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More Politically INCORRECT Catoons for Friday October 20, 2017


FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow


Reported

 
 
 

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

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Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

When this sale was used by Trump on the campaign trail last year, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman said she was not involved in the committee review and noted the State Department official who handled it said she “never intervened … on any [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] matter.”

In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

The Obama administration’s decision to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One has been a source of political controversy since 2015. That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

Spokesmen for Holder and Clinton did not return calls seeking comment. The Justice Department also didn’t comment.

Mikerin was a director of Rosatom’s Tenex in Moscow since the early 2000s, where he oversaw Rosatom’s nuclear collaboration with the United States under the Megatons to Megwatts program and its commercial uranium sales to other countries. In 2010, Mikerin was dispatched to the U.S. on a work visa approved by the Obama administration to open Rosatom’s new American arm called Tenam.

Between 2009 and January 2012, Mikerin “did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire confederate and agree with other persons … to obstruct, delay and affect commerce and the movement of an article and commodity (enriched uranium) in commerce by extortion,” a November 2014 indictment stated.

His illegal conduct was captured with the help of a confidential witness, an American businessman, who began making kickback payments at Mikerin’s direction and with the permission of the FBI. The first kickback payment recorded by the FBI through its informant was dated Nov. 27, 2009, the records show.

In evidentiary affidavits signed in 2014 and 2015, an Energy Department agent assigned to assist the FBI in the case testified that Mikerin supervised a “racketeering scheme” that involved extortion, bribery, money laundering and kickbacks that were both directed by and provided benefit to more senior officials back in Russia.

“As part of the scheme, Mikerin, with the consent of higher level officials at TENEX and Rosatom (both Russian state-owned entities) would offer no-bid contracts to US businesses in exchange for kickbacks in the form of money payments made to some offshore banks accounts,” Agent David Gadren testified.

“Mikerin apparently then shared the proceeds with other co-conspirators associated with TENEX in Russia and elsewhere,” the agent added.

The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.

Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation in connection with money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI.

The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.

Its many twist and turns aside, the FBI nuclear industry case proved a gold mine, in part because it uncovered a new Russian money laundering apparatus that routed bribe and kickback payments through financial instruments in Cyprus, Latvia and Seychelles. A Russian financier in New Jersey was among those arrested for the money laundering, court records show.

The case also exposed a serious national security breach: Mikerin had given a contract to an American trucking firm called Transport Logistics International that held the sensitive job of transporting Russia’s uranium around the United States in return for more than $2 million in kickbacks from some of its executives, court records show.

One of Mikerin’s former employees told the FBI that Tenex officials in Russia specifically directed the scheme to “allow for padded pricing to include kickbacks,” agents testified in one court filing.

Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap. But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged. The only public statement occurred a year later when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, just days before Labor Day. The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.

By that time, the criminal cases against Mikerin had been narrowed to a single charge of money laundering for a scheme that officials admitted stretched from 2004 to 2014. And though agents had evidence of criminal wrongdoing they collected since at least 2009, federal prosecutors only cited in the plea agreement a handful of transactions that occurred in 2011 and 2012, well after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United State’s approval.

The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation, sources confirmed to The Hill.

The lack of fanfare left many key players in Washington with no inkling that a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme with serious national security implications had been uncovered.

On Dec. 15, 2015, the Justice Department put out a release stating that Mikerin, “a former Russian official residing in Maryland was sentenced today to 48 months in prison” and ordered to forfeit more than $2.1 million.

Ronald Hosko, who served as the assistant FBI director in charge of criminal cases when the investigation was underway, told The Hill he did not recall ever being briefed about Mikerin’s case by the counterintelligence side of the bureau despite the criminal charges that were being lodged.

“I had no idea this case was being conducted,” a surprised Hosko said in an interview.

Likewise, major congressional figures were also kept in the dark.

Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee during the time the FBI probe was being conducted, told The Hill that he had never been told anything about the Russian nuclear corruption case even though many fellow lawmakers had serious concerns about the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal.

“Not providing information on a corruption scheme before the Russian uranium deal was approved by U.S. regulators and engage appropriate congressional committees has served to undermine U.S. national security interests by the very people charged with protecting them,” he said. “The Russian efforts to manipulate our American political enterprise is breathtaking.”

Indictment Affidavit by M Mali on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/361782806/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-1KruSlw1gQLLv68Bb1ZB&show_recommendations=true

 

Warrant Affidavit by M Mali on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/361783030/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-N455a4bz5qQFSYWLdHvG&show_recommendations=true

 

 

Mikerin Plea Deal by M Mali on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/361783782/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-9FqAb64N1wtBrEk5gxzZ&show_recommendations=true

Corporate Tax Cut Will Raise Middle-Class Wages


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/corporate-tax-cut-will-raise-middle-class-wages/?

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A study released Monday by Kevin Hassett, President Donald Trump’s chief economist, gives a boost to Trump’s proposed corporate tax cut. The study shows that if the tax cut is implemented, the average family could see an income boost in the thousands of dollars.

The tax cut would lower the current rate of 35 percent to 20 percent. Based on “conservative estimates,” this decrease would boost the average household income by $4,000, the paper said. But more “moderate estimates” reveal increases of $9,000 per family.

“Put simply, capital deepening, which brings additional returns to the owners of capital, brings substantial returns to workers as well,” said the paper, which studied evidence from other countries that have lowered their corporate tax rates.

But Democrats have disapproved of Trump’s proposed tax cut from the start. They believe it will not benefit ordinary families, but only business themselves.

The new study will allow Republicans to offer a rebuttal.

Hassett, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, insists that American families would benefit the most from significantly lower corporate tax rates, more so than the companies themselves.

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“America’s broken corporate tax system creates incentives for firms to hold their money outside of our borders,” Hassett told reporters on Sunday, according to the Washington Examiner. “When firms hold their money overseas rather than invest them in America, they’re holding down the productivity of the American economy and the wages of American workers.”

The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, leading many companies to keep their profits abroad in lower-tax countries to avoid significant tax hits back home.

By cutting the tax rate, the idea is that companies would then invest more within the United States. This would cause a boost in productivity throughout the country.

This productivity would then boost wages, according to Hassett’s study.

“More assets like machines let workers produce more, and when workers can produce more, businesses can afford to pay their workers more,” Hassett said, as reported by The Hill. 

But some economists and tax policy experts have voiced their concerns about the tax cut directly benefiting workers. Although they agree this would attract companies to invest more in the United States economy, they cannot predict how much money will bring back home. There is also concern over what corporations will do with their tax savings.

Trump announced his tax proposal during a September a speech in Indianapolis. Calling it a “revolutionary change,” he said it would boost wages to “levels that you haven’t seen in many years,” according to The New York Times. 

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


Labor Days

The Trump Economy is Booming


Reported By Onan Coca | August 4, 2017

Former Clinton Staffer Pays Trump Unexpected Compliment


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/former-clinton-top-staffer-trump/

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President Donald Trump’s economic policies have had a positive impact on the American business climate, and his allies aren’t the only ones who have noticed. In fact, Mack McLarty, the chief of staff for former president Bill Clinton, recently suggested during an MSNBC interview that Democrats should adopt a more Trump-like message when it comes to jobs and the economy.

McLarty argued that instead of just being anti-Trump, Democrats needed to “stand for something,” including a serious approach to strengthening the economy.

“I don’t think there’s any question that the message should be a real focus on jobs and how were really going to broaden and strengthen this economy,” McLarty said. “President Trump has proposed some ways to do that in terms of infrastructure development and tax reform, all hard but doable.”

The former Clinton staffer was commenting on responses to a question a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll that indicated only 37 percent of Americans think the Democratic Party stands for something, and 52 percent think the Democrats only stand against Trump.

“They’ve got to do more than just stand against Trump,” McLarty said. “I think it’s always difficult when you’re in the minority to come out with a coherent, broad message.”

So far, however, the message from Democrats has been fairly simple: “Trump is bad.” In fact, current Democrat lawmakers have spent the majority of the year finding ways to undermine Trump’s presidency or poke holes in the legitimacy of his election.

It’s easy to say that you disagree with someone’s political stance, but simply disagreeing with the president won’t — or shouldn’t — be enough to get you elected. Instead, you must have solid, effective policy ideas of your own. Unfortunately for Democrats, they’re still clinging to the same failed policies that plagued the country under former President Barack Obama’s administration.

And as we saw in the 2016 presidential election, those policies won’t get you elected anymore — which is probably why McLarty is advising his party to look to Trump for inspiration on how to appeal to voters.

H/T The Daily Caller

Trump Makes Bombshell Announcement Won’t Fill Some Unfilled Gov’t Positions


Authored By: K. Campbell on March 2, 2017 at 4:10pm

URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/trump-makes-bombshell-govt/

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President Donald Trump has been taking heat for not filling hundreds of appointed federal government jobs, but he recently revealed the true reason why he hasn’t done so — a reason conservatives will love.

In an interview with Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” that aired this week, Trump explained that his administration’s seemingly lack of political appointees has been an effort to shrink the size of the federal government.

“When I see a story about ‘Donald Trump didn’t fill hundreds and hundreds of jobs,’ it’s because, in many cases, we don’t want to fill those jobs,” he said.

When pressed on the fact that he has 600 empty positions, Trump doubled down on his reasoning behind the situation.

“A lot of those jobs, I don’t want to appoint, because they’re unnecessary to have,” the president explained. “You know, we have so many people in government, even me. I look at some of the jobs and it’s people over people over people. I say, ‘What do all these people do?’ You don’t need all those jobs.”

He’s right. In fact, there are more than 4,000 roles for political appointees throughout government, according to the Center for Presidential Transition.

“Many of those jobs I don’t want to fill,” Trump said. “I say, isn’t that a good thing? That’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. We’re running a very good, efficient government.”

Watch Trump’s comments here:

Some positions in the federal government have been needed to ensure that things run smoothly, but the problem is that, even with thousands of people, things haven’t been running smoothly (see: Social Security, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the State Department — just to name a few.) Democrats might not be able to grasp the concept of leaving a government job unfilled, even if it’s not necessary. But a businessman has no problem with the idea at all.

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