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The Trump-Russia Investigation Thread: Mueller Goes Terminator Edition

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Deeper into the Rabbit Hole (Feb 4th, 2019)

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
eagle109, I salute you. We've got some fun today boys and girls!

One law firm involved in a foreign government-owned company's challenge of a mysterious grand jury subpoena related to the Robert Mueller investigation is Alston & Bird, CNN has learned, a firm that has previously represented Russian interests, including working for a Russian oligarch and a contractor of the Russian government.

...

Typically, large law firms like Alston & Bird represent masses of clients among their hundreds of partners. Only when a client allows it may a firm publicly acknowledge whom they represent. The Washington Post reported Tuesday night that the company is a foreign financial institution, citing two sources familiar with the case.

...

Alston & Bird's history of working for Russians dates back to the early 2000s.
The Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a business contact of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort whom Mueller's team has sought information about, paid Alston & Bird $300,000 upfront in 2003 to help him reinstate his US visa, according to public lobbying disclosure filings. Over the next few years, Deripaska paid the firm another $270,000 for their work, the filings say. Around that time, Deripaska gave Manafort a $10 million loan, which the FBI cited in a 2017 search warrant on Manafort.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is seeking to intervene at the Supreme Court to have the filings in the dispute — which has received significant attention due to its reported connection to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — unsealed.

A lawyer for the committee, Gibson Dunn partner Theodore Boutrous Jr., told BuzzFeed News that Alston & Bird partner Brian Boone is representing the foreign country–owned company at the Supreme Court. The company has resisted a subpoena for information sought by a grand jury in DC and faces a contempt order as a result of its refusal to comply that would include daily accrual of fines.

...

In a brief filed by lawyers for the committee Monday, however, the committee stated that “the government has revealed Petitioner’s counsel’s name (and law firm) to counsel for the Reporters Committee.” The information was revealed to the committee’s lawyers when the government “cc’d Petitioner’s attorney” on its response to the committee’s motion to intervene at the Supreme Court. “Rather than objecting to this revelation, Petitioner’s counsel responded to the full email group and acknowledged receipt,” the committee’s lawyers detailed in Monday’s filing.

After being asked about the filing Monday, Boutrous provided a statement to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday, detailing those circumstances and noting, “Petitioner’s counsel did not object to the government’s disclosure originally, and neither party has suggested to us in their emails or otherwise that we need to keep counsel’s identity a secret. Nor has any party responded, let alone objected, to what we said in our brief, confirming that we know the name of Petitioner’s counsel. After we filed our reply brief in the Supreme Court, we served the brief on both parties, and neither party said anything about keeping counsel’s name confidential. In fact, Petitioner’s counsel even responded to us, confirming receipt of our papers.
Scott Stedman had posited that with the firm's name now revealed it had to be either Vnesheconombank (VEB) or Qatar Investment Authority (QIA):
Mystery company fighting Mueller subpoena: -Wholly owned by a foriegn government (court docs) -Has business in the US (court docs) -Financial institution (per WaPo) -Represented by Alston & Bird (per BuzzFeed and CNN) - 4:33 PM EST 30 Jan 2019

So let's put this together: A financial institution owned fully by a foreign government, with biz in the US, rep'd by Alston & Bird. - 4:34 PM EST 30 Jan 2019

Alston & Bird represented the Russia govenment as recently as 2014. - 4:35 PM EST 30 Jan 2019

It is NOT:
-Alfa Bank
-VTB
-Sberbank
-Deutsche Bank
-Bank of Cyprus
-Gazprom
-Rosneft

4:38 PM EST 30 Jan 2019

This leaves two clear frontrunners:

-Vnesheconombank (VEB) - CEO met with Kushner during transition
-Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) - Official met with Cohen during transition

4:48 PM EST 30 Jan 2019
And a long Twitter thread by Mueller, She Wrote on who from Team Mueller are involved that further breaks things down logically on why Qatar seems the likely defendant, which makes the most damn plausible sense:
THREAD
1/ NEW: It has now been confirmed that attorneys from Mueller‘s office are involved in the super-secret subpoena battle involving a state-owned company from Country A. A new unsealed court filing shows Meisler and Ahmad are handling the case. This is big! - 12:42 AM EST 2 Feb 2019

2/ I have long thought that the company is the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). It meets all the clues we have so far: it has a US office, it does substantial business in the US, it’s state owned, and foreign. My first clue was that Ahmad was working on the case... - 12:42 AM EST 2 Feb 2019

3/ She speaks Arabic and she worked on the Flynn case. A head of QIA, Al-Rumaihi met with Flynn Jr. and Cohen in trump tower in 12/16, and we have photo evidence of that. Al-Rumaihi bragged a year later that he had bribed the Trump administration in a deposition... - 12:42 AM EST 2 Feb 2019

4/ You see, Al-Rumaihi was being sued by Ice Cube’s company for $1.2B for failing to fund a new basketball league, and in a court filing, Ice Cube’s partner said Al-Rumaihi asked him to tell Bannon that QIA would fund Breitbart since the Mercers dumped him. - 12:42 AM EST 2 Feb 2019

5/ When Ice Cube’s partner refused, Al-Rumaihi said “Everyone does it! Do you think Flynn turned down our money?” Anyhow, the Steele dossier says there was a plan to sell 19% of Rosneft to generate a commission for Trump to lift Obama’s sanctions. Dec 1 2016, Kush and Flynn ... - 12:42 AM EST 1 Feb 2019

6/ Tried to set up a backchannel to Russia. Then six days later, QIA and GLENCORE buy 19% of Rosneft. 5 days later, Al-Rumaihi meets with Cohen and Flynn at Trump tower. AND GET THIS SHIT: it was confirmed this week that the firm representing the company from country A is... - 12:43 AM EST 2 Feb 2019

7/ Alston & Bird, and while it’s true they have represented many Russians in the past, I found out they also represented GLENCORE in the past: Glencore is a Swiss morning company that managed the sale of Rosneft to Qatar. The owner of Rosneft was Sechin, who Carter Page is said - 12:43 AM EST 2 Feb 2019

8/ to have met with during one of his Moscow trips. BUT HERES THE NEW THING!! The other Mueller lawyer on this case is Meisler, and he’s the guy who worked on Manafort’s case. Manafort was pitched to the Trump campaign by Tom Barrack. AND GET THIS... - 12:43 AM EST 2 Feb 2019

9/ Barrack is being investigated for his fishy deals with QIA. Shortly before the election, Barrack called for a “radical historic shift in the US outreach to the Arab world” and the “brilliant young leaders in UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.” And IF COURSE - 12:43 AM EST 1 Feb 2019

10/ we know how much money Qatar has given to Kush, bailing him out of the Albatross known as 666 5th Ave, where - incidentally - Manafort met with Kilimnik to give his private briefings used to pay his debt to Oleg Deripaska who just had his sanctions lifted by the GOP. - 12:43 AM EST 1 Feb 2019

11/ So for all those reasons, I’m sticking with QATAR INVESTMENT AUTHORITY (“QIA”) Which is what I think is hidden under that redaction in this week’s court filing. END

[IMG]


12:43 AM EST 2 Feb 2019


PS: I could be TOTALLY WRONG. This is all complete speculation based on a handful of facts. AKA Super Space Beans. I know nothing. But I love guessing <3 - 12:51 PM EST 1 Feb 2019


Here’s screenshots of the docs I found linking Alston & Bird to Glencore.

[IMG]

[IMG]


1:01 AM EST 2 Feb 2019
And to further clarify, southpaw asked if the US office of Qatar Investment Authority was the one located on 57th Street in Manhattan:
Is the US office you’re referring to the QIA (Advisory) location on 57th street in Manhattan?

12:46 AM EST 2 Feb 2019
All of this is incredibly particular, and only shows that we're only going deeper into this rabbit hole.
____
More than likely tangential to the Russia probe since it's from SDNY's public corruption section, but too good to pass up a "stick several pins in these" as part of the bigger picture. In a nutshell, the Trump Inagural Committee might get hit with major potential financial crimes.

New York prosecutors seek records from Trump inauguration committee: Sources - ABC News, February 4, 2019, 5:58 PM EST, updated 11:52 PM EST
"This is why I've been saying for months that the Southern District of New York investigation presents a much more serious threat to the administration, potentially, than what Bob Mueller is doing," said former federal prosecutor and ABC News contributor Gov. Chris Christie.

...

The subpoena also seeks information about the inaugural committee and its dealings with a California-based money manager named Imaad Zuberi and his company, Avenue Ventures. The subpoena does not specify the reasons why investigators are seeking documents relating to Zuberi, nor does it necessarily mean Zuberi is a subject of any investigation. He is the only person referenced by name in the document.

Zuberi has been a prolific political donor, largely to Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Trump's 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton. After the election, Avenue Ventures donated $900,000 to Trump's inaugural committee, according to FEC records.
Trump Inaugural Committee Is Subpoenaed for Documents - Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2019, 7:09 PM EST, updated 10:33 PM EST (paywall)
The subpoena escalates the inquiry into the Trump inaugural committee, which involved several of the president’s biggest campaign backers, and is one of several investigations into Mr. Trump’s associates. Special counsel Robert Mueller is separately investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, which the president and Moscow have denied, and Manhattan federal prosecutors are probing the Trump Organization, the president’s family business.

The Wall Street Journal reported in December that federal prosecutors in New York were in the early stages of a criminal investigation into the committee, which raised a record $107 million.

The investigation, which is being led by the public corruption unit of the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, grew out of the office’s probe into former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s business dealings, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Cohen has since pleaded guilty to eight charges brought by New York prosecutors and has been sentenced to three years in prison.

...

The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office investigation partly arose out of materials seized in the April raids of Mr. Cohen’s home, office and hotel room, in which Federal Bureau of Investigation agents obtained a recorded conversation between Mr. Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to Melania Trump who worked on the inaugural events. In the recording, Ms. Wolkoff—an adviser to the inaugural whose firm was the top-paid vendor—expressed concern about how the inaugural committee was spending money, according to a person familiar with the Cohen investigation.
Trump Inaugural Committee Ordered to Hand Over Documents to Federal Investigators - New York Times, February 4, 2019, 7:34 PM EST; updated February 5, 2019, 12:03 AM EST
Another entity that the subpoena seeks documents on is Stripe, which created technology to help process credit card transactions. According to published reports, the company counts Josh Kushner, the brother of Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, among its investors. Josh Kushner is not named in the subpoena, and a spokesman for him declined to comment.

A spokesman for the inaugural committee said it was still reviewing the subpoena and intended to cooperate with the investigation. A spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment. ABC first reported that a subpoena was in the works.

Prosecutors have pursued the possibility that the inaugural committee made false statements to the Federal Election Commission, according to people familiar with the matter. It can be a crime to knowingly make false or fraudulent statements to a federal agency.
Only U.S. citizens and legal residents can legally donate to a committee established to finance presidential inaugural festivities.

...

The subpoena — issued by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York — indicates that prosecutors are investigating crimes related to conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, false statements, wire fraud and money laundering.

...

Much of the committee’s fundraising and operation was headed by Rick Gates, a former senior Trump campaign official who served as a deputy chairman of the inaugural committee and is cooperating with prosecutors as part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.

...

On his Facebook page, Zuberi indicated that he visited Trump Tower in New York in December 2016 as the president-elect prepared to take office, writing that he was with incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn.

That was the same day that a delegation from Qatar, including the county’s foreign minister, visited Trump Tower and met with Flynn and campaign chief executive Stephen K. Bannon.
Federal prosecutors subpoena Trump inaugural records - NBC News, February 4, 2019, 11:55 PM EST
"We have just received a subpoena for documents," the committee representative told NBC News. "While we are still reviewing the subpoena, it is our intention to cooperate with the inquiry."

...

The Wall Street Journal, which said it had reviewed a copy, reported that the subpoena doesn't mention Tom Barrack Jr., the head of the committee. Barrack, a prominent real estate developer and longtime friend of the president's, was interviewed by investigators from the office of special counsel Robert Mueller as part of Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

...

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told MSNBC in December that the House Intelligence Committee, of which he is the chairman, will also examine possible illegal foreign funding of the inauguration.
The Wire is oh so relevant now...

 
Last edited:

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
We may or may not have a 'no chan' rule, but let's imagine for a second that it serves multiple practical purposes. If you're posting a 'cat-in-the-bag' kind of content, do be a dear and provide description, out of common courtesy if nothing else.
It's a 'well, this is interesting' as a judge is threatening to lay down a gag order (given the implications) on one or multiple parties, which isn't something you normally see in high profile cases. The Jury is required by their job description to keep whatever happens gagged, as one of the big rules in Jury Duty is that anything related to the case is confidential... and you are not to talk about the case outside the jury's room. To have a judge threaten a gag order on a high profile case implies not-so-good things.
 

FriendlySignpainter

Devils Avocado
It's a 'well, this is interesting' as a judge is threatening to lay down a gag order (given the implications) on one or multiple parties, which isn't something you normally see in high profile cases. The Jury is required by their job description to keep whatever happens gagged, as one of the big rules in Jury Duty is that anything related to the case is confidential... and you are not to talk about the case outside the jury's room. To have a judge threaten a gag order on a high profile case implies not-so-good things.
Or that because its so high profile they need an extra reminder in case they think that they'll get on "duh teeveys!" by blabbing.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Or that because its so high profile they need an extra reminder in case they think that they'll get on "duh teeveys!" by blabbing.
True, but given what know so far? I don't really know. High profile cases tend to be agreed to be either public or hush-hush by the two parties involved... but to have a judge to threaten a gag order means either this is so high profile that it is required (although we don't know all the details to simply assume this) or Stone has threatened in some way to make the case go his way.

Either or, the implications of either makes for some scary shit.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
These Secret Files Show How The Trump Moscow Talks Unfolded While Trump Heaped Praise On Putin - BuzzFeed News, Febraury 5, 2019, 9:20 AM EST, updated 4:15 PM EST
As a candidate, Donald Trump had a lot of praise for Vladimir Putin — and no business, he kept insisting, in Russia. These documents tell a different story.

...

BuzzFeed News is today publishing a cache of internal Trump Organization documents that lay bare the secret negotiations that continued long after Cohen claimed the deal had been abandoned. The documents, many of which have been exclusively obtained by BuzzFeed News, reveal that — despite Trump’s claim that the development was never more than a passing notion — the effort to get the tower built was long-running, detail-oriented, and directly entwined with the ups and downs of his campaign.

...

This large trove of nonbinding business agreements, architectural renderings, texts, emails, and plans for Trump to travel to Russia to meet Putin offer an unprecedented glimpse inside the negotiations to build the tallest tower in Europe — a deal Trump’s fixers hoped would "help world peace and make a lot of money."
Newly unearthed video shows Trump ‘meeting with Russians in Moscow in 1995’ over 'building project' - The Independent, February 5, 2019, 3:36 PM EST, updated 4:24 PM EST
The former mayor of Moscow has confirmed Donald Trump met with officials in Russia in the 1990s to discuss a possible building project after archival footage of the meeting was posted online.

The video, allegedly aired by Russian state television in 1995, shows the US president meeting with members of the former mayor’s administration.

“Trump was in Moscow,” Yury Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow from 1992 through 2010, told the Interfax news agency. “He had contacts…on matters related to the construction of the Okhotny Ryad underground mall on Manezh Square.”

...

The video was unearthed by someone who had “been going through the Russian TV archives”, according to Daniel Sandford, a home affairs correspondent for BBC News, who previously served as a correspondent in Moscow.
... ... ... this is getting into cartoony levels of WTF...

... Ok, who here is driven to drink large amounts of alcohol with this investigation? ... because this shit is driving me to start drinking.
 

Ravan

Gone
So now rhe National Enquirer has attempted to blackmail Jeff Bezos into lying on behalf of Trump and themselves (saying that they didn’t do anything to help trump politically), and he published the letter they sent him with the threat. Shortly afterwards it’s been revealed that they also tried threatening people at the AP, New Yorker, and Daily Beast to try and make them back off from investigating Trump.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
So now rhe National Enquirer has attempted to blackmail Jeff Bezos into lying on behalf of Trump and themselves (saying that they didn’t do anything to help trump politically), and he published the letter they sent him with the threat. Shortly afterwards it’s been revealed that they also tried threatening people at the AP, New Yorker, and Daily Beast to try and make them back off from investigating Trump.
There is being an idiot, then there is being the king of idiots.
 

ScreenXSurfer

Ain't no bitch who can do it like me

Hrmm.
On Tuesday, Intelligence and national security correspondent for NBC News Ken Dilanianreported the somewhat breaking news to MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson that the Senate Intelligence Committee admits it has found, after two years, “no direct evidence” of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia. The report met surprise first, then skepticism, with Jackson and her guests.

“After two years and interviewing more than 200 witnesses, the Senate intelligence Committee has not uncovered any direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia,” said Dilanian. “That’s according to sources on both the Republican and the Democratic side of the aisle.”

Dilanian noted that the Republican chair of the committee made remarks to that effect last week, but that the network continued to dig since that was a “partisan” comment. “What I found,” he said,” is that Democrats don’t dispute that characterization.”
Now does this impact the Mueller investigation at all?
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author

Hrmm.


Now does this impact the Mueller investigation at all?
Here's the thing, the Mueller Investigation is pretty tight lipped so no one really knows what is in that report until it is released. However, from what we can gleam with the investigation, this definitely goes all the way to the top and to Trump.
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
I wouldn't be surprised if Trump himself didn't 'directly' collude. The man doesn't act innocent, but he's never acted innocent in his life, so that's not surprising. But everyone around him absolutely did, and Trump also has a hard on for Putin so in effect, it doesn't matter.

But Trump is too stupid to directly do anything but pooptweet and MAGA Speech
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
As expected from Mediaite, the actual truth is nothing of the sort and all the Senate said was that there was no “smoking gun”. Fucking clickbait
Not to mention that the Senate Intel committee is dominated by Republicans who are quite willing to look the other way when it comes to themselves.
 
Stone is directly linked to Russian Intelligence operatives...

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Ladies and gents, bombshells incoming:

Special counsel prosecutors say they have communications of Stone with WikiLeaks (CNN)

Mueller has Roger Stone's communications with both Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0. These were obtained as part of the search warrants used in the DNC hacking indictment. We know now for certain that Guccifer 2.0 was a front for Russian intelligence. If those communications show that Stone knew he was talking to Russian spies rather than a lone Romanian hacker as he claimed, Stone is utterly screwed. He'd be directly implicated in a conspiracy involving a hostile foreign intelligence service.

It goes even further than that. The documents state explicitly that the prosecution of Stone is directly linked to the previous indictment of Russian Intell officers.

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/5740797/2-15-19-US-Stone-Related-Case.pdf

The documents include this phrase, as a header:
This Case and Netyksho Arise from Common Search Warrants
Stone is cooked. They have solid evidence of him being in direct contact with Russian Intel.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
For those who are just seeing this, at this point this is less than a simple legal investigation and more like a counter-intelligence operation, and that means what will be out in public will be very slim due to the fact that we've already seen what Russia is willing to do with 'loose ends' (one of Steele's sources wound out having a 9mm 'gift' shortly after the release of the Steele Dossier, a defector got nerve gassed in public in Britain by Russian agents...). Having it all public now would make future counter-intelligence operations impossible. That is simply the facts of the situation.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Bombshells incoming, scene 2, take 1,854. This time, it will change everything, electric boogaloo.
And then the shocking plot-twist occurs, nothing happens.
Are you two mocking me because it's not funny.

The thing is that these sort of things take forever outside of the legal context and Mueller is going as fast as he is because of the apparent outright stupidity of Trump and Co., and he's dotting every I and crossing every T when it comes to all the paperwork and legal requirements.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
Are you two mocking me because it's not funny.

The thing is that these sort of things take forever outside of the legal context and Mueller is going as fast as he is because of the apparent outright stupidity of Trump and Co., and he's dotting every I and crossing every T when it comes to all the paperwork and legal requirements.
Stop going ‘watch out, bombshell’ or ‘ha ha, now this is it’ every time and we’ll stop rolling our eyes and pointing out your current obsession for what it is.
 

FriendlySignpainter

Devils Avocado
Are you two mocking me because it's not funny.

The thing is that these sort of things take forever outside of the legal context and Mueller is going as fast as he is because of the apparent outright stupidity of Trump and Co., and he's dotting every I and crossing every T when it comes to all the paperwork and legal requirements.
I'm reminded of Al Gore from south-park whenever I see another post in this thread with a link to something about Mueller.

But sure I'll take you super cereal.
 

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