July 30, 2019 – The DNC loses their racketeering suit against the Trump campaign, Russian Federation and Wikileaks and others
“Hours before the Democratic presidential debates, a federal judge dismissed the Democratic National Committee’s lawsuit that accused the Trump campaign, the Russian Federation, WikiLeaks and others of interfering in the 2016 elections.
“The primary wrongdoer in this alleged criminal enterprise is undoubtedly [sic] the Russian Federation, the first named defendant in the case and the entity that surreptitiously and illegally hacked into the DNC’s computers and thereafter disseminated the results of its theft,” wrote U.S. District Judge John Koeltl, a Clinton appointee.
Before weighing the evidence against Russia, however, Koeltl found that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act foreclosed him from holding it liable for the DNC server hack.
The DNC blamed a host of secondary actors in a conspiracy, including Russian-linked Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud; oligarchs Emin and Aras Agalarov; and Trump family members and campaign figures like Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos and Roger Stone.
Finding these claims likewise unconvincing, Koeltl ruled that the U.S. Constitution protected them from liability related to disseminating stolen emails.
“The First Amendment prevents such liability in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest despite defects in the way the materials were obtained so long as the disseminator did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place,” the 81-page opinion states.
Citing precedent from the the Pentagon Papers case, Koeltl held that treating WikiLeaks as an accomplice “would render any journalist who publishes an article based on stolen information a co-conspirator in the theft.”
“If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet,” the opinion states. “But that would impermissibly elevate a purely private privacy interest to override the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. The DNC’s published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.”
WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange argued last year that the DNC’s lawsuit threatened freedom of the press. Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the American Civil Liberties Union echoed those concerns in a friend-of-the-court brief.” (Read more: Courthouse News, 7/30/2019)
July 3, 2019 – Key Mueller witness, George Nader, is indicted on child sex-trafficking charges
“George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who was a key witness in the special counsel’s probe, was charged earlier in July with transporting a 14-year-old European boy to the U.S. for sex, according to an indictment unsealed Friday.
Nader was charged on three counts, including a charge for possessing child pornography and one for traveling with a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. He is accused of transporting the teenage boy from Europe to his home in the U.S. in 2000.
The indictment, which was handed down July 3, comes on top of one unsealed in June against Nader, who was a longtime adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates. Nader played a key role in setting up a meeting in January 2017 between defense contractor Erik Prince and the head of Russia’s direct investment fund in the Seychelles.
Nader also met during the presidential transition period with Jared Kushner, and worked closely with Elliot Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who is reportedly under investigation for bribery and money laundering. In August 2016, Nader offered help to the Trump campaign during a meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. and Prince.
Nader, 60, was interviewed multiple times during the special counsel’s investigation, all but one time under a proffer agreement with prosecutors. Nader is mentioned approximately 120 times in the special counsel’s report, but there is no mention of his long history of alleged child sex crimes.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 7/19/2019)
In April, 2018, al-Jazeera reports, “Nader has used his international visits to import child pornography since at least 1985, according to court testimony from one of his defence attorneys, pled guilty to child pornography charges in 1991 and has been convicted of committing sex acts with 10 underage boys in Europe.” (al-Jazeera, 4/06/2018)
April 18, 2019 – Mueller report contains claim Russia taped Bill Clinton having phone sex with Monica Lewinsky
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report mentions a claim that Russians recorded President Bill Clinton having phone sex with White House intern Monica Lewinsky — but the reference was redacted from the version released to the public.
(…) Clinton allegedly was recorded by Russia in the 1990s, allowing Russia to learn of the affair before American officials. A reference to the Clinton intercept was redacted from the Mueller report to protect “personal privacy,” but sources told the Washington Examiner that the context makes clear what was blacked out.
According to the report, Center for the National Interest President Dimitri Simes sent Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner a 2016 email with recommended talking points to counter Hillary Clinton’s Russia attacks. The email referenced “a well-documented story of highly questionable connections” between Bill Clinton and Russia.
At a meeting in New York, Simes told Kushner the details: Russia allegedly recorded President Clinton on the phone with Lewinsky, opening questions of foreign leverage over the ex-president-turned-potential first spouse.
“During the August 17 meeting, Simes provided Kushner the Clinton-related information that he had promised. Simes told Kushner that, [redacted],” the Mueller report says. “Simes claimed that he had received this information from former CIA and Reagan White House official Fritz Ermarth, who claimed to have learned it from U.S. intelligence sources, not from Russians.”
September 28, 2018 – House Intel Cmte. votes to release the transcripts of 53 interviews re Russiagate, including high-level Obama officials
“The House Intelligence Committee voted on Sept. 28 to release the transcripts of 53 interviews conducted during the committee’s investigation of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.
The interviews include high-level officials of the Obama administration, such as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
The list (pdf) also includes people from President Donald Trump’s circle, including his son, Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, and former campaign chair Corey Lewandowski.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 9/28/2018)
December 1, 2017 – CNN: White House claims Obama admin approved Flynn calls with Russian ambassador
“The White House said on Friday that it was the Obama administration that authorized former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Trump’s transition, according to CNN.
Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Kislyak in the month before Trump took office, the first current or former Trump White House official brought down by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling.
Court records indicate that his communications with Kislyak were directed by a Trump transition official, with multiple news outlets reporting that official was Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
“They are saying here at the White House that Flynn’s conversations with Sergey Kisylak were quote ‘authorized’ by the Obama administration,” CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said.
“We should point out, that is something that we have not heard before in terms of a defense from this White House,” he said.
“A senior WH official told CNN that the Obama admin “authorized” Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak. But former DNI Clapper just told CNN that’s “absurd.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) December 1, 2017
September 19, 2017 – Rice tells House investigators why she unmasked senior Trump officials
“Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN.
The New York meeting preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House.
The crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, arrived in New York last December in the transition period before Trump was sworn into office for a meeting with several top Trump officials, including Michael Flynn, the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his top strategist Steve Bannon, sources said.
(…) It’s unclear precisely which Trump officials Rice discussed at the House meeting. But multiple sources have confirmed to CNN that Zayed met at the time with Flynn, Kushner and Bannon. The three-hour discussion focused on a range of issues, including Iran, Yemen and the Mideast peace process, according to two sources who insisted that opening up a back-channel with Russia was not a topic of discussion.
Still, the fact that the New York meeting occurred prior to the Seychelles session and that the UAE did not notify the Obama administration about why the crown prince was coming to the United States has raised questions in the eyes of investigators on Capitol Hill.” (Read more: CNN, 9/19/2017)
June 9, 2016 – Donald Trump Jr. meets with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower
“Before Trump Jr. was set to meet with the Russian lawyer as his father campaigned for the presidency, Trump Jr. was told Veselnitskaya’s potentially damning information about Clinton was from the Kremlin, according to emails he released.
Trump Jr. has maintained that Veselnitskaya did not have any information to share and instead wanted to discuss other matters, such as the Magnitsky Act which enacts sanctions on certain Russian officials as punishment for human rights violations.
“After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton,” Trump Jr. said in a statement.
“Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered,” Trump Jr. continued.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting, along with a translator.
Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who set up the meeting, was also in attendance, as well as Rinat Akhmetshin, a prominent Russian-American lobbyist, Ike Kaveladze, a business associate of a Moscow-based developer and a translator.
A spokesperson for Trump’s outside legal team said Trump “was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.” Trump Jr. said he “wouldn’t have wasted his time” by telling him about the meeting. (Read more: Fox News, 5/16/2018)