Discussion: House Intel Says It Plans To Host Open Hearing With Tech Firms On Russia


Think the big news of the last 24 hours are the articles about Mueller getting the IRS returns on Manafort and Flynn. What surprised me is that it looks as though the criminal division of the IRS had already been investigating both pre-election. Renato Mariotti has long speculated that Mueller already has Trump’s tax returns. So that is big. I think it means that both Manafort and Flynn will be indicted (if they haven’t been so already)

In addition, the investigation into the American based Russians who gave a lot of money to the Trump campaign is also noteworthy. Russia didn’t just aid Trump’s election. They might have paid for it. One of those characters is Len Blavatnik, Ukrainian born billionaire who is close to Putin. Blavatnik owned an oil co called TNK-BP, a joint venture w/British Petroleum. Blavatnik had been accused of undermining BP w/the cooperation of the Putin gov’t to drive them out of Russia. The TNK-BP entity was sold to Rosneft, the Russian state owned oil co for about US $55 billion in 2013. Blavatnik made $28 bn out of the sale. Rosneft is the company named in the Steele Dossier as the big carrot for Trump. Putin promised Trump some proceeds or a commission from the sale of 19.5% of Rosneft which went through in December of last year to a Swiss-Singaporean group for over 10 billion Euros.

Felix Sater and Michael Cohen pitched a Trump Tower Moscow as a link to Putin in the fall of 2015. Trump sought to build and capitalize on it through a licensing deal and make money. At some point that carrot trail went cold, and then the Steele Dossier suggests that Rosneft became that carrot. Rosneft was a much, much bigger deal than TT Moscow. While Trump would’ve made millions from TT Moscow, he stood to make hundreds o f millions, maybe even a couple of billion (and pay off his debts) with a piece of the Rosneft sale proceeds.

What role, if any, did Blavatnik have in helping Trump? He gave him a lot of money in the campaign. Was he directed to do so by Russia? Did Blavatnik have a role in the Rosneft transaction outlined in the Steele Dossier?Blavatnik would’ve known all the players, and could’ve sold Trump on the plan as he made a ton of money from his sale to Rosneft.

Also recall that Trump had no money until suddenly he did. Russians seemed to have aided that effort. We’re getting closer to establishing that the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians in the digital campaign, that Trump and the GOP benefited and may have solicited financial help from the Russians (Manafort’s notes relate to long time GOP contributors, of which Blavatnik is one). We’re also learning that Russian financial support may have flowed through a bunch of Russian Americans. Having once lived in a condo building which had a lot of older Russians from the Soviet era (not Trump owned), I do not find that surprising in the least.


This article may not get as much coverage because it’s not from an American paper, but The Independent seems to all but confirm that Felix Sater is one of the sources for the Steele Dossier and is cooperating with the Mueller investigation.

Meanwhile, the team of special counsel Robert Mueller, leading a separate investigation into the Kremlins’ activities, have contacted and taken evidence from a number of figures named in the dossier, including one, The Independent has learned, who has been providing important information.

Source D and Source E of the Steele Dossier state that Source D is a close associate of Trump’s who managed his trips to Moscow and Source E is an ethnic Russian who is a close associate of Trump.

The Independent has a source that believes that one of these two sources is Felix Sater.

But some with inside knowledge of the Steele report say that one of the “sources” could be Felix Sater, a Russian whose family emigrated to New York when he was six years old.


And in yet another bombshell…this time from the Wall St. Journal, Robert Mueller is looking hard at Flynn’s role in trying to work with Russian hackers through intermediaries (Peter Smith and perhaps others) to find the holy grail of HRC’s missing 30,000 emails.

Investigators working for Mr. Mueller have been conducting interviews and collecting information as they seek to determine whether Mr. Flynn was involved in Mr. Smith’s effort, and if his son, Michael G. Flynn, and the consulting firm Flynn Intel Group had a role, the people said. At the time Mr. Smith was trying to find the emails, Mr. Flynn was a senior adviser to the Trump campaign and had been on a short list of potential vice presidential candidates.

Another interesting tidbit from this article:

Mr. Mueller’s team is also inquiring about the nature of Mr. Smith’s relationship with several Trump campaign advisers and aides to the president, the people familiar with the matter said.

Those people would include KellyAnne Conway and Steve Bannon.


Criminal charges against two former top advisers to President Donald Trump are virtually certain, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday.

Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort are almost sure to be indicted as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Connecticut senator told POLITICO.

“I’m about 99 percent sure there will be some criminal charges from this investigation,” said Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Blumenthal has also served as a U.S. attorney and spent 20 years as his state’s attorney general.


On a related note,

In a defamation suit, BuzzFeed is trying to compel testimony from James Comey or James Clapper to establish the document’s centrality to the Russia investigation.


Hey, have you caught this?

This man has a long resume of flips under his belt. With this, he might have added another line there.

@inversion @irasdad @maximus

ETA: Mariotti chimes in.


Yes. Saw it on Twitter. The timing definitely seems curious. I don’t see how it would be dismissed without Mueller’s involvement. The attorney who prosecuted Sater in the 90s is on Mueller’s team. They would’ve talked about a deal, and Sater may trust him because the first deal worked. He got to spend more than a decade and a half free from legal scrutiny even as he engaged in questionable activities.

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He’s not flipping.

The court dismissed that case, because of this

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(Graham went on to say that he’d “looked at the history of welfare reform” and believes it can be applied to health care.)

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Boo :angry:

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At least the appeal will be interesting (maybe)


(In addition to the horrendous “welfare reform” quote…)

“You’ve been working to overhaul this for seven years. Why is this so hard?” a reporter asked him.

“Well, I’ve been doing it for about a month, he replied. “I thought everybody else knew what the hell they were talking about, but apparently not.”

(&%M( J(E}jt9q]*(#_QJ#( 0]t3753%$@89#^^03u !!!
(Forehead just hit the keyboard hard)

That is what he said about millions of Americans healthcare and one sixth of the economy… with a straight face??

(Forehead hit the keyboard again)

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Hey it’s working on Donald !

And it is not the end of it when it comes to the guy… I still suspect he’ll flip eventually.

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I always thought they did.

That makes so much sense.


That’s why folks should have voted for the ‘blue guardian’ (Clinton).



He might, but it will likely be for something different

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Also that we’re getting our asses kicked in an actual cyber war.


True, but while preventive measuresi ait 100% protective (again human beings run things), this ongoing chaos is on us…

Yea, u n i voted for a competent person, but there are folks who are still willing to embrace chaos.

I wish em well, because they ait seen nothing yet.