Trump, Pence, Impeachment, New Abwehr, and the Manafort's European "Connections" - 10:59 AM 1/5/2019

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Trump, Pence, Impeachment, New Abwehr, and Manafort's European "Connections" - 10:59 AM 1/5/2019

M.N.: The New Abwehr's scenario: Bad German ("Totalitarian, Hitler - Kaiser - Prankster - Trickster - Thief - Fool Archetype") Trump is out (after the proper and dramatic "impiz-z-zment"), good German Pence (...) is in! Mazaltov! Jared - Jarrett (Garrett) type of the monogram that the New Abwehr stamped on its "Dusseldorf Karnival Operations" logo design. Admiral Canaris is having multiple orgasms in his grave. Bravo, Abwehr! 
The symbolic merger of the Hebrew and the Teutonic Spirits, mentalities, and outlooks, which was and apparently still is the essence of the carefully mixed and constructed German-Jewish (and the heavily homosexual at that, also) Abwehr. 

Michael Novakhov - 1.5.19

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The Goof Village (Dusseldorf) Carnival of the German Intelligence: from 9/11 to Trump | 7:55 AM 8/9/2018 – Dusseldorf carnival 2018 – Google Search: Düsseldorf Karneval 2018 Rosenmontag Mottowagen – YouTube

Jul 28, 2018 - 10:35 AM 8/24/2018 – Admiral Canaris And The Miracle of German Revival ... of “Trump Russia Affair” and “9/11” – By Michael Novakhov .... “IMPEACHMENT: The bad German Trump (Kaiser-Hitler archetype) is out, the good German Pence (hard working, modest, Lutheran, clean, shiny pence) is in!
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Blood Money – Narativ

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Depending whom you ask, Paul Manafort is either a political genius or one of the world’s biggest criminals. He is potentially both – in the most Machiavellian sense of those combined terms.
The 63-year-old political strategist and lobbyist is the central figure in a complex criminal scheme which has disrupted global events for over a decade, culminating in his tour of duty as the campaign chairman for a Russian-engineered campaign to elect Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election.
In July, federal agents burst into Manafort’s apartment in Alexandria, Virginia in a pre-dawn raid. They ordered him and his wife, Kathleen, out of bed and searched them for weapons. Investigators hauled away business binders and copies of his computer files. They also took photos of his expensive Italian-made suits, a leaked detail which may hint at Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s potential indictment.
Prosecutors told Manafort they intend to indict him for possible tax law violations, money laundering, failing to register as foreign agent and using offshore holdings in criminal activity going back 11 years. Manafort’s phone was tapped under a FISA warrant from 2014 to early 2016 and then again before the election until after the inauguration.

Manafort worked for the Kremlin since 2006 and is alleged to have stolen millions from Ukrainians.

In June 2005, Paul Manafort met with unassuming Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. U.S. diplomatic cables at the time described Deripaska as “among the two to three oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis” and “a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin’s trips abroad.”
Manafort and Deripaska struck a lucrative $10 million-a-year deal to lobby for Russia beginning in 2006. Under the arrangement, Manafort would influence Russian politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics. Deripaska has since been banned from the U.S. for ties to organized crime but he’s traveled here as a Russian diplomat.
In 2007, Manafort and Deripaska partnered in an offshore company registered in the Caymen Islands. Deripaska invested $18.9 million in a Ukrainian telecom and paid Manafort’s firm $7.4 million. Deripaska later backed out of the deal and sued Manafort for the return of his Money.
It should be noted that a favorite Russian money laundering technique is for two conspiring companies to set up a joint offshore company whose only purpose is to connect two international parties via a phony transaction. One of the parties then sues the other in order to obtain a judge’s ruling which effectively “cleans” the money through a corrupt court in the country in which the offshore holding is registered.
Manafort set up a similarly suspect offshore company with Ukrainian oligarch Dmitro Firtash. They hatched a plan to buy New York’s Drake Hotel then cancelled the deal leaving employees stranded without salaries. Firtash is wanted in the U.S. on suspicion of bribery and organized criminal activity. He was arrested in Austria in 2014 and is expected to be extradited to the US soon. Firtash may provide direct evidence to implicate Manafort. Both of Manafort’s known offshore holding were exposed in the Panama Papers.

Manafort fomented political division in Ukraine resulting in the death of 100 Ukrainian protesters.

Manafort’s consulting efforts for the Kremlin officially ended in 2009 but he stayed in the Kremlin’s orbit assisting Vladimir Putin in his invasion and political disruption of Ukraine.
In 2010, he helped elect former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych is a violent convicted felon but Manafort was able to ‘rebrand him’ by fomenting divisive politics. “He used damaging techniques to divide Ukrainian society and help Putin to achieve a simple goal,” Serhiy Leshchenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, told Bloomberg.
Manafort and Yanukovych became close albeit through a translator, as neither of them spoke each other’s’ language. The bromance was cemented in lengthy sauna conversations which spanned from politics to style. They became so close, “Yanukovych started to resemble Manafort in his Italian suits and carefully coiffed dark hair parted on the side,” according to Bloomberg. This could explain why prosecutors took photos of Manafort’s suits when they barged into his apartment.
Yanukovych’s party illegally paid Manafort $12.7 million for his work between 2007 and 2012. Investigators found a “black ledger” detailing the payments in Manafort’s Kiev office. One $750,000 payment Manafort received was invoiced to a Belize-registered offshore company called Neocon.
In 2014, Manafort advised Yanukovych on the final days of his Putin-backed presidency which resulted in the death of 100 protestors. Manafort’s daughter, Andrea, decried his new-found riches as “blood money” in text messages which were later published after her phone was hacked.
Yanukovych was deposed by the 2014 demonstrations and he fled to Moscow. Manafort continued to consult for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians, earning another $1 million and making seventeen trips to the country.
Much of Manafort’s international offshore dealings were routed through the Bank Of Cyprus. Investigators obtained documents of Manafort’s Cypriot transactions earlier this year. The bank is widely considered a Russian laundering front. Its former Vice Chair Wilbur Ross is Trump’s Commerce Secretary, is also under investigation.
U.S. Investigators have been working with Ukrainian prosecutors as “part of a broad investigation to recover stolen Ukrainian assets,” according to the Associated Press.

Manafort brought his divisive politics to the U.S. on behalf of the Kremlin and Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Manafort has been in Republican politics since his days at Georgetown law school in the early 70’s. He later worked for the campaigns of General Ford, Ronald Reagan, the first President Bush and Bob Dole. He also served as the deputy political director for the Republican National committee.
Manafort’s big shot at political fame in the U.S. came when he joined the Trump Campaign in March last year. A month later, he was at a Trump campaign event at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C., also attended by Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions. It remains a mystery if the group held any formal meetings at the hotel. Manafort’s surveillance warrant was likely not in effect then though it’s widely believed Ambassador Kislyak’s phone was monitored as a matter of course.
Manafort was promoted to campaign chairman in June giving him control of its then $20 million budget, included approval on advertising and media strategy. That’s important because of suspected coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign in targeted Facebook advertising began as early as June 2015.
In June 2016, Manafort took notes on his phone while at a meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and several Russian operatives who had been actively working on dropping the Magnitsky sanctions against Russia. The Russians’ stated intent of the meeting was to hand over dirt on Hillary Clinton. The FBI obtained Manafort’s notes from the meeting which may lead to another criminal indictment involving espionage.
In July, Manafort engineered the selection of Mike Pence as Donald Trump’s VP pick by faking a mechanical issue with Trump’s plane, forcing the presidential nominee to overnight in Pence’s home town of Indianapolis. Pence has his own ties to Deripaska but it’s unknown if these extend to any offshore holdings.
Manafort was in charge of the campaign when Wikileaks published the first batch of Russian hacked DNC emails. A Trump Tower server linked to Russia’s Alfa Bank and Spectrum Health recorded a dramatic increase in traffic after the hack. The server was likely reconciling stolen voter data Russia had hacked with other publicly available data. Investigators were surveilling the servers as part of a FISA warrant, as first reported by Louise Mensch’s Patribotics blog and later confirmed by the BBC.
In August, Manafort was forced to resign after his “black ledger” of payments from Ukraine was exposed. He continued to advise Trump and VP Mike Pence behind the scenes.
The FBI resumed their wiretaps before the election so their surveillance likely included conversations between Manafort and Pence who spoke daily throughout the transition. Pence was instrumental in selecting Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser even after he was warned Flynn may be compromised by the Russians.

Manafort’s lobbying for ruthless dictators and ties to a suspect campaign funding operation with ties to gambling families and Trump.

Back in 1980, Manafort launched Black, Manafort, Stone and Kellya Washington D.C. lobbying firm with another Trump adviser Roger Stone. They represented murderous warlords and dictators from the Philippines to Angola. The firm retroactively registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
One of BMSK’s senior directors, Dennis Whitfield, is also an adviser to the Strategic Campaign Group. In May, investigators raided the SCG offices in Annapolis, Maryland.
Investigators took computers which may implicate the company in an attempt to defraud donations intended to support Republican candidates. SCG shares an address with a law firm linked to another offshore company owned by the Cordish gambling family. Reed Cordish serves as assistant to the president for intragovernmental and technology initiatives at the White House and reports directly to Jared Kushner.
The Strategic Campaign Group is also linked to Penn National Gaming, which was a partner in Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Trump’s casino broke anti-money laundering rules 106 times in its first year of operation resulting in a $10 million fine, according to CNN.
If Manafort is indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller it could be at the same time as others involved in his criminal scheme.
Elizabeth de la Vega spent 21 years as a Federal prosecutor, including four years as part of an organized crime strike force. She believes Mueller will indict Trump, Flynn, Manafort simultaneously to remove the possibility of a pardon. “Here, as a practical and logistical matter, Trump has no way to pardon Flynn, Manafort, Kushner and others until they are indicted,” de la Vega tweeted. “It is most likely that Mueller will indict Trump, Flynn, Manafort et al. simultaneously. At that point, Trump is out of luck,” she says.

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Aug 3, 2017 - US vice president Mike Pence and his Republican colleagues in Congress seem to be working in tandem to constrain president Donald Trump ...
Oct 30, 2017 - But the Manafort-Pence connection was about more than just introducing Trump to a Republican stalwart the fixer had known for many years.
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Aug 2, 2018 - Trump was set on Chris Christie and didn't seem terribly comfortable with Pence. But Manafort was dead set on it and even resorted to tricking ...
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Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Endgame May Be in Sight

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History may show that Monday ranks among the most consequential days yet of Robert Mueller’s 18-month special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
As George Papadopoulos, one of the most enigmatic characters to emerge in Mueller’s investigation, reported to a Wisconsin prison Monday, a confluence of small developments may indicate that by the time he emerges from Federal Correctional Institute Oxford two weeks from now, we might know far more about the breadth of Russia's efforts—and the Trump campaign's ties to them—than we do now.
In fact, as the holiday season begins to unfold, it’s clear that Mueller knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.
Paul Manafort, for one, is topping the naughty list.

The 'Mueller Report'

report Tuesday in The Guardian claims that Manafort met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a few months before the group leaked the hacked emails of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. It's a potentially explosive revelation, one that Manafort has denied. " I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him. I have never been contacted by anyone connected to Wikileaks, either directly or indirectly. I have never reached out to Assange or Wikileaks on any matter," Manafort said in an emailed statement.
But even before that item, Manafort might have unwittingly given Mueller just the opportunity he requires to make public even more details about the former Trump campaign chair, Russia, and the Trump campaign’s activities in 2016. In a court filing Monday, Mueller's team alleged that Manafort had lied to investigators, asking the judge to move immediately to sentencing. They also said they would provide a “detailed sentencing submission,” outlining “the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies.”
In other words, Mueller plans to quickly issue a “report” on Manafort’s activities, one that—if it’s anything like every other court document Mueller has filed—will be more informed, more knowledgeable, and more detailed than anyone anticipates.
He’s been writing the long-anticipated “Mueller Report” bit by bit, in public, since his very first court filing.
That Paul Manafort may have been caught lying again is hardly surprising: The core of the underlying charges against him—like bank fraud and tax fraud—stem from years of lies to the IRS, the government, and financial institutions. What is surprising about Manafort’s apparent misbehavior, though, is the extent to which he seemingly never internalized just how much Mueller knows. The special counsel has apparently caught Manafort twice already in embarrassing lies: When he tried to deny ghostwriting an op-ed supporting himself, prosecutors showed the court the Microsoft Word track changes edits he’d made; when he tried to align his story with a witness, Mueller’s team hit him with witness tampering charges and showed the court his encrypted text messaging conversations.
Nor is it surprising that Mueller would potentially seize the opportunity of Manafort’s plea agreement violation to introduce all manner of evidence about his misdeeds.
In fact, such a move would be entirely consistent with one of the most surprising and least noticed aspects of Mueller’s approach all along: He’s been writing the long-anticipated “Mueller Report” bit by bit, in public, since his very first court filing.
Those waiting for Mueller to issue some massive, 9/11 Commission–style report at the end of the investigation often overlook the sheer volume of detailed information Mueller has pushed into public view already. Nearly every court document he has filed has been what lawyers call a “speaking indictment,” going into deeper detail and at greater length than is strictly needed to make the case for the criminal behavior charged.
Similarly, his “criminal informations,” the indictment-like documents filed as part of guilty pleas, have often included extraneous evidence of additional, formally uncharged criminality. In former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s plea agreement, Mueller detailed how Flynn served as an unregistered foreign agent for the government of Turkey. Manafort’s criminal information—a document that often is only a few pages, the bare minimum that prosecutors and a defendant will agree upon—this fall stretched to nearly 40 pages, including voluminous details about the so-called Hapsburg group, European politicians enlisted in Manafort’s alleged scheme, information that hadn’t appeared in any of the indictments or charges against Manafort until that point.
With his major court filings, Mueller has already written more than 290 pages of the “Mueller Report.” As Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes has said, if a 9/11 Commission–style body had gathered in the wake of the 2016 election to study Russian interference, its findings would read much like Mueller’s novelistic charges against the Internet Research Agency and the military intelligence agency commonly referred to as the GRU.
Together with the charges against Michael Cohen by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York—which stemmed from findings by the Mueller investigation—the Justice Department has outlined over the course of this year two separate alleged criminal conspiracies that aided the election of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
But even that’s not the full story.

Loose Threads

Mueller’s courtroom strategy—guided surely by Michael Dreeben, one of the nation’s top appellate lawyers—has been all but flawless. His prosecutors have batted away numerous challenges, and he has notched a steady stream of guilty pleas. Earlier this fall, when Manafort became the first and only of those cases to go to trial, Mueller’s team convinced a jury of his guilt in each area of crimes they charged and, according to reporting afterward, came within a single vote of conviction on all 18 charges.
And now, Manafort’s apparent dissembling has given Mueller’s team an excuse to publish everything they know about Manafort’s “crimes and lies,” whether they’ve been publicly discussed yet or not. That could potentially include new information about that mysterious 2016 Trump Tower meeting—prompted by a Russian offer to help the campaign—or details about the apparent Assange connection.
A Manafort sentencing submission, meanwhile, would sidestep the current awkward question of delivering a “Mueller Report” to the acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, that could be suppressed politically or redacted before release.
Beyond the surprise twist in the Manafort case, a number of signs in recent weeks indicate that Mueller might be moving toward further indictments—and perhaps even some big ones, an end-of-year denouement.
Mueller’s team has reportedly been laser-focused since the spring on Trump aide Roger Stone, who has said for months that he expects to be indicted. Stone has long been suspected of contact with WikiLeaks, potentially relating to the hacked Podesta emails. Likewise, the screws have recently tightened on Stone ally and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, whose plea deal with Mueller, The Atlantic reports, appears to have fallen through.
It’s clear that Robert Mueller knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.
All of which further coincides with an odd flurry of activity around Assange himself, who has lived at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 in self-imposed exile to avoid potential criminal charges. The ambassador who has helped protect and negotiate on Assange’s behalf since 2015 was removedfrom office last week by Ecuador’s president, adding to an exodus of staff who have supported Assange over the years. After the departure, WikiLeaks said Thursday on Twitter, “All diplomats known to Assange have now been terminated to transferred away from the embassy.” Similarly, WikiLeaks has tweeted that Assange’s lawyers have now been barred from visiting him.
The increasing isolation of Assange comes after news leaked earlier this month that the US has prepared criminal charges against him—leaks that apparently were confirmed by a too-hasty cut-and-paste job in unrelated court documents.
In another critical thread of the investigation, President Trump over Thanksgiving finally turned in long-awaited written answers to Mueller’s investigators. Knowing what we now know—that Mueller took no public action during the entire period while he waited for Trump’s responses—it stands to reason that Mueller wanted to avoid taking any action that might spook the president.
For instance, Manafort’s lack of cooperation happened in mid-November. The special counsel's office delayed the filing until Monday, after it had Trump’s written answers safely in hand.
And still there’s more. According to Vanity Fair, the president’s son, Donald Jr., told people earlier this month that he expects to be indicted soon—action, again, that might have been purposefully delayed until after his father turned in the answers to the “law school exam”–like questions.
Meanwhile, alleged Russian spy Maria Butina is in plea negotiations too; the charges relating to Butina and her ties to conservative gun rights groups like the NRA are technically separate from Mueller’s special counsel investigation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s unrelated to his case.
Similarly, earlier this month, a number of Mueller’s prosecutors were hard at work on Veterans Day—when Michael Cohen mysteriously appeared in Washington too.
All of which is before you even get into more speculative questions, like ABC News’ recent reporting of the abnormally large number—three dozen, in fact—of sealed indictments filed over the course of the year in DC. Fully 14 of those sealed indictments have been added to court records just since August, a period where—as far we publicly know—Mueller’s investigation remained quiet.
Put all those pieces together and it’s clear the special counsel is building toward something. He knows how this story ends. The only question that remains: Who else in the Trump orbit should expect coal in their stocking, courtesy of Robert Mueller?

Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg) is a contributing editor for WIRED and the coauthor of Dawn of the Code War: America's Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat. He can be reached at <a href=""></a>.

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UPDATE 11/27/18 5:12PM EST: This story has been updated with a statement from Paul Manafort.
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Lies, trolls and hacks — POLITICO

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Since former FBI chief Robert Mueller was appointed to probe potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russians during the 2016 campaign, the special counsel has held Americans spellbound. His investigation has exposed illegal schemes across international borders and produced more than 100 criminal charges. Inside the White House, the probe has, at times, consumed President Donald Trump and his inner circle. Here are all the people Mueller has charged so far.
George Papadopoulos
Team Trump
George Papadopoulos

The first indictment, under seal.

Nearly five months after the special counsel officially began his work, Mueller filed his first charge, accusing the foreign policy advisor to Trump's campaign of lying to the FBI. According to Mueller, Papadopolous told an Australian diplomat in 2016 that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton months before the Democratic candidate's internal campaign emails started leaking online.
As part of his plea deal with Mueller, Papadopoulos admitted that he discussed his Russia contacts with top campaign officials, including a possible meeting between candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House sought to distance itself from Papadopoulos before he was eventually sentenced to 14 days in prison. Papadopoulos's indictment and plea deal was kept under seal until Oct. 30, 2017. Read the full indictment here.
Oct. 05, 2017

Mueller's first bombshell.

With the Manafort indictment, Mueller ensnared one of the Trump campaign’s top aides and exposed a web of allegedly illicit business dealings between the former campaign chairman and pro-Russian Ukrainian officials that stretched back years. Mueller also indicted Rick Gates, Manafort’s longtime business partner. Manafort was eventually convicted on eight counts of tax and bank fraud, and later pleaded guilty to committing a conspiracy against the United States and a conspiracy to obstruct justice.
As part of his plea deal, Manafort agreed to cooperate with Mueller. But the special counsel eventually ripped up the agreement, accusing Manafort of lying repeatedly to investigators and requesting that the court move quickly to sentence the longtime GOP lobbyist. Read the full indictment here.
Oct. 30, 2017
Michael Flynn
Team Trump
Michael Flynn

Mueller searches for the Trump-Kremlin connection.

Flynn's guilty plea signaled that the special counsel was looking into communications at the highest levels of the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.
Flynn, who served a brief 24 days as Trump's national security adviser, admitted that he lied to federal investigators about conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition about sanctions President Obama had just imposed on Russia for its interference in the 2016 elections and entered a plea deal with Mueller. After Flynn's guilty plea, the retired military officer met 19 times with investigators, offering "substantial assistance," according to a Mueller court filing. The special counsel recommended little to no jail time for Flynn. Read the full indictment here.
Dec. 01, 2017
Dec. 02, 2017 - Feb. 11, 2018

Mueller interviews Trump world.

During this period, Mueller's team interviewed several key figures in Trump's orbit, including then-White House communications director Hope Hicks, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and George Nader, a businessman with connections to the United Arab Emirates.
Richard Pinedo
Richard Pinedo

The stolen bank accounts that fueled Russia's meddling.

Pinedo is a California resident who pleaded guilty to selling stolen bank account information to Russian internet trolls who allegedly used the credentials to buy internet ads to sow division among Americans during the election. His company, Auction Essistance, sold bank account numbers that could be used to set up accounts online, likely with PayPal. Pinedo knew that many of his customers were abroad and he admitted he “willfully and intentionally avoided learning” about the stolen identities. His sentence, six months of prison and six months of home confinement, is the longest sentence Mueller has secured. Read the full indictment here.
Feb. 12, 2018

The Russian “troll farm” that tried to divide America.

Mueller's first indictment of foreign nationals blamed Russia's Internet Research Agency for orchestrating a "troll farm" that saturated online platforms with posts that vilified Clinton and supported Trump. Beyond the virtual sabotage, Mueller alleged that Russians also physically entered the United States and paid Americans to help them.
As part of the indictment, the special counsel charged two companies that he said funded the IRA, along with thirteen Russian individuals with a broad charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States and other narrower ones, such as tax fraud and identity theft. However, the indictment did not allege that the Russians' million-dollar propaganda scheme succeeded in swaying votes, which Trump largely took as a sign of vindication. One of the companies, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, hired American lawyers and has pleaded not guilty. Read the full indictment here.
Feb. 16, 2018
Alex van der Zwaan
Foreign Nationals
Alex van der Zwaan

The Dutch lawyer who lied to Mueller.

Alex van der Zwaan is a Dutch lawyer who, according to the special counsel's office, lied to federal investigators about communications with Rick Gates, Manafort's business associate, related to a 2012 report meant to shield the pro-Russia Ukrainian president from scrutiny for jailing a political dissident.
Van der Zwaan was later sentenced to 30 days in a low-security prison in Pennsylvania — the first sentence handed out in the Mueller probe — after which he was deported. Read the full indictment here.
Feb. 20, 2018

Mueller details a massive financial fraud scheme.

The new superseding indictment against Manafort and Gates included a whopping 32 charges of tax and bank fraud. Specifically, Mueller accused the pair of severely understating their income on tax forms, and the timing overlapped with some of Manafort's work as Trump's campaign chairman. Read the full indictment here.
Within days, Gates pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to the FBI, striking a deal to cooperate with Mueller. Gates, formerly Manafort’s deputy, would go on to serve as a star witness at the trial against Manafort, who was found guilty on eight different counts by an Alexandria, Va., jury. As part of Manafort's eventual plea deal, Mueller agreed to dismiss the charges that resulted in a hung jury in Virginia.
Feb. 21, 2018
Paul Manafort
Team Trump
Paul Manafort

Ukraine and a secret lobbying campaign.

A new filing in the special counsel investigation alleged that Trump's former campaign chairman was the mastermind behind a covert group of former prominent European politicians "secretly retained" to promote Ukrainian interests in Washington. According to the document, a member of the so-called "Hapsburg Group," which was led by a former Austrian chancellor, at one point met with former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden to try and credit a Ukrainian dissident. Read the full filing here.
Feb. 23, 2018
Feb. 24, 2018 - Jun. 07, 2018

Trump changes lawyers, negotiates Q&A.

After the flurry of activity in February, Mueller's team takes a four-month break from major public action. During this time period, Mueller's team is negotiating with Trump's over a possible in-person interview between the special counsel's office and the president. Trump also turned over his legal team during this span. Lead attorney John Dowd resigned over disagreements regarding strategy, and Rudy Giuliani took his place, installing a more pugilistic approach toward the special counsel.

“Manafort’s man in Kiev.”

Mueller returned from a nearly four-month hiatus in indictments to charge Manafort again, this time with obstruction of justice due to witness tampering. This was also the first time that the special counsel publicly charged Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime associate, for aiding Manafort in his attempts to cajole witnesses. Mueller contended that Manafort and Kilimnik contacted witnesses who were slated to testify against Manafort and encouraged them to state that the so-called “Hapsburg Group” only operated in Europe, which would have shielded them from scrutiny under U.S. foreign lobbying laws. But Mueller’s prosecutors had evidence that the group had also operated in the United States. Read the full indictment here.
Jun. 08, 2018

“Guccifer 2.0" and the DNC Hack.

The indictment of 12 officials from the Russian government’s military intelligence unit, the GRU, directly connected the 2016 election meddling campaign to the senior Moscow officials. The individuals were charged with conspiring to hack computers of individuals involved with the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, including John Podesta, and disseminating emails through the online persona “Guccifer 2.0.”
Even though the indictment was largely symbolic — as the defendants are unlikely to be extradited from Russia — it came just days before an astounding joint press conference in Helsinki, Finland, where Trump refused to condemn Putin over the 2016 election hacking, despite a forceful assessment from the U.S. intelligence community the Russian leader had ordered the operation. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people,” Trump said. “But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.” Read the full indictment here.
Jul. 13, 2018
Michael Cohen
Team Trump
Michael Cohen

Cohen flips, details hush money pay-offs.

On a referral from Mueller's office, Trump's former attorney and fixer pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws by paying hush money during the campaign to two women at Trump’s direction in order to cover up alleged extramarital affairs. Cohen admitted that he made the payments “for the purposes of influencing the election.” As part of his deal, Cohen agreed to cooperate informally with Mueller's team. Cohen was later sentenced to three years for both the lying-to-Congress charge and the tax-fraud charges. “I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired,” Cohen told the court. Read the full document here.
Aug. 21, 2018
Sam Patten
Team Trump
Sam Patten

Inauguration tickets or foreign lobbying?

W. Samuel Patten, a Manafort associate, admitted that he paid $50,000 to get inauguration tickets for a pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarch and another Russian individual. This disclosure was the first official sign that pro-Russian money from foreigners had flowed into the coffers of the Trump inaugural committee to help foreigners gain access to events, which is illegal.
Patten was not charged for the payment, but pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign lobbyist in the United States for a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. He then agreed to cooperate with Mueller. Read the full statement here.
Aug. 31, 2018
Sep. 1, 2018 - Nov. 28, 2018

Mueller goes dark before the election.

Mueller's team kept its work mostly behind the scenes in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections.
Michael Cohen
Team Trump
Michael Cohen

Cohen admits he lied about Trump Tower Moscow.

Cohen later admitted in a plea deal with Mueller's team that he had also lied to Congress about business talks to build a Trump Tower in Russia, conceding that the discussions went much later in the campaign than he and and the Trump team had signaled. Cohen also said he kept Trump and his family abreast of the developments with the potential Russia project. Read the full plea deal here.
Nov. 29, 2018
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Who is Konstantin Kilimnik, the suspected former Russian spy who worked closely with Paul Manafort? - National

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Paul Manafort‘s associate who also allegedly has ties to a Russian intelligence agency has come under the spotlight with the Mueller investigation’s latest memo released Friday.

The heavily-redacted memo accuses Manafort of lying to U.S. federal investigators about his interactions with 48-year-old Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate of Manafort’s with ties to Russia and Ukraine, as well as Kilimnik’s participation in a potential obstruction of justice.
Although much of the information in the memo is blacked out, a better picture of Kilimnik and his relationship with Manafort, who was the former campaign chairman of U.S. President Donald Trump, can be gleaned from a separate indictment that was filed in June.
That indictment showed Manafort and Kilimnik had a professional relationship in Davis Manafort Partners International (DMI), a company Manafort created in 2011 as an offshoot of his political consultancy.
WATCH: Mueller accuses Paul Manafort of lying about his contact with Trump administration

DMI engaged in political consulting, lobbying and public relations for the Government of Ukraine, as well as the Party of Regions, which was led by Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s former president who fled to Russia in 2014.
Kilimnik oversaw the DMI office in Kiev, and helped Manafort make pitches to clients in Ukraine and Russia.
These clients included wealthy Russians with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to records obtained by the Associated Press.

Obstruction of justice

The June indictment shows that Kilimnik helped Manafort retain a group of former politicians known as the “Hapsburg group” as part of a lobbying scheme.
These politicians would appear to provide independent assessments of the Ukraine government’s actions, even though they were acting as paid lobbyists in the country.
Manafort paid the group over €2 million, the indictment revealed.
WATCH: Paul Manafort facing even greater legal troubles

Manafort had lied about Kilimnik’s involvement in the “criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice,” which included trying to “corruptly persuade” two people with the aim of preventing testimony in an official proceeding, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s most recent report shows.
Mueller is interested in whether Kilimnik played a role in the alleged influencing campaign Russia orchestrated during the 2016 election — a campaign that U.S. intelligence says helped Trump win the election.
Mueller reported in a court filing in March that Kilimnik, referred to as “Person A,” has “ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016,” specifying that a source said that Kilimnik was a former Russian Intelligence Officer with the GRU, Russia’s secret intelligence agency.

Connecting Manafort to Eastern Europe

Before working for Manafort, Kilimnik had worked in Moscow as the acting head of the International Republican Institute (IRI), a U.S.-funded nonprofit that supported Western-friendly democratic movements.
By December 2004, Kilimnik had begun working with Manafort to undermine the institute, which led to him being fired in March 2005.
He later started working for Manafort full time, earning a base salary of $10,000 per month.
WATCH: A timeline of Robert Mueller’s Russia probe

One of their big-money clients was Russian oligarch Oleg Derispaska, an industrial tycoon who is said to be worth up to $3 billion and is close to Putin, according to The Guardian.
Deripaska has alleged that he is owed $25 million by Manafort and an associate.
Soon after Manafort joined the Trump campaign in 2016, Manafort was in contact with Kilimnik about how to pay back his debt to Deripaska.
Manafort suggested “private briefings” on the Trump campaign and told Kilimnik to pass the proposal on to Deripaska, according to July 2016 emails first revealed by the Washington Post. Both Kilimnik and Deripaska deny the proposal was formally made.
Kilimnik allegedly had a meeting with Deripaska and then later met with Manafort in early August to relay what Deripaska said, according to The Guardian.

Loyalty to Manafort

Even after Manafort was fired as his Trump’s campaign chairman and was indicted by Mueller, Kilimnik appears to have continued acting behind the scenes in support of Manafort.
WATCH: It’s very sad what’s happening to Paul Manafort, says Donald Trump

Kilimnik has been identified as helping to place $50,000 in Trump’s inauguration fund from a Ukrainian businessman as a means for him to attend the inauguration.
Kilimnik also defended Manafort in an op-ed he helped ghostwrite under the name Oleg Voloshyn, a former Ukrainian government official, and was in communication with Manafort to edit the piece.
Days after a Manafort associate pleaded guilty, prosecutors say Kilimnik tried to tamper with a witness by reaching out to a person connected with Manafort’s lobbying work.
As recently as April, Kilimnik contacted two witnesses in the Mueller investigation on behalf of Manafort via the messenger WhatsApp, according to court filings.
-With files from The Associated Press
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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Hapsburg group - Google Search

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Story image for Hapsburg group from

Who is Konstantin Kilimnik, the suspected former Russian spy who ... 8, 2018
The June indictment shows that Kilimnik helped Manafort retain a group of former politicians known as the “Hapsburg group” as part of a lobbying scheme.
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He worked to plant stories unfavourable to Yulia Tymoshenko, a political rival of Mr Yanukovych, and arranged for a “Hapsburg Group”, made up of four former ...
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... als Anführer der sogenannten „Hapsburg Group” genannt. Demnach habe der Ex-SPÖ-Chef für den damaligen ukrainischen Präsidenten Viktor Janukowitsch ...
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But in lobbying for Yanukovych, Manafort set up a dummy PR firm, the Hapsburg Group – named after the dynasty that ran the old Austro-Hungarian empire.
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Neue Zürcher Zeitung-Sep 17, 2018
Manafort gab der illustren Gruppe laut amerikanischen Gerichtsakten den Namen «Habsburg-Gruppe». Als die Vorwürfe gegen Gusenbauer und seine ...
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He also failed to disclose his involvement in lobbying efforts made through a group of former European politicians, known as the Hapsburg Group, who pushed ...
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In 2013, one member of the Hapsburg Group, as Mr Manafort called them, met with President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden in the Oval Office ...
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Manafort plea deal begs key question: What does he know?

The Mercury News-Sep 15, 2018
He also failed to disclose his involvement in lobbying efforts made through a group of former European politicians, known as the Hapsburg Group, who pushed ...


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