BipHoo Company / Flickr Mueller wants to hear from Trump...
BipHoo Company / Flickr

In this installment of the weekly update to the Trump Russia Corruption Timeline we’ve had former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal state that this week may be the very beginning of the end of the Trump Administration as a result of the new guilty plea by Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

So I think — you know, the facts aren’t all in — but I think we very well could look back on this day, November 29, 2018, as the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency,” Katyal explained.

Katyal explained the significance of special counsel Robert Mueller’s latest conviction of Trump fixer Michael Cohen.
“And I say that for three reasons. One, what we’ve been talking about, the criminal stuff Mueller has on Trump,” he explained.
“There are two other important things going on. [Two] is the House investigation,” he continued. “Now the House is controlled by Democrats, they’ll be able to investigate all of these lies to Congress.”
“And [three] is, even if the Democrats don’t want to do it, impeachment,” Katyal noted. ‘They almost are going to have to look at it very, very seriously now because this isn’t just criminal, this is the president campaigning in 2016, and hiding all of his negotiations with Russia.”

Cohen stated in the plea that he had lied to Congress in a letter where he claimed that his work to establish a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended in January of 2017 after he had attempted to email Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov asking for help on the project.  All this time both Cohen and Peskov have claimed that he received no response, but now it’s revealed that in reality Peskov’s assistant replied to the email and provided a phone number for Cohen to call, which he did and they had a 20 minute conversation which ultimately led to arranging for a meeting in St. Petersburg where Cohen could meet either Putin or Russian Prime Minister Medvedev to further discuss the matter.

However, I think the truth is that the beginning of the end was months before this.  I think it was when the FBI raided Cohen’s home and office and gained access to all his documents which led to his initial guilty plea for campaign finance violations for trying to pay off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to remain silent about their affairs with Trump.  He said at that time that he performed those actions “at the request of the candidate” which was the first time that Trump was personally named in a criminal proceeding as an unindicted co-conspirator.

At that point it was already likely that Trump had a sealed indictment waiting for him after he left office.  Everything else is making it more and more likely that he just might be out of office sometime before 2020.

The existence of the Trump Tower Moscow deal was originally revealed last August as noted here by Rachel Maddow as an effort that was led by Michael Cohen and his childhood friend Felix Sater.

Both Cohen and Sater have links to the Russia mob which go back decades and Sater actually bragged to Cohen that he could use his Russian connections to get this deal done.  Two months before Cohen emailed Peskov, Sater promised that he could get “Putin on this deal” in order to get it done.

“Michael I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putin’s private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin. I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected.  We both know no one else knows how to pull this off without greed or stupidity getting in the way. I know how to play it and how to get this done. Buddy, our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Sater wrote in one email, according to the Times. “I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.

Getting “Putin’s help” to get “Donald elected” would be exactly “collusion”, actually.

Sater had indeed managed much of this project up to that point, which was the fifth time that the Trump organization had attempted to create a branded project in Moscow, and one of the major problems that they had was that Sater had arranged for funding through VTB bank in Russia which happened to be restricted under sanctions.

Mr. Sater, a Russian immigrant, said he had lined up financing for the Trump Tower deal with VTB Bank, a Russian bank that was under American sanctions for involvement in Moscow’s efforts to undermine democracy in Ukraine. In another email, Mr. Sater envisioned a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Moscow.

If the project had gone forward with VTB as the funding source Trump and Co would have been potentially guilty of violating sanctions and that is frankly no joke. 

Most Americans are probably aware that they may not engage in business dealings with nations with which the United States has an antagonistic relationship, such as Cuba, Iraq and North Korea. But many people may not be aware that the United States aggressively enforces a broad range of economic sanctions against 12 countries or geographic areas and more than 3,500 organizations and individuals. These sanctions prohibit individuals and companies from conducting any type of business with the targeted entities and subject violators to heavy civil and criminal penalties.

Punishment for violations of the sanctions can be severe. Civil fines range from $11,000 to $1 million for each violation. Civil fines may be imposed even if the violation was committed unknowingly and with innocent intent. The majority of the fines imposed are most likely the result of corporations simply failing to recognize trade transactions involving a targeted country or SDN. Additionally, criminal penalties may be levied for willful violations and include fines from $50,000 to $10 million and imprisonment from 10 to 30 years.

Trump may claim he had nothing to do with this, but that isn’t true since he had signed a letter of intent on this deal in 2015.

Four months into his campaign for President of the United States, Donald Trump signed a “letter of intent” to pursue a Trump Tower-style building development in Moscow, according to a statement from the then-Trump Organization chief counsel, Michael Cohen.

The proposal would have involved construction of the world’s tallest building in Moscow, according to developers of the project.

The involvement of then-candidate Trump in a proposed Russian skyscraper deal contradicts repeated statements Trump made during the campaign, including telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that his business had “no relationship to Russia whatsoever.”

Up until Cohen’s latest guilty plea Trump has repeated claimed that he had “no investments in Russia, no loans with Russia and no deals with Russia.”  That was a lie.

Michael Cohen repeated that lie to Congress and now he’s had to plead guilty for it.  The fact is that after his phone call with Peskov’s assistant Cohen continued with his plans to travel to Russia and he also planned for Trump to follow him to finalize the deal after the Republican Convention.

During their planning Sater and Cohen had considered offering the $50 Million penthouse suit in the proposed Moscow Tower to Vladimir Putin because that would attract lots of $Billionaire Oligarchs into the building, which is probably a sound business decision — but it also happens to be bribery of a foreign leader and violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. 

Cohen’s Russian business associate, Felix Sater, told BuzzFeed News that he and Cohen plotted to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a supposed $50 million penthouse in Trump Tower Moscow to help lure oligarchs into the project:

Sater told BuzzFeed News today that he and Cohen thought giving the Trump Tower’s most luxurious apartment, a $50 million penthouse, to Putin would entice other wealthy buyers to purchase their own. “In Russia, the oligarchs would bend over backwards to live in the same building as Vladimir Putin,” Sater told BuzzFeed News. “My idea was to give a $50 million penthouse to Putin and charge $250 million more for the rest of the units. All the oligarchs would line up to live in the same building as Putin.” A second source confirmed the plan.

This provides more evidence that the project was being rather seriously pursued with potential assistance from the Russian government, despite Trump’s presidential candidacy and despite Trump’s regular assurances that he didn’t deal with Russia. But some have argued it could also violate a 1977 law called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it a federal crime for U.S. citizens and businesses (among others) to bribe foreign officials.

And it just so happens that Trump hates this law since it doesn’t let U.S. businessmen bribe foreign officials.

Trump has often derided the law. He told CNBC in 2012, “It’s a horrible law, and it should be changed.” He added: “For this country to prosecute because something took place in India is outrageous.”

Trump’s disdain for the law persisted after he became president. In February 2017, according to the New Yorker, he derided it to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:

In February, a few weeks after Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate, he visited the Oval Office to introduce the president to a potential deputy, but Trump had something else on his mind. He began fulminating about federal laws that prohibit American businesses from bribing officials overseas; the businesses, he said, were being unfairly penalized.

“Tillerson told Trump that America didn’t need to pay bribes — that we could bring the world up to our own standards,” a source with knowledge of the exchange told me.

Trump has never made a formal effort to get rid of the law.

On June 9th, 2016 Felix Sater began sending documents for Cohen to fill out in preparation for his trip.  That happened to be the same day that four Russians including Natalia Veselnitskaya visited Trump tower to have a meeting with Don Jr, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner.  A week later on the 14th the Washington Post first published the news that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC email server.  That was the day that Cohen told Sater in the Trump Tower lobby that his trip, and the Moscow project was over.

Since all this has gone down Trump has viciously attacked Cohen claiming he’s a liar who should serve the maximum sentence, while also claiming the Roger Stone who says he’ll “never testify against Trump” has lots of “guts.”

Point of fact, as a former member of Trump’s campaign Stone has very likely signed a Non-Disparagement Agreement which means whether it’s the truth or not, he can’t criticize Trump without potentially facing $Millions in legal fines just as Stormy Daniels would.  Manafort, Stone and Corsi all also have joint defense agreements with Trump which means that everything they tell Mueller they’re also telling Trump’s lawyers.   It is interesting that Manafort and Corsi have both lied to Mueller and Stone is now arguing that he won’t be made to testify against Trump.

One would almost think these guys are part of a cult, a gang or maybe a MOB or something.

Katyal now says — in agreement with George Conway — that Trump has abused his twitter to tamper with witnesses and obstruct Justice..

“When you read that tweet, and when you read it next to the other one tweeted right alongside it the minute before about Michael Cohen and how the book should be thrown at him, this is not the way any ordinary investigation proceeds,” Katyal said, noting federal statutes prohibiting witness tampering. “Unless you are dealing with, you know, the mob or something like that. That is the way the president is talking.”

“The president’s defense is he was telling people not to lie. If so that would be a first, that is not the way Donald Trump behaves,” he continued, scoffing. “It would be one thing if this were coming from Mother Teresa or something like that. It’s coming from Donald Trump, whose pants are literally on fire when he opens his mouth.”

Katyal said Trump’s actions to protect himself follow a pattern “of recklessness when it comes to the rule of law.”
“The mob does it with violence, he’s doing it with pardons and with the law enforcement apparatus,” Katyal said. “I served twice at the Justice Department, and I can tell you that these types of things that are the things of two-bit criminals.”
Stone happens to also be a very old friend of Trump’s who used to be business partners with Paul Manafort and often calls him late a night “to chat.”   In his recent documentation Mueller has pointed out that Stone had lied about his source for upcoming Wikileaks releases involving John Podesta being radio host Randy Credico — his actual source was apparently Jerome Corsi who had a source in London who had some time of access to Julian Assange.
The Stone/Corsi timeline now looks like this based on the draft plea agreement Mueller provided for Corsi which he refused to sign.
  •  July 2016
    • The month after Cohen finally shut down the Trump Tower Moscow deal, Roger Stone contacted his friend Jerome Corsi from Infowars asking him to get in touch with WIkileaks and ask if they had any materials related to the election they hadn’t yet released.  Corsi told him this could be subject to investigation and refused, but in fact he did make the contact with a person located in London who could reach Wikileaks.
  • July 25, 2016
    • Stone contacts Corsi with an email titled “Get to Assange at Ecuadorian embassy and get pending Clinton emails, they deal with Foundation allegedly.” Corsi forwards this to his contact in London.
  • July 31, 2016
    • Stone emails Corsi: “Call me Mon.”  and says that he “should see Assange.”
  • August 2, 2016
    • Corsi who is on vacation in Europe for his 25th Anniversary responds to Stone via email: “Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.… Time to let more than [Podesta] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton].  That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke — neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle.”
  • August 4, 2016 —
    • Roger Stone sends his old assistant Sam Nunberg an email claiming “I dined with Assange Last Night” — he later  claims this is a joke and produces a receipt from a plane trip to LA, not London.
  • August 5, 2016 —
    • Stone tweets “Hillary lies about Russian Involvement in DNC Hack- Julian Assange is a hero.”
  • August 8, 2016 —
    • Roger Stone confirms he is in contact with Wikileaks ”I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next tranche of these documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation.”
  • August 21, 2016 -—
    • Trump pal Roger Stone tweets “it will soon be the Podestas time in the barrel.” He later claims he was talking about Podesta’s “business dealings” not his email, although Stone had also been sending DM’s to Guccifer 2.0 the public face of Russia’s cyber hacking operation and the dealings he was referring to were with Podesta’s brother, not John who isn’t associated with that.
  • September 2016
    • Roger Stone says on Boston Herald Radio that he expects, “Julian Assange and the Wikileaks people to drop a payload of new documents on a weekly basis fairly soon. And that of course will answer the question of exactly what was erased on that email server” — which is eventually exactly what begins to happen with Podesta’s emails in October.t
    • Guccifer 2.0 sends Roger Stone a link to a blog post on manipulating voter turnout.
  • September 11th
    • Hillary Clinton stumbles at the 9/11 memorial and the Trump campaign lets fly with rumors that she is sickly and has Parkinsons just as Corsi and suggested to Stone.
  • October 2, 2016 —
    • Roger Stone tweets about an impending big dump of Clinton info from Wikileaks.
  • October 3, 2016 —
    • Wikileaks DMs Junior again “Hiya, it’d be great if you guys could comment on/push this story,” WikiLeaks suggested, attaching a quote which is questionably sourced from then-Democratic by Hillary Clinton about wanting to “just drone” WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.
    • Junior responds 90 minutes later “Already did that earlier today, It’s amazing what she can get away with.”  2 mins later he asks “What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?” that Stone and others had mentioned. [This is exactly what collusion looks like.]
  • October 7th
    • One hour after the Access Hollywood “Pussy Grab” video is released Wikileaks releases the first set of emails taken from John Podesta’s account. RT and Sputnik News continue to do daily reports as another set of emails is dumped for next 30 days.
  • January 13, 2017
    • Jerome Corsi begins to delete his emails prior to October 11th, including those with Roger Stone, and what he had forward from Stone to his contact in London.
  • January 31, 2017
    • Roger Stone goes on Russia Today to push the conspiracy that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich is the “real hacker.” This is his fifth appearance on the channel.
  • May 10, 2017
  • May 11, 2017
  • August 24, 2017
  • September 26, 2017
    • Long time GOP dirty trickster and Trump buddy Roger Stone who communicated with by Guccifer 2.0 and Julian Assange flatly denies any Russia collusion to House Intel in private meeting, because he’s plenty credible since also admits in his written statement that he had an ongoing online relationship with at least one suspected Russian agent sharing DMs and retweets between them.  He refuses to share the ID of the journalist who was his link to Wikileaks and Assange, he again says when he said it would be “Podesta’s time in the barrel” he was talking about financial links to Russia, but those links belong to John’s brother Tony & the Uranium deal he had nothing to do with.  He claims the DNC hack was a “inside job” from an article in The Nation that even The Nation has debunked.
  • October 9, 2017
  • October 13, 2017
  • November 30, 2017
    • Randy Credico, a New York comedian and political activist who hosts his own radio show is subpoenaed by House Intel because he appears to be Roger Stone’s secret go between with Wikileaks [which is based on what Stone had told House members]
    • Stone asks Corsi to write publicly about Randy Credico. CORSI responds: “Are you sure you want to make something out of this now? Why not wait to see what Credico does? You may be defending yourself too much – raising new questions that will fuel new inquiries. This may be a time to say less, not more.”  Stone responded by telling CORSI that the other individual “will take the 5th—but let’s hold a day.”
Stone and Corsi clearly conspired with Assange to coordinate the release of the Podesta emails, Stone lied to the House Intel committee that there was “no collusion” because his emails with Corsi disprove that, he also lied under oath when he claimed that Randy Credico was his source rather than Corsi while he plotted to undermine Credico using Corsi as his accomplice.
Like Stone, Corsi has claimed “he won’t lie” for Mueller and has refused to take a guilty plea for perjury.  Instead he’s gotten a new gonzo lawyer and sent a letter to Active AG Whitaker attempting to have Mueller disbarred and tried for Treason.
“This rogue government tyranny perpetrated by a Special Counsel and his prosecutorial staff, which is designed to effectively overthrow a duly elected president by coercing and extorting false testimony by Dr. Corsi and others, cannot be permitted in a civilized society,” Klayman writes.
“Special Counsel Mueller and his prosecutorial staff, the majority of whom are partisan Democrats and supporters of Hillary Clinton, whom he has intentionally hired, are effectively engaged in a ‘coup’ against the United States and are working to overthrow the duly elected President of the United States, elected and empowered by the voters pursuant to the U.S. Constitution,” the complaint alleges.
Yeah, good luck with that.
Stone is a liar and so is Corsi, both of them have also committed perjury. The only real question is whether Stone ever shared any of this information with Trump during one of his late night calls, if that’s the case he’s in worse trouble than Michael Cohen has placed him already.
The other immediate danger for Trump is the fact that he had already submitted his written answers about collusion to Mueller, which means that any statements he made that contradict with the email trail that Cohen and Sater left behind on Trump Tower Moscow, or anything he said that shows that he did indeed communicate with Stone about the upcoming Wikileaks releases would be bad, very bad.
And then there’s the attempt to violate sanctions, the foreign corrupt practices act and witness intimidation.
Here are the daily details for this past week.
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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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