Addiction

The Pronk Pops Show 1142, September 18, 2018, — Breaking — Story 1: President Trump Joint Press Conference With Poland’s President Andrzej Duda — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Orders Declassification and Release of All Documents Pertaining To FISA Court Application for Surveillance Warrant for Carter Page and Text Messages of Ohr, Strzok, Lisa Page, former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Without Redaction — Videos — Story 3: Trump Slaps 10% Tariffs On $200 Billion Communist China Exports to United States Rising To 25% in January 2019 — Videos — Story 4: Even The Court of Public Opinion Has A Statue of Limitations — Dr. Ford Has A Choice — Testify In An Open Public Televised Hearing And Answer All Questions About What Happened Over 35 or 36 Years Ago or Refuse To Testify — Either Way Judge Brett Kavanaugh Will Be Confirmed As Supreme Court Justice — What’s Next? — Who’s Your Daddy? JFK Love Child Accuses Altar Boy of Unnatural Acts 55 Years Ago — Hit Me With Your Best Shot — We Will Rock You — Raise Your Glass — Videos

Posted on September 19, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Communications, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Health, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, James Comey, Killing, Language, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, National Interest, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Security, Senate, Sexual Harrasment, Spying, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1142, September 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1141, September 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1140, September 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1139, September 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1138, September 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1137, September 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1136, September 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1135, September 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1134, September 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1133, August 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1132, August 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1131, August 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1128, August 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1126, August 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1125, August 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1124, August 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

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Breaking — Story 1: President Trump Joint Press Conference With Poland’s President Andrzej Duda — Videos

Watch Live: Donald Trump hosts a joint press conference with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda

Story 2: President Trump Orders Declassification and Release of All Documents Pertaining To Trump/Russian Collusion and FISA Court Application for Surveillance Warrant for Carter Page and Text Messages of Ohr, Strzok, Lisa Page, former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Without Redactions — Videos —

Sean Hannity Sep 17, 2018 | Sean Hannity Fox News Today

Lou Dobbs Tonight 9/17/18 | Fox News September 17, 2018

Trump orders feds to declassify key FISA documents, text messages in FBI Russia probe

 

Story 3: Trump Slaps 10% Tariffs On $200 Billion Communist China Exports to United States Rising To 25% in January 2019 — Videos

Trump’s $200 billion tariffs on Chinese goods is ‘done deal’

Lou Dobbs Tonight 9/17/18 | Fox News September 17, 2018

Trump tells aides he wants to move ahead with $200 billion in China tariffs: report

Is the trade war about to kill the bull market?

Trump tells aides he wants to move ahead with $200 billion in China tariffs: report

of China, for whom I have great respect and affection.”

Read Trump’s full statement announcing the new tariffs below:

Today, following seven weeks of public notice, hearings, and extensive opportunities for comment, I directed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to proceed with placing additional tariffs on roughly $200 billion of imports from China. The tariffs will take effect on September 24, 2018, and be set at a level of 10 percent until the end of the year. On January 1, the tariffs will rise to 25 percent. Further, if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.

We are taking this action today as a result of the Section 301 process that the USTR has been leading for more than 12 months. After a thorough study, the USTR concluded that China is engaged in numerous unfair policies and practices relating to United States technology and intellectual property – such as forcing United States companies to transfer technology to Chinese counterparts. These practices plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy.

For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies. We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices. To counter China’s unfair practices, on June 15, I announced that the United States would impose tariffs of 25 percent on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. China, however, still refuses to change its practices – and indeed recently imposed new tariffs in an effort to hurt the United States economy.

As President, it is my duty to protect the interests of working men and women, farmers, ranchers, businesses, and our country itself. My Administration will not remain idle when those interests are under attack.

China has had many opportunities to fully address our concerns. Once again, I urge China’s leaders to take swift action to end their country’s unfair trade practices. Hopefully, this trade situation will be resolved, in the end, by myself and President Xi of China, for whom I have great respect and affection.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/17/trump-puts-new-tariffs-on-china-as-trade-war-escalates.html

 

Story 4: Even The Court of Public Opinion Has A Statue of Limitations — Dr. Ford Has A Choice — Testify In An Open Public Televised Hearing And Answer All Questions About What Happened Over 35 or 36 Years Ago or Refuse To Testify — Either Way Judge Brett Kavanaugh Will Be Confirmed As Supreme Court Justice — What’s Next? — Who’s Your Daddy? JFK Love Child Accuses Altar Boy of Unnatural Acts 55 Years Ago — Hit Me With Your Best Shot — We Will Rock You — Raise Your Glass — Videos

TrumpTV Tucker claims Kavanaugh abt #AbortionNot #RapeAllegations Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

Hannity: Dems Not Interested In Full Truth About Kavanaugh

Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI probe before she testifies

Mitch McConnell & Senate Republicans Press Conference 9/18/18 Kavanaugh Accuser & Monday Hearing

Ingraham Says Dems Have Been ‘Salivating’ for Another Thomas-Hill ‘Spectacle’

What Pisses Me Off About The Brett Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Accusations

Kavanaugh Accuser Has Not Agreed To Appear At Public Hearing Next Monday

Sen. Kamala Harris says she believes Kavanaugh accuser: “She has nothing to gain”

Ex-clerk: Allegations not the Kavanaugh I knew

Brett Kavanaugh Allegation Echoes Anita Hill Bombshell | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Jordan Peterson & Bryan Callen – Sexual Misconduct, the Unforgivable Sin

Jordan Peterson and Camille Paglia on rape

Professor Jordan B. Peterson On Modern Sexual Relationships & The Legality Of Abortion

Jordan Peterson: How to Heal from PTSD/Trauma

[youtub=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Snke9v4S2rU]

Jordan Peterson on fixing your past

Jordan Peterson “There are different forms of memory”

Jordan Peterson on the daycare scandals of the 80’s

Jordan Peterson: Repression & other defense mechanisms

Jordan Peterson on the #Metoo Moment

Ben Shapiro – #METOO Movement Going Wildly Wrong | The Aziz Ansari Case

Is #MeToo Falling Apart? | The Ben Shapiro Show Ep. 454

Repressed and Suppressed Memories – Teal Swan –

False Memory – Teal Swan –

Defamation

Tort Law – Defamation

What is Defamation, Slander, & Libel – Quick Lessons – Episode # 3

JFK’s Intern

Marilyn Monroe thought JFK would marry her, book claims

JFK’s Women: Scandals Revealed | CBC

Pretender to Throne of Camelot – JFK’s Love Child

Woman Claims She Is Love Child Of Marilyn Monroe

Seymour Hersh interview (1997)

The Dark Side of JFK: How Kennedy’s Reckless Personal Behavior Imperiled His Presidency (1997)

Dangerous World: The Kennedy Years

President John F. Kennedy Speech on Secret Society

Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot lyrics

Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Live)

Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Live 2001

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Well you’re a real tough cookie with a long history
Of breaking little hearts like the one in me
That’s okay, let’s see how you do it
Put up you dukes, let’s get down to it
Hit me with your best shot
Why don’t you hit me with your best shot
Hit me with your best shot
Fire away
You come on with it, come on
You don’t fight fair
That’s okay, see if I care
Knock me down, it’s all in vain
I get right back on my feet again
Hit me with your best shot
Why don’t you hit me with your best shot
Hit me with your best shot
Fire away
Well you’re a real tough cookie with a long history
Of breaking little hearts like the one in me
Before I put another notch in my lipstick case
You better make sure you put me in my place
Hit me with your best shot
C’mon, hit me with your best shot
Hit me with your best shot
Fire away
Hit me with your best shot
Why don’t you hit me with your best shot
Hit me with your best shot
Fire away
Songwriters: Edward Schwartz
Hit Me With Your Best Shot lyrics © Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs

Pepsi Commercial – We Will Rock You (Britney Spears, Pink, Beyonce) – HQ Full Version

Queen – We Will Rock You (Official Video)

P!nk – Raise Your Glass

P!nk – Please Don’t Leave Me (Main Version)

Read the letter Christine Blasey Ford sent accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct

Washington (CNN)The following is the text of the letter Christine Blasey Ford wrote to Sen. Dianne Feinstein detailing an event in which she accuses Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. CNN was not provided a copy of the letter sent to Feinstein, but a source who had the letter read the contents of a redacted version to CNN.

July 30 2018

CONFIDENTIAL
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Dear Senator Feinstein;
I am writing with information relevant in evaluating the current nominee to the Supreme Court.
As a constituent, I expect that you will maintain this as confidential until we have further opportunity to speak.
Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980’s. He conducted these acts with the assistance of REDACTED.
Both were one to two years older than me and students at a local private school.
The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others.
Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.
Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with REDACTED, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh’s hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.
From across the room a very drunken REDACTED said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from “go for it” to “stop.”
At one point when REDACTED jumped onto the bed the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stair well at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home.
I have not knowingly seen Kavanaugh since the assault. I did see REDACTED once at the REDACTED where he was extremely uncomfortable seeing me.
I have received medical treatment regarding the assault. On July 6 I notified my local government representative to ask them how to proceed with sharing this information . It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything.
I am available to speak further should you wish to discuss. I am currently REDACTED and will be in REDACTED.
In confidence, REDACTED.

 

The #MeToo Kavanaugh Ambush

A story this old and unprovable can’t be allowed to delay a Supreme Court confirmation vote.

The woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of a drunken assault when both were teenagers has now come forward publicly, and on Monday it caused Republicans to delay a confirmation vote and schedule another public hearing. Yet there is no way to confirm her story after 36 years, and to let it stop Mr. Kavanaugh’s confirmation would ratify what has all the earmarks of a calculated political ambush.

This is not to say Christine Blasey Ford isn’t sincere in what she remembers. In an interview published in the Washington Post on Sunday, Ms. Ford offered a few more details of the story she told anonymously starting in July. She says she was 15 when Mr. Kavanaugh, who would have been 17, and a male friend pushed her into a bedroom at a drinking party, held her down, and pawed her until the male friend jumped on them both and she escaped to a bathroom until the two boys left the room.

Potomac Watch Podcast

Brett Kavanaugh’s Nomination
Mr. Kavanaugh denies all this “categorically and unequivocally,” and there is simply no way to prove it. The only witness to the event is Mr. Kavanaugh’s high school male friend, Mark Judge, who also says he recalls no such event. Ms. Ford concedes she told no one about it—not even a high school girl friend or family member—until 2012 when she told the story as part of couples therapy with her husband.

The vagaries of memory are well known, all the more so when they emerge in the cauldron of a therapy session to rescue a marriage. Experts know that human beings can come to believe firmly over the years that something happened when it never did or is based on partial truth. Mistaken identity is also possible.

The Post reports that the therapist’s notes from 2012 say there were four male assailants, but Ms. Ford says that was a mistake. Ms. Ford also can’t recall in whose home the alleged assault took place, how she got there, or how she got home that evening.

This is simply too distant and uncorroborated a story to warrant a new hearing or to delay a vote. We’ve heard from all three principals, and there are no other witnesses to call. Democrats will use Monday’s hearing as a political spectacle to coax Mr. Kavanaugh into looking defensive or angry, and to portray Republicans as anti-women. Odds are it will be a circus.

***

The timing and details of how Ms. Ford came forward, and how her name was coaxed into public view, should also raise red flags about the partisan motives at play. The Post says Ms. Ford contacted the paper via a tip line in July but wanted to remain anonymous. She then brought her story to a Democratic official while still hoping to stay anonymous.

Yet she also then retained a lawyer, Debra Katz, who has a history of Democratic activism and spoke in public defense of Bill Clinton against the accusations by Paula Jones. Ms. Katz urged Ms. Ford to take a polygraph test. The Post says she passed the polygraph, though a polygraph merely shows that she believes the story she is telling.

The more relevant question is why go to such lengths if Ms. Ford really wanted her name to stay a secret? Even this weekend she could have chosen to remain anonymous. These are the actions of someone who was prepared to go public from the beginning if she had to.

The role of Senator Dianne Feinstein is also highly irregular and transparently political. The ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee knew about Ms. Ford’s accusations in late July or early August yet kept quiet. If she took it seriously, she had multiple opportunities to ask Judge Kavanaugh or have committee staff interview the principals. But in that event the details would have been vetted and Senators would have had time to assess their credibility.

Instead Ms. Feinstein waited until the day before a committee markup on the nomination to release a statement that she had “information” about the accusation and had sent it to the FBI. Her statement was a political stunt.

She was seeking to insulate herself from liberal charges that she sat on the letter. Or—and this seems increasingly likely given the course of events—Senator Feinstein was holding the story to spring at the last minute in the hope that events would play out as they have. Surely she knew that once word of the accusation was public, the press would pursue the story and Ms. Ford would be identified by name one way or another.

***

Democrats waited until Ms. Ford went public to make public statements. But clearly some were feeding the names of Ms. Ford and her lawyer to the press, and now they are piling on what they hope will be an election-eve #MeToo conflagration.

“Senator [and Judiciary Chairman] Grassley must postpone the vote until, at a very minimum, these serious and credible allegations are thoroughly investigated,” declared Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday. “For too long, when women have made serious allegations of abuse, they have been ignored. That cannot happen in this case.”

His obvious political goal is to delay the confirmation vote past the election, fan the #MeToo political furies until then, and hope that at least two GOP Senators wilt under political pressure. If Republican Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker think a hearing will satisfy Mr. Schumer, they are right to retire from politics.

GOP Senators should understand that the political cost of defeating Mr. Kavanaugh will likely include the loss of the Senate. Democrats are already motivated to vote against Donald Trump, and if Republicans panic now their own voters will rightly be furious. They would be letting Democrats get away with the same dirty trick they tried and failed to pull off against Clarence Thomas.

It would also be a serious injustice to a man who has by all accounts other than Ms. Ford’s led a life of respect for women and the law. Every #MeToo miscreant is a repeat offender. The accusation against Mr. Kavanaugh is behavior manifested nowhere else in his life.

No one, including Donald Trump, needs to attack Ms. Ford. She believes what she believes. This is not he said-she said. This is a case of an alleged teenage encounter, partially recalled 30 years later without corroboration, and brought forward to ruin Mr. Kavanaugh’s reputation for partisan purposes.

Letting an accusation that is this old, this unsubstantiated and this procedurally irregular defeat Mr. Kavanaugh would also mean weaponizing every sexual assault allegation no matter the evidence. It will tarnish the #MeToo cause with the smear of partisanship, and it will unleash even greater polarizing furies.

Appeared in the September 18, 2018, print edition.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-metoo-kavanaugh-ambush-1537197395

Doubts arise over whether Trump court nominee’s accuser will testify

2 pages, 0.73 MB

“Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events,” he said in a statement. “Nothing the F.B.I. or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay.”

Mr. Trump joined other Republicans in rejecting an F.B.I. investigation of the long-ago episode even before Dr. Blasey’s letter was sent on Tuesday evening. The bureau “said that they really don’t do that, that’s not what they do,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference. “And now they have done supposedly six background checks over the years as Judge Kavanaugh has gone beautifully up the ladder.”

In the letter to the Judiciary Committee, Dr. Blasey’s lawyers said that she has been the target of “vicious harassment and even death threats” since her name was made public on Sunday in an interview published in The Washington Post. Her email has been hacked, she has been impersonated online and she and her family have been forced to relocate out of their home, according to the lawyers, Ms. Banks and her partner, Debra S. Katz.

“While Dr. Ford’s life was being turned upside down, you and your staff scheduled a public hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen U.S. Senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident,” the lawyers wrote to Mr. Grassley. The hearing “would include interrogation by senators who appear to have made up their minds that she is ‘mistaken’ and ‘mixed up.’”

Dr. Blasey, who is sometimes referred to by her married name, Ford, “wants to cooperate with the committee and with law enforcement officials” but believes that a “full investigation” by the F.B.I. would be necessary to form a nonpartisan assessment before any hearing, the lawyers wrote.

Both Dr. Blasey, 51, and Judge Kavanaugh, 53, had said on Monday morning that they were willing to come before the committee. In response, Mr. Grassley postponed a vote on the judge’s confirmation and scheduled the hearing for next week. An aide to Mr. Grassley said that the committee never intended to seat the two witnesses together at one table or even on one panel.

Democrats and Republicans spent much of Tuesday arguing over the scope and shape of what such a hearing would entail. Mr. Grassley told the radio host Hugh Hewitt that Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey would be the only witnesses, prompting pushback from top Democrats.

Another potential witness, Mark Judge, a friend of Judge Kavanaugh’s who Dr. Blasey said was in the room when the assault occurred, told the Judiciary Committee he does not remember it. “I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes,” he said in a statement sent by his lawyers, adding that “I do not wish to speak publicly” about the matter.

As senators in both parties grappled with how to move forward, Mr. Trump’s advisers and Judge Kavanaugh’s allies appeared to be settling on a strategy of defending him by suggesting that this must be a case of mistaken identity. Under the emerging strategy, Judge Kavanaugh’s defenders would accept that Dr. Blasey was in fact assaulted but would insist that it must have been by someone other than Judge Kavanaugh because he denied it.

The approach reflects the shifting reality of the #MeToo movement when it has become politically perilous to directly attack the credibility of women who come forward to tell their stories. By suggesting that perhaps there was confusion after more than 30 years, White House allies said that they could offer wavering Republicans whose votes are critical for his confirmation another explanation for the he-said-she-said conflict without tearing down Dr. Blasey.

Image
Senator Charles E. Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, had failed so far to respond to his requests to testify in front of the panel.CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times

The line of defense seemed to be previewed on Monday when Judge Kavanaugh called Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah and a member of the Judiciary Committee, to discuss the allegations. Mr. Hatch told reporters afterward that he believed Judge Kavanaugh. “I think she’s mistaken something” or is “mixed up,” he said.

Two people familiar with the call, who did not want to be identified discussing it, said the judge insisted to Mr. Hatch that he did not do what he was accused of and then, in response to a question, agreed it was possible Dr. Blasey was thinking of somebody else.

Judge Kavanaugh has told associates that he did not know who his accuser was until she identified herself in The Post and that, once he saw her name, he vaguely recalled her being part of the social circle associated with his all-boys high school in suburban Maryland at the time.

A person close to Dr. Blasey, who asked not to be identified to discuss the situation in detail, said Dr. Blasey knew the future Judge Kavanaugh in passing before the gathering where she says the attack took place, which could make it harder for his defenders to make a case that she had confused him for someone else.

The conflicting stories generated political fireworks in Washington on Tuesday. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, posted on Twitter a video clip of Judge Kavanaugh speaking at his alma mater, Georgetown Preparatory School, in 2015. “What happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep,” he said to laughter. “That’s been a good thing for all of us, I think.”

Ms. Warren added: “I can’t imagine any parent accepting this view. Is this really what America wants in its next Supreme Court Justice?”

For their part, the White House and other Republicans seized on comments Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, made to Fox News. “I can’t say everything’s truthful,” she said of Dr. Blasey’s account. “I don’t know.”

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, cited that and added, “Now clear why top Democrat on Senate Judiciary Committee did nothing with allegation for months or even ask Judge Kavanaugh about it.”

Ms. Feinstein later clarified on Twitter: “During every step of this process, I’ve found every single piece of information from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford eminently credible, sincere and believable.”

Before the sexual assault accusation against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Mr. Trump weighed in on allegations against several well-known men, including himself. His past statements reveal a man quick to defend other men.Published On

Dr. Blasey’s allegations are inevitably evoking comparisons to 1991 confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas, who was accused of sexual harassment by the law professor Anita F. Hill. The sight of Professor Hill being grilled on national television by an all-white, all-male Judiciary Committee enraged women, contributing to the so-called Year of the Woman in 1992, when scores of women ran for public office.

Republicans, clearly hoping to avoid a repeat of the Hill-Thomas scenario, were considering employing a special counsel or staff member to question Dr. Blasey and Judge Kavanaugh. Democrats accused Republicans of trying to rush through a hearing without a proper investigation of serious charges.

“She is under no obligation to participate in the Republican efforts to sweep the whole thing under the rug, to continue this nomination on a fast track,” said Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, who won her Senate seat in 1992. “It’s basically a railroad job. This is what they did to Anita Hill.”

But while Republicans hoped to avoid appearing to aggressively attack Dr. Blasey’s credibility, they made clear on Tuesday that they will vigorously defend Judge Kavanaugh, who until last week seemed on a glide path to confirmation. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, called Dr. Blasey’s accusations “a drive-by attack on the character of this judge,” and referred to them as “false allegations,” in remarks on the Senate floor.

Uncharacteristically, the combative Mr. Trump on Tuesday stuck to the strategy of not attacking the accuser directly as well, instead expressing sympathy and faith in Judge Kavanaugh while assailing Democrats for trying to torpedo his nominee.

“I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this, to be honest with you,” Mr. Trump said of the judge. “I feel so badly for him. This is not a man that deserves this.”

The president repeated the attack on Ms. Feinstein for not raising the issue earlier in the confirmation process, given that Dr. Blasey first contacted her in July. “Why didn’t the Democrats bring it up then?” he said. “Because they obstruct and because they resist. That’s the name of their campaign against me.”

For some liberals, the charge of obstructionism rang hollow given that Republicans refused to even meet with President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick B. Garland in 2016. In this case, Ms. Feinstein said she did not raise the issue earlier because Dr. Blasey requested confidentiality. Only after word of the accusations leaked out last week did Dr. Blasey shift gears and agree to be named publicly.

Professor Hill, in an opinion article published Tuesday in The New York Times, warned senators against repeating her experience in 1991.

“That the Senate Judiciary Committee still lacks a protocol for vetting sexual harassment and assault claims that surface during a confirmation hearing,” she wrote, “suggests that the committee has learned little from the Thomas hearing, much less the more recent #MeToo movement.”

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article misstated what Mark Judge told the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said that he does not remember the episode, not that he does.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/us/politics/christine-blasey-ford-kavanaugh-senate-hearing.html

JFK may have been a worse philanderer than Trump. Does it matter?

JFK may have been a worse philanderer than Trump. Does it matter?
John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy at a ball in Washington on Jan. 20, 1961. (Associated Press)

As Americans get ready to hear Stormy Daniels spill the story of her alleged 2006 affair with President Trump, we might want to acknowledge that she isn’t the first adult entertainer to reportedly hook up with a future president. In 1955, the politician was Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy and the other woman was a stripper named Tempest Storm. The different manner in which Americans have digested these parallel tales reveals a lot about how our nation has evolved — and not — over the past half century.

Tempest Storm, born Annie Blanche Banks in Eastman, Ga., was an internationally famous burlesque star by her mid-20s and headlined feature films such as “French Peep Show” and “Striptease Girl.” She first encountered Kennedy after a performance at the Casino Royale in Washington, D.C.

She later wrote in her memoir that she had no idea who Kennedy was and had little interest in talking with him initially. But she was taken by the senator’s “stunning good looks,” and said their sexual relationship began the next evening. She said their occasional trysts, which ended well before he became president, typically took place at the Mayflower Hotel. According to Storm, who is now 90, Kennedy confided “that he was not happily married, that Jackie was cold toward him.”

The largely male Washington press corps looked the other way then and likewise kept Kennedy insulated from sexual scandal during his presidency. Not until 1975, when the name of his mistress Judith Campbell popped up during a congressional hearing, did most Americans realize Kennedy had been unfaithful to his wife. Still, when Campbell wrote her well-documented 1977 memoir about the multi-year affair, Kennedy loyalists did their best to discredit and degrade her.

Tempest Storm’s 1987 memoir got similar dismissive treatment. The mainstream press ignored it as undignified gossip. The tide turned only when several academic Kennedy biographers acknowledged that her story meshed with their research. For instance, in 1955, Kennedy indeed was temporarily living in a suite at the Mayflower Hotel where he also spent intimate evenings with other lovers, including actresses Lee Remick and Audrey Hepburn.

Kennedy’s track record as a playboy and philanderer may well have been even worse than Trump’s is. Remarkably, this information still remains largely buried by the work of countless apologists over the decades — including journalists and biographers who continue to minimize Kennedy’s extramarital sexual adventures. Take the fawning 2011 bestseller “Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero” by the MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who has been reprimanded by his network for sexual harassment. According to the TV pundit, after marrying Jackie in 1953, Kennedy simply decided not “to forgo his bachelor pleasures.”

But the details are considerably more disturbing. During his presidency, Kennedy engaged in casual sex with dozens of women, including strangers whom aides would procure for him. And while Trump presumably confined his grabbing of women’s genitals to his pre-presidential days, Kennedy continued to do so while living in the people’s house. As described by biographer Geoffrey Perret, Kennedy “brazenly put his hand up their skirts, propositioned them within minutes of meeting and groped their breasts and buttocks even as he danced with them.”

Sometimes a porn star is just a porn star. But for JFK, as for Trump, his inability to resist her allure indicates a much deeper character issue. And yet a romanticized image of Kennedy still survives intact. Even as Americans debate what to make of Trump’s reported lover with the weather-themed name, our nostalgia endures for the “Mad Men” era, when lecherous behavior was viewed not as a potential violation of the civil rights of women, but as the right of powerful men.

JFK (decidedly unlike Trump) did have some shining moments as a leader. One was his famous and eloquent speech on civil rights in June 1963. “We are confronted primarily with a moral issue,” he said. “It is as old as the Scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. The heart of the question is… whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.”

That is still the heart of the question, as the #MeToo movement reminds us.

Joshua Kendall is the author of “First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama.” He is writing a book about how the #MeToo movement will affect our view of presidential history.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-kendall-tempest-storm-presidential-affairs-20180324-story.html

How JFK Turned The White House Into The Playboy Mansion

Published January 22, 2018
Updated January 26, 2018

According to the interviews with Secret Service agents and White House insiders, JFK’s women were often prostitutes supplied by organized crime figures.

John F. Kennedy

U.S. Embassy New Delhi/FlickrJohn F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy remains one of America’s most respected and admired presidents more than forty years after his assassination. But for all his charisma and ability to navigate through some of the worst crises in U.S. history, there are many rumors that suggest that JFK may have some dark secrets yet to be uncovered.

The book describes in detail Kennedy’s womanizing. Hersh relays how Kennedy frequently used the Secret Service to help him smuggle women — it was often more than one — into the White House for daily trysts. According to the interviews Hersh collected from Secret Service agents and White House insiders, these women were often prostitutes supplied by organized crime figures.

According to one of the Secret Service agents Hersh interviewed, Kennedy liked to keep records of his activities in the form of photographs which he sent the agents to have framed. Sidney Mickelson, who ran an art gallery in D.C. with close ties to the White House, went into more detail about these photographs in an interview with Hersh.

“Over a number of years, we framed a number of photographs of people — naked and often lying on beds — in the Lincoln Room,” Mickelson said, “The women were always beautiful.” Some of these photos also included the President himself according to Mickelson, though he pointed out that the figures were usually wearing masks. So although the Secret Service agents told him it was Kennedy in the photos, it’s hard to say for certain.

Many historians have described Kennedy as a compulsive womanizer. And while he wasn’t the only President to stray outside the bounds of marriage in office, he probably took it to the farthest extremes.

Kennedy famously complained that if he didn’t have sex at least once a day, he would start getting headaches. He seems to have taken that very seriously, with a long string of extra-marital affairs that spanned over the three years he was in office. The women JFK was involved with ranged from movie stars like Marilyn Monroe to young White House interns and even to women who may have been closely linked to the Mafia.

Marilyn Monroe in Niagara

Wikimedia CommonsMarilyn Monroe in the 1953 film Niagara.

During the 1960 Presidential Campaign, JFK began an affair with a woman named Judith Campbell Exner. Exner was a Los Angeles socialite who was romantically involved with figures like Frank Sinatra and notorious mobster Sam Giancana. According to Exner, she served as a courier between Giancana and JFK as the two worked on plans to assassinate Fidel Castro.

According to Hersh, Giancana may even have helped rig the 1960 election in Kennedy’s favor in a few states where Kennedy’s lead was particularly narrow. But ultimately, we will probably never know if that accusation is true or not. Just like we can’t be sure just how Kennedy conducted his affairs while he was in office.

But they’re a good reminder that people should never worship heroes blindly. Even the best of them can have skeletons in the closet.

https://allthatsinteresting.com/jfk-homemade-pornography

Statute of limitations

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Statutes of limitations are laws passed by legislative bodies in common law systems to set the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated.[1]

When the period of time specified in a statute of limitations passes, a claim might no longer be filed, or, if filed, may be liable to be struck out if the defense against that claim is, or includes, that the claim is time-barred as having been filed after the statutory limitations period. When a statute of limitations expires in a criminal case, the courts no longer have jurisdiction. Most crimes that have statutes of limitations are distinguished from serious crimes as these may be brought at any time.

In civil law systems, similar provisions are typically part of their civil or criminal codes and known collectively as periods of prescription. The cause of action dictates the statute of limitations, which can be reduced (or extended) to ensure a fair trial.[2] The intention of these laws is to facilitate resolution within a “reasonable” length of time.[3] What period of time is considered “reasonable” varies from country to country, and within countries such as the United States from state to state.[4][5] Within countries and states, the statute of limitations may vary from one civil or criminal action to another. Some nations have no statute of limitations whatsoever.

Analysis of a statute of limitations also requires the examination of any associated statute of repose, tolling provisions, and exclusions.

Applications

Common law legal systems can include a statute specifying the length of time within which a claimant or prosecutor must file a case. In some civil jurisdictions (e.g., California),[1] a case cannot begin after the period specified, and courts have no jurisdiction over cases filed after the statute of limitations has expired. In some other jurisdictions (e.g., New South WalesAustralia), a claim can be filed which may prove to have been brought outside the limitations period, but the court will retain jurisdiction in order to determine that issue, and the onus is on the defendant to plead it as part of their defence, or else the claim will not be statute barred.

Once filed, cases do not need to be resolved within the period specified in the statute of limitations.

Purpose

The purpose and effect of statutes of limitations are to protect defendants. There are three reasons for their enactment:[6]

  • A plaintiff with a valid cause of action should pursue it with reasonable diligence.
  • By the time a stale claim is litigated, a defendant might have lost evidence necessary to disprove the claim.
  • Litigation of a long-dormant claim may result in more cruelty than justice.

In Classical Athens, a five-year statute of limitations was established for all cases except homicide and the prosecution of non-constitutional laws (which had no limitation). Demosthenes wrote that these statutes of limitations were adopted to control “sycophants” (professional accusers).[7]

The limitation period generally begins when the plaintiff’s cause of action accrues, meaning the date upon which the plaintiff is first able to maintain the cause of action in court, or when the plaintiff first becomes aware of a previous injury (for example, occupational lung diseases such as asbestosis).

Statute of repose

statute of repose limits the time within which an action may be brought based upon when a particular event occurred (such as the completion of construction of a building or the date of purchase of manufactured goods), and does not permit extensions. A statute of limitations is similar to a statute of repose, but may be extended for a variety of reasons (such as the minority of the victim).

For example, most U.S. jurisdictions have passed statutes of repose for construction defects.[8][9][10][11] If a person receives an electric shock due to a wiring defect that resulted from the builder’s negligence during construction of a building, the builder is potentially liable for damages if the suit is brought within the time period defined by the statute, normally starting with the date that construction is substantially completed. After the statutory time period has passed, without regard to the nature or degree of the builder’s negligence or misconduct, the statute of repose presents an absolute defense to the claim.

Statutes of repose are sometimes controversial; manufacturers contend that they are necessary to avoid unfair litigation and encourage consumers to maintain their property. Alternatively, consumer advocates argue that they reduce incentives to manufacture durable products and disproportionately affect the poor, because manufacturers will have less incentive to ensure low-cost or “bargain” products are manufactured to exacting safety standards.

Tolling and the discovery rule

Many jurisdictions suspend, or toll, the limitation period under certain circumstances such as if the aggrieved party (plaintiff) was a minor or filed a bankruptcy proceeding. In those instances, the running of limitations is tolled, or paused, until the condition ends. Equitable tolling may also be applied if an individual may intimidate a plaintiff into not reporting or has been promised a suspended period.

The statute of limitations may begin when the harmful event, such as fraud or injury, occurs or when it is discovered. The US Supreme Court has described the “standard rule” of when the time begins as “when the plaintiff has a complete and present cause of action.” The rule has existed since the 1830s.[12] A “discovery rule” applies in other cases (including medical malpractice), or a similar effect may be applied by tolling.

As discussed in Wolk v. Olson, the discovery rule does not apply to mass media such as newspapers and the Internet; the statute of limitations begins to run at the date of publication. In 2013, the US Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled in Gabelli v. SEC that the discovery rule does not apply to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission‘s investment-advisor-fraud lawsuits since one of the purposes of the agency is to root out fraud.[13]

In private civil matters, the limitations period may generally be shortened or lengthened by agreement of the parties. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, the parties to a contract for sale of goods may reduce the limitations period to one year but not extend it.

Limitation periods that are known as laches may apply in situations of equity; a judge will not issue an injunction if the requesting party waited too long to ask for it. Such periods are subject to broad judicial discretion.

For US military cases, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) states that all charges except those facing court-martial on a capital charge have a five-year statute of limitations. If the charges are dropped in all UCMJ proceedings except those headed for general court-martial, they may be reinstated for six months after which the statute of limitations has run out.

Prescription

In civil law countries, almost all lawsuits must be brought within a legally-determined period known as prescription. Under Italian[14] and Romanian law,[15] criminal trials must be ended within a time limit.

In criminal cases, the public prosecutor must lay charges within a time limit which varies by jurisdiction and varies based on the nature of the charge; in many jurisdictions, there is no statute of limitations for murder.[citation needed] Over the last decade of the 20th century, many United States jurisdictions significantly lengthened the statute of limitations for sex offenses, particularly against children, as a response to research and popular belief that a variety of causes can delay the recognition and reporting of crimes of this nature.[citation needed]

Common triggers for suspending the prescription include a defendant’s fugitive status or the commission of a new crime. A criminal may be convicted in absentia.[16] Prescription should not be confused with the need to prosecute within “a reasonable delay” as obligated by the European Court of Human Rights.

Laws by region

International crimes

Under international lawgenocidecrimes against humanity and war crimes are usually not subject to the statute of limitations as codified in a number of multilateral treaties. States ratifying the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity agree to disallow limitations claims for these crimes. In Article 29 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes “shall not be subject to any statute of limitations”.

Australia

The Limitations Act of 1958 allows 12 years for child survivors and the disabled to make a claim, with age 37 the latest at which a claim can be made. The police submitted evidence[17][not in citation given] to a commission, the Victorian Inquiry into Church and Institutional Child Abuse (in existence since 2012) indicating that it takes an average of 24 years for a survivor of child sexual abuse to go to the police.[18] According to Attorney General Robert Clark, the government will remove statutes of limitations on criminal child abuse; survivors of violent crime should be given additional time, as adults, to deal with the legal system.[19] Offenders of minors and the disabled have used the statute of limitations to avoid detection and prosecution, moving from state to state and country to country; an example presented to the Victorian Inquiry was the Christian Brothers.[20]

An argument for abolishing statutes of limitations for civil claims by minors and people under guardianship is ensuring that abuse of vulnerable people would be acknowledged by lawyers, police, organisations and governments, with enforceable penalties for organisations which have turned a blind eye in the past. Support groups such as SNAP Australia,[21] Care Leavers Australia Network[22] and Broken Rites have submitted evidence to the Victoria inquiry,[23] and the Law Institute of Victoria[24] has advocated changes to the statute of limitations.

Canada

For crimes other than summary conviction offences, there is no statute of limitations in Canadian criminal law. For indictable (serious) offences such as major theft, murder, kidnapping or sexual assault, a defendant may be charged at any future date;[25] in some cases, warrants have remained outstanding for more than 20 years.[26]

Civil law limitations vary by province,[27] with Ontario introducing the Limitations Act, 2002 on January 1, 2004.[28]

Germany

In Germany, the statute of limitations on crimes varies by type of crime, with the highest being 30 years for second-degree murder (Totschlag). First-degree murder, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crime of aggression have no statute of limitations.

First-degree murder used to have 20 years’ statute of limitations, which was then extended to 30 years in 1969. The limitations were abolished altogether in 1979, to prevent Nazi criminals from avoiding criminal liability.

For most other criminal offences, the statute of limitations is set by Section 78(3) of the Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch) as follows:

  • 30 years for offences punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment for life;
  • 20 years for offences punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of over 10 years but not by imprisonment for life;
  • 10 years for offences punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of over 5 years but no more than 10 years;
  • 5 years for offences punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of over 1 year but no more than 5 years;
  • 3 years for all other offences.[29]

In the civil code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch), the regular statute of limitations is three years (plus the time until the end of the calendar year). However, different terms between two and thirty years may apply in specific situations. For example, the term is only two years for claims for alleged defects of purchased goods, but 30 years for claims resulting from a court judgement (such as awarded damages).

India

The statute of limitations in India is defined by the Limitations Act, 1963.[30]

The statute of limitations for criminal offences is governed by Sec. 468 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Norway

The statute of limitations on murder was abolished by a change in law on 1 July 2014, causing any murders committed after 1 July 1989 to have no statute of limitations. This led to the national police force implementing a new investigation group for old cases called the “Cold Case” group. The law was also changed to let cases involving domestic violence, forced marriage, human trafficking and genital mutilation to count from the day the defendant turns 18 years old. Cases where the statute of limitations has already passed can not be extended due to the constitution preventing it.[31]

South Korea

In July 2015, the National Assembly abolished a 25-year-old statute on first degree murder; it had previously been extended from 15 to 25 years in December 2007.

United Kingdom

Unlike other European countries, the United Kingdom has no statute of limitations for any criminal offence. Following a number of acquittals and wrongful convictions of people charged with serious sexual crimes alleged to have been committed several decades prior, there has been some debate as to whether there should be a statute of limitations for historical rape and sexual assault cases, as prosecutions rely solely on personal testimonies and have no physical or scientific evidence due to the passage of time.[32]

United States

In the United States, statutes of limitations may apply to both civil lawsuits and to criminal prosecutions. Statutes of limitations vary significantly between U.S. jurisdictions.

Civil statutes

A civil statute of limitations applies to a non-criminal legal action, including a tort or contract case.[4] If the statute of limitations expires before a lawsuit is filed, the defendant may raise the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense to seek dismissal of the charge.

Criminal statutes

A criminal statute of limitations defines a time period during which charges must be initiated for a criminal offense.[33] If a charge is filed after the statute of limitations expires, the defendant may obtain dismissal of the charge.[34]

Initiation of charges

The statute of limitations in a criminal case only runs until a criminal charge is filed and a warrant is issued, even if the defendant is a fugitive.[35]

When the identity of a defendant is not known, some jurisdictions provide mechanisms to initiate charges and thus stop the statute of limitations from running. For example, some states allow an indictment of a “John Doe” defendant based upon a DNA profile derived from evidence obtained through a criminal investigation.[36] Although rare, a grand jury can issue an indictment in absentia for high-profile crimes to get around an upcoming statute of limitations deadline. One example is the skyjacking of Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 by D.B. Cooper in 1971. The identity of D. B. Cooper remains unknown to this day, and he was indicted under the name “John Doe, aka Dan Cooper.” [37]

Heinous crimes

Crimes considered heinous by society have no statute of limitations. Although there is usually no statute of limitations for murder (particularly first-degree murder), judges have been known to dismiss murder charges in cold cases if they feel the delay violates the defendant’s right to a speedy trial.[38] For example, waiting many years for an alibi witness to die before commencing a murder trial would be unconstitutional. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court in Stogner v. California ruled that the retroactive extension of the statute of limitations for sexual offenses committed against minors was an unconstitutional ex post facto law.[39]

Military law

Under the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), desertion has no statute of limitations.[40]

Maritime Injury Law

Under 46 U.S. Code § 30106, “Except as otherwise provided by law, a civil action for damages for personal injury or death arising out of a maritime tort must be brought within 3 years after the cause of action arose.” There are some exceptions to this, primarily with regard to Jones Act cases filed against the government, in which case the statute of limitations can be less than 2 years. [41]

State laws
State Misdemeanor Felony Notes
Wyoming No No No statute of limitations

Exceptions

U.S. jurisdictions recognize exceptions to statutes of limitation that may allow for the prosecution of a crime or civil lawsuit even after the statute of limitations would otherwise have expired. Some states stop the clock for a suspect who is not residing within the state or is purposely hiding. Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina have no statutes of limitation for felonies, while Wyoming includes misdemeanors as well. However, the right to speedy trial may derail any prosecution after many years have passed.[42]

Fraud upon the court

When an officer of the court is found to have fraudulently presented facts to impair the court’s impartial performance of its legal task, the act (known as fraud upon the court) is not subject to a statute of limitation. Officers of the court include lawyers, judges, referees, legal guardians, parenting-time expeditors, mediators, evaluators, administrators, special appointees and any others whose influence is part of the judicial mechanism. Fraud upon the court has been defined by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to “embrace that species of fraud which does, or attempts to, defile the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery cannot perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudging cases that are presented for adjudication”.[43] In Bulloch v. United States, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled: “Fraud upon the court is fraud which is directed to the judicial machinery itself and is not fraud between the parties or fraudulent documents, false statements or perjury … It is where the court or a member is corrupted or function—thus where the impartial functions of the court have been directly corrupted.”[44]

Continuing-violations doctrine

In tort law, if a defendant commits a series of illegal acts against another person (or in criminal law if someone commits a continuing crime) the limitation period may begin to run from the last act in the series. In the 8th Circuit case of Treanor v. MCI Telecommunications, Inc., the court explained that the continuing-violations doctrine “tolls [freezes] the statute of limitations in situations where a continuing pattern forms due to [illegal] acts occurring over a period of time, as long as at least one incident … occurred within the limitations period.”[45] Whether the continuing-violations doctrine applies to a particular violation is subject to judicial discretion; it was ruled to apply to copyright infringement in Taylor v. Meirick (712 F.2d 1112, 1119; 7th Cir. 1983) but not in Stone v. Williams (970 F.2d 1043, 1049–50; 2d Cir. 1992).[46]

See also

References

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

 

United States defamation law

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The origins of the United States‘ defamation laws pre-date the American Revolution; one influential case in 1734 involved John Peter Zenger and established precedent that “The Truth” is an absolute defense against charges of libel. (Previous English defamation law had not provided this guarantee.) Though the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was designed to protect freedom of the press, for most of the history of the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court failed to use it to rule on libel cases. This left libel laws, based upon the traditional “Common Law” of defamation inherited from the English legal system, mixed across the states. The 1964 case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, however, radically changed the nature of libel law in the United States by establishing that public officials could win a suit for libel only when they could prove the media outlet in question knew either that the information was wholly and patently false or that it was published “with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not”. Later Supreme Court cases barred strict liability for libel and forbid libel claims for statements that are so ridiculous as to be patently false. Recent cases have added precedent on defamation law and the Internet.

The First Amendment guarantees of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press provide defendants in the United States significantly more protection than the countries of the Commonwealth and Europe.[citation needed] Some variation exists among the several states to the extent the state’s legislature has passed statutes or its courts have handed down decisions affecting the contours inherited from the common law. Some states codify what constitutes slander and libel together into the same set of laws.

Criminal libel is rarely prosecuted but exists on the books in many states, and is constitutionally permitted in circumstances essentially identical to those where civil libel liability is constitutional. Defenses to libel that can result in dismissal before trial include the statement being one of opinion rather than fact or being “fair comment and criticism”, though neither of these are imperatives on the US constitution. Truth is an absolute defense against defamation in the United States,[1] meaning true statements cannot be defamatory.[2]

Most states recognize that some categories of false statements are considered to be defamatory per se, such that people making a defamation claim for these statements do not need to prove that the statement was defamatory. (See section Defamation per se.)

 

Development

Laws regulating slander and libel in the United States began to develop even before the American Revolution. In one of the most famous cases, New York City publisher John Peter Zenger was imprisoned for 8 months in 1734 for printing attacks on the governor of the colony. Zenger won his case and was acquitted by jury in 1735 under the counsel of Andrew Hamilton. The case established some precedent that the truth should be an absolute defense against libel charges. Previous English defamation law had not provided this guarantee. Gouverneur Morris, a major contributor in the framing of the U.S. Constitution said, “The trial of Zenger in 1735 was the germ of American freedom, the morning star of that liberty which subsequently revolutionized America“.[3]

Zenger’s case also established that libel cases, though they were civil rather than criminal cases, could be heard by a jury, which would have the authority to rule on the allegations and to set the amount of monetary damages awarded.[4]

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was designed specifically to protect freedom of the press. However, for most of the history of the United States, the Supreme Court neglected to use it to rule on libel cases. This left libel laws, based upon the traditional common law of defamation inherited from the English legal system, mixed across the states.

In 1964, however, the court issued an opinion in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan376 U.S. 254 (1964) dramatically changing the nature of libel law in the United States. In that case, the court determined that public officials could win a suit for libel only if they could demonstrate “actual malice” on the part of reporters or publishers. In that case, “actual malice” was defined as “knowledge that the information was false” or that it was published “with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not”. This decision was later extended to cover “public figures”, although the standard is still considerably lower in the case of private individuals.

In Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc.418 U.S. 323 (1974), the Supreme Court suggested that a plaintiff could not win a defamation suit when the statements in question were expressions of opinion rather than fact. In the words of the court, “under the First Amendment, there is no such thing as a false idea”. However, the Court subsequently rejected the notion of a First Amendment opinion privilege, in Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co.474 U.S. 953 (1985). In Gertz, the Supreme Court also established a mens rea or culpability requirement for defamation; states cannot impose strict liability because that would run afoul of the First Amendment. This holding differs significantly from most other common law jurisdictions, which still have strict liability for defamation.

In Hustler Magazine v. Falwell485 U.S. 46 (1988), the Supreme Court ruled that a parody advertisement claiming Jerry Falwell had engaged in an incestuous act with his mother in an outhouse, while false, could not allow Falwell to win damages for emotional distress because the statement was so obviously ridiculous that it was clearly not true; an allegation believed by nobody, it was ruled, brought no liability upon the author. The court thus overturned a lower court’s upholding of an award where the jury had decided against the claim of libel but had awarded damages for emotional distress.

After Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co., 1995 N.Y. Misc. Lexis 229 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. May 24, 1995), applied the standard publisher/distributor test to find an online bulletin board liable for post by a third party, Congress specifically enacted 47 U.S.C. § 230(1996) to reverse the Prodigy findings and to provide for private blocking and screening of offensive material. § 230(c) states “that no provider or user of an interactive computer shall be treated as a publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”, thereby providing forums immunity for statements provided by third parties. Thereafter, cases such as Zeran v. America Online, 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997), and Blumenthal v. Drudge, 992 F. Supp. 44 (D.D.C. 1998), have demonstrated that although courts are expressly uneasy with applying § 230, they are bound to find providers like AOL immune from defamatory postings. This immunity applies even if the providers are notified of defamatory material and neglect to remove it, because provider liability upon notice would likely cause a flood of complaints to providers, would be a large burden on providers, and would have a chilling effect on freedom of speech on the Internet.

In Barrett v. Rosenthal, 146 P.3d 510 (Cal. 2006), the California Supreme Court ruled that 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1) does not permit web sites to be sued for libel that was written by other parties.

To solve the problem of libel tourism, the SPEECH Act makes foreign libel judgments unenforceable in U.S. courts, unless those judgments are compliant with the U.S. First Amendment. The act was passed by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.[5]

In 2014 the Ninth Circuit Court ruled[6] that liability for a defamatory blog post involving a matter of public concern cannot be imposed without proof of fault and actual damages.[7] Bloggers saying libelous things about private citizens concerning public matters can only be sued if they are negligent i.e., the plaintiff must prove the defendant’s negligence – the same standard that applies when news media are sued.[8] The Court held that in defamation cases not the identity of the speaker, but rather the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue provide the First Amendment foundation.[9]

Defamation law in modern practice

Defamation law in the United States is much less plaintiff-friendly than its counterparts in European and the Commonwealth countries, due to the enforcement of the First Amendment. One very important distinction today is that European and Commonwealth jurisdictions adhere to a theory that every publication of a defamation gives rise to a separate claim, so that a defamation on the Internet could be sued on in any country in which it was read, while American law only allows one claim for the primary publication.

In the United States, a comprehensive discussion of what is and is not libel or slander is difficult, because the definition differs between different states. Some states codify what constitutes slander and libel together into the same set of laws. Some states have criminal libel laws on the books, though these are old laws which are very infrequently prosecuted. Washington State has held its criminal libel statute unconstitutional applying the state and federal constitutions to the question.[10]

Most defendants in defamation lawsuits are newspapers or publishers, which are involved in about twice as many lawsuits as are television stations. Most plaintiffs are corporations, businesspeople, entertainers and other public figures, and people involved in criminal cases, usually defendants or convicts but sometimes victims as well. In no state can a defamation claim be successfully maintained if the allegedly defamed person is deceased.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 generally immunizes from liability parties that create forums on the Internet in which defamation occurs from liability for statements published by third parties. This has the effect of precluding all liability for statements made by persons on the Internet whose identity cannot be determined.

In the various states, whether by case law or legislation, there are generally several “privileges” that can get a defamation case dismissed without proceeding to trial. These include the litigation privilege, which makes statements made in the context of litigation non-actionable, and the allegedly defamatory statement being “fair comment and criticism”, as it is important to society that everyone be able to comment on matters of public interest. The United States Supreme Court, however, has declined to hold that the “fair comment” privilege is a constitutional imperative.[citation needed]

One defense is reporting or passing through information as a general information or warning of dangerous or emergent conditions, and intent to defame must be proven. Also, the truth of the allegedly defamatory statement will always negate the claim (whether because the plaintiff fails to meet his/her burden of proving falsity or because the defendant proves the statement to be true).[11]

Defamation per se

All states except ArizonaMissouri, and Tennessee recognize that some categories of false statements are so innately harmful that they are considered to be defamatory per se. In the common law tradition, damages for such false statements are presumed and do not have to be proven.

Statements are defamatory per se where they falsely impute to the plaintiff one or more of the following things:[2]

  • Allegations or imputations “injurious to another in their trade, business, or profession”
  • Allegations or imputations of “loathsome disease” (historically leprosy and sexually transmitted disease, now also including mental illness)
  • Allegations or imputations of “unchastity” (usually only in unmarried people and sometimes only in women)
  • Allegations or imputations of criminal activity (sometimes only crimes of moral turpitude)[12][13]

Criminal defamation

On the federal level, there are no criminal defamation or insult laws in the United States. However, as of 2005,[clarification needed] seventeen states and two territories had criminal defamation laws on the books:

Between 1992 and August 2004, 41 criminal defamation cases were brought to court in the United States, among which six defendants were convicted. From 1965 to 2004, 16 cases ended in final conviction, among which nine resulted in jail sentences (average sentence, 173 days). Other criminal cases resulted in fines (average fine, $1,700), probation (average of 547 days), community service (on average 120 hours), or writing a letter of apology.[17]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Substantial Truth”Digital Media Law Project. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  2. Jump up to:a b “What is a Defamatory Statement”Digital Media Law Project. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  3. Jump up^ attributed to Gouverneur Morris by John Francis, Edinburgh Encyclopedia, American Edition, page 400
  4. Jump up^ Pressman, Steven (1994). “Libel Law in the United States”An Unfettered Press. United States Information Agency. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  5. Jump up^ “Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act (2010; 111th Congress H.R. 2765) – GovTrack.us”GovTrack.us.
  6. Jump up^ Arthur L. AlarcónMilan D. Smith, Jr., and Andrew D. Hurwitz(17 January 2014). “United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit case Obsidian Finance Group LLC and Kevin Padrick vs. Crystal Cox (12-35238)” (PDF). United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit caseUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  7. Jump up^ Levine, Dan (17 January 2014). “Blogger gets same speech protections as traditional press: U.S. court”Reuters. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  8. Jump up^ Paulson, Ken (24 January 2014). “Bloggers enjoy First Amendment protection against libel suits”. First Amendment Center. Retrieved 2 February 2014.

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1141, September 17, 2018, Story 1: Remnants of Slow Moving Tropical Storm Florence — Flooding and Cleanup With Roads and Airports Closed and Electrical Outages Widespread — 31 Deaths — Looting — Stay Home and Safe — Here Comes The Sun — Videos — Story 2: High Tech Lynching 2.0 By Desperate Democrats Delaying Confirmation Vote of Judge Brett Kavanaugh With An Allegation of Sexual Assault In High School Over 35 Years Ago By Professor Christine Ford — False and Faulty Eyewitness Memory — Allegations Are Not Evidence and Way Beyond The Statue of Limitations — Uncertainty, Bias, Confidence Problems With Eyewitness Testimony — Senate Hearing Scheduled For September 24 — Kavanaugh Confirmed Soon — Resistance Is Futile — Videos — Story 3: South Korean President Moon Meets North Korean Chairman Kim Tuesday for 2018 Summit Meeting — Denuclearization of Korea On Agenda —  U.S. Accuses Russia of Violating U.N. Sanctions On North Korea — Videos

Posted on September 17, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, China, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Countries, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Impeachment, Labor Economics, Law, Life, Media, Mental Illness, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, North Korea, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Radio, Rape, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, South Korea, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Remnants of Slow Moving Tropical Storm Florence — Flooding and Cleanup With Roads and Airports Closed and Electrical Outages Widespread — 23 Deaths — Looting — Stay Home and Safe — Here Comes The Sun — Videos —

Post-Florence, could we see Category 6 hurricanes in the future?

Florence death toll rises as floodwaters surge in Carolinas

Biggest flooding in North Carolina, USA (Sept 17, 2018)

Hurricane Florence Death Toll Rises As New Evacuations Ordered | TODAY

Watch Live: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper gives update on Florence | September 17, 2018

Hurricane Florence: Slow-moving storm brings ‘tremendous’ flooding to eastern U.S.

Tracking Florence: Flooding cleanup already underway

Hurricane Florence Causes At Least 18 Deaths

Hurricane Looters Just Got Priceless Surprise As Florence Rips Through North Carolina

Flooding from Hurricane Florence’s remnants the biggest concern

Hurricane Florence: Drone video captures devastating flooding across North Carolina

Officials report Florence-related death in South Carolina

All-Day Rescues As Tropical Storm Florence Ravages North Carolina | NBC Nightly News

The Weather Channel’s hurricane graphics are blowing our minds

Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles Tribute

Thousands of people line up for water and food as rising floodwaters cut off an entire North Carolina city to create an ‘island’ as death toll from storm Florence rises to 17

By CHARLIE MOORE FOR MAILONLINE

Thousands have been cut off by rising floodwaters as storm Florence batters North Carolina, bringing the death toll to 17.

Officials plan to airlift food and water to thousands holed up in the coastal city of Wilmington, which has been totally cut off from the rest of the state.

So far more than 400 people have been rescued from the area, which has no power and has been described as an island.

Residents have been waiting for hours outside stores and restaurants for basic necessities like water. Police are guarding the doors, only letting in 10 people at a time to avoid rushes and overcrowding.

Residents have been waiting for hours outside stores and restaurants in North Carolina for basic necessities like water. Police are guarding the doors, only letting in 10 people at a time

Residents have been waiting for hours outside stores and restaurants in North Carolina for basic necessities like water. Police are guarding the doors, only letting in 10 people at a time

Thousands have been cut off by rising floodwaters as storm Florence battered North Carolina, bringing the death toll to 17. Pictured: Emerald Isle in NC

People wait in line to buy food and supplies at one of the few places open in Wilmington North Carolina after Hurricane Florence traveled through the area Sunday

People wait in line to buy food and supplies at one of the few places open in Wilmington North Carolina after Hurricane Florence traveled through the area Sunday

Officials have warned evacuated residents to stay away amid fears of further flash flooding over the next two days. Pictured: Flooding in South Carolina

A tree rests atop a home on Queens Road West in Charlotte, NC on Sunday as heavy rains and wind continued to batter the US

Marcus Dipaola helps five-year-old Ember Kelly off a rescue boat carrying her sisters and mother from rising flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, in Leland, North Carolina

Marcus Dipaola helps five-year-old Ember Kelly off a rescue boat carrying her sisters and mother from rising flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, in Leland, North Carolina

Florence: What is an extra-tropical cyclone?

Florence is expected to weaken on Monday before re-intensifying as it transitions to an extratropical cyclone Tuesday and Wednesday

Extratropical cyclones have cold air at their core, and derive their energy from the release of potential energy when cold and warm air masses interact.

These storms always have one or more fronts connected to them, and can occur over land or ocean.

An extratropical cyclone can have winds as weak as a tropical depression, or as strong as a hurricane.

Officials have warned evacuated residents to stay away amid fears of further flash flooding over the next two days.

Wilmington has a population of 120,000 but it is not clear how many chose not to leave before the storm hit.

‘Do not come here,’ New Hanover County Commission Chairman Woody White said.

‘Our roads are flooded, there is no access into Wilmington…We want you home, but you can’t come yet.’

Hurricane Florence, downgraded to a tropical depression, claimed more lives on Sunday, with at least 17 people confirmed dead.

Florence is expected to weaken on Monday before re-intensifying as it transitions to an extratropical cyclone Tuesday and Wednesday, the US National Hurricane Center said on Monday.

The tropical depression continues to produce widespread heavy rains over parts of North Carolina and north-eastern South Carolina into western Virginia and flash flooding will continue over portions of the western mid-Atlantic region, it said.

Florence is located about 145 miles (230 km) west-northwest of Greensboro, North Carolina packing maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour.

Dallas Perdue leaves a Lowe's Foods store in Wilmington, N.C., after storm Florence traveled through the area Sunday

The Waffle House outside of downtown Wilmington, NC was open on Sunday as thousands became stranded from the rest of the state

The Waffle House outside of downtown Wilmington, NC was open on Sunday as thousands became stranded from the rest of the state

An abandoned car's hazard lights continue to flash as it sits submerged in a rising flood waters during pre-dawn hours after Hurricane Florence struck in Wilmington, North Carolina

An abandoned car’s hazard lights continue to flash as it sits submerged in a rising flood waters during pre-dawn hours after Hurricane Florence struck in Wilmington, North Carolina

A view of a gas station with its roof blown off as Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Wilmington, North Carolina

On Monday, the South Carolina Department of Corrections posted pictures of prisoners preparing sandbags to defend their facilities from flooding

Bryan Stirling, director of the department, chose not to evacuate the inmates from several prisons, with a spokesman saying: 'In the past, it’s been safer to leave them there.' Pictured: Sandbanks outside a South Carolina prison

Bryan Stirling, director of the department, chose not to evacuate the inmates from several prisons, with a spokesman saying: ‘In the past, it’s been safer to leave them there.’ Pictured: Sandbanks outside a South Carolina prison

‘Not only are you going to see more impact across North Carolina… but we’re also anticipating you are about to see a lot of damage going through West Virginia, all the way up to Ohio as the system exits out,’ Brock Long of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Sunday on Fox News.

About 70 miles away from Wilmington, residents near the Lumber River stepped from their homes directly into boats floating in their front yards.

River forecasts showed the scene could be repeated in towns as far as 250 miles inland as waters rise for days.

Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, with North and South Carolina in the bull’s-eye.

On Monday, the South Carolina Department of Corrections posted pictures of prisoners preparing sandbags to defend their facilities from flooding.

Bryan Stirling, director of the department, chose not to evacuate the inmates from several prisons, with a spokesman saying: ‘In the past, it’s been safer to leave them there.’

Cars try to navigate a flooded road leading to Interstate 40 in Castle Hayne, NC, after damage from Hurricane Florence cut off access to Wilmington

Cars try to navigate a flooded road leading to Interstate 40 in Castle Hayne, NC, after damage from Hurricane Florence cut off access to Wilmington

Meanwhile, half way around the world, Typhoon Mangkhut barreled into southern China on Sunday after lashing the Philippines with strong winds and heavy rain that left dozens dead.

More than 2.4 million people were evacuated from China’s southern Guangdong province ahead of the massive typhoon, the strongest to hit the region in nearly two decades.

In North Carolina, fears of what could be the worst flooding in the state’s history led officials to order tens of thousands to evacuate, though it wasn’t clear how many had fled or even could.

President Donald Trump said federal emergency workers, first responders and law enforcement officials were ‘working really hard.’ As the storm ‘begins to finally recede, they will kick into an even higher gear. Very Professional!’ he declared in a tweet.

The storm’s death toll climbed to 17 when authorities said a 3-month-old child was killed when a tree fell on a mobile home in North Carolina. Three people died in weather-related traffic accidents, officials said.

Victor Merlos was overjoyed to find a store open for business in Wilmington since he had about 20 relatives staying at his apartment, which still had power. He spent more than $500 on cereal, eggs, soft drinks and other necessities, plus beer.

‘I have everything I need for my whole family,’ said Merlos. Nearby, a Waffle House restaurant limited breakfast customers to one biscuit and one drink, all take-out, with the price of $2 per item.

Kenneth Campbell had donned waterproof waders intending to check out his home in Lumberton , but he didn’t bother when he saw the Coast Guard and murky waters in his neighborhood.

‘I’m not going to waste my time. I already know,’ he said.

As rivers swelled, state regulators and environmental groups were monitoring the threat from gigantic hog and poultry farms located in low-lying, flood-prone areas.

Victor Merlos loads supplies he bought at a Harris Teeter grocery store, one of the few places open in Wilmington, N.C., after storm Florence traveled through the area Sunday

The floodwaters of McAlpine Creek along Randolph Road in Charlotte, N.C., are seen on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018

A man walks along the street with his dog as people return to their houses after the passing of Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina, US September 16, 2018

A man walks along the street with his dog as people return to their houses after the passing of Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina, US September 16, 2018

Motorists drive through floodwaters in Hampstead, N.C. Sunday as Tropical Storm Florence continued to pelt the area with rain and wind

Motorists drive through floodwaters in Hampstead, N.C. Sunday as Tropical Storm Florence continued to pelt the area with rain and wind

A boat sits in a backyard after the passing of Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina on Sunday

A boat sits in a backyard after the passing of Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina on Sunday

The industrial-scale farms contain vast pits of animal feces and urine that can pose a significant pollution threat if they are breached or inundated by floodwaters. In past hurricanes, flooding at dozens of farms also left hundreds of thousands of dead hogs, chickens and other decomposing livestock bobbing in floodwaters.

Some stream gauges used to monitor river levels failed when they became submerged, but others showed water levels rising steadily, with forecasts calling for rivers to at or near record levels. The Defense Department said about 13,500 military personnel were assigned to help relief efforts.

Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River, about 100 miles from the North Carolina coast. The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, population 200,000.

Near the flooded-out town of New Bern , where about 455 people had to be rescued from the swirling flood waters, water completely surrounded churches, businesses and homes. In the neighboring town of Trenton, downtown streets were turned to creeks full of brown water.

The rain was unrelenting in Cheraw, a town of about 6,000 people in northeastern South Carolina. Streets were flooded and Police Chief Keith Thomas warned people not to drive, but the local food and gas store had customers.

‘As you can tell, they’re not listening to me,’ he said.

On Sunday the death toll from the hurricane-turned-tropical depression climbed to 15 when a 23-year-old man drowned after a pickup truck flipped into a drainage ditch along a flooded road in South Carolina.

Earlier, authorities said two people died from carbon monoxide poisoning after using a generator in their South Carolina home during the storm.

Before and after photos show the floodwater level before on September 14 and after Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina, on September 16, 2018
Before and after photos show the floodwater level before on September 14 and after Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina, on September 16, 2018
Before and after photos show the floodwater level before on September 14 and after Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina, on September 16, 2018
Within two days floodwater consumed the base of a home in New Bern, North Carolina. Pictured Friday and then Sunday
Within two days floodwater consumed the base of a home in New Bern, North Carolina. Pictured Friday and then Sunday
Within two days floodwater consumed the base of a home in New Bern, North Carolina. Pictured Friday and then Sunday
Members of the North Carolina Task Force urban search and rescue team wade through a flooded neighborhood looking for residents who stayed behind as Florence continues to dump heavy rain in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Sunday 

Members of the North Carolina Task Force urban search and rescue team wade through a flooded neighborhood looking for residents who stayed behind as Florence continues to dump heavy rain in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Sunday

A member of the US Coast Guard walks down Mill Creek Road checking houses after tropical depression Florence hit Newport North Carolina Saturday

A man wades across a bridge flooded by Hurricane Florence in Pollocksville, North Carolina, Sunday

A man wades across a bridge flooded by Hurricane Florence in Pollocksville, North Carolina, Sunday

A home is seen in floodwaters from Hurricane Florence in Marion, South Carolina Sunday

Members of the Nebraska Task Force 1 urban search and rescue team help load an elderly resident onto a bus as they evacuate an assisted living facility to a church as a precaution against potential flooding Saturday 

A home is damaged after a large tree fell on it Sunday in Wilmington, North Carolina. So far, 15 deaths have been reported

A home is damaged after a large tree fell on it Sunday in Wilmington, North Carolina. So far, 15 deaths have been reported

A sailboat is shoved up against a house and a collapsed garage Saturday, September 15 after heavy wind and rain from Florence

The North Carolina fatalities also include three who died ‘due to flash flooding and swift water on roadways,’ the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard said 63-year-old Mark Carter King and 61-year-old Debra Collins Rion were killed by breathing in carbon monoxide.

Their bodies were found in a Loris home Saturday afternoon, but they likely died the day before as the heavy rains and winds from former hurricane-turned-Tropical Depression Florence were moving onshore.

Governor Roy Cooper says the storm has ‘never been more dangerous’ than it is now for areas extending from Fayetteville and Lumberton, across the Sandhills, to the central part of North Carolina and into the mountains.

About 740,000 homes and businesses remained without power in the Carolinas, and utilities said some could be out for weeks.

Sunday’s heavy rains have made major roads, including parts of the I-95, impassable.

Roads were quickly submerged on Sunday morning and blocked off by police cars and fire trucks. Some drivers in raised trucks slowly navigated the flooding while others made U-turns and looked for other routes. Smaller country roads were washed over with water as streams and rivers nearby burst their banks, leaving drivers at risk of being trapped.

The roads were fairly busy as drivers attempted to return home to assess damage on areas where areas where evacuation orders were lifted.

Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, but North and South Carolina were in the bull’s-eye.

The head of Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, said officials were still focused on finding and rescuing people.

‘We’ll get through this. It’ll be ugly but we’ll get through it,’ he told Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press.

Long said:  ‘Well, unfortunately, the event is still unfolding for the next 48 hours.’

Two people in a canoe paddle through a street that was flooded by Hurricane Florence Saturday north of New Bern, North Carolina 

A Corvette sits damaged after a large tree fell on it Sunday in Wilmington, North Carolina 

Maggie Belgie of The Cajun Navy carries a child evacuating a flooding trailer community during Hurricane Florence in Lumberton, North Carolina Saturday

Maggie Belgie of The Cajun Navy carries a child evacuating a flooding trailer community during Hurricane Florence in Lumberton, North Carolina Saturday

A downed tree uprooted by Hurricane Florence lies next to homes in New Bern, North Carolina Saturday

A downed tree uprooted by Hurricane Florence lies next to homes in New Bern, North Carolina Saturday

Robert Dolman walks past a Cadillac that has been crushed by a tree Sunday in North Carolina 

Robert Dolman walks past a Cadillac that has been crushed by a tree Sunday in North Carolina

The next stage of the disaster comes with widespread river flooding, pictured a Coast Guard member Saturday 

The next stage of the disaster comes with widespread river flooding, pictured a Coast Guard member Saturday

US Marine Corp aid in evacuating  the local populace in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Saturday 

US Marine Corp aid in evacuating  the local populace in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Saturday

Apartment complex are evacuated due to Hurricane Florence

Officials on Sunday warned rivers were swelling toward record levels, forecasters now warn, and thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate for fear that the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in North Carolina history.

Stream gauges across the region showed water levels rising steadily, with forecasts calling for rivers to crest Sunday and Monday at or near record levels: The Little River, the Cape Fear, the Lumber, the Neuse, the Waccamaw and the Pee Dee were all projected to burst their banks, possibly flooding nearby communities.

Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River, about 100 miles from the North Carolina coast. The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, population 200,000

On Saturday morning, President Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration for parts of the state that will make the rebuilding process easier for residents in some counties.

Trump, who plans a visit to the region next week, tweeted his ‘deepest sympathies and warmth’ to the families and friends of those who had lost their lives.

Saturday afternoon, the White House released a photo of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence receiving a phone briefing on disaster response efforts.

John Rose owns a furniture business with stores less than a mile from the river. Rain-soaked furniture workers helped him quickly empty more than 1,000 mattresses from a warehouse in a low-lying strip mall.

‘It’s the first time we’ve ever had to move anything like this,’ Rose said. ‘If the river rises to the level they say it’s going to, then this warehouse is going to be under water.’

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence received an emergency preparedness update call on Hurricane Florence in the Treaty Room of the White House on Saturday

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence received an emergency preparedness update call on Hurricane Florence in the Treaty Room of the White House on Saturday

The next stage of the disaster comes with widespread river flooding – which could make history in North Carolina

An updated map from Sunday morning shows Florence’s status

Certain areas of North Carolina are experiencing record-breaking major flooding

A Sunday morning map shows the three to five inches of rain in parts of North and South Carolina

A woman leaves a flooded home with her dog in a neighborhood inundated by water in Lumberton on Sunday

A woman leaves a flooded home with her dog in a neighborhood inundated by water in Lumberton on Sunday

A partially submerged car is pictured on a flooded street after Hurricane Florence struck Piney Green, North Carolina Sunday

A partially submerged car is pictured on a flooded street after Hurricane Florence struck Piney Green, North Carolina Sunday

Albie Lewis, right, a FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, talks with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper aboard a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft after surveying the damage done by Hurricane Florence on Sunday

On U.S. Route 401 nearby, rain rose in ditches and around unharvested tobacco crops along the road. Ponds had begun to overflow, and creeks passing under the highway churned with muddy, brown water.

Farther along the Cape Fear River, grass and trees lining the banks were partly submerged, still well below a highway bridge crossing it.

‘It’s hard to believe it’s going to get that high,’ says Elizabeth Machado, who came to the bridge to check on the river.

Fayetteville’s city officials, meanwhile, got help from the Nebraska Task Force One search and rescue team to evacuate 140 residents of an assisted-living facility in Fayetteville to a safer location at a church.

Already, more than two feet of rain has fallen in places, and forecasters are saying there could be an additional 1½ feet before Sunday is out.

‘I cannot overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren’t watching for them, you are risking your life,’ Gov. Roy Cooper said.

A pickup truck drives on a flooded road past a farm house that is surrounded by flooded fields from tropical storm Florence in Hyde County, North Carolina, Saturday

A pickup truck drives on a flooded road past a farm house that is surrounded by flooded fields from tropical storm Florence in Hyde County, North Carolina, Saturday

Resident Joseph Eudi looks at flood debris and storm damage from Hurricane Florence at a home on East Front Street in New Bern, North Carolina, Saturday 

Rescue personnel help a flood victim and her animals to dry land from heavy rains from Florence in North Carolina

Rescue personnel help a flood victim and her animals to dry land from heavy rains from Florence in North Carolina

Officials were warning residents not only to stay off the roads but also to avoid using GPS systems.

‘As conditions change, GPS navigation systems are not keeping up with the road closures and are directing people onto roads that are confirmed closed and/or flooded,’ the state Transportation Department said on Twitter.

Florence weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday and was crawling west at 8 mph. At 5am, the storm was centered about 20 miles southwest of Columbia, South Carolina. Its winds were down to 35 mph.

In Goldsboro, North Carolina, home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, roads that frequently flood were already closed Saturday by rushing water.

Dozens of electric repair trucks massed to respond to damage expected to hit central North Carolina as rainwater collected into rivers headed to the coast. Hundreds of thousands of outages have been reported.

A creek that feeds into the Neuse was rushing over a road near Phil Eubanks’ home Saturday. Another creek backed up into their basement Friday, but based on past experience Eubanks and his wife think the worst is over for them.

‘I didn’t sleep last night. It was creeping up those steps’ from the basement, said his jittery wife, Ellen. ‘It came up. It went down today. I think we’re OK.’

Coast Guard FN Tyler Elliott, from Louisville, Kentucky, helps rescue one of ten beagles from a flooded home in Columbus North Carolina Sunday

Coast Guard FN Tyler Elliott, from Louisville, Kentucky, helps rescue one of ten beagles from a flooded home in Columbus North Carolina Sunday

Members of the Coast Guard help a stranded motorist in the flood waters caused by Hurricane Florence in Lumberton, North Carolina, Sunday 

Members of the Coast Guard help a stranded motorist in the flood waters caused by Hurricane Florence in Lumberton, North Carolina, Sunday

Roger Hedgepeth is assisted along with his dog Bodie by members of the U.S. Coast Guard Sunday 

Hedgepeth wears a life jacket and holds his dog Bodie while being moved to higher ground Sunday 

A Dillon County rescue crew boat works in a flooded area near a stuck car in Latta, South Carolina, on Sunday 

A Dillon County rescue crew boat works in a flooded area near a stuck car in Latta, South Carolina, on Sunday

A man is pictured walking through a flooded street after Florence struck Piney Green, North Carolina

A man is pictured walking through a flooded street after Florence struck Piney Green, North Carolina

On Saturday evening, Duke Energy said heavy rains caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station outside Wilmington, North Carolina. Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said about 2,000 cubic yards (1,530 cubic meters) of ash were displaced at the Sutton Plant and that contaminated storm water likely flowed into the plant’s cooling pond.

Sutton was mothballed in 2013 and the company has been excavating ash to remove to safer lined landfills. The ash left behind when coal is burned contains toxic heavy metals, including lead and arsenic.

In New Bern, along the coast, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers used inflatable boats to reach people Saturday.

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued by boat from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, whose team used a phone app to locate people in distress.

‘Amazing. They did awesome,’ said Knox, who was stranded with seven others.

New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said 455 people were safely rescued in the town of 30,000 residents. She called damage to thousands of buildings ‘heart-wrenching.’

Ernestine Crumpler, 80, is helped by members of the Nebraska Task Force 1 urban search and rescue team as they evacuate an assisted living facility to a church as a precaution against potential flooding the city could see

Resident Alice Tolson steps over storm debris that washed up from the Neuse River at her home on East Front Street in New Bern

Residents of an assisted living facility sit on a bus as they are evacuated Saturday in North Carolina

A 40-foot yacht lies in the yard of a storm-damaged home on East Front Street in New Bern, North Carolina Saturday

The boat washed up with storm surge and debris from Hurricane Florence

Spirits were high, though, at the Trent Park Elementary School in New Bern, where 44-year-old Cathy Yolanda Wright took shelter after being rescued from her flooded home Saturday. Wright, who sings in the choir at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist, led residents at the shelter in an energetic singalong.

People clapped and shouted, ‘Amen!’ and ‘Thank you, Lord.’

Across the Trent River from New Bern, Jerry and Jan Andrews returned home after evacuating to find carp flopping in their backyard near the porch stairs.

Coast Guard helicopters took off across the street to rescue stranded people from rooftops and swamped cars.

The Marines rescued about 20 civilians from floodwaters near Camp Lejeune, using Humvees and amphibious assault vehicles, the base reported.

The dead included a mother and baby killed by a falling tree in Wilmington, North Carolina. South Carolina recorded its first death from the storm, with officials saying a 61-year-old woman was killed when her car hit a tree that fell across a highway.

Three died in one inland county, Duplin, because of water on roads and flash floods, authorities said. A husband and wife died in a storm-linked house fire, officials said, and an 81-year-old man died after falling while packing to evacuate.

Trenton, North Carolina, is pictured Sunday inundated with floodwaters from Florence 

A closed sign hangs from the front door of the Blue Flour bakery on Main St. in Columbia, S.C. as the remnants of Hurricane Florence slowly move across the East Coast

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6175377/Entire-North-Carolina-city-cut-storm-Florence-floodwaters.html

Story 2: High Tech Lynching 2.0 By Desperate Democrats Delaying Confirmation Vote of Judge Brett Kavanaugh With An Allegation of Sexual Assault In High School Over 35 Years Ago By Professor Christine Ford — False and Faulty Eyewitness Memory — Allegations Are Not Evidence and Way Beyond The Statue of Limitations — Uncertainty, Bias, Confidence Problems With Eyewitness Testimony — Senate Hearing Scheduled For September 24 — Kavanaugh Confirmed Soon — Resistance Is Futile — Videos —

See the source image

Flashback: Clarence Thomas responds to Anita Hill

Judge Napolitano on if Kavanaugh’s nomination is in jeopardy

Tucker Carlson Tonight 9/17/18 | Fox News september 17, 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Accuser Speaks Out About Alleged Sexual Assault | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

As Blasey Ford Alleges Kavanaugh Assaulted Her, Will Senate Repeat Mistakes Made with Anita Hill?

Tammy Bruce to Dianne Feinstein: Shame on you

Brett Kavanaugh Accuser Came Forward Out Of ‘Civic Responsibility’ | Kasie DC | MSNBC

Uncertainty grows over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation

Lawyer: Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify before Congress

Kavanaugh Strongly Denies Allegation Of Sexual Misconduct Handed Over By Top Dem | NBC Nightly News

#LionelNation🇺🇸Immersive Live Stream: The Electronic (Re)Lynching of Brett Kavanaugh

The Kavanaugh #MeToo Moment | The Ben Shapiro Show Ep. 623

BREAK!NG NEWS TRUMP 9/17/18 | WHITE HOUSE STANDS BY KAVANAUGH AMID ACCUSATIONS

LEVIN: Some important questions about Dianne Feinstein’s referral of Brett Kavanaugh letter to FBI

Democrats threaten to delay hearings for SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Ted Cruz: Dems Delaying Kavanaugh Confirmation Because They Want to ‘Re-Litigate’ 2016 Election

Scott Adams – False Memories, Brett Kavanaugh, Peacocks, Lie Detectors, and the Simulation

How reliable is eyewitness testimony?

Scott Fraser: The problem with eyewitness testimony

Why eyewitnesses fail | Thomas Albright | TEDxSanDiego

How memory plays us: Elizabeth Loftus at TEDxOrangeCoast

The Power of Suggestion: How to Implant False Memories

Implanting False Memories

Is Your Memory Just an Illusion? | A Tua Memória é Apenas Uma Ilusão? | Julia Shaw | TEDxPorto

How False Memories Corrupt Our Identities, Politics, and Justice System | Julia Shaw | TEDxBergen

Time To Rethink Evil | Julia Shaw | TEDxOxford

Resistance is Futile!

KAVANAUGH ACCUSER IS AN ANTI-TRUMP LEFTIST WHO ATTENDED WOMEN’S MARCH, DONATED TO DNC

Attempt to derail nomination is a blatant political ploy

 | Infowars.com – SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford is an anti-Trump leftist who participated in the Women’s March and donated to the DNC, revelations that make the attempt to delay Kavanaugh’s nomination look increasingly like a desperate political ploy.

Ford, now a professor at Palo Alto University in California, accused Kavanaugh of holding her down on a bed and groping her at a house party in Maryland in the early 80’s when Kavanaugh was 17 and Ford was 15.

Ford asserts that the attack was so severe, she thought Kavanaugh was going to “inadvertently” kill her, claiming, “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

The professor says that the assault only came to a stop when a third person, Mark Judge, intervened and jumped on top of them.

However, Judge has completely denied that the incident ever took place. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California was also first made aware of the allegations back in July but concealed all information relating to them for weeks.

It has since emerged that Ford has a history of left-wing political activism;

– She signed a letter attacking Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, asserting that it was “violating fundamental human rights”.

– Ford attended a women’s march event and even wore a version of the infamous “pussy hat” made to look like a brain.

null

– Records show that Ford donated to the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Friends Of Bernie Sanders.

– Perhaps in an attempt to hide her motives, Ford scrubbed her social media presence before the allegations came to light.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸

@RealSaavedra

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, has donated money to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and Friends Of Bernie Sanders.

Despite top Democrats calling for the vote on Kavanaugh to be postponed until Ford’s claims can be properly vetted, the FBI has refused to open an investigation.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) office also sent out a letter on Friday morning on behalf of 65 women who knew Kavanaugh when he was in high school asserting, “For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect.”

“It’s disturbing that these uncorroborated allegations from more than 35 years ago, during high school, would surface on the eve of a committee vote after Democrats sat on them since July,” a Republican spokesperson for Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said Sunday. “If Ranking Member Feinstein and other Committee Democrats took this claim seriously, they should have brought it to the full Committee’s attention much earlier.”

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https://www.infowars.com/kavanaugh-accuser-is-an-anti-trump-leftist-who-attended-womens-march-donated-to-dnc/

Rejoice, Democrats: Your Next High-Tech Lynching Has Arrived!

Democrats raise the depravity to new heights. – After news of the “anonymous letter” from a woman who knew Brett Kavanaugh in high school, accusing the Supreme Court nominee of unspecified teenage misconduct, came to light last week, here is what The Campaign Update told you we would soon find out:

Trust me on this, it is only a matter of time before…

– We find out the accuser’s name;

We discover she is being represented by some scumbag lawyer like Michael Avenetti or Lisa Bloom or best of all, Gloria Allred;

– We find out she got paid a ton of money by some Democrat-affiliated, Soros-funded third party group to write and send the letter; and

– We start seeing leftwing talking heads and Democrat politicians rolling out their next big talking point, which will be that we must – MUST – place the Kavanaugh nomination on hold until these oh-so-credible accusations, which will almost certainly be luridly sexual in nature, can be sorted out.

=================================

That was last Thursday.  On Sunday, we found out most of that information, courtesy of the fakenewsers at the Washington Post.

The accuser’s name?  Christine Blasey Ford, a longtime leftwing activist, professor at extremely liberal Palo Alto University in California, and Bernie Sanders contributor.  Totally credible.

The accuser’s lawyer?  Not the Porn Lawyer, nor the execrable Ms. Bloom nor her even more execrable mother, Gloria Allred.  But just as bad: One Debra Katz, a longtime leftwing Democrat activist who was recently quoted as describing anyone who works for President Trump as “miscreants.”  Katz also was part of Hillary Clinton’s “Bimbo Eruptions” team, a group of women who viciously slandered any of the myriad women who came out of the woodwork to accuse Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.  Just a lovely person, no doubt.

How much has Ms. Blasey Ford been paid to do this?  We don’t know this bit of key information yet, but you can bet tons of people are working on that particular question as you read this.  The going rate for this sort of thing during the 2016 presidential campaign was about $150,000; for accusers of Roy Moore, the bidding got up over $200,000.  The execrable lawyer Ms. Bloom got caught offering something like $700k to one #MeToo accuser.  Ms. Blasey Ford may or may not have been paid to do this, but the history of this sort of Democrat dirty trick tells us there’s a pretty good chance that some big, big money is behind this.

Very predictably, the calls from Democrat politicians and fake news readers that we must – MUST – place the Kavanaugh nomination on hold until these accusations from this woman – who the Democrat/fake journalist joint talking points insist is a “credible witness” – can be sorted out literally rained down from the heavens throughout Sunday afternoon and evening.

Of course, the truth is that Ms. Blasey Ford is not credible in any way, shape or form.  Even a rookie public defender would rip her story to shreds were she to try to roll this junk out on the witness stand in a court of law.  The mere fact that she has allegedly sat on this “information” for 36 years, as Mr. Kavanaugh rose through the ranks of the federal judiciary, as the FBI has conducted no fewer than 6 thorough investigations into his background, even as he went through a highly-publicized confirmation before this same Senate Judiciary Committee when he was nominated to serve on a federal appellate court – that she sat on her hands through all of those years and all of those hearings and investigations alone renders her as a wholly non-credible person.

She claims to have passed a lie detector test administered by a “former FBI agent”.  Oh, really?  Was that agent’s last name Strzok?  Page?  Comey?  McCabe?  The possibilities are almost endless here.

Meanwhile, despite Ms. Blasey Ford’s laser-clear memory of this “incident,” she cannot remember where this party was held, who owned the home in question, how she got to the party, or who she arrived there with.  Oh, but she does remember that Kavanaugh allegedly had a partner in this “incident,” and even the guy’s name – some poor schlub named Mark Judge, who, like Mr. Kavanaugh, categorically denies the story, calling it “just absolutely nuts.”

Yes, it is absolutely nuts, but this is today’s depraved Democrat Party we’re talking about here, and the fake news media which serves as its propaganda wing.

Sadly, it’s also nervous Republicans like Lindsey Graham and shameless swamp skunks like Jeff Flake, both of whom are now getting all wobbly in the knees and calling for Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to bring Ms. Blasey Ford before the Committee for a hearing before the scheduled committee vote this Thursday.  The accuser says she’s willing to do that, no doubt in the hopes of becoming the new darling of the news media, a modern-day Anita Hill.  What a goal to have in life.

Given that every Democrat on that Committee knew about Ms. Blasey Ford’s allegations when the full week of hearings on this nomination took place, and conspired to keep it in their hip pockets, Chairman Grassley should refuse to cowtow to his weak-kneed colleagues and simply follow through with his scheduled vote.  But he won’t do that, because congressional Republicans have no, well, um, let’s call them “huevos”.  (Look it up if you don’t understand rudimentary Spanish.)

So we’re going to have another gigantic, disgusting spectacle this week, probably two full days of salacious, slanderous hearings that will only serve to divide the nation even further than it already is, brought to you courtesy of depraved Democrats and gutless Republicans.

A pox on all their houses.  Every one of them.

That is all.

[Addendum:  Don’t just assume that Ms. Blasey Ford is the only accuser the Democrats are holding in their hip pockets on this nomination.  The Roy Moore episode makes it clear that they may well have a number of longtime leftist activist Bernie Sanders donors willing to come forward and slander Mr. Kavanaugh’s reputation.  Say tuned, if you can bear it.]
https://dbdailyupdate.com/index.php/2018/09/17/rejoice-democrats-your-next-high-tech-lynching-has-arrived/

 

California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault

Kavanaugh and his accuser offer to testify as allegation roils Washington

Christine Blasey Ford is willing to testify after her letter leaked alleging Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the 1980s.

September 16 at 10:28 PM

Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.Speaking publicly for the first time, Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.

Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. The therapist’s notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh’s name but say she reported that she was attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.” The notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapist’s part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.

Notes from an individual therapy session the following year, when she was being treated for what she says have been long-term effects of the incident, show Ford described a “rape attempt” in her late teens.

In an interview, her husband, Russell Ford, said that in the 2012 sessions, she recounted being trapped in a room with two drunken boys, one of whom pinned her to a bed, molested her and prevented her from screaming. He said he recalled that his wife used Kavanaugh’s last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court.

On Sunday, the White House sent The Post a statement Kavanaugh issued last week, when the outlines of Ford’s account became public: “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

Through a White House spokesman, Kavanaugh declined to comment further on Ford’s allegation and did not respond to questions about whether he knew her during high school. The White House had no additional comment.

Kavanaugh denies making unwanted sexual advances as an adult

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh denied committing sexual or physical harassment as an adult when asked by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) on Sept. 5. 

Reached by email Sunday, Judge declined to comment. In an interview Friday with The Weekly Standard, before Ford’s name was known, he denied that any such incident occurred. “It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way,” Judge said. He told the New York Times that Kavanaugh was a “brilliant student” who loved sports and was not “into anything crazy or illegal.”

Christine Ford is a professor at Palo Alto University who teaches in a consortium with Stanford University, training graduate students in clinical psychology. Her work has been widely published in academic journals.

She contacted The Post through a tip line in early July, when it had become clear that Kavanaugh was on the shortlist of possible nominees to replace retiring justice Anthony M. Kennedy but before Trump announced his name publicly. A registered Democrat who has made small contributions to political organizations, she contacted her congresswoman, Democrat Anna G. Eshoo, around the same time. In late July, she sent a letter via Eshoo’s office to Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

In the letter, which was read to The Post, Ford described the incident and said she expected her story to be kept confidential. She signed the letter as Christine Blasey, the name she uses professionally.

Though Ford had contacted The Post, she declined to speak on the record for weeks as she grappled with concerns about what going public would mean for her and her family — and what she said was her duty as a citizen to tell the story.

She engaged Debra Katz, a Washington lawyer known for her work on sexual harassment cases. On the advice of Katz, who said she believed Ford would be attacked as a liar if she came forward, Ford took a polygraph test administered by a former FBI agent in early August. The results, which Katz provided to The Post, concluded that Ford was being truthful when she said a statement summarizing her allegations was accurate.

By late August, Ford had decided not to come forward, calculating that doing so would upend her life and probably would not affect Kavanaugh’s confirmation. “Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?” she said.

Her story leaked anyway. On Wednesday, the Intercept reported that Feinstein had a letter describing an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman while they were in high school and that Feinstein was refusing to share it with her Democratic colleagues.

Feinstein soon released a statement: “I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” she wrote. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”

The FBI redacted Ford’s name and sent the letter to the White House to be included in Kavanaugh’s background file, according to a Judiciary Committee aide. The White House sent it to the Senate Judiciary Committee, making it available to all senators.

As pressure grew, the New York Times reported that the incident involved “possible sexual misconduct.”

By then, Ford had begun to fear she would be exposed. People were clearly learning her identity: A BuzzFeed reporter visited her at her home and tried to speak to her as she was leaving a classroom where she teaches graduate students. Another reporter called her colleagues to ask about her.

On Friday, the New Yorker reported the letter’s contents but did not reveal Ford’s identity. Soon after, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) released a letter from 65 women who say they knew Kavanaugh when he attended high school from 1979 to 1983 at Georgetown Prep, an all-boys school in North Bethesda.

“Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity,” the women wrote. “In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day.”

As the story snowballed, Ford said, she heard people repeating inaccuracies about her and, with the visits from reporters, felt her privacy being chipped away. Her calculation changed.

“These are all the ills that I was trying to avoid,” she said, explaining her decision to come forward. “Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation.”

Katz said she believes Feinstein honored Ford’s request to keep her allegation confidential, but “regrettably others did not.”

“Victims must have the right to decide whether to come forward, especially in a political environment that is as ruthless as this one,” Katz said. “She will now face vicious attacks by those who support this nominee.”

After so many years, Ford said, she does not remember some key details of the incident. She said she believes it occurred in the summer of 1982, when she was 15, around the end of her sophomore year at the all-girls Holton-Arms School in Bethesda. Kavanaugh would have been 17 at the end of his junior year at Georgetown Prep.

At the time, Ford said, she knew Kavanaugh and Judge as “friendly acquaintances” in the private-school social circles of suburban Maryland. Her Holton-Arms friends mostly hung out with boys from the Landon School, she said, but for a period of several months socialized regularly with students from Georgetown Prep.

Ford said she does not remember how the gathering came together the night of the incident. She said she often spent time in the summer at the Columbia Country Club pool in Chevy Chase, where in those pre-cellphone days, teenagers learned about gatherings via word of mouth. She also doesn’t recall who owned the house or how she got there.

Ford said she remembers that it was in Montgomery County, not far from the country club, and that no parents were home at the time. Ford named two other teenagers who she said were at the party. Those individuals did not respond to messages on Sunday morning.

She said she recalls a small family room where she and a handful of others drank beer together that night. She said that each person had one beer but that Kavanaugh and Judge had started drinking earlier and were heavily intoxicated.

In his senior-class yearbook entry at Georgetown Prep, Kavanaugh made several references to drinking, claiming membership to the “Beach Week Ralph Club” and “Keg City Club.” He and Judge are pictured together at the beach in a photo in the yearbook.

Judge is a filmmaker and author who has written for the Daily Callerthe Weekly Standard and The Post. He chronicled his recovery from alcoholism in “Wasted: Tales of a Gen-X Drunk,” which described his own blackout drinking and a culture of partying among students at his high school, renamed in the book “Loyola Prep.” Kavanaugh is not mentioned in the book, but a passage about partying at the beach one summer makes glancing reference to a “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” who “puked in someone’s car the other night” and “passed out on his way back from a party.”

Through the White House, Kavanaugh did not respond to a question about whether the name was a pseudonym for him.

Ford said that on the night of the party, she left the family room to use the bathroom, which was at the top of a narrow stairway. She doesn’t remember whether Kavanaugh and Judge were behind her or already upstairs, but she remembers being pushed into a bedroom and then onto a bed. Rock-and-roll music was playing with the volume turned up high, she said.

She alleges that Kavanaugh — who played football and basketball at Georgetown Prep — held her down with the weight of his body and fumbled with her clothes, seemingly hindered by his intoxication. Judge stood across the room, she said, and both boys were laughing “maniacally.” She said she yelled, hoping that someone downstairs would hear her over the music, and Kavanaugh clapped his hand over her mouth to silence her.

At one point, she said, Judge jumped on top of them, and she tried unsuccessfully to wriggle free. Then Judge jumped on them again, toppling them, and she broke away, she said.

She said she locked herself in the bathroom and listened until she heard the boys “going down the stairs, hitting the walls.” She said that after five or 10 minutes, she unlocked the door and made her way through the living room and outside. She isn’t sure how she got home.

Ford said she has not spoken with Kavanaugh since that night. And she told no one at the time what had happened to her. She was terrified, she said, that she would be in trouble if her parents realized she had been at a party where teenagers were drinking, and she worried they might figure it out even if she did not tell them.

“My biggest fear was, do I look like someone just attacked me?” she said. She said she recalled thinking: “I’m not ever telling anyone this. This is nothing, it didn’t happen, and he didn’t rape me.”

Years later, after going through psychotherapy, Ford said, she came to understand the incident as a trauma with lasting impact on her life.

“I think it derailed me substantially for four or five years,” she said. She struggled academically and socially, she said, and was unable to have healthy relationships with men. “I was very ill-equipped to forge those kinds of relationships.”

She also said that in the longer term, it contributed to anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms with which she has struggled.

She married her husband in 2002. Early in their relationship, she told him she had been a victim of physical abuse, he said. A decade later, he learned the details of that alleged abuse when the therapist asked her to tell the story, he said.

He said he expects that some people, upon hearing his wife’s account, will believe that Kavanaugh’s high school behavior has no bearing upon his fitness for the nation’s high court. He disagrees.

“I think you look to judges to be the arbiters of right and wrong,” Russell Ford said. “If they don’t have a moral code of their own to determine right from wrong, then that’s a problem. So I think it’s relevant. Supreme Court nominees should be held to a higher standard.”

Beth Reinhard, Seung Min Kim, Alice Crites and Julie Tate contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/california-professor-writer-of-confidential-brett-kavanaugh-letter-speaks-out-about-her-allegation-of-sexual-assault/2018/09/16/46982194-b846-11e8-94eb-3bd52dfe917b_story.html?utm_term=.cdf2d19dcf91

 

Mark Judge, the other man named in Christine Ford’s Brett Kavanaugh allegations, explained

Ford alleges Judge was in the room when Kavanaugh assaulted her — and that he played along.

By 
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 4, 2018, in Washington, DC.
 Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The sexual assault allegation from Christine Blasey Ford that have upended Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing aren’t just about Kavanaugh. They also mention a friend of Kavanaugh’s who Ford says was in the room when the assault took place: Mark Judge.

Ford describes Judge as watching Kavanaugh’s alleged assault, occasionally egging him on, and eventually jumping on top of her and Kavanaugh — a move that allowed her to escape.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations as “completely false.” Judge denied themto the Weekly Standard on Friday. (He declined to comment to the Washington Post for its article published Sunday.)

Judge was a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Georgetown Preparatory School in Maryland and is now a conservative writer who has written for publications such as the Daily Caller and the American Spectator.

He’s floated some controversial ideas in his writings — including asking in 2006 whether gay people are perverts and longing for the days when President George W. Bush could give his wife, Laura, a “loving but firm pat on the backside in public” as a show that he “knew who was boss.” He’s also the author of several books, including one recounting his teenage years of alcoholism and addiction.

He is now at the center of the brewing storm over Ford’s allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while at a party during the early 1980s, when they were both in high school. The accusations could derail confirmation of President Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court nomination, which Democrats have asked to be delayed, even as many Republicans and the White House seem determined to forge ahead.

Ford alleges that Judge was in the room when Kavanaugh assaulted her — and that he played along

Ford alleges that at sometime during the early 1980s, she was at a party when Kavanaugh and Judge, both drunk, corralled her into a bedroom. Ford says that while Judge watched, Kavanaugh “pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding her body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it,” according to an account written by Emma Brown at the Washington Post, who interviewed Ford.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/9/17/17870642/mark-judge-brett-kavanaugh-friend-christine-ford

 

 

Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re ready to testify _ but how?

Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of a decades-old sexual assault both indicated Monday they would be willing to testify to a Senate panel as the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee shifted from seemingly painless to problematic.

However, top Republicans seemed to be trying to limit any new testimony by Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, to telephone interviews. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he was trying to arrange to hear Ford in “an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner.”

The Iowa Republican said standard procedure for late-breaking information would involve follow-up phone calls with “at least” Kavanaugh and Ford. No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas backed him, lauding Grassley for seeking a process that “respects confidentiality.”

Kavanaugh was seen arriving at the White House, with no immediate reason given, while all 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to Grassley asking him to postpone a scheduled Thursday vote on the nominee to give the FBI more time to investigate.

Democrats and some Republican senators have expressed concern over Ford’s private-turned-public accusation that a drunken Kavanaugh groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when both were teenagers at high schools in suburban Maryland.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser “should not be insulted.” Conway adds: “She should not be ignored. She should testify under oath and she should do it on Capitol Hill.” (Sept. 17)

Kavanaugh released a new statement calling the allegation “completely false” and saying he “had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself” on Sunday to The Washington Post.

“I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity,” Kavanaugh said.

Debra S. Katz, the attorney for the accuser, said Ford was willing to tell her story publicly to the Judiciary panel but no lawmakers had yet contacted her. Katz denied that Ford, a Democrat, was politically motivated.

“She believes that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped,” Katz told NBC’s “Today.” Explaining Ford’s initial reluctance to come forward, Katz said, “No one in their right mind regardless of their motives would want to inject themselves into this process and face the kind of violation that she will be subjected to by those who want this nominee to go though.”

The Judiciary Democrats, in their letter to Chairman Grassley of Iowa, said serious questions have been raised about Kavanaugh’s “record, truthfulness and character.”

Currently a judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, widely viewed as the nation’s second most powerful court, Kavanaugh seemed to be on a smooth confirmation track until the new allegation emerged.

Kavanaugh, 53, “categorically and unequivocally” denied the allegation when it came out anonymously last week.

“This has not changed,” said White House spokesman Kerri Kupec on Monday. “Judge Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by that statement.”

Still, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said of Ford: “She should not be insulted. She should not be ignored. She should testify under oath, and she should do it on Capitol Hill.”

Conway, who said she had discussed the situation with Trump, said both Ford and Kavanaugh should testify, but made clear it was up to the Judiciary Committee. She said Sen. Lindsey Graham had told her it could happen as soon as Tuesday and the White House will “respect the process.”

Stressing that Kavanaugh had already testified and undergone FBI background checks, Conway said: “I think you have to weigh this testimonial evidence from Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh along with the considerable body of evidence that is already there about the judge’s temperament and qualifications and character.”

Initially the sexual misconduct allegation was conveyed in a private letter, without revealing Ford’s name. With a name and disturbing details, the accusation raised the prospect of congressional Republicans defending Trump’s nominee ahead of midterm elections featuring an unprecedented number of female candidates and informed in part by the #MeToo movement.

Ford said Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” she says — corralled her in a bedroom at a Maryland party in the early 1980s when she was around 15 and Kavanaugh was around 17. She says Kavanaugh groped her over her clothes, grinded his body against hers and tried to take off her one-piece swimsuit and the outfit she wore over it. Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream, she says, and she escaped when the friend, Mark Judge, jumped on them.

Kavanaugh attended a private school for boys in Maryland while Ford attended a nearby school.

A split over the nomination seemed to be emerging among the GOP.

Two committee Republicans — all on the GOP side are men — Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said they wanted to hear more from Ford. Flake went as far as to say he was “not comfortable” voting for Kavanaugh for the time being.

A potential “no” vote from Flake would complicate the judge’s prospects because Republicans control the committee by just 11-10.

A Republican not on the committee, Bob Corker of Tennessee, said the vote should be postponed until the committee heard from Ford. GOP Maine Sen. Susan Collins tweeted that she wanted Kavanaugh and Ford to both testify under oath to the committee, but when she was contacted Sunday by CNN she wouldn’t say if the vote should be postponed.

Grassley said that so far, the Judiciary committee’s top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, has refused to help schedule telephone interviews. A committee spokesman had said Sunday that Grassley was trying to arrange those phone calls but only for aides to Grassley and Feinstein before Thursday’s scheduled vote.

The allegation against Kavanaugh first came to light late last week in the form of a letter that had been for some time in the possession of Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee and one of its four female members. On Sunday, the Post published an interview with Ford.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, 51, a clinical psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

In the interview, Ford says she didn’t reveal what had happened until 2012, when she and her husband sought couples therapy. Ford’s husband, Russell Ford, said he recalled his wife using Kavanaugh’s last name and expressing concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might someday be nominated to the Supreme Court.

Grassley could invite Ford to testify, likely in closed session before Thursday. Kavanaugh would also probably be asked to appear before senators. The panel would also likely seek testimony from Judge, Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate who Ford says jumped on top of her. Judge has denied that the incident happened.

With Republicans narrowly controlling the Senate 51-49, the views of Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska would be key.

Both are under enormous pressure from outside groups who want them to oppose Kavanaugh on grounds that as a justice he could vote to undercut the Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.

___

Associated Press writers Darlene Superville and Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

https://apnews.com/3ce01c061d2d4d6a8b1bc8c71de220ba/Kavanaugh’s-accuser-willing-to-talk-to-Congress,-lawyer-says

Eyewitness testimony

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Eyewitness testimony is the account a bystander or victim gives in the courtroom, describing what that person observed that occurred during the specific incident under investigation. Ideally this recollection of events is detailed; however, this is not always the case. This recollection is used as evidence to show what happened from a witness’ point of view. Memory recall has been considered a credible source in the past, but has recently come under attack as forensics can now support psychologists in their claim that memories and individual perceptions can be unreliable, manipulated, and biased. Due to this, many countries and states within the US are now attempting to make changes in how eyewitness testimony is presented in court. Eyewitness testimony is a specialized focus within cognitive psychology.

 

Reliability

Psychologists have probed the reliability of eyewitness testimony since the beginning of the 20th century.[1] One prominent pioneer was Hugo Münsterberg, whose controversial book On the Witness Stand (1908) demonstrated the fallibility of eyewitness accounts, but met with fierce criticism, particularly in legal circles.[2] His ideas did, however, gain popularity with the public.[3] Decades later, DNA testing would clear individuals convicted on the basis of errant eyewitness testimony. Studies by Scheck, Neufel, and Dwyer showed that many DNA-based exonerations involved eyewitness evidence.[4]

In the 1970s and ’80s, Bob Buckhout showed inter alia that eyewitness conditions can, at least within ethical and other constraints, be simulated on university campuses,[2] and that large numbers of people can be mistaken: “Nearly 2,000 witnesses can be wrong” was the title of one paper.[5]

The mechanisms by which flaws enter eyewitness testimony are varied and can be quite subtle.

One way is a person’s memory being influenced by things seen or heard after the crime occurred. This distortion is known as the post-event misinformation effect (Loftus and Palmer, 1974). After a crime occurs and an eyewitness comes forward, law enforcement tries to gather as much information as they can to avoid the influence that may come from the environment, such as the media. Many times when the crime is surrounded by much publicity, an eyewitness may experience source misattribution. Source misattribution occurs when a witness is incorrect about where or when they have the memory from. If a witness cannot correctly identify the source of their retrieved memory, the witness is seen as not reliable.

While some witnesses see the entirety of a crime happen in front of them, some witness only part of a crime. These witnesses are more likely to experience confirmation bias. Witness expectations are to blame for the distortion that may come from confirmation bias. For example, Lindholm and Christianson (1998) found that witnesses of a mock crime who did not witness the whole crime, nevertheless testified to what they expected would have happened. These expectations are normally similar across individuals due to the details of the environment.

Evaluating the credibility of eye-witness testimony falls on all individual jurors when such evidence is offered as testimony in a trial in the United States.[6] Research has shown that mock juries are often unable to distinguish between a false and accurate eyewitness testimony. “Jurors” often appear to correlate the confidence level of the witness with the accuracy of their testimony. An overview of this research by Laub and Bornstein shows this to be an inaccurate gauge of accuracy.[7]

Research

Research on eyewitness testimony looks at systematic variables or estimator variables. Estimator variables are characteristics of the witness, event, testimony, or testimony evaluators. Systematic variables are variables that are, or have the possibility of, being controlled by the criminal justice system. Both sets of variables can be manipulated and studied during research, but only system variables can be controlled in actual procedure.[1]

Estimator variables

Age of Witness

Among children, suggestibility can be very high. Suggestibility is the term used when a witness accepts information after the actual event and incorporates it into the memory of the event itself. Children’s developmental level (generally correlated with age) causes them to be more easily influenced by leading questions, misinformation, and other post-event details. Compared to older children, preschool-age children are more likely to fall victim to suggestions without the ability to focus solely on the facts of what happened.[8]

In addition, a recent meta-analysis found that older adults (over age 65) tend to be more susceptible to memory distortion brought about by misleading post-event information, compared to young adults.[9]

Reconstructive memory

Many of the early studies of memory demonstrated how memories can fail to be accurate records of experiences. Because jurors and judges do not have access to the original event, it is important to know whether a testimony is based on actual experience or not.[10]

In a 1932 study, Frederic Bartlett demonstrated how serial reproduction of a story distorted accuracy in recalling information. He told participants a complicated Native American story and had them repeat it over a series of intervals. With each repetition, the stories were altered. Even when participants recalled accurate information, they filled in gaps with information that would fit their personal experiences. His work showed long term memory to be adaptable.[11] Bartlett viewed schemas as a major cause of this occurrence. People attempt to place past events into existing representations of the world, making the memory more coherent. Instead of remembering precise details about commonplace occurrences, a schema is developed. A schema is a generalization formed mentally based on experience.[12] The common use of these schemas suggests that memory is not an identical reproduction of experience, but a combination of actual events with already existing schemas. Bartlett summarized this issue, explaining

[M]emory is personal, not because of some intangible and hypothetical persisting ‘self ’, which receives and maintains innumerable traces, restimulating them whenever it needs; but because the mechanism of adult human memory demands an organisation of ‘schemata’ depending upon an interplay of appetites, instincts, interests and ideas peculiar to any given subject. Thus if, as in some pathological cases, these active sources of the ‘schemata’ get cut off from one another, the peculiar personal attributes of what is remembered fail to appear.[13]

Further research of schemas shows memories that are inconsistent with a schema decay faster than those that match up with a schema. Tuckey and Brewer found pieces of information that were inconsistent with a typical robbery decayed much faster than those that were schema consistent over a 12-week period, unless the information stood out as being extremely unusual. The use of schemas has been shown to increase the accuracy of recall of schema-consistent information but this comes at the cost of decreased recall of schema-inconsistent information.[14]

Misinformation effect

Elizabeth Loftus is one of the leading psychologists in the field of eyewitness testimony. She provided extensive research on this topic, revolutionizing the field with her bold stance that challenges the credibility of eyewitness testimony in court. She suggests that memory is not reliable and goes to great lengths to provide support for her arguments. She mainly focuses on the integration of misinformation with the original memory, forming a new memory. Some of her most convincing experiments support this claim:

  1. In one of her experiments, Loftus demonstrates that false verbal Information can integrate with original memory. Participants were presented with either truthful information or misleading information, and overall it showed that even the false information verbally presented became part of the memory after the participant was asked to recall details. This happens because of one of two reasons. First, it can alter the memory, incorporating the misinformation in with the actual, true memory. Second, the original memory and new information may both reside in memory in turn creating two conflicting ideas that compete in recall.[15]
  2. Loftus conducted more experiments to prove the reliability of expert psychological testimony versus the accepted basic eyewitness testimony. It was found that jurors who hear about a violent crime are more likely to convict a defendant than of one from a nonviolent crime. To reduce this tendency for a juror to quickly accuse, and perhaps wrongly accuse, choosing to utilize expert psychological testimony causes the juror to critically appraise the eyewitness testimony, instead of quickly reaching a faulty verdict.[16]
  3. Also, it has been shown that intelligence and gender has a role in the ability of accurate memory recall. Participants were measured in eyewitness performance in two areas: 1) the ability to resist adding misinformation to the memory and 2) accuracy of recalling the incident and person. It showed that when a woman was recalling information about a woman, the resistance to false details was higher and the recall was more accurate. If a man was recalling an incident involving a man, similarly the recall was more accurate. However, when dealing with opposite genders, the participants gave into the suggestibility (misinformation) more easily and demonstrated less accuracy.[17]
  4. Facial recognition is a good indicator of how easily memories can be manipulated. In this specific experiment, if a misleading feature was presented, more than a third of the participants recalled that detail. With a specific detail, almost 70% of people claimed that it had been there, when it had not been present.[18]

Systematic variables

Type of questioning

As early as 1900, psychologists like Alfred Binet recorded how the phrasing of questioning during an investigation could alter witness response. Binet believed people were highly susceptible to suggestion, and called for a better approach to questioning witnesses.[19]

Studies conducted by Crombag (1996) discovered that in an incident involving a crew attempting to return to the airport but were unable to maintain flight and crashed into an 11-story apartment building. Though no cameras caught the moment of impact on film, many news stations covered the tragedy with footage taken after impact.[20] Ten months after the event, the researchers interviewed people about the crash. According to theories about flashbulb memory, the intense shock of the event should have made the memory of the event incredibly accurate. This same logic is often applied to those who witness a criminal act. To test this assumption, participants were asked questions that planted false information about the event. Fifty-five percent of subjects reported having watched the moment of impact on television, and recalled the moment the plane broke out in flames-even though it was impossible for them to have seen either of these occurrences. One researcher remarked, “[V]ery critical sense would have made our subjects realize that the implanted information could not possibly be true. We are still at a loss as to why so few of them realized this.”

A survey of research on the matter confirm eyewitness testimony consistently changes over time and based on the type of questioning.[21] The approach investigators and lawyers take in their questioning has repeatedly shown to alter eyewitness response. One study showed changing certain words and phrases resulted in an increase in overall estimations of witnesses.[22]

Improving eyewitness testimony

Law enforcement, legal professions, and psychologists have worked together in attempts to make eyewitness testimony more reliable and accurate. Geiselman, Fisher, MacKinnon, and Holland saw much improvement in eyewitness memory with an interview procedure they referred to as the cognitive interview. The approach focuses on making witness aware of all events surrounding a crime without generating false memories or inventing details. In this tactic, the interviewer builds a rapport with the witness before asking any questions.[23] They then allow the witness to provide an open ended account of the situation. The interviewer then asks follow up questions to clarify the witness’ account, reminding the witness it is acceptable to be unsure and move on.[1] This approach guides the witness over a rigid protocol. When implemented correctly, the CI showed more accuracy and efficiency without additional incorrect information being generated.[24]

Currently, this is the U.S. Department of Justice’s suggested method for law enforcement officials to use in obtaining information from witnesses.[25] Programs training officers in this method have been developed outside the U.S. in many European countries, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Israel.[26]

While some analysis of police interviewing technique reveals this change towards CI interviewing is not put into effect by many officials in the U.S.A. and the U.K., it is still considered to be the most effective means of decreasing error in eyewitness testimony.[1][27]

Procedural reforms

Experts debate what changes need to occur in the legal process in response to research on inaccuracy of eyewitness testimony.

Jury guidelines

It has been suggested that the jury be given a checklist to evaluate eyewitness testimony when given in court. R. J. Shafer offers this checklist for evaluating eyewitness testimony:

  • How well could the eyewitness observe the thing he reports? Were his senses equal to the observation? Was his physical location suitable to sight, hearing, touch? Did he have the proper social ability to observe: did he understand the language, have other expertise required (e.g., law, military)?
  • When did he report in relation to his observation? Soon? Much later?
  • Are there additional clues to intended veracity? Was he indifferent on the subject reported, thus probably not intending distortion? Did he make statements damaging to himself, thus probably not seeking to distort? Did he give incidental or casual information, almost certainly not intended to mislead?
  • Do his statements seem inherently improbable: e.g., contrary to human nature, or in conflict with what we know?
  • Remember that some types of information are easier to observe and report on than others.
  • Are there inner contradictions in the testimony? [28]

Judge guidelines

In 2011, the New Jersey Supreme Court created new rules for the admissibility of eyewitness testimony in court. The new rules require judges to explain to jurors any influences that may heighten the risk for error in the testimony. The rules are part of nationwide court reform that attempts to improve the validity of eyewitness testimony and lower the rate of false conviction.[29]

See also

References

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

False memory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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false memory is a psychological phenomenon where a person recalls something that did not happen. There is a growing body of evidence that false memories are created whenever memories are recalled.[1][2][3][4]

False memory is often considered regarding childhood sexual abuse.[5][6][7][8] This phenomenon was initially investigated by psychological pioneers Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud. Freud wrote The Aetiology of Hysteria, where he discussed repressed memories of childhood sexual trauma in their relation to hysteria.[9] Elizabeth Loftus has, since her debuting research project in 1974,[10] been a lead researcher in memory recovery and false memories.

False memory syndrome recognizes false memory as a prevalent part of one’s life in which it affects the person’s mentality and day-to-day life. False memory syndrome differs from false memory in that the syndrome is heavily influential in the orientation of a person’s life, while false memory can occur without this significant effect. The syndrome takes effect because the person believes the influential memory to be true.[11] However, its research is controversial and the syndrome is excluded from identification as a mental disorder and, therefore, is also excluded from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. False memory is an important part of psychological research because of the ties it has to a large number of mental disorders, such as PTSD.[12]

Manipulation of memory recall through language

In 1974, Elizabeth Loftus and John Palmer conducted a study to investigate the effects of language on the development of false memory. The experiment involved two separate studies.

In the first test, 45 participants were randomly assigned to watch different videos of a car accident, in which separate videos had shown collisions at 20 miles per hour, 30 miles per hour, and 40 miles per hour. Afterwards, participants filled out a survey. The survey asked the question, “About how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?” The question always asked the same thing, except the verb used to describe the collision varied. Rather than “smashed”, other verbs used included “bumped”, “collided”, “hit”, or “contacted”. Participants estimated collisions of all speeds to average between 35 miles per hour to just below 40 miles per hour. If actual speed were the main factor in estimate, it could be assumed that participants would have lower estimates for lower speed collisions. Instead, the word being used to describe the collision seemed to better predict the estimate in speed rather than the speed itself.[10]

The second experiment also showed participants videos of a car accident, but the critical thing was the verbiage of the follow-up questionnaire. 150 participants were randomly assigned to three conditions. Those in the first condition were asked the same question as the first study using the verb “smashed”. The second group was asked the same question as the first study, replacing “smashed” with “hit”. The final group was not asked about the speed of the crashed cars. The researchers then asked the participants if they had seen any broken glass, knowing that there was no broken glass in the video. The responses to this question had shown that the difference between whether broken glass was recalled or not heavily depended on the verb used. A larger sum of participants in the “smashed” group declared that there was broken glass.

In this study, the first point brought up in discussion is that the words used to phrase a question can heavily influence the response given.[10] Second, the study indicates that the phrasing of a question can give expectations to previously ignored details, and therefore, a misconstruction of our memory recall. This indication supports false memory as an existing phenomenon.

Article adjustment on eyewitness report

Loftus’ meta-analysis on language manipulation studies suggested the phenomenon effects taking hold on the recall process and products of the human memory. Even the smallest adjustment in a question, such as the article preceding the supposed memory, could alter the responses. For example, having asked someone if they’d seen “the” stop sign, rather than “a” stop sign, provided the respondent with a presupposition that there was a stop sign in the scene. This presupposition increased the number of people responding that they had indeed seen the stop sign.

Adjective implications on eyewitness report

Select adjectives can imply characteristics about an object. Including said adjectives in a prompt can alter participant responses. Harris’ 1973[citation needed] study looks at the differences in answers on the height of a basketball player. Respondents were randomly assigned to have either answered to, “How tall was the basketball player?” or “How short was the basketball player?” Rather than asking participants simply for the height of the basketball player, they used adjectives that had an implication for the numerical results. The difference in height averages that were predicted was 10 inches (250 mm). The adjective provided in a sentence can cause a respondent to exaggerate.

Word lists

One can trigger false memories by presenting subjects a continuous list of words. When subjects were presented with a second type of the list and asked if the words had appeared on the previous list, they find that the subjects did not recognize the list correctly. When the words on the two lists were semantically related to each other (e.g. sleep/bed), it was more likely that the subjects did not remember the first list correctly and created false memories (Anisfeld & Knapp).[13]

Staged naturalistic events

Subjects were invited in an office and were told to wait there. After this they had to recall the inventory of the visited office. Subjects recognized objects consistent with the “office schema” although they did not appear in the office. (Brewer & Treyens, 1981)[13]

Response to meta-analysis

It has been argued[by whom?] that Loftus and Palmer did not control for outside factors coming from individual participants, such as participants’ emotions or alcohol intake, along with many other factors. Despite criticisms such as this, this particular study is extremely relevant to legal cases regarding false memory. The Loftus and Palmer automobile study allowed for the Devlin Committee to create the Devlin Report, which suggested that eyewitness testimony is not reliable standing on its own.

Reliability of memory recall

Presuppositions

Presuppositions are an implication through chosen language. If a person is asked, “What shade of blue was the wallet?” The questioner is, in translation, saying, “The wallet was blue. What shade was it?” The question’s phrasing provides the respondent with a supposed “fact”. This presupposition provides two separate effects: true effect and false effect.

True effect says that the object implied to have existed does exist. With that, the respondent’s recall is strengthened, more readily available, and easier to extrapolate from. In true effect, presuppositions make a detail more readily recalled. For example, it would be less likely that a respondent would remember a wallet was blue if the prompt did not say that it was blue. False effect is that the object implied to have existed never was present. Despite this, the respondent is convinced otherwise and allows it to manipulate their memory. It can also alter responses to later questions to keep consistency. Regardless of the effect being true or false, the respondent is attempting to conform to the supplied information, because they assume it to be true.[citation needed]

Construction hypothesis

Construction hypothesis has major implications for explanations on the malleability of memory. Upon asking a respondent a question that provides a presupposition, the respondent will provide a recall in accordance with the presupposition (if accepted to exist in the first place). The respondent will recall the object or detail. The construction hypothesis says that if a true piece of information being provided can alter a respondent’s answer, then so can a false piece of information.[14]

Skeleton theory

Loftus developed the skeleton theory after having run an experiment involving 150 subjects from the University of Washington.[citation needed][15] The skeleton theory explains the idea of how a memory is recalled, which is split into two categories: the acquisition processes and the retrieval processes.

The acquisition processes are in three separate steps. First, upon the original encounter, the observer selects a stimulus to focus on. The information that the observer can focus on compared to the information in the situation is very small. In other words, a lot is going on around us and we only pick up on a small portion. Therefore, the observer must make a selection on the focal point. Second, our visual perception must be translated into statements and descriptions. The statements represent a collection of concepts and objects; they are the link between the event occurrence and the recall. Third, the perceptions are subject to any “external” information being provided before or after the interpretation. This subsequent set of information can alter recall.

The retrieval processes come in two steps. First, the memory and imagery is regenerated. This perception is subject to what foci the observer has selected, along with the information provided before or after the observation. Second, the linking is initiated by a statement response, “painting a picture” to make sense of what was observed. This retrieval process results in either an accurate memory or a false memory.

Relational processing

Memory retrieval has been associated with the brain’s relational processing. In associating two events (in reference to false memory, say tying a testimony to a prior event), there are verbatim and gist representations. Verbatim matches to the individual occurrences (i.e. I do not like dogs because when I was five a chihuahua bit me) and gist matches to general inferences (i.e. I do not like dogs because they are mean). Keeping in line with the fuzzy-trace theory, which suggests false memories are stored in gist representations (which retrieves both true and false recall), Storbeck & Clore (2005) wanted to see how change in mood affected the retrieval of false memories. After using the measure of a word association tool called the Deese–Roediger–McDermott paradigm, the subjects’ moods were manipulated. Moods were either oriented towards being more positive, more negative, or were left unmanipulated. Findings suggested that a more negative mood made critical details, stored in gist representation, less accessible.[16] This would imply that false memories are less likely to occur when a subject was in a worse mood.

Therapy-induced memory recovery

Recovery strategies

Memories recovered through therapy have become more difficult to distinguish between simply being repressed or having existed in the first place. Therapists have used strategies such as hypnotherapy, repeated questioning, and bibliotherapy. These strategies may provoke the recovery of nonexistent events or inaccurate memories.[7][17][18][19] A recent report indicates that similar strategies may have produced false memories in several therapies in the century before the modern controversy on the topic which took place in the 1980s and 1990s.[20] In The Myth of Repressed Memory: False memories and allegations of Sexual AbuseElizabeth Loftus writes about how easy it is for her as a therapist to mold people’s memories, or prompt them to recall a nonexistent broken glass.[21]

For her there are different possibilities to create false therapy-induced memory. One is the unintentional suggestions of therapists. For example, a therapist might tell their client that, on the basis of their symptoms, it is quite likely that they had been abused as a child. Once this “diagnosis” is made, the therapist sometimes urges the patient to pursue the recalcitrant memories. It is a problem resulting from the fact that people create their own social reality with external information.[22]

Laurence and Perry conducted a study testing the ability to induce memory recall through hypnosis. Subjects were put into a hypnotic state and later woken up. Observers suggested that the subjects were woken up by a loud noise. Nearly half of the subjects being tested concluded that this was true, despite it being false. Although, by therapeutically altering the subject’s state, they may have been led to believe that what they were being told was true.[23] Because of this, the respondent has a false recall.

A 1989 study focusing on hypnotizability and false memory separated accurate and inaccurate memories recalled. In open-ended question formation, 11.5% of subjects recalled the false event suggested by observers. In a multiple-choice format, no participants claimed the false event had happened. This result led to the conclusion that hypnotic suggestions produce shifts in focus, awareness, and attention. Despite this, subjects do not mix fantasy up with reality.[9]

Therapy-induced memory recovery is a prevalent subcategory of memory recall prompting discussion of false memory syndrome. This phenomenon is loosely defined, and not a part of the DSM. However, the syndrome suggests that false memory can be declared a syndrome when recall of a false or inaccurate memory takes great effect on your life. This false memory can completely alter the orientation of your personality and lifestyle.[9]

The “lost-in-the-mall” technique is another recovery strategy. This is essentially a repeated suggestion pattern. The person whose memory is to be recovered is persistently said to have gone through an experience even if it may have not happened. This strategy can cause the person to recall the event as having occurred, despite its falsehood.[24]

Legal cases

Therapy-induced memory recovery has made frequent appearances in legal cases, particularly those regarding sexual abuse.[citation needed] Therapists can often aid in creating a false memory in a victim’s mind, intentionally or unintentionally. They will associate a patient’s behavior with the fact that they have been a victim of sexual abuse, thus helping the memory occur. They use memory enhancement techniques such as hypnosis dream analysis to extract memories of sexual abuse from victims. According to the FMSF (False Memory Syndrome Foundation), these memories are false and are produced in the very act of searching for and employing them in a life narrative. In Ramona v. Isabella,[citation needed] two therapists wrongly prompted a recall that their patient, Holly Ramona, had been sexually abused by her father. It was suggested that the therapist, Isabella, had implanted the memory in Ramona after use of the hypnotic drug sodium amytal. After a nearly unanimous decision, Isabella had been declared negligent towards Holly Ramona. This 1994 legal issue played a massive role in shedding light on the possibility of false memories’ occurrences.

In another legal case where false memories were used, they helped a man to be acquitted of his charges. Joseph Pacely had been accused of breaking into a woman’s home with the intent to sexually assault her. The woman had given her description of the assailant to police shortly after the crime had happened. During the trial, memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus testified that memory is fallible and there were many emotions that played a part in the woman’s description given to police. Loftus has published many studies consistent with her testimony.[14][25][26] These studies suggest that memories can easily be changed around and sometimes eyewitness testimonies are not as reliable as many believe.

Another notable case of Maxine Berry, Maxine grew up in the custody of her mother, who opposed the father having contact with her (Berry & Berry, 2001). When the father expressed his desire to attend his daughter’s high school graduation, the mother enrolled Maxine in therapy, ostensibly to deal with the stress of seeing her father. The therapist pressed Maxine to recover memories of sex abuse by her father. Maxine broke down under the pressure and had to be psychiatrically hospitalized. She had her tubes tied, so she would not have children and repeat the cycle of abuse. With the support of her husband and primary care physician, Maxine eventually realized that her memories were false and filed a suit for malpractice. The suit brought to light the mother’s manipulation of mental health professionals to convince Maxine that she had been sexually abused by her father. In February 1997 Jennifer Gerrietts, Argus Leader, South Dakota Maxine Berry, sued her therapists and clinic that treated her from 1992-1995 and, she says, made her falsely believe she had been sexually and physically abused as a child when no such abuse ever occurred. The lawsuit, filed in February 1997 in Minnehaha Co. Circuit Court South Dakota, states that therapist Lynda O’Connor-Davis had an improper relationship with Berry, both during and after her treatment. The suit also names psychologist Vail Williams, psychiatrist Dr. William Fuller and Charter Hospital and Charter Counseling Center as defendants. Berry and her husband settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money.[citation needed]

Although there have been many legal cases in which false memory appears to have been a factor, this does not ease the process of distinguishing between false memory and real recall. Sound therapeutic strategy can help this differentiation, by either avoiding known controversial strategies or to disclosing controversy to a subject.[7][9][27] In each case, the recovered memory therapy was declared inadmissible and not scientifically sound. The fact that recovered memories cannot necessarily distinguish between true and false meant the quality of evidence was weakened and the cases concluded against the therapists. The objection to therapeutic recovery techniques has been argued by comparing the ethics of memory elimination techniques such as electroconvulsive therapy.[19]

Harold Merskey published a paper on the ethical issues of recovered-memory therapy.[27] He suggests that if a patient had pre-existing severe issues in their life, it is likely that “deterioration” will occur to a relatively severe extent upon memory recall. This deterioration is a physical parallel to the emotional trauma being surfaced. There may be tears, writhing, or many other forms of physical disturbance. The occurrence of physical deterioration in memory recall coming from a patient with relatively minor issues prior to therapy could be an indication of the recalled memory’s potential falsehood.[27]

In children

If a child experienced abuse, it is not typical for them to disclose the details of the event when confronted in an open-ended manner.[28] Trying to indirectly prompt a memory recall can lead to the conflict of source attribution, as if repeatedly questioned the child might try to recall a memory to satisfy a question. The stress being put on the child can make recovering an accurate memory more difficult.[5] Some people hypothesise that as the child continuously attempts to remember a memory, they are building a larger file of sources that the memory could be derived from, potentially including sources other than genuine memories. Children that have never been abused but undergo similar response-eliciting techniques can disclose events that never occurred.[28] If one concludes that the child’s recalled memory is false, it is a type I error. Assuming the child did not recall an existing memory, it is a type II error.

One of children’s most notable setbacks in memory recall is source misattribution. Source misattribution is the flaw in deciphering between potential origins of a memory. The source could come from an actual occurring perception, or it can come from an induced and imagined event. Younger children, preschoolers in particular, find it more difficult to discriminate between the two.[29] Lindsay & Johnson (1987) concluded that even children approaching adolescence struggle with this, as well as recalling an existent memory as a witness. Children are significantly more likely to confuse a source between being invented or existent.[30]

Commonly held false memories

The Bologna station clock, subject of a collective false memory

Similar false memories are sometimes shared by multiple people.[31][32] One such false memory is that the name of the Berenstain Bears was once spelled Berenstein.[33][34] Another example consists of false memories of a 1990s movie titled Shazaam starring comedian Sinbad as a genie, which may be a conflation of memories of the comedian wearing a genie costume during a TV presentation of Sinbad the Sailor movies in 1994,[31][35] and a similarly named 1996 film Kazaam featuring a genie played by Shaquille O’Neal.[31]

A 2010 study examined people who were familiar with the clock at Bologna Centrale railway station, which had been damaged in the Bologna massacre bombing in August 1980. In the study, 92% falsely remembered that the clock had remained stopped since the bombing; in fact, the clock was repaired shortly after the attack but was again stopped 16 years later as a symbolic commemoration of it.[32]

In 2010 the phenomenon of collective false memory was dubbed the “Mandela effect” by self-described “paranormal consultant” Fiona Broome, in reference to a false memory she reports of the death of South African leader Nelson Mandela in the 1980s (when he was in fact still alive), which she claims is shared by “perhaps thousands” of other people.[36] Broome has speculated about alternate realities as an explanation, but most commentators suggest that these are instead examples of false memories shaped by similar factors affecting multiple people,[37][38][31][39][34][40][41] such as social reinforcement of incorrect memories,[42][43] or false news reports and misleading photographs influencing the formation of memories based on them.[44][43]

See also

  • False memory syndrome, a condition in which a person’s identity and relationships are affected by strongly believed but false memories of traumatic experiences.
  • Source-monitoring error, an effect in which memories are incorrectly attributed to different experiences than the ones that caused them.
  • Misinformation effect, false memories caused by exposure to misleading information presented between the encoding of an event and its subsequent recall.
  • Confabulation, the production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories without the conscious intention to deceive.
  • Repressed memory, the idea that traumatic memories can be repressed and also potentially brought back through therapy.
  • Jamais vu, the feeling of unfamiliarity with recognised memories.
  • Cryptomnesia, a memory that is not recognised as such.

Notes …

References

Further reading

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

 Story 3: South Korean President Moon Meets North Korean Chairman Kim Tuesday for 2018 Summit Meeting — Denuclearization of Korea On Agenda —  U.S. Accuses Russia of Violating U.N. Sanctions On North Korea — Videos

Predictions on Third Inter-Korean Summit

LIVE/NEWSCENTER] 2018 Inter-Korean Summit Pyeongyang D-1: Latest from Main Press Center

Detailed schedule of 2018 Inter-Korean Summit Pyeongyang

Live: Moon Jae-in leaves Seoul for Pyongyang summit韩国总统离开首尔前往会见金正恩

Moon Jae-in, the Republic of Korea president, is leaving Seoul for Pyongyang to meet Kim Jong Un, the top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), who will greet him at the airport in the DPRK capital.

S. Korean business leaders to attend inter-Korean summit

UN: US accuses Russia of N. Korean ‘sanctions violations’

UN Security Council to hold urgent meeting on Monday on North Korea sanctions implementation

Two Koreas hold high-stakes summit with nuclear talks in jeopardy

By Hyonhee Shin and Joyce Lee

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in is set to cross the heavily militarised border on Tuesday for his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, seeking to cement a breakthrough in faltering nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

The inter-Korean summit will be a litmus test for another meeting Kim has recently proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump, giving clues to whether Kim is serious about denuclearisation, a commitment he made at their first encounter in June.

Trump has asked Moon to be “chief negotiator” between himself and Kim, according to Moon’s aides, after Trump cancelled a trip to Pyongyang by his secretary of state last month.

“I’d like to have frank dialogue with Chairman Kim on how to find a point of contact between U.S. demands for denuclearisation and North Korea’s demands for ending hostile relations and security guarantees,” Moon told a meeting with senior secretaries on Monday.

Moon, himself the offspring of a family displaced by the 1950-53 Korean War, will fly into the North’s capital of Pyongyang, landing at 10 a.m. (0300 GMT), his chief of staff Im Jong-seok told a news briefing on Monday. He is expected to be greeted by Kim before an official welcoming ceremony.

The two leaders will sit down for formal talks after lunch, which will be followed by a musical performance and welcome dinner.

Accompanying corporate executives, including Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee and the chiefs of SK Group and LG Group, will meet with North Korean Deputy Prime Minister Ri Ryong Nam in charge of economic affairs, Im said.

On Wednesday, Moon and Kim are expected to unveil a joint statement, and a separate military pact designed to defuse tensions and prevent armed clashes, Im said.

Moon will return home early Thursday.

‘EVERYTHING IN BLANK’

Moon is hoping to help jumpstart nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington, by engineering a proposal that combines a concrete framework for the North’s denuclearisation and a joint declaration ending the 1950-53 Korean War, Seoul officials said.

The war ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving U.S.-led U.N. forces including South Korea technically still at war with the North.

But U.S. officials remain “unenthusiastic” about declaring an end to the war without any substantial action toward denuclearisation from the North, Seoul officials said.

South Korea is pinning high hopes on Kim’s remarks to Moon’s special envoys earlier this month that he wants to achieve denuclearisation within Trump’s first term in office ending in early 2021, the first time line he has given.

Agreeing on a timetable is a core task for Moon, as it would induce U.S. action, said Lee Jung-chul, a professor at Soongsil University in Seoul.

“Given U.S. scepticism that South Korea may have oversold Kim’s willingness to denuclearise, how President Moon delivers his sincerity toward denuclearisation to Trump would be a key factor for the fate of their second summit,” Lee told a forum on Monday in Seoul.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/two-koreas-hold-high-stakes-summit-nuclear-talks-150704972.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1132, August 28, 2017, Story 1: President Trump Warns Facebook, Google, and Twitter Be Careful or Face Federal Regulation For Political Bias — The Answer Is More Competition Not Federal Regulation or Antitrust Lawsuits — Videos — Story 2: FBI Leaked To Media To Get Support For Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court Surveillance Warrant — Videos — Story 3: Senior Department of Justice Official Bruce G. Ohr Testified Before Congress — FBI Knew Christopher Steele Was Biased Against Trump and Steele Dossier Funded By Clinton Campaign Through Fusion GPS — FBI Mislead Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018

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 Image result for cartoons google biasSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Story 1: President Trump Warns Facebook, Google, and Twitter Be Careful or Face Federal Regulation For Political Bias — The Answer Is More Competition Not Federal Regulation or Antitrust Lawsuits — Videos —

Trump vs. Google

Trump accuses Google suppressing conservative voices

Trump Accuses Google of Highlighting Negative Stories

Trump accuses Google suppressing conservative voices

President Donald Trumps Latest Battles Are With Google And Canada | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

Trump Warns Google, Facebook, And Twitter To ‘Be Careful’

President Trump Warns Tech Companies After Google Tweets: ‘Better Be Careful’ | TIME

Rigged or not? Trump calls out Google on deliberately promoting negative news of him

Trump accuses Google of biased searches, warns ‘be careful’

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Google and other U.S. tech companies of rigging search results about him “so that almost all stories & news is BAD.” He offered no evidence of bias, but a top adviser said the White House is “taking a look” at whether Google should face federal regulation.

Google pushed back sharply, saying Trump’s claim simply wasn’t so: “We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

The president’s tweets echoed his familiar attacks on the news media – and a conservative talking point that California-based tech companies run by CEOs with liberal leanings don’t give equal weight to opposing political viewpoints. They also revealed anew his deep-seated frustration he doesn’t get the credit he believes he deserves.

President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and United States Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and United States Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The president, who has said he runs on little sleep, jumped onto Twitter before dawn Tuesday to rehash his recent complaints about alleged suppression of conservative voices and positive news about him.

He followed that up with vague threats in Oval Office comments.

“I think Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people, and I think that’s a very serious thing. That’s a very serious charge,” Trump said, adding that Google, Twitter, Facebook and others “better be careful, because you can’t do that to people.”

Trump claimed that “we have literally thousands and thousands of complaints coming in. … So I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they’re really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful.”

Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, told reporters later that the White House is “taking a look” at whether Google searches should be subject to some government regulation. That would be a noteworthy development since Trump often points proudly to his cutting of government regulations as a spur for economic gains.

In his tweets, Trump said – without offering evidence – that “Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?” He added, again with no evidence, that “96% of results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous.”

A search query Tuesday morning, several hours after the president tweeted, showed stories from CNN, ABC News, Fox News and the MarketWatch business site, among others. A similar search later in the day for “Trump” had Fox News, the president’s favored cable network, among the top results.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, said its aim is to make sure its search engine users quickly get the most relevant answers.

“Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology,” the company said in a statement. “Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Experts suggested that Trump’s comments showed a misunderstanding of how search engines work.

Google searches aim to surface the most relevant pages in response to a user’s query, even before he or she finishes typing. The answers that appear first are the ones Google’s formulas, with some help from human content reviewers, deem to be the most authoritative, informative and relevant. Many factors help decide the initial results, including how much time people spend on a page, how many other pages link to it, how well it’s designed and more.

Trump and some supporters have long accused Silicon Valley companies of being biased against them. While some company executives may lean liberal, they have long asserted that their products are without political bias.

Media analyst Ken Doctor said it doesn’t make sense for mass-market businesses like Google to lean either way politically. He characterized the complaints as a “sign of our times,” adding that, years ago, if the head of General Electric was supporting a Republican candidate, people who disagreed wouldn’t then go out and boycott GE products.

“The temperature has risen on this,” Doctor said.

Steven Andres, who teaches about management information systems at San Diego State University, said people often assume that if you give a computer the same inputs no matter where you are that you “get the same outputs.”

But it doesn’t work that way, he said. “You’re seeing different things every moment of the day and the algorithms are always trying to change the results.”

Trump didn’t say what he based his tweets on. But conservative activist Paula Boylard had said in a weekend blog post that she found “blatant prioritization of left-leaning and anti-Trump media outlets” in search results.

Boylard based her judgments on the political leanings of media outlets on a list by Sharyl Attkisson, host of Sinclair Television’s “Full Measure” and author of “The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, Think, and How You Vote.” Sinclair is a significant outlet for conservative views.

Trump began complaining about the issue earlier this month as social media companies moved to ban right-wing “Infowars” conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms. The president also argues regularly – and falsely – that the news media avoid writing positive stories about him and his administration.

Jones is being sued for saying the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was staged. Jones has since said he believes the shooting did occur and has argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because he was acting as a journalist.

Trump has praised Jones’ “amazing” reputation.

The issue is also of concern on Capitol Hill, where the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., recently announced that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is scheduled to testify before the panel on Sept. 5 about the platform’s algorithms and content monitoring.

___

Ortutay reported from New York.

___

Follow Darlene Superville and Barbara Ortutay on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap and http://www.twitter.com/barbaraortutay

A cursor moves over Google’s search engine page on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Portland, Ore. Political leanings don’t factor into Google’s search algorithm. But the authoritativeness of page links the algorithm spits out and the perception of thousands of human raters do. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Trump: Facebook, Twitter, Google are ‘treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful’

  • Trump said in a tweet that Google’s search engine had “rigged” news story search results to show mostly “bad” stories about him and other conservatives. He later criticized Facebook and Twitter.
  • He says Google is prioritizing left-leaning outlets and warns that the situation “will be addressed.”
  • The president’s comments come a week before Google, Facebook and Twitter testify before Congress.
  • Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic advisor, says the White House is “looking into” whether Google suppresses positive articles about the president.

President Trump accuses Google of rigging search results  

President Donald Trump doubled down on threats against FacebookTwitter and Google Tuesday afternoon, saying the social platforms are “treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful.”

“Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people and I think that’s a very serious thing and it’s a very serious charge,” Trump told reporters after a meeting with the president of FIFA. “They better be careful because they can’t do that to people.”

A Twitter spokesperson, when asked to respond to Trump’s comments, pointed to previous statements and congressional testimony denying any form of conservative bias on the platform. A spokesperson for Facebook did not immediately return request for comment.

Trump earlier Tuesday accused Google of altering search results to prioritize negative coverage and left-leaning outlets and warned that the issue “will be addressed.”

Trump said in a tweet that the tech giant’s search engine had “rigged” news story results to show mostly “bad” stories about him and other conservatives.

“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media,” the president said.

“In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.”

Trump added: “Illegal? 96% of … results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”

Around 11 a.m. ET, Trump deleted the original tweets and reposted practically identical language.

“When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.

“Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology. Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Trump also praised the performance of the Nasdaq Compositeindex, which climbed above 8,000 points for the first time ever Monday.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

NASDAQ has just gone above 8000 for the first time in history!

Google’s parent company Alphabet is a key driver of the Nasdaq’s performance. The firm’s shares were under pressure following Trump’s comments, down around 0.5 percent.

Later Tuesday, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic advisor, told Bloomberg that the White House is “looking into” whether Google suppresses positive articles about the president. Kudlow did not provide details on how the White House was looking into the matter.

Shannon Pettypiece

@spettypi

Asked Larry Kudlow about Trump comments on Google. He said they are “looking into it” and doing some “investigations” and “analysis”

Some reports have suggested the president was referring to an unscientific report by conservative news website PJ Media, which claimed that 96 percent of Google search results for the word “Trump” showed left-leaning publications. The report places outlets including CNN, The Washington Post and The Guardian on the left of the political spectrum, while placing the likes of Fox News, the New York Post and the Daily Mail on the right.

Big tech to face Congress

Trump’s comments couldn’t be more timely. Next week, Google, Facebook and Twitter representatives will testify before Congress, discussing censorship and election meddling.

The hearings mark the second time representatives from all the companies will be on Capitol Hill to address concerns of election interference. For Facebook, it will be the third, following CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s grilling earlier this year over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg are among those confirmed to be attending the hearings.

Facebook and Twitter have suspended hundreds of accounts ahead of the November midterm elections to avoid interference from foreign actors. Facebook last week said it had removed 652 pages, groups and accounts linked to Iran over “coordinated inauthentic behavior” targeting people in the U.S., the U.K., Latin America and the Middle East. As of Tuesday, Twitter has removed 770 accounts over “coordinated manipulation” ahead of the midterms.

Trump’s comments as a whole appear to represent a broader view among conservative circles that digital platforms are censoring them.

The president recently accused Twitter of “shadow banning” — allegedly limiting search results — for prominent Republicans, and called the practice “discriminatory and illegal.” Twitter has denied the claims.

And earlier this month, multiple tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google’s YouTube, Pinterest and Spotify, clamped down on content by the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, removing podcasts, pages and other content.

Tech companies said they removed Jones for violating policies related to hate speech and harassment. “Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users,” Apple said at the time.

Some right-wing commentators have criticized the mass takedown of Jones’ content, saying it amounted to censorship.

—CNBC’s Sara Salinas contributed to this report.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/28/trump-accuses-google-of-rigging-search-results-in-favor-of-bad-coverage.html

Story 2: FBI Leaked To Media To Get Support For Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court Surveillance Warrant — Videos —

Deep State’s plot for FISA warrants revealed?

FBI Leaked To Media, Used Media’s Reports To Get FISA Warrants, Congressman Says

Steele’s communications with DOJ raise questions

Rep. Goodlatte now preparing Steele dossier subpoenas

Glen Simpson Gave Bruce Ohr A Memory Stick To Give To FBI After Steele Was Fired

GOP rep touches off firestorm with claim FBI leaked info, used stories to get FISA warrants

A Republican congressman touched off a firestorm Tuesday after claiming on Twitter that his office had information suggesting the FBI leaked information to the press and used the resulting articles to help obtain surveillance warrants.

“We’ve learned NEW information suggesting our suspicions are true: FBI/DOJ have previously leaked info to the press, and then used those same press stories as a separate source to justify FISA’s,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., tweeted overnight.

The claim stemmed in part from FBI intelligence analyst Jonathan Moffa’s Friday testimony behind closed doors before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

A source with knowledge of the testimony initially told Fox News that Moffa said FBI personnel would use media reports based on information they leaked to justify applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, echoing Meadows. The source said Moffa, who worked with controversial former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, acknowledged this “had been a practice in the past.”

But an FBI official pushed back, telling Fox News the initial claims about Moffa’s testimony were incorrect.

The source later clarified that Moffa testified the FBI routinely uses media material to corroborate their work product, including FISA materials, but “never said directly ‘we utilize FBI leaks for FISAs.’” The source maintained, however, that the FBI has a “culture of leaking for their own gain” and uses media reports to support their work: “There’s quite a bit of evidence raising concerns that the FBI engages in this without Moffa saying it.”

Republican member of the House Oversight Committee Mark Meadows says he has 'about 60 questions' for the DOJ official about his connection to the anti-Trump dossier, says the integrity of the FBI and the Department of Justice are at stake.

Republicans have long questioned to what extent leaked information, related to the unverified anti-Trump dossier, was used as a basis for surveillance warrants against former Trump adviser Carter Page in 2016 — when the bureau was led by James Comey and deputy Andrew McCabe.

The source told Fox News that Moffa did not specifically confirm whether leaking was employed with regard to the dossier.

Another source familiar with Moffa’s testimony offered a more nuanced version of events. The source told Fox News that Moffa said the FBI keeps track of open source reports related to their cases — and when asked whether a FISA application would reference a news account, he said it could be possible, hypothetically, but the FBI aims to find better information.

The source stressed that this was not related to any specific situation and that Moffa did not suggest this was a common practice at the FBI.

Meadows, though, largely stood by his claims – yet also offered a clarification in a Tuesday afternoon statement to Fox News, drawing a distinction between what Moffa testified and what his office has learned from other materials.

“Jonathan Moffa made it clear to the committee the FBI routinely uses media reports to corroborate analytic work product. We have emails and texts plainly showing the FBI leaks to the media, raising major red flags. If FBI executives want the American people to believe they haven’t used leaks to their advantage, they are not being honest,” Meadows said in the statement, while saying this includes FISA materials.

Meadows also told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” earlier Tuesday that the committee had evidence of the FBI’s practice that would be “hard to refute.”

“We know that some people at the Department of Justice and the FBI actually gave information to the media, then the stories were reported. Then they used those reports to justify further investigations,” Meadows said. “You know, that’s like saying, we’re going to incriminate on one hand, and be the jury on the other. It just doesn’t work that way.”

The Daily Caller first reported on the specifics of Moffa’s claims.

The Trump dossier, which contained salacious allegations about the then-presidential candidate, was compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele. Steele, who was also working as an FBI source, had been hired by research firm Fusion GPS to compile details for the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

One source familiar with Moffa’s testimony told Fox News that his statements raise concerns that the bureau indeed used this practice with the dossier, referencing an article written by Yahoo! News’ Michael Isikoff.

The Isikoff article was published on Sept. 23, 2016, focusing on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. According to a House GOP memo earlier this year, the Isikoff article did “not corroborate the Steele dossier” as the article was “derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.” Yet the subsequent FISA application to spy on Page cited the Isikoff article, among other pieces of evidence.

“The [Carter] Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not properly provide information to Yahoo News,” the memo read. “Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS.”

Moffa served on the FBI’s “Mid-Year Exam,” the code name for the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information and use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Moffa’s name often appeared in text message conversations between former FBI officials Strzok and Page, who came under scrutiny for their anti-Trump and politically charged exchanges. One text message exchange between the two on July 24, 2016 discussed their need to read “Moffa’s thing,” referencing an FBI “302”—which is an interview or witness deposition in an FBI investigation.

DOCUMENTS SUGGEST POSSIBLE COORDINATION BETWEEN CIA, FBI, OBAMA WH AND DEM OFFICIALS EARLY IN TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE: INVESTIGATORS 

Another reference was on Aug. 8, 2016.

“Hey no update yet, waiting on Moffa, he’s in with Dina at mtg scheduled to end at 11,” Strzok texted Page. An hour later, he added: “Hey, talked to him, will let him fill you in. Internal joint cyber cd Intel piece for D, scenesetter for McDonough brief, Trainor [head of FBI cyber division] directed all cyber info be pulled. I’d let Bill and Jim hammer it out first, though it would be best for D to have it before the Wed WH session.”

In the texts, “D” referred to former FBI Director James Comey, and “McDonough” referred to former chief of staff for former President Barack Obama, Denis McDonough, according to GOP investigators.

Page left the bureau in May, and Strzok was fired earlier this month.

On Tuesday, House lawmakers have the chance to question Justice Department senior official Bruce Ohr on the same FBI practice, as Ohr testifies behind closed doors.

Ohr had frequent contact with Steele before and after the publication of the dossier, and the FBI’s ultimate decision to cut ties with the ex-British spy. Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS at the time of the creation of the dossier.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/28/fbi-agent-says-bureau-leaked-stories-then-used-them-to-get-fisa-warrants.html

 

Bruce Ohr

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Bruce Genesoke Ohr (born March 16, 1962) is a United States Department of Justice official. A former associate deputy attorney general and former director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF),[1] as of February 2018 Ohr was working in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.[2] He is an expert on transnational organized crime and has spent most of his career overseeing gang- and racketeering-related prosecutions,[3] including Russian organized crime.[4]

Ohr was little-known until 2018, when he became a subject of conservative conspiracy theories[5][6][7] and Republican scrutiny[8] over his purported involvement in starting the probe on Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was criticized by President Donald Trump.[5][6] There is no evidence that Ohr was involved in the start of the Russia probe.[7] According to a comprehensive review by ABC News, Ohr “had little impact on the FBI’s growing probe into Trump and his associates.”[3]

Education

Ohr graduated from Harvard College in 1984 with a degree in physics, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1987.[9]

Career

Ohr worked for a law firm in San Francisco before becoming a career civil servant at the U.S. Department of Justice,[4] ultimately rising to the rank of Associate Deputy Attorney General. He was an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1999,[3] and was head of the office’s Violent Gangs Unit before joining the Justice Department’s Washington headquarters as the head of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Criminal Division, where Ohr managed teams investigating and prosecuting crime syndicates in Russia and eastern Europe.[4] In 2006, Ohr was one of a number of U.S. government officials who made the decision to revoke the visa of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin ally.[4]

In 2010, Ohr moved to a new position as counsel for international relations in DOJ’s Transnational organized crime and international affairs section. He became director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) in 2014.[4] He later became associate deputy attorney general, but lost that position in late 2017, although he remained director of OCDETF for a time.[10] Ohr was demoted by the Department of Justice amid the Senate Intelligence Committee’s discovery of his meetings with Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson.[11]

Russia probe

Ohr served as the Justice Department contact for Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent commissioned to author the Trump–Russia dossier. The dossier was prepared, under a contract to the DNC and the Clinton campaign, by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. According to a Republican-led investigation, during the 2016 election, Fusion GPS hired Bruce’s wife Nellie Ohr, an independent contractor and Russia specialist, to conduct “research and analysis” of Donald Trump.[10][12][13] A comprehensive report done by ABC News disputes that Ohr’s wife worked on the dossier, instead stating that she “was not directly involved in the ‘dossier’ while she worked for Fusion GPS.”[3]

Ohr was mentioned in the controversial Nunes memo, written by Devin Nunes, chair of the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee, which was released in February 2018. The full committee did not sign off on the memo, and Democrats in the committee produced their own memo which largely contradicted the Nunes memo.[14] The Nunes memo, which focused on the Justice Department’s process for obtaining a FISA warrant to wiretap Trump associate Carter Page in October 2016, said that Ohr was aware of Steele’s bias against Trump in September 2016.[15][10] The memo alleged that Steele’s reported bias against Trump was not mentioned in the FISA warrant application, and that the FISA court was misled.[15][2] A competing memo by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee said that the FISA warrant made clear that the Steele dossier was paid opposition research likely intended to discredit the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, and that the court was therefore not misled.[16] Ohr documented Steele’s opinions on Trump in November 2016 (several weeks after the initial FISA warrant against Page had been approved by the FISA court), saying Steele “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”[16] Ohr was not assigned to work in counterintelligence operations and was not known to be involved in obtaining the FISA warrant.[2] According to BBC News, the fact that Ohr recorded Steele’s opinions “somewhat [undercuts] the accusation of rampant bias within the department, given that a truly compromised individual wouldn’t jot that sort of thing down.”[14]

In 2018, Ohr became the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories which alleged that he played an important role in starting the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.[5][6] The conspiracy theories allege that the origins of the Russia probe were biased and were intended to undermine then-candidate Trump.[6] This theory assumes that the probe was started because of the Steele dossier. But in fact the July 2016 launch of the FBI investigation was triggered, not by the dossier, but by a report that Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos knew, before it became public knowledge, that the Russians possessed damaging information about Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands” of stolen emails.[17] This origin of the probe is confirmed in the Nunes memo itself.[18] Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has stated that as far as he knew, Ohr was not involved with the Russia investigation,[19] and told the House Judiciary Committee that Ohr had “no role” in the investigation.[11] The claim that the origins of the Russia probe were tainted is unsubstantiated.[6] The FBI did not publicly reveal the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign during the campaign, in part so as not to hurt his electoral chances, contradicting the claim that the probe was an attempt to undermine Trump’s candidacy.[6]

Trump called Ohr a “disgrace” in a tweet in August 2018, and suggested that he would revoke Ohr’s security clearance.[7] There is no publicly available evidence that suggests Ohr mishandled sensitive information.[6] Trump’s threat to strip Ohr of his security clearance came amid threats to revoke the security clearances of a number of current and former officials who had criticized Trump or been involved in Russia probe.[20] According to The Washington Post, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her deputy Bill Shine discussed the best timing to announce the revocations as a way of distracting from unfavorable news cycles.[20][21] Rep. Jim Jordan, a critic of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, called for Ohr’s firing.[22][7]

On August 28, 2018, Ohr gave testimony in a closed hearing to two Republican-led House committees looking into decisions made by the DOJ ahead of the 2016 presidential election.[23]

References

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

Story 3: Senior Department of Justice Official Bruce G. Ohr Testified Before Congress — FBI Knew Christopher Steele Was Biased Against Trump and Steele Dossier Funded By Clinton Campaign Through Fusion GPS — FBI Mislead Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court — Videos

Jordan on revelations from Ohr’s closed-door testimony

Hannity: Blowing the Bruce Ohr case wide open

Jordan on revelations from Ohr’s closed-door testimony

Should Mueller interview Bruce Ohr?

Mueller, Huber have yet to interview Bruce Ohr

Trump renews demand that Justice Department official Bruce Ohr is fired for role in golden showers dossier saying ‘how the hell is he still employed?’

  • President Trump – for a second time – demanded senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr be fired
  • ‘How the hell is Bruce Ohr still employed at the Justice Department? Disgraceful!’ Trump tweeted on Wednesday
  • His call comes a day after Ohr spent eight hours on Capitol Hill being grilled by lawmakers on his ties to former British spy Christopher Steele
  • Steele’s unverified dossier claims Russia has blackmail information on Trump 
  • Republicans said Ohr’s testimony suggested the FBI had doubts about dossier’s credibility 

President Donald Trump is demanding – for a second time – senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr be fired, coming one day after the government employee was subject to a closed door grilling by members of Congress.

The president fumed at Ohr, asking ‘how the hell’ he still has a job and called it a ‘disgrace.’

Trump has repeatedly targeted Ohr, who is also on the administration’s list of officials who may lose their security clearance.

‘How the hell is Bruce Ohr still employed at the Justice Department? Disgraceful! Witch Hunt!,’ the president tweeted Wednesday.

Former associate deputy U.S. attorney general Bruce Ohr arrives to testify behind closed doors before the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees

President Trump has targeted Ohr repeatedly on Twitter and on Wednesday demanded - for a second time - Ohr be fired

This Morning’s Dr Chris Steele presents problems facing the NHS

Trump made his first call for the termination last week, citing Nellie Ohr’s ties to the company which commissioned the infamous and unverified Steele dossier during the presidential campaign.

Ohr was on Capitol Hill Tuesday for almost eight hours in a closed-door grilling with lawmakers.

The House is on August recess but Republican lawmakers returned for the chance to question Ohr, who was in contact with former British spy Christopher Steele, while Democratic lawmakers were represented by committee staff, ABC News reported.

Ohr gave lawmakers ‘a list of half a dozen’ senior FBI and Justice Departments officials who knew about his interactions, GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe told Fox News’ ‘Hannity’ Tuesday night.

Ohr had passed along Steele’s information from their contact to the FBI, even after the bureau had terminated its formal relationship with Steele over the spy’s leaks about their work to the media.

Republicans also were interested in how Steele’s dossier ended up in FBI hands. Ohr’s wife Nellie worked at Fusion GPS, the same firm that hired Steele to write the dossier although it’s been reported she did not work on that project.

‘We’ve confirmed that Bruce Ohr was a willing and constant conduit between Fusion GPS, paid for by the Clinton campaign, and the FBI,’ Republican Rep. Darrell Issa said on ‘Fox & Friends’ Wednesday morning without going into details.

‘He knew he was providing hearsay and double hearsay that would never stand up in court,’ Issa added.

Other Republicans said Ohr’s testimony suggested the FBI had doubts about dossier’s credibility when they sought a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign official Carter Page in October 2016.

The House Judiciary Committee and the The House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform have held multiple joint sessions with the players in the saga surrounding special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as part of their look into FBI and Justice Department activities related to the 2016 election. 

Trump and his allies claim that FBI surveillance of Page was a done through a tainted FISA warrant that relied on the Steele dossier.

Last month, documents released through a Freedom of Information Act request showed federal agents relied on more information than the Steele dossier to obtain the warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. 

Ohr is an expert on the Russian mafia and organized crime, work that brought him into contact with Steele, who specialized in Russia when he worked as a spy.

The two men met in 2007, when Steele still worked for MI-6 and Ohr was investigating Russian crime syndicates.

Steele went on to investigate ties between Trump and Russia for the research firm, Fusion GPS, where Ohr’s wife Nellie worked as a contractor.

Trump has slammed Ohr repeatedly on Twitter

Trump has slammed Ohr repeatedly on Twitter

Ohr had contact with former British spy Christopher Steele, whose unverified dossier alleged Russia had information it could use to blackmail Trump

Ohr had contact with former British spy Christopher Steele, whose unverified dossier alleged Russia had information it could use to blackmail Trump

Fusion GPS commissioned Steele to write the dossier on Trump that alleged the Russians have information they could use to blackmail the president, including an allegation – which Trump has denied – that he hired ‘a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him’ when he was in Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

Reports indicate Nellie Ohr did not work on the dossier and her time at Fusion GPS did not influence her husband’s work at DoJ.

Trump and his allies claim the Steele dossier was politically motivated by those in the government who do not want to see Trump be president.

Democrats, meanwhile, argue the Ohr testimony is another attempt to prove a conspiracy theory they say does not have merit.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6111033/Trump-fuming-Justice-Department-official-Bruce-Ohr-asking-hell-employed.html

 

Numerous congressional sources are telling SaraACarter.com that after Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr’s explosive closed-door testimony on Tuesday, lawmakers are gearing up to call his wife, Nellie Ohr, in for questioning regarding her work with the now-embattled research firm, Fusion GPS. Congress is also seeking access to Bruce Ohr’s text messages and emails with top FBI officials.

Fusion GPS was founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson and hired by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign to investigate alleged ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Nellie Ohr, a Russia expert who was hired by Fusion GPS in 2016 to investigate the Trump campaign, received multiple large sum payments from the research firm, according to a U.S. official, with direct knowledge of the payments.

The payments from the DNC and Clinton campaign were made through the law firm Perkins Coie, which represented both clients. The research firm also hired former British spy Christopher Steele, who was friends with the Ohrs and who compiled the now infamous and unverified anti-Trump dossier. Steele was not only paid by Fusion GPS for his work but according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, he was also being paid by the FBI from Jan. 1. 2016 to Nov. 1, 2016.

The U.S. official did not disclose the amount of money paid to Bruce Ohr’s wife through Simpson’s firm, but said it “was not chump change, that much I can say.”

The Washington Post first published in 2017 that the DNC and Clinton campaign paid for the research firm’s service to investigate the alleged Trump campaign’s ties with Russia. According to the Post, the Clinton campaign paid the law firm $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign finance records. On top of that, the DNC paid Perkins Coie $3.6 million, which was labeled in their disclosures as “legal and compliance consulting” since November 2015. So far, Congress has not disclosed the exact amount that Fusion GPS, or those involved, received for the research.

Lawmakers are also seeking all communications – texts and emails – between Bruce Ohr and top officials at the FBI. During Ohr’s testimony, he disclosed that he was communicating with former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Attorney Lisa Page and former FBI Special Agent Peter Stzrok, which was confirmed by Ohr’s handwritten notes obtained by lawmakers, as first reported by this outlet. McCabe was fired from his role at the FBI earlier this year by Attorney General Jeff Sessions after it was discovered by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz that he leaked information to the media and lied multiple times to investigators. Page left the FBI earlier this year and her lover, Strzok, was fired by the new FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich earlier this month.

“Bruce Ohr’s testimony before Congress highlighted the need for further interviews with key players that were involved in the backchannel negotiations between Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and the FBI,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) told SaraACarter.com. “Of particular concern will be direct testimony from Nellie Ohr as well as communications between Bruce Ohr and other FBI and DOJ officials much of which, formal requests for those documents have already been made.”

Of particular concern will be direct testimony from Nellie Ohr as well as communications between Bruce Ohr and other FBI and DOJ officials…

Meadows, who has already spoken to Justice Department officials, said he expects that the DOJ will be cooperative following Ohr’s deposition Tuesday.

“Conversations with the Department of Justice following the Bruce Ohr interview have indicated a new willingness to be transparent in a couple of key areas,” Meadows added.

According to several congressional officials who spoke to this outlet, Ohr’s testimony shed light on previous testimony given by Page and other FBI officials, who appeared to have downplayed or omitted their working relationship with Ohr.

As for Nellie Ohr, there was serious concern among congressional members that her husband, Bruce Ohr, did not disclose his wife’s work with Fusion GPS to the DOJ, which they said is a conflict of interest and raises serious legal questions.

Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett recently published a column that listed the possible legal violations Bruce Ohr could encounter for failing to disclose to the DOJ his wife’s payments from Fusion GPS, as well as his failure to inform the DOJ of his wife’s work:

Since his wife worked for Fusion GPS and contributed to the “dossier,” the relationship presented a disqualifying conflict of interest for Ohr. He was legally obligated under Justice Department regulations to recuse himself from any investigation in which his wife was involved.

Ohr did not seek a waiver of the conflict of interest. Instead, he omitted this information. Upon joining the Justice Department, he had signed an agreement stating that he would be fired for violating its rules. Inexplicably, he was not terminated, which only reinforces the impression that impropriety and concealment continued at the highest levels of the department.

Not only did Bruce Ohr fail to disclose that Fusion GPS was paying his wife, but it appears he did not fully report the nature of the work performed in financial disclosure reports as required under Justice Department regulations. Willfully filing a false government report constitutes a crime under federal law – specifically 8 U.S.C. (United States Code) 1001.

https://saraacarter.com/breaking-day-after-ohrs-testimony-congress-seeks-to-question-his-wife/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018, Breaking News, Story 1: Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, Age 69, Found Guilty of 8 of 18 Counts and Faces 8-12 Years in Prison on Bank and Tax Fraud — Nothing To Do With Trump — Videos — Story 2: Former Trump Personal Attorney Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Eight Counts of Campaign Finance Violations, Bank and Tax Fraud — Videos — Story 3: Mueller Investigation Has Found No Evidence of Trump/Russian Collusion and Voters Were Changed By Russians in 2016 President Election — Videos — Story 4: President Trump’s Supporters in West Virginia Still Wild About President As Approval Rating Declines From 50% to 45% — Videos —

Posted on August 23, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Bank Fraud, Banking System, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Fast and Furious, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Communications Commission, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Mental Illness, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Fraud, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare Spending | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, Age 69, Found Guilty of 8 of 18 Counts and Faces 8-12 Years in Prison on Bank and Tax Fraud — Videos

Paul Manafort found guilty on eight counts

Paul Manafort Convicted: How the Trial Unfolded

Paul Manafort found guilty on eight counts

What does Manafort verdict mean for the Mueller probe?

Opinion | Is this the worst day of Trump’s presidency?

President Trump’s Very Bad Afternoon Recapped | CNBC

How will the Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort verdicts affect Trump?

Kurtz: Forget the spin, it’s a rough period for Trump

What to know about the Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort verdicts

 

Manafort’s Choices: Work With Mueller, Wish for Trump Pardon, or Die in Prison

It’s not over for the president’s sleazy ex-campaign boss. He’s facing life in prison before his next trial even begins. The only way out is to side with the prosecution or POTUS.

08.22.18 5:15 AM ET

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, was convicted of eight counts of tax fraud and bank fraud by a federal jury in Virginia earlier Tuesday.

But it’s far from over for Manafort.

Unlike a typical defendant, Manafort still has several options available to him. His next move, and Trump’s response to it, could have explosive impact on the larger special counsel investigation and on the future of Trump’s presidency.

Next up for Manafort is sentencing. While all eight counts of conviction combined carry a maximum of 80 years in prison, he isn’t going to be locked up until 2098. Federal sentences are determined in part through a calculation based on the defendant’s prior criminal history (for Manafort, none) and the seriousness of the offense (for Manafort, very).

In determining the seriousness of the offense, Judge T.S. Ellis will consider the amount of the fraud, the sophistication of the scheme, and Manafort’s role as a leader. All things considered, Manafort likely faces a sentence of around eight to twelve years in prison. For a 69-year-old man, that could mean life behind bars.

And Manafort isn’t close to done. Mueller could choose to re-try Manafort on the ten counts on which the Virginia jury hung. That seems unlikely; Manafort’s sentence is hardly affected at all by the remaining hung counts, and Mueller’s team got all it needed from the eight counts of conviction.

Beyond that, Manafort goes on trial again next month in Washington, D.C. on an impressively well-rounded array of white-collar federal crimes. The indictment charges that Manafort worked as an unregistered foreign lobbyist in the United States, laundered millions of dollars through foreign bank accounts, lied to the Department of Justice, and—after he was charged with all of this—tried to tamper with witnesses, which got him thrown in jail pending trial in Virginia. Even if Manafort is acquitted in Washington, D.C. on all counts, it would have zero effect on the sentence he will receive on his conviction in Virginia. And if he gets convicted again in the second trial, his sentence could increase.

In short, Manafort now has been convicted in Virginia and he is looking at a scary-long sentence for a man of his age. The upcoming D.C. trial can only make that worse for him. So what options does he have left? And what are Trump’s potential responses to each course of action?

First, Manafort could just take his sentence and go to jail for the next decade or so. Sure, he will appeal (everybody does after trial), but the likelihood of the jury’s verdict being overturned is slim. Manafort also will ask the judge for a lenient sentence, but that request seems unlikely to succeed given the strength of the prosecution’s evidence and the extent of Manafort’s crimes.

Yet, it seems exceedingly unlikely that Manafort will simply take what’s coming to him. Nobody ever wants to be in prison, never mind potentially to die behind bars. Sometimes career criminals accept the possibility that their conduct will land them in prison for a long time. In the mafia, they’re called “stand-up guys,” and we’ve seen many defendants accept defeat and go off to serve their time. Manafort, sleazy as he might be, is not a hardened criminal, and doesn’t seem likely to grit his teeth and accept his fate in prison.

“Manafort, sleazy as he might be, is not a hardened criminal, and doesn’t seem likely to grit his teeth and accept his fate in prison.”

That leaves Manafort with two potential outs after his Virginia trial.

First, he can try to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller. It would be unusual but not entirely unheard of for a defendant to begin cooperating after trial. Defendants typically cooperate before trial because it is mutually advantageous for the prosecution and the defendant to get together as early as possible. Nonetheless, it is possible for a defendant to cooperate after a trial conviction but before sentencing. A sentence like the one Manafort now faces certainly can change a person’s perspective and willingness to flip. Of course, the prosecutor has to be interested as well. Mueller may decide to walk away, thinking: Manafort missed his chance to cooperate long ago, he challenged our case in court, we proved his guilt, and now he gets what’s coming to him.

Or Mueller could decide that Manafort might have information that is valuable enough to justify a post-trial deal. Manafort likely won’t get the same sentencing benefit he would have gotten if he had started cooperating before trial (as his former business partner and co-defendant Rick Gates did), but he still stands to do better than if he never cooperates at all. Manafort seems to be the rare defendant who could have information that is valuable enough to interest Mueller in post-trial cooperation.

We once tried and convicted a high-ranking member of the mafia on a murder charge, which resulted in a life sentence. We believed that that mobster had extraordinarily valuable information on other bosses and several unsolved murders. So we sent an FBI agent into prison to ask whether the gangster might consider cooperating. This defendant was an old-school, hardened guy, so he politely told the FBI agent he’d prefer to die in jail quietly rather than cooperate. The point is that, even though we had convicted this mobster at trial, we still wanted to cooperate him because we believed he had unique, dynamic information.

There is one question about the cooperation option for Manafort: why hasn’t he done it yet? Did Manafort think he could beat this case and the Washington D.C. case, or at least that he could roll the dice before going down the road of cooperation? Or does Manafort fear retaliation if he does cooperate from the Russian-backed oligarchs he once profited from? Cooperation is usually an all-or nothing proposition. A defendant can’t pick and choose which people he gives information about. So cooperation for Manafort likely would require him to divulge any incriminating information he knows about Putin-backed oligarchs, which may seem like a scary proposition.

Manafort’s second potential out would be a presidential pardon. This would, of course, be the optimal result for Manafort. His conviction and sentence, and any pending charges, would be wiped away. He would not go to prison; in fact, he would be released from his current incarceration, which he earned by trying to tamper with witnesses while on bail. Most importantly, a pardon would greatly reduce any incentive Manafort otherwise might have to cooperate with Mueller.

(A pardon may not completely eliminate that incentive because it remains an open question whether state charges could be brought against Manafort even after a presidential pardon; plus Manafort still faces the D.C. trial in September, which may or may not be precluded by a pardon).

While legal scholars have raised the important question of whether a pardon by Trump under these circumstances would be legitimate, there currently is no known legal mechanism to un-pardon somebody because, of course, courts have never been asked to rule on that question.

“Cooperation for Manafort likely would require him to divulge any incriminating information he knows about Putin-backed oligarchs, which may seem like a scary proposition.”

All of which raises a crucial question: would a Trump pardon of Manafort constitute obstruction of justice? Taken along with Trump’s other bursts of explicitly obstructive conduct—firing Comey and telling Lester Holt he did it because of Russia, asking Comey to go easy on Michael Flynn, trying to berate Jeff Sessions into resigning so a new Attorney General can step in and fire Rod Rosenstein and/or Mueller—it is eminently clear that Trump’s real goal in issuing a pardon would be to silence Manafort. To that end, Trump faces two competing concerns. He surely wants to prevent Manafort from cooperating with Mueller, but he also likely wants to use the pardon only as a last resort because of the legal and political risks.

To mitigate the legal risk, Trump already appears to be laying a foundation to justify a Manafort pardon as something other than an obstructive act.

When the federal judge in Washington, D.C. sent Manafort to prison pending trial in June, Trump tweeted: “Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort… Very unfair!” (Note: it wasn’t a sentence, it was a revocation of bail). In another tweet, Trump drew a bizarre comparison between Manafort and famed gangster Al Capone, seemingly to argue that Manafort has been treated unfairly. Most egregiously, just last week, Trump—while the Manafort jury was in the midst of deliberations—told reporters that Manafort is a “good person” and that his trial is “a very sad day for our country.”

If an attorney in the case had made the same public statements during jury deliberations, the judge likely would have imposed sanctions for breaching ethics rules prohibiting public statements outside the courtroom that might influence a jury. (In fact, Manafort’s attorney—opportunistically, and on the razor’s edge of his own misconduct—embraced the president’s remarks, smugly telling the media, “It’s great to have the support of the president of the United States”). What’s the point of these statements by Trump? They allow him at least to claim that he did not pardon Manafort to prevent cooperation or to obstruct justice, but rather to remedy a perceived injustice.

Trump may be sending signals to Manafort through these tweets, by “dangling” pardons through his then-lawyer, John Dowd, and by issuing a series of pardons in other high-profile cases to Scooter Libby, Joe Arpaio and others. By these actions, Trump seems to be saying, “Paul, I’m going to take care of you—but first you just need to keep your mouth shut and let things cool down a little, at least until after midterms.”

Of course, if such an agreement were spoken out loud—if Trump and Manafort agreed that Manafort would be rewarded with a pardon if he kept quiet—that almost certainly would be obstruction of justice. Even in the absence of an explicit agreement, a pardon taken together with other evidence already in the public record might prove Trump’s larger intent to obstruct the Russia investigation as a whole.

Trump, then, faces a difficult and crucial choice. He can grant a pardon to Manafort, which carries serious risks, both legally and politically. Or, if Trump doesn’t issue a pardon, Manafort might well flip, which could hand Mueller crucial new evidence of wrongdoing by the president and his closest advisors. The questions now are: Which way does the president go? Which way does Manafort go? And, importantly, who blinks first?

https://www.thedailybeast.com/manaforts-choices-work-with-mueller-wish-for-trump-pardon-or-die-in-prison

Paul Manafort

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Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort at 2016 RNC.jpg

Manafort speaks with media prior to the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Born Paul John Manafort Jr.
April 1, 1949 (age 69)
New Britain, Connecticut, U.S.
Education Georgetown University (BSJD)
Political party Republican
Criminal charge Five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failing to disclose a hidden foreign bank account
Criminal status Found guilty on 8 counts; awaiting sentence
Spouse(s)
Kathleen Bond (m. 1978)
Children 2

Paul John Manafort Jr. (born April 1, 1949) is an American lobbyistpolitical consultant, and lawyer. He joined Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign team in March 2016, and was campaign chairman from June to August 2016. In August 2018, Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to report foreign bank accounts.[1][2]

He was an adviser to the U.S. presidential campaigns of Republicans Gerald FordRonald ReaganGeorge H. W. Bush, and Bob Dole. In 1980, Manafort co-founded the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm Black, Manafort & Stone, along with principals Charles R. Black Jr., and Roger J. Stone,[3][4][5] joined by Peter G. Kelly in 1984.[6]

Manafort often lobbied on behalf of foreign leaders such as former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, former dictator of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos, former dictator of Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko, and Angolanguerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi.[7][8][9] Lobbying to serve the interests of foreign governments requires registration with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA); however, as of June 2, 2017, Manafort had not registered.[10][11][12] On June 27, he retroactively registered as a foreign agent.[13]

Manafort is under investigation by multiple federal agencies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has had an active criminal investigation on him since 2014 regarding business dealings while he was lobbying for Yanukovich. He is also a person of interest in the FBI counterintelligence probe looking into the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.

On October 27, 2017, Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates were indicted by a District of Columbia grand jury on multiple charges arising from his consulting work for the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine before Yanukovych’s overthrow in 2014.[14] The indictment had been requested by Robert Mueller’s special investigation unit.[15][16] Manafort surrendered and was released on bail confined to house arrest. [17] In June 2018, additional charges were filed against Manafort for obstruction of justice and witness tampering that are alleged to have occurred while he was under house arrest, and he was ordered to jail.[18] In February 2018, a new set of indictments were filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging tax evasion and bank fraud.[19] Manafort was brought to trial on those charges in August 2018, and on August 21 he was convicted on eight out of eighteen charges of tax and bank fraud. A mistrial was declared on the other ten.[20] A separate trial on the District of Columbia charges is scheduled for September 2018.[21]

Early life and education

On April 1, 1949, Manafort was born as Paul John Manafort Jr.[22] in the city of New Britain, Connecticut. Manafort’s parents are Antoinette Mary Manafort (née Cifalu; 1921–2003) and Paul John Manafort Sr. (1923–2013).[23][24] His grandfather immigrated to the United States from Italy in the early 20th century, settling in Connecticut.[25] He founded the construction company, New Britain House Wrecking Company, in 1919 (later renamed Manafort Brothers Inc.)[26] His father served in the U.S. Army combat engineers during World War II[24] and was mayor of New Britain from 1965 to 1971.[7] His father was indicted in a corruption scandal in 1981 but not convicted.[27]

In 1967 Manafort graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, a private Roman Catholic secondary school, since closed, in New BritainConnecticut.[28] He attended Georgetown University, where he received his B.S. in business administration in 1971 and his J.D.in 1974.[29][30]

Career

Between 1977 and 1980 Manafort practiced law with the firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease in Washington, D.C.[22]

Political activities

Manafort greeting President Gerald Ford in 1976

Manafort with President Ronald Reagan and then Vice PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush in 1982

Manafort greeting President Ronald Reagan in 1987

In 1976, Manafort was the delegate-hunt coordinator for eight states for the President Ford Committee; the overall Ford delegate operation was run by James A. Baker III.[31] Between 1978 and 1980, Manafort was the southern coordinator for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, and the deputy political director at the Republican National Committee. After Reagan’s election in November 1980, he was appointed Associate Director of the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House. In 1981, he was nominated to the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.[22]

Manafort was an adviser to the presidential campaigns of George H. W. Bush in 1988[32] and Bob Dole in 1996.[33]

Chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign

In February 2016, Manafort approached Donald Trump through a mutual friend, Thomas J. Barrack Jr. He pointed out his experience advising presidential campaigns in the United States and around the world, described himself as an outsider not connected to the Washington establishment, and offered to work without salary.[34] In March 2016, he joined Trump’s presidential campaign to take the lead in getting commitments from convention delegates.[35] On June 20, 2016, Trump fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and promoted Manafort to the position. Manafort gained control of the daily operations of the campaign as well as an expanded $20 million budget, hiring decisions, advertising, and media strategy.[36][37][38] Like most hires in the Trump campaign, Manafort was not vetted.[27]

On June 9, 2016, Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner were participants in a meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya and several others at Trump Tower. A British music agent, saying he was acting on behalf of Emin Agalarov and the Russian government, had told Trump Jr. that he could obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton if he met with a lawyer connected to the Kremlin.[39] At first, Trump Jr. said the meeting had been primarily about the Russian ban on international adoptions (in response to the Magnitsky Act) and mentioned nothing about Mrs. Clinton; he later said the offer of information about Clinton had been a pretext to conceal Veselnitskaya’s real agenda.[40]

In August 2016, Manafort’s connections to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian Party of Regions drew national attention in the US, where it was reported that Manafort may have received $12.7 million in off-the-books funds from the Party of Regions.[41]

On August 17, 2016, Donald Trump received his first security briefing.[42] The same day, August 17, Trump shook up his campaign organization in a way that appeared to minimize Manafort’s role. It was reported that members of Trump’s family, particularly Jared Kushner who had originally been a strong backer of Manafort, had become uneasy about his Russian connections and suspected that he had not been forthright about them.[43] Manafort stated in an internal staff memorandum that he would “remain the campaign chairman and chief strategist, providing the big-picture, long-range campaign vision”.[44] However, two days later, Trump announced his acceptance of Manafort’s resignation from the campaign after Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway took on senior leadership roles within that campaign.[45][46]

Upon Manafort’s resignation as campaign chairman, Newt Gingrich stated, “nobody should underestimate how much Paul Manafort did to really help get this campaign to where it is right now.”[47] Gingrich later added that, for the Trump administration, “It makes perfect sense for them to distance themselves from somebody who apparently didn’t tell them what he was doing.”[48]

Kurdish independence referendum

In mid-2017, Manafort left the United States in order to help organize the Kurdish independence referendum, something that surprised both investigators and the media.[49] Manafort returned to the United States just before both the start of the 2017 Iraqi–Kurdish conflict and his indictment.

Lobbying career

In 1980 Manafort was a founding partner of Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm Black, Manafort & Stone, along with principals Charles R. Black Jr., and Roger J. Stone.[3][4][5][50] After Peter G. Kelly was recruited the name of the firm was changed to Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly (BMSK) in 1984.[6]:124

Manafort left BMSK in 1996 to join Richard H. Davis and Matthew C. Freedman in forming Davis, Manafort, and Freedman.[51]

Association with Jonas Savimbi

Manafort has represented Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi.

In 1985, Manafort’s firm, BMSK, signed a $600,000 contract with Jonas Savimbi, the leader of the Angolan rebel group UNITA, to refurbish Savimbi’s image in Washington and secure financial support on the basis of his anti-communism stance. BMSK arranged for Savimbi to attend events at the American Enterprise Institute (where Jeane Kirkpatrick gave him a laudatory introduction), The Heritage Foundation, and Freedom House; in the wake of the campaign Congress approved hundreds of millions of dollars in covert American aid to Savimbi’s group.[52] Allegedly, Manafort’s continuing lobbying efforts helped preserve the flow of money to Savimbi several years after the Soviet Union ceased its involvement in the Angolan conflict, forestalling peace talks.[52]

Lobbying for other foreign leaders

Manafort was a lobbyist for former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.

Manafort lobbied on behalf of former Zairean President Mobutu Sese Seko.

Between June 1984 and June 1986, Manafort was a FARA-registered lobbyist for Saudi Arabia[53] The Reagan Administration refused to grant Manafort a waiver from federal prohibiting public officials from acting as foreign agents; Manafort resigned his directorship at OPIC in May 1986.[53] An investigation by the Department of Justice found 18 lobbying-related activities that were not reported in FARA filings, including lobbying on behalf of The Bahamas and Saint Lucia.[53]

Manafort’s firm, BMSK, accepted $950,000 yearly to lobby for then-president of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos.[54][55] He was also involved in lobbying for Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaïre,[56] securing a 1 million dollar annual contract in 1989,[57] and attempted to recruit Siad Barre of Somalia as a client.[58] His firm also lobbied on behalf of the governments of the Dominican RepublicEquatorial GuineaKenya (earning between $660,000 and $750,000 each year between 1991 and 1993), and Nigeria ($1 million in 1991). These activities led Manafort’s firm to be listed amongst the top five lobbying firms receiving money from human-rights abusing regimes in the Center for Public Integrity report “The Torturers’ Lobby”.[59]

The New York Times reported that Manafort accepted payment from the Kurdistan Regional Government to facilitate Western recognition of the 2017 Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum.[60]

Involvement in the Karachi affair

Manafort wrote the campaign strategy for Édouard Balladur in the 1995 French elections, and was paid indirectly.[61] The money, at least $200,000, was transferred to him through his friend, Lebanese arms-dealer Abdul Rahman al-Assir, from middle-men fees paid for arranging the sale of three French Agosta-class submarines to Pakistan, in a scandal known as the Karachi affair.[52]

Association with Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence Agency

Manafort received $700,000 from the Kashmiri American Council between 1990 and 1994, supposedly to promote the plight of the Kashmiri people. However, an FBI investigation revealed the money was actually from Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency as part of a disinformation operation to divert attention from terrorism. A former Pakistani ISI official claimed Manafort was aware of the nature of the operation.[62] While producing a documentary as part of the deal, Manafort interviewed several Indian officials while pretending to be a CNN reporter.[63]

HUD scandal

In the late 1980s, Manafort was criticized for using his connections at HUD to ensure funding for a $43 million rehabilitation of dilapidated housing in Seabrook, New Jersey.[64] Manafort’s firm received a $326,000 fee for its work in getting HUD approval of the grant, largely through personal influence with Deborah Gore Dean, an executive assistant to former HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce.[65]

Lobbying for Viktor Yanukovych and involvements in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, for whom Manafort lobbied

Manafort also worked as an adviser on the Ukrainian presidential campaign of Viktor Yanukovych (and his Party of Regions during the same time span) from December 2004 until the February 2010 Ukrainian presidential election,[66][67][68]even as the U.S. government (and U.S. Senator John McCain) opposed Yanukovych because of his ties to Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin.[33] Manafort was hired to advise Yanukovych months after massive street demonstrations known as the Orange Revolution overturned Yanukovych’s victory in the 2004 presidential race.[69] Borys Kolesnikov, Yanukovich’s campaign manager, said the party hired Manafort after identifying organizational and other problems in the 2004 elections, in which it was advised by Russian strategists.[67] Manafort rebuffed U.S. Ambassador William Taylor when the latter complained he was undermining U.S. interests in Ukraine.[52] According to a 2008 U.S. Justice Departmentannual report, Manafort’s company received $63,750 from Yanukovych’s Party of Regions over a six-month period ending on March 31, 2008, for consulting services.[70] In 2010, under Manafort’s tutelage, the opposition leader put the Orange Revolution on trial, campaigning against its leaders’ management of a weak economy. Returns from the presidential election gave Yanukovych a narrow win over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a leader of the 2004 demonstrations. Yanukovych owed his comeback in Ukraine’s presidential election to a drastic makeover of his political persona, and—people in his party say—that makeover was engineered in part by his American consultant, Manafort.[67]

In 2007 and 2008, Manafort was involved in investment projects with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (the acquisition of a Ukrainian telecoms company) and Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash (redevelopment of the site of the former Drake Hotel in New York City).[71] The Associated Press has reported that Manafort negotiated a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska to promote Russian interests in politics, business, and media coverage in Europe and the United States, starting in 2005.[72] A witness at Manafort’s 2018 trial for fraud and tax evasion testified that Deripaska loaned Manafort $10 million in 2010, which to her knowledge was never repaid.[27]

At Manafort’s trial, federal prosecutors alleged that between 2010 and 2014 he was paid more than $60 million by Ukrainian sponsors, including Rinat Akhmetov, believed to be the richest man in Ukraine.[27]

In 2013, Yanukovych became the main target of the Euromaidan protests.[73] After the February 2014 Ukrainian revolution (the conclusion of Euromaidan), Yanukovych fled to Russia.[73][74] On March 17, 2014, the day after the Crimean status referendum, Yanukovych became one of the first eleven persons who were placed under executive sanctions on the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) by President Barack Obama, freezing his assets in the US and banning him from entering the United States.[75][76][77][78][79][80][81][82][83][84][85][a]

Manafort then returned to Ukraine in September 2014 to become an advisor to Yanukovych’s former head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Serhiy Lyovochkin.[68] In this role, he was asked to assist in rebranding Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.[68] Instead, he argued to help stabilize Ukraine. Manafort was instrumental in creating a new political party called Opposition Bloc.[68] According to Ukrainian political analyst Mikhail Pogrebinsky, “He thought to gather the largest number of people opposed to the current government, you needed to avoid anything concrete, and just become a symbol of being opposed”.[68] According to Manafort, he has not worked in Ukraine since the October 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[86][87] However, according to Ukrainian border control entry data, Manafort traveled to Ukraine several times after that election, all the way through late 2015.[87] According to The New York Times, his local office in Ukraine closed in May 2016.[41] According to Politico, by then Opposition Bloc had already stopped payments for Manafort and this local office.[87]

In an April 2016 interview with ABC News, Manafort stated that the aim of his activities in Ukraine had been to lead the country “closer to Europe”.[88]

Ukrainian government National Anti-Corruption Bureau studying secret documents claimed in August 2016 to have found handwritten records that show $12.7 million in cash payments designated for Manafort, although they had yet to determine if he had received the money.[41] These undisclosed payments were from the pro-Russian political party Party of Regions, of the former president of Ukraine.[41] This payment record spans from 2007 to 2012.[41] Manafort’s lawyer, Richard A. Hibey, said Manafort didn’t receive “any such cash payments” as described by the anti-corruption officials.[41] The Associated Press reported on August 17, 2016, that Manafort secretly routed at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012 on Party of Regions’ behalf, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party’s efforts to influence U.S. policy.[12] Associated Press noted that under federal law, U.S. lobbyists must declare publicly if they represent foreign leaders or their political parties and provide detailed reports about their actions to the Justice Department, which Manafort reportedly did not do.[12] The lobbying firms unsuccessfully lobbied U.S. Congress to reject a resolution condemning the jailing of Yanukovych’s main political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko.[89]

Financial records certified in December 2015 and filed by Manafort in Cyprus showed him to be approximately $17 million in debt to interests connected to interests favorable to Putin and Yanukovych in the months before joining the Trump presidential campaign in March.[90] These included a $7.8 million debt to Oguster Management Limited, a company connected to Russian oligarch and close Putin associate Oleg Deripaska.[90] This accords with a 2015 court complaint filed by Deripaska claiming that Manafort and his partners owed him $19 million in relation to a failed Ukrainian cable television business.[90] In January 2018, Surf Horizon Limited, a Cyprus-based company tied to Deripaska, sued Manafort and his business partner Richard Gates accusing them of financial fraud by misappropriating more than $18.9 million that the company had invested in Ukrainian telecom companies known collectively as the “Black Sea Cable.”[91] An additional $9.9 million debt was owed to a Cyprus company that tied through shell companies to Ivan Fursin, a Ukrainian Member of Parliament of the Party of Regions.[90] Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni maintained in response that “Manafort is not indebted to Deripaska or the Party of Regions, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.”[90] During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Manafort, via Kiev-based operative Konstantin Kilimnik, offered to provide briefings on political developments to Deripaska, though there is no evidence that the briefings took place.[92][93] Reuters reported on June 27, 2018, that an FBI search warrant application in July 2017 revealed that a company controlled by Manafort and his wife had received a $10 million loan from Deripaska.[94][95]

According to leaked text messages between his daughters, Manafort was also one of the proponents of violent removal of the Euromaidan protesters which resulted in police shooting dozens of people during 2014 Hrushevskoho Street riots. In one of the messages his daughter writes that his “strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered.”[96]

Manafort has rejected questions about whether Russian-Ukrainian operative Konstantin Kilimnik, with whom he consulted regularly, might be in league with Russian intelligence.[97] According to Yuri Shvets, Kilimnik previously worked for the GRU, and every bit of information about his work with Manafort went directly to Russian intelligence.[98]

Registering as a foreign agent

Lobbying for foreign countries requires registration with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Manafort did not do so at the time of his lobbying. In April 2017, a Manafort spokesman said Manafort was planning to file the required paperwork; however, according to Associated Press reporters, as of June 2, 2017, Manafort had not yet registered.[10][12] On June 27, he filed to be retroactively registered as a foreign agent.[99] Among other things, he disclosed that he made more than $17 million between 2012 and 2014 working for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.[100][101]

Homes, home loans and other loans

Manafort’s work in Ukraine coincided with the purchase of at least four prime pieces of real estate in the United States, worth a combined $11 million, between 2006 and early 2012.[102]

Since 2012, Manafort has taken out seven home equity loans worth approximately $19.2 million on three separate New York-area properties he owns through holding companies registered to him and his then son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai, a real estate investor.[103] In 2016, Yohai declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy for LLCs tied to four residential properties; Manafort holds a $2.7 million claim on one of the properties.[104]

As of February 2017, Manafort had about $12 million in home equity loans outstanding. For one home, loans of $6.6 million exceeded the value of that home; the loans are from the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago, Illinois, whose CEO, Stephen Calk, was a campaign supporter of Donald Trump and was a member of Trump’s economic advisory council during the campaign.[103] It was subpoenaed in July 2017 by New York prosecutors about the loans they had issued to Manafort during the 2016 presidential campaign. At the time these loans represented about a quarter of the bank’s equity capital.[105]

The Mueller investigation is reviewing a number of loans which Manafort has received since leaving the Trump campaign in August 2016. Specifically, $7 million from Oguster Management Limited, a British Virgin Islands-registered company connected to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, to another Manafort-linked company, Cyprus-registered LOAV Advisers Ltd.[106] This entire amount was unsecured, carried interest at 2%, and had no repayment date. Additionally, NBC News found documents that reveal loans of more than $27 million from the two Cyprus entities to a third company connected to Manafort, a limited-liability corporation registered in Delaware. This company, Jesand LLC, bears a strong resemblance to the names of Manafort’s daughters, Jessica and Andrea.[107]

Investigations

FBI and special counsel investigation

The FBI reportedly began a criminal investigation into Manafort in 2014, shortly after Yanukovich was deposed.[108] That investigation predated the 2016 election by several years and is ongoing. In addition, Manafort is also a person of interest in the FBI counterintelligence probe looking into the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.[109][10]

On January 19, 2017, the eve of the Trump’s presidential inauguration, it was reported that Manafort was under active investigation by multiple federal agencies including the Central Intelligence AgencyNational Security AgencyFederal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Director of National Intelligence and the financial crimes unit of the Treasury Department.[110] Investigations were said to be based on intercepted Russian communications as well as financial transactions.[111] It was later confirmed that Manafort was wiretapped by the FBI “before and after the [2016] election … including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.” The surveillance of Manafort began in 2014, before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of United States.[112]

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed on May 17, 2017, by the Justice Department to oversee the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and related matters, took over the existing criminal probe involving Manafort.[109][10][113] On July 26, 2017, the day after Manafort’s United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing and the morning of his planned hearing before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, FBI agents at Mueller’s direction conducted a raid on Manafort’s Alexandria, Virginia home, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials, in regard to the Russian meddling in the 2016 election.[114][115] Initial press reports indicated Mueller obtained a no-knock warrant for this raid, though Mueller’s office has disputed these reports in court documents.[116][117] United States v. Paul Manafort was analyzed by attorney George T. Conway III, who wrote that it strengthened the constitutionality of the Mueller investigation.[118]

Congressional investigations

In May 2017, in response to a request of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), Manafort submitted over “300 pages of documents…included drafts of speeches, calendars and notes from his time on the campaign” to the Committee “related to its investigation of Russian election meddling”.[119] On July 25 he met privately with the committee.[120]

congressional hearing on Russia issues, including the Trump campaign-Russian meeting, was scheduled by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for July 26, 2017. Manafort was scheduled to appear together with Trump Jr., while Kushner was to testify in a separate closed session.[121] After separate negotiations, both Manafort and Trump Jr. met with the committee on July 26 in closed session and agreed to turn over requested documents. They are expected to testify in public eventually.[122]

Private Investigation

The Trump–Russia dossier, also known as the Steele dossier,[123] is a private intelligence report comprising investigation memos written between June and December 2016 by Christopher Steele.[124] Manafort is a major figure mentioned in the Trump–Russia dossier, where allegations are made about Manafort’s relationships and actions toward the Trump campaign, Russia, Ukraine, and Viktor Yanukovych. The dossier claims:

  • That “the Republican candidate’s campaign manager, Paul MANAFORT” had “managed” the “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation between [the Trump campaign] and the Russian leadership”, and that he used “foreign policy advisor, Carter PAGE, and others as intermediaries”.[125][126][127][128] (Dossier, p. 7)
  • That former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych told Putin he had been making supposedly untraceable[129] “kick-back payments” to Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager at the time.[130] (Dossier, p. 20)

Manafort has “denied taking part in any collusion with the Russian state, but registered himself as a foreign agent retroactively after it was revealed his firm received more than $17m working as a lobbyist for a pro-Russian Ukrainian party.”[128]

Arrest and indictments

Manafort’s 2018 mugshot

Grand jury indictment against Paul J. Manafort Jr. and Richard W. Gates III, dated October 27, 2017 from United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Manafort and Gates indictment from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia superseding indictment, dated February 22, 2018

Manafort superseding indictment in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, dated February 23, 2018

On October 30, 2017, Manafort was arrested by the FBI after being indicted by a federal grand jury as part of Robert Mueller‘s investigation into the Trump campaign.[131][132] The indictment against Manafort and Rick Gates was issued on October 27, 2017.[132][133] The charges are: engaging in a conspiracy against the United States,[16][133] engaging in a conspiracy to launder money,[16][133] failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts,[16][133] acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal,[16][133] making false and misleading statements in documents filed and submitted under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA),[16][133] and making false statements.[16][133] According to the prosecutors, Manafort laundered more than $18 million.[134][133]

Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to these charges at their court appearance on October 30, 2017.[135][136] The US government asked the court to set Manafort’s bail at $10 million and Gates at $5 million.[136] The court placed Manafort and Gates under house arrest after prosecutors described them as flight risks.[137] If convicted on all charges Manafort could face decades in prison.[138][139]

Following the hearing, Manafort’s attorney Kevin M. Downing made a public statement to the press proclaiming his client’s innocence while describing the federal charges stemming from the indictment as “ridiculous”.[140] Downing defended Manafort’s decade-long lobbying effort for pro-Russian, former Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yanukovych, describing their lucrative partnership as attempts to spread democracy and strengthen the relationship between the United States and Ukraine.[141] Judge Stewart responded by threatening to impose a gag order, saying “I expect counsel to do their talking in this courtroom and in their pleadings and not on the courthouse steps.”[142]

On November 30, 2017, Manafort’s attorneys said that Manafort has reached a bail agreement with prosecutors that will free him from the house arrest he has been under since his indictment. He offered bail in the form of $11.65 million worth of real estate.[143] While out on bond, Paul Manafort worked on an op-ed with a “Russian who has ties to the Russian intelligence service”, prosecutors said in a court filing[144] requesting that the judge in the case revoke Manafort’s bond agreement.[145]

On January 3, 2018, Manafort filed a lawsuit challenging Mueller’s broad authority and alleging the Justice Department violated the law in appointing Mueller.[146] A spokesperson for the department replied that “The lawsuit is frivolous but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants”.[147] On January 12, Mueller asked U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to set Manafort’s trial date for May 14, 2018.[148] On January 16, 2018, Jackson denied the government’s date for trial indicating that the criminal trial appears likely to start in September at the earliest.[149] Jackson revealed that a letter from Manafort’s physician was submitted to the court, asking for changes in the conditions of Manafort’s confinement. “While he’s subject to home confinement, he’s not confined to his couch, and I believe he has plenty of opportunity to exercise,” Jackson said.[149]

On February 2, 2018, the Department of Justice filed a motion seeking to dismiss the civil suit Manafort brought against Mueller.[150] Judge Jackson dismissed the suit on April 27, 2018, citing precedent that a court should not use civil powers to interfere in an ongoing criminal case. She did not, however, make any judgement as to the merits of the arguments presented.[151]

On February 22, 2018, both Manafort and Gates were further charged with additional crimes involving a tax avoidance scheme and bank fraud in Virginia.[152][153] The charges were filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, rather than in the District of Columbia, as the alleged tax fraud overt actions had occurred in Virginia and not in the District.[154] The new indictment alleges that Manafort, with assistance from Gates, laundered over $30 million through offshore bank accounts between approximately 2006 and 2015. Manafort allegedly used funds in these offshore accounts to purchase real estate in the United States, in addition to personal goods and services.[154]

On February 23, 2018, Gates pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to investigators and engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the United States.[155] Through a spokesman, Manafort expressed disappointment in Gates’ decision to plead guilty and said he has no similar plans. “I continue to maintain my innocence,” he said.[156]

On February 28, 2018, Manafort entered a not guilty plea in the District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Jackson subsequently set a trial date of September 17, 2018, and reprimanded Manafort and his attorney for violating her gag order by issuing a statement the previous week after former co-defendant Gates pleaded guilty.[157] On March 8, 2018, Manafort also pleaded not guilty to bank fraud and tax charges in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Judge T. S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia set his trial on those charges to begin on July 10, 2018.[158] He later pushed the trial back to July 24, citing a medical procedure involving a member of Ellis’s family.[159] Ellis also expressed concern that the special counsel and Mueller were only interested in charging Manafort to squeeze him for information that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to Trump’s impeachment.[160]

Friends of Manafort announced the establishment of a legal defense fund on May 30, 2018, to help pay his legal bills.[161]

On June 8, 2018, Manafort was indicted for obstruction of justice and witness tampering along with long time associate Konstantin Kilimnik.[162] The charges involve allegations that Manafort attempted to convince others to lie about an undisclosed lobbying effort on behalf of Ukraine’s former pro-Russian government. Since this allegedly occurred while Manafort was under house arrest, Judge Jackson revoked Manafort’s bail on June 15 and ordered him held in jail until his trial.[163] Manafort was booked into the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, at 8:22 PM on June 15, 2018, where he was housed in the VIP section and kept in solitary confinement for his own safety.[164][165][166][167] On June 22, Manafort’s efforts to have the money laundering charges against him dismissed were rejected by the court.[168][169] Citing Alexandria’s D.C. suburbia status, abundant and significantly negative press coverage, and the margin by which Hillary Clinton won the Alexandria Division in the 2016 presidential election, Manafort moved the court for a change of venue to Roanoke, Virginia on July 6, 2018, citing Constitution entitlement to a fair and unbiased trial.[170][171] On July 10, Judge T. S. Ellis ordered Manafort to be transferred back to the Alexandria Detention Center, an order Manafort opposed.[172][173] His trial began on July 31, 2018.[174][175]

On July 17, 2018, the Mueller investigation asked Judge Ellis to compel five witnesses, who had not previously been publicly associated with the Manafort case, to testify in exchange for immunity, and Ellis denied Manafort’s motion to move the trial to Roanoke, Virginia.[176][177] [178]

Trials

The numerous indictments against Manafort have been divided into multiple trials.

Trial in Virginia

Manafort’s trial in the Eastern District of Virginia began on July 31, 2018.[179][174] On August 21, the jury found Manafort guilty on eight of the eighteen charges, while the judge declared a mistrial on the other ten.[20] He was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, one of the four counts of failing to disclose his foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud.[180] The jury was hung on three of the four counts of failing to disclose, as well as five counts of bank fraud, four of them related the the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago run by Stephen Calk.[181]

Trial in District of Columbia

Manafort’s trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is scheduled to begin in September 2018.[21]

Personal life

Manafort has been married to Kathleen Bond Manafort since August 12, 1978. Mrs. Manafort is a lawyer and an alumna of George Washington University.[182] They have two daughters.

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up^ The individuals on the first list of United States sanctions for individuals or entities involved in the Ukraine crisis are Sergey Aksyonov, Sergey Glazyev, Andrei Klishas, Vladimir Konstantinov, Valentina Matviyenko, Victor Medvedchuk, Yelena Mizulina, Dmitry Rogozin, Leonid Slutsky, Vladislav Surkov, and Victor Yakunovich.[77][80]

References

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

Story 2: Former Trump Personal Attorney Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Eight Counts of Campaign Finance Violations, Bank and Tax Fraud — Videos

How are Republicans and Democrats reacting to Cohen and Manafort charges?

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Michael Cohen pleads GUILTY to paying Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal for their silence ‘at the direction of’ Trump – as president’s own attorney lands stunning blow and admits eight fraud and campaign finance felonies

  • Michael Cohen entered the guilty plea in federal court in New York
  • He said he made the campaign finance violations ‘in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office’ – a reference to Trump
  • Also tax evasion and making a false statement to a bank
  • Documents identify Trump as ‘Individual-1’
  • Federal prosecutors have been investigating Michael Cohen’s income from his taxi-medallion business
  • Investigators have been probing more than $20 million in loans which were made to taxi companies owned by Cohen and his family
  • Cohen made his plea within minutes of a Virginia jury convicting former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on eight counts following his trial    
  • Prosector: He ‘worked to pay money to silence two women who had information that he believed would be detrimental to the 2016 campaign’
  • Engineered payoff ‘in order to influence the 2016 presidential election’ prosecutors said in charging document 
  • A New York Times report stated he did not agree to cooperate with prosecutors as part of the deal
  • Campaign finance plea points to issue of payment to porn star Stormy Daniels  
  • Cohen, once known as Trump’s ‘fixer,’ has long ties to the Trump Organization 

Longtime Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to campaign finance violations linked to a porn star and a Playboy model as well as his former boss – and said he did so ‘at the direction’ of a candidate for federal office.

Cohen made the stunning statement linking President Donald Trump to his crimes as he pleaded to eight different counts, including those related to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Although he didn’t mention Trump by name, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer spoke in open court about a $130,000 payment as well as a deal he helped negotiate with a publisher involving McDougal.

He said he did so ‘in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,’ CNN reported – in an obvious reference to Trump, his former employer. Federal law bars donors from coordinating with a campaign while placing strict limits on the amount of contributions.

Both women claim they had affairs with Trump, and both got payments, Daniels from Cohen directly and McDougal from a publisher.

Cohen made his plea in open court within minutes of a Virginia jury convicting former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on eight counts following his trial on tax and fraud charges.

Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, leaves his apartment building, in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Cohen could be charged before the end of the month with bank fraud in his dealings with the taxi industry and with committing other financial crimes, multiple people familiar with the federal probe said Monday

Video playing bottom right…

As he landed in West Virginia for what was expected to be a raucous campaign rally Tuesday night with his supporters, Trump said he feels ‘badly’ for both Cohen and Manafort. But he didn’t address the explosive developments as his rally began.

But he did mock the Mueller probe before a crowd of supporters.

‘Fake news. Fake. How fake, how fake are they?’ Trump asked rhetorically. ‘Fake news and the Russian witch hunt. We got a whole big combination. Where is the collusion? You know they’re still looking for collusion. Where is the collusion? Find some collusion. We want to find the collusion,’ Trump said.

A federal charging document lays out how Cohen helped deal with a person identified as ‘Individual-1’s relationships with women’ by identifying stories and keeping them from being published.

The documents note that the individual was a candidate for president.

Cohen negotiated $150,000 payment to ‘model and actress’ and made a $130,000 payment to ‘an adult film actress,’ according to the documents stated the offenses he pleaded guilty to. Cohen caused and made the payments ‘in order to influence the 2016 presidential election,’ he is admitting.

The White House didn’t hold a press briefing amid the turmoil, instead confronting reporters only through the safer medium of conference calls. Trump didn’t mention either bombshell development in his speech in West Virginia hours after they occurred.

Cohen as part of the plea gets jail time of up to four years – in a deal that apparently does not include cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. Nevertheless, some legal experts were not ruling out cooperation, and he was facing more charges than he pleaded to.

Cohen appeared in federal court on Tuesday following a series of repots he would plead guilty to federal crimes that would land him in jail for up to four years.

According to U.S. attorney Robert Khuzami, Cohen failed to report income of $4.1 million, costing the U.S. Treasury approximately $1.3 million.

He failed to disclose $14 million in dead when he applied for a home-equity loan he used to get funds to pay the porn star.

Khuzami also laid out Cohen’s campaign finance guilty plea as it related to Daniels and McDougal – though he never mentioned the name of the president or the porn star.

‘In addition what he did was he worked to pay money to silence two women who had information that he believed would be detrimental to the 2016 campaign and to the candidate and the campaign,’ Khuzami said.

Cohen leaves court after pleading guilty to eight charges

Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations 'in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office'

Charging documents lay out millions in unreported income by Cohen

Documents also reference Trump as 'Individual-1'

Documents also reference Trump as ‘Individual-1’

‘In addition, Mr. Cohen sought reimbursement for that money by submitting invoices to the candidate’s company which were untrue and false. They indicated that the reimbursement was for services rendered for the year 2017, when in fact those invoices were a sham. He provided no legal services for the year 2017 and it was simply a means to obtain reimbursement for the unlawful campaign contribution,’ Khuzami said.

‘There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen,’ Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in a statement. ‘It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen’s actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time.’

In addition what he did was he worked to pay money to silence two women who had information that he believed would be detrimental to the 2016 campaign and to the candidate and the campaign

Sources told NBC about the negotiations over a possible plea Tuesday morning, noting that no deal had been reached. Word of the talks followed reports over the weekend that Cohen is being investigated for a $20 million bank fraud.

ABC then reported Cohen had reached an agreement with prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. Cohen surrendered to the FBI in advance of a scheduled 4 pm court appearance, according to CNN.

The campaign finance violations related to the $130,000 payment Cohen made from his own funds to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had an affair with Trump. Among the charges Cohen will plead guilty to are campaign finance violations in connection to a $130,000 payment he made to Daniels

Five counts of tax evasion. Avoided declaring $4.1 million in income earned in 2012 through 2016, depriving the government of about $1.3 million in tax revenue.

Making false statements to a bank. Failed to disclose a $14 million line of credit when taking out loans, including for the purchase of an $8.5 million summer home. Declared a net worth of $40 million when applying for a home equity loan, omitting the $14 million debt.

Campaign finance violations. Helped deal with ‘Individual-1’s relationships with women’ by identifying stories and keeping them from being published. Negotiated $150,000 payment to ‘model and actress’ and made a $130,000 payment to ‘an adult film actress.’ He caused and made the payments ‘in order to influence the 2016 presidential election.’

He faced up to 65 years in prison for what he is being charged with had he not pleaded guilty.

Trump said in April that he did not know about payments Cohen made to Daniels – although lawyer Rudy Giuliani later said Trump reimbursed his longtime lawyer for the funds.

Cohen admitted the payment was a violation of strict federal limits on political contributions. Prosecutors deemed the payment an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign since it helped shelve potentially damaging information.

Cohen agreed to jail time as part of the agreement.

Despite the array of charges, jail time, and restitution, Cohen was not expected to reach an agreement to cooperate with authorities, the New York Times reported.

Such a status, if maintained, would spare President Trump from having one of his closest and most knowledgable associates aiding an inquiry the president has termed a ‘witch hunt.’

Nevertheless, Trump faced the political prospect of seeing one of his closest longtime advisors go to jail over serious federal crimes. Just as the news broke on Cohen’s plans, the White House was holding a press call on Trump’s plans to travel the country in support of Republicans.

Cohen was expected to plead guilty to campaign finance violations – a likely reference to a $130,000 payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump

Cohen also negotiated a $150,000 payment by American Media Inc. to former Playboy cover model Karen McDougal, who claims she had a year-long affair with Trump

Cohen pleaded guilty to a campaign finance violation in relation to a $150,000 payment that American Media Inc. made to Playboy model Karen McDougal. AMI publisher David Pecker (c) was part of the deal

Prosecutors in Cohen were negotiating with a man involved in myriad business and political deals involving the president, including the negotiation of a non-disclosure agreement with porn star Stormy Daniels, and talks on an effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow that fell through.

However, the New York Times reported Tuesday afternoon that the deal did not include an agreement to cooperate.

Cohen in June resigned his post as deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee once it came out he was under criminal investigation

ROBERT MUELLER’S PROBE SO FAR: SEVEN CONVICTIONS – INCLUDING THREE TOP TRUMP AIDES, A JAILED ATTORNEY AND 25 RUSSIANS ACCUSED

GUILTY: MICHAEL FLYNN 

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in December 2017. Awaiting sentence

Flynn was President Trump’s former National Security Advisor and Robert Mueller’s most senior scalp to date. He previously served when he was a three star general as President Obama’s director of the Defense Intelligence Agency but was fired. 

He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his conversations with a Russian ambassador in December 2016. He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

GUILTY: MICHAEL COHEN

Pleaded guilty to eight counts including fraud and two campaign finance violations in August 2018. Awaiting sentence

Cohen was Trump’s longtime personal attorney, starting working for him and the Trump Organization in 2007. He is the longest-serving member of Trump’s inner circle to be implicated by Mueller. Cohen professed unswerving devotion to Trump – and organized payments to silence two women who alleged they had sex with the-then candidate: porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.He admitted that payments to both women were felony campaign finance violations – and admitted that he acted at the ‘direction’ of ‘Candidate-1’: Donald Trump.

He also admitted tax fraud by lying about his income from loans he made, money from  taxi medallions he owned, and other sources of income, at a cost to the Treasury of $1.3 million.

Campaign role: Paul Manafort chaired Trump's campaign for four months - which included the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016, where he appeared on stage beside Trump who was preparing  to formally accept the Republican nomination

GUILTY: PAUL MANAFORT

Found guilty of eight charges of bank and tax fraud in August 2018. Awaiting sentence and second trial

Manafort worked for Trump’s campaign from March 2016 and chaired it from June to August 2016, overseeing Trump being adopted as Republican candidate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He is the most senior campaign official to be implicated by Mueller. Manafort was one of Washington D.C.’s longest-term and most influential lobbyists but in 2015, his money dried up and the next year he turned to Trump for help, offering to be his campaign chairman for free – in the hope of making more money afterwards. But Mueller unwound his previous finances and discovered years of tax and bank fraud as he coined in cash from pro-Russia political parties and oligarchs in Ukraine.

Manafort pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of tax and bank fraud but was convicted of eight counts. The jury was deadlocked on the other 10 charges. A second trial on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent is due in September.  

GUILTY: RICK GATES 

Pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in February 2018. Awaiting sentence

Gates was Manafort’s former deputy at political consulting firm DMP International. He admitted to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government on financial activity, and to lying to investigators about a meeting Manafort had with a member of congress in 2013. As a result of his guilty plea and promise of cooperation, prosecutors vacated charges against Gates on bank fraud, bank fraud conspiracy, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, filing false tax returns, helping prepare false tax filings, and falsely amending tax returns.

GUILTY: GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in October 2017. Awaiting sentence

Papadopoulos was a member of Donald Trump’s campaign foreign policy advisory committee. He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his contacts with London professor Josef Mifsud and Ivan Timofeev, the director of a Russian government-funded think tank. 

He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

GUILTY: RICHARD PINEDO

Pleaded guilty to identity fraud in February 2018. Awaiting sentence

Pinedo is a 28-year-old computer specialist from Santa Paula, California. He admitted to selling bank account numbers to Russian nationals over the internet that he had obtained using stolen identities. 

He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

GUILTY AND JAILED: ALEX VAN DER ZWAAN

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in February 2018. He served a 30-day prison sentence earlier this year and was deported to the Netherlands upon his release.

Van der Zwaan is a Dutch attorney for Skadden Arps who worked on a Ukrainian political analysis report for Paul Manafort in 2012. 

He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about when he last spoke with Rick Gates and Konstantin Kilimnik.

CHARGED: KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK

Indicted for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. 

Kilimnik is a former employee of Manafort’s political consulting firm and helped him with lobbying work in Ukraine. He is accused of witness tampering, after he allegedly contacted individuals who had worked with Manafort to remind them that Manafort only performed lobbying work for them outside of the U.S.

He has been linked to  Russian intelligence and is currently thought to be in Russia – effectively beyond the reach of extradition by Mueller’s team.

INDICTED: THE RUSSIANS 

Twenty-five Russian nationals and three Russian entities have been indicted for conspiracy to defraud the United States. 

Two of these Russian nationals were also indicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 11 were indicted for conspiracy to launder money. Fifteen of them were also indicted for identity fraud. 

Vladimir Putin has ridiculed the charges. Russia effectively bars extradition of its nationals. The only prospect Mueller has of bringing any in front of a U.S. jury is if Interpol has their names on an international stop list – which is not made public – and they set foot in a territory which extradites to the U.S. 

Statement to the press by U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami

‘What he did was he worked to pay money to silence two women who had information that he believed would be detrimental to the 2016 campaign and to the candidate and the campaign.’

‘In addition, Mr. Cohen sought reimbursement for that money by submitting invoices to the candidate’s company which were untrue and false. They indicated that the reimbursement was for services rendered for the year 2017, when in fact those invoices were a sham. He provided no legal services for the year 2017 and it was simply a means to obtain reimbursement for the unlawful campaign contribution.’

‘First, these are very serious charges and reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over an extended period of time. They are significant in their own rights. They are particularly significant when done by a lawyer. A lawyer who through training and tradition understands what it means to be a lawyer, to engage in honest and fair dealing and adherence to the law. Mr. Cohen disregarded that training. Disregarded that tradition and decided that he was above the law, and for that he is going to pay a very, very serious price …’

‘Mr Cohen made guilty pleas for those campaign violations and those are core violations. These remind us that it is illegal for corps to make contributions to candidates and it is illegal to make contributions in excess of the amount that congress set for individuals. That is a strong message today and we will not fear prosecuting additional campaign finance cases …’

‘We are a nation of laws and the essence of this case is about is justice and that is an equal playing field for all persons in the eyes of the law and that is a lesson that Mr. Cohen learned today and it is a very harsh one for him.’

WHICH CANDIDATE? Cohen said he negotiated the payments 'In co-ordination with, and at the direction of' a candidate for federal office

Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis tweeted Tuesday about his client: ‘Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election. If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?’

Justice Department guidelines state that a sitting president shouldn’t be charged with a crime while in office, although they could be subject to a court challenge should the government decide to do so.

Numerous legal experts say Trump most likely will avoid getting charged with anything while in office – though he could be charged after he leaves and he could be forced to give testimony in legal matters. The charging documents describe ‘Individual-1’ as being closely involved with Cohen’s efforts. It says Cohen ‘coordinated with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments’ to women.

News of Cohen’s talks came just as word broke that jurors in the trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort asked the judge overseeing the case a question about how to proceed if they fail to reach a verdict on a single count.

That in turn led to speculation that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team might be on the verge of scoring critical conviction, even if it is on tax and fraud crimes that are not related to the campaign of President Donald Trump.

McDougal was paid $150,000 by American Media Inc., parent company of the National Enquirer

The report on Cohen’s intentions followed a series of maneuvers by Cohen that raised the prospect he might reach an agreement to cooperate with prosecutors. These included praising the FBI agents who raided his home and apartment, and stating boldly that he would do what is best for his family.

He told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ last month that: ‘My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will.’ He added: ‘I put family and country first.’

Cohen left his apartment in New York Tuesday dressed in a dark suit and tie.

His new lawyer, Lanny Davis, told NBC he couldn’t comment on an ongoing investigation, having earlier sent signals that Cohen could cooperate. Cohen’s hiring of Davis, who has longtime Democratic ties and advised President Bill Clinton, was one such signal.

Michael Cohen, left, former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, leaves his apartment building past his doorman, in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. NBC reported he was in talks about a possible guilty plea

Michael Cohen, left, former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, leaves his apartment building past his doorman, in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. NBC reported he was in talks about a possible guilty plea

Were Cohen to follow through and plead guilty to any alleged violations, it would come as prosecutors were considering filing charges against him that include include bank and tax fraud, as well as violations of campaign finance law, against Cohen by the end of the month, sources told the New York Times.

Investigators are looking into more than $20 million in loans which were made to taxi companies owned by Cohen and his family. The amounts reportedly involved only upped the pressure on Cohen, who was intimately involved with Trump as he navigated a variety of business deals in recent years.

Financial statements showed that Cohen used his 32 taxi medallions, then worth around $1 million each, as collateral for the loans from Sterling National Bank. Melrose Credit Union also supplied some of the loans made to 16 separate companies controlled by the Cohens. Cohen and his wife also personally guaranteed the loans, according to public findings.

Investigators are now looking to determine whether Cohen misrepresented the true value of his assets to obtain the loans.

They are also looking at when the lawyer violated campaign finance laws by arranging hush money deals to secure the silence of women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.

The FBI raided Cohen’s home and office earlier this year as part of their investigation into his alleged tax fraud.

President Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is being investigated for a $20 million bank fraud, according to a new report

President Trump’s (left) former personal lawyer Michael Cohen (right) is being investigated for a $20 million bank fraud, according to a new report

Investigators are looking at whether Cohen’s income from his taxi-medallion business was underreported in federal tax returns, The Wall Street Journal reported.

That income reportedly included hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and other payments over the last five years.

Donald Trump has criticized the probe into his former attorney, calling the raids an ‘attack on our country in a true sense.’

Prosecutors are looking into whether Cohen inflated the value of any of his assets as collateral for bank loans, the Journal reported citing sources familiar with the investigation.

If convicted of tax- and bank-fraud, Cohen, who once said he’d take a bullet for President Donald Trump, could find himself subject to heavy jail time.

That threat could put pressure on Cohen, once known as Trump’s ‘fixer,’ to cooperate with prosecutors if he’s charged with these crimes.

Cohen was Trump’s personal attorney for years and has deep ties to the Trump Organization.

He is reportedly prepared to tell Mueller that the president knew about the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting ahead of time and approved of it.

That meeting was attended by Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and a lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who claimed to have dirt on Trump’s presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump has denied he knew about the meeting ahead of time.

But that gathering at Trump Tower has become a central focus of Mueller’s look into what role Russian played in the 2016 presidential election.

Meanwhile federal prosecutors are taking a deep dive into Cohen’s business dealings after Mueller’s team handed over documents discovered in an April 9th FBI raid.

They are looking closely at Cohen’s relationship with Sterling National Bank, which provided financing for his taxi-medallion business. Medallions are the permits taxi drivers need to operate in the city.

Federal prosecutors subpoenaed Jeffrey Getzel, Cohen’s former accountant who was responsible for preparing many of Cohen’s financial statements.

Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, declined to comment to the newspaper ‘out of respect for the ongoing investigation.’

As of April 2018, Cohen owned 22 medallions in Chicago, and either he or his wife, Laura, controlled 32 medallions in New York City.

Taxi medallions were considered a solid investment that are bought and sold on a secondary market. Some in New York sold for an average $1.25 million per medallion in 2013 and 2014.

But their value has fallen sharply in recent years due to competition from ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Some estimate the value of each medallion has dropped to $200,000 to $225,000.

As prosecutors look at whether Cohen under reported his income to avoid federal taxes they’re also examining whether he overstated it in loan applications.

Cohen has previously denied any wrongdoing.

He worked on projects for Trump ranging from Trump Tower Moscow that never got off the ground to a non-disclosure agreement with porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump, and on a deal involving former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also claimed an affair.

Trump has denied both women’s allegations of a sexual affair.

But Cohen also had his own business dealings including real estate, personal loans and investments in taxi medallions.

Evgeny A. Freidman, a Russian immigrant known as ‘the Taxi King’ and who partnered with Cohen in the taxi medallion business, avoided jail time and got five years probation when he pleaded guilty to tax evasion in May.

As a condition, he is cooperating with prosecutors, who may find him to be a valuable witness as they investigate Cohen on potential tax, campaign finance, and bank fraud charges.

His deal came after an April 9th FBI raid on Cohen’s home, office, and hotel where he was staying. They scooped up 3.7 million digital documents.

If Freidman is able to provide useful information, it might strengthen prosecutors hands if they decide to charge Cohen.

Prosecutors are already combing through Cohen’s financial records, including big payments he got from major firms as he touted his access to President Trump after the elections.

Also under the microscope is his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who signed a nondisclosure agreement and claims she had an affair with Trump.

The president revealed last week on his financial disclosure that he ‘reimbursed’ Cohen for expenses related to a payment of up to $250,000.

Cohen is under investigation for possible bank fraud. He has said he took out a home equity loan in order to make the payment to Daniels, which he executed through a Delaware LLC he set up in October of 2016, weeks before the presidential election.

Cohen taped Trump discussing payment to Playboy model

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6083533/Cohen-discussing-possible-GUILTY-plea-following-report-alleged-fraud-probe.html

 

Michael Cohen (lawyer)

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Michael Cohen
Trump executive Michael Cohen 012 (5506031001) (cropped).jpg

Cohen in 2011
Born Michael Dean Cohen
August 25, 1966 (age 51)
Long IslandNew York, U.S.
Education American University (BA)
Thomas M. Cooley Law School(JD)
Occupation Lawyer
Political party Democratic (before 2002; 2004–2017)
Republican (2002–2004; 2017–present)
Criminal charge Five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign
Criminal status Pleaded guilty to all charges; awaiting sentence
Spouse(s)
Laura Shusterman (m. 1995)

Michael Dean Cohen (born August 25, 1966) is an American attorney who worked as a lawyer for Donald Trump from 2006 until the termination of his employment in May 2018, a month after a federal investigation began. The investigation led to him pleading guilty on August 21, 2018 to eight counts of campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud. In his statement before the court, Cohen said he violated campaign finance laws “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” meaning Trump, “for the principal purpose of influencing the election” for president in 2016.[1]

Cohen served as a vice-president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Trump,[2] and previously served as co-president of Trump Entertainment and was a board member of the Eric Trump Foundation, a children’s health charity. He joined the Trump Organization after having been a partner at Phillips Nizer.[3]

From 2017 to 2018, Cohen was deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.[4][5]

 

Early life

Cohen grew up in the town of Lawrence on Long Island.[3] His mother was a nurse, and his father, who survived the Holocaust, was a surgeon.[3][6] Cohen is Jewish.[7] He attended Lawrence Woodmere Academy[8] and received his BA from American University in 1988 and his JD from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1991.[9]

Career

Legal career and business ventures

Cohen began practicing personal injury law in New York in 1992, working for Melvyn Estrin in Manhattan.[8][10] As of 2003, Cohen was an attorney in private practice and CEO of MLA Cruises, Inc., and of the Atlantic Casino.[11] In 2003, when Cohen was a candidate for New York City Council, he provided a biography to the New York City Campaign Finance Board for inclusion in its voters’ guide, listing him as co-owner of Taxi Funding Corp. and a fleet of New York City taxicabs numbering over 200.[11][12][13] At the time, Cohen was business partners in the taxi business with Simon Garber.[13]

As of 2017, Cohen was estimated to own at least 34 taxi medallions through 17 limited liability companies (LLCs).[13] Until April 2017, “taxi king” Evgeny Freidman managed the medallions still held by Cohen; this arrangement ended after the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission decided not to renew Freidman’s licenses.[13] Between April and June 2017, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance filed seven tax warrants against Cohen and his wife for $37,434 in unpaid taxi taxes due to the MTA.[14]

In 2006, Cohen was a lawyer at the law firm Phillips Nizer LLP.[15] He worked at the firm for about a year before taking a job at The Trump Organization.[10]

In 2008, Cohen was named COO of the MMA promotion Affliction Entertainment[16]

Cohen has been involved in real estate ventures in Manhattan, including buying and selling four apartment buildings between 2011 and 2014. The total purchase price of the four buildings was $11 million and the total sales price was $32 million.[10][17] Cohen sold the four properties at above their assessed values, in all-cash transactions, to LLCs owned by persons whose identities are not public.[18] After this was reported by McClatchy DC in October 2017, Cohen said that all four properties were purchased by an American-owned “New York real estate family fund” that paid cash for the properties in order to obtain a tax deferred (Section 1031) exchange, but did not specifically identify the buyer.[17]

In 2015, Cohen purchased an Upper East Side apartment building for $58 million.[10]

Politics

Cohen volunteered for the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis,[3] was an intern for Congressman Joe Moakley,[6] and voted for Barack Obama in 2008, though he later became disappointed with Obama.[3]

In 2003, he unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for the New York City Council from the Fourth Council District (a Manhattan district).[19] Cohen received 4,205 votes, and was defeated by Democratic candidate Eva S. Moskowitz, who received 13,745 votes.[20] In 2010, Cohen briefly campaigned for a seat in the New York State Senate.[21][6] He was a registered Democrat until he officially registered as a Republican on March 9, 2017.[22][23]

Relationship with Donald Trump and the Trump Organization

Cohen joined the Trump Organization in 2006.[24] Trump hired him in part because he was already a fan of Trump’s, having read Trump’s Art of the Deal twice, bought several Trump properties, and convinced his own parents and in-laws, as well as a business partner to buy condominiums in Trump World Tower.[10] Cohen aided Trump in his struggle with the condominium board at the Trump World Tower, which led to Trump obtaining control of the board.[10]

Cohen became a close confidant to Trump, maintaining an office near Trump at Trump Tower.[10]

2011

While an executive at the organization, Cohen was known as Trump’s “pit bull.” In late 2011, when Trump was publicly speculating about running for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination, Cohen co-founded the website “Should Trump Run?” to draft Trump into entering the race.[6]

In an interview with ABC News in 2011, Cohen stated, “If somebody does something Mr. Trump doesn’t like, I do everything in my power to resolve it to Mr. Trump’s benefit. If you do something wrong, I’m going to come at you, grab you by the neck and I’m not going to let you go until I’m finished.”[25]

2013

In 2013, Cohen sent an email to the satirical news website The Onion, demanding that an article The Onion had published which mocked Donald Trump (“When You’re Feeling Low, Just Remember I’ll Be Dead In About 15 Or 20 Years”) be removed with an apology, claiming it was defamatory.[26][27]

2015

In 2015, in response to an inquiry by reporter Tim Mak of The Daily Beast concerning rape allegations (later recanted) by Ivana Trump about her then-husband Donald Trump, Cohen said, “I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting.”[24]

2016

A video of an interview of Cohen by CNN’s Brianna Keilar went viral, in which Cohen said “Says who?” several times in response to Keilar’s statement that Trump was behind in all of the polls.[28][29]

Cohen defended Trump against charges of antisemitism.[7]

In 2016 he was a co-founder, along with Darrell C. Scott, of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump.[30] [31] Peter J. Gleason, a lawyer who filed for protection of documents pertaining to two women with sexual abuse allegations against Eric T. Schneiderman, stated – without offering details or corroborating evidence – that Cohen told him that if Trump would be elected governor of New York in 2013, the latter would help bring the accusations to public attention.[32]

2017

The Trump–Russia dossier, published in January 2017, alleges that Cohen met with Russian officials in PragueCzech Republic in 2016 with the objective of paying those who had hacked the DNC and to “cover up all traces of the hacking operation”. The dossier contains raw intelligence, and is widely thought to be a mix of accurate and inaccurate information[33][34]. Cohen has denied the allegations against him,[35][36][37] stating that he was in Los Angeles between August 23 and 29, and in New York for the entire month of September.[38]According to a Czech intelligence source, there is no record of him entering Prague by plane, but Respekt magazine and Politico pointed out that he could have theoretically entered by car or train from a neighboring country within the Schengen Area, for example Italy. In the latter case, a record of Cohen entering the Schengen zone from a non-Schengen country should exist, if it occurred.[39][40]

However, on April 13, 2018, the DC Bureau of McClatchy Newspapers reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has evidence that Cohen did travel to Prague during the late-summer of 2016, with two sources having confirmed this secret trip. The evidence is said to show that Cohen entered the Czech Republic from Germany, and since both countries are in European Union’s Schengen passport area, Cohen would not have received a passport stamp to enter Czech territory.[41] The following day, Cohen again denied he has “ever been to Prague”.[42][43] Cohen also said that he didn’t travel to the European Union in August 2016.[44]

In late January 2017, Cohen met with Ukrainian opposition politician Andrey Artemenko and Felix Sater at the Loews Regency in Manhattan to discuss a plan to lift sanctions against Russia. The proposed plan would require that Russian forces withdraw from eastern Ukraine and that Ukraine hold a referendum on whether Crimea should be “leased” to Russia for 50 or 100 years. Cohen was given a written proposal in a sealed envelope that he delivered to then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in early February.[45]

On April 3, 2017, Cohen was appointed a national deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.[46][47] In April 2017, Cohen also formed an alliance with Squire Patton Boggs for legal and lobbying counsel on behalf of Trump.[48]

In May 2017, amidst expanding inquiries into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, two congressional panels asked Cohen to provide information about any communications he had with people connected to the Russian government.[49][50][10][51][52] He was also a subject of the Mueller investigation in 2018.[53][54][55]

2018

In May 2018, the BBC reported that Cohen had received a secret payment of between $400,000 and $600,000 from intermediaries for Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko to arrange a meeting between Poroshenko and Trump, though Cohen was not registered as a foreign agent.[56] Cohen and the Ukrainian president’s office denied the allegations.[56]

In May 2018, Rudy Giuliani announced that Cohen was no longer Trump’s lawyer.[57] In July, seized tapes secretly recorded by Cohen of his conversations with Trump about hush payments to Karen McDougal were disclosed to the New York Times, seemingly contradicting earlier statements by Trump denying knowledge of the payments[58], and raising questions about campaign finance ethics.[58] Cohen also asserted that then Candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son, Donald Jr. and other Trump campaign officials with Russians who claimed to possess information damaging to the Hillary Clinton campaign, contradicting the President’s repeated denials that he was aware of the meeting until long after it had taken place.[59]

In June 2018, Cohen resigned as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. His resignation letter cited the ongoing investigations and also criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating undocumented families at the border.[5]

Payment to Stormy Daniels

In the fall of 2016, adult film actress Stephanie Clifford (better known by her stage name Stormy Daniels) was speaking to some reporters about her allegation that she had had a sexual affair with Trump in 2006. In October, Cohen and her attorney, Keith M. Davidson, negotiated a non-disclosure agreement under which she was to be paid $130,000 for her silence. Cohen created a Delaware limited liability company called Essential Consultants and used it to pay the $130,000.[60] The arrangement was publicly revealed by the Wall Street Journal in January 2018.[61][62]

Cohen told The New York Times in February 2018 that the $130,000 was paid to Daniels from his own pocket, that it was not a campaign contribution, and that he was not reimbursed for making it by either the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign.[63] The Washington Post later noted that, by stating that he used his own money to “facilitate” the payment, Cohen was not ruling out the possibility that Trump, as an individual, reimbursed Cohen for the payment.[64] In April 2018, Trump acknowledged for the first time that Cohen has represented him in the Stormy Daniels case, after previously having denied knowledge of the $130,000 payment.[65]

On March 5, the Wall Street Journal cited anonymous sources recounting Cohen as saying he missed two deadlines to pay Daniels because Cohen “couldn’t reach Mr. Trump in the hectic final days of the presidential campaign”, and that after Trump’s election, Cohen had complained that he had not been reimbursed for the payment. Cohen described this report as “fake news“.[66]

On March 9, NBC News reported that Cohen had used his Trump Organization email to negotiate with Daniels regarding her nondisclosure agreement, and that Cohen had used the same Trump Organization email to arrange for a transfer for funds which would eventually lead to Daniels’ payment.[67] In response, Cohen acknowledged that he had transferred funds from his home equity line of credit to the LLC and from the LLC to Daniels’ attorney.[68]

In a March 25, 2018, interview with 60 Minutes, Daniels said that she and Trump had sex once, and that later she had been threatened in front of her infant daughter, and felt pressured to later sign a nondisclosure agreement.[69][70]

On March 26, David Schwarz, a lawyer for Cohen, told ABC’s Good Morning America that Daniels was lying in the 60 Minutes interview. Cohen’s lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter claiming Daniels’ statements constituted “libel per se and intentional infliction of emotional distress” to Cohen.[71]

Cohen initiated a private arbitration case against Daniels in February 2018, based on an October 2016 non-disclosure agreement signed by Daniels in October 2016 in exchange for $130,000. Cohen obtained an order from an arbitrator barring Daniels from publicly discussing her alleged relationship with Trump.[72][73] Daniels subsequently brought a lawsuit in federal court against Trump and Cohen, arguing that the non-disclosure agreement is legally invalid because Trump never signed it,[74] Cohen responded by seeking to compel arbitration, which would avoid public proceedings.[73] In April 2018, Cohen filed a declaration in the court saying that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself in the Daniels lawsuit.[75][76]

On May 18, lawyers for Cohen filed an objection for Daniel’s lawyer Michael Avenatti being allowed to represent her in a case involving Cohen, claiming it, the objection, was based on the violations of ethical rules, and local court rules, amongst other issues.[77]

Recording of discussion regarding Karen McDougal

In 2016, Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, claimed that she and Trump had an affair from 2006 until 2007, a claim that Trump has since denied.[78] The National Enquirer paid McDougal $150,000 for her story, but never published it, in a practice known as catch-and-kill.[79] On September 30, 2016, Cohen created Resolution Consultants LLC, a Delaware shell company, to purchase the rights to McDougal’s story from the National Enquirer, though the rights to the story were ultimately never purchased.[80][81]

Cohen had been known to record conversations and phone calls with other people.[82] According to his lawyer Lanny Davis, “Michael Cohen had the habit of using his phone to record conversations instead of taking notes”.[83] Altogether the prosecutors have been given more than one hundred audio recordings from the material seized from Cohen in the April raid, after the Trump team withdrew their claims of privilege for those items; reportedly only one of them features a substantive conversation with Trump.[84] The existence of that tape was revealed on July 20 and the actual recording was released on July 25.[78][85]

On July 20, it was revealed that Cohen secretly recorded a conversation with Trump discussing a potential hush payment to the publisher of National Enquirer. The recording had been classified as a privileged attorney-client communication by the Special Master reviewing the Cohen material, but Trump’s attorneys waived that claim, meaning that prosecutors can have it and use it.[78] The conversation in that tape occurred in September 2016, two months before the election and weeks after the Enquirer paid McDougal the $150,000. In the conversation, Trump and Cohen discuss whether to buy the rights to her story from the Enquirer, and Trump appears to approve the idea. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, initially claimed that the tape shows Trump saying “make sure it’s done correctly, and make sure it’s done by check”.[78] Giuliani also noted that no payment was ultimately made, and asserted that Trump’s team waived privilege and allowed the recording to be revealed because it shows no violation of law.[78] The recording appears to contradict Hope Hicks, then Trump’s spokeswoman, who said when the story of the Enquirer payment came out a few days before the election that the Trump campaign had “no knowledge of any of this”.[86]

On July 25, Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis released the actual recording to CNN, which played it on the air on the Cuomo Prime Time program.[85] On it, Trump can be heard concluding a telephone conversation with an unidentified person and then discussing several items of business with Cohen. Cohen mentions that he needs to “open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” interpreted as meaning David Pecker, the head of American Media which publishes the National Enquirer.[85] Later when they discuss financing, Trump is heard saying something about “pay with cash”, to which Cohen responds “no, no, no”, but the tape is unclear and it is disputed what is said next; the word “check” can be heard.[85] A transcript provided by Trump’s attorneys has Trump saying “Don’t pay with cash … check.”[87] The tape cuts off abruptly at that point.[88] A lawyer for the Trump Organization said that any reference to “cash” would not have meant “green currency”, but a one-time payment (“cash”) vs. extended payments (“financing”), in either case accompanied by documents. [85] According to Aaron Blake at The Washington Post, “the tape provides the first evidence that Trump spoke with Cohen about purchasing the rights to women’s stories — apparently to silence them — before the 2016 election.”[88]He also notes that Cohen speaks in “somewhat coded language”, which Trump understands, suggesting that he is already familiar with the issue.

Payment to Shera Bechard

In April 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that Shera Bechard, a former Playboy Playmate, had an affair with married Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy, got pregnant by him, had an abortion, and was to be paid $1.6 million in so-called “hush money” to stay quiet.[89][90] Broidy is a Republican fundraiser and deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee.

In a 2018 court proceeding, Cohen said he had given legal advice to only three clients in 2017: Donald Trump, Sean Hannity, and Elliott Broidy.[91] In late 2017, Cohen arranged the $1.6 million payment by Broidy to Bechard as part of a nondisclosure agreement requiring Bechard to keep silent about the matter.[92] Cohen was Broidy’s attorney and Keith M. Davidson represented Bechard.[92] Davidson had previously been the attorney for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.[92] The Bechard nondisclosure agreement used the same pseudonyms – David Dennison for the man and Peggy Peterson for the woman – as in the Daniels agreement.[93] The payments were to be made in installments.

On July 6, 2018, Bechard filed a lawsuit against Broidy, Davidson, and Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, claiming the three had breached the agreement in relation to the cessation of the settlement payments.[94][95][96][97]

Essential Consultants LLC

Essential Consultants LLC is a Delaware shell company created by Cohen in October 2016 to facilitate payment of hush money to Stormy Daniels.[60] For many months thereafter, Cohen used the LLC[98] for an array of business activities largely unknown to the public, with at least $4.4 million moving through the LLC between Trump’s election to the presidency and January 2018.[99] In May 2018, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti posted a seven-page report to Twitter detailing what he said were financial transactions involving Essential Consultants and Cohen. Avenatti did not reveal the source of his information, which was later largely confirmed by the New York Times and other publications.[99] The data showed that hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to Cohen, via Essential Consultants, from Fortune 500 firms such as Novartis and AT&T, which had business before the Trump administration. It was also revealed that Essential Consultants had received at least $500,000 from a New York-based investment firm called Columbus Nova which is linked to a Russian oligarch. The firm’s largest client is a company controlled by Viktor Vekselberg, a Ukrainian-born Russian oligarch.[99][100][101][102] Vekselberg is a business partner of Soviet-born billionaire and major Republican Party donor, Leonard Blavatnik.[103] A spokesperson for Columbus Nova said that the payment was a consulting fee that had nothing to do with Vekselberg.[99]

Questions were raised about many of the payments, such as four totaling $200,000 that AT&T paid to the LLC between October 2017 and January 2018,[104][105] while at the same time the proposed merger between the company and Time Warner is pending before the Justice Department. AT&T claimed that the money was paid to the LLC and other firms that were used to provide insights into understanding the new administration, and that the LLC did no legal or lobbying work for AT&T.[99][106]

On May 11, 2018, the CEO of AT&T stated that in early 2017 it was approached by Cohen to provide “his opinion on the new President and his administration”. Cohen was paid $600,000 ($50,000 per month) over the year, which its CEO described as “a big mistake”. Novartis was also approached by Cohen and was offered similar services.[107]

Novartis, a Switzerland–based pharmaceutical giant paid the LLC nearly $1.2 million in separate payments.[108] Novartis released a statement May 9, 2018 that it hired the LLC to help the company understand the “health care policy” of the new administration, but it actually did not receive benefit for its investment. The statement continued that Novartis made a decision to not engage Essential Consultants further, but it could not terminate the contract for “cause”, raising concerns on why the company did not pursue reimbursement.[109]

Korea Aerospace Industries paid $150,000,[102] ostensibly for advice on “cost accounting standards”.[109]

Franklin L. Haney agreed to pay Cohen $10 million if he successfully lobbied for the United States Department of Energy to finance the Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station, or a reduced fee if the funding targets were only partially met.[110]

Federal investigation

Cohen v US – Govt Opposition to TRO Request

As of April 2018, Cohen was under federal criminal investigation by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.[111] Possible charges reportedly included bank fraud, wire fraud and violations of campaign finance law.[112]

On April 9, 2018, the FBI raided Cohen’s office at the law firm of Squire Patton Boggs, as well as his home and his hotel room in the Loews Regency Hotel in New York City, pursuant to a federal search warrant.[113][114] The warrant was obtained by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, whose public corruption unit was conducting an investigation.[12] Seeking the warrant required high-level approval from the Department of Justice.[115]The Interim U.S. Attorney, Geoffrey Berman, was recused.[116] Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray – both of whom are Trump appointees – had supervisory roles.[117] The FBI obtained the warrant after a referral from Robert Mueller‘s Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, although underlying reasons for the raid were not revealed.[115][118] Following the raid, Squire Patton Boggs law firm ended its formal working relationship with Cohen.[119]

Agents seized emails, tax records, business records, and other matter related to several topics, including payments made by Cohen to Stormy Daniels,[115] and records related to Trump’s Access Hollywood controversy.[120]Recordings of phone conversations Cohen made were also obtained.[121] According to Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti and civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom, some of the recordings may have included participants located in California, which would make the recordings illegal, as California is a “two party consent” state.[122]

The search included the seizure of materials normally protected by attorney-client privilege, which is subject to a crime-fraud exception if a crime is suspected.[123] However, some legal scholars opined that Trump’s denial that he had knowledge of the Daniels payment, combined with denials by Cohen and his lawyer David Schwartz, meant both sides had effectively said the matter did not involve attorney-client communications.[124] The search warrant itself has been sealed, making it unavailable to the public.[125] The FBI also sought documents pertaining to Cohen’s ownership of taxi medallions.[12][126] Cohen’s taxi fleet is operated by Gene Freidman, who is facing legal trouble for alleged tax evasion.[127]

A few days after the raid, McClatchy reported that the Mueller investigation was in possession of evidence that Cohen traveled to Prague in August or September 2016. If true, the report bolsters similar claims in 3 of 17 reports from the Trump–Russia dossier. According to McClatchy’s confidential sources, Cohen traveled to Prague via Germany, a passage which would not have required use of a passport due to both countries being within the Schengen Area.[128][129][130] In reaction, Cohen denied having ever been to Prague, as he had done in his January 2017 denial following the dossier’s release.[131][42][43] The Spectator, citing an intelligence source in London, echoed the findings of McClatchy that evidence of Cohen visiting Prague was given to the Mueller investigation.[132] Mother Jones reported that Cohen had told them “I was in Prague for one afternoon 14 years ago”, contradicting later statements that he had never visited.[133]

On May 3, 2018, NBC erroneously reported that Cohen’s phone lines had been wiretapped for weeks before his office, home and hotel room were raided and that at least one call between the White House and one of the phone lines associated with Cohen was intercepted. Later that day, NBC corrected the story to indicate that Cohen’s phone calls had been monitored by pen register, which logs the origins and destinations of calls but not the contents.[134][135]

The Wall Street Journal reported on July 26, 2018 that longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg had been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury regarding the Cohen investigation.[136]

Conviction and afterward

In August 2018, it was reported that investigators were in the final stages of their investigation.[137] Cohen officially surrendered to the FBI on August 21, 2018.[138] That afternoon, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges: five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign.[139][140][141] The plea deal did not include any agreement to cooperate with investigators.[142] The agreement did include jail time. His sentencing is scheduled for December 12, 2018. The judge said he can be released on $500,000 bail after surrendering his passport and any firearms he owns.[141]

After Cohen’s conviction his personal lawyer, Lanny Davis, stated that Cohen was ready to “tell everything about Donald Trump that he knows”.[143] Davis alluded to Cohen’s knowledge which could be used against Trump, and hinted that Cohen had knowledge of whether Trump knew in advance about the computer hacking that was detrimental to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, as well as knowledge of the meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016.[144] He later added that he believed Cohen would agree to testify before Congress, even without immunity.[145]

Responding to speculation that President Trump might issue a pardon for Cohen, lawyer Davis said on NPR, “I know that Mr. Cohen would never accept a pardon from a man that he considers to be both corrupt and a dangerous person in the oval office. And [Cohen] has flatly authorized me to say under no circumstances would he accept a pardon from Mr. Trump.”[146] In his interview to Sky News, Davis said the turning point for his client′s attitude toward Trump was the Helsinki summit in July 2018 which caused him to doubt Trump’s loyalty to the U.S.[147]

Personal life

Cohen married Ukraine-born Laura Shusterman in 1994.[10][148][149] Laura Shusterman’s father, Fima Shusterman, left Ukraine for New York in 1975.[149] He has a daughter who was attending the University of Pennsylvania as of May 2017.[150][151] His uncle is a family practitioner who gave medical aid to members of the Lucchese crime family.[149]

Before joining the Trump Organization, Cohen had purchased several homes in Trump’s buildings.[6] A 2017 New York Times article reported that Cohen is known for having “a penchant for luxury”; he was married at The Pierre, drove a Porsche while attending college, and once owned a Bentley.[10]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Cohen_(lawyer)

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Russia is trampling over US interests: Gen. Keane

Revealed: How the 12 Russian hackers indicted by the DOJ used $95,000 worth of Bitcoin to finance their secret bid to swing the 2016 election

  • Hackers fired off fishing emails to Democrats to try and get personal information
  • Used bitcoin payments worth $95,000 to buy domain registrations and servers
  • Spread stolen information on social networks including Twitter and Facebook
  • Used pseudonyms like ‘Kate S. Milton’ and ‘James McMorgans’ to hide identity 
  • One of the hackers spoke directly to long-time Trump confidante Roger Stone 

The indictment on Friday of a dozen Russian military intelligence officers for hacking Democratic Party and Clinton Campaign emails in an effort to sway the 2016 election throws light on a sophisticated operation believed to have close links with Vladimir Putin.

The male hackers adopted pseudonyms from genuine-sounding names like Kate S. Milton and James McMorgans to more bizarre options like djangomagicdev and realblatr as they fired off phishing emails aimed at getting their targets to reveal sensitive information.

This information was then spread through fake social media accounts and websites. Bitcoin transactions worth $95,000 were used to purchase domain registrations and computer servers while maintaining anonymity, according to the indictment.

The 29-page document, drafted by a team overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller, raises some awkward questions for President Trump (seen with First Lady Melania leaving Air Force One after landing in London on Thursday)

Robert Mueller in Washington on June 21, 2017

The document, published by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, says the officers were members of the Russian government’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), which suggests their work was done with the full knowledge of President Putin.

They worked out of two Moscow locations: Unit 26165, located at 20 Komsomolsky Prospekt; and Unit 74455, based in a glass office block on 22 Kirova Street dubbed ‘The Tower’.

The 29-page document, drafted by a team overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller, says that in the months leading up to the November 2016 election, the Russians used fairly simple methods to steal documents from the Democratic Party and the Clinton Campaign.

This including sending emails disguised as Google security alerts containing links to malware, which they then used to steal passwords, track computer usage and monitor banking information.

Information aimed at damaging Clinton’s prospects was then circulated on popular social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook under fake names often claiming to be based on the US.

One of the group’s servers was based in Illinois and, as was usual, bought with bitcoin.

Hackers used phishing emails to target members of the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic Party. Clinton is pictured in Pittsburgh on July 13

Hackers used phishing emails to target members of the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic Party. Clinton is pictured in Pittsburgh on July 13

‘The use of bitcoin allowed the conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds,’ the indictment said.

Mueller’s team says the Russians used ‘spearphishing’ – a technique used to steal passwords or otherwise gain access to computers – throughout the summer of 2016 to hack individuals associated with the Clinton campaign.

One attempt noted in the indictment appeared to come hours after Donald Trump suggested Russians look for Clinton’s emails.

On the morning of July 27, 2016, Trump gave a speech in which he said ‘Russia, if you’re listening,’ he’d love to get a look at the thousands of emails Clinton had said she deleted from her tenure as secretary of state.

The indictment points to a hacking attempt that same day, saying that ‘after hours’ the Russians attempted to ‘spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office.’

Around the same time, the indictment says, they targeted 76 email addresses at the Clinton campaign’s domain.

The indictment raises questions for President Trump’s long-time confidante Roger Stone, who on Friday acknowledged communicating over Twitter messages with a user called Guccifer 2.0 – identified on the indictment as a Russian agent. Stone insists he did not know this at the time.

Trump’s political opponents have accused Stone of being part of a plot to release material on WikiLeaks, pointing to statements he made in August 2016 suggesting he knew in advance what would appear on the website.

The document says the officers were members of the Russian government's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), which suggests their work was done with the full knowledge of President Putin (pictured speaking to President Trump in Vietnam on November 11, 2017)

The document says the officers were members of the Russian government’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), which suggests their work was done with the full knowledge of President Putin (pictured speaking to President Trump in Vietnam on November 11, 2017)

According to the indictment, the Russian hacking operation was so precise that they were able to pinpoint specific computers within the House Democratic campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Democratic National Committee that stored information related to the election.

They were able to search the computers for certain terms, like ‘Hillary,’ ”Cruz,’ and ‘Trump.’ They also copied folders, including opposition research and field operation plans.

The Russians hid their involvement through fake email addresses and identities and a network of computers located around the world – including in the United States.

The indictment says the Russians hacked the website of a state board of elections and stole the information of roughly 500,000 voters, including names, addresses, partial Social Security numbers, dates of birth and driver’s license numbers.

They also hacked into a national election vendor that supplied software used to verify voter registration information.

Federal officials have said state election sites in at least 18 states were probed by the Russians. The indictment adds county offices – specifically in Georgia, Florida and Iowa – to the list of election administration sites they allegedly visited ‘to identify vulnerabilities.’

Department of Homeland Security officials have said there is no evidence of any election results being tampered with during the 2016 intrusions.

Senator Mark Warner says Trump should not meet Putin one-on-one

 

Story 4: President Trump’s Supporters in West Virginia Still Wild About President As Approval Rating Declines From 50% to 45% — How Many Miles of Trump’s New Beautiful Wall Have Been Built? — None — Slowing Replacing Old Barriers and Fencing — Congress Has Not Funded Trump’s New Wall — Democrats New Theme “America Was Never Great” — Videos

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The Wall Is Being Built! (Slowly.)

Construction workers place a section of new bollard wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in Santa Teresa, N.M., April 23, 2018. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

The U.S. government is currently installing sections of Trump’s 30-foot-high wall in three places.The good news for those who wish to see a wall built along the U.S.–Mexican border is that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has built seven miles of 30-foot-high wall in the past few months, and roughly 30 more miles of high fencing are slated for construction.

The bad news is that there’s still a lot of border to go.

New reports from Carlos Diaz, southwest branch chief of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, indicate that one of the three current wall projects is nearly complete, another is about a quarter of the way done, and one just began earlier this month.

The first border-wall construction project began in February near downtown Calexico, Calif., roughly 120 miles east of San Diego. Here, construction contractor SWF Constructors, of Omaha, Neb., is putting up a 30-foot high “bollard-style wall” to replace 2.25 miles of wall built in the 1990s out of recycled scraps of metal and steel plates. (The bollard style uses bars, so that border patrol officers can see through to the other side.)

When construction began, the agency stated, “Although the existing wall has proven effective at deterring unlawful cross border activity, smuggling organizations damaged and breached this outdated version of a border wall several hundred times during the last two years, resulting in costly repairs.” When construction began, David Kim, assistant chief patrol agent for the Border Patrol’s El Centro sector, emphasized to local media that the construction was not tied to any particular immigration debate in Washington. It was, he said, a “local tactical infrastructure project that was planned for quite some time.”

This wall project, estimated to cost about $18 million, is approaching completion, with roughly 1.8 miles — 1,171 panels – completed as of this week.

In April, CBP began the second section near Santa Theresa, N.M., which is near the Texas–New Mexico state line. 20-mile section of existing vehicle barrier that begins just west of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry and extending westward will be replaced with an 18- to 30-foot-high bollard-style wall. About 5.3 miles, or 3,851 panels, have been completed.

As the name implies, a vehicle fence is not designed to keep people out. It comes in two forms: “Normandy fences” that are metal posts resembling jacks or large X’s, cabled together; or rows of vertical metal posts, tall enough and close enough together to make it impossible to drive a car through them.

The project is expected to cost approximately $73.3 million and will take roughly a year to complete.

The total length of the U.S.–Mexico border is 1,954 miles; as of August 2017, 705 miles have at least one of four kinds of barriers.

At the beginning of June, the CBP began the third project near San Diego, replacing approximately 14 miles of 8- to 10-foot-high scrap metal wall with an 18- to 30-foot bollard-style wall topped off with an anti-climbing plate. The project begins approximately a half-mile from the Pacific Ocean coastline and extends eastward to the base of Otay Mountain in East San Diego County. The project is estimated to cost $147 million; 50 panels have been installed as of June 20.

The total length of the U.S.–Mexico border is 1,954 miles; as of August 2017, 705 miles have at least one of four kinds of barriers: pedestrian primary fence, pedestrian secondary fence, pedestrian tertiary fence, and vehicle fence.

According to the General Accounting Office, the amount of primary and vehicle fencing increased fairly dramatically during the latter years of the Bush administration and in the first year or so of the Obama administration. From 2005 to 2010, the total miles of border fencing on the southwest border increased from 119 to 654 — including 354 miles of primary pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of primary vehicle fencing. But after 2010, construction of new fencing came to a virtual halt.

A map of the fencing completed as of December 2017 shows much of California’s border covered, Arizona heavily dependent on vehicle fencing (183 miles’ worth), with southwestern New Mexico and west Texas having the longest uncovered stretches. This aligns with the areas where the terrain and heat are most difficult for those attempting to sneak over the border.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council — the labor union that represents U.S. Border Patrol — testified before Congress in April 2017:

I will not advocate for 2,000 miles’ worth of border. That is just not necessary. But what I will advocate for is a border wall in strategic locations, which helps us secure the border. . . . The building of barriers and large fences, a bipartisan effort, allowed agents in part to dictate where illegal crossings took place and doubled how effective I was able to be in apprehending illegal border crossers.

A wall “is not a panacea to illegal immigration and drug trafficking,” he added in his submitted written testimony. “Illegal immigrants and drug traffickers routinely go over, under, and through the existing fencing that we already have in place. Fencing without the proper manpower to arrest those who penetrate it is not a prudent investment.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/us-mexico-border-wall-being-built-slowly/#slide-1

 

 

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