Sunday, November 4, 2018

Russiagate Ramblin' On

Roger Stone and Kristin Davis
Politico thinks that once the midterms are done, Mueller's going to come out guns blazing against Roger Stone: Week 76: Is Mueller About to Roll Out the Barrels?
The only safe bet to make for the post-quiet period would be Mueller’s indictment of Roger Stone, something Stone himself has been predicting since at least August. He has claimed that he was probably the unnamed Donald Trump associate who was described in an earlier Mueller indictment as communicating with Russian hacker “Guccifer 2.0.” Stone, who once famously predicted on Twitter on August 21, 2016, that “it will soon be Podesta’s time in the barrel,” has denied any wrongdoing.

This week, Stone’s long-running denial that he had ever discussed WikiLeaks with Trump campaign officials unraveled as the New York Times reported on an email exchange between Stone and Steve Bannon in which Stone “presented himself to Trump campaign officials ... as a conduit of inside information from WikiLeaks, Russia’s chosen repository for documents hacked from Democratic computers.”

Stone took petulant umbrage in the pages of the Daily Caller, denying any advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans. “What I am guilty of is using publicly available information and a solid tip to bluff, posture, hype and punk Democrats on Twitter. This is called ‘politics.’ It’s not illegal,” Stone wrote.

Good luck, Roger, but it looks like it will soon be your time in the barrel.
Roger Stone represented himself as something he might not have been? Federal offense! Show me the proof.  I still say, as a private citizen, Stone had the right to talk to anyone about anything. He was not part of the Trump campaign. If he'd called himself a journalist instead of political operative, he would be totally in the clear.

Maria Butina, superspy
At Da Beast, Betsy Woodruff reports how Senate Intelligence Wants Documents on NRA’s Russia Trip
The Senate intelligence committee has asked the National Rifle Association to provide documents on its connections to Russia—including documents related to a 2015 trip some of its top leaders made to Moscow. That’s according to two sources briefed on the committee’s activities.

The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spokespersons for Sen. Richard Burr, the intelligence committee chair, and Sen. Mark Warner, the panel’s ranking member, declined to comment on the record.

The NRA’s Russia connections have drawn growing public scrutiny after a key figure in Russian outreach to the powerful gun lobby, Maria Butina, was indicted in July on charges of being an undeclared Russian operative connected to the country’s intelligence apparatus. Butina sought to use guns as a lever to tilt the Republican Party in a pro-Kremlin direction, creating a political firestorm for the NRA in the wake of her arrest. The intelligence committee’s document request is just one part of the aftermath.

Butina, whose Russian political patron Alexander Torshin is a senior figure in the country’s powerful central bank, ran a Russian gun-rights organization called the Right to Bear Arms. In December 2015, the group sponsored an NRA delegation to come to Moscow for a week. NRA dignitaries also met with another influential Russian, the former deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin. Torshin subsequently came under U.S. sanctions; Rogozin had been under sanctions since 2014.

Former NRA President David Keene and soon-to-be president Peter Brownell were both on the trip. Accompanying them were Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, NRA donors Jim Gregory and Arnold and Hilary Goldschlager, and Jim Liberatore, the president and CEO of the Outdoor Channel.
Other than Butina not registering as a lobbyist, a crime so common that actually enforcing it would nearly clear the streets of downtown DC, I don't see any crimes here, certainly not on the part of the NRA.

From Dan Bongino, The George Papadopoulos Interview You’ve Been Waiting For

If you have the time, you should really listen to this. It's pretty clear Papadop was set up six ways to Sunday, and barely avoided going to jail on a financial crime that Halper, Mifsud, and Downer set him up for, by giving him cash abroad just in excess of the amount that would trigger a crime if he brought it home with him. I'd really like to find out who provided the cash, because at least Halper and Mifsud aren't giving away their own money.

This week the Wombat has returned, along with "Late NIght With Rule 5 Sunday: Nurse! Nurse!" (gic) and FMJRA 2.0: Back In The Saddle.

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