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Manafort texts to Hannity: Would never give up Trump or Kushner

Manafort texts to Hannity: Would never give up Trump or Kushner

Paul Manafort told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would never give up information on President Donald Trump or Jared Kushner, according to newly unsealed texts between the two men in 2017 and 2018. CNN's Evan Perez reports. #CNN…

Tucker Carlson: What Happens When You Can No Longer Denounce Political Opponents As Russian...

But first tonight, attorney general William Barr has finally confirmed what has been obvious for months: The Obama administration spied on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Yes, I think spying did occur. There’s no disputing Barr’s first point: Spying on a presidential campaign is a big deal, especially when it was authorized by a rival administration. Imagine if, a year from now, the Trump administration allowed the FBI to surveil officials in the Kamala Harris for president campaign. She called Barr “Trump’s toad.” CNN, meanwhile, assured it’s viewers that there is “little evidence” that spying occurred. This is all spying. When Trump complained about it, Democrats and their employees in the media called him a liar: ADAM SCHIFF: there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a spy in the trump campaign DON LEMON: His baseless claims of spies. Jim Clapper was: JOY BEHAR: Was the FBI spying on Trump's campaign? The Obama administration wasn’t spying. There’s got to be a limit to how much lying a country can take from its leaders.

U.S. political consultant avoids prison time in case linked to Russia probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday sentenced Republican political consultant Samuel Patten to 36 months of probation, 500 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine in a case spun out of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Patten, 47, pleaded guilty in August to communicating with U.S. lawmakers and news media organizations on behalf of a Russia-aligned political party in Ukraine called the Opposition Bloc without disclosing that work to the Justice Department, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), among other offenses. Patten is a former business partner of Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national indicted by Mueller and accused of having ties to Russian intelligence. In Patten’s guilty plea he also admitted to arranging for a U.S. citizen to act as a straw purchaser to pay $50,000 for four tickets to the inauguration of Republican President Donald Trump on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch, who reimbursed Patten through a Cypriot account. Patten, who spoke briefly at the hearing, said he “fully recognized” that he committed serious criminal conduct. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Patten’s violation of FARA was “not a mere technicality” and undermined the democratic process. You didn’t try to justify them, and you didn’t try to blame them on anyone else,” Berman Jackson said to Patten, adding “that doesn’t happen everyday in this courtroom.” Berman Jackson said the acceptance of responsibility was one reason Patten received a much lighter sentence than former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Patten’s lawyer had asked for a sentence of probation, saying his case was unlike other FARA prosecutions, which have typically involved a lobbyist attempting to conceal the identity of the client and the source of funds. Federal prosecutors in Washington, who started investigating Patten after receiving a referral from Mueller, said in a court filing on Monday that Patten met or spoke with government investigators on the phone nine times. Patten’s case has sparked interest in Washington amid a widening crackdown by the Justice Department on undisclosed lobbying.

U.S. political consultant avoids prison time in case linked to Russia probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday sentenced Republican political consultant Samuel Patten to 36 months of probation, 500 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine in a case spun out of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Patten, 47, pleaded guilty in August to communicating with U.S. lawmakers and news media organizations on behalf of a Russia-aligned political party in Ukraine called the Opposition Bloc without disclosing that work to the Justice Department, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), among other offenses. Patten is a former business partner of Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national indicted by Mueller and accused of having ties to Russian intelligence. In Patten’s guilty plea he also admitted to arranging for a U.S. citizen to act as a straw purchaser to pay $50,000 for four tickets to the inauguration of Republican President Donald Trump on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch, who reimbursed Patten through a Cypriot account. Patten, who spoke briefly at the hearing, said he “fully recognized” that he committed serious criminal conduct. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Patten’s violation of FARA was “not a mere technicality” and undermined the democratic process. You didn’t try to justify them, and you didn’t try to blame them on anyone else,” Berman Jackson said to Patten, adding “that doesn’t happen everyday in this courtroom.” Berman Jackson said the acceptance of responsibility was one reason Patten received a much lighter sentence than former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Patten’s lawyer had asked for a sentence of probation, saying his case was unlike other FARA prosecutions, which have typically involved a lobbyist attempting to conceal the identity of the client and the source of funds. Federal prosecutors in Washington, who started investigating Patten after receiving a referral from Mueller, said in a court filing on Monday that Patten met or spoke with government investigators on the phone nine times. Patten’s case has sparked interest in Washington amid a widening crackdown by the Justice Department on undisclosed lobbying.

Greg Craig, former Obama White House counsel, charged with lying to Justice Department

Former White House counsel Greg Craig was indicted by a grand jury Thursday for allegedly making false statements to the Department of Justice about work performed for Ukraine in 2012. Craig, 74, who was charged with concealing material information from the Foreign Agents Registration Act Unit and making false statements, failed to disclose work he performed for Ukraine because he believed it would prevent him from future roles within the federal government, according to the indictment, which stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. Craig and his law firm were hired in early 2012 to lead an independent inquiry into whether former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko received a fair trial after she was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2011 for abuse of office, federal prosecutors say. He was also signed on to consult about Tymoshenko’s second trial. The investigation into Craig grew out of Mueller’s probe of lobbying efforts undertaken at Manafort’s direction and at the behest of the pro-Russian, pro-Putin Yanukovych government. Craig allegedly made false statements about the report in 2013 in response to the FARA Unit’s inquiries and again in 2017 after being interviewed by Mueller. The attorney allegedly stated in a formal written response to the FARA Unit that his firm did not inform, consult or act under the instruction of Ukraine. He failed to inform the FARA Unit that he generated the written inquiry report, that his firm advised the hiring of a public relations firm, was informed about the firm's strategy and met with a lobbyist whom he informed of the firm's strategy, according the indictment. Due to the allegedly misleading information provided by Craig, the FARA Unit determined the attorney and his firm did not have to register as a foreign agent, according to the indictment. "It ignores uncontroverted evidence to the contrary," the statement said.

Ex-Obama Counsel Expects to Be Charged Soon in Mueller-Related Case

Mark Wilson/Getty Images WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Gregory B. Craig, a White House counsel in the Obama administration, expect him to be indicted in the coming days on charges related to his work for the Russia-aligned government of Ukraine. The case against Mr. Craig, 74, stemmed from an investigation initiated by the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. In a summary of the inquiry, Attorney General William P. Barr said that the special counsel’s team had concluded that there was no evidence that President Trump or his aides “conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” The case against Mr. Craig is related to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, which the Justice Department is prioritizing in part because of scrutiny related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation. Mr. Manafort, who went on to become Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016, was sentenced last month to seven and a half years in prison on charges brought by Mr. Mueller’s team related to obstruction of justice and violations of FARA, as well as banking and tax laws stemming from his work in Ukraine. After the report was released, and Mr. Craig was quoted discussing it in an article in The New York Times, the Justice Department unit that oversees FARA reached out to Skadden Arps to ask why the firm and its lawyers had not registered as foreign agents for the Ukrainian government. Prosecutors cast doubt on Mr. Craig’s claim in a settlement reached in January between the Justice Department and Skadden Arps. Under that settlement, the firm avoided prosecution in the matter in exchange for an agreement to pay $4.6 million, to retroactively register its Ukraine work under FARA, to beef up its compliance processes and to cooperate with government investigations of the work on behalf of Ukraine. Neither Mr. Craig nor the journalist are identified by name in the settlement. Mr. Craig’s lawyers have argued that he was not required to register his work under FARA because he was not doing public relations for the Ukrainian government. In a statement on Wednesday, they said he “repeatedly refused requests that he participate in Ukraine’s media and lobbying campaign to promote the Tymoshenko Report.” Rather, they say he spoke to The Times to correct the Ukrainian Justice Ministry’s claims that the report cleared Mr. Yanukovych of accusations that he directed the prosecution of Ms. Tymoshenko for political purposes.

Trump-Russia collusion evidence detailed by Schiff in damning address in Congress: ‘You might think...

You might think it’s okay that the Russians offered dirt on the Democratic candidate for president as part of what’s described as the Russian government’s effort to help the Trump campaign. You might think it was okay that he took that meeting. You might think it’s okay that the president’s son-in-law also took that meeting. You might think it’s okay that, when it was discovered a year later that they had lied about that meeting and said it was about adoptions, you might think it’s okay that the president is reported to have helped dictate that lie. You might think it’s okay that the campaign chairman of a presidential campaign would offer information about that campaign to a Russian oligarch in exchange for money or debt forgiveness. You might think it’s okay if the president himself called on Russia to hack his opponent’s emails, if they were listening. You might say that’s just what you need to do to win. I don’t think it’s okay that during a presidential campaign Mr. Trump sought the Kremin’s help to consummate a real estate deal in Moscow that would make him a fortune. I don’t think it’s okay that he concealed it from the public. There is a different word for that than collusion and it's called compromised.

Lobbying Case Against Democrat With Ties to Manafort Reaches Key Stage

The previously undisclosed move was driven by Justice Department officials in Washington, and reflects an eagerness within the department to prosecute violations of lobbying laws after the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, focused on foreign influence in his investigations. The unit falls within the Justice Department’s national security division, which investigated Skadden Arps’s Ukraine work and must approve any charges against Mr. Craig. Mr. Craig and the other Skadden Arps lawyers who worked on the account did not register as foreign agents under FARA, despite inquiries from the Justice Department at the time about whether they should have. The department initially concluded in 2013 that Skadden Arps was obligated to register, but it reversed itself the following year after Mr. Craig made the case that the law did not apply to his work on behalf of Ukraine. The special counsel had subpoenaed or requested documents from Skadden Arps and two lobbying firms recruited by Mr. Manafort’s team to help build support for Mr. Yanukovych’s government, and Mr. Mueller’s investigators had interviewed people who worked with all three firms, including Mr. Craig. But last year, Mr. Mueller’s team referred the matters related to the three firms to federal prosecutors in Manhattan for potential prosecution as FARA violations. The settlement accused Mr. Craig of working with Mr. Manafort to hide the funding from the Ukrainian oligarch for Skadden Arps’s work, and of making “false and misleading” statements to other partners at the firm and the Justice Department about his interactions with a reporter for The New York Times related to the Tymoshenko report. Those representations led the Justice Department’s FARA unit to conclude in January 2014 that Skadden Arps was not required to disclose the work under FARA, according to the settlement. In announcing the settlement, John C. Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s national security division, said Skadden Arps’s failure to register under FARA “hid from the public that its report was part of a Ukrainian foreign influence campaign,” depriving Americans of the ability “to consider the identity of the speaker as they evaluate the substance of the speech.” Neither the settlement nor Mr. Demers named either Mr. Craig or The Times and its reporter, David E. Sanger, but their identities are clear from the context. In the summer of 2017, Adam Hickey, an official in the National Security Division, told lawmakers that FARA was designed to make foreign influence campaigns transparent, “not to discourage that conduct itself.” His description of FARA focused largely on transparency through voluntary registration and ongoing records keeping.

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Grounded

What We’re Following Today It’s Wednesday, March 13. Ahead of the vote, a group of senators, led by the Utah Republican Mike Lee, is attempting to reach a last-minute agreement with the White House to limit the president’s power to declare future national emergencies in exchange for its support on the most recent declaration. Here’s what else we’re watching: Bad to Worse: A federal judge sentenced Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, to 43 months in prison, bringing his total jail time to roughly six and a half years. Both defense attorneys and the judge seemed to have messages for the president. + Here are four important takeaways from the sentencing, according to Paul Rosenzweig, who two decades earlier served as senior counsel in the investigation of President Bill Clinton. The U.S. joins many other countries in grounding the jets after one crashed in Ethiopia on Sunday. Beto’s Privilege: The Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke appears poised to jump into the 2020 presidential race any day now. In fact, he doesn’t question America’s right to conquer and occupy other countries at all. Sign up for our daily politics email here. We have many other free email newsletters on a variety of other topics.
David Jolly: Trump's Behavior Is Like What You'd Seen In A Crime Family | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

David Jolly: Trump’s Behavior Is Like What You’d Seen In A Crime Family |...

From Manafort's lawyer directly misquoting a federal judge to talks of pardons and back channels between lawyers, it was quite a day of headlines for the Trump presidency. Tim O'Brien and David Jolly react. » Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc MSNBC…