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Mueller’s ‘witch hunt’ snags another witch

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by fastsix, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. mdgator05

    mdgator05 Premium Member

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    It was a very strange story at the time. A whiff of something weird. But the map has fallen in a way that seems to suggest communication occurring. The Trump organization had an off-site mail server that was formerly used to send emails. But it was mostly shut down. During the campaign, that server was pinged extensively by two groups. Most of the pings were from Alfa bank. About 19% were from Spectrum Health, run by Betsy DeVos' husband and Erik Prince's brother-in-law. The other couple of pings were from the Netherlands (home country of one of Alfa Bank's heads' son-in-law and the first person to be put in prison with this probe based on his communications with Gates). The traffic to the Alfa Bank servers seemed to coincide with political events, such as the conventions. The biggest spike happened right before Manafort left the campaign (when the Netherlands pings occurred as well). The first spike happened right after the Trump Tower meeting.

    It is super-strange that the server happened to be primarily connected to those two groups, which coincidentally happen to be two groups that were working to gain access to the Trump campaign and communicate through back-channels with the campaign, had traffic that seems to match the basic timeline you would expect if somebody like Manafort or Gates were communicating with it, and which nobody seems to be able to explain at all in an even vaguely believable fashion.

    FBI investigation continues into 'odd' computer link between Russian bank and Trump Organization - CNNPolitics

    The original story:

    A Group of Computer Scientists Believes a Trump Server Was Communicating With a Russian Bank
     
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  2. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    The original story argues for a closed, dedicated network of internet communications. But, who knows?

    In late July, one of these scientists—who asked to be referred to as Tea Leaves, a pseudonym that would protect his relationship with the networks and banks that employ him to sift their data—found what looked like malware emanating from Russia. The destination domain had Trump in its name, which of course attracted Tea Leaves’ attention. But his discovery of the data was pure happenstance—a surprising needle in a large haystack of DNS lookups on his screen. “I have an outlier here that connects to Russia in a strange way,” he wrote in his notes. He couldn’t quite figure it out at first. But what he saw was a bank in Moscow that kept irregularly pinging a server registered to the Trump Organization on Fifth Avenue.

    The researchers quickly dismissed their initial fear that the logs represented a malware attack. The communication wasn’t the work of bots. The irregular pattern of server lookups actually resembled the pattern of human conversation—conversations that began during office hours in New York and continued during office hours in Moscow. It dawned on the researchers that this wasn’t an attack, but a sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank.


    Paul Vixie, In the world of DNS experts, there’s no higher authority. Vixie wrote central strands of the DNS code that makes the internet work. After studying the logs, he concluded, “The parties were communicating in a secretive fashion. The operative word is secretive. This is more akin to what criminal syndicates do if they are putting together a project.” Put differently, the logs suggested that Trump and Alfa had configured something like a digital hotline connecting the two entities, shutting out the rest of the world, and designed to obscure its own existence. Over the summer, the scientists observed the communications trail from a distance.

    I put the question of what kind of activity the logs recorded to the University of California’s Nicholas Weaver, another computer scientist not involved in compiling the logs. “I can't attest to the logs themselves,” he told me, “but assuming they are legitimate they do indicate effectively human-level communication.
     
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  3. Gatorrick22

    Gatorrick22 VIP Member

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    And what does this have to do with Trump/Russia collusion?
     
  4. mdgator05

    mdgator05 Premium Member

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    Lots of things. At his point, mostly just unanswered questions building on our factual knowledge. First, why did Trump hire the guy that the Pro-Russian party used as their primary political consultant? Second, why did that guy choose to meet with Russian agents at Trump Tower? Third, why did that guy continue to employ a "former" GRU agent in Ukraine? Fourth, why did he offer his former clients from his days with the Party of Regions updates on the US campaign? Fifth, why did Manafort, a man with significant financial issues, choose to work for "free" for Trump? Sixth, was there some clandestine communication occurring, and what was his knowledge of Erik Prince's actions to set up a back channel to Russia through the Emirates?

    Many questions that need to be answered by Manafort in terms of potential Trump/Russia collusion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  5. mdgator05

    mdgator05 Premium Member

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    No doubt it isn't smoking gun level. But as the field has become more clear, the coincidences seem a bit much to ignore to me. The Spectrum Health stuff looked mildly odd a year ago. Now that we know what Erik Prince was doing with the Russians, it looks much worse. The timing of the beginning of communication looked pretty random 1 1/2 years ago. Now, we know about the Trump Tower meeting. It will be very interesting to see what Mueller has as the case progresses.
     
  6. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    Alpha bank is a sanctioned Russian bank. I have sent emails to people where my emails went to spam and I had to be approved to receive the emails. I wonder if a spam filter can be created to limit emails or other communications received to a specific IP address or email address? That is what looks like was happening here, at least according to the story. As with all of this, time will tell.
     
  7. citygator

    citygator Premium Member

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    They were..then Russia invaded and we kicked them out of the G-8. Trump wants them back in.
     
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  8. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    Remember, there is a story that Kushner asked Kislyak for a back channe, using Russian encryption, to communicate with the Russians secretly. Maybe this was a back channel in New York?
     
  9. VAg8r1

    VAg8r1 GC Hall of Fame

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    IMPEACH HER NOW!!!
     
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  10. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    The indictment against Manafort is compelling insofar as it traces the cash from his Ukraine related activities to his beneficial use in the US. Clearly structured transactions in which money was deposited in corporate accounts and then used hear to buy real estate and goods here for Manafort. So, the use of the money supports that the account holders were nominees. The Virginia indictment shows ongoing bank fraud and other crimes concerning that money and those assets through the campaign. The same people who want to lock up Hilary Clinton for the activities of the Clinton Foundation running a charity are the first people to rush to Manafort’s defense. His defense will be interesting.
     
  11. Gatormb

    Gatormb GC Hall of Fame

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    Nah, but a little jail time would be nice. How do you think what she did compares to Martha Stewart?
     
  12. gator_fever

    gator_fever GC Hall of Fame

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    My main problem with it is the selective prosecution as that Podesta gang and all these foreign country lobbyists could be nailed for this type of stuff. Heck the FBI and them have known about Mueller's stuff for years. They probably just like keeping tabs on him to try to gain intelligence. He would never have been prosecuted if not for the Trump spying scandal.

    I am curious to see what that Virginia Judge does about his case there after getting that after the raid letter that Rosenstein gave to Mueller.
     
  13. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    The Virginia Judge will not toss the case. The law is fairly well developed on special prosecutors. The government had been investigating Manafort for a long time. It takes a long time to investigate the kind of financial links reflected in the Manafort indictments, particularly with respect to gathering information internationally. The investigation predated Mueller’s appointment. He took it over because Manafort became campaign chairman and there are contacts with Russians. Manafort was going to be indicted anyway. The argument that some of the transactions are old or that the case was started just to get Trump, is untrue. What he did is very serious.
     
  14. gator_fever

    gator_fever GC Hall of Fame

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    Manafort never gets indicted if not for them wanting Trump. Heck they have known for years about him just like those other lobbyist crooks who aren't being touched.

    Hard to say what that Judge will do. Listening to him he sounds like he would have a problem with them issuing that letter after that raid was already conducted.

    Also that trick Mueller pulled with making some of his clowns acting US attorneys sounds like it might not fly legally if they try to use that argument to get around the Judge's issues with the case.
     
  15. OaktownGator

    OaktownGator Guardian of the GC Galaxy Moderator VIP Member

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    So you don't think money laundering tens of millions of dollars would get prosecuted?

    I think the more likely explanation is the one given you already... it takes a lot of time and effort to get the relevant records from foreign entities.
     
  16. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    Your opinion on Manafort is wrong. He is charged with laundering $30 million. That was not getting a pass. As for Judge Ellis, he was mad that the government did not give him the letter. If he dismisses the case, he will be going against a string of prior cases and would be a line wf. I will be very surprised if he dismisses the case. Naming prosecutors assistant AUSAs is normal. It is done all the time I’m cross jurisdiction cases.
     
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  17. gator_fever

    gator_fever GC Hall of Fame

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    Yep they were going to indict Manafort at any time if he was never part of the Trump campaign. :D
     
  18. BigCypressGator1981

    BigCypressGator1981 Premium Member

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    Hillary and Martha are equally relevant to my life as an American today. Which is to say, not at all.
     
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  19. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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  20. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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