charity and more than $1 million in compensation for Roy Moore while he was working part time from 2007 to 2012. Kayla Moore took over as president in 2013, earning $65,000 a year.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post revealed that the nonprofit group, the Foundation for Moral Law, agreed to pay Moore $180,000 in annual salary, far more than the charity reported paying him in most of those years, and to honor the agreement even in years it did not have enough in contributions.

Moore was given a promissory note for back pay in 2011, tax filings and mortgage documents show, the first public indication that his annual compensation surpassed what had been reported. The note, backed by a second mortgage on the building that serves as the charity’s headquarters, was eventually worth $540,000, mortgage records show.

Kayla and Roy Moore declined multiple requests for interviews…
Read more