Monday, September 30, 2019

New Russia Sanctions Target Shadowy Business Empire Of 'Putin's Chef' For US Election Interference

On Monday the US Treasury unleashed a range of new and tightened sanctions on nearly a dozen Russian companies and individuals, including the influential businessman and political operative dubbed "Putin's Chef" as part of a continuing attempt to "Punish" the country for alleged interference in the 2018 elections.

Two of the Russians were said to be involved in the Internet Research Agency, which was at the center of reports claiming online meddling and interference - especially billionaire restaurateur Yevgeny Prigozhin, who often served as personal chef and close confidant to Putin stretching back through the Russian president's lengthy political career.

Prigozhin is believed the main financial backer to the Internet Research Agency and has long been at the center of wide-ranging corruption allegations and shadowy political dealing abroad, even including overseeing Russian mercenaries covertly deployed to places like Syria and Libya.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller had named him as central to online interference related to fake social media accounts geared toward getting Trump elected.

The US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced Monday that a number of companies directly linked Prigozhin have been targeted including Autolex Transport, Beratex Group and Linburg Industries, all of which have now been added to the Specially Designated Nationals list.

While Prigozhin along with the Internet Research Agency had already been named in prior US Treasury sanctions, the latest measures constitute the most aggressive attempt to date to curtail his expansive Moscow-based business empire as an alleged arm of the Russian state.

Interestingly, as part of its statement, Treasury featured photos of one of "Putin's chef" Prigozhin's private jets and his multi-million dollar yacht.

Impeachment…or CIA Coup?

You don't need to be a supporter of President Trump to be concerned about the efforts to remove him from office.

Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment proceedings against the President over a phone call made to the President of Ukraine.

According to the White House record of the call, the President asked his Ukrainian counterpart to look into whether there is any evidence of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election and then mentioned that a lot of people were talking about how former US Vice President Joe Biden stopped the prosecution of his son who was under investigation for corruption in Ukraine.

In August 2016, a former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, wrote an extraordinary article in the New York Times accusing Donald Trump of being an "Agent of the Russian Federation." Morell was clearly using his intelligence career as a way of bolstering his claim that Trump was a Russian spy - after all, the CIA should know such a thing! But the claim was a lie.

Former CIA director John Brennan accused President Trump of "Treason" and of "Being in the pocket of Putin" for meeting with the Russian president in Helsinki and accepting his word that Russia did not meddle in the US election.

Now we hear that the latest trigger for impeachment is a CIA officer assigned to the White House who filed a "Whistleblower" complaint against the president over something he heard from someone else that the president said in the Ukraine phone call.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer once warned Trump that if "You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you." It's hard not to ask whether this is a genuine impeachment effortor a CIA coup!

Nancy Pelosi Has Lost It, Says She’s Willing to Lose the House if It Means Trump Is Impeached

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled her stunningly advanced case of Trump Derangement Syndrom after making it clear that she, the leader of the House Democrats, is willing to lose the House to Republicans if it means they can succeed in getting President Donald Trump impeached.

According to the Daily Caller, Pelosi was at the Texas Tribune Fest and was asked if the Democrat's popularity would be affected by all the impeachment talk.

Trending It's Time to Go Ahead and Impeach Trump Bonchie The leader of the Democrats has a hatred for Trump that runs so deep that she's willing to cripple her party in order to get Trump out of office.

The delicious part about this is, even if they manage to boot Trump, they still have President Mike Pence.

The actual leader of the Democratic Party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is also of the same mind as Pelosi and suggested that vulnerable Democrats in districts that could go Republican at any moment should bite the bullet and risk getting voted out in order to vote for impeaching Trump.

If they looked further than Trump, they would see that they're losing everything with this mentality.

It's no wonder the Democrats are losing on everything from fundraising to approval numbers.

Schiff Staffer Made August Visit for Think Tank Backed by Hunter Biden’s Old Employer

A staffer for Rep. Adam Schiff's House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence took a trip to Ukraine last month sponsored and organized by the Atlantic Council think tank.

The Atlantic Council is funded by and routinely works in partnership with Burisma, the natural gas company at the center of allegations regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

Eager's visit to Ukraine sponsored by the Burisma-funded Atlantic Council began 12 days after the so-called whistleblower officially filed his August 12 complaint about President Donald Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The email request inquired whether Eager, during his trip sponsored by the Atlantic Council, personally held any meetings in Ukraine related to the whistle blower complaint filed about two weeks before the visit.

The form signed by Schiff says that Eager's trip to Ukraine was paid for by the "Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center."

Besides funding the Atlantic Council, Burisma also routinely partners with the think tank.

Ukraine in 2016 removed a key prosecutor probing alleged corruption involving Burisma, the same firm paying Hunter Biden.

Court Forces Release of Clinton WikiLeaks Discussion Email that Confirms State Department Knew about Her Email Account

Judicial Watch announced today that the State Department provided a previously hidden email which shows that top State Department officials used and were aware of Hillary Clinton's email account.

Mr. Posner had forwarded Clinton's email address, which was contained in an email sent to State Department senior leadership, about WikiLeaks.

It appears the State Department produced this email in 2016 in redacted form, blacking out Clinton's personal email address and the discussion about Clinton's wanting to keep her email address closely guarded.

Judicial Watch sought the email after a former top Freedom of Information Act State Department official testified to Judicial Watch about reviewing it between late 2013 and early 2014.

The testimony and the email production comes in discovery granted to Judicial Watch on the Clinton email issue in a FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No.

"Judicial Watch just caught the State Department and DOJ red-handed in another email cover-up - they all knew about the Clinton email account but covered up the smoking-gun email showing this guilty knowledge for years," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

The scope of court-ordered discovery that produces this email find includes: whether Secretary Clinton used private email in an effort to evade the Freedom of Information Act; whether the State Department's attempt to settle this FOIA case in 2014 and 2015 amounted to bad faith; and whether the State Department has adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch's FOIA request.

Senate GOP asks Barr for details on DNC probe and Biden

Senate Republicans Monday revived an investigation into whether Ukrainians coordinated with the Democratic National Committee to provide damaging information on President Trump ahead of the 2016 election.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin wrote to Attorney General William Barr that they also want to know whether the Justice Department has information from Ukrainian prosecutors that contradicts former Vice President Joe Biden's explanation for threatening to withhold $1 billion from the country.

The two Republican committee chairmen sent the letter days after House Democrats announced they have launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump in response to his July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Democrats allege Trump used the power of his office to coerce Zelensky into investigating Biden and his threat to withhold the $1 billion.

Republicans have long sought to expose efforts by Democrats to dig up dirt on Trump and his campaign from the Ukrainian government.

Grassley first wrote to the Justice Department in July 2017 seeking information about "Brazen efforts by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign to use the government of Ukraine for the express purpose of finding negative information on then-candidate Trump in order to undermine his campaign."

Grassley and Johnson want to know if Barr is investigating "Links and coordination" between Ukraine government officials and the DNC or Clinton campaign.

Rep. Tlaib, the Only 'Conspiracy' is that Government Relies on Smokers for Revenue

I would like to inform Tlaib personally that the only "Conspiracy theory" surrounding the use of tobacco products in America is that every form of government, from local to state to federal entities, relies on the lungs of smokers for revenue.

During her time at the capitol, Tlaib would have learned exactly how states have used smokers to meet their debt obligations.

In 2005, Tobocman voted in favor of securitizing $400 million in tobacco settlement moneys "To fund the starting balance of the 21st Century jobs Fund." In 2007, Tobocman again voted in favor of securitizing another $415 million "To help balance the FY 2006-07 state budget." In 2008, acting as Majority Floor Leader, Tobocman discharged from committee a bill that would have used already securitized tobacco moneys for "Tourism and business promotion."

Essentially, Tlaib's home state is relying on the lungs of smokers to meet future debt obligations.

Even more alarming is that Michigan uses very little MSA money and tobacco taxes to help smokers quit.

Even more appalling, Tlaib worked to redirect future tobacco moneys to anything other than tobacco harm reduction.

Even worse, she's now working to remove a tobacco harm reduction tool from smokers in her home state-the same residents Michigan relies on to meet debt obligations.

Government Did The Inspector General’s Office Help The ‘Whistleblower’ Try To Frame Trump?

Then came the declassification of the "Whistleblower's" actual complaint against the president, which made clear the still-unnamed intelligence officer was peddling nothing but gossip and hearsay, seasoned with several factual falsehoods.

The director of national intelligence also does not have "The responsibility and authority" over Trump, further establishing that the ICWPA is inapplicable to the situation at hand-which is exactly what the Office of Legal Counsel concluded in a memorandum opinion provided to the DNI general counsel: "The complaint does not arise in connection with the operation of any U.S. government intelligence activity, and the alleged misconduct does not involve any member of the intelligence community," Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel of the Office of General Counsel noted in concluding that the complaint did not trigger the ICWPA reporting requirements.

When the ICIG receives a complaint under the ICWPA, he has 14 calendar days to "Determine whether the complaint or information appears credible" and then must "Transmit to the Director a notice of that determination, together with the complaint or information." The director of national intelligence then has seven days to forward the complaint to the congressional intelligence committees.

The corollary to these mandates is the right under the statute for the whistleblower to contact the congressional intelligence committees directly, if the DNI does not forward his complaint.

Without an "Urgent concern," the IC operative could not legally provide the classified information to the congressional intelligence committees under the guise of a whistleblowing scandal-which of course was the sole reason for the complaint.

As Davis noted, the revised form "Was uploaded on September 24, 2019, at 4:25 p.m., just days before the anti-Trump complaint was declassified and released to the public. The markings on the document state that it was revised in August 2019, but no specific date of revision is disclosed," and the whistleblower's complaint was dated August 12, 2019.

While the whistleblower's plot to manipulate the ICWPA is obvious from the complaint, and so is his inaccurate partial quote of the statutory definition of "Urgent concern," the change in the form suggests complicity in the ICIG's office.

Senate Shouldn't Dignify Impeachment Parody With a Trial

Sen. Marsha Blackburn pointed out on the floor of the Senate last week that the Democrats began making plans for President Trump's impeachment well before he was inaugurated.

The House may choose to impeach or not, and one can imagine an argument that the Senate is just as free, in the exercise of its own "Sole power," to decline to try any impeachment that the House elects to vote.

The Senate could entertain a motion to dismiss the charges at the outset of a trial on the grounds that the allegations did not meet the constitutional standard of impeachable offenses, and a majority of the Senate could send the House packing without ever hearing a witness or seeing evidence.

If a majority of the senators thought the House was abusing the impeachment power there is no reason why the Senate would have to pay obeisance to the House by going through the motions of a pointless trial.

The respected legal scholars of Twitter pounded out countless retweets of an unsourced HuffPost article that claimed, "The Republican leadership issued a memo Saturday clarifying that the Senate must take action if the House of Representatives approves articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump." No link to the memo was provided, of course.

Bloomberg found a "Republican Senate leadership aide" willing to cite a 1986 memo from then-Parliamentarian Robert Dove, who advised that "Both the rules and the precedents argue for a rapid disposition of any impeachment trial in the United States Senate." Oddly, no link was provided to this memo either.

If Democrats ever manage to produce articles of impeachment, the Senate shouldn't dignify them with a trial.