MUELLER MONDAY: Here's everything we learned about the Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos indictments

paul manafort

  • President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Manafort’s former business associate Rick Gates were indicted by a grand jury in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election.
  • The two pleaded not guilty on Monday to 12 counts, including conspiracy against the US and conspiracy to launder money.
  • Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.

At the end of a wild Monday, three of President Donald Trump’s associates were indicted on criminal charges. Two pleaded not guilty in federal court, and one pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.

They were the first indictments in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections, and whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

Here’s a rundown of everything we learned on Monday:

Charges against Manafort

The indictments

  • Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Manafort’s former business associate, Rick Gates, pleaded not guilty after being indicted by a grand jury.
  • The indictment was unsealed Monday morning, and it contains 12 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.
  • Read the full 31-page indictment here »
  • Photos and video showed Manafort leaving his home Monday morning, hiding his face behind the car visor, then surrendering to the FBI.
  • The conspiracy charge doesn’t have any direct connection to Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia before the 2016 US election. It’s a general charge stemming from any joint effort to defraud the US and is tied to the allegations involving Manafort’s and Gates’ money.

The reactions

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Papadopoulos pleads guilty

George Papadopoulos LinkedIn

Other developments

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SEE ALSO: Mueller just threw a huge wrench in Trump’s attempts to distance himself from Manafort

DON’T MISS: New details about an early Trump adviser completely change the timeline of Russia’s election interference

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NOW WATCH: Watch Paul Manafort — Trump’s former campaign chairman — surrender to the FBI

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In Production | Now Filming in SCV: Criminal Minds, Mitsubishi Commercial, more – SCVTV (press release) (blog)

Television shows, reality programs, and feature films are all filming this week in Santa Clarita.

Filming this week includes:

“NCIS” – Television
“Mayans MC” – Television
“Baskets” – Television
“S.W.A.T.” – Television
“Criminal Minds” – Television
“Mythbusters” Television (Reality)
“Fear Factor” Television (Reality)
Mitsubishi – Commercial
RockHer – Commercial
Jackie’s Revenge – Feature
The Happytime Murders – Feature
Dudeman – Student film


Santa Clarita had a robust year of location filming in Fiscal Year 2016-2017 (July 2016-June 2017) with the Film Office recording 545 film permits and 1,265 location film days, which generated an estimated economic impact of $30.1 million to the local community.

This is the fourth fiscal year in a row the Film Office has recorded more than 500 permits and the estimated economic impact generated from location filming has reached $30 million or more.  Not included in the reported numbers are the film days and economic benefit from filming that takes place on certified sound stages, which does not require a film permit.

More than half of the filming days for FY 2016-2017 were attributed to television production alone, many of which were from local Santa Clarita based shows which included “Atypical,” “Ballers,” “The Guest Book,” “Mistresses,” “MythBusters,” “NCIS,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” “Shooter,” “Shut Eye,” “Stitchers” and “Ultimate Beastmaster.”

Other television shows that filmed on location in Santa Clarita last fiscal year included “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “American Crime,” “Animal Kingdom,” “Baskets,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” “Cesar Milan’s Dog Nation,” “Criminal Minds,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” “Drunk History,” “Fear Factor,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Last Man on Earth,” “The Last Ship,” “Mayans MC,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Ray Donovan,” “Scorpion,” “Sharp Objects,” “Storage Wars,” “Teen Wolf,” “Transparent,” “VEEP” and many more.

TV shows aren’t the only productions taking advantage of Santa Clarita as a film location. Many movies were also shot in the City last fiscal year including A Star is Born, A Wrinkle in Time, All-Star Weekend, The Female Brain, Fighting with My Family, Gone Are the Days, Inner City, The Lovers, Magic Camp, Miles, #REALITYHIGH, Villa Capri and more in addition to multiple music videos, a plethora of online content and lots and lots of commercials.

Many factors have contributed to the continued success and appeal of filming in Santa Clarita, including the City’s Film Incentive Program and Movie Ranch Overlay Zone along with the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program that is working successfully to keep production in the state.

“Being a film-friendly city is a priority for the City Council as filming is such a great contributor to our local economy and provides many quality jobs for our residents,” said Mayor Cameron Smyth.   “Film and television production has deep roots in the Santa Clarita Valley and to see production return year after year at such a significant rate is a testament to the quality and character of our community.”

Santa Clarita continues to be one of the most filmed places in California because it’s located within the industry’s well-known 30-Mile Zone and offers thousands of film-friendly locations that can double for almost anywhere in the world.  In addition, Santa Clarita has more than 20 sound stages, more than 10 movie ranches, a one-stop shop Film Office, and some of the lowest film permitting fees in the Los Angeles area.

For more information about filming in Santa Clarita, please visit or contact the Film Office at (661) 284-1425.  For an insider’s view to filming in Santa Clarita, follow the Santa Clarita Film Office on Instagram (@FilmSantaClarita).

(c) 2017 SCVTV

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Hong Kong could apply national anthem law retrospectively, but should it? – South China Morning Post

A new national anthem law came into force in mainland China on October 1. The law will be added to Annex III of the Basic Law. Hong Kong is due to apply the law, adapted for the city, fairly soon.

Most debate – implicitly accepting that the law will be applied in Hong Kong – has pivoted around the question of whether this law could be applied retroactively. This discussion has arisen, above all, because of the continuing verbal and written scorn directed at the national anthem at certain sporting events in Hong Kong. Some have argued that to discourage such behaviour, retroactive implementation of the law should be considered.

Various claims made by certain lawyers and lawyer-politicians in essence argue that retroactive laws – or retrospective laws – do not exist within the criminal laws of the common law system. It follows from this, it is said, that the national anthem law (which will apply some level of criminal sanctions to any breaches) cannot be made to apply retroactively. Unfortunately, these claims are simply wrong. The highest courts in the UK and Australia, for example, have each given the green light to retroactive criminal laws.

Hong Kong soccer fans boo the national anthem

Carrie Lam urges Hongkongers not to be ‘overly sensitive’ about new national anthem law

In 1961, in Shaw vs Director of Public Prosecutions, the House of Lords in a unanimous decision confirmed the retroactive conviction of Shaw for the criminal offence of conspiracy to corrupt public morals. In 1933, in R vs Manley, the UK Court of Appeal also confirmed the retroactive application of criminal law. An important article in the Criminal Law Journal in 1989 stated that: “Both Manley and Shaw were found guilty of having committed crimes that were not recognised as such when they committed the acts in question.”

What will China’s national anthem law mean for Hong Kong?

In Australia, the High Court first found in favour of the retroactive application of the Commonwealth Crimes Act in 1915, in the case of R vs Kidman. This decision was unsuccessfully challenged in 1991 in Polyukchovich vs The Commonwealth. In the latter case, the High Court confirmed the validity of the Commonwealth War Crimes Amendment Act of 1988, which created new crimes that could be prosecuted more than 40 years after the relevant, previously non-criminal (in Australia), acts had been committed.

In the 1980s, the federal government in Australia passed tax laws which applied penal sanctions to certain organised, prior tax evasion activities, thought to be not caught under the existing criminal law. These laws had retroactive impact both in terms of sending convicted people to prison and collecting back taxes which may not otherwise have been payable. Several other examples of judge-made retroactive criminal law in England exist, dating back to the 17th century.

Does respect for China’s national anthem have to be mandated by law in Hong Kong?

For these reasons, if the new national anthem law were to be applied retroactively in Hong Kong, this would be broadly consistent with long-standing practice within the common law system.

Does the proposed national anthem law present exceptional circumstances that could justify retroactive action?

What, though, are the options for retroactive application? One possibility would be to state October 1 as the retroactive commencement date in the Hong Kong SAR law, this being the date when the national anthem law took effect on the mainland.

Notably less controversial would be to nominate the date from when the basic detail of the new Hong Kong law was known – for example, the publication date of the draft Hong Kong version of the new law.

All Hong Kong residents would then be on notice, with knowledge of the draft law, that the law could be applied back to the specified date. This is the “government by press release” approach used in Hong Kong over the past several years for amendments to the Stamp Duty Ordinance for real property transactions. This approach has also long been widely used in Australia by revenue authorities. It would be the more prudent way to make the law retroactive.

Why Chinese national anthem is the saddest ever

Finally, although superior court precedents make it clear that retroactive criminal law is an accepted feature of the common law system, the cases typically stress that this should be applied only in exceptional circumstances. The key question which should be debated, thus, is: does the proposed national anthem law present any such exceptional circumstances that could justify retroactive application?

Richard Cullen is a visiting professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong

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The FBI warned Bobby Kennedy a book was coming out revealing his affair with Marilyn Monroe and blaming him for her death

bobby kennedy jfk rfk

  • In 1964, the FBI sent then-Attorney General Robert “Bobby” Kennedy information about a forthcoming book purporting to reveal his affair with Marilyn Monroe.
  • The author, who often dabbled in “extremely questionable” allegations, according to the Bureau, published the 70-page book for $2 a copy.
  • This unexpected bit of history comes from the release of 2,800 previously classified JFK files.

In the summer of 1964, the FBI spent two weeks investigating a tip from author Frank Capell that he was publishing a 70-page book outlining Bobby Kennedy’s alleged affair with Marilyn Monroe, accusing him and the Kennedy clan of being responsible for her death.

This unexpected bit of history comes from the release of over 2,800 previously classified documents about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963. President Donald Trump allowed the release of the so-called JFK files on Thursday.

It has long been rumored that Bobby Kennedy — who was married to Ethel Kennedy — had an affair with Monroe after JFK “passed her off to his brother,” as People puts it.

“Did the trouble begin when Marilyn realized that her VIP had no intention of getting a divorce and marrying her?” Capell wrote in the “The Strange Death of Marilyn Monroe,” labeling Bobby Kennedy “VIP.” He added, “Since Marilyn could destroy him either by talking or with written evidence, did he decide to take drastic action?”

Capell went on to accuse Kennedy of using “the Communist Conspiracy which is an expert in the scientific elimination of its enemies” to murder Monroe.

In official memos, the FBI calls the rumored affair and allegation that Kennedy was with Monroe when she died “utterly false.” Kennedy was the attorney general at the time, and thus oversaw the Bureau, raising questions about why FBI agents might have been looking into potentially salacious material about their boss.

Monroe died on August 5, 1962 at her home in Los Angeles. The coroner concluded it was “probably suicide” from a barbiturate overdose.

marilyn monroe

“The above allegation concerning the Attorney General has been previously circulated and has been branded as false as the Attorney General was actually in San Francisco with his wife at the time Marilyn Monroe committed suicide,” an FBI agent from New York wrote.

The New York office was instructed to “follow this matter very closely,” and send two copies of Capell’s book to FBI headquarters once they were published so Kennedy could be “kept advised.”

On July 15, 1964, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent Kennedy a copy of the book, writing that Capell “claims that you had a close relationship with Miss Monroe.”

In March 1976, Sen. Frank Church requested “all FBI materials pertaining to communications between FBI Director Hoover and Attorney General Robert Kennedy with respect to the publication of a book about Marilyn Monroe by Frank Capell,” suggesting he may have known such communications existed. In April, the FBI complied.

That’s the last document in the entry named “Marilyn Monroe” in the JFK files.

Church conducted a far-reaching investigation into US intelligence agencies after Watergate. The Monroe files he requested fell under the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, and were released to the public on October 26, 2017.

SEE ALSO: The most bizarre, outlandish documents from the newly released JFK files

DON’T MISS: Thousands of JFK files were just released — here’s where to read them

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NOW WATCH: A North Korean defector trekked 6,000 miles on crutches to flee — now he helps others escape

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Trump's official behind the Jane Doe case urged 'savvy' lawmakers to make women get men's permission before getting abortions

jane doe abortion

  • Scott Lloyd, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, was the Trump administration official behind the Jane Doe case, in which the government refused to let an undocumented teen get an abortion.
  • Lloyd has written op-eds calling for “savvy state legislators” to pass laws requiring women to get permission from the father before they get an abortion.
  • He faced hard questions from Democrats when he appeared before the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security on Thursday.

The man behind the Trump administration’s legal battle to keep an undocumented teen from getting an abortion has a long history of campaigning against reproductive rights.

On Thursday morning, Scott Lloyd testified before the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. As the director of the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, he oversees the agency responsible for the children’s center in Texas where the 17-year-old Jane Doe was detained after she entered the US illegally from Central America.

Lloyd sent an email directing government detention centers under his purview not to let minors access abortion services, but instead take them to “pregnancy services and life-affirming options counseling”, according to The Washington Post. Lloyd wrote that the ORR “should not be supporting abortion services pre or post-release.”

‘They put this guy in charge?’

At the hearing, Democratic representatives had hard questions for him — few of which he answered — while the Republicans largely praised him and the other officials present for the Trump administration’s stricter refugee vetting protocols.

Many of those questions were about Lloyd’s hand in the Jane Doe case. After a month-long legal battle, she was finally able to get her abortion on Wednesday.

scott lloyd jane doe orr

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas asked Lloyd if he had any direct contact with Doe, or any of the other pregnant minors his agency is responsible for, and he wouldn’t answer, saying he couldn’t comment on individual cases.

When she asked him if he was aware that 60% of female refugees crossing the US border from Central America are raped, and would likely need medical attention including abortions, Lloyd said he “wasn’t aware” of that statistic. It comes from an Amnesty International report, and other investigations have found the number may be even higher.

“It’s disturbing that Director Lloyd didn’t seem to understand the US Constitution and was unable to answer simple questions from members of the committee,” Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, said in a statement to Business Insider after the hearing. “And they put this guy in charge?”

In another case from March, according to reports from The New York Times and Buzzfeed News, Lloyd directed shelter officials to stop another pregnant minor under ORR care from taking the second pill for a medication abortion.

The American Civil Liberties Union also alleges that Lloyd “personally visited a young woman who was seeking an abortion to attempt to dissuade her from her decision.” HHS did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Jackson Lee told Business Insider that she planned to draft a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to clarify how immigrant women are treated, how pregnant minors like Doe are treated, and how he thinks they should be treated under his policies. Asked about Lloyd’s views on abortion and his actions, Jackson Lee said he was an “example of the leadership of President Trump.”

“The public servants who welcome the offer to serve, they serve,” she said. “It is the policies of this administration that I oppose vigorously, and his persons whom he has selected are in fact representative of what I believe is a truly inhumane policy. It is President Trump who has to change those policies.”

Sheila Jackson Lee women congress

At the hearing, Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington asked Lloyd if he was trained to provide counseling or medical services, and what expertise he had to make him qualified to decide whether Doe should end her pregnancy. Lloyd’s agency bio says he is an attorney licensed in Virginia.

“It’s extremely troubling to me, Mr. Lloyd, what’s happening,” she concluded at the hearing. “I think you’re far overreaching over your expertise or your jurisdiction.”

A history of anti-abortion efforts

As right-leaning Breitbart News wrote in April, “Lloyd’s appointment came with little fanfare and almost went unnoticed.”

He came to the Trump administration from the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization where he served as an attorney in public policy.

Before that, Lloyd served on the board of directors for a crisis pregnancy center, which offer ultrasounds and counsels women to consider adoptions or becoming a mother, often actively discouraging them from getting abortions. The center in Virginia that Lloyd was involved with mentions a “medical director” and employs a registered nurse, but doesn’t list any doctors or OB/GYNs on staff.

He also co-founded the WitnessWorks Foundation for a Culture of Life, an anti-abortion religious organization that even has its own “pro-life, pro-faith search engine.”

scott lloyd refugee resettlementLloyd worked on Capitol Hill and as an HHS lawyer for the Bush administration, when he co-authored the controversial “conscience rule” in 2008 that allowed healthcare providers to refuse to provide abortions, contraception, end-of-life care, infertility treatments, or family planning care.

When they learned of Lloyd’s interference with women’s decisions to get abortions as ORR directors, Democratic Sens. Patty Murray, Diane Feinstein, Richard Blumenthal, and Bob Menendez sent a letter to the acting HHS secretary on October 20 calling “to immediately cease all undue and improper interference in the health care decisions of young women” under HHS care.

Over 100 organizations, including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, sent a letter on October 25 denouncing Lloyd’s actions.

“By blocking Jane and others from accessing abortion care, ORR has openly disregarded its legal duty to provide prompt access to safe medical care to those within its charge,” the letter read.

Rep. Lofgren and Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas sent HHS a letter on October 16 demanding that ORR stop preventing women from getting abortions and requesting more information about Lloyd’s direct involvement in the reported cases.

“Regardless of the administration’s views on abortion,” they wrote, “the Constitution protects abortion access and it remains the law of the land.”

‘Women must notify the men of their decision to abort’

Lloyd has written extensively on abortion, contraception, and other reproductive healthcare that he opposes on religious grounds.

In a blog post from 2011, which Buzzfeed noted, Lloyd called for “savvy state legislators” to require women to get the father’s permission before getting an abortion, thus restoring “men’s rights” as long as the women didn’t “lie.”

“They could do this by writing a law that says essentially that women must notify the men of their decision to abort, and gain their consent, except in situations where their reasons for aborting relate to the physical realities of pregnancy,” he wrote.

march for life mike pence abortion

This type of statute isn’t law anywhere yet, but lawmakers in Oklahoma proposed a bill this year that would require the father’s permission for a woman to get an abortion. Non-invasive paternity tests are only available after eight weeks into pregnancy, which would be the earliest women could scientifically confirm who they would need to get permission from before aborting.

In 2011, Lloyd wrote another blog post outlining what constituted as an abortion, including birth control in his definition.

“Our tax dollars are being used to help trick people into aborting their own children, when they would not do so if someone was not lying to them,” he wrote.

Writing about embryonic stem cell research in 2006, Lloyd wrote, “This is just the latest manifestation of a process that began when the medical field sold its healing soul for a new, abortive reality, when medicine taught women to rely on chemicals rather than their wills to avoid pregnancy, and men learned to expect (or even demand) them to do so, and when medicine invited us to trade sex and adoption for the Petri dish.”

That post identified him as the co-founder of “Americans On Call,” a now seemingly defunct grassroots organization with the stated goal of convincing women not to get abortions across the country.

The website is no longer available, but archived web pages show Lloyd likely founded it with other law students in 2006 who “were enjoying a couple beers at a bar and we had an idea.” They wrote that “the end of abortion depends on YOU,” and sold pins and T-shirts to fund their efforts and spread their message.

Watch the full House subcommittee hearing below:

SEE ALSO: The undocumented teen in Texas who was fighting the Trump administration for an abortion was finally allowed to have one — here’s what she went through

DON’T MISS: The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade isn’t the biggest threat to abortion rights

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NOW WATCH: TRUMP: Women who want abortions may have to ‘go to another state’

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Former HPD Police Chief Gets New Criminal Defense Attorney – Honolulu Civil Beat

Former police chief Louis Kealoha will soon have a new attorney defending him against charges of conspiracy, bank fraud and deception of government investigators.

Myles Breiner, who had previously represented Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, filed paperwork in U.S. District Court on Friday saying he was withdrawing as the former chief’s attorney in the ongoing criminal matter to make way for Gary Modafferi.

Breiner will continue to represent Katherine Kealoha, who is a city prosecutor.

Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha will get a new attorney in a federal criminal case in which he is a defendant.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Modafferi currently works as a criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas, but he has a long history in Hawaii, including an arrest and conviction on drug-related charges.

Modafferi started his law career on the islands in 1983 when he was recruited by then-Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Charles Marsland. At the time, Modafferi was one of the youngest prosecutors in the office. He quickly rose to the head of the narcotics unit.

Modafferi lost his job in 1994 after Keith Kaneshiro became the city’s top prosecutor. He then went into private practice as a criminal defense lawyer.

But in 1997 Modafferi, the former prosecutor, was arrested for distributing methamphetamine from his Honolulu apartment. He pleaded guilty to federal charges and was sentenced to three months in prison. He also lost his ability to practice law here.

In 2010, however, Modafferi, who had spoken openly about his drug arrest and conviction, was reinstated to the Hawaii State Bar. While he’s currently based in Las Vegas, he has come back to the islands for work, including his recent representation of Taryn Christian, who was convicted of murder in 1997.

Modafferi has been trying to get that conviction overturned for at least the past two years, saying that the case was plagued by poor police work and prosecutorial misconduct.

He declined to be interviewed Friday on his plans to represent Kealoha. Breiner did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Breiner also filed paperwork in court Friday asking federal prosecutors to turn over evidence they have implicating his client in wrongdoing, including any wiretapping and surveillance records and lists of informants who might be called as witnesses.

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WSJ editorial board calls for Mueller's resignation and accuses Clinton and DNC of collusion

robert mueller

  • The Wall Street Journal editorial board accused Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party of colluding with Russia earlier this week.
  • The board also called for special counsel Robert Mueller to resign, and for the FBI to be investigated for its “role in Russia’s election interference.”
  • There is no evidence that the FBI, the Clinton campaign, or the Democratic party colluded with Russia.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board called this week for a full Russia investigation — not into President Donald Trump, but into the Democratic party, the FBI, and special counsel Robert Mueller.

It turns out that Russia has sown distrust in the U.S. political system—aided and abetted by the Democratic Party, and perhaps the FBI,” the editorial began. “This is an about-face from the dominant media narrative of the last year, and it requires a full investigation.” 

The editorial argued that a Washington Post report published Tuesday “revealed” that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee hired the Perkins Coie law firm, which in turn retained the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and funded a now-infamous dossier containing salacious allegations about Trump’s ties to Russia. The dossier was compiled by ex-British spy, Christopher Steele, who has several deep Russian sources. 

“Strip out the middlemen, and it appears that Democrats paid for Russians to compile wild allegations about a US presidential candidate,” the editorial said. “Did someone say ‘collusion’?”

It had been previously reported that Democrats took over funding for the opposition research from anti-Trump Republicans after Trump won the GOP nomination. On Friday, lawyers for The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative publication, told the House Intelligence Committee that the outlet originally funded the dossier’s production. 

The FBI also reached an agreement before Election Day to continue paying Steele for his work, though the plan was terminated after BuzzFeed published the dossier in January.

CNN reported in April that the bureau used information in the dossier to bolster its case for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant targeting early Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. 

The Journal’s editorial board said revelations about who had financed the Steele dossier indicated that the “FBI’s role in Russia’s election interference must now be investigated.”

James Comey

Mueller, the board continued, is a former FBI director who worked closely with former FBI director James Comey. Mueller was appointed special counsel after Trump fired Comey in May, and he is tasked with investigating Russia’s election interference, as well as whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the election in his favor. 

Comey was spearheading the bureau’s Trump-Russia investigation in 2016, when it was in possession of the Steele dossier. “It is no slur against Mr. Mueller’s integrity to say that he lacks the critical distance to conduct a credible probe of the bureau he ran for a dozen years,” The Journal’s editorial board said. “He could best serve the country by resigning to prevent further political turmoil over that conflict of interest.”

They continued and said the revelations about who funded the Steel dossier posed a “troubling question” regarding the FBI’s involvement in what it called a “Russian disinformation campaign.”

“Did the dossier trigger the FBI probe of the Trump campaign, and did Mr. Comey or his agents use it as evidence to seek wiretapping approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Trump campaign aides?” the editorial said. 

Legal experts said in April, however, that if CNN’s report was true, it indicated that the FBI had enough confidence in the dossier’s validity to work to corroborate it and present it in court. 

“In my long experience in dealing with FISA processing, unconfirmed information about a potential target cannot (and has not been) included in the application‎,” John Rizzo, the former acting general counsel of the CIA, told Business Insider in an interview at the time.

“So, if the CNN report is accurate, then I have to believe that the FBI and Department of Justice concluded (and the Court agreed) that the info in the dossier about Page was reliable,” Rizzo said, “and in all likelihood was backed up by other available intelligence.”

And while the document does contain several unproven allegations, it has been reported that the FBI is using it as a “roadmap” for its investigation. The Senate Intelligence Committee also revealed earlier this month that it has been “working backwards” to verify the document’s allegations. 

Nevertheless, The Journal’s editorial board called for Congress to home in on the FBI’s role in producing the dossier and to reinstate the embattled Rep. Devin Nunes as chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Nunes recused himself from the panel’s Russia investigation after it emerged that he bypassed his own committee and briefed the White House on classified intelligence.

Despite recusing himself, Nunes quickly began conducting his own investigation into “unmaskings” by the Obama administration and the credibility of the dossier, and subpoenaed Fusion GPS to appear before the committee. 

Natasha Bertrand contributed reporting.

SEE ALSO: Mueller’s latest move has Trump’s staunchest allies melting down on Twitter

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NOW WATCH: Senator Bob Corker slams Trump and says he has ‘great difficulty with the truth’

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Jeff Kwatinetz Leaves The Firm to Work For Celebrity Lawyer Mark Geragos – Amplify

Jeff Kwatinetz is leaving his position as CEO of management and production company The Firm. According to Deadline, Kwatinetz, who graduated from Harvard Law School, is headed to the law firm Geragos & Geragos, working alongside superstar lawyer Mark Geragos and Ben Meiseles.

Kwatinetz is an active member of the California Bar Association and will work on civil rights litigation. He explained that he wants to use his education “to affect societal perceptions and facilitate real change.”

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“I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing. When I saw Straight Outta Compton, it was a moment for me. I always thought that entertainment could make a difference and Ice Cube has always done that himself. Small or large, I need to make material change and be a force for good,” Kwatinetz told Deadline.

In addition to practicing civil rights litigation with Geragos & Geragos, Kwatinetz plans to refocus his efforts on working with the new pro basketball league the Big3 and production company Cube Vision. Kwatinetz will become co-CEO of the Big3 with rapper Ice Cube who founded the league. The Big3 just completed its first season with well-known ex-NBA players including Allen Iverson and Chauncey Billups, as well as Charles Oakley who is serving as a Big3 coach. Geragos is also an investor in the Big3.

Ice Cube and Kwatinetz will also continue to work together on Cube Vision, which recently raised substantial funding for more than 20 television and film projects in various stages of development. Cube Vision also landed a television deal with Fox.

“I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished and that makes me feel confident to take this next step,” said Kwatinetz. “With the success of BIG3 and CubeVision, I am motivated by that and the overall good they can bring and know this move is the final piece of the puzzle. When I see Mark (Geragos) working on cases like Colin Kaepernick and see other civil rights cases he is working and doing out of a passion of what is right, that speaks to me. And for me, these three things naturally align.”

Earlier this month, Geragos filed a complaint on behalf of football player Colin Kaepernick. The grievance against the National Football League argues that team owners colluded to blackball the quarterback after his national anthem protests. The NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement rules prohibit teams from working together to make decisions about player contracts.

Geragos, a criminal lawyer, has famously represented Michael Jackson, Chris Brown and Winona Ryder. He has taken on a $100 million class action civil suit against rapper Ja Rule, Billy McFarland and other organizers of the disastrous Fyre Festival.

Kwatinetz’s move also comes a week after the lawyer and his former label Prospect Park Records settled a lawsuit against signees Five Finger Death Punch. In April 2016, Prospect Park filed a suit against the Las Vegas band for breach of contract for commencing work on what the company considered an unauthorized new record. After 18 months, the parties resolved their dispute and new music from Five Finger Death Punch is due out in December.

Taylor Mims

Taylor Mims

News Editor at Amplify

Taylor Mims is Amplify’s News Editor. She is a Los Angeles native and received her Masters in Creative Writing from Cal State Long Beach.

Taylor Mims

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The most bizarre, outlandish documents from the newly released JFK files

JFK on dealey plaza

  • Thousands of previously classified files related to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination have been released.
  • They detail things like Lee Harvey Oswald’s activities leading up to the shooting, bizarre tip-offs before Kennedy’s and Oswald’s deaths, and the CIA’s efforts to overthrow Fidel Castro.

President Donald Trump on Thursday approved the release of more than 2,800 previously classified documents related to the 1963 assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.

The trove of documents, released late on Thursday by the National Archives, offer up an array of details around the assassination itself, the ensuing investigation, and the government’s foreign-policy endeavors.

Here are some highlights:

SEE ALSO: The US government planned to drop leaflets in Cuba encouraging people to kill Fidel Castro for just 2 cents

US officials wanted to offer just $0.02 for the killing of Fidel Castro.

One document details a plot orchestrated by Kennedy Administration officials — called Operation Bounty — which sought to offer various financial rewards to Cubans for “killing or delivering alive known Communists.”

The main objectives for Operation Bounty were to overthrow the Cuban government and “to put pressure on Cuban Communists by creating distrust and disunity,” according to the document.

The US planned to drop a series of leaflets throughout Cuba informing citizens of the rewards and explaining the terms. The proposed payments ranged from $100,000 for government officials and $57,700 for “department heads.” Castro, however, appeared to merit a different reward.

“One final leaflet may be deemed advisable and that one announcing a .02¢ reward for the delivery of Castro,” the document said.

Oswald met with a Soviet official affiliated with the KGB’s ‘Assassination Department’ just weeks before shooting Kennedy.

Just weeks before Kennedy’s assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald met with a known KGB officer at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, according to a CIA document.

The CIA learned of the meeting — which occurred on September 28, 1963 — through an October 1 phone call it intercepted between Oswald and an embassy guard.

The call revealed that Oswald had met with the consul, Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov, whom the CIA referred to as “an identified KGB officer” who was affiliated with the KGB’s 13th Department, “responsible for sabotage and assassination.”

During the call, Oswald spoke in broken Russian, identified himself by name, and asked the guard who answered the phone if there was “anything new concerning the telegram to Washington.” According to the document describing the call, the guard checked and told Oswald that a request had been sent, but nothing had yet been received.

One FBI liaison officer speculated that Oswald’s meeting with Kostikov at the embassy had been to “get Soviet support for a US passport or visa matter,” the document said.

The document does not speculate or conclude that Oswald acted against Kennedy on Russian instructions or with KGB assistance.

A local newspaper in England got a bizarre tip-off just minutes before the assassination.

A British reporter for the Cambridge News received a phone call just 25 minutes before Kennedy was shot, and was instructed to “call the American Embassy in London for some big news” before the anonymous tipster hung up, according to an FBI document.

After the reporter learned of the assassination, he informed local police about the call, who passed the information along to MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency. MI5 then informed the FBI of the call, and described the Cambridge News reporter as “a sound and loyal person with no security record.”

The FBI appeared to take the information seriously — it was sent through to the highest levels of the agency, including then-Director J. Edgar Hoover.

The current staff of the Cambridge News appeared shocked on Friday after the document was released. The paper’s political correspondent Josh Thomas tweeted that staff will “get to the bottom of this.”

Tweet Embed:
Scenes in the @CambridgeNewsUK newsroom this morning. We’ll get to the bottom of this #jfkdocuments


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Criminal Minds Sneak Peek: Lucky Returns! – Today's News: Our … – TV Guide

The BAU is tracking one of their most notorious killers again on this week’s Criminal Minds.

The team is given a case that has them back to tailing Floyd Feylinn Ferell (Jamie Kennedy), a criminal better known as Lucky because he was so good at evading law enforcement. While it’s hard to forget Floyd’s cannibalistic practices, he’s also memorable for being the killer the team was chasing the night Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) was shot.

In this exclusive sneak peek, the team is shocked to find out that Floyd has been allowed out of his mental hospital for home visits, meaning it is entirely possible he’s responsible for a new set of killings. However, there’s a new argument being raised that Floyd not only isn’t the killer now, but he never was behind any of the heinous crimes he was persecuted for. When Floyd’s lawyer meets with the team, he posits that Floyd was manipulated by the actual killer and can’t be held responsible for any of his actions.

Is it possible that the team got it wrong a decade ago and condemned an innocent man? Tell that to the people who ate his human barbecue!

Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on CBS.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS)

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