Late Monday, jurors reached a verdict in the trial of Thomas Robertson, a former police officer from Virginia who intended to stop the certification of the 2020 election when he stormed the complex on Jan. 6, 2021, with fellow off-duty cop Jacob Fracker.
Fracker, who entered a guilty plea just before Robertson’s week-long trial in Washington, D.C., began, agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department’s gigantic probe of the attack in exchange for leniency at sentencing. That decision forced Fracker to testify against Robertson, a man he considered a “mentor” and “father figure” who is now facing up to five years in prison.......
........ Jurors deliberated for just over 10 hours.
Robertson’s trial was the second Jan. 6 jury trial to unfold. Guy Reffitt went first in early March and was found guilty on all counts including obstruction of an official proceeding, transporting firearms amid a civil disorder, being in a restricted area while armed, interfering with law enforcement during a civil disorder, and obstructing justice.
Robertson not only faced charges related directly to his conduct on Jan. 6 but for conduct occurring well after he breached the Capitol.
After his arrest and indictment and while he was on pretrial release, Robertson ordered more than two dozen firearms through a dealer in Virginia, dropping $50,000 on the stash. This violated terms of his release and prosecutors threw him back in jail in July.
It was not immediately clear on Monday night when Robertson would be sentenced.
Over the weekend, U.S. intelligence analysts warned that Russia was massing forces for a large offensive out of now-captured Izyum all the way to Dnipro, a distance of over 200 kilometers. U.S. intelligence has been on point throughout the war, but to outside observers the move seems utterly implausible. It would be an operation equal in scope to the Russian attack on (and retreat from) Kyiv, but facing even longer supply lines, routed through even less defensible territory, in the face of stiffer potential Ukrainian resistance and utilizing battalions that have suffered heavy losses since the first days of the war. There's no part of that calculation that works out well for Russia, even taking Ukraine's own heavy casualties into account.
That doesn't mean Russia won't try, and what we've seen from U.S. intelligence so far seems to hint that they have a much easier window into what Russian leader Vladimir Putin's inner circle believes than what Russian military realities actually are. It's very possible that Russia will attempt the unfathomably risky move because Putin and whatever generals still have Putin's favor are demanding that their underlings do it. And it's very possible that it could end in a shredding of those Russian forces that makes the Russian losses elsewhere pedestrian in comparison. The latter possibility is even more likely as NATO countries abandon their previous reticence at providing so-called "offensive" weaponry to Ukraine and are now opening the equipment floodgates.
That newest NATO equipment mostly hasn't arrived yet, but Ukraine has been receiving a steady stream of the sort of anti-armor weapons that were used to such devastating effect elsewhere in the country. New armored vehicles to replace lost ones are now on the way as well. And hanging above it all, literally, are the region's infamous spring rains.
Before we delve deeper into the details I just want to point your attention to this article in the Times magazine. Through the Trump administration it was clear for all to see that Jared Kushner and…
Before we delve deeper into the details I just want to point your attention to this article in the Times magazine. Through the Trump administration it was clear for all to see that Jared Kushner and Saudi de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman (aka MBS) had developed a corrupt relationship which was both defining U.S.-Saudi relations and laying the groundwork for saving and then expanding Kushner’s (and wife Ivanka Trump’s) personal fortune. Now we learn that six months after he left the White House, a sovereign wealth fund controlled by MBS made a $2 billion investment in Kushner’s brand new private equity firm, Affinity Partners — this despite the fact that the panel that screens these investments for the Saudi sovereign wealth funds advised against the investment for reasons ranging from it being a bad investment, excess risk, Kushner’s firm being poorly run and inexperienced, not to mention the obvious “public relations risks.”
This is possibly the largest and most brazen instance of public corruption I’ve seen in twenty five years covering American politics as a journalist. And this is saying something since, as you know, public corruption has always been one of my greatest interests and consistent beats. We knew a relationship like this was building through the Trump administration. Trump’s son-in-law, callow and hungry, had taken over administration Middle East policy, in the expectations of the big money pay offs the Saudis especially but not only them could provide to the Trump-Kushner family. And here we are with what is certainly just one example of the pay off. We knew it was coming but the sheer scale of it, the sheer openness of it, is bracing to see.
You would think that Jamal Khashoggi deserves at least a plaque somewhere at Affinity Partners since he is probably more personally responsible for securing this $2 billion than anyone.
But it’s not just the big money payoff to the tune of over $2 billion. The relationship continues. There’s little question that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, now totally controlled by MBS, continues to work on behalf of the Trump/Kushner family and against the Biden administration. Certainly that is not their only aim. But it is a key one that advances numerous interests. The Saudis biggest goal is to get the U.S. to support its war in Yemen and their broader confrontation with Iran. This is what the Trump administration accommodated and the Obama and Biden administrations have generally resisted. The unwillingness of the Saudis and their Gulf allies to raise oil production and thus take some of the pressure off oil prices is also part of this equation. It helps put the squeeze on the Biden administration. (The Saudis have said explicitly and pretty openly, why should we help them on oil prices when the U.S. isn’t helping fight the war in Yemen?) Yes, it’s complicated. The Kushner corruption is only one part of this multi-player relationship. But the continuing political power of the Trumps over the GOP and their possible return to the White House is the critical factor.
Photo: Telegram Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valeriy Zaluzhny, demonstrated the Israeli hand-held drone suppression system EDM-4S Skysweeper. Photo published in the News Telegram channel Armed Forces". These means to combat enemy UAVs should soon enter service with...
....The developer of the EDM-4S complex is the Israeli company Skylock. It is part of the Avnon holding and specializes in electronic warfare systems. It is worth noting that Ukraine previously purchased this complex through one of the Lithuanian companies.......
During DSEI 2019, NT SERVICE, a Lituaninan company, presents hand portable counter cUAV solution – EDM4S – which was designed to protect public venues, critical infrastructure, VIPs and etc from severe drone threats.
EDM4S is designed to counter Remote Piloted Aircaft Systems (RPAS). The system is provided with radio modules for most popular RPAS control, video and GPS frequencies. RF module works only in the selected frequency range and does not provide interfereence to other legitimate service providers. Additional modules can also be added for specific requirements.
It only weighs 6kg and is fully mobile. All equipment modulesand antennas are mounted on single frame. Easy to use, the equipment is ready to be used with one single push of the button (power on).
EDM4S is intended for use by police, army and other public safety and defense units performing state delegated functions. System is safe to use and is listed in NATO Master Catalogue of References for Logistics.
.....“Russian elites and oligarchs are probably some of the best in the world at hiding their wealth,” said a senior Treasury official involved in directing the sanctions policy. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the subject. Luxury yachts, lavish homes and private jets are relatively easy to pursue because they are “out in plain sight,” the official said. “The thing that’s going to be hardest is places where people have set up front companies to hide their assets.”.....