Mueller May Have What He Needs To Show Obstruction

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

An under-reported Murray Waas bombshell from this morning: Previously undisclosed evidence in the possession of Special Counsel Robert Mueller—including highly confidential White House records and testimony by some of President Trump’s own top aides—provides some of the strongest evidence to date implicating the president of the United States in an obstruction of justice. Several people who have reviewed a portion … Read More

Manafort Trial Starts Today

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

By all accounts, it is moving fast. The jury had already been selected and opening statements have started… and it is only 2 pm on Day One. I don’t know how closely this trial will be followed (I won’t follow it), but apparently, prosecutors are going to avoid “the T word” (“Trump”), since this is taking place in Northern Virginia, … Read More

Facebook: We Found Campaign Influence Operations For Upcoming Elections

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, Election 2018, L'Affaire RusseLeave a Comment

Facebook has detected an ongoing influence operation targeting Americans with content related to the politically contentious issues of immigration enforcement and white supremacism, according to a report from the New York Times:  Like the Russian interference campaign in 2016, the recently detected campaign dealt with divisive social issues. Facebook discovered coordinated activity around issues like a sequel to last year’s deadly “Unite … Read More

Ten Days Away

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Yup.  No blogging for quite ten days.  I was taking some R&R in Costa Rica. I TRIED to stay off the grid — in fact, I thought I wouldn’t be able to get on the grid even if I wanted to. But alas, they have Internet there too. What did I miss? CNN reported last Thursday that Michael Cohen was prepared to … Read More

Weekly List 89

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week there were dramatic developments in several areas which could be perilous for Trump: a federal judge ruled an emoluments clauses lawsuit can proceed; Michael Cohen asserted Trump knew about, and approved, the June 9 Trump Tower meeting with Russians to get dirt on Hillary; Trump’s decades-long bookkeeper was subpoenaed to testify in the Southern District; leaked tapes revealed … Read More

Weekly List 88

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

Trump stumbled defiantly through the rest of a shocking week: shifting his positions on backing U.S. intelligence, considering an offer to allow Russian intelligence to question the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, publicly criticizing the Federal Reserve, and threatening his former fixer Michael Cohen who had taped their conversations. Russian Maria Butina was arrested and indicted on charges of spying — the … Read More

It’s Not Just Trump Anymore

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Republicans, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Michelle Goldberg asks “Are Republicans Covering for Trump, or for Themselves?” Of all the interlocking mysteries of the Trump-Russia scandal, one that I’ve found particularly perplexing is the utter servility of congressional Republicans before a president many of them hate and believe to be compromised by a foreign power. Yes, I know they’re thrilled about tax cuts and judges. Given … Read More

Putin’s Comin’

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

President Trump has asked his national security adviser John Bolton to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington for a second summit. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that plans are underway for a second summit after Trump floated the news in an earlier tweet today. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats informed on stage at Aspen Security Forum … Read More

Trump Was Briefed About Russian Interference Two Weeks Before He Became President

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

NY Times: Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the … Read More

More Cleanup On Aisle Trump

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, L'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Yesterday, the day after Trump’s unconvincing walkback of believing Putin over the US intelligence community, this happened at a press pool spray: The exact exchange that just occurred in the White House 👇 REPORTER: Is Russia still targeting the US, Mr. President? TRUMP: Thank you very much. No. (Shakes head) REPORTER: No? You don’t believe that to be the case? … Read More

The Spy Who Loved Me

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, Gun Control, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This is some serious Cold War movie stuff: A Russian woman charged this week with serving as a foreign agent has been in regular contact with Russian intelligence, the Justice Department says, and she attempted to offer sex in exchange for a position with an organization she targeted. Prosecutors included that information in court documents as part of their request … Read More

Treason Summit Fallout

Ken AshfordElection 2016, L'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

It’s been compared to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. These comparisons, to me, aren’t apt.  For one thing, people died.  More importantly, those tragedies weren’t self-inflicted. But the gravity of what Trump did has even surpassed his “both sides” comment of Charlottesville. Virtually every politician and pundit has condemned the disastrous press conference.  “Treason” and “traitor” are on many lips, while … Read More

In Other News, The OTHER Trump-Russia Connection

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Campaign Finance Reform, Gun Control, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This is getting almost no coverage (update: okay NOW it is), but there is breaking news on another front. The DOJ just announced the arrest of an unregistered Russian agent, Maria Butina. Right now, the only charge is that Ms. Butina was an unregistered foreign agent, but the FBI was investigating her on the belief that she worked at the … Read More

Treason Summit

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

On the heels of the NATO summit, where President Trump dissed our strongest allies, Trump is now visiting Vladimir Putin in Russia. Just moments ago, he and Putin ended their special two-hours-and-10-minutes one-on-one meeting with no advisers and no witnesses and no note-takers. One official, according to CNN, said it was because he doesn’t want his aides interrupting or undercutting … Read More