Trump Russia

ROGER STONE FOUND GUILTY OF DEATH THREAT AGAINST WITNESS, LYING TO CONGRESS DURING RUSSIA PROBE TO COVER UP FOR TRUMP

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Roger Stone, CC by NA

November 15, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – “You are a rat.  A stoolie. Prepare to die,” long-time Trump ally Roger Stone texted to a witness slated to appear before the House Intelligence Committee regarding Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump-Russia ties. The  trial revealed damning evidence not only against Stone, but also evidence discrediting statements made by Donald Trump in which Trump denied discussing hacked emails during his presidential campaign.

The witness, radio host Randy Credico, was Stone’s intermediary to Wikileaks and Julian Assange to obtain details on e-mails stolen from the Democratic National Committee that were damaging to Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 political rival.  Stone also urged the witness via e-mail to follow the actions of “Godfather II” character Frank Pentangeli, who lied to Congress to avoid incriminating Mafia boss Michael Corleone.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BLOCKS EFFORTS TO PREVENT RUSSIAN HACKING IN 2020 ELECTIONS

Homeland Security Secretary resigned after White House thwarted her efforts to prevent Russian hacking

By Miriam Raftery

April 26, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – Lost amid the hoopla over the Mueller report  is this indisputable finding by the special counsel: “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” Yet to date, nothing has been done by the Trump administration to prevent Russian interference in the upcoming primaries and 2020 presidential race.

Muelller stopped short of finding any direct collusion involving President Donald Trump with Russia, though he did not exonerate the president on obstruction of justice. While the President has claimed victory and Congress continues to probe obstruction issues, perhaps the most critical and under-reported fact is this:  the Trump administration is actively interfering with efforts by even its own cabinet officials and Congress to prevent Russia from hacking or otherwise interfering in the next presidential election in 2020.

TRUMP ORDER TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM SYRIA AND AFGHANISTAN SPARKS BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL CONCERN AND RESIGNATION OF DEFENSE SECRETARY MATTIS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned in his resignation letter of Russian efforts to "shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model...to promote their own interets at the epxens of their neighbors, America and our allies."

December 21, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Prominent Congressional leaders in both parties have voiced alarm over President Donald Trump’s announcement yesterday that he plans to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. He also ordered the Pentagon to withdraw half of America’s forces from Afghanistan starting in January.

While that may come as welcome news to families of long-deployed military members, the decision was made without consulting Congress, military leaders or key cabinet officials. Many experts warn that this could plunge the region into chaos, allow ISIS terrorists to regain power, also benefitting Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has backed Syrian strongman Bashar Assad, as well as Russia’s ally, Iran.

It has also resulted in resignation of Defense Secretary and retired General Jim Mattis, known as the "warrior monk" for his deliberative approach to fully studying military matters before making key decisions.

TRUMP FIRES SECRETARY OF STATE AFTER TILLERSON CRITICIZES RUSSIA

 

 

Photos, left to right: Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo, and Gina Haspel

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Ralph Tillerson, naming Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement and Gina Haspel, Deputy CIA Director, to replace Pompeo.  Both nominees have controversial backgrounds and will require Senate confirmation.

Tillerson’s ouster comes less than 48 hours after Tillerson blamed Russia for the poisoning of a Russian spy in Britain with a powerful neurotoxin. 

13 RUSSIANS INDICTED BY SPECIAL PROSECUTOR MUELLER FOR INTERFERING IN 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – It’s official:  Russia actively worked to sabotage American democracy and put Donald Trump in the White House.

Today, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller released copies of indictments filed against 13 Russians and three Russian entities on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and other charges ranging from bank fraud to identity theft in their quest to violate laws that prohibit foreigners from spending money to influence U.S. elections.  Read the full indictment here.

The indictment language is damning, documenting how the Russian organization Internet Research Agency plotted “information warfare against the U.S.” paid for in Russian rubles at a budget of $1.25 million a month. 

Russians posing as Americans used social media to post positive information on Trump and negative information,  much of it false, disparaging other candidates opposing Trump including Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton.  They also organized pro-Trump and anti-Clinton marches and rallies in the U.S.

They were aided by at least 100 U.S. citizens and and communicated with members of the Trump campaign, the indictment makes clear, and funneled illegal contributions into electing Trump.  At least some of those contacts were "unwitting."

EVIDENCE TRUMP CAMPAIGN COLLUDED WITH RUSSIA MOUNTS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2017  (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump, his top aides and family members have repeatedly dismissed claims that his campaign conspired with Russia to win the election as “fake news” and “lies.”   (See a timeline of denials compiled by the BBC.)  But evidence is now clear that those statements were untrue. 

The email chain released  by the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., shows "an intent to collude with Russia, veteran prosecutors and white-collar defense attorneys.” Politico reports, handing special prosecutor Robert Mueller a “smoking gun.” A Time Magazine cover shows Trump Jr.’s face and the headline, “Red-handed: the Russia scandal hits home.”

Trump Jr. released emails,  the Washington Post reported, after learning the New York Times was about to do so, which reveal that  he set up a meeting with an attorney who was “part of Russia and its government support or Mr. Trump.” specifically because the attorney claimed to have “official documents” that would “incriminate Hillary.” 

COMEY TESTIFIES TRUMP STATEMENTS ON FBI WERE “LIES, PLAIN AND SIMPLE”

 

By Miriam Raftery

View James Comey’s introductory remarks and full testimony.  

June 8, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – In riveting testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee today,  fired FBI director James Comey confirmed that President Donald Trump  asked him in person and in phone calls to back off the investigation of National Security advisor Michael Flynn’s Russian ties. 

Trump fired Comey after he refused to back off the investigation or swear a loyalty oath, promising "honesty" instead. Comey said Trump  then“chose to defame me—and more importantly, the FBI by saying the organization was in disarray and that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple.”

Acting FBI director Andrew McCabe backed Comey in his recent testimony , stating,“Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day,” adding that Russia probe is “significant.”

NETWORKS TO CARRY COMEY TESTIMONY LIVE THURSDAY MORNING

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 7, 2017 (San Diego’s East County ) – Major TV networks including CBS, NBC  and ABC will be interrupting regular programming tomorrow morning  to broadcast live testimony by fired FBI director James Comey to the Senate Intelligence Committee slated to start at 7 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

A copy of Comey's pre-prepared statement has been released and can be read here. Comey confirms "inappropriate" actions by President Donald Trump including demanding loyalty and pressuring him to drop the investigation into former National Security Director Michael Flynn.  Comey's statement directly contradicts Trump's denial that he asked Comey to drop the investigation.  After Comey refused,  and also refused to swear a loyalty oath to Trump, Trump fired him.

 Comey’s testimony under questioning by Senators tomorrow could provide evidence for special prosecutor James Mueller, who is heading up an investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

The stakes have ratcheted up after the Intercept published  excerpts of a leaked top-secret National Security Administration report detailing that Russian military intelligence sent phishing messages to at least 100 U.S. election officials days before the 2016 presidential election and earlier executed a cyber attack on at least one voting software supplier.

SPECIAL PROSECUTOR APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN ELECTION MEDDLING AND TIES TO TRUMP CAMPAIGN: ACTION COULD BE FIRST STEP TOWARD IMPEACHMENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

An East County Magazine Special report

May 17, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – In a bombshell announcement, the U.S. Justice Department has  issued an order to appoint a special prosecutor  to investigate Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.  Far more broadly, the order allows investigation of any matters that arise from the investigation and all other matters within a special prosecutor’s jurisdiction under federal law – including authorization to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation.   

Acting Attorney General  Rod. J. Rosenstein issued the order to appoint Robert Mueller, a former federal prosecutor who served as FBI director from 2001 to 2013 under both Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic President Barack Obama.

HOW SAN DIEGO’S REPRESENTATIVES RESPONDED TO FIRING OF FBI DIRECTOR AND REPORTS THAT TRUMP PUSHED COMEY TO BACK OFF INVESTIGATION INTO FLYNN’S RUSSIA TIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 17, 2017 (San Diego) -- San Diego’s Congressional delegate and California’s Senators are voicing diverse views – and in one case, a crude response to  the firing of FBI director James Comey and a startling report by the New York Times indicating that notes by fired FBI Director James Comey reveal that President Donald Trump  first asked Comey to shut down a federal investigation into fired national security advisor Michael Flynn over his Russian connections, but Comey refused to do so.  (See ECM special report.)

TRUMP PRESSURED FBI DIRECTOR TO HALT FBI INVESTIGATION OF FLYNN RUSSIAN TIES, NY TIMES REPORTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Gage Skidmore

May 17, 2017 (Washington D.C.) –President Donald Trump pressured FBI director James Comey to halt the FBI investigation into former National Security Director Michael Flynn’s Russian connections, but Comey refused, according to a memo written by Comey at the time,  the New York Times reports.  Comey also refused Trump’s demand to jail journalists for publishing leaked materials—shortly before the President fired Comey.   The revelation has top Republican and Democratic Senators preparing to subpoena records that could, potentially, lead to impeachment.

“Obstruction of justice is what it looks like to anybody who’s looking at it,” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat working with Republican  Senator Lindsey Graham to investigate the FBI’s role in the federal Russia investigation,  Politico reports. “This is about as lay down a case…as a prosecutor could imagine,” he added.

Republican Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee who has said he won’t seek reelection,  today announced on Twitter that his committee will “get the Comey memo, if it exists,” adding, “I need to see it sooner rather than later. I have my subpoena pen ready.”

TRUMP’S TROUBLING TIES TO KREMLIN AND PRO-RUSSIAN DICTATORS

 

East County News Service

August 17, 2016 (Kiev) — Ukraine’s new anti-corruption bureau has revealed that handwritten ledgers list $12.7 million in secret and illegal cash payments earmarked for Paul Manafort, campaign chairman for Donald Trump, from 2007-2012, the New York Times reports.  Manafort was a consultant at the time for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian president later deposed.