4:30 PM 12/1/2017 – Rudy Giuliani Could Be Facing Felony Charges In Reza Zarrab Case

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01.12.2017 22:08
Fri, 01 Dec 2017 22:08:26 +0100

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Rudy Giuliani Could Be Facing Felony Charges In Reza Zarrab Case
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Is Rudy Giuliani Facing Serious Felony Charges in the Reza Zarrab Case? – Lombardi Letter
Is Rudy Giuliani Facing Serious Felony Charges in the Reza Zarrab Case? – Lombardi Letter
Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data … – FiveThirtyEight
Its a Gay, Gay, Gay Government
How Much Has Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation Cost? – Newsweek
Jared Kushner Pushing for Rex Tillerson’s Ouster after Ivanka Snub
Rex Tillerson, Gary Cohn and Jared Kushner expected to leave White House as President Trumps first year draws to close
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Coming in December on FRONTLINE – FRONTLINE
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Michael Flynn ‘prepared to testify against Donald Trump’ over Russia links
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11:52 AM 12/1/2017 The Operation Silk Road (or iz zis zi Zilk Rod?). The same movie, Part Three (Obama Trump Zilk) The World News and Times | The World News and Times
Erdogan Allowed Turkish Banks to Help Iran Make Illegal Payments, Witness Says — 2nd Update – Fox Business
6:51 AM 12/1/2017 Trump Pressed Top Republicans to End Senate Russia Inquiry New York Times
The curious case of Jared Kushner and the Israel lobby
The curious case of Jared Kushner and the Israel lobby – Middle East Eye
Flynn Indictment Shows He Committed a More Serious Offense Than Lying to the FBI
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Trump speaks with Erdogan about crisis in Syria

PoliticoNov 24, 2017
President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart on Friday discussed by phone the crisis in Syria and other issues, including ties between the United States and Turkey, according to a White House readout of the call. “President Trump and President Erdogan underscored the need to end the …
ErdoğanTrump vow to fight against ‘all’ terror groups
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Trump tells Turkey’s leader: US to stop arming Syrian Kurds
In-DepthWashington PostNov 24, 2017

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Trump and Turkey’s Erdogan ‘on the same wavelength’ for the first …

Business InsiderNov 28, 2017
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday his talks with U.S. President Donald Trump last week were the first occasion in a long time the two NATO allies were “on the same wavelength” and they would speak against this week. Diplomatic ties between Ankara and Washington …
Erdoğan says he will talk to Trump again amid YPG dispute
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Turkey Demands Trump Honor Purported Pledge to Cut Off …
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Turkish Gold Trader Suggests That Rudy Giuliani Negotiated …

The Daily CallerNov 29, 2017
A month after Giuliani and Mukasey’s meeting with Erdogan, Trump fired Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney who was initially handling the Zarrab case. The move caught Bharara by surprise. Though an Obama appointee, Trump had told him just after the election that he would keep his position during the new …
Reza Zarrab takes the stand in trial straining US-Turkish ties
<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>Nov 29, 2017

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Trump taps golf club members for posts

Long Island Business News1 hour ago
Callista Gngrich, named envoy to the Vatican, and her husband, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, have both been members of Trump’s Northern Virginia golf club, according to USA Today. Andrew Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani’s son and a member of Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, is the White …

Is It Giuliani’s Turn in the Flynn/Trump/Turkey Barrel?

TPM (blog)Nov 29, 2017
GOP Senators Criticize Trump Retweets Of Anti-Muslim Videos about 10 hours ago. After President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning retweeted several anti-Muslim videos from a far-right.
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Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to …

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Former Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani was seen this week in the Ukraine with a pro-Russiaofficial who is linked to Ukrainian political clients of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort. The Palmer Report was first to note on Monday that a news publication in the Ukraine had published …

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Crook Claims Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey Tried to Broker …

Daily BeastNov 29, 2017
Giuliani and Mukasey avoided mentioning the “central role” of Iran in the charges against Zarrab on filings submitted to the court about their work and said the case had no serious implications for U.S. national security. Judge Richard Berman slammed the omissions as “disingenuous” earlier this year.

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Why a Gold Trader’s Plea Deal Is a Big Deal for US Foreign Policy …

Slate Magazine (blog)Nov 28, 2017
The Zarrab case itself is complicated to begin with, and is also tied to a dizzying number of ongoing geopolitical stories—from Turkey’s political crackdown to the investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia—and involves figures including Rudy Giuliani, Michael Flynn, and Turkish President …
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Crook Claims Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey Tried to Broker …

Daily BeastNov 29, 2017
Giuliani and Mukasey avoided mentioning the “central role” of Iran in the charges against Zarrab on filings submitted to the court about their work and said the case had no serious implications for U.S. national security. Judge Richard Berman slammed the omissions as “disingenuous” earlier this year.

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Turkish gold trader linked to Flynn and Giuliani could start testifying …

Raw StoryNov 28, 2017
A Turkish-Iranian gold trader linked to both Mike Flynn and Rudy Giuliani has agreed to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors. Reza Zarrab was scheduled to stand trial earlier this month in New York, where the U.S. attorney had filed charges in an international corruption case, but his lawyer confirmed an …
Turkish Gold Trader Confirmed as Witness in Sanctions Case
Courthouse News ServiceNov 28, 2017
Rudy Giuliani Could Be Facing Felony Charges In Reza Zarrab Case
 

mikenova shared this story from Lombardi Letter.

Rudy Giuliani May Be Going to Prison

Rudy Giuliani is famous for being the former mayor of New York City during the terrorist attacks in 2001. He helped the city get back on its feet and made the city even stronger than before. For those efforts, he deserves a ton of respect.

Nevertheless, there’s a possibility that he will be heading to jail. The reason is that Giuliani may have played a critical role in rigging the 2016 presidential election in order to help his friend Donald Trump see victory. If this is true, that could mean he broke the law.

The Background Story

Before getting into politics, Giuliani practiced law in New York City. After getting out of politics, Giuliani got back to practicing law again.

This led Giuliani to work alongside Michael Mukasey (who was appointed Attorney General by George W. Bush) in order to try to broker a prisoner exchange with Turkey. Giuliani and Mukasey were representing Reza Zarrab, who is from Turkey and has links to Turkish government officials. In the end, there was no exchange of prisoners between the United States and Turkey. (Source: “Crook Claims Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey Tried to Broker U.S.-Turkey Prisoner Swap,” The Daily Beast, November 29,2017.)

Reza Zarrab<a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6F5L6pV2w0″ rel=”nofollow”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6F5L6pV2w0</a>

Zarrab needed to be represented by lawyers because he was a gold trader who was allegedly involved in a multi-million-dollar cash-for-gold scheme to help Turkey buy oil from Iran and get around the sanctions against Iran. There was no success in the case, and Zarrab remain in America.

Zarrab feels that Giuliani was trying to sabotage the trial for his own personal interest. Things then took another turn, with Giuliani just disappearing. Now Zarrab is co-operating with U.S. officials and informing them of all the details he knows about Rudy Giuliani.

Zarrab has told his side of the story, including more than €45.0 million that he used to bribe a former Turkish minister of economy. He did that so he would be allowed to trade gold with Iran even though there are sanctions in place. The plan was to split the profit margins of the transactions 50-50. Zarrab disclosed how a gold trade would work from the start to the end. He also explained how the parties involved would conduct their business. (Source: Ibid.)

In terms of client-lawyer confidentially there were no laws being broken by Zarrab. Since there is a possibility that Giuliani broke the law, Zarrab was allowed to speak about his interactions with Giuliani.

Did Rudy Giuliani Take on Representing Reza Zarrab to Protect Himself?

A lawyer always has a decision of not representing a client if they choose to do so. When looking at all the facts, it seems that Giuliani took on the Zarrab case in order to protect himself.

First off, Giuliani is good friends with Donald Trump. This was even before Trump got into the political world. This, of course, is no indication that there was any wrongdoing.

However, one suspicious move by President Trump is that he did not give Giuliani a high-ranking role in his administration. There had been many rumors that Giuliani was going to be named vice president; instead, Giuliani only took an informal role as a cybersecurity advisor. This is quite surprising, due to vast amount of experience that Giuliani has in politics.

A major reason for not being appointed to a high-ranking position is because Giuliani most likely would have not been approved by the senate committee. This is due to the fact of possible rigging of votes in the 2016 presidential campaign. In addition, there is the possibility that he worked with the FBI by gaining information about Hillary Clinton.  Giuliani told Fox News that he had information about the Clinton e-mail scandal  before it was public knowledge.  (Source: “FBI Investigating Possible Leaks To Rudy Giuliani About Hillary Clinton Email Investigation,” Huffington Post, May 3, 2017.)

By being involved in the case, it gave Giuliani a first-hand look at all the information in the matter. In addition, it gave Giuliani the possibility of helping his friend Trump if his name were to come up in the manner.

Therefore, by Giuliani having an “informal” role in Trump’s administration, it still gave the two a working relationship.

Bill Palmer Claims that Giuliani Is Going to Prison

Bill Palmer is the senior editor and founder of The Palmer Report, said,

Whatever extra-legal antics Rudy Giuliani was carrying out to try to sabotage the trial of Reza Zarrab earlier this year, Zarrab surely knows the ugly details. Now that Zarrab has flipped, he must and will give up Giuliani. Because Giuliani was breaking the law to try to help Zarrab, attorney-client privilege doesn’t apply. It means Giuliani is going to prison – and he might have to cut a deal against Trump just to avoid a particularly long sentence.

(Source: “Key Witness Flips, Rudy Giuliani Now Implicated…But He’s Suddenly Disappeared,” Bluedot Daily, November 30, 2017.)

Can the Former Mayor Really Go to Prison?

There is a long list of political figures who have gone to jail for their actions. So, regardless of what they did for the country, breaking the law is a serious matter. Interference in the 2016 presidential election is not a joking matter. The time that Giuliani could spend in jail would be determined by a judge.

Giuliani could see jail time, but it will be related to events that have occurred relating to the 2016 presidential election. It seems that he used his previous contacts as a political figure to gain access to FBI confidential information regarding Hillary Clinton’s e-mail case. Since he has a relationship to Donald Trump, the information could have been shared and used during the campaign, which would be breaking the law.

Also, it could be possible that there was interference from Turkey and Russia in the 2016 election, with Giuliani working with these foreign governments. Again, this would be breaking the law. If any of this is tru,e than it could lead to Giuliani going to jail.

Of course, no one is guilty until it is proven. This is where Reza Zarrab comes into play. Zarrab seems to have information related to Giuliani interfering in the election; this is where charges could be laid. This would then result in the former mayor seeing possible jail time.

Robert Mueller and his special investigation team will investigate Rudy Giuliani for any interference in the 2016 presidential election. It is quite possible that Mueller interviews Reza Zarrab as part of this investigation.

It does not help Giuliani’s case that he seems to be hiding from the public. Some may think it means he has done something wrong. With Giuliani being a public figure, it’s possible that someone will find and broadcast his current hiding position on social media .

If Giuliani is guilty, it may be best to come out of hiding and attempt to make a deal in order to see fewer charges.

Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Is Rudy Giuliani Facing Serious Felony Charges in the Reza Zarrab Case? – Lombardi Letter
 

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Is Rudy Giuliani Facing Serious Felony Charges in the Reza Zarrab Case?
Lombardi Letter
Rudy Giuliani is famous for being the former mayor of New York City during the terrorist attacks in 2001. He helped the city get back on its feet and made the city even stronger than before. For those efforts, he deserves a ton of respect. Nevertheless 

 Rudy Giuliani – Google News

Is Rudy Giuliani Facing Serious Felony Charges in the Reza Zarrab Case? – Lombardi Letter
 

mikenova shared this story from Rudy Giuliani – Google News.

Is Rudy Giuliani Facing Serious Felony Charges in the Reza Zarrab Case?
Lombardi Letter
Rudy Giuliani is famous for being the former mayor of New York City during the terrorist attacks in 2001. He helped the city get back on its feet and made the city even stronger than before. For those efforts, he deserves a ton of respect. Nevertheless 

Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data … – FiveThirtyEight
 

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FiveThirtyEight
Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data …
FiveThirtyEight
As Trump tweets, government acts. Welcome to Meanwhile, our recurring look at what federal agencies are up to and how their work affects people’s lives. When daand more »

Its a Gay, Gay, Gay Government
 

mikenova shared this story .

In many places and at many moments, we still do. But not in Palm Springs. While the names of streets and structures here commemorate its Rat Pack and Republican pasts — there’s Frank Sinatra Drive and, at the airport, the Sonny Bono Concourse — its present is progressive and very, very gay. Democrats handily outnumber Republicans. The local officials I spoke with guessed that anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent of the city’s residents are gay or lesbian.

The old City Council had just one straight person on it. Moon, a 68-year-old former Navy officer, is the city’s third openly gay mayor. When we chatted, he went through the government’s gay roll call. The city manager: gay. The assistant city manager: gay. The newly hired city clerk: gay.

“You see why having an all-gay City Council is no big deal?” he told me. “Nobody cares anymore.”

Palm Springs so thoroughly embraces L.G.B.T. people that Holstege, who is married to a man, faced questions about whether she was inventing her bisexuality for political gain.

“Social media started to trash her,” said Roberts, 57, who supported her candidacy. “They were saying she’s not really bi, maybe she had an experience in college, and now she wants to sweep up gay dollars and gay votes. So I called her up one day and said: ‘Christy, I’m making the weirdest call I’ve ever made in my entire life. You’re being accused of being fake gay, fake bi. This is a whole new world for me. This is a parallel universe.’ ”

He was backing her, he said, because of her erudition — she has a law degree from Stanford — and her expertise regarding homelessness and affordable housing. But he did care about her truthfulness and wanted her assurance that her critics were off base. She gave that to him.

She gave it to me, too, and said that during her campaign, she in fact shied away from talk about sexual orientation. When I asked her what the new Council’s first order of business should be, she mentioned making it easier for people at the airport to summon Uber or Lyft.

In general the City Council race included little talk about identity politics. Middleton told me that she was seldom asked about being a transgender woman but routinely fielded questions about downtown development and the city’s budget, subjects she knew well because of her extensive involvement in civic organizations. High on her wish list for the city is six more police officers and four more firefighters. That was among her campaign promises.

I asked the police chief, Bryan Reyes, about her victory. He was jubilant. “I just believe — I really believe — in her,” he said. “I’m a straight male. I have no problem doing photo ops, giving her hugs, because of the person she is, what she represents, her work ethic, her character.”

When she and I had lunch, servers and others rushed over to congratulate her. “Do we refer to you as ‘City Councilwoman’ or just plain Lisa?” asked one of the restaurant’s owners, John Paschal.

“Her Exalted,” Middleton suggested, and they both laughed. Then she went back to bending my ear about spurring entrepreneurship in Palm Springs.

She sees the city, which has a population of just under 50,000 people, as a beacon of inclusion. But she also sees it as an example of how Americans “have been sorting ourselves,” with liberals and conservatives in separate enclaves. (The new Council is entirely Democratic.) And she has mixed feelings about that. “We get our information from different newspapers,” she said. “We live in different communities. We’re becoming not just polarized but isolated.”

Roberts echoed that over dinner at that tropical-themed restaurant with his fellow councilman Kors, 56, a lawyer and longtime gay rights advocate. “Isn’t our goal not to be separated out?” he said. He confessed to some worry that after the election, “The straight community might wake up and say, ‘Do we matter?’ ”

Continue reading the main story

How Much Has Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation Cost? – Newsweek
 

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Newsweek
How Much Has Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation Cost?
Newsweek
Since his appointment almost seven months ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his crack team have racked up a $5 million tab as they probe Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election and alleged collusion with Donald Trump’s campaign to 
Ex-Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn charged in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigationNew York Daily News
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation tops $5 millionABC News
Michael Flynn pleads guilty to false-statements charge in Russia probeFox News
Business Insider –HuffPost
all 1,870 news articles »
Jared Kushner Pushing for Rex Tillerson’s Ouster after Ivanka Snub
 

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In early October, shortly after Tillerson said diplomatic options were still on the table in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear program, Trump tweeted that the secretary of state is “wasting his time” trying to talk to Pyongyang.

The newspaper quoted unnamed senior administration officials as saying Trump had soured on Tillerson and was ready for a change at the State Department, probably around the end of the year.

Kelle Louaillier, president of Corporate Accountability International, said that while ousting Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil, might otherwise be a positive step, having Pompeo in charge of the U.S. State Department would be nothing to celebrate.

“Perfect” is widely reported to be behind some of the most egregious mistakes of Trump’s presidency so far, including the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and Trump’s decision to back the doomed Alabama primary candidacy of Sen.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Tillerson’s closest ally in the administration, simply brushed off the report.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders wasn’t giving any long term guarantees on Tillerson either. “When the president loses confidence in someone, they will no longer serve in the capacity that they’re in”, she said.

Foreign leaders haven’t always been sure whether Tillerson was speaking for Trump, who reportedlyderided his secretary of state as being too “establishment” in his thinking. Arkansas law also mandates that the appointee is not allowed to run for that same seat in the following election.

A former Kansas congressman and the current Central Intelligence Agency director could become the new secretary of state.

Several administration officials said that Pompeo has said previously he’s open to the job. Still, Tillerson aides say he expects to remain in his role to see the overhaul through.

“This is pure speculation”, said White House spokesman Raj Shah in an emailed statement about potential staff moves. Take the podium one day and say, “Look, the truth is that my boss has a weird relationship with the truth, no real priorities other than expressing contempt for all of you, and no matter what, I’m gonna say that he’s doing a good job, okay?” Mika Brzezinski also joined the fray, asking guest Heidi Pryzbyla about the connotations of White House staffers allowing Trump to dabble in conspiracy theories.

Rex Tillerson, Gary Cohn and Jared Kushner expected to leave White House as President Trumps first year draws to close
 

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s expected exit from the Trump administration is one of many staff changes likely as President Donald Trump nears the end of his first year in office, with sources saying top economic adviser Gary Cohn and son-in-law Jared Kushner could be among those who depart.

Cohn, whose relationship with Trump became tense earlier this year, has considered leaving once the Republican effort to overhaul the U.S. tax system is completed in Congress, according to the sources with ties to the White House who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Kushner, who has seen his influence in the White House shrink, may receive a “face-saving” exit as he deals with legal challenges related to a special counsel’s investigation of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign’s potential ties to Russia, one of the sources said.

“This is pure speculation,” said White House spokesman Raj Shah in an emailed statement about potential staff moves.

More junior-level advisers could also use the completion of Trump’s first year and tax legislation as a pivot point to move on, leading to another period of uncertainty that has at times overshadowed Trump’s tenure, which began on Jan. 20.

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Things change quickly at the Trump White House. Advisers and Cabinet members who fall out of favour with the president can re-enter his good graces, making it hard to predict staff moves. But shifts in personnel are watched around the world for indications of how Trump will tackle issues ranging from North Korea to regulatory policy.

Donald Trump’s international Presidential trips

Donald Trump’s international Presidential trips

  • 1/22

    French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump

    AFP/Getty Images

  • 2/22

    French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump talk as they leave the Army Museum at Les Invalides in Paris

    AFP/Getty Images

  • 3/22

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump arrive for the group photo at the G7 Taormina summit on the island of Sicily in May 2017

    Getty Images

  • 4/22

    Mr Trump was pressed on the subject at the G7 summit in Italy

    Getty

  • 5/22

    US President Donald Trump gives a speeech at the Warsaw Uprising Monument on Krasinski Square

    Getty

  • 6/22

    US President Donald Trump and Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May during a ceremony at the NATO headquarters before the start of a summit in Brussels, Belgium

    Reuters

  • 7/22

    Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic is seen to the right of Donald Trump at a Nato summit in Brussels

    REUTERS

  • 8/22

    Pope Francis meeting with US President Donald J. Trump

    EPA

  • 9/22

    Pope Francis poses with US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump

    AFP/Getty Images

  • 10/22

    US President Donald Trump arrives at Palazzo del Quirinale ahead of the meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella

    Ufficio Stampa Presidenza della via Getty

  • 11/22

    US President Donald Trump is seen during a joint press conference with the Palestinian leader at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

    AFP/Getty Images

  • 12/22

    Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas meets US President Donald Trump

    PPO via Getty

  • 13/22

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with US President Donald Trump prior to the President’s departure

    GPO via Getty Images

  • 14/22

    US President Donald Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after delivering a speech at the Israel Museum

    AFP/Getty Images

  • 15/22

    US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump lay a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance as White House senior advisor Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump watch on during a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum

    AFP/Getty Images

  • 16/22

    US President Donald Trump visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem accompanied by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

    GPO via Getty Images

  • 17/22

    US President Donald Trump takes his seat before his speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia

    Reuters

  • 18/22

    Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump look at a display of Saudi modern art at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh

    AFP/Getty Images

  • 19/22

    US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud take part in a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh

    AFP/Getty Images

  • 20/22

    King Salman presents Donald Trump with The Collar of Abdulaziz al-Saud Medal at the Royal Court Palace on 20 May

    AP

  • 21/22

    US President Donald Trump is welcomed by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh

    AFP/Getty Images

  • 22/22

    U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk on the South Lawn prior to their first foreign trip

    Getty Images

“It may be February, it may be March, it may be April, but I think once you get to that time period, people are going to feel as though they’ve kind of put their time in,” said one person with close ties to the White House.

“You’re definitely going to see some people leave after tax cuts get done,” said a separate Trump adviser, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the administration.

Plan for Tillerson

Trump is considering a plan to oust Tillerson, whose relationship has been strained by the top U.S. diplomat’s softer line on North Korea and other differences, senior administration officials said. A State Department spokeswoman said Tillerson’s chief of staff had been told by the White House that the reports of Tillerson being replaced were not true.

Cohn’s future in the White House has come into question since his public criticism of Trump’s response to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia in August. Their once-tense relationship has since improved, however, and one source close to the White House said he could stay longer to help spearhead legislation to improve U.S. infrastructure.

“I’d go a little bit against conventional wisdom here and say he’s got one more project to get under his belt before he leaves,” the source said, referring to infrastructure.

The White House noted Cohn’s interview with CNBC earlier this month in which said he did not plan to leave after tax reform was finished. “It’s my plan to stay and work as long as I can help the president drive his economic agenda,” Cohn said.

Two of the sources with ties to the White House said they assumed the White House chief of staff, General John Kelly, wanted at least to outlast his predecessor Reince Priebus’ six-month tenure in the position. The White House spokesman’s statement said discussion of changes was speculation.

One of the sources said Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, could go if a scenario, such as giving him an outside adviser role, were found that appealed to the president.

“Once someone comes up with a solution that sounds right, then I think he’s going to latch on,” the source said.

Kushner told the Washington Post this month that he and his wife, a fellow White House adviser, were “here to stay.”

Though a lot of speculation about departures has focused on high-profile names, the possibility of mid-level staffers leaving could have a big impact on the rhythms of the White House.

“The difference in this administration is that you don’t have replacements already on staff” or people clamoring to get on board, said one of the sources with ties to the White House.

Reuters

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Coming in December on FRONTLINE
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With revelations involving Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election continuing to command the headlines, FRONTLINE will close out the year with an encore presentation of Putin’s Revenge our two-part investigation into how Vladimir Putin came 

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WASHINGTON Michael Flynn was President Donald Trump’s favorite general, rapidly vaulted to prominence by his fiery speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention and Trump’s decision to reward him with a plum job as his top national security aide and more »

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Michael Flynn ‘prepared to testify against Donald Trump’ over Russia links
 

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Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn is reportedly prepared to testify against the US president as part of an FBI investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.

The reports sent the US stock market plunging with the dollar diving 0.5 per cent against a basket of the leading global currencies.

Flynn is prepared to testify that President Donald Trump directed him to make contact with Russians when he was a presidential candidate, ABC News reported.

The former adviser admitted lying to the FBI over his links to Russia today and has agreed to share information about a “very senior” official as part of a plea deal.

Flynn has also said that a senior member of Mr Trump’s transition team directed him to make contact with Russian officials in December 2016.

The unnamed senior transition official at Mar- a-Lago directed Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Flynn reported back to the official, a US court has heard.

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Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to the FBI

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WASHINGTON — President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the F.B.I. about conversations with the Russian ambassador last December during the presidential transition, bringing the special counsel’s investigation into the president’s inner circle.
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The Operation Silk Road: Please, meet (for now) the CIA Director, and our Designated Future President, Mr. Silk (codename Cotton). Yea-yeah, the same one who six years ago was just a kid looking for a job 

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally approved the use of Turkish banks to help Iran facilitate international payments that violated U.S. economic sanctions, a key government witness testified in a closely watched Manhattan trial.WSJ.com: World News

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The curious case of Jared Kushner and the Israel lobby
 

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Even before he assumed office, Donald Trump had appointed Jared Kushner to be his point-person on US relations with the Middle East. The latter was specifically charged with forging an Israel-Palestine peace plan, which Trump, in typical flamboyant fashion, called “the ultimate deal“.

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Trump’s Middle East peace plan: Dead on arrival?

Leaders throughout the region and analysts who’ve devoted much of their lives to pursuing this goal were stunned that the US had charged a young man with no previous experience except negotiating commercial real estate deals with resolving one of the world’s most intractable problems.

Kushner’s Middle East policy

Since Kushner, whose family has made significant donations to Israeli settlements, was already known to be heavily pro-Israel in his approach, he determined that the Saudis were the key to unlock the Arab part of the equation.

So he’s made three visits to the Saudi kingdom in the past year. He brought his father-in-law on the latter’s first foreign trip as president to visit King Salman and the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

The goal was to flatter and cultivate the Saudi royals, expecting them to “bring along” the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world towards that “ultimate” peace deal. This was an astonishing turn in US relations because, though the Saudis are nominal allies, the two countries have had a contentious relationship going all the way back to 9/11.

This is in part because 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, and wealthy Saudi patrons heavily financed Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. The Trump-Kushner “pivot” toward Saudi Arabia accords with a similar Israeli embrace of the House of Saud due to the two states common enemy: Iran.

In this and other ways, Kushner is placing US Middle East policy in lock-step with Israel. That certainly leaves the Palestinians, among others, out in the cold.



Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and other royals walking in front of Jared Kushner during an arrival ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh 20 May 2017 (AFP)

Violating Logan Act

Many analysts who study the region question whether the US putting all its eggs in the Saudi basket is wise considering the unpopularity of the autocratic-theocratic regime both in the region and the world.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported a new development in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation: did Jared Kushner violate the Logan Act after he lobbied UN Security Council members to sabotage a resolution denouncing Israeli settlements.

The act dates back to the earliest days of the republic. In 1799, America was in its infancy and it was extremely sensitive about foreign meddling in its affairs. The great powers of that day were only too eager to interfere with the domestic and foreign affairs of weaker states if it was in their interest.

For that reason, American legislators passed the Logan Act which prohibited private citizens from becoming agents of foreign states in trying to influence US foreign policy.

The Act, as it was implemented, became something of a double-edged sword as it enabled the political party in power to target anyone in the opposition who exercised his right to lobby for a particular policy regarding various foreign states.

Eventually, virtually everyone realised that a weapon you used against an opponent could be wielded against you once you were out of power. So the Act fell into limbo. Only one individual was ever charged with violating it and he was never prosecuted.

Harming US interests

But news that Kushner was under suspicion of violating the Act raised interesting issues. Though many US politicians have been accused of being shills for Israel and the Israel lobby holds sway over an enormous number of legislators, and though numerous Americans have been convicted of spying on Israel’s behalf, no one has ever been convicted of harming the interests of the US for Israel’s sake.

In fact, the rallying cry of the lobby is that there is no difference between Israeli and US interests. In other words, when you work on behalf of Israel’s interests, you’re also advancing America’s. Of course, this is utter nonsense. It turns both countries into awkwardly conjoined Siamese twins.

Kushner is placing US Middle East policy in lock-step with Israel. That certainly leaves the Palestinians, among others, out in the cold

That’s certainly what Kushner did in this case: Netanyahu, who initiated the request for Trump’s intervention in the UN affair, wanted to fend off the resolution at all costs. It was originally put forward by Egypt.

Because Israel has tremendous leverage over the Egyptian military-led government regarding intelligence-sharing on Sinai Islamists, and because of Israeli attacks in Sinai which have killed militants on Egypt’s behalf, the Israeli leader was able to persuade Egyptt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to back off.

But this strategy failed because four other member states stepped forward and sponsored it. Then Netanyahu sought to lobby the Russians and Chinese, who also were unmoved. Running out of cards to play, Netanyahu turned to Trump’s right-hand man, Kushner.

Then Trump’s camp began working the phones.



Palestinians protested at Jared Kushner’s visit in Ramallah (AFP)

Crossing the line

It was clear from Netanyahu on down, and including Trump, that the goal was to destroy the resolution which had the tacit support of the Obama administration.

Though the US in the end abstained, the Obama administration clearly did nothing to stop the resolution – meaning it tacitly supported it. In the past, it had actually vetoed virtually identitcal Security Council proposals.

So, the abstention was quite a bold move for the US. Therefore, Kushner’s intervention to kill the resolution crossed the line from using his First Amendment right to speak freely about government policy into subverting official US foreign policy. This is legal ground which has yet to be plowed.

Including the Logan Act in a list of charges against Kushner would not only be novel, it would put the Israel lobby on notice that it had crossed a red line. And that once you cross that line you’re actually engaging in criminal behaviour. That would be a first. A shocking shot across the bow that would set the lobby reeling.

However, it is doubtful that Mueller would make the Logan Act a key element of his legal strategy. When you’re pursuing a president of the United States, you don’t want to dabble in untried or esoteric legal theory.

READ MORE ►

Trump’s ‘ultimate deal’ seen as ‘ultimatum’ to Palestinians

But including a Logan Act violation would be the equivalent of mood music, setting the tone for the overall indictment. In other words, we’re talking about high crimes and misdemeanors here, and not run-of-the-mill charges.

Much like a spy who betrays his country, Kushner acted against the best interest of the United States. That’s certainly an impeachable offence when and if it comes round to Trump himself.

What Kushner did is to violate a cardinal rule of American life: he showed dual loyalty. This is a canard that anti-Semites used to throw around against Jews. But today, given the eagle-clawed grip the Israel lobby holds over aspects of American politics, dual loyalty is once again a claim raised (and this time validly) against American Jews like Kushner, who put the interests of Israel above those of their native country.

As the guiding force behind the Trump Middle East peace plan, an indictment by the special counsel against Kushner would significantly damage this effort. That might mean that a plan which is already derided by the Palestinians as hopelessly biased in Israel’s favour, might die at birth.

– Richard Silverstein writes the Tikun Olam blog, devoted to exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state. His work has appeared in Haaretz, the Forward, the Seattle Times and the Los Angeles Times. He contributed to the essay collection devoted to the 2006 Lebanon war, A Time to Speak Out (Verso) and has another essay in the upcoming collection, Israel and Palestine: Alternate Perspectives on Statehood (Rowman & Littlefield).

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: US presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner (REUTERS)

The curious case of Jared Kushner and the Israel lobby – Middle East Eye
 

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The curious case of Jared Kushner and the Israel lobby
Middle East Eye
Many analysts who study the region question whether the US putting all its eggs in the Saudi basket is wise considering the unpopularity of the autocratic-theocratic regime both in the region and the world. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported a
In First, Kushner to Speak Publicly About Trump Peace EffortsHaaretz
In rare public remarks, Kushner to discuss peace push at DC confabThe Times of Israelall 15 news articles »

Flynn Indictment Shows He Committed a More Serious Offense Than Lying to the FBI
 

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On Friday morning, special counsel Robert Mueller announced that he had indicted Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s short-lived national security adviser (who had led the “lock her up” cheers at the last Republican convention), on two counts of lying to the FBI and soon after that Flynn pleaded guilty in a federal court in Washington as part of a cooperation deal with Mueller. This means that both Trump’s top campaign official, Paul Manafort, and his top national security campaign aide now stand accused of criminal activity.

Mueller released a two-page “information” document detailing the two counts. The first was no shocker: that Flynn had lied to FBI agents about a conversation he had with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, in December 2016, during the presidential transition. Flynn told the agents that he had not asked Kislyak to restrain Russia’s response to sanctions President Barack Obama was imposing on Moscow for its underhanded meddling in the 2016 campaign. He also told the agents that he did not recall that Kislyak had said that Moscow would indeed moderate its response as a result of his request. But according to Mueller, Flynn had made the request and knew Moscow had done what he asked.

It has been previously reported that there was evidencemost likely intelligence interceptssuggesting Flynn had lied about this interaction with Kislyak. On the day of that conversation, when it appeared Russia would indeed not be responding harshly to the Obama sanctions, Trump tweeted, “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart.”

The other count expands the story. It notes that on December 22, 2016, Flynn had asked Kislyak to delay or vote against a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s construction of settlements in disputed territories, but that Flynn denied doing so when interviewed by the FBI. Israel was fighting hard against the resolution and requested that the Obama administration veto the measure. At the time, Trump publicly sided with the Israeli government. The resolution was approved on December 23, with the United States abstaining.

Israeli officials, it was known, had reached out to Trump transition team officials prior to the vote in an effort to delay the vote or block the resolution. Those Trump officials included Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and Stephen Bannon, then Trump’s chief strategist. Mueller’s indictment discloses that Flynn was part of this endeavor and took concrete steps to thwart the foreign policy of the Obama administration in its final month. (Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Mueller was investigating Kushner’s conversation with Israeli officials about this matter. The newspaper noted that a 1799 law called the Logan Act prohibits Americans from communicating with foreign officials to influence an overseas governments actions related to a conflict with the United States. No one has ever been successfully prosecuted under this law.)

This part of the indictment shows that prior to Trump’s inauguration, Flynn went beyond attempting to establish a modus vivendi with Moscow. He was secretly asking Kislyak for a favor. (Moscow did not oblige him in this instance.)

That is quite a picture. On October 7, 2016, the US intelligence community released a statement declaring that Russia was behind the hack-and-dump operation that targeted Democrats in order to influence the 2016 presidential campaign. (That statement also suggested that Russia had explored penetrating US vote-counting systems.) About two months earlier, Trump and Flynn had received an intelligence briefing that included information about Russia’s clandestine efforts to subvert the election. Yet during the transition, Flynn, as Trump’s representative, was covertly trying to enlist Moscow’s assistance to undermine existing US policy.

For Moscow, this requestand Flynn’s subsequent plea for a light response to Obama’s sanctionscertainly could be read as an encouraging sign and a signal that Trump was not upset about Vladimir Putin’s intervention in the campaign. Flynn was sending a clear message to Putin’s man in Washington that he and Trump were more interested in partnering with Russia than in holding it accountableor preventing Putin from future attacks on elections in the United States or elsewhere.

That might not have been illegal. But as bad as it is to lie to the FBI, countenancing Russia’s assault on American democracy is a far graver offense.


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