Posts tagged ‘Russia’
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his top deputy, Rick Gates, are facing serious charges regarding the consulting business Manafort used to operate. Manafort and Gates have been indicted on 12 charges, including “conspiracy against the United States,” “conspiracy to launder money” and “false statements.”
But now, Russia is claiming the allegations against both men are “cooked up” and not part of a “serious investigation.” The Russian foreign ministry cited what they say is one glaring factual discrepancy in the 31-page indictment: the fact that the indictment referred to Yulia Tymoshenko as the former president of Ukraine.
Tymoshenko served twice as Ukraine’s prime minister before being imprisoned in 2011 on embezzlement charges, according to NBC News.
“I liked a lot the bit that, it turns out, according to the recent findings of American enforcers, the Ukrainian president before (Viktor) Yanukovych was Yulia Tymoshenko,” said Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Zakharova claims this one error puts the entire document’s validity into question.
“This is a very important moment showing the way how, once again, this document had been made, cooked up,” Zakharova said. “You understand when you talk about serious investigation one cannot allow things like that.”
The indictment against Manafort and Gates claims that both men made of millions of dollars thanks to their lobbying efforts in Ukraine.
They, in addition to George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign policy adviser who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, are the first people to be charged as part of the ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling in last year’s election.
Papadopoulos’ guilty plea led the White House to immediately distance itself from him. President Donald Trump even tweeted that hardly anyone knew who Papadopoulos was.
The White House said Monday that the indictments against Manafort have nothing to do with the president, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. As for the charges against Manafort, NBC reported they are going to be tough to beat.
“It’s a very strong case, of course it’s not about last year’s election, but they have a long list of transactions and they have a lot of facts to support the indictment,” said Jennifer Rodgers, a former assistant U.S. attorney in New York.
But if Russian officials can cast doubt into the validity of the indictment, it may give Manafort the leverage he needs.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has already claimed on several occasions the country did not meddle in the 2016 election.
GREAT NEWS: DOJ Lifts Gag Order, Frees Informant to Speak to Congress on Russia Bribery Case With Ties to Clintons
The Justice Department lifted a gag order Wednesday that will allow a former FBI informant to speak with Congress about information he uncovered involving a Russian bribery scheme linked to a controversial uranium deal in 2010.
The move comes as Congress renews its focus on the Obama administration’s approval of Russian-owned energy company Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One, a company based in Canada that controlled 20 percent of U.S. uranium.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the State Department when it approved the deal back in 2010. Eight other U.S. government agencies also approved the deal.
Three congressional committees launched investigations into the deal last week after The Hill reported that the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that the Russian nuclear industry officials involved in the deal were involved in a racketeering scheme as early as 2009.
However, the Department of Justice waited until 2014 to bring any charges on the evidence first gathered in 2009 and 2010.
The CEO of Tenex, a subsidiary of Rosatom, pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2015.
Congressional Republicans now seek to discover who knew what, and when. Republicans have also expressed concerns about Clinton’s connection to the interested parties in the nuclear deal. The Clinton Foundation reportedly received millions of dollars in contributions from interested parties in the transaction, and former President Bill Clinton received $500,000 for a speech in Russia around the time of the deal.
The FBI informant, who hasn’t been identified by name, went undercover for five years to obtain intelligence on Russia’s efforts to acquire a share of the U.S. uranium market.
Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said the DOJ would cooperate with the three open congressional investigations.
“As of tonight, the Department of Justice has authorized the information to disclose to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as one member of each of their staffs, any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market,” Prior said in a statement Wednesday, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores confirmed to The Hill that the undercover FBI informant is cleared to disclose to Congress “any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market, including but not limited to anything related to Vadim Mikerin, Rosatom, Tenex, Uranium One, or the Clinton Foundation.”
The informant’s lawyer, Victoria Toensing, told The Hill her client has information relating to “the Russian nuclear bribery case and the efforts he witnessed by Moscow to gain influence with the Clintons in hopes of winning favorable uranium decisions from the Obama administration.”
“He is now able and willing to talk with the congressional committees seeking his testimony, though I will be working with all parties to ensure his identity remains confidential to ensure his safety,” she added.
But some high-ranking Democrats have called foul on the Republican’s renewed focus on the 2010 uranium deal.
California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday the investigations are a “partisan effort to distract” from the real issue at hand — special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged collusions with the Russians during the 2016 election.
Trump told reporters Wednesday he believes the uranium investigation will quickly swell to Watergate proportions.
“The uranium sale to Russia and the way it was done was so underhanded. With tremendous amounts of money being passed, I actually think that’s Watergate: modern age,” Trump said, as reported by the New York Post.
The Justice Department announced Wednesday night that it had lifted a gag order on a former FBI informant who could provide testimony to Congress about an inquiry linked to a 2010 Obama-era deal that transferred ownership of a uranium mining firm to a Russian-owned company.
Fox News reported the department said it authorized the informant to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as select staffers.
The Justice Department said the informant could provide “any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market,” including Russian company Rosatom, its subsidiary Tenex, Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation.
The FBI said in court documents and in interviews that they had gathered enough evidence to prove that Rosatom-connected officials were engaged in a bribery scheme that included kickbacks and money laundering in 2010, Circa reported.
Despite that little tidbit, the U.S. government approved the sale. Not surprising considering who was in office. Now we have a chance to know what really went down.
The informant’s attorney, Victoria Toensing, told Fox Business Network Monday that her client could “tell what all the Russians were talking about during the time that all these bribery payments were made.”
Toensing said her client, an American businessman who reportedly worked as an undercover FBI confidential witness, was prevented from testifying by former attorneys general Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch after having signed a non-disclosure agreement, according to Fox News.
Circa reported that Toensing also said the informant has pertinent information regarding Russia’s attempts to gain access to former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to influence the Obama administration’s decision on the purchase of Uranium One.
After the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom was completed, millions of dollars flowed to the Clinton Foundation from Russian officials, as reported by The Hill.
This FBI informant can also testify about comments made by FBI agents that suggested “political pressure was exerted during the Justice Department probe of the Russia corruption case and that there was specific evidence that could have scuttled approval of the Uranium One deal if it became public,” according to The Hill.
There is little doubt that if Clinton had won the presidency, this gag order would still be enforced.
Thus, the truth about who really colluded with the Russians would likely never be known. Hopefully, the informant’s testimony will shed some light on what happened during these deals and the truth behind them can come out. You can bet this news has former President Barack Obama and Clinton sweating bullets.
You can also bet the mainstream media will take its sweet time covering this news because it doesn’t fit their Trump-hating agenda.
Former Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee broke the law in the way they handled their effort to dig up dirt on President Donald Trump, according to a complaint filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded development of a now-discredited dossier that claimed to document misbehavior by Trump while in Russia and also claimed Trump had close connections with Russian officials.
Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained the firm Fusion GPS to conduct the research into Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, to do the work.
Perkins Coie, the firm for which Elias works, was paid $12.4 million to represent the Clinton campaign and the DNC during the 2016 campaign.
The complaint from the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center said that by paying the firm of Perkins Coie to fund development of the dossier while not saying that’s what it was doing, the campaign and DNC broke the law.
The Clinton and campaign and the DNC “failed to accurately disclose the purpose and recipient of payments for the dossier of research alleging connections between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russia, effectively hiding these payments from public scrutiny, contrary to the requirements of federal law,” the Center said on its website.
According to FEC reports, Clinton’s campaign reported 37 payments to the law firm and reported each disbursement as “Legal Services.”
The DNC reported 345 payments to Perkins Coie during the election cycle and marked the payments as “legal and compliance consulting,” “administrative fees,” “data services subscription” and others.
“The purpose of at least some portion of the payments to Perkins Coie was not for legal services; instead, those payments were intended to fund opposition research,” the complaint said. “This false reporting clearly failed the Commission’s requirements for disclosing the purpose of a disbursement.”
The CLC said the campaign and DNC tried to end run the rules.
“By filing misleading reports, the DNC and Clinton campaign undermined the vital public information role of campaign disclosures,” said Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation and strategy at CLC. “Voters need campaign disclosure laws to be enforced so they can hold candidates accountable for how they raise and spend money.
“The FEC must investigate this apparent violation and take appropriate action,” Noti added.
“Questions about who paid for this dossier are the subject of intense public interest, and this is precisely the information that FEC reports are supposed to provide,” said Brendan Fischer, director of federal and FEC reform at CLC.
“Payments by a campaign or party committee to an opposition research firm are legal, as long as those payments are accurately disclosed,” he said. “But describing payments for opposition research as ‘legal services’ is entirely misleading and subverts the reporting requirements.”
Writing on LawNewz, Rachel Stockman said there is a fine line separating legal fro illegal activities.
“It is legal under current campaign finance law for the Hillary Clinton campaign to commission an opposition research company to dig up dirt on Donald Trump,” she wrote. “What is not legal, according to campaign legal experts, is for the campaign to pay a law firm who then hires other to perform campaign related activities without reporting the purpose of the expenditures.”
URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/developing-putin-issues-border/
The biggest sign from a world leader that trouble may be afoot on the Korean Peninsula after Kim Jong Un’s latest missile launch comes not from the crazy fat kid himself. Instead, Vladimir Putin made headlines when his Russian government quietly ordered 1,500 people out of a city close to the North Korean border.
A verbal order was given to relocate 1,500 people to safe areas, Russian social media outlet Mash reported Tuesday afternoon. “The order came from the regional department of the Russian Ministry of Emergencies.”
The movement was later described as a “training exercise” — activated by North Korea’s missile launch — by another Russian media outlet, FedPress.ru.
“A relocation scheme is being exercised as part of the training,” a source said.
Vladivostok, a city of just over 600,000 people, is Russia’s largest port on the Pacific Ocean. A city of significant military importance, it’s the closest major Russian urban area to the country’s 24-mile land border with North Korea.
Vladivostok is also set to be the site of a summit between Moscow and the Japanese government in the coming weeks, as a sideline to the Eastern Economic Forum. According to the Japan Times, tensions over North Korea are expected to be one of the topics. Nikolai Patrushev, an aide to Vladimir Putin, will reportedly travel to Japan in the coming days to help set the agenda for the meeting.
An evacuation from a border city in the days following a North Korean missile launch and in the weeks preceding a major economic forum and summit aren’t pleasant auguries for those who want peace and stability. Granted, 1,500 people being moved isn’t exactly going to make a dent in a city where that represents 1/400th of the permanent population. However, one also assumes those 1,500 individuals also played some sort of role in Russia’s civil or defense infrastructure, particularly given the fact that the Russian Ministry of Emergencies was involved and that it was part of a “training exercise.”
Several weeks ago, Kim Jong Un sensibly declared a moratorium on his latest spate of missile tests. Now, the crazy fat kid we all knew and loathed is back, and he’s upped the ante by launching the latest missile right over Japan. Given all that, it’s not just that Vladimir Putin’s government is evacuating its citizens to safety. It’s that we can see this as being the first of many such evacuations. Things look like they’re about to escalate in a major way.
H/T U.K. Daily Star
URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/north-korea-caught-trying-aid-syrias-chemical-weapons-program/
North Korea has been caught twice in recent months trying to send Syria the materials needed to make chemical weapons, according to a United Nations report.
“The panel is investigating reported prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the DPRK (North Korea),” the United Nations committee reported.
“Two member states interdicted shipments destined for Syria. Another member state informed the panel that it had reasons to believe that the goods were part of a KOMID contract with Syria,” the report stated, using the acronym for the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, which has been blacklisted by the Security Council for arms dealing.
The report did not say when the weapons were intercepted. The intercepted shipments were bound for Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, which has overseen Syria’s chemical weapons program.
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former head of the British military’s chemical, biological and radiological weapons program, said North Korea has been selling its chemical stockpile.
“Syria’s chemical weapons program was basically built up by Iran and Russia,” he said. “But the North Koreans have been desperate for currency and have been happy to sell technology to anyone. It has always been a real concern that they would sell their chemical and nuclear expertise.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t speak to a wider involvement in the (chemical weapons) sphere, especially by the jihadis,” he said.
An organization called the Nuclear Threat Initiative said North Korea “may possess between 2,500 and 5,000 tons of (chemical warfare) agents.
“The South Korean government assesses that North Korea is able to produce most types of chemical weapons indigenously, although it must import some precursors to produce nerve agents, which it has done in the past,” the site said.
“At maximum capacity, North Korea is estimated to be capable of producing up to 12,000 tons of CW. Nerve agents such as Sarin and VX are thought to be the focus of North Korean production,” it said.
In April, Syria used chemical weapons to attack a rebel-held village, prompting an armed response form the United States.
URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/alert-muellers-team-falling-apart/
In a startling departure, one of the FBI’s top investigators hired by special counsel Robert Mueller to assist in the investigation into allegations of Russian election interference has left the team.
Aeter Strzok, a bureau veteran who worked on counterintelligence cases, joined Mueller’s team in mid-July. Out of nowhere and without explanation, he was reassigned to the FBI’s human resources division, apparently at his own request, ABC News reported.
Interestingly enough, Strzok was chief of the FBI’s counterespionage section in 2016, where he oversaw the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Aside from nearly everyone on Mueller’s team having donated to either Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, or the Democratic National Committee, Mueller is apparently chasing Trump (with no evidence) and allowing the Clintons to sidestep provable crimes.
Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May 2017 that there was no evidence of collusion between Trump officials and Russia. What can Mueller find that the FBI could not?
Strzok is leaving Mueller’s team one day after the FBI announced it reopening its investigation into last year’s infamous “tarmac meeting” between former President Bill Clinton and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
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Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal lawyer and president of the American Center for Law and Justice, indicated Wednesday that his legal group received 413 pages of documents from the Department of Justice and FBI surrounding the tarmac meeting between Lynch and Clinton at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport last June.
The emails revealed that the FBI had relevant documents on the matter, even though the bureau originally claimed otherwise. Why didn’t the FBI, headed by Comey at the time, hand over those documents?
There’s tangible evidence to support collusion between Lynch and Clinton, and Comey failing to turn over documents surrounding the meeting raises many questions. These are just some of the reasons why many believe Mueller is leading a witch hunt after Trump.
When will Democrats just admit they lost the election fair and square?