Cohen Records Were Leaked by Insider Because SARS went Missing

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by duchen, May 16, 2018.

  1. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    The report also refers to two previous suspicious-activity reports, or SARs, that the bank had filed, which documented even larger flows of questionable money into Cohen’s account. Those two reports detail more than three million dollars in additional transactions—triple the amount in the report released last week. Which individuals or corporations were involved remains a mystery. But, according to the official who leaked the report, these SARs were absent from the database maintained by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN. The official, who has spent a career in law enforcement, told me, “I have never seen something pulled off the system. . . . That system is a safeguard for the bank. It’s a stockpile of information. When something’s not there that should be, I immediately became concerned.” The official said, "That's why I came forward."

    Whatever the explanation for the missing reports, the appearance that some, but not all, had been removed or restricted troubled the official who released the report last week. “Why just those two missing?” the official, who feared that the contents of those two reports might be permanently withheld, said. “That’s what alarms me the most.”

    FinCEN said in a statement that it protects the confidentiality of SARs “in order to protect both filers and potentially named individuals.” The statement added, “FinCEN neither confirms nor denies the existence of purported SARs.” Spokespeople for the special counsel’s office and the Southern District of New York declined to comment. Michael Cohen and his lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.


    Suspicious-activity reports are kept strictly confidential, as a matter of law. “SARs are secret, to protect the government and to protect financial institutions,” the former prosecutor told me. “I don’t think there’s a safe harbor for somebody who discloses it.” According to FinCEN, disclosing a SAR is a federal offense, carrying penalties including fines of up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment for up to five years. The official who released the suspicious-activity reports was aware of the risks, but said fears that the missing reports might be suppressed compelled the disclosure. “We’ve accepted this as normal, and this is not normal,” the official said. “Things that stand out as abnormal, like documents being removed from a system, are of grave concern to me.” Of the potential for legal consequences, the official said, “To say that I am terrified right now would be an understatement.” But, referring to the released report, as well as the potential contents of the missing reports, the official also added, “This is a terrifying time to be an American, to be in this situation, and to watch all of this unfold.”







    Missing Files Motivated the Leak of Michael Cohen’s Financial Records | The New Yorker
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  2. WarDamnGator

    WarDamnGator GC Hall of Fame

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    Man ... this is building steam. The amount that Cohen may have laundered for pay for play is 10 times what Rudy said it was, and someone was trying to delete the suspicious activity reports?

    Ouch.
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  3. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    Maxine Waters said tonight that she wrote a letter demanding the Secretary of the Treasury for missing SARS, and she was ignored. A question is whether they have been classified. The SARS may be missing, but the financial records are not. Not sure why the bank does not have the SAR.

    Wild news day.
  4. BLING

    BLING GC Hall of Fame

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    Who manages these records? Who are we talking about that "deleted" them? Would this be the bank themselves, or a govt oversight entity?

    It is a truly broken system if someone can just "delete" records. Nobody should have that power in any proper financial system; govt, bank, or otherwise.

    If it's someone in treasury then I'd just have to SMH. Heads need to roll big time. Of course as per usual with this admin, we can look forward to it being all about "the leaker".
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  5. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    Apparently there are procedures for this. My theory is that the SARS were withdrawn as they ended up containing information now classified or they are highly pertinent to an investigation.
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  6. Bushmaster

    Bushmaster GC Hall of Fame

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    If Maxine Waters is on the case...........
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  7. GatorFanCF

    GatorFanCF Premium Member

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    I heard a high ranking Trump official kept these records on his home-grown server. :eek:
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  8. GatorNorth

    GatorNorth Premium Member Premium Member

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    Don Rumsfeld said Cohen had records of mass destruction.
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  9. oragator1

    oragator1 Premium Member

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    Regardless of where this leads, it is becoming more and more clear that Cohen is going to jail. The only question is who he takes down with him,
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  10. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    Agreed. Regardless of the missing SARS, the records of the underlying transactions are still available through the bank.
  11. fastsix

    fastsix Premium Member

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    This Cohen investigation is turning into another witch hunt. It's a multi million dollar nothing burger. :emoji_upside_down:
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  12. Minister_of_Information

    Minister_of_Information Swimmin with bowlegged women Premium Member

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    Drumpf is finally finished, and this time it's for real.™
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  13. Minister_of_Information

    Minister_of_Information Swimmin with bowlegged women Premium Member

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  14. Gatorrick22

    Gatorrick22 VIP Member

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    Yes... building so much steam that someone's about to blow... :rolleyes:
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  15. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    I hope the leaker gets fired. He has no idea why the documents are missing and instead of letting an internal investigation handle it, he leaks documents. Don't try to run it through channels before leaking, just shoot the documents out to the media because he is "terrified". Could have been a legitimate request from the Mueller investigation to take them of the system or some other legitimate reason and the records of the underlying transactions and SAR are still at the bank.
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  16. BLING

    BLING GC Hall of Fame

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    Well considering leaking these documents is a criminal act, it's safe to say the individual in question should be fired if found out.

    Of course whether this person is fired or not is unimportant. What is important is why these records were deleted - who deleted them. Obviously they "could have been" a legitimate request from Mueller, though I'm not sure why Mueller would ask to have them deleted. On the other hand, they also "could have been" someone trying to eliminate "flags" in the system that would lead to investigators looking at those underlying records. Probably a futile effort, but wouldn't be the first crook to sloppily try to cover their tracks.
  17. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    They may not have been actually delete from the system, but flagged so they don't show up when searched pending resolution of whatever the reason to remove them was. It's sort of hard to "delete" records from systems where you aren't supposed to do that. Either they need someone with some kind of authorization to do that and they are unlikely to do that outside of the proper procedure (with written authorizations or whatever) or it would take someone going in the backend to do it provided they had all the right access. Even then that stuff is backed up so there should still be traces of it somewhere around there, let alone the originating documentation with the bank.

    If it was actually trying to be concealed, then the orders would have likely come at a very high level (like Mnuchin). So say hypothetically the WH wanted the SARs quashed, they would have to go through Mnuchin to authorize the restriction/deletion and then he would have to ask himself whether he would want to take the risk of destroying records and being found out. There would be other people in the chain too who would have to do the deleting/scrubbing who would know about it and might not be loyal and keep it quiet. So it's a risky thing and then you have to ask yourself why the WH would care that much if Cohen gets screwed for side deals he was making with these other companies? The association doesn't look great, but the administration isn't implicated in his schemes in any way. My guess is that it's more likely a legitimate request than a conspiracy of some kind.
  18. BLING

    BLING GC Hall of Fame

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    Seems you are assuming whomever leaked this is an idiot (i.e. that the record is missing with perfectly logical explanation, and this person wasn't aware of that explanation or is out of the loop - yet they risked a felony despite that). That's possible, but I wouldn't assume it. Just as strong a chance something crooked happened to try and cover these additional payments up.
  19. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    Well, they admitted they had no idea why the records were gone and didn't go through an internal investigation process before deciding to leak it. All because the world is so "terrifying" since the last election. Yeah, I think idiot is probably a good description. It could very well be crooked, but reporting it internally is just going to shed more light on that and create more paper trails even if it doesn't reveal a coverup. Someone inside would have to intervene. And the records are still out there to commit the felony later.
  20. BLING

    BLING GC Hall of Fame

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    What if it's the FBI director or Assistant director that was the leak? It really depends on the source. If it's some "nobody" that all of a sudden lost access, I agree the reason could be anything. If it's some higher official in charge of financial crimes, or even the leadership of the FBI, that would be something else entirely. I'm operating under the assumption the leaker isn't some random "nobody", it's someone deeply involved in these investigations. Perhaps even the FBI director himself (ala Comey).

    The Treasury Dept. apparently runs this database, so it seems entirely possible that Mnuchin or someone from the admin "ordered" these files to be wiped.