Intel and Law Enforcement Tried to Entrap Trump by Larry C Johnson

Larry Johnson-5x7

The preponderance of evidence makes this very simple–there was a broad, coordinated effort by the Obama Administration, with the help of foreign governments, to target Donald Trump and paint him as a stooge of Russia.

The Mueller Report provides irrefutable evidence that the so-called Russian collusion case against Donald Trump was a deliberate fabrication by intelligence and law enforcement organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom and organizations aligned with the Clinton Campaign.

Breaking news today, courtesy of the New York Times, is that a man with a long history of working with the CIA and a female FBI Informant, traveled to London in September of 2016 and tried unsuccessfully to entrap George Papadopolous. The biggest curiosity is that US intelligence or law enforcement officials fully briefed British intelligence on what they were up to. Quite understandable given what we now know about British spying on the Trump Campaign.

The Mueller investigation of Trump "collusion" with Russia prior to the 2016 Presidential election focused on eight cases:

Proposed Trump Tower Project in Moscow—

George Papadopolous—

Carter Page—

Dimitri Simes—

Veselnetskya Meeting at Trump Tower (June 16, 2016)

Events at Republican Convention

Post-Convention Contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak

Paul Manafort

One simple fact emerges–of the eight cases or incidents of alleged Trump Campaign interaction with the Russians investigated by the Mueller team, the proposals to interact with the Russian Government or Putin originated with FBI informants, MI-6 assets or people paid by Fusion GPS, not Trump or his people. There is not a single instance where Donald Trump or any member of his campaign team initiated contact with the Russians for the purpose of gaining derogatory information on Hillary or obtaining support to boost the Trump campaign. Not one.

Simply put, Trump and his campaign were the target of an elaborate, wide ranging covert action designed to entrap him and members of his team as an agent of Russia.

Let's look in detail at each of the cases.

THE PROPOSED TRUMP TOWER PROJECT IN MOSCOW, according to Mueller's report, originated with an FBI Informant–Felix Sater. Here's what the Mueller Report states:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Mueller, as I have noted previously, is downright dishonest in failing to identify Sater as an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. He was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater's status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012. Sater also was a boyhood chum of Michael Cohen, the target being baited in this operation. Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller's Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business.

All suggestions for meeting with the Russian Government, including Putin, originated with Felix Sater. The use of Sater on this particular project started in September 2015.

[For more on Sater please see my previous posts, Felix Sater–The Rosetta Stone for the FBI/CIA Conspiracy Against Trump?, Felix Sater and the Steele Dossier.]

GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS

Papadopolous was targeted by British and U.S. intelligence starting in late December 2015, when he is offered out of the blue a job with the London Centre of International Law and Practice Limited (LCILP) . The LCILP has all of the hallmarks of an intelligence front company. LCILP began as an offshoot from another company — EN Education Group Limited — which describes itself as “a global education consultancy, facilitating links between students, education providers and organisations with an interest in education worldwide”.

EN Education and LCILP are owned and run by Nagi Khalid Idris, a 48-year-old British citizen of Sudanese origin. For no apparent reason Idris offers Papadopolous a job as the Director of the LCILP’s International Energy and Natural Resources Division. Then in March of 2016, Idris and Arvinder Sambei (who acted as an attorney for the FBI on a 9-11 extradition case in the UK), insist on introducing Joseph Mifsud to Papadopolous.

It is Joseph Mifsud who introduces the idea of meeting Putin following a lunch in London:

“The lunch is booked for March 24 at the Grange Holborn Hotel,. . . . “When I get there, Mifsud is waiting for me in the lobby with an attractive, fashionably dressed young woman with dirty blonde hair at his side. He introduces her as Olga Vinogradova.” (p. 76)

“Mifsud sells her hard. “Olga is going to be your inside woman to Moscow. She knows everyone.” He tells me she was a former official at the Russian Ministry of Trade. Then he waxes on about introducing me to the Russian ambassador in London.” (p. 77)

“On April 12, “Olga” writes: “I have already alerted my personal links to our conversation and your request. The embassy in London is very much aware of this. As mentioned, we are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump. The Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced.”

And it is Mifsud who raises the possibility of getting dirt on Hillary:

“Then Mifsud returns from the Valdai conference. On April 26 we meet for breakfast at the Andaz Hotel, near Liverpool Street Station, one of the busiest train stations in London. He’s in an excellent mood and claims he met with high-level Russian government officials. But once again, he’s very short on specifics. This is becoming a real pattern with Mifsud. He hasn’t offered any names besides Timofeev. Then, he leans across the table in a conspiratorial manner. The Russians have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, he tells me. “Emails of Clinton,” he says. “They have thousands of emails.”

Here again we encounter the lying and obfuscation of the Mueller team. They falsely characterize Mifsud as an agent of Russia. In fact, he has close and longstanding ties to both British and US intelligence (Disobedient Media lays out the Mifsud mystery in detail).

Mifsud was not alone. The FBI and the CIA also were in the game of trying to entrap Papadopolous. In September of 2016, Papadopolous was being wined and dined by Halper (who has longstanding ties to the US intelligence community) and Azra Turk, an FBI Informant/researcher (see NY Times).

The FBI disingenuously claims they ran Azra Turk at Papadopolous because they were alarmed ostensibly by Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 election. But Papadopolous was not seeking out Russian contacts. He was being baited. It was Mifsud and others tied to British and US intelligence who were bringing up the "opportunity" to work with the Russians. 

CARTER PAGE

The section of the Mueller report that deals with Carter Page is a total travesty. Mueller and his team, for example, initially misrepresent Page's status with the Trump campaign–he is described as "working" for the campaign, which implies a paid position, when he was in fact only a volunteer foreign policy advisor. Mueller also paints Page's prior experience and work in Russia as evidence that Page was being used by Russian intelligence, but says nothing about the fact that Page was being regularly debriefed by the CIA and the FBI during the same period. In other words, Page was cooperating with US intelligence and law enforcement. But this fact is omitted in the Mueller report.

Mueller eventually accurately describes Page's role in the Trump campaign as follows:

In January 2016, Page began volunteering on an informal, unpaid basis for the Trump Campaign after Ed Cox, a state Republican Party official, introduced Page to Trump Campaign officials. Page told the Office that his goal in working on the Campaign was to help candidate Trump improve relations with Russia. To that end, Page emailed Campaign officials offering his thoughts on U.S.-Russia relations, prepared talking points and briefing memos on Russia, and proposed that candidate Trump meet with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

In communications with Campaign officials, Page also repeatedly touted his high-level contacts in Russia and his ability to forge connections between candidate Trump and senior Russian governmental officials. For example, on January 30, 2016, Page sent an email to senior Campaign officials stating that he had "spent the past week in Europe and had been in discussions with some individuals with close ties to the Kremlin" who recognized that Trump could have a "game-changing effect . .. in bringing the end of the new Cold War. The email stated that " [t]hrough [his] discussions with these high level contacts," Page believed that "a direct meeting in Moscow between Mr. Trump and Putin could be arranged.  

The Mueller presentation portrays Carter Page in a nefarious, negative light. His contacts with Russia are characterized as inappropriate and unjustified. Longstanding business experience in a particular country is not proof of wrong doing. No consideration is given at all to Page's legitimate concerns raising about the dismal state of US/Russia relations following the US backed coup in the Ukraine and the subsequent annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Page's association with the Trump campaign was quite brief–he lasted seven months, being removed as a foreign policy advisor on 24 September. Page was not identified publicly as a Trump foreign policy advisor until March of 2016, but the evidence presented in the Mueller report clearly indicates that Page was already a target of intelligence agencies, in the US and abroad, long before the FISA warrant of October 2016.

While serving on the foreign policy team Page continued his business and social contacts in Russia, but was never tasked by the Trump team to pursue or promote contacts with Putin and his team. In fact, Page's proposals, suggestions and recommendations were either ignored or directly rebuffed.

The timeline reported in the Mueller report regarding Page's trip to Russia in early July raises questions about the intel collected on that trip and the so-called "intel" revealed in the Steele Dossier with respect to Page. Carter admits to meeting with individuals, such as Dmitry Peskov and Igor Sechin, who appear in the Steele Dossier. Page's meetings in Moscow turned out to be innocuous and uneventful. Nothing he did resembled clandestine activity. Yet, the Steele report on that visit suggested just the opposite and used the tactic of guilt by association to imply that Page was up to something dirty. 

The bottomline for Mueller is that Page did not do anything wrong and no one in the Trump Campaign embraced his proposals for closer ties with Russia. 

DMITRI SIMES

The targeting and investigation of Dmitri Simes is disgusting and an abuse of law enforcement authority. Full disclosure. I know Dmitri. For awhile, in the 2002-2003 time period, I was a regular participant at Nixon Center events. For example, I was at a round table in December 2002 on the imminent invasion of Iraq. Colonel Pat Lang sat on one side of me and Ambassador Joe Wilson on the other. Directly across the table was Charles Krauthammer. Dmitri ran an honest seminar.

The entire section on Dmitri Simes, under other circumstances, could be viewed as something bizarre and amusing. But the mere idea that Simes was somehow an agent of Putin and a vehicle for helping Trump work with the Russians to steal the 2016 election is crazy and idiotic. Those in the FBI who were so stupid as to buy into this nonsense should have their badges and guns taken away. They are too dumb to work in law enforcement.

Dmitri's only sin was to speak calmly, intelligently and rationally about foreign policy dealings with Russia. We now know that in this new hysteria of the 21st Century Russian scare that qualities such as reason and rationality are proof of one's willingness to act as a puppet of Vladimir Putin.

TRUMP TOWER MEETING (JUNE 9, 2016)

This is the clearest example of a plant designed to entrap the Trump team. Mueller, once again, presents a very disingenuous account:

On June 9, 2016, senior representatives of the Trump Campaign met in Trump Tower with a Russian attorney expecting to receive derogatory information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. The meeting was proposed to Donald Trump Jr. in an email from Robert Goldstone, at the request of his then-client Emin Agalarov, the son of Russian real-estate developer Aras Agalarov. Goldstone relayed to Trump Jr. that the "Crown prosecutor of Russia … offered to provide the Trump Campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia" as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." Trump Jr. immediately responded that "if it's what you say I love it," and arranged the meeting through a series of emails and telephone calls.

The meeting was with a Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The Russian attorney who spoke at the meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had previously worked for the Russian government and maintained a relationship with that government throughout this period oftime. She claimed that funds derived from illegal activities in Russia were provided to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. Trump Jr. requested evidence to support those claims, but Veselnitskaya did not provide such information.

Ignore for a moment that no information on Hillary was passed or provided (and doing such a thing is not illegal). The real problem is with what Mueller does not say and did not investigate. Mueller conveniently declines to mention the fact that Veselnitskaya was working closely with the firm Hillary Clinton hired to produce the Steele Dossier. NBC News reported on Veselnitskaya:

The information that a Russian lawyer brought with her when she met Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 stemmed from research conducted by Fusion GPS, the same firm that compiled the infamous Trump dossier, according to the lawyer and a source familiar with the matter.

In an interview with NBC News, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya says she first received the supposedly incriminating information she brought to Trump Tower — describing alleged tax evasion and donations to Democrats — from Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS owner, who had been hired to conduct research in a New York federal court case.

Even a mediocre investigator would recognize the problem of the relationship between the lawyer claiming to have dirty, damning info on Hillary with the firm Hillary hired to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. This was another botched set up and the Trump folks did not take the bait.

EVENTS AT THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

This portion of the Mueller report is complete farce. Foreign Ambassdors, including the Russian (and the Chinese) attend Republican and Democrat Conventions. Presidential candidates and their advisors speak to those Ambassadors. So, where is the beef? Answer. There isn't any. That this "event" was considered something worthy of a counter intelligence investigation is just one more piece of evidence that law enforcement and intelligence were weaponized against the Trump campaign. 

POST-CONVENTION CONTACTS WITH RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR KISLYAK

Ditto. As noted in the previous paragraph, trying to criminalize normal diplomatic contacts, especially with a country where we share important, vital national security interests, is but further evidence of the crazy anti-Russian hysteria that has infected the anti-Trumpers. Pathetic.

MANAFORT

If Paul Manafort had rebuffed Trump's offer to run his campaign, he would be walking free today and still buying expensive suits and evading taxes along with his Clinton buddy, Greg Craig. Instead, he became another target for DOJ and intel community and the DNC, which were desperate to portray Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. Thanks to John Solomon of The Hill, we now know the impetus to target Manafort came from the DNC:

The boomerang from the Democratic Party’s failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia’s 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow’s pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton.

In its most detailed account yet, Ukraine’s embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country's president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly's office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

Manafort was not colluding, but the Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration most certainly were.

Take these eight events as a whole a very clear picture emerges–US and foreign intelligence (especially the UK) and US law enforcement collaborated in a broad effort to bait the Trump team with ostensible Russian entreaties in order to paint Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. That effort is now being exposed and those culpable will hopefully face justice. This should sicken and alarm every American regardless of political party. Will justice be served?

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29 Responses to Intel and Law Enforcement Tried to Entrap Trump by Larry C Johnson

  1. notlurking says:

    we’re not in kansas anymore…..

  2. Joe100 says:

    Great work!
    I just read the following about special visas approved for some of the FBI “operatives” (from SD at CTH): “It wasn’t just the CIA that was using spies to “dirty up” Trump associates. The FBI was doing it too. There was the infamous Natalia Veselnitskaya who is known for her part in the Trump Tower meeting. She had been banned from the country but got a special visa signed off by Preet Bahara of the FBI, Southern District of New York. Henry Greenburg, the known FBI informant who tried to entrap Roger Stone, also got a special visa. And I’m sure there are many more…”

  3. Gerard M says:

    IMO, there is no coming back from this. Apart from this Deep State coup attempt, we have seen that democracy is a shame, it’s all theater. The Establishment (which includes GOP) is constantly working to undermine Trump and thwart his plans to do what the American people want and elected him for. What I’ve found quite disturbing is that the controlling puppet masters have not let up in trying to remove or neutralize Trump. As if they can’t wait even 4 years to again fully stack the deck and regain total control. They are not willing to concede that 2016 was a political black swan event involving a celebrity billionaire American icon. And conceding and allowing this fluke to be rectified I’m 4 short years is worse than their pushback exposing the political system as a rigged game.
    The events of the last 2.5 years have radically altered my views. I no longer have any faith in democracy (voting), the government, the federal courts, law enforcement, et al. And I can’t see me regaining any faith in them. What I have seen in the past 2.5 years is kind of like finding out my wife of decades, whom I idolized, has been cheating with my friend from childhood, whom I would’ve laid down my life for. And all the other people close to me not telling me.
    I now only have faith in only God and beagles.

  4. Fred says:

    It’s not the black swan event that concerns the guilty but the fear of just retribution by those who see just how black hearted the left has become.

  5. akaPatience says:

    What’s the likelihood that Carter Page was a plant in the Trump campaign? After all, he had a history with the US IC and was used as bait in an FBI case to prove Russian operatives’ recruiting efforts. It’s thought he’s the Under Cover Employee alluded to in this case, which resulted in the successful prosecution of Russian spies:
    https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/evgeny-buryakov-pleads-guilty-manhattan-federal-court-connection-conspiracy-work

  6. Gerard M says:

    It’s not just the left. I listened to Michael Tracey’s interview with George Papadopoulos and was stunned to learn about the web of Deep State actors and how our Five Eyes allies were intimately involved in subverting our Presidential election. Papadopoulos even talks about U.S. military attachés, DIA guys, in on this coup. Listen to this Michael Tracey* interview and you will be shaken: https://youtu.be/ZjGLCCP_lPg
    *Tracey, btw, is on the left. But like Glenn Greenwald and others on the left he is an honest journalist interested in the truth.

  7. catherine says:

    Trump was never going to be nailed on collusion with Russia because there was none.
    What there was was a collection of people like Manafort who were within the campaign for the purpose of using that connection to turn it into money for themselves in their consult deals with foreign countries.
    That Mueller’s investigation turned up a number of criminals is good and perhaps will renew focus on the unregistered “foreign agent” sleaze balls.
    But Trump is not out of the woods and his main fear all along was not the Russia collusion but what else might surface during Mueller’s investigation.
    The what else that surfaced is in those 12 cases that Mueller referred to the SDNY for them to investigate.
    NY last year passed a law making sellers, agents, developers responsible for certifying their real estate deals do not involve dirty/laundered money.
    Trump’s troubles are far from over.

  8. Ligurio says:

    The “left” was not behind and does not buy into this Russia psyop. Neoliberals and neoconservatives (ie zionists) were behind it and continue to push it. Trump ran to the left of Clinton on both domestic and foreign policy. That’s why he won, and why the establishment must present his election as de facto illegitimate, because otherwise they would be forced to admit that the bipartisan convergence around both finance driven economic policy and war on terror interventionism that has described elite politics since Clinton has been a disaster for most ordinary Americans—of all types and political persuasions—and needs to be destroyed root and branch.
    To see how and why the “left” differs from corporate identity-politicking liberals in the above regard consider how it is that Tulsi Gabbard is both the Dem candidate most respected by principled Trump supporters on this site and others and the Dem candidate most reviled, ignored, and slandered by DNC liberals and neocons alike.
    The enemy to principled conservatives and the left in this country is the bipartisan establishment corporate neoliberalism of the RNC and DNC alike.

  9. Bill H says:

    “NY last year passed a law making…” And you think this will convict Trump of something? They cannot convict based on a law that was passed after the act was committed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Page is just a goofball grifter. He’s not a plant. That is silly. When they saw names like Page and Manafort the Democrats pounced because they knew the could cast aspersions.
    I’m not sure about Mifsud. I think it would be hard for Mueller to knowingly indict Papadop if Mifsud were an asset of the US (or even known to be an asset of allies). I think it is more likely Mifsud was a free agent.
    All these guys Mifsud, Page, Papadop were grifters, not doing real work. Just running around trying to make a buck by claiming to facilitate meetings. It’s a shame it bit them and not a crime to do what they did. At the same time, I can’t help but see some kharmic justice. GET A JOB, you poly sci lightweights!

  11. walrus says:

    Catherine, in current PC thinking, merely passing the salt to a Russian guest at a dinner party makes you “an unregistered foreign agent” of Russia bent on implementing Putin’s evil plans.
    As for certifying real estate deals, the same crowd would view buying someone a MacDonalds hamburger as attempted bribery.

  12. VietnamVet says:

    The soft coup against Donald Trump failed. He has to run hard and sure to win in 2020 to avoid an indictment in NY State when he leaves the Presidency. Corporate Democrats will do their damnedst again to put forth their weakest pro war candidate like the aged, apparently demented, Joe Biden. This fiasco and the recent coup attempt in Venezuela make the Keystone Cops appear competent.
    I put this all down to Washington DC being completely isolated inside their credentialed bubble. It is just like corporate CEOs, who think they know exactly what they are doing. But, in reality, they are destroying the stabilizing middle class by extracting and hording wealth and turning mid-America into their colony. Globalist and nationalist oligarchs are after each other’s throat over who controls the flow of money.
    We live on a very finite world dependent on one sun in an expanding universe. Just like Boeing, Bayer or Volkswagen, the splintering world is starting to crash all around them. Even as they deny it, this is a multi-polar world now. It is not going back without a world war which would destroy civilization and could make the world uninhabitable for humans.

  13. walrus says:

    This anonymous commentator has never spent time in senior levels of business or government. There is a whole class of people who do not see themselves as Grifters but more as “ideas men”.
    The best offer valuable perspectives on the world, can really open doors and otherwise add value. At the other end of the spectrum are con men. Political campaigns and large corporations of any sort attract these people in droves. The skill in management is to sort the wheat from the chaff. Trump is good at that.

  14. Mad Max_22 says:

    Will justice be served? A good question.
    If we are speaking about criminal justice, there is some chance that we will see persons such as Jim Comey, who persists in his smug higher calling act, prosecuted for what was a clear cut violation in divulging classified material through a lawyer intermediary to the NYT. I suspect the higher calling bit has been prompted in part because he knows that he screwed up both on the facts and in law and he is justifying his screw up to himself, and possibly also rehearsing his defense, with the rationale that he was only trying to do the right thing. Yeah, he may have had the facts all wrong, the Russians, etc, etc, but the worst that can be said is that he had been competent, there was no intent. That defense doesn’t do much for the FBI’s once held reputation for competence, but that appears to be gone anyway.
    With regard to what will be turned up concerning the actual roots of the travesty, the heavily politicized faux investigation into the Clinton e mails and targeting of the Trump campaign on a predicate that is somewhere between nebulous and non existant, I think a criminal prosecution arising from that investigation, even if it is serious, is unlikely for two main reasons. First, what will be the charged violations? As best I can see right now, they will have to entail some imaginative application of fraud statutes, defrauding the FISC, defrauding the US, informants and assets lying to their handlers, or process crimes like Bob Mueller’s partisan posse relied upon (ugly); and second, something like the Comey defense will interpenetrate all the individuals and entities involved: we may have been incredible bunglers, but that is the worst of it. We really believed these charlatans who conned us into this debacle. Sorry, but we thought we were doing the right thing.
    Now if we are talking about seeing some kind of political or moral justice, I’m not too optimistic we will get much satisfaction there either and we will probably have to wait for history. The reason is that Barr will conduct this investigation by the rule book. That means that what we see developed through the process, indictment, prosecution, etc, is likely all,that we will ever see. Barr is very unlikely to produce a politcized manifesto to be employed as a smear weapon like the once reputable Mueller did.
    Anyway, until we see a special FGJ empanelled, some search warrants executed, some tactical immunities offered, everything is on the come.

  15. akaPatience says:

    Yes, Page often comes off as a bit crazy and incoherent. But he may be crazy like a fox. In the end he was never charged with ANYTHING and it’s my understanding he represented himself legally throughout the investigation, opting not to hire counsel. I find it odd that others were prosecuted for process crimes but he escaped even THAT fate.
    His participation in the Trump campaign, limited as it was, was nevertheless KEY in finally obtaining a FISA warrant after other attempts failed.
    Consider it silly if you want. I view him at least worthy of suspicion. His hapless demeanor could be his schtick, when his education, experience and IC connections are taken into consideration.

  16. catherine says:

    ”They cannot convict based on a law that was passed after the act was committed”
    Money laundering has always been against the law of course….the NY law just firmed up the due diligence that is suppose to be done in transactions.
    I don’t think there is a statute of limitations on things like fraud, tax evasion and money laundering but I will check it out to see,

  17. catherine says:

    ”As for certifying real estate deals, the same crowd would view buying someone a MacDonalds hamburger as attempted bribery.”
    Hardly. 7 million dollar cash deals for a condo thru a shell company is a red flag however..as is buying property for 1 million and selling it unimproved the next year for 2 million…or buying a house in LA 11 million and selling it 9 months later for 8 million. That ‘in between money” is someone’s pay off….that’s how it works.
    Money laundering is epidemic in the US and Europe….Israeli mafia, Russian oligarchs, African dictators looting their country’s treasury and running it through a real estate washing machine deal.
    Far be from me to sweep the fairy dust out of Trump supporters eyes but, as I said, Trump’s troubles are far from over.
    We will see what comes out in the future.

  18. Jack says:

    All,
    What probability do you assign that any top official will be indicted and prosecuted? I mean Brennan, Clapper, Comey & Lynch.
    Second, what probability do you assign that Trump will declassify the relevant documents and communications like the FISA application,the originating EC, the tasking orders for FBI/CIA spying, etc.

  19. Fred says:

    That’s as convenient a lie as any other.

  20. Bill H says:

    And the best that our government can do is warn us not to wash our chicken before cooking it because washing merely spreads the salmonella that our food industry is unable to prevent from infecting it.

  21. blue peacock says:

    Jack,
    The question really comes down to Trump. Does he really want to expose the Swamp and pay the price or just use it for rhetorical & political purposes? When considering probabilities and looking at his track record in office on foreign policy relative to his campaign stance, I would say the probability is less than 30% that Brennan & Clapper will be indicted.

  22. akaPatience says:

    Here’s a National Review exclusive report in which a transcript of FBI’s Deputy Assistant Director Jonathan Moffa’s testimony reveals several Confidential Human Sources (including Christopher Steele), and more interestingly foreign “liasons” (Mifsud?) were employed by the bureau in this operation:
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/05/fbi-official-testimony-surveillance-trump-campaign/

  23. The trouble is that those CEO’s do know exactly what they are doing. Making money the only way possible in a business environment in which outsourcing can sometimes be the only thing that pays.
    The idea was that Trump was going to change that environment. Bannon calls its “economic nationalism” but in truth it’s now just economic survival. Survival for those whose jobs are outsourced. Survival for the country as a whole, ultimately.
    That was Trump’s core programme. It was the programme that made him different from all other Western politicians, “populist” or status quo. Do you see any sign that it’s being implemented, or has that programme too got bogged down in the swamp?

  24. bp,
    The question is only very partly what Trump wants, in some abstract sense. Situations like this commonly have a strong escalatory logic. So one needs to ask whether or not he has rational reason to believe that unless he can destroy those who have shown themselves prepared to stop at nothing to destroy him, they will eventually succeed.
    If the answer is yes – and while I think it may very well be, I am not prejudging the issue – then a key question becomes whether Trump will conclude that his most promising loption is to go after the conspirators by every means possible.
    Involved here are questions about who he is listening to, and how competent they are.
    But the escalatory processes are not simply to do with what Trump decides. In particular, a whole range of legal proceedings are involved. The referral in relation to Nellie Ohr is likely to be the fist of a good few. In addition, Ed Butowsky’s lawsuits, and those against Steele, have unpredictable potentialities.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Page represents himself poorly even when he knows a lot is on the line. Look at how frustrated Gowdy got with him. Clearly Page didn’t learn much from plebe year in terms of 5 basic responses. Compare the difference with Barr for instance.
    While the Trident program is a big deal, every now and then USNA has mids that are diligent about getting good grades but not very smart. I knew one my year. Page is clearly in that vein. Don’t miss that he didn’t get into any elite program after graduation (SWO is the default). And that he was a poly sci major. The saying is “poly sci, QPR high” (QPR is quality point rating or GPA). Of course this is not to say there aren’t some good SWOs or poly sci majors. But there’s a definite correlation I’m noting. It fits with what his reputation is.
    Furthermore, the guy has had an uneventful career, bouncing around. He went to a lower bulge bracket (not Goldman) and didn’t seem to stick. And his Russian colleagues said he was an idiot and a boaster. We’re not talking i-banker smart. Wouldn’t trust him to do an NPV or other economic analysis. And then after that we have the grifting and the shmoozing.
    Kid is a lightweight. A slightly less coffee-boy coffee boy.

  26. blue peacock says:

    David
    The intelligence & law enforcement apparatus in collusion with the media and the establishment of both parties went after him hard. As Larry notes here, they went to considerable effort to entrap those related to his campaign to impugn him. Mueller spent $35 million trying to find an angle. Even after the Mueller report stated there was no collusion they’re sill after him. So that’s not going to end any time soon.
    Trump may have good instincts but his judgment of people so far to staff his administration is not very inspiring. He had Jeff Sessions as his AG and he let him hang in there for nearly two years while Mueller ran riot. He’s surrounded himself with neocons on foreign policy. It seems his only real advisor is Jared. Everyone else he’s got around him are from the same establishment that’s going after him. He hasn’t taken advise from Devin Nunes, who has done more to uncover the sedition than anyone else. If he had he would have by now declassified all the documents & communications. The impression I have is his primary motivation is building his brand & less about governance and wielding power. Take for example his order to withdraw from Syria. Bolton & the Pentagon are thumbing their noses at him.
    Well, there have been several criminal referrals prior to the recent one on Nellie Ohr. There’s the McCabe referral and the 8 referrals by Devin Nunes. I’ve not read any report of the empaneling of a grand jury yet. I agree with you that these law suits have the potential for great embarrassment, however to hold those responsible for the sedition accountable will require iron will & intense focus on the part of Trump to get his AG to assign prosecutors who don’t have the axe to “protect” the “institution” and to create an opportunity for public awareness of the extent that law enforcement & intelligence became a 4th branch of government. My opinion is that his skill is in his instinctual understanding of the current political zeitgeist and his ability to manipulate the media including social media to project his brand. He’s not an operational leader making sure his team executes his vision & strategy.

  27. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Jim Comey gives some spin on the Mifsud/Papadopoulos interaction in a radio interview, followed by extensive background analysis by sundance:
    “James Comey Justifies FBI Spy Operations …”, Comey and sundance, CTH, 2019-05-04
    LJ, do you have any opinion on sundance’s analysis here?

  28. Mark McCarty says:

    This is a magisterial overview that everyone should read, devastating in it impact.
    Also of note – as you have mentioned previously – are the efforts of FBI informant Henry Greenberg to sell Hillary emails – allegedly from the Russian government – to Roger Stone, on the presumption that Stone was acting on behalf of the Trump campaign. When Stone demurred, Greenberg suggested that the Trump campaign could provide the money. This was an evident entrapment scheme – but, as with all of the other entrapment schemes you have detailed here, the bait was not taken. In fact, it appears the Trump campaign members acted with unusual probity in their dealings with “Russian agents”.
    It might be added that this event occurred in May 2016 – prior to the formal initiation of the FBI counterintelligence investigation on the Trump campaign. It is evident that the entrapment efforts by UK and US intelligence officials pre-dated “Crossfire Hurricane”, and were conducted without ANY valid legal predicate.
    https://thepoliticalinsider.com/henry-greenberg-roger-stone/

  29. AmandaTrebiano says:

    There’s a statute of limitations on EVERYTHING except murder and I think now child molestation in some states. Fraud typically has a 3-5 year SOL, Tax evasion has a 7-year SOL, money laundering 5-7 years as well.

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