Sunday, December 10, 2017

Day 51.1 It Really Is As Easy as 1-2-3, Sex Drugs, and Rock and Roll


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Day 50 Part 1 - Survey of All The Working Stories


More Clinton ties on Mueller team: One deputy attended Clinton party, another rep'd top aide

More Clinton connections have emerged for members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team, amid growing Republican complaints about potential bias inside the office created to lead an independent probe.

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller investigator Andrew Weissmann, a former partner at WilmerHale, attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party last November at the Javits Center in New York City. Fox News reported earlier this week that Weissmann in January also praised outgoing acting Attorney General Sally Yates, after she was fired for refusing to defend President Trump’s travel ban.

Federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann (C) is flanked by FBI agents as he
speaks to the press outside the federal courthouse in Houston, Texas
about the latest round of indictments stemming from the collapse of
Enron, May 1, 2003. Also Lea Fastow, wife of Enron Chief Financial
Officer Andrew Fastow, is expected to be indicted on tax and mail
fraud. REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell

JM/ME - RTRMRJX

Andrew Weissmann, reportedly attended the Hillary Clinton election night party in November 2016. He has donated thousands of dollars to former President Barack Obama's campaign and the DNC.  (Reuters)

Aaron Zebley, another former partner at WilmerHale and a former chief of staff to Mueller when he served as FBI director, represented Justin Cooper, a key figure in the Hillary Clinton email controversy.


Cooper is the longtime Bill Clinton aide responsible for helping set up the now-infamous private email server. Cooper later admitted to “two instances where he destroyed [Hillary] Clinton’s old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”


Aaron Zebley, a Mueller investigator, represented Justin Cooper. Cooper was a longtime- Bill Clinton aide who set up Hillary Clinton's private email server.

Jeannie Rhee, another former partner at WilmerHale, represented ex-Obama National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, the Clinton Foundation in a 2015 racketeering case, and Hillary Clinton herself in a lawsuit seeking access to her private emails.

“You’ve got Donald Trump being persecuted by Hillary Clinton’s fan club—that’s inequitable,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News on Friday. “Many of the members of Mueller’s team donated to the Clinton campaign. We have a lot of highly qualified federal prosecutors in the Justice Department and we could have found a bunch of them who didn’t donate to either candidate. But that didn’t occur, and that’s troubling.” 
'[Y]ou might start seeing a real death-spiral in terms of any public support for the investigation.'
- former Justice Department official James Trusty
Those political donations have been well-known since the start of the Mueller probe. At least seven of Mueller's investigators on the Russia meddling case have donated to Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee.

Weissmann donated a combined $2,300 to the Obama campaign in 2008, and at least $2,000 to the DNC in 2006. Rhee donated a total of $5,400 to Hillary Clinton in 2015 and 2016 and a combined $4,800 to former President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2011.

Zebley has no history of political donations or any affiliation with a political party.

Neither political donations nor past legal work alone proves that an investigator is biased or unable to work a case objectively. But the revelation last weekend that another investigator, Peter Strzok, was removed from the Russia probe over anti-Trump texts has critics looking closely at every bio.

“Mueller did not have to select attorneys who had made donations to, or even represented,
Democratic candidates, but as those partisan connections are becoming clearer, it gives an appearance of bias that could have been avoided,” former high-ranking Justice Department official James Trusty, who served under the Bush and Obama administrations, told Fox News on Friday.

“Add a lead investigator having a 10,000 text affair with an already dubious selection for the team (in terms of litigation experience) and you might start seeing a real death-spiral in terms of any public support for the investigation,” Trusty added in an email to Fox News.

Peter Strzok was removed from Mueller's team after the discovery of anti-Trump text messages he exchanged with another former Mueller investigator. (FBI )

Strzok, who was an FBI counterintelligence agent, was reassigned to the FBI’s human resources division after the discovery of the texts. Page was briefly on Mueller’s team but returned to the FBI over the summer. The two exchanged more than 10,000 text messages, Fox News reported.

Strzok has been involved in a host of significant developments in both the Clinton and Russia probes. He was present during the FBI’s July 2016 interview with Hillary Clinton at the close of the email investigation, shortly before then-FBI Director James Comey called her actions “extremely careless” without recommending criminal charges.

Strzok also oversaw the FBI’s interviews with Trump’s fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty last week to lying to FBI investigators in the Russia probe.

Trump allies routinely have sought to raise bias concerns about Mueller's team to discredit the Russia investigation.

The special counsel’s office told Fox News this week that they had no comment on such allegations, but pointed to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s comments earlier this year.

“If there were conflicts that arose, because of Director Mueller or anybody employed by Director Mueller, we have a process within the [Justice Department] to take care of that,” Rosenstein said on Fox News.

The special counsel himself has been appointed to five Senate-confirmed positions by four different presidents – two Republicans, and two Democrats. Mueller is said to be a life-long Republican, serving as FBI director for President George W. Bush.

Justice Department policies and federal law prohibit discriminating based on political affiliation when it comes to hiring for nonpolitical positions, like the FBI and Justice Department.

A spokesman for the special counsel told Fox News on Friday Weissmann is still a member of Mueller's team. 

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

You Do Know The Department Of Defense Is Involved In Child Welfare Fraud, Right?

You do know the Department of Defense is involved in child welfare fraud, right?

Who do you think came up with Child Protective Services?

This audit, as magnanimous as it may be in its announcement, will be groundbreaking in the multiple child welfare fraud operations around the world.



Officials Announce First DoD-Wide Audit, Call for Budget Certainty

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2017 — The Defense Department is starting the first agencywide financial audit in its history, Pentagon officials announced today.

Defense Department Comptroller David L. Norquist and chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White spoke during the Pentagon news conference, in which they also addressed the possibility of a government shutdown when the continuing resolution that has been keeping the government running expires tomorrow.

"I cannot emphasize too much how destructive a shutdown is," Norquist said. "We've talked before about the importance of maintenance on weapons systems and others, but if it's not an excepted activity, there'll be work stoppage on many of those maintenance functions."

Congress is considering passing a two-week extension of the continuing resolution, which would give the legislators until Dec. 22 to pass a budget. The Defense Department has operated under a continuing resolution for 1,081 days over the past nine years, White noted.

Continuing Resolutions Affect Readiness
"And so we are optimistic that the Congress will pass a robust and predictable, fully funded [fiscal year 2018] budget," she said. "Nothing has had a greater impact on combat readiness than CRs, … and at a time where security threats are high, we really do need the predictability in the budget -- certainty that we don't have with CRs."

Continuing resolutions are supposed to be short-term bridges for financing. A long-term CR is disruptive, Norquist said. "Every time … you add to it, it creates more challenges," he added.
One problem with a CR is there can be no new starts, the comptroller told reporters. "In the administration's budget, we requested additional money for munitions, and so we would like to increase the production of some of those munitions," he said.

"What the CR says is, 'Stop, wait, don't award that contract yet,' which delays when you begin to increase the quantity and the production," he explained, adding that none of this can be fixed until there is a proper budget.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1391471/officials-announce-first-dod-wide-audit-call-for-budget-certainty/

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Day 49.7. Theresa Grafenstine -Did the Awans Do the DHS Hack On MicroPACT


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Day 49.5. Manafort and Awan Surveillance


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Day 49.4. Judge Contreras Recuses - FISA Warrant For PP


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Owner of Home Health Agency Sentenced in Absentia to 80 Years in Prison for Involvement in $13 Million Medicare Fraud Conspiracy and for Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns

Just think.

If they can concock such elaborate fraud schemes in Medicare, then what do you think they do with Medicaid fraud in child welfare?


The owner of a Houston home health agency was sentenced today to 80 years in prison for his role in a $13 million Medicare fraud scheme and for filing false tax returns.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Field Office, Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Dallas Region and Special Agent in Charge D. Richard Goss of the Houston Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.
Ebong Tilong, 53, of Sugarland, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of the Southern District of Texas.  In November 2016, after the first week of trial, Tilong pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, three counts of healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks, three counts of payment and receipt of healthcare kickbacks, and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.  In June 2017, Tilong pleaded guilty to two counts of filing fraudulent tax returns.  Tilong failed to appear for his original sentencing, which was scheduled for Oct. 13, 2017.  
According to the evidence presented at trial and Tilong’s admissions in connection with his guilty plea, from February 2006 through June 2015, Tilong and others conspired to defraud Medicare by submitting over $10 million in false and fraudulent claims for home health services to Medicare through Fiango Home Healthcare Inc. (Fiango), owned by Tilong and his wife, Marie Neba, 53, also of Sugarland, Texas.  The trial evidence showed that using the money that Medicare paid for such fraudulent claims, Tilong paid illegal kickbacks to patient recruiters for referring Medicare beneficiaries to Fiango for home health services.  Tilong also paid illegal kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries for allowing Fiango to bill Medicare using beneficiaries’ Medicare information for home health services that were not medically necessary or not provided, the evidence showed.  Tilong falsified medical records and directed others to falsify medical records to make it appear as though the Medicare beneficiaries qualified for and received home health services.  Tilong also attempted to destroy evidence, blackmail a witness, and suborn perjury from witnesses, including a co-defendant while in the federal courthouse, the evidence showed.
According to the evidence presented at trial and his admissions to the tax offenses, from February 2006 to June 2015, Tilong received more than $13 million from Medicare for home health services that were not medically necessary or not provided to Medicare beneficiaries.
In connection with his guilty plea to the tax offenses, Tilong admitted that to maximize his gains from the Medicare fraud scheme, he created a shell company called Quality Therapy Services (QTS) to limit the amount of tax that he paid to the IRS on the proceeds that he and his co-conspirators stole from Medicare.  According to his plea agreement, in 2013 and 2014, Tilong wrote almost a million dollars in checks from Fiango to QTS, purportedly for physical-therapy services that QTS provided to Fiango’s Medicare patients.  The evidence showed that QTS did not provide those services.  According to his plea agreement, in 2013 and 2014, Tilong’s fraudulent tax scheme caused the IRS a tax loss of approximately $344,452.
To date, four others have pleaded guilty or been convicted based on their roles in the fraudulent Medicare scheme at Fiango.  Nirmal Mazumdar, M.D., of Houston, Texas, the former medical director of Fiango, pleaded guilty to a scheme to commit health care fraud for his role at Fiango.  Daisy Carter, 58, of Wharton, Texas, and Connie Ray Island, 49, of Houston, Texas, two patient recruiters for Fiango, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud for their roles at Fiango.  Neba was convicted after a two-week jury trial of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, three counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks, one count of payment and receipt of health care kickbacks, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and one count of making health care false statements.
On Aug. 11, Neba was sentenced to 75 years in prison and Island was sentenced to 33 months in prison.   On Oct. 3, Mazumdar was sentenced to time served with three years of home confinement.  Carter is awaiting sentencing.   
The case was investigated by the FBI, IRS-CI and HHS-OIG under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney William S.W. Chang, Senior Trial Attorney Jonathan T. Baum, and Trial Attorney Andrew Pennebaker of the Fraud Section.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country.  The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operates in nine locations nationwide.  Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged over 3,500 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for over $12.5 billion.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.
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NADLER STATEMENT ON WIKILEAKS DOCUMENTS AND THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN


Today, CNN reports that candidate Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump, Jr., and others inside the Trump Organization received an email in September 2016 offering a decryption key and website address for hacked documents—weeks before WikiLeaks began publishing the contents of those documents online.  Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) of the House Judiciary Committee issued the following statement in response:

“This email is yet another sign that senior Trump campaign officials—including Donald Trump, Jr., and perhaps the President himself—may have accepted assistance and valuable information from the Russian government and its partners.  It is, of course, a crime to participate in a conspiracy to influence an election through the illegal misuse of various computer systems.  It is also a crime for a foreign national to give anything of value to a campaign for federal office.  At the very least, this email shows us that the Trump Campaign understood enough about these stolen documents to have immediately reported a crime to the FBI.  They did not, and now Donald Jr. refuses to answer questions about his extensive back-and-forth with WikiLeaks.

“It is unconscionable that that House Judiciary Republicans want to relitigate long-debunked Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories instead of this direct threat to our election system. This is part of a coordinated effort—spearheaded by the White House—to undermine and discredit individuals and institutions, such as Special Counsel Mueller and the FBI, which are investigating the President and his associates. I once again call on Chairman Goodlatte to begin the committee’s oversight work in this space without delay.”

House Judiciary Democrats have sent more than 20 letters to the Committee and GOP Leadership, and more than 40 letters to the White House and Department of Justice seeking oversight of Trump Administration misconduct, without any meaningful response. It is high time the House Judiciary Republicans join us in investigating obstruction of justice and related charges.

CNN offers correction, rewrite for Wikileaks-Trump story


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Friday, December 8, 2017

Let The Conyers Political Devouring Frenzy Commence!

Vultures eating a wildebeest - YouTube
Democratic Candidates for the 13th Congressional District
2018 Primary Election

For the last 50 years, the 13th Congressional Primary Race has always decided the outcome of the General Election, as the district has traditionally been Democratic.

Let the Conyers political devouring frenzy commence!

CONYERS seat won't be filled until November

DETROIT — Michigan’s Republican governor announced Friday that Democrat John Conyers’ congressional seat won’t be filled until the regularly scheduled November election, leaving it vacant for nearly a year.

Gov. Rick Snyder decided the post will effectively be listed twice on the Aug. 7 primary and Nov. 6 general election ballots.

While unlikely, it is possible voters could choose one candidate to fill the vacancy until January 2019 and elect another to a full two-year term after that.

Snyder said he opted against having an earlier special election to give potential candidates ample time to decide about running, provide voters in the predominantly Democratic district more options and save money.

The 88-year-old Conyers, who was facing a House Ethics Committee investigation over claims by former staffers, cited health reasons for his resignation.

Michael Gilmore, a Detroit attorney who is running for the seat, said not having representation in the House for nearly a year is unfair to residents.

“I think it’s unfortunate that the governor thinks this is what we’re worth,” Gilmore said Friday.
The governor said the election would not occur until November in part to give potential candidates time to make a decision and reduce the financial burden on local taxpayers.

Snyder’s office said it consulted with Wayne County leadership before making a decision. The 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization backed the decision, too.

“In order to allow several months for that to take place and to reduce the financial burden on local taxpayers, the primary and general elections will be held when regularly scheduled elections are already occurring,” Snyder said in a statement.

The filing deadline is April 24 for both elections. Whoever wins the special election will serve next November and December, and — if he or she also wins the regular race — will serve a two-year term starting in 2019. A Snyder spokeswoman said it could have cost up to $2 million if the special elections were scheduled on non-regular election dates.

Detroit, a city of about 680,000, currently does not have any resident serving in Congress.
Former Michigan Department Party Chairman Mark Brewer tweeted that Snyder’s decision “continues to give the back of his hand to urban areas whether it’s emergency managers, poisoned water, and now being denied representation in Congress for nearly a year.”

But Jonathan Kinloch, chairman of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization, said earlier this week that having the elections on the regularly scheduled dates avoids the typical low turnouts associated with special elections.

“We want as many voters as possible to participate in the filling of the seat,” he said.
John Conyers retired Wednesday amid allegations by about a half-dozen women who once worked for him that they were harassed and touched inappropriately. He has denied the allegations. Conyers first was elected in 1964.

Some colleagues in the U.S. House had urged Conyers to resign. When he did, he endorsed his 27-year-old son, John Conyers III, to succeed him. The younger Conyers, a partner with a Detroit-based, minority-run hedge fund, posted on Twitter this week that he has not decided whether he wants to run for his father’s old seat. The Associated Press has been unable to reach him for comment.

Detroit, a city of about 680,000, currently does not have any resident serving in Congress.

The race for the seat in the district that includes parts of Detroit and some western Wayne County communities could become a free-for-all.

Gilmore said he began fundraising for his campaign in April and had planned to challenge John Conyers prior to the sexual harassment allegations.

Democratic state Sen. Ian Conyers, John Conyers’ grand-nephew, said earlier this week that he will run.

Fellow Democratic state Sent. Coleman Young II is expected on Monday to announce his intent to run, his spokesman said.

Young sought Detroit’s mayoral seat his late father, Mayor Coleman A. Young, once held, but lost to incumbent Mike Duggan in the November general election.

“He is battle-tested. This mayoral race has prepared him,” Young spokesman Adolph Mongo told The Associated Press. “He knows the issues in the 13th District. He’s been campaigning for 10 months on the issues.”

Conyers III never has been elected to a public post. Ian Conyers won a special election in 2016 for the state senate seat. Young was elected in 2010 to the Michigan Senate. He served in the state House from 2005 to 2010.


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Day 49.1 Melissa Hodgman, Peter Strzok, and Andy McCabe


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Day 48.6. Jordan Highlight of the Day


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Day 48.5 Carmichael and Carpenter



U.S. regulators drop fraud case against Wall Street financier Wey (Reuters) -

U.S. securities regulators on Friday moved to drop their fraud case against Wall Street financier Benjamin Wey, about a month after prosecutors dropped a related criminal case after a judge threw out some evidence In a filing in federal court in Manhattan, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said its case relied on the same evidence as the criminal case, and that it believed it would no longer be able to use it.

Prosecutors and the SEC in 2015 accused Wey, the founder of New York Global Group, of making tens of millions of dollars by secretly controlling large blocks of shares through “reverse mergers” between Chinese companies and U.S. shell companies, and selling his shares at artificially high levels.

The SEC also sued Wey’s wife, Michaela Wey, who was not criminally charged. “Today’s dismissal can only be described as a complete victory for our clients, Benjamin and Michaela Wey,” said David Siegal, a lawyer for the Weys.

SEC spokesman Ryan White declined to comment.

The criminal case against Wey collapsed in June, when U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ruled that a huge cache of materials seized from Wey’s home and offices could not be used because they were obtained with overly broad search warrants that violated Wey’s constitutional rights.

Nathan said the seizure of items such as children’s school records, family photos and X-rays at minimum reflected “grossly negligent or reckless disregard” of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

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Day 48.4. Five EB5s, Four FISA Warrants, Three Wiretaps



(Reuters) - The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia judge presiding over the criminal case for President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been recused from handling the case, a court spokeswoman said on Thursday.

According to a court filing, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, who presided over a Dec. 1 hearing where Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russia, will no longer handle the case.

Court spokeswoman Lisa Klem did not say why Contreras was recused, and added that the case was randomly reassigned.

Reuters could not immediately learn the reason for the recusal, or reach Contreras.
An attorney for Flynn declined to comment.

Now, Flynn’s sentencing will be overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan was appointed by former Democratic President Bill Clinton.

Flynn was the first member of Trump’s administration to plead guilty to a crime uncovered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging probe into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential collusion by Trump aides. Russia has denied meddling in the election and Trump has dismissed any suggestion of collusion.

Flynn has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s ongoing investigation.

A sentencing date has not yet been set, but the parties are due to return to court on February 1 for a status report hearing.

Contreras was appointed to the bench in 2012 by former Democratic President Barack Obama.
He was also appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in May 2016 for a term lasting through 2023.

That court issues warrants that allow Justice Department officials to wiretap individuals, a process that has been thrown into the spotlight amid the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.

The most recent controversy related to FISA warrants involves Peter Strzok, a senior FBI agent who was removed from the Russia investigation for exchanging text messages with a colleague that expressed anti-Trump views.

At a hearing on Thursday at the House Judiciary Committee, Republican lawmaker Jim Jordan pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray on whether a former British spy’s dossier of allegations of Russian financial and personal links to Trump’s campaign and associates was used by Strzok to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump’s transition team.

Judge Sullivan previously served on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals under appointments by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, respectively.

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Day 48.3 Evasion, Evasion,Evasion Wray Lays an Goose Egg


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Day 48.2. It’s the Russians again - of Centreville, Maryland


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Day 48.1 Unsealed Indictments - Ft. Belvoir Smuggler's Cove?


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VICE News - HBO Video On Detroit Tax Foreclosure Auctions Kicking People Out Of Their Homes

This is an absolutely beautiful introduction into the schemes behind the stealing of Detroit properties and other resources.

There are nefarious fraud schemes behind this story I believe are about to be exposed because this Detroit model of snatching properties is to be the national model.


#thestormiscomingtodetroit



The following is from Jerry Paffendorf and Loveland Technologies.

Due to fortuitous timing I just caught the VICE News piece on Detroit tax foreclosures live. I walked into a TV production studio to visit a friend just as it was about to start and asked if they could turn on HBO. They put it on a big screen and sat me down on a large leather couch, and then to much surprise, I appeared on screen in what amounts to a real LA power move. What a wacky world.

The piece, I think, was pretty good. It will be online for streaming in a little bit and I would love to hear what you think.

It jumps back and forth between an investment group in the suburbs that specializes in buying occupied homes at the tax foreclosure auction, and a woman losing her home at the auction, and the United Community Housing Coalition - Detroit as they try to buy homes back for their occupants (featuring Michele Oberholtzer). 

In between it gets into the financial relationship between the City and the County, including the City's property tax over-assessment, the County's role as the city's debt collector, and the high interest rates charged by the County that contribute greatly to the foreclosures and make the finances work out for them.

I make a very small appearance as a (clean-shaven) talking head saying what I usually say: that it's crazy, it's ongoing, it lowers the population, it creates blight and vacancy, it fragments ownership and makes Detroit a renter city, and (at least implying) there are things that can be done about it.

The piece says that the Mayor and the Treasurer declined requests to be interviewed, and that there is no plan to stop selling occupied homes. Really that's what we need: an officially stated public position to stop selling occupied homes, and then increased efforts to work on solving the systemic problems upstream.

I know a lot of people think I'm stupid to stick with this issue and keep talking about it and working on it even though it's damaged some of our relationships and our business in the city, but I really don't know what else to do. I feel stupid sometimes too, but I've never been so close to something so obviously wrong that has hurt so many people and neighborhoods and that otherwise good people have so far failed to fully address.

Honestly I do not dislike anyone in office and know there are many amazing things happening in town to celebrate that people would prefer to hear about. It pains me to keep talking about this issue because it only takes and doesn't give, but there is also an unstoppable feeling that just flows up from the inside and gives me some amount of faith that something good will eventually come from being honest about it. 

Thank you to all the people who haven't stopped talking about it and who also work on solving it. We could use some more traditionally powerful people joining the conversation to say what's happening is wrong and to work on solutions. I know that's a scary thing to do in Detroit, but if you're reading this and you think you have influence, it would really be helpful to hear you say something out loud that the Mayor and Treasurer hear, too. Anyway. Thoughts. 

Check it out when you have a chance.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Quick Question To FEC: "Why Is John Conyers Registered As Campaign Website Administrator?"

Quick question to the FEC: 

Why is John Conyers registered as the site administrator and contact?

I have alot more questions, but I am pretty sure I already know the answers.

Stay tuned.

Showing results for: JOHNCONYERS.COM

Original Query: johnconyers.com

Contact Information

Registrant Contact

Name: Conyers, John
Organization: Conyers for Congress Committee
Mailing Address: 1031 North Edgewood Street, Arlington VA 22201 US
Phone: 540-548-2988
Ext:
Fax:
Fax Ext:
Email:campaign@johnconyers.com

Admin Contact

Name: Conyers, John
Organization: Conyers for Congress Committee
Mailing Address: 1031 North Edgewood Street, Arlington VA 22201 US
Phone: 540-548-2988
Ext:
Fax:
Fax Ext:
Email:campaign@johnconyers.com

Tech Contact

Name: Inc., NameSecure
Organization: Namesecure Inc.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 785, Herndon VA 20172 US
Phone: +1.5707088418
Ext:
Fax:
Fax Ext:
Email:support@namesecure.com

Registrar

WHOIS Server: whois.namesecure.com
URL: http://www.namesecure.com
Registrar: NAMESECURE.COM
IANA ID: 30
Abuse Contact Email:abuse@web.com
Abuse Contact Phone: +1.8888012112

Status

Important Dates

Updated Date: 2017-03-20
Created Date: 2003-11-27
Registrar Expiration Date: 2019-07-22

Name Servers

DNS2.NAMESECURE.COM
DNS1.NAMESECURE.COM

Raw WHOIS Record

Domain Name: JOHNCONYERS.COM
Registry Domain ID: Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.namesecure.com
Registrar URL: http://www.namesecure.com
Updated Date: 2017-03-20T17:26:05Z
Creation Date: 2003-11-27T12:55:27Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2019-07-22T04:00:00Z
Registrar: NAMESECURE.COM
Registrar IANA ID: 30
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: abuse@web.com
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.8888012112
Reseller: Domain Status: Registry Registrant ID: Registrant Name: Conyers, John
Registrant Organization: Conyers for Congress Committee
Registrant Street: 1031 North Edgewood Street
Registrant City: Arlington Registrant State/Province: VA
Registrant Postal Code: 22201
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: 540-548-2988
Registrant Phone Ext:
 Registrant Fax:
 Registrant Fax Ext:
 Registrant Email: campaign@johnconyers.com
Registry Admin ID:
 Admin Name: Conyers, John 
 Admin Organization: Conyers for Congress Committee
 Admin Street: 1031 North Edgewood Street
Admin City: Arlington
Admin State/Province: VA Admin Postal Code: 22201
Admin Country: US Admin Phone: 540-548-2988
Admin Phone Ext:
 Admin Fax:
 Admin Fax Ext:
 Admin Email: campaign@johnconyers.com
Registry Tech ID: Tech Name: Inc.,
NameSecure Tech Organization: Namesecure Inc.
Tech Street: P.O. Box 785 Tech City: Herndon
Tech State/Province: VA Tech Postal Code: 20172
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: +1.5707088418
Tech Phone Ext:
 Tech Fax:
 Tech Fax Ext:
 Tech Email: support@namesecure.com
Name Server: DNS2.NAMESECURE.COM
Name Server: DNS1.NAMESECURE.COM DNSSEC:
Unsigned URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System: http://wdprs.internic.net/ >>> Last update of WHOIS database: 2017-12-07T06:25:22Z <<<

FEC FORM 1

STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION

FILING FEC-1147776


1. Conyers for Congress

    1050 17th St NW
    Ste 590
    Washington, DC 20036
    Email: janica@pcmsllc.com

2. Date: 02/01/2017

3. FEC Committee ID #: C00409797

This committee is a Principal Campaign Committee.

Candidate: John Conyers, Jr.
Party: Democratic Party
Office Sought: House of Representatives
State is Michigan in District: 13

Affiliated Committees/Organizations

None
, ____

Custodian of Records:

Janica Kyriacopoulos
1050 17th St NW
Ste 590
Washington, DC 20036
Title: Custodian of Records
Phone # (202) 628-1580

Treasurer:

Greg Barnes
1050 17th St NW Ste 520
Washington, DC 20036
Title: Treasurer

Designated Agent(s):

Greg Barnes
1050 17th St NW
Ste 520
Washington, DC 20036
Title: Treasurer

Banks or Depositories

Amalgamated Bank
1825 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

Signed: Greg Barnes
Date Signed: 02/06/2017
Official Committee URL: http://www.johnconyers.com

(End FEC FORM 1)


Generated Thu Dec 7 02:00:45 2017

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Day 47.4. John Wilkes Phone Booth - Simple Daily Bag Drop Interrupted By DHS Hack Flight?



DOJ failed to interview FBI informant before it filed charges in Russian nuclear bribery case

While he was Maryland’s chief federal prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s office failed to interview the undercover informant in the FBI’s Russian nuclear bribery case before it filed criminal charges in the case in 2014, officials told The Hill.

And the prosecutors did not let a grand jury hear from the paid informant before it handed up an indictment portraying him as a “victim” of the Russian corruption scheme or fully review his extensive trove of documents until months later, the officials confirmed.

The decisions backfired after prosecutors conducted more extensive debriefings of William Campbell in 2015, learning much more about the extent of his undercover activities and the transactions he engaged in while under the FBI’s direction, the officials said.

The debriefings forced prosecutors to recast their entire criminal case against former Russian uranium industry executive Vadim Mikerinn — removing the informant as a star witness and main victim for the prosecution, the officials added.

Justice Department officials began briefing Congress last week, divulging missteps in a case that nonetheless proved the Russian state-owned Rosatom was engaged in criminal activity through its top American executive beginning in 2009, well before the Obama administration made a series of favorable decisions benefitting Moscow’s nuclear giant.

Multiple House and Senate committees already are investigating whether the FBI alerted President Obama or his top aides to the Russian criminal activity and plan to interview the undercover informant soon.

The new revelations, however, could tip some scrutiny toward federal prosecutors’ own conduct in the case, a sensitive topic since Rosenstein is now Justice’s No. 2 official and the supervisor of the special counsel investigation into Russian election tampering.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said it was troubling that prosecutors would ever bring a case without talking first to a person they portrayed in court as a victim, especially when that person was an FBI informant available to them.

“I’ve never heard of such a case unless the victim is dead. I’ve never heard of prosecutors making a major case and not talking to the victim before you made it, especially when he was available to them through the FBI,” Dershowitz said.

“It is negligence, and I’m sure there will be internal issues with the Justice Department and U.S. attorney for making such an obvious mistake,” he said.

Officials told The Hill that prosecutors working for Rosenstein first interviewed Campbell, the informant, after they had already filed a sealed criminal complaint against Mikerin in July 2014.
Campbell got one debriefing after the criminal charges were filed, but was never brought before the grand jury that indicted the Russian figure in November 2014 even though the informer was portrayed as “Victim One” in that indictment, the officials confirmed

When prosecutors finally interviewed Campbell more extensively in early 2015 and reviewed all of the records he had gathered for the FBI, they learned new information about the sequence of transactions he conducted while under the FBI’s supervision, as well as the extensive nature of his counterintelligence work for the U.S. government that went far beyond the Mikerin case and dated to at least 2006, the officials said.

“Based on what was learned, we decided to change the theory of the case. … A plea deal became our goal so we wouldn’t have to litigate or make an issue of some of the stuff he had done for [counterintelligence] purposes,” a source directly familiar with the case said.

Campbell’s lawyer, Victoria Toensing, confirmed the Justice officials’ account. “The first time Mr. Campbell was interviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s office was after the criminal complaint was filed, and he was never brought before the grand jury before the indictment,” she told The Hill.

Justice officials said they knew when they first brought the case that Campbell had been part of a controlled, FBI-authorized bribery scheme, meaning he had permission to make payments to the Russians as kickbacks to further the investigation.

They declined to say why, with that knowledge, they initially portrayed Campbell in the indictment as a “victim” of an extortion scheme that began in November 2009 when the FBI had authorized him to make regular kickback payments of $50,000 in order to keep his consulting work for the Russians.
They said, however, they decided to pivot the case from extortion to money laundering after the more extensive 2015 debriefings revealed other transactions that pre-dated the extortion charges.

One source familiar with the case said extortion felt like a weaker charge when Campbell was acting with the FBI’s blessing and that the evidence of money laundering that Campbell documented through secret accounts in Latvia and Cyprus was irrefutable.

Campbell, who now has leukemia, also suffered an earlier bout with cancer in the middle of the case when a lesion was detected on his brain. He survived, all the while working undercover, but he developed some memory issues after treatment, sources said.

To compensate, he developed a system of extensive note taking and documentation with his FBI handlers through email to ensure facts were captured before his memory became hazy. A lot of those notes did not get reviewed by prosecutors until 2015, well after charges were filed, the sources said.
The documentation shows Campbell’s work had exposed wide-ranging details about Russia’s nuclear activities across the globe, including efforts to corner the global uranium market, assist Iranian nuclear ambitions and to criminally compromise a U.S. trucking firm that transported Russia’s nuclear fuel, they said.

Officials said the investigation and Campbell’s work from 2006 to 2013 fell under the FBI’s counterintelligence arm and Justice’s national security division, and officials originally did not intend for it to become a criminal case.

Justice officials originally hoped they simply could use the threat of criminal prosecution to “flip” Mikerin as a cooperating asset, but their confrontation with him at an office building in 2014 failed to persuade him to cooperate, sources said.

Prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland then assembled charges and an indictment, using mostly information from the FBI’s counterintelligence files and interviews of Campbell done by an Energy Department investigative agent, officials said

Mikerin was an icon in the Russian nuclear industry, a top executive of the state-controlled Rosatom firm and its Tenex subsidiary and the man Moscow sent to Washington in 2010 to oversee Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to grow uranium sales inside the United States under the Obama administration.

The November 2014 indictment, bearing Rosenstein’s name, charged Mikerin with felony conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce through extortion.

Court documents alleged Mikerin was part of a larger racketeering scheme that also involved bribery, kickbacks and money laundering and that he demanded $50,000 in regular kickbacks from Campbell starting in November 2009 in order for Campbell to keep his consulting work for the Russians.

The court documents portrayed Campbell alternatively as “Victim One” or “Confidential Witness 1” who came forward to report Mikerin’s wrongdoing and cooperate with the FBI.

In fact, Campbell had been under the FBI’s control informing on the Russian nuclear industry since 2006, had signed a formal nondisclosure agreement with the FBI in 2008 and eventually was rewarded in 2016 with a $51,000 check for his extensive counterintelligence work.

Mikerin eventually pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy charge and was sentenced in December 2015 to 48 months in prison.

A month later, the FBI paid Campbell compensation of more than $51,000, a transaction prosecutors did not learn about until The Hill published a copy of the check last month, officials said.

Congress is now investigating the entire Russian nuclear bribery case after The Hill disclosed Campbell’s work, with multiple committees demanding to know whether the FBI told the Obama administration about Mikerin’s criminality before the administration made favorable decisions that rewarded Rosatom with billions of dollars in new American nuclear fuel contracts.

Justice officials began briefing congressional officials this week, starting with the Senate Judiciary Committee. After the briefings end, congressional investigators plan to interview Campbell.

After Campbell’s name and work surfaced, anonymous allegations surfaced in stories by Yahoo and Reuters suggesting the Justice Department had grave reservations about Campbell’s credibility, in part because he had three misdemeanor alcohol arrests.

But officials told The Hill those leaks were not authorized by the Justice Department and did not reflect accurately the official thinking of the department.

For instance, they said prosecutors had no concerns about Campbell’s three misdemeanor alcohol arrests and that the FBI held the informant in enough esteem to pay him the check after the case ended. And after prosecutors completed three debriefings with Campbell, they approved the payment in 2015 of the last of his expenses as an undercover.

Prosecutors’ concerns primarily dealt with the sequence of events and transactions surrounding Campbell’s undercover work during the counterintelligence part of the probe before criminal prosecutors got involved, officials said.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Merry Christmas from Legally Kidnapped

As always, our friends over at Legally Kidnapped would like to wish you and your chattel, a very, merry Christmas.


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CONYERS Retirement Letter Read By Sheila Jackson Lee

Ik zocht naar de brief maar vond hem niet. 

Ongeloflijk. 

Blijf kijken.




READ: Rep. John Conyers' full House departure letter

Conyers announces retirement after 53 years of service

After announcing his retirement Tuesday morning, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) submitted a departure letter to the U.S. House.

Conyers, 88, served in the House for more than 50 years. His decision to retire before the end of his term comes amid sexual harassment allegations by several women. He has denied the allegations. 
In his departure letter, which was read Tuesday in the House, Conyers writes he is not being afforded due process in relation to the harassment accusations. He cites his health -- he is currently hospitalized with stress-induced symptoms -- and an effort to preserve his "legacy and good name" as reasons for retirement.

Here is Conyers' full departure letter, as read by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas):
"I came to Congress in 1964. Since then I have devoted my entire career to improving the lives of my constituents in Detroit on the behalf of justice everywhere. These years witness a profound evolution in civil rights led by millions in the street who fought for justice and people of conscience in the Congress, both Democrats and Republicans who heard them and enacted the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and other landmark reforms.

“Given the totality of the circumstance of not being afforded the right of due process, in conjunction with current health conditions and to preserve my legacy and good name, I am retiring. I’ve been in the forefront of the civil rights movement. I’ve been a champion of justice for the oppressed and the disenfranchised. I never wavered in my commitment to justice and democracy. I am proud to have been part of that rich history. I have been privileged to be a founder of the Congressional Black Caucus and to represent the United States Congress by being dean.

“I passed, as indicated, the law dealing with the Martin Luther King holiday, the Violence Against Women Act, the Hate Crimes Act, the U.S.A. Freedom and the extension of the Voting Rights Act. I have led the fight against mandatory minimums, hoping to reverse the devastating incarceration rates for African-Americans and poor people. I have tried to pass a universal health care law, H.R. 676.
“Every Congress since 1989, I have introduced H.R. 40 to study reparations for slavery and I deeply appreciate those handful of courageous colleagues who have joined me

“For Detroiters, I’m proud that we have been able to accomplish, to bring hundreds of millions of dollars in critical grants and federal funding for Southeast Michigan to revitalize our great city, attract rich talent and return to us prosperity.

“I recognize that in this present environment, due process will not be afforded to me. I was taught by my great woman, my mother, to honor women. The first employee I ever hired was Mrs. Rosa Parks, who worked in my office for 22 years. It has been my great honor to work alongside some of the most talented and honorable staff on Capitol Hill and in Detroit. I have stated my position on these allegations. I have worked with both women and men.

“I cannot allow the great work of this body to be distracted from their important work or the goals of the Democratic Party to be distracted.”

“Given the totality of the circumstance of not being afforded the right of due process, in conjunction with current health conditions and to preserve my legacy and good name, I am retiring.

“I hope that my retirement will be viewed in the larger perspective of my record of service as I enter a new chapter. I pledge to continue my commitment to a progressive vision and a better future for this country that I love. I owe that to the legacy of my father, John Conyers Sr., who integrated labor unions in this country; to my brother Nathan, who integrated business and he is my main man; and to my wife Monica and to my sons John III, who I believe offers hope to this generation of leadership and who is committed to being an advocate of fairness and justice for all, and Carl Edward, who never leaves my side.

“I cannot allow the great work of this body to be distracted from their important work or the goals of the Democratic Party to be distracted.

“It has been an honor and a privilege of my life to represent the people of Michigan in the House of Representatives, but that responsibility will now fall to my colleagues and my successor. They have my deepest support and prayers.

"Jobs, justice and peace."

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TOMORROW: HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TO HOLD FBI OVERSIGHT HEARING



**Please note media RSVP requirement**

*Last day to RSVP*

 – On Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 10:00 a.m., Director Christopher Wray will testify before the House Judiciary Committee at an oversight hearing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Media Guidance: The hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at judiciary.house.gov

On the day of the hearing, media will be allowed access to the committee hearing room at 9:30 a.m.

Congressionally-credentialed members of the media MUST RSVP to their respective Press Gallery no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6. Due to anticipated interest, attendance will be limited to one media representative from each outlet. We will try to accommodate additional representatives if space is available. Gallery contact information is below:

House Radio/TV Gallery:

202-225-5214
House Periodical Gallery:

202-225-2941 House Daily Press Gallery:

202-224-6548
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Day 47.3. John Wilkes Phone Booth Revisited


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Day 47.2. Capitol Hill Arrests


INISTRATION is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer — with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal — to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals. The sources say the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency.

The creation of such a program raises the possibility that the effort would be used to create an intelligence apparatus to justify the Trump administration’s political agenda.

“Pompeo can’t trust the CIA bureaucracy, so we need to create this thing that reports just directly to him,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the proposals, in describing White House discussions. “It is a direct-action arm, totally off the books,” this person said, meaning the intelligence collected would not be shared with the rest of the CIA or the larger intelligence community. “The whole point is this is supposed to report to the president and Pompeo directly.”

North, who appears frequently on Trump’s favorite TV network, Fox News, was enlisted to help sell the effort to the administration. He was the “ideological leader” brought in to lend credibility, said the former senior intelligence official.

Some of the individuals involved with the proposals secretly met with major Trump donors asking them to help finance operations before any official contracts were signed.

The proposals would utilize an army of spies with no official cover in several countries deemed “denied areas” for current American intelligence personnel, including North Korea and Iran. The White House has also considered creating a new global rendition unit meant to capture terrorist suspects around the world, as well as a propaganda campaign in the Middle East and Europe to combat Islamic extremism and Iran.

“I can find no evidence that this ever came to the attention of anyone at the NSC or [White House] at all,” wrote Michael N. Anton, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, in an email. “The White House does not and would not support such a proposal.” But a current U.S. intelligence official appeared to contradict that assertion, stating that the various proposals were first pitched at the White House before being delivered to the CIA. The Intercept reached out to several senior officials that sources said had been briefed on the plans by Prince, including Vice President Mike Pence. His spokesperson wrote there was “no record of [Prince] ever having met with or briefed the VP.” North did not respond to a request for comment.

According to two former senior intelligence officials, Pompeo has embraced the plan and lobbied the White House to approve the contract. Asked for comment, a CIA spokesperson said, “You have been provided wildly inaccurate information by people peddling an agenda.”

At the heart of the scheme being considered by the White House are Blackwater founder Erik Prince and his longtime associate, CIA veteran John R. Maguire, who currently works for the intelligence contractor Amyntor Group. Maguire also served on Trump’s transition team. Amyntor’s role was first reported by BuzzFeed News.

Michael Barry, who was recently named NSC senior director for intelligence programs, worked closely with Prince on a CIA assassination program during the Bush administration.
Prince and Maguire deny they are working together. Those assertions, however, are challenged by current and former U.S. officials and Trump donors who say the two men were collaborating.

As with many arrangements in the world of CIA contracting and clandestine operations, details of who is in charge of various proposals are murky by design and change depending on which players are speaking. An Amyntor official said Prince was not “formally linked to any contract proposal by Amyntor.” In an email, Prince rejected the suggestion that he was involved with the proposals. When asked if he has knowledge of this project, Prince replied: “I was/am not part of any of those alleged efforts.”

The former senior intelligence official with direct knowledge of the efforts scoffed at Prince’s denials. “Erik’s proposal had no company names on the slides,” this person said, “but there is no doubt that Prince and Maguire were working together.”

Prince and Maguire have a long professional relationship. Maguire recently completed a stint as a consultant with Prince’s company, Frontier Services Group, a Hong Kong-based security and logistics company partially owned by the Chinese government. FSG has no known connections to the private spy plan.

Prince has strong ties to the Trump administration: His sister Betsy DeVos is secretary of education, he was a major donor to the Trump election campaign, and he advised the transition team on intelligence and defense appointments, as The Intercept has previously reported. Prince has also contributed to Pence’s campaigns.

Maguire spent more than two decades as a paramilitary officer in the CIA, including tours in Central America working with the Contras. He has extensive experience in the Middle East, where he helped plan the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Maguire and Prince met together in September with a senior CIA official at a Virginia restaurant to discuss privatizing the war in Afghanistan.

Prince told a top fundraiser that Maguire was working on part of his Afghanistan plan, characterizing it as the first part of a multi-pronged program. The fundraiser added that Prince never directly asked him for money. But sources close to the project say Maguire did seek private funding for Amyntor’s efforts until a CIA contract materialized. “They’ve been going around asking for a bridge loan to float their operations until the CIA says yes,” said a person who has been briefed on the fundraising efforts.

Beginning last spring and into the summer, Maguire and a group of Amyntor representatives began asking Trump donors to support their intelligence efforts in Afghanistan, the initial piece of what they hoped would be a broader program. Some Trump fundraisers were asked to provide introductions to companies and wealthy clients who would then hire Amyntor for economic intelligence contracts. Maguire explained that some of the profit from those business deals would fund their foreign intelligence collection. Others were asked to give money outright.

“[Maguire] said there were people inside the CIA who joined in the previous eight years [under Obama] and inside the government, and they were failing to give the president the intelligence he needed,” said a person who was pitched by Maguire and other Amyntor personnel. To support his claim, Maguire told at least two people that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, in coordination with a top official at the National Security Agency, authorized surveillance of Steven Bannon and Trump family members, including Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. Adding to these unsubstantiated claims, Maguire told the potential donors he also had evidence McMaster used a burner phone to send information gathered through the surveillance to a facility in Cyprus owned by George Soros.

Amyntor employees took potential donors to a suite in the Trump Hotel in Washington, which they claimed was set up to conduct “secure communications.” Some White House staff and Trump campaign supporters came to refer to the suite as “the tinfoil room,” according to one person who visited the suite. This account was confirmed by another source to whom the room was described. “John [Maguire] was certain that the deep state was going to kick the president out of office within a year,” said a person who discussed it with Maguire. “These guys said they were protecting the president.”

Maguire and others at Amyntor have boasted that they have already sent intelligence reports to Pompeo.

Oliver North testifying before Congress in 1986, and Erik Prince testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2007, in Washington, D.C.

PRINCE, MAGUIRE, AND North have long shared a common frustration over the failure of the U.S. government to bring two suspects from a high-profile terrorist event in the 1980s to justice. Last summer, Maguire discussed rendering the suspects with White House officials after learning the men had been located in the Middle East. Despite having no U.S. government approval, associates of Maguire began working on a snatch operation earlier this year, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Prince colleague.
Maguire, concerned that the FBI would not take action, made an offer to senior White House officials. The message, according to a person with direct knowledge of the rendition plan, was: “We’re going to go get these guys and bring them to the U.S. Who should we hand them over to?”
The rendition plan was meant to be a demonstration that Maguire and his associates had an active intelligence network and the capability to grab suspects around the world. Prince maintains he has nothing to do with that plan. But according to a source with extensive knowledge of Prince’s networks, Prince was working in parallel to assemble a team to help apprehend the men.

According to two people who have worked extensively with Prince in recent years, Prince has been contacting former Blackwater personnel who worked on a post-9/11 era CIA assassination program targeting Al Qaeda operatives. That program, which the Bush White House prohibited the CIA from disclosing to congressional intelligence committees, was revealed to Congress in 2009 by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta. The CIA says the program did not result in any assassinations.

Among the capabilities Prince offers is a network of deniable assets —  spies, fixers, foreign intelligence agents — spread across the globe that could be used by the White House. “You pick any country in the world Erik’s been in, and it’s there,” said a longtime Prince associate. “They’re a network of very dark individuals.” The associate, who has worked extensively with Prince, then began rattling off places where the private spies and paramilitaries already operate — Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, “all across North Africa.”

Opaque contracting arrangements are typical for Prince, who became a lightning rod in his Blackwater days and now prefers to minimize controversy by operating in the shadows, disguising his involvement in sensitive operations with layers of subcontractors and elaborately crafted legal structures. “That’s his exact MO,” said the longtime Prince associate, adding that Prince consistently attempts to ensure plausible deniability of his role in U.S. and foreign government contracts.

“I have zero to do with any such effort and saying that I did/do would be categorically false,” Prince said in his email to The Intercept. “Knowingly publishing false information exposes you to civil legal action. The only effort I’ve quite publicly pitched is an alternative to Afghanistan.”

THE INTELLIGENCE AND covert action program would mark an unorthodox return to government service for Prince, the onetime CIA contractor who built a mercenary force that became notorious during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would also raise new questions about Prince’s foreign entanglements since he sold Blackwater.

In addition to Prince’s former assassination network, the hidden cadre of spies with no official cover — NOCs in CIA jargon — includes the assets of another key player in the Iran-Contra affair, CIA Officer Duane Clarridge, who died in 2016. Maguire, who worked under Clarridge as a young CIA paramilitary in Central America during the mid-1980s, took over the network of contract spies, who operate mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Last summer, as Prince pushed his public proposal to privatize the war in Afghanistan, he and Maguire had broader ambitions, according to a person involved in the discussions. “The goal was to eventually get their network of NOCs worldwide, but they initially started with Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

“Prince seems to be firing on a lot of cylinders and pitching overt and covert plans,” said a current intelligence officer who has closely monitored Prince’s career and been briefed on several of Prince’s recent efforts, including the proposals to Pompeo. The official declined to discuss details of the plans but pointed to Prince’s much-discussed pitch to privatize the war in Afghanistan as a smokescreen for offering other more controversial programs and operations.

Prince’s Afghanistan plan, which received substantial media attention and got a hearing at the highest levels of the Trump administration, “was brilliant because it changed the narrative and made him relevant,” the officer said, referring to Prince’s scandal- and investigation-plagued career at Blackwater. The officer also added that the very public Afghanistan pitch, replete with cable news interviews and op-eds, provided a legitimate reason “to justify meeting with people” at the White House, CIA, or other government agencies.

“Erik has no hobbies,” said the longtime Prince associate. “Counterterrorism is his hobby.”

In some ways, these plans mirror operations Prince led during the Bush-Cheney administration. When Prince was running Blackwater, he and a former CIA paramilitary officer, Enrique Prado, set up a global network of foreign operatives, offering their “deniability” as a “big plus” for potential Blackwater customers, according to internal company communications obtained by The Intercept.
In a 2007 email, with the subject “Possible Opportunity in DEA—READ AND DELETE,” Prado sought to pitch the network to the Drug Enforcement Administration, bragging that Blackwater had developed “a rapidly growing, worldwide network of folks that can do everything from surveillance to ground truth to disruption operations.” He added, “These are all foreign nationals (except for a few cases where US persons are the conduit but no longer ‘play’ on the street), so deniability is built in and should be a big plus.”

The longtime Prince associate said that the nexus of deniable assets has never gone away. “The NOC network is already there. It already exists for the better part of 15 years now,” he said.

Prince has long admired North and viewed his role in Iran-Contra as heroic, said the Prince associate. In 2007, Prince testified defiantly before Congress following the Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad, in which Blackwater operatives gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians, including women and children. Shortly after his testimony, Prince’s longtime friend, conservative California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, praised the Blackwater chief. “Prince,” Rohrabacher said, “is on his way to being an American hero just like Ollie North was.”

North, a Marine lieutenant colonel on the Reagan National Security Council, oversaw a scheme to divert proceeds from illicit arms sales to Iran to Contra death squads in Nicaragua. The resulting scandal became known as the Iran-Contra affair, and North was convicted of three felonies, though these convictions were later thrown out.

Both North and Maguire attended a small reception in 2014 celebrating Prince’s third marriage — to his former spokesperson Stacy DeLuke. “It was an intimate affair,” said the Prince associate. “Only Erik’s closest friends were invited to that reception.” On election night in 2016, DeLuke posted photos on social media from inside Trump headquarters.

On November 30, Prince testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee about his January trip to the Seychelles to meet with Mohammad bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and a Russian fund manager close to Vladimir Putin. According to the Washington Post,
Prince presented himself as an unofficial envoy of President-elect Trump. The Intercept reported last week that the fund manager was Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Prince repeatedly said that he did not remember the identity of the Russian, but on Thursday, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Prince admitted that he did in fact meet with Dmitriev.

Prince may have revealed part of his strategy in a July 2016 radio interview with Steve Bannon, when he proposed recreating the CIA’s Phoenix Program, an assassination ring used in the Vietnam War, to battle the Islamic State. Prince said in the interview that the program would be used to kill or capture “the funders of Islamic terror, the wealthy radical Islamist billionaires funding it from the Middle East.”

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