Russian Probe: Rice – Response Letter to Senators Grassley and Graham (23.02.2018)

USA: Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats letter to Senator Schumer on recent U.S. Intelligence visit of its Russian Counterparts (16.02.2018)

Russian Probe: Yet another person charged, this time Van Der Zwaan!

Yet another person has been charged with delivering a false statement in connection with the Russian Probe, the case building by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is no joke. It is moving forward and this person is in connection with former Trump Campaign Aide and Business partner of Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, who also recently has started to co-operate with the investigation. Therefore, his possible plea deal makes the amount of people telling stories and building case massive. The evidence collected and the people involved is stretching.

Alex Van Der Zwaan might sound like a random European, but his place in the Russian sphere is unique. In Kyiv Post by Josh Kovensky wrote this about him in 2017:

“the London-based associate Alex Van der Zwaan, the Russian-speaking son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan” (Kovensky, 2017).

This proves his ties to Russian sphere, as a son-in-law. Proof of how close to Kremlin Khan is, this take from: “For the purposes of this article it is necessary to mention that many media outlets argued at the time that TNK-BP experienced multiple assaults from various Russian authorities (security, tax, labour, immigration, environmental services) because Russian shareholders in the company, namely Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, Viktor Vekselberg and Len Blavatnik, with the informal backing from Kremlin sought to gain control of the company’s operations and financial flows. The conflict climaxed during the summer of 2008 when Russian oligarchs turned up the heat on Robert Dudley, a US citizen and the then CEO of TNK-BP, accusing him of breaching his duties and warning they may seek damages running into hundreds of millions of pounds for the alleged mismanagement of the company” (Ilya Zaslavskiy, Export of Corrosion: How Practices from Russia Penetrate and Undermine US and UK – Prepared for a panel discussion “Export of Russian Corruption: From Kremlin with Hate” at the annual Convention of The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), 2013).

So when Mueller get a possible plea deal today after charging Van Der Zwaan today, the London based associate, the net is further expanding and getting closer to gates of power. Since a son-in-law of a powerful oligarch, isn’t a small fry. That is a big fish and who knows what he knows, because of his connection and his place in the world. So, when is married into the family of Khan, it is clearly, that the networks to Kremlin is getting closer. That also Manafort and Gates, had associates that was directly working for them.

So if Manafort continues to play hardball, the net around his nesting too. There is fewer and fewer people who he can trust. Since the Mueller get people to co-operate and deliver statements, documents and such, which can make the case for the FBI. Clearly, Mueller can see this, but maybe he thinks he can get away with it.

If you learned anything today, never underestimate Mueller and his team. They are taking one step at the time, finding information and dealing with it. This time it was Van Der Zwaan. Peace.

U.S. Treasury Report says expanding sanctions could hurt Russia: However Trump is afraid to ruffle their feathers!

Seemingly the United States Department of Treasury has worked on a report that explains the possible impact of the sanctions that the Congress would have put on the Russian Federation. Instead, this will not happen, because the President Donald J. Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. They are afraid of rocking the boat and actually do anything about it. Like they have traded their soul for loyalty to Kremlin, instead of working for the American government. It is seemingly so, since they have not been able to follow the Congress attitude and neither with the general opinion of the people of the United States. Who has loyalty to the republic and not the Russian Federation.

(U) The modifications to Directive 1 made on September 29, 2017 were required Ьу Section 223(Ь) of CAATSA, and as required Ьу that section, took effect on September 29, 2017, the authorized tenor for new debt issued on or after November 28, 2017 is 14 days or less. U.S. persons are therefore prohibited fоr dealing in new debt issued bу, on behalf of, or for the benefit of persons operating in Russia’s financial sector named under Directive 1, their property, or their interests in property if the debt’s maturity period exceeds 14 days. Other tenors apply to debt issued between July 16, 2014 and November 28, 2017. Directive 1 also includes а prohibition on dealing in new equity issued Ьу, on behalf of, or for the benefit of persons operating in Russia’s financial sector named under Directive 1, their property, or their interests in property. This report does not further address the equity prohibitions of Section 242 of CAATSA” (Department of the Treasury, 2018).

Expanding Directive 1 to include dealings in new Russian sovereign debt and the full range of related derivatives would likely raise borrowing costs for Russia; prompt Russian authorities to alter their fiscal and monetary strategies; put downward pressure on Russian economic growth; destabilize financial markets, including Russia’s repurchase market, which is critical for overnight bank funding; increase strain on Russia’s banking sector; and lead to Russian retaliation against U.S. interests” (Department of the Treasury, 2018).

Seemingly after this, the US Senate and House wanted the Russian Federation to feel more effect of the sanctions. The reasons for why you have sanctions in the first place, to hurt the ones sanctioned. If not the sanctions are not working and not stopping the sanctioned individual or company, even nations so they have to change behavior. However, at this stage the United States seems more on the defense. Than actually thinking of hurting the Federation who acted with swift activity in their election.

The United States should act and use tactics that hurt Russia. Especially, since they have used all sort of ploy to manipulate the electorate and elections towards a candidate of their choosing. If that isn’t interfering and insulting to the US. Then nothing is, the US should act upon it and use more sanctions to add more leverage. So that Russian Federation actually acts differently.

It is strange that the United States doesn’t want to use their tools and their tricks to hurt Russia. Especially after what they did in 2016 and what sort of knowledge they do have on the Russian interference. That was the reason why President Barrack Obama in the first place put new sanctions on Russia. Now, President Trump won’t do it and cannot stomach to pursuit the wishes of Congress and actually sanction Russia. That is weird, especially if United States wants leverage over Russian counterparts. That would seem natural. Especially if Trump is the deal-maker he talked about during campaigns, but not shown since.

However, it seems with day after day, that Russians has Trump cornered, since he will never blame or act upon Russia. He will attack anyone else, but not look into what the Russians did with elections. There is to many questions, but if the Americans had a possibility to make a difference and hurt Kremlin. The added sanctions would. Trump seems like indifference and its rare. Peace.

Reference:

Department of the Treasury – ‘(U//FOUO) U.S. Treasury Report on Economic Impact of Russian Sanctions)’ (2018)

Russian Probe: Recent updates proves how far the Russians went to interfere in the Elections!

If you been blind or cut off your ears in the recent months and since 2016, you haven’t heard or seen anything in connection with how the Russians interfered in the United States Presidential Election of 2016, which was where the Republican Candidate Donald J. Trump won. He and his family, also his business has for years had Russian business interactions. Therefore, the knowledge of Russians would be there, they have even gone to the press for the years praising it. Not after the elections and during the campaigns… However, they have done it until right before the Trump did the final decision to run as Republican. The Republican’s and the President, the White House has done whatever they can to play the Russian Probe down, while firing anyone they can whose investigating it. Therefore the sacking of FBI Director James Comey, Attorney General Sally Yates, Attorney General Preet Bharara and also appointed and fired Michael Flynn as the National Security Advisor.

So since this has happen, there been plea deals from George Papadopolous, Michael Flynn and now this week, which I will quote the partner of Paul Manafort, Richard Gates has made his deal with Special Counsel of Robert Mueller. Mueller has now put up the anti and proves again he has investigated slowly and gathered intelligence and evidence, that he can back-up before the takes it to the Court. He just dripping drops and small edges like in the past, but still proving the vindictive campaign by Russians in this elections. They smeared it and pulled strings through all sorts of operations. Therefore, that Trump is writing himself is stupid or ignorant, if not trying to wash his hands, while Mueller is getting more intelligence from his own camp, who are plea-deals to secure less sentences and not serve to much time in the end.

Like during this week, a Richard Pinedo, who pleaded guilty of identity frauds and using these fake identities. He sold these identities and their accounts to foreign interests. This sort of actions fits very well with another indictments against foreign entities and Russian individuals who we’re indicted this Friday. The 13 individuals and Companies used forged identities to mask their activity on Social Media. The Internet Research Agency LLC, Mediasintez LLC and Azimut LLC. These companies was fueled with funds, which isn’t disclosed, but fitting with other state interference reports out there.

An Estonian Report made earlier this month said this: “Russian cyber groups – examples include APT28 (Sofacy/Fancy Bear) associated with the military intelligence GRU, SNAKE (Turla) tied to the federal security service FSB, and APT29 (Cozy Bear/The Dukes) associated with the FSB and the foreign intelligence service SVR – play the key role in Russia’s influence operations toolbox. These are long-term Russian cyber operations with a clear direction based on Russia’s interests and objectives” (EFIS, P: 53, 2018).

So that the indictment of Mueller, fits the paradigm of the Estonian Intelligence Report. It is similar in efforts and events that transpired. Even the international boundaries, shows that the other foreign investigations into Russian activity proves their types of interference. What is unique in the 13 individuals indicted and the companies also. Is the way they used their funds and methods to push their agenda. That is what is important from this document. They we’re Russians who made up American Web Groups and Message, acted like United States Citizens, but that was pose online. Even in the indictment the individuals were directly in communication with associates connected Trump Campaign.

They were using their methods since 2013 in St. Petersburg, the Internet Research Agency used Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram to spread their messages and get connected with American people. They gathered intelligence and got visas to travel in states, which would be important prior to the elections. Where they found real people inside grass-root operations within the Texas based organization. To swing election in favor of Trump. They did with their digital mass media operation made groups like “Secured Border”, “Blacktivist”, “United Muslims of America”, “Army of Jesus”, “Heart of Texas” and “South United”. All of this was groups who got members on Facebook and played into narratives of religious activity, race issues or even patriotism in areas like Texas. While doing so, the organization bought dozens of ads and commercial content on Social Media, to spread their profound message to swing the elections, as well as make accounts on Twitter to appear as United States citizens and Groups. While doing so they used VPN to mask their IP address and their location of operation, to make sure their digital footprint wasn’t out of whack. So this was a sophisticated operations with many layers to secure the narrative of a better tomorrow with Trump and say that Hillary Clinton was the devil. In directly these fake persons from the organization also paid US residents to participate in Trump rallies and grass-root organizations in Florida, this also happen in New York and Pennsylvania.

So these crimes proving how detailed and how far they went to secure their support of one candidate. They tried to hide it and use forged identities, wire fraud and also fake ID’s. So this wasn’t a light heart that they went into it and they spend fortunes to change the narratives during the elections. It was done covertly and isn’t that unique. As the quote from Estonia proves. Combined with all the non-disclosed meetings and the associates who has met with Russians during and previous before the elections. Proves that Trump Campaign has a hard time to debunk it.

So with the indictments of the 13 individuals and 3 companies. Are proving that the Russian planned carefully and interfered with gathered intelligence. We can wonder if this was part of the “toolbox” as the Estonians are assessing it to be. Because their reports on the Cyber Activity and interference are similar, but the agencies are deliberately expelled to show their connections. Therefore, even if the indictment does explain where the funding of the Internet Research Agency, it still shows their activity and planned attacks on the citizens and electorate during campaigns. This was all made to make sure the public stood behind Trump and not Clinton. That without using WikiLeaks, DC Leaks or any other page that was supported by Russian hackers and fellow straw-men. Peace.

Reference:

Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service – ‘INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND ESTONIA – 2018’ (February 2018)