Russia Investigation Expands To Include Trump’s Personal Attorney

Michael Cohen is not only Trump’s personal lawyer but one of his closest confidants. He is now a focus in the ever-expanding congressional investigation into the Russian influence over the 2016 election.

House-Senate investigators have asked him “to provide information and testimony” regarding his contacts with anyone connected to the Russian government.

Cohen has turned down the invitation to the party.

“I declined the invitation to participate, as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad, and not capable of being answered,” he told ABC News in an email.

After Cohen’s rejection, a unanimous vote from the Senate Select Intelligence Committee will grant the committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Mark Warner authority to issue any subpoenas they need.

As Trump’s personal attorney, Cohen weighs in on Trump’s behalf via interviews and Twitter.

After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, Cohen tweeted, “I believe @POTUS was justified in terminating #Comey as @FBI director. #RT if you agree with me!”

Cohen’s other positions have him in powerful positions. He is deputy national finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. He has an influence on how monies are allocated to Republican candidates. He also is aligned with Patton Briggs, a powerful D.C. lobbying firm–whose clients include Gasprombank, Russia’s third-largest bank.

Renewed interest in Cohen by the Senate probe brings up issues such as being named in the dossier report prepared by a former British intelligence agent. There are a number of unconfirmed allegations that Cohen was an instrument of the Russians in the hacking of the DNC computers during the 2016 campaign.

However, some claims in that report have been shown as false. ABC News debunked the assertion that Cohen’s Ukrainian born father-in-law had a vacation home (dacha) near Putin’s home.

“I don’t even think my father-in-law has ever been to Moscow,” Cohen told ABC News. “I wonder who’s living in the dacha.”

He denies the report’s assertion that he met with the Russians in Prague last August. Trump went to bat for Cohen saying that he saw Cohen’s passport that would indicate otherwise.

“I said, ‘I want to see your passport.’ He brings his passport to my office. I say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. He didn’t leave the country. He wasn’t out of the country.’ They had Michael Cohen of the Trump Organization was in Prague. It turned out to be a different Michael Cohen,” Trump said. “It’s a disgrace that took place. It’s a disgrace, and I think they ought to apologize to start with Michael Cohen.”

“I’ve never actually walked the land in Prague,” Cohen told ABC News. “And last August I was not in Prague.”

However, Democrats are not convinced. Cohen was vacationing in Italy at the time and could have entered Prague without a stamp.

So far, out of four Trump campaign advisers who are people of interest, only one has received a subpoena for records. Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, cited his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to provide the documents.

Law School Professors SOLID In REJECTION of TRUMP Nominee!

Hopefully, this is not too little too late, but at least the effort is unified.  Democrats and progressives across the nation need to do everything possible to keep this lunatic session out of the Justice Department’s top office.

A group of more than 1,100 law school professors from across the country is sending a letter to Congress on Tuesday urging the Senate to reject the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) for attorney general.

The letter, signed by professors from 170 law schools in 48 states, is also scheduled to run as a full-page newspaper ad aimed at members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will be holding confirmation hearings for Sessions on Jan. 10-11.

 

“We are convinced that Jeff Sessions will not fairly enforce our nation’s laws and promote justice and equality in the United States,” states the letter, signed by prominent legal scholars including Laurence H. Tribe of Harvard Law School, Geoffrey R. Stone of the University of Chicago Law School, Pamela S. Karlan of Stanford Law School and Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California at Irvine School of Law.

 

The professors — from every state except North Dakota and Alaska, which has no law school — highlight the rejection of Sessions’s nomination to a federal judgeship more than 30 years ago. Robin Walker Sterling of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, one of the organizers of the letter, said that 1,000 professors signed on within 72 hours. “Clearly, there are many, many law professors who are very uneasy with the prospect of Attorney General Sessions, and they are willing to take a public stand in opposition to his nomination,” she said.

The actual number of law professors who oppose his nomination is almost certainly higher. I personally know one who was going to sign the letter but decided against it because they wanted to keep a lower profile until getting tenure.

And so they should. Sessions’ worldview and perspective on the law is just a bit more conservative than that of Attila the Hun. With Sessions’ guidance, Trump would likely establish a secret police agency similar to East Germany’s Stasi in a matter of months.

Trump’s Just Overreacted Again to ‘All Time Biggest’ Political Scandal

Donald Trump, hardly a history major, needs to understand presidential scandals more deeply – because the Republican keeps finding new ‘Watergates’ at every turn.

The current president says, Uranium One, as an example, is Watergate.  And so is Trump Tower’s non-existent wiretapping. Trump has told us Benghazi is “bigger than Watergate.” Even more, Trump wrote in 2012 that Joe Arpaio investigating Barack Obama’s birth certificate “could dwarf Watergate.”

The President said in March that the Justice Department investigating his campaign is “bigger than Watergate,” and fired up by conservative media, he added yesterday the FBI planted an “informant” in his political team, which he called – of course – “bigger than Watergate!”

He really can’t recall any other historical controversies worth referencing?

Nevertheless, this morning Trump kept playing with his shiny conspiracy theory.

President Donald Trump on Friday quoted a claim that the Department of Justice put a “spy” inside his presidential campaign as part of an effort to “frame” him for “crimes” he “didn’t commit.”

“ ‘Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn’t commit,’” Trump wrote in a tweet Friday morning, quoting Fox Business Network anchor David Asman. He also tagged FBN anchor Lou Dobbs and Fox News Channel anchor Gregg Jarrett. He added, “Really bad stuff!”

President Trump soon added he thinks this might be the “all-time biggest political scandal,” which may be more convincing if his most recent claims weren’t so questionable and all the other time’s Trump claimed he’d exposed the all-time biggest political scandal weren’t nonsense.

This morning, Rudy Giuliani – still Trump’s attorney, for some reason – claimed to have a secret source about a potential spy the Justice Department planted in the President’s campaign, but like the Washington Post  said, Giuliani “admitted that he and the president do not know if that’s true or not.”

Well, Rudy, it seems that Trump is pretty convinced.

Media Matters explained the backstory of Trump’s new theory, while the Washington Post explained the relationship between the President’s latest push and the GOP push to uncover a source from the FBI – a move intelligence officials from the U.S. warn would pose a highly dangerous threat.

As the story unfolds, and the President keeps throwing occasional tantrums, one detail must be kept in mind: if federal law enforcement planted a “spy” in Trump’s political teams in a scheme to derail the candidacy of the GOP, wouldn’t they have disclosed to voters pre-election there was a probe into Trump’s campaign?

Approaching 2016’s Election Day, Americans had heard a lot about the Hillary Clinton email investigation, but voters had no clue Trump World was under far more serious probe.

It’s almost like the concept of the FBI hatching a scheme to ruin Trump’s candidacy is ridiculous in itself.

Trump and McConnell Join Forces to Shaft American Workers

President Donald Trump embracing cronyism has caused him to nominate Gordon Hartogensis, the brother-in-law of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, despite his lack of crucial experience, to lead the government organization which oversees millions of pensions.

The White House officially announced Hartogensis’s nomination for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) director.

The White House failed to uncover the familial relationships Hartogensis had with McConnell and Chao during the announcement. Hartogensis married Grace, Chao’s sister.

Hartogensis’s White House release bio and his profile on LinkedIn state he has worked with retirement and pensions. He definitely does not have the experience to head an organization as large as the PBGC.

The agency supervises and protects retirement incomes for almost 40 million Americans. It’s responsibility is to maintain private pension plans and help retirees relying on them.

In Hartogensis’ current and most recent job, he “managed a portfolio” of his relatives’ assets for the Hartogensis Family Trust. Prior to that, he worked as a trader and technology executive for Forex.

Besides his connections with Trump’s ally McConnell and Chao, his Cabinet member, Hartogensis’ resume and professional experience show no indication that he should take such a significant position.

To compare, Thomas Reeder, the current director who President Obama nominated, had years of professional experience at the Treasury Department. In addition, he was the senior benefits counsel for the Senate Finance Committee staff. He also worked at top-shelf law firms for over 20 years.

The White House omitting the family background of Hartogensis from their announcement shows they recognize the display of cronyism around his consideration.

Christina Wilkie reported on CNBC that the Trump administration “won’t answer questions” about Hartogensis.

The nomination proves again that Trump’s claim of “draining the swamp” is simply a self-serving lie.

At the highest level, the President has surrounded himself with members of his family including daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner despite their lack of knowledge in responding to major domestic and foreign issues they now have control over. He’s also stocked like-minded thinkers into his Cabinet, even when they are ill-prepared for their positions.

Donald Trump nominating Hartogensis as a favor for McConnell and Chao reveals all he wants to do to the “swamp” is to make the water even murkier.

Everything Going Wrong for Donald Trump… So He He Just Went Berserk!

Yesterday was one of the worst and most scandal-plagued times in the brief history of Trump’s historically crappy and scandal-plagued stolen presidency. Not surprisingly, instead of attempting to put out the fires or find something good to build on, Donald Trump went berserk about the entire thing.

We found out yesterday that the Donald Trump campaign’s criminal associations to the Russian government became so blatant, the FBI sent someone undercover twice to meet with some campaign representatives in an attempt to figure out what was going on. So how is Trump responding to that in his most recent Twitter meltdown? Incredibly, he is playing the victim instead of the criminal he is: “Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI [SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.’ Andrew McCarthy says, ‘There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.’ If so, this is bigger than Watergate!

In Trump’s deranged and criminal mind, it’s not relevant that both he and his campaign committed treason. The “real” crime is that federal law enforcement tried to investigate his evil treason. Never mind that so far half of Trump’s closest cronies are indicted or arrested, or are soon to be, or are making plea deals against the orange criminal. In his mind it doesn’t count: “Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History.” This gets worse.

President Trump has no real accomplishments, so if he weren’t just the most criminal and psychopathic president in the United States history, he would still be the least successful president. But instead of attempting to accomplish good things for Americans, Trump is content to invent them in his twisted mind: “Despite the disgusting, illegal and unwarranted Witch Hunt, we have had the most successful first 17 month Administration in U.S. history – by far! Sorry to the Fake News Media and “Haters,” but that’s the way it is!” That is why Trump is doomed. He thinks he can save a sinking ship by pretending that it’s sailing smoothly.

Trump’s Crony Roger Stone Just Got More Bad News from Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, has subpoenaed a longtime assistant to Roger Stone, who informally advises President Donald Trump who is facing heavy scrutiny due to federal investigation into Russia interfering in the election of 2016.

Mueller subpoenaed John Kakanis, a man who has served as Stone’s aide in multiple capacities, two inside sources told Reuters.

It is the second subpoena this week of an associate of Stone to surface.

Reuters reported Wednesday that Jason Sullivan, attorney and expert of social media who has worked with Stone, got subpoenaed twice last week.

For the probe, The FBI questioned Kakanis, especially about the WikiLeaks website and Julian Assange, its founder, along with the hacker group Guccifer 2.0.

Mueller has not yet set a date for Kakanis’s appearance before a grand jury.

John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and the Democratic National Committee were embarrassingly hacked in the election of 2016, resulting in WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0’s public realease of emails.
The conclusion among the intelligence community is Russia was responsible for the hacks and encouraged discord during the 2016 election to help Trump win.

Michael Becker, Kakanis’s attorney, failed to respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Some previous comments from Stone during the election have raised concerns about his relationship with WikiLeaks, especially when he went on Infowars radio program and said that he knew exactly when WikiLeaks was going to disclose a mass of hacked emails — a statement he dishonestly walked back for CNN.

The hackers delivered the emails to Julian Assange, who then published the materials, thereby causing massive damage to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the entire Democratic campaign arm.

Roger Stone, a chronic liar who has repeatedly denied all wrongdoing, used his typical misdirection tactics and blamed the media for making “misapprehensions and misconceptions” regarding him in a dishonest statement he made to Reuters, lying that it was press reports which had triggered Mueller’s great interest in his criminal involvement.

“I sincerely hope when this occurs that the grotesque, defamatory media campaign which I have endured for years now will finally come to its long-overdue end,” Stone lied to Reuters. He’ll be in jail soon enough.

Michigan Republican TWEETS Imply KILLING Protesters as way to Silence Them!

There is a deep-down ugliness growing in this country!  First, we have Trump telling the press to ‘shut up’, now we have a Republican party official in Michigan encouraging the killing of protesters as a way to silence them.

From CSM:

A Republican official has apologized for calling for “another Kent State” massacre in response to recent university protests.

Dan Adamini, the secretary of the Marquette County Republican Party in Michigan, tweeted that he was “sorry” for a pair of social media posts in which he referenced the infamous fatal 1970 shooting of four unarmed college students by National Guardsmen during an anti-Vietnam War protest, and suggested that a similar incident might be the “only solution” to modern-day protests at the University of California, Berkeley, and elsewhere.

“Violent protesters who shut down free speech? Time for another Kent State, perhaps,” Mr. Adamini wrote in a tweet last Thursday. “One bullet stops a lot of thuggery.” In a similar Facebook post, he added, “They do it because they know there are no consequences yet.”

The posts, which have since been deleted, received widespread backlash, and were quickly condemned by Kent State University and the Michigan Democratic Party.

“To call for ‘another Kent State’ and declare that ‘one bullet stops a lot of thuggery’ is to clearly and openly advocate for the murder of unarmed college students, simply because they don’t share his beliefs or point of view,” said Michigan Democratic Party chair Brandon Dillon in a statement, calling on Adamini to resign from any public or political party positions. “The right to free speech is the cornerstone of our democracy, and when someone threatens another individual or group with harm for exercising it, that one person is a threat to all of us, as Americans.”

Kent State president Beverly Warren decried the posts in a tweet Saturday, writing that the remarks had “no place in healing the divide in America.”

Later that morning, in an official press release, the university described Adamini’s suggestion as “abhorrent,” and invited him to tour the campus’s May 4 Visitors Center, which features exhibits that tell the story of the shooting, “to gain perspective on what happened 47 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.”

Some Kent State students praised the school’s invitation to Adamini, noting the impact the center had had on their own perspective.

“I think that (inviting Adamini) to the May 4 Memorial was the best course of action,” Brandon Calalesina, a junior computer science major, told the Kent State school newspaper. “The university didn’t jump the gun and started attacking them. They welcomed him to understand rather than do anything else.”

 

Adamini has since deleted his Twitter account.

“I’m thinking another Kent State might be the only solution protest stopped after only one death. They do it because there are no consequences yet.”

The despicable man later deleted his tweet and Facebook post and semi-apologized but has since spent most of his time angry at those who feel he crossed far over the line.

Taking a lot of heat for a very poorly worded tweet yesterday. Sorry folks, the intent was to try to stop the violence, not encourage more

— Dan Adamini (@DanAdamini) February 3, 2017

 

Typical Republican and Trump-supporting sociopath! When faced with the consequences of shooting off his stupid mouth, he backpedals by claiming he meant no harm.

Of course, we get the usual…’ people just misunderstood what I said’ routine.  Not hardly….we understood your hate-filled post perfectly!

Latest Trump Poll Shows There Is Hope for America Afterall

Most young Americans are against President Trump‘s white supremacist agenda and most of them say he is “racist,” “dishonest” and “unfit” to be our president, says a poll released on Friday by The Associated Press.

Only 33% of Americans 15 to 34 approve of the evil president’s “performance” in office, which is 9 points lower than an average of all the adults in the same poll taken this month.

More than 6 in 10 of these young Americans say that Trump “is a racist” and “generally dishonest,” while 60% exactly say, very accurately, that he is “mentally unfit” to be president.

It also shows strong support for progressive causes in this age bracket, like 60% who want our government to actually fight climate change and 67% who would like a health-care system where “the government provides health insurance to all Americans.”

Over half also say they are against Trump’s racist campaign promise to build a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Almost 70% say undocumented immigrants ought to be given away to obtain legal citizenship in the U.S.

The Republican tax plan that Trump signed into law in December did poorly with young adults as well, with just 22% support of younger Americans as opposed to 40% who said they are against the government being run by corporations and rich people for their benefit at the expense of everyone else.

These numbers come in spite of Trump’s surprising performance with young voters in the 2016 presidential election. Trump got about a third of the millennial vote in 2016. Trump got 37% of young voters, while the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won 55%, a 5-point-smaller gap than ex-President Obama won against Mitt Romney back in 2012.

Arrests by Robert Mueller Coming Soon…Here’s Who Should Be Worried

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is in a quiet stretch regarding his publicly visible Trump-Russia indictments and arrests. But as we have learned from the other times where Mueller went silent, it means that he’s busy planning and working on the next round of brilliant moves behind the scenes. Who’s getting arrested next for the Trump-Russia treason scandal? Here are some educated guesses.

Steve Bannon: Steve has been under fire all week, thanks to both the exploding scandals involving his former firm Cambridge Analytica and the damning revelation that he was a company leader during the theft of Facebook user data. Bannon may have already made a plea deal, but if not he’s now a primary target in the Trump-Russia treason probe. Even if Bannon did cut a deal, if he didn’t tell Mueller what he knew about the Cambridge Analytica antics, he will be indicted for misleading federal investigators.

Roger Stone: About two weeks ago, Donald Trump adviser Sam Nunberg said on the news that he’d been subpoenaed for a Robert Mueller grand jury that was targeting Stone and the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, along with others. Roger Stone then went on MSNBC and said that Mueller hasn’t even requested for him to testify. Based on Robert Mueller’s pattern so far, it means he’s looking to indict and arrest Roger Stone rather than giving him a soft-landing deal. Since the grand jury is already well underway, and al the cooperating witnesses against Stone are already taken care of, the indictment against Roger Stone should come soon.

Jared Kushner: There’s way too much smoke here to ignore. Kushner’s corrupt pay-to-play deals involve people from U.S. based investors all the way to the United Arab Emirates. There’s Nader’s decision to cut a plea deal, and his sketchy ties to UAE. Mueller wants Kushner to cut a plea deal against Donald Trump, which he will logically have to accept eventually. That potential plea deal is the only reason Kushner has yet to see handcuffs.

Donald Trump Jr: Donald Jr.’s wife filed for divorce suddenly this week, blaming an old affair she’s known about for six years already. Her timing is related to the subpoena Mueller sent to the Trump Organization regarding its financial records, causing her to fear to lose her part of the family fortune to the asset seizures if she fails to cash out now. Will Robert Mueller dare to arrest President Trump’s son right now? It would be a very aggressive move.

Republicans Are Serving Up A New Tax Bill That Will Hurt Consumers And Reward Corporations

Sometimes we see Republicans intentionally working against the new President, but sometimes they work against him and don’t even know it. I’m not sure which is more amusing to watch.

And here’s how they’ll do it. Republicans are planning a new tax called the adjustability tax, and over the next ten years it will cost American consumers over a trillion dollars. But remember, we are talking about taxes here. Washington politicians are notorious for underestimating what it will actually cost those who are paying for it. It’s a marketing thing, right?

What will be taxed? Pretty much everything we use on a daily basis, as well as gasoline, which is expected to see an increase of about 30 cents per gallon as a result. This may not seem like a huge tax hit to the wealthy, but low-income and struggling middle class Americans will feel the hit the hardest.

There has been very little discussion about this new tax and its impact on Americans. The politicians aren’t really even openly debating it, but they’re ready to enact. But kind of like an adolescent without a fully developed frontal lobe of the brain, they are implementing the tax without foresight on how it will impact their own jobs. Sound oh so republican, doesn’t it?

This is how the new tax burden will ultimately end up in your lap:

If a store imports a good, like a television, they will purchase it wholesale from another country for, let’s say $100. They will turn around, mark it up to $200 and sell it to you. That would leave them with $100 profit. Up until now, the store owner could deduct the cost of goods on taxes and just pay taxes on the profit- $100. Under the new Republican scheme, however, the store owner will have to pay taxes on the entire sale price of the item-$200. And do we think that the store owner will just absorb that? No. They will pass on the tax to you, the consumer.

This goes for oil refiners who import crude oil for production of gasoline. This spells higher prices for you at the gas pump.

Think about how this will impact the auto industry. The cost to import parts for manufacturing will explode-and you know what that means for us. Worse yet, what will that mean for the tens of thousands Americans dependent on those jobs?

On the other hand, there is another feature of this tax plan that really benefits corporations. (Are we surprised?)

Exporters will not be taxes on their export revenues. So if Corporation ABC sells something to Saudi Arabia, for 10 million, and it only cost them 6 million to produce it, the Corporation will have a 4 million dollar profit that will not be taxed.

No wonder big corporations are drooling and foaming at the mouth to see this new tax bill become effective.

Hold on to your wallet.