More to ignore, Book 92.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine Update: Ukraine races toward Kupiansk—Russia's logistical hub

kos

Things are moving quickly in Ukraine, so you guys get a bonus update. Even better, it’s all great news! My Sunday update covered the first big moves of Ukraine’s multi-front counteroffensive, which I saw as the long-awaited culmination of Russia’s war effort. Mark Sumner mapped many of the changes on Tuesday, and this morning he updated big overnight advances. Since then, Ukraine has punched through Russian lines in the Kharkiv front and is romping in their rears. That is what prompted me to do a second Wednesday update.

To recap, Ukraine spent
months talking about going on the offensive around Kherson. It was obviously a trap, so much so that the linked story is literally headlined “Russian lines recede south of Izyum as Russia rushes to potential Kherson trap.” The Kherson region is bound by several large rivers to the Russian-occupied south and east, with few bridges providing access.

It behooved Ukraine to draw Russian soldiers and equipment into Kherson oblast, to then trap them by taking out those few bridges. Russian forces would quickly run out of artillery shells, small ammo, food, water, spare parts, and fuel. Their fighting power diminished (especially with artillery), they would end up easy pickings for Ukrainian liberators.

Ukraine’s intent was obvious, everyone saw it coming, yet stupidly, Russia bought into the scheme hook, line, and sinker. It’s like a bad horror movie, where stupid teens make every obvious bad decision, and the audience thinks “no one is
that stupid!” Russia is that stupid.

To be fair, Russia was in a bad place. Without Kherson, Russia would lose the only regional capital captured since the February 24 invasion. It would shatter Vladimir Putin’s grandiose notions of stretching the Russian empire all the way to Moldova. It would be a public relations catastrophe, betraying Russia’s weakness and inability to hold territory it considered part of Russia itself.

Reinforcing Kherson made sense, but here is where Ukraine caught the biggest break possible: No one expected Russia to send
all their troops to Kherson.

Russia clearly surmised that Ukraine wouldn’t have juice for offensive operations in two separate theaters. And it guessed that Kherson would be Ukraine’s focus. Undoubtedly, Ukraine was very obvious about its arms buildup around Kherson, leaving armor in open sight of Russian satellites and drones. It undoubtedly did the exact opposite around Kharkiv. So Russia emptied out its forces in the Kharkiv area and around Izyum to bolster their southern flank.

Some day we’ll find out if the Kharkiv offensive was planned all along, or if it was sparked by surprise opportunity. But our first clue of Russia’s weakness came after those Ukrainian raids across the Siverskyi-Donetsk river, where they found the entire area devoid of any Russian military presence and “liberated” Ozerne and Staryi Karavan as they roamed around taking selfies at various empty towns.


FcA36UoWAAE0y_t.jpeg

24-hour-old map, already obsolete

In recent weeks, Ukraine had been chipping away at Russia’s hold south of Izyum, gradually erasing what was a salient, and was now barely a bump. Meanwhile, HIMARS regularly struck Russian ammo depots, fuel supplies, and Russian command and control. We were so focused on Ukraine “shaping the battlefield” around Kherson, that we missed them doing the same around Kharkiv.


FcD-kQVaQAAe-Sd-2.jpeg


As I write this, Russian Telegram sources were reporting that Russia was retreating from Balakliya, which some might remember as the town sold out to the Russians by its mayor early in the war. Ukraine will be salivating at all the awesome new loot from a huge ammo depot located in town, which it presciently didn’t destroy. The popular Russian war reporter Starshey Eddy wrote:

It can be stated that in the Balakleya operation, the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the moment have completely outplayed in operational art the [Russian] command [...] Izyum prepares for battle. We wish good luck to our warriors, veterans, ordinary soldiers and officers. The enemy is preparing a strike not only from the north, but also from the south. In the area of the settlement of Dolyna, reserves are accumulating, the enemy is deploying tanks in attacking formation. Our aviation is actively working, the night will be hot.

Dolyna was featured in my Sunday update—the town south of Dovhen’ke—which had been clearly cleansed of a Russian presence indicating Russian lines had been pushed further north (toward Izyum) than anyone had previously assumed. Russia is now in a pickle, facing potential encirclement in the area. But Ukraine doesn’t need to attack Izyum just yet, given the startling progress of the Ukrainian advance further north. If Russian defenses at Kupiansk fall, the entire front collapses. Here’s the path:

Kup.png


Ukraine reached Balakliya, left a few troops behind to pin those Russians in place (until they slithered out), then sped to Volokhiv Yar, Semenivka, and Shevchenkove, where they apparently did the same. And just like that, Ukraine advanced 30-40 kilometers with low casualties, leaving neutered Russian garrisons behind, with surrender or escape (without their equipment) their only real options.

(This is what Russia tried to do early in the war in Sumy and Chernihiv, but those cities were too big for full containment, allowing Ukrainian forces inside those cities to raid Russian supply lines. These are small towns, easily containable.)

At this moment, Balakliya is fully liberated. Maybe Shevchenkove is as well (conflicting reports). The others, it’s unclear. It doesn’t matter. Multiple Russian sources have reported that Ukrainian forces are fast approaching Kupiansk, a mere 25 kilometers from Shevchenkove. And we know there’s nothing much defending in the middle, as multiple (gory) videos have emerged of Ukrainian infantry ambushes of Russian vehicles. This one, of a Russian GRAD MLRS rocket artillery, is VERY graphic, so click at your own risk. But I include it to make this important point: GRADs have a 52-kilometer range, they sit way back from the front lines, and they’re being ambushed and destroyed by Ukrainian
infantry. This is the rear rear. There are no defensive lines, and Russian forces are being caught by complete surprise. There is also a complete absence of land mines, which is slowing Ukrainian advances around Kherson.

We knew Russian defenses would struggle after they culminated, but no one dared hope it would look like this!

Now look at this map:


kupi.jpeg


The green lines are railways, and the circle? That’s Kupiansk. It is literally the logistical hub of the entire eastern front. Those rail lines heading north go to Russia, which supplies the bulk of the supplies for this entire part of the map.

A few months ago, when Ukraine pushed Russia back from Kharkiv, we dreamed of getting within artillery range of Kupiansk (which never happened). Now we’re talking about possibly
occupying it! And given how deep it is behind front lines, there’s a very good chance that Russia doesn’t have much in the way of fortifications or defenses. The question then becomes—does the battle devolve into house-to-house combat, or do the Russian occupiers say “f’ this!” and retreat east?

We do need to be mindful of Ukraine’s own supply lines. They are not immune to the laws of war. NATO standards is to travel with three days worth of combat supplies. We’re in day two. The spearhead will soon need an operational pause. Ideally, it gets to do so inside Kupiansk, feasting on Russian supplies.

I colored in a darker color the areas 100% dependent on Kupiansk’s supply lines:

kupi.jpg


An addition to the Izyum area, Kupiansk supplies Russian forces all the way down the Donbas front. All of that will be severed. There are other railways and roads that will try and pick up the slack, but none of them will be as efficient. And we know that Russian logistics are already inefficient enough.

As for Donetsk oblast north of the Siverskyi-Donetsk river, I shaded it a little darker—it’s not 100% cut off, but that rail line to its east is now defunct. They’ll have to truck in supplies from that light green line further out east. I doubt it’ll cut it, and Russia will also be forced to retreat from those positions to more defensible and suppliable (new word) lines.

Therefore, if Ukraine reaches Kupiansk, even its outskirts, they won’t need to push Russian forces out of Izyum. Cut off and isolated, fighting for nothing they care for, mass surrender may be in the cards. Just today I counted around four dozen POWs in various videos. Russians and their proxies don’t seem too afraid to surrender.


The quick progress behind enemy lines has proven a bonanza of new equipment for the Ukrainian army. Visually confirmed, Ukraine already has six new tanks, 12 armored personnel carriers, three anti-aircraft guns, five artillery guns, and some other assorted random stuff like trucks. We’ll likely count far more as more video emerges from the advance.

Meanwhile, I’m really enjoying those smug Russian propagandists suddenly losing their shit.

Early this morning:



Later in the day:



So we’re now at the “purge the non-believers” phase of Russian propagandists. Still, I wouldn’t be opposed to Moscow burning down…

Oh, Ukraine made additional advances elsewhere, but we can recap those later. None are anywhere as dramatic, or strategically significant, as what we’re seeing in Kharkiv.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Wednesday, Sep 7, 2022 · 8:42:35 PM EDT · kos
Strikes me that the more Ukraine said "don't look at Kherson!" the more people looked at Kherson, allowing them to do whatever they needed to do to move in Kharkiv. Even the whole "we wargamed with the US and decided to do a single front" story might've been misdirection.

I really want to know, after the war is over, whether this was always the plan all along. Regardless, this collapse of a major part of the Russian front could be contagious, destroying Russia’s will to fight. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I will—this is looking like the beginning of the end of the war.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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New book claims Donald Trump once tried to pay a lawyer's $2 million fee with a horse

Aldous J Pennyfarthing

We can be reasonably certain that Donald Trump was selling highly classified nuclear secrets to our enemies—because they’re worth a lot of money and Trump has the morals of a ShopRite head cheese. Honestly, why else would he have these documents? Has he even attempted to offer an explanation that goes anywhere beyond “my preciousssssss!”?

In fact, the only other explanation that makes even a scintilla of sense is that he’s so effervescently weird this kind of behavior seems perfectly normal to him. I mean, we already know he eats and flushes documents (not necessarily in that order), so why should we be surprised that he squirrels them away like an extreme hoarder? The guy is basically one Kleenex-box slipper away from being Howard Hughes. About the only thing he could do to surprise me at this point is finish a complete sentence.

So while his selling the documents to the Saudis or paying Putin back with the names of our Russian moles is the Ockham’s razor interpretation, we can’t outright dismiss the more benign “he’s just that ****ing weird” explanation. (Of course, even if we give this gormless git the benefit of the doubt, his ass still belongs in stir.)
.......
So how weird is this guy, really? Well, according to Servants of the Damned: Giant Law Firms, Donald Trump and the Corruption of Justice, a soon-to-be-published exposé by New York Times reporter David Enrich, Trump once tried to pay an outstanding $2 million legal bill with a horse. Enrich writes that a “lawyer at a white-shoe firm” who worked for Trump in the ‘90s showed up unannounced at his office one day after being repeatedly stiffed and demanded payment. What happened next was quintessential Trump.

As excerpted in The Guardian:

“After a while, the lawyer lost patience, and he showed up, unannounced, at Trump Tower. Someone sent him up to Trump’s office. Trump was initially pleased to see him – he didn’t betray any sense of sheepishness – but the lawyer was steaming.
“‘I’m incredibly disappointed,’ he scolded Trump. ‘There’s no reason you haven’t paid us.’
“Trump made some apologetic noises. Then he said: ‘I’m not going to pay your bill. I’m going to give you something more valuable.’ What on earth is he talking about? the lawyer wondered. ‘I have a stallion,’ Trump continued. ‘It’s worth $5m.’ Trump rummaged around in a filing cabinet and pulled out what he said was a deed to a horse. He handed it to the lawyer.”

The lawyer then threatened to sue and, according to Enrich, Trump “eventually coughed up at least a portion of what he owed.”

Of course, Trump is famous for stiffing the “little people” who work for him, including his once-and-future lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insists on being paid in cash, cash equivalents, or iron-fortified goat placentas.

But this? Well, this is a horse of a different color, isn’t it?

Aaaannnnnddd … I’ll see myself out …
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Personal assistant to Trump visited by FBI, receives subpoena from Jan. 6 grand jury

Brandi Buchman

William Russell, a personal aide to former President Donald Trump, has been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors investigating Jan. 6.

Though it is not yet clear precisely what information is being sought from Russell, The New York Times was the first to report the development, citing anonymous sources that suggested it may have been tied to the ongoing Justice Department grand jury investigation into the fake elector bid launched by Trump and a slew of his attorneys and advisers, including Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman.

Russell received a visit from FBI agents at his Florida residence on Wednesday but wasn’t home. This prompted the subpoena to be issued over email. An attorney for Russell, Derek Ross, did not return a request for comment to Daily Kos on Thursday.
............
Russell started working alongside Trump in 2017 and came to serve as both his special assistant and as something known as the deputy director of advance presidential operations. His insights are not only being sought by the FBI and Department of Justice, but according to ABC News, the Jan. 6 committee has also sought out the 31-year-old assistant.

He is the latest Trump White House insider reportedly tapped by investigators unraveling the Jan. 6 attack and Trump’s plot to overturn the 2020 election. Pat Cipollone, the former White House counsel under Trump, and Cipollone’s deputy Patrick Philbin were recently hauled before a grand jury to testify.

Justice Department probes into the events of Jan. 6 and the former president’s involvement are moving at a steady pace. The subpoena of Russell after Cipollone and Philbin could suggest that investigators are tightening a circle around Trump as they review the conduct of his closest advisers and aides.

There are several major criminal investigations into Trump happening at present. They include the investigation into the removal of classified documents from the White House, the Jan. 6 probe into the U.S. Capitol attack and the push to overturn the 2020 election results, and the interference in the election by Trump and his allies in Georgia. Both the New York State Attorney General’s civil probe into the Trump Organization for tax fraud and a criminal probe led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg continue.

The federal grand jury exploring Jan. 6 has also reportedly had its attention focused on Trump’s political action committee, Save America. ABC News reported Thursday that subpoenas issued to people involved or familiar with the PAC’s operations have been questioned about “fundraising activities.”

In the months leading up to the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Trump raised huge sums from donors on the premise that voter fraud was widespread in the 2020 election and the cause of his defeat by now-President Joe Biden. That funding, he and his campaign staff and lawyers would say regularly, was needed to cover the exorbitant legal costs of contesting the rigged election.

Investigations by the press and the Jan. 6 committee, however, have both uncovered evidence suggesting Trump used those funds not for their advertised purpose but to pay for unrelated items and services, including a hefty payment of $60,000 to a designer who styled former First Lady Melania Trump.

The Save America PAC raked in over $130 million since it was formed and the flow of cash hasn’t stopped. According to Open Secrets, the PAC had about $100 million on hand in July.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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he latest act in the foregone conclusion that is ongoing in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon down in Florida has once again smacked the gobs of actual legal minds in the general direction of Belize. From Law and Crime:


The federal judge who issued an unusual Labor Day ruling appointing a special master to review thousands of files seized from the 45th president’s Mar-a-Lago estate issued a brief order on Tuesday refusing to allow several onetime GOP officials from filing an amicus brief in opposition to the special master appointment. In late August, several anti-Donald Trump former officials who served under Republican administrations moved to submit a “friend of the court” document that would help U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon sort through the various legal issues at stake in the unprecedented criminal inquiry into the former U.S. head of state.

Cannon, in a paperless order with one sentence of explanation, dismissed the need for the ex-federal and state officials’ thoughts on the matter. “Upon review of the Motion, the Court appreciates the movants’ willingness to participate in this matter but does not find the proposed appointment of amici curiae to be warranted,” the judge wrote. Additionally, six other attorneys sought leave from the court in pro hac vice motions to formally take part in the case as the counsels-of-record for the seven anti-Trump prospective amici. The Trump-appointed district judge denied those efforts as well.

Nothing could better illustrate what a thoroughgoing bag job is being fashioned in that courtroom than this petty, childish use of judicial power. Judges routinely accept amicus briefs. Occasionally they even read them, although they are under no compulsion to do so. Instead, Cannon went out of her way to make sure the arguments against her position—arguments presented by respected Republican legal experts, as well as Christie Todd Whitman, a former governor and member of the Cabinet in a Republican administration—would not sully the official record of whatever this proceeding is supposed to be. If you read the brief, you will understand why. The spurned amici tee up Judge Cannon good and proper.

“…the appointment of a special master to adjudicate the claims of executive privilege would be a waste of time because the claim of executive privilege against the Executive Branch in this case is manifestly frivolous. Controlling legal precedent on this issue establishes that determinations of executive privilege made by the current President outweigh claims of privilege made by a former president. Here, it is abundantly clear that the Executive Branch, including the President and the Acting Archivist of the United States, have determined that the records at issue should be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Further, and in any event, executive privilege is not absolute; its protections are subject to a balancing of interests. Here, the former President has identified no concrete interests supporting his position, but the Executive Branch seeks the seized records for core constitutional functions: to conduct a criminal investigation and to assess the damage caused by potential mistreatment of classified information.”

By the polite standards of legal writing, the phrase “manifestly frivolous” is the equivalent of a brick thrown through a window. Again, however, the judge could have accepted this unsubtle rebuke and stuffed the brief in a drawer, never to be seen again.

The alacrity with which she rejected it gives away the entire game. She doesn’t want even a hint in the official record that she is going out of her way to help the former president* who appointed her after he’d already lost the election. We’re all going to have to figure that out on our own, I guess. Luckily, it isn’t hard at all.


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Indict Trump Over the Mar-A-Lago Documents? Don’t Indict? There’s a Third Option​

.....As a former federal prosecutor, I would indict Trump. The facts and the law in Trump’s case are compelling. The rule of law binds us together and is at the core of our democracy. Or, as the Times added, “America is not sustained by a set of principles; it is sustained by resolute action to defend those principles.”

But Garland has a third choice that has received little attention. It could conceivably get him where he wants to go—a “presentment” or report filed by the grand jury with the federal court. Here, prosecutors could lay out the evidence the grand jury has gathered of Trump’s criminality but hold off on an indictment.

The grand jury report is an institution we inherited from the English. It likely dates to 1166 and antedates the grand jury itself. It is mentioned in the Fifth Amendment. The report is presented to the court by the grand jury without any bill of indictment. A presentment may charge individuals with crimes. Meanwhile, the investigation could continue and be followed later by criminal charges in an indictment.......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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A book by a former top federal prosecutor offers new details about how the Justice Department under President Donald J. Trump sought to use the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan to support Mr. Trump politically and pursue his critics — even pushing the office to open a criminal investigation of former secretary of state John Kerry.

The prosecutor, Geoffrey S. Berman, was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York for two and a half years until June 2020, when Mr. Trump fired him after he refused a request to resign by Attorney General William P. Barr, who sought to replace him with an administration ally.

A copy of Mr. Berman’s book, “Holding the Line,” was obtained by The New York Times before its scheduled publication Tuesday.

The book paints a picture of Justice Department officials motivated by partisan concerns in pursuing investigations or blocking them; in weighing how forthright to be in court filings; and in shopping investigations to other prosecutors’ offices when the Southern District declined to act.

The book contains accounts of how department officials tried to have allusions to Mr. Trump scrubbed from charging papers for Michael D. Cohen, his former personal lawyer, and how the attorney general later tried to have his conviction reversed. It tells of pressure to pursue Mr. Kerry, who had angered Mr. Trump by attempting to preserve the nuclear deal he had negotiated with Iran.

And in September 2018, Mr. Berman writes, two months before the November midterms, a senior department official called Mr. Berman’s deputy, cited the Southern District’s recent prosecutions of two prominent Trump loyalists, and bluntly asserted that the office, which had been investigating Gregory B. Craig, a powerful Democratic lawyer, should charge him — and should do so before Election Day.

“It’s time for you guys to even things out,” the official said, according to Mr. Berman.

The book comes as Mr. Trump and his supporters have accused the Biden administration and Attorney General Merrick Garland of using the Justice Department as a weapon after a judge authorized FBI agents to search his Florida house for missing classified records. Mr. Trump, who is a likely presidential candidate in 2024, has suggested without evidence that President Biden is playing a role in that investigation.

However, Mr. Berman’s book says that during Mr. Trump’s presidency, department officials made “overtly political” demands, choosing targets that would directly further Mr. Trump’s desires for revenge and advantage. Mr. Berman wrote that the pressure was clearly inspired by the president’s openly professed wants.......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Department of Justice will appeal the ruling granting Trump a 'special master' over stolen documents

Mark Sumner

The ruling from Judge Aileen Cannon, which grants Donald Trump an unprecedented “special master” and enjoins the Department of Justice from using the documents Trump stole in their criminal investigation, will be appealed. The ruling was always ridiculous and posed a threat to both the law and national security.

Now the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it will appeal Cannon’s ruling to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal is notably signed not just by Assistant Attorney General for the
National Security Division Matthew Olsen, but by Jay Bratt, the chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section. This would certainly seem to give a very good view into the reasons why the DOJ feels it’s vital to move this case forward.

Regardless of the distortions and outright lies involved in Cannon’s ruling, there is no guarantee that the 11th Circuit will overturn her decision. Six of the court’s 11 members were appointed by Trump, and all of them were Federalist Society choices meant to tip the balance of the court. The court could choose to uphold Cannon’s ruling, or to send the case back for more proceedings at the district court level. In any case, the appeal is unlikely to rapidly make the documents available to the DOJ.

The appeal of Cannon’s ruling is likely to be just one of several actions taken over the coming weeks. Either the DOJ or the National Archives could choose to take actions to clarify control of the documents in D.C. court. The intelligence community will continue to work through the implications of what Trump has done. Republicans will continue to pretend this is no big deal.

And if, through some outbreak of reason, the 11th Circuit rapidly strikes down Cannon’s outrageous gift to Trump, there’s no doubt about what will come next: Trump will appeal.


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The Grand Jury Indictment of Stephen K. Bannon and WeBuildtheWall, Inc. has dropped

vera esq

In a case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Bragg and joined by the New York Attorney General, The Grand Jury of the County of New York (Manhattan) has issued a 22-page indictment against Bannon on six counts, 2 counts of Money Laundering in the Second Degree under two separate sections of the statute:

1. MONEY LAUNDERING IN THE SECOND DEGREE, in violation of Penal Law § 470.15(1)(b)(i)(A),

2. MONEY LAUNDERING IN THE SECOND DEGREE, in violation of Penal Law § 470.15(1)(b)(ii)(A);


Two counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree both Class C Felonies:

3. CONSPIRACY IN THE FOURTH DEGREE, in violation of Penal Law §105.10(1),

4. CONSPIRACY IN THE FOURTH DEGREE, in violation of Penal Law §105.10(1).


The remaining two counts are:

5. SCHEME TO DEFRAUD IN THE FIRST DEGREE, in violation of Penal Law § 190.65(1)(a), and

6. CONSPIRACY IN THE FIFTH DEGREE, in violation of Penal Law §105.05(1).


The recitation of the underlying facts of each crime is quite detailed; I am still reading through the document.

The money laundering charge alone suggests that WeBuildtheWall, Inc. was nothing more than a front for raising money through GOFUNDME for the purpose of enriching Bannon and his unindicted co-conspirators.

You can read and download the entire indictment at Hugo Lowell’s reporting at The Guardian: you can read the indictment here.

The Manhattan DA began investing the case against Bannon as soon as tfg pardoned him on the federal charges. I suspect that AG James has joined on this case because the Manhattan DA is only able to seek an indict on crimes committed against residents of the County of New York; whereas AG James can loop in other victims from around the State of New York. Consequently, the indictment repeats the clause, “the Defendants in the County of New York and elsewhere,” engaged in such criminal acts as defined by the New York Penal Law.

As to what happens to the money, any plea agreement down the road could include restitution, in which case AG James’s office would be central to managing, collecting, and distributing those funds.

Significantly, the indictment alleges that Bannon repeatedly stated that he would not take a penny of this money, which is a great deal more specific and less ambiguous than I will not draw a salary.
....
.....

Bannon charged with money laundering, fraud and conspiracy

Dartagnan
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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MAGA election official pleads not guilty while her deputy throws her all the way under the bus

Walter Einenkel

On Wednesday, embattled Mesa County Colorado elections clerk Tina Peters pleaded not guilty to charges of election tampering and official misconduct. The charges stem from Peters’ and others’ breach of security protocols, allowing a third-party person without even a smidge of background vetting to fiddle with the election equipment in her county in May 2021. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold promptly launched an investigation of this “serious breach,” leading to replacement of no fewer than “41 pieces of election equipment” that had been compromised by Peters and her conspirators.

Peters is facing 10 counts of violating election laws in service of her MAGA-inspired Big Lie theories that the election was stolen from Donald Trump in 2020. Those counts include “three counts of attempting to influence a public servant, criminal impersonation, two counts of conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, one count of identity theft, first-degree official misconduct, violation of duty and failing to comply with the secretary of state.” Her trial is scheduled for March 2023.

There’s good news and bad news for Peters: The good news is that having been recently trounced in the Republican primary for secretary of state, Peters has all the free time in the world to go to trial. The bad news, however ...

On Aug. 25, about one fortnight before Peters entered her not guilty plea, Belinda Knisley pleaded guilty to misdemeanors of “trespassing, first-degree official misconduct and violation of duty.” Knisley was the Mesa County deputy under Peters and her plea was a part of a deal in which she agreed to cooperate with investigators and testify against her former boss in court. The Colorado Sun reports that Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein (a Republican) told the court that Knisley had spoken with his office for “seven hours,” giving testimony that would greatly help his case against Peters. That is what scientists call singing like a canary.......