Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

The Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017, Story 1: Special Counsel To Be Appointed To Investigate Hillary Clinton’s Compromise of National Security and Obama Administration’s Cover-up And Conspiracy To Use of Intelligence Community Including FBI and National Security Agency To Spy on Trump Campaign — Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report Will Blow The Lid Off  The Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice By Obama’s DOJ and FBI To Clear Hillary Clinton and FBI informant’s Congressional Testimony On Russian Rosatom Bribery, Extortion and Kickbacks — The Political Scandal of The Century — American People Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation — Videos — Story 2: Republican House and Senate Agree on Tax Bill — Rush To Pass Bill Before Congressional Christmas Break — Videos — Story 3: Federal Reserve As Expected Raises Federal Funds Target Rate Range By .25% to Between 1.25% and 1.5% — Expect Three Hikes in 2018 or Four Hikes If Economy Booming — Videos — We wish you a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 992, October 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 991, October 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 990, October 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 989, October 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 988, October 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 987, October 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 986, October 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 985, October 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 984, October 16, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 983, October 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 982, October 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 981, October 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 980, October 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 979, October 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 978, October 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 977, October 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 976, October 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 975, September 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 974, September 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 973, September 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 972, September 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 971, September 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 970, September 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 969, September 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 968, September 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 967, September 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 966, September 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 965, September 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 964, September 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 963, September 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

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Story 1: Special Counsel To Be Appointed To Investigate Hillary Clinton’s Compromise of National Security and Obama Administration’s Cover-up And Conspiracy To Use of Intelligence Community Including FBI and National Security Agency To Spy on Trump Campaign — Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report Will Blow The Lid Off  The Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice By Obama’s DOJ and FBI To Clear Hillary Clinton and FBI informant’s Congressional Testimony On Russian Rosatom Bribery, Extortion and Kickbacks — The Political Scandal of The Century — American People Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation — Videos

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The Latest on a Biased Bureau

DC attorney sends final WARNING to DOJ, FBI as Bob Mueller’s Russia probe collapses

“Stunning Examples of Bias Taint Mueller Probe”

Real Collusion: The FBI & Clinton Campaign – Trump & Russia Tainted Probes – Tucker Carlson

Trump Blasts FBI, Then Praises New Agents – Story

Chaffetz on the Inspector General and the DOJ/FBI Scrutiny

Penn: Mueller and FBI face a crisis in public confidence

Mueller probe paints a picture of a banana republic: Ken Blackwell

Reps. Gaetz and Jordan call for a second special counsel

Gaetz Demands FBI Director Explain “Special” Treatment of Clinton During Investigation – 12/7/17

Sen. Grassley calls for greater scrutiny of Strzok’s texts

Evidence of “Brazen” FBI Plot Deepens and Thickens

Trump addresses FBI event after criticizing agency

DOJ bias is like a cancer: Rep. Gaetz

Deep State Conspiracy Revealed – Bruce Ohr’s CIA Russia Expert Wife Worked with Fusion GPS

New Revelations Regarding Hillary’s Exoneration by the FBI

Judge Nap on the Mueller Probe Bias and More

Tom Fitton on credibility problems of DOJ and FBI

Gohmert on New Allegations of Bias in Mueller/Russia Probe

Gohmert on Peter Strzok’s Biased & Vengeful Text Exchanges

Judge Nap: Too Early to Say Mueller Probe Is Biased Against Trump

Documents confirm language softened in Comey’s Clinton memo

Gingrich on cesspool of corruption covering up for Clintons

DOJ SCANDAL: List of democrats making donations to Bob Mueller’s team EXPOSED

Trey Gowdy on FBI Dep Director Andrew McCabe – Surprised if Still an FBI Employee Next Week

OMG!!ROBERT MUELLERS INVESTIGATIONS JUST ESCALATED TO ANOTHER LEVEL.SEE HOW.”DEEPER THAN YOU THINK”

EXPOSED! How the FBI, DOJ conspired to stop President Trump. What will happen to Bob Mueller now?

FBI’s Strzok & Page in Andrew McCabe’s Office Discuss ‘Insurance Policy’ to Prevent Trump Election

Mueller’s Russiagate Prosecution Is Imploding Before His Eyes While DOJ and FBI Scandals Metastasize

OMG!! Bob Mueller JUST confessed to Coup d’état plot against President Trump

Congressman Jim Jordan sends SHOCKING WARNING to Jeff Sessions, Bob Mueller will be trembling now!

JUST IN: Judge reveals names of corrupt FBI and DOJ officials to be arrested

Fox News obtains texts between FBI agent Strzok, lawyer

Hannity 12/5/2017 – Sean Hannity Dec 5, 17 on Fox News

Demoted top DoJ official Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS of dossier fame

Congressman Jim Jordan sends SHOCKING WARNING to Jeff Sessions, Bob Mueller will be trembling now!

Jordan: We need to depose Peter Strzok, talk to Bruce Ohr

“Peter Strzok is the SMOKING GUN!!” Hannity and Ben Shapiro Break it Down

Bret Baier and Trey Gowdy speak about Strzok

Mueller, Strzok, Comey should the subjects of criminal investigations: Lou Dobbs

FBI Hillary Cheerleader Peter Strzok Changed Comey Language That Exonerated Hillary

Former FBI Ass’t Dir says DoJ cabal is a conspiracy

Hannity: Rosenstein pretends not to see evidence of bias

Body Language: Rosenstein Mueller Expansion

BREAKING: JW Sues FBI Over Removal of FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok from Mueller Operation

“The FBI Belongs to the VOTERS!!” Tucker GOES OFF on FBI Leaders

‘NUCLEAR’ Sen. Grassley Lashes out at FBI, DOJ in Fiery Senate Floor Speech

Strassel: Fusion GPS dossier a dirty trick for the ages

Obama knew about the Russian dossier: Tony Shaffer

Rpt: Obama Aligned Group Paid Law Firm That Hired Fusion GPS To Create Dossier – Story

Obama campaign connection to Fusion GPS

FBI Comey “Don’t call us weasels” Trey Gowdy Grills FBI James Comey On Hillary Clinton’s Email

Judge Nap on FBI Bias and More

Corruption at the FBI

The FBI Now Under Intense Scrutiny Over McCabe Potential Hatch Violations

BOMBSHELL Sen. Grassley “THE FIX WAS IN..Congress has the Right to Know”

Gohmert Speaks on House Floor about the Recent Rosenstein Hearing

What happened during Andrew McCabe’s testimony at Senate Intelligence hearing?

Acting FBI director McCabe gets GRILLED on James Comey Firing & Trump Russia Connections

Acting FBI director contradicts White House on Comey

Judge Napolitano on acting FBI director McCabe’s ties to Clinton ally

FBI Director James Comey FULL STATEMENT on Hillary Clinton Email Investigation (C-SPAN)

 

Fusion GPS admits DOJ official’s wife Nellie Ohr hired to probe Trump

A co-founder of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS acknowledged in a new court document that his company hired the wife of a senior Justice Department official to help investigate then-candidate Donald Trump last year.

The confirmation from Glenn Simpson came in a signed declaration filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., and provided a fuller picture of the nature of Nellie Ohr’s work – after Fox News first reported on her connection to Fusion GPS.

Her husband, Bruce Ohr, was demoted at the DOJ last week for concealing his meetings with the same company, which commissioned the anti-Trump “dossier” containing salacious allegations about the now-president. Together, the Fusion connections for Mr. and Mrs. Ohr have raised Republican concerns about objectivity at the Justice Department, and even spurred a call from Trump’s outside counsel for a separate special prosecutor.

Simpson’s statement shows Mrs. Ohr was indeed involved in the Trump research. He said bank records reflect Fusion GPS contracted with her “to help our company with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump.”

WIFE OF DEMOTED DOJ OFFICIAL WORKED FOR TRUMP DOSSIER FIRM

Further, Simpson said he disclosed to the House intelligence committee that he met personally with Bruce Ohr, “at his request, after the November 2016 election to discuss our findings regarding Russia and the election.”

Fox News first reported last week that Bruce Ohr had been demoted at the DOJ amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with Fusion GPS. Evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.” Additionally, as acknowledged in the court filing, he met with Simpson after the election.

bruceohr

DOJ official Bruce Ohr was demoted amid questions over his contacts with Fusion GPS figures.  (AP)

Fusion GPS has attracted scrutiny because Republican lawmakers have spent the better part of this year investigating whether the dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the basis for the Justice Department and the FBI to obtain FISA surveillance last year on a Trump campaign adviser named Carter Page.

On Tuesday, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow called for the appointment of a separate special prosecutor to look into potential conflicts of interest involving Justice Department and FBI officials.

A group of House Republicans for months has called for the appointment of a second special counsel to probe certain Obama and Clinton-related controversies, something Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing.

When asked Tuesday about the Sekulow call, Sessions noted he’s already ordered that review following the prior call from members of Congress.

“I’ve put a senior attorney, with the resources he may need, to review cases in our office and make a recommendation to me … if things aren’t being pursued that need to be pursued, if cases may need more resources to complete in a proper manner, and to recommend to me if the standards for a special counsel are met,” he said, calling that the “appropriate” course.

Fox News’ James Rosen and John Roberts contributed to this report. 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/13/fusion-gps-admits-doj-officials-wife-nellie-ohr-hired-to-probe-trump.html

A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now.

 December 4

The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

The Strzok report comes on the heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.

As a result, a large swath of responsible center-right observers are demanding a full review of the investigation and prosecution powers wielded by the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in National Review on Saturday that President Trump should call for a second independent counsel to investigate abuse of the counterintelligence authorities under President Barack Obama, abuses he suggests were undertaken to protect the controversial Iran deal on nuclear weapons.

This is an excellent idea. The new special counsel could also review Strzok’s texts and, more crucially, his conduct throughout 2015 and 2016. Strzok may be completely innocent of everything except an offhand joke that the straight-laced Mueller deemed necessary to punish in a display of a “Caesar’s wife” sort of purity of purpose. But if his texts to FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal a partisan animus toward Trump or admiration for Clinton, then the bureau and the department have a huge problem on their hands and not just with Strzok and Page.

When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didn’t mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssen’s sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all of Hanssen’s activities and inputs, as all of them had to be reconsidered in light of his treasonous behavior.

If Strzok’s texts reveal deep animus toward Trump or an operational effort to tilt one or more investigations, then all of his actions have to be reviewed to assure the public’s confidence in the bureau. That one or two agents or officials of the bureau are discovered to have been acting from improper motives would be bad enough. To try and sweep those activities under the rug would be worse. Against the backdrop of other recent controversies, it would be disastrous.

Step one is a quick publication of the questionable texts. All of them. The public has a right to know what the predicate for Mueller’s extraordinary action was. The public also deserves a detailed account of Strzok’s (and Page’s) duties and authorities during the years in question. If an NBA official was discovered to have purposefully thrown even one game, every game in which he had carried a whistle would be under the microscope. That’s how it works.

Unless there’s a coverup.

Nevertheless, just as Hanssen was “one bad apple” who didn’t spoil the bunch, so even an out-of-bounds Strzok doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the FBI beyond him. To get to the truth, and restore confidence in federal law enforcement, a special counsel should conduct an inquiry, bring any necessary charges and make a report — someone without ties to the president or his opponents.

They do exist, such men and women. Former federal judges make excellent candidates. But we need one appointed right now.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-special-counsel-needs-to-investigate-the-fbi-and-justice-department-now/2017/12/04/5ca1234c-d916-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.3035631daa63

Meet the Inspector General

Photo of Michael E. Horowitz

Michael E. Horowitz was confirmed as Inspector General for the Department of Justice (DOJ) by the U.S. Senate on March 29, 2012, and sworn in as the fourth confirmed Inspector General on April 16, 2012. Since 2015, he has simultaneously served as the Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).

As Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz oversees a nationwide workforce of more than 450 special agents, auditors, inspectors, attorneys, and support staff whose mission is to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct in DOJ programs and personnel, and to promote economy and efficiency in Department operations.

Prior to serving as Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz worked as a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft LLP, where he focused his practice on white collar defense, internal investigations, and regulatory compliance. He also was a board member of the Ethics Resource Center and the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics. From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Horowitz served as a Presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Mr. Horowitz previously worked for DOJ in the Criminal Division at Main Justice from 1999 to 2002, first as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and then as Chief of Staff. Prior to joining the Criminal Division, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1999. From 1997 to 1999, Mr. Horowitz was the Chief of the Public Corruption Unit, and from 1995 to 1997, he was a Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. In 1995, he was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his work on a complex police corruption investigation.

Before joining the DOJ, Mr. Horowitz was an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton and clerked for Judge John G. Davies of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Horowitz earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Brandeis University.

https://oig.justice.gov/about/meet-ig.htm

 

Peter P. Strzok II[1] (born c. 1970[2]) (English pronunciation: /stɹʌk/like “struck”[3][4]) is a United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agent currently assigned to its Human Resources Branch.

Until July 2017, Strzok served as the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller in the 2017 Special Counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[5][6][7][8][9][10]He also served as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section during the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server.[4]

Education and personal life

Strzok attended high school in Minnesota.[11] He earned a bachelors degree from Georgetown University in 1991 and returned to earn a master’s degree there in 2013.[12]

He is married to Melissa Hodgman, an associate director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.[13][14][15] His father worked for many years as an employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and after 1980 worked in villages of several West African countries.[16]

Career

Strzok served as a captain[citation needed] in the United States Army before joining the FBI in the 1990’s as an intelligence research specialist.[9][17]

Clinton email server investigation

By July 2015, Strzok was serving as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section[4] and a led a team of a dozen investigators to examine Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.[18] After the investigation was closed, Strzok changed draft language being prepared for then-FBI Director James Comey, which had described Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent“, which may be a criminal offense, to “extremely careless”. The draft was reviewed and corrected by several people and its creation was a team process.[4] Strzok and his team also helped review newly discovered Clinton emails days before Election Day.[18]

Russia election interference investigation

By July 2016, Strzok had been promoted to Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and oversaw espionage investigations involving Russia and China.[6][9] According to The New York Times, he was “considered one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintelligence investigators”.[17] He was also “considered to be one of the Bureau’s top experts on Russia” according to CNN.[4] He signed the document opening the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[4][19] Strzok then led that investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, including the Russian role in the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak and the Donald Trump–Russia dossier.[20][3][18] He also oversaw the bureau’s interviews with then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Flynn later pled guilty to lying to the FBI.[21]

Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation

Strzok was the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller‘s special counsel investigation of foreign electoral intervention by Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, initiated by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 after the firing of FBI Director James Comey by President Trump.[22][23] Earlier, in January 2017, the DOJ’s Inspector General (IG), Michael E. Horowitz, had begun an inquiry to review how the FBI handled investigations related to the election.[17][24] In late July 2017, the IG’s inquiry discovered text messages transmitted between Strzok and Lisa Page, a trial attorney on Mueller’s team. The text messages were sent between August 2015 and December 2016[25][26] and were anti-Donald Trump in nature.[27][28] They also contained personal information concerning to the Justice Department (DOJ), allegedly about an extramarital affair.[5] Mueller removed Strzok from his team the week after a search warrant was executed at the home of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.[29][30] Strzok was reassigned to the FBI’s Human Resources Branch and Page returned to working for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe shortly thereafter.[31][32] Fox News reported that a source close to the IG’s ongoing inquiry said it will include examining Strzok’s participation in other politically sensitive matters, and that it should be complete “very early next year.”[33] The IG announced it will issue a report in March or April of 2018 at the latest.[17] At the request of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the DOJ agreed to allow Strzok to be interviewed and turned over 375 partially redacted text messages between Strzok and Page to the House Judiciary Committee.[25][26][34]

According to Strzok’s colleagues and a former Trump administration official, Strzok had not previously shown any overt political bias.[2][27] An associate of his says the political parts of the text messages were especially related to Trump’s criticism of the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton emails.[2] Some GOP U.S. representatives cited the anti-Trump messages as evidence of Strzok’s bias. However, in his private correspondence with Page, Strzok had also made disparaging remarks about Eric Holder, Attorney General in the Obama administration, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (a Democrat), and Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.[35][36] According to FBI guidelines, agents are allowed to have and express political opinions as individuals. Former FBI and DOJ officials told The Hill that it was possible for agents like Strzok to hold political opinions and still conduct an impartial investigation.[37] Several agents said that Mueller removed Strzok in order to protect the integrity of the special counsel’s Russia investigation. Since there was no proof that Strzok did anything wrong, he was not punished following his reassignment.[38][39] Defenders of Strzok and Page in the FBI said that no professional misconduct between them occurred.[27]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Strzok

 

2017 Special Counsel investigation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 2017 Special Counsel investigation is an ongoing investigation in the United States led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel under supervision of the United States Department of Justice. Mueller is exploring any links or coordination between Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government as part of the election interference that Russia conducted against the U.S. in 2016.

Mueller’s investigation subsumed several existing FBI investigations including those involving former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. In August 2017, Mueller’s investigation reportedly expanded to include several lobbying firms, including the Podesta Group. Mueller has assembled a team of attorneys to conduct the investigation into links between Trump associates and Russian officials along with related matters.

On October 30, 2017, Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates surrendered to the FBI on charges brought by the special counsel unrelated to the Trump campaign. On the same day, Mueller’s team revealed that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on October 5 to making false statements to FBI agents about contacts he had with agents of the Russian government while working for the Trump campaign in 2016, and was cooperating with investigators. On December 1, 2017, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI, and confirmed that he is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.[1]


Appointments


Policy positions





Business and personal


Donald Trump's signature

Seal of the President of the United States.svg

 

Origin and powers

On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller, a former Director of the FBI, to serve as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In this capacity, Mueller oversees the investigation into “any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation”.[2] As special counsel, Mueller has the power to issue subpoenas,[3] hire staff members, request funding, and prosecute federal crimes in connection with the election interference.[4]

The appointment followed a series of events that included President Donald Trump‘s firing of FBI director James Comey and Comey’s allegation that Trump asked him to drop the FBI investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.[5]

Rosenstein, in his role as Acting Attorney General due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has authority over the use of DOJ resources by Mueller and the investigation. In an interview with the Associated Press, Rosenstein said he would recuse himself from supervision of Mueller if he himself were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in the dismissal of Comey.[6] If Rosenstein were to recuse himself, his duties in this matter would be assumed by the Justice Department’s third-in-command, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.[7]

Grand juries

On August 3, 2017, Mueller impaneled a grand jury in Washington, DC, as part of his investigation. The grand jury has the power to subpoena documents, require witnesses to testify under oath, and indict suspects on criminal charges if enough evidence is found.

The Washington grand jury is separate from an earlier Virginia grand jury investigating Michael Flynn; the Flynn case has been absorbed into Mueller’s overall investigation.[8]

Grand jury testimony

The grand jury has issued subpoenas to those involved in the Trump campaign–Russian meeting held on June 9, 2016, at Trump Tower, which was also the location of Trump’s presidential campaign headquarters.[9]

  • Russian-born lobbyist and former Soviet Army officer, Rinat Akhmetshin, testified under oath for several hours on August 11, 2017, as a participant in the Donald Trump Jr meeting.[10][11]
  • Jason Maloni, spokesman for Paul Manafort, testified under oath for two and one-half hours.[12] Maloni was employed by Manafort following the five months he served as Chairman of Trump’s campaign for president in 2016, to answer questions about Manafort’s involvement in Trump’s campaign.

The grand jury subpoenaed witness testimony from the executives of six public relations firms, who worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on lobbying efforts in Ukraine.[13]

Legal teams

Mueller and investigation team

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

Upon his appointment as the Special Counsel, Mueller resigned his position at the Washington office of law firm WilmerHale, along with two colleagues, Aaron Zebley and James L. Quarles III.[14][15] On May 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts announced they had declared Mueller ethically able to function as special counsel.[16]

Politico proposed that the “ideal team” would likely have six to eight prosecutors, along with administrative assistants and experts in areas such as money laundering or interpreting tax returns.[17] By August 1, 2017, Mueller, who has an active role in managing the inquiry,[18] hired 16 lawyers,[19] and had a total staff of over three dozen, including investigators and other non-attorneys.[20]

Members of the team include:[17][21][22][23][24][25][26]

Mueller has also added unidentified agents of the IRS Criminal Investigations Division to his team. “This unit—known as CI—is one of the federal government’s most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller’s said he always liked working with IRS’ special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney.”[41]

In December 2017, Weissmann and Strzok were accused of an anti-Trump bias because of an email directed to Sally Yates praising her refusal to defend Executive Order 13769 in court, and a similarly-worded text message. [42][43] House Conservatives have since ramped up accusations that the investigation is manned by personnel with an “anti-Trump” bias who “let Clinton off easy last year”.[44]

Trump’s defense team

Members of the team include or have included:[45]

Topics of investigations

Russian election interference

The primary responsibility of the special counsel is “to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election”. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded “with high confidence” that the Russian government interfered in the election by hacking into the computer servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the personal Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and forwarded their contents to WikiLeaks,[50][51][52] as well as by disseminating fake news promoted on social media[53] and by penetrating, or trying to penetrate, the election systems and databases of multiple U.S. states.[54] In July 2016, the FBI began looking into these issues, as well as the question of whether members of the Trump campaign might have coordinated or cooperated with Russia’s activities.[55] Those investigations became part of the special counsel’s portfolio.[56]

Russia’s influence on US voters through social media is a primary focus of the Mueller investigation.[57] The special counsel has used a search warrant to obtain detailed information about Russian ad purchases on Facebook. According to a former federal prosecutor, the warrant means that a judge was convinced that foreigners had illegally contributed to influencing a US election via Facebook ads.[58]

Mueller is investigating ties between the Trump campaign, and Republican activist Peter W. Smith. Smith stated that he tried to obtain Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers, and that he was acting on behalf of Michael Flynn and other Trump campaign members. Trump campaign officials have denied that Smith was working with them.[59]

Links between Trump associates and Russian officials

As early as spring 2015, US intelligence agencies started overhearing conversations in which Russian government officials, some within the Kremlin, discussed associates of Trump, then a presidential candidate.[60][61] In one such conversation, Russian officials said they had cultivated a strong relationship with Michael Flynn and believed they could use him to influence Trump and his team.[62]

Multiple Trump associates, including Flynn, Manafort, and other members of the Trump campaign had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials during 2016.[63] In particular, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak met with several Trump campaign members and administration nominees. Flynn was forced to resign as National Security Advisor on February 13, 2017, after it was revealed that on December 29, 2016, the day that Obama announced sanctions against Russia, Flynn had discussed the sanctions with Russian ambassador Kislyak. Flynn had earlier acknowledged speaking to Kislyak but denied discussing the sanctions.[64][65] Also in December 2016, Flynn and presidential advisor Jared Kushner met with Kislyak hoping to set up a direct, secure line of communication with Russian officials that American intelligence agencies would be unaware of.[66][67] Jared Kushner also met with Sergei Gorkov, the head of the Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB).[68] Flynn and Kushner failed to report these meetings on their security clearance forms.[69][68]

FBI agents, working with the special counsel, raided Manafort’s home in July 2017. The no-notice, no-knock raid used a federal search warrant, authorizing agents to look for tax documents and foreign banking records. A wide range of documents and other items were seized. Before the raid, Manafort had voluntarily provided some documents to congressional investigators, including the notes he took during the Veselnitskaya meeting.[70][71]

The Trump team issued multiple denials of any contacts between Trump associates and Russia, but many of those denials turned out to be false.[72][73]

On December 4, 2017, prosecutors filed that Paul Manafort worked on an op-ed with a Russian intelligence official while out on bail, in a court filing requesting that the judge revoke Manafort’s bond agreement.[74]

Alleged collusion between Trump campaign and Russian agents

Mueller is looking into the meeting on June 9, 2016, in Trump Tower in New York City between three senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign  – Kushner, Manafort, and Donald Trump Jr. – and at least five other people, including Russian lawyer Natalia VeselnitskayaRinat Akhmetshin, a lobbyist and former Soviet army officer who met senior Trump campaign aides, Ike Kaveladze, British publicist Rob Goldstone and translator Anatoli Samochornov.[75][76] It has been confirmed that Goldstone had suggested the meeting to Trump Jr., and it was arranged in a series of emails later made public. Trump Jr. initially told the press that the meeting was held to discuss adoptions of Russian children by Americans. He added that he agreed to the meeting with the understanding that he would receive information damaging to Hillary Clinton.[77] Goldstone had stated in his email that the Russian government was involved as part of its support for the Trump campaign.[78] Mueller’s team is investigating the emails and the meeting,[75] and whether President Trump later tried to hide the meeting’s purpose.[79]

On July 18, 2017, Kaveladze’s attorney said that Mueller’s investigators were seeking information about the Russian meeting in June 2016 from his client,[80] and on July 21, Mueller asked the White House to preserve all documents related to the Russian meeting.[81] It has been reported that Manafort had made notes during the Russian meeting.[70]

By August 3, 2017, Mueller had impaneled a grand jury in the District of Columbia that issued subpoenas concerning the meeting.[82] The Financial Times reported on August 31 that Akhmetshin had given sworn testimony to Mueller’s grand jury.[83]

In fall 2017, Mueller’s team interviewed former Government Communications Headquarters IT specialist Matt Tait, who had been approached by Republican political operative Peter Smith to verify the authenticity of allegedly hacked emails from the Hillary Clinton’s private email server.[84]

Obstruction of justice

Early in Trump’s presidency, senior White House officials reportedly asked intelligence officials if they could intervene with the FBI to stop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Flynn.[85] In March, Trump reportedly discussed the FBI’s Russia investigation with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and asked if they could intervene with Comey to limit or stop it.[86] When he was asked at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the report, Coats said he would not discuss conversations he had with the president but “I have never felt pressured to intervene in the Russia investigation in any way.”[87]

In February 2017, it was reported that White House officials had asked the FBI to issue a statement that there had been no contact between Trump associates and Russian intelligence sources during the 2016 campaign. The FBI did not make the requested statement, and observers noted that the request violated established procedures about contact between the White House and the FBI regarding pending investigations.[88] After Comey revealed in March that the FBI was investigating the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Trump phoned Coats and Director of National Security Admiral Michael S. Rogers and asked them to publicly state there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and the Russians.[85][89][90] Both Coats and Rogers believed that the request was inappropriate, though not illegal, and did not make the requested statement. The two exchanged notes about the incident, and Rogers made a contemporary memo to document the request.[89][90]

In May 2017, a February memo by Comey was made public about an Oval Office conversation with Trump on February 14, 2017, in which Trump is described as attempting to persuade Comey to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn.[91][92] The memo notes that Trump said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey made no commitments to Trump on the subject.[93] In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, Comey gave a detailed report on the February 14 conversation, including Trump’s suggestion that he should “let go” the Flynn investigation. Comey said he “took it as a direction… I took it as, this is what he wants me to do.” He added that it was “a very disturbing thing, very concerning”, and that he discussed the incident with other FBI leaders.[94] Comey created similar memos about every phone call and meeting he had with the president.[95]

The FBI launched an investigation of Trump for obstruction of justice a few days after the May 9 firing of Comey.[96] The special prosecutor’s office took over the obstruction of justice investigation and has reportedly interviewed Director of National Intelligence Coats, Director of the National Security Agency Rogers, and Deputy Director of the NSA Richard Ledgett.[96][97][98] ABC News reported in June that the special counsel was gathering preliminary information about possible obstruction of justice, but a full-scale investigation had not been launched.[99] On June 16, Trump tweeted: “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”[100] However, Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said Trump’s tweet was referring to the June 14 Washington Post report that he was under investigation for obstruction of justice,[96] and that Trump has not actually been notified of any investigation.[101][102]

Financial investigations

The special counsel investigation has expanded to include Trump’s and his associates’ financial ties to Russia. The FBI is reviewing the financial records of Trump himself, The Trump Organization, Trump’s family members, and his campaign staff, including Trump’s real estate activities, which had been under federal scrutiny before the campaign. According to CNN, financial crimes may be easier for investigators to prove than any crimes stemming directly from collusion with Russia.[20] Campaign staff whose finances are under investigation include Manafort, Flynn, Carter Page, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.[103]

Transactions under investigation include Russian purchases of Trump apartments, a SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, transactions with the Bank of Cyprus, real estate financing organized by Kushner, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.[104] The special counsel team has contacted Deutsche Bank, which is the main banking institution doing business with The Trump Organization.[105]

Mueller took over an existing money laundering investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Manafort. On October 30, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Manafort and his associate Rick Gates on charges including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being an unregistered agent of foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements.[106] Manafort’s financial activities are also being investigated by the Senate and House intelligence committees, the New York Attorney General, and the Manhattan District Attorney.[107]

The special counsel will be able to access Trump’s tax returns, which has “especially disturbed” Trump according to the Washington Post. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, as presidential candidates normally do, has been politically controversial since his presidential campaign.[108]

Flynn activities

Michael Flynn statement of offense

As part of the investigation, Special Counsel Mueller assumed control of a Virginia-based grand jury criminal probe into the relationship between Flynn and Turkish businessman Kamil Ekim Alptekin.[109] Flynn Intel Group, an intelligence consultancy, was paid $530,000 by Alptekin’s company Inovo BV to produce a documentary and conduct research on Fethullah Gülen, an exiled Turkish cleric who lives in the United States.[109] The special prosecutor is investigating whether the money came from the Turkish government, and whether Flynn kicked funds back to a middleman to conceal the payment’s original source. Investigators are also looking at Flynn’s finances more generally, including possible payments from Russian companies and from the Japanese government. White House documents relating to Flynn have been requested as evidence.[110] The lead person within Mueller’s team for this investigation is Brandon Van Grack.[111]

Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, is also a subject of the special counsel investigation. Michael G. Flynn worked closely with his father’s lobbying company, the Flynn Intel Group, and accompanied his father on his 2015 visit to Moscow.[112] On November 5, 2017, NBC News reported that Mueller had enough evidence for charges against Flynn and his son.[113]

Flynn’s defense team stopped sharing information with Trump’s team of lawyers in late November 2017.[114] This was interpreted as a sign that Flynn was cooperating and negotiating a plea bargain with the special counsel team.[114][115][116] On December 1, 2017, Flynn appeared in federal court to plead guilty to a single felony count of “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI and to confirm his intention to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation.[117] As part of Flynn’s plea bargain, his son Michael G. Flynn is not expected to be charged.[118][119]

Investigation of Podesta Group lobbying

In August 2017, Mueller’s team reportedly issued grand jury subpoenas to officials in six firms, including lobbying firm Podesta Group, with regard to activities on behalf of a public-relations campaign for a pro-Russian Ukrainian organization called European Centre for a Modern UkraineTony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, is head of the Podesta Group. John Podesta is not employed by the company. According to the reports, Mueller is investigating whether the firms violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Paul Manafort headed the public relations effort, which took place from 2012 to 2014. [120][121][122][123]

Charges

As of December 2, 2017, the Special Counsel has initiated criminal proceedings against four individuals.

Accused Date charged Charge(s) Case status Ind.
George Papadopoulos October 3, 2017 1 count: false statements. Pleaded guilty on October 5, 2017.[124] [125]
Rick Gates October 27, 2017 8 counts: conspiracy against the United Statesconspiracy to launder moneyfailure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts (×3), unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements. Pleaded not guilty on October 30, 2017.[126] [127]
Paul Manafort October 27, 2017 9 counts: conspiracy against the United Statesconspiracy to launder moneyfailure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts (×4), unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements. Pleaded not guilty on October 30, 2017.[126] [127]
Michael Flynn November 30, 2017 1 count: false statements. Pleaded guilty on December 1, 2017.[128] [129]

George Papadopoulos

On October 30, 2017, it was revealed that George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty earlier in the month to making a false statement to FBI investigators.[130] The guilty plea was part of a plea bargain in which he agreed to cooperate with the government and “provide information regarding any and all matters as to which the Government deems relevant.”[131]

Paul Manafort and Rick Gates

On October 30, 2017, Paul Manafort surrendered to the FBI after being indicted on multiple charges. Rick Gates was also indicted and surrendered to the FBI.[132] The pair have been indicted on one count of conspiracy against the United States, one count of conspiracy to launder money, one count of being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, one count of making false and misleading FARA statements, and one count of making false statements. Manafort was charged with four counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts while Gates was charged with three.[127] The charges arise from their consulting work for a pro-Russian government in Ukraine and are unrelated to the Trump campaign.[133] Both were placed under house arrest. On December 4, 2017, prosecutors asked the judge to revoke Manafort’s bond agreement, charging that Manafort violated the terms of his bail by working on a op-ed piece with Konstantin Kilimnik,[134] an associate with ties to Russian intelligence.[135]

Michael Flynn

On December 1, 2017, it was reported that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn agreed to a plea bargain with Mueller, pleading guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI, and agreeing to cooperate with Mueller’s probe.[136]

Reactions

Mueller’s appointment to oversee the investigation immediately garnered widespread support from Democrats and even some from Republicans in Congress.[137][138] Senator Charles Schumer (DNY) said, “Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job. I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D–CA) stated, “Bob was a fine U.S. attorney, a great FBI director and there’s no better person who could be asked to perform this function.” She added, “He is respected, he is talented and he has the knowledge and ability to do the right thing.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (RUT) tweeted that “Mueller is a great selection. Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted.”[137] Much Republican support in Congress was lukewarm: Rep. Peter T. King (RNY) said “It’s fine. I just don’t think there is any need for it.”[139]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wrote of the team that “Bob Mueller is recruiting the smartest and most seasoned professionals who have a long track record of independence and excellence”.[22] Former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who had investigated Bill Clinton during the Clinton Administration, said that the team was “a great, great team of complete professionals”.[19]

Later some conservatives, including political commentators Laura IngrahamAnn Coulter and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (who had initially praised Mueller for “integrity and honesty”), stated that Mueller should be dismissed and the investigation closed.[140][141][142] Christopher Ruddy, the founder of the Right-leaning Newsmax, and a friend of Trump, stated that the president has considered firing Mueller.[143]

On June 23, 2017, Trump stated that members of Mueller’s team were “all Hillary Clinton supporters, some of them worked for Hillary Clinton.” PolitiFact rated Trump’s claim “Mostly False”, noting that only three had made campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton and one had defended the Clinton Foundation in court. One member of the team had made contributions to Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Republican Senator George Allen.[144][25] In an interview with The New York Times published on July 19, 2017, Trump stated that he would have not appointed Sessions as Attorney General had he known that he was going to recuse himself from the investigation. Furthermore, Trump confirmed that he would view it as a violation if the special counsel investigated his and his family’s finances, unrelated to Russia.[145]

On June 25, 2017, it was reported that a pro-Trump group had launched an ad called “Witch Hunt,” featuring conservative Tomi Lahren, which attacked Mueller and the investigation.[146]

On July 21, 2017, the Washington Post reported that Trump asked his advisors about his power to pardon those under investigation. Trump and his legal team discussed the possibility of Trump pardoning aides, family members, and himself. No president has ever pardoned himself, so there is no case law on whether it would be legal. Trump attorneys also reportedly created a list of Mueller’s potential conflicts of interest. Trump lawyer John Dowd said the story was “nonsense”.[108]

On August 3, 2017, at a campaign-style rally in West Virginia, Trump continued to deny any Russian involvement in his campaign or win: “The Russia story is a total fabrication. It’s just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics, that’s all it is.” This occurred on the same day as the announcement that another grand jury had been impaneled.[147]

On August 12, 2017, the New York Times published an interview of Republican Senator Richard Burr, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he said he was hopeful that the investigation would be complete by the end of the year.[148]

On August 24, 2017, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) added a rider to the proposed fiscal 2018 spending bill package that would block funding from being used “for the investigation under that order of matters occurring before June 2015” (the month Trump announced he was running for president) immediately and terminated funding for the Special Counsel investigation 180 days after passage of the bill.[149] Rep. DeSantis said that the DOJ order of May 17, 2017, “didn’t identify a crime to be investigated and practically invites a fishing expedition.”[150]

Shortly after the indictments against Manafort and Gates were unsealed, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz introduced a congressional resolution demanding Robert Mueller’s recusal as Special Counsel due to conflicts of interest. This resolution was cosponsered by Congressman Andy Biggs from Arizona and Congressman Louie Gohmert from Texas.[151][152] In the resolution Gaetz called for a Special Counsel investigation into the handling of the Hillary Clinton email controversy by James Comey, undue interference of Attorney General Loretta Lynch in that investigation, and the acquisition of Uranium One by the Russian state corporation Rosatom during Mueller’s time as FBI director.[153][154] Gaetz stated that he did not trust him to lead the investigation because of Mueller’s alleged involvement in approval of the Uranium One deal and Mueller’s close relationship with the dismissed FBI director James Comey, a probable person of interest in the proposed investigation.[154] On November 8, 2017, Arizona Congressman Trent Franks cosponsered the resolution.[155]

Polling

A May 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll showed that 81% of U.S. voters supported the special prosecutor’s investigation.[156] A June 2017 Associated PressNORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll asked U.S. adults whether the special counsel’s investigation could be fair and impartial: 26% were “extremely confident” or “very confident”; 36% were “moderately confident” and 36% were “not very confident” or “not at all confident.”[157] The poll indicated that 68% of Americans were at least “moderately concerned” about inappropriate connections between the Trump campaign and the Russians.[158]

A poll published in November 2017 by ABC News and The Washington Post found that 58% of Americans approved of Mueller’s handling of his investigation, while 28% disapproved. It also indicated that half of Americans believed that President Trump was not co-operating with the investigation.[159] A Quinnipiac poll published on November 15, 2017 suggested that 60% of Americans believed that Mueller’s investigation was proceeding fairly, with 27% believing that it was not. The poll also found that 47% of respondents said that President Trump ought to be impeached if he were to dismiss Mueller.[160]

A December poll by Associated PressNORC indicated that four out of ten American believed Trump to have committed a crime in connection to Russia, with an additional 3 out of 10 beyond that believing that he had acted unethically. It found that 62% of Democrats and 5% of Republicans believe that Trump acted illegally. It found that 68% of Americans believed that Trump was obstructing the investigation. 57% of respondents said that they were “extremely confident” or “moderately confident” that Mueller’s investigation is fair.[161]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Special_Counsel_investigation

18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

(a)

Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, goes upon, enters, flies over, or otherwise obtains information concerning any vessel, aircraft, work of defense, navy yard, naval station, submarine base, fueling station, fort, battery, torpedo station, dockyard, canal, railroad, arsenal, camp, factory, mine, telegraph, telephone, wireless, or signal station, building, office, research laboratory or station or other place connected with the national defense owned or constructed, or in progress of construction by the United States or under the control of the United States, or of any of its officers, departments, or agencies, or within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, or any place in which any vessel, aircraft, arms, munitions, or other materials or instruments for use in time of war are being made, prepared, repaired, stored, or are the subject of research or development, under any contract or agreement with the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or with any person on behalf of the United States, or otherwise on behalf of the United States, or any prohibited place so designated by the President by proclamation in time of war or in case of national emergency in which anything for the use of the Army, Navy, or Air Force is being prepared or constructed or stored, information as to which prohibited place the President has determined would be prejudicial to the national defense; or

(b)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connected with the national defense; or

(c)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, receives or obtains or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain from any person, or from any source whatever, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note, of anything connected with the national defense, knowing or having reason to believe, at the time he receives or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain it, that it has been or will be obtained, taken, made, or disposed of by any person contrary to the provisions of this chapter; or

(d)

Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(e)

Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(f)

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(g)

If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

(h)

(1)

Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall forfeit to the United States, irrespective of any provision of State law, any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from any foreign government, or any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, as the result of such violation. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(2)

The court, in imposing sentence on a defendant for a conviction of a violation of this section, shall order that the defendant forfeit to the United States all property described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3)The provisions of subsections (b), (c), and (e) through (p) of section 413 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 853(b), (c), and (e)–(p)) shall apply to—

(A)

property subject to forfeiture under this subsection;

(B)

any seizure or disposition of such property; and

(C)

any administrative or judicial proceeding in relation to such property,
if not inconsistent with this subsection.

(4)

Notwithstanding section 524(c) of title 28, there shall be deposited in the Crime Victims Fund in the Treasury all amounts from the forfeiture of property under this subsection remaining after the payment of expenses for forfeiture and sale authorized by law.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 736; Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, § 18, 64 Stat. 1003Pub. L. 99–399, title XIII, § 1306(a), Aug. 27, 1986100 Stat. 898Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2147Pub. L. 103–359, title VIII, § 804(b)(1), Oct. 14, 1994108 Stat. 3440Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 607(b), Oct. 11, 1996110 Stat. 3511.)

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

Story 2: Republican House and Senate Agree on Tax Bill — Rush To Pass Bill Before Congressional Christmas Break — Videos —

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Full text: Republicans unveil their final tax bill

Republicans are expected to vote on this bill as soon as Tuesday.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The final draft of the Republican tax bill has dropped.

After a week of backdoor negotiations to hash out the differences between the House and Senate tax proposals, Republicans have released their final vision for the American tax code: a bill that permanently gives corporations a massive tax break, temporarily cuts individual rates — primarily benefiting the wealthiest Americans — increases the standard deduction, and the repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which is estimated to leave 13 million fewer insured over the next 10 years.

The bill cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, 1 percent less than the Senate and House proposals; and lowers the top individual income tax rate to 37 percent, which is less than the 38.5 percent in the Senate bill and the 39.6 percent in the House bill and current law. It will allow pass-through businesses, like LLCs and partnerships, to deduct 20 percent from their taxes in addition to having the lower top individual rate. The bill also caps the mortgage interest deduction at $750,000 and the state and local property and income deduction at $10,000, particularly disadvantaging Americans who live in high-tax states.

All in all, the bill is a far cry from the simplified tax code that Republicans have long been promising, but it is a substantial reshaping of the nation’s tax base. Republicans are adamant that cutting corporate taxes will in turn increase investments and wages in the United States and lead to unprecedented economic growth — despite analyses that indicate otherwise.

It’s a gamble they are willing to make. This bill has not yet received an official score from the Congressional Budget Office or the Joint Committee on Taxation, which measures legislation’s cost and impact.

Republicans are expected to vote on this bill as soon as Tuesday.

Here’s the bill in its entirety:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/15/16781062/read-republican-final-tax-bill

GOP releases its final tax plan — here’s what’s in it

  • Republicans release their final tax plan, which strikes compromises on many provisions that differed in separate versions passed by the House and Senate.
  • The House plans to vote on the bill on Tuesday.
Jacob Pramuk | John W. Schoen

Representative Brady: Wanted to drive tax relief for everyone

Representative Brady: Wanted to drive tax relief for everyone  

Republicans on Friday released their final proposal to overhaul the American tax system, which would chop taxes for corporations, trim rates for individuals and tweak tax deductions.

The House and Senate GOP hope to pass the sweeping measure by the middle of next week, hitting a year-end target. The House will vote on the plan on Tuesday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement.

Republicans argue that cuts contained in the bill will spark business investment, hiring and wage growth. Democrats call the plan a giveaway to corporations at the expense of the middle class, expressing concerns about the $1 trillion or more it is projected to add to federal budget deficits over a decade.

With two skeptical Republican senators falling in line Friday, the GOP appears set to have the support to push the bill through next week on a party line vote.

Here are some of the provisions the bill contains, according to a Republican summary:

  • The proposal would maintain seven individual income tax brackets at slightly different rates: 10 percent, 12 percent, 22 percent, 24 percent, 32 percent, 35 percent and 37 percent. The top rate would fall from the current 39.6 percent. The House originally proposed collapsing the system to four brackets, saying it would simplify the filing process. (Click here to see which bracket would apply to you.) The changes would phase out after 2025.
  • The bill would scrap the personal exemption but increase the standard deduction to slightly less than double its current level. It would go to $12,000 for an individual or $24,000 for a family.
  • It would drop the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from the current 35 percent. The change would take effect next year.
  • The plan would set a 20 percent business income deduction for the first $315,000 in income earned by pass-through businesses.
  • The bill would scrap Obamacare’s provision that requires most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning in 2019. Doing so is projected to lead to 13 million fewer people with insurance and raise average Obamacare premiums, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
  • The plan would eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax, which the Senate added back to its plan at the last second to raise money. House leaders and corporate groups said the tax would stifle research and development. It would also increase the exemption from the individual AMT.
  • The estate tax, or so-called death tax, would remain but the exemption from it would be doubled.
  • The child tax credit would double to $2,000 per child from $1,000. It would be refundable up to $1,400 and start to phase out at $400,000 in income. The tweak would end after 2025.
  • The plan would limit state and local tax deductions. It would allow the deduction of up to $10,000 in state and local sales, income or property taxes.
  • It will not change the mortgage interest deduction for existing homeowners. For new homes, taxpayers can deduct interest on up to $750,000 in mortgage debt, down from $1 million currently.
  • Tax breaks for charitable contributions and retirement savings plans would remain.
  • The bill would not include the controversial first in first out stock sales change, which sparked backlash in the investing community.

A “very preliminary” projection by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the congressional scorekeeper, estimated that the bill would lead to budget deficits increasing by $1.46 trillion over a decade. That falls just shy of the maximum $1.5 trillion it could add to the deficit under rules set by the Senate earlier this year.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who opposed the Senate version of the plan because he had concerns about a nearly identical effect on budget deficits, is supporting the final legislation.

Republicans cheered the bill’s completion following its release.

“We’re in the final stretch—and we’re ready to get this done for the American people by Christmas,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump “is on the precipice” of fulfilling a campaign promise and passing a plan that she said would boost wages and economic growth.

“The president applauds the House and Senate conferees on coming to an agreement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and looks forward to fulfilling the promise he made to the American people to give them a tax cut by the end of the year,” she said.

Democrats, meanwhile, warned of repercussions for the middle class.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the plan counterproductive.

“Under this bill the working class, middle class and upper middle class get skewered while the rich and wealthy corporations make out like bandits. It is just the opposite of what America needs, and Republicans will rue the day they pass this,” he said in a statement.

In a statement, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., deemed the plan a “moral obscenity” and a “con job.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/15/gop-releases-its-final-tax-plan–heres-whats-in-it.html

Key details revealed in Republican tax deal

  •  The deal would lower the top tax rate to 37%, a push by House Republicans
  • The deal also drops the corporate tax rate to 21%

(CNN)House and Senate Republicans have struck a tentative deal on a tax bill Wednesday, a major step in ensuring the GOP majority is on its way to deliver an overhaul of the US tax system by the holidays.

According to two GOP aides, Republicans struck a deal in principle that will meld together the House and Senate tax deals and put the parties on a path to vote as soon as next week. Aides say there are still smaller issues to work out, but Senate Republicans will discuss remaining issues at their conference-wide lunch Wednesday and see how their rank-and-file members react.
Lawmakers have been working for more than a week to find a way to combine two very different tax bills.
Here’s what Republican negotiators as of Wednesday evening had in the plan:
  • The corporate rate would be reduced to 21%, from 35%. That is an additional point added from the 20% originally proposed in the House and Senate versions. It would take effect in 2018.
  • The top individual tax rate would be set at 37%, down from the 39.6% proposed in the House and 38.5% in the Senate.
  • The State and Local Tax deduction will be expanded, beyond just property taxes, to include income tax. It would be capped at $10,000.
  • The corporate alternative minimum tax, included at the last minute in the Senate version, would be fully repealed.
  • The individual alternative minimum tax would remain, but the threshold would be tweaked to exclude any individual under $500,000 or family below $1 million.
  • The mortgage interest deduction threshold — dropped to $500,000 in the House and left untouched in the Senate — would be set at $750,000.
  • The rate for pass-through income — business entities like s-corporations and partnerships that pay taxes through the individual side — would be determined by a 20% deduction, 3% lower than the Senate version.
  • The estate tax exemption would be doubled, but the tax would not be repealed entirely, as it was in the House proposal.
  • The Obamacare individual mandate to have health insurance would be repealed.
  • A House provision that proposed taxing graduate school tuition is not included in the final deal.
These deductions will remain untouched (they were all repealed in the House bill, left alone in the Senate bill). Of note, repeal of these deductions were some of the most controversial elements of the House plan. None will be repealed in the final version.
  • Medical expense deduction
  • Tax-free graduate school tuition waivers
  • Private activity bonds
  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Teacher spending deduction
The news of a deal came just hours after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Republicans to hold off on a tax bill until newly-elected Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat, was seated in January.

President Trump said at the White House on Wednesday, “We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.” CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year.

Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to bridge the yawning gaps between their competing versions of the $1.5 trillion tax bill, keeping Republicans on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump’s desk by Christmas. The House and Senate versions of the tax bill started from the same core principles — sharply cutting taxes on businesses, while reducing rates and eliminating some breaks for individuals — but diverged on several crucial details.

In the end, more of the Senate bill appeared to be included in the final version, though lawmakers continued to make significant changes from the legislation that passed either the House or the Senate.

The changes included a slightly higher corporate tax rate of 21 percent, rather than the 20 percent in the legislation that passed both chambers, and a lower top individual tax rate of 37 percent for the wealthiest Americans, who currently pay 39.6 percent. But the bill will still scale back some popular tax breaks, including the state and local tax deduction and the deductibility of mortgage interest.

In a break from the House bill, the agreement would allow taxpayers to continue to deduct high out-of-pocket medical expenses, and it would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. Also included in the consensus bill is the Senate’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty and a provision that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to energy exploration.

Still unclear is the overall cost of the revised legislation, which cannot exceed the $1.5 trillion bucket that lawmakers have allowed if they want to pass the bill without Democratic support. Several of the provisions added by the Senate to help pay for the overall bill were either reversed or scaled back in the consensus version, and some tax breaks eliminated by the House were added back in.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/us/politics/tax-bill-republicans-deal.html

House, Senate reach tax bill agreement

Original source for this article can be found on RT by clicking here
Dec. 13 (UPI) — Republicans in the House and Senate on Wednesday reached an agreement, in principle, on a consensus tax bill, keeping the party on track for final votes next week and a push to President Donald Trump‘s desk by Christmas.Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, said he is confident the deal will be approved. Details of the agreement were not immediately available.Democrats, who have been locked out of the process, criticized the rush to pass the bill next week and called on Republican leaders to wait for the newly elected Democratic senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, to be sworn in. He defeated Roy Moore on Tuesday in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.Senate Republicans had a meeting Wednesday to go over the details before briefing House Republicans and making a formal announcement.Last-minute changes to the bill include lowering the top individual tax rate to 37 percent and setting the corporate tax rate at 21 percent, a source who was briefed on the package told a The Hill.Also, as a compromise between the Senate and House versions of the bill, mortgage interest deduction will be capped at $750,000 and as a relief to people living in high-tax areas. The bill allows state and local property or income tax deductions of up to $10,000.

If passed, the legislation repeals an essential piece of the Affordable Care Act that requires people to purchase health insurance.

https://newsline.com/house-senate-reach-tax-bill-agreement/

President Trump said at the White House on Wednesday, “We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.” CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year.

Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to bridge the yawning gaps between their competing versions of the $1.5 trillion tax bill, keeping Republicans on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump’s desk by Christmas. The House and Senate versions of the tax bill started from the same core principles — sharply cutting taxes on businesses, while reducing rates and eliminating some breaks for individuals — but diverged on several crucial details.

In the end, more of the Senate bill appeared to be included in the final version, though lawmakers continued to make significant changes from the legislation that passed either the House or the Senate.

The changes included a slightly higher corporate tax rate of 21 percent, rather than the 20 percent in the legislation that passed both chambers, and a lower top individual tax rate of 37 percent for the wealthiest Americans, who currently pay 39.6 percent. But the bill will still scale back some popular tax breaks, including the state and local tax deduction and the deductibility of mortgage interest.

In a break from the House bill, the agreement would allow taxpayers to continue to deduct high out-of-pocket medical expenses, and it would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. Also included in the consensus bill is the Senate’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty and a provision that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to energy exploration.

Continue reading the main story

Still unclear is the overall cost of the revised legislation, which cannot exceed the $1.5 trillion bucket that lawmakers have allowed if they want to pass the bill without Democratic support. Several of the provisions added by the Senate to help pay for the overall bill were either reversed or scaled back in the consensus version, and some tax breaks eliminated by the House were added back in.

Photo

President Trump had lunch with Republicans on the House-Senate conference committee, including Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, right, and Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, left, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The announcement that Republicans had overcome their differences to get to a consensus bill added more momentum to the sprint to the finish line. Republicans dismissed requests by Democrats to delay a vote until the new senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, is sworn in.

“I see no need to wait for Doug Jones to become a senator,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine. “We vote all the time in lame-duck sessions with retired and defeated members casting votes.”

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the majority whip, told reporters that he was confident the final bill would be approved next week. The leaders of the tax-writing committees in the House and the Senate, Representative Kevin Brady of Texas and Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, each proclaimed a bill “close” to completion.

In a compromise between the bills, the deal would cap the popular deduction for interest on mortgage debt at $750,000 for newly purchased homes, a higher cap than the $500,000 limit in the House-passed bill but lower than the $1 million limit that currently exists and remains in the Senate-passed bill.

The agreement would cut the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, which is lower than the current 35 percent rate but higher than the 20 percent that Mr. Trump had, until recently, said was nonnegotiable. The corporate rate would take effect in 2018, rather than 2019, as the Senate bill originally called for, according to a senior Republican congressional aide.

The bill also allows individuals to somewhat choose how to use their state and local tax deduction, giving them the ability to write off up to $10,000 in property taxes, income or sales taxes paid or a combination of property and sales or property and income taxes. That move is intended to alleviate the concerns of House Republicans, particularly those from California, over the bill’s treatment of the state and local tax deduction.

Lawmakers also yielded to concerns by business groups about the Senate’s last-minute inclusion of the corporate alternative minimum tax, which was added as a way to pay for the bill but faced stiff blowback from companies that said it would restrict their ability to use the research and development tax credit.

Photo

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the finance committee, tweeted on Wednesday morning that Republican leaders should delay the tax process until Doug Jones, the newly elected Democratic Senator from Alabama, takes his seat. CreditPete Marovich for The New York Times

In an effort to assuage concerns that wealthy individuals would face a potential tax increase, the top individual income tax rate will drop to 37 percent, down from the current rate of 39.6 percent in the Senate bill and the 38.5 percent in the House bill. And the lower rate will apply to more people, allowing those with income levels below the $1 million cutoff outlined in both the House and Senate bills to claim the marginal rate.

The consensus bill will preserve the individual alternative minimum tax, which the House bill had eliminated and the Senate bill retained in a watered-down form. But it will apply to even fewer taxpayers than the Senate bill would have, the congressional aide said. The alternative tax, which was put in place to ensure high-income earners did not exploit loopholes to avoid paying taxes, would kick in for individuals earning at least $500,000 and for couples earning at least $1 million.

The agreement may allow some high-earning business owners to claim an even larger tax break than the Senate bill would have. Negotiators agreed to keep the Senate’s approach to provide a tax deduction for so-called pass-through companies, whose owners pay taxes on profits through the individual code. That deduction is likely to be lower than the 23 percent deduction in the Senate-passed bill.

But, the aide said, the consensus bill will include a House provision that would allow some pass-through owners with few employees — but large amounts of investment in their businesses — to bypass a limit on how much income qualifies for the preferential deduction.

The consensus bill would also largely retain the Senate approach to taxing multinational companies, by levying what is effectively a minimum tax on both American-based and foreign-based companies that operate in the United States.

Mr. Trump praised House and Senate negotiators in a lunch meeting at the White House. “We’re very close to getting it done; we’re very close to voting,” Mr. Trump said of the tax bill.

It is not clear whether all Republican senators will roundly endorse the deal, which includes provisions that Ms. Collins and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida had raised concerns about this week. Ms. Collins has said she does not favor a lower individual rate, and Mr. Rubio has pushed for a more generous child tax credit.

GRAPHIC

How the Final Tax Bill Will Affect Families, Homeowners, Businesses and More

Republicans have resolved the differences between the two versions of their tax bill.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

Still, none of those concerned senators indicated on Wednesday that they were opposed to the bill taking shape under the agreement in principle, an encouraging sign for Republican leaders.

The Senate bill narrowly passed 51 to 49, with Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, voting against the legislation, and other lawmakers, like Ms. Collins, getting on board only once certain changes, including expanding the medical expense deduction, were made. Mr. Corker said on Wednesday that “nothing has alleviated the concerns” that caused him to oppose the bill, which were rooted in a desire not to add further to the national debt.

The agreement was completed on Wednesday morning, hours before the first and only scheduled public meeting of the congressional conference committee formed to work out the differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of the bill.

“Let’s understand what’s happening today is a sham,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee. “Nobody ought to mistake this conference for real debate.”

Mr. Trump delivered what was called a closing argument for the tax bill from the White House on Wednesday afternoon, flanked by five families who each took the microphone to extol the benefits of the tax bill on their households and communities.

“As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive tax cut for the everyday working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country,” Mr. Trump said. “Now we are just days away from keeping that promise. We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.”

Mr. Trump added that if the bill were to be signed in that time frame, Americans would begin seeing tax cuts reflected in their paychecks by February, citing the Internal Revenue Service. “The cynical voices that opposed tax cuts grow smaller and weaker, and the American people grow stronger,” he said.

Correction: December 14, 2017 
Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to one provision of the tax proposal. The agreement would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. It does not apply to tuition stipends.

 

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What Is The Federal Reserve?

Fed Raises Rates, Sticks to Forecast for 2018 Increases

Policy makers pencil in three quarter-point rate raises for next year, as they had in September

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for her press conference Wednesday. The central bank’s rate-setting committee voted 7-2 to raise the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for her press conference Wednesday. The central bank’s rate-setting committee voted 7-2 to raise the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%. PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve showed continued optimism about the U.S. economy in voting Wednesday to raise short-term interest rates for the third time this year, and signaling it would stay on a similar path next year amid a leadership transition.

Officials nudged their economic-growth estimates higher for the next few years on expectations that congressional Republicans will pass tax cuts. But the Fed policy makers’ new projections suggest the boost wouldn’t be so large that they would have to speed up the pace of rate increases to guard against too much inflation.

“At the moment the U.S. economy is performing well,” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said at a press conference after the central bank’s two-day policy meeting ended Wednesday.

“The growth that we’re seeing, it’s not based on, for example, an unsustainable buildup of debt,” she added. “The global economy is doing well. We’re in a synchronized expansion. This is the first time in many years we’ve seen this.”

The Fed said it would increase its benchmark federal-funds rate Thursday by a quarter percentage point to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%, the fifth such increase in the past two years. Officials penciled in three quarter-point rate increases for next year, as they had in September, and two such increases each in 2019 and 2020.

The big question heading into their two-day meeting was how much Fed officials expected to lift rates in coming years. The prospect of new fiscal stimulus in the form of tax cuts, combined with solid hiring and lofty asset values, could argue for picking up the pace to prevent the economy from overheating. But low inflation and modest wage growth could support the case for sticking with a gradual approach.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans joined Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Wednesday in casting two dissenting votes, against seven in favor or raising rates. Both have cited weak inflation as a reason to hold off.

Fed officials projected the economy would grow 2.5% next year, up from the 2.1% they predicted in September. They also expect the unemployment rate will fall to 3.9% by the end of next year, down from their earlier forecast of 4.1%.

Officials didn’t project more interest-rate increases or higher inflation because price pressures have been surprisingly muted this year. They still project inflation to rise to their 2% target by 2019, the same as they expected in September.

“It could take a longer period of a very strong labor market in order to achieve the inflation objective,” Ms. Yellen said Wednesday.

Economists said the latest projections and Ms. Yellen’s comments Wednesday show officials believe growth won’t generate as much inflation as previously thought. “If inflation does actually pick up, it implies that they move more rapidly” to raise rates, said Lewis Alexander, chief U.S. economist at Nomura Securities.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, above, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, below, dissented to the Fed’s decision to raise short-term interest rates.
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, above, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, below, dissented to the Fed’s decision to raise short-term interest rates. PHOTO: ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS
Fed Raises Rates, Sticks to Forecast for 2018 Increases
PHOTO: MARK KAUZLARICH/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Fed officials slashed their benchmark federal-funds rate to near zero during the financial crisis and held it there for seven years before raising it by a quarter percentage point in December 2015, the start of a gradual series of small increases. In October, the Fed also started shrinking its $4.5 trillion portfolio of bonds and other assets, most of which were purchased as part of extraordinary postcrisis measures to support the economy.

Since officials last met in early November, Congress has moved rapidly on legislation that would cut business and individual taxes by around $1.4 trillion over the next decade. Before this week, many Fed officials refrained from building into their forecasts much prospect of fiscal stimulus because it wasn’t clear what Congress would pass.

House and Senate Republicans are reconciling different versions of tax bills that have passed their respective chambers with the goal of putting a unified plan before President Donald Trump to sign by Christmas. The White House has said the plan can boost growth to levels that make up for revenue shortfalls.

An analysis from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation found the tax bill wouldn’t pay for itself with more economic growth and instead would result in about $1 trillion in additional budget deficits over a decade.

Fed officials’ projections show they don’t see the tax cut raising the economy’s long-run growth rate, which they left unchanged at 1.8%.

“It’s fair to say that the Fed doesn’t see the tax package as a game changer in terms of growth—just some modest upside, concentrated mostly in 2018,” said Roberto Perli, an analyst at research firm Cornerstone Macro LP.

While officials have now largely incorporated the effects of tax changes into their growth forecasts, Ms. Yellen said, “importantly, you really don’t at the end of the day see very much change in the federal-funds rate path.”

Ms. Yellen added that she remained concerned higher budget deficits could leave fiscal policy makers with less scope to respond aggressively to an economic downturn in the future. Budget deficits are projected to grow as the baby boom ages, even before the added effect of tax cuts. “Taking what is already a significant problem and making it worse, it is a concern to me,” she said.

While Ms. Yellen will preside over one more Fed meeting early next year, Wednesday featured her last scheduled press conference before her term ends Feb. 3. While she is likely to hand her successor an economy in far better shape than when she took over four years ago, the Fed faces several balancing acts.

On one hand, inflation has run below its annual 2% target most of this year, reaching just 1.6% in October by the central bank’s preferred gauge. On the other hand, with the economy so strong and more stimulus on the way, they don’t want to hold rates too low for too long and cause price pressures to surge out of control or fuel asset bubbles and other financial imbalances.

Now that the Fed has successfully moved interest rates away from zero and initiated the steady wind down of the portfolio, “the battle is over the terminal fed-funds rate, and how quickly you get to it,” said Vincent Reinhart, chief economist of Standish Mellon and former director of the Fed’s monetary policy division. Fed officials’ new projections show they see that longer-run level at around 2.75%, implying the Fed is already about half way there.

Mr. Trump’s nominee to succeed Ms. Yellen as central bank chief, Fed governor Jerome Powell, has indicated he could offer a lighter touch on financial regulation but has shown few signs of diverging from Ms. Yellen on monetary policy.

Ms. Yellen has said she would resign her seat on the Fed’s seven-member board once Mr. Powell is confirmed and sworn in, making her the third governor to leave within a year and giving Mr. Trump another opportunity to reshape the Fed.

Fed officials also are wrestling with the fact that the economy isn’t responding to its rate moves as it did in the past, making it harder to discern the right policy path.

Fed increases in short-term rates used to tighten credit more broadly, causing bond yields to rise and boosting other borrowing costs, such as for mortgages, credit cards and business loans. This year, instead, financial conditions have eased, with stock prices rising to new highs and long-term bond yields remaining low, due in part to easy-money policies from central banks in Europe and Japan.

Banks have held rates on savings deposits at historically low levels. The average interest rate paid by the biggest U.S. banks on interest-bearing deposits rose to 0.40% in the third quarter, up from 0.34% in the second quarter, according to Autonomous Research.

Low interest rates have been a pleasant surprise for Joe Williams, 33, who is looking to trade up to a larger home to make room for a growing family. Mr. Williams, who works in retail operations, and his wife are preapproved for a 30-year mortgage that carries a 3.75% interest rate for the first seven years. That is higher than the 3.125% rate he locked in on his Minneapolis home two years ago.

If rates looked likely to rise faster, “that would motivate us to get a little bit more aggressive” in buying the move-up home, he said.

Write to Nick Timiraos at nick.timiraos@wsj.com

Appeared in the December 14, 2017, print edition as ‘Fed Hikes Rates as Economy Picks Up.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-raises-interest-rates-sees-continued-path-of-increases-in-2018-1513191780

Federal funds rate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions (banks and credit unions) lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight, on an uncollateralized basis. Reserve balances are amounts held at the Federal Reserve to maintain depository institutions’ reserve requirements. Institutions with surplus balances in their accounts lend those balances to institutions in need of larger balances. The federal funds rate is an important benchmark in financial markets.[1][2]

The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee which normally occurs eight times a year about seven weeks apart. The committee may also hold additional meetings and implement target rate changes outside of its normal schedule.

The Federal Reserve uses open market operations to influence the supply of money in the U.S. economy[3] to make the federal funds effective rate follow the federal funds target rate.

Mechanism

Financial Institutions are obligated by law to maintain certain levels of reserves, either as reserves with the Fed or as vault cash. The level of these reserves is determined by the outstanding assets and liabilities of each depository institution, as well as by the Fed itself, but is typically 10%[4] of the total value of the bank’s demand accounts (depending on bank size). In the range of $9.3 million to $43.9 million, for transaction deposits (checking accountsNOWs, and other deposits that can be used to make payments) the reserve requirement in 2007-2008 was 3 percent of the end-of-the-day daily average amount held over a two-week period. Transaction deposits over $43.9 million held at the same depository institution carried a 10 percent reserve requirement.

For example, assume a particular U.S. depository institution, in the normal course of business, issues a loan. This dispenses money and decreases the ratio of bank reserves to money loaned. If its reserve ratio drops below the legally required minimum, it must add to its reserves to remain compliant with Federal Reserve regulations. The bank can borrow the requisite funds from another bank that has a surplus in its account with the Fed. The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is set by the governors of the Federal Reserve, which they enforce by open market operations and adjustments in the interest rate on reserves.[5] The target rate is almost always what is meant by the media referring to the Federal Reserve “changing interest rates.” The actual federal funds rate generally lies within a range of that target rate, as the Federal Reserve cannot set an exact value through open market operations.

Another way banks can borrow funds to keep up their required reserves is by taking a loan from the Federal Reserve itself at the discount window. These loans are subject to audit by the Fed, and the discount rate is usually higher than the federal funds rate. Confusion between these two kinds of loans often leads to confusion between the federal funds rate and the discount rate. Another difference is that while the Fed cannot set an exact federal funds rate, it does set the specific discount rate.

The federal funds rate target is decided by the governors at Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The FOMC members will either increase, decrease, or leave the rate unchanged depending on the meeting’s agenda and the economic conditions of the U.S. It is possible to infer the market expectations of the FOMC decisions at future meetings from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Fed Funds futures contracts, and these probabilities are widely reported in the financial media.

Applications

Interbank borrowing is essentially a way for banks to quickly raise money. For example, a bank may want to finance a major industrial effort but may not have the time to wait for deposits or interest (on loan payments) to come in. In such cases the bank will quickly raise this amount from other banks at an interest rate equal to or higher than the Federal funds rate.

Raising the federal funds rate will dissuade banks from taking out such inter-bank loans, which in turn will make cash that much harder to procure. Conversely, dropping the interest rates will encourage banks to borrow money and therefore invest more freely.[6] This interest rate is used as a regulatory tool to control how freely the U.S. economy operates.

By setting a higher discount rate the Federal Bank discourages banks from requisitioning funds from the Federal Bank, yet positions itself as a lender of last resort.

Comparison with LIBOR

Though the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the federal funds rate are concerned with the same action, i.e. interbank loans, they are distinct from one another, as follows:

  • The target federal funds rate is a target interest rate that is set by the FOMC for implementing U.S. monetary policies.
  • The (effective) federal funds rate is achieved through open market operations at the Domestic Trading Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which deals primarily in domestic securities (U.S. Treasury and federal agencies’ securities).[7]
  • LIBOR is based on a questionnaire where a selection of banks guess the rates at which they could borrow money from other banks.
  • LIBOR may or may not be used to derive business terms. It is not fixed beforehand and is not meant to have macroeconomic ramifications.[8]

Predictions by the market

Considering the wide impact a change in the federal funds rate can have on the value of the dollar and the amount of lending going to new economic activity, the Federal Reserve is closely watched by the market. The prices of Option contracts on fed funds futures (traded on the Chicago Board of Trade) can be used to infer the market’s expectations of future Fed policy changes. Based on CME Group 30-Day Fed Fund futures prices, which have long been used to express the market’s views on the likelihood of changes in U.S. monetary policy, the CME Group FedWatch tool allows market participants to view the probability of an upcoming Fed Rate hike. One set of such implied probabilities is published by the Cleveland Fed.

Historical rates

As of 14 June 2017 the target range for the Federal Funds Rate is 1.00-1.25%.[9] This represents the fourth increase in the target rate since tightening began in December 2015.

The last full cycle of rate increases occurred between June 2004 and June 2006 as rates steadily rose from 1.00% to 5.25%. The target rate remained at 5.25% for over a year, until the Federal Reserve began lowering rates in September 2007. The last cycle of easing monetary policy through the rate was conducted from September 2007 to December 2008 as the target rate fell from 5.25% to a range of 0.00-0.25%. Between December 2008 and December 2015 the target rate remained at 0.00-0.25%, the lowest rate in the Federal Reserve’s history, as a reaction to the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 and its aftermath. According to Jack A. Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, one reason for this unprecedented move of having a range, rather than a specific rate, was because a rate of 0% could have had problematic implications for money market funds, whose fees could then outpace yields.[10]

Federal funds rate history and recessions.jpg

Explanation of federal funds rate decisions

When the Federal Open Market Committee wishes to reduce interest rates they will increase the supply of money by buying government securities. When additional supply is added and everything else remains constant, price normally falls. The price here is the interest rate (cost of money) and specifically refers to the Federal Funds Rate. Conversely, when the Committee wishes to increase the Fed Funds Rate, they will instruct the Desk Manager to sell government securities, thereby taking the money they earn on the proceeds of those sales out of circulation and reducing the money supply. When supply is taken away and everything else remains constant, price (or in this case interest rates) will normally rise.[11]

The Federal Reserve has responded to a potential slow-down by lowering the target federal funds rate during recessions and other periods of lower growth. In fact, the Committee’s lowering has recently predated recessions,[12] in order to stimulate the economy and cushion the fall. Reducing the Fed Funds Rate makes money cheaper, allowing an influx of credit into the economy through all types of loans.

The charts linked below show the relation between S&P 500 and interest rates.

  • July 13, 1990 — Sept 4, 1992: 8.00%–3.00% (Includes 1990–1991 recession)[13][14]
  • Feb 1, 1995 — Nov 17, 1998: 6.00–4.75 [15][16][17]
  • May 16, 2000 — June 25, 2003: 6.50–1.00 (Includes 2001 recession)[18][19][20]
  • June 29, 2006 — (Oct. 29 2008): 5.25–1.00[21]
  • Dec 16, 2008 — 0.0–0.25[22]
  • Dec 16, 2015 — 0.25-0.50[23]
  • Dec 14, 2016 — 0.50-0.75[24]
  • Mar 15, 2017 — 0.75-1.00[25]
  • Jun 14, 2017 — 1.00-1.25[26]
  • Dec 13, 2017 — 1.25-1.50[27]

Bill Gross of PIMCO suggested that in the prior 15 years ending in 2007, in each instance where the fed funds rate was higher than the nominal GDP growth rate, assets such as stocks and/or housing fell.[28]

International effects

A low federal funds rate makes investments in developing countries such as China or Mexico more attractive. A high federal funds rate makes investments in other countries less attractive. The long period of a very low federal funds rate from 2009 forward resulted in an increase in investment in developing countries. As the United States began to return to a higher rate in 2013 investments in the United States became more attractive and the rate of investment in developing countries began to fall. The rate also affects the value of currency, a higher rate increasing the value of the U.S. dollar and decreasing the value of currencies such as the Mexican peso.[29]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Fedpoints: Federal Funds”Federal Reserve Bank of New York. August 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  2. Jump up^ “The Implementation of Monetary Policy”. The Federal Reserve System: Purposes & Functions (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Federal Reserve Board. 24 August 2011. p. 4. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  3. Jump up^ “Monetary Policy, Open Market Operations”. Federal Reserve Bank. 2008-01-30. Archived from the original on 2001-04-13. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  4. Jump up^ “Reserve Requirements”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  5. Jump up^ Stefan Homburg (2017) A Study in Monetary Macroeconomics, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-880753-7.
  6. Jump up^ “Fed funds rate”. Bankrate, Inc. March 2016.
  7. Jump up^ Cheryl L. Edwards (November 1997). Gerard Sinzdak. “Open Market Operations in the 1990s” (PDF). Federal Reserve Bulletin (PDF).
  8. Jump up^ “BBA LIBOR – Frequently asked questions”. British Bankers’ Association. March 21, 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-02-16.
  9. Jump up^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement” (Press release). Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. 2017-06-14. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  10. Jump up^ “4:56 p.m. US-Closing Stocks”. Associated Press. December 16, 2008. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  11. Jump up^ David Waring (2008-02-19). “An Explanation of How The Fed Moves Interest Rates”. InformedTrades.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-05. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  12. Jump up^ “Historical Changes of the Target Federal Funds and Discount Rates, 1971 to present”. New York Federal Reserve Branch. February 19, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008.
  13. Jump up^ “$SPX 1990-06-12 1992-10-04 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  14. Jump up^ “$SPX 1992-08-04 1995-03-01 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  15. Jump up^ “$SPX 1995-01-01 1997-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  16. Jump up^ “$SPX 1996-12-01 1998-10-17 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  17. Jump up^ “$SPX 1998-09-17 2000-06-16 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  18. Jump up^ “$SPX 2000-04-16 2002-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  19. Jump up^ “$SPX 2002-01-01 2003-07-25 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  20. Jump up^ “$SPX 2003-06-25 2006-06-29 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  21. Jump up^ “$SPX 2006-06-29 2008-06-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  22. Jump up^ “Press Release”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2008.
  23. Jump up^ “Open Market Operations”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  24. Jump up^ “Decisions Regarding Monetary Policy Implementation”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. Archived from the original on 2016-12-15.
  25. Jump up^ Cox, Jeff (2017-03-15). “Fed raises rates at March meeting”CNBC. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  26. Jump up^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 14, 2017.
  27. Jump up^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 13, 2017.
  28. Jump up^ Shaw, Richard (January 7, 2007). “The Bond Yield Curve as an Economic Crystal Ball”. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  29. Jump up^ Peter S. Goodman, Keith Bradsher and Neil Gough (March 16, 2017). “The Fed Acts. Workers in Mexico and Merchants in Malaysia Suffer”The New York Times. Retrieved March 18,2017Rising interest rates in the United States are driving money out of many developing countries, straining governments and pinching consumers around the globe.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_funds_rate

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The Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017, Breaking News — Story 1: Radical Islamic Suicide Bomber Failure in Port Authority Bus Terminal Subway Station — Videos — Story 2: Fabricated Trump Dossier Was Opposition Research/Russian Disinformation — Democratic Party and Obama Administration Used Fabricated Trump Dossier To Justify Spying on Americans and Opposition Republican Party Using Intelligence Community — Conspiracy Not Collusion — Federal Crimes — A New Special Counsel Should Investigate Together With DOJ and FBI Investigation of Clinton Charitable Foundation, Email Server and Mishandling of Classified Documents — Videos — Story 3: People of Alabama Will Elect Roy Moore on Tuesday To Fill Senate Seat Vacated By Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions — Moore Is Right On The Issues — Videos

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Story 1: Radical Islamic Suicide Bomber Failure in Port Authority Bus Terminal Subway Station — Videos —

TERRORIST ATTACK NEW YORK Shows PIPE BOMB Malfunctions & Explodes ISIS Man Wearing A Suicide Vest

Explosion at New York bus terminal ( 2017 bomb terrorist attack underattack )

Pipe Bomb of Peace: Bangladesh Strikes New York City Subway During Morning Rush Hour

New York explosion suspect identified

New York City subway bomb attack details released by officials

Report: NYC bomb suspect a Brooklyn resident

Explosion Takes Place Near New York City Port Authority | TODAY

Suicide bomber strikes New York City at rush hour

 

 

 

 

An ISIS-inspired would-be suicide bomber set off a homemade explosive device at the Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station Monday morning, seriously wounding himself and injuring three others, law enforcement sources said.

The man — a 27-year-old Brooklyn man identified by high ranking police sources as Akayed Ullah — had wires attached to him and a 5-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack strapped to his midsection as he walked through the Manhattan transit hub.

The man partially detonated the device, which he was carrying under the right side of his jacket, prematurely inside the passageway to the A, C and E trains at Eighth Avenue and West 42nd Street around 7:40 a.m., sources said.

Police quickly took the man into custody.

Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the man was inspired by ISIS and possibly born in Bangladesh.

Bratton, who said the man had been living in the US for seven years, “was supposedly setting the device off in the name of ISIS.”

“So, definitely a terrorist attack, definitely intended,” Bratton said.

Akayed Ullah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The man, who suffered the most serious injuries, was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

Three others suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said. One person was taken to St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital, another to Mount Sinai and another person was treated at the scene, officials said.

Investigators briefly spoke to the alleged bomber, who told them he made the explosive device at the electrical company where he works.

Emergency personnel flooded the scene following the incident.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been briefed on the incident.

The incident sent commuters into a frenzy.

A 911 caller, who would only identify herself as Carmen, told The Post: “I didn’t see anything, I just heard an explosion and I ran out like everyone did to look for the nearest exit.”

“I had like a panic attack, I couldn’t breathe. My stomach started hurting,” the witness said. “I’m doing better — I’m just trying to catch a train to go back home to College Point.”

Designer Chelsea LaSalle tweeted: “holy f–k. just was stuck in a running stampede at port authority bus terminal due to bomb scare. cops EVERYWHERE.”

LaSalle followed up her tweet with another that read: “not a scare. actual explosion moments before i was about to get on the subway.”

Commuter Keith Woodfin tweeted: “I was exiting the Port Authority and the National Guard was running towards something shouting ‘Go, Go, Go.’”

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force also is investigating the incident.

All MTA trains were bypassing Port Authority-42nd Street as police investigated the incident.

All New Jersey Transit buses were not stopping at Port Authority. NY Waterway was also running extra ferries.

Additional reporting by Lorena Mongelli and Max Jaeger

https://nypost.com/2017/12/11/explosion-reported-at-port-authority-bus-terminal/

Botched Suicide Bombing Jolts New York Rush Hour, Injures Four

Police say 27-year-old Akayed Ullah detonated a low-tech explosive device near the Port Authority Bus Terminal


Trains bypassed the Times Square and Bryant Park stops after a failed bomb attempt. The platform where the 1,2,3 trains usually stop at Times Square was empty during rush hour.
Police respond to a report of an explosion near Times Square on Monday morning in New York. Police said the suspect was a Bangladeshi man, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, who tried to set off an explosive device he was wearing near the transit hub. He has been placed in custody.
Authorities investigate the explosion at the Port Authority. John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, described the device the suspect used as a pipe bomb.
Helicopters hover over the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Police recovered surveillance video of the incident. “It could’ve been much, much worse,” an official said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speak at a news conference as police respond to a reported explosion at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. “This was an attempted terrorist attack,” Mr. de Blasio said. “All we know is one individual who was thank god unsuccessful in his aims.”
A New York Fire Department vehicle arrives at the Port Authority. Fire Department commissioner Dan Nigro said the suspect detonated the explosive device, causing burns to his hands and abdomen. Three civilians in proximity of the explosion suffered minor injuries.
Police at Port Authority Bus Terminal watch as people evacuate after the explosion near the facility. By midmorning, some subway service remained suspended.
The explosion disrupted thousands of commuters at the Port Authority terminal during the morning rush hour. Multiple subway lines were evacuated, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed the entire Port Authority bus station temporarily.
Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi man who attempted to detonate a homemade bomb, is seen in this handout photo. The New York City Taxi &amp; Limousine Commission confirmed that Mr. Ullah was licensed to drive a black or livery car from March 2012 to March 2015. The license lapsed in 2015 and wasn’t renewed, according to a TLC spokesman. Although Mr. Ullah obtained a license, he may never have actually worked as a driver, the spokesman said.<br>
Police respond to a report of an explosion near Times Square on Monday morning in New York. Police said the suspect was a Bangladeshi man, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, who tried to set off an explosive device he was wearing near the transit hub. He has been placed in custody.
CHARLES ZOELLER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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A bomber tried to set off an explosive device he had strapped to his body near one of New York City’s busiest transit hubs in an attempted terrorist attack that injured three bystanders, authorities said.

The suspect—a Bangladeshi immigrant identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah—was quickly apprehended and was transported to Bellevue Hospital for burns to his hands and abdomen, according to police and fire officials. Three civilians in proximity of the explosion suffered minor injuries and were treated at local hospitals, officials said.

“This was an attempted terrorist attack,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. There are no other known incidents or specific threats to NYC, but there will be an expanded police presence, he said.

 New York Gov. Cuomo described the suspect as a disgruntled “lone wolf,” who had been influenced by extremist groups online. Mr. Cuomo said the suspect downloaded information from the internet on how to make a low-tech, homemade bomb but noted that the device didn’t explode as planned.

“This is one of my worst nightmares—a terrorist attack in the subway system,” Mr. Cuomo said in an interview on CNN.

The explosion disrupted thousands of commuters during the morning rush hour. Multiple subway lines were evacuated, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed the entire bus station temporarily. Emergency personnel responded in force to the scene. By midmorning, some subway and bus service had been restored. An estimated 220,000 people pass through the transit hub each day.

“The choice of New York is for a reason. We are a beacon to the world and we actually show that a society of many faiths and many backgrounds can work,” said Mr. de Blasio. “The terrorists want to undermine that. So they yearn to attack New York City.”

“As New Yorkers our lives revolve around the subways. When we hear of an attack on the subways, it’s incredibly unsettling,” Mr. de Blasio said.

Botched Suicide Bombing in New York City Injures Four
A bomber partially detonated a home-made explosive at a Manhattan subway terminal Monday in an attempted terrorist attack. The suspect suffered severe burns and was taken into custody by the police. Photo: Twitter/@Breaking911

The suspect was walking in a crowd of commuters when the device was detonated, according to a Port Authority surveillance camera video that was confirmed by a federal law-enforcement official. The incident occurred around 7:20 a.m. ET while the suspect was walking eastbound in the underground corridor under 42nd Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues, according to police. After the detonation, the suspect is surrounded in smoke, before dropping to the ground, based on the video footage.

But the device—which authorities described as a pipe bomb that was affixed to the suspect with Velcro and zip ties—only partially detonated, limiting the damage, according to officials. Mr. Cuomo said the explosive chemical in the bomb went off as planned, but the pipe didn’t explode.

When police officers arrived on the scene, they saw wires trailing between Mr. Ullah’s jacket and pants, according to a law-enforcement official. When they searched him, they found that he was carrying a nine-volt battery.

“It could’ve been much, much worse,” the official said. Police have recovered surveillance video of the incident.

Chelsea LaSalle, a 28-year-old graphic designer, was in Port Authority heading into the A, C, E subway when she heard screaming and more than 30 people started rushing at her.

Busy StationsFive busiest subway stations in New York City, by average weekday ridershipTHE WALL STREET JOURNALSource: Metropolitan Transportation Authority
42nd St. (Times Sq./PortAuthority)Grand CentralHerald SquareUnion SquarePenn Station (1, 2, 3)0 riders100,000200,00025,00050,00075,000125,000150,000175,000225,000

“People were screaming ‘Get out, get out’ and some were yelling ‘Bomb!’” she said.

Ms. LaSalle said everyone was running as fast as they could and pushed past her. “People wanted to get out and didn’t care what was in their way,” she said. “A lot of people looked really worried. Some people looked more confused than anything else.”

Hanan Kolko, a 57-year-old labor lawyer who lives in Montclair, N.J., said his NJ Transit bus from Clifton to the Port Authority crawled slowly through the Lincoln Tunnel. It took him 2 hours and 20 minutes to get to work, more than double the usual commute.

When his bus arrived around 9:40 a.m., he saw scores of law enforcement officers in the terminal, and his group was ushered out the Ninth Avenue exit because the Eighth Avenue side was blocked off.

“It was eerie because the Port Authority was empty except for people being escorted out,” he said. “It was a moment when I was proud to be a New Yorker,” he said. “We were going to carry on our day, regardless of whether some guy tried to plant a bomb. Law enforcement did a great job, and we got to go on and do our thing.”

In Washington, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was aware of the explosion in New York and coordinating with the New York City Police Department. The investigation into the incident is being led by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a law enforcement group formed in 1980 that includes members of the NYPD and the FBI. The attack came just weeks after an ISIS-influenced immigrant from Uzbekistan drove a rented truck down a Manhattan bike lane killing eight others and injuring 12 more.

Terrorist Attacks in the U.S. After 9/11

Here’s a look at Islamist-related deadly assaults across the country since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, as compiled by the CATO Institute.


2000
2010
2020
July 4, 2002

An Egyptian man opens fire at the El Al Israel Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport, killing two people before he was shot dead by an airline guard. PHOTO: KRISTA NILES/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A gunman kills one woman and wounds five others at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.PHOTO: KEVIN P. CASEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A U.S.-born self-described jihad warrior shoots two soldiers, one fatally, outside an Army recruiting station in Arkansas.

Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opens fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others.PHOTO: DONNA MCWILLIAM/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Two crude bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 175. Bomber, and older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is killed in a shootout with police; younger brother Dzhokhar is later captured alive.PHOTO: THE BOSTON GLOBE/GETTY IMAGES

College student Brendan Tevlin is shot eight times while waiting at a traffic light in New Jersey. Authorities find links to three earlier killings in Seattle—of 30-year-old Leroy Henderson, shot 10 times and left to die on a road on April 27, and Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young, killed outside a gay club on June 1—and charge Ali Muhammad Brown with all four.
John Bailey Clarke of North Carolina, 74 years old, is shot three times by a teenage neighbor who had converted online to Islam three months earlier and would plead guilty both to state murder charges and to federal charges of planning a terrorist act.
A 24-year-old Kuwaiti-born man opens fire at two military facilities in Tennessee, killing four Marines and a sailor and injuring three other people before dying from a gunshot wound.

Pakistani immigrant Tashfeen Malik, who had just pledged allegiance to the leader of Islamic State, and her American-born husband open fire on an office party in San Bernardino, Calif., killing 14 people and wounding 21. PHOTO: DAVID BAUMAN/PRESS-ENTERPRISE/ZUMA PRESS

Omar Mateen kills 49 people and wounds 53 more at Orlando gay nightclub Pulse before police fatally shoot him after an hourslong standoff.PHOTO: PHELEN M. EBENHACK/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Denver transit guard is shot and killed; the man charged with the murder tells the Associated Press he had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State.

Eight people are killed and at least a dozen injured when a truck mows down pedestrians and cyclists on a lower Manhattan bike path.PHOTO: ANDREW KELLY/REUTERS

A Bangladeshi man tried to set off an explosive device he was wearing near New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal and Times Square. Three civilians in proximity of the explosion were injured.PHOTO: BRYAN R. SMITH/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Source: CATO Institute

Mr. Ullah has been living in the U.S. for seven years and had worked as a driver for a car service, officials said. He has been residing in a two-story colonial home on a tree-lined block in Old Mill Basin, Brooklyn, a multiethnic neighborhood. His block was cordoned off Monday morning as groups of New York Police Department officers milled outside the home.

Alan Butrico, who owns the house next door to Mr. Ullah’s home, described the suspect as “unfriendly.” Mr. Butrico, who also owns a hardware store on the corner of the block, said Mr. Ullah never said hello and “would have an attitude” if he was asked to move his car because it was blocking the neighboring driveway.

Mr. Butrico’s cousin, Ross Faillace, who runs a part-time car detailing shop in the back of Mr. Butrico’s property, said of Mr. Ullah: “He was always on edge.”

Both men said that Mr. Ullah was usually clean cut and wore regular clothes, but that lately Mr. Ullah had grown a beard.

Kisslya Joseph of Grenada has been staying with her brother who lives next door to Mr. Ullah. “This has shaken me up and my family because it’s like you never know who your neighbor is,” Ms. Joseph said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/explosion-reported-at-new-yorks-port-authority-1512997695

New York City explosion: Live updates

What you should know

  • What happened: A man wearing a homemade device set it off at Port Authority bus terminal near Times Square.
  • The suspect: Police named 27-year-old Akayed Ullah. He is of Bangladeshi descent and lives in Brooklyn.
  • Injuries: Four people, including the suspect, were injured. None of those injuries are life-threatening, according to FDNY.

Suspect pledged allegiance to ISIS

From CNN’s Brynn Gingras

While talking with authorities, Port Authority bus terminal explosion suspect Akayed Ullah pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation. Authorities now have to investigate that claim.

Ullah most recently did electrical work close to Port Authority along with his brother. That brother lives in the same apartment building as Ullah, according to law enforcement.

As part of the normal course of an investigation, authorities want to speak with the brother and other family members.

Another law enforcement source tells CNN that screws were found at the scene.

December 11, 2017 2:54pm EST

The Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC condemned today’s terror attack in New York City.

Suspect Akayed Ullah, 27, is a lawful permanent resident from Bangladesh, who arrived in the US in 2011.

Here’s the embassy’s statement:

“Government of Bangladesh is committed to its declared policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against terrorism, and condemns terrorism and violent extremism in all forms or manifestations anywhere in the world, including Monday morning’s incident in New York City.”

A terrorist is a terrorist irrespective of his or her ethnicity or religion, and must be brought to justice.

Homeland Security: “We urge the public to remain vigilant”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, in the job for less than a week, is in touch with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and local officials about this morning’s attack, the department said in a statement.

“The Department of Homeland Security is taking appropriate action to protect our people and our country in the wake of today’s attempted terrorist attack in New York City,” the statement read.

“We will continue to assist New York authorities with the response and investigation and we urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.”

 

Story 2: Fabricated Trump Dossier Was Opposition Research/Russian Disinformation — Democratic Party and Obama Administration Used Fabricated Trump Dossier To Justify Spying on Americans and Opposition Republican Party Using Intelligence Community — Conspiracy Not Collusion — Federal Crimes — A New Special Counsel Should Investigate Together With DOJ and FBI Investigations of Clinton Charitable Foundation, Email Server and Mishandling of Classified Documents — Videos —

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Demoted top DoJ official Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS of dossier fame

Jay Sekulow calls for a second special counsel

Jordan: We need to depose Peter Strzok, talk to Bruce Ohr

Congressman Jim Jordan Sends CNN Anchor Packing During a Heated Conversation

Robert Mueller Finally CONFESSES to What He Did To The FBI and Why He Did It

Rep. Jim Jordan To Jeff Sessions: Appoint New Special Counsel Or Step Down

Proof: The Deep State & Bruce Ohr Orchestrated The Dossier! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

BUSTED: DOJ & FBI Had Long Relationship With Dossier Authors! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Should Hillary Be Worried About Uranium One? Yes!

Clinton Probe Given ‘Special’ Status By FBI – Uranium One – Ingraham Angle

New Revelations By FBI Informant Fueling Questions Over Uranium One – Russia Wants Total Control

“The Clinton Collapse” Tucker Bids EPIC Farewell to the Clinton Dynasty

Why Russia Wants to Control the World’s Uranium Supply

Russia-Uranium One deal: Is it a real scandal?

Peter Schweizer on the significance of the Uranium One deal

Gorka: Uranium One scandal is absolutely massive

Trump Actually Telling The Truth About Clinton-Russia Uranium Scandal?

Ben Shapiro – What Exactly Happened With Uranium One

Comey hid the uranium deal from Congress: Gregg Jarrett

Clinton Was Bribed TWICE In Uranium Deal! !Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Mueller’s Russiagate Prosecution Is Imploding Before His Eyes While DOJ and FBI Scandals Metastasize

Judge Napolitano EXPOSES something HUGE on Hillary Clinton investigations

Hannity Connects ALL the Dots in Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation

Judge Napolitano: Enough evidence to prosecute Clinton for espionage

Special counsel needed to probe DOJ-Fusion GPS?

Rep. Jim Jordan reacts to FBI Director Wray hearing

Gaetz Demands FBI Director Explain “Special” Treatment of Clinton During Investigation – 12/7/17

Jim Jordan: Robert Mueller ‘Inherently Compromised’

New allegations of bias dog Mueller Russia probe

Gingrich: Investigators need to be questioned under oath

Gingrich: Appalling level of FBI corruption coming to light

Judicial Watch Dir says no chance FBI will root out corruption in their ranks

Trey Gowdy Unleashes His Anger On New FBI Director

FBI director defends agency amid allegations of political bias

Trump legal team calls for new special counsel

Anatomy of the FBI’s alleged Clinton cover-up

Trey Gowdy Confronts Loretta Lynch! “Did You Send Classified Info on A Personal Email Like Hillary?”

Napolitano: ‘Lynch Should be Under a Criminal Investigation’

Judge Napolitano on AG Lynch’s secret NSA deal

Napolitano on bias at the FBI, obstruction of justice debate

FBI agent operated as a Clinton mole: Michelle Malkin

Robert Ray on FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation over texts

Why weren’t Hillary Clinton staffers investigated for lying to FBI?

Rep. Jordan presses Jeff Sessions to appoint special counsel

WOW: Trey Gowdy to AG Jeff Sessions: Its NOT Appropriate for Trump to speaks on a Open Investigation

Watch What Trey Gowdy Has To Say On Jeff Sessions Hearing Today 11/14/2017

BREAKING: FBI Official Unloads On Hillary Clinton This Is Devastating(VIDEO)!!!

The FBI Just Blew The Hillary Clinton Case Wide Open She Could Literally Be Going to Jail!!

Trey Gowdy Votes To Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate James Comey And Hillary Clinton

Russian Uranium Bribery Scandal Reaches Bill Clinton! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Uranium One

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Uranium One Inc.
Industry Mining
Founded 2005
Headquarters Toronto, OntarioCanada
Key people
Chris Sattler (CEO)
Vadim Zhivov (President)
Products Uranium
Gold
Number of employees
2,220[1]
Parent Rosatom
Website www.uranium1.com

Uranium One is a Canadian uranium mining company with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. It has operations in AustraliaCanadaKazakhstanSouth Africa and the United States. In January 2013 Rosatom, the Russian state-owned uranium monopoly, through its subsidiary ARMZ Uranium Holding, purchased the company at a value of $1.3 billion.[2] The purchase of the company by Russian interests is, as of October 2017, under investigation by the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

History

On July 5, 2005, Southern Cross Resources Inc. and Aflease Gold and Uranium Resources Ltd announced that they would be merging under the name SXR Uranium One Inc.[3]

In 2007 Uranium One acquired a controlling interest in UrAsia Energy,[4] a Canadian firm with headquarters in Vancouver from Frank Giustra.[5] UrAsia has interests in rich uranium operations in Kazakhstan,[6] and UrAsia Energy’s acquisition of its Kazakhstan uranium interests from Kazatomprom followed a trip to Almaty in 2005 by Giustra and former U.S. President Bill Clinton where they met with Nursultan Nazarbayev, the leader of Kazakhstan. Substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation by Giustra followed,[5][7] with Clinton, Giustra, and Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim in 2007 establishing the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative to combat poverty in the developing world.[8] In addition to his initial contribution of $100 million Giustra pledged to contribute half of his future earnings from mining to the initiative.[8]

In June 2009, the Russian uranium mining company ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (ARMZ), a part of Rosatom, acquired 16.6% of shares in Uranium One in exchange for a 50% interest in the Karatau uranium mining project, a joint venture with Kazatomprom.[9] In June 2010, Uranium One acquired 50% and 49% respective interests in southern Kazakhstan-based Akbastau and Zarechnoye uranium mines from ARMZ. In exchange, ARMZ increased its stake in Uranium One to 51%. The acquisition resulted in a 60% annual production increase at Uranium One, from approximately 10 million to 16 million lb.[10][11] The deal was subject to anti-trust and other conditions and was not finalized until the companies received Kazakh regulatory approvals, approval under Canadian investment law, clearance by the US Committee on Foreign Investments, and approvals from both the Toronto and Johannesburg stock exchanges. The deal was finalized by the end of 2010.[11] Uranium One’s extraction rights in the U.S. amounted to 0.2% of the world’s uranium production.[12]Uranium One paid its minority shareholders a dividend of 1.06 US Dollars per share at the end of 2010.[citation needed]

ARMZ took complete control of Uranium One in January 2013 by buying all shares it did not already own.[2] In October 2013, Uranium One Inc. became a private company and a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Rosatom.[3][13] From 2012 to 2014, an unspecified amount of Uranium was reportedly exported to Canada via a Kentucky-based trucking firm with an existing export license; most of the processed uranium was returned to the U.S., with approximately 25% going to Western Europe and Japan.[14][15]

Congressional investigation

Since uranium is considered a strategic asset with national security implications, the acquisition of Uranium One by Rosatom was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a committee of nine government agencies including the United States Department of State, which was then headed by Hillary Clinton.[16][17][18] The voting members of the committee can object to such a foreign transaction, but the final decision then rests with the president.[19]

In April 2015, The New York Times wrote that, during the acquisition, the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman made $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. The donations were legal but not publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation, despite an agreement with the White House to disclose all contributors.[20] In addition, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin and which was promoting Uranium One stock paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow shortly after the acquisition was announced.[17][18] Several members of Clinton’s State Department staff and officials from the Obama-era Department of Justice have said that CFIUS reviews are handled by civil servants and that it would be unlikely that Clinton would have had more than nominal involvement in her department’s signing off on the acquisition.[21] According to Snopes, the timing of donations might have been questionable if Hillary Clinton had played a key role in approving the deal, but all evidence suggests that she did not and may in fact have had no role in approving the deal at all.[22]

In October 2017, following a report by John F. Solomon and Alison Spann published in The Hill and citing anonymous sources,[23][24] the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sale of Uranium One.[21]

FactCheck.org reported that there was “no evidence” connecting the Uranium One–Rosatom merger deal with a money laundering and bribery case involving a different Rosatom subsidiary which resulted in the conviction of a Russian individual in 2015, contrary to what is implied in the Solomon-Spann story.[20][25] Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post wrote that the problem with some of the accusations that Republican commentators levied against Clinton is that she “by all accounts, did not participate in any discussions regarding the Uranium One sale.”[26]

In October 2017, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to lift a “gag order” it had placed on a former FBI informant involved the investigation. The DOJ released the informant from his nondisclosure agreement on October 25, 2017,[27][28][29]authorizing him to provide the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence “any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market” involving Rosatom, its subsidiaries Tenex and Uranium One, and the Clinton Foundation.[30]

During a C-SPAN interview, Hillary Clinton said that any allegations that she was bribed to approve the Uranium One deal were “baloney”.[31]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_One

 

Journalism for rent’: Inside the secretive firm behind the Trump dossier

 December 11 at 12:50 PM
8:20
Fusion GPS founder explains why he started the research firm

Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS, spoke at the 2016 Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival and Symposium, an event conducted by 100Reporters.

Fusion GPS bills itself as a corporate research firm, but in many ways it operates with the secrecy of a spy agency. No sign marks its headquarters above a coffee shop in Northwest Washington. Its website consists of two sentences and an email address. Its client list is closely held.

The small firm has been under intense public scrutiny for producing the 35-page document known as the Trump dossier. Senior executives summoned to testify before Congress in October invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and the firm is resisting a congressional subpoena for bank records that would reveal who has paid for its services.

But hundreds of internal company documents obtained by The Washington Post reveal how Fusion, a firm led by former journalists, has used investigative reporting techniques and media connections to advance the interests of an eclectic range of clients on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley and in the nation’s capital. The firm has played an unseen role in stories that dominated headlines in recent years.

In the years before it produced the dossier, records show, Fusion worked to blunt aggressive reporting on the medical-device company Theranos, which was later found to have problems with its novel blood-testing technology. It was also hired to ward off scrutiny of the nutritional supplement company Herbalife, which ultimately paid $200 million to distributors to settle claims by regulators.

In another case, the firm sought to expose what it called “slimy dealings” by a competitor of a San Francisco museum proposed by filmmaker and “Star Wars” director George Lucas. And it dug up information about domestic disputes involving a former mayor of Beverly Hills, Calif., as part of an investigation into a proposed real estate development that the mayor supported.

Fusion’s other past research targets, documents show, included tech giants Google and Amazon; 2012 presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama; and Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Bob Corker of Tennessee. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Fusion assigned code names to the projects — many of them after cities in Texas and Maine — and avoided identifying its clients in internal documents, making it difficult to determine who was paying for the research. The firm also minimized its public footprints by paying outside contractors to collect public records from courthouses, police stations and federal agencies.

The Post’s review provides a glimpse at the tactics that have fueled Fusion’s rise in the growing and secretive industry of opposition research and corporate intelligence. The review represents the most comprehensive look at the firm’s work at a time when it is being examined by those who seek to gauge the veracity of the dossier, and it reveals methods that have drawn criticism from the targets of the company’s research, including President Trump.

Fusion’s work on the dossier went beyond ordinary opposition research, the kind that might explore a candidate’s past legislative history or embarrassing gaffes — known in the industry as “votes and quotes.” Instead, it paid a former British spy to compile intelligence from unnamed Russian sources.

Only a handful of internal documents obtained by The Post relate to the examination of Trump during the 2016 election, a project that was code-named “Bangor” and was financed in part by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Fusion declined to comment on specific cases or identify clients, but said in a statement that it is “proud of our methodology and the rigor of our research, amply demonstrated by the records cited by The Washington Post. They show what we’ve always stated: Our secret sauce is diligent and exhaustive analysis of public information.”

It continued: “The reason we are so effective is that we unearth facts that stand up to scrutiny — presumably why we are still talking about our work detailing the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia more than a year later.”

Exposing ‘slimy dealings’

Fusion founder Glenn Simpson, an accomplished former investigative reporter with expertise digging into financial crimes and corruption in Russia and elsewhere, left the Wall Street Journal in 2009 to start a research firm with Susan Schmidt, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner from The Post. Without Schmidt, Simpson created Fusion GPS the following year, teaming up with former Wall Street Journal editor Peter Fritsch and a former Treasury official.

“I call it journalism for rent,” Simpson, 53, said in August of last year at the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival and Symposium in the District, where he described Fusion’s work on a panel titled, “Investigations With an Agenda.”

Fusion has about 10 employees, he said. It has worked on a broad array of cases, including matters related to marijuana dispensaries, health-care workers, a state insurance official and even a Florida homeowner’s association, internal documents show.

Fusion has also quietly advocated causes and pet projects dear to wealthy and famous clients.

In April 2014, Lucas wanted to build a cultural arts museum on federal land at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a site known as the Presidio. The museum was one of three proposals under consideration by a federal agency called the Presidio Trust.

A Fusion client — who is not identified in the documents obtained by The Post — suspected the agency was trying to block the Lucas museum, records show.

“We want to understand where this resistance is coming from and why,” Fritsch wrote in an email to his Fusion colleagues. Fritsch added that the “client would like to expose the slimy dealings” of a nonprofit competing with Lucas for the right to build on the land. The investigation was code named “Tyler.”

Ron Conway, one of Silicon Valley’s most prolific start-up investors and an outspoken supporter of the Lucas museum, was copied on subsequent emails about the cost of the research. “I don’t have any comment,” Conway said by phone when asked if he had hired Fusion.

Over the next nine months, a contractor hired by Fusion blanketed the Presidio Trust and another federal agency with dozens of requests for a range of documents related to board members and a consultant who were judging the proposals — expense reports, ethics forms, employment contracts and other records.

In February 2015, with Fusion still waiting for the documents, Conway sent an email to Fritsch with a link to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle. It was about a petition, signed by celebrities such as Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and hip-hop artist MC Hammer, calling on the Presidio Trust to release some of the same records Fusion had requested.

“WE ARE OFF AND RUNNING !!” Conway wrote. Fritsch forwarded the email to other Fusion executives and said, “GLORIOUS!!!”

It’s not clear whether the effort had the desired effect. The Presidio Trust ultimately rejected all three proposals. A spokeswoman for Lucas told The Post in a statement that Lucas was “unaware of any research undertaken by Fusion GPS.” A Presidio Trust spokesman did not respond to messages from The Post seeking comment.

Fusion has at times used hardball tactics, the documents show.

Last year, Fusion’s sleuths targeted a controversial proposal for a $1.2 billion hotel and condo project in Beverly Hills, in the heart of one of the nation’s wealthiest areas, records show. The investigation was code named “Gray.”

Fusion’s client is not identified in the records reviewed by The Post, but the documents show that Fusion investigated the activities of the Chinese developer behind the project, Wanda Group, there and in other U.S. cities.

As part of its research, Fusion took aim at a vocal supporter of the Beverly Hills project, then-mayor John Mirisch, records show. Fusion sought police reports from the city related to domestic disputes involving the mayor and his ex-wife that had occurred between 2008 and 2010, records show.

Former Beverly Hills mayor John Mirisch at City Hall in August 2016. (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)

When city police balked at releasing some of the police reports, a Fusion contractor sued the city. Neither the public-records requests nor the legal complaint mentions Fusion. The suit was filed by former journalist Russell Carollo, who is described in court records as a public records consultant.

Fusion executive Jason Felch, a former investigative reporter with the Los Angeles Times, emailed Carollo on July 21, 2016, with a statement he could give reporters inquiring about the lawsuit. The statement suggested that the mayor might be supporting the Wanda Group project because he owed a favor to a retired police chief who worked for a firm that was lobbying the city on behalf of the hotel, records show. The statement also argued that the public had a right to see the records involving the mayor.

Two weeks later, Carollo was quoted in the local newspaper, the Beverly Hills Courier, under a story headlined: “Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Petitions Court For Public Information On Mayor’s Domestic Disputes With Ex-Wife.”

In an interview, Mirisch said he had no idea that Fusion was behind the renewed scrutiny of the years-old domestic disputes. “It was dirty politics and misinformation,” said Mirisch, now a city council member.

Carollo said in an interview that he worked for Fusion and was asked by the firm to file the lawsuit. In a statement, Fusion wrote: “Our policy prohibits any employees or contractors from misrepresenting themselves as journalists or anything else.”

A spokesman for the Beverly Hills hotel project, which remains in planning stages, declined to comment. The retired police chief, Dave Snowden, said in an interview, “Hearing this, that the mayor owed me a favor, is absurd on its face.”

Behind-the-scenes player

Fusion insists that the firm does not engage in public relations work or advertise its media connections to prospective clients. But Fusion executives have interceded with former colleagues in media when their clients came under scrutiny, records and interviews show.

In mid-2015, Fusion was conducting research on two competitors of Theranos, a Silicon Valley start-up that had created buzz in the health-technology industry. Around the same time, the Wall Street Journal was pursuing its own Theranos reporting, which ultimately raised doubts about the accuracy of the company’s revolutionary lab-testing technology. Fusion, working on behalf of Theranos, tried to influence the Journal’s early reporting, according to records and interviews.

Fusion called the case “Ferris.”

A few weeks after Journal reporter John Carreyrou approached Theranos about his investigation into the company, Fritsch contacted him to create a back channel, according to documents and a person familiar with the Journal’s reporting who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Fritsch advised the reporter that his approach with Theranos up to that point had been too blunt and aggressive, and he encouraged him to soften it, the person said. Fritsch also accompanied a Theranos delegation that went to the Journal’s newsroom in June 2015 to discuss the story with Carreyrou and his editor. The delegation, made up mostly of lawyers, was headed by prominent attorney David Boies.

Over the ensuing years, Theranos — once valued at $9 billion — faced regulatory actions, including in 2016 losing its certificate to operate a blood-testing lab in California and its eligibility to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments. The company reached a settlement in April with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, agreeing not to operate a lab for two years in exchange for the restoration of its certificate.

“The Wall Street Journal published its award-winning series on Theranos despite legal threats and strenuous objections from the company and its representatives,” a spokeswoman for the paper said in a statement.

A representative of Boies’s law firm, Boies Schiller and Flexner, referred comment to Theranos. A Theranos representative declined to comment.

Fusion was also a behind-the-scenes player in a Wall Street battle between billionaire investor William Ackman and the supplement company Herbalife, records show.

Ackman had a huge financial stake in Herbalife’s fate. He had taken a short position in the company — meaning if the company failed, his investment would pay off big. Ackman held news conferences calling for regulatory and criminal investigations into Herbalife, alleging that the company’s network of distributors was effectively a pyramid scheme.

Herbalife had Fusion working on its side in a project that carried the code name “Rice,” documents show. Fusion launched investigations into Ackman and his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, according to emails and internal documents.

Herbalife’s attorney and outside publicist are copied on some emails that discussed strategy for uncovering public records that would expose whether Ackman was paying nonprofit groups to criticize Herbalife. Fusion’s contractors were looking for information that would spark government investigations into Ackman, documents show.

In June 2014, Richard Hynes, a contractor for Fusion, noted that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General’s Office had previously conducted investigations that touched on Ackman, emails show.

“Nothing seems to have come from them,” he wrote. “I wonder what the SEC and NY AG DIDN’T have to make their cases. What else could we provide them this time to effect a different outcome,” he asked. Simpson soon instructed a Fusion contractor to request the SEC’s case file on closed investigations into Ackman or his firm, Pershing Square, documents show.

It was Herbalife that fell under investigation. In 2016, it agreed to a $200 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it deceived buyers and sellers of its products. Herbalife did not respond to a request for comment, and Hynes did not respond to messages.

A ‘no-stones-unturned’ approach

As Fusion has been thrust into the spotlight because of the Trump dossier, it has been forced to reveal details of its operations in court proceedings.

Over objections from Democrats, the Republican leader of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), subpoenaed Fusion’s bank records to try to identify the then-mystery client who paid for the dossier. In October, Fusion executives invoked their constitutional right not to answer questions from the committee.

Fusion founder Glenn Simpson, left, arrives for an appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on Nov. 14. (Associated Press)

Simpson had previously sat for a 10-hour closed-door interview with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is also looking into allegations of foreign influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He has also testified before the House committee behind closed doors.

For its investigation into Trump, Fusion was initially hired in the fall of 2015 by the conservative Washington Free Beacon website. The publication is backed by billionaire GOP donor Paul Singer, who was then supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) in the GOP primary.

The Post revealed in October that Fusion was paid, via a law firm, by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee for its work on the dossier.

After Trump won the primary, Fusion approached Marc Elias, a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie who represented the Democratic Party during the 2016 election. Perkins Coie decided the party needed to go deeper than traditional, issue-oriented opposition research groups — a “no-stones-unturned approach,” according to a person familiar with the arrangement who was not authorized to speak publicly.

A spokeswoman for Perkins Coie said Trump “was unvetted by the political process — a businessman with significant real estate holdings both in the United States and around the globe, a history of litigation, financial problems and bankruptcies, and of a decidedly litigious nature,” adding that “the challenge of reviewing public-record information alone on his candidacy necessitated additional research.”

Simpson and Fritsch had worked on stories involving money laundering and Russian government officials while based in Brussels for the Journal. They knew how to pull documents around the world — a skill that had earned them work from top law firms.

“I’ve known Glenn for a long time,” said John W. Moscow, a former prosecutor and now a lawyer with the firm BakerHostetler, which hired Fusion to assist in defending the Russian company Prevezon in a civil money-laundering case. “When we need information from various parts of the world, he can go get it. We hire him on a per-case basis because he’s good.”

Earlier this year, Prevezon settled the suit, brought by the Justice Department, for $5.9 million without admitting guilt.

For its work on the dossier, Fusion hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who had worked extensively in Russia. In a statement, Fusion said Perkins Coie paid it $1.02 million for work in 2016, and it said Fusion paid Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, $168,000.

The dossier alleged that the Russian government had collected compromising information on Trump and that the Kremlin was trying to assist his campaign. Officials have said that the FBI has confirmed some of the information in the dossier but the most sensational details have not been verified and may never be.

As the dossier circulated among Washington journalists late last year, senior U.S. officials viewed the matter as serious enough to brief then-President-elect Donald Trump on its existence. And when BuzzFeed published the document online in early January, the dossier — particularly its more salacious claims — gripped the nation.

In recent weeks, Trump and congressional Republicans have seized on the Clinton campaign’s role in the dossier to try to discredit suggestions that his campaign colluded with Russia.

At the August conference last year, Simpson said his firm upholds strict standards developed in his years as a journalist.

“You can’t just say what you know. You have to say how you know it. And you have to be able to prove it,” he said. “That imposes a sort of discipline to the investigative process that people in other fields don’t really absorb.”

He was candid about the money involved. Explaining why he left journalism, he joked: “We don’t use the word ‘sold out.’ We use the word ‘cashed in.’ ”

Matt Zapotosky and Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/journalism-for-rent-inside-the-secretive-firm-behind-the-trump-dossier/2017/12/11/8d5428d4-bd89-11e7-af84-d3e2ee4b2af1_story.html?utm_term=.dcc6a59b2320

Story 3: People of Alabama Will Elect Roy Moore on Tuesday To Fill Senate Seat Vacated By Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions — Moore Is Right On The Issues — Videos

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Roy Moore, Doug Jones and the issues: A voter’s guide to the Alabama Senate election

Things seem to be going Roy Moore’s way. President Trump endorsed him. The Republican National Committee is back to supporting him. And Moore, who has been accused of sexual contact with women when they were underaged, has led by an average of 3 percentage points in polls taken within 21 days of the Dec. 12 […] Wochit

Alabama voters will go to the polls Tuesday for the third time in four months to decide who will be the state’s junior U.S. senator.

Where the primaries — and later the GOP runoff — featured candidates who largely agreed on policy, there are notable contrasts between Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones and Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore.

The two candidates have sharply different views on health care, the environment, and social issues. Those differences has been overshadowed as Moore has dealt with accusations — most stemming from his time as a prosecutor in Etowah County in the late 1970s and early 1980s — that he pursued relationships with teenaged girls, and engaged in conduct ranging from unwanted attention to assault.  Moore denies the allegations.

The candidates have tried — to varying degrees — to discuss other issues as well. Moore in his public appearances has gone back to the religiously conservative, anti-LGBT message that has defined his political career.

“The transgenders don’t have rights,” Moore said at a news conference in Montgomery Nov. 8, which was as of Friday his last public appearance in the county before the election. “They’ve never been denominated as having rights by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Jones, meanwhile, has emphasized jobs and health care, in particular his support of Medicaid, Medicare and renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In recent days, Jones has amped up his attacks on Moore over the accusations.

“I believe women are every bit as capable as men, that they deserve to be elected to public office, and I damn sure believe and have done my part to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail, not to the U.S. Senate,” Jones said in remarks in Birmingham on Tuesday.

Whatever else can be said about Tuesday election, it is certain that the candidates present contrasting visions for the state of Alabama.

The candidates

Doug Jones

Age: 63

Residence: Birmingham

Party: Democratic

Family: Married; three children, two grandchildren

Profession: Attorney

Education: B.A., University of Alabama, 1975; J.D., Cumberland School of Law, 1979

Offices held/offices sought: U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, 1997-2001

ProfileThe fights of his life: Doug Jones’ journey from Fairfield to the U.S. Senate race

Finances: Despite a slow start over the summertime, Jones has pulled in more than $10 million since the start of October.

Themes: Jones has pitched a mainstream Democratic platform with an emphasis on job creation and access to health care. He has also discussed his time as U.S. attorney, in particular his prosecution of two men responsible for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963.

Roy Moore

Age: 70

Residence: Gallant

Party: Republican

Profession: Attorney

Family: Married; four children; five grandchildren

Offices held/Offices sought: Alabama chief justice, 2013-2016 and 2001-03; Republican candidate for governor, 2010 and 2006; Etowah County circuit judge, 1992-2001; Democratic candidate for Etowah County district attorney, 1986; Democratic candidate for Etowah County circuit judge, 1982.

ProfileLife in wartime: Roy Moore fights battles – and often goes looking for them

Education: B.S., United States Military Academy, 1969; J.D., University of Alabama School of Law, 1977

Finances: Moore historically lags opponents in fundraising (even in races he’s won), and the Senate race has followed that pattern. While Moore started the general election campaign ahead of Jones overall in fundraising, he raised just $1.7 million between October and the end of November.

Themes: Although Moore has tied himself with President Donald Trump and spent time denouncing his accusers, his Senate campaign is otherwise much like previous campaigns he’s waged in the past 17 years, with strong appeals to religious conservativism and denunciations of abortion and LGBT rights.

Issues

Health care

Jones: Says health care is a right and supports the Affordable Care Act — which covered 178,000 Alabamians last winter — but says he wants to “bring both sides together” in Washington to address issues like premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Has called for renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers about 150,000 children in Alabama. Says he will support Medicare and Medicaid, which combined cover nearly 2 million Alabamians, in their current forms. Has been open to a public option for Medicare.

Moore: Has called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the sale of health insurance policies across state lines and tax credits to businesses for employee health care coverage, while broadly calling for government to get out of health care. Has not committed to renewal of the CHIP program.

Economy and taxes

Jones: Says he supports simplification of business and corporate taxes to create jobs, but says the tax bill before Congress “can’t be a giveaway to the richest Americans paid for by working families.” Supports a “living wage” for workers, streamlining regulations and extending the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to ensure equal pay for men and women.

Moore: Says he “supports any kind of tax cut” and would replace the current progressive income tax system — where the wealthy pay a higher share of their income in taxes — with a 15 percent flat tax or a 23 percent national sales tax, offset in part by monthly stipends. Calls for cuts to the budget deficit.

Immigration

Jones: Says he supports border security and “maintaining the integrity of our borders against all threats” with “the most advanced technology possible.”  Has supported efforts to find status for those covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, also known as Dreamers, who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children.

Moore: Says he would support a border wall if needed to address undocumented immigration, but has also called for the deployment of the U.S. military to the Mexican border. Has called DACA a “permanent evil” created by former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Trade

Jones: Says trade agreements should create jobs in Alabama and prevent barriers for Alabama companies for selling their goods, such as high tariffs.

Moore: Has expressed support for renegotiating the North American Free Trade and Central American Free Trade agreements (NAFTA and CAFTA) and says he supports some tariffs to address “unbalanced” trade.

Abortion

Jones: Supports abortion rights and current laws governing abortion. The Moore campaign has accused Jones of supporting “late-term abortion;” Jones has said he only supports abortion after 20 weeks in cases of medical emergency. Says the way to reduce unwanted pregnancies is “education and access to health care and contraception.”

Moore: Supports abortion restrictions and has called himself “the exact opposite” of Jones on the issue. The campaign did not respond to questions as to whether Moore supports exceptions to an abortion ban, such as rape, incest or the life of the mother.

LGBT rights

Jones: Supports same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

Moore: Strongly opposes same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, and in a 2002 judicial opinion called homosexuality “abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature and a violation of the law of Nature.”

Guns

Jones: Has called himself “a Second Amendment guy” and highlighted his love of hunting. Says gun laws as they stand should be enforced, but supports efforts to improve background checks, both to allow law-abiding citizens to obtain firearms and prevent criminals from getting them.

Moore: Says he believes in the Second Amendment and pulled out a gun at a rally before the Sept. 26 GOP runoff. In a summer Facebook posting, Moore said he would ensure gun rights “are never, ever infringed upon.”

Environment & energy

Jones: Says he “believes in science and that climate change is occurring.” Supports investments in renewable energy and conservation, particularly for their economic impact and says those working in the coal industry need a “safety net” of job retraining and health care benefits.

Moore: Has declined to answer questions about climate change. Website suggests an energy policy consisting of coal and oil drilling, along with “development” of nuclear, solar and wind energy.

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/politics/southunionstreet/2017/12/10/roy-moore-doug-jones-and-issues-voters-guide-alabama-senate-election/934965001/

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The Pronk Pops 1007, November 28, 2017, Story 1: North Korea Launches Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) — Flies 50 Miles High Toward Japan — Videos — Story 2: President Trump’s Big Push To Pass Something In The Senate — Tax Cut Yes, Tax Reform No — Something Maybe — Videos — Story 3: Repeal Government Control and Regulation of Internet — Let Consumer Sovereignty and Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Reign — Videos — Story 4: Obama Appointed Inspector General Charles McCullough Found 22 Top Secret and Beyond In Hillary Clinton’s E-Mails with Over 2,100 Containing Classified Information — Extremely Reckless Said Clapper — Clinton and Campaign Lied To American People — Prosecute Now! — The Statute of Limits Runs Out In February 2018 — Videos

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Story 1: North Korea Launches Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) — Flies 50 Miles Toward Japan — Videos —

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Mattis: North Korean missile launch ‘went higher’ than previous tests

North Korea celebrates ICBM launch, harsh sanctions promised

US sanctions may not be enough to stop North Korea

Fox News confirms North Korea fires ballistic missile

Japanese Coverage Of North Korea Ballistic Missile Launch

 

North Korea ICBM test may show Washington within range.

by Reuters
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 03:06 GMT

 

* N.Korean missile test first since September

* Missile reached altitude of at least 4,000 km – officials

* Some scientists say Washington D.C. may now be within range

* N.Korea announcement 0330GMT-Yonhap cites N.Korean media

* For multimedia coverage of North Korea https://www.reuters.com/north-korea/

By Christine Kim and Phil Stewart

SEOUL/WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – North Korea launched what officials said was likely an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that flew high into space before landing near Japan on Wednesday, showing Pyongyang may now be able to reach Washington, D.C. with its weapons.

The missile test, North Korea’s first since mid-September, came a week after U.S. President Donald Trump put North Korea back on a U.S. list of countries it says support terrorism, allowing it to impose more sanctions.

North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under its leader, Kim Jong Un, in defiance of international sanctions. Trump has vowed not to let North Korea develop nuclear missiles that can hit the mainland United States.

The South Korean military said the missile reached an altitude of around 4,500 km (2,800 miles) – more than 10 times the height of the international space station – and flew 960 km (600 miles) before landing in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

U.S., Japanese and South Korean officials all agreed it was likely an ICBM but it did not pose a threat to the United States, its territories or allies, the Pentagon said.

“It went higher frankly than any previous shot they’ve taken, a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world, basically,” U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the White House.

Trump spoke by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-In, with all three leaders reaffirming their commitment to combat the North Korean threat.

“It is a situation that we will handle,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

President Moon told Trump during their call that North Korea’s missile technology seemed to have improved, a spokesman for the South Korean leader’s office said.

Trump, who was briefed on the missile while it was in flight, said it did not change his administration’s approach to North Korea, which has included new curbs to hurt trade between China and North Korea.

ALL OPTIONS

Washington has said repeatedly that all options, including military ones, are on the table in dealing with North Korea.

“Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

Other than carrying out existing U.N. sanctions, “the international community must take additional measures to enhance maritime security, including the right to interdict maritime traffic” traveling to North Korea, Tillerson said in a statement.

The U.N. Security Council was scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss the launch, which Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned.

“This is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions and shows complete disregard for the united view of the international community,” his spokesman said in a statement.

North Korea will make an announcement at 0330 GMT, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said, citing North Korean media which gave no further details.

U.S. EAST COAST IN RANGE?

An official at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said they presumed the missile was a Hwasong-14 – a two-stage ICBM North Korea tested twice in July.

Japanese officials said the missile flew for 53 minutes and broke up before landing in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“If these numbers are correct, then if flown on a standard trajectory rather than this lofted trajectory, this missile would have a range of more than 13,000 km (8,100 miles) … Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and in fact any part of the continental United States,” the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists said.

However, it was unclear how heavy a payload the missile was carrying, and it was uncertain if it could carry a large nuclear warhead that far, the nonprofit science advocacy group added.

Either way, experts believe North Korea will soon have the ability to threaten the continental United States, if it doesn’t already.

“We don’t have to like it, but we’re going to have to learn to live with North Korea’s ability to target the United States with nuclear weapons,” said Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies.

Minutes after the North fired the missile, South Korea’s military conducted a missile-firing test in response, the South Korean military said.

South Korea’s Moon said the launch had been anticipated and the government had been preparing for it. There was no choice but for countries to keep applying pressure and sanctions against North Korea, he added.

“The situation could get out of control if North Korea perfects its ICBM technology,” Moon said, according to the Blue House after a national security council meeting.

“North Korea shouldn’t miscalculate the situation and threaten South Korea with a nuclear weapon, which could elicit a possible pre-emptive strike by the United States.”

U.S. stocks briefly pared gains on the news but the S&P 500 index was up almost 1 percent at the close and Asian markets largely shrugged off the news.

After firing missiles at a rate of about two or three a month since April, North Korea paused its missile launches in September, following a missile it fired that passed over Japan’s northern Hokkaido island on Sept. 15 and far out into the Pacific Ocean.

North Korea has said its weapons programs are a necessary defense against U.S. plans to invade. The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, denies any such intention.

Last week, North Korea denounced Trump’s decision to relist it as a state sponsor of terrorism, calling it a “serious provocation and violent infringement.”

A U.S. government source said the U.S. assessment was the launch was the latest in a well-calculated and serious series of tests to develop and perfect North Korea missile systems rather than any response to Trump.

Trump has traded insults and threats with Kim and warned in September that the United States would have no choice but to “totally destroy” North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies.

(Reporting by Christine Kim in Seoul, Linda Sieg, William Mallard, Timothy Kelly in Tokyo, Mark Hosenball, John Walcott, Steve Holland and Tim Ahmann in Washington and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Writing by Yara Bayoumy, David Brunnstrom and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Grant McCool, Michael Perry & Simon Cameron-Moore)

http://news.trust.org/item/20171128192754-trq9s

Trump says North Korea missile launch ‘a situation that we will handle’

WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the United States “will take care of” the North Korea issue after its latest missile launch, and that the basic U.S. approach to dealing with Pyongyang will not change.

Trump has tightened sanctions on North Korea and pressured China to do more to help rein in Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear ambitions. North Korea fired what the U.S. Pentagon said appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that landed close to Japan on Wednesday.

Trump said the missile launch did not change what he called the “very serious” U.S. approach, a week after he put North Korea back on a U.S. list of countries that Washington says support terrorism.

“I will only tell you that we will take care of it… It is a situation that we will handle,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with Republican congressional leaders at the White House.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, who was also at the meeting, said the ICBM launch was a higher trajectory than any test conducted thus far by North Korea and called it part of a research and development effort.

“It went higher frankly than any previous shots they have taken,” Mattis said.

He said South Korea retaliated by firing some pinpoint missiles into the water to show North Korea that the U.S. ally would not be rattled by Pyongyang’s launch.

North Korea has said its weapons program is a necessary defense against U.S. plans to invade. The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, denies any such intention. (Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Grant McCool)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-5126451/Trump-says-North-Korea-missile-launch-situation-handle.html#ixzz4zmdW5hXm

Story 2: President Trump’s Big Push To Pass Something In The Senate — Tax Cut Yes, Tax Reform No — Something Maybe — Videos —

The Senate could kill tax reform: Here’s how

Senate Budget Committee passes GOP tax reform bill

Senate Tax Drama Intensifies As Bill Faces Key Panel Vote

Senate progressed a lot on tax reform: Sen. Daines

Trump pushes skeptical Republicans on tax plan

Rep. Kevin Brady on Senate Proposal Eliminates State And Local Tax Deductions. #TaxReform #GOP

Changes to Senate GOP tax plan may benefit Trump

Tax reform hangs in balance in critical week for GOP

Senate tax drama intensifies as bill moves toward key vote

 

Senator John McCain of Arizona arrived for a vote at the Capitol on Monday. While he has praised the process of the Senate tax bill, some believe he could still vote against it. CreditJ. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Once again, it could all come down to Senator John McCain.

After sinking his party’s hopes of repealing the Affordable Care Act this year with a dramatic thumbs-down, the fate of a tax overhaul may now sit in the hands of the Republican from Arizona. In recent days, Mr. McCain has been fairly tight-lipped about his views on the tax proposal speeding through the Senate, saying he sees some problems with the existing bill but is waiting for a final plan before making a decision.

Asked about what concerned him about the Senate tax bill this week, Mr. McCain replied tersely: “A lot of things.”

Even those who know Mr. McCain best are unsure how he will vote, but if history is any guide, Republicans have reason to worry.

Mr. McCain has voted against big tax cuts before, including two that passed under another Republican president: George W. Bush. In that case, he bucked the majority of his party on the grounds that the 2001 and 2003 cuts overwhelmingly benefited the rich — a widespread criticism of the current Senate legislation and the bill that has already passed the House. Mr. McCain is also a deficit hawk and could find it hard to swallow a tax cut that will add around $1.5 trillion to the federal debt over 10 years.

With their slim majority in the Senate, Republicans can lose no more than two votes, and several others are on the fence.

“I don’t know,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, policy adviser to Mr. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said when asked how his former boss would vote on the tax overhaul. “For most people there are going to be things in there they don’t like and the question is what is preferable, the status quo or the bill.”

In 2001, as Republicans forged ahead with a $1.35 trillion tax cut, Mr. McCain became one of two Republican senators to vote against the bill’s passage. He said he could not accept that changes to the bill lowered the top individual tax rate to 35 percent and delayed tax relief for married couples.

“We had an opportunity to provide much more tax relief to millions of hard-working Americans,” Mr. McCain said in a speech on the Senate floor. “But I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief.”

Two years later, Mr. McCain voted against another round of tax cuts. In his remarks in 2003, Mr. McCain again cast doubt on the need to use “billions of federal dollars to cut taxes for our nation’s wealthiest.” The deal breaker that time was that his fellow lawmakers would pass such cuts while rejecting legislation that would have allowed members of the military to get tax breaks on profits from selling their homes.

“Politics ruled the day,” he said ruefully.

But Mr. McCain had been a tax cut skeptic well before those votes. After Republicans swept control of Congress in 1994, he was fretting about being fiscally responsible and urged his fellow lawmakers to heed the lessons of President Ronald Reagan.

“I think we would be making a terrible mistake to go back to the ’80s, where we cut all of those taxes and all of a sudden now we’ve got a debt that we’ve got to pay on an annual basis that is bigger than the amount that we spend on defense,” Mr. McCain said.

During his first run for president, Mr. McCain was the candidate of fiscal responsibility rather than tax relief. When debating George W. Bush during the 2000 Republican primary, it was clear that Mr. McCain did not think that the budget surplus should be spent on tax cuts.

GRAPHIC

Which Republican Senators Might Oppose the Tax Bill, and Why

Senate leaders would need to win over several Republican senators to pass a tax overhaul.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

“We ought to pay down the debt, and we also ought to make Social Security solvent,” he said.

More recently, Mr. McCain has been toeing the party line on taxes.

In 2006, Mr. McCain supported extending the Bush tax cuts on the basis that letting them expire would represent a tax increase.

The tax plan that Mr. McCain crafted in 2008 during his presidential run against Barack Obama was even more mainstream Republican. He called for lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent, phasing out the alternative minimum taxand doubling the value of exemptions for each dependent to $7,000 from $3,500.

The current Senate version has some similar strands, though it goes much further in giving tax breaks to businesses. The Senate bill cuts the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent, phases out the alternative minimum tax for both individuals and businesses, and creates more favorable tax treatment for so-called pass-through businesses. On the individual side, it roughly doubles the standard deduction for married couples filing jointly to $24,000 from $12,700 and increases the value of some other tax breaks, such as the child tax credit.

These days Mr. McCain seems far more concerned with the virtues of bipartisanship and “regular order,” insisting that both parties should have the chance to debate tax legislation and offer changes to any bill. His biggest priority remains robust military spending, and some have speculated that Mr. McCain could be wary that tax cuts would mean less revenue for the military and more debt for the nation.

Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist and longtime adviser to Mr. McCain, said that if lawmakers mean what they have said over the years about fiscal restraint, they should oppose this tax bill.

“We’re about to find out the degree to which that viewpoint about fiscal discipline was political rhetoric or fundamental principle,” Mr. Schmidt said. “If it was political rhetoric, then this bill will pass. If those statements were principle based, then this bill will fail.”

There have been some signals that Mr. McCain could be on board despite his public reticence to embrace the bill. A spokeswoman for Mr. McCain pointed to his recent comments praising the process.

Still, some supporters of the tax bill have been concerned that Mr. McCain, along with Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, could vote against the legislation, possibly to spite President Trump, whom they have all been critical of, and criticized by.

Grover Norquist, the head of the anti-tax Americans for Tax Reform, said that he is hopeful that Mr. McCain will put his differences with Mr. Trump aside and get behind a tax bill that he thinks would be good for the party and the economy.

“You want to be the guy who is bigger than any personal fight,” said Mr. Norquist, who suggested that Mr. McCain voted against the 2001 tax cuts because he disliked Mr. Bush.

As for Mr. McCain’s penchant for going his own way, Mr. Norquist said he thought the senator had already proved himself.

“I think McCain did the maverick thing on health care, so if there are dues for the maverick club, he paid them this year big time,” he said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/28/us/politics/republican-victory-may-rest-once-again-with-mccain-this-time-on-taxes.html

 

Senate committee advances GOP tax bill, moving closer to floor vote

  • The Senate Budget Committee advances the Republican tax bill.
  • In a party-line vote, the GOP moved one step closer to a floor vote later this week.
  • Bob Corker and Ron Johnson, who had concerns about the bill, voted to advance it.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) is greeted by applause from (L-R) Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) during an event at the Capitol to celebrate the passing of the tax reform bill November 16, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Senate Budget Committee advances tax bill  

The Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday approved the Republican tax bill, a crucial procedural step toward a vote by the full chamber later this week.

With the party-line 12-11 vote to advance the plan, Republicans overcame one possible roadblock in their push to chop tax rates for businesses and individuals by the end of the year.

Two GOP members of the panel had separate concerns that threatened to upend the bill’s momentum. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., wants a “trigger” to raise revenues should the bill’s economic growth effects not go far enough to make up for the nearly $1.5 trillion in estimated tax cuts over 10 years. The senator had fears about expanding budget deficits and suggested Monday that he could vote “no” to advance the proposal.

In a statement Tuesday, Corker said he backed the bill after reaching a tentative deal on a “trigger” to “ensure greater fiscal responsibility should economic growth estimates not be realized.” The senator added that the proposal needs to be finalized but said he is “encouraged.”

Sen. Bob Corker, R-TN

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Sen. Bob Corker, R-TN

Meanwhile, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., sought to further reduce the tax burden on pass-through businesses, which pay individual rates. He argued that those businesses got worse treatment under the plan than corporations, which would see their tax rate chopped to 20 percent from 35 percent.

Both senators ended up voting to advance the bill. Johnson later said he got assurances that his concerns would be addressed either in the Senate bill or in a joint bill with the House.

Senators going to the hearing were greeted by protesters shouting “Shame!” and “Kill the bill!”

Republican Senate leaders want to pass the plan later this week. As it holds 52 seats, the GOP can lose only two votes and still approve the bill under special budget rules, assuming all Democrats and independents oppose it.

Though the fiscal trigger earned Corker’s support, other senators quickly criticized the measure.

“I am not going to vote to implement automatic tax increases on the American people. If I do that, consider me drunk. I’m not voting for that,” Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said, according to Bloomberg.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the third-ranking Senate Republican, said, “It’s not in our best interest to have a mechanism that would create a tax increase,” Bloomberg reported.

Shortly before the budget committee vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it a “challenging exercise” to get enough support to pass the bill.

“Think of sitting there with a Rubik’s Cube trying to get to 50 [votes],” the Kentucky Republican told reporters. “And we do have a few members who have concerns and we’re trying to address them. And we know we will not be able to go forward until we get 50 people satisfied, and that’s what we’re working on.”

The Senate proposal would temporarily cut many individual income taxes while permanently reducing the corporate rate. It would also change or eliminate some popular deductions.

Multiple other senators have expressed similar concerns to those of Corker and Johnson.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday after a meeting with McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, President Donald Trump said, “I think we’re going to get it passed.” The president added that he expects “lots of adjustments” before a final plan gets approved. He did not specify what those adjustments would be.

At a Senate GOP lunch earlier in the day, Trump “underscored the importance” of passing a tax bill, according to McConnell.

Trump later described the meeting as “phenomenal,” “very special” and a “love fest.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/28/senate-budget-committee-advances-gop-tax-bill-moving-closer-to-floor-vote.html

Deal-making moves Senate Republicans closer to passage of tax reform bill

https://uw-media.usatoday.com/video/embed/107075882?sitelabel=reimagine&platform=desktop&continuousplay=true&placement=uw-smallarticleattophtml5&pagetype=story

The White House and congressional leaders released a framework for tax changes, but many key details have been left to tax committees. Here’s how that process is working. Jeff Dionise, Ramon Padilla, Paul Singer and Herbert Jackson, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans moved closer Tuesday to passing a bill to overhaul the nation’s tax system after leaders began winning over potential opponents through a series of deals to resolve their concerns.

For Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, worried that the tax bill would increase the federal deficit, it was the promise of a legislative “trigger” that would repeal the tax cuts if deficits appeared.

For Maine Sen. Susan Collins, it was the promise that separate legislation would be considered to offset the increase in health insurance premiums that is expected if the tax bill eliminates a key provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Republicans emerged from a one-hour meeting with President Trump feeling optimistic that the tax-reform bill would pass in the next few days but acknowledged that the vote will likely be close.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the process of wrangling enough votes for passage as “a challenging exercise.”

“I think I’m sitting there with a Rubik’s cube trying to get to 50 (votes),” he said.

More: Trump signals changes are coming to tax bill as new study says those at the bottom are hurt

Tax-reform is a top priority of Trump and congressional Republicans, who are pushing to get the bill approved before the end of the year. Because Republicans hold a bare 52-48 margin in the Senate, they can afford to lose no more than two of their own members if the bill is to pass.

The legislation took an important step forward on Tuesday when it cleared the Senate Budget Committee in a party-line 12-11 vote. The committee voted to combine the tax-reform bill with language that would open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration.

The measure is now headed to the Senate floor, where a final vote could come as early as this week.

The bill’s prospects appeared to improve significantly with Corker’s announcement that he was likely to support the legislation.

Corker previously had said he would oppose any tax bill that would raise the deficit. But after the meeting with Trump, Corker said he would support the bill if it included a trigger that would rescind the tax cuts if they caused a hike in the deficit. He did not provide details of the language.

 “I think we’ve come to a pretty good place,” Corker said. “The White House is all fine with this.”

Collins, who has met repeatedly with GOP leaders and with Trump to air her concerns, said she has secured an agreement in which a bipartisan health-insurance bill by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., would be considered along with legislation she has filed with Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

The Collins-Nelson bill would provide $3 billion to $5 billion in seed money to create high-risk insurance pools to help insure people with pre-existing conditions and other high medical costs.

According to Collins, the agreement calls for the two bills to be considered and signed into law before Congress considers a conference committee report on the tax-reform bill.

That would help offset the insurance premium increases that are anticipated if Congress eliminates the Obamacare provision that everyone must buy insurance. Eliminating the so-called “individual mandate” is part of the GOP tax package.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Trump signaled his support for passing the Alexander-Murray bipartisan bill and the Collins-Nelson legislation on high-risk pools, several senators said.

Trump “said that he understood the need to have something to offset the premium increases and appeared very open to the combination of Alexander-Murray and Collins-Nelson,” Collins said.

More: Republican tax overhaul clears the House, but Senate passage could prove to be the real test

More: Winners and losers in the tax bill that passed the House

Collins said she also intends to offer an amendment on the Senate floor that would reinstate the deduction for property taxes up to $10,000, similar to a provision that is included in the House bill. Collins said there is widespread support for the amendment among Senate Republicans because it would provide tax benefits to middle-class families.

Collins said she is still undecided about the tax bill. But, “We’re making some progress, and that is encouraging to me,” she said.

Another positive sign for Republicans was the tone of Tuesday’s meeting, which included a back-and-forth between Trump and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, another member with concerns about the bill.

“It was very respectful,” said Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho. “Both of them were well-schooled.”

Risch said the mood was “very different” from a previous session between Senate Republicans and Trump before a failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Asked about his interaction with Trump, Johnson said, “He wants to encourage me to get to yes. And that’s what I want to do.”

McConnell criticized Democratic congressional leaders who cancelled a scheduled meeting Tuesday afternoon with GOP leadership and Trump at the White House, saying that it demonstrated a lack of seriousness.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said they decided not to attend the meeting after Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he couldn’t see how a deal could be struck between Democrats and Republicans and the White House.

The Democratic leaders said they would be interested instead in meeting with their GOP congressional counterparts.

But McConnell’s spokeswoman rejected that idea. Antonia Ferrier said McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan had not set any meeting with Schumer and Pelosi.

“They’re in the minority. They go and meet with the president of the United States,” she said.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/28/trump-heads-capitol-hill-talk-tax-cuts-senate-republicans/898409001/

The Latest: Senate Budget panel advances tax package

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on Republican tax overhaul legislation (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

The Senate Budget Committee has advanced a sweeping tax package to the full Senate, handing GOP leaders a victory as they try to pass the nation’s first tax overhaul in 31 years.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., center, speaks about tax reform as Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., left, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., listen Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., center, speaks about tax reform as Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., left, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., listen Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The committee voted 12 to 11 to advance the bill. Two committee Republicans had said they were considering voting against the measure. But after President Donald Trump personally lobbied Republican senators at the Capitol Tuesday, the committee passed the bill with little fanfare other than a few protesters who tried to disrupt the committee meeting.

GOP leaders hope to have the full Senate take up the bill later this week. The tax package blends a sharp reduction in top corporate and business tax rates with more modest relief for individuals.

__

3:05 p.m.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she has won support to amend the Senate’s sweeping tax bill allow homeowners to deduct at least a portion of their local property taxes on their federal tax returns.

President Donald Trump attended a Senate Republican luncheon Tuesday in an effort to persuade senators to support the tax package. Afterward, Collins said Trump and other GOP leaders agreed to the property tax provision.

The current Senate bill completely repeals the state and local tax deduction, which helps reduce the tax bills of more than 43 million families. Collins said the Senate bill would be amended to allow homeowners to deduct up to $10,000 in property taxes, which is similar to a provision in the House-passed bill.

__

12:55 p.m.

A group of moderate Senate Democrats are asking Republicans to work with them to refashion their tax bill into legislation they say would truly help the middle class.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who led the group, tells Republicans: “We can get you to 70” votes on a bill.

Democrats weren’t included in the crafting of the tax overhaul legislation, and they have attacked it as benefiting big corporations and the wealthy.

Several of the moderates had been actively courted by President Donald Trump on the tax overhaul in recent weeks, invited to meetings and dinners at the White House and trips with Trump on his plane.

Manchin, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are from states easily carried by Trump in the 2016 election. They are up for re-election next year.

___

10:30 a.m.

The House’s chief tax-writer says ending the “Obamacare” requirement that everyone have health insurance – an element of the Senate bill – is a move the House also is likely to accept.

Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, made his comments Tuesday as Senate Republican leaders pushed to pass their bill this week. It would eventually have to be reconciled with the tax measure recently passed by the House.

Brady has previously said that repealing the so-called individual mandate under the Obama health care law was politically risky. But he told the American Enterprise Institute that “the House has always been strongly supportive of eliminating that forced tax.”

He said, “We’re going to let the Senate process go forward, encourage the Senate to deliver a good pro-growth product.”

__

3:26 a.m.

Republicans are struggling to win over resistant GOP senators to a sweeping tax bill that President Donald Trump and their party have set as a vital political goal.

Trump, who has assured lawmakers there will be changes, is traveling to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to personally lobby Republican senators. Senate GOP leaders hope to pass the bill this week.

Anxious to pass a tax overhaul package by year’s end with an eye to the 2018 elections, Trump and the GOP leaders scrambled Monday to make changes to the Senate version to woo the Republican holdouts. Republicans have only two votes to spare in the Senate, where they hold a 52-48 edge, and anticipate Vice President Mike Pence breaking a tie, if needed.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., speaks, as she is accompanied by Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., left, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., during a news conference about their hopes for a bipartisan approach to tax reform, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., right, with Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., left, and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., speaks about tax reform, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-5125805/The-Latest-Moderate-Dems-ask-GOP-negotiate-taxes.html#ixzz4zmz8XFIc

 

Story 3: Repeal Government Control and Regulation of The Internet — Let Consumer Sovereignty and Free Enterprise Market Capital Reign — Videos

US regulator says Silicon Valley is threat to internet

AFP
Federal Communication Commission chairman Ajit Pai argues that internet platforms like Twitter represent a threat to online freedom of speech
Federal Communication Commission chairman Ajit Pai argues that internet platforms like Twitter represent a threat to online freedom of speech (AFP Photo/CHIP SOMODEVILLA)re

Washington (AFP) – A top US regulator, defending an effort to roll back so-called “net neutrality” rules, said Tuesday that large internet platforms represent the biggest threat to online freedom because they routinely block “content they don’t like.”

Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai delivered remarks days after unveiling a proposal to reverse a hotly contested 2015 rule requiring broadband firms to treat all online traffic equally.

Pai said internet platforms — he singled out Twitter — play a more significant role than broadband operators in determining what internet users see.

“Despite all the talk about the fear that broadband providers could decide what internet content consumers can see, recent experience shows that so-called edge providers are in fact deciding what content they see,” Pai said.

“These providers routinely block or discriminate against content they don’t like.”

The blunt remarks appeared to confirm a tougher atmosphere in Washington for Silicon Valley firms after years of close ties.

Pai, appointed by President Donald Trump, offered an example of Twitter’s decision to block a video by a Republican candidate “because it featured a pro-life message,” referring to the politician’s claim of the “sale of baby body parts.”

He said Twitter “appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users’ accounts as opposed to those of liberal users,” Pai said.

“This conduct is many things, but it isn’t fighting for an open internet.”

Pai said online platforms are “secretly editing certain users’ comments” and “caving to repressive foreign governments’ demands to block certain speech” which would be considered “repugnant” in the United States.

“In this way, edge providers are a much bigger actual threat to an open internet than broadband providers, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of viewpoint,” Pai said.

The dispute over net neutrality has been the subject of several court battles, with backers arguing strong rules are needed to guard against powerful broadband firms like Comcast and AT&T acting as “gatekeepers” that can punish rivals.

Pai said the debate on “net neutrality” appears driven by Silicon Valley firms’ business interests.

“These companies want to place much tougher regulations on broadband providers than they are willing to have placed upon themselves,” he said.

“They might cloak their advocacy in the public interest, but the real interest of these Internet giants is in using the regulatory process to cement their dominance in the internet economy.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-regulator-says-silicon-valley-threat-internet-213205410.html

 

 

Like Y2K, the Net neutrality crisis is way overhyped

ERIC THAYER/NEW YORK TIMES
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

As the Federal Communications Commission nears a fateful decision on network neutrality, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Y2K all over again.

You may remember Dec. 31, 1999. That’s the last time the Internet was expected to die, because millions of computers were going to crash when their internal clocks failed to turn over to the year 2000. I sat in the Globe’s newsroom, waiting for the end. Nothing happened. It was quite a letdown.

Now here comes another “apocalypse.” On Dec 14, the FCC is expected to abandon the Obama administration’s policy on so-called Net neutrality, in which the government forces Internet providers to treat all data equally. Activists say it’s the end of the Internet as we know it, with giant Internet providers like Comcast and AT&T free to block or slow down access to key online services unless they’re paid extra to let the data flow.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/11/28/like-net-neutrality-crisis-way-overhyped/ChcyXjEsM5QyMIfYa09vWO/story.html

Story 4: Obama Appointed Inspect General Charles McCullough Found 22 Top Secret and Beyond In Hillary Clinton’s E-Mails with Over 2,100 Containing Classified Information — Extremely Reckless Said Clapper — Clinton and Campaign Lied To American People — Prosecute Now! — The Statute of Limits Runs Out In February 2018 — Videos

See the source image

Ex-inspector general: Blowback came from Clinton allies

“The Public Was MISLED!!” Tucker Interviews Fmr Intelligence IG About Hillary Investigation

Clinton emails contained classified material – U.S. inspector

Wikileaks Explodes! MSNBC/WSJ/NYTimes/WashPost! Media Blackout Ending! Chelsea Comes Clean!

WIKILEAKS FINALLY DID IT…SHE’S DONE

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JUST IN …HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS ORDERS FOR IMMEDIATE ARREST OF HILLARY CLINTON

Proof Hillary Clinton is Guilty

Clinton: ” I did not email any classified material”

Hillary Clinton vs. James Comey: Email Scandal Supercut

BLOWBACK: MARINE DEMANDS SAME TREATMENT as HILLARY “No Prosecution”

Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/28/17 – Tucker Carlson Tonight November 28, 2017 Fox News

Obama-Appointed Federal Inspector Threatened By Clinton Campaign Over Email Investigation

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Content originally published at iBankCoin.com,

An Obama appointed government watchdog central to the Hillary Clinton email investigation says that he, his family and his office faced an ‘intense backlash‘ from Clinton allies, who threatened him over findings that Clinton mishandled classified information.

Former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III.

Former Inspector General Charles McCullough III told Fox News Chief Intel correspondent Catherine Herridge that he was under intense pressure from senior officials on the left – with one Clinton campaign official threatening that he and another government investigator would be immediately fired under a Hillary Clinton presidency:

“It was told in no uncertain terms, by a source directly from the campaign, that we would be the first two to be fired – with [Clinton’s] administration. That that was definitely going to happen.” –Charles McCullough III

As a refresher, over 2,100 classified emails were sent over Clinton’s personal server, which was used exclusively for government business. Despite this, former FBI Director James Comey – who had drafted Clinton’s exoneration letter months before reviewing evidence in the case – recommended that the DOJ not prosecute the case.

McCullough was recommended to Obama by then-Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who told McCullough that Clinton’s conduct was “extremely reckless,” adding “the campaign … will have heartburn about that.”

Via Fox News:

He [McCullough] said Clapper’s Clinton email comments came during an in-person meeting about a year before the presidential election – in late December 2015 or early 2016. “[Clapper] was as off-put as the rest of us were.”

 

After the Clapper meeting, McCullough said his team was marginalized. “I was told by senior officials to keep [Clapper] out of it,” he said, while acknowledging he tried to keep his boss in the loop.

Egregious violations

In January 2016, McCullough told Republicans on the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees that emails classified above “Top Secret” had been passed through the former secretary of state’s private, unsecure server – such as an email about Benghazi she sent to daughter Chelsea Clinton (using pseudonym Diane Reynolds) on the night of September 11th, 2012 from ‘@clintonemail.com’ which not only divulged highly classified military intel over a non-government server vulnerable to foreign surveillance – it also revealed that the Obama administration knew that an “Al Queda-like group” was responsible for the attack.

One wonders what Chelsea’s security clearance was at the time?

Instead of informing the American public that radical Islam was responsible for the attack, the Obama administration fabricated a story – peddling the lie that anger over an anti-Islamic YouTube video resulted in the attack, which led to the arrest and imprisonment of an innocent man.

Hillary knew it was an “Al Qeda-like group” hours after it happened when she told Chelsea (“Diane Reynolds”) top secret information. pic.twitter.com/LiOJj3jck1

— ZeroPointNow (@ZeroPointNow) July 15, 2017


As one of a handful of people who reviewed the 22 Top Secret Clinton emails deemed too classified to ever see the light of day, McCullough says “There was a very good reason to withhold those emails … there would have been harm to national security,” adding “sources and methods, lives and operations” could be put at risk. According to Fox, some of those email exchanges were considered Special Access Privelage (SAP), or “above top secret.”

What’s interesting about that, is an anonymous 4chan poster known as “FBI Anon” – whose breadcrumbs of information have been largely correct, posted on July 2, 2016 that Clinton had “SAP level programs on her server, which if made public, would literally cause an uprising and possibly foreign declarations of war.”

Then, on October 16, 2016 – three weeks before former FBI Director Comey cleared Clintin, “FBI Anon” elaborated on SAP programs and made an unverified claim about Clinton:

A Special Access Program is an intelligence program classified above top-secret. They are held on closed servers at secret locations. The only way to get one is if you are specifically read on to a program, have a need to know, then you must physically go to a location and pass through several layers of security to even look at the program. A good example in non-classified terms would be the locations and operations of our intelligence operatives around the glove, or our missile silo locations. SAP is granted on a need to know basis, and Hillary did not have any need to know any of the programs on her server. All I can tell you about the SAPs is that Hillary had them, and she did not have proper authority to have any of them. They were leaked to her by someone, and she did sell them to overseas donors. Possessing them alone makes her guilty of treason.” –FBI Anon

Turncoat?

In response to McCullough’s findings, Democrats turned their backs on the Obama-appointed Inspector General for doing his job.

“All of a sudden I became a shill of the right,” McCullough said, adding “And I was told by members of Congress, ‘Be careful. You’re losing your credibility. You need to be careful. There are people out to get you.’”

McCullough told Fox of “an effort… certainly on the part of the campaign to mislead people into thinking that there was nothing to see here.”

Damage Control

As the Clinton campaign geared up for the 2016 election, WikiLeaks documents reveal that Hillary’s inner circle was already starting to spin the investigation – writing in an August 2015 email that “Clinton only used her account for unclassified email. When information is reviewed for public release, it is common for information previously unclassified to be upgraded to classified.”

McCullough was critical of this response, telling Fox “There was an effort … certainly on the part of the campaign to mislead people into thinking that there was nothing to see here.”

In response to the Inspector General’s pushback, seven senior Democrats sent a letter to McCullough and his counterpart at the State Department, raising concerns over the impartiality of the Clinton email investigation. McCullough, however, was not arriving at any conclusions himself – he was simply passing along the findings of individual government agencies on appropriate classifications assigned to the emails.

Fox News reports:

McCullough described one confrontation with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office just six weeks before the election, amid pressure to respond to the letter – which Feinstein had co-signed.

 

“I thought that any response to that letter would just hyper-politicize the situation,” McCullough said. “I recall even offering to resign, to the staff director. I said, ‘Tell [Feinstein] I’ll resign tonight. I’d be happy to go. I’m not going to respond to that letter. It’s just that simple.”

 

As Election Day approached, McCullough said the threats went further, singling out him and another senior government investigator on the email case.

Inquiries sent by Fox to both Feinstein and Clapper were not returned at the time of publication.

Watch:

Herridge: “Was there an effort to deliberately mislead the public about [@HillaryClinton] classified emails?”
McCullough: “Absolutely.”

Follow on Twitter @ZeroPointNow § Subscribe to our YouTube channel

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-28/obama-appointed-federal-inspector-threatened-clinton-campaign-over-email-investigati

areful. There are people out to get you.’”

But the former inspector general, with responsibility for the 17 intelligence agencies, said the executive who recommended him to the Obama administration for the job – then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – was also disturbed by the independent Clinton email findings.

“[Clapper] said, ‘This is extremely reckless.’ And he mentioned something about — the campaign … will have heartburn about that,” McCullough said.

He said Clapper’s Clinton email comments came during an in-person meeting about a year before the presidential election – in late December 2015 or early 2016. “[Clapper] was as off-put as the rest of us were.”

After the Clapper meeting, McCullough said his team was marginalized. “I was told by senior officials to keep [Clapper] out of it,” he said, while acknowledging he tried to keep his boss in the loop.

As one of the few people who viewed the 22 top secret Clinton emails deemed too classified to release under any circumstances, the former IG said, “There was a very good reason to withhold those emails … there would have been harm to national security.” McCullough went further, telling Fox News that “sources and methods, lives and operations” could be put at risk.

Some of those email exchanges contained Special Access Program (SAP) information characterized by intel experts as “above top secret.”

“I was told by members of Congress, ‘Be careful. You’re losing your credibility. You need to be careful. There are people out to get you.’”

– Former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III

WikiLeaks documents show the campaign was formulating talking points as the review of 30,000 Clinton emails was ongoing.

The campaign team wrote in August 2015 that “Clinton only used her account for unclassified email. When information is reviewed for public release, it is common for information previously unclassified to be upgraded to classified.”

McCullough was critical of the campaign’s response, as the classified review had barely begun. “There was an effort … certainly on the part of the campaign, to mislead people into thinking that there was nothing to see here,” McCullough said.

In March 2016, seven senior Democrats sent a letter to McCullough and his State Department counterpart, saying they had serious questions about the impartiality of the Clinton email review. However, McCullough was not making the decisions on what material in Clinton’s emails was classified — he was passing along the findings of the individual agencies who got the intelligence and have final say on classification.

“I think there was certainly a coordinated strategy,” McCullough said.

McCullough described one confrontation with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office just six weeks before the election, amid pressure to respond to the letter – which Feinstein had co-signed.

“I thought that any response to that letter would just hyper-politicize the situation,” McCullough said. “I recall even offering to resign, to the staff director. I said, ‘Tell [Feinstein] I’ll resign tonight. I’d be happy to go. I’m not going to respond to that letter. It’s just that simple.”

As Election Day approached, McCullough said the threats went further, singling out him and another senior government investigator on the email case.

“It was told in no uncertain terms, by a source directly from the campaign, that we would be the first two to be fired — with [Clinton’s] administration. That that was definitely going to happen,” he said.

McCullough said he was just trying to do his job, which requires independence. “I was, in this context, a whistleblower. I was explaining to Congress — I was doing exactly what they had expected me to do. Exactly what I promised them I would do during my confirmation hearing,” he said. “… This was a political matter, and all of a sudden I was the enemy.”

He said pressures also increased early on from Clinton’s former team at the State Department, especially top official Patrick Kennedy.

“State Department management didn’t want us there,” McCullough said. “We knew we had had a security problem at this point. We had a possible compromise.”

Speaking about the case more than a year after the FBI probe concluded, McCullough in his interview also addressed the possibility that a more cooperative State Department and Clinton campaign might have precluded the FBI’s involvement from the start.

“Had they come in with the server willingly, without having us to refer this to the bureau … maybe we could have worked with the State Department,” he said.

More than 2,100 classified emails passed through Clinton’s personal server, which was used exclusively for government business. No one has been charged.

Asked what would have happened to him if he had done such a thing, McCullough said: “I’d be sitting in Leavenworth right now.”

Fox News asked a Clinton campaign spokesman, Feinstein’s office and Clapper for comment. There was no immediate response.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Pamela K. Browne is Senior Executive Producer at the FOX News Channel (FNC) and is Director of Long-Form Series and Specials. Her journalism has been recognized with several awards. Browne first joined FOX in 1997 to launch the news magazine “Fox Files” and later, “War Stories.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/11/27/blowback-clinton-campaign-planned-to-fire-me-over-email-probe-obama-intel-watchdog-says.html

650. Length of Limitations Period

Current federal law contains a single statute prescribing a general period of limitations, as well as several statutes that provide longer periods for specific offenses.

Section 3282 of Title 18, United States Code, is the statute of general application. It states that, “(e)xcept as otherwise expressly provided by law,” a prosecution for a non-capital offense shall be instituted within five years after the offense was committed.

Section 3281 of Title 18 deals with capital offenses and provides that an indictment for an offense “punishable by death” may be filed at any time. Despite the invalidity of some former federal statutory death penalty provisions, it is arguable that the unlimited time period remains applicable to those statutes that formerly carried that penalty. See United States v. Helmich, 521 F. Supp. 1246 (M.D.Fla. 1981), aff’d on other grounds, 704 F.2d 547 (11th Cir. 1983); see Matter of Extradition of Kraiselburd, 786 F.2d 1395 (9th Cir. 1986).

Section 3286 of Title 18, United States Code, provides for an eight (8) year statute of limitations for the non-capital offenses under certain terrorism offenses. These offenses include: 18 U.S.C. §§ 32 (aircraft destruction), 37 (airport violence), 112 (assaults upon diplomats and internationally protected persons), 351 (violent crimes against Congresspersons or Cabinet officers), 1116 (murder of diplomats and internationally protected persons), 1203 (hostage taking), 1361 (willful injury to government property), 1751 (violent crimes against the President), 2280 (maritime violence), 2281 (maritime platform violence), 2332 (terrorist acts abroad against United States nationals), 2332a (use of weapons of mass destruction), 2332b (acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries), or 2340A (torture) or 49 U.S.C. §§  46502 (aircraft piracy), 46504 (interference with flight crew), 46505 (carrying a weapon or explosive on an aircraft), or 46506 (certain crimes committed aboard an aircraft). Section 3286 first became effective on September 13, 1994, and was applicable to any relevant offense committed on or after September 15, 1989. In 1996, the new 18 U.S.C. § 2332b was added to the statute.

Section 3293 of Title 18, United States Code, provides for a ten (10) year statute of limitations for certain financial institution offenses which involve violations of, or conspiracy to violate, (1) 18 U.S.C. §§  215, 656, 657, 1005, 1006, 1007, 1014, 1033, or 1344; (2) 18 U.S.C. §§  1342 or 1343 if the offense affects a financial institution; or (3) 18 U.S.C. §  1963 to the extent that the racketeering activity involves a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344.

Section 3294 of Title 18, United States Code, provides a twenty (20) year statute of limitations for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 668 involving the theft of major art work.

Section 3295 of Title 18, United States Code, which was enacted on April 24, 1996, provides for a 10 year statute of limitations for certain non-capital arson or use-of-explosives offenses under 18 U.S.C. §§  81 or 844(f), (h), or (i). (Section 844(i) had a seven year statute of limitations period for offenses committed on or after September 13, 1989, but before April 24, 1996.) See this Manual at 1445.

A one year statute of limitations is provided for criminal contempt under 18 U.S.C. § 402 (see 18 U.S.C. § 3285).

Section 507(a) of Title 17 provides that no criminal proceeding shall be maintained under Title 17 (relating to copyrights) unless commenced within three years after the cause of action arose.

Section 6531 of Title 26 provides that prosecutions for violation of the internal revenue laws shall be commenced within three years after commission of the offense, except for eight enumerated categories of offenses as to which a six-year limitations period is made applicable. See this Manual at 658.

Section 3291 of Title 18 provides that prosecutions for violations of nationality, citizenship, and passport laws, or a conspiracy to violate such laws, shall be commenced within ten years after the commission of the offense. Section 19 of the Internal Security Act of 1950, 64 Stat. 1005, provides a ten-year limitations period for prosecutions under the espionage statutes, 18 U.S.C. Secs. 792 to 794.

Section 2278 of Title 42 provides a similar ten-year period for prosecution of restricted data offenses under the atomic energy laws, 42 U.S.C. Secs. 2274 to 2276.

Section 783(e) of Title 50 provides that a prosecution for an offense under that section, part of the Subversive Activities Control Act, shall be instituted within ten years after the commission of the offense.

[cited in USAM 9-18.000]

https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-650-length-limitations-period

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 991, October 30, 2017, Story 1: No Crime, No Evidence, No Case, No Indictments of Russian/Trump Collusion — Delusional Democratic  Clinton Conspiracy Theory — Plenty of Evidence of Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton Crimes — American People Demanding Prosecution — Waiting For Dominoes To Fall — Manafort Indictment Is Money Laundering and Tax Evasion Case From 2006-2015 — Videos –Story 2: Whose Next? Tony Podesta — Videos — Story 3: Real Russian Collusion — Clinton Foundation — Uranium One — Obama Administration — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 991, October 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 990, October 26, 2017

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Image result for tony podestaImage result for uranium oneImage result for uranium oneImage result for branco cartoons russia trump collusionsImage result for branco cartoons russia trump collusionsImage result for branco cartoons russia trump collusionsImage result for branco cartoons russia trump collusions

Image result for clinton founfation $145 millior from Uranium one stockholdersImage result for clinton founfation $145 millior from Uranium one stockholders

Image result for clinton founfation $145 millior from Uranium one stockholders

Story 1: No Crime, No Evidence, No Case, No Indictments of Russian/Trump Collusion — Delusional Democratic  Clinton Conspiracy Theory — Plenty of Evidence of Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton Crimes — American People Demanding Prosecution — Waiting For Dominoes To Fall — Manafort Indictment Is Money Laundering and Tax Evasion Case From 2006-2015 — Videos —

Tucker Carlson Tonight 10/30/17 – Tucker Carlson Tonight October 30, 2017 Fox News – PAUL MANAFORT

The Latest on Today’s Top Story. Manafort Charges.

Manafort Turns Himself in! Dershowitz Explains!

“This has nothing to do with Trump” Judge Napolitano REACTS to Paul Manafort’s indictment

Judge Nap Breaks Down Charges Against Manafort!

Inside Judicial Watch News Brief: The Manafort Indictment

Manafort and Gates plead not guilty in special counsel probe

Mueller is FOOLING himself! Ann Coulter REACTS to Paul Manafort’s ARREST

 {youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUDeAHs-rU0]

Why Paul Manafort’s Indictment Has Absolutely Nothing to Do With Trump

“Manafort indictments a nothing burger” Ben Shapiro REACTS to Robert Mueller charges

Paul Manafort’s lawyer comes out fighting, THROWS Mueller’s charges to the TRASH

White House press briefing after Paul Manafort, Rick Gates indicted by federal grand jury

How Trump’s tune on Manafort changed as investigators closed in

Three Trump Associates Charged in Russia Collusion Probe

 Updated on 

The federal investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia took a major turn Monday as authorities charged three people — a former campaign chief, his associate and an ex-foreign policy adviser — with crimes including money laundering, lying to the FBI and conspiracy.

Paul Manafort, the campaign manager, and onetime business partner Rick Gates surrendered and later pleaded not guilty in Washington federal court. Separately, authorities disclosed that George Papadopoulos, the adviser, secretly pleaded guilty weeks ago and has been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Manafort, left, exits court in Washington on Oct. 30.

Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

Read the full indictment here

The accusations arrive after a months-long probe into possible crimes including obstruction of justice by Trump and other crimes by his associates. The general shape of the investigation into Manafort’s activities has been known for months. The charges against Papadopoulos were a revelation and indicate prosecutors are moving on multiple tracks. They are the most direct indication of coordination between the campaign and Russian officials.

Investigators are likely to pressure Manafort and Gates to cooperate with prosecutors in a bid for leniency and to disclose everything that they know about Trump’s campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

Papadopoulos, who worked for the campaign from March 2016 to January, was in frequent communication with a “campaign supervisor” and “a high-ranking official” of the effort, according to court papers unsealed on Monday.

Papadopoulos made contacts with Russians who said they could supply “dirt” on Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Papadopoulos then told Trump officials they should arrange a meeting with Russians to discuss “U.S.-Russia ties,” according to the papers.

The adviser later broached the prospect of Trump’s getting together with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the court papers said. Papadopoulos was also in email contact with a Russian who said he represented the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who thanked him “for an extensive talk.”

Such meetings never occurred, said Trump spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the charges “have nothing to do with the president.”

Papadopoulos lied to federal agents about the timing of his contacts, saying they happened before he joined the campaign, prosecutors said. After his arrest in July at Dulles International Airport near Washington, Papadopoulos met with authorities on “numerous occasions to provide information and answer questions,” according to the court documents.

Papadopoulos, a 30-year-old DePaul University graduate from Chicago, worked at the London Centre of International Law Practice at the time in question, from February 2016 to April 2016, according to his LinkedIn page. After getting a master’s degree in security studies from University College London, he was associated with Washington’s Hudson Institute from 2011 to 2015. The institute said Papadopoulos was an unpaid intern and later a contract researcher for one of its fellows.

As for Manafort, the 12-count indictment painted a picture of a high-flying operation, in which more than $75 million passed through offshore accounts. Prosecutors said he laundered more than $18 million to support a “lavish lifestyle” that included buying homes, cars and clothing, and accused him of defrauding institutions that loaned him money.

He and Gates, his longtime deputy, hid foreign accounts from the U.S., failed to disclose work for a foreign government and misrepresented their activities to authorities as recently as 2017, according to the indictment.

In court Monday afternoon, prosecutors said their foreign ties made the men flight risks and put them under house arrest ahead of a trial. Manafort posted a $10 million bond, while Gates put up a $5 million bond to be released. They also surrendered their passports.

In the packed courtroom, Manafort spent most of his time staring impassively, sometimes just looking down. Gates, too, sat quietly. As their not-guilty pleas were entered by their attorneys, neither man addressed the court except in response to directions to swear that whatever they said would be the truth, and to affirm that they understood the terms of their release and the consequences of their failure to comply.

Afterwards, Kevin Downing, Manafort’s lawyer, told reporters that the charges have nothing to do with the Trump campaign, and called them ridiculous.

Gates was fired Monday by real-estate company Colony NorthStar Inc., where he had been a consultant to Executive Chairman Tom Barrack, a wealthy Los Angeles investor and Trump confidant. Gates looks forward to defending himself in court, according to a statement from Glenn Selig, a spokesman.

“This fight is just beginning,” Selig said.

Lawyers for Papadopoulos declined to comment, saying they would do so in court.

The president took to Twitter to say that any wrongdoing by Manafort predated their relationship.

“Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign,” Trump wrote. “But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????”

Follow the Trump Administration’s Every Move

The indictment, however, stated that Manafort’s illegal acts lasted into early 2017.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the probe as “the single greatest witch hunt in American political history.”

Read more: Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga

Manafort, 68, has been targeted by Mueller for months. A top Republican strategist who also worked extensively for foreign politicians, he left Trump’s campaign after only a few months in 2016. He departed after information surfaced about his work in Ukraine for a pro-Russian party, which intensified scrutiny of his business dealings.

Gates worked with Manafort on Trump’s campaign and in Ukrainian politics. After Manafort left the campaign, Gates remained, later joining the president-elect’s inaugural committee.

He attended meetings at the White House after Trump became president, according to one former staff member. Trump sought to distance himself from Gates and grew angry after he learned that Gates was still visiting the White House, two people familiar with the matter said.

Virginia Home

As campaign chairman, Manafort attended a June 2016 meeting with the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer that was arranged to offer incriminating information about Clinton.

In July 2017, FBI agents picked the lock of Manafort’s northern Virginia home, frisking his wife and copying data from electronic devices, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Manafort has said he cooperated with congressional inquiries about the campaign even as Mueller’s prosecutors combed through his taxes and finances.

Manafort, a lawyer whose father was mayor of New Britain, Connecticut, made his name working for Republican presidential candidates, including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole.

He started lobbying and political-consulting firms that upended the way the Washington influence game worked by helping politicians win and then cashing in on the success, what one critic called an “institutionalized conflict of interest.”

Foreign Leaders

He advised foreign leaders, some with unsavory reputations, on how to make themselves palatable to Washington. His roster included Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Angolan guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi and deposed Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Putin.

Trump and Russia: The Lucrative Ukraine Years of Paul Manafort

Yanukovych’s Party of Regions hired Manafort in 2006 to recast its image, which had been marred by election-fraud allegations.

He helped teach Yanukovych to look and speak like an American politician, shepherding him to the presidency in 2010. Manafort also helped him defend the imprisonment of his rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, an act widely condemned in the West.

Yanukovych left office in a 2014 uprising and now lives in exile in Russia. A handwritten ledger found in a party office said Manafort was paid at least $12.7 million from 2007 to 2012. In June, Manafort retroactively filed a foreign-agent registration that said the Party of Regions paid him $17.1 million in 2012 and 2013.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-30/trump-s-ex-campaign-chairman-manafort-told-to-surrender-to-u-s

The Manafort Indictment: Not Much There, and a Boon for Trump

by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY October 30, 2017 2:20 PM

The Paul Manafort indictment is much ado about nothing . . . except as a vehicle to squeeze Manafort, which is special counsel Robert Mueller’s objective — as we have been arguing for three months (see here, here, and here).

Do not be fooled by the “Conspiracy against the United States” heading on Count One (page 23 of the indictment). This case has nothing to do with what Democrats and the media call “the attack on our democracy” (i.e., the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 election, supposedly in “collusion” with the Trump campaign). Essentially, Manafort and his associate, Richard W. Gates, are charged with (a) conspiring to conceal from the U.S. government about $75 million they made as unregistered foreign agents for Ukraine, years before the 2016 election (mainly, from 2006 through 2014), and (b) a money-laundering conspiracy.

There are twelve counts in all, but those are the two major allegations.

The so-called conspiracy against the United States mainly involves Manafort’s and Gates’s alleged failure to file Treasury Department forms required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Specifically, Americans who hold a stake in foreign bank accounts must file what’s known as an “FBAR” (foreign bank account report) in any year in which, at any point, the balance in the account exceeds $10,000. Federal law also requires disclosure of foreign accounts on annual income-tax returns. Manafort and Gates are said to have controlled foreign accounts through which their Ukrainian political-consulting income sluiced, and to have failed to file accurate FBARs and tax returns. In addition, they allegedly failed to register as foreign agents from 2008 through 2014 and made false statements when they belatedly registered.

In the money-laundering conspiracy, they are alleged to have moved money in and out of the United States with the intent to promote “specified unlawful activity.” That activity is said to have been their acting as unregistered foreign agents.

On first glance, Mueller’s case, at least in part, seems shaky and overcharged.

Even though the Ukrainian money goes back to 2006, the counts involving failure to file FBARs (Counts Three through Nine) go back only to 2012. This is likely because the five-year statute of limitations bars prosecution for anything before then. Obviously, one purpose of the conspiracy count (Count One) is to enable prosecutors, under the guise of establishing the full scope of the scheme, to prove law violations that would otherwise be time-barred.

The offense of failing to register as a foreign agent (Count Ten) may be a slam-dunk, but it is a violation that the Justice Department rarely prosecutes criminally. There is often ambiguity about whether the person’s actions trigger the registration requirement, so the Justice Department’s practice is to encourage people to register, not indict them for failing to do so.

It may well be that Manafort and Gates made false statements when they belatedly registered as foreign agents, but it appears that Mueller’s office has turned one offense into two, an abusive prosecutorial tactic that flouts congressional intent.

Specifically, Congress considers false statements in the specific context of foreign-agent registration to be a misdemeanor calling for zero to six months’ imprisonment. (See Section 622(a)(2) of Title 22, U.S. Code.) That is the offense Mueller charges in Count Eleven. But then, for good measure, Mueller adds a second false-statement count (Count Twelve) for the same conduct — charged under the penal-code section (Section 1001 of Title 18, U.S. Code) that makes any falsity or material omission in a statement to government officials a felony punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment.

Obviously, one cannot make a false statement on the foreign-agent registration form without also making a false statement to the government. Consequently, expect Manafort to argue that Mueller has violated double-jeopardy principles by charging the same exact offense in two separate counts, and that the special counsel is undermining Congress’s intent that the offense of providing false information on a foreign-agent registration form be considered merely a misdemeanor.

Finally, the money-laundering conspiracy allegation (Count Two) seems far from slam-dunk. For someone to be guilty of laundering, the money involved has to be the proceeds of criminal activity before the accused starts concealing it by (a) moving it through accounts or changing its form by buying assets, etc., or (b) dodging a reporting requirement under federal law.

Now, it is surely a terrible thing to take money, under the guise of “political consulting,” from an unsavory Ukranian political faction that is doing the Kremlin’s bidding. But it is not a violation of American law to do so. The violations occur when, as outlined above, there is a lack of compliance with various disclosure requirements. Mueller seems to acknowledge this: The money-laundering count does not allege that it was illegal for Manafort and Gates to be paid by the Ukrainian faction. It is alleged, rather, that they moved the money around to promote a scheme to function as unregistered foreign agents, and specifically to avoid the registration requirement.

That seems like a stretch. To be sure, the relevant money-laundering statute includes in its definition of “specified unlawful activity” “any violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.” (See Section 1956(c)(2)(7)(D) of Title 18, U.S. Code.) But the prosecution still has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the money was the proceeds of unlawful activity in the first place. Moreover, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that

Even from Paul Manafort’s perspective, there may be less to this indictment than meets the eye. Manafort and Gates (a) knew the money was the proceeds of illegal activity and (b) transported the money the way they did with the specific intent of avoiding having to register as foreign agents. This count will thus fail if there is any doubt that the Ukrainian money was illegal under American law, that Manafort and Gates knew it was illegal, that they knew the work they were doing required them to register as foreign agents, or that it was their intention to promote a failure-to-register violation.

From President Trump’s perspective, the indictment is a boon from which he can claim that the special counsel has no actionable collusion case. It appears to reaffirm former FBI director James Comey’s multiple assurances that Trump is not a suspect. And, to the extent it looks like an attempt to play prosecutorial hardball with Manafort, the president can continue to portray himself as the victim of a witch hunt.

Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453244/manafort-indictment-no-signs-trump-russia-collusion

Story 2: Whose Next? Tony Podesta — Videos —

BREAKING!Trey Gowdy Takes Apart Mueller’s Investigation & Clinton’s Campaign In Same Fiery Interview

Look Who Paul Manafort Worked For During Alleged Activities(VIDEO)!!!

Tony Podesta Steps Down from Podesta Group due to Mueller Probe.

Rpt: Mueller Investigating Tony Podesta – Uranium One Scandal – Hannity

TUCKER CARLSON MANAFORT WORKED WITH PODESTA Tucker investigates podesta group

The Coming Russia Bombshells – WSJ To Mueller After Dossier Expose: Resign – Fox & Friends

Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta now being investigated by Mueller

 

Tony Podesta stepping down from lobbying giant amid Mueller probe

Podesta announced his decision during a firm-wide meeting Monday morning and is alerting clients of his impending departure.

Democratic power lobbyist Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group, is stepping down from the firm that bears his name after coming under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Podesta announced his decision during a firm-wide meeting Monday morning and is alerting clients of his impending departure.

Podesta’s decision to leave the firm came on the same day that former Donald Trump campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted on multiple charges, including money laundering, operating as federal agents of the Ukrainian government, failing to disclose overseas bank accounts and making false statements to federal authorities. Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty earlier this month for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, according to court records.

The investigation into Podesta and his firm grew out of investigators’ examination of Manafort’s finances. Manafort organized a PR campaign on behalf of a nonprofit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. Podesta Group was one of several firms that were paid to do work on the PR campaign to promote Ukraine in the U.S.

Podesta Group filed paperwork with the Justice Department in April stating that it had done work for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine that also benefited the same Ukrainian political party that Manafort once advised. Podesta Group said at the time it believed its client was a European think tank untethered to a political party.

Podesta is handing over full operational and financial control of the firm to longtime firm CEO Kimberley Fritts, according to multiple sources with knowledge of Monday’s meeting. Fritts and a senior group of the Podesta team will be launching a new firm in the next one or two days. Sources said the transition has been in the works for the past several months.

“[Tony] was very magnanimous and said, “This is an amazing group of people,” a source said of Podesta’s remarks. Podesta also told staff he “doesn’t intend to go quietly, or learn how to play golf.” He said he “needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn’t want the firm to fight it.”

Fritts also addressed the gathering, telling staff that she is “thrilled at this opportunity” and that, “This is not about me, this is about y’all.” Several other senior staff spoke about their excitement about the future of the firm. The meeting ended with a resounding ovation for Podesta.

Podesta Group did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Podesta has long been a larger than life figure on K Street, growing his business from a boutique firm into a massive lobbying and public relations operation. He is well known for his flashy dressing, vast art collection, generous campaign donations across all levels of Democratic politics and, of course, for his brother John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

Podesta Group has struggled in the wake of the Mueller investigation. More than a dozen of its lobbying clients have cut ties with the firm this year, according to lobbying filings. Revenues have also declined: The firm brought in an estimated $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $5.2 million in the second quarter of 2017 and from $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2016.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/30/tony-podesta-stepping-down-from-lobbying-giant-amid-mueller-probe-244314

Story 3: Real Russian Collusion — Obama Administration — Uranium One —  Clinton Foundation — Videos

Hillary Is SCARED! Sessions Must Appoint Special Counsel to Investigate Uranium One Deal

James Comey’s decision-making on the Clinton probe

Judicial Watch on Hannity: FBI Recovered 72,000 Pages of Clinton Records

FBI Informant Can Testify On Uranium One Deal – Fox & Friends

Obama-era Uranium One deal strongest evidence of Russian collusion: Rep. DeSantis

This Democrat Senator Just Flipped On Live TV And Unveiled Hillary Clinton’s TREASONOUS Secret

 

Yes, The Russia Scandal Is Real — And It Involves Hillary Clinton

Clinton Scandals: For well over a year now, the progressive left in the Democratic Party have tried hard to sell the idea that, a) Russia meddled in our election, and, b) that it was to the detriment of Hillary Clinton. After nearly a year and a half of investigating, neither appears true. What is true, and now documented, is that Hillary Clinton and her family foundation both benefited handsomely from Russian corruption.

Citing federal officials and government documents, The Hill details the Russians’ nuclear-industry corruption here in the U.S., citing extensive evidence that “Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business” in the U.S.

But that’s just the beginning. Based on both an eyewitness account and documents, The Hill report goes on to say that federal agents found evidence “indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow.”

Isn’t that called bribery?

Strangely, the Department of Justice first discovered the Russian racketeering scheme and the links to Clinton in 2009. But it failed to bring charges, and dragged its investigation out for four years with no substantive action.

Meanwhile, in October of 2010, the State Department and the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) curiously — and unanimously — approved the sale of part of Uranium One, a Canadian-based company with uranium interests in the U.S., to Rosatom, a Russian state holding company.

Why is this significant? That sale gave Russia, a potential nuclear foe, defacto control over 20% of the U.S.’ uranium supply. Let that sink in for a minute.

Then there’s this: The CFIUS that approved the Rosatom deal had two key members: Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who in a clear conflict of interest materially benefited from the deal, and Attorney General Eric Holder, the man responsible for slow-walking the investigation into Russian nuclear racketeering.

So the Obama administration knew of the Russian racketeering, extortion, money laundering, and the rest, as Vladimir Putin’s minions elbowed their way into the U.S. nuclear market. The Obama administration did nothing. The administration knew, too, that Hillary was selling access and influence in the State Department via donations to the family charity. But, again, it did nothing.

And these donations weren’t just peanuts.

The Clintons and their foundation raked in a cool $145 million in donations and “speaking fees” just from Uranium One- and Rosatom-affiliated donors while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was supposedly keeping all Clinton Foundation business at “arm’s-length.” As we reported in July, Clinton official emails show extensive connections between Hillary, the Clinton Foundation and donors during her time as secretary of state, a kind of criminal conga-line of people asking for favors from Hillary and donating to the foundation.

Peter Schwiezer, the author of “Clinton Cash,” questioned this “spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy among eight shareholders in Uranium One” who “decide now would be a great time to donate tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.”

Nor was this just a Russian thing. It was a much-broader pay-for-play scheme by Hillary Clinton. Consider this: Of the 154 private interests that were given official access to Hillary Clinton during her tenure at the State Department, at least 85 donated to the Clinton Foundation or a program affiliated with it. The secretary of state’s office in Foggy Bottom might as well have had “For Sale” painted on it.

That the Clintons and their eponymous foundation got away with their corrupt arrangement for so many years without interference or censure speaks to a deep political corruption in the Obama administration. It’s strange that an investigation continues into the inconsequential ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian officials, while solid evidence of bribery of the Clinton family by the Russians and many others is completely ignored.

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/russia-scandal-is-real-involves-hillary-clinton/

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

When this sale was used by Trump on the campaign trail last year, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman said she was not involved in the committee review and noted the State Department official who handled it said she “never intervened … on any [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] matter.”

In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

The Obama administration’s decision to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One has been a source of political controversy since 2015.

That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

Spokesmen for Holder and Clinton did not return calls seeking comment. The Justice Department also didn’t comment.

Mikerin was a director of Rosatom’s Tenex in Moscow since the early 2000s, where he oversaw Rosatom’s nuclear collaboration with the United States under the Megatons to Megwatts program and its commercial uranium sales to other countries. In 2010, Mikerin was dispatched to the U.S. on a work visa approved by the Obama administration to open Rosatom’s new American arm called Tenam.

Between 2009 and January 2012, Mikerin “did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire confederate and agree with other persons … to obstruct, delay and affect commerce and the movement of an article and commodity (enriched uranium) in commerce by extortion,” a November 2014 indictment stated.

His illegal conduct was captured with the help of a confidential witness, an American businessman, who began making kickback payments at Mikerin’s direction and with the permission of the FBI. The first kickback payment recorded by the FBI through its informant was dated Nov. 27, 2009, the records show.

In evidentiary affidavits signed in 2014 and 2015, an Energy Department agent assigned to assist the FBI in the case testified that Mikerin supervised a “racketeering scheme” that involved extortion, bribery, money laundering and kickbacks that were both directed by and provided benefit to more senior officials back in Russia.

“As part of the scheme, Mikerin, with the consent of higher level officials at TENEX and Rosatom (both Russian state-owned entities) would offer no-bid contracts to US businesses in exchange for kickbacks in the form of money payments made to some offshore banks accounts,” Agent David Gadren testified.

“Mikerin apparently then shared the proceeds with other co-conspirators associated with TENEX in Russia and elsewhere,” the agent added.

The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.

Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation in connection with money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI. The probe is not focused on McAuliffe’s conduct but rather on whether McCabe’s attendance violated the Hatch Act or other FBI conflict rules.

The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.

Its many twist and turns aside, the FBI nuclear industry case proved a gold mine, in part because it uncovered a new Russian money laundering apparatus that routed bribe and kickback payments through financial instruments in Cyprus, Latvia and Seychelles. A Russian financier in New Jersey was among those arrested for the money laundering, court records show.

The case also exposed a serious national security breach: Mikerin had given a contract to an American trucking firm called Transport Logistics International that held the sensitive job of transporting Russia’s uranium around the United States in return for more than $2 million in kickbacks from some of its executives, court records show.

One of Mikerin’s former employees told the FBI that Tenex officials in Russia specifically directed the scheme to “allow for padded pricing to include kickbacks,” agents testified in one court filing.

Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap.

But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged.

The only public statement occurred a year later when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, just days before Labor Day. The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.

By that time, the criminal cases against Mikerin had been narrowed to a single charge of money laundering for a scheme that officials admitted stretched from 2004 to 2014. And though agents had evidence of criminal wrongdoing they collected since at least 2009, federal prosecutors only cited in the plea agreement a handful of transactions that occurred in 2011 and 2012, well after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’s approval.

The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation, sources confirmed to The Hill.

The lack of fanfare left many key players in Washington with no inkling that a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme with serious national security implications had been uncovered.

On Dec. 15, 2015, the Justice Department put out a release stating that Mikerin, “a former Russian official residing in Maryland was sentenced today to 48 months in prison” and ordered to forfeit more than $2.1 million.

Ronald Hosko, who served as the assistant FBI director in charge of criminal cases when the investigation was underway, told The Hill he did not recall ever being briefed about Mikerin’s case by the counterintelligence side of the bureau despite the criminal charges that were being lodged.

“I had no idea this case was being conducted,” a surprised Hosko said in an interview.

Likewise, major congressional figures were also kept in the dark.

Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee during the time the FBI probe was being conducted, told The Hill that he had never been told anything about the Russian nuclear corruption case even though many fellow lawmakers had serious concerns about the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal.

“Not providing information on a corruption scheme before the Russian uranium deal was approved by U.S. regulators and engage appropriate congressional committees has served to undermine U.S. national security interests by the very people charged with protecting them,” he said. “The Russian efforts to manipulate our American political enterprise is breathtaking.”

This story was updated at 6:50 p.m.

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/355749-fbi-uncovered-russian-bribery-plot-before-obama-administration

 

The Facts on Uranium One

Two House committees have said that they will investigate the Obama administration’s approval of a deal that gave Russia a financial interest in U.S. uranium production.

The 2010 deal allowed Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy agency, to acquire a controlling stake in Uranium One, a Canadian-based company with mining stakes in the Western United States.

We covered it during the 2016 presidential campaign, when Donald Trump falsely accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of giving away U.S. uranium rights to the Russians and claimed — without evidence — that it was done in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Now, the issue is back in the news, and numerous readers have asked us about it again. So we will recap here what we know — and don’t know — about the 2010 deal.

The Deal

On June 8, 2010, Uranium One announced it had signed an agreement that would give “not less than 51%” of the company to JSC Atomredmetzoloto, or ARMZ, the mining arm of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy agency.

Uranium One has two licensed mining operations in Wyoming that amount to about “20 percent of the currently licensed uranium in-situ recovery production capacity in the U.S.,” according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In-situ recovery is the extraction method used by 10 of the 11 licensed U.S. uranium producers.

Uranium One also has exploration projects in Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

But the deal required multiple approvals by the U.S., beginning with the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States. Under federal law, the committee reviews foreign investments that raise potential national security concerns.

The Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States

The Committee on Foreign Investments has nine members, including the secretaries of the treasury, state, defense, homeland security, commerce and energy; the attorney general; and representatives from two White House offices (the United States Trade Representative and the Office of Science and Technology Policy).

The committee can’t actually stop a sale from going through — it can only approve a sale. The president is the only one who can stop a sale, if the committee or any one member “recommends suspension or prohibition of the transaction,” according to guidelines issued by the Treasury Department in December 2008 after the department adopted its final rule a month earlier.

For this and other reasons, we have written that Trump is wrong to claim that Clinton “gave away 20 percent of the uranium in the United States” to Russia. Clinton could have objected — as could the eight other voting members — but that objection alone wouldn’t have stopped the sale of the stake of Uranium One to Rosatom.

“Only the President has the authority to suspend or prohibit a covered transaction,” the federal guidelines say.

We don’t know much about the committee’s deliberations because there are “strong confidentiality requirements” prohibiting disclosure of information filed with the committee, the Treasury Department says on its website. Some information would have become available if the committee or any one of its members objected to the sale. But none of the nine members objected.

“When a transaction is referred to the President, however, the decision of the President is announced publicly,” Treasury says.

We don’t even know if Clinton was involved in the committee’s review and approval of the uranium deal. Jose Fernandez, a former assistant secretary of state, told the New York Timesthat he represented the department on the committee. “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter,” he told the Times, referring to the committee by its acronym.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission

It is also important to note that other federal approvals were needed to complete the deal, and even still more approvals would be needed to export the uranium.

First, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had to approve the transfer of two uranium recovery licenses in Wyoming from Uranium One to the Russian company. The NRC announced it approved the transfer on Nov. 24, 2010. But, as the NRC explained at the time, “no uranium produced at either facility may be exported.”

As NRC explained in a March 2011 letter to Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the Russian company would have to apply for and obtain an export license and “commit to use the material only for peaceful purposes” in accordance with “the U.S.-Russia Atomic Energy Act Section 123 agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation.”

In a June 2015 letter to Rep. Peter Visclosky, the NRC said it granted RSB Logistics Services an amendment to its export license in 2012 to allow the Kentucky shipping company to export uranium to Canada from various sources — including from a Uranium One site in Wyoming. The NRC said that the export license allowed RSB to ship uranium to a conversion plant in Canada and then back to the United States for further processing.

Canada must obtain U.S. approval to transfer any U.S. uranium to any country other than the United States, the letter says.

“Please be assured that no Uranium One, Inc.-produced uranium has been shipped directly to Russia and the U.S. Government has not authorized any country to re-transfer U.S. uranium to Russia,” the 2015 letter said.

“That 2015 statement remains true today,” David McIntyre, a spokesman for the NRC, told us in an email.

RSB Logistics’ current export license, which expires in December, still lists Uranium One as one of its suppliers of uranium.

Uranium One, which is now wholly-owned subsidiary of Rosatom, sells uranium to civilian power reactors in the United States, according to the Energy Information Administration. But U.S. owners and operators of commercial nuclear reactors purchase the vast majority of their uranium from foreign sources. Only 11 percent of the 50.6 million pounds purchased in 2016 came from U.S. domestic producers, according to the EIA.

Although Uranium One holds 20 percent of currently licensed uranium in-situ recovery production capacity in the U.S., the company was responsible for only about 11 percent of U.S. uranium production in 2014, according to 2015 congressional testimony by a Department of Energy contractor.

Clinton Foundation Donations and Bill Clinton Speaking Fee

Clinton’s role in the Uranium One sale, and the link to the Clinton Foundation, first became an issue in 2015, when news organizations received advance copies of the book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at a conservative think tank.

On April 23, 2015, the New York Times wrote about the uranium issue, saying the paper had “built upon” Schweizer’s information.

The Times detailed how the Clinton Foundation had received millions in donations from investors in Uranium One.

The donations from those with ties to Uranium One weren’t publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation, even though Hillary Clinton had an agreement with the White House that the foundation would disclose all contributors. Days after the Times story, the foundation acknowledged that it “made mistakes,” saying it had disclosed donations from a Canadian charity, for instance, but not the donors to that charity who were associated with the uranium company.

The Times also wrote that Bill Clinton spoke at a conference in Moscow on June 29, 2010 — which was after the Rosatom-Uranium One merger was announced in June 2010, but before it was approved by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States in October 2010. The Russian-based Renaissance Capital Group organized the conference and paid Clinton $500,000.

Renaissance Capital has “ties to the Kremlin” and its analysts “talked up Uranium One’s stock, assigning it a ‘buy’ rating and saying in a July 2010 research report that it was ‘the best play’ in the uranium markets,” the Times wrote.

But there is no evidence that the donations or the speaking fee had any influence on the approvals granted by the NRC or the Committee on Foreign Investments.

Back in the News

This arcane bit of campaign trivia resurfaced in the news after The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported that a Russian spy sought to gain access to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.

Lydia Guryev, who used the name “Cynthia Murphy” while living in the United States, pleaded guilty to espionage charges in July 2010 and was forced to leave the U.S. Her guilty plea came after the Rosatom-Uranium One merger was announced and before the Committee on Foreign Investments approved it. But there was nothing about the merger in the federal criminal complaint or the press release announcing her guilty plea.

The criminal complaint said that Guryev had been working as a spy in the United States since the 1990s and took orders from the foreign intelligence organ of the Russian Federation in Moscow.

For example, Guryev was ordered in the spring of 2009, in advance of Obama’s upcoming trip to Russia, to get information on “Obama’s goals which he expects to achieve during the summit [with Russia] in July,” the complaint said.

The only reference in the criminal complaint to Clinton was a veiled one. Federal agents said Guryev sought to get close with “a personal friend of [a current Cabinet official, name omitted].” The Hill identified the cabinet official as Clinton.

The Hill story also rehashed an FBI investigation that resulted in “charges against the Russian nuclear industry’s point man in the United States, TENEX director Vadim Mikerin, as well as a Russian financier and an American trucking executive whose company moved Russian uranium around the United States.”

In 2015, Mikerin was sentenced to 48 months and required to pay more than $2 million in restitution for conspiring to commit money laundering, according to the Justice Department.

The Hill quoted the attorney for a former FBI informant in the TENEX case as saying her client “witnessed numerous, detailed conversations in which Russian actors described their efforts to lobby, influence or ingratiate themselves with the Clintons in hopes of winning favorable uranium decisions from the Obama administration.”

The convictions of Guryev and Mikerin are not new, and there’s no evidence that either case has any connection to the Rosatom-Uranium One merger. Nevertheless, the article has prompted the Republican chairmen of the House intelligence and oversight committees to announce a joint investigation of the merger.

On Fox News, Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, said that “we’ve been communicating back and forth through different channels” with the FBI informant in the TENEX case.

“You are talking about major decisions that were made at a time when we were resetting relations with Russia that actually happened to benefit, you know, the Clinton Foundation, perhaps other avenues, we don’t know yet,” Nunes said in an Oct. 24 interview with Bret Baier.

It may be that individuals and companies sought to curry favor with Hillary Clinton and even influence her department’s decision on the Uranium One sale. But, as we’ve written before, there is no evidence that donations to the Clinton Foundation from people with ties to Uranium One or Bill Clinton’s speaking fee influenced Hillary Clinton’s official actions. That’s still the case. We will update this article with any major developments.

http://www.factcheck.org/2017/10/facts-uranium-one/

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The Pronk Pops Show 989, October 25, 2017, Part 1 of 2: Story 1: Clinton’s Campaign and Democratic National Committee Paid For A  Fabricated  “Dossier” on Trump Used as Campaign  Propaganda  and Their Accomplices In The Obama Administration and Big Lie Media Aided and Abetted Them — Fearing Clinton Might Lose They Planned For An October Surprise That Would Finish Trump Off —  Surprise — Surprise –Videos — Story 2: Time To Fire Mueller & Rosenstein and Stop Wasting Taxpayer Money on Clinton Conspiracy Theory of Trump  Russian Collusion Based on A Fictional Dossier and No Evidence At All of Trump Collusion — Investigate The Obama Administration’s Use of The Intelligence Community (CIA, FBI, and NSA)  For Political Purposes By Their Secret Surveillance of American Citizens Including Trump and Campaign and Cover-up of Clinton Foundation Crimes of Racketeering and Public Corruption — The Cover-up and Scandal of The Century –Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 932, July 20, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 930, July 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 929, July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928, July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927, July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926, July 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 925, July 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 924, July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923, July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922, July 3, 2017

 

Image result for branco cartoons uranium one clinton foundation 2017Image result for branco cartoons uranium one clinton foundation 2017Image result for branco cartoons uranium one clinton foundation 2017Image result for branco cartoons uranium one clinton foundation 2017Image result for obama susan rice and power

Story 1: Clinton’s Campaign and Democratic National Committee Paid For A  Fabricated  “Dossier” on Trump Used as Campaign  Propaganda  and Their Accomplices In The Obama Administration and Big Lie Media Aided and Abetted Them — Fearing Clinton Might Lose They Planned For An October Surprise That Would Finish Trump Off —  Surprise — Surprise –Videos —

Tucker Carlson Tonight 10/27/17 – Tucker Carlson Tonight October 27, 2017 Fox News

Lou Dobbs Tonight 10/27/17 | Breaking News | October 27, 2017

Does the dossier bombshell spell trouble for the Democrats?

Inside the investigation on the ‘real’ Russia scandal

BREAKING: CLINTONS, DNC FUND TRUMP, RUSSIA REPORT!

Trump rips Clinton link to Fusion GPS dossier as a ‘disgrace,’ says Russia ‘hoax is turned around’

New Developments In The Uranium One Scandal – Hannity

Russia Scandal Flips On Democrats and Media – Defeat Trump Media – Hannity

Trump Vindicated – Clinton campaign & DNC financed bogus Russian dossier – Fox News Panel 10/25/17

Ben Shapiro: Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the research that led to phony Trump-Russia dossier

Ben Shapiro: The Trump-Russia dossier story turns around to Hillary Clinton (audio from 10-26-2017)

Clinton has lied repeatedly about funding the dossier: Kennedy

Clapper on dossier: ‘Doesn’t matter who paid for it’

Trump: Russian dossier is a ‘disgrace’

FOX News Tonight | Oct 25, 2017 | Clinton Camp. and Dems Party Helped Pay for Russian Trump Dossier

Tucker Carlson Special: Full Story Behind FBI Coverup of Clintons Server and CrowdStrike

WOW! Trump PERSONALLY Ordered DOJ To Lift Gag Order On Clinton-Uranium One Informant

Tucker: Why won’t the FBI answer basic questions on Russia?

Clinton & DNC Paid for Fake Trump Dossier, 1860

Steyn: Everybody was colluding with Russia except Trump

Dossier dismissed: DNC & Hillary Clinton’s campaign funded Trump-Russia case

Trump Dossier Battle – Fusion GPS Asks Court To Stop Subpoena For Bank Records – Special Report

Putin dismisses Trump’s dossier as fake

Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed as a hoax a privately-prepared intelligence dossier that claimed Russian intelligence agencies had compromising material on President-elect Trump. Elizabether Palmer has the details.

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

 
The Washington Post’s Adam Entous looks at the role that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee played in funding the research that led to a dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s links to Russia. (Video: Bastien Inzaurralde, Patrick Martin/Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

 October 24 at 7:21 PM

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said. Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele compiled the dossier on President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. (Victoria Jones/AP)

Fusion GPS gave Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and the DNC and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele. One person close to the matter said the campaign and the DNC were not informed by the law firm of Fusion GPS’s role.

The dossier has become a lightning rod amid the intensifying investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia. Some congressional Republican leaders have spent months trying to discredit Fusion GPS and Steele and tried to determine the identity of the Democrat or organization that paid for the dossier.

Trump tweeted as recently as Saturday that the Justice Department and FBI should “immediately release who paid for it.”

Elias and Fusion GPS declined to comment on the arrangement.

A DNC spokeswoman said “[Chairman] Tom Perez and the new leadership of the DNC were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization. But let’s be clear, there is a serious federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and the American public deserves to know what happened.”

Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said he wasn’t aware of the hiring during the campaign.

“The first I learned of Christopher Steele or saw any dossier was after the election,” Fallon said. “But if I had gotten handed it last fall, I would have had no problem passing it along and urging reporters to look into it. Opposition research happens on every campaign, and here you had probably the most shadowy guy ever running for president, and the FBI certainly has seen fit to look into it. I probably would have volunteered to go to Europe myself to try and verify if it would have helped get more of this out there before the election.”

Marc E. Elias of Perkins Coie represented the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Some of the details are included in a Tuesday letter sent by Perkins Coie to a lawyer representing Fusion GPS, telling the research firm that it was released from a ­client-confidentiality obligation. The letter was prompted by a legal fight over a subpoena for Fusion GPS’s bank records.

People involved in the matter said that they would not disclose the dollar amounts paid to Fusion GPS but that the campaign and the DNC shared the cost.

Steele previously worked in Russia for British intelligence. The dossier is a compilation of reports he prepared for Fusion GPS. The dossier alleged that the Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and that the Kremlin was engaged in an effort to assist his campaign for president.

U.S. intelligence agencies later released a public assessment asserting that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to aid Trump. The FBI has been investigating whether Trump associates helped the Russians in that effort.

Trump has adamantly denied the allegations in the dossier and has dismissed the FBI probe as a witch hunt.

Officials have said that the FBI has confirmed some of the information in the dossier. Other details, including the most sensational accusations, have not been verified and may never be.

Fusion GPS’s work researching Trump began during the Republican presidential primaries, when the GOP donor paid for the firm to investigate the real estate magnate’s background.

Fusion GPS did not start off looking at Trump’s Russia ties but quickly realized that those relationships were extensive, according to the people familiar with the matter.

When the Republican donor stopped paying for the research, Elias, acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, agreed to pay for the work to continue. The Democrats paid for research, including by Fusion GPS, because of concerns that little was known about Trump and his business interests, according to the people familiar with the matter.

 

Those people said that it is standard practice for political campaigns to use law firms to hire outside researchers to ensure their work is protected by attorney-client and work-product privileges.

The Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign finance records, and the DNC paid the firm $3.6 million in “legal and compliance consulting’’ since November 2015 — though it’s impossible to tell from the filings how much of that work was for other legal matters and how much of it related to Fusion GPS.

At no point, the people said, did the Clinton campaign or the DNC direct Steele’s activities. They described him as a Fusion GPS subcontractor.

Some of Steele’s allegations began circulating in Washington in the summer of 2016 as the FBI launched its counterintelligence investigation into possible connections between Trump associates and the Kremlin. Around that time, Steele shared some of his findings with the FBI.

After the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence about Trump and Russia, but the bureau pulled out of the arrangement after Steele was publicly identified in news reports.

The dossier was published by BuzzFeed News in January. Fusion GPS has said in court filings that it did not give BuzzFeed the documents.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that Steele was respected by the FBI and the State Department for earlier work he performed on a global corruption probe.

In early January, then-FBI Director James B. Comey presented a two-page summary of Steele’s dossier to President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump. In May, Trump fired Comey, which led to the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel investigating the Trump-Russia matter.

Congressional Republicans have tried to force Fusion GPS to identify the Democrat or group behind Steele’s work, but the firm has said that it will not do so, citing confidentiality agreements with its clients.

Over objections from Democrats, the Republican leader of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), subpoenaed Fusion GPS’s bank records to try to identify the mystery client.

Fusion GPS has been fighting the release of its bank records. A judge on Tuesday extended a deadline for Fusion GPS’s bank to respond to the subpoena until Friday while the company attempts to negotiate a resolution with Nunes.

Julie Tate contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/clinton-campaign-dnc-paid-for-research-that-led-to-russia-dossier/2017/10/24/226fabf0-b8e4-11e7-a908-a3470754bbb9_story.html?utm_term=.29781c192bae

Robert Mueller’s widening Russia probe is sweeping up Democrats, including lobbyist Tony Podesta

The scope of Russian involvement in U.S. business and politics is extensive

MATTHEW SHEFFIELD 10.23.20171:51 PM

Much like the mid-90s saw story after story showing how extensive Chinese government operations within U.S. politics were, the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election is demonstrating the size of Russia’s.

That’s the overall takeaway from a series of news reports, including one from NBC that indicated that special prosecutor Robert Mueller has been investigating the business dealings of Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta. His firm, the Podesta Group, is one of several that did work on behalf of Paul Manafort, the former campaign chair of President Donald Trump’s campaign.

 Manafort, who has told friends that he expects to be indicted by Mueller, has been under investigation for his work on behalf of a number of Russian billionaires with interests in Ukraine and elsewhere — all of whom are closely connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Podesta’s firm was hired to do lobbying by Manafort on behalf of an outfit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU), which itself was hired to burnish the image of Ukraine’s then-president, who was closely tied to Moscow.

According to NBC’s sources, Mueller’s inquiry into the Podesta Group has expanded into whether it violated U.S. legal requirements that American individuals and corporations formally disclose their work on behalf of foreign governments. The failure to file under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is a felony and can result in up to five years’ imprisonment. Prosecutions of FARA violations are rare and are often used as leverage in larger cases.

Neither the Podesta Group nor Manafort made their FARA disclosures until their work was exposed by media reports.

Podesta is the brother of Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager, John Podesta. A report from McClatchy revealed that John was a board member of a Russian alternative energy company called Joule, which seems to have built a business plan on gaining access to a Clinton White House. Dmitry Akhanov, a close associate of Putin and the CEO of a government-owned investment firm, oversaw the company’s investment in Joule.

Russia’s government has also been revealed to have had ties to former president Bill Clinton’s philanthropic work as well as to several left-wing political parties in various countries. Moscow has also openly funded efforts to get California and Texas to secede from the United States, with the former campaign targeting progressives and the latter targeting conservatives.

https://www.salon.com/2017/10/23/robert-muellers-widening-russia-probe-is-sweeping-up-democrats-including-lobbyist-tony-podesta/

 

A YEAR of Clinton lies about the ‘golden showers’ dossier exposed as Hillary’s lawyer is under fire for falsely denying paying for it

  • It’s claimed that Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias and other Democrats falsely denied to reporters their involvement in the ‘dirty dossier’
  • Two New York Times journalists say they were lied to at every turn
  • It’s now established that Clinton lawyer Marc Elias arranged for the campaign and the Democratic Party to pay a dirt-digging firm to produce the dossier
  • ‘Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,’ Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted

Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer who launched what would become known as the anti-Trump ‘dirty dossier’ denied involvement in the project for a year as reporters pressed him for information.

Marc Elias brokered a deal between the Clinton camp, the Democratic National Committee and opposition research firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on the president while he was running for office.

But a pair of New York Times reporters said Tuesday night on Twitter that Elias and others involved had lied about their ties to the arrangement.

‘Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,’ Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted after The Washington Post linked the dossier to Elias and his law firm Perkins Coie.

Kennth Vogel, another Times journalist, tweeted: ‘When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias pushed back vigorously, saying “You (or your sources) are wrong”.’

Scroll down for videos

Hillary Clinton's campaign lawyer Marc E. Elias hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS in April 2016 to dig up dirt about Donald Trump, but falsely denied involvement to reporters

Two New York Times journalists blew up on Twitter when The Washington Post broke the story

Two New York Times journalists blew up on Twitter when The Washington Post broke the story

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funneled money to Fusion GPS through Elias's law firm

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funneled money to Fusion GPS through Elias’s law firm

The deal began in the spring of 2016, when Elias was approached by Fusion GPS, and lasted until right before Election Day. When Fusion approached Elias, it had already been doing research work on Trump for an unnamed client during the Republican primary.

But the dossier itself was funded entirely by Democrats, using Elias as a middle-man.

After the DNC and the Clinton campaign started paying, Fusion GPS hired former British spy Christopher Steele to do the dirt-digging. His work later resulted in the dossier.

Trump has called the material ‘phony stuff,’ and on Wednesday he portrayed himself as the aggrieved party.

Peter FritschThomas Catan

Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch (left) and partner Thomas Catan (right) took the Fifth last week rather than talking to Congress

The dossier, compiled by British spy Christopher Steele, contends that the Russian government amassed compromising information about Trump

The dossier, compiled by British spy Christopher Steele, contends that the Russian government amassed compromising information about Trump

The president posted a quote on Twitter that he attributed to Fox News: “Clinton campaign & DNC paid for research that led to the anti-Trump Fake News Dossier. The victim here is the President”.’

The FBI has worked to corroborate the document, and special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is investigating potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, questioned Steele weeks ago.

The dossier circulated in Washington last year and was turned over to the FBI for its review. It contends that Russia was engaged in a long-standing effort to aid Trump and had amassed compromising information about the Republican.

Among its wild claims was that Russian officials have videos of the president cavorting with prostitutes, filmed during Trump’s 2013 visit to a luxury Moscow hotel for the Miss Universe contest

It also contains a highly unusual and unsubstantiated report that the call girls performed a ‘golden shower’ routine that involved them urinating on a hotel bed as a sign of disgust for then-president Barack Obama.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the document as false and in recent days has questioned whether Democrats or the FBI itself had helped fund it.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied the dossier's claims, including the salacious allegation that he hired prostitutes in Russia

President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied the dossier’s claims, including the salacious allegation that he hired prostitutes in Russia

Trump called himself a 'victim' of the infamous dossier that Democrats helped pay to produce

Trump called himself a ‘victim’ of the infamous dossier that Democrats helped pay to produce

Trump also has challenged the findings of the FBI, NSA and CIA that Russia waged a large-scale influence campaign to interfere in the election.

The FBI and the CIA have said with high confidence that the effort was aimed at hurting Clinton’s candidacy and helping Trump. The NSA found the same with “moderate” confidence.

It’s unclear what Fusion GPS had dug up by the time Perkins Coie hired it in April 2016. According to a copy of the dossier published by BuzzFeed last year, the earliest report from Steele dates to June 2016.

It was not immediately known how much money Fusion was paid or how many others in the Clinton campaign or DNC were aware that the firm had been retained.

 Clinton campaign officials did not immediately comment, but in a statement, a DNC spokeswoman said the party chairman, Tom Perez, was not part of the decision-making and was unaware that Perkins Coie was working with Fusion GPS.

Former Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said on Twitter that he regretted not knowing about Steele’s hiring before the election, and that had he known, ‘I would have volunteered to go to Europe and try to help him.’

‘I have no idea what Fusion or Steele were paid but if even a shred of that dossier ends up helping Mueller, it will prove money well spent,’ Fallon in another tweet.

2016

June 20: The dossier is first dated June 20 and had contained several unverifiable periodic reports made over the summer, according to Mother Jones. It was sent in dated sections from a former Western intelligence officer to the FBI and alleged Russia had enough to blackmail Trump.

It alleged that Trump had been cultivated by Russian officials ‘for at least five years.’ It also claimed that the Kremlin had compromising material related to ‘sexually perverted acts’ Trump performed at a Moscow Ritz Carlton where former President Barack Obama once stayed.

Dossier also alleged that Trump’s inner circle was accepting a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin on Hillary Clinton.

July 27: Trump asks Russian hackers to find Clinton’s 30,000 emails during a press conference.

July 31: Kremlin weighing whether to release more information about Clinton.

Late July: The FBI opens its investigation into Russia’s interference in the election, and the Trump campaign’s possible role in it.

August 27: Then-U.S. Sen. Harry Reid sent a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey and called for a full investigation and public disclosure. He wrote: ‘The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount and has led Michael Morrell, the former Acting Central Intelligence Director, to call Trump an ‘unwitting agent’ of Russia and the Kremlin.’

September 23: U.S. intelligence officials began investigating links between Trump adviser Carter Page and the Russian government, Yahoo News reported. Page had extensive business links in Russia and is a former Merrill Lynch investment banker in Moscow.

October 7: The Obama administration publicly accuses Russia of ‘directing the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations’ to affect the US election.

October 30: Reid sent Comey another letter demanding that Trump’s possible ties to Russia be fully investigated and he cited the existence of ‘explosive information’ that the FBI has in its possession.

November 3, 2016: Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev flies into Charlotte, North Carolina on a private plane. Trump’s plane lands on the tarmac not long after and parks next to Rybolovlev, whose plane stays in Charlotte for 22 hours afterward. Trump rallies in nearby city Concord.

November 8: Trump wins the election to become the 45th president of the United States.

November 10: President Barack Obama warns Trump during a meeting at the White House that national security advisor Michael Flynn, a former U.S. Army lieutenant general and Defense Intelligence Agency chief, is a problem.

November 18: During a security meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sen. John McCain hears about the documents and dispatches a former US official to meet the source of the documents and gather more information.

December 9: McCain meets Comey gives the FBI director the documents, The Guardian reported.

December 13: This is the last date of the memos from the dossier written by the British source.

December 29: The Obama administration issues new sanctions on Russia in retaliation for Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee in the summer and other efforts to interfere with the U.S. election.

2017 

January 10: Obama and Trump were both given a two-page summary of the dossier, CNN reported. BuzzFeed News then reported on the dossier and published it in full about how it alleges Trump’s deep ties with Russia.

January 19: The New York Times reported that ‘intercepted communications’ between Trump associates and Russians are being investigated as part of the FBI’s inquiry into Russia’s election meddling.

January 27: Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, holds a meeting with Russian-American businessman Felix Sater and Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Artemenko to discuss a backchannel ‘peace plan’ for Russia and Ukraine.

February 13: Flynn resigns as national security adviser after reports emerge that he misled Vice President Mike Pence.

March 2: Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from the investigation into whether the Trump campaign communicated with Russia.

March 4: Without presenting evidence, Trump tweets that Obama had Trump Tower’s ‘wires tapped’ during the presidential campaign.

March 15: Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced that the committee had not found any evidence to support Trump’s wiretapping claim.

 March 20: Comey said he has ‘no evidence’ to support Trump’s wiretapping claim. He confirmed that an investigation into Russia’s election-related meddling includes an examination of contacts between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign.

Late March: Flynn asks for immunity in exchange for testifying to the House and intelligence committees investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.

April 1: Trump tweets: ‘It is the same Fake News Media that said there is “no path to victory for Trump” that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!’

April 3: Trump calls Putin to condemn a Saint Petersburg, Russia terrorist attack.

April 6: Nunes steps aside from the Russia investigation, because he himself is under investigation.

April 11: Page is now under investigation by the FBI who obtained court permission to monitor his communications. The U.S. believed he was acting as a Russian agent.

April 27: The Pentagon inspector general is investigating whether Flynn violated military rules by accepting foreign payments from Russia and Turkey, which is disclosed by a House committee.

May 8: Trump tweets ‘Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax’.

May 9: The president fires Comey from his position at the FBI.

May 10: Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the White House.

May 15: The Washington Post reported that Trump shared highly classified information about Islamic State with the Russian diplomats during a meeting the previous week.

May 17: Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III is appointed the special counsel to take over the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.

Late May: Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is revealed to be under investigation by the FBI. According to the Post, he proposed a private back channel between the Kremlin and Trump’s transition team during a meeting in December.

June 8: Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee and answers questions related to Russia meddling into the U.S. election.

 June 13: Sessions denies colluding with Russia during Senate testimony.

June 14: The Washington Post reported that Trump is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice by Mueller.

September: Several news outlets, including POLITICO and Buzzfeed, are suing under the Freedom of Information Act to get records about how the federal government tried to vet the claims in the dossier.

October 24: It’s revealed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped bankroll research that led to the ‘golden showers’ dossier on Donald Trump. Clinton’s campaign lawyer Marc Elias hired research firm Fusion GPS back in April 2016 to look into allegations of Trump’s ties to Russia, according to the Washington Post.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5016865/A-YEAR-Clinton-lies-dirty-dossier-exposed.html#ixzz4wa2Aew00

 

The Clinton camp and DNC funded what became the Trump-Russia dossier: Here’s what it means

 

The Washington Post broke the story Tuesday night that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped pay for that now-famous dossier of research on President Trump.

The Post’s Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett and Rosalind S. Helderman report that powerful Democratic attorney Marc E. Elias retained the firm Fusion GPS for information, and Fusion GPS later hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent who was versed in Russia-related issues.

The dossier, which was published by BuzzFeed News in January, has been partially confirmed, though its most salacious allegations have not been.

There is a lot to sort through here. Below are four key points.

1) Clinton supporters — though not the campaign itself — were previously reported to fund the dossier

The fact Democrats were behind the funding for the dossier is not totally new. When CNN first reported on the dossier’s existence back in January, it said the research effort was originally funded by President Trump’s GOP opponents and then, when he won the nomination, by those supporting Clinton.

CNN reported back then that their sources “said that once Mr. Trump became the nominee, further investigation was funded by groups and donors supporting Hillary Clinton.”

Until now, though, the dossier had not been tied specifically to the Clinton campaign or the DNC.

2) Yes, the dossier was funded by Democrats

Some of the pushback on the left has focused on the fact that a still-unidentified Republican client retained Fusion GPS to do research on Trump before the Clinton campaign and the DNC did. Thus, they argue, it’s wrong to say the dossier was just funded by Democrats.

But The Post is reporting that the dossier’s author, Steele, wasn’t brought into the mix until afterDemocrats retained Fusion GPS. So while both sides paid Fusion GPS, Steele was only funded by Democrats.

3) Trump’s allegation of FBI payments is still dubious

After the story posted, some on the right seized upon The Post noting the FBI had agreed to pay Steele for information after the campaign. The argument seemed to be that the FBI was engaged in a witch hunt against Trump using Democrats’ sources.

But The Post originally reported on the FBI’s agreement back in February. At the time, it also reported it never actually paid for the work after the agent was identified in news reports:

The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier on behalf of Donald Trump’s political opponents alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work, according to several people familiar with the arrangement.

. . .

Ultimately, the FBI did not pay Steele. Communications between the bureau and the former spy were interrupted as Steele’s now-famous dossier became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials, according to the people familiar with the arrangement, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

Despite there being no proof the FBI actually paid Steele, Trump suggested it might have in a tweet last week — along with “Russia . . . or the Dems (or all).” Of those three groups, only Democrats have been reported to have actually paid Steele. And again, that was already kind-of known.

Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?

4) The appearance problems for Democrats

There is, presumably, a reason Democrats haven’t copped to funding the dossier — something they still haven’t publicly confirmed. Fusion GPS threatening to plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination raised eyebrows last week, for instance.

First among those reasons is paying a foreigner for opposition research for an American political campaign. Given Democrats’ argument that Russia’s interference on Trump’s behalf was beyond the pale, the Clinton camp and the DNC paying a Brit for information would seem somewhat problematic.

(The Clinton campaign has also, notably, denied working with the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Trump. Republicans have pushed dubious comparisons between the Ukraine allegation and Russia’s alleged Trump advocacy.)

Some on the right even alleged that Democrats paying Steele amounts to “collusion” with foreigners. But Russia-Steele comparisons aren’t apples-to-apples. The British after all are, unlike the Russians, America’s allies. Also, Steele was not acting as an agent of a foreign government, which is what would likely be required to prove collusion in the case of the Trump campaign and Russia.

Steele’s dossier does include information it says was obtained from “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin.” In other words, the Clinton camp and the DNC were essentially paying for information allegedly obtained from inside the Russian government, even as there is no proof they deliberately sought Russia’s help.

Separately, the firm that the Clinton camp and the DNC paid also has alleged ties to the Kremlin. In Senate testimony in July, Hermitage Capital Management chief executive William Browder accused Fusion GPS and its head, Glenn Simpson, of running a smear campaign against Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian whistleblower who in 2009 was tortured and killed in a Russian prison after uncovering a $230 million tax theft. Magnitsky worked for Browder, and his name was used for a U.S. law containing sanctions that was passed by Congress and is a sore spot between the U.S. government and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Browder said the smear campaign was run by Fusion GPS with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin. You might remember them from the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. that took place in June 2016. Veselnitskaya was the Russian lawyer with alleged Kremlin ties who arranged the meeting.

As The Post reported in July of Browder’s accusations:

They were all allegedly working with the law firm Baker Hostetler to defend the Russian company Prevezon from charges it laundered funds stolen in the fraud Magnitsky uncovered.

“Veselnitskaya, through Baker Hostetler, hired Glenn Simpson of the firm Fusion GPS to conduct a smear campaign against me and Sergei Magnitsky in advance of congressional hearings on the Global Magnitsky Act,” Browder will testify. “He contacted a number of major newspapers and other publications to spread false information that Sergei Magnitsky was not murdered, was not a whistleblower and was instead a criminal. They also spread false information that my presentations to lawmakers around the world were untrue.”

Fusion GPS has confirmed it worked on a lawsuit involving Veselnitskaya for two years, The Post’s Josh Rogin reported. It denied any involvement in the Trump Jr. meeting.

The firm has worked with both Democrats and Republicans over the years.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/10/25/the-clinton-camp-and-the-dnc-helped-pay-for-that-trump-russia-dossier-heres-what-it-means/?utm_term=.b318da0b1cc3

 

Story 2: Time To Fire Mueller & Rosenstein and Stop Wasting Taxpayer Money on Clinton Conspiracy Theory 0f Trump  Russian Collusion Based on A Fictional Dossier and No Evidence At All of Trump Collusion — Investigate The Obama Administration’s Use of The Intelligence Community (CIA, FBI, and NSA)  For Political Purposes By Their Secret Surveillance of American Citizens Including Trump and Campaign and Cover-up of Clinton Foundation Crimes of Racketeering and Public Corruption — The Cover-up and Scandal of The Century –Videos

WOW! Trump PERSONALLY Ordered DOJ To Lift Gag Order On Clinton-

Uranium One Informant

he House Oversight committee has started looking into an Obama-era deal in which a Russian-backed company bought a uranium firm with mines in the U.S., Rep. Ron DeSantis told Fox News on Sunday, adding that he’s spoken with the federal government’s “confidential informant” on the matter. The uranium agreement was reached while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, and some investors in the Russian-backed company, Uranium One, had relationships with former President Bill Clinton and donated to the Clinton Foundation. “I’ve spoken with the confidential informant that helped the FBI uncover this bribery scheme,” DeSantis, R-Fla., a member of the oversight committee, told “America’s News Headquarters.” “Clearly, it’s in the public’s interest that this individual be able to tell his story to Congress.”

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Rep. Nunes On ‘Trump Dossier’: Did The Democrats Use The Intelligence Services for Their Political Gain?

Tucker Carlson interviews House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes on how the contents in what is dubbed the ‘Trump dossier’ led the Obama administration to use government justice resources to investigate the Trump campaign using unverified information gathered from a questionable source.

Fusion GPS, the firm behind the infamous ‘dossier,’ is currently pleading the Fifth while using courts to block information and evidence showing the Clinton campaign and DNC jointly paid for it via a law firm, a fact leaked to The Washington Post.

“Federal Election Commission records show that the Clinton campaign paid the Perkins Coie law firm $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign finance records, and the DNC paid the firm $3.6 million in “legal and compliance consulting’’ since November 2015. Some of those total fees were apparently paid to Fusion GPS,” The Post reported.

Nunes told Carlson he wants to find out if the FBI was able to obtain warrants using the dossier and if they opened a “counter-intelligence investigation” based on the unverified info.

“So is there anything more terrifying than the prospect of an armed rogue agency,” Carlson said of the FBI.

“I think that the challenge here is that if you had an unverified dossier paid for by political opponents, in this case, the Democratic party that the FBI is taking and using to open investigations into a campaign or into other Americans, we are on a slippery slope. I imagine this is what you see in third world countries where the party in power uses the intelligence services for their political gain. You don’t see that in the United States of America,” Nunes told Carlson on his FOX News show Wednesday night.

Transcript:

TUCKER CARLSON: So one of the most terrifying facts that we’ve learned in the past two days is that the FBI apparently was one of the funders of this dossier. Even after Trump was elected president. How can that be?

REP. DEVIN NUNES: Well, let’s take a step at a time here, Tucker. We don’t know that yet. Part of the reason why we don’t know that yet is we have subpoenaed FBI and the Justice Department to give us this information. What we know so far that we believe to be factual from The Washington Post piece is that the Democrats paid for the dossier — Fusion GPS for the dossier. We believe that to be true. But have Fusion GPS that pled the Fifth. So they refused to testify. They’re now trying to block us from getting information to get to financial records of who they paid, who could they have paid, who could they have hired, all those sorts of things. They’re trying to block us on that.

CARLSON: On what grounds could you say we don’t have the right to know that?

NUNES: Well, look, we’ve subpoenaed the documents and we’re waiting — we have the House general counsel representing us in court. But when you plead the Fifth and then you go to court to try and block us from getting the information and then it gets leaked to The Washington Post that the DNC and the Hillary [Clinton] campaign paid for this, I think we have a problem.

Now I think the next focus is going to be on whether or not did the FBI use this dossier to get any warrants, did they use it to open a counter-intelligence investigation and if they did, if they’re using unverified information to open up inquiries into American citizens, I think we have a big problem.

CARLSON: From a political campaign.

NUNES: From a political campaign.

CARLSON: I mean the purpose of this information which is unverified and in some cases demonstrably false was to affect the outcome an election. So it’s a simple question. You’re the chairman of one of the most powerful committees in the House of Representatives. Why can’t you get an answer?

NUNES: You would think that we would be able to. And that is the problem.

CARLSON: Is that constitutional?

NUNES: This is why the Speaker of the House came out this morning and called on DOJ to provide this information immediately to the House of Representatives. And this is why we’re in court now, just trying to get this information. And, look, this has been since March, it’s not like this is new. We didn’t just stumble into this. And at least subpoenas were issued almost 60 days ago.

CARLSON: But the FBI is not its own country, it can’t make it’s own unilateral decisions, right?

NUNES: Last time I checked, it was the U.S. Congress that created the FBI.

CARLSON: So is there anything more terrifying than the prospect of an armed rogue agency?

NUNES. No. No. And I think that the challenge here is that if you had an unverified dossier paid for by political opponents, in this case, the Democratic party that the FBI is taking and using to open investigations into a campaign or into other Americans, we are on a slippery slope. I imagine this is what you see in third world countries where the party in power uses the intelligence services for their political gain. You don’t see that in the United States of America.

CALRSON: There’s a new FBI director. There are lots of FBI officials that go on television. Has anybody from the FBI publicly explained why they’re not letting the House Intelligence Committee know this information?

NUNES: No, they have not. Not yet.

CALRSON: That’s really upsetting. So the Uranium One scandal, we know that a Democratic lobbying firm in Washington, The Podesta Group, was engaged in lobbying on behalf of these interests. And we know that the Clinton family foundation took just took over $100 million from board members of Uranium One.

Is anybody going to get to whether the obvious happened? That was a quid pro quo. They paid, they got the deal ratified by federal agencies. Will we get to the bottom of that.

NUNES: Here’s what I think is disturbing and what we’re looking for first. So, the new information here, a lot of people are asking, what happened? This was seven years ago. What happened? First of all, you had Republicans back in 2010 wrote in opposition to the sale on this Uranium One.

Then we now have information — this is the new information. We have informants who have said that there was an open FBI-DOJ investigation. We have people that have told us this. We don’t know if it’s true yet. but if it’s true, shortly after that — so if you have an open investigation, how do nine cabinet-level secretaries approve a sale?

And then you have all the questions that you raised. Was the Clinton Foundation involved in this? What was — there was millions of dollars —

CARLSON: And where was American national security, the American interest in this? Nonpresent.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/10/25/rep_nunes_on_trump_dossier_did_the_democrats_use_the_intelligence_services_for_their_political_gain.html

Obama-era Russian Uranium One deal: What to know

Multiple congressional committees are investigating an Obama-era deal that resulted in a Russian company purchasing American uranium mines.