6:33 AM 11/28/2017 – FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets – Washington Post

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“Scores of U.S. diplomatic, military and government figures were not told about attempts to hack into their emails even though the FBI knew they were in the Kremlin’s crosshairs, The Associated Press has learned.” 

FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets – The Washington Post

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Traffic along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington streaks past the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters building Wednesday night, Nov. 1, 2017.

Scores of U.S. diplomatic, military and government figures were not told about attempts to hack into their emails even though the FBI knew they were in the Kremlin’s crosshairs, The Associated Press has learned. 

(J. David Ake/Associated Press)

 

November 27 at 9:21 PM

WASHINGTON — The FBI failed to notify scores of U.S. officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year that the targets were in the Kremlin’s crosshairs, The Associated Press has found.

Nearly 80 interviews with Americans targeted by Fancy Bear, a Russian government-aligned cyberespionage group, turned up only two cases in which the FBI had provided a heads-up. Even senior policymakers discovered they were targets only when the AP told them, a situation some described as bizarre and dispiriting.

“It’s utterly confounding,” said Philip Reiner, a former senior director at the National Security Council, who was notified by the AP that he was targeted in 2015. “You’ve got to tell your people. You’ve got to protect your people.”

FBI policy calls for notifying victims, whether individuals or groups, to help thwart both ongoing and future hacking attempts. The policy, which was disclosed in a lawsuit filed earlier this year against the FBI by the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center, says that notification should be considered “even when it may interfere with another investigation or (intelligence) operation.”

Last week, the FBI declined to discuss its investigation into Fancy Bear’s spying campaign, but did provide a statement that said in part: “The FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of potential threat information.”

Three people familiar with the matter — including a current and a former government official — said the FBI has known for more than a year the details of Fancy Bear’s attempts to break into Gmail inboxes. A senior FBI official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the hacking operation because of its sensitivity, declined to comment on when it received the target list, but said that the bureau was overwhelmed by the sheer number of attempted hacks.

“It’s a matter of triaging to the best of our ability the volume of the targets who are out there,” he said.

In the face of a tidal wave of malicious phishing attempts, the FBI sometimes passes on information about the attacks to service providers and companies, who can then relay information to clients or employees, he added.

The AP, which acquired a list of about 4,700 targeted email accounts, has reported in recent weeks on the global reach of the hacking operation and strategy used to break into emails of the Democratic Party and presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Tens of thousands of those emails were leaked online in advance of the November election. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Fancy Bear works for the Russian government and meant to push the election in favor of Donald Trump. The Russian government has denied interfering.

The AP did its own triage, dedicating two months and a small team of reporters to go through a hit list of Fancy Bear targets provided by the cybersecurity firm Secureworks.

Previous AP investigations based on the list have shown how Fancy Bear worked in close alignment with the Kremlin’s interests to steal tens of thousands of emails from the Democratic Party . The hacking campaign disrupted the 2016 U.S. election and cast a shadow over the presidency of Donald Trump, whom U.S. intelligence agencies say the hackers were trying to help . The Russian government has denied interfering in the American election.

The Secureworks list comprises 19,000 lines of targeting data . Going through it, the AP identified more than 500 U.S.-based people or groups and reached out to more than 190 of them, interviewing nearly 80 about their experiences.

Many were long-retired, but about one-quarter were still in government or held security clearances at the time they were targeted. Only two told the AP they learned of the hacking attempts on their personal Gmail accounts from the FBI. A few more were contacted by the FBI after their emails were published in the torrent of leaks that coursed through last year’s electoral contest. But to this day, some leak victims have not heard from the bureau at all.

Charles Sowell, who previously worked as a senior administrator in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and was targeted by Fancy Bear two years ago, said there was no reason the FBI couldn’t do the same work the AP did.

“It’s absolutely not OK for them to use an excuse that there’s too much data,” Sowell said. “Would that hold water if there were a serial killer investigation, and people were calling in tips left and right, and they were holding up their hands and saying, ‘It’s too much’? That’s ridiculous.”

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“IT’S CURIOUS”

The AP found few traces of the bureau’s inquiry as it launched its own investigation two months ago.

In October, two AP journalists visited <a href=”http://THCServers.com” rel=”nofollow”>THCServers.com</a> , a brightly lit, family-run internet company on the former grounds of a communist-era chicken farm outside the Romanian city of Craiova. That’s where someone registered <a href=”http://DCLeaks.com” rel=”nofollow”>DCLeaks.com</a>, the first of three websites to publish caches of emails belonging to Democrats and other U.S. officials in mid-2016.

DCLeaks was clearly linked to Fancy Bear. Previous AP reporting found that all but one of the site’s victims had been targeted by the hacking group before their emails were dumped online.

Yet THC founder Catalin Florica said he was never approached by law enforcement.

“It’s curious,” Florica said. “You are the first ones that contact us.”

THC merely registered the site, a simple process that typically takes only a few minutes. But the reaction was similar at the Kuala Lumpur offices of the Malaysian web company Shinjiru Technology , which hosted DCLeaks’ stolen files for the duration of the electoral campaign.

The company’s chief executive, Terence Choong, said he had never heard of DCLeaks until the AP contacted him.

“What is the issue with it?” he asked.

Questions over the FBI’s handling of Fancy Bear’s broad hacking sweep date to March 2016, when agents arrived unannounced at Hillary Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn to warn her campaign about a surge of rogue, password-stealing emails.

The agents offered little more than generic security tips the campaign had already put into practice and refused to say who they thought was behind the attempted intrusions, according to a person who was there and spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversation was meant to be confidential.

Questions emerged again after it was revealed that the FBI never took custody of the Democratic National Committee’s computer server after it was penetrated by Fancy Bear in April 2016. Former FBI Director James Comey testified this year that the FBI worked off a copy of the server, which he described as an “appropriate substitute.”

___

“MAKES ME SAD”

Retired Maj. James Phillips was one of the first people to have the contents of his inbox published by DCLeaks when the website made its June 2016 debut.

But the Army veteran said he didn’t realize his personal emails were “flapping in the breeze” until a journalist phoned him two months later.

“The fact that a reporter told me about DCLeaks kind of makes me sad,” he said. “I wish it had been a government source.”

Phillips’ story would be repeated again and again as the AP spoke to officials from the National Defense University in Washington to the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado.

Among them: a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, retired Lt. Gen. Patrick Hughes; a former head of Air Force Intelligence, retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula; a former defense undersecretary, Eric Edelman; and a former director of cybersecurity for the Air Force, retired Lt. Gen. Mark Schissler.

Retired Maj. Gen. Brian Keller, a former director of military support at the Geospatial Intelligence Agency, was not informed, even after DCLeaks posted his emails to the internet. In a telephone call with AP, Keller said he still wasn’t clear on what had happened, who had hacked him or whether his data was still at risk.

“Should I be worried or alarmed or anything?” asked Keller, who left the spy satellite agency in 2010 and now works in private industry.

Not all the interviewees felt the FBI had a responsibility to alert them.

“Perhaps optimistically, I have to conclude that a risk analysis was done and I was not considered a high enough risk to justify making contact,” said a former Air Force chief of staff, retired Gen. Norton Schwartz, who was targeted by Fancy Bear in 2015.

Others argued that the FBI may have wanted to avoid tipping the hackers off or that there were too many people to notify.

“The expectation that the government is going to protect everyone and go back to everyone is false,” said Nicholas Eftimiades, a retired senior technical officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency who teaches homeland security at Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg and was himself among the targets.

But the government is supposed to try, said Michael Daniel, who served as President Barack Obama’s White House cybersecurity coordinator.

Daniel wouldn’t comment directly on why so many Fancy Bear targets weren’t warned in this case, but he said the issue of how and when to notify people “frankly still needs more work.”

___

“CLOAK-AND-DAGGER”

In the absence of any official warning, some of those contacted by AP brushed off the idea that they were taken in by a foreign power’s intelligence service.

“I don’t open anything I don’t recognize,” said Joseph Barnard, who headed the personnel recovery branch of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command.

That may well be true of Barnard; Secureworks’ data suggests he never clicked the malicious link sent to him in June 2015. But it isn’t true of everyone.

An AP analysis of the data suggests that out of 312 U.S. military and government figures targeted by Fancy Bear, 131 clicked the links sent to them. That could mean that as many as 2 in 5 came perilously close to handing over their passwords.

It’s not clear how many gave up their credentials in the end or what the hackers may have acquired.

Some of those accounts hold emails that go back years, when even many of the retired officials still occupied sensitive posts.

Overwhelmingly, interviewees told AP they kept classified material out of their Gmail inboxes, but intelligence experts said Russian spies could use personal correspondence as a springboard for further hacking, recruitment or even blackmail.

“You start to have information you might be able to leverage against that person,” said Sina Beaghley, a researcher at the RAND Corp. who served on the NSC until 2014.

In the few cases where the FBI did warn targets, they were sometimes left little wiser about what was going on or what to do.

Rob “Butch” Bracknell, a 20-year military veteran who now works in Norfolk, Virginia, said an FBI agent visited him about a year ago to examine his emails and warn him that a “foreign actor” was trying to break into his account.

“He was real cloak-and-dagger about it,” Bracknell said. “He came here to my work, wrote in his little notebook and away he went.”

Left to fend for themselves, some targets have been improvising their cybersecurity.

Retired Gen. Roger A. Brady, who was responsible for American nuclear weapons in Europe as part of his past role as commander of the U.S. Air Force there, turned to Apple support this year when he noticed something suspicious on his computer. Hughes, a former DIA head, said he had his hard drive replaced by the “Geek Squad” at a Best Buy in Florida after his machine began behaving strangely. Keller, the former senior spy satellite official, said it was his son who told him his emails had been posted to the web after getting a Google alert in June 2016.

A former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, who like many others was repeatedly targeted by Fancy Bear but has yet to receive any warning from the FBI, said the lackluster response risked something worse than last year’s parade of leaks.

“Our government needs to be taking greater responsibility to defend its citizens in both the physical and cyber worlds, now, before a cyberattack produces an even more catastrophic outcome than we have already experienced,” McFaul said.

___

Donn reported from Plymouth, Massachusetts. Associated Press writers Vadim Ghirda in Carcea, Romania, Chad Day in Washington, Frank Bajak in Houston, Justin Myers in Chicago and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.

___

Satter, Donn and Butler can be reached at:

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EDITOR’S NOTE — Raphael Satter’s father, David Satter, is an author and Russia specialist who has been critical of the Kremlin. His emails were published last year by hackers and his account is on Secureworks’ list of Fancy Bear targets. He was not notified by the FBI.

EDITOR’S NOTE _ One in a series of stories on the findings of an Associated Press investigation of the Russian hackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election in 2016

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Russian Intelligence services – Google News: FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets – Washington Post

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Washington Post
FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets
Washington Post
Tens of thousands of those emails were leaked online in advance of the November election. U.S.intelligence agencies have concluded that Fancy Bear works for the Russian government and meant to push the election in favor of Donald Trump. The Russian …
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1:21 PM 11/27/2017 – Flynn could implicate any number of Trump officials and Trump himself – Washington Post

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Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary 

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Egyptian security forces targeted militants in the Sinai peninsula after an attack on a mosque in a local village killed 305 people, the New York Times reported. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pledged to get vengeance against a group of 25-30 armed men that Egyptian authorities said carried an Islamic State flag during their massacre at the mosque in Bir al-Abed. According to Egyptian security officials, warplanes struck vehicles associated with the fighters. The attack is the latest escalation in the long-brewing conflict in Sinai, where the Egyptian military has struggled to contain an insurgency that took hold after the 2013 coup in which President Sisi took power.

Pakistan’s justice minister will step down after accusations of blasphemy against him sparked protests and violence from Islamic fundamentalist groups, the Times reported. After Zahid Hamid, the law minister, attempted to change religious language in an oath that Pakistani lawmakers take upon entering parliament, protests erupted that have paralyzed Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, for weeks. Following military-led negotiations, Hamid agreed to step down, and a hard-line Islamic party promised not to issue an edict of blasphemy against him, an accusation that has led to killings in the past.

Pope Francis met the head of Myanmar’s military during an official visit, as the pontiff faces pressure to address the violence against the Rohingya Muslim population, Reuters reported. The pope discussed religious freedom and the country’s transition to democracy with General Min Aung Hlaing. Advisers have warned the pope against even using the word “Rohingya,” as Myanmar’s government says they are not a separate ethnic group. The pope will meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, on Tuesday.

Michael Flynn’s lawyers told President Donald Trump’s legal team they were halting their correspondence about the special counsel’s investigation, according to the Times. Flynn’s lawyers cancelled an agreement concluded between Trump and Flynn’s legal teams to share information about the investigation and their responses. Trump’s lawyers said this development suggested Flynn was working on a deal with the special counsel. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is looking into Flynn’s work on a Turkish documentary film, the Wall Street Journal reported. Flynn paid consultants to create a currently unfinished film attacking exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. The FBI is probing Flynn’s business connections to the Turkish government in connection with the film. Separately, Congressional officials referred allegations about Flynn’s role in a scheme to provide nuclear power to Middle East countries to the special counsel’s investigation, the Washington Post reported. Rep. Trey Gowdy sent a letter to Mueller referring congressional democrats’ concerns about Flynn’s sponsorship of a plan to build nuclear reactors across the Middle East while he was in office.

The U.S. will cease arming Kurdish fighters in Syria, CBS News reported. President Trump told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the U.S. would stop its arms shipments to the YPG, a Kurdish group that forms an integral part of the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Turkey has called the YPG a terrorist organization because of its connections to rebel groups in Turkey’s eastern mountains. The White House did not explicitly confirm the change in policy, but Turkish officials called on the U.S. to uphold its pledge, according to Reuters.

Aid shipments entered Yemen for the first time in the weeks since the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels blockaded major ports, the Times reported. A shipment of flour reached the seaport at Al Hudaydah and aid planes landed at Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. The U.N. said the Saudi coalition must continue to allow supplies to arrive as Yemen faces a devastating famine and health crisis. A cholera epidemic has threatened vulnerable members of Yemen’s population  as over 17 million people lack reliable access to food.

The FBI failed to inform dozens of current and former U.S. officials that the Russian hacking operation Fancy Bear had targeted their email accounts, the AP reported. Of more than 80 officials whose emails the Russian group aimed to compromise, the FBI notified only two of the potential threat. Many former intelligence and military officials learned about the attempted hacking only when journalists contacted them about the matter.

The head of the European Parliament asked the Polish government to take steps to ensure the security of Polish parliamentarians after far-right groups staged mock hangings of the politicians, Reuters reported. Extremists hanged the portraits of Polish representatives to Brussels who backed a resolution condemning a Polish far-right march in early November as fascist. The head of the European Parliament asked the Polish government to condemn the attacks on the politicians.

The Pentagon is likely to admit that there are over 2,000 U.S. soldiers in Syria, revising upwards its previously estimate of 500 troops on the ground, according to Reuters. The Department of Defense is expected to announce the revised number to reflect a more accurate accounting of troops present in Syria and not to announce an increase in troop commitments.

 

ICYMI: This holiday weekend on Lawfare

Benjamin Wittes posted the “Mother May I Launch a Missile” edition of Rational Security.

Orin Kerr argued that the Fourth Amendment does not guarantee a general right to be secure against government surveillance.

Vanessa Sauter shared the Lawfare Podcast, featuring an interview between Alina Polyakova and Arkady Ostrovsky on Russia’s far east.

In the Foreign Policy Essay, Kim Cragin argued that foreign fighters who are transferred to third countries that are not their homes are a major security risk.

 

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

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Readers’ Forum, Nov. 28, 2017: For sake of US, Trump must go
Terre Haute Tribune Star
Let’s hope that the electorate will not allow a contest like we had last time. The two presidential candidates we had were controversial and destined to be ineffectual if elected due to the nature of the electorate criticisms. Donald Trump has and more »

 trump electorate – Google News

Donald Trump: Democratic Congressman Luis Gutiérrez Won’t Seek Re-Election: Reports

The prominent pro-immigrant, anti-Trump representative was first elected in 1992. Donald Trump
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Rep. Devin Nunes Demolishes The Russian Collusion Delusion – FrontPage Magazine
 


FrontPage Magazine
Rep. Devin Nunes Demolishes The Russian Collusion Delusion
FrontPage Magazine
So I get on the airplane and, I’m not kidding you, it’s Donald Trump, it’s Priebus, it’s Rudy Giuliani, a couple other guys, his Twitter guy, and that was it on the whole plane other than security. And so I said, “Oh my gosh. I’ve never seen a campaign 

 Rudy Giuliani – Google News

trump and putin – Google News: The US sanctions bill is a timebomb for Donald Trump and Vladimir … – The Guardian
 


The Guardian
The US sanctions bill is a timebomb for Donald Trump and Vladimir 
The Guardian
‘Those
 Putin
The Guardian
Those
 
sanctions stand at the heart of the investigation into the Trump-Putin TrumpPutin relationship, and whether there was collusion: Trump’s potential ‘Russiagate’.
Trump’s Russian SchizophreniaPOLITICO Magazine
Odds Are, Russia Owns Trump – The New York TimesNew York Times
 Russiagate. Seeking sanctions relief was part of the infamous June 2016 meeting between Russian emissaries 
Trump’s decision to meet with Putin ‘drew literal groans’ from his staff: reportRaw Story
Trump picked an odd time to target US media’s global reachMSNBC

John Kass: Putin’s great American spy novelBaltimore Sun 
Raw Story
 
QNS.comNew York Times
 –The News-Press Warren Tribune Chronicle
all 58 

all 190
 news articles »

 trump and putin – Google News

putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Has anyone ever heard of disinformation? – Tri County Sentry (blog)
 


QNS.com
Has anyone ever heard of disinformation?
Tri County Sentry (blog)
Under President Obama and Secretary Clinton, the U.S. had an anti-fossil fuel energy policy, and Clinton seemed likely to carry on the same policies. … If Putin didn’t want Trump to win, then it means he wanted Clinton to win, right? No. … In the 
Op-Ed: Trump thinking backwards again, believes Putin over US Intelligence sourcesQNS.com
Trump sides with Putin; School board’s ‘reckless spending’: Letters, Nov. 26The News-Press
Michael Flynn’s role in Middle Eastern nuclear project could compound legal issuesChicago Tribune
Washington Examiner –POLITICO Magazine –New York Times –Wall Street Journal
all 162 news articles »

 putin won US 2016 election – Google News

Russian Intelligence, organized crime and war on police – Google News: Pentagon says will continue arming PKK/YPG – Yeni Şafak English
 


Yeni Şafak English
Pentagon says will continue arming PKK/YPG
Yeni Şafak English
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, National Intelligence Organization Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın, Chief of Cabinet Hasan Doğan and Senior Advisor Hamdi Kılıç were photographed.PM Yıldırım: US … We have to find and more »

 Russian Intelligence, organized crime and war on police – Google News

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Russia’s lies are aimed at undermining European democracies – Progress Index
 

Russia’s lies are aimed at undermining European democracies
Progress Index
Russia is waging its war with Europe, using new tools, like social media, but with old KGB tactics, according to Marius Laurinavicius, senior expert at the Vilnius Institute of Policy Analysis. We are at war with Russia. It’s a different war: There 

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

russian organized crime in us – Google News: Atlantic Council proposes new US strategy for Balkans – B92
 

Atlantic Council proposes new US strategy for Balkans
B92
Atlantic Council’s Executive Vice President Damon Wilson told the broadcaster that this US NGO is committed to promoting a historic process of reconciliation with Serbia and to being a genuine mediator in making real progress on the political front 

 russian organized crime in us – Google News

Putin Trump – Google News: Commentary: Putin’s proposal for Ukraine another trap for Trump – Fairfield Daily Republic
 

Commentary: Putin’s proposal for Ukraine another trap for Trump
Fairfield Daily Republic
After playing into Russia’s hands on Syria, the Trump administration now risks repeating the error in Ukraine, where diplomatic discussions over a Russian initiative are heating up. Moscow’s plan is to legitimize its invasion and control over parts of 

 Putin Trump – Google News

Trump and the Mob – Google News: Trump’s Fate – National Review
 


National Review
Trump’s Fate
National Review
Trump’s fate in the 2018 midterms aside from the fact that first-term presidents always seem to lose congressional seats after about two years of exposure and his reelection in 2020 supposedly hinge on whether Trump’s popular message trumps the 

 Trump and the Mob – Google News

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Why Is Venezuela Waging Cyber War in Europe? – Daily Beast
 


Daily Beast
Why Is Venezuela Waging Cyber War in Europe?
Daily Beast
Here’s a chilling fact: At the height of the Catalan separatist crisis, analysis of more than 5 million messages about Catalonia posted on social networks between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5, shows that only 3 percent come from real profiles outside the 

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Using disinformation, Russia undermining European nations – Las Vegas Sun
 

Using disinformation, Russia undermining European nations
Las Vegas Sun
Russia is waging its war with Europe, using new tools, like social media, but with old KGB tactics, according to Marius Laurinavicius, senior expert at the Vilnius Institute of Policy Analysis. We are at war with Russia. It’s a different war: There and more »

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

A Mafia State Within a Totalitarian Society – The Atlantic
 


The Atlantic
A Mafia State Within a Totalitarian Society
The Atlantic
In the latest episode of The Atlantic Interview, Gessen speaks with The Atlantic’s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, about the similarities between Putin and Trump, the way intergenerational trauma can shape a political movement, and why the United
Trump anxiety – Google News: It’s Not the Economy, Stupid! – Atlantic Sentinel
 

It’s Not the Economy, Stupid!
Atlantic Sentinel
The votes for Brexit, European populism and Donald Trump weren’t working-class revolts. Ta-Nehisi Coates and Adam Serwer have argued that mostly-white elites are drawn to the economic anxiety thesis because it absolves them of responsibility for more …

 Trump anxiety – Google News

trump and republican party – Google News: Party of Trump passes Party of Lincoln torch to the Democrats – Orlando Sentinel
 


Orlando Sentinel
Party of Trump passes Party of Lincoln torch to the Democrats
Orlando Sentinel
I know there are cynics who will accuse me of shilling for the Democrats here, but let me assure you my party loyalty is decidedly shallow. Just consider my roots: I was raised in a moderately conservative Republican household in Lakeland (Queen City 

 trump and republican party – Google News

trump anxiety – Google News: A Mafia State Within a Totalitarian Society – The Atlantic
 


The Atlantic
A Mafia State Within a Totalitarian Society
The Atlantic
Goldberg: Which one is worse: the idea that the Trump people would want to collude, or that Russia was engaged in an effort to create dissension and anxiety in America? Gessen: One can actually argue that no matter what happens with the investigation, …

 trump anxiety – Google News

Palmer Report: Additional developments confirm Michael Flynn really is flipping on Donald Trump

On Thanksgiving, Michael Flynn sent a signal that legal experts agreed could only mean he was preparing to cut a plea deal in the Trump-Russia scandal: he had his attorneys terminate the information sharing agreement they’d had in place with Donald Trump’s attorneys. Still, that didn’t mean Flynn actually would cut a deal, only that he was planning to. However, additional developments have surfaced today which confirm Flynn really is going down that path.Michael Flynn’s attorneys have now met with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to an ABC News report (link). The only reason for such a meeting is so that the two sides can each share what they have. Mueller’s team will lay out the evidence it has against Flynn, in order to convince him that he really is screwed if he doesn’t cut a deal. In turn, Flynn will lay out the evidence he has against the bigger fish in the Trump-Russia scandal, in what’s called a proffer session, in order to prove to Mueller that he’s worthy of a lenient deal.As Palmer Report explained last night, once a suspect gets as far as holding a proffer session, legally speaking, there’s no going back (link). Even if Donald Trump were then able to convince Flynn not to formally agree to a deal, Mueller would still be able to use everything that Flynn said about Trump. In fact, Mueller would be able to indirectly use some of Flynn’s own words against him, thus increasing the odds of Flynn being convicted if he doesn’t cut a deal.So at this point Michael Flynn’s deal is all but inevitable. Donald Trump is clearly panicking, as he brought former campaign adviser James Woolsey to Mar-a-Lago over the weekend to discuss the matter. But Woolsey is a key cooperating witness against Flynn (link), meaning he was likely acting on Mueller’s behalf during the meeting, thus nailing Trump on yet another instance of obstruction of justice.The post Additional developments confirm Michael Flynn really is flipping on Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report. Palmer Report

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