The Pronk Pops Show 1134, September 4, 2018, Breaking News, Story 1: Democrats Distracting Delaying Destruction Derby at Senate Judiciary Committee For Nomination Hearing of Brett Kavanaugh For Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States — Resistance Is Futile Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Kavanuagh Will Be Confirmed — Video — Story 2: Betraying You Loyal Customers with Quitter Colin Kaepernick — Nike Nuts — Videos — Story 3: You Are Not A Paranoid President When The Political Elitist Establishment Is Out To Get Trump — Trump Goes On Offense — Videos

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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 News, Story 1: Democrats Distracting Destruction Derby at Senate Judiciary Committee For Nomination Hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh For Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States —  — Kavanuagh Will Be Confirmed — Resistance Is Futile Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Video

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We are The Borg

CHAOS: KAVANAUGH HEARINGS KICK OFF WITH BELLIGERENT, SHRIEKING DEMOCRATIC HECKLERS, CALLS TO ADJOURN

Grassley: ‘We will continue as planned’

 

As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa), attempted to call the hearings to order, hecklers almost immediately began heckling the lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) promptly interrupted Grassley, demanding a delay to the hearings. Sen. Klobuchar (D-Minn.) then followed up with another call to delay the hearings. The Democratic lawmakers were upset over documents the White House released last night, which they said came too late.

“We cannot possibly move forward,” Sen. Kamala Harris said. Sen. Blumenthal then moved to adjourn the meeting, a call which received a roaring ovation from the hecklers.

Watch above to witness the circus in full swing.

Below is a transcript:

GRASSLEY: “Good morning. I welcome everyone to this confirmation hearing on the nomination of —“
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman.”
GRASSLEY: “— Brett Kavanaugh –”
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman.”
GRASSLEY: “— to serve as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized for a question before we proceed. Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized to ask a question before we proceed. The committee received just last night less than 15 hours ago —“
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman, regular order.”
HARRIS: “— 42.000 pages of documents that we have not had an opportunity to review or read or analyze.”
GRASSLEY: “You are out of order. I will proceed.”
HARRIS: “We cannot possibly move forward, Mr. Chairman. We have not been given the opportunity to have a meaningful hearing with Congress nominee–“[cross-talk]
GRASSLEY: “I extend a very warm welcome to Judge Kavanaugh, to his wife Ashley, their two daughters –[cross-talk]
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, I agree with my colleague, senator Harris. Mr. Chairman, we received 42.000 documents tat we haven’t been able to review  —”
GRASSLEY: “— And everyone else joining us today.”
UNKNOWN: ” and we believe this hearing should be postponed —”
GRASSLEY: “I know this is an exciting day for all of you here and your you’re rightly proud —”
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, if we cannot be recognized I move to adjourn. Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn.”
GRASSLEY: “— From Judge Kavanaugh —”
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn. Mr. Chairman, we have been denied real access to the documents we need to advise —” (Audience cheering)
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, we have been denied the real access to the documents we need —[cross-talk] which turns this hearing into a charade and a mockery of our norms and, Mr. Cha

As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa), attempted to call the hearings to order, hecklers almost immediately began heckling the lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) promptly interrupted Grassley, demanding a delay to the hearings. Sen. Klobuchar (D-Minn.) then followed up with another call to delay the hearings. The Democratic lawmakers were upset over documents the White House released last night, which they said came too late.

“We cannot possibly move forward,” Sen. Kamala Harris said. Sen. Blumenthal then moved to adjourn the meeting, a call which received a roaring ovation from the hecklers.

Watch above to witness the circus in full swing.

Below is a transcript:

GRASSLEY: “Good morning. I welcome everyone to this confirmation hearing on the nomination of —“
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman.”
GRASSLEY: “— Brett Kavanaugh –”
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman.”
GRASSLEY: “— to serve as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized for a question before we proceed. Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized to ask a question before we proceed. The committee received just last night less than 15 hours ago —“
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman, regular order.”
HARRIS: “— 42.000 pages of documents that we have not had an opportunity to review or read or analyze.”
GRASSLEY: “You are out of order. I will proceed.”
HARRIS: “We cannot possibly move forward, Mr. Chairman. We have not been given the opportunity to have a meaningful hearing with Congress nominee–“[cross-talk]
GRASSLEY: “I extend a very warm welcome to Judge Kavanaugh, to his wife Ashley, their two daughters –[cross-talk]
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, I agree with my colleague, senator Harris. Mr. Chairman, we received 42.000 documents tat we haven’t been able to review  —”
GRASSLEY: “— And everyone else joining us today.”
UNKNOWN: ” and we believe this hearing should be postponed —”
GRASSLEY: “I know this is an exciting day for all of you here and your you’re rightly proud —”
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, if we cannot be recognized I move to adjourn. Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn.”
GRASSLEY: “— From Judge Kavanaugh —”
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn. Mr. Chairman, we have been denied real access to the documents we need to advise —” (Audience cheering)
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, we have been denied the real access to the documents we need —[cross-talk] which turns this hearing into a charade and a mockery of our norms and, Mr. Chairman, I therefore move to adjourn this hearing.”
AUDIENCE: “This is a mockery. This is a travesty of justice. Cancel Brett Kavanaugh, adjourn the hearing. [ indecipherable].”
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, I ask for a roll call vote on my motion to adjourn.”
AUDIENCE MEMBER: “‘[indecipherable]'”
GRASSLEY: “Okay.”
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn. I ask for a roll call vote.”
GRASSLEY: “We are not in executive session. We will continue as planned.”

RELATED: 

— Cory Booker Demands Cancellation of Kavanaugh Hearings: ‘This Committee Is a Violation’

— Hecklers Continue to Interrupt Start of Brett Kavanaugh Hearing

— More Chaos as Sen. Blumenthal Interrupts His Colleague Feinstein During Kavanaugh Hearings

— Sen. Tillis Reads Report Debunking Dems’ Docs Argument: Plans to Disrupt Were Already in Place

https://news.grabien.com/story-kavanaugh-hearings-kick-belligerent-shrieking-hecklers

 

Brett Kavanaugh

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Brett Kavanaugh
Judge Brett Kavanaugh.jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Assumed office
May 30, 2006
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by Laurence Silberman
White House Staff Secretary
In office
June 6, 2003 – May 30, 2006
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Harriet Miers
Succeeded by Raul F. Yanes
Personal details
Born Brett Michael Kavanaugh
February 12, 1965 (age 53)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Ashley Estes (m. 2004)
Children 2[1]
Education Yale University (BAJD)

Brett Michael Kavanaugh (born February 12, 1965) is a United States circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Kavanaugh has been nominated to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The American Bar Association (ABA) unanimously gave him its highest rating.

Kavanaugh previously was White House Staff Secretary during the presidency of George W. Bush.

As an attorney working for Ken Starr, Kavanaugh played a lead role in drafting the Starr Report, which urged the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.[2] Kavanaugh led the investigation into the suicide of Clinton aide Vince Foster. After the 2000 U.S. presidential election (in which Kavanaugh worked for the George W. Bush campaign in the Florida recount), Kavanaugh joined Bush’s staff, where he led the administration’s effort to identify and confirm judicial nominees.[3]

Kavanaugh was first nominated to the Court of Appeals by Bush in 2003. His confirmation hearings were contentious and stalled for three years over charges of partisanship. Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed in May 2006 after a series of negotiations between Democratic and Republican U.S. Senators.[4][5][6]

On July 9, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States following the vacancy created by the pending retirement of Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.[7][8] Trump and his advisors reportedly viewed Kavanaugh as “a stalwart originalist“.[9][10]

Early life and education

Kavanaugh was born on February 12, 1965, in Washington, D.C., and raised in BethesdaMaryland, the son of Martha Gamble (Murphy) and Everett Edward Kavanaugh Jr.[11][12] His mother was a history teacher at Woodson and McKinley high schools in Washington in the 1960s and 1970s. She earned her law degree from Washington College of Law in 1978 and served as a Maryland state Circuit Court Judge from 1995 to 2001.[13][14] His father was the president of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association for two decades.[15]

Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Preparatory School, where he was two years senior to Justice Neil Gorsuch.[16][17] He then graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts and from Yale Law School with a Juris Doctor degree in 1990. There, he lived in a dilapidated group house with future-Judge James E. Boasberg and became a basketball partner of Professor George L. Priest, who was the sponsor of the school’s Federalist Society.[18] He was a Notes Editor for the Yale Law Journal.[19]

Early legal career (1990–2006)

Kavanaugh first worked as a law clerk for Judge Walter King Stapleton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.[18] During Kavanaugh’s clerkship, Stapleton wrote the majority opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the Third Circuit upheld many of Pennsylvania’s abortion restrictions.[18] Priest recommended Kavanaugh to Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, who was regarded as a feeder judge.[18]

After clerking for Judge Kozinski, Kavanaugh next interviewed with Chief Justice William Rehnquist, but he was not offered a clerkship.[18]

Kavanaugh then earned a one-year fellowship with the Solicitor General of the United StatesKen Starr.[20] Kavanaugh next clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, working alongside his high school classmate Neil Gorsuch and with future-Judge Gary Feinerman.[16]

Kavanaugh with President George W. Bush and other White House staffers in 2001. Kavanaugh is seated directly to the left of Bush.

After his Supreme Court clerkship, Kavanaugh worked for Ken Starr again as an Associate Counsel in the Office of the Independent Counsel, where his colleagues included Rod Rosenstein and Alex Azar.[21] In that capacity, he handled a number of the novel constitutional and legal issues presented during the Vincent Foster investigation.[21][22][23] In Swidler & Berlin v. United States (1998), Kavanaugh argued his first and only case before the Supreme Court when he asked it to disregard attorney–client privilege in relation to the investigation of Foster’s death.[24] The Supreme Court rejected Kavanaugh’s arguments by a vote of 6–3.[25]

Kavanaugh was a principal author of the Starr Report to Congress on the Monica LewinskyBill Clinton sex scandal.[21] He urged Starr to ask the president sexually graphic questions and argued on broad grounds for the impeachment of Bill Clinton,[26][27] describing Clinton as being involved in “a conspiracy to obstruct justice”, having “disgraced his office” and “lied to the American people”.[28]

Kavanaugh was later a partner at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis.[20] While there in 2000, he was pro bono counsel of record for relatives of Elián González, a six-year-old rescued Cuban boy while Jeffery M. Leving spearheaded the amicus brief for the boy. After the boy’s mother’s death at sea, members of the extended family in the U.S. wanted to keep him from returning to the care of his sole surviving parent, his father in Cuba. The district court, the Circuit Court and the Supreme Court all followed precedent, refusing to block the boy’s return to his home.[29] In addition, Kavanaugh authored two amicus briefs supporting religious activities and expressions in public places.[29]

After George W. Bush became president in 2001, Kavanaugh was hired as an associate by the White House CounselAlberto Gonzales.[18] There, Kavanaugh worked on the Enron scandal, the successful nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts, and the unsuccessful nomination of Miguel Estrada.[18] Starting in 2003, he served as Assistant to the President and White House Staff Secretary.[20] In that capacity, he was responsible for coordinating all documents to and from the president.

Tenure as U.S. Circuit Judge (2006–present)

Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing in 2004

President George W. Bush first nominated Kavanaugh to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 25, 2003, to a vacancy created by Judge Laurence Silberman, who took senior status in November 2000.[30] Kavanaugh’s nomination was stalled in the Senate for nearly three years. Democratic Senators accused him of being too partisan, with Senator Dick Durbin calling him the “Forrest Gump of Republican politics”.[31] In 2003, the American Bar Association rated Kavanaugh as “well qualified”, but, after opposition from Senate Democrats, rated him in 2006 as only “qualified”.[18] His nomination was opposed by People for the American Way.[32]

The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary recommended confirmation on a 10–8 party-line vote on May 11, 2006,[33] and Kavanaugh was thereafter confirmed to the court by the U.S. Senate on May 26, 2006, by a vote of 57–36.[34][35] On June 1, 2006, he was sworn in by Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he had previously clerked, during a special Rose Garden ceremony at the White House.[36] Kavanaugh was the fourth judge nominated to the D.C. Circuit by Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate. Kavanaugh began hearing cases on September 11, 2006, and had his formal investiture on September 27, at the Prettyman Courthouse. His first published opinion was released on November 17, 2006.[37]

Kavanaugh being sworn in by Justice Anthony Kennedy as President George W. Bush and Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, look on

In July 2007, Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy and Dick Durbin accused Kavanaugh of “misleading” the Senate Judiciary Committee during his nomination. Durbin and Leahy accused Kavanaugh of lying to them in his confirmation hearing when he denied being involved in formulating the Bush administration’s detention and interrogation policies in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In 2002, Kavanaugh had met with other White House lawyers, and talked about whether or not the Supreme Court would approve of denying lawyers to prisoners detained as enemy combatants. Kavanaugh had previously been a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and predicted in that meeting that Kennedy would not approve of denying legal counsel to those prisoners.[38] Durbin said, “It appears that you misled me, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the nation.” [39] This issue re-emerged in July 2018, as Kavanaugh was under consideration for a nomination to the Supreme Court[40], which Kavanaugh received.

Notable cases

The Supreme Court has adopted Kavanaugh’s position on cases 13 times, and has reversed his position only once. These included cases involving environmental regulationscriminal procedure, the separation of powers and extraterritorial jurisdiction in human rightsabuse cases.[18][41] He has been regarded as a feeder judge.[42]

Abortion

During his confirmation hearing in 2006 for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh stated that he considered Roe v. Wade binding under the principle of stare decisis and would follow the ruling of the higher court.[43] The prevalence of abortion regulations both historically and at the time, Rehnquist said he could not reach such a conclusion about abortion.”[44]

In October 2017, Kavanaugh joined an unsigned divided panel opinion which found that the Office of Refugee Resettlement could temporarily prevent an unaccompanied alien minor in its custody from traveling to obtain an abortion.[45] Days later, the en banc D.C. Circuit reversed that judgment, with Kavanaugh dissenting.[45][46] The girl then obtained an abortion.[45] In his dissent, Linda Greenhouse says Kavanaugh criticized the majority for creating “a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in U.S. government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand”.[47] In Azar v. Garza (2018), the girl’s claim was ultimately dismissed as moot after the en banc D.C. Circuit’s judgment was vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court.[48]

Affordable Care Act

In November 2011, Kavanaugh dissented when the D.C. Circuit upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), arguing that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.[49][50] In his dissent concerning jurisdiction, he compared the individual mandate to a tax.[51] After a unanimous panel found that the ACA did not violate the Constitution’s Origination Clause in Sissel v. United States Department of Health & Human Services (2014), Kavanaugh wrote a lengthy dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc.[52][53] In May 2015, Kavanaugh dissented from a decision that denied an en banc rehearing of the Priests for Life v. HHS ruling in which the panel upheld the ACA’s contraceptive mandate accommodations against Priests for LifeReligious Freedom Restoration Act claims.[54][55] In Zubik v. Burwell (2016), the Supreme Court vacated the circuit’s judgment in a per curiam decision.[56]

Appointments Clause and separation of powers

In August 2008, Kavanaugh dissented when the circuit found that the Constitution’s Appointments Clause did not prevent the Sarbanes–Oxley Act from creating a board whose members were not directly removable by the President.[57][58] In Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (2010), the Supreme Court reversed the circuit’s judgment by a vote of 5–4.[59]

In 2015, Kavanaugh found that those directly regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could challenge the constitutionality of its design.[60][61] In October 2016, Kavanaugh wrote for a divided panel finding that the CFPB’s design was unconstitutional, and made the CFPB Director removable by the President of the United States.[62][63] In January 2018, the en banc D.C. Circuit reversed that judgment by a vote of 7-3, over the dissent of Kavanaugh.[64][65]

Environmental regulation

In 2013, Kavanaugh issued an extraordinary writ of mandamus requiring the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to process the license application of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, over the dissent of Judge Merrick Garland.[66][67] In April 2014, Kavanaugh dissented when the court found that Labor Secretary Tom Perez could issue workplace safety citations against SeaWorld regarding the multiple killings of its workers by Tilikum the orca.[68][69]

After Kavanaugh wrote for a divided panel striking down a Clean Air Act regulation, the Supreme Court reversed by a vote of 6–2 in EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P. (2014).[70][71] Kavanaugh dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc of a unanimous panel opinion upholding the agency’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and a fractured Supreme Court reversed by a vote of 5-4 in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (2014).[72][73] After Judge Kavanaugh dissented from a per curiamdecision allowing the agency to disregard cost–benefit analysis, the Supreme Court reversed by a vote of 5–4 in Michigan v. EPA (2015).[74][75]

Extraterritorial jurisdiction

In Doe v. Exxon Mobil Corp. (2007), Kavanaugh dissented when the circuit court allowed a lawsuit making accusations of ExxonMobil human rights violations in Indonesia to proceed, arguing in his dissent that the claims were not justiciable.[76][77] Kavanaugh dissented again when the circuit court later found that the corporation could be sued under the Alien Tort Statute of 1789.[41][78][79]

First Amendment and free speech

Kavanaugh wrote for unanimous three-judge district courts when they held that the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act could restrict soft money donations to political parties and could forbid campaign contributions by foreign citizens.[80][81] Those judgments were both summarily affirmed on direct appeal by the Supreme Court.[82]

In 2014, Kavanaugh concurred in the judgment when the en banc D.C. Circuit found that the Free Speech Clause did not forbid the government from requiring meatpackers to include a country of origin label on their products.[83][84] In United States Telecom Ass’n v. FCC (2016), Kavanaugh dissented when the en banc circuit refused to rehear a rejected challenge to the net neutrality rule, writing that “Congress did not clearly authorize the FCC to issue the net neutrality rule”.[20][85][86]

Fourth Amendment and civil liberties

In November 2010, Kavanaugh dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc after the circuit found that attaching a Global Positioning System tracking device to a vehicle violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[87][88] The circuit’s judgment was then affirmed by the Supreme Court in United States v. Jones (2012).[89] In February 2016, Kavanaugh dissented when the en banc circuit refused to rehear police officers’ rejected claims of qualified immunity for arresting partygoers in a vacant house.[20][90] In District of Columbia v. Wesby (2018), the Supreme Court unanimously reversed the circuit’s judgment.[91]

In Klayman v. Obama (2015), Kavanaugh concurred when the circuit court denied an en banc rehearing of its decision to vacate a district court order blocking the National Security Agency‘s warrantless bulk collection of telephony metadata.[92][93] In his concurrence, Kavanaugh wrote that the metadata collection was not a search, and, even if it were, no reasonable suspicion would be required because of the government’s special need to prevent terrorist attacks.[94]

National security

In April 2009, Kavanaugh wrote a lengthy concurrence when the court found that detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp had no right to advanced notice before being transferred to another country.[95][96] In Kiyemba v. Obama (2010), the Supreme Court vacated that judgment while refusing to review the matter.[97] In June 2010, Kavanaugh wrote a concurrence in judgment when the en banc D.C. Circuit found that the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory owners could not bring a defamation suit regarding the government’s allegations that they were terrorists.[98][99] In October 2012, he wrote for a unanimous court when it found that the Constitution’s Ex Post Facto Clause made it unlawful for the government to prosecute Salim Hamdan under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 on charges of providing material support for terrorism.[100][101]

In August 2010, Kavanaugh wrote a lengthy concurrence when the en banc circuit refused to rehear Ghaleb Nassar Al Bihani’s rejected claims that the international law of war limits the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.[20][102] In 2014, Kavanaugh concurred in the judgment when the en banc circuit found that Ali al-Bahlul could be retroactively convicted of war crimes, provided existing statute already made it a crime “because it does not alter the definition of the crime, the defenses or the punishment”.[103][104] In October 2016, Kavanaugh wrote the plurality opinion when the en banc circuit found al-Bahlul could be convicted by a military commission even if his offenses are not internationally recognized as war crimes under the law of war.[105][106]

In Meshal v. Higgenbotham (2016), Kavanaugh concurred when the divided panel threw out a claim by an American that he had been disappeared by the FBI in a Kenyan black site.[107][108]

Second Amendment and gun ownership

In October 2011, Kavanaugh dissented when the circuit court found that a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles was permissible under the Second Amendment. This case followed the landmark Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).[109][110]

Law clerk hiring practices

More than half of Kavanaugh’s law clerks have been women (25 of 48) and more than a quarter have been people of color (13 of 48).[111] A number of Kavanaugh’s law clerks are the children of other judges and high profile legal figures, including Clayton Kozinski (son of former federal Judge Alex Kozinski), Porter Wilkinson (daughter of Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III), Philip Alito (son of Justice Samuel Alito), Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld (daughter of Yale Law Professor and “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua), and Emily Chertoff (daughter of former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff).[112][113]

Nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States (2018)

Kavanaugh and his family with President Donald Trump in 2018

On July 2, 2018, Kavanaugh was one of four U.S. Court of Appeals judges to receive a personal 45-minute interview by President Donald Trump as a potential replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy.[114] On July 9, Trump announced his intent to nominate Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court.[115][116]

Legal philosophy and approach

The Washington Posts statistical analysis estimated that the ideologies of most of Trump’s announced candidates were “statistically indistinguishable” and placed Kavanaugh between Justices Gorsuch and Alito.[117] Brian Bennett writing for Time magazine in July 2018 reported that Trump and his advisors viewed Kavanaugh as “a stalwart originalist“.[118] Jonathan Turley of George Washington University has stated that among the judges considered by Trump, “Kavanaugh has the most robust view of presidential powers and immunities.[119] Brian Bennett writing for TIME magazine cites Kavanaugh’s 2009 Minnesota Law Review article as defending the privilege of the President to immunity from prosecution during tenure in office.[120] In a 2017 speech at the American Enterprise Institute about former Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, he praised his opinions in Roe v. Wade and Furman v. Georgia, where Rehnquist dissented in rulings that overturned the ban against abortion and the statutes which supported the death penalty.[121][122]

According to the Judicial Common Space scores, a score based on the ideology scores of the home state senators and president who nominated the judge to the federal benchClarence Thomas is the only justice more conservative than Kavanaugh. According to this metric, Kavanaugh’s confirmation would mean the composition of the court would shift to the right.[123] Had Merrick Garland been confirmed, Stephen Breyer would have become the median swing vote when Justice Kennedy retired. However, since Scalia was replaced by another conservative (Gorsuch), it is expected that Chief Justice John Roberts will become the median swing vote on the Supreme Court if Kavanaugh is confirmed.[124]

Teaching and scholarship

Since joining the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh taught full-term courses on Separation of Powers at Harvard Law School from 2008 to 2015, on the Supreme Court at Harvard Law School between 2014 and 2018, on National Security and Foreign Relations Law at Yale Law School in 2011, and on Constitutional Interpretation at Georgetown University Law Center in 2007. Kavanaugh has also been named the Samuel Williston Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School since 2009.[125] Kavanaugh was hired as a visiting professor by Elena Kagan, who was then the dean of Harvard Law School in 2008 and according to The Boston Globe, quickly became a student favorite professor who was generous with his time and accessible. He would often dine in Cambridge with students and offer references and career advice.[126][127] Kavanaugh received high evaluations from his students, including J. D. Vance.[128]

In 2009, Kavanaugh wrote an article for the Minnesota Law Review in which he argued that Congress should exempt U.S. presidents from civil lawsuits while in office[129] because, among other things, such lawsuits could be “time-consuming and distracting” for the president and would thus “ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis.”[130] Kavanaugh argued that if a president “does something dastardly”, that president may be impeached by the House of Representatives, convicted by the Senate, and criminally prosecuted after leaving office.[129] The US would have been better off if president Clinton “could have focused on Osama bin Laden without being distracted by the Paula Jones sexual harassment case and its criminal investigation offshoots”.[129]This article garnered attention in 2018 when Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump, whose 2016 presidential campaign is the subject of an ongoing federal probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.[130]

When reviewing a book on statutory interpretation by Second Circuit Chief Judge Robert Katzmann, Kavanaugh observed that judges often cannot agree on a statute if its text is ambiguous.[131] To remedy this, Kavanaugh encouraged judges to first seek the “best reading” of the statute, through “interpreting the words of the statute” as well as the context of the statute as a whole, and only then apply other interpretive techniques that may justify an interpretation that differs from the “best meaning” such as constitutional avoidancelegislative history, and Chevron deference.[131]

Personal life

Kavanaugh had his first date with his future wife Ashley Estes, then–personal secretary to President George W. Bush, on September 10, 2001. They were among the occupants of the White House evacuated during the September 11 attacks.[132]

In early 2006, Kavanaugh and his wife bought a $1.2-million home in Chevy Chase Section Five, Maryland.[18] In 2018, Kavanaugh reported that he earned a $220,000 salary as a federal judge and $27,000 as a lecturer at Harvard Law School during the previous year.[133]

Kavanaugh is an avid runner who has run the Boston Marathon twice. In 2010, at 45 years of age, he finished the course in 3:59:45, 1:53:53 behind the winner, and in 2015 he finished the race in 4:08:36.[134]

Kavanaugh is a Catholic[135] and serves as a regular lector at his Washington, D.C. church, the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. He has helped serve meals to the homeless as part of church programs, and has tutored at the Washington Jesuit Academy, a Catholic private school in the District of Columbia.[136][137]

Publications

  • Are Hawaiians Indians? The Justice Department Thinks So., Wall St. J. A35 (September 27, 1999)
  • Law of Judicial Precedent (St. Paul: Thomson Reuters, 2016) (one of 13 co-authors)

See also

References

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

Story 2: Betraying Your Loyal Customers with Quitter Colin Kaepernick — Nike Nuts — Finding — Videos

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Colin Kaepernick’s new ‘Just Do it’ Nike ad puts pressure on NFL to take a stand

Decades from now, when Americans look back at the NFL player protests and wonder how anyone could have seen them for anything but the plea for equality they are, Colin Kaepernick’s new Nike ad will be one of the enduring images.

For two years now, the NFL and its owners have desperately tried to silence Kaepernick and the movement he began. They blackballed the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and teammate Eric Reid. They threatened to fine or cut the players who joined them in protest. They created a ridiculous policy that only served to confuse matters more.

And for what? To go down on the wrong side of history? Because that’s how future generations will see it, as the Nike ad released Monday made clear.

“Believe in something,” the tagline reads. “Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Colin Kaepernick

@Kaepernick7

Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.

This is not some small, left-leaning company that has decided Kaepernick is on the side of angels in this fight. It is one of the world’s largest conglomerates, a setter of trends and arbiter of what’s cool.

And it is one of the NFL’s biggest partners, the official apparel company of the league.

For Nike to choose Kaepernick sends a message even Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones cannot ignore. This is bigger than a hot-button issue in an election season, bigger than a segment of fans who choose to be angrier at the method of protest than the message behind it.

While the NFL and its owners have been trying to contain the issue, Kaepernick and the other players have been playing the long game. The civil rights protests were wildly unpopular when they were occurring — go back and research the polls and opinions of the time — but are now viewed as righteous and essential to our ongoing struggle for equality. The NFL protests will be viewed much the same way through the lens of history.

Nike has recognized as much, betting a very large and prominent endorsement deal that Kaepernick will one day be seen much like Muhammad Ali. A rabble rouser who outraged the establishment in his heyday, Ali eventually became a widely admired and influential figure once society caught up.

Cynics will say this is simply a marketing ploy for Nike, a way to capitalize on an issue everyone is already talking about. Perhaps. But that doesn’t lessen the burden on the NFL.

Or the stakes.

The league can continue to dither, trying to appease everyone while pleasing no one, and be remembered as an organization that put expedience ahead of equality. Or it can be bold.

More: What Hollywood is saying about the Kaepernick Nike campaign

More: Big & Rich singer urges Nike boycott over Kaepernick ad

By signing Kaepernick — and I mean a team giving him a legitimate chance to compete, not hiding him on the depth chart as a No. 3 quarterback — the NFL can tell the entire country that fighting for a truly equal society is a fight worth having. That while it recognizes the passions the player protests have produced, there is nothing dishonorable about holding our country to account.

There will be some backlash, sure. Just as some folks angered by Nike’s stance will no doubt express their outrage with their wallets, refusing to buy shoes, shirts or anything else with a swoosh on it.

So be it.

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, especially in the moment. But this moment, and who stood for what during it, will be remembered for generations to come.

It’s time to take a stand, NFL. Go ahead and do it.

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/nancy-armour/2018/09/03/nike-colin-kaepernick-just-do-ad-nfl-message/1187823002/

Nike took a calculated risk with Colin Kaepernick ad, experts say

Nike took a calculated risk with Colin Kaepernick ad, experts say
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is featured in this new Nike ad for the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” campaign. (Nike Inc.)

Nike Inc.’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick in its latest “Just Do It” advertising campaign predictably blew up the internet.

In one video, Nike shoes were set on fire. John Rich, half of the country music duo Big & Rich, showed that his soundman had cut Nike’s iconic swoosh off his socks. #NikeBoycott quickly began trending on Twitter.

At the same time, tennis star Serena Williams tweeted that she was “especially proud to be a part of the Nike family today.” Others said their children planned to wear Nike from head to toe in support of Kaepernick.

None of that should have been a surprise — least of all to Nike.

The athletic shoe and apparel company took a calculated risk in featuring Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49er quarterback who is now far better known for kneeling during the pregame national anthem to protest police shootings of black men, marketing experts said. Though the move was sure to be seen by many as provocative, the Beaverton, Ore., company is betting that more customers will support it — particularly the younger demographic that Nike is courting.

“Companies increasingly realize that it’s important for them to be purpose-driven,” said Joshua Beck, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Oregon who has conducted research on corporate brand activism. “Nike’s very careful in the way it makes decisions about its brand. This is something Nike thought would be consistent with who they are as a company.”

Nike isn’t the only apparel brand fighting for younger consumers. Baltimore-based Under Armour Inc. also caters to a younger demographic and has signed a number of elite athletes, including Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry and Misty Copeland, the first African American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre.

Nike reportedly had competition for Kaepernick — Yahoo Sports reported Monday that Adidas and Puma were among “multiple” brands that had talked about signing him if Nike did not renew his sponsorship deal, which began in 2011.

Kaepernick is just one of several athletes, including Williams and New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., featured in the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” ad campaign. A Nike spokeswoman said in a statement Tuesday that the campaign “celebrates some of the most inspirational athletes who have chased dreams no matter the obstacle or outcome.”

Kaepernick’s new Nike deal is expected to feature the athlete on billboards, TV commercials and in online ads, as well as a clothing line. In the first ad, an image of Kaepernick appears with these words: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Kaepernick has not played for a team since he left the 49ers in 2016 and became a free agent; last year he filed a grievance with the National Football League, alleging that owners colluded to keep him out of the NFL because of his protests. An arbitrator recently sent the case to trial.

Nike’s decision to feature Kaepernick is in keeping with the rebellious image the company has sought in past campaigns. Last month, Nike tweeted an image of Williams with the words, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers” after the French tennis federation ruled that she would not be allowed to wear a black catsuit at the French Open next year.

The decision also reflects the company’s long-standing tradition of standing behind its athletes. Nike stood by Kobe Bryant after the Lakers star was charged with sexual assault in 2003. Prosecutors later dropped the criminal charges against Bryant and a civil lawsuit was settled out of court in 2005.

“If you think about Nike as a marketing company, they’ve always been provocative,” said Matt Powell, sports industry analyst for NPD Group, a market research firm. “They tend to stick with their athletes through thick and thin.”

The Kaepernick decision appears to have initially produced a public relations boost for Nike. A majority of the media sentiment expressed about Nike since the announcement was positive, according to an analysis done Tuesday morning by Apex Marketing Group — resulting in what the firm estimated to be the equivalent of $19.01 million of paid advertisements taken out in television, radio, web and social media. That compares with $13.76 million worth of neutral sentiment and $10.91 million in negative sentiment, said Eric Smallwood, Apex president.

Wall Street was less positive; Nike’s stock closed at $79.60 Tuesday, down 3.2%, slightly worse than the market as a whole.

Nike’s campaign could pay off in the long term. Boycotts tend to be short-lived and consumers who support brands’ actions typically persist. That can lead to sales growth, Beck said.

Corporate brand activism is one way to achieve that loyalty, he said.

“It’s not enough to just say that you’re for the environment or for fair labor practices,” Beck said. “Most companies now believe that. So the question is what can we do as a brand and stand out and differentiate from other competing brands.”

Millennial consumers, in particular, want brands to be transparent about their stances on social issues, said Powell of NPD Group, whose research found that two-thirds of the people who wear Nike in the U.S. are under 35 years old. And 45% of that group is under 25.

“In many ways, I think this campaign aligns very much in line with a younger consumer,” Powell said. “The older consumer is clearly not what Nike is focused on.”

But in the era of President Trump, the consequences of taking sides can be unpredictable, even for an edgy name like Nike.

“People have viewed them as this lifestyle brand, as this compelling brand that empowers athletes,” said David Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute. “But if they veer too far toward social activism, that may alienate a certain part of their consumer base.”

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-nike-kaepernick-20180905-story.html#

Nike Falls as Critics Fume on Social Media Over Kaepernick Deal

The backlash started just hours after Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who sparked controversy for kneeling during the national anthem, tweeted that he’s starring in Nike Inc.’s iconic “Just Do It” ad campaign.

Following the announcement, the hashtags #BoycottNike and #JustBurnIt started trending on Twitter and shares started falling. Some angry consumers even posted photos and videos of themselves burning their Nike shoes and other gear to protest the company using the divisive figure in its 30th anniversary ad campaign.

Nike shares slipped as much as 3.9 percent to $79 as of 9:31 a.m. Tuesday in New York — the biggest intraday slide in five months. They had climbed 31 percent this year through Friday’s close.

Nike Falls as Critics Fume on Social Media Over Kaepernick Deal

The fallout was no surprise but Nike may be betting that the upside of a Kaepernick endorsement is worth angering conservative Americans and supporters of President Donald Trump. Kaepernick — who sparked a movement among professional athletes when he began taking a knee in 2016 during the anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans — is embroiled in a lawsuit against the National Football League and accuses it of blacklisting him.

Popular Athlete

Still, with the former 49er one of the most popular football players in the U.S. the shoe giant is likely counting on passions to cool.

“The long-term relationship and a contract that benefits both parties over the next 10 years will likely outweigh any current controversy,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Chen Grazutis.

Kaepernick tweeted an image from the campaign with the caption, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Nike is in a fierce battle with rival Adidas AG to sign star athletes. The combined marketing spending of the two companies may reach as much as $10 billion by fiscal 2020.

Nike has also shown its willingness to wade into America’s culture wars. Just a few weeks after Trump’s inauguration last year, the company launched a high-profile “Equality” campaign featuring LeBron James and Serena Williams. The campaign’s ambassadors included Ibtihaj Muhammad, a Muslim American fencer who wears a hijab when competing, and transgender triathlete Chris Mosier.

Despite criticism from Trump and calls by both conservatives and liberals to boycott the league, the NFL is still pulling in billions of dollars. The world’s richest sports league, the NFL distributed a record $8.1 billion to its teams last season and posted an estimated overall revenue of $14 billion.

There is a risk of Nike upsetting its relationship with the NFL, which last week lost an attempt to dismiss Kaepernick’s lawsuit alleging collusion by the league to prevent him from signing with a team.

Still, the league approved a new 10-year agreement in May that will make Nike and Fanatics Inc. the primary suppliers of apparel to teams and fans. As of 2020, Nike will continue to make all on-field NFL apparel, while all adult fan gear will have the Nike logo, but be made and distributed by Fanatics. Until this deal, Nike had been making everything.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/pursuits/2018/09/04/nike-decides-a-colin-kaepernick-deal-is-worth-the-backlash#gs.ZHLSAIw

Nike’s latest advertisement featuring Colin Kaepernick has sparked a lot of debate and controversy around the sports world and the country at large. And while seemingly everybody has an opinion one way or another, the quarterback of the Patriots is apparently backing the message behind Kaepernick.

An active Instagram user, Brady double-tapped the screen when he saw the account for GQ Magazine share the Nike ad, which features Kaepernick’s face and includes the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

img 7350 Tom Brady Likes Colin Kaepernick Nike Advertisement On Instagram

Tom Brady is shown as one of the thousands of Instagram users to “Like” the sharing of Colin Kaepernick’s latest Nike advertisement. (Screenshot from Instagram/GQ)

The 41-year-old Brady almost always avoids commenting publicly on controversial matters, though he has expressed support for Kaepernick over the past couple of years.

In an interview with CBS last September, Brady praised Kaepernick’s quarterbacking ability and said, “he’s certainly qualified and I hope he gets a shot.”

In November on WEEI, Brady said Kaepernick “was a damn good quarterback. He’s played at a high level and brought his teams to Super Bowls.”

The new Kaepernick ad, which hit the internet on Sunday, resulted in instant reaction, both in support and protest of the statement. Brady’s unlikely to comment further on his social media activity, but considering that he knows how closely all of his social media activity is monitored and covered, the “like” on Instagram serves a firm statement on Brady’s behalf.

Tom Brady Likes Colin Kaepernick Nike Advertisement On Instagram

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Colin Kaepernick

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Colin Kaepernick
refer to caption

Kaepernick with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012
Free agent
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Born: November 3, 1987 (age 30)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school: John H. Pitman
(Turlock, California)
College: Nevada
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 2 / Pick: 36
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • 2× WAC Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2010)
Career NFL statistics as of 2016
TDInt: 72–30
Passing yards: 12,271
Completion percentage: 59.8
Passer rating: 88.9
Rushing yards: 2,300
Rushing touchdowns: 13
Player stats at NFL.com

Colin Rand Kaepernick (/ˈkæpərnɪk/ KAP-ər-nik;[1] born November 3, 1987) is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. Kaepernick played college football for the University of Nevada in Reno, where he was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive Player of the Year twice and became the only player in NCAA Division I FBS history to amass 10,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards in a career. After graduating, he was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Kaepernick began his professional football career as a backup quarterback to Alex Smith, and became the 49ers’ starter in the middle of the 2012 season after Smith suffered a concussion. He then remained the team’s starting quarterback for the rest of the season, leading the team to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1994. During the 2013 season, his first full season as a starter, Kaepernick helped the 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game. Over the next three seasons, Kaepernick lost and won back his starting job, with the 49ers missing the playoffs for three years consecutively. He opted out of his contract with the 49ers to become a free agent after the 2016 season.

In 2016, Kaepernick became a national figure when he ignited a firestorm of controversy by choosing to kneel on one knee rather than stand while the United States national anthem was being played before the start of NFL games. He described his behavior as a protest against racial injustice in the United States.[2][3] His actions prompted negative and positive responses. The negative responses included suggestions that players who protest should be fired;[4] other people displayed their disapproval of players’ protests by leaving the stadium immediately after the protests or refusing to watch games at all.[5][6] Positive responses included similar activity by additional athletes in the NFL and other American sports leagues protesting in various ways during the anthem. In November 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL and its owners, accusing them of colluding to not hire him. In 2018, Amnesty International awarded Kaepernick with that year’s Ambassador of Conscience award.

In 2018, Kaepernick signed on Nike‘s 30th anniversary celebration ad campaign of the Just Do It slogan, agreeing to lend his name to Nike apparel.[7][8]

Early life

Kaepernick is of mixed race. He was born in 1987 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Heidi Russo, a 19-year-old white woman who was single at the time.[9][10] His birth father, an African American man, left Russo before Colin was born.[11][12] Russo placed Colin for adoption with Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, a white couple who had two older children—son Kyle and daughter Devon—who decided to adopt a boy after losing two other sons to heart defects.[11][13] The German surname Käpernick is derived from Köppernig, the ancestral home of Nicolaus Copernicus (today the Polish village of Koperniki).[14]

Kaepernick lived in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, until age four, and attended grade school in Turlock, California.[15][16] When he was eight years old, Kaepernick began playing youth football as a defensive end and punter. At age nine, he was the starting quarterback on his youth team, and he completed his first pass for a long touchdown.[15] A 4.0 GPA student[17] at John H. Pitman High School in Turlock, California, Kaepernick played football, basketball and baseball and was nominated for All-State selection in all three sports his senior year. He was the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Central California Conference in football, leading his school to its first-ever playoff victory. In basketball, he was a first-team all CCC selection at forward and led his 16th-ranked team to a near upset of #1 ranked Oak Ridge High School in the opening round of playoffs. In that game, Kaepernick scored 34 points, but future NBA player Ryan Anderson of Oak Ridge scored 50 to lead the Oak Ridge Trojans to victory over John Pitman High School.[18]

College career

Recruitment

Kaepernick received most of his high school accolades as a baseball pitcher. He received several scholarship offers in that sport,[15] but he desperately wanted to play college football. As a senior, he was almost 6′ 5″ but weighed only 170 pounds (77 kg), and his coaches generally kept him from running the ball in order to limit his risk of injury.[16] Despite his strong arm, he also had poor throwing mechanics.[15] During his junior year, Larry Nigro—Pitman’s head coach at the time—made a highlight tape that Kaepernick’s brother, Kyle, copied to DVD, then sent to about 100 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS, then known as Division I-A) programs. Kaepernick received some interest but no scholarship offers.[15] Even as a senior, he received little attention from FBS schools. Although the University of Nevada, Reno coaching staff frequently watched video of his high school team, no one from the Nevada Wolf Pack football staff came to Turlock to see him play during his senior football season.[16] Nevada head coach Chris Ault decided to offer him a scholarship after one of his assistants, Barry Sacks, saw Kaepernick dominate a high school basketball game on an evening he was suffering from a fever of 102 °F (39 °C). Nevada was the only school to offer him a football scholarship, but was concerned that he would opt for baseball until he signed in February 2006.[16]

Baseball

Kaepernick was a two-time California all-state baseball player and was listed as a draftable prospect on Major League Baseball‘s website in the class of 2006. He earned Northern California athlete of the week honors as a pitcher. As a senior in high school, he threw a 92 mph (148 km/h) fastball, as reported during Kaepernick’s first college football start in 2007 against Boise State.[19] He was also a member of the Brewers Grey squad in the 2005 Area Code games. In his senior year of high school Kaepernick had an ERA of 1.265 with 13 starts and 10 complete games. He finished the year with an 11–2 record with 97 strikeouts and 39 walks.[citation needed]

In the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft, Kaepernick was drafted in the 43rd round by the Chicago Cubs.[20] He decided that he wanted to continue to play football at the University of Nevada and chose not to sign with the Cubs.[21]

American football

2007

Kaepernick started his college career at Nevada playing in 11 of the team’s 13 games. He finished the season with 19 passing touchdowns, three interceptions, and 2,175 passing yards with a 53.8% completion percentage.[22] Kaepernick also added 593 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns as the Nevada Wolf Pack finished 6-7.[23]

2008

As a sophomore, Kaepernick became just the fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 or more yards in a single season. Some of his notable statistical achievements were:

  • Only NCAA quarterback in 2008 to pass for 2,500 or more yards and rush for 1,000 or more yards.
  • Ranked second among all NCAA QB’s in rushing yardage with 1,130.
  • Ranked seventh among all NCAA players with 7.02 yards per carry.
  • Was tied ninth among all NCAA players with 17 rushing TD’s.

Kaepernick, with 1,130 rushing yards, and running back Vai Taua, with 1,521 rushing yards, made 2008 the first year in school history that Nevada had two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season.[24]

Despite playing the entire second half with an ankle injury, he set a new Humanitarian Bowl record with 370 yards passing and was awarded the MVP in a losing effort. He was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Year at the end of the season. He was the first sophomore to win this award since Marshall Faulk of San Diego State did in 1992. He was also named first team All-WAC quarterback.[citation needed]

2009

Kaepernick was named the pre-season WAC Offensive Player of the Year at the WAC Media’s event in July. On August 3 it was announced he was named to the Davey O’Brien Award pre-season watch list. On August 14 it was announced that he was named to the pre-season Maxwell Award watch list and on August 17 to the Manning Award watch list. Kaepernick led the Wolf Pack to an 8–5 record and a second-place finish in the WAC behind undefeated Boise State. He was named second team All-WAC quarterback. He was the first player in Nevada history to earn the team’s MVP award twice, doing so in 2008 as well.[citation needed]

He finished the 2009 season with 2,052 passing yards and 1,183 rushing yards.[25] He became the first player in NCAA history to record back-to-back 2,000/1,000 yard seasons. His 1,183 rush yards along with Luke Lippincott’s 1,034 and Vai Taua’s 1,345 makes him a part of the first trio of teammates in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 yards each in the same season.[citation needed]

2010

Passing against Hawaii in 2010

Entering the 2010 NCAA season, Kaepernick ranked first among active college football players in rushing touchdowns. He was second in yards-per-carry (behind Wolf Pack teammate Vai Taua), total offense-per-game, and touchdowns scored. He ranked third in yards-per-play and fourth in pass touchdowns and total number of offensive plays. He was a counselor at the prestigious Manning Passing Academy event in Thibodaux, Louisiana, during the 2010 camp. His performance drew praise from various NFL and ESPN personnel including former New York Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer who said of Kaepernick, “by far, the strongest arm in the camp”.[26]

Kaepernick in 2010

It was also announced that Kaepernick, along with teammates Taua and Lippincott, would have a display in the College Football Hall of Fame commemorating their being the first players in NCAA history to each break 1,000 yards rushing on the same team during the same season.[27] Kaepernick was named to the watch list for six major college football awards: the Manning Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Paul Hornung Award, the Maxwell Award, the Unitas Award, and the Walter Camp Award.

On November 26, Kaepernick led his team to a 34–31 overtime victory against the previously undefeated Boise State Broncos, snapping a 24-game win streak that had dated back to the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl.[28] This game was played on Nevada’s senior night, the final home game for Kaepernick. Nevada Head Coach Chris Ault would later call this game the “most important win in program history”. During this game, Kaepernick surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for this season, becoming the first player in NCAA history to have over 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing for three consecutive seasons. Along with Taua’s 131 yards rushing in the game, the duo became the NCAA’s all-time leaders in rushing yards by teammates (8,285) passing the legendary SMU “Pony Express” duo of Eric Dickerson and Craig James (8,193).[29]

On December 4 against Louisiana Tech University, Kaepernick joined Florida’s Tim Tebow as the second quarterback in FBS history to throw for 20 touchdowns and run for 20 in the same season. Later that same evening, Auburn’s Cam Newton joined Tebow and Kaepernick as the third. Kaepernick’s three rushing touchdowns in that game also placed him in a tie with former Nebraska quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch for most rushing touchdowns in FBS history by a quarterback with 59 in his career.[30] Nevada claimed a share of the WAC title after defeating Louisiana Tech. Kaeperick was named WAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year with Kellen Moore, who won the award in 2009.[31]

Kaepernick is the only quarterback in the history of Division I FBS college football to have passed for over 10,000 yards and rushed for over 4,000 yards in a collegiate career. He is also the only Division I FBS quarterback to have passed for over 2,000 yards and rushed for over 1,000 yards in a single season three times in a career (consecutively).[citation needed]

Kaepernick graduated from Nevada in December 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in business management and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.[citation needed]

Statistics

Passing Rushing
Season Team GP Att Comp Comp % Yards TD INT RAT Att Yards Avg TD
2006 Nevada Redshirt
2007 Nevada 11 247 133 53.8% 2,175 19 3 150.8 105 593 5.6 6
2008 Nevada 13 383 208 54.3% 2,849 22 7 132.1 161 1,130 7.0 17
2009 Nevada 13 282 166 58.9% 2,052 20 6 139.1 161 1,183 7.3 16
2010 Nevada 14 359 233 64.9% 3,022 21 8 150.5 173 1,206 7.0 20
Career 1,271 740 58.2% 10,098 82 24 142.5 600 4,112 6.9 59

Professional career

Upon graduation, Kaepernick signed with XAM Sports and Entertainment. He spent time in Atlanta, Georgia, training for the NFL Scouting Combine at Competitive Edge Sports with trainer Chip Smith and quarterbacks coach Roger Theder.[citation needed]

2011 NFL Draft

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 458 in
(1.95 m)
233 lb
(106 kg)
3312 in
(0.85 m)
918 in
(0.23 m)
4.53 s 1.62 s 2.63 s 4.18 s 6.85 s 3212 in
(0.83 m)
9 ft 7 in
(2.92 m)
x reps 37
All values from NFL Combine[32]

On April 29, 2011, the San Francisco 49ers traded up with the Denver Broncos from the thirteenth pick in the second round (#45 overall) to select Kaepernick as the fourth pick in the second round (#36 overall) at the 2011 NFL Draft.[33] The Broncos received picks 45, 108, and 141 overall in exchange for the 36th overall pick.

San Francisco 49ers

2011 season

For the 2011 preseason, Kaepernick completed 24-of-50 passes for 257 yards and five interceptions.[34] Kaepernick spent the 2011 season as backup to Alex Smith and played his first game in Week 4 (October 2) on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles.[34] On third down and 17 during the first quarter, he came in for Smith as quarterback with the offense in shotgun formation and handed off to Frank Gore, who ran for five yards.[35] In the Week 5 (October 9) home game, a 48–3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kaepernick completed three passes for 35 yards.[36] However, he failed to complete two passes in the 49ers’ Week 13 (December 4) game, a 26–0 win over the St. Louis Rams.[34] The 49ers finished the 2011 regular season 13–3 but lost the NFC championship to the eventual Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants by a score of 20–17.[37]

2012 season

Kaepernick in Super Bowl XLVII

In 2012 against the New York Jets, Kaepernick scored his first career touchdown on a seven-yard run.[38] Throughout the early season, Kaepernick was used as a wildcat quarterback.[39] In Week 10 against the St. Louis Rams, Kaepernick replaced starter Alex Smith, who had suffered a concussion in the first half. However, the game would end in a rare 24–24 tie, the first tie in the NFL in four years.[40]

With Smith still recovering, Kaepernick got his first NFL start the next game on November 19, during a Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears at Candlestick Park.[41] Kaepernick completed 16-of-23 for 246 yards with two touchdowns in a 32–7 win against a highly ranked Bears defense. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke highly of Kaepernick’s performance after the game, leaving open the possibility of Kaepernick continuing to start. “Usually tend to go with the guy who’s got the hot hand, and we’ve got two quarterbacks that have got a hot hand”, Harbaugh said.[42] A quarterback controversy began. Smith was ranked third in the NFL in passer rating (104.1), led the league in completion percentage (70%), and had been 19–5–1 as a starter under Harbaugh, while Kaepernick was considered more dynamic with his scrambling ability and arm strength.[43][44]

Smith was cleared to play the day before the following game, but Harbaugh chose not to rush him back and again started Kaepernick. In a rematch of the 2012 playoffs against the New Orleans Saints, the 49ers won 31–21 with Kaepernick throwing for a touchdown and running for another.[45][46] The following week, Harbaugh announced that Kaepernick would start for the 8–2–1 49ers against St. Louis. Harbaugh stated that Kaepernick’s assignment was week-to-week, not necessarily permanent,[47] but he remained the starter for the rest of the season.

In his first career postseason start, the 49ers won 45–31 against the Green Bay Packers, and he set an NFL single-game record for most rushing yards by a quarterback with 181, breaking Michael Vick‘s record of 173 in a 2002 regular season game.[48] He also broke the 49ers postseason rushing record, regardless of position.[49] Kaepernick carried the ball 16 times for 181 yards and scrambled five times for 75 yards, including touchdowns of 20 and 56 yards, and collected another 99 yards rushing on zone-read option plays. He also passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns. In total, Kaepernick had 444 yards of total offense with four touchdowns. Kaepernick became the third player after Jay Cutler in 2011 and Otto Graham in both 1954 and 1955 to run for two touchdowns and pass for two others in a playoff game.[48] In the NFC Championship game, the 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons 28–24 with Kaepernick completing 16-of-21 passes for 233 yards and one touchdown.[50] The team advanced to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans against the Baltimore Ravens. Kaepernick threw for a touchdown and ran for another, but the 49ers fell behind early and could not come back, losing by a score of 31–34.[51]

2013 season

Kaepernick in 2013

In the season opener of the 2013 season against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick threw for a career-high 412 yards and three touchdowns, the first 400-yard game by a 49ers quarterback since Tim Rattay on October 10, 2004.[52] Of the total 412 yards, 208 yards were to newly acquired teammate Anquan Boldin, making his debut as a 49er. In addition, Kaepernick’s performance also marked the first 400-yard passing with three touchdowns performance by a 49ers quarterback since Jeff Garcia in the 1999 season.

In the NFC Championship Game against eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, Kaepernick rushed for 130 yards, including a 58-yard run, and passed for 153 yards. The 49ers led until the fourth quarter. Two turnovers by Kaepernick led to the Seahawks having a 23–17 lead with a few minutes left. Kaepernick drove the 49ers to the red zone but with 22 seconds left, Kaepernick’s pass intended for Michael Crabtree was tipped by Seattle’s Richard Sherman and intercepted by Malcolm Smith, ending the 49ers’ season and attempt to return to the Super Bowl.[53] Kaepernick ended the season with 3,197 yards passing, 21 touchdowns, and only eight interceptions. He also finished with 524 yards rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.[54]

2014 season

On June 4, Kaepernick signed a six-year contract extension with the 49ers, worth up to $126 million, including $54 million in potential guarantees, and $13 million fully guaranteed.[55]

On September 17, Kaepernick was fined by the NFL for using inappropriate language on the field.[56] On October 9, he was fined $10,000 by the NFL for appearing at a post-game press conference wearing headphones from Beats by Dre, while the league’s headphone sponsor was Bose.[57] In a game against the San Diego Chargers, he ran for a 90-yard touchdown.[58] The 49ers finished the season 8–8 and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.[59] Kaepernick threw for 3,369 yards with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He rushed for 639 yards and one touchdown.[60] Following the season, head coach Jim Harbaugh left to coach the University of Michigan.[61]

2015 season

In 2015, Kaepernick struggled under new head coach Jim Tomsula. A day after a 27–6 collapse at St. Louis in Week 8, Kaepernick lost his starting job to backup Blaine Gabbert for Week 9 against Atlanta.[62] With Gabbert starting as their new quarterback, the 49ers narrowly won 17–16. On November 21, the 49ers announced that Kaepernick would miss the rest of the season because of an injured left shoulder that required surgery.[63] He finished the season with 1,615 yards passing, six passing touchdowns, five interceptions and 256 rushing yards with one rushing touchdown.[64]

Head coach Tomsula was fired following the season and the 49ers hired Chip Kelly as his replacement.[65] In February 2016, Kaepernick expressed an interest in being traded.[66]

2016 season

Kaepernick entered the 2016 season competing for starting quarterback position with Gabbert.[67] On September 3, 2016, 49ers head coach Chip Kelly named Gabbert as the starter for the beginning of the 2016 season.[68] Prior to the 49ers Week 6 game against the Buffalo Bills, Kelly announced Kaepernick would start, marking his first start of the season. On October 13, it was announced that he and the 49ers restructured his contract, turning it into a two-year deal with a player option for the next season.[69] He completed 13-of-29 passes, with 187 passing yards, one passing touchdown and 66 rushing yards in the 49ers 45-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills.[70] On November 27, he recorded 296 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and 113 yards rushing in the 49ers’ 24-31 loss to the Miami Dolphins.[71] He joined Michael VickCam NewtonRandall Cunningham, and Marcus Mariota as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to record at least three passing touchdowns and 100 yards rushing in a game. In a Week 13 loss to the Chicago Bears, Kaepernick threw a career-low four yards before getting benched for Gabbert.[72] He returned to the starting lineup the following week and threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers’ 13-41 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.[73] On December 24, Kaepernick recorded 281 total yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception, one rushing touchdown, and a two-point conversion on the game-winning drive as the 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams 22-21 to get their first victory on the season with Kaepernick as the starter.[74] For the 2016 NFL season, Kaepernick played twelve games and ended the season with 2,241 passing yards, sixteen passing touchdowns, four interceptions and added 468 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.[75]

On March 3, 2017, Kaepernick officially opted out of his contract with the 49ers, an option as part of his restructured contract, therefore making him a free agent at the start of the 2017 league year.[76]

Professional statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Passing[77] Rushing Sacked Fumbles Record
G GS Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sack Yds Fum Lost Win-Loss
2011 SF 3 0 3 5 60.0 35 7.0 0 0 81.2 2 −2 −1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0–0
2012 SF 13 7 136 218 62.4 1,814 8.3 10 3 98.3 63 415 6.6 5 16 112 9 2 5–2
2013 SF 16 16 243 416 58.4 3,197 7.7 21 8 91.6 92 524 5.7 4 39 231 6 4 12–4
2014 SF 16 16 289 478 60.5 3,369 7.0 19 10 86.4 104 639 6.1 1 52 344 8 5 8–8
2015 SF 9 8 144 244 59.0 1,615 6.6 6 5 78.5 45 256 5.7 1 28 166 5 1 2–6
2016 SF 12 11 196 331 59.2 2,241 6.8 16 4 90.7 69 468 6.8 2 36 207 9 3 1–10
Total 69 58 1,011 1,692 59.8 12,271 7.3 72 30 88.9 375 2,300 6.1 13 171 1,060 37 15 28–30

Playoffs

Year Team G GS Passing[77] Rushing Sacked Fumbles Record
Comp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sack Yds Fum Lost W/L (as starter)
2012 SF 3 3 49 80 61.3 798 10.0 4 2 100.9 25 264 10.6 3 5 32 1 0 2–1
2013 SF 3 3 45 82 54.9 576 7.0 3 3 74.0 26 243 9.3 1 6 26 3 1 2–1
Total‡ 6 6 94 162 58.0 1,374 8.5 7 5 87.3 51 507 9.9 4 11 58 4 1 4–2

U.S. national anthem protest

2016

In the 49ers third preseason game of the 2016 season, Kaepernick was noticed sitting down during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as opposed to the tradition of standing. During a post-game interview, he explained his position stating, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”, referencing a series of events that led to the Black Lives Matter movement and adding that he would continue to protest until he feels like “[the American flag] represents what it’s supposed to represent”.[78][79][80] In the 49ers’ fourth and final preseason game of 2016, Kaepernick opted to kneel during the U.S. national anthem rather than sit as he did in their previous games. He explained his decision to switch was an attempt to show more respect to former and current U.S. military members while still protesting during the anthem after having a conversation with former NFL player and U.S. military veteran Nate Boyer.[81] After the September 2016 police shootings of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott,[82] Kaepernick commented publicly on the shootings saying, “this is a perfect example of what this is about”.[83]

Kaepernick soon became highly polarizing as numerous people took public stances either supporting or maligning Kaepernick’s actions; in many cases this polarization correlates with racial divisions.[84] Various members of the NFL and other athletes across the United States, such as American professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe, also began kneeling and/or raising their fist like the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute during the playing of the U.S. national anthem.[85][86][87] Some U.S. military veterans voiced support using the social media hashtag “#VeteransForKaepernick”.[88] In the following weeks, Kaepernick’s jersey became the top-selling jersey on the NFL’s official shop website.[89] An NFL fan poll was taken during the beginning of the 2016 NFL season and Kaepernick was voted the most disliked player in the NFL; this poll was polarized, with 37% of Caucasians disliking him “a lot”, and 42% of African-Americans liking him “a lot.”[84] A few people posted videos of them burning Kaepernick jerseys. Former NFL MVP Boomer Esiason called Kaepernick’s actions “an embarrassment” while an anonymous NFL executive called Kaepernick “a traitor”.[90] The 2016 NFL season also saw a significant drop in their television ratings. Polls suggest that fans boycotting the NFL because of Kaepernick-inspired protests were a contributor to the decline in viewers.[91] He also stated that he received death threats.[83]

In September 2016, sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson wrote of the double bind faced by black people: “Black folk have, throughout history, displayed their patriotism by criticizing the nation for its shortcomings, and they have been, in turn, roundly criticized.” Dyson suggested that the wisdom of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass maintains relevance to racism in the context of Kaepernick and protest.[92] Dyson concluded, “When a black athlete bravely speaks up, we punish him.”

2017

In August 2017, former NYPD officer Frank Serpico gave a speech live on Facebook and stood with police officers at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in support of Kaepernick.[93][94] The same month, Pro Football Hall of Famer and longtime civil rights activist Jim Browntold an interviewer that while he “wants to be in [Kaepernick’s] corner”, he would never “desecrate my flag and my national anthem.”[95]

In September 2017, President Donald Trump sent out multiple tweets, in which he advocated that NFL players should be either fired or suspended if they fail to stand up for the national anthem. In response, many NFL teams and players stood together to protest against Trump’s opinion. The players knelt, locked arms, or remained in the locker room during the playing of the anthem.[96]

2018

In 2018, Kaepernick signed on Nike‘s 30th anniversary celebration ad campaign of the Just Do It slogan, agreeing to lend his name to Nike apparel.[8] The company, which supplies game-day uniforms and sideline apparel for the NFL’s 32 teams, will donate to Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” campaign.[7]

Controversy over free agency

Following his departure from the 49ers, Kaepernick went unsigned through the offseason and 2017 training camps, leading to allegations that he was being blackballed because of his on-field political actions as opposed to his performance,[97][98][99][97] a notion supported by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.[100] Other players, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and former teammate Alex Smith, have stated that they believe his sporting ability is competitive in the NFL, and they are incredulous of his prolonged unemployment,[101][102] while former quarterback Michael Vick argued that he was not signed because his performance had declined.[103] Outside of the NFL, President Donald Trump claimed that Kaepernick’s situation was caused by a fear that he would use Twitter to create a public relations crisis for any team that signed him.[104][105] Kyle Wagner of FiveThirtyEight analysed his recent performance and found that no above-average QB of his level stays unemployed that long, implying that the reason must not be a sporting one.[106] Dan Graziano of ESPN reasoned that the issue dealt more with labor and management battles rather than Kaepernick’s beliefs or performance.[107]

In late July and early August 2017, the Baltimore Ravens were reportedly working to extend an offer to Kaepernick. According to former African American Ravens player Ray Lewis, the offer was terminated after Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Diab—who works as a radio host— posted an incendiary tweet that compared Ravens team owner Steve Bisciotti to a slave owner and player Ray Lewis to a slave. Other reports, however, stated that Bisciotti had been objecting to signing Kaepernick before the incident.[108][109] A high-ranking member of the military had also raised concerns about bringing the polarizing quarterback to Baltimore.[110]

In November 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging that NFL owners colluded to keep him out of the league.[111] In August 2018 it was reported that system arbitrator Stephen B Burbank denied the NFL’s request to dismiss the case[112], the decision meant there was sufficient evidence for the case to go to trial.[113]

Activism

In 2016, after kneeling during the playing of the U.S. national anthem prior to NFL games in protest to what he believed to be racial injustices against black Americans, Kaepernick pledged to donate one million dollars to “organizations working in oppressed communities.”[114] In 2018, Kaeperkick announced that he would make the final $100,000 donation of his “Million Dollar Pledge” in the form of $10,000 donations to charities that would be matched by celebrities.[115]

In 2017, Kaepernick was named GQ magazine’s “Citizen of the Year” for his efforts.[116]

In April 2018, Amnesty International honored Kaepernick with the 2018 Ambassador of Conscience Award. The award celebrates ‘individuals and groups who speak out for justice’. In a statement about the award, Kaepernick stated that Amnesty’s award was one shared “with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force”.[117]

Personal life

Kaepernick was baptized Methodistconfirmed Lutheran, and attended a Baptist church during his college years.[118] Kaepernick spoke about his faith saying, “My faith is the basis from where my game comes from. I’ve been very blessed to have the talent to play the game that I do and be successful at it. I think God guides me through every day and helps me take the right steps and has helped me to get to where I’m at. When I step on the field, I always say a prayer, say I am thankful to be able to wake up that morning and go out there and try to glorify the Lord with what I do on the field. I think if you go out and try to do that, no matter what you do on the field, you can be happy about what you did.”[119]

Kaepernick has multiple tattoos. His right arm features a scroll with the Bible verse Psalm 18:39 written on it. Tattooed under the scroll are praying hands with the phrase “To God The Glory” written on them. To the left of both the scroll and praying hands is the word “Faith” written vertically. His left arm features a Christian cross with the words “Heaven Sent” on it referring to Jesus. Written above and below the cross is the phrase “God Will Guide Me”. Written to the left and right of the cross is the Bible verse Psalm 27:3. His chest features the phrase “Against All Odds” and artwork around it that represents “inner strength, spiritual growth, and humility”. His back features a mural of angels against demons.[120][121][122] Near the end of the 2012 NFL season, Kaepernick’s signature touchdown celebration involved flexing and kissing the bicep of his right arm. Kaepernick says he kisses his “Faith”, “To God The Glory”, and Psalm 18:39 tattoos and the reason he does the celebration is because “God has brought me this far. He has laid out a phenomenal path for me. And I can’t do anything but thank Him.”[120]

Kaepernick reportedly started dating radio personality and television host Nessa Diab in July 2015,[123] and officially went public about their relationship in February 2016.[124] Kaepernick began following a vegan diet in late 2015.[125]

Since he was 10 years old, Kaepernick has had a pet African spurred tortoise named Sammy.[126]

References

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

Story 3: Your Not A Paranoid President When The Political Elitist Establishment Is Out To Get Trump — Trump Goes On Offense — Videos

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Trump lashes out at AG Sessions

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President Donald Trump Slams AG Jeff Sessions Over GOP Indictments | NBC Nightly News

Trump called Attorney Jeff Sessions a ‘traitor,’ and said ‘Everybody’s trying to get me,’ according to an explosive new Bob Woodward book

  • President Donald Trump complained “Everybody’s trying to get me” after he learned that Robert Mueller had been appointed special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election that sent Trump to the White House, according to a new book.
  • Trump also called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded,” was called “unhinged” and an “idiot” by his chief of staff John Kelly, according to Woodward.
  • Woodward, according to The Washington Post’s preview of the book “Fear,” writes that Trump exploded in a rage after being subjected to a practice interview with his own lawyer playing the role of Mueller.

President Donald Trump talks via speakerphone with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto as they announce a bilateral deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at the White House in Washington, August 27, 2018. 
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Donald Trump talks via speakerphone with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto as they announce a bilateral deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at the White House in Washington, August 27, 2018.

Legendary investigative journalist Bob Woodward has a new book about President Donald Trump’s administration, and explosive excerpts, revealed by The Washington Post, paint a picture of a White House gripped by fear, loathing and chaos.

According to the book, titled “Fear,” Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “a traitor,” and complained “everybody’s trying to get me” after he learned that Robert Mueller had been appointed special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election that sent Trump to the White House.

Trump also called Sessions “mentally retarded.” The president was also the subject of insults. He was called “unhinged” and an “idiot” by his chief of staff, John Kelly, Woodward’s book says.

And the president once phoned Defense Secretary James Mattis to say “Let’s f—ing kill him” after Syrian leader Bashar Assad launched a chemical attack on civilians, according to the book.

“Let’s go in. Let’s kill the f—king lot of them,” Trump said in one of the highlights of the 448-page book that was described in an article Tuesday in The Washington Post, where Woodward has long worked. “Fear” is slated for a Sept. 11 release.

Woodward says in the book that he conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with participants and witnesses in the conversations he writes about. He also had taped notes, diaries and government documents.

The interviews were granted on the condition of “deep background,” which according to Woodward meant that while he could write what happened, he could not reveal the sources of particular stories.

The Washington Post, in a separate article Tuesday, published a lengthy transcript of a call last month between Trump and Woodward, during which the president said, “I would’ve loved to have spoken to you” for the book.

Woodward replied that he had sought an interview with the president through about a half-dozen people, including senior presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway and White House spokesman Raj Shah.

“You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year head start.”
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“They don’t tell me,” Trump said.

Mattis is depicted in the book as being “particularly exasperated and alarmed” by having to tell Trump that “we’re doing this in order to prevent World War III” to justify the presence of the U.S. military on the Korean Peninsula.

Mattis told associates that Trump “acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader,’ ” according to the book.

But Trump is quoted in “Fear” as being scornful of the intelligence of Sessions, a former Alabama senator whom he has long blamed for recusing himself in the Russian investigation, a step that led to Mueller’s appointment.

“He’s this dumb Southerner. … He couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama,” Trump reportedly said of Sessions.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment to CNBC when asked about the president’s characterization of Sessions, who heads the department.

Woodward also writes that Trump exploded in a rage after a practice interview with his own lawyer John Dowd playing the role of Mueller, as they prepared for a potential sit-down with the special counsel.

“This thing’s a goddamn hoax,” Trump fumed, according to the book. “I don’t really want to testify.”

Dowd was sure that Trump would committ perjury if he did talk to Mueller, Woodward wrote.

But when Dowd told Trump, “Don’t testify,” warning that “It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit,” the president pushed back.

“I’ll be a real good witness,” Trump reportedly said.

“You are not a good witness,” Dowd retorted, according to the book.

The attorney quit the day after their conversation.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in a prepared statement, said, “This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad.”

According to the Post’s account of the book, Kelly despaired of dealing with Trump, whom he called “unhinged” during discussions with colleagues in the White House.

“He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails,” Kelly was quoted in the book as saying.

He added, “We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”

Kelly on Tuesday said, in a prepared statement: “The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true.”

“As I stated back in May and still firmly stand behind: ‘I spend more time with the President than anyone else, and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand, and he and I both know this story is total BS. I’m committed to the President, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes.’ ”

Kelly’s statement referred to an earlier one he had made in May, after NBC News first reported that he had called Trump an “idiot.”

Woodward reports that after Trump finally condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis — he initially claimed that “both sides” were to blame for violence during a white supremacist rally last year in Charlottesville, Virginia — he complained to aides, “That was the biggest f—ing mistake I’ve made.”

 

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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

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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.

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

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How Trump Should Deal With Cohen & Manafort – Ann Coulter

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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Word for Word: Deputy AG Rosenstein on Indictments of 12 Russian Intelligence Officers (C-SPAN)

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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

 

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See the source imageSee the source image

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President Trump EXPLOSIVE Speech at MASSIVE Rally in Charleston, West Virginia – August 21, 2018

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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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The Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018, Story 1: President Trump For Criminal Justice and Prison Reform and First Step Act — Good Policy and Fiscally Sound — Videos — Story 2: Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis On Establishing United States Space Force Plan As Sixth Military Service — Space Arms Race — Videos — Story 3: Attorney General Jeff Session on Importance of Religious Liberty — Videos –Story 4: U.S. vs. China Trade Dispute — Who Will Cry Uncle First? — China — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump For Criminal Justice and Prison Reform — Good Policy and Fiscally Sound — Videos

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BREAKING 🔴 President Trump URGENT Speech at IMPORTANT Roundtable in Bedminster, NJ August 9, 2018

Pastor says he faced backlash over meeting with Trump

Published on Aug 3, 2018

Trump pushes for prison reform bill

Published on May 18, 2018

Trump takes on prison reform

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Trump, Congress try to breathe life into long-delayed criminal justice reform package

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The Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Congratulates Rush Limbaugh For Thirty Years Of Outstanding Talk Show — Videos — Story 2: Trump Rally in Florida — Promises Made Promises Kept — Taxes and Regulations Cut — Videos — Story 3: Federal Reserve Keeps Federal Funds Target Rate Unchanged a 1.75-2.0 Percent — Videos — Story 4: Trump Tweets To Attorney General Sessions on Closing Down Special Counsel Mueller Investigation or Rigged Witch Hunt! — Videos

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Election season was clearly on the president's mind at his Monday rally, which featured a friendly crowd clad in Make America Great Again hats and t-shirtSee the source image

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Story 1: President Trump Congratulates Rush Limbaugh For Thirty Years Of Outstanding Talk Show — Videos

audio 8/1/18 PRESIDENT TRUMP SURPRISES RUSH LIMBAUGH w/ PERSONAL PHONE CALL on 30th ANNIVERSARY

Rush Limbaugh talks Trump’s relationship with the news media

Rush Limbaugh ANALYSIS after Donald Trump WIN for President

Rush Limbaugh Interviews Donald Trump April 15,2011

Published on Apr 15, 2011

Donald Trump Teases a President Bid During a 1988 Oprah Show | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN

RUSH: So I have this note on the call screener computer: “On the hotline…” We don’t have a hotline. “On the hotline, you’re receiving a phone call in recognition of your anniversary broadcast. You’ll want to take this immediately.” Okay. So we’re going to the phones and we have a special guest. Who is it?

THE PRESIDENT: So, Rush, I just wanted to congratulate you on 30 years.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: This is your favorite president, and I think you are fantastic.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: I heard about it, and today’s the big day, 30 years. I wanted to call personally and congratulate you.

RUSH: I am floored. I… (laughing) I thought there was nothing anybody could do to surprise me today. I’ve been preparing for anything. Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT: You’re a very special man, Rush, and you have people that love you. I’m one of them. But you’re a very, very special guy. What you do for this country, people have no idea how important your voice is. So I just wanted to personally make this one and I said, “I’ll even dial the number myself if I have to.”

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: But I just want to congratulate you. Thirty years in that tough business is incredible — and you’re stronger now than ever before.

RUSH: Well, I — I thank you so much. It’s such a thrill to hear from you.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s a thrill to be on.

RUSH: I told you, any time you want to appear here, you are more than welcome. I don’t want to hound you by asking you because everybody’s doing that, trying to get you. But, man, this is great. I’m so flattered. While I have you, can I say something back at you here?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go ahead, Rush. Go ahead.

RUSH: Are you aware…? I have to think you are when you go to your rallies.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

RUSH: Are you aware of what you mean to everybody who voted for you and I think a bunch of who didn’t who want to the next time around? People have invested their hopes and their futures in this country being made great again and saved in you. Are you…? When you’re alone — which you may not ever be. But when you’re alone in the White House, do you think about that? Do you ponder what you’ve come to mean to people?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I love these people. And, you know, you probably saw last night I was in Florida and we had 9,000 seats in the auditorium.

RUSH: Oh, yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: That was packed, and we had thousands outside and in these rooms all over the place. I guess they had at least 15,000, 18,000 people that couldn’t get in last night — which I hate. So we’re actually starting to put up big screens. I must tell you, it’s such an honor to me to see this. This love! I don’t know if you were able to see it last night, any of them. I mean, there’s such tremendous love. I’m going to Ohio on Saturday, and tomorrow I’m going to Pennsylvania, and it’s the same thing.

It’s like the enthusiasm — and part of it is that they’ve really been mistreated for so many years by the politicians. The country’s been mistreated. The trade deals were so bad. The taxes were so high. The tax cuts are so good; they’ve been so appreciated by so many people. The cut in regulations maybe is just as important as the tax cuts because businesses are hiring like they haven’t, like they’ve never hired before. And, you know, we have a more interesting stat: We have more people working in the United States today than at any time in our history. And it’s been so many different things are happening. So there’s a tremendous amount of love in the room, and I am aware of it; there’s no question about it.

RUSH: Mr. President, it was just a little over year and a half ago where your predecessor said that what is happening now couldn’t happen again, that those days were gone, that those jobs that were lost were not coming back. And he would tell audiences this. And look at what you’ve done with the entirety — seemingly the entirety — of Washington’s political class opposed to you. In a year and a half, you have reversed the direction the country was going. We have 4.1% economic growth. When you promised that, they accused you of misleading people because it couldn’t happen.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s right, Rush. You have a lot of bad people in Washington. You knew that a long time ago. Frankly, before I knew it. I had no idea how evil some of them are, but you have a lot of great people too. And outside of Washington you have the greatest people in the world. And you’re right. You know, I’ve been saying 4%, but it should be much higher than that. You know, if you do good trade deals — which I will. You see what’s going on with China. You look at what’s going on.

I will tell you, NAFTA? They want to make a deal very badly. And, you know, we’re putting ’em back in shape. They’re horrible deals, the worst deals ever made by any country. You do that; you start lifting your GDP numbers way up also. Nobody ever ever talks about that. We’re doing 4.1% with bad trade deals. We have horrible trade deals. And our farmers, we’re gonna open up markets for them. You know, but they’re great patriots. They’re… I watch them all the time where they’re saying, “We trust our president.”

And, you know, they may take a short-term hit. But you look at farm and farming, it’s been going down for 15 years. Soybeans, five years before the election, was cut in half! The price was cut in half. I wasn’t there. So it’s going to… A lot of things are happening that are very exciting. And, you know, you look at the job numbers. You look at African-American, best ever. Hispanic, Asian, women, best ever! And it’s been a lot of fun for me, but I see the happiness and the faces.

Like last night in Florida with that, you know, really massive crowd, you see the happiness and the love — and nobody left. It’s like you. Nobody turns off your show. It’s like you can’t. Nobody leaves. You know, I’ll speak for an hour and 10 minutes, hour and 20 minutes. There wasn’t a person that left that room. It was just… It was an absolute love fest, and it’s going on all over the country, and a lot of it’s the same message. Most of it, I think — probably all of it — is the same message that you give out so well every day, better than anybody.

RUSH: Well, but your key… You know, I do understand it. I understand the bond that those people attending your rallies have with you and you with them. I’ve seen it. I know why it exists. And you are consistent. Things you said during the campaign are things you still say today. You haven’t given anybody reason to doubt you. You haven’t betrayed anybody or made them think that you’re going to. An example: Here you are suggesting that you’d be willing to maybe — you’d talk about — shutting down the government if that’s what it took to get this wall built.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

RUSH: Now the traditional Republican says, “Oh, no! No! Don’t say that!” There you are saying, “Oh, yeah. I’ll be glad to do it if that’s what it takes.”

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I actually think it would be positive.

RUSH: People don’t understand your voters rally to you for that.

THE PRESIDENT: We had Obamacare repealed and replaced, and a man — I won’t mention his name. But a man at 2 o’clock in the morning went thumbs down, and he campaigned for years on repeal and replace. We had the chance. Nobody even spoke to him about it, because it was something that was unthinkable what he did, and because of that… But still, I have just about ended Obamacare. We have great health care. We have a lot of great things happening right now. New programs are coming out.

We got rid of the individual mandate. But that was very disappointing to me that night — and he did it because of me, probably. But that was very disappointing. That was a horrible thing he did to our country. And, frankly, it cost $1 trillion because we would have saved $1 trillion, on top of which we would have had good health care. But we’re doing it a different way. We have to go a different route. But he cost us a trillion dollars. And the other thing is the wall. We’ve started it. It’s like pulling teeth, though, getting these guys to get it done is. You have no idea how tough I’ve been.

I say, “Hey, if you have a shutdown, you have a shutdown.”

Now, the shutdown could also take place after the election. I happen to think it’s a great political thing, because people want border security. It’s not just the wall, Rush, as you know. It’s border security. It’s getting rid of catch-and-release, where you catch somebody, he can be a criminal of the highest order, and you have to release him! You catch him, you take his name, and you release him. And then you have the visa lottery. It’s a lottery system where you pick people out of a lottery. Well, the countries aren’t giving us their best people. They’re giving us people that they don’t want. So we’re taking people out of a lottery that the country doesn’t want. We’re getting some beauties.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: And then you have, you know, so many other things.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: We have to change the laws. We have the worst laws! How about chain migration? One person comes in and you end up with 32 people. The person that ran down 18 people on the West Side Highway, he’s allowed to have — and I think eight died. He has 22 members of his family in the United States because of chain migration. So we have to change this stuff, Rush. And we’ll get it done, but we have to change it, Rush. If we don’t change it, it will just go down, down, down. And it will get done. One way or the other, it’s getting done. But I’d be willing to do it. And you could do it before the election or after the election.

RUSH: Well, speaking of before, as a campaign issue, I saw a couple consultants say… I don’t need to mention their names. They’re Washington, D.C., professionals.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

RUSH: They said that you need to drop this immigration stuff, Mr. President. You’re cruising for defeat if you base the midterms on this.

THE PRESIDENT: I know. I’ve heard that. (chuckles)

RUSH: You need to pivot back onto the economy, start telling people what a great economy we have, ’cause that’s the only way the Republicans can have a chance of holding the House in the midterms. What do you think about that advice?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ve heard them. Probably different people than you, but I’ve heard a lot of people saying, “Oh, don’t do it before the election, we’ll upset the applecart,” and because we are doing so well economically we should do well — and, you know, the polls are okay. It’s very interesting. My polls are great, but the question is, “Is it transferable?” Now, it certainly was in Florida because you saw Ron DeSantis, who’s gotten a tremendous — you know, many, many, many points. The governor of Georgia where he was down by five and he won by 40 after I endorsed him. (chuckling) That was pretty good. That was almost like your endorsement.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: But, you know, we’ve had tremendous —

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: If you take a look at Congressman Donovan from Staten Island where he was down by 10 and he wins by 24. So we’ve had a lot of impact. And that’s why I’m going around. But I have to say that I have heard this theory. I happen to think it’s a good thing politically. I’m not doing it for politics. I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do. So I’m not looking at politics. But I happen to think that border security would be a good thing before the election, but there are many people within our party that are good people that are like you that agree with you on everything you say. But they’d rather do it after. They don’t agree on doing it before, and I accept their opinion, but I happen to think it would be a good thing to do before. I actually think we’d get more and there’d be more pressure on the other side, because we’re doing it because the Democrats are not giving us the votes.

RUSH: I think immigration is the largest reason you got elected, your consistency on that.

THE PRESIDENT: Well…

RUSH: I mean, it reverberates all across the country. There are people that the media, the inside-the-Beltway denizens are never gonna understand about this issue that you do. You’ve just articulated it, and you have articulated the thinking of what I think is a vast majority of people in this country. It’d be silly for you to abandon this issue now, going into the midterms.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if you do it before, there’s a lot more pressure to get a great solution. But it’s riskier. If you do it afterwards, there’s less pressure; there’s less risk. I’m just not sure you’d make as good a deal. I will say a lot of people — good people — you know, would ask me in the nicest of ways, “Could we do it after the election?” So —

RUSH: I’ll bet. (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, and they’ve been good to me. I’ve had a lot of good support within the Republican Party, and you saw the poll numbers in the Republican Party. They like me so I have to keep them a little bit happy. But whether it’s before or after? But I actually think it’s a great campaign issue. I think it would be great before. But I don’t want to disappoint a lot of very good people that are working with me — and, Rush, I have to tell you, I’ve got some really good support within the Republican Party, too.

RUSH: Well, you do, and you have your staff. Are you basically…? Are you still following your gut, your instinct, or are you relying more and more on the circle of advisers you trust?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it’s largely instinct. I have some great people. I really do. You know, you heard me tell the story last night maybe where, you know, I’ve been in Washington 17 times. In my whole life, I never stayed here. Now, all of a sudden, I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue and I’m president. So I don’t know a lot of people. Now I think I know everybody in Washington. I never stayed a night in Washington, I don’t believe. And, you know, I’ve probably been here 17, 18 times.

I’m from New York. But very rarely. And, all of a sudden, I’m president. And like Mike Pompeo. What a change that was. Mike is doing an incredible job. What a terrific guy — and I know you like him and he likes you. But we have some great people, and I’ve made some changes. But we’re really close to getting a fantastic — really just a fantastic group of people. We have some really great ones, and I think that’s reflective on the success that we’re having as an administration.

RUSH: Well, I thank you again for calling me today. This is the pinnacle, the greatest thing that could happen today. The last thing I expected was to hear from anybody ’cause I’ve given orders not to do anything unusual, and here you are. You’ve made the day for me. I can’t thank you enough, and God bless you.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you. You know, people don’t realize what a great achievement 30 years is in that cutthroat business that you happen to be in. You know, you might not find that ’cause you’re so good at what you do. But that is a cutthroat business, and for you to do this for 30 years is truly an amazing accomplishment, and there’s no voice like it. Even your friend Hannity agrees with that.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: He said, “There’s nobody like this man.”

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: So I said, “Oh, gee, I guess. I thought you two would be competitors.” He said, “Nope. He’s the dean.”

RUSH: No way!

THE PRESIDENT: He calls you “the dean.”

RUSH: No way. He was a guest host. He guest hosted for me when we first started. Absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT: No, he’s great. He’s a tremendous fan of yours. They all are. Everybody is. So I just want to congratulate you. Thirty years of… Just do it for another 30 years. After that, you can take it easy, okay?

RUSH: I will do that. Just that. I will stay around as long as you do.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay. You have a deal.

RUSH: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: And thank you very much, Rush. So important what you do. Thank you.

RUSH: Thank you, sir, again, very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Take care of yourself. Good-bye.

RUSH: President Trump. We went a little long there, but that’s okay.

https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2018/08/01/president-trump-calls-the-show/

Story 2: Trump Rally in Florida — Promises Made Promises Kept — Taxes and Regulations Cut — Videos

Trump hosts ‘MAGA’ rally with Rep. DeSantis in Tampa, FL

LIVE: President Donald Trump MASSIVE Rally in Tampa, Florida – July 31, 2018

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Trump whips Florida campaign rally into a frenzy with calls for a voter ID system ‘because you need ID to buy groceries’, then touts his economic success … but does not mention Mueller’s ‘witch hunt’ or Manafort’s trial

  • Donald Trump sent crowds into a frenzy Tuesday night at a rally in Tampa, Florida
  • Trump is reviving his call for a national voter ID system as the country heads into the midterm election and he eyes his own reelection campaign
  • The president said ‘the time has come for voter ID’, which sent crowds cheering
  • He touted his many victories, such as ending the war on Christmas: ‘Everybody is happy to say Merry Christmas’ 
  • The president spent considerable time talking about his trade policies, including tit-for-tat tariffs with China that he said would eventually pay dividends for the U.S. 
  • His supporters showed up to the rally wearing Make America Great Again hats and t-shirts
  • Trump won Florida in the 2016 presidential election, a victory that he reminded the crowd of 
  • His daughter Ivanka and son Eric and his wife Lara also attended the rally to support their father 

President Donald Trump is reviving his call for a national voter ID system as the country heads into the midterm election and the president eyes his own reelection campaign.

‘The time has come for voter ID,’ Trump said Tuesday night at a rally in Tampa, Fla., which earned him a roar of approval and sustained applause from the crowd.

‘If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need I.D. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need I.D. And you need your picture. In this country the only time you don’t need it in many cases is when you want to vote,’ he said.

Most grocery stores don’t require identification unless the customer is buying something age restricted, like alcohol. 

Election season was clearly on the president’s mind at his rally, which featured a friendly crowd clad in Make America Great Again hats and t-shirt. They waved signs that featured Trump’s new campaign slogan ‘Keep America Great,’ ‘Trump, Pence,’ ‘Women for Trump,’ and ‘Blacks for Trump.’

He failed to address Robert Mueller’s ‘witch hunt’ or Paul Manafort’s trial, which begun today, during his speech.

In his remarks, Trump endorsed Republican candidates in Florida’s crucial and competitive Senate and gubernatorial races this fall. The Sunshine State will also be critical to the president’s reelection efforts in 2020.

Scroll down for video 

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa, Florida

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa, Florida

 Trump was greeted by a supportive crowd at the Florida rally. In his remarks, Trump endorsed Republican candidates in Florida's crucial and competitive Senate and gubernatorial races this fall

 Trump was greeted by a supportive crowd at the Florida rally. In his remarks, Trump endorsed Republican candidates in Florida’s crucial and competitive Senate and gubernatorial races this fall

Supporters cheer as Trump arrives for the rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa

Supporters cheer as Trump arrives for the rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa

Trump won Florida in the 2016 presidential election, a victory that he was happy to remind the crowd of.

But he also talked about his own time in office, reassuring the crowd he would occupy the Oval for seven years. He reminisced about inauguration and mentioned his family – Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump were with him – as was Eric’s wife Lara – but he also talked about the first lady and how ‘everybody loves Melania.’

He also gave shout outs to two former campaign officials who were with him: ex campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and his former deputy campaign manager David Bossie.

He even got in a dig at ‘Crooked Hillary,’ prompting the crowd to shout ‘lock her up’.

And he touted other victories such as ending the war on Christmas – making that claim on a muggy day in July in Florida.

Trump acknowledged it was early in the year to be talking about the holidays. ‘it’s awfully early to be thinking this, but I always think it,’ he said.

‘Remember the attack on Merry Christmas? They are not attacking it anymore. Everybody is happy to say Merry Christmas,’ he said. ‘You have these big department stores that say happy holidays. They say where’s the Merry Christmas. Now they are all putting up Merry Christmas again.’

He also teased the crowd, which had filled the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, and been hyped up since before his arrival. Supporters swarmed CNN reporter Jim Acosta and the media area to scream ‘fake news’ before the president began his remarks and they were on their feet for all of Trump’s speech, often cheering and shouting.

‘I said we might be a little bit wild, they say he’s not acting presidential and I would say it’s a lot easier to act presidential than to do what I do. Anybody can act presidential,’ he said as the crowd cheered him on.

‘Ladies and gentlemen of the state of Florida, thank you very much for being here. You are tremendous people and I will leave now because I am boring you to death, thank you,’ he joked as the crowd gave him sustained applause.

Trump’s call for a national voter ID system came he railed on Democrats for their stance on illegal immigration, an issue the president has lasered in on in the last few weeks, claiming it was a policy stance that got him elected in the first place.

His first called for voter ID in January after he disbanded his controversial commission investigating allegations of voter fraud.

Trump created the commission after claiming that at least 3 million people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election — enough to make up for Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote.

Election season was clearly on the president's mind at his Monday rally, which featured a friendly crowd clad in Make America Great Again hats and t-shirt

Election season was clearly on the president’s mind at his Monday rally, which featured a friendly crowd clad in Make America Great Again hats and t-shirt

Supporters waved signs that featured Trump's new campaign slogan 'Keep America Great,' 'Trump, Pence,' 'Women for Trump,' and 'Blacks for Trump'

Supporters waved signs that featured Trump’s new campaign slogan ‘Keep America Great,’ ‘Trump, Pence,’ ‘Women for Trump,’ and ‘Blacks for Trump’

A supporter of President Donald Trump heckles CNN Jim Acosta, left, during a Trump rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa

A supporter of President Donald Trump heckles CNN Jim Acosta, left, during a Trump rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa

Supporters cheer as US President Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa

A man holds a sign that reads: 'CNN sucks' during the rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa

However, states wouldn’t hand over their voter data over privacy concerns and there have been no reports or proof of voter fraud on a massive scale.

Voting rights groups have been challenging voter ID laws for years, arguing they disproportionately impact voters of color.

Thirty six states request or require voters to show ID at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2000, 14 states had such laws.

Trump claimed the system was needed to keep illegals from voting.

‘In some states, Democrats are trying to give illegal immigrants the right to vote,’ he charged.

‘The Democrats are not doing what we want them to do. They’re not voting our values and what we want to do in the country,’ he said.

‘If you want safety. If you want a country, vote Republican,’ he told the packed auditorium.

‘We need more votes,’ he said.

In his little more than an hour-long remarks at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, the president offered a long defense of his record in the White House.

‘I ran for president with no experience and I won,’ he said.

‘I didn’t know anybody Washington but now I know everyone in Washington. I know the good ones. I know the bad ones,’ he added.

Support: Ivanka, brother Eric and his wife Lara were at the rally to support their father. Lara shared this photo of the trio to her Instagram 

Trump, accompanied by Ivanka Trump, third from right, and Eric Trump, right, the children of President Donald Trump, and Eric's wife, Lara Trump, second from right, steps off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington after the Tampa rally

Ladies in red! (L-R) Ivanka Trump, Lara Trump and Eric Trump exit Marine One as they return from Tampa

Ivanka Trump arrives to the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, Tuesday after the Tampa rally

In a winding defense of his work, Trump proclaimed ‘we have the best economy in the history of our country now,’ attacked the press, praised U.S. steel, trashed the Democrats, and touted Republican gubernatorial and Senate candidates.

Trump is seen arriving back at the White House after the rally

His pro-America lines got the largest and loudest applause from the crowd while his attacks on the ‘fake news’ drew plenty of boos.

His speech was also peppered with red meat lines intended to rally his core supporters, such as when he said: ‘We will never give up, we will never give in, we will never, ever back down and we will never, ever surrender.’

He added: ‘Because we are Americans and our hearts bleed red, white and blue blue. We are one people. We are one family. And we are one glorious nation under god. And together we will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will make America safe again. We will make America great again.’

The president spent considerable time talking about his trade policies, including tit-for-tat tariffs with China that he said would eventually pay dividends for the United States.

The tariffs are causing unease among Republican lawmakers facing tough re-election battles in November, and Trump’s focus on them suggested he was concerned about their potential political impact.

China and other top U.S. trade partners zeroed in on American farmers with retaliatory tariffs after the administration imposed duties on Chinese goods as well as steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

‘China and others have targeted our farmers. Not good. Not nice. And you know what our farmers are saying? ‘It’s OK. We can take it,’ Trump said.

The Trump administration announced a $12 billion farm aid package last week, prompting some farmers and farm-state lawmakers, including Trump’s fellow Republicans, to criticize the move, saying they would rather trade with no tariffs than receive government help.

‘I want to thank our farmers,’ Trump said. ‘Our farmers are true patriots.’

Trump won Florida in the 2016 presidential election, a victory that he reminded the crowd of during the rally

Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd during a campaign rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall

Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd during a campaign rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall

Trump shakes hands with US Representative Ron DeSantis, Republican of Florida, and candidate for Florida Governor, during the rally

Trump shakes hands with US Representative Ron DeSantis, Republican of Florida, and candidate for Florida Governor, during the rally

Trump also defended the denuclearization deal he signed with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June in Singapore after reports surfaced that North Korea was proceeding with its missile program.

The Singapore summit was long on positive imagery but short on specific benchmarks for North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons.

Trump said the fact that North Korea was starting to return the remains of American dead from the 1950s Korean War and that there had been no nuclear or missile tests were offshoots of the summit.’I think it’s going to work out very well,’ he said. ‘No tests, no rockets flying. But we’ll see what happens.’

Trump also repeatedly encouraged the crowd to vote for Republican Ron DeSantis for governor. Trump had previously endorsed the candidate via Twitter, a move that boosted DeSantis’ standing in the polls and pushed him past his GOP primary rival Adam Putnam, who has been twice elected statewide and has held various Florida offices for 21 years.

He brought DeSantis on stage to speak.

Trump also touted Republican Rick Scott, who’s challenging Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in the fall.

‘We have to make sure Rick Scott wins and wins big,’ he said.

Scott was not at the rally but was at the president’s workplace development event at the Tampa Bay Technical High School earlier in the evening and was spotted getting off Air Force One with the president when he landed in Florida.

Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager for Trump, poses for photographs outside a signing ceremony for the 'Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,' at Tampa Bay Technical High School, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa

Trump supporters watch through glass doors as the president speaks during the rally

At the beginning of his remarks, protesters were pulled from the crowd, which the president used to get in a dig at the media: ‘One person and tomorrow it will be massive protests.’

At least three protestors were pulled from the crowd.

The Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall was filled to the rafters with the arena standing room only.

The president pointed out: ‘Outside we set up for the first time a big movie screen because we have thousands and thousands who couldn’t get in.’

He added: ‘It’s a great place to be. If you have to be outside, be outside in the great state of Florida.’

It was actually raining outside when he made those remarks.

He also touted a poll – without naming which poll – that he says calls him the most popular Republican president.

‘The most popular person in the history of the Republican Party is Trump – can you believe it?’ he exclaimed, as the crowd roared and waved signs at him.

‘Seven more years. Yeah seven more,’ he concluded to the delight of the crowd.

Abraham Lincoln, a Republican president, is consistently ranked by historians as the best leader in the country’s history. And polling wasn’t invented until the 1930s, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.

Trump address that too.

‘I would say I can be more presidential than any president in history except for possibly Abe Lincoln with the big hat,’ he said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6013269/Trump-whips-crowd-frenzy-campaign-rally-Florida.html

 

Story 3: Federal Reserve Keeps Federal Funds Target Rate Unchanged a 1.75-2.0 Percent — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

Fed Decision Sets Stage for Rate Hike in September, Economist Swonk Says

Fed’s interest rates decision: What is the market looking for?

What to expect from the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision

How Interest Rates Are Set: The Fed’s New Tools Explained

The Federal Fund Rate in 4 Minutes

 

Fed holds interest rates, says economy is growing at a ‘strong’ pace

jerome powell
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell.
 Chip Somodevilla/Getty
  • The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it decided during a two-day policy meeting to keep its key interest rate unchanged.
  • Traders had widely expected this decision, anticipating that the Fed would raise the benchmark for borrowing costs two more times this year including next month.
  • The Fed said the economy was growing at a “strong” pace and reaffirmed its plans to raise interest rates gradually.

The Federal Reserve held its benchmark interest rate unchanged Wednesday and reaffirmed its plans to continue raising borrowing costs at a gradual pace.

The decision to hold rates had been widely expected and came after a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which dictates monetary policy.

“This statement is a placeholder ahead of the quarterly forecast meeting next month,” Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a note.

Traders expect the Fed to raise borrowing costs twice more this year. They see a 92% probability that it will raise the fed funds rate to a range of 2% to 2.25% in September, according to Bloomberg.

“Economic activity has been rising at a strong rate,” the Fed’sstatement said, thanks to strong household spending and business investment. An advance estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product released Friday showed that the economy grew at an annualized rate of 4.1%, the fastest in nearly four years.

During his semiannual congressional testimony in mid-July, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that, with appropriate monetary policy, the job market would remain strong and inflation would stay around the 2% target for “several years.”

He said that it was difficult to predict the outcome of the ongoing trade disputes but that a prolonged trade war would hurt the economy.

“We see no reason, then, to change our view that the Fed will hike in both Sep and Dec this year, but we don’t expect any serious change in the language of the statement until December or March,” Shepherdson said.

With seven rate hikes in the bag since the financial crisis, the Fed is contemplating whether to remove language in its statement that continues to describe borrowing costs as low. Minutes of its meeting in June showed that some FOMC officials debated how communications may evolve if the economy continued to make progress and was able to withstand higher rates.

Read more: Here’s how the Fed raises interest rates and why it matters

Wednesday’s 1 statement showed the Fed still planned to continue raising interest rates gradually.

Here’s the Fed’s statement:

“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low. Household spending and business fixed investment have grown strongly. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 percent. Indicators of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

“Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term. Risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.

“In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1-3/4 to 2 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting strong labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.

“In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 percent inflation objective. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.

“Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Jerome H. Powell, Chairman; John C. Williams, Vice Chairman; Thomas I. Barkin; Raphael W. Bostic; Lael Brainard; Esther L. George; Loretta J. Mester; and Randal K. Quarles.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/federal-reserve-fomc-statement-interest-rates-august-1-2018-8

Story 4: Trump Tweets To Attorney General Sessions on Closing Down Special Counsel Mueller Investigation or Rigged Witch Hunt! — Videos

Trump Calls On Sessions To End Russia Probe

Trump calls for AG Sessions to end the Russia investigation

Giuliani to Mueller: Put up or shut up

Napolitano: Is Giuliani putting Trump in jeopardy?

DiGenova: ‘Terror legal tactics’ used against Manafort

Tom Fitton on Strzok’s demands before joining Mueller team

Trump Walking Fine Line Asking Sessions to End Mueller Probe, Ex-Prosecutor Says

Napolitano on leaked audio tapes: Indication of a fraud

Mueller tries to squeeze Manafort as trial opens

Report: Robert Mueller may have a conflict of interest

Potential impact of Manafort trial on Russia probe

Why Mueller isn’t having success with Manafort

Trump calls on Sessions to stop Mueller’s Russia probe, raising specter of attempted obstruction

Chris MegerianNoah Biermanand Eliza Fawcett

President Trump called on Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to “stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now,” opening the president to further complaints that he is trying to obstruct the investigation into Russia’s election interference and his campaign’s possible complicity.

Trump is already reportedly under investigation for potential obstruction of the Russia probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. His tweet early Wednesday was the president’s most explicit statement to date seemingly aimed at getting his attorney general,the nation’s top law enforcement officer, to end the probe.

The tweet, along with several others on Wednesday morning, reflected the president’s accelerated attacks on the investigation, which he claims is tainted by bias. They coincided with the second day of the trial of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, on 18 charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and conspiracy.

“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!” Trump wrote.

Manafort’s trial continued in Alexandria, Va., with testimony from several more witnesses for the prosecution, including a political consultant who worked with him in Ukraine for the pro-Russia government at the time; an FBI agent who helped search his condo last year; and an employee from a high-end menswear store who said Manafort would pay for custom suits with wire transfers from overseas accounts.

Prosecutors have accused Manafort of using more than 30 such accounts in three foreign countries — Cyprus, the Seychelles, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines — to avoid paying U.S. taxes on $15 million of income.

The president suggested in a tweet that Manafort was being treated worse than Al Capone, the notorious Prohibition-era Chicago gangster who was also prosecuted for tax evasion. “Where is the Russian Collusion?” Trump added.

Trump’s tweets prompted Rep. Adam B. Schiff of Burbank, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, to accuse the president of obstruction “hiding in plain sight.”

“The President of the United States just called on his Attorney General to put an end to an investigation in which the President, his family and campaign may be implicated,” Schiff tweeted. “This is an attempt to obstruct justice hiding in plain sight. America must never accept it.”

The Justice Department says a president cannot face criminal charges while in office. But depending on what Mueller uncovers, including on obstruction, Congress could decide to pursue impeachment. President Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House for perjury and obstruction in 1998, a time when Congress likewise was under Republicans’ control, though the Senate voted for acquittal.

Follow the latest news of the Trump administration on Essential Washington »

Contrary to Trump’s tweet, Sessions doesn’t have power to stop the investigation because he recused himself from the Russia investigation more than a year ago. Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod J. Rosenstein became responsible for the probe, appointed Mueller and supervises his work.

“It’s a tweet that’s just blowing in the wind, because Sessions has already recused himself from the Russia investigation,” said John Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor who served in President George W. Bush’s administration.

Even so, the episode once again forced the White House and Trump’s allies to defend a presidential tweet aimed at undermining the investigation.

Although the White House and the Justice Department previously have said that Trump’s tweets are official presidential statements, his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani responded to the latest one as he has before, by brushing off suggestions that Trump’s tweets could be used as evidence of obstruction.

“The president was expressing his opinion on his favored medium for asserting his 1st Amendment right of free speech,” Giuliani said in an interview. “He said ‘should,’ not ‘must,’ and no presidential order was issued or will be.”

Giuliani said he spoke with Trump to make sure that the president wasn’t actually issuing an order. “I talked to him about it to make sure he was on the same page as we are,” Giuliani said, and the president indicated he was not ordering Sessions to act.

Giuliani told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that all of Trump’s tweets “don’t amount to anything.” He added, “Obstruction by tweet is not something I think works real well. Generally obstruction is secret, it’s clandestine, it’s corrupt.”

For months, Trump’s lawyers also have argued that it’s impossible for the president to obstruct justice because his constitutional authority extends over the Justice Department. That allows him to direct officials where to focus their resources or to fire them, as Trump did in removing James B. Comey as FBI director last year. That firing led to Mueller’s appointment as special counsel.

Wednesday’s tweet was a reminder of Trump’s unabated anger at Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing the Russia investigation. He did so on March 2, 2017, as members of both parties and legal experts contended that he should have.

At the time, Sessions pointed to Justice Department regulations to explain that, as one of Trump’s earliest and most active supporters, he shouldn’t participate in the investigation of the Trump campaign. He announced the decision after controversy over his own undisclosed contacts during the campaign and the post-election transition with the Russian ambassador at the time, Sergey Kislyak.

Two months ago, Trump tweeted that he should have chosen an attorney general who didn’t need to recuse himself. “I wish I did!” he wrote.

Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney who was nearly hired to represent Trump, said the president has been “completely disgusted” with Sessions.

“He doesn’t like weak people,” DiGenova said in an interview with The Times. “And he thinks Jeff Sessions is extremely weak and not a competent leader.”

In his latest tweets, Trump also quoted criticism of the investigation from Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor who frequently defends him on television. In an interview, Dershowitz also cast doubt on whether Trump’s tweets can be seen as an act of obstruction.

“You cannot obstruct justice by openly exercising your 1st Amendment rights and openly criticizing a prosecution, whether you’re right or wrong,” he said. “Obstruction of justice is generally committed behind the scenes, so I think both sides are a little overwrought here.”

Dershowitz also acknowledged that Trump was mistaken in suggesting that Sessions can end the investigation. “You can’t be both recused and making decisions about the investigation,” he said.

Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, said Trump would need to take different steps to halt the probe. He could give the order to Rosenstein and fire him if he does not comply, Vladeck said, or Trump could try to replace Sessions with someone who does not have a conflict of interest, allowing that person to order Rosenstein to shutter Mueller’s investigation.

Manafort is the first person to face trial on charges stemming from the special counsel’s work. Prosecutors say he evaded taxes on income earned while working as a political consultant in Ukraine, and then relied on bank fraud to sustain his expensive lifestyle after the autocrat he worked for fled to Russia in 2014.

FBI Special Agent Matthew Mikuska described on Wednesday the early morning search of Manafort’s condo in July 2017. Mikuska said agents arrived at Manafort’s door at 6 a.m. and knocked three times. Hearing no answer, he said, they opened the door with a key, finding Manafort and his wife inside.

Agents seized numerous documents during the search, including a 2016 loan application from Manafort to the Banc of California, invoices for home renovation work, and wire transfers originating in Cyprus to Manafort’s companies.

Maximillian Katzman, 29, manager of a luxury menswear boutique in Manhattan, testified that Manafort was one of the store’s top five clients, and the only one who paid his bills through international wire transfers.

Katzman was the first of six witnesses who testified about Manafort’s luxury lifestyle funded through offshore accounts. Stephen Jacobsen said he was paid at least $3 million for home improvement projects on Manafort’s various homes, and Ronald Wall testified that Manafort was a “very good customer” at the House of Bijan clothing store.

The trial appeared to be running ahead of schedule. Prosecutors said they might be able to rest their case next week.

Bierman reported from Washington, and Megerian and Fawcett reported from Alexandria, Va.

noah.bierman@latimes.com | Twitter: @noahbierman


UPDATES:

4 p.m.: This article was updated with more testimony against Manafort.

2:45 p.m.: This article was updated with additional testimony from Manafort’s trial.

1:35 p.m.: This article was updated with additional context, developments from the Manafort trial and quotes from Yoo and diGenova.

This article was originally published at 10:20 a.m.

http://www.vagazette.com/la-na-pol-trump-mueller-20180801-story.html

 

Mueller’s Weaponized Justice System Should Scare All Americans

Image: Mueller's Weaponized Justice System Should Scare All Americans
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, on July 27, 2018 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Bernard Kerik
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 12:32 PMCurrent | Bio | Archive

He also attached an article, titled: “A Look at Manafort and Cohen, as Manafort Trial Starts.”

His focus and rightfully so, is on Manafort and Cohen’s distinctively different approaches on how they’re dealing with being selectively and politically targeted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. Justice Department.

Manafort appears determined to fight it out and defend himself from charges that would have never been brought had he not supported and worked for a short period of time on the president’s political campaign. Apparently he has the money to do so… at least for the time being, as the prosecutors have an endless amount of money to spend in their quest for victory and are accountable to no one, as to how they spend it, or why.

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn started out the same way, wrongfully assuming what most Americans once did, that if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to hide, and your cooperation is your best bet.

Unfortunately, he learned the hard way, that politically motivated prosecutors aren’t concerned with the truth, or give a damn about your service to our country, or how devastating their pursuit for a conviction can be — personally, financially, or professionally, annihilating you. For years, prosecutors have compelled guilty pleas of innocent people by pressuring their families, or extorting false witness testimony to obtain their convictions, it took this, the Manafort, Cohen and Flynn cases, for the public and press to pay any attention to it. In Flynn’s case, he pled guilty to making a false statement, but had he not, the government would have targeted his family, and bankrupted him, so he had no choice.

The Michael Cohen case is no different in the sense that he was politically targeted, but has revelations that are completely baffling.

I was outraged, as I’m sure was the president, that Cohen too, was targeted by the Special Counsel’s office, another victim, who would have never been in their crosshairs had he not worked for President Trump.

I was also stunned when the government raided his home, office, and hotel room, seizing his personal and professional records. This action was above and beyond the norm, but done for a purpose: to create a conflict between the president and his former counsel, and to insure that Cohen and president couldn’t communicate, and then to apply pressure on Cohen, like Flynn and Manafort, to flip on the president — in this case his own client.

Although I didn’t know Cohen personally, we had many mutual friends and just about every one of them described him as an extremely loyal and tough guy. In my eyes he turned out to be neither.

As someone that’s been through this nightmare and known many others that have, I can tell you that the personal pressures are enough to drive you into a manic depression, with thoughts of suicide. It kills or cripples you, or makes you stronger, and I personally feel bad for Cohen, because he is definitely not as tough as everyone thought.

What baffles me more, is his conduct before this all began, when he secretly taped private conversations between him and his client, Donald Trump. That raises serious questions about his motives, character, and credibility. There’s no logical answer as to why Cohen secretly taped his client, which creates the blatant perception that his motives were sleazy and ill intended.

Strangely, now he’s put himself in a position where the one and only person that could ever help him has realized his true character; and his chances of cooperating with the government have been diminished substantially due to his credibility, motives, and who knows what else. In the meantime, all the president’s critics have become his new best friends, milling about like hyenas in “The Lion King,” at least until they determine his usefulness. Then he’ll have no one.

All of this makes for great headlines and intrigue, but what bothers me more than anything, is that it doesn’t bother many members of Congress, or the ACLU, or the criminal justice reform advocates — like dozens, maybe hundreds of them.

Groups that rake in millions of tax dollars, calling for justice and pushing out messages on prosecutorial misconduct, over-criminalization, prosecutorial discretion, and selective targeting and prosecutions. There’s never been a greater public demonstration of all of this than these prosecutions, but because the intended target is Donald Trump, they’re eerily silent.

Last night Alan Dershowitz said that, “Special Counsel Robert Mueller is hoping that Paul Manafort will opt to testify against the president, rather than face a lengthy prison sentence.”

Doesn’t that bother the members of Congress sitting on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees? That our government weaponized its criminal justice system to specifically target the president and in the process, are destroying American citizens for selective and political reasons.

Perhaps because they’ve never been through it, or never known anyone that has. Perhaps they don’t give a damn as long as it suits their political needs and agenda?

Cohen, Flynn, and Manafort were targeted for political reasons, and that should scare the hell out of every American in our country, no matter what color you are, how you vote, or how wealthy you are, and something must be done to stop it.

It’s time for the U.S. Attorney General to stop this madness, and create internal policies to prevent it from happening in the future, and if for some reason, he cannot get the job done, that the president must find someone that can.

As New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik was in command of the NYPD on September 11, 2001, and responsible for the city’s response, rescue, recovery, and the investigative efforts of the most substantial terror attack in world history. His 35-year career has been recognized in more than 100 awards for meritorious and heroic service, including a presidential commendation for heroism by President Ronald Reagan, two Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and an appointment as Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

Read Newsmax: Mueller’s Weaponized Justice System Should Scare All Americans | Newsmax.com

https://www.newsmax.com/bernardkerik/mueller-cohen-flynn-manafort/2018/07/31/id/874714/#ixzz5MvhHHEWS

Mueller’s Weaponized Justice System–a post by Bernard Kerik

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Bernard Kerik


Tuesday, 31 July 2018 12:32 PMCurrent | Bio | Archive

Read Newsmax: Mueller’s Weaponized Justice System Should Scare All Americans | Newsmax.com

Last night I came across a   tweet   by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in which he said, “I wish we had Lt. Columbo right now, to walk into the special counsel’s office and say, ‘You know, there’s something about this that bothers me…’”

He also attached an article, titled: “A Look at Manafort and Cohen, as Manafort Trial Starts.”

His focus and rightfully so, is on Manafort and Cohen’s distinctively different approaches on how they’re dealing with being selectively and politically targeted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. Justice Department.

Manafort appears determined to fight it out and defend himself from charges that would have never been brought had he not supported and worked for a short period of time on the president’s political campaign. Apparently he has the money to do so… at least for the time being, as the prosecutors have an endless amount of money to spend in their quest for victory and are accountable to no one, as to how they spend it, or why.

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn started out the same way, wrongfully assuming what most Americans once did, that if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to hide, and your cooperation is your best bet.

Unfortunately, he learned the hard way, that politically motivated prosecutors aren’t concerned with the truth, or give a damn about your service to our country, or how devastating their pursuit for a conviction can be — personally, financially, or professionally, annihilating you. For years, prosecutors have compelled guilty pleas of innocent people by pressuring their families, or extorting false witness testimony to obtain their convictions, it took this, the Manafort, Cohen and Flynn cases, for the public and press to pay any attention to it. In Flynn’s case, he pled guilty to making a false statement, but had he not, the government would have targeted his family, and bankrupted him, so he had no choice.

The Michael Cohen case is no different in the sense that he was politically targeted, but has revelations that are completely baffling.

I was outraged, as I’m sure was the president, that Cohen too, was targeted by the Special Counsel’s office, another victim, who would have never been in their crosshairs had he not worked for President Trump.

I was also stunned when the government raided his home, office, and hotel room, seizing his personal and professional records. This action was above and beyond the norm, but done for a purpose: to create a conflict between the president and his former counsel, and to insure that Cohen and president couldn’t communicate, and then to apply pressure on Cohen, like Flynn and Manafort, to flip on the president — in this case his own client.

Although I didn’t know Cohen personally, we had many mutual friends and just about every one of them described him as an extremely loyal and tough guy. In my eyes he turned out to be neither.

As someone that’s been through this nightmare and known many others that have, I can tell you that the personal pressures are enough to drive you into a manic depression, with thoughts of suicide. It kills or cripples you, or makes you stronger, and I personally feel bad for Cohen, because he is definitely not as tough as everyone thought.

What baffles me more, is his conduct before this all began, when he secretly taped private conversations between him and his client, Donald Trump. That raises serious questions about his motives, character, and credibility. There’s no logical answer as to why Cohen secretly taped his client, which creates the blatant perception that his motives were sleazy and ill intended.

Strangely, now he’s put himself in a position where the one and only person that could ever help him has realized his true character; and his chances of cooperating with the government have been diminished substantially due to his credibility, motives, and who knows what else. In the meantime, all the president’s critics have become his new best friends, milling about like hyenas in “The Lion King,” at least until they determine his usefulness. Then he’ll have no one.

All of this makes for great headlines and intrigue, but what bothers me more than anything, is that it doesn’t bother many members of Congress, or the ACLU, or the criminal justice reform advocates — like dozens, maybe hundreds of them.

Groups that rake in millions of tax dollars, calling for justice and pushing out messages on prosecutorial misconduct, over-criminalization, prosecutorial discretion, and selective targeting and prosecutions. There’s never been a greater public demonstration of all of this than these prosecutions, but because the intended target is Donald Trump, they’re eerily silent.

Last night Alan Dershowitz said that, “Special Counsel Robert Mueller is hoping that Paul Manafort will opt to testify against the president, rather than face a lengthy prison sentence.”

Doesn’t that bother the members of Congress sitting on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees? That our government weaponized its criminal justice system to specifically target the president and in the process, are destroying American citizens for selective and political reasons.

Perhaps because they’ve never been through it, or never known anyone that has. Perhaps they don’t give a damn as long as it suits their political needs and agenda?

Cohen, Flynn, and Manafort were targeted for political reasons, and that should scare the hell out of every American in our country, no matter what color you are, how you vote, or how wealthy you are, and something must be done to stop it.

It’s time for the U.S. Attorney General to stop this madness, and create internal policies to prevent it from happening in the future, and if for some reason, he cannot get the job done, that the president must find someone that can.

As New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik was in command of the NYPD on September 11, 2001, and responsible for the city’s response, rescue, recovery, and the investigative efforts of the most substantial terror attack in world history. His 35-year career has been recognized in more than 100 awards for meritorious and heroic service, including a presidential commendation for heroism by President Ronald Reagan, two Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and an appointment as Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To read more of his reports 

https://peterweisswritings.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/muellers-weaponized-justice-system-a-post-by-bernard-kerik/

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The Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018, Story 1: Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray Responds To Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) 568 Page Report — Videos — Story 2: American People Demand Appointment of Special Counsel To Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators To Restore Public Confidence in Integrity of DOJ and FBI Employees — We Will Rock You — Deplorable POS – Videos — Story 3: Happy 72nd Birthday President Trump — Videos

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