No legal experience?
All you have to do if follow Fuhrer Chumph’s commands.
No legal experience?
All you have to do if follow Fuhrer Chumph’s commands.
Follow the money. Turns out Putin not only punked Trump,,,He punked a good bit of the Republican Party.
The landmark Citizens United case and related campaign finance laws may be facilitating Russia’s attempt to subvert U.S. democracy, the Dallas News reports.
According to an analysis of public campaign finance reports, a group of Russian-linked political donors with ties to Vladimir Putin funnel money to Donald Trump and the GOP through legal campaign contributions that have, thus far, faced little-to-no scrutiny by the federal government.
That could be changing. In September, it was reported that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating three donors with ties to Russia who contributed a combined total of $2 million to funds controlled by Trump. All three of the men have financial and business ties to Russian oligarchs who are intricately linked with Putin.
As the Dallas News explains, one of those men is Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard Blavatnik, who holds dual American and British citizenship. Blavatnik at one time offered political donations on a bipartisan basis, giving small contributions to both parties from 2009 to 2014.
From 2015 to 2016, Blavatnik stopped donating to both political parties, and instead contributed $6.35 million to GOP political action committees. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Blavatnik and two other Russian-linked donors began pumping donations to the Republican National Committee “just as Trump was on the verge of securing the Republican nomination.”
Since April 2016, Blavatnik has donated $383,000 to the RNC, with $12,700 going to the RNC legal fund. That account paid Trump’s legal bills in the Russia investigation until November. Blavatnik also donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund, ABC reports.
By all accounts, Blavatnik is a success story. Having grown up in the U.S.S.R, he moved to the United States in the ’70s, then returned just before the fall of the Soviet Union, amassing his fortune in oil, gas and heavy industry in Putin’s Russia.
He also has extensive ties to Russian oligarchs that are directly linked to Putin. Blavatnik holds a stake in Rusal, which was founded by Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska. As the Dallas News notes, Putin’s state-controlled bank owns “nearly 4 percent of Deripaska’s stake in Rusal.”
Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort—who’s been indicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges as part of Mueller’s probe—had a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska through his lobbying firm. He reportedly offered the Russian oligarch “private briefings” two weeks before Trump secured the Republican nomination.
Blavatnik is also publicly associated with Viktor Vekselberg, a Putin ally who owns part of the Bank of Cyprus—which handed over Manafort’s bank records to Mueller in November, Bloomberg reports. Blavatnik and Vekselberg are co-founders of the Renova Group.
Along with Blavatnik, Mueller is also reportedly scrutinizing $285,000 in donations from U.S. citizen Andrew Intrater, the head of Columbus Nova—which a subsidiary of Renova Group. Intrater is Vekselberg’s cousin.
The third identified as a possible target of Mueller’s investigation is oil magnate Simon Kukes, a Russian-born American chemist who Open Secrets reports “contributed more than $150,000 to Trump’s campaign and joint fundraising committee, Trump Victory.”
Dallas News identifies a fourth major donor with known ties to the Russian government as IMG Artists chief executive Alexander Shustorovich. In total, those four men “made $10.4 million in political contributions from the start of the 2015-16 election cycle through September 2017, and 99 percent of their contributions went to Republicans,” according to the report.
Perhaps the most insidious connection, however, is the one to Trump’s campaign and Citizens United. U.S. corporations and individuals can donate as much money as they want to political campaigns through political action committees and non-profit organizations thanks to David Bossie, chairman of the conservative group Citizens United. Bossie led the effort to remove limits on campaign finance laws. He was also deputy campaign manager to the Trump presidential campaign.
The Dallas News notes that many of Trump’s most prominent backers, including Robert and Rebekah Mercer and Erik Prince, benefit immensely from the Citizens United ruling. Dan Backer, and Russian-born emigre and the general counsel for three pro-Trump political action committees, was also the lead attorney for the 2014 Supreme Court case that removed a cap on the number of candidates and political parties wealthy donors can contribute to.
The campaign finance laws currently in place mean the donations from these Russia-linked businessmen fall within our current framework. As House intelligence committee ranking member (D-CA) Adam Schiff explained to ABC News, “unless the contributions were directed by a foreigner, they would be legal.”
Still, Schiff argued, they could “be of interest to investigators examining allegations of Russian influence on the 2016 campaign.”
“Obviously, if there were those that had associations with the Kremlin that were contributing, that would be of keen concern,” Schiff added. “… The oligarchs are really part and parcel of service to the Kremlin. They can be called upon at basically Putin’s will to do what he needs done. It gives them some distance from the Kremlin, it gives them some plausible deniability.”
Wow! Some folks have had enough!
USA Today’s Editorial Board unloads on the Chumph.
And the chickenshit Democrats are too cowardly to stand up….Again.
A president who’d all but call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets in Obama’s presidential library or to shine George W. Bush’s shoes: Our view
With his latest tweet, clearly implying that a United States senator would trade sexual favors for campaign cash, President Trump has shown he is not fit for office. Rock bottom is no impediment for a president who can always find room for a new low.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday dismissed the president’s smear as a misunderstanding because he used similar language about men. Of course, words used about men and women are different. When candidate Trump said a journalist was bleeding from her “wherever,” he didn’t mean her nose.
And as is the case with all of Trump’s digital provocations, the president’s words were deliberate. He pours the gasoline of sexist language and lights the match gleefully knowing how it will burst into flame in a country reeling from the #MeToo moment.
A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.
This isn’t about the policy differences we have with all presidents or our disappointment in some of their decisions. Obama and Bush both failed in many ways. They broke promises and told untruths, but the basic decency of each man was never in doubt.
Donald Trump, the man, on the other hand, is uniquely awful. His sickening behavior is corrosive to the enterprise of a shared governance based on common values and the consent of the governed.
It should surprise no one how low he went with Gillibrand. When accused during the campaign of sexually harassing or molesting women in the past, Trump’s response was to belittle the looks of his accusers. Last October, Trump suggested that he never would have groped Jessica Leeds on an airplane decades ago: “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.” Trump mocked another accuser, former People reporter Natasha Stoynoff, “Check out her Facebook, you’ll understand.” Other celebrities and politicians have denied accusations, but none has stooped as low as suggesting that their accusers weren’t attractive enough to be honored with their gropes.
If recent history is any guide, the unique awfulness of the Trump era in U.S. politics is only going to get worse. Trump’s utter lack of morality, ethics and simple humanity has been underscored during his 11 months in office. Let us count the ways:
- He is enthusiastically supporting Alabama’s Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of pursuing — and in one case molesting and in another assaulting — teenagers as young as 14 when Moore was a county prosecutor in his 30s. On Tuesday, Trump summed up his willingness to support a man accused of criminal conduct: “Roy Moore will always vote with us.”
- Trump apparently is going for some sort of record for lying while in office. As of mid-November, he had made 1,628 misleading or false statements in 298 days in office. That’s 5.5 false claims per day, according to a count kept by The Washington Post’s fact-checkers.
- Trump takes advantage of any occasion — even Monday’s failed terrorist attack in New York — to stir racial, religious or ethnic strife. Congress “must end chain migration,” he said Monday, because the terror suspect “entered our country through extended-family chain migration, which is incompatible with national security.” So because one man — 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. who came from Bangladesh on a family immigrant visa in 2011 — is accused of attacking America, all immigrants brought to this country by family are suspect? Trump might have some credibility if his criticism of immigrants was solely about terrorists. It isn’t. It makes no difference to him if an immigrant is a terrorist or a federal judge. He once smeared an Indiana-born judge whose parents emigrated from Mexico. It’s all the same to this president.
- A man who clearly wants to put his stamp on the government, Trump hasn’t even done his job when it comes to filling key government positions that require Senate confirmation. As of last week, Trump had failed to nominate anyone for 60% of 1,200 key positions he can fill to keep the government running smoothly.
- Trump has shown contempt for ethical strictures that have bound every president in recent memory. He has refused to release his tax returns, with the absurd excuse that it’s because he is under audit. He has refused to put his multibillion dollar business interests in a blind trust and peddles the fiction that putting them in the hands of his sons does the same thing.
Not to mention calling white supremacists “very fine people,” pardoning a lawless sheriff, firing a respected FBI director, and pushing the Justice Department to investigate his political foes.
It is a shock that only six Democratic senators are calling for our unstable president to resign.
The nation doesn’t seek nor expect perfect presidents, and some have certainly been deeply flawed. But a president who shows such disrespect for the truth, for ethics, for the basic duties of the job and for decency toward others fails at the very essence of what has always made America great.
Took this long for folks to figure out the KKKlown is corrupt?
In the year since Donald Trump was elected president on a promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington’s corruption, Americans have become more, not less, convinced that Washington is corrupt, and that the White House is the most corrupt institution in U.S. government.
A new public opinion poll conducted over the last two months found that Americans don’t believe that Trump is cleaning up the government. In fact, the opposite is true: 58 percent of people surveyed say the level of corruption has risen in the past 12 months, up from 34 percent who said the same in January 2016.
And more Americans put the blame at the top: 44 percent now believe that most or all of the officials in the Office of the President are corrupt — up from 36 percent last year, and worse than perceptions of Congress (38 percent of Americans believe Congress is the most corrupt institution).
Americans also suspect big business: 32 percent of those polled believe business executives are corrupt.
Trump’s administration also has not made Americans more confident that the government can stop double-dealing, fraud or dishonesty. Seven out of 10 Americans believe the government is failing to fight corruption—up from half last year.
The poll was commissioned by Transparency International, a Washington-based government oversight nonprofit that gauges conflicts of interests and other corruption in governments worldwide, and publishes an annual ranking of the most corrupt nations. Last year, before the Trump administration took office, the U.S. ranked 18th in terms of perceived corruption, with Denmark at number one, perceived as the most corruption-free nation. Somalia, at 176th, was perceived as the most corrupt.
Since before he took office, Trump and his family’s personal conflicts of interest, and his agencies’ revolving doors, have been widely reported on in the media and heavily criticized by ethics lawyers and government watchdogs.
While the president handed off day-to-day oversight of his company to his sons Eric and Donald, Jr., his hotels and golf courses have become vehicles for lobbyists and foreign dignitaries to curry favor with the administration, and, in the case of the golf courses, actually meet and play with the golf-loving president.
Shortly before his election last year, the Trump campaign trotted out a new slogan and a five-point plan for ethics reform that featured new lobbying restrictions. The plan was called “drain the swamp.”
Yeah, it was ordered by Putin in his deal with the Chumph…
A Russian news website is reporting that a hacker has confessed to being ordered by a major general in the FSB to hack the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential election — and it has links to audio of the testimony as proof.
Fortune reports that Russian website The Bell has posted links to both a written transcript and an audio recording of testimony given by Konstantin Kozlovsky, who was on trial earlier this year for his role in a hacking scheme that stole $50 million from Russian bank accounts.
During his testimony, Kozlovsky claimed that he was ordered by Russian intelligence agency FSB to attack the DNC’s servers under the direction of Dmitry Dokuchayev, a major-general in the FSB. Kozlovsky also said that the hacking was done with the explicit purpose of manipulating the American electoral process.
“Dokuchayev is himself now in prison on charges of treason, accused of passing similar information to U.S. agencies,” reports Fortune. “In other words, Dokuchayev appears to be one of the main sources for the information on which joint U.S. agencies, in a report released by the director of national intelligence in January, argued that the Russian state had directed a campaign designed to polarize public opinion and broadly discredit the campaign of Hillary Clinton.”
The publication does note, however, that it has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the Kozlovsky testimony.
I think it is indictable at this point. I think there is substantially more evidence than Mueller will make public yet.
Once a commie crook…
Looks like Mr Manafort will be spending his time in lockup, instead of his multi-million dollar condo in Alexandria, Va.
Can’t wait for him to find the bath fixtures in jail aren’t covered in 24 karat gold.