President Donald Trump nominated Gordon Hartogensis, a self-described entrepreneur who is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao’s brother-in-law, to lead the federal agency that pays worker pensions when employers terminate their retirement plans.
Hartogensis helps govern his family’s trust and is the CEO of Auric Technology, a closely held software company, according to his LinkedIn page. In making the announcement, the White House did not provide biographical information about him or answer questions about his relationship to Chao and McConnell, who are married. Hartogensis is married to one of Chao’s sisters, according to a person familiar with the matter.
While the document provides the firmest proof yet of Trump’s involvement in the slow-brewing scandal around the $130,000 “hush money” deal struck shortly before the election over an alleged affair between Trump and Daniels, it’s not clear what consequences Trump may face for failing to disclose the transaction.
“If DOJ investigates and determines that president Trump knew of his debt to Cohen when he filed last year’s report, there will be reason to suspect that his omission of the debt from last year’s report was ‘knowing and willful,’ which would be a crime,” Shaub, who resigned in July 2017, said in a written statement. “No one from the Trump camp asked OGE last year whether the debt was reportable and that, instead, President Trump’s attorney asked OGE to allow him to be the first filer in history to be excused from the obligation to certify that his report was true.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that the Russian government apparently used the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.
Documents suggest the Kremlin used the NRA to offer the campaign a back channel to Moscow—including a potential meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin—and might have secretly funded Trump’s campaign, the committee said. One of the Russians named in the report even bragged she was part of the Trump campaign’s communications with Russia, The Daily Beast reported last year.
The NRA spent a record $30 million on Trump and the FBI is reportedly investigating whether any of the money came from Russia. U.S. law prohibits foreign money to be spent on elections.
Two Russian nationals figure prominently in the alleged scheme: Alexander Torshin, deputy governor of the Kremlin’s central bank, and his then-deputy Maria Butina.
Torshin met Donald Trump Jr. at the NRA’s 2016 convention in Kentucky and hosted an NRA delegation in Moscow in 2015. Torshin was previously accused by Spanish investigators of laundering money for Russian mobsters, an allegation he denied. (Last month he was sanctioned by the U.S.)
Butina founded a pro-gun group in Russia before coming to the United States in 2015 when she immediately began ingratiating herself in conservative circles. Butina started a business with NRA member and GOP activist Paul Erickson.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has determined the U.S. intelligence community was correct in assessing Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the aim of helping then-candidate Donald Trump, contradicting findings House Republicans reached last month.
“We see no reason to dispute the [intelligence community’s] conclusions,” the committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), said Wednesday in a joint statement with its vice chair, Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), who added: “Our staff concluded that the ... conclusions were accurate and on point. The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton.”
A law-enforcement official released the documents after finding that additional suspicious transactions did not appear in a government database.
Last week, several news outlets obtained financial records showing that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, had used a shell company to receive payments from various firms with business before the Trump Administration. In the days since, there has been much speculation about who leaked the confidential documents, and the Treasury Department’s inspector general has launched a probe to find the source. That source, a law-enforcement official, is speaking publicly for the first time, to The New Yorker, to explain the motivation: the official had grown alarmed after being unable to find two important reports on Cohen’s financial activity in a government database. The official, worried that the information was being withheld from law enforcement, released the remaining documents.
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 added, “That’s why I came forward.”
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, solicited a payment of at least $1 million from the government of Qatar in late 2016, in exchange for access to and advice about the then-incoming administration, according to several people with knowledge of the episode.
There should be name for it. Denouncing the "MSM" for ignoring something you see in "MSM".
Fox & Friends did that recently, whining that the NYTimes were only interested in Trump, but ignoring ISIS... which the panel claim they should instead be reporting on. And he illustrated the story by holding up a copy of... the NYTimes who broke the story. :crylaugh:
While fragments of the Trump Moscow venture have trickled out — most recently in a report last night by Yahoo News — this is the definitive story of the Moscow tower, told from a trove of emails, text messages, congressional testimony, architectural renderings, and other documents obtained exclusively by BuzzFeed News, as well as interviews with key players and investigators. The documents reveal a detailed and plausible plan, well-connected Russian counterparts, and an effort that extended from spearfishing with a Russian developer on a private island to planning for a mid-campaign trip to Moscow for the presidential candidate himself.