Monday, December 10, 2018

44 former U.S. senators write to the Senate as the Mueller probe nears an end: "We urge current and future senators to be steadfast and zealous guardians of our democracy by ensuring that partisanship or self-interest not replace national interest."

SCOOP: @RudyGiuliani is negotiating a security contract with the DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO through an Israeli firm that was paid $8M to block additional sanctions by the TRUMP administration against the DRC for corruption & human rights abuses.

She admits, as part of the deal, that she and an unnamed “U.S. Person 1,” which sources have identified as longtime Republican operative Paul Erickson “agreed and conspired, with a Russian government official (“Russian Official”) and at least one other person..." Torshin.

Washington Post columnist predicts Trump will resign 10 minutes before Pence so Pence can pardon him

If Republican operative Paul Erickson received a target letter, as @abcnews reports, that means federal prosecutors intend to indict him, presumably for conspiring with Russian spy Maria Butina to secretly act as a Russian agent

This bipartisan letter from 44 former US Senators is a remarkable (historic) document. It applies to all 100 current incumbents, and in particular to the biggest cog in the democratic wheel — Kentucky Republican Senator and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Fyi, in case there's any confusion: Maria Butina has agreed to *fully cooperate* no holds barred

WATCH: The Beast's own @ErinBanco joined @maddow tonight to talk about her reporting on Paul Erickson, Maria Butina's GOP boyfriend—and possibly the first American charged under a statute Justice Department lawyers describe as "espionage-lite"

New filing in United States v. Manafort: Notice (Other)

No jump shots. No ferns. No memes. Not this time. I’m going to give it to you straight: If you need health insurance for 2019, the deadline to get covered is December 15. Go to today and pass this on — you just might save a life.

Well, Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing planes were transporting diamond-mining equipment for the African Development Corporation, a Robertson-owned venture initiated with the cooperation of Mobutu Sese Seko—the Congolese dictator who paid for lobbying to seek entry into the US

YouTube just banned Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court's four liberal jurists in turning away a petition from Kansas and Louisiana seeking a ban on abortion providers

16 people who did not call the FBI

#Russia's state TV: “What do you mean by “attempted”? We elected the President.”

And then there’s @RickSantorum, I’m sure they barely knew each other.

Accused Russian spy Maria Butina appears to reach plea deal

Maria Butina, the now-jailed Russian agent who publicly prompted Trump to say in 2015 that he favored ending sanctions against Moscow, is changing her previous plea of “not guilty”

Acting AG Matt Whitaker met with Jared Kushner on Friday. Watch @Morning_Joe discusses why the meeting should not have happened and why Whitaker should recuse himself from the investigation

Manafort's attorneys ordered to appear in court on Wednesday in lieu of the defense submission due that day...

Federal public defender AJ Kramer is still referenced in this latest request as "advisory counsel" and we don't have addl info on what exactly that means. But we may get more info soon: Butina's lawyers are okay unsealing the part of last week's hearing that was sealed

NBC News: Mariia Butina, the Russian woman accused of being an unregistered agent of Russia and who tried to infiltrate U.S. political orgs including the NRA, has asked for a change of plea hearing. She will likely plead guilty, no word if she has a cooperating agreement.

CNN reporting Mark Meadows turns down CoS job.

A school district in Rhode Island wants its lunch money back—and has hired a private debt collection agency to go after parents to get it

A Brooklyn woman applying for food stamps sat on the floor as no chairs were available. The NYPD came and forcibly pulled her ONE-YEAR-OLD son out of her arms. She faces multiple charges and is being held without bail on Rikers

How the GOP Became the Party of Putin

“In the eight years since it was decided, Citizens United has unleashed a wave of campaign spending that by any reasonable standard is extraordinarily corrupt.”

Just ONE WEEK LEFT to #GetCovered for 2019. Most folks can find coverage for $75 or less per month.

Get health insurance now!

Some of the factors that have pushed the S&P 500 down 8% in the last two months include the U.S.-China trade war, the Fed's rate hikes, and the Trump tax cuts — which gave the U.S. economy a one-off boost in 2018.

Suffering pickaxes and dog poop, Trump’s Hollywood star has become a symbolic spectacle

Investigation of generic ‘cartel’ expands to 300 drugs

.@emlas has unearthed a trove of artifacts from Trump’s use of audience lists created by Cambridge Analytica to target so-called “dark ads” on Facebook. The ads were deployed from July 2016 through the the election—and beyond, to inauguration in Jan 2017

Carl Bernstein: Trump has been "boxed in by Mueller"

Whenever you send out such inane tweets, I take great solace in knowing that you realize how much trouble you are in & how impossible it will be for you to escape American justice. Mostly, I am relieved that you will never have the opportunity to run for public office again

Blackmail likely brought Trump the Christian Right. There's now a connection between a Jerry Falwell Jr. lawsuit involving him staking a Miami pool boy w/millions & Cohen's assuredness that Falwell would endorse Trump no matter what, well ahead of 2016.

Trump says immigration system is a national security threat, but goes easy on Russia

The next worry for U.S. stocks: shrinking profit forecasts

The sad truth about Russian election interference

Fake and negative news is depressing markets, JPMorgan says

The tumult of personnel turnover that's come to characterize Donald Trump’s administration is suddenly posing a major problem

How Europe’s new autocrats are consolidating control

Smocking Gun

Trump is "concerned" for the "first time in his life," Watergate journalist says impeachment hearings look likely

One of the country’s largest oil refiners, Andeavor, contributed $1 million in both 2016 and 2017 to a dark money group connected to Mitch McConnell.

If you truly want ‘the will of the British people’ to be implemented, you’ll be happy to have a second referendum to confirm what their will is. If you’re afraid your lies won’t fly twice and that breaking electoral law might be much harder a 2nd time

China summons U.S. ambassador, warns Canada of 'grave consequences' if Huawei

#UPDATE: Former senior adviser to Russian President Putin has told the Kyiv Post that he believes Moscow is preparing to send special forces to seize a vital canal in Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast that used to provide water to Crimea before Ukraine shut it off

Boycott Walgreens. Everyone. Now

In the NYT, @DLeonhardt reveals the corporations financing the anti-democratic power grab in Wisconsin by supporting the state legislature's GOP leadership.

The UK can unilaterally revoke its withdrawal from the EU, the European Court of Justice has ruled

Comey names Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan for refusing to join bipartisan warning about Russian election interference, "to their everlasting shame." Says they’re going to have a hard time defending that to history

Rep. Raúl Grijalva is going to make Ryan Zinke's life hell in the next Congress

NEW: A source close to Mulvaney tells me he is no longer interested in COS job, Mnuchin and Lighthizer sending out same signals.... list of potential replacements for Kelly shrinking by the hour.

COVER STORY: Trump reached office without a thorough vetting. His taxes, business deals, and overseas connections received little scrutiny, and the scandals of his admin have been mostly ignored by Republicans.

A transcript of an audio recording that captured Khashoggi's last moments has been disclosed to CNN by a source. "I can't breathe," are Khashoggi's last words. The transcript notes the sounds of Khashoggi's body being dismembered by a saw.

In response to a letter I led w/ @SenJackReed, DOD admits failure to charge Saudi Arabia & UAE for refueling assistance—revealing the US was directly funding the Saudi war in Yemen. The Senate must pass S.J.Res. 54 to end all US support for this brutal humanitarian crisis.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff on "Face the Nation" says Donald Trump faces the "real prospect of jail time" after leaving office. Trump would be the FIRST president in U.S. history to be jailed.

Cyntoia Brown must serve 51 years before she's eligible for release, Tennessee Supreme Court says

The President's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, continued to have private conversations with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,

Ukraine Latest>> Thousands of Russian tanks and trucks have amassed on Crimea/Ukraine border. Satellite photos show. Images of Russian planes moving airborne troops into Crimea. More than 80,000 Russian troops are in the area, but could be more

This is not a drill. Putin is preparing to invade Ukraine.

Comey: Trump is "close" to being unindicted co-conspirator

Trump administration allies with Russia, Saudi Arabia to resist global climate efforts.

Russians interacted with at least 14 Trump associates during the campaign and transition. Trump lied about that in his first news conference as president.

NEW: A source close to Mulvaney tells me he is no longer interested in COS job, Mnuchin and Lighthizer sending out same signals.... list of potential replacements for Kelly shrinking by the hour.

Jerome Corsi sues Mueller, Justice Department, CIA, FBI and NSA

Onset of recession may take longer than expected after yield curve inverts

Trump's next chief of staff may be walking into a nightmare

Wisconsin Republicans Are Shooting Themselves In the Foot

Mike Pompeo swaggers his way to failure

Chris Christie: Prosecutors likely have "corroborating" evidence Trump violated campaign finance laws beyond Cohen

“You’re beginning to see a lot of Republicans who are looking seriously at 2019, with a lot of Fridays like this one, and Trump really hurting himself, and maybe not serving out the term.