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Putin was workin’ hard, y’all.

As we all absorb the latest breaking news in the Trump-Russia investigation, about how Trump people, during the campaign, were pursuing a Trump Tower Moscow deal, and how Trump’s Russian-American buddy Felix Sater was openly bragging that they could use the deal as a sort of quid pro quo with Russia to get Trump elected, a few things are becoming clearer. First of all, as many have pointed out, these leaked emails between Sater and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen do not seem to be coming from Congress, as the Trump campaign has been in the process of delivering its fucktons of documents to the various Trump-Russia investigators. It seems more that Cohen (or somebody else in Trump World) is leaking them, trying to set the narrative that this is about nothing more than a failed real estate deal. No more, no less, he swears!

Weirdly, though, the emails, where Sater brags that he and Cohen will “get Putin’s buy-in” and “get Donald elected,” hardly mention a Trump Tower Moscow project. Are they talking about something else entirely?

First, some basics. Team Trump had discussed doing this sort of deal in 2014 with Aras and Emin Agalarov, the same father and son duo who set up Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian conspiracy meeting in Trump Tower in June of 2016. These are also the same folks Trump did Moscow Miss Universe with back in 2013, after which he may or may not have been covered in Russian hooker pee (which really isn’t the point). The deal fell apart, in part, because of the sanctions the Obama administration put on Russia in response to its invasion of Crimea.

In January of 2016, as the new deal was dying, Felix Sater told Michael Cohen to reach out to Dmitry Peskov, the Sarah Huckabee Sanders of the Kremlin, begging for help in saving the project, but Cohen, who was executive vice president of the Trump Organization, says he killed the project because of problems getting all the money and government approvals it needed to build whatever ghastly piece of shit tower it surely would have been.

Now, the White House says Trump knew nothing about this, but we’re skeptical, considering how the Washington Post reports that Cohen “discussed the deal three times with Trump and that Trump signed a letter of intent with the company on Oct. 28, 2015.” As Digby points out, this means Trump officially was full of shit (you don’t say!) every time he said on the campaign trail that he had nothing to do with Russia.

Digby sends us to Marcy Wheeler, who raises the possibility that, much like money laundering uses real estate deals as a convenient cover for other more nefarious activities, this Trump Tower Moscow thing could be the cover for a very different kind of deal. Is this, as Joe Scarborough suggested Tuesday morning, just a big scam where Trump was going to let Russians pay him millions for a real estate deal, and then run when he eventually lost the election? Did Trump’s plans get fucked up when he “won”? Or is it possible the “real estate deal” was a cover for a very different kind of deal between Trump and Russia?

The Washington Post reports that the Russian company Trump was to partner with for the Moscow tower was called I.C. Expert Investment Co., and as Mother Jones notes, very little is known about who is behind that company, which really should have named itself Best Businessing Not A Scam Very Legitimate Company, LLC. Who are these people Trump was signing letters of intent with who just … couldn’t get the permits? We just don’t know yet! We do know that their financing was supposed to come from a bunch of huge state-owned banks which ended up under massive sanctions, like Sberbank, which sponsored Miss Universe in 2013, and is one of Vladimir Putin’s favorite banks to use FOR MONEY LAUNDERING.

We could mention here that Cohen’s Ukrainian in-laws, the Shustermans, and his brother Bryan’s Ukrainian in-laws, the Oronovs, are big real estate investors, all of whom have bought shitloads of Trump condos over the past decade. Moreover, the Steele Dossier refers to Cohen’s father-in-law Fima Shusterman as a “leading property developer in Moscow.” Should we mention that? From the dossier:

What is redacted right here?

What is redacted right there? If you read the dossier in its entirety, you get used to how Christopher Steele wrote his “summary” and “detail” sections. At the top, you see mention of Cohen’s importance in the Russia cover-up, and specific mentions of his in-laws. Yet, in the corresponding “detail” section below, there is … REDACTED.

We are just asking questions. We don’t know if Michael Cohen’s family is involved in this. SHRUGGIE EMOTICON!

Do also note that Cohen is described in the dossier as the one who came in after Paul Manafort’s weird Ukrainian/Russian ties were exposed during the campaign, for the purpose of cleaning up all of Manafort’s messes. If that’s true, it sounds like he’s in deep.

Another interesting thing: Remember how Michael Cohen reached out to Dmitry Peskov to save the alleged “real estate deal”? According to sources in the dossier, Peskov was the guy in charge of all of the dirt Russia had on Hillary Clinton. Indeed, it refers to him as “main protagonist in Kremlin campaign to aid TRUMP and damage CLINTON.” What kind of help was Cohen really asking for?

It’s weird how a Trump Moscow project that was supposed to be some sort of quid pro quo for help getting him elected falls apart in February, partially because of sanctions, and then by June, Trump Junior and Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner are meeting with a Russian lawyer and her Russian spy friend in Trump Tower, set up by weird British dude Rob Goldstone on behalf of the Agalarovs on the pretense of handing over dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Part of? As in, this is something Junior already probably knew about? The meeting then turned into a conversation about BOUNCY RUSSIAN BABIES, which is code for repealing the Magnitsky Act and lifting the sanctions. (The Agalarovs’ representative at that meeting? Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a vice president of their real estate company who back in the 1990s was “at the center of a $1.4 BILLION RUSSIAN MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME,” according to ALL CAPS JUDD LEGUM from Think Progress on Twitter.)

Or should we say, this sequence of events is weird if the Trump Moscow project was actually the quid pro quo. We just don’t think it is.

Did Jared Kushner meet with the Russian ambassador about saving a real estate deal? No, but he sure did talk to him about setting up back channels with Russia, and he also sure did take meetings with the guy who used to run Sberbank, which is, again, Vladimir Putin’s favorite bank, FOR MONEY LAUNDERING.

Meanwhile, we’re learning that disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn may have been working directly with Russian hackers trying to get Hillary’s “deleted emails” from Russia. And Russia did send hacked Hillary/DNC dirt to WikiLeaks. And Michael Flynn did tell the Russian ambassador not to worry about mean Obama with all his ugly sanctions, because we can just deal with that after the election, OK?

And then there was Trump’s big foreign policy speech in April of 2016, attended by the Russian ambassador, where he gave Russia a foreign policy tongue bath. And then there was the thing where Paul Manafort got all the GRRR ARGH language about Russia’s incursions into Ukraine removed from the Republican platform.

As Brian Beutler notes at The New Republic, Michael Cohen and Felix Sater also worked together to broker a “peace deal” for Ukraine that Cohen handed to Michael Flynn during the six and a half seconds he was national security adviser.

Let’s go back where we started, with these new revelations about the “Trump Tower Moscow” project. Is it possible Felix Sater sent Michael Cohen to Dmitry Peskov (remember, he’s the Huckabee Sanders of Russia) not because the Trump Tower project was stalled, but because another kind of Trump deal with Russia was stalled? What if the whole deal really was that Russia will launder gabillions of dollars in Trump’s general direction and will assist in a massive hacking operation involving operatives in Russia and America to get Trump elected, and in exchange, Trump as president will get rid of all those pesky sanctions that make it impossible for Putin and his band of merry oligarchs to do business, and moreover Trump will reorient American foreign policy away from meddling in Russia’s business and just let it do whatever it wants with its sphere of influence?

If so, wethinks Russia has not gotten the quid in exchange for its quo.

As far as Felix Sater goes, Donald Trump is constantly like, “I don’t know her,” but that’s weird, since they’ve worked together for years and years. Interestingly enough, there are “rumors” that Sater, an actual criminal who has also been known to be an actual FBI and CIA informant, may have already flipped, according to Paul Wood from The Spectator:

For several weeks there have been rumours that Sater is ready to rat again, agreeing to help Mueller. ‘He has told family and friends he knows he and POTUS are going to prison,’ someone talking to Mueller’s investigators informed me. Sater himself added fuel to this fire when he told New York magazine: ‘In about the next 30 to 35 days, I will be the most colourful character you have ever talked about. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it now, before it happens. And believe me, it ain’t anything as small as whether or not they’re gonna call me to the Senate committee.’

Say it with us: WHOA IF TRUE. And if it is true, that could be why Trump is distancing himself, just like he’s doing with Paul Manafort.

We don’t know if this Trump Tower Moscow real estate deal will be ultimately the thread that, once pulled, unravels the whole thing. But it sure as fuck seems like it might be, because for the first time, we feel like we can actually see the vaguest hint of an outline of what this Trump-Russia conspiracy looks like, and it looks like “HOLY SHIT.”

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  • MynameisBlarney

    Da!

  • Joe Beese
    • Everrett Fanuelli

      Emails and Benghazi!

      • CindyinEncinitas

        And watery risotto, maybe.

    • therblig

      shit like this is why kathy griffin broke up with anderson cooper.

    • SadDemInTex

      FFS, you fucking A-holes…Houston is drowning and 45 is treating it like a campaign rally. And the Rethugs are doing what ever they can to can Mueller. CNN and NYT…fucking shit holes.

    • Chyron HR

      I’m pretty sure I didn’t go to any Clinton rallies last year and yet somehow I possessed the basic mental functions necessary to not go out of my way to vote for a white nationalist sex offender. Guess Trump’s not the only dumb white guy who gets graded on a curve.

    • Gayer Than Thou

      I literally fucking cannot even. My ability to even is not. Not is the level at which I am able to even right now.

      • Popillius

        Me neither.

      • ViveLaResistance!

        Well said.

  • Blackest Noobs

    given all the stupid illegal building trump buildings in foreign lands bullshit, why oh why in the fuck did Trump even bothered to run for President?

    like there are easier ways to sell your crap..ebay for example.

    and if peeps are like well he is doing it for the America, because he truly believes in America, then why in the fuck is he doing it sooooo epicly badly….i just don’t fucking get it.

    and i really don’t get how his supporters still want to support him…he has failed on every level and they’re like still waiting on a something to happen but it will never fucking happen.

    cuz if it did…it would have by fucking now.

    • CindyinEncinitas

      I saw something on the innertubes yesterday that insiders say he didn’t expect to win. He did it for the exposure dollars. I believe that, and I believe he’s been totally winging it this whole time, as he never intended to serve, and these are the contents of his head. He is being propped up by others who believe they can profit off of the situation. My only hope is that I live to see them all flip on him or go down with the ship.

      • Blackest Noobs

        i would prefer a french style revolution….it’s about time wealthy white people know their fucking place….

        • CindyinEncinitas

          It’s a lot to hope for in this country, but the imagination does run wild at times…

    • Rags

      1. He hated Obama and wanted to shame him. 2. He wanted to boost his ratings for future TV/movie projects with exec producers like Mnuchin. 3. He is a narcissistic maniac with no conception of his inadequacies.

      • willi0000000

        good short-list.

    • Corky Shimazu

      👆 THIS!

    • FlownΩver

      His supporters are satisfied as long as he’s the Chief Antiblah.

  • GoutMachine

    We’re gonna need a whole new spate of metaphors for this dumpster fire. “Where there’s smoke there’s fire” on steroids …

  • Beanz&Berryz

    Treason to hide money laundering doesn’t make sense, unless it’s laundering all the Russian oligarchs’ gaBILLIONS of ameros…

    Or, treason, in the form of lifting sanctions to free up all the Russian oligarchs’ gaBILLIONS of ameros… is the quid to get to the pro of laundering all the Russian oligarchs’ gaBILLIONS of ameros…

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    SUBPOENAS! GET YOUR RED HOT SUBPOENAS HERE!

    https://twitter.com/CNN/status/902623796720492559

    • Joe Beese

      You’ve been served, bitches.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      Former lawyer subpoenas are verrrry interesting….

    • MrTusks

      Oh, I thought that was Bannon from 30 years ago.

  • goonemeritus

    It is possible that Trump has made an enemy or two during his career. I know some may find this statement hard to reconcile with Mr. Trump’s history of gentility and modesty but it may be true.

    • Me not sure

      A little urchin named Annie just told me that the sun will come up tomorrow. I think I believe her.

  • Joe Beese

    It is impossible to calculate at this point how long it’s going to take the Houston area to become even minimally habitable again, let alone how long it’s going to be completely safe to live in and around the city. Just handling the eventual and general mold infestation is likely to take years. Put the local chemical and energy industries on top of that, and you’ve got a nightmarish scenario for residents, and for whatever’s left of the EPA after this administration gets through with it.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a57267/houston-harvey-chemical-leak/

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      You remember the scene in Independence Day where they drop a nuke on the alien ship hovering over Houston and in the process destroy the city?
      That would probably be an easier mess to clean up.

      • Joe Beese

        I remember the First Lady didn’t wear stilettos.

        • therblig

          but those aliens were definitely illegals, so i guess it all worked out ok.

          • Paul

            Well, they didn’t have a permit.

    • SadDemInTex

      Houston had mold issues way, way before this. But the rich people will be served first and then the poor.

      • willi0000000

        “bootstraps! . . . fuck the poor!”
        – the rich*

        * after they get theirs, of course.

      • Permit-holder Ron

        Then MAYBE the poor.
        ‘Oops, out of money! Sorry!’

    • Popillius

      To make matters worse – tRump doesn’t seem to want brown people involved in labor:

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-08-28/trump-s-immigration-crackdown-is-making-new-homes-more-expensive

      Builders cannot get framers to put up new homes – costs are doubling to frame a new house.

    • Permit-holder Ron

      Might be easier just to set up a new Houston on higher ground.

  • armed_bears

    Trump wanted a Moscow erection,
    and Putin wanted the US election.
    But Trump’s building went bust,
    and Putin’s schemes have been sussed.
    Now Trump’s felonies all face detection.

    PS — Armed_Brother’s house is now somewhere in Gulf of Mexico. He’s fine and will be fine, but send something to Red Cross.

  • Bill D. Burger

    Put Cohen’s ass under oath and let’s see.
    Trump’s lawyer reaches out to Russia to try and expedite the building of a Trump property in Moscow and Trump didn’t know anything about it. Sounds so logical, huh?
    Let’s see if Trump legal consigliere REALLY wants to go with that.

    https://twitter.com/JoyAnnReid/status/902622944014295041

    https://twitter.com/TPM/status/902621920608350209

    • Joe Beese

      Says who?

    • Amelia Resists and Persists

      Yep, he “didn’t know” just like he didn’t know about Jr’s clown car meeting or Flynn’s pile of sketchy bullshit. He never knows aaaaanything.

  • Lance Thrustwell

    Evan, that there is some hot & sexxy legit journamalism. I just gave you guys a little more money, couldn’t help m’self.

  • Msgr_MΩment

    If so, wethinks Russia has not gotten the quid in exchange for its quo.

    CORRECTION: 20 quid. Same as downtown.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      the kinky stuff is extra

  • Joe Beese

    Two flood control reservoirs have overtopped their banks in Houston, sending floodwaters over spillways, despite Army Corps of Engineers officials releasing water from both. Elsewhere in the city, a bridge over Greens Bayou has collapsed near the Cloverleaf area, according to emergency management officials.

    Jeff Lindner, with the Harris County Flood Control District, said Tuesday that he’s certain that more homes and streets will flood as a result of the reservoirs filling. Lindner says the county is trying to determine where the water will go, specifically from the north end of the Addicks reservoir, but that some homes will be inundated for up to a month.

    https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/harvey-deadly-hurricane-tropical-storm-houston-south-texas-flooding-impacts

    • willi0000000

      i try and try to feel sorry for the people of texas . . . then i remember driving through there during the “energy crisis” and seeing the bumper sticker: “drive 90 – freeze a yankee” . . . and i think of the secessionists and the disenfranchisers…

      then the progressive in me rises again and i hope for the best for “some” of them.

    • Permit-holder Ron

      A month. Assuming another storm doesn’t come by in the meantime.
      I feel so sick at heart for these poor people.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    T:”OK, so the deal is, I pad the fuck out of these invoices, and when I become President, i’m your guy.”
    V:”That is the deal, da.”
    T:”I mean, I’m going to really pad those expenses, we’re talking millions, in dollars, not roobies, or whatever you people use. Can you afford it?”
    V:”Unlike you, I am actual billionaire, is nothing.”
    T:”And I could totally win this thing if I really wanted to, but I’m going to do this my way, it might not work. Not even The Apprentice, greatest show on television, is watched by everyone. I can’t guarantee I’ll win. If I don’t I still keep the money, right?”
    V:”Sure, sure. You be you. We have extensive cyber warfare campaign planned. US Mainstream Media, Social Media, all complete morons, unprepared for onslaught of this nature. It can work.”
    T:”OK, it’s a deal. Just don’t expect the yugest Electoral College Majority in history, or anything. That would really be something, though.”

  • goonemeritus

    It’s refreshing to see a President fully corrupt before taking office. Relying on the power of the office to accomplish a sort of on the job corruption training has historically given mixed results at best.

    • SadDemInTex

      Were you born a natural cynic? But still funny (in a sad and horrible way).

      • SDGeoff3

        (Are you in a dry place? All is well?))
        I don’t find it cynical at all; goon’s hit the nail! We saw it happening over decades and we witnessed it in the campaign. Everyone knew what he was up to, and that’s the only thing I’d add.

    • tomamitai

      Republicans always prefer someone who has private sector experience.

    • MrTusks

      Hey, Trump has high-test business corruption. The kind of corruption you can cultivate even when you’re a celebrity. Political corruption at least needs to pretend to hide from the public.

    • Permit-holder Ron

      As with any calling, on-the-job training is never optimal, unless the hiree has a natural talent for it (cf Richard Nixon.)

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    Pass the popcorn…

  • Seamus Romney
    • SDGeoff3

      Outstanding.

    • therblig

      Night Soil

      • Marykcortez

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        >>>http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash440TopProductions/GetPay$97/Hour………

    • willi0000000

      where’s Edward Hopper and his mighty overpainting brush when we need him?

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    Interestingly enough, there are “rumors” that Sater, an actual criminal who has also been known to be an actual FBI and CIA informant, may have already flipped

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/88c7f5b9a11ca6dfa587be16995275e73603a0c390bc9c103c048518f96cfb0c.jpg

  • dslindc

    Drip, Drip, Drip!

    LOCK HIM UP!!!!!

    • Beanz&Berryz

      50″ in a few days…

  • MynameisBlarney

    Trump’s inevitable downfall is coming at him from all directions.

    • OneYieldRegular

      …and yet he’ll probably still be able to stay in office for as many days as there are “Downfall” parodies.

  • calliecallie

    I need a flowchart or something to understand all this. How does money laundering work, anyway? I have a bunch of money I can’t spend for whatever legal reasons, so I give it to Trump? That makes no sense to me at all. But I am not a criminal, so maybe I just don’t understand.
    What makes more sense to me is that Trump needed money for his deals, and the Russians were like, here, have some money, the first taste is free. And because he has zero sense of limits, he borrowed more money from them than he should have, and now, Pooty-Poot says to him “You will run for president. You will love being president. Is like being king. And you will do it, or you will die. And all your lovely children will die. But don’t worry! You will love being king.”
    And when Pooty’s pretty sure he can close the election deal for Trump, he sends some folks to say “Hey, Donnie, that Magnitsky has got to go. We’ll let you know when we need something More.”

    • SDGeoff3

      You sound like an expert to me! Your description is clear as can be, and I for one, feel enlightened!

    • OutOfOrbit

      a flowchart would not help me

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      The most common way is to take the criminal proceeds and run them through “legitimate” businesses that are cash-intensive (Laundromats, parking garages, casinos, etc.) and highly variable in terms of how much they take in on a daily basis. This way, the “dirty” money gets mixed with the “clean” money that actual customers bring in.

      • tomamitai

        It also needs to be a business that doesn’t buy a lot of inventory, since investigators can start asking questions like “how did you make a gajillion dollars selling legitimate whatsits when you only bought enough parts to make two dozen?”

        • Latverian Diplomat

          FWIW, there was a low end department store near where I used to live in New York State. And the rumor (admittedly just a rumor) was that they were buying the cheapest crap they could find, throwing it away, and then claiming to have sold it at absurd markups. This was back in ’80s, I’m not sure such a scam could work today, because so few people pay cash for that sort of thing anymore.

          • You’d be surprised what you can launder with a couple of runners and $9,999 price tags out there. As long as you keep it under $10k no government agency is the wiser.

          • Antonin Dvorak

            Except that is how Dennis Hastert was caught, taking out a bunch of $9999 withdrawls and lying to the feds when they asked about it.

        • Toomush_Inferesistance

          A lot of those Adult stores are great for this purpose – they make very little legitimate money (why buy the cow when the internet’s free), but could seem to make great profits with cash…

          • willi0000000

            the money’s in rentals . . . no sales needed

            [ . . . and you can watch all you want ]

    • Resistance Fighter Astraea

      Everything i know about money laundering I learned from Breaking Bad

      • MrTusks

        Step 1: Buy a car wash.
        Step 2: Car wash makes $16 million in first quarter.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Lesson 4: When your money laundering can’t keep up, remember to spray the pile of cash with bug spray.

      • RMKH

        So, you put your cash in the crawl space?

    • whitroth

      If I have the way money laundering works, you “invest” in something, like, say, really, really expensive property, say, Manhattan, then whoever is laundering it for you take out a loan on the property, pay the original person back as a “loan, or whatever, taking a cut for yourself.

      Or you buy something, then sell it, and see! You have Legal Money from the sale of Property You Owned!

    • SomeBigRedDog

      If you want to learn about money laundering and be bored to death watch Ozark on Netflix.

    • WIDTAP

      Ok, here is a quick primer on how to launder all of that filthy Russian mob / sanctioned person money through real estate:
      https://www.quora.com/How-is-money-laundering-done-through-real-estate

    • It’s like say I found a large bag of money. Maybe it was a large bag of money that someone just happened to steal from a bank. How can I use that money? If I drop that money into my bank account, the feds will be onto me like hot butter for any deposit over $10k where I have no explanation where the money came from. So, put on your creative hat and think of ways you could easily “launder” that money so that the source would appear to be legitimate.

    • Rags

      buy a condo/apt, say in Trump Tower for a hugely inflated price through a shell corporation inside a shell corporation inside a …(you get it). Sell the condo/apt for a lower, maybe much lower, price to a ‘legitimate party.’ The proceeds are now clean, as having come from the legitimate party. The loss you take becomes a business expense and voila! you fenced your money and have a pile of sacred greenbacks to play other games with.

    • I sell you an apartment for a million dollars – , and I sign for the money that I never receive. Then you sell it back to me for 10 million dollars, and I write you an IOU.Then every month I send you a million dollars you never get. Now you have 9 million dollars of laundered money.

      • willi0000000

        . . . and you, if you want to, have “disappeared” another $9 million from the tax man . . . “what $9 million? i paid for an apartment with that”

        • it’s a huge benefit to have an “in” at a Russian bank for your transfer records and receipts.

      • calliecallie

        Dude, you think like a criminal! I admire that in a person.

    • You loan me 10 million dollars that I never get. I pay it back with 20% interest, that you never get… 2 million laundered,.

    • you and I partner in buying something for 1 billion dollars.. we get 9 other partners that put in 100 million dollars – we put our(your) 100 million in (at risk) that we never get – we spend 10 million dollars on “administration,” the project goes tits up, we pay ourselves back the 9 guys ten cents on the dollar, and keep 10 million laundered.

      This requires using a loophole in real estate law.

    • Cat Cafe of the Subpoenas

      I totally agree. Just to answer your question (LONG WINDED I’M SORRY).
      You don’t “give” it to Trump, you “buy” some real estate from him, worth, say $10 million, but you give him $50 million, and you conceal that it’s you (you invent an untraceable “fake” company). So it looks like a legitimate sale. But he gets $50 million from you, and has only given up something worth $10 million. And your $50 million is now “clean.” That’s why people track down who the “companies” are, especially when the price is weirdly inflated.

      The larger scandal is when the money laundering has come from criminals.

      Magnitsky was a lawyer who uncovered enormous fraud at high levels in the Russian state. Putin responded by jailing Magnitsky, torturing him, and eventually murdering him in cold blood. (He seems nice. I’m glad we have a President who admires him so much.) Obama responded by saying the state officials involved could no longer come to the U.S., could no longer do any business with U.S. banks, and putting economic sanctions on Russia.

      These sanctions were costing Putin billions. He then tried to retaliate, by refusing to let certain U.S. officials come to Russia, and spitefully cutting off American adoptions of desperate Russian children and babies languishing in Dickensian orphanages. Obama still refused to remove the sanctions, rightfully so.

      So, Putin puts Trump in office, using his hackers and troll armies and buying off people and spewing disinformation all over Twitter, knowing that the young white guys who run Twitter are contemptibly stupid and passive. His price is “remove the Magnitsky sanctions.” (It’s all money, and always has been.) That’s why Trump started palavering pro-Russia propaganda midway through his campaign, like spouting support for illegal military land grab in Crimea (that every other nation had condemned), even though he patently knew nothing about it.

      So this is what Trump has been trying to do for months. When that meeting took place with DJT Jr, that constant refrain that it “was about adoptions”– “adoptions” is code for “remove the Magnitsky sanctions.”

      That’s why, btw, I think the pee tape is nothing. It’s already in the public discourse and his base doesn’t give a shit. I think what he’s trying to hide is some venal criminality–the money laundering, the working hand in hand with Russian mafia, perhaps even accessory to murder or even child sex-trafficking. He’s not just a criminal, he’s a shit, a really evil man. And deranged. And I agree with you, he is running scared, doing whatever Putin tells him to do (including being President, a job he obviously loathes).

      It is astounding to me that the media and the GOP continue to mince words and enable him. And even more that Twitter/FB absolutely could do something to stop the infestation of paid trolls and liars, but simply refuses to. I honestly think that, more than anything–the active disinforming of the American public–is the biggest scourge, and something we should be working against however we can.

      Sorry, this went into a large-scale rant, I apologize. It’s my way of “laundering” my rant through an “answering of your question.”

      • pstockholm

        That was no rant, that was an essay, and a good one.

        • Cat Cafe of the Subpoenas

          Aw shucks, thanks. *blushes, scuffs feet

  • SDGeoff3

    And here I thought these people were so nice.

    • CindyinEncinitas

      They seem nice.

      • SDGeoff3

        Hey!
        Sequoia was nice! We just got back. All media off for 8 days, and I’m feeling grounded again. We had some great beer on the trip too.
        You in a/c today?

        • CindyinEncinitas

          Jesus fuck! I went out for lunch and all the big talk about how I don’t mind heat and humidity dissolved into cussing and sighing deeply. Sleeping is going to be interesting…
          But I love me some Sequoias. Do they still let cattle graze out there? We camped once out in the middle of the forest (no facilities, ice cold stream) and the cows were just roaming through the campsites. So weird.

          • SDGeoff3

            We spent the first night at the Madonna Inn, in a room with a big-ass copper still in it. Rock floor, very bad in bare intoxicated feets. Kept colliding with the fucking still every time I got up.
            And the air conditioning went out, but they brought fans and we were fine.

          • CindyinEncinitas

            I’ve never stayed there but I’ve seen it from the road and everyone who ever did stay there never forgets it! Did you see any dolphins at that big, sweeping curve in Ventura? I saw some surfing one time coming home. People were just stopping on the freeway to watch!

          • SDGeoff3

            We didn’t see any dolphins this year. Madonna Inn has a great steakhouse too.

  • exinkwretch

    It’s gonna be fun when Trump and his idiot brood pile into Trump Force One and jet off to a country that lacks an extradition treaty. You KNOW this is how this ends.

    • laughingnome

      Uruguay ahead of me.

    • SDGeoff3

      And those countries are SO appealing. Among them, Cuba (they’d love them in Cuba. Bigly.) Afghanistan (!), Mongolia, Uzbekhistan, Djibuti and the UAE, which definitely would not be a Happy Place for them. And I can tell you right now, believe me, Vatican City will not be bringing out the Swiss Guard for them any time soon, I can tell you. Except to keep them out.

      • Me not sure

        Authoritarian governments like Turkey? The Philippines?

        • SDGeoff3

          I didn’t find them on the non-extradition list, but I may not have made it to the end.

          • Me not sure

            Treaty? Pffft. Those guys are his buds

          • SDGeoff3

            LOL. You’re right!

        • Permit-holder Ron

          Maybe this is the real reason he’s been so fulsome with his praise for Erdoğan and Duterte – he’s making sure he has a place to hide.

    • jesterpunk

      If he goes to Russia with Snowden then Glenn Greenwald will be happy and start talking about how great Trump is.

    • MrTusks

      k bye drumpfs

    • can’t we have.. .like a “terrorist” take the plane out?
      we can do that, right?

    • Cat Cafe for the Indictment

      Hey Putie! It’s me!
      New phone, who dis?

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    But if you squint at the particulars of the stories, Trump’s private financial interest starts to look like a sideshow that is being shoved into the center of the drama to distract us from the grander political scheming

    Ding ding fucking ding!

    • Toomush_Inferesistance

      donald’s next to final defense: “It was just about business deals, move along….”

  • whitroth

    That signed letter of intent is “better start looking at a plea deal, Orange Asshole time”

    But from reading the summary in Salon, I begin to get a *really* weird picture: Trump started running, to try to get leverage to get Preet Bharara off his money laundering case, and as leverage for his business loans.

    Actually, it would be *really* interesting to see what his *real* finances were when he started running.

    But, and this is where we go down the rabbit hole, Trump didn’t think he’d win, winning would be a bad deal for him… but his ego is such that he went to win the election. In that case, he really is out of his gourd, trying to do two mutually incompatible things at the same time.

    • Rags

      He does seem like a guy who is riding the tiger.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        “As long as he’s riding something besides me.”
        — Melania

      • Permit-holder Ron

        And the tiger’s carrying him in its mouth now.

  • Robbertjan Brandenburg

    I SO hope this will be a wake up call to all people giving money to grifters like televangelists like Oesteen:

    https://twitter.com/iLowkeyB/status/902424505603178496

  • Bill D. Burger

    Maxine when Trump and all his cohorts begin their “I know nothing!” routines…

    Uh uh..baby. That don’t fly here:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIbHJhYUIAAoJrv.jpg

    • Toomush_Inferesistance

      “I’m keeping all my time….”

  • Seamus Romney

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/69b4e78ab60530e88001f6dfc1f26bc6118e788e4aac681dd1e37cee46530b90.jpg

    The cover of the next Stern, a German news magazine.

    The title Sein Kampf (transl. his struggle) is a play on the title of Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf (transl. my struggle).

    The full translation of the cover would be

    HIS STRUGGLE

    Neonazis, Ku-Klux-Klan, Racism:

    How Donald Trump is stirring up hatred in America

    When Germans call you a Nazi….

    • Latverian Diplomat

      What’s the German rule on Nazi salutes on magazine covers?

      • TJ Barke

        Depends on the intent, I suppose.

        • little miss high and mighty

          Ask Jonathan Messe!
          He nose all about such stuff.
          easy google.
          Sorry, I cannot link except liteally here.
          Ask Jonathan.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      The Germans are trying to tell us something. I can’t imagine what…something along the lines of “been there, done that…”

      • Resistance Fighter Astraea

        Those Germans with their subtlety.

    • whitroth

      Calling Der Stern a German news mag is like calling Time an American news mag. Yes, it is that important.

      • Seamus Romney

        Had no idea. Thanks!

      • little miss high and mighty

        Stern is a comb. of “People” and old copy of “”Arizona Highways” but nice photos- like all Springer endeavors- right of center traditionally.
        At least “Der Spiegel” has the “publisher jailed by vengeful politics” (1960′) heritage.But less goodly pics than Stern.
        Spiegel did the IsIl/DJT comparison beheading route.
        No taz.de, for sure!
        So, ya’ll headup: read taz.de (transllate click is a hoot!)

    • GHERKINS OF RESTIVENESS!

      Trump really HAS schürt all over Amerika

  • major_asshole

    Trump basically held an impromptu rally in Coprus Christi. Didn’t even give the GOP standard “thoughts and prayers” bullshit, but did say that the turnout to cheer him on was great.

    Oh, and he said–on the twelfth anniversary of Katrina, for fuck’s sake–that no one has seen damage this bad before.

    I’m livid.

    • Moebym of the Returners

      Great crowds from a flood-ravaged area! Great damage from Hurricane Harvey! See, I said I’d Make America Great Again!

    • jesterpunk
      • SDGeoff3

        As timely as it gets.

    • Corky Shimazu

      The man is A Idiot.

  • Toomush_Inferesistance

    Toomush likee this post….

  • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

    Daily reminder that all of this investigating, reporting, and documenting is meaningless if the Dems don’t take back Congress next year. Because the Republicans won’t do shit.

    • I’m really hoping for actual indictments, ’cause that takes it right outta the hands of lawmakers and into the hands of law enforcement…

      • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

        Who ultimately answer to the executive branch, and thus Trump. Chief Justice Roger Taney found that out when he tried to get Lincoln to release detained Confederate sympathizers.

        • Poorly Behaved Pérsistanista

          Not sure it’s the same? If Mueller starts handing out indictments to people around Trump all he can do is pardon them and that shit will further cripple him.

        • little miss high and mighty

          Agitator Vanlanigham (sp?) was “deported” to the Confederacy- but he kept sneeking back up.
          But, yeah, the courts learned that’s why the Renqist court sucked up to the Repubs- even after Breyer way seated payback for ages of anti progressive stacking and chair-pulling.

    • Permit-holder Ron

      I have to think there’ll come point where they’ll be FORCED to Do The Right Thing because the crimes are so egregious that if they don’t, they’ll have torpedoed even a faint hope of getting re-elected.

      • TJ Barke

        That’s pretty funny… Oh wait, you’re serious? Repubs will ignore any crimes if it means holding power, that includes their voters.

        • Corky Shimazu

          Agreed. I can’t see an outcome where the GOP does the right thing for the sake of the country–also can’t see a scenario where their voters would be okay with it. Best hope is for Mueller to take his time and for us to take Congress in 2018.

        • Permit-holder Ron

          I know,. I know, I’m hanging on hard to what little hope there is, but it’s tough. Oh, it is so very, very tough.

      • Toomush_Inferesistance

        I think more and more will start to talk like Chuck Grassley…

  • Joshua Norton

    There was a time where a person just living on the same block with someone suspected of being a commie could set off wingnut scream-a-thons. Now they have people trying to set up secret direct lines to the Kremlin and they’re all just “meh”.

    We need a new word because “hypocrisy” has been completely worn out.

    • SDGeoff3

      What we need is an Emperor, and you just might be the one.

      • Gayer Than Thou

        Preferably one with clothes.

        • Toomush_Inferesistance

          NO PANTS!…

        • SDGeoff3

          Mr. Norton has a very big role in The City’s colorful history.

        • SDGeoff3

          And a happy sight when going commando.

      • Malaclypse

        Not sure Mexico needs a Protector though

        • SDGeoff3

          They certainly don’t need or deserve the indignity of a wall either!

    • TJ Barke

      Again, Russia is no longer communist.

      • Joshua Norton

        What’s that got to do with anything? Russia is still Russia.

        • TJ Barke

          Russia is a fascist kleptocracy now, something republicans are fans of.

    • foiled again

      How ’bout ‘Hyperpocricy’?

  • Gayer Than Thou

    PLEASE WORK FASTER, MUELLER!

    • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

      Faster? We want this slower. Not just because we want it done right, but because if it happens now, the Republicans can just “whatever, SQUIRREL!” it into oblivion long before the midterms.

      • LucindathePook

        My practical, realistic part agrees totally, but my vengeance-seeking part wants action right now. However, revenge is a dish best served in the 2018 election.

        • Nockular cavity

          My fearful-of-Trump-starting-WWIII-via-stupidity part wants it done quickly, too.

      • little miss high and mighty

        zackly!

    • Permit-holder Ron

      I’m taking some small solace from the fact that my celebratory bottle of ice wine is aging just a little bit more while we wait.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Not so fast that Pence gets a shot at fucking us over.
      Just fast enough to entertain us, and give Il Douche ulcers.

    • whitroth

      Yes. Some asshole Rethuglican in Congruesly wants to put a six month time limit on Mueller.

    • little miss high and mighty

      Rather Gay Than, run the game clock down on them. Don’t leave too much time left for them to fumigate and rearrange the couches under Mike/Mother- a more McC/Ryan compatibler,effectiver deoderizer before 2020.
      At least slow the kill before midterms.
      Too fast is what the Cong Repubs want- they just don’t want to be the ones to trigger transition to Pence.
      Maybe we are better off witha slow, hamstrung chaos, exposing every cell of the cancer than the fleet scrapeoff and restructure under Repub effectives?

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    Whether or not this turns out to be some kind of collusion or conspiracy with the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton and get Trump elected, we’ve never seen anything like this: Associates of a presidential candidate directly asking the leader of a foreign adversary to help them arrange for what amounts to a multimillion-dollar payoff. It’s shocking on its face, especially since Trump lied about it repeatedly.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0b88c718f9b49ed333be5cc22825d0b869660fc7b09683417023a2edfa1559c2.jpg

  • OrG

    DO NOT PASS GO
    DO NOT COLLECT $200

  • Crystalclear12

    I’m tired now.

  • The mafia has a million scams that tap into the federal tit… the usual methodology was covered in “the sopranos” – but money laundering… and where to put all that money… that’s the big time.

    I think he uses his real-estate to launder Russian and Mob money.

    • Poorly Behaved Pérsistanista

      Everybody thinks that.

      • only because Trump. I was the first one to come up with this idea… a lot of people don’t know about money laundering – did you ever hear about it before I just talked about it?

        How about combining the brake and the clutch?

        • jesterpunk

          Did you invent the phrase money laundering just now?

          • is that a thing?

          • jesterpunk

            Yes
            https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/donald-trump-prime-the-pump

            He thinks he coined the phrase “prime the pump,” which has in fact been used in economics since 1932, with the creation of President Herbert Hoover’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and, according to, Merriam Webster, has existed since the early 1800s. (This exchange really must be read in full):

          • yeah…. I had grown eyes by then.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    The GOP controlled House will do nothing about this. Nothing.

  • Anna Rompage

    Speaking of the Faulty Towers, it appears Manafort’s ex-attorney has been subpoenaed by Mueller…

    Do they still retain attorney client/privilege now that they are no longer employed by Manafort?

    • Crystalclear12

      Depends if they are part of the crime.

      • BillEGoatSmirk

        Manafort’s ex-attorney will retain his own attorney, like Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, retained an attorney.
        It’s been said before, but Trump’s ‘jobs program’ seems to consist of making DC criminal defense lawyers even wealthier.

    • puredog

      Generally, yes.

  • jesterpunk
  • Rick Hill

    Jeebus! Wating for the other shoe to drop is going to be dangerous. When it does it’s going to be raining shoes

  • II Gosala

    Putin reaches for the polonium…

    • weejee

      Curie-ous that.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Gonna make Il Douche into a real alpha male.

  • weejee

    Julia Ioffe equates tRump’s Moscow hotel deal to something like the Pink Panther (~3:30 on the video link). Everyone and their uncle was building hotels in Russia but deal maker tRump.

  • Suse

    Cheeto is yapping live on teevee now. Fucking idiot.

    • SDGeoff3

      Ew. I’ll wait for the highlights.

      • Suse

        Usual argle bargle word salad thing.

        • jesterpunk

          Yuge bigly crowd, terrific crowd, electoral college win, worst hurricane ever? How did I do with the points?

  • Crystalclear12

    By gawd, someone is going to jail over emails.
    FBI

  • willi0000000

    everything about this story is icky . . . not the least Sperbank being pooty-poot’s favorite.

  • Les Appentis De la résistance

    Not more Russian characters! This story is getting too complicated. Where do Boris and Natasha come in?

    • Crystalclear12

      Well, Natasha is still pissed about her role but I haven’t heard about Boris.

    • Bill D. Burger
    • Toomush_Inferesistance

      They dead, Mr. Kurtz….

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      Dostoyevsky’s ghost is saying “Whoa, this is too much!”

      • Toomush_Inferesistance

        It all came out of Gogol’s underwear…

  • Reximus
    • Ellie

      Well, this is the same idiot who thought large crowds near the Eiffel Tower, on Bastille Day, were because he was having dinner with Macron.

  • There’s never been anything so historic.

    • Reximus

      This water is as evil as AlQaida

      • think he’ll try to bomb it?

  • mardam422

    OK. I’m setting the over/under for people indicted at 6. That’s not convictions, only indictments. On convictions I have to set the over/under at just 2. Pardons? That will equal the number of indictments plus 2 more just for good measure…so 8. Now, unindicted co-conspirators. I can’t even.

    • Out of Patience

      Watergate had 47. I say 60.

      • mardam422

        From your keyboard to God’s ears, bro.

  • Joe Beese
  • History has never been as big as now, with me in it.

    • Oh we WISH he was history.

      • he is. He has realized his most fevered fantasy… the entire Earth reviles his every thought.

  • TJ Barke

    Lock him up.

  • Bub, the cynical zombie

    I take back all the terrible things I’ve been saying about ol’ Joel:

    https://twitter.com/NeverTrumpTexan/status/902310445817716736

  • La forza del resistino

    Maybe they could just put Trump’s uninhabited Azerbaijani tower on a few railcars and move to Moscow. Any resemblance to a vagina and a sextoy is purely coincidental.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3970b31a99c341ae3401e9886dfc182cbb8a5da394d0a7167f4bddf06a47a7f2.jpg

    • Those are YOOOGEST labia. Are they sealed?

    • Bill D. Burger

      That place could figure bigly’ in all this. It appears to be a money laundering set up and little else. Even the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is reportedly to have ‘cleaned’ loot through that place.

    • hendenburg2

      I heard the Gherkin either wants to meet up with it or sue it for copyright infringement…

      http://www.wantdontwantspace.com/listings_media/xlarge/FBD6E442-1018-34E9-01A2CDC89C11697E.jpg

      • Bill D. Burger

        A friend of our from Bath, England refers to that building as the Suisse Suppository and the London Lipstick Case.

      • little miss high and mighty

        monstrous jewell

    • kaydenpat

      Grabbing pussies and then putting them up as towers. Sounds like therapy.

    • Msgr_MΩment

      I’m not a expert, but don’t you stick it in tip-first, rather than all-at-once sideways?

  • Bill D. Burger
  • In other news, Hedge-creeper Spice finally got to meet the Pope.

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      Well, that’s kinda Nice Time, if only to stick it to Drumpf

    • NotALiar

      Good. It was incredibly rude and downright mean of Dickhead not to allow him to meet Pope.

      • he’ll leave that part out of his tell-all book.

      • BillEGoatSmirk

        Agreed. But Spicey better have spent a long time in the confessional with Frank about all those lies he spewed from the podium.

        • NotALiar

          Oh, no doubt. I despise Sean Spicer. But what trump did to him was just nasty. He did it because he had the power to do it. Just to be mean. So fuck Spicer once, but fuck trump three times.

  • Reximus

    Trumpy acting like he has his Bush 911 defining leader moment

    • I love the way he pushes his way to the front where the cameras are, and then complains that they aren’t doing it right.

    • Poorly Behaved Pérsistanista

      The one where was he was reading the little goat book to school children?

      • upside down.

        • Poorly Behaved Pérsistanista

          Inside, Outside, Upside-down says The Berenstein Bears!

        • Reximus

          Wasn’t upside-down to him

  • Reximus
    • yeah, but they have razor blade inserts to simulate the feeling of fuck-me pumps.

    • Toomush_Inferesistance

      Because Sebastian still has the hots for her…

    • NotALiar

      I don’t understand? Is breitbart giving her shit for wearing sneakers?

      • kaydenpat

        No. They’re upset that she changed into sneakers because of criticism about her high heels when she boarded the plane earlier.

        • NotALiar

          Oh. Sneakers are more comfortable. High heels in a flood seems uh.. dumb? Did she throw silver dollars at the peasants?

    • kaydenpat

      The haters feel great about ourselves. Thank you very much.

    • Debbie the Unpaid Protester

      If we “haters” pressured her into changing her shoes from stiletto-stooopid-break-your-neck-in-a-disaster-area to comfy, safe ones, then yes, I feel very, very good about that.

  • WeaselPoo

    Lets not forget Jared is still in hock for his 666 Manhattan purchase. Some of Trump’s laundering fees might have been/are for Jared?
    Btw his 1 Journal Square project (which his sister offered guaranteed EB5 visas in exchange for chinese investment) still looks like this: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b7e6299cfed4ef4859c5c21ac1ea61ac3d676623a68bc4cf35d6087f658d6d4c.jpg

    • Poorly Behaved Pérsistanista

      Didn’t I read that Jar-Jar has a giant payment due the end of this year to keep from defaulting?

      These guys are so baaaaad at the business.

      • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

        Buy high, sell low. It’s the Trump family way.

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    All I can say is I want the Wonkette staff to write the definitive book on this once the пыли settles.

    • these guys could make serious money selling an X rated, professionally illustrated online political comic book and a companion coffee table book. Manga, anime – take a hike, maga is moving in.

  • JoeChristmas

    Your text here

    • Join the discussion…

      • don’t pressure him… he might be really funny… or smart.. or something.

    • hey! there’s no edit thingie,.

  • I’m waiting for Trump to claim that it stopped raining the second he and Floutit deplaned in Texas.

  • SayItWithWookies

    I wonder how much Assmouth is really worth – whether it’s negative billions or just negative hundreds of millions. Because this is not the behavior of a solvent tycoon.

    • You meane Assmouth’s estate. Assmouth is obviously worthless.

      • Toomush_Inferesistance

        It depends on how he feels on any given day…

  • Wolf Tracker

    Wonkette has it right but the problem is we may never see what actually went on because it will be squashed by the CIA. As a result if the investigation 10 Russian diplomats none of which appeared unhealthy suddenly died and two Russians that were giving info to the CIA about Russian hackers have now been arrested by Putin for treason.

    The investigation is exposing the CIA’s assets and asses and when it is exposed the the CIA and FBI allowed Sater a known Russian mobster to continue working his money laundering scams it is going to blow up all over them and they can’t have that.

    So just like when the Reagan Contra and Bush WOMD investigations started exposing the CIA they found a way to shut down the investigations so the president was not prosecuted I see the CIA doing the same thing to protect their asses and Trump.

    • Marla

      The C.I.A. doesn’t give two shits about Trump.

    • The CIA probably uses the same mechanisms for laundering their money – more important than national security.

      Really, what do you do when you have 8 billion dollars in paper money on pallets, flying out of Iraq? Where’s the closest “friendly” bank?

      • Wolf Tracker

        CIA has long operated outside the law and has started wars and installed puppet leaders.

        They have been given way too much power IMO.

        • well.. maybe it’s time they did something for America for a change.

          • Wolf Tracker

            I am not so sure they didn’t install Trump so they could keep a war going somewhere.

          • nah – that’s the Republicans and the MIC.

      • TundraGrifter

        Have you ever read “The Crimes of Patriots, a True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA” by J. Kwitney? Wow!

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      Possibly, but it seems like this investigation has too many branches to shut down easily. Putin can kill or imprison people on his end, but what does he do about Flynn, Manafort, Stone, and Sater? We may never get the whole story, but I think we’ll get enough of it to push Trump out of office. He’s no Reagan.

      • If Trump goes to Russia, and ends up at the bottom of the ocean.. I don’t think anyone will ask too many questions.

        Easy solution.. and nobody gets hurt.

        • Dudleydidwrong

          Christ, man! Think of the fishes! The poor fishes! Haven’t the sharks suffered enough?

          I guess when we see a grouper wearing a “USA-45” hat we’ll know it’s happened.

          • Just like a fish to support Trump.

      • Wolf Tracker

        I am hoping Mueller will not be pressured to protect the CIA and it will all come out but the leakers will probably make that happen if they don’t.

        There are enough people in high positions that want Trump gone that they would be willing to risk their jobs to make sure it is exposed I hope.

        • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

          He has burned a lot of bridges. He’s proved himself a compulsive liar, totally untrustworthy, and willing to throw anyone not in his family under the bus. There are probably a few True Believers™ like Hope Hicks who will stick with him until the bitter end, but not many.

    • kaydenpat

      Mueller is independent from the CIA though so I assume he can do his thing even without the CIA being able to interfere with him and the outcome of his investigation.

      • is “independent from the CIA” an actual thing?

      • Wolf Tracker

        In cases of national security that could expose CIA agents or plans the CIA doesn’t want exposed they could enforce national security powers to prevent it from being used as evidence.

    • Covfefe

      One of the reasons the Feds took Al Capone for tax evasion is that the Feds didn’t want to expose their finks.

      • little miss high and mighty

        BND (German Secret Intel) has that very problem with her V-Männer inside the NS groups
        NPD itself cannot be illegalized for partly the same reason.
        One well-paid creep (mysteriously at the scene o.c.) actually stepped over the body at one murder they havn’t started purgery cases against him yet becaus they still need him for the NSU trial (4 years and running) and beyond.
        For every superevil bad we see who ever chances to get caught there are dozens of not-quite so superevil creeps walking free and paid.

  • Poly_Ester

    Sprich mir nach!, “it was only a licensing agreement.”

  • Soylent green is *bitcoin*

    • Robbertjan Brandenburg

      Are you on meth? If not shouldn’t you get some sleep? You have been active for more than 24 hours straight.

      • got any? :) – like Gomez says..

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPs9BsJPEcQ

        I get this way sometimes – call it a tic.

        You remember how people used to play music and leave the tv one with the volume off?

        Like that, but different.

        Good detective work, btw.. but you missed my down time. Can’t expect you to “actually” waste time creating a graphic… but you’re welcome to.

        I got this system.. .when I get tired, I sleep – when I get hungry, I eat.. there’s some other things that don’t come to mind at the moment.. but it’s all good.

        • Robbertjan Brandenburg

          Dude, you use the name of one of my country’s greatest chess players. For the record I am Dutch.

          My degree in psychology can probably create a profile but I can’t be bothered. Other stuff to do. You stay safe ok?

          • sure.. thanks, doc.

            I’ve had some bad experiences with the Dutch online… p2p attracts the worst, but the Dutch – wow!

            I did the Amsterdam thing – cool. The “curb your dog” signs are hilarious.

            Did you choose psychology because you were spooked by the sound of your own wheels? Compassion? Money? Crazies in the family? Academic curiosity led to a profession?

          • CripesAmighty

            Had hopes that if one were to ignore it, it might go away (or at least dial back from ’11’). Looking less likely.

        • chimpevil

          You’re an ace if my book if you know Gomez.

          • I picked up on it in an episode of House where he took a drug to give himself migraines so he could test the efficacy of some quack’s drug.. of course it didn’t work, and he was stuck with the migraines… so, he took some pharmaceutical LSD which with his max brain tubes, he ciphered it would get rid of the migraines.. and while he was raking pigeons into nice parallel lines, he took a shower… to stabilize his frame of reference, he sat down on a bench, still wet with only a towel on… his head slumped down, and a colorful drop of water came off the tip of his nose and headed for the floor… “Miles” came on…. I found it in like.. 5 minutes.

            great song. very simply done… true art.

          • LadyLaz

            I know the exact episode you are discussing

          • my extra primo good special favorite of that series is the two guys in wheelchairs vying for the attentions of a common squeeze… genius vs genius: sticking tongues out.. nya nya nya… super dumb shit, but on multiple dumb levels.

  • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

    I honestly think many, many Congressmen owe their election to Russian influence. Treason! It’s not just for Trump anymore.

    • jesterpunk

      Start with the congress critter that is trying to limit Mueller’s investigation and the GOP house leadership who wanted to keep it all in the family.

      • BillEGoatSmirk

        Yup. Mueller is hopefully sniffing around, at a minimum, Dana Rohrabacher and Devin Nunes. And maybe the granny-killer also too.

        • jesterpunk

          It seems like he might catch the entire republican party by the way things are going.

        • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

          Granny-killer Paul’s known to have had rubles donated to his PAC.

    • I’d start with Senator McConnell, who killed any inverstigation into Russian election interference before it even started.

    • phoenix00

      Their hands are all dirty. I want the entire GOP to go down that sinking ship.

      • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

        Me too. Always party before country, and money above all with them.

  • Robbertjan Brandenburg

    Just saw video of Trump in Texas. Dear god, there were people chanting and praising when he raised a Texan flag flying in his face.

    • all praise hypno toad….

    • Wolf Tracker

      Only president to hold a re-election rally in the middle of the states disaster.

  • Let’s all hope that we’re rapidly approaching critical mass – like the RIAA did with intellectual property rights – when intimidating those with too much information is too complex and costly to do.

  • The Librarian

    To all nutjobs: Conspiracy “theory”?Nah, this is the real deal. Take off the tinfoil and MAGA hats, join in: All hail Robert Mueller and his merry band of fraud finders.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      But they paid good money for those MAGA hats.

      • Marla

        Yeah, it stimulates the Chinese economy

      • The Librarian

        Ha! Like who among us hasn’t wasted $ on something ridiculous?

    • little miss high and mighty

      Slow the steady plough there, Bob.
      Make the repubs run on D.T.’s legacy not the comparative homeostaticker, cong-cooperativer Pence/Mother admin upcomming. Trump (and McC &Ryan’s machinations) being hamstrung meanwhile and , closer to 2020 the stink is till strong.

  • Wolf Tracker

    Trump and his lawyers must be getting very nervous as the net closes around people that would sell out their own mother to avoid prison.

    I don’t think they trust Trump to pardon them or the pardons would prevent state RICO charges so they will start making deals.

    I think Sater, Cohen and Flynn are looking for deals or already flipped. Manafort appears to be holding out and they may not want a deal with him since he helped Putin install a puppet in Ukraine and was working directly against US government interests.

    This story didn’t mention that one of Kushner’s business partners is also Russian Jewish mafia (yes they really exist) named Steinmetz and he was recently arrested in Israel for money laundering and that appears to be connected to Mueller and was an interpol operation.

    Israeli Billionaire Beny Steinmetz Detained in Investigation

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/14/business/dealbook/beny-steinmetz-israeli-billionaire-detained.html?mcubz=3

    • keep beaming those positive thoughts towards the capitol.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      They actually arrest billionaires in Israel? Who were the latest billionaire arrestees in the US?

      • JMP

        There was John duPont, but he actually murdered a guy in front of multiple witnesses.

        • Beanz&Berryz

          Madoff? Any of the Enron guys?

        • Beanz&Berryz

          But not on Fifth Avenue.

      • Wolf Tracker

        I think it was Interpol because he was wanted in several countries where he was laundering money including the US. Whether he gets charged and extradited is still to be seen.

        • Beanz&Berryz

          Are there actual Interpol cops, or are Interpol cops just the regular (national) cops of each country who are acting on behalf of the Interpol… system?

    • Covfefe

      Interesting. If Mueller rats out to Interpol, he hollows out Trump’s pardon power.

  • JMP

    I.C. Expert Investment Co. is a completely legitimate company, formed by such cromulent investors as Amanda Hugankiss, I.P. Freely, Mike Rotch and Hugh Jass.

    • BillEGoatSmirk

      Don’t forget Dick Hurtz from Holden. (He was represented by the fine solicitors from Dewey, Cheatem & Howe.)

    • So Heard

      Surely Mike Hunt makes that list.

    • chimpevil

      Subsidiary of the Acme Anvil Co who tried to lure the Road Runner over the cliff.

    • phoenix00

      Ivana Trumpalot is on the payroll somewhere….

  • Jgb979

    Russia deserves every little bit of shit they’re getting now for being stupid enough to back this walking fuckstain if they thought Donnie J was actually capable of getting sanctions repealed.

    Pretty much any other Republican in Washington will whore themselves out for top dollar. Lil Marco might have even gotten some votes

    Serves them right (fuckers)

    • Russia is stupid enough to back this walking fuckstain if they thought
      Donnie J was actually capable of getting sanctions repealed.

      I’m sure that they thought that:
      a) it would be one of his boys like Pence or Tillerson who would claw back the sanctions, and
      b) an autocrat like Putin would never understand just how contentious being POTUS actually is – he just shoots journalists after all, and
      c) they really, really, REALLY underestimated just how phenomenally stupid 45 really is.

  • cmd resistor

    Did I see a headline that Fredo/Donnie Jr. is going to have a closed door session with one of those senate committees?
    ETA, yes. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/348445-trump-jr-to-interview-privately-with-senate-judiciary-committee

    • Wolf Tracker

      They called it off for some reason. He didn’t want to testify under oath.

      • cmd resistor

        Chicken shit.

  • Paperless Tiger

    Maybe Putin owns Trump and is using him to grind America under his heel, or maybe it just looks like that.

  • C4TWOMAN

    I’m exhausted. Can we just fast forward to the bit where they’re all thrown in Federal Prison?

    • CripesAmighty

      And roll credits. I’m ready for this show to be canceled.

      • rubikcube

        But the ratings are through the roof, why stop now?

        • CripesAmighty

          So was ‘Honey Boo-Boo’…

    • Can you believe that we’re all yearning for a Pence administration?

      • C4TWOMAN

        I’m actually pretty confident if Trump goes to prison, Pence is going to be in the cell right next to him. And we know Ryan is dirty. It’s a bit of a mystery who would end up in the White House at this point. But yeah, if it came down to it, I’d live with Pence…it’s not like he’d get a second term. And he’d be too busy putting out all the fires Trump started to do too much…more…. damage.

  • rubikcube

    Shit gets weirder every day.
    How do you know a breaking development in the Russia scandal is real? Drudge and FoxNews completely ignore until another news cycle kicks in.
    Now we learn that this cute, little international mystery has it’s own creepy Peter Lorre character in Ivanka’s Uncle Felix. He set up her little private “sight-seeing” tour of Moscow complete with a sit in Putin’s lap…er..chair -all out of the goodness of his heart. How sweet.
    And Michael Cohen? Really? Hey buddy, let’s see the INSIDE of that passport now, please, you slimy bottom feeder.

    • CripesAmighty

      Think it was Julia Ioffe, when asked if the whole shebang was looking more and more like an Elmore Leonard novel, she replied, “More like ‘Pink Panther’.”

      (For all you young’unz, if you haven’t seen them, it’s an old series with Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom. The best of the lot was, ‘Return of…’ Absolutely brilliant.)

      • rubikcube

        It’s Benny Hill without all that sophistication and artfulness- but the same theme song!

        • yakety sax is truly the soundtrack of this administration.

    • kareemachan

      Yeah, that was the most imbecilic “proof” I’ve ever seen.

  • So Heard

    Trump needs to wear a tan suit to gauge the outrage factor. Conservatives MUST cry and hue about it for there to be parity. If not, WE know for sure that THEY know Trump is a dumpster fire to big for Harvey to extinguish.

    • Ricky Gay

      Also fancy mustard on his leather steaks!

  • Mr. Blobfish

    We’ll have to settle for Trump Tower Leavenworth

    • Johnny Appleseed

      With the new “Trump Regime and Crooked Family Wing”. It’s just Fabulous, the absolute best.

    • susan_g

      He can easily plea “not guilty by insanity”. Who can argue?

    • Walter Wellstone

      Make it an underground tower; 20 stories deep.

  • emberglance

    Need to know more about that Rosneft deal!

    The Steele Dossier says Page/Trump associates were offered “brokerage of up to a 19% (privatized) stake in Rosneft” if the sanctions were lifted. Then at the end of 2017, hey presto a 19.5% stake in the company was privatized and sold and there’s apparently no way of knowing who really bought it.

    Amazing details here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-rosneft-privatisation-insight-idUSKBN1582OH

    Does Mueller have the power to find out who the real beneficial owner is? Any constitutional scholars out there able to advise??

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      Holy fuck whoa if true on that one!

  • Even if the tower had been built, why do they seem so cocksure that they could put Trump in the White House? By what means…?

  • Lefty Wright

    It would be interesting to see the flow chart Mueller’s team is likey drawing up on this investigation. It probably covers an entire wall and they are replacing question marks with names every day

  • Angela Ruzzo

    I honestly can NOT visualize Donald Trump in prison. I’m trying, but it just isn’t working for me. I think he would flee the country before he would go to prison. Won’t he be surprised when he asks Putin for asylum and gets turned down. Maybe Duterte will take him.

    • ocbjack

      I can absolutely visualize him being wheeled around Gitmo in a trolley. Those orange jumpsuits are made for him.

  • President in Exile Firefly

    Saaaaay, you know who else made an unsuccessful approach to Moscow?

    • 🐶 BRAINTHRUST 5000 🐶

      Napoleon?

      • That was my answer.

        • 🐶 BRAINTHRUST 5000 🐶

          More and more people are hearing about this Napoleon guy.

          • gffish

            And he’s being recognized more and more.

    • TundraGrifter

      The German army during WW II? It’s one thing to get there, of course, during a war. It’s quite another to then get back home again.

    • SeeTrain65

      The Beatles?

  • bluicebank

    We can still be sure that Ben Carson had nothing to do with any of this.

    Faint praise, to be sure, but sometimes it pays to be the dumbest ex-surgeon and failed airline traveler on the planet.

  • penny stock

    Pretty much awesome Evan, you had me spellbound.

  • Walter Wellstone

    At this point I will assume they’re all guilty and I will put the burden on them to prove their innocence. Fuck these greedy motherfuckers.

    • george lastrapes

      We have been promised PEE HOOKERS. Where are they? We must stand up and assert our right to have PEE HOOKERS and any photo evidence thereof.

  • arundel

    There really needs to be a Wonkette-branded WHOA IF TRUE t-shirt in the Wonkette Shoppe. I would so buy one.

    • send them the money, and then pretend you’re wearing it under your real clothes… .you know, the life of the mind?

      • arundel

        Ha, I hear you, just it is such a Wonkette phrase- so perfect and apt- they own it, due to the brilliant writings of Evan and Dok Zoom and Rebecca et al. It’s theirs, and it’s perfect and just an idea. Definitely agree about sending them the munnie$ irregardless [sic]!

  • The only thing I don’t get is why haven’t any of these guys started mysteriously dying yet?

    • 🐶 BRAINTHRUST 5000 🐶

      Polonium poisoning takes a couple months to kill you.

    • Putin’s already done a clean sweep on the Russian cutouts. Murdered, top to bottom. There’s nobody on his side who can get him convicted or even indicted, so he’s letting the Trumpistas swing in the wind.

    • rubikcube

      Well, there is Mike Flynn’s GOP operative buddy Peter W. Smith (*no foul play!) and let’s not forget Michael Cohen’s brother’s (stay with me) dear departed Ukrainian father-in-law….R.I.P.

      • george lastrapes

        He fell out of a window? That’s what, the second leading cause of death in Russia?

    • rocktonsam

      Tenting fingers like Monty burns… ” in due time “

    • TundraGrifter

      Because there’s no ironclad evidence one of them has flipped. Doing any one of them in can backfire – scare the others into singing like drunken canaries as well as encouraging them to clam up and do the time like good soldiers.

      • HarpyLibtart

        Yep, Putin’s not quite as stupid as Drumpf – they don’t want to overplay their hand, they know exactly what kind of yellow-bellied quislings they’re dealing with; if the rats start dying, one of them will inevitably get scared enough to decide to tip on out into the warm embrace of the FBI’s ‘protective custody’.

  • rocktonsam

    Probably. I want it to be pussy. But since he hires all the best people,what could go wrong?

    • Probably. I want it to be pussy.
      ———
      too expensive.

  • Résistance Land Shark Ω
  • Jonny On Maui

    Whew! That was one heavy read.

    • TundraGrifter

      Not exactly Lecarre. John Grisham in Moscow instead of Mississippi? Steven Barry? I’m not sure. Good stuff, however! “A great beach read!” About a sonofabeach.

  • 🐶 BRAINTHRUST 5000 🐶

    haha oh my shit, they are talking about pardoning Assange now

    • 🐶 BRAINTHRUST 5000 🐶

      I don’t want to link to daily caller though

    • 🐶 BRAINTHRUST 5000 🐶

      (this was supposed to be in open thread, one thousand pardons)

  • Persistent Tennessee Rain

    I understand why the investigation is moving slowly, dammit Mueller, hurry up already! I’m not getting any younger

    • Real Genius

      Chris: Okay, just take your time. Everything’s fine. … What is taking so long?! Mitch: (comes out of the cage)

    • TundraGrifter

      Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

      • served. ftfy

      • Persistent Tennessee Rain

        I don’t see it as revenge, but as justice

    • blaid droog

      If it moves too fast, the thugs won’t act on it. “These things must be done delicately, or you hurt the spell”. If the idiot dems don’t fuck up the next election, a year from now will be soon enuff.

    • little miss high and mighty

      Cannot afford to leave too much time on the game clock after the big score.
      Give Mike Pence and Mother enough time to deoderize and stablize their base beore 2020.
      Remeber Ford nearly won in ’76 even after his pardon for Tricky and after the inflation flak (W.I.N.) andthe “Mayaguez incident, swine flu& voter reg. bungling
      Make the rupubs run on The creep family record not on the make shift policies of slightly more conventional repubs after Trumps removal.
      Sure, Pence is not president stuff- but he will be POTUS.He must not have the time and leg. opportunities to decorate the corpse of their legacy before voters forget (again) and vote “R” on impulse once again.
      Too fast an exit. too much time for whitewash and revision and new atrocity.
      Too slow to reove Trump and we may have to sleep with our shovels and helmets.
      We should sleep that way anyway, on general principle.

  • another idea… tell me what you think…

    we all write because Trump missives and send them to the white house all at the same time, addressed “to the greatest man that ever lived.. .” and put biting sarcasm in… so that he’ll miss it and read one at one of his rallies.. .it’ll be better than paging Mike Hunt!

    • TundraGrifter

      Years ago I called The Silly Savage (he was a local talkshow hosts on Hate Talk 560) and told him how listening to him had cured me of The Gay. I laid it on pretty thick and he just lapped it up like a kitten eating cream.

      • The early 70’s was rife with that shit… they’s so fuckin’ stooopid!

  • amrak63

    If Sater is going to spill the beans, I hope Mueller has him well protected from Putin’s hit men.

    • george lastrapes

      Saw Sater’s house in a clip (he actually answered the door! Had nichego (Russian for nada) to say.). But- the telling detail- only one story. No upper-story windows to fall out of. Safety feature, or low profile? (Cue string tremolo)

  • we should freeze trump and put him in the silo with Bruce Lee and Elvis.. in case we need an idiot in the far distant future… you know, like the original corn?

  • what does the secret service have planned for someone who coats their palm and fingers with transparent plastic skin, and dopes the outer surface with some kind of chemical that passes directly into the blood stream by simply touching someone’s hand? It doesn’t have to be polonium.

    I’m always seeing the dufus in chief reaching over the barriers to give his more franetic fans a thrill… I thought he was all like, paranoid and shit.

    “is it safe?”

    I’m asking for a friend.

  • blaid droog

    Truly mind boggling.
    Like a tunnel that you follow.
    To a tunnel of its own
    Down a hollow to a cavern
    Where the sun has never shown
    Like a door that keeps revolving
    In a half forgotten dream
    Or the ripple from a pebble
    Someone tosses in a stream.
    Like the circles that you find
    In the windmills of your mind.

  • LadyLaz

    I sent Jennifer Rubin’s column on this to my trump voting husband. He is going to have to talk to Jesus (whom he does not believe in) and ask himself wtf he was thinking… because I don’t know.

    • you need to sit up at night to see if he talks in his sleep – he might be a dormant blackbriar agent.

  • Alan

    Doesn’t matter why. Can we just send them all to prison? Soon?

  • BreakingDeadMen

    While I appreciate Mueller wants everything sewn up tight, I say just arrest these ridiculous people and keep the investigation going, they will step all over their dicky old dicks in court anyway.

  • There’s something not right about Trump.. anyone else notice something… strange… about how he’s behaving?

    I just can’t shake the feeling … WATSON! The game is afoot!

    • TundraGrifter

      He can hear the blood hounds on his trail, baying in the distance. It’s only a matter of time.

  • Toledo Window Box

    Trump Tower Moscow was the cover story for Trump’s involvement with Putin. They figured out halfway through it was a poorly conceived charade and just scrapped it.

    • george lastrapes

      Or unnecessary. Putain’s denials are nudgewinky, pro forma; Strumpet’s are halfhearted, like he’s lying just to stay in practice, and pardon power makes him invincible.

  • mailman27

    He never thought he’d win. A win would interrupt the grift.

    • TundraGrifter

      Nothing interrupts the grift. Or the grifter.

      • george lastrapes

        The grift that keeps on giving.

    • unionthuggery

      Too incompetent to lose the election, too stoopit to notice he’s in over his head, and too narcissistic to resign and cut his losses.

      Pence will be the worst president we never elected president.

      • svejk

        except for andrew johnson & bush minor

      • Mojopo

        I’m not sure Pence is innocent of anything. Time will tell, but Pence is a part of the machine and he’s been caught lying about Flynn. His hands are so filthy that he may have to step aside and make room for Paul Ryan. Either way we’re looking at nothing but bad road ahead in all directions.

        • unionthuggery

          Paul Ryan is terrible, but he’s the sort of big-business first, low-tax, poor-hating, shit-weasel Republican that we’re all used to having around. Pence is theocracy incarnate. They both sort of make me think of Lovecraftian fish-people.

          • mightysprout

            I thought Paul Ryan had received Russian funds via Mitch McConnell’s super Pac. Hoping he’s in the cross-hairs, too.

  • Molon Labe

    “I will be the most colourful character you have ever talked about”

    Sounds totally legit. Case closed.

    And the 30 to 35 day clock is ticking. See you then xoxox

  • UnsaltedSinner
  • Marykcortez

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    >>>http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash440TopProductions/GetPay$97/Hour……….

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    Nothing will take these assholes down. They own the Supreme Court and they’re packing the lower courts, Congress is useless, the States have all elected not just patsies but ignorant patsies, gerrymandering from the right and lingering white supremacy on the left have destroyed the opposition vote, and they’re more than halfway past destroying public education (for instance, Illinois just gave away tax dollars to religious schools, while simultaneously screwing the Chicago system into bankruptcy).

    • writersbloc

      I like the cut of your jib.

  • John McLaughlin

    I am still having trouble about the fact that 60+ million Americans fell for DJT’s lies and disinformation. The King Birther, the grifter, the conman extraordinaire, the huckster, the world-class liar, the guy with a reverse Midas touch, the pussy grabbing loser.

    • Jonathan Smythe

      Trump supporters are the human equivalent of Douglas Adams’ Know-Nothing-Bozo the Non-Wonder Dog, an animal so stupid that it was sacked from a commercial for being incapable of knowing which dog food it was supposed to prefer, despite the fact that the meat in all the other bowls had engine oil poured all over it.

  • Internet Hitler

    It’s no wonder that some of the best citizen researchers and bloggers have been losing their shit a bit as slowly this “vaguest hint of an outline” clear to many for nearly a year is being filled in bit by bit with more and more evidence.

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