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  1. #3256

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    I hope they're all arrested and charged with trespassing
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  2. #3257

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    About that AP fact check.
    Nobody is denying that the Dems are blocking the funds for the wall. Because the whole point is that the idea is ridiculous and it would be 5.7BB wasted.
    Starry starry night

  3. #3258
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    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    About that AP fact check.
    Nobody is denying that the Dems are blocking the funds for the wall. Because the whole point is that the idea is ridiculous and it would be 5.7BB wasted.
    Fact check: Many blame the mugger for stealing your wallet. But, it takes two to tango. That the mugger demanded your money at gun point is one side. That you didn't turn the money over is the other.

  4. #3259

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    At Trump’s Inauguration, $10,000 for Makeup and Lots of Room Service

    By Maggie Haberman, Sharon LaFraniere and Ben Protess
    Jan. 14, 2019

    WASHINGTON — Private donors put up $107 million to usher Donald J. Trump into office in style two years ago, and it is now clear just how enthusiastically his inaugural committee went to town with it.

    There was $10,000 for makeup for 20 aides at an evening inaugural event. There was another $30,000 in per diem payments to dozens of contract staff members, in addition to their fully covered hotel rooms, room service orders, plane tickets and taxi rides, including some to drop off laundry.

    The bill from the Trump International Hotel was more than $1.5 million. And there was a documentary, overseen by a close friend of Melania Trump’s, that was ultimately abandoned.

    The details of the expenditures, gleaned from interviews and from documents reviewed by The New York Times and not previously made public, show that the committee spent heavily on nearly every aspect of the events surrounding the inauguration.


    In 72 days, it laid out about $100 million, roughly twice as much or more than was raised by Barack Obama or George W. Bush for their first and second presidential inaugurations.

    Disclosure of the spending details comes at a time when the inaugural committee is facing legal scrutiny over the donations that funded it.

    Inaugural committees are required to document every donation with the Federal Election Commission, and the Trump team’s reports are now under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Investigators are also looking into whether any foreign donations, which are illegal in the United States, were passed through Americans, and whether any donations went unrecorded, people familiar with the inquiries said.

    People involved with the committee have said that they vetted all donors, but that they could do only so much to prove someone’s money was their own. False statements to the Federal Election Commission can be a crime.

    The investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan was prompted at least partly by a recording that Mr. Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, made of a conversation he had with a central figure in the inaugural planning, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, shortly after Mrs. Trump ended Ms. Winston Wolkoff’s role as an unpaid adviser to the first lady. Ms. Winston Wolkoff was dismissed after initial reports about the amount of money taken in by the entity she formed to help produce the inaugural.


    But millions were written off in lost revenue. That included $6.4 million for blocks of hotel rooms booked for guests who ended up arranging their own accommodations. The Republican National Committee booked the excess hotel rooms before the inaugural staff was even formed, but the committee had to pony up when only half as many rooms were used as the party organization had expected.

    Another $1.2 million in revenue that the committee expected to recoup for a media center never materialized.

    Other arrangements by the inaugural committee also proved unusual.

    Ms. Winston Wolkoff, then a close friend of Mrs. Trump’s, was initially signed to a $1.6 million contract. Along with a friend, Jonathan Reynaga, she formed WIS Media Partners, a firm that oversaw broadcast rights for the inaugural events and worked on the documentary project featuring interviews with top inaugural committee officials.
    The idea was to sell the rights to a major distributor. The project was later abandoned, although the interview footage still exists, as do copies, according to three people familiar with the effort.

    WIS Media Partners became the inaugural committee’s top vendor, acting as a kind of general contractor and overseeing a series of events. It received nearly $26 million, much of which was paid out to other vendors.

    Steve Kerrigan, who was chief of staff for Mr. Obama’s first inaugural committee, said that the firm’s $1.6 million “supervisory fee” was the equivalent of “roughly one-fourth of what we paid our entire 450-person staff” in 2009. Even if Ms. Winston Wolkoff shared the fee among more than a dozen other top managers, as she and others say she did, the charge itself, Mr. Kerrigan said, was “outrageous.”

    Greg Jenkins, the executive director of Mr. Bush’s second inaugural, said, “I have never heard anybody getting that kind of fee associated with any inaugural, ever.”

    Ms. Winston Wolkoff often fought with other top aides, according to people with direct knowledge of events. She was known to threaten to have senior officials fired, at times brandishing a cellphone and saying she would text Mrs. Trump or Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, conveying a sense of authority that people later came to realize she did not have, three people with direct knowledge of the events said.

    A lawyer for Ms. Winston Wolkoff declined to comment.

    A spokesman for WIS Media Partners said all of the firm’s charges “were vetted, authorized and signed off on” by the committee’s top officials, including Thomas J. Barrack Jr., the committee’s chairman; Rick Gates, the deputy chairman; and Sara Armstrong, the chief executive.

    He said the firm’s fees were “significantly below” the customary charges “for equivalent productions,” and that officials provided the inaugural committee with “all its audited records and receipts.” He said the company could not reveal more because it is legally barred by the inaugural committee from discussing its work on the inaugural events.

    In a statement, Mr. Barrack said he continues “to be proud of the incredible work of all those that were part of the committee” and that it “complied with all laws and regulations, and its finances were fully audited internally and independently. The donors were fully vetted and disclosed to the Federal Election Commission as required.”

    Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee has come under scrutiny in the past for its high administrative and logistical costs. The new details help flesh out how the inaugural spent the money. Among the payments was more than $2 million spent on the firm of the Trump campaign official Brad Parscale for online advertisements to drum up inaugural crowds.

    The Trump International Hotel was paid more than $1.5 million for services including the use of a ballroom, an “annex” and a space called the townhouse, according to records and people familiar with the payments.

    While two other hotels, the Willard and the Fairmont, collected as much or more, Mr. Trump’s hotel was also favored by vendors who billed their expenses directly to the committee.

    Over all, the Trump team’s spending appears “astronomical,” said Emmett S. Beliveau, who was chief executive of Mr. Obama’s first inaugural committee.

    Mr. Jenkins, who handled the Bush inaugural, said the scale of the Trump team’s spending “blows me away.”

    Ms. Winston Wolkoff and Mr. Reynaga brought in nearly three dozen staff members, some of whom flew in from Los Angeles or other cities and remained on the East Coast for weeks. WIS also helped bring in a New York-based party planner named David Monn, who refused to sign a contract, according to two people familiar with the arrangement. Mr. Monn charged the committee a total of $3.7 million, from which he paid subcontractors.

    Among other tasks, Ms. Winston Wolkoff and colleagues managed the 500-person black-tie dinner hosted by Mr. Barrack at the neo-Classical Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium and a 1,500-person “candlelight” dinner at Union Station. They decided the decorations were not elegant enough and needed to be enhanced.

    Mr. Monn spent $924,000 on seven-foot-high wreaths, moss-covered obelisks, flowers and other decorations to dress up Union Station. Makeup was provided for 20 staff members at a cost of $500 per person. For the dinner at the auditorium, table menus, table numbers and place cards, including an on-site calligrapher to correct last-minute mistakes, amounted to $91 per guest. Mr. Monn did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Monday.

    The handling of expenses for contractors like WIS Media Partners was also unusual. Mr. Kerrigan, who also served as chief executive of Mr. Obama’s second inaugural committee, said officials negotiated fixed-price contracts that limited how much vendors could charge for expenses.

    If a vendor’s staff member ran up a big room service bill, “that was on them,” said David Cusack, who was the executive director of the second committee. “They had a per diem, and they were supposed to eat on that.”

    For Mr. Bush’s second inaugural, too, vendors were required to build their expenses into their contracts, Mr. Jenkins said. He said his committee did not even hire vendors from outside the Washington area because “there was no need to.”

    The Trump inaugural committee covered not only a fixed per diem for the people brought in by WIS Media, but picked up expenses including room service, cab rides for assistants who dropped off laundry and an order of McDonald’s. All told, those expenses came to $227,511.

    In less than two months, WIS billed $31,000 for hotel rooms described as Mr. Reynaga’s, including nearly $18,000 for rooms at the Trump International Hotel, according to detailed expense documents reviewed by The Times. He also billed thousands of dollars for meals, room service and travel. On one day, he charged a $560 Amtrak train ticket from New York to Washington, plus a $251 first-class upgrade to meet with Mr. Barrack. That was followed by a $100 Uber ride the next day to “get to Tom’s plane,” the records show.

    The spokesman for WIS said WIS expenses were paid through business cards tied to a few senior officials of the firm, including Mr. Reynaga, meaning that Mr. Reynaga could have been paying for other employees’ costs.

    He also said staff members stayed at the Trump International Hotel “at the explicit direction” of inaugural committee officials. A former official of the inaugural committee denied that the WIS employees were required to stay at the Trump hotel.

    Maggie Haberman and Sharon LaFraniere reported from Washington, and Ben Protess from New York.

    A version of this article appears in print on Jan. 15, 2019, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: At Inauguration, Spending Money At a Record Pace.

    Looks like Ms. Winston Wolkoff is going to take the weight since she's described as the "then friend" of Tiny's wife. These people have no friends.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  5. #3260
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    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    As much as I want everything exposed and out in the open, they should not have the translator testify. If both leaders spoke the same language, they would have had that meeting just between the two of them, and we should treat it as if they did. Now, whether the President should have a private meeting with the Russian President and not tell anyone what they talked about is another matter altogether. But a translator should have a similar relationship with a client as a lawyer does. That translator is sworn to secrecy in that role. You can't flip that confidentiality to burn people later.

  6. #3261

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    T-Mobile announced a merger needing Trump administration approval. The next day, 9 executives had reservations at Trump’s hotel.

    By Jonathan O'Connell and
    David A. Fahrenthold January 16 at 7:00 AM
    Last April, telecom giant T-Mobile announced a megadeal: a $26 billion merger with rival Sprint, which would more than double T-Mobile’s value and give it a huge new chunk of the cellphone market.

    But for T-Mobile, one hurdle remained: Its deal needed approval from the Trump administration.

    The next day, in Washington, staffers at the Trump International Hotel were handed a list of incoming “VIP Arrivals.” That day’s list included nine of T-Mobile’s top executives — including its chief operating officer, chief technology officer, chief strategy officer, chief financial officer and its outspoken celebrity chief executive, John Legere.

    They were scheduled to stay between one and three days. But it was not their last visit.

    Instead, T-Mobile executives have returned to Trump’s hotel repeatedly since then, according to eyewitnesses and hotel documents obtained by The Washington Post.

    By mid-June, seven weeks after the announcement of the merger, hotel records indicated that one T-Mobile executive was making his 10th visit to the hotel. Legere appears to have made at least four visits to the Trump hotel, walking the lobby in his T-Mobile gear.

    These visits highlight a stark reality in Washington, unprecedented in modern American history. Trump the president works at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Trump the businessman owns a hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania.

    Countries, interest groups and companies like T-Mobile — whose future will be shaped by the administration’s choices — are free to stop at both and pay the president’s company while also meeting with officials in his government. Such visits raise questions about whether patronizing Trump’s private business is viewed as a way to influence public policy, critics said.

    Last week, a Post reporter spotted Legere in the Trump hotel’s lobby. In an impromptu interview, the T-Mobile chief executive said he was not seeking special treatment. He chose the Trump hotel, he said, for its fine service and good security.

    “It’s become a place I feel very comfortable,” Legere said. He also praised the hotel’s location, next to one of the departments that must approve the company’s merger.

    “At the moment I am in town for some meetings at the Department of Justice,” Legere said. “And it’s very convenient for that.”

    ...The Post obtained lists for about a dozen days in 2018.

    Those lists showed 38 nights of hotel stays by the T-Mobile executives; because The Post’s data is incomplete, the number could be higher.

    Rooms at the luxury hotel routinely cost more than $300 per night.

    The Post shared details about those stays — gleaned from the VIP Arrivals lists and eyewitness accounts — with both T-Mobile and the Trump Organization. Neither challenged the findings. After Legere’s brief interview at the Trump hotel, T-Mobile declined to comment further for this report.

    Trump’s hotel also has hosted parties put on by the Kuwaiti and Philippine embassies, rented hundreds of rooms to lobbyists paid by Saudi Arabia, and hosted a large meeting of the oil industry’s lobbying group.

    But the T-Mobile case stands out because the company’s executives were expected at the hotel so soon after announcing they needed a win in Washington.

    “It’s currying favor with the president. It’s disturbing, because it’s another secret avenue for currying favor with the government,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.

    She said that even if they weren’t directly ordered by Trump, the president’s appointees might feel pressured to help Trump’s customers. That might undermine public confidence in the decisions that result, Krumholz said.

    The White House did not respond to requests for comment.


    Legere, the T-Mobile chief executive, also had a history with the president.

    But it wasn’t a good one.

    “I will obviously leave your hotel right away,” Legere wrote on Twitter in April 2015, during a public spat that began with complaints about Legere’s stay at a Trump hotel in New York, and escalated when Trump called T-Mobile’s service “terrible.”

    Later, Legere mocked Trump’s hotels after checking out. “I am so happy to wake up in a hotel where every single item isn’t labeled ‘Trump,’ ” he wrote, according to news coverage. Those tweets appear to have been deleted.

    Three years later, on the day after the T-Mobile merger was announced, Legere was scheduled to arrive at the Trump hotel in Washington.


    That day’s VIP Arrivals list included 39 names. There were executives at a Defense Department contractor called AxleTech; a spokesman said they chose the hotel because they had a meeting at a corporate office across the street. Two other VIPs were connected with the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action, which was hosting a dinner with the president at the hotel that night. A spokeswoman said one room was for the event photographer, the other for staff preparations.

    And there were the nine T-Mobile executives. Of them, only Legere was listed with an “R” next to his name — signaling to Trump hotel employees that he was a repeat Trump customer.

    Inside the hotel’s busy, soaring lobby, Legere was noticed quickly.

    “Everybody knew. You couldn’t miss it,” said Jake Loft, who was in the lobby for a regularly scheduled networking event. He spotted Legere by his outfit, which was — as usual — a walking billboard for T-Mobile. Legere wore a black-and-magenta hoodie with a T-Mobile logo over a bright-magenta T-shirt with another T-Mobile logo. “He wasn’t dressed appropriately,” Loft said.


    In late May, the Trump hotel expected T-Mobile’s general counsel, David Miller, for a return visit, staying two days. Then, on June 17, 2018, the VIP Arrivals list showed that Legere, Miller and T-Mobile Executive Vice President David Carey would be returning for five-day stays.

    By that time — just six weeks after the merger was announced — the list shows that the T-Mobile executives were already experienced Trump customers. Legere and Carey were members of the “Trump Card” program. Carey’s entry also contained the notation “R(10).”

    That — according to Trump hotel staffers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they aren’t permitted to speak to the media — was an indication that Carey was making his 10th visit to the hotel. The listings also contained the words “Long Term” because of the length of their stays. Carey and Miller did not respond to requests for comment.

    After that, Legere came a few days later. On June 27, the same day that Legere testified to Congress about the merger, he was spotted at the hotel by independent journalist Zach Everson, according to an account Everson posted on Twitter. Everson said he saw Legere in the hotel lobby, talking to former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who has advised T-Mobile during the merger talks.


    In the interview at the Trump hotel last week, Legere said that although the hotel was clearly a place to be seen, he did not believe the president knew about his staying there.

    Did he expect that his staying there might earn his company any special treatment?

    “Certainly not. I don’t know why it would,” he said.

    Sometime after that interview, Legere apparently checked out of the Trump hotel. By the next evening, Legere was tweeting about the great bar at “my current DC hotel” — the Four Seasons in Georgetown.

    Brian Fung contributed to this report.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  7. #3262

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Julia Davis

    #Russia's state TV—which was previously more than happy to exclaim "Trump is ours"— now nervously attempts to refute the idea he is an agent of the Kremlin. Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov complains about the lack of leaks in the Mueller investigation. They smell trouble.

    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  8. #3263

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Laurence Tribe
    ‏Verified account
    Jan 15
    Trump’s mind-boggling musings about pulling the US out of NATO must be beyond Putin’s wildest dreams for what his investment in the 2016 US election would yield. If Trump isn’t a Russian asset, he’s doing a perfect imitation of one.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  9. #3264

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Cohen Hired IT Firm to Rig Early CNBC, Drudge Polls to Favor Trump
    Behind the scenes, Michael Cohen hired RedFinch Solutions, then allegedly stiffed it—and his boss

    By Michael Rothfeld, Rob Barry and Joe Palazzolo
    Updated Jan. 17, 2019 12:09 p.m. ET

    In early 2015, a man who runs a small technology company showed up at Trump Tower to collect $50,000 for having helped Michael Cohen, then Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, try to rig online polls in his boss’s favor before the presidential campaign.

    In his Trump Organization office, Mr. Cohen surprised the man, John Gauger, by giving him a blue Walmart bag containing between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash and, randomly, a boxing glove that Mr. Cohen said had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter, Mr. Gauger said.

    Mr. Cohen disputed that he handed over a bag of cash. “All monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check,” he said, offering no further comment on his ties to the consultant.

    Mr. Gauger owns RedFinch Solutions LLC and is chief information officer at Liberty University in Virginia, where Jerry Falwell Jr., an evangelical leader and fervent Trump supporter, is president.

    Mr. Gauger said he never got the rest of what he claimed he was owed. But Mr. Cohen in early 2017 still asked for—and received—a $50,000 reimbursement from Mr. Trump and his company for the work by RedFinch, according to a government document and a person familiar with the matter. The reimbursement—made on the sole basis of a handwritten note from Mr. Cohen and paid largely out of Mr. Trump’s personal account—demonstrates the level of trust the lawyer once had within the Trump Organization, whose officials arranged the repayment.

    The Trump Organization declined to comment.

    After this article was published Thursday morning, Mr. Cohen said in a tweet that he attempted to have the polls rigged with Mr. Trump’s knowledge.

    “What I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of [Mr. Trump],” Mr. Cohen wrote. “I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.”

    Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, said of Mr. Cohen’s tweet: “My response will be a cleaned-up version of ‘Bullshit.’”

    “Why anyone would believe Michael Cohen at this point is an amazement to me,” Mr. Giuliani said in an interview. “This is not true. The president did not know about this if it happened.” He added: “The real takeaway from your story is, didn’t he steal $37,000?”

    The reimbursement was mentioned by federal prosecutors when they charged Mr. Cohen in August with eight felonies, including campaign-finance violations for arranging hush-money payments to an adult-film star and a Playboy model who allege Mr. Trump had extramarital sexual encounters with them.

    Prosecutors wrote in a charging document that when Mr. Cohen asked Trump Organization executives for a $130,000 reimbursement for a hush payment he made to Stephanie Clifford, the porn actress known as Stormy Daniels, he also scrawled a handwritten note asking for $50,000 he said he spent on “tech services” to aid Mr. Trump’s campaign. Prosecutors didn’t name the company providing those services, but people familiar with the matter say it was RedFinch.

    Mr. Cohen’s dealings with the company and Mr. Gauger haven’t previously been reported.

    Mr. Cohen has pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations, tax evasion, lying to Congress and other charges. He was sentenced last month to three years in prison. None of the charges were connected to his interactions with Mr. Gauger and RedFinch.

    The episode further illustrates how the former self-described fixer for Mr. Trump, who incriminated the president in the hush payments, once operated in secret to advance his boss’s political fortunes. Mr. Cohen’s dealings involving Mr. Trump over the years, including during the 2016 presidential race, will be a focus of Mr. Cohen’s testimony at a Feb. 7 hearing before the House Oversight Committee.

    Mr. Gauger’s lawyer, Charles E. James Jr. of the firm Williams Mullen, said federal investigators interviewed Mr. Gauger about his interactions over six years with Mr. Cohen, from their first meeting in 2012 until last April, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Mr. Cohen’s home, office and hotel room.

    Mr. Gauger, who recounted those dealings to The Wall Street Journal, said that though Mr. Cohen promised him lucrative work for the presidential campaign, his activities related to Mr. Trump consisted of trying unsuccessfully to manipulate two online polls in Mr. Trump’s favor.

    During the presidential race, Mr. Cohen also asked Mr. Gauger to create a Twitter account called @WomenForCohen. The account, created in May 2016 and run by a female friend of Mr. Gauger, described Mr. Cohen as a “sex symbol,” praised his looks and character, and promoted his appearances and statements boosting Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

    When Mr. Cohen requested the $50,000 reimbursement for technology services, he didn’t tell Trump Organization executives what specific services were performed, and they didn’t ask, people familiar with the matter said.

    The reimbursement he obtained for the deal with Ms. Clifford and the technology work was paid to him over the course of a year and characterized by the Trump Organization as legal fees, though it didn’t pertain to any legal work he performed at the time, prosecutors said. Overall, Mr. Cohen was paid $420,000, mostly from Mr. Trump’s personal account, including $180,000 to reimburse him for Ms. Clifford and RedFinch, a $60,000 bonus, and another $180,000 to cover taxes he would owe because the money would be declared as income, according to prosecutors.

    Richard Hasen, an election-law expert and law professor at University of California, Irvine, said Mr. Cohen had an obligation to disclose the payment to RedFinch as an independent expenditure if it was for campaign-related work he didn’t discuss with the Trump campaign. Had he coordinated with the Trump camp, the campaign would have been required to report any unpaid-for work as an in-kind contribution.

    The connection between Messrs. Trump and Cohen and Liberty University dates at least to 2012, when Mr. Falwell invited Mr. Trump to give a speech and Mr. Cohen accompanied him. Soon after, Mr. Gauger was introduced to Mr. Cohen, helped him set up an Instagram account and gave him his cellphone number should he need more assistance, he said.

    Over the next several years, Mr. Cohen asked Mr. Gauger for help with services intended to elevate positive content in internet-search results for himself and for friends, Mr. Gauger said. While he didn’t pay for most of what Mr. Gauger did, Mr. Cohen often promised to connect RedFinch with executives at Mr. Trump’s hotel and golf-course businesses, though he never did, Mr. Gauger said.

    In January 2014, Mr. Cohen asked Mr. Gauger to help Mr. Trump score well in a CNBC online poll to identify the country’s top business leaders by writing a computer script to repeatedly vote for him. Mr. Gauger was unable to get Mr. Trump into the top 100 candidates. In February 2015, as Mr. Trump prepared to enter the presidential race, Mr. Cohen asked him to do the same for a Drudge Report poll of potential Republican candidates, Mr. Gauger said. Mr. Trump ranked fifth, with about 24,000 votes, or 5% of the total.

    After making the cash payment at Trump Tower, Mr. Cohen kept saying he would pay the balance of the $50,000 but never did, Mr. Gauger said. Mr. Cohen also promised to get RedFinch work for Mr. Trump’s campaign. He set up two phone calls for Mr. Gauger with campaign officials, who didn’t hire him, he said.

    “Mr. Cohen promised but never was able to develop the business he predicted,” said Mr. James, Mr. Gauger’s lawyer.

    Mr. Cohen did give Mr. Gauger some other paying work. Early in 2016, Mr. Cohen hired RedFinch to help create positive web content about the chief executive of CareOne Management LLC, a New Jersey assisted-living company that had given Mr. Cohen a consulting contract.

    Mr. Cohen sent RedFinch checks totaling $50,000 for that work, Mr. Gauger said. Mr. Cohen collected $200,000 from CareOne but didn’t pay taxes on it, according to the charging document filed by federal prosecutors, who didn’t identify the assisted-living company by name. Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to evading taxes on that income. CareOne didn’t respond to a request for comment.

    Mr. Cohen asked Mr. Gauger to create the @WomenForCohen account, still active in 2019, to elevate his profile. The account’s profile says it is run by “Women who love and support Michael Cohen. Strong, pit bull, sex symbol, no nonsense, business oriented and ready to make a difference!”

    Mr. Gauger said he last spoke with Mr. Cohen in April 2018, shortly after the raid by federal agents. He said Mr. Cohen told him the investigation was about taxes and how he had accessed money from some of his accounts. “It’s not a big deal,” Mr. Cohen said, according to Mr. Gauger.

    —Rebecca Ballhaus and Rebecca Davis O’Brien contributed to this article.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  10. #3265
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    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Julia Davis

    #Russia's state TV—which was previously more than happy to exclaim "Trump is ours"— now nervously attempts to refute the idea he is an agent of the Kremlin. Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov complains about the lack of leaks in the Mueller investigation. They smell trouble.

    The screen in that screenshot's lists points made in the Washington Post (I guess they're analyzing them) and one of the points is "Congratulated Putin on a victory in falsified election" - which is hilarious, because it's kind of like the program is admitting Russian elections were falsified. (also Lavrov is not one of the people there, the image is a bit random to her tweet)

  11. #3266

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Now we know why Tiny was threatening Cohen's father in law.

    Trump Directed His Attorney To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project
    Trump received 10 personal updates from Michael Cohen and encouraged a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin.

    Jason Leopold
    BuzzFeed News Reporter

    Anthony Cormier
    BuzzFeed News Reporter

    Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.

    Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.

    And even as Trump told the public he had no business deals with Russia, the sources said Trump and his children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., received regular, detailed updates about the real estate development from Cohen, whom they put in charge of the project.

    Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying about the deal in testimony and in a two-page statement to the Senate and House intelligence committees. Special counsel Robert Mueller noted that Cohen’s false claim that the project ended in January 2016 was an attempt to "minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1” — widely understood to be Trump — "in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.”

    Now the two sources have told BuzzFeed News that Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.

    The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.

    This revelation is not the first evidence to suggest the president may have attempted to obstruct the FBI and special counsel investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

    But Cohen's testimony marks a significant new frontier: It is the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.

    On the campaign trail, Trump vehemently denied having any business interests in Russia. But behind the scenes, he was pushing the Moscow project, which he hoped could bring his company profits in excess of $300 million. The two law enforcement sources said he had at least 10 face-to-face meetings with Cohen about the deal during the campaign.

    BuzzFeed News first reported last year that Cohen and an associate, Felix Sater, had continued working on Trump Tower Moscow through June 2016. Sater communicated with Russian bankers, developers, and officials connected to the Kremlin. That revelation was confirmed in Mueller’s filings against Cohen in court last November.

    Attorneys close to the administration helped Cohen prepare his testimony and draft his statement to the Senate panel, the sources said. The sources did not say who the attorneys were or whether they were part of the White House counsel’s staff, and did not present evidence that the lawyers knew the statements would be false.

    An attorney for Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel who reportedly gave about 30 hours of testimony to the special counsel, told BuzzFeed News: “Don McGahn had no involvement with or knowledge of Michael Cohen’s testimony. Nor was he aware of anyone in the White House Counsel’s Office who did.”

    After Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the matter, Mueller’s team filed a memo in court saying he had offered them “credible” and “useful” information over the course of seven interviews. The special counsel wrote that Cohen had provided details about his contacts with “persons connected to the White House” in 2017 and 2018 and about how he had prepared his statements to Congress.

    The White House did not return detailed messages seeking comment, nor did an an attorney for Donald Trump Jr. or the Trump Organization.

    A spokesperson for the Office of Special Counsel declined to comment.

    Cohen also declined comment — but the law enforcement sources familiar with his testimony to the special counsel said he had confirmed that Trump directed him to lie to Congress, and also that he had provided details of his conversations about the project with the president and Ivanka and Donald Jr.

    Those three members of the Trump family have distanced themselves from the Moscow project, saying that they had little knowledge of the negotiations. But a picture of their deep involvement is now emerging, as FBI agents and prosecutors pore over witness interviews and internal documents from Cohen and other Trump Organization officials and executives.

    Trump was even made aware that Cohen was speaking to Russian government officials about the deal. The lawyer at one point spoke to a Kremlin aide as he sought support for the tower.

    Trump also encouraged Cohen to plan a trip to Russia during the campaign, where the candidate could meet face-to-face with Putin.

    BuzzFeed News has previously reported that text messages and emails show Sater — a real estate developer, convicted stock swindler, and longtime asset for US government intelligence agencies — worked furiously to arrange a trip for Cohen to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where he was supposed to meet with top Russian bankers and government officials. Cohen told Sater that to advance the deal, Trump himself would also go to Russia, after the Republican National Convention in July 2016

    The trip to St. Petersburg never took place and the plans to build Trump Tower Moscow never came to fruition. But the negotiations occupy an important place in Mueller’s investigation, as agents try to learn whether it is connected to the Kremlin’s interference campaign and whom Trump associates were in contact with to close the deal.

    After Cohen pleaded guilty last November, Trump defended his continued involvement in the Moscow project during the election, telling reporters: “There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won, in which case I would have gotten back into the business, and why should I lose lots of opportunities?”

    Federal agents looking into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election also tried to clarify the roles that Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. played in the Moscow tower negotiations, the sources said.

    In his plea deal with Mueller’s team, Cohen acknowledged that the conversations he had about the project with Trump exceeded the three short briefings he testified that he gave the president and that he also held more extensive discussions about it with other members of the Trump family. The sources said Cohen gave Trump’s children “very detailed updates.”

    Ivanka Trump was slated to manage a spa at the tower and personally recommended an architect. She also instructed Cohen to speak with a Russian athlete who offered “synergy on a government level” to get the Moscow project off the ground, in another aspect of the deal first revealed by BuzzFeed News that later was affirmed by the special counsel’s sentencing memo. Cohen rebuffed the athlete’s proposal, which angered Ivanka Trump, according to emails reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

    A spokesperson for Ivanka Trump's attorney wrote that she was only "minimally involved" in the project. "Ms. Trump did not know about this proposal until after a non-binding letter of intent had been signed, never talked to anyone outside the Organization about the proposal, never visited the prospective project site and, even internally, was only minimally involved," wrote Peter Mirijanian.

    Donald Trump Jr., meanwhile, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 7, 2017, that he was only “peripherally aware” of the plan to build a tower in Moscow. “Most of my knowledge has been gained since as it relates to hearing about it over the last few weeks.”

    The two law enforcement sources disputed this characterization and said that he and Cohen had multiple, detailed conversations on this subject during the campaign.

    Cohen will testify publicly before the House C
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  12. #3267

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Yashar Ali
    ·I’m told that BuzzFeed reached out to Trump’s team at 5:15 PM Eastern. Giving them about five hours to comment before publishing.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  13. #3268

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Well, we knew something was coming. With Giuliani trying to convince everyone the sky was orange with that "I never said collusion didn't happen" nonsense, you just knew it was something major.

  14. #3269

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Direct Quotes from the Articles of Impeachment against President Nixon

    From Article 1:

    "approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counselling witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States and false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings;"

    "interfering or endeavouring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, and Congressional Committees;"

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