Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Flips and Flops and the Russia investigation

by digby

I'm not sure what to make of this but it seems interesting:

Former CIA Director James Woolsey dined with President Donald Trump last weekend at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida — where, a report said, they had a "lengthy conversation" at the main dining table surrounded by several of Trump's friends, associates, and political allies.

A tipster told Politico's Playbook about the conversation, which raised eyebrows given Woolsey's centrality to the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser.

Woolsey, who served on the board of Flynn's lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, was at a meeting on September 19, 2016, with Flynn and Turkish government ministers in which they discussed removing the controversial Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen from US soil, Woolsey has said.

Woolsey apparently notified Vice President Joe Biden through a mutual friend about the meeting, which he thought could have been an illegal discussion, Woolsey's spokesman, Jonathan Franks, said earlier this year.

Franks confirmed late last month that Mueller's team had interviewed Woolsey about the meeting. He said Woolsey and his wife had been in touch with the FBI since before Mueller began overseeing the bureau's Russia investigation in May.

"Ambassador Woolsey and his wife have been in communication with the FBI regarding the September 19, 2016, meeting Ambassador Woolsey was invited to attend by one of General Flynn's business partners," Franks said in a statement at the time. "Ambassador Woolsey and his wife have responded to every request, whether from the FBI, or, more recently, the Office of the Special Counsel."

Franks released another statement responding to Politico Playbook's tip on Monday. "Ambassador Woolsey has served 4 Presidents," the statement said. "He has never communicated the contents of his conversations with any of them to a third party and doesn’t intend to start now."

Woolsey's participation in the September 19, 2016 meeting and another one the next day with two Turkish businessmen — during which he reportedly pitched a $10 million contract to help discredit Gulen — may have landed him on the FBI's radar even before Trump won the presidency.

Now, Mueller has reportedly gathered enough evidence against Flynn and his son to charge them with crimes related to their previously unregistered lobbying work for Turkish government interests.
"Whenever a subject of a criminal investigation talks to a witness, the prosecution will ask questions about what was discussed during that meeting," said Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor. In this case, he said, the subject is Trump and the witness is Woolsey.
Woolsey is not a naif and he had to know he was going to be spotted and that it would raise eyebrows. Unless he's reporting back to Mueller, which he very well might be, this is a very odd thing for him to do.  I do not believe he'll lie to the feds for Trump. He's a terrible person but he isn't a Trump loyalist.

This crew never fails to amaze does it?

Update: here's something more:

A Turkish-Iranian gold trader accused of violating US sanctions on Iran pleaded guilty on Tuesday, prompting speculation that he could be cooperating with prosecutors building a case against Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser whose lobbying work for Turkish government interests is under federal investigation.

The trader, Reza Zarrab, was arrested in March 2016 in Florida. His case was set to go to trial in New York this week on charges of fraud and money laundering, but he took a plea deal that will require him to testify against his codefendant in the same conspiracy, a defense lawyer said on Tuesday.

Former US attorney Preet Bharara wrote a memo last May alleging that Zarrab "facilitated millions of dollars-worth of transactions on behalf of Iran ... through a global network of companies located in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates " designed to evade US sanctions.

Bharara also accused Zarrab of wrongdoing that implicated top Turkish government officials. Zarrab, he alleged, had "engaged in a massive bribery scheme ... paying cabinet-level [Turkish] governmental officials and high-level bank officers tens of millions of Euro and US dollars" to facilitate his transactions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fiercely lobbied high-level Obama administration officials for Zarrab's release, beginning shortly after Zarrab was arrested in Miami last March. Erdogan made personal appeals to both Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama, and he sent his justice minister at the time to meet with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch to argue that the case was "based on no evidence."

Zarrab was not released, but Erdogan apparently continued lobbying for his release into January. By the time Obama left office, the Turkish government had already begun establishing ties to people close to President Donald Trump, including former Flynn and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani joined Zarrab's legal team in March, shortly after Flynn was fired over his conversations with Russia's former ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak.

Federal prosecutors are now pursuing a separate but parallel investigation into whether Flynn used his cabinet position to secure Zarrab's release from a New York jail and return to Turkey a controversial Muslim cleric loathed by Erdogan — in exchange for as much as $15 million.

Zarrab could have information about Flynn's ties to Erdogan that could be useful to federal investigators examining the extent to which Flynn was working for the Turkish government both before and after the election.

"You can fill in the gaps that federal investigators are looking for any relation between Erdogan and Flynn," criminal defense attorney Danny Cevallos told NBC last week. "So, to the extent that Zarrab has any connection or knowledge of that, it is very important that they're flipping him."

I'd say so ...