Crime Russia Investigation Trump-Russia

Here’s What You Can Expect From Robert Mueller In 2019

In the 19 months since Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to investigate the Russian attack on the 2016 election, we’ve repeatedly seen connections between members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. There’s so many of them, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the indictments (22 to date), guilty pleas (10 of those), and the seemingly endless ways Russia eagerly worked to make sure Trump was elected 45th President of the United States.

And now, with 2019 just a few hours away, it seems fair to take a look into the future and see where the Mueller investigation will go next.

Ken Dilanian of NBC News just published an excellent summary of all the twists and turns in the Russia probe so far, and what we’ve seen so far suggests we might see in the near future. Dilanian notes:

“Mueller has so far not showed the public proof that speaks to the central question he was hired to answer: Whether Trump or any of his associates actively conspired with the effort by Russian intelligence officers to hack, leak and otherwise interfere in the 2016 election. None of the criminal charges filed to date have addressed that issue.”

The reason Mueller hasn’t yet shown his hand when it comes to collusion with Russia is simple: He’s saving that for last, probably for his final indictments and the report he will submit.

But what former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman had to say suggests that the stakes are even higher than we ever suspected, and the real crime revolves around money:

“What we are learning is that there may have been a much larger conspiracy to provide sanctions relief to Russia either in return for personal business and financial benefits or in return for assistance in the campaign.”

In other words, quid pro quo: You help me and I’ll help you.

So what is Mueller’s endgame? Turns out that should terrify Trump more than anything else: Mueller is only the tip if the legal iceberg. Trump is also under investigation by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York and the office of the New York Attorney General. And there may be other grand juries currently sitting that are also looking at charges against Trump.

Oh, and let’s not forget the impending Congressional investigations that will start when Democrats take control of the House on January 3. Those — in conjunction with the Mueller report — could well lead to the impeachment of Donald Trump.

2019 promises to be a very busy year for Robert Mueller. And it may also wind up being the end of the Trump criminal enterprise.

Corruption Crime Russia Investigation

Michael Cohen Hints That Mueller Has Donald Trump Jr. Cold Busted

Not long ago, a report from McClatchy suggested that a cell phone belonging to Donald Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, had been used in Prague in the summer of 2016, meaning that Cohen had perhaps met with Russian officials on behalf of the Trump campaign.

Cohen, however, vociferously denied he’d ever been to Prague, sending out this tweet:

How could it be that a phone in Cohen’s name was used in Prague if he’s never traveled there? Easy: When the FBI raided Cohen’s office earlier this year, they found over a dozen “burner” cell phones. How did that cell phone manage to find its way to Prague? That’s where Donald Trump Jr. enters the picture.

Don Jr. has bragged (and even proven) that he’s fluent in the Czech language. That stands to reason since his mother, Ivana, was born in (you guessed it!) Prague.

As Daily Kos noted Friday, in an incredibly intriguing article:

“Tweeting that, you hear it’s beautiful in Prague, and Mueller knows everything, seems very odd when you are under the eye of a prosecutor and you don’t need to and shouldn’t be tweeting anything.  It almost seems like you’re not tweeting for your followers, but that you are trying to send a message to a very, very, few people.”

In other words, Junior borrowed a burner phone from Cohen and traveled to Prague on a very special mission for his father.

The message from Cohen to Don Jr. and the President couldn’t be clearer: I’ve turned over all the evidence to Mueller, who “knows everything” and can place Junior in Prague just months before the election.

All of this would confirm yet another detail from the Steele Dossier, compiled by former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele. In the dossier, Steele noted that a member of the Trump 2016 camp had indeed met with Russian operatives in Prague as a way to assure that Donald Trump was elected president.

Don Jr. would also be the logical person to be sent on such a highly sensitive mission, if only because his father is said to only place his absolute trust in family members. Who better to meet with Russian helpers than the same guy who met with a Russian attorney at Trump Tower in June of 2016 for “dirt” on Hillary Clinton?

It’s been said for months now that Donald Trump Jr. is about to be indicted. This latest twist suggests he’s indeed in a lot of legal trouble.


Crime Russia Russia Investigation Trump-Russia

Cell Phone Records Prove Trump Campaign Colluded With Russia: Report

Despite President Donald Trump’s repeated denials that he didn’t collude or conspire with Russia during the 2016 election, new evidence uncovered by McClatchy would seem to be the ultimate smoking gun that does indeed tie one of Trump’s closest advisers directly to Russia during the race for the White House.

The McClatchy report, which is a follow-up to one from April, uses cell phone signals to place Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, in Prague during the late summer of 2016:

“A mobile phone traced to President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen met secretly there with Russian officials, four people with knowledge of the matter say.

“During the same period of late August or early September, electronic eavesdropping by an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up a conversation among Russians, one of whom remarked that Cohen was in Prague, two people familiar with the incident said.”

As Jonathan Chait of New York magazine notes, this new report is the worst news imaginable for the president:

“What would all this mean? Well, it would mean just about the worst possible thing for Trump. There’s no chance Cohen took such a meeting without Trump’s direction. As Cohen told George Stephanopoulos earlier this month, ‘nothing at the Trump organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump’ — certainly an international trip to covertly meet Russian intelligence officials would qualify as a matter Trump had to approve. As the previous McClatchy report indicates, (Special Counsel Robert) Mueller has the evidence of Cohen’s visit to Prague.”

Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this month, is now cooperating fully with the special counsel’s office and can confirm exactly why he might have been in Prague. His testimony, along with the cell phone evidence, could well give Mueller a slam dunk case against Trump.

Ever since Cohen flipped and began helping Mueller’s team, Trump has railed at him on Twitter, calling him a “rat” and suggesting that his former attorney should serve the rest of his life in prison. But it now looks like Cohen has turned the tables in a major way and could be on the verge of sending his former client to impeachment and indictment.

It’s called karma, and it just took a giant bite out of Donald Trump’s fat ass.

Corruption Espionage Russia Trump-Russia

Trump’s New Secretary Of Defense May Be A Pawn Of Vladimir Putin: DETAILS

On New Year’s Day, a new man steps into the role of Secretary of Defense, replacing General James Mattis, who resigned in protest last week over President Trump’s decision to remove all American troops from Syria.

Patrick Shanahan will be the acting head of the Defense Department. He’s been serving as Mattis’s deputy, and before that was a top executive with Boeing.

And it turns out that Shanahan, much like the president he’ll be serving, is a big fan of appeasing Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During his confirmation hearings 17 months ago, Shanahan was asked by the late Arizona Senator John McCain about his thoughts on arming the nation of Ukraine so they could defend against Russian aggression, such as the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea. Shanahan said he would “review” the matter and get back to McCain. Shanahan later amended his response to say that he would support arming Ukraine.

But as The Washington Post reports, McCain lit into Shanahan, telling him:

“That’s not good enough, Mr. Shanahan. I’m glad to hear you changed your opinion from what was submitted, but it’s still disturbing to me. It’s still disturbing to me after all these years that you would say that you would have to look at the issue. Have you not been aware of the issue? Have you not been aware of the actions of the Senate Armed Services Committee? Have you not been aware of the thousands of people that have been killed by [Russian President] Vladimir Putin?”

Shanahan’s comments are in stark contrast to those from General Mattis, who has repeatedly been critical of Russia, going so far as to say:

“This is a very complex situation because clearly Mr. Putin is a slow learner. He is not recognizing that what he is doing is actually creating the animosity against his people.

“We’re dealing with someone we simply cannot trust.”

The decision by Trump to pull out of Syria was a dream come true for Putin, who is now free to shape Syria (and potentially other areas of the Middle East) in a manner that’s beneficial to Russia and detrimental to the U.S. and its allies.

But there’s a larger question in play here: Why would Trump choose a man to replace Mattis who has made it clear he thinks we should appease Vladimir Putin? Or is that the very reason he was picked?

Congress will have to keep a close eye on Secretary Shanahan. Based on his past comments, it’s not clear that he can be trusted to do what’s in the national security interest of the United States.