November 2017

November 30, 2017 – Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI

LTG Michael Flynn (Credit: public domain)

“Former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to a process crime of lying to FBI investigators about the content of a December 29th phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. The conversation occurred the same day that then-president Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election.

This is the same misleading information that led to the White House firing Michael Flynn.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged Flynn with falsely telling FBI agents that he did not ask the ambassador “to refrain from escalating the situation” in response to the sanctions.

According to the plea, while being questioned by FBI agents on January 24, 2017, Flynn also lied when he claimed he could not recall a subsequent conversation with Kislyak, in which the ambassador told Flynn that the Putin regime had “chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of [Flynn’s] request.”

Furthermore, a week before the sanctions were imposed, Flynn had also spoken to Kislyak, asking the ambassador to delay or defeat a vote on a pending United Nations resolution. The criminal information charges that Flynn lied to the FBI by denying both that he’d made this request and that he’d spoken afterward with Kislyak about Russia’s response to it.

There was nothing wrong with the incoming national-security adviser’s having meetings with foreign counterparts or discussing such matters as the sanctions in those meetings. However, lying to the FBI is the process crime that has led to Flynn’s admissions. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/1/2017)

November 22, 2017 – Jeff Sessions orders further scrutiny of Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation

(Credit: The Associated Press)

“After it claimed no such document existed, the Justice Department just unearthed a letter Matt Whitaker delivered to the Utah U.S. attorney directing a review of how the department handled the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One issues.

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote the letter on Nov. 22, 2017 for Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber. Matt Whitaker, who was Sessions’ chief of staff at the time, emailed the letter to Huber that day, writing, “As we discussed.” He also sent Huber a copy of a letter the Justice Department’s Congressional affairs chief sent to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 13 of that year.

The existence of a letter documenting Sessions’ directive that the DOJ revisit probes of Trump’s top political foe is a surprise because a department lawyer said in court last year that senior officials insisted it didn’t exist. The liberal nonprofit American Oversight obtained the letter through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request they filed on Nov. 22, 2017––the same day Whitaker emailed Sessions’ letter to Huber.

The request asked for documentation of the directions Sessions gave Huber about the review of the Clinton investigations. After DOJ failed to produce any written directions, American Oversight sued.

And on Nov. 16, 2018, Senior Counsel in the Office of Information Policy Vanessa Brinkmann, who handles FOIA Requests, said a lawyer in Sessions’ office told her no such letter existed. That lawyer spoke with Huber and Whitaker, she said in a declaration filed in federal court, and then told her that “when the Attorney General directed Mr. Huber to evaluate these matters, no written guidance or directives were issued to Mr. Huber in connection with this directive, either by the Attorney General, or by other senior leadership office staff.”

That wasn’t correct. On Wednesday of last week, a DOJ lawyer told American Oversight that they had found the document that kicked off Huber’s work.

The letter, which American Oversight provided to The Daily Beast, is consistent with what the DOJ’s chief of legislative affairs has told Congress: that Huber is scrutinizing the sale of a Canadian uranium mining company with interests in the United States to Rosatom, a Russian state-owned company. Republicans have long alleged that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined to oppose the deal because of contributions to the Clinton Foundation.” (Read more: The Daily Beast, 3/09/2019)

November 14, 2017 – The Russian-American lobbyist who attended the Trump Tower meeting, knows Clinton and her inner circle

Rinat Akhmetshin (Credit: Getty Images)

“The Russian-American lobbyist who attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting had contacts with members of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle and knew Clinton herself, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017.

“I knew [Clinton]; I knew some people who worked on her campaign,” the lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in closed-door testimony on Nov. 14.

Akhmetshin, a former Soviet military intelligence officer, also said his attorney, Edward Lieberman, knows Clinton well. Lieberman’s late wife, Evelyn Lieberman, was a close confidante of Clinton’s. At one point, Akhmetshin said he was not a fan of President Donald Trump’s family.

The revelation of Akhmetshin’s Clinton links are significant because he has been portrayed as a possible conspirator in a collusion scheme between Trump’s campaign and Russian government.

Akhmetshin attended the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya.

(…) “Akhmetshin and other meeting participants all testified to the Judiciary panel the meeting was a dud and no information about Clinton changed hands. Instead, Veselnitskaya lobbied heavily against the Magnitsky Act, a law blacklisting Russian human rights abusers. Veselnitskaya carried into the meeting a memo that accused Bill Browder, a London-based banker who is the leading force behind the Magnitsky Act, of links to improper donations to Democrats.

In a bizarre twist, it turned out Veselnitskaya’s memo was put together by Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS — the firm that commissioned the Steele dossier. Simpson happened to be working with Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin to investigate Browder as part of an effort to undermine the Magnitsky Act. ” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 5/18/2018)

November 8, 2017 – Translator at Trump Tower meeting testifies to previously interpreting for Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, President Obama

Anatoli Samochornov (right) interprets at a New York Public Library event with journalists Masha Gessen and Svetlana Alexievich in 2016. (Credit: Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library)

“Anatoli Samochornov, a Russian translator who was present at the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with campaign officials, testified that he was previously an interpreter for Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Barack Obama.”

(…) “Now it has emerged that, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Samochornov described his work personally interpreting on one occasion for Clinton, “two or three times” for Kerry and for “Mr. Obama’s summits at the United Nations.”

Samochornov gave his testimony last November and it was recently made public. The 121 pages of transcript were reviewed by Breitbart News and have become newly relevant following renewed news media scrutiny of the Trump Tower confab.

At the hearing, Samochornov stated that he had been “doing project management for a subcontractor of the U.S. Department of State.”

(…) “Regarding his work as a subcontractor for the U.S. government, Samochrnov stated that he “served as an interpreter for Secretary Clinton on one occasion.”

He continued: “I have two or three times interpreted for Secretary Kerry when he had meetings with his counterpart, Mr. Lavrov, and the group rounds about Syria. I have also interpreted Mr. Obama’s summits at the United Nations, and I believe Vice President Joe Biden also spoke there.”

(…) “Samochornov is not the only individual at the Trump Tower meeting with a personal tie to Clinton.

Email transcripts and other information disclosed in testimony released by the Senate Judiciary Committee reveal a significant relationship between Russian-born Washington lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who was present at the Trump Tower meeting, and an associate of Clinton. Akhmetshin also claims a personal relationship with Clinton and describes meeting with a Clinton associate the same day as the Trump Tower meeting.

In his Senate testimony, Akhmetshin says that he “knows” Hillary Clinton and has a personal relationship with her that dates back to the late-1990s. Besides describing a direct connection to Clinton, Akhmetshin also testified that he “knew some people who worked on” Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Akhmetshin further revealed that the same day as the Trump Tower meeting he met with a Clinton associate after the confab and possibly also just before.” (Read more: Breitbart News, 8/23/2018)

November 1, 2017 – In an interview with Italian newspaper la Repubblica, Mifsud says he “acted as a mediator but I am Clinton and left”

From the Italian newspaper, la Repubblica, and translated:

The article is titled: The Russian-Trump contact prof: “It is true, I acted as a mediator but I am Clinton and left”

Joseph Mifsud (Credit: The Associated Press)

(…) “Joseph Mifsud is the Maltese lecturer – who according to the Russiagate inquiry – would have approached George Papadopoulos, Trump’s advisor during the electoral campaign, opening the doors of the Kremlin for a meeting between Trump himself and Putin; and offering him the “dirt”, the infamous information, collected by the Russians in the account of Hillary. “Nonsense. Friendship is friendship, but what Papadopoulos said is not true,” says Mifsud. “All I’ve done is foster relationships between unofficial sources, and between official and non-official sources, to resolve a crisis. It is done all over the world. I have put think-tanks in contact with think-tanks”, expert groups with other experts, he says.

Every ten words he mentions an international body to which he belongs, an institution he runs, a congress that they asked him to chair. He collaborates openly with Russian and American, Iranian and Saudi experts and institutions. “I am a member of the European council on foreign relations”, and was among the executives of the London center for international law practice.

“But do you know which is the only foundation of which I am a member? The Clinton Foundation, think a little. Between us, my thoughts are on the left. But I had expected Trump to win as I had foreseen Brexit, and in the I keep my work equidistant. I don’t understand this fury, these stupid accusations: we all want peace. When governments don’t talk, we citizens must keep talking. ”

Well. But the emails stolen from Hillary Clinton? The “dirt” offered to Papadopoulos? “I don’t know anything about it. I absolutely exclude having talked about secrets about Hillary. I swear on my daughter. I don’t know anyone from the Russian government apparatus: I knew only Russian Ivan Timofeev, director of a Moscow think-tank (the Russian International affairs) council) “. Which has its seat in the Russian Foreign Ministry, yes, but this, says the professor, “means nothing”.

Mifsud claims that he and Papadopoulos saw each other three or four times. “He came here to Italy, to Rome, with seven other international relations experts from the London Center of International Law Practice. We were at dinner, and I don’t remember if it was on that occasion that he told me he would enter Trump’s electoral campaign. to converse, by e-mail and on subsequent occasions when we met. But let me be clear: it was not the Russians who asked me for a meeting with Papadopoulos, he asked me for contacts in various areas, I proposed him the Gulf, an afterthought for the cracks that now I am in front of everyone: many diplomats from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Emirates and Oman are my students, then I offer them Latin America, a topic of great interest to Trump who spoke of a wall with Mexico. And I offered him Russia and the European Council. Their choice was Russia. They were interested in sanctions, NATO, Ukraine and the stabilization of the relationship with Russia, a subject on which even the Russians were very sensitive.

The professor says that he understood what the Russians thought of the imminent future while he was in Moscow, during a meeting: “I don’t speak Russian, but the translator helped me and during a break, at the bar where the real themes are usually faced, he realized that they were very skeptical about the possibility of a change, with both Hillary and Trump, and I also talked to the Russian foreign minister, Lavrov, when the EU changed presidency: the new group of commissioners would reopen a window of opportunity that was close with Barroso. I suggested to the Foundations to keep talking, and the way was always Timofeev. He is a friend, he writes books, he is relatively young, I have also invited him to Italy. I have no qualms about speaking well of him. secret agent, eh! Never took a penny from the Russians: my conscience is clean “.

Great. But then he presented to Timofeev “Putin’s niece”, which Putin’s nephew was not. “She is a simple student, very beautiful. As with many other students, I introduced her to the London Center where Papadopoulos was, and I learned that he showed her a very different interest from the academic one. He suggested that she go with him on America. Putin had nothing to do with it, a beautiful and good invention. ” A bit like Mubarak’s niece? Mifsud laughs: “What nonsense, yes. I put my hand on the fire that this girl has nothing to do with the Kremlin or the services. Anyway, I’ve already talked to the FBI, when the State Department invited me to a congress on Capitol Hill ” (la Repubblica, 11/01/2017)