Showing posts with label Trump Cohorts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trump Cohorts. Show all posts

October 14, 2019

There Were 4 Then 2- Which One Comes Down First? Some Say The Gangster Want-to-be XMayor

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By Ken Dilanian and Dan De Luce

When it came to their dealings in Ukraine over the last year, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman wore two hats.
The Florida businessmen were helping President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani set up meetings with high-level Ukrainian officials, according to documents obtained by the State Department inspector general. Giuliani has acknowledged that he lobbied those people to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 campaign, in what Democrats say was an effort to uncover dirt on the president's political enemies.
But Parnas and Fruman were also trying to make money by drumming up a deal to sell liquified natural gas to Ukraine’s big state energy company and to oust the management at the company with help from their friends in the Trump administration, two people familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The charges filed against the men Thursday allege that their playbook was to pursue political influence as a way of furthering their business interests. That’s exactly what they appeared to be doing with the contributions to a Trump-linked political committee, and their work with Giuliani in Ukraine, according to the two sources.
Image result for mayor Giuliani the godfaTHER
 Parnas and Fruman, both born in the former Soviet Union, boasted of their connections to Giuliani and the White House when they invited an executive at Ukraine’s Naftogaz gas company, Andrew Fovorov, for a meeting in Houston in March, where they made their pitch, the sources said. 
They told Fovorov that they wanted Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev removed and Fovorov to take his place, the sources said. Kobolev had won high praise from U.S. and European officials for his anti-corruption efforts.
The two told Fovorov that "they would promote him to replace the current CEO," said the second source familiar with the discussions. They would do that, they said, if he supported their plan to sell American natural gas to Ukraine — a plan that has significant logistical hurdles, the sources said.
The men also predicted that the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, would soon be forced out of her job by the White House, and that would help open the way to their proposed deal, according to the two people.
Parnas and Fruman alleged the ambassador was an obstacle to U.S. business interests, even though there was no evidence to back that up, said Dale Perry, an American energy executive who does business in Ukraine.
“That was extremely surprising and disturbing because I found the ambassador to be very professional,” Perry told NBC News. “That told me that something didn’t smell right.” 
Parnas and Fruman appeared to have accurate inside information about the administration’s plans. Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled as ambassador two months later, curtailing her scheduled tenure.
Yovanovitch’s premature exit from Kyiv is now at the center of an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats, who accuse President Trump of abusing his power to push Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former vice president Joe Biden and his son. Trump has dismissed the inquiry as a "witch hunt" and the White House says it will refuse to hand over documents or cooperate with the congressional probe.
The administration has defended Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, including a phone call to the Ukrainian President Zelensky, as merely an effort to ensure the government address corruption.
But the bid by Parnas and Fruman to oust Naftogaz’s chief ran counter to a years-long anti-corruption agenda backed by Washington, European governments and the International Monetary Fund, former U.S. officials said.
Perry and the other source said Fovorov immediately rebuffed their proposal, saying he was loyal to the current CEO at Naftogaz, Kobolev, who had recruited him. He viewed Parnas and Fruman as lacking knowledge or credibility in the energy industry in Ukraine, and noted that they had not worked out legal permission or the logistics of moving American LNG via Poland to Ukraine.
Fovorov told business associates about the meeting, and when Perry learned of the conversation, he sent off a memo in April to the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, expressing his concern about what Parnas and Fruman were promoting, Perry 
Parnas and Fruman were charged Thursday with funneling foreign money to American candidates as part of a scheme to buy influence in the U.S. political system.
The indictment alleges that Parnas and Fruman conspired to oust Ambassador Yovanovitch at least partially on behalf of an unnamed Ukrainian official.
Their plan to oust Kobolev as CEO at Naftogaz was aimed squarely at one of the country’s most prominent figures seen credited with tackling corruption, a man who has enjoyed strong backing from Western governments in recent years.
"Kobolev is one of the two or three big stars of Ukrainian reform," said John Herbst, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
The gas sector had been “ground zero” for corruption in Ukraine, and the U.S., European Union and international organizations had pushed for an overhaul of Naftogaz, which had seen its revenues siphoned off by corrupt businessmen and officials, according to Herbst.
Kobolev oversaw a reorganization of the gas company that ended rampant corruption, and its transformation helped turn the country’s budget deficit into a budget surplus, Herbst and other former U.S. officials said.
“Kobolev is a great hero in this. The efforts to rein him in, coming from various parties, are directed against one of the great reform efforts in Ukraine in the past five years,” Herbst said.
Neither the White House nor John Dowd, a former lawyer for Trump who now represents Parnas and Fruman, responded to requests for comment.
Giuliani offered a terse response: "As I have repeatedly said not involved with Naftogaz."
Parnas and Fruman were already in the sights of the House Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry. Democrats requested documents and depositions from Parnas and Fruman after they were cited in a whistleblower’s complaint — though not by name — alleging they aided Giuliani’s effort to launch a Ukrainian corruption probe of Joe Biden.

Image: Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on Sept. 20, 2019.
Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on Sept. 20, 2019.Aram Roston / Reuters file

Dowd recently wrote to the House Intelligence Committee saying his clients would not meet a deadline to voluntarily turn over documents relating to their activities with Giuliani. The letter states that Parnas and Fruman “assisted Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump.”
Dowd also wrote that the two assisted Giuliani’s allies, Joseph DiGenova and Victoria Toensing, in their law practice. DiGenova and Toensing are now representing a Ukrainian oligarch, Dmytro Firtash, based in Austria, who is fighting extradition to the U.S. on bribery and racketeering charges.
Hours after Parnas and Fruman were arrested, House Democrats issued subpoenas to the pair Thursday. Dowd has not commented on the indictments or subpoenas.
Parnas and Fruman already have been taken to court by investors, who have accused them of failing to pay debts.
In one case, the family of a stonemason won a $500,000 judgment against Parnas after a judge ruled that Parnas took what was essentially the man's life’s savings as part of a movie production scheme that never materialized.
source: NBC

March 1, 2019

Trump’s Buddy NetanyahuPM in Israel To Be Indicted For Corruption

Netanyahou and the Trump are so close they might as well could have been clone together. The orange and the overgrown olive that can not be use for wine nor vinegar. So close it reminds me a sclack of Port BBQ ribs. Their beliefs are mutual. Wether is what you do wih people behind your walls or the people with the wall you would like to built. Netanyau more than Trump came to power with very little but now he is a millionaire...well Trump came as millionair and now he is a billionaire but all of those things are tittles because if they go to jail, the money will dissapear in lawyer's fees, etc.


After months of anticipation, Israel's attorney general has told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he is preparing to indict him on corruption charges.

It's a major blow to the long-serving premier and Trump ally, though not a final decision on an indictment. Netanyahu will still have a chance to hold off any indictment during a court hearing. And in the meantime, he remains in office and seeks reelection in April.

If Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit decides to press charges, which expert expect he will do, it would be the first time a sitting prime minister in Israel has been indicted.

The announcement shakes up Israeli politics just six weeks before voters decide whether Netanyahu gets another term. He has been serving as prime minister for a decade.

Israeli Police Recommend Indicting Netanyahu In 3rd Corruption Allegations This Year
Israeli Police Recommend Indicting Netanyahu In 3rd Corruption Allegations This Year
Mandelblit has been studying three different corruption cases and has outlined them in a document over 50 pages long sent to Netanyahu's lawyers, Israeli media reports. The details of the accusations are well-known. Israeli police recommended months ago that Netanyahu be indicted for all three sets of allegations.

First, he's facing a possible breach of trust and fraud charges— for accepting cigars and champagne and expensive gifts from wealthy businessmen, including Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

Second, he's facing more possible breach of trust and fraud charges charge — for trying to strike a deal with a newspaper publisher to advance legislation to help the publisher's business, in exchange for giving Netanyahu positive media coverage. The deal never went through.

The final case is the most serious one because the charges the attorney general is considering include bribery. Netanyahu allegedly approved a lucrative company merger for a telecoms businessman, and in exchange the businessman's news website gave Netanyahu favorable coverage.

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Though Netanyahu will receive a hearing prior to a formal indictment, the authority will remain with the attorney general to decide. A final indictment could take a year or more. The hearing date has not yet been made public. 

NPR News Interviews Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Netanyahu has called the bribery charge "absurd." He's decried the probe as interference in the upcoming Israeli elections, and described the accusations as a "house of cards."

He's accused Mandelblit of caving to pressure from the left and the left-wing media to rush to announce charges before the elections. The embattled prime minister is expected to address the Israeli public on Thursday evening.

This saga has divided voters. A recent poll from Haifa University shows about half of the public doesn't have much trust in the attorney general. At the same time, another poll from the Israeli television show Meet the Press said that 64 percent of Israelis wanted Mandelblit to announce his decision prior to the election, Haaretz reported.

The Justice Ministry said in a statement that "the Attorney General has reached his decision after thoroughly examining the evidence collected during the investigations conducted by the Israel Police and the Israel Securities Authority, and after considering the detailed opinions provided by the State Attorney's Office. Furthermore, the Attorney General has conducted a series of lengthy discussions with senior members of the State Attorney's Office and the Office of the Attorney General."

Netanyahu has signaled that if indicted, he would remain in office and fight in court.

The non-partisan Israel Democracy Institute called on Netanyahu to "carefully consider" what's best for Israel.

"Is it best for the country to be governed by a leader charged with serious criminal acts of corruption, or is it best for him to resign and focus on proving his innocence in the courts?" the institute said in a statement.

It warned about the "serious potential damage to the public's trust in the state's institutions caused by a situation in which the government is headed by an individual charged with criminal misconduct involving abuse of power."

In the upcoming vote, his base will still likely support him — indeed, in a Haifa University survey, 65 percent of his party's supporters said they believe law enforcement is trying to force Netanyahu out. That party, Likud, said Thursday that this announcement represented a "political witch hunt" aiming at toppling Netanyahu's government.

Other voters, though, may question his ability to lead the country amid an uncertain political future as he faces these charges.

Netanyahu has been the front-runner in the upcoming elections, but if his poll numbers slip — even slightly — it could tip the scales. He would need to build a governing coalition with other parties in order to stay in power, and with likely criminal charges hanging over his head, it's unclear if other parties will be willing to stay by his side.

There's also a new centrist list led by a former army general – who is strong in the polls and who could win instead.

November 2, 2018

Read THE MISSING EMAILS! Between Trump Campaign and Roger Stone

Michael S. SchmidtMark MazzettiMaggie HabermanSharon LaFraniere
By Michael S. Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti, Maggie Haberman and Sharon LaFraniere

WASHINGTON — When WikiLeaks published a trove of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman a month before the 2016 election, it was widely viewed as an attempt to damage her standing, even as WikiLeaks defended the release as an effort to bring greater transparency to American politics.

We have since learned that the emails were originally hacked by Russian intelligence operatives. What is still not clear is how much Trump campaign advisers knew about the hacks at the time — a subject of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III — or the extent of their interactions with far-right figures eager to undermine Mrs. Clinton.

Emails obtained by The New York Times provide new insight into those connections, as well as efforts by Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to President Trump and political operative, to seek funding through the campaign for his projects aimed at hurting Mrs. Clinton. The emails are verbatim, typos and all, save for email addresses deleted to protect the emailers’ privacy.

The Players

Stephen K. Bannon, Trump campaign chairman and co-founder of the far-right Breitbart News, who ran the website until he joined the campaign

Matthew Boyle, Breitbart’s Washington editor

Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime conservative operative and confidant of President Trump

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks

The Context

A month before the election, Mrs. Clinton looked to be cruising to victory. Mr. Trump’s surrogates, including Mr. Stone, were trying to come up with ways to attack her to help Mr. Trump gain ground. 

Mr. Stone had long claimed both publicly and privately that he had foreknowledge of the information that WikiLeaks planned to release about Mrs. Clinton and her political allies. In early October, Mr. Stone predicted on his Twitter account, which was suspended after a string of expletive-laden tweets, that the documents that Mr. Assange promised to make public would hurt Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

Oct. 2, 2016 @rogerjstonejr: “Wednesday @HillaryClinton is done.”

Oct. 3, 2016 @rogerjstonejr: “I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon. #LockHerUp”
The Emails

On the night of Oct. 3, Mr. Boyle emailed Mr. Stone. Mr. Assange had scheduled a news conference for the next day where he would announce he was releasing a new cache of documents. The emails show how closely intertwined Breitbart News and the campaign were and how people in Mr. Bannon’s orbit saw Mr. Stone as a direct link to WikiLeaks.

Monday, October 3, 2016 
FROM: Matthew Boyle
TO: Roger Stone

Assange — what’s he got? Hope it’s good.


Matthew Boyle 
Washington Political Editor, Breitbart News
Mr. Stone had apparently been trying to get in touch with Mr. Bannon to tell him about Mr. Assange’s plans. Mr. Boyle, a protégé of Mr. Bannon’s, forwarded to him Mr. Stone’s email. But Mr. Bannon appeared uninterested in engaging.

Monday, October 3, 2016
FROM: Roger Stone
TO: Matthew Boyle

It is. I’d tell Bannon but he doesn’t call me back.

My book on the TRUMP campaign will be out in Jan.

Many scores will be settled. 


Monday, October 3, 2016 
FROM: Matthew Boyle
TO: Steve Bannon
You should call Roger. See below. You didn’t get from me.

Monday, October 3, 2016 
FROM: Steve Bannon
TO: Matthew Boyle 
I’ve got important stuff to worry about

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 
FROM: Matthew Boyle
TO: Steve Bannon

Well clearly he knows what Assange has. I’d say that’s important.
The next morning, Mr. Assange told reporters in Berlin, by teleconference, that he planned to release “significant material” in the coming weeks, including some related to the American presidential election. He said WikiLeaks hoped to publish a trove of documents each week in the coming months. Mr. Assange’s comments were reported extensively in the United States.

Mr. Bannon then contacted Mr. Stone directly, asking for insight into Mr. Assange’s plan. Notably, Mr. Stone did not tell Mr. Bannon anything that Mr. Assange had not said publicly. He did explain that Mr. Assange was concerned about his security, and he said in an interview that Randy Credico, a New York comedian and activist whom Mr. Stone has identified as his source about WikiLeaks, also gave him that information.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
FROM: Steve Bannon
TO: Roger Stone

What was that this morning???

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 
FROM: Roger Stone
TO: Steve Bannon
Fear. Serious security concern. He thinks they are going to kill him and the London police are standing done. 

However —a load every week going forward.

Roger stone

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 
FROM: Steve Bannon
TO: Roger Stone

He didn’t cut deal w/ clintons???
The final email in the exchange is vintage Stone. He demanded that Trump campaign surrogates convey his accusations, made without evidence, about Bill Clinton’s having a love child named Danney Williams. And he told Mr. Bannon to have the wealthy Republican donor Rebekah Mercer send money to his political organization — a 501(c)(4) group sometimes called a C-4 — which was structured to keep its donors secret. No evidence has emerged that Mr. Bannon asked Ms. Mercer to send money.

In response to Mr. Bannon’s request for insider information into whether Mr. Assange had cut a deal with the Clintons not to release the emails, Mr. Stone said he did not know.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 
FROM: Roger Stone
TO: Steve Bannon

Don’t think so BUT his lawyer Fishbein is a big democrat .

I know your surrogates are dumb but try to get them to understand Danney Williams case 

chick mangled it on CNN this am 

He goes public in a big way Monday— Drudge report was a premature leak.

I’ve raise $150K for the targeted black digital campaign thru a C-4

Tell Rebecca to send us some $$$

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Michael S. Schmidt is a Washington correspondent covering national security and federal investigations. He was part of two teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 2018 — one for reporting on workplace sexual harassment and the other for coverage of President Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia. @NYTMike

Mark Mazzetti is a Washington investigative correspondent, a job he assumed after covering national security from the Washington bureau for 10 years. He was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. @MarkMazzettiNYT

Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent. She joined The Times in 2015 as a campaign correspondent and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. Previously, she worked at Politico, The New York Post and The New York Daily News. @maggieNYT

Sharon LaFraniere is an investigative reporter. She was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for national reporting on Donald Trump’s connections with Russia. @SharonLNYT

August 24, 2018

One Juror Hold Out Saved Manafort From All Counts Yet A Trumpie Voted for Conviction

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team was one holdout juror away from winning a conviction against Paul Manafort on all 18 counts of bank and tax fraud, juror Paula Duncan told Fox News in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

“We all tried to convince her,” a Trump-supporting juror told Fox News.

In the end, it was one juror who saved Paul Manafort from being convicted on all 18 countshe faced, instead of just the eight counts related to his finances that he ended up with. 
Paula Duncan, a jury member and self-described Trump supporter, told Fox News Wednesday night that it was just one juror who held out on 10 of the counts. 
Duncan voted guilty on all 18 counts, saying that she considered the evidence against Manafort “overwhelming.” Duncan isn’t just a Republican who voted for her party’s nominee — she kept her pro-Trump gear in her car while driving to the trial every day and described special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt to try to find Russian collusion.”
Duncan is the first juror of the 12-member panel to speak out publicly. Judge T.S. Ellis III kept the jurors’ names under seal to protect their safety, citing threats he had received during the high-profile trial. But Duncan said she didn’t feel threatened. 
“I’m an American. I’m a citizen. I feel I did my civic duty. I don’t think I need to hide behind anything. I am not afraid at all,” she said. 
She also said she thought it was the public’s right to know what happened. “America needed to know how close this was,” she explained. “And that the evidence was overwhelming. I did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty, but he was. No one is above the law.”  
Duncan was clear that 11 of the 12 jury members believed Manafort was guilty on all 18 countsof subscribing to false income tax returns, failing to report his foreign accounts, and bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy. She didn’t share many details about the holdout juror, other than that she is a woman. The juror refused to budge on 10 of those counts, forcing a mistrial on those charges and a partial conviction on the other eight.  
“We all tried to convince her to look at the paper trail,” Duncan said. “We laid it out in front of her again and again, and she still said that she had a reasonable doubt. That’s the way the jury worked. We didn’t want to be hung, so we tried for an extended period of time to convince her.”
“But in the end,” Duncan said, “she held out, and that’s why we have 10 counts they did not get a verdict.”
Duncan described the deliberations as both heated and emotional at times — “there were even tears.” And while Trump’s name came up, the jury tried to keep politics out of it. “I think we all went in there like we were supposed to and assumed that Mr. Manafort was innocent,” Duncan said. “We did due diligence. We apply the evidence, our notes, the witnesses, and we came up with the guilty verdict on the eight counts.”

A juror’s perspective reveals the deep splits about the Mueller investigation

Duncan’s interview with Fox News revealed the inner workings of a jury panel that spent almost four full days deliberating — punctuated by a few notes to the judge and one juror’s desire to get an early start on the weekend.
Duncan expressed serious discomfort with the Mueller investigation and even suggested that Manafort probably wouldn’t have been charged unless the special counsel wasn’t after Trump. “I think they used Manafort to try to get the dirt on Trump — or hoping he would flip on Trump,” she said.  Duncan was critical of the Mueller team, saying she thought the prosecution seemed bored and were catnapping through the trial. She also said they tried to waste time with the “shenanigans” of Russian collusion at the start of the trial, until Judge Ellis intervened. (She also was somewhat critical of the defense, including Manafort’s decision not to testify.)
Yet she and her fellow jurors were persuaded by the evidence — what she called the “paper trail.” Her discomfort with the Russia investigation didn’t prevent her, and possibly others with similar feelings, from examining the facts. 
This seems to be both good and bad news for the future of the Mueller investigation — and for President Donald Trump. Trump’s “RIGGED WITCH HUNT”/“Russia hoax”/“NO COLLUSION” campaign is definitely resonating among his supporters. But in Mueller’s first trial, that didn’t prevent at least a partial conviction in a case with strong evidence.


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