Tuesday, April 18, 2017

4.18.17: Intel source: in Russia scandal, Rudy Giuliani has now flipped on Donald Trump after all | Rudy Giuliani Working With Russia For Trump? Details On The Shocking Allegations | Trump and the Russia Money | Trump’s Unreleased Taxes Threaten Yet Another Campaign Promise - NYT | Donald Trump's refusal to release tax returns emerges as roadblack to wider reform - The Australian Financial Review | Trump has deep ties to organized crime — federal investigators know it, and the public is catching up - Raw Story

4.18.17 

M.N.: The Great 2016 Election Drama, Act 2: The FBI's investigation of Trump is still alive and kicking, now that the two major players: Flynn and Giuliani are ready to sing, accompanied by the quite impressive chorus of the lesser, the second tier players, such as Paul Manafort,  Roger Stone "The Rat-fucker", and Carter Page - The Messenger, and others.
And now enter Hz ex-Honor, Mr. Giuliani:

G, i u, Giuliani - E Tu, Brutus!

Image result for Rudy Giuliani

Apparently, the scenario for the Act 2 was also written well in advance. Let us watch how it unfolds. 
A number of issues, names, and connections mentioned in the recent media reports deserve the further explorations. 

Zee alzo: The Links to Trump News and Investigations  - Reviewed on 4.18.17


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Trump News Review | THE SNAKE PIT: Trump News and Investigations Review - The Contents: Current - 3.31.17



Intel source: in Russia scandal, Rudy Giuliani has now flipped on Donald Trump after all


"There are two possible scenarios at play here. One is that, after the FBI initially rebuffed Rudy Giuliani, it’s now circled back and given him a deal after all. This tactic is sometimes used to try motivate a suspect to be more cooperative once they’re finally given the deal they’re asking for. The other possible scenario is that after the FBI rejected Giuliani’s request for a deal, the New York State Attorney General may have instead given him a deal. The source hasn’t stated whether Giuliani’s deal was with state or federal law enforcement.
The second scenario is given credibility by the fact that Rudy Giuliani’s most well-documented legal troubles stem from his attempt at interfering with a case that the New York State Attorney General’s office is bringing against a Turkish businessman named Reza Zarrab (source: NBC News). So it makes sense that he would be seeking leniency from the State of New York, and willing to give up Trump in the process. This serves to further demonstrate how far along both the state and federal Trump-Russia investigations are progressing behind the scenes. Contribute to Palmer Report
If you appreciate the investigative reporting of Palmer Report, consider making a 
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Bill Palmer is the founder and editor in chief of the political news outlet Palmer Report" 

Rudy Giuliani Working With Russia For Trump? Details On The Shocking Allegations

"He asserts that the FBI New York basically suppressed that information, and Giuliani knew about it. Why would they do that? He claims that the NY office is filled with Trump allies. And instead of trying to figure out whether the emails were duplicates, which Comey asked them to do, they only analyzed the meta-data on the emails.
The unstated implication Abramson appears to be making here is that the people in the NY FBI had a hunch that these emails may be duplicates, so they avoided doing additional research to delay admitting the truth. We'll look at this more later
Abramson seems to make this implication because the FBI had the opportunity to get a court order to see the emails, and they made no effort to do so; they didn't even bother asking the owners of the emails for permission to look at them... 

Abramson believes that Comey figured out that the NY FBI was politicizing the situation. We'll come back to this as well... 


Abramson makes another shocking suggestion here: that Prince did not get his information from the FBI/NYPD. Instead, he claims that Prince's statements were a carefully choreographed part of the Russian disinformation scheme. His evidence: that Russian bots immediately went out and reiterated Prince's argument.

James Comey Reenters

Comey at this point reenters and sends his letter to Congress, saying that he's found these new emails. Within days after that, he is able to go through the emails and determine they are all duplicated.
Given that the NY FBI had access to these emails for weeks, the fact that Comey was able to go through them in days does appear to suggest that the NY FBI wasn't interested in finding out the truth.

Abramson ends his tweet stream by saying that both Giuliani and Prince got favors from Trump after the election. He believes that this proves that Trump was aware of what he was doing... 

So Is Abramson's Allegation True?

As with anything like this, there is an interesting mix in here. There are many statements that are true and easily corroborated; however, there are other assertions that are either questionable or unsupported by evidence. Let's take a look at them.
  1. The FBI New York office is filled with Trump allies who purposely suppressed (or avoided knowing about) the fact that Hillary emails were duplicates. Abramson doesn't really provide any evidence for this. There have been rumors about FBI agents disliking Clinton and Comey; however, it's something of a stretch to assume that the people who looked into this case disliked Clinton and Comey. And for FBI officials to purposely act on this would be a serious crime -- which there is no evidence for. 

  2. Comey figures out that the NY FBI is politicizing the emails. This appears to be plausible, given previous statements by Comey. However, there is no solid evidence for this claim


  1. Erik Prince worked with Russia to develop his message. This is implied in what Abramson says. There is evidence that Prince worked with Russia, and he obviously helped Trump; however, there's nothing known about the specifics of the relationship." 

Donald Trump's refusal to release tax returns emerges as roadblack to wider reform - The Australian Financial Review 




"The evidence of pre-election collusion between Trump and the Russians, while growing, is far from definitive. The evidence on Trump’s organized crime ties is stronger. Says Marshall:

“If we’d never heard about Russian intelligence hacking of the 2016 election or Carter Page or Paul Manafort or Sergei Kislyak this [Trump’s organized crime connections] would seem like an extraordinarily big deal. And indeed it is an extraordinarily big deal.”
Chronologically speaking, Trump’s ties to organized crime figures came first. Mutually beneficial transactions dating back to the 1990s led to closer relations in the 2000s and culminated in the contacts during the 2016 campaign. It all began with Russians who wanted to get their money out of the country.
Jonathan Winer, former deputy assistant secretary of state for law enforcement in the Clinton administration, says that he was investigating Semion Mogilevich 20 years ago when “the brainy don” (as he was known) pioneered the laundering criminal proceeds through quasi-legitimate companies in the United States, especially in high-end real estate.
Winer finds it “disturbing” that Mogilevich’s associates have done business with Trump. He told a Washington conference earlier this month:
“Imagine you’re a foreign government and you want to launder money for domestic espionage operations in the United States. [High-end real estate] would be a great way to do it. It was the method used by Colombian drug traffickers all over Latin America and Miami in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s a form that Russian organized crime has used… All of a sudden we’re starting to see the same kind of patterns involving some criminal people and some Russian officials showing up in current investigations with Trump properties.”
The story right now, he says, is “confusing as hell.” The key, he explains, is the pattern:
“These ties link up, coalesce, organize and resolve,” Winer says. These are “relationships that make some sense. So we need to get below what we can see on the surface and see what actually happened. … I don’t know who’s going to be indicted, but boy, do I know this: the American people needs to be to get the facts, and then justice can be done.”"



Trump’s Unreleased Taxes Threaten Yet Another Campaign Promise

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With Republicans sharply divided on a path forward and the administration unable to come up with a plan of its own, the Democratic resistance is only the newest impediment.
As a candidate, Mr. Trump declared that he understood America’s complex tax laws “better than anyone who has ever run for president” and that he alone could fix them. But it is becoming increasingly unlikely that there will be a simpler system, or even lower tax rates, this time next year. The Trump administration’s tax plan, promised in February, has yet to materialize; a House Republican plan has bogged down, taking as much fire from conservatives as liberals; and on Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told The Financial Times that the administration’s goal of getting a tax plan signed by August was “not realistic at this point.”
A tax overhaul could be the next expansive Trump campaign promise that falters before it even gathered much steam.
“If they have no plan, they can’t negotiate,” said Larry Kudlow, the economist who helped Mr. Trump devise his campaign tax plan. “In that case, tax reform is dead.”
The first pitfall for Mr. Trump was the debacle of his health care plan, which burned political capital and precious days off the legislative calendar. But his administration saw repealing the taxes imposed by the Affordable Care Act as an important step that would allow for deeper tax cuts later. Mr. Trump even suggested last week that he might return to health care before tax cuts.
Republican leaders in Congress also failed to create momentum. Speaker Paul D. Ryan built a tax blueprint around a “border adjustment” tax that would have imposed a steep levy on imports, hoping to encourage domestic manufacturing while raising revenue that could be used to lower overall tax rates. But it has been assailed by retailers, oil companies and the billionaire Koch brothers. With no palpable support in the Senate, its prospects appear to be nearly dead. Heading into a congressional recess, Mr. Ryan admitted that Republicans in the House, Senate and White House were not on the same page.
The president’s own vision for a new tax system is muddled at best. In the past few months, he has called for taxing companies that move operations abroad, waffled on the border tax and, last week, called for a “reciprocal” tax that would match the import taxes other countries impose on the United States.
But it is Mr. Trump’s own taxes that have provided the crucial leverage for his opponents. More than 100,000 of his critics took to the streets over the weekend in marches around the country, demanding that the president release his returns. Tax legislation, they say, could be a plot by Mr. Trump to get even richer.
“When they talk about tax reform, are they talking about cutting Donald Trump’s taxes by millions of dollars a year?” asked Ezra Levin, a member of the Tax March executive committee. “We don’t know.”
Beyond the politics of Mr. Trump’s returns, lawmakers do not want to pass an overhaul of the tax code that unwittingly enriches the commander in chief and his progeny. Those who are worried about conflicts of interest point to the potential repeal of the estate tax or elimination of the alternative minimum tax as provisions that would enrich Mr. Trump.
Perhaps the most consequential concern relates to a House Republican proposal to get rid of a rule that lets companies write off the interest they pay on loans — a move real estate developers and Mr. Trump vehemently oppose. Doing so would raise $1 trillion in revenue and reduce the appeal of one of Mr. Trump’s favorite business tools: debt.
In the halls of Congress, Democrats are employing procedural maneuvers to drive home their point on the tax returns and possibly compel Republican lawmakers to join their effort to force Mr. Trump to release them. And Democratic aides say more tricks are coming.
More than a dozen Republicans — from recognizable names like Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa and Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina to backbenchers like Representatives David Young of Iowa, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, Ted Yoho of Florida, Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey and Justin Amash of Michigan — have agreed that Mr. Trump should release his returns.
That list grows almost daily. On Monday, former Representative Joe Walsh of Illinois, a conservative firebrand and Trump loyalist, said the president should release his tax returns. “I do think this issue will come back and bite him on the butt,” he said on MSNBC.
Republicans argue that Democrats are putting politics ahead of an opportunity to fix a broken tax system. Mr. Trump shot back at his critics on Twitter on Sunday, suggesting that the protesters had been paid and that they were sore losers. On Monday, Mr. Spicer said that Mr. Trump remained under audit and that, breaking with 40 years of presidential tradition, his tax returns would not be made public.
“I think the president’s view on this has been very clear from the campaign, and the American people understood it when they elected him in November,” Mr. Spicer said.
Polls show that a majority of Americans, including most Republicans, would like Mr. Trump to release his tax returns, according to the Republican pollster Frank Luntz. However, the issue is a low priority for voters.
“You’re not going to change someone’s opinion of Trump merely by what’s in his tax returns,” Mr. Luntz said.
It remains unclear what impact the emphasis on Mr. Trump’s taxes will have on his aspirations of tackling the tax code.
Mr. Schumer said he had had no communication with the president about tax legislation and only minimal outreach from his economic advisers. While Mr. Trump signaled that he would like to reach a bipartisan tax deal, potentially including an infrastructure plan, the focus on his tax returns suggests that any legislation will happen along party lines. That would mean that a more limited bill, requiring a simple majority, would need to pass the Senate through complicated budget rules that create a new set of problems.
With little appetite for bipartisanship, many veterans of tax fights and lobbyists in Washington expect that Mr. Trump will ultimately embrace straight tax cuts, with some cleaning up of deductions, and call it a victory. Even that would be difficult, with a narrow Republican majority in the Senate and a widening budget deficit.
Former Representative Dave Camp of Michigan — a Republican who, as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, released a tax plan in 2014 — said that if they wanted to get something done, lawmakers needed to brace for a more intense series of battles over the details of tax legislation than they faced during the failed health care effort.
“Obviously, there is a lot at stake here,” Mr. Camp said. “Health care is 20 percent of the economy, but tax reform is 100 percent of the economy.”
Continue reading the main story
Read the whole story

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These Politicians Think They've Found a Way to Get Donald Trump's Taxes - Mother Jones

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Mother Jones



These Politicians Think They've Found a Way to Get Donald Trump's Taxes
Mother Jones
President Donald Trump, however, appears set to end this tradition. He refused to produce his tax returns during the presidential campaign, claiming that he couldn't do so because he was under IRS audit. Trump has never produced a letter from the IRS ...
Why Donald Trump can't ignore demands to release his tax returnsChicago Tribune
Protesters facing off in Berkeley over President Donald TrumpKGO-TV

all 379 news articles »

Trump getting hot and bothered by...

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Trump getting hot and bothered by protesters

Politico - ‎13 hours ago‎
President Donald Trump has tangled with House Freedom Caucus members opposed to his health plan, with Democrats eager to see him flop and with foreign leaders skeptical he has the chops to be a commander in chief. But there's one group that really ...

Everything Trump has said about releasing his tax returns

KVIA El Paso - ‎2 hours ago‎
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - So far, President Trump has refused to release his tax returns while in office, breaking with a 40-year tradition. He has claimed that ongoing IRS audits prevent him from doing so, even though such audits wouldn't restrict anyone ...

Cotton blitzed by constituents at rowdy town hall

Politico - ‎11 hours ago‎
Sen. Tom Cotton came under fire at a raucous town hall Monday, as constituents pelted the Arkansas Republican on topics ranging from Donald Trump's tax returns and possible ties to Russia to the GOP push to repeal Obamacare. It was the latest in a ...

Trump administration is least transparent admin. in decades, ethics experts say

CBS News - ‎12 hours ago‎
WASHINGTON -- Protesters from coast to coast called on President Trump over the weekend to release his tax returns. He responded on Twitter, saying: “The election is over!... Now tax returns are brought up again?” Someone should look into who paid for ...

Donald Trump's refusal to release tax returns emerges as roadblack to wider reform

The Australian Financial Review - ‎7 hours ago‎
As procrastinators rushed to file their tax returns by Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, emphasized again on Monday that Trump had no intention of making his public. Democrats have seized on that decision, uniting around a pledge ...
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Trump and the Russia Money

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So [Dearlove’s] seen it all before. But the allegations that members of Trump’s staff had illegal contact with the Russian government during the election campaign are “unprecedented,” said Dearlove. As for the president’s personal position, he said, “What lingers for Trump may be what deals—on what terms—he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the west apparently would not lend to him.”
This is quite an interesting comment, to say the least.
But there are a few caveats to consider. Dearlove hasn’t been in government since 2004. Former top spies tend to remain fairly in the know, at least informally. But Dearlove was not in office during either of the key points, not in 2008 or 2016. More importantly, the interview as a whole is only partly about Trump and to the extent it is about him it’s about him as part of the ‘nationalist’ wave sweeping the EU and US, not about the Russia story itself. Finally, is Dearlove sharing some authoritative information, things he’s seen suggested or simple speculation?
I don’t have answers to any of these questions. It’s all rather unexplained, just put out there. Still, it’s relatively specific on 2008 as a crisis point. We are now led to believe that British intelligence was the first to get wind – in late 2015 – of questionable contacts between members of the Trump entourage and Russian intelligence operatives. So what are we to make of this suggestion?
First, it broadly lines up with a lot that we know. Before the ties between Trump and Russia became a story in 2016, it was already widely known that Trump had been effectively blackballed by all the big US banks for years. Deutschebank, which is of course a German bank, has been the only major bank to continue loaning Trump money for about twenty years. So we know most big banks wouldn’t lend to Trump well before 2008. So that part largely checks out.
We also know that in the decade before he ran for President, Trump became increasingly reliant on money out of the former Soviet Union. This was both for purchases of apartment units, to fund major projects like Trump Soho, in Lower Manhattan, in addition to many other projects.
We are close to adding the first members of our expanded investigative team to dig into stories just like this. And high on my list is putting together a comprehensive timeline of the myriad Russian connections Trump managed to put together over the last two decades. You can know almost countless individual stories, nuggets of information, clues and pieces of evidence. But sometimes seeing it all visualized is key to really understanding what’s going on. I’m eager to see that visualization.
Dearlove points to 2008, an economic crisis when lots of individuals and companies teetered on the edge of bankruptcy or collapse. My impression however, is that Trump starts really building up the big Russia ties a few years earlier – in the 2003-2006 period. Lots of the stories and connections you’ve likely heard about, they trail back to those years. There are some that come long before and others that come after. But it’s in that period when lots of different deals, connections, business partnerships and so forth come together. In other words, Trump seems to have had a lot of the relationships and partnerships and money flows in place a good couple years before 2008. Of course that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have drawn on those connections to weather 2008 too.
Of course, this may end up coming back to projects like Trump SoHo itself. It was happening during the financial crisis and seemed to get various infusions of money out of Russia to keep it moving forward. Quite a lot more digging is required to get to the bottom of Trump’s business dealings with Russia sources of money during the W. Bush and Obama eras. We still only know the outlines. Perhaps Dearlove knows more.
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The Emerging Worldwide Alliance of Rightwing Parties, Led by Putin and Trump - Huffington Post

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Huffington Post



The Emerging Worldwide Alliance of Rightwing Parties, Led by Putin and Trump
Huffington Post
In the United States, Donald Trump won a startling victory in his run for the presidency, employing attacks on Mexican migrants, Islamophobia, and promises to “make America great again.” In Russia, Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party solidified ...

and more »

Actually, It's Comey Wot Won It - Mother Jones

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Actually, It's Comey Wot Won It
Mother Jones
I'm not quite sure what prompted this, but who cares? I will never forget that FBI Director JamesComey was responsible for Donald Trump, and here's yet another example that illustrates this. It's the basic Pollster chart showing Trump's favorability ...

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Trump and the Russia Money - TPM (blog)

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TPM (blog)



Trump and the Russia Money
TPM (blog)
Folks following the Trump/Russia story have been talking about this article in the British Prospect, an interview with Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6 (1999-2004), the UK's analogue to the CIA. The attention has been on this passage of the ...

and more »

Trump's Unreleased Taxes Threaten Yet...

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Trump's Unreleased Taxes Threaten Yet Another Campaign Promise

New York Times - ‎11 hours ago‎
WASHINGTON — President Trump's promise to enact a sweeping overhaul of the tax code is in serious jeopardy nearly 100 days into his tenure, and his refusal to release his own tax returns is emerging as a central hurdle to another faltering campaign ...

These Politicians Think They've Found a Way to Get Donald Trump's Taxes

Mother Jones - ‎2 hours ago‎
President Donald Trump, however, appears set to end this tradition. He refused to produce his tax returns during the presidential campaign, claiming that he couldn't do so because he was under IRS audit. Trump has never produced a letter from the IRS ...

Trump Won't Release His 2016 Taxes, Still Hiding Behind The Bogus Audit Excuse

Huffington Post - ‎16 hours ago‎
President Donald Trump has no plans to release his 2016 tax returns, still inaccurately claiming that he can't do so because he is being audited by the IRS. “The president is under audit. It's a routine one. It continues. And I think that the American ...

All the things Donald Trump has said about releasing his tax returns

CNNMoney - ‎14 hours ago‎
More than a year before he announced his presidential campaign, Trump told an Irish television station that he would "absolutely" release his tax returns if he entered the race. "If I decide to run for office, I'll produce my tax returns, absolutely ...

The big thing Trump gets wrong about his taxes and the 2016 election

CNN - ‎21 hours ago‎
(CNN) On Easter Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted this: I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, ...
Read the whole story

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trump taxes - Google Search

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Story image for trump taxes from New York Times

Trump's Unreleased Taxes Threaten Yet Another Campaign Promise

New York Times-11 hours ago
Protesters rallied near President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., on Saturday to demand that he release his tax returns.
Protesters demand Trump release his returns at tax marches
Highly Cited-New York Daily News-Apr 15, 2017
Enough excuses. Release your taxes, Mr. President
Opinion-Los Angeles Times-1 hour ago
Why Trump cannot brush off demands for his tax returns
Blog-Washington Post (blog)-21 hours ago

Rudy Giuliani Working With Russia For Trump? Details On The Shocking Allegations

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Donald Trump may be in new hot water now -- if a story reported by a well-known reporter is correct. The reporter, Seth Abramson, posted a mega-thread today on Twitter, with some absolutely shocking allegations. So what's he claiming happened? Is his allegation true? We've looked into it and have all of the details below.
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Seth Abramson Alleges Russia-Giuliani-FBI Collaborated

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Abramson makes the allegations based on a few premises. The first of these premises relates to Hillary Clinton's emails (yep, that again).
According to Abramson, the final tranche of Clinton emails found by the FBI -- the ones that provoked the infamous Comey announcement right before the election -- were duplicates, and the FBI field office in New York knew that.
Story continues below....
He asserts that the FBI New York basically suppressed that information, and Giuliani knew about it. Why would they do that? He claims that the NY office is filled with Trump allies. And instead of trying to figure out whether the emails were duplicates, which Comey asked them to do, they only analyzed the meta-data on the emails.
The unstated implication Abramson appears to be making here is that the people in the NY FBI had a hunch that these emails may be duplicates, so they avoided doing additional research to delay admitting the truth. We'll look at this more later.
Story continues below....
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Abramson seems to make this implication because the FBI had the opportunity to get a court order to see the emails, and they made no effort to do so; they didn't even bother asking the owners of the emails for permission to look at them.

Where Did Rudy Giuliani Come in?

This is the point where Rudy Giuliani enters the picture. Around that time, as you may remember, Giuliani was all over cable news bragging about his knowledge about an 'October Surprise.' He even admitted at the time that he had information from the FBI (in NY) about this.
Abramson then makes this interesting statement:
Abramson believes that Comey figured out that the NY FBI was politicizing the situation. We'll come back to this as well.

Trump-Giuliani-Russia: More Sketchy Political Figures Enter

Here is where things get really shocking. Erik Prince enters the scene -- you may remember him from all of the civilian deaths in the Middle East involving Blackwater, a shadowy defense contractor.
Blackwater (which now has another name) was involved in countless questionable and shadowy operations for the U.S. and other governments over the last two decades. We don't have time to go through them all here, but there's plenty of information on Prince online.
There's an audio recording of Prince on the radio in November 2016, which Abramson cites. The audio recording is embedded here:
In the audio, Erik Prince, clearly suggests that has inside information and he knows the contents of Hillary Clinton's emails. However, he claims that the emails contain all sorts of illegal material -- none of which ends up being true.
Abramson makes another shocking suggestion here: that Prince did not get his information from the FBI/NYPD. Instead, he claims that Prince's statements were a carefully choreographed part of the Russian disinformation scheme. His evidence: that Russian bots immediately went out and reiterated Prince's argument.

James Comey Reenters

Comey at this point reenters and sends his letter to Congress, saying that he's found these new emails. Within days after that, he is able to go through the emails and determine they are all duplicated.
Given that the NY FBI had access to these emails for weeks, the fact that Comey was able to go through them in days does appear to suggest that the NY FBI wasn't interested in finding out the truth.
Abramson ends his tweet stream by saying that both Giuliani and Prince got favors from Trump after the election. He believes that this proves that Trump was aware of what he was doing.
He also says this:

So Is Abramson's Allegation True?

As with anything like this, there is an interesting mix in here. There are many statements that are true and easily corroborated; however, there are other assertions that are either questionable or unsupported by evidence. Let's take a look at them.
  1. The FBI New York office is filled with Trump allies who purposely suppressed (or avoided knowing about) the fact that Hillary emails were duplicates. Abramson doesn't really provide any evidence for this. There have been rumors about FBI agents disliking Clinton and Comey; however, it's something of a stretch to assume that the people who looked into this case disliked Clinton and Comey. And for FBI officials to purposely act on this would be a serious crime -- which there is no evidence for.
  2. Comey figures out that the NY FBI is politicizing the emails. This appears to be plausible, given previous statements by Comey. However, there is no solid evidence for this claim.
  3. Erik Prince worked with Russia to develop his message. This is implied in what Abramson says. There is evidence that Prince worked with Russia, and he obviously helped Trump; however, there's nothing known about the specifics of the relationship.
  4. The NY FBI dragged its feet on the emails, but Comey looked through them quickly, which is evidence for (1). Abramson uses the fact that Comey was able to look through the Clinton emails in days as evidence that the NY FBI was acting politically. That's a huge jump, without much evidence. It's possible that there were just bureaucratic issues. However, given the importance of this investigation and the simplicity of the task of checking the emails, it does seem something strange was going on.
  5. Giuliani and Prince got favors after the election -- and that is proof that Trump was part of a conspiracy to steal the election. This is an absurd logical jump. Trump didn't really give Giuliani anything good, and although he gave Prince plenty, that's not evidence of a conspiracy. Trump has given important posts to many of the random people who supported him -- many of whom have almost 0 experience in the field of their positions. Yes, Trump gave stuff to people; no, that doesn't prove a conspiracy.
So what's the upshot? There are definitely some interesting and revealing allegations in Abramson's thread. However, it's far from conclusive, and should be looked at more as a template for other research than an authoritative document.
Wanna read more on this? Check these out: The Untold Story: Trump's 'Sleepy Eyes' Insult A Jewish Slur Of Nazi Origin (more); Who Is Evelyn Farkas? Did She Really Spy On Trump? (Watch What She Says) (more); What Could You Buy With The $1B Trump Wants To Spend On 48 Mile Wall? (more); Trump & Mayflower: How Donald Trump Connects to the Mayflower Hotel (more).
And here are some more related articles: Ellen DeGeneres Pokes Fun At President Donald Trump With Children's Books (more); Watch Unhinged Donald Trump Exchange Insults With German Reporters (more); Can Rachel Maddow Go To Jail For Publishing Trump's Taxes? Law Says It's Illegal (Sort Of) (more).
A few more: Finn Jones Blames Donald Trump For Lackluster Reception For Iron Fist (more); When Did Chris Matthews Become A Journalist? The Unexpected Heroes Of The Trump Era (more).
Read the whole story

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Rudy Giuliani Working With Russia For Trump? Details On The Shocking Allegations - Empty Lighthouse Magazine

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Rudy Giuliani Working With Russia For Trump? Details On The Shocking Allegations
Empty Lighthouse Magazine
He asserts that the FBI New York basically suppressed that information, and Giuliani knew about it. Why would they do that? He claims that the NY office is filled with Trump allies. And instead of trying to figure out whether the emails were duplicates ...

Trump has deep ties to organized crime — federal investigators know it, and the public is catching up - Raw Story

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Raw Story



Trump has deep ties to organized crime — federal investigators know it, and the public is catching up
Raw Story
Also in February, Trump received a proposed peace plan for Ukraine and Russia, offered by his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and two Russians with organized crime convictions: Felix H.Sater, a business associate who once helped Trump scout deals in ...

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US won't draw red line on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue - India.com

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India.com



US won't draw red line on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue
India.com
Washington, April 18 (IANS) The White House said on Monday that it does not expect US President Donald Trump to draw a red line on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the country will continue work with China to solve it. “Drawing red lines really ...

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Why Trump Is Going to Be Unable to Hide His Deep Connections to Organized Crime Figures from Investigators - AlterNet

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AlterNet



Why Trump Is Going to Be Unable to Hide His Deep Connections to Organized Crime Figures from Investigators
AlterNet
As President Trump discovers the prerogative of unilaterally making war, the media gaze has turned away from the ongoing FBI, House and Senate investigation of his Russia ties to the simpler dramas of cruise missiles, big bombs and tough but loose talk ...

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Trump Dismissed Intelligence Briefings Before He Was Sworn In. Now He Receives Them Regularly. - Daily Caller

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Trump Dismissed Intelligence Briefings Before He Was Sworn In. Now He Receives Them Regularly.
Daily Caller
Donald Trump caused commotion in the intelligence community shortly after he won the election when he dismissed the daily intelligence briefing as repetitive and confidently said he didn't need to receive the same information every day of his presidency.

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A Georgia Lawyer Asks: Is There Such a Thing as “Trumpism”? - Southern Political Report

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Southern Political Report



A Georgia Lawyer Asks: Is There Such a Thing as “Trumpism”?
Southern Political Report
Trumpism is the new word that was introduced to the lexicon as a consequence of the political earthquake that struck the country last November. Interestingly, according to one writer in The Atlantic, “Trumpism existed long before Donald Trump ever ...

Trump still owes the American people tax return transparency - Charleston Post Courier

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Trump still owes the American people tax return transparency
Charleston Post Courier
“President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at the protesters who took part in marches across the country Saturday to demand that he release his tax returns, declaring on Twitter that 'The election is over!' “Trump's comments followed a nationwide Tax ...

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US to renegotiate South Korea trade pact

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American businesses ‘face too many barriers’, Mike Pence says during visit to Seoul

Everything Trump has said about releasing his tax returns - WDIV Detroit

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WDIV Detroit



Everything Trump has said about releasing his tax returns
WDIV Detroit
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - So far, President Trump has refused to release his tax returns while in office, breaking with a 40-year tradition. He has claimed that ongoing IRS audits prevent him from doing so, even though such audits wouldn't restrict anyone ...

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War Cries Drown Out 'America First' - Townhall

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Townhall



War Cries Drown Out 'America First'
Townhall
"Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?" tweeted President Donald Trump on Easter Sunday. Earlier, after discovering "great chemistry" with Chinese President Xi Jinping over "the most ...

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Thanks, but most Trump voters do not require liberal empathy - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Thanks, but most Trump voters do not require liberal empathy
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
If nothing else, the condescending attitude of Ms. Cordell toward half the nation's voters helps to explain the unexpected and overwhelming electoral victory of Donald J. Trump. The liberals-in-the-bubble refuse to acknowledge and accept the fact that ...

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Changing Trump views toward Russia, China worry some allies - Asahi Shimbun

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Asahi Shimbun



Changing Trump views toward Russia, China worry some allies
Asahi Shimbun
Photo/Illutration U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as he arrives before dinner at Mar-a-Lago resort, in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 6. (AP file photo). WASHINGTON--Once soft on Russia and hard on China, ...

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US conservatives keep faith with Putin despite Trump travails

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Some see Russian president as natural ally on social issues

US conservatives keep faith with Putin despite Trump travails - Financial Times

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Financial Times



US conservatives keep faith with Putin despite Trump travails
Financial Times
That meeting was cancelled at the last minute when Trump aides became aware that Spanish authorities suspected the Russian official of having ties to organised crime, Bloomberg and Yahoo News reported. Mr Torshin denies the charges. US Christian ...
Understanding all those Donald Trump Russian connectionsMovie TV Tech Geeks News
Media should show skepticism over Syrian chemical weapons attack claimsThe Sydney Morning Herald
Trump says US-Russia relations may be at all-time low - AP NewsAP News
Twitter
all 2,944 news articles »

Donald Trump's refusal to release tax returns emerges as roadblack to wider reform - The Australian Financial Review

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The Australian Financial Review



Donald Trump's refusal to release tax returns emerges as roadblack to wider reform
The Australian Financial Review
As procrastinators rushed to file their tax returns by Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, emphasized again on Monday that Trump had no intention of making his public. Democrats have seized on that decision, uniting around a pledge ...

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US won't draw red line on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue - Telangana Today

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US won't draw red line on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue
Telangana Today
Spicer cited the US decision to bomb a Syrian military airfield early this month as an indication that Trump would take action when necessary. By IANS | Published: 18th Apr 2017 10:20 am. Korean Peninsula White House. Source: Internet. Open. Washington ...

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Trump effect on French election: Anything is possible - New Jersey Herald

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New Jersey Herald



Trump effect on French election: Anything is possible
New Jersey Herald
A man walks past electoral posters displaying the presidential candidates, Benoit Hamon, left, Emmanuel Macron, center, and Marine Le Pen in Paris, France, Monday, April 17, 2017. French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le ...
Who are the candidates vying to become president?Aljazeera.com

all 162 news articles »
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Trump is tarnishing Republicans: Jesse Ferguson - USA TODAY

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USA TODAY



Trump is tarnishing Republicans: Jesse Ferguson
USA TODAY
Trump's approval rating is tanking for the same reason that association with him is so dangerous for the GOP: He is losing on the key traits and qualities that matter most to ordinary people. He's considered not honest by 27 points (61% to 34 ...
Donald Trump's Tilt Toward ConventionThe Atlantic
Why the demise of Steve Bannon won't necessarily change the current trajectory of Trump's Republican PartyWDEL 1150AM (blog)
Trump group's ads bolstering GOP Obamacare repeal driveABC News
Toronto Star -New York Magazine
all 58 news articles »

Coast to coast, resistance from California to Connecticut - Yale Daily News (blog)

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Coast to coast, resistance from California to Connecticut
Yale Daily News (blog)
Whether or not citizen activism was the driving force behind the failure of the AHCA, Democrats believe it can have an influence in Washington. “At the end ... Introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, the proposed ...

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[Investigation] Sex and lies: Russia's EU news - EUobserver

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EUobserver



[Investigation] Sex and lies: Russia's EU news
EUobserver
They also claimed, without evidence, that German courts were “inundated” by migrant sex crimes and that German police could not keep up with migrant crime statistics. ... They made hollow claims of mass rapes by migrants in Belgium and in Sweden, which ...

America's New 'Anxiety' Disorder - New York Times

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New York Times



America's New 'Anxiety' Disorder
New York Times
In 1947, W.H. Auden published a very long poem that, despite winning a Pulitzer Prize, is now remembered less for its contents than for its title: “The Age of Anxiety.” Something about the idea that an age can be anxious must resonate deep in America's ...

Trump's strategy? It's doubtful he has one - Las Vegas Sun

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Trump's strategy? It's doubtful he has one
Las Vegas Sun
So much for Donald Trump, the “America First” populist champion of the forgotten working class. The president now sounds pretty much like a garden-variety globalist, defending the “rigged” system he denounced during the campaign. Then again, who knows ...

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Trump's Unreleased Taxes Threaten Yet...

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4.18.17 - » The Emerging Worldwide Alliance of Rightwing Parties, Led by Putin and Trump - Huffington Post 17/04/17 22:40 | Why Trump Is Going to Be Unable to Hide His Deep Connections to Organized Crime Figures from Investigators | Why some national-security experts say Kremlin-gate will lead to Donald Trump's impeachment





After the release of the Comey letter, Trump's favorability shot up six points. It's dipped slightly since then, but only by a few hairs. In over a year of campaigning, only one thing had a serious impact on the presidential race. James Comey. 


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Trump and the Russia Money

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So [Dearlove’s] seen it all before. But the allegations that members of Trump’s staff had illegal contact with the Russian government during the election campaign are “unprecedented,” said Dearlove. As for the president’s personal position, he said, “What lingers for Trump may be what deals—on what terms—he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the west apparently would not lend to him.”
This is quite an interesting comment, to say the least.
But there are a few caveats to consider. Dearlove hasn’t been in government since 2004. Former top spies tend to remain fairly in the know, at least informally. But Dearlove was not in office during either of the key points, not in 2008 or 2016. More importantly, the interview as a whole is only partly about Trump and to the extent it is about him it’s about him as part of the ‘nationalist’ wave sweeping the EU and US, not about the Russia story itself. Finally, is Dearlove sharing some authoritative information, things he’s seen suggested or simple speculation?
I don’t have answers to any of these questions. It’s all rather unexplained, just put out there. Still, it’s relatively specific on 2008 as a crisis point. We are now led to believe that British intelligence was the first to get wind – in late 2015 – of questionable contacts between members of the Trump entourage and Russian intelligence operatives. So what are we to make of this suggestion?
First, it broadly lines up with a lot that we know. Before the ties between Trump and Russia became a story in 2016, it was already widely known that Trump had been effectively blackballed by all the big US banks for years. Deutschebank, which is of course a German bank, has been the only major bank to continue loaning Trump money for about twenty years. So we know most big banks wouldn’t lend to Trump well before 2008. So that part largely checks out.
We also know that in the decade before he ran for President, Trump became increasingly reliant on money out of the former Soviet Union. This was both for purchases of apartment units, to fund major projects like Trump Soho, in Lower Manhattan, in addition to many other projects.
We are close to adding the first members of our expanded investigative team to dig into stories just like this. And high on my list is putting together a comprehensive timeline of the myriad Russian connections Trump managed to put together over the last two decades. You can know almost countless individual stories, nuggets of information, clues and pieces of evidence. But sometimes seeing it all visualized is key to really understanding what’s going on. I’m eager to see that visualization.
Dearlove points to 2008, an economic crisis when lots of individuals and companies teetered on the edge of bankruptcy or collapse. My impression however, is that Trump starts really building up the big Russia ties a few years earlier – in the 2003-2006 period. Lots of the stories and connections you’ve likely heard about, they trail back to those years. There are some that come long before and others that come after. But it’s in that period when lots of different deals, connections, business partnerships and so forth come together. In other words, Trump seems to have had a lot of the relationships and partnerships and money flows in place a good couple years before 2008. Of course that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have drawn on those connections to weather 2008 too.
Of course, this may end up coming back to projects like Trump SoHo itself. It was happening during the financial crisis and seemed to get various infusions of money out of Russia to keep it moving forward. Quite a lot more digging is required to get to the bottom of Trump’s business dealings with Russia sources of money during the W. Bush and Obama eras. We still only know the outlines. Perhaps Dearlove knows more.

Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks Review | Mike Nova on Twitter Tweets in this blog 

» The Emerging Worldwide Alliance of Rightwing Parties, Led by Putin and Trump - Huffington Post
17/04/17 22:40 from Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks
mikenova shared this story from trump and putin - Google News. Huffington Post The Emerging Worldwide Alliance of Rightwing Parties, Led by Putin and Trump Huffington Post In the United States, Donald Trump won a startling victory in his...
» Actually, It's Comey Wot Won It - Mother Jones
17/04/17 22:35 from Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks
mikenova shared this story from comey - Google News. Actually, It's Comey Wot Won It Mother Jones I'm not quite sure what prompted this, but who cares? I will never forget that FBI Director James Comey was responsible for Donald Trump, a...
» Trump and the Russia Money - TPM (blog)
17/04/17 22:34 from Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks
mikenova shared this story from trump and russia - Google News. TPM (blog) Trump and the Russia Money TPM (blog) Folks following the Trump / Russia story have been talking about this article in the British Prospect, an interview with Ric...
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Intel source: in Russia scandal, Rudy Giuliani has now flipped on Donald Trump after all

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Last week we brought you the story of how Rudy Giuliani is in so much legal trouble that he’s been trying to get a deal in exchange for flipping on Donald Trump, but that the FBI rejected it because its Trump-Russia investigation is so far along that it doesn’t need his help (link). But now equally proven intel sources say that Giuliani has cut a deal after all, and is cooperating with law enforcement against Trump.
This latest information comes from Olga NYC, an online political pundit whose sources have a track record of being proven correct. She states that “A very reliable source has told me that R Giuliani is cooperating” (link). Scott Dworkin of the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, who has a strong track record in his own right, then chimed in to point out that Olga has been “100% reliable” with her inside sources (link). So where does this leave us?
There are two possible scenarios at play here. One is that, after the FBI initially rebuffed Rudy Giuliani, it’s now circled back and given him a deal after all. This tactic is sometimes used to try motivate a suspect to be more cooperative once they’re finally given the deal they’re asking for. The other possible scenario is that after the FBI rejected Giuliani’s request for a deal, the New York State Attorney General may have instead given him a deal. The source hasn’t stated whether Giuliani’s deal was with state or federal law enforcement.
The second scenario is given credibility by the fact that Rudy Giuliani’s most well-documented legal troubles stem from his attempt at interfering with a case that the New York State Attorney General’s office is bringing against a Turkish businessman named Reza Zarrab (source: NBC News). So it makes sense that he would be seeking leniency from the State of New York, and willing to give up Trump in the process. This serves to further demonstrate how far along both the state and federal Trump-Russia investigations are progressing behind the scenes. Contribute to Palmer Report
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Bill Palmer is the founder and editor in chief of the political news outlet Palmer Report

A Mysterious Case Involving Turkey, Iran, and Rudy Giuliani

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The mysterious case of Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman facing federal charges in New York, has grown even stranger over the past couple of weeks.
Zarrab, who is thirty-three, was arrested by F.B.I. agents, in Miami, last March. At the time, he was one of the flashiest and wealthiest businessmen in Turkey. He sported a pouf of black hair; owned twenty houses, seven yachts, and a private jet; was married to one of Turkey’s biggest pop stars; and counted among his friends Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s strongman President.
The U.S. government, however, believes that Zarrab masterminded a sprawling operation to help the Iranian government evade economic sanctions that were put in place to hinder the country’s nuclear-weapons program. Zarrab’s operation—which relied on what the Turkish government claimed was a legal loophole in the sanctions—involved shipping gold to Iran in exchange for oil and natural gas, which Zarrab then sold. The scheme, according to prosecutors in New York’s Southern District, involved moving enormous amounts of cash, gas, and gold; at the operation’s peak—around 2012—Zarrab was buying a metric ton of gold and shipping it to Iran every day. The Obama Administration protested Zarrab’s operation, which the media dubbed “gas for gold,’’ but he carried on anyway. For the Iranians, the gold was as good as American cash, and it helped shore up the rial, Iran’s currency, whose value was collapsing.
Since last March, Zarrab has been sitting in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, in Manhattan, awaiting trial. The questions—and conspiracy theories—about him and his case, meanwhile, have only multiplied. At the time of his arrest, Zarrab was more or less living under the protection of the Turkish government, and he had every reason to believe that the U.S. government was after him. Why, then, did he fly to Miami? Zarrab told agents that he was on a family trip to Disney World. But many Turks who follow the case believe that Zarrab flew to the United States in an attempt to strike a deal with American prosecutors.
Why would he do that? It’s not clear if any deal was ever discussed, but Zarrab is probably in possession of enough evidence to implicate several senior members of Turkey’s government, whom American prosecutors say Zarrab was bribing so that he could carry on with his scheme. Zarrab, prosecutors have told a federal judge in New York, used “his tremendous wealth not only to purchase several homes, yachts and other assets, but also to buy access to corrupt politicians in Turkey.”
Zarrab’s far-flung activities first came to public light four years ago—entirely by accident. On January 1, 2013, a cargo plane from Accra, Ghana, was diverted to Istanbul’s main international airport, because of fog. When customs officials searched the plane, they found three thousand pounds of gold bars. Turkish prosecutors—who at that time still had enough independence to challenge the central government—determined that Zarrab had been paying millions of dollars in bribes to senior officials in Erdoğan’s government, and they had the businessman arrested and charged. The police themselves were stunned. “We didn’t expect this little investigation to give way to a bigger one,’’ Nazmi Ardıç, the chief of the Istanbul police department’s organized-crime unit, told me in 2015.
According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the Minister for the Economy, Zafer Çağlayan, accepted more than forty-five million dollars in cash, gems, and luxury goods from Zarrab. When police entered the home of Süleyman Aslan—the C.E.O. of Halk Bank, which Zarrab allegedly used to launder his money—they found shoeboxes stuffed with four and a half million dollars. (Both Çağlayan and Aslan have denied any wrongdoing.) Wiretapped phone conversations also appeared to implicate members of Erdoğan’s family.
The cargo-plane incident and subsequent investigation of Zarrab roiled Turkish politics. Erdoğan, instead of backing down, accused Fethullah Gülen, an imam and former ally living in exile in the Poconos, in Pennsylvania, of trying to mount a coup against him. It was then that Erdoğan initiated the first in a series of purges across the Turkish government, firing, transferring, or jailing thousands of police officers and prosecutors. Afterward, the charges against Zarrab were dropped, and he was released from prison. The power struggle between Erdoğan and Gülen climaxed last summer, when followers of Gülen inside the Turkish military took part in a real attempted coup against Erdoğan’s government. Erdoğan beat back the uprising, but not before more than two hundred and sixty people were killed. Since then, Erdoğan has been busy arresting and detaining anyone linked to the country’s democratic opposition, and many people who are not.

Zarrab’s arrest in the U.S. occurred a few months before the attempted coup. Since then, Erdoğan has tried to have Zarrab sprung; last year, his government asked Loretta Lynch, then the U.S. Attorney General, to release him, and Erdoğan himself raised the issue last September in a meeting with Joe Biden, then the Vice-President. Erdoğan even accused the U.S. Attorney who indicted Zarrab, Preet Bharara, as well as the judge overseeing the case, Richard Berman, of having links to Gülen, whom Erdoğan describes as a “terrorist.” Bharara and Berman, Erdoğan charged, had been “wined and dined” by Gülen’s organization.
Why does Erdoğan care so much about Zarrab? It could be that Erdoğan is just a loyal friend. But the evidence found by Turkish prosecutors in the original case against Zarrab suggests that Erdoğan himself, or his family, could be tied to Zarrab’s scheme. Perhaps Erdoğan is afraid that Zarrab, facing decades in prison, will eventually talk.
After his arrest, in Miami, Zarrab hired some of the most expensive lawyers in New York. They tried to secure a comfortable bail arrangement—and failed. They then sought to have the case thrown out entirely, and failed at that, too. For a time, it looked as though the Zarrab case was headed for trial. Then, last month, came several dramatic developments. Zarrab fired most of his lawyers and hired Rudy Giuliani, a confidant of President Trump, and Michael Mukasey, the former U.S. Attorney General. Then Trump fired Bharara, the prosecutor who indicted Zarrab in the first place. With a legal team friendly to the President in place, and a hostile prosecutor out of the way, Zarrab may be hoping for a sweet deal from the prosecution. It has since been revealed that Giuliani and Mukasey travelled to Turkey in February to meet with Erdoğan about the case—another of Zarrab’s lawyers said that they were seeking a “diplomatic solution” to the situation. Berman, the judge, has asked that Giuliani and Mukasey provide more information about their role in the case.
Finally, another new layer of mystery: last month, F.B.I. agents arrested Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy C.E.O. of Halk Bank—the same bank that prosecutors allege that Zarrab used to launder his gas-for-gold transactions—upon his arrival at J.F.K. International Airport, in New York. The case against Atilla was built on much of the same evidence—wiretapped phone conversations—that was used to charge Zarrab. (On Thursday, Atilla pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.) What was going on? Would Atilla simply fly to J.F.K. without a care, even though his former client had been arrested a year earlier in a very public case? Or was something murkier at work?
The Turkish government was not happy with Atilla’s arrest; Halk Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the country. As with almost everything that goes wrong in Turkey these days, the country’s leaders are blaming Gülen, the exiled imam in the Poconos. “The move against Halk Bank’s Atilla,’’ Binali Yıldırım, the Turkish Prime Minister, said, “is another plan and trick of the Gülen movement.”
Read the whole story

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Will the president pull a Giuliani on Bannon? - amNY

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amNY



Will the president pull a Giuliani on Bannon?
amNY
And he was fired by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump's buddy, although his stock took a dive ever since he lobbied loudly for the secretary of state job. Appointed commissioner in 1994, Bratton kept insisting it was he, not Giuliani, who deserved credit ...

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Rudy Giuliani Working With Russia For Trump? Details On The Shocking Allegations

Is Rudy Giuliani Losing His Mind?


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