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Jul 14 2017

The Russian Connection: Junior And Jared Excellent Adventure

One of the worst ways to handles a political scandal is to not put it all out on the table from the start. It’s the “drip, drip, drip” that’ll will get you. While Donald the Lesser dropped the e-mails that led up to the meeting with a Russian lawyer who has dubious connections to the Kremlin, less than 24 hours later, we find out that it was not the whole story. And Junior’s brother-in-law Jared is in way deeper than clandestine meetings with Russian at the family tower.

Last night this shoe dropped about Jared:

Trump-Russia investigators probe Jared Kushner-run digital operation
By Peter Stone and Greg Gordon, McClatchy

Investigators at the House and Senate Intelligence committees and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation – overseen by Jared Kushner – helped guide Russia’s sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Congressional and Justice Department investigators are focusing on whether Trump’s campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions in key states – areas where Trump’s digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton, according to several people familiar with the parallel inquiries.

Also under scrutiny is the question of whether Trump associates or campaign aides had any role in assisting the Russians in publicly releasing thousands of emails, hacked from the accounts of top Democrats, at turning points in the presidential race, mainly through the London-based transparency web site WikiLeaks. [..]

By Election Day, an automated Kremlin cyberattack of unprecedented scale and sophistication had delivered critical and phony news about the Democratic presidential nominee to the Twitter and Facebook accounts of millions of voters. Some investigators suspect the Russians targeted voters in swing states, even in key precincts.

Russia’s operation used computer commands knowns as “bots” to collect and dramatically heighten the reach of negative or fabricated news about Clinton, including a story in the final days of the campaign accusing her of running a pedophile ring at a Washington pizzeria.

One source familiar with Justice’s criminal probe said investigators doubt Russian operatives controlling the so-called robotic cyber commands that fetched and distributed fake news stories could have independently “known where to specifically target … to which high-impact states and districts in those states.”

Last night, after this story broke, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow spoke with Michael Carpenter, former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia about why why Russia would have needed American help in implementing tailored online propaganda to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

To add insult to injury, Donnie Jr. forgot to name all the people in the room like a former Russian counterintelligence officer. Ooops.

Trump Team Met Russian Accused of International Hacking Conspiracy
By Kevin Paulson, Nico Hines, and Katie Zavadski

The alleged former Soviet intelligence officer who attended the now-infamous meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and other top campaign officials last June was previously accused in federal and state courts of orchestrating an international hacking conspiracy.

Rinat Akhmetshin told the Associated Press on Friday he accompanied Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to the June 9, 2016, meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort. Trump’s attorney confirmed Akhmetshin’s attendance in a statement. [..]

Akhmetshin, who had been hired by Veselnitskaya to help with pro-Russian lobbying efforts in Washington, said the Russian lawyer brought a folder of documents to the meeting, which he thinks she left at Trump Tower.

He said the print-outs detailed an alleged flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee. According to Akhmetshin, Trump Jr. asked whether the lawyer had all the evidence to back up her claims and Veselnitskaya said the Trump campaign would have to do further research themselves.

Besides the unnamed Russian translator, there was another person present who has yet to be identified.

There is speculation that Veselnitskaya was in the US illegally. That’s very unlikely since she was involved in a federal court case against her client, the owner of Prevezon Holding, accused of laundering $230 million stolen from Russia coffers through real estate deals in New York City. The case, at the time of the meeting, was being prosecuted by Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for Southern New York, who was fired in March just before the case would come to trial. Prosecutors settled with Prevezon in May, days before the case was set to go to trial.

More things to make you go “hmmmm” about the Trump crime family and their associates.

The kids have a lot of explaining to do without a whole lot of credibility.

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