Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Last Call For Russian To Judgment, Con't

The FBI threw together a hasty press conference tonight to announce that both Iran and Russia have US voter registration information in hand, and that they are using it to run disinformation operations against US voters. Iran in particular was running an operation where Democratic voters in states like Florida and Alaska received emails from a group purporting to be white supremacist terrorist group Proud Boys, stating that if they did not vote for Trump, that the group would "come after" them.

The U.S. government has concluded that Iran is behind a series of threatening emails arriving this week in the inboxes of Democratic voters, according to two U.S. officials.

Department of Homeland Security officials told state and local election administrators on a call Wednesday that a foreign government was responsible for the online barrage, according to the U.S. officials and state and local authorities who participated in the call, all speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity. A DHS officials also said they had detected holes in state and local election websites and instructed those participating to patch their online services.

The emails claimed to be from the Proud Boys, a far-right group supportive of President Trump, but appeared instead to be a deceptive campaign making use of a vulnerability in the organization’s online network.

First identified on Tuesday by local law enforcement and elections officials in Florida and Alaska, the emails were soon turned over to federal authorities, according to U.S. officials.

The messages appeared to target Democrats using data from digital databases known as “voter files,” some of which are commercially available. They told recipients the Proud Boys were “in possession of all your information” and instructed voters to change their party registration and cast their ballots for Trump.

By suggesting the group had gained access to privileged data, and also possibly penetrated electronic systems to detect how people were voting, the emails seemed designed to create the appearance of an election breach, said cybersecurity researchers. Such a move may serve to undermine confidence in the integrity of the democratic process without posing a genuine risk to the election, these researchers said.

“You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you,” warned the emails, which by Tuesday night were said to have reached voters in as many as four states, three of them hotly contested swing states in the coming presidential election.

The domain enlisted for the misleading operation,, was recently dropped by a hosting company that uses Google Cloud services, according to Google Cloud spokesman Ted Ladd. Without a secure host, the domain stood vulnerable to exploitation, cybersecurity experts said. Voters using Comcast, Yahoo and Gmail accounts were affected.

In addition to reports from Florida and Alaska, a voter in Pennsylvania told The Washington Post she had received one such email, though she suspected it may have been linked to her previous registration in Alaska. The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office had not received reports about the messages, a spokesman, Mark Shade, said Wednesday.

In the worlds of the great Peter Falk as Detective Columbo, "Just one more thing..."

And that thing is this: acting Director of National Intelligence John Ratliffe actually spent the press conference seemingly trying to both clear the "good name" of the Proud Boys and to pin the email attacks on Iran as targeting Trump, when Democratic voters were the ones targeted.

That seems wildly fishy to me. FBI Director Chris Wray followed up at the press conference with news that Russia also was running operations to "influence public opinion" as he put it. Now, Russia would greatly benefit from, say, hacking the Proud Boys domain and sending out these emails to 1) hurt Democrats and 2) allow the Trump regime to pin the blame on Iran.

I don't trust either Ratliffe or Wray. Ratliffe is a known liar, and Wray, in case we've all forgotten, was Chris Christie's lawyer on BridgeGate.

No, this all reeks to high heaven. Keep a weather eye out for the rest of this story. It involves Russia and the Proud Boys, I'm sure of it.

President Trump and his advisers have repeatedly discussed whether to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray after Election Day — a scenario that also could imperil the tenure of Attorney General William Barr as the president grows increasingly frustrated that federal law enforcement has not delivered his campaign the kind of last-minute boost that the FBI provided in 2016.

The conversations among the president and senior aides stem in part from their disappointment that Wray in particular but Barr as well have not done what Trump had hoped — indicate that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, or other Biden associates are under investigation.
Wray won't pull a Comey, Barr was completely AWOL from this conference, and he's vanished for weeks actually, ever since Trump contracted COVID-19 earlier this month. The next two weeks could be as fateful in American history as they come.

Lowering The Barr, Con't

With the very real prospect of losing the election in two weeks weighing down his (Heart? Mind? Soul? Trump has none of these actually) prospects for remaining a free man, a furious Donald Trump turns to Bill Barr to engineer a special counsel investigation into Joe Biden before the election, something that even Barr is refusing to do at this point.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on Attorney General William Barr to immediately launch an investigation into unverified claims about Democrat Joe Biden and his son Hunter, effectively demanding that the Justice Department muddy his political opponent and abandon its historic resistance to getting involved in elections.

With just two weeks to go before Election Day, Trump for the first time explicitly called on Barr to investigate the Bidens and even pointed to the nearing Nov. 3 election as reason that Barr should not delay taking action. Trump has been leveling accusations of corruption against Biden without verified evidence for months, but is stepping up the pressure in the final days of the campaign.

“We’ve got to get the attorney general to act,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox & Friends.” “He’s got to act, and he’s got to act fast. He’s got to appoint somebody. This is major corruption, and this has to be known about before the election.”

Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University, suggested that Trump’s pressure campaign on Barr has moved into uncharted territory for presidential politics.

“The question is, Does Barr erode the guidelines and reforms from the post-Watergate era and move forward with this?” Zelizer said. “We are seeing a total politicization of the justice system in the final stages of an election.”

Trump’s pressuring of Barr comes as national and battleground polls show him facing an increasingly narrow path to reelection. The president has repeatedly cited Hunter Biden’s past —often with unsubstantiated claims — as a reason that voters can’t trust Biden in the White House.

The president has been promoting an unconfirmed New York Post report published last week that cites an email in which an official from Ukrainian gas company Burisma thanked Hunter Biden, who served on the company’s board, for arranging for him to meet Joe Biden during a 2015 visit to Washington. The Biden campaign has rejected Trump’s assertion of wrongdoing and noted that Biden’s schedule did not show a meeting with the Burisma official.

Trump has yet to specify what crime he believes the Bidens have committed, but that has not stopped him from going as far as suggesting to voters that Biden belongs in jail.

The Justice Department did not respond to requests for comment on the president’s call for an investigation.
We're still operating under the assumption that Trump won't have Biden arrested before the election, or after the election. We're under the assumption Trump will go quietly, without triggering nationwide violence from his cult. We're under the assumption that the election, in fact, will still even happen.
In 2020, these are assumptions and nothing more. 

They always have been.

They could be wrong.

The Most Taxing Of Explanations, Con't

Good morning.

President Trump and his allies have tried to paint the Democratic nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., as soft on China, in part by pointing to his son’s business dealings there.

Senate Republicans produced a report asserting, among other things, that Mr. Biden’s son Hunter “opened a bank account” with a Chinese businessman, part of what it said were his numerous connections to “foreign nationals and foreign governments across the globe.”

But Mr. Trump’s own business history is filled with overseas financial deals, and some have involved the Chinese state. He spent a decade unsuccessfully pursuing projects in China, operating an office there during his first run for president and forging a partnership with a major government-controlled company.

And it turns out that China is one of only three foreign nations — the others are Britain and Ireland — where Mr. Trump maintains a bank account, according to an analysis of the president’s tax records, which were obtained by The New York Times. The foreign accounts do not show up on Mr. Trump’s public financial disclosures, where he must list personal assets, because they are held under corporate names. The identities of the financial institutions are not clear.

The Chinese account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management L.L.C., which the tax records show paid $188,561 in taxes in China while pursuing licensing deals there from 2013 to 2015.

The tax records do not include details on how much money may have passed through the overseas accounts, though the Internal Revenue Service does require filers to report the portion of their income derived from other countries. The British and Irish accounts are held by companies that operate Mr. Trump’s golf courses in Scotland and Ireland, which regularly report millions of dollars in revenue from those countries. Trump International Hotels Management reported just a few thousand dollars from China.

In response to questions from The Times, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, said the company had “opened an account with a Chinese bank having offices in the United States in order to pay the local taxes” associated with efforts to do business there. He said the company had opened the account after establishing an office in China “to explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia.”

“No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialized and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive,” Mr. Garten said. “Though the bank account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose.”

Mr. Garten would not identify the bank in China where the account is held. Until last year, China’s biggest state-controlled bank rented three floors in Trump Tower, a lucrative lease that drew accusations of a conflict of interest for the president. 
Sure. No reason to believe that a man with a long history of Russian, Middle East, and European money laundering isn't also in bed with the Chinese government in order to spread the Trump brand name around in exchange for favors.

The account is associated with a front company for Chinese military intelligence. Trump has taken tens of millions of dollars out of the account despite the front company not actually doing much of anything. In other words, it's a patently obvious money laundering slush fund where the Chinese government pays Trump off.

Keep in mind also that the Trump regime has been attacking Joe Biden on China for a year now. It's because Trump is doing secret business with China, so of course he thinks Biden is too, because that's how this game works with Trump. Everyone is as corrupt as Trump is. This of course explains why Trump has been attacking Biden on China for months and months.

The most corrupt politician in American history, full stop.


Related Posts with Thumbnails