Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Senate panel releases details from its Trump Tower meeting probe

Сенат США подтвердил данные разведки о вмешательстве России в выборы в пользу Трампа Senate Intel Panel Agrees Russia Intervened In 2016 Presidential Election
Deanna Wagner | 17 May, 2018, 03:30

"There is no doubt that Russian Federation undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections", the committee's Republican chairman, Senator Richard Burr, said in a statement issued on Wednesday with its top Democrat, Senator Mark Warner, after a closed hearing with former top intelligence officials.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the House intelligence panel's ranking member, said in a statement that he "fully concur [s] with the conclusion of the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee that the ICA's determination that Russian Federation sought to help the Trump campaign, hurt Hillary Clinton and sow discord in the United States is fully supported by the evidence".

President Trump has cited that finding and argued that the continuing investigations in Congress and by the Justice Department are just a "witch hunt". After all, the fact that Putin interfered with the election doesn't reflect in any way on the question of whether Trump colluded with Russian Federation.

On Wednesday, Senate Intelligence Committee members met in closed session to discuss their findings with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan, and former National Security Agency director Adm. Mike Rogers. Former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by Trump, was invited but did not appear.

Their statements affirmed the USA intelligence community's assessment, and departed from the findings of the House Intelligence Committee last month, which implied that Moscow's goal was to sow discord in the United States and not necessarily to help Trump. He has since been indicted as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation on charges related to money laundering, tax fraud, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The theory is given some credence by testimony from Corey Lewandowski, a top campaign aide, who told House investigators that Mr. Trump made use of a blocked number.

The June 9, 2016 meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya was also attended by then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. Trump Jr. had been seeking "dirt" on his father's political opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, which Veselnitskaya had implied over email communications she had. She has denied she was acting on behalf of the Russian government.

Senate barely passes resolution to restore net neutrality
He said he supports a "free and open internet" but disagreed with Democrats on the "regulatory framework to enforce these rules". Senator Ed Markey of MA argued that "net neutrality is the free speech issue of our time", according toArs Technica.

The interviews were part of the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The Trump Tower meeting was arranged by a music promoter, Rob Goldstone, who reached out to Trump Jr saying he had "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russian Federation and would be very useful to your father". Charles R. Grassley, R-Iowa, first promised that the committee would release transcripts of the interviews committee conducted with some of the participants in the Trump Tower meeting.

Contacted by reporters from the New York Times, Trump Jr. and the White House were asked to explain how the June 2016 sit-down came about.

It could not be more obvious that Trump Jr. was asking a foreign source for information to help his father win an election.

Trump Jr has said since that no "meaningful information" was offered and the meeting focused mostly on the issue of adoptions of Russian children.

Finally, Trump's financial disclosure form reveals that, lo and behold, the president did reimburse Michael Cohen for that $130,000 payoff to Stormy Daniels.