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Tag: Russia

Former Trump Aides Under House Arrest After Money Laundering Charges

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two aides who were influential parts of Donald Trump’s campaign team are now under house arrest as their attorneys go on the defensive.

Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manaf0rt, and another aide, Rick Gates, have been under house arrest since Special Counsel Robert Mueller unsealed a 12-count indictment stemming from their work for a pro-Russian faction in Ukraine, Reuters reports

They have been ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device as they await a tial on money-laundering and other charges.

The aides’ attorneys said they case was embellished and overblown by the special counsel team and unsuccessfully requested that their clients not be forced to wear monitoring device.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she’s “concerned, very concerned” that an unsecured appearance bond was “not sufficient” without some sort of monitoring.

“If they leave and don’t come back, we need to know where they went,” the judge said.

Kushner Becomes Focus of Special Counsel Investigation, Turns over Documents

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The widening special counsel investigation that has so far led to three charges against President Trump’s former campaign aides is now zeroing in on White House special adviser Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s son in law.

Kushner has turned over documents to the special counsel team that is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to help defeat Hillary Clinton.

According to CNN, the FBI is interested in Kushner’s role in former FBI Director James Comey’s firing. 

But sources close to the investigation say Kushner is not yet a target of the investigation.

In June 2016, Kushner attended a meeting at the Trump Tower between top Trump campaign officials and a group of Russians. 

DOJ: Russian Government Officials Could Be Charged for DNC Hack

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Six members of the Russian government are accused of hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s computer during the 2016 presidential election.

The Justice Department has collected enough evidence to produce charges next year, two people familiar with the investigation told the Wall Street Journal.

Allegations that President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia have prompted a very active, widening special counsel investigation that has already netted charges against three Trump aides.

One former aide, George Papadopoulos, is cooperating with authorities after he was accused of setting up a meeting with Russian officials who had “dirt” and thousands of emails on Hillary Clinton

Lawmakers Disclose Russia’s Vile Social Media Ads to Help Trump

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russia’s aggressive and surreptitious campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election included troves of misleading and often vicious social media ads targeting Muslims, Black Lives Matter and illegal immigrants.

Members of the House Intelligence Committee released thousands of advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google linked to a Russian group called the Internet Research Agency. The ads, initially turned over by Facebook, reached as many as 126 million users, the Associated Press reports

One ad for an event called, “Support Hillary. Save American Muslims,” included a photo of Donald Trump’s Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Another called for a burqa ban in American, suggesting the Muslim apparel could be used to hide a terrorist.

Another ad by “Army of Jesus” calls Clinton “Satan” and encourages Americans to elect “a president with godly moral principles.” 

rusian-ad-on-facebook

Lawmakers slammed the social media companies for failing to act before the election.

“I don’t think you get it. I think the fact that you’re general counsels, you defend your company,” Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said at the hearing about Russia’s use of social media in the 2016 election, Politico reports. “What we’re talking about is the beginning of cyberwarfare.”

Allegations that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to sabotage Clinton is at the center of a growing special counsel investigation that has already resulted in charges against three campaign aides and includes ongoing inquiries into whether Trump obstructed justice by firing then-FBI Director James Comey for refusing to back down from an investigation into Trump aides.

Bannon Pushes Trump to Dump Mueller Before Probe Gets Hotter

Steve Bannon on 60 Minutes.

Steve Bannon on 60 Minutes.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A special counsel investigation that President Trump has dismissed as a “witch hunt” fueled by “fake news” has suddenly become very real.

On Monday, Robert Mueller’s legal team dropped bombshells: Two Trump campaign aides have been charged with federal crimes and another has cooperated and admitted he tried to set up a clandestine meeting between the future president and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

As the legal heat turns up on the Trump administration, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is urging Trump to dump Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Politico reports

Bannon, who now is the executive chairman of the right-wing Breitbart News, advised the president to defund Mueller’s office to avoid officially firing him. 

CNN’s Dana Bash reported Bannon even told Trump he should withhold documents requested by investigators.

“I’m told Bannon pushing trump to be more aggressive against Mueller: urge gop to cut funding, withhold document production and more,” Bash wrote on Twitter.

Convicted Trump Aide Admits Trying to Securing Clandestine Trump-Putin Meeting

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, via LinkedIn.

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, via LinkedIn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to President Trump, is the first campaign aide to plead guilty as part of the special counsel’s widening investigation into possible collusion between the president’s associates and the Russian government.

Papadopoulos, 30, who admitted to lying to FBI agents, is also the first aide reach a plea agreement in exchange for cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The young Greek-American, whom Trump called an “excellent guy” in a March 2016 interview with the Washington Post, was part of a plot to secure a meeting between the future president and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Guardian reports

In April 2016, Papadopoulos met with a mysterious London professor who claimed to have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”

The potentially game-changing development was announced on the same day Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and adviser Rick Gates surrendered to the FBI and were indicted on numerous charges, including conspiracy, money-laundering and foreign lobbying violations.

Trump Discounts Special Counsel Probe, Calling it a Politically Motivated ‘Witch Hunt’

PrintBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump responded to news about an escalation in the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia by pointing the finger at Hillary Clinton, Democrats, “evil politics,” former FBI Director James Comey and the media.

In one of five morning tweets Sunday, two days after news broke about a federal grand jury’s approving the first charges as part of the special counsel probe, Trump called the probe a “terrible WITCH HUNT for evil politics.”

“facts are pouring out” about ties between Russia and Clinton.

“Never seen such publican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier,” Trump tweeted.

He continued: the Uranium to Russia deal, the  33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more. Instead they look at phony Trump/Russia ‘collusion,’ which doesn’t exist.”

Trump complained that there wasn’t a more active investigation into Clinton’s connection to the “Fake Dossier.”

Trump added, “There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!

Trump even suggested the investigation is an intentional distraction to the Republican’s “big push for historic Tax Cuts & Reform.”

The president asked, “Is this coincidence? NOT!”

Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort turned himself into the FBI on Monday morning, becoming the first person to be charged in connection with Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation.

Ex-Trump Campaign Chairman Manafort Surrenders to FBI

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort surrendered to federal authorities, marking the first arrest as part of a special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia to disrupt the presidential election.

Manafort’s longtime business partner Robert Gates also has been ordered to surrender in what marks a significant development in an investigation that has cast a long shadow over the White House, multiple news sources reports this morning

At 8:15 a.m., Manafort was spotted walking into the FBI’s field office in Washington D.C. with his attorney.

Manafort has been an early focus in the intensifying investigation over allegations that he committed money laundering, violated federal tax laws and failed to disclose the extent of his foreign lobbying.

Gates has been linked to companies that Manafort established to receive payments from movers and shakers in Eastern Europe.

The arrest of Manafort was expected after the FBI raided his home.

With early arrests in large, complex federal investigations, prosecutors often try to offer leniency in exchange for incriminating information about higher-ups.

But people close to Manafort, including his former business partner Roger Stone Jr., insist he doesn’t plan to provide damaging information about the president.

A veteran Republican strategist, Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and climbed the ranks of Trump’s campaign until he was running the day-to-day operations.