"We’re still just getting started." - Robert Mueller Investigation: Everything We Know So Far - New York Magazine Saturday January 26th, 2019 at 3:33 AM

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"We’re still just getting started."

Robert Mueller Investigation: Everything We Know So Far - New York Magazine

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  1. Robert Mueller Investigation: Everything We Know So Far  New York Magazine
  2. Factbox: Guilty Pleas, Indictments Abound in Trump-Russia Probe  U.S. News & World Report
  3. 2020 Democrats avoid criticizing Trump after Roger Stone indictment  CNBC
  4. Who is Roger Stone? Fascinating facts about man arrested in U.S. election tampering case  CBC.ca
  5. View full coverage on Google News

Everything We’ve Learned From Robert Mueller’s Investigation - Google Search

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Everything We’ve Learned From Robert Mueller’s Investigation - Google Search

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Everything We Know So Far

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We’re still just getting started. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
In countless tweets and public statements, President Trump has insisted that there was “no collusion” with Russia, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller hasn’t produced any evidence to the contrary — which is why he’s shifted his focus to probing possible obstruction by the president and his associates. This idea is now seen as fact among many Trump supporters.
What constitutes “proof” of “collusion” depends on how one defines those terms. However, the Mueller probe has already yielded ample evidence of Russia’s efforts to make sure Trump won the 2016 election, and the connections between Trump associates and Russia — plus other crimes that fall under Mueller’s mandate.
With all the leaks and speculation about what Mueller might be up to, it can be hard to sort out what he and his team have actually found over the last year. Here’s everything we’ve learned from the special counsel so far.
• In October 2017, court documents revealed that George Papadopoulos, a foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign, had been arrested as part of the Mueller investigation in July 2017. He pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with the Russians — specifically, “the timing, extent and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials.”
• The court documents say Papadopoulos claimed he met a London-based professor with extensive ties to Russian government officials (who reports identified as Joseph Mifsud) before joining the Trump campaign. Mifsud actually took an interest in Papadopoulos shortly after he joined the Trump campaign, and during a meeting in April the professor “told him about the Russians possessing ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of ‘thousands of emails,’” according to prosecutors. The conversation happened weeks before the Democratic National Committee revealed it had been hacked, and about a month after Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was targeted with a phishing attempt.
• Around the same time, Papadopoulos met a Russian woman that he believed had ties to the Russian government as well. Over several months, Papadopoulos repeatedly tried to use his new associates’ connections to set up a meeting between top Trump campaign and Russian government officials — making it clear that Putin was interested in meeting Trump personally.
• Sometimes campaign officials ignored or rebuffed Papadopoulos, but at one point a high-level campaign official (believed to be then-campaign manager Paul Manafort) emailed another top official: “Let’s discuss. We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”
• In August 2016 another top campaign official (said to be national campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis) urged Papadopoulos to meet with Russians to foster ties with their government, saying, “Make the trip, if it is feasible.”
• Papadopoulos repeatedly lied to investigators in January 2017. It cost them the chance to catch Mifsud, the London-based professor, before he fled the U.S. Even after his guilty plea, a prosecutor said, Papadopoulos only made “begrudging efforts to cooperate.” In September of last year, he was sentenced to 14 days in prison.
• On October 30, 2017, the same day Papadopoulos’s plea deal was unveiled, the special counsel announced charges against Manafort and his longtime business associate Rick Gates, who was also his deputy on the Trump campaign. The 12-count indictment included charges of “conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.”
Prosecutors described an elaborate bank fraud and money laundering scheme linked to Manafort and Gates’s work for pro-Russian political parties in Ukraine. They said this went on from 2006 to at least 2016, but the charges were not linked to their work on the Trump campaign. (Conspiracy against the U.S. sounds dramatic but it can mean making false statements about your work with a foreign government.)
• In February 2018 Mueller filed new charges against Manafort and Gates, accusing them of laundering $30 million, failing to pay U.S. taxes for almost a decade, and using their real-estate holdings to fraudulently secure $20 million in loans.
• Mueller’s attempt to turn up the pressure worked — on Gates, at least. In February 2018 he agreed to cooperate with the special counsel and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to FBI agents. Nearly two dozen more serious charges were dropped, and in January 2019, Mueller asked for a delay in Gates’s sentencing, citing his ongoing cooperation in “several ongoing investigations.”
• Alex van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his connection to Gates, and was sentenced to 30 days in prison and a $20,000 fine. He is the first person sentenced in the probe and is currently serving his prison sentence at a low-security facility in Pennsylvania.
• On December 1, 2017, former national-security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period. Court documents reveal that despite what Flynn told agents in January 2017, his talks with Kislyak were part of a coordinated effort by the Trump team to influence foreign policy before the inauguration.
• The documents say that a “very senior member” of the transition team (reportedly Jared Kushner) directed Flynn to discuss a United Nations resolution with Kislyak. Flynn admitting to asking Kislyak on December 22, 2016, to delay or defeat a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel for its settlement policy. The Obama administration opted to abstain and the resolution passed.
• Flynn also admitted to talking with Kislyak on December 29 to urge Russia not to retaliate when President Obama imposed new sanctions over Russia’s election meddling. The court documents say he conferred with other top members of the Trump team several times, but it’s not clear what Trump himself knew. The next day President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would not retaliate against the U.S. for the sanctions.
• Since Flynn pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel, his sentencing has been delayed several times. Both sides are set to give a status report on March 13, 2019.
• On February 16, 2018, Mueller charged 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies with engaging in propaganda efforts intended to disrupt the 2016 election. While the indictments support the U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia was working to help Trump, the court documents do not address the hacking of Democrats. Instead, they focus on a Russian social-media push that began in 2014 with the goal of stirring division and shaking people’s faith in the U.S. election system, but eventually shifted to backing Trump.
• Court documents allege that the Internet Research Firm, a Russian troll farm, set out to conduct “information warfare” against the U.S. The company had a hundreds of workers and a multimillion-dollar budget, supplied by companies linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a St. Petersburg businessman with ties to Putin.
• Russians impersonated American citizens on social media and occasionally in person, posing as activists online, buying ads, and organizing rallies.
• Some of the Russians were in contact with “unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign,” but no Americans were accused of knowingly participating in Russia’s scheme. Mueller reached a plea deal with Richard Pinedo, a California man who committed identity fraud when he unknowingly sold bank-account numbers created using the stolen identities of U.S. citizens to Russians.
• None of the Russians are in custody and it’s unlikely that they will ever be tried. Naming them makes it harder for them to continue their secretive work, or travel abroad. Plus, it theoretically refutes the claim that Russia’s election meddling was a hoax — though of course, Trump cherry-picked from the indictment, falsely claiming that it proved “the results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong — no collusion!”
• One of the charges against Manafort was related to payments he’d made to former politicians in Eastern Europe. Manafort allegedly continued lying about the details, at least into February of last year — and tried to convince his former PR colleagues to go along with his story, which would amount to a separate crime of witness tampering. One of those colleagues talked to the FBI instead. A few months later, in June 2018, Mueller stacked extra charges onto Manafort’s case.
• At the same time, Mueller revealed the identity of Manafort’s longtime partner in Ukraine: Konstantin Kilimnik, an interpreter trained by the Russian Army. He revealed that Manafort and Kilimnik had stayed in touch throughout Trump’s campaign. Manafort was in debt to a Russian oligarch — he apparently owed at least $10 million — and Manafort’s emails to Kilimnik in 2016 have made it clear that he wanted to use his role with Trump to trade political favors instead of paying the debt in cash. Kilimnik was the intermediary.
• Mueller has charged Kilimnik, too, with witness tampering, but the translator is safe in Russia and may never stand trial here.
• In September 2018, Manafort admitted to obstructing the investigation and running a conspiracy operation in Ukraine. He promised “complete cooperation” with Mueller to avoid a trial that was on the brink of starting. But then he kept on lying to the FBI, Mueller announced two months later. What about? We don’t know yet, but Mueller said he’d explain it all in a memo before Manafort’s sentencing — which is scheduled for March.
• Remember that invitation Trump gave during a 2016 news conference? “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the candidate said onstage. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Russia tried to hack her team’s emails that very same day, according to documents Mueller filed in July of last year. The announcement came as Mueller indicted 12 officers of Russia’s military-intelligence agency. He also chronicled many other espionage attempts by them: for instance, he said, they hacked state election boards, stealing information on 500,000 voters from one state alone. The indictment said they funded their work with cryptocurrency.
• Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, lied to Congress in August 2017 about business dealings Trump had with Russia during the campaign. Plans had been in the works for a Trump tower in Moscow, but Cohen claimed the negotiations had been cut off before the Iowa caucuses. They hadn’t. In reality, they continued at least until that summer, according to documents that have since come to light — and may have continued all the way to the election.
• In November 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. A week later, Mueller announced that Cohen had turned into an extremely helpful witness and had sat through seven meetings with the special counsel’s office, some of which were “lengthy.” Another revelation was that Cohen had kept Trump in the loop about those Russia negotiations all along.
• Roger Stone, the brazenly amoral strategist who worked on Trump’s campaign briefly in 2015, communicated with anonymous Russian hackers and WikiLeaks during the period when they were working on Trump’s behalf. This isn’t news; the big revelation from Stone’s indictment on January 25, 2019 was that Stone allegedly lied to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 about his contact with WikiLeaks. He also tried to interfere with a witness, the radio host Randy Credico, according to the indictment. He was arrested at his home in Fort Lauderdale early Friday morning, while still wearing his pajamas.
• The indictment also said that someone high up in Trump’s campaign was ordered to get in touch with Stone and ask him about what WikiLeaks could offer. It does not, however, lay out a clear narrative or time line of Stone’s contact with WikiLeaks and the anonymous hackers.
This post was originally published on the one-year anniversary of Mueller’s investigation. It has been updated throughout.
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The Latest: Trump announces deal to end record-long shutdown

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the partial government shutdown (all times local):
2:25 p.m.
President Donald Trump says he’ll sign legislation shortly to reopen shuttered government departments for three weeks — until Feb. 15.
Trump’s action would end what has become a record, 35-day partial shutdown.
Some 800,000 federal workers have had to work without pay or have been kept from doing their jobs as Trump and congressional Democrats were locked in a stalemate over the billions of dollars that Trump has demanded to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Trump spoke at the White House on Friday as intensifying delays at some of the nation’s busiest airports and widespread disruptions brought new urgency to efforts to break the impasse.
2 p.m.
President Donald Trump and congressional leaders are closing in on a deal to temporarily reopen the government after the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
That’s according to five people familiar with the negotiations. They’re not authorized to reveal private discussions and are speaking on condition of anonymity.
Trump is due to make an announcement in the Rose Garden shortly.
Three of those five people say the deal would restore money for the shuttered federal agencies for three weeks, while negotiations continue on a longer-term solution.
The deal wouldn’t immediately provide a boost in money for Trump’s long-sought wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The negotiations are continuing, and officials say a deal won’t be locked in until Trump makes an announcement. The shutdown in its 35th day.
—Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Catherine Lucey, Lisa Mascaro and Colleen Long
1:15 p.m.
The FBI director says the partial government shutdown is “mind-boggling, it’s short-sighted, and it’s unfair.”
In a video message to employees posted on the FBI’s website, Director Christopher Wray says he’s “about as angry as I’ve been in a long, long time.”
He says 100 percent of FBI employees are feeling financial strains from the shutdown.
Most agents in the field are working without pay and other employees are furloughed. He says he knows he can count on FBI agents to help people however they can, but he recognizes they have bills to pay.
Wray says FBI leadership should not be getting involved in political fights. But he says senior FBI officials have been advocating for employees behind the scenes
1:10 p.m.
President Donald Trump is set to speak from the White House on Friday afternoon about the partial government shutdown.
His appearance had been set for 1:30 p.m., but that schedule has been delayed. Trump is still expected to speak soon.
Press secretary Sarah Sanders tweets that Trump will “make remarks” but she’s offering no more details about what the president will say.
There’s growing speculation that lawmakers and the White House are on the verge of reaching a deal to end the impasse, now in its 35th day.
11:45 a.m.
Fewer than half the furloughed IRS employees recalled during the shutdown to handle tax returns and taxpayers’ questions and send out refunds, without pay, reported for work as of Tuesday, according to congressional and government aides.
About 30 percent of the 26,000 recalled workers have sought permission under their union contract to be absent from work, IRS officials told House committee staff in a briefing Thursday. The IRS employees’ union contract allows them to be absent from work if they experience hardship during a shutdown.
The official start of the tax filing season comes Monday. The Trump administration has promised that taxpayers owed refunds will be paid on time, and it reversed the policies of earlier presidents and made the money available to pay hundreds of hundreds of billions in refunds on time. The administration planned to eventually send about 46,000 furloughed IRS employees back to work. That’s nearly 60 percent of the IRS workforce.
Of the 26,000 employees recalled, about 12,000 have come to work, the IRS officials said. Around 5,000 have claimed the hardship exception under the union contract and another 9,000 couldn’t be reached by IRS managers.
—Associated Press writer Marcy Gordon
10:45 a.m.
The Federal Aviation Administration is reporting delays in air travel because of a “slight increase in sick leave” at two East Coast air traffic control facilities.
FAA spokesman Gregory Martin says the FAA has augmented staffing, rerouted traffic and increased spacing between planes as needed.
The staffing problems were at air traffic centers in Jacksonville, Florida and a Washington D.C. center that controls high-altitude air traffic over seven states.
Martin says safety is being maintained during a period of “minimal impacts” on travel.
LaGuardia Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey are both experiencing delays in takeoffs.
10:20 a.m.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the administration wants to negotiate a government shutdown deal but is not saying how much President Donald Trump wants as a “down payment” on his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Sanders spoke to reporters at the White House on Friday, a day after the Senate voted down competing Democratic and Republican plans for ending the partial government shutdown. The shutdown is in its 35th day.
Trump on Thursday suggested he would support a deal with a “down payment” on a wall along the border. Sanders would not detail how much Trump is looking for.
Sanders says the Trump administration has made clear what it wants for border security, adding “we are going to work to get there one way or another.”
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called a wall immoral. Other Democrats have said they consider a wall an ineffective, wasteful monument to a Trump campaign promise.
12:05 a.m.
The Senate has voted down competing Democratic and Republican plans for ending the 35-day partial government shutdown on Thursday. But the setbacks prompted a burst of bipartisan talks aimed at temporarily halting the longest-ever closure of federal agencies and the damage it’s inflicting around the country.
In the first serious exchange in weeks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly called Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to his office to explore solving the stalemate. Senators from both sides floated a plan to reopen agencies for three weeks and pay hundreds of thousands of federal workers while bargainers hunt for a deal.
At the White House, President Donald Trump told reporters he’d support “a reasonable agreement.” He suggested he’d also want a “prorated down payment” for his long-sought border wall with Mexico.
Read the whole story

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Deutsche Bank’s CEO vows to bring ‘pride back,’ finds support among Davos leaders

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Ralph Orlowski | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Deutsche Bank, the embattled German lender, has found some support among leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
In the past few years, the bank has made headlines for all the wrong reasons — from settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice, to management reshuffles, weak earnings, constant restructuring, merger speculation and steep stock price falls.
Nonetheless, business and political leaders at Davos have thrown in their support for the bank’s recovery path.
“Deutsche Bank ... suffered some setbacks in the past, but it is basically sound and it can recover and so the question is what are the details of such strategy. And as we discussed with the CEO and the board and all the people concerned, I trust in Deutsche Bank and I will lend my political support to Deutsche Bank,” Peter Altmaier, the German minister for economic affairs and energy, told CNBC earlier this week.

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European banks are increasingly under pressure to get a strategy in place to deal with an uncertain and fast-changing environment. Interest rates are still at record lows and there’s uncertainty around Brexit, along with fears of a global slowdown.
Barclays CEO: Deutsche Bank’s new boss doing the right thing
Praising Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing’s efforts in his turnaround plans, Barclays CEO Jes Staley said he’s doing the right thing.
“I know Christian. I think he is doing the right things. I think he is a very talented executive,” Staley said.
“I think they have recapitalized the bank, they are moving the bank towards profitability and as Christian has said, let’s get Deutsche organized and, in the right place, and then let us think about what other options there might be,” he added.
Sewing took the helm in April 2018 after replacing John Cryan, the bank’s leader for nearly three years. Speaking to German weekly publication Die Zeit on the sidelines of WEF, Sewing said he wants to make Deutsche Bank a place that lives up to his standards.
“I want to get my job right, I want to have the right values and I want to have the passion in this bank like before; we need to bring pride back to Deutsche Bank.”
Christian Sewing, the new CEO of Deutsche Bank, speaks at the Deutsche Bank annual shareholders’ meeting on May 24, 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany. Shareholders, frustrated by years of poor performance by Deutsche Bank, are calling for Achleitner to step down.
Thomas Lohnes | Getty Images
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FBI Arrests Roger Stone 

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The FBI has arrested Roger Stone, the longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, as a part of special counsel Rober Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was charged with seven counts that include witness tampering, false statements, and obstruction of an official proceeding.
Stone is expected to make an appearance in federal court later on Friday.

“FBI. Open the door.”

Watch exclusive CNN footage of the FBI arresting longtime Trump associate Roger Stone. Stone has been indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. http://cnn.it/2DyhiiH 

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You can read the indictment below:
This is a breaking news post. We will update as more information becomes available.

FBI arrests longtime Trump associate Roger Stone - YouTube

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FBI arrests longtime Trump associate Roger Stone

Roger Stone speaks outside court after arrest in Mueller probe - YouTube

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Roger Stone speaks outside court after arrest in Mueller probe

1. Trump Circles: Elections from Michael_Novakhov (16 sites): "roger stone" - Google News: WATCH LIVE: Roger Stone appears in court following arrest - WMBF

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WATCH LIVE: Roger Stone appears in court following arrest  WMBF
Roger Stone, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, makes his first court appearance following his arrest on charges of of obstruction, giving false ...

 "roger stone" - Google News

 1. Trump Circles: Elections from Michael_Novakhov (16 sites)

Roger Stone charged, says he won’t testify against president

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Stone, a long-time ally of President Donald Trump, was charged Friday with seven criminal counts, including obstruction of justice and witness tampering. He also was charged with making false statements, including those he made to the House Intelligence Committee, according Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office.

Bloomberg says Trump, at this point, 'cannot be helped'

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MCLEAN, Va. (AP) — Potential Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said Friday that Donald Trump’s presidency “cannot be helped” and was “dangerous” for the country.
The former New York City mayor also described the partial government shutdown, now at a record 35th day, as “a complete failure of presidential leadership.”
The billionaire businessman said that for fellow New Yorker Trump, “the art of the deal is simply cheating people and not caring about how badly they get hurt and now he’s doing it to the American people.”
Bloomberg also told a meeting of the Democratic Business Council of Northern Virginia that he thinks “it’s clear that this president, at this point, cannot be helped.”
The remarks by Bloomberg, a former Republican who registered as a Democrat only last fall, were some of his toughest against Trump since Bloomberg’s speech to the Democratic National Convention more than two years ago. Back then, Bloomberg warned of the prospect of a Trump presidency: “God help us.”
Bloomberg reflected upon that 2016 speech repeatedly on Friday, and he went further, suggesting that the government shutdown has proved that his initial warning about Trump was correct.
“The presidency is not an entry level job. There’s just too much at stake,” Bloomberg said. “And the longer we have a pretend CEO who’s recklessly running this country, the worst it’s going to be for our economy and our security.
He added: “This is really dangerous.”
Bloomberg’s warm reception at the business-friendly audience highlighted the chief political challenge should he enter the 2020 race. Liberal activists, who like to attack what they call “corporate Democrats,” play a far more prominent role in the primary process than do the kind of business executives who gave him a standing ovation Friday.
One of the most prominent early Democratic candidates, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has warned against the role of billionaires in the presidential primary process.
Bloomberg tried to make the case for both capitalism and a centrist candidate, suggesting that Democrats don’t need to choose between “energizing the base” and “pragmatic leadership.”
Asked about his 2020 intentions, he acknowledged that he has “a good life” and can make a difference even if he doesn’t run.
“Having said that, I don’t like walking away from challenges.”


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