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Forget Manafort — The Big News Is The Papadopoulos Plea Deal


#1

Forget Manafort — The Big News Is The Papadopoulos Plea Deal

Philip Rotner

The extent of the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia may remain unknown, but the existence of collusion is no longer in doubt.


#2

Nice summary article. It should be noted, the agreement withholds information too. Mueller’s team knows more and what’s in the agreement is what’s germane to the case against Papadopoulos.


#3

The Daily Beast reported Mr. Papadopoulos attended a meeting in late April 2016 where Trump folks, including AG Sessions ( then a Senator ), met with supposed Russians friendly to Putin.
In the words of Chico Marx, " that’s a not so good ".
For Mr. Sessions, anyway.
Great summary and article, btw.


#4

Politics is crazy.

Money laundering, perjury, and obstruction of justice- all because of rigged primaries and tax returns. And if the WWE Hall of Famer had never gotten in the race, the Goldwater Girl would still be taking his money.


#5

How about this scenario? Papadopoulis is the fall guy who will guarantee plausible deniability for Trump in exchange for a pardon three years down the road. Papadopoulis could claim ignorance (What’s the difference if we get our dirt on Hilary from the Russians, the Saudis or the Israelis?) of any crime he committed and justifiably argue that he wanted to get to the bottom of these dangerous allegations that HRC was in bed with Wall Street! And when the FBI makes its way down the political list of the usual suspects, everyone who is anyone will have already received the memo that says… "It’s all Papadopoulis’ fault! Everything was his idea! I did my best to talk him out of it, but he wouldn’t listen!"
I would caution anyone who thinks that Trump’s premature departure from the White House is imminent. Things like “Proof!” are irrelevant to Trump’s coterie with a shared belief that any problem can be solved with just the proper spin added to it.


#6

Respectfully disagree with the predictions in this article. I believe the election collusion will not bring Trump down by itself, given that impeachment is a political process . The election stuff can be spun as something like Deflategate… politics is dirty and no one plays fair. Shouldn’t be that way, but the GOP won’t set a precedent that what amounts to enhanced opposition research is cause for removal. The money laundering and other financial crimes, however, I believe will ultimately be tied to Trump’s whole family. There’s a reason he doesn’t want his returns made public, and why he is so freaked out about Mueller moving in that direction. He blows off the election stuff, but gets panicked when money is investigated. He’s the worst poker player in politics. It’s always the money that takes down politicians.


#7

“So while the extent of the Trump campaign’s connection to Russia’s efforts to use stolen emails to interfere with the 2016 election remains unknown, the existence of it is no longer in doubt.”

Although overall the author makes a good case, what always seems to insinuate itself into the ‘Russia-gate’ commentary is Russia’s undeniable guilt, a matter to be taken on faith it seems. It slips in unnoticed, as in the above citation. That unquestioned guilt is portrayed as their nefarious proclivity (“Russia’s efforts”) to interfere in the US election, a crime that we are led to believe was consummated with Trump officials only too willing to help (collude with) the guilty party in their “efforts”. ‘Russia’, this nebulous entity in such tropes, is guilty-by-definition; the guilt of the other party – or parties – is eagerly anticipated. Those of us of little faith in these matters, however, expect a higher burden of proof.

With these and similar reporting on Russia-gate, I’m reminded of Kafka’s, The Trial. But perhaps a more insightful and cheerful take would be the Monty Python skit (Police Constable Pan Am gives evidence), namely the fumbling police constable in the docket testifying, “I clearly saw the accused – the defendant, Your Honor-- doing whatever he was accused of, red-handed.”


#8

"Sing a song of six pense, a pocket full of rye,

Four and twenty Trump birds baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing.

Now wasn’t this a dainty dish

To set before a king. (or a Congress, or the American people.)

Eat it up, Trump!


#9

I’d recommend the following article, before arriving (jumping) to any conclusion about Papadopoulos’ “guilty” plea. As has so often proved to be the case, during the past year, this indictment appears to be a contrived pos by overzealous (prosecuting) attorneys.

Mueller Mugs America: The Case Of Baby George Papadopoulos – Nov 1, 2017 – David Stockman – DavidStockmansCountraCorner

…The self-righteous Mueller, who turned a blind eye to the massive stench of corruption coming out of the Uranium One deal in 2009/2010 when he was FBI director, has only one mission in mind: To mug the American electorate for its audacity in electing Donald Trump President, thereby disturbing the equanimity of the Deep State’s untethered rule.

…If there is any evidence of Russia meddling or of hacking the Podesta and DNC emails, it lies right there in the massive NSA server farms which capture all incoming communications to the US and outgoing, too. It is retrievable in an instant, but hasn’t been because it’s not there.

We didn’t need Mueller’s bully boys to bushwhack Baby George to find that out.

Then again, if you don’t recognize that the Deep State and its minions in the press and both party establishments in Washington are pushing the nation to an extra-constitutional removal of a sitting President, you simply aren’t paying attention.


#10

This article is straight from conspiracy wackjob central. There was no crooked Uranium One conspiracy. Don’t sucker yourself. I made light of the nonsense of it all here if you are interested:

See how easy it is to invent conspiracy laden nonsense?


#11

From my understanding, “collusion” is not a formal crime except in limited cases of antitrust. What you would get is exactly what we are seeing, charges related to specific crimes. Ultimately, the result might wind up with a conspiracy charge, such as defrauding the US if, say, Mueller found the Trump campaign aided in leaking illegaly obtained emails to influence an election or made promises (like appointing an unregistered agent of a foreign power to the NSC) based on an illegal exchange of cash.


#12

Not much of a supporting reference. This single “donor” of yours was responsible for all $145 million; and, Bill’s speech definitely was worth the $500 grand?

At least I give you reference links to articles written by fairly credible people. You give me malarkey. We’ll see, in the long run, what happens with regard to this issue.


#13

You are wrong. Many of the middle of the road press have reported on this “conspiracy” with actual facts. Facts like Mueller’s FBI coverup of bribery and kickbacks that actually landed in a court of law and got at least one person indicted. The problem here is Mueller’s FBI kept the charges underwrap until after the CFIUS vote for approval for Uranium One was taken.


#14

We Just stupid. My joke of a conspiracy was based on the actual facts of the case, making light of the White House-Devin Nunes propaganda last week that you appear to buy. I’m just going to post this for basic reference:

I’m getting embarrassed by how much progressives appear to be easily duped suckers. Say Clinton Foundation, Uranium, and mix in a little CIA and you’ve got a legit conspiracy!


#15

The Joy Reid interview was a typical MSNBC obfuscation. She set it up 3 against 1, with a strictly defined, limited script that she wanted to follow; and, she did that by continually cutting off the Repug person from completing her replies.

Are you aware of the following 2015 NYTimes piece?

Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal – Apr 23, 2015 – Jo Becket & Mike McIntire – NYTimes

If the Uranium One informant for the FBI lives long enough to testify before Congress, we may learn more regarding the truth of this matter.

DOJ Clears FBI Informant In Clinton-Era Russian Bribery Scandal To Testify – Oct 25, 2017 – ZeroHedge


#16

You don’t even need informants to look into the Uranium One Deal. Every single transaction and deal regarding the sale, transfer, research or energy potential as it applies to uranium has to go through the NRC for permits. These are general permits any company must acquire to do business in foreign countries as they handle radioactive material. The unfortunate detail of your story is the fact that the NRC never approved permits for such a deal, which means the sale of uranium never actually happened. The NRC is an independent agency, which severally limits the control and power over procedures of the agency by the President, and the agency reports largely to the US Congress. The president, Secretary of State nor the FBI have the authority to supersede the NRC licensing and permitting process, which means there is no scenario in which Hillary, Obama or Mueller pushed forward this deal over the NRC. We never sold uranium to Russia in Uranium One.


#17

Do you have a reference to an article that discusses this with respect to the Uranium One “deal”? And, are you implying that Rosatom never gained control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States; and, that the NYTimes wrongly reported that yellowcake was shipped out of the U.S?

Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.

…Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan…


#18

Attached is a letter from Mark Satorius detailing the exact nature of licensing and procedure as it relates to the Uranium One deal. Mark Satorius was the NRC Exectuive Director of Operations from 2013-2017, but has been a part of the NRC essentially from 1989.

In regards to the situation in question about Canadian and European transport this what is said: “Subsequently, the U.S. Department of Energy granted approval for some re-transfers of U.S. uranium from the Canadian conversion facility to European enrichment plants.” Now I have seen multiple articles claim that this shows the US exported yellowcake uranium to Europe for fuel and possible weapons manufacturing. This is not true.

First of all yellow cake uranium cannot be used in a WMD- it has to be purified, then chemically synthesized to make UF6, then reprocessed, and finally enriched to 90%. Suggesting as the Washington Post, and TheHill have done in that yellow cake can be used for weapons is extraordinarily misleading.

Second, all exportation of nuclear fuel is subject to the US Atomic Energy Act that requires the transfer of such fuel to ONLY be used for peaceful purposes. So once again, we see the media completely making up some garbage that absolutely never occurred in accordance with these deals.

Third, there are many conditions and scenarios in which the US will export uranium fuel to other nations for economic or other purposes. Every scenario must obtain licensing from the NRC, which details the scenario and the criteria of the agreement. For the Uranium One scenario the facilities owned by Uranium One cannot export fuel out of the USA as they do not posses licensing to do so. However, there are amendments in another deal between Uranium One, JSC, NRC and specific country governments which allow for the transfer of fuel for specific agreements. The deals do no contain the Russian Government, nor do they allow for the production of weapons.
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part110/full-text.html#part110-0001
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-o-s/russia-nuclear-fuel-cycle.aspx
Also fyi, the media has made this scenario seem like its “smoking gun” and “backwoods meetings”- all of the information and sources I am providing have been public information as part of the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) for the last 3-5 years, so at any time you could have found this information (which is what the PDFs below are from). Only now, because we are so focused on Russian Intervention is this deal under the microscope.

Attached are the Safety Evaluation of License Renewal on the Uranium One facility in Willow Creek; Memo of Proposed Agreement between Uranium One, JSC Transport and the NRC; NRC Memo of Uranium One and JSC corporate lineage and explanation of decision; and Memo approving indirect change of license to ROSATOM from Uranium One lineage and explanation of decision:

file:///C:/Users/blind/AppData/Local/Temp/Temp1_package.zip/ML13015A356.pdf
file:///C:/Users/blind/AppData/Local/Temp/Temp1_package.zip/ML13050A284.pdf
file:///C:/Users/blind/AppData/Local/Temp/Temp1_package.zip/ML14006A009.pdf
file:///C:/Users/blind/AppData/Local/Temp/Temp1_package.zip/ML103120152.pdf


#19

Thank you for the references.

The NYTimes article suggests that there is a misplaced hysteria with regard to fears that Russia is cornering the uranium market for the purpose of nuclear weapons superiority. The following paragraphs speak to this point, as do several subsequent paragraphs that I will not reproduce here. I’ve added the bolding.

The national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation; the United States and Russia had for years cooperated on that front, with Russia sending enriched fuel from decommissioned warheads to be used in American nuclear power plants in return for raw uranium.

Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves, according to Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America’s Grasp.”

“The Russians are easily winning the uranium war, and nobody’s talking about it,” said Mr. Katusa, who explores the implications of the Uranium One deal in his book. “It’s not just a domestic issue but a foreign policy issue, too.”

When ARMZ, an arm of Rosatom, took its first 17 percent stake in Uranium One in 2009, the two parties signed an agreement, found in securities filings, to seek the foreign investment committee’s review. But it was the 2010 deal, giving the Russians a controlling 51 percent stake, that set off alarm bells. Four members of the House of Representatives signed a letter expressing concern. Two more began pushing legislation to kill the deal.

Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, where Uranium One’s largest American operation was, wrote to President Obama, saying the deal “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”

“Equally alarming,” Mr. Barrasso added, “this sale gives ARMZ a significant stake in uranium mines in Kazakhstan.”


#20

When you start talking about uranium markets and how they are applied to nuclear reactors that’s a whole larger and much more complex discussion. If you want to discuss the international ramifications of Russian interest into greater market control of uranium extraction, while the USA’s nuclear industry struggles to find economic footing, then that is a whole separate discussion to the initial arguments that included this deal.

The deal was forced into the spotlight now, because of fallacious concerns that the US Secretary of State under Obama and the FBI conspired to ship uranium to Russia. Not only did the US Secretary of State nor the FBI have any involvement over licensing the agreement, but the company was never given permits to export fuel. Instead a second company used for transportation included contracts to ship fuel under explicit agreements with foreign governments to Canada and Europe.

In regards to the Nuclear industry overall and the congressman’s opinion that “the Russian government would control over a sizeable portion of Amercia’s uranium production capacity”:

  1. I wish the congressmen would be far more vocal in the senate to bring more alarming concerns affecting the nuclear industry before congress. One possible approach in the event that reserves decline for operation production is to develop reactors that convert more energy per amount of fuel than current LWRs. Our current reactors are quite terrible in the percentage of fuel that actually is used for generation. This occurs for a variety of reasons from burnup, to production per cycle to conditions within the reactor vessel etc.

  2. Another potential option is to reuse nuclear fuel that was not spent in a nuclear reactor. Given that we are concerned over foreign interest control over uranium extraction, how about we reuse what we have been throwing away for decades. The great irony of nuclear waste is that about 97% of high level waste by volume is Uranium 238 that was not transmuted during a cycle. This is the very same isotope that yellowcake is basically made of. If we are upset about giving this away, then how about lets stop throwing over 65,000 tons of the isotope into interim containment vessels. France has very limited strategic reserves of uranium, yet their electrical grid is heavily reliant on nuclear. Why aren’t the French experiencing a greater problem of interference from Russia? The majority of U-238 fertile fuel for French reactors is reprocessed, which severally decreases demand for more uranium extraction.

  3. Maybe I’m too focused on the future of nuclear to be alarmed over current concerns, but the congressmen suggesting that it is alarming how much control Russia has in Kazakhstan mines means relatively nothing in the grand scope of uranium reserves. Do you know what country has the largest uranium reserves? None of them. The largest reserves of uranium are actually located in the oceans. If we were truly in an alarming scenario, where Russia dictated such a large control over mines in Kazhakistan this only becomes a major issue if they dictate economic constraints that increase the cost of uranium mining for the USA. The problem with this decision is that the major reason that Oceanic uranium extraction doesn’t exist at full scale is because current means of uranium extraction are cheaper. If that no longer becomes the case, then you have the largest bodies of water on the planet to extract from. Would it be more technical and more expensive than current production now? Yes, but if the concern is that Russia would dictate control and increase costs, then this is an effective solution that Russia has no way of controlling.