Comey covering up Trump–Russia connection

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  • #24460
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    On Sunday, Harry Reid wrote a scathing letter to FBI Director James Comey, warning Comey that he may have broken the law.

    “I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act, which bars FBI officials from using their official authority to influence an election. Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”

    Which is a remarkable enough. But it’s far from the biggest charge in Reid’s letter.

    “In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity. The public has a right to know this information. I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public. There is no danger to American interests from releasing it. And yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.”

    Harry Reid is saying that the FBI not only knows of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, but that the FBI is deliberately shielding this information, while misdirecting public attention toward the email ‘scandal’ without any valid information.

    If Reid is right, then James Comey is guilty of something that goes far beyond just using his office to provide a competitive advantage to a candidate. Comey is using the full weight of the FBI to swing the election to a man he knows is in service to a foreign power.

    Conservatives want to stop people from voting on Election Day. Fight back against voter suppression by clicking here and signing up as a volunteer for Protect the Vote. Help make sure all Americans have the chance to cast their ballot.

    Reid’s accusations are extraordinary, and his statement that he approached Comey about this matter months ago certainly indicates that it’s far more than mere rumors.

    To be clear, Democrats including Reid have argued for months and months that the Russian government wants Trump elected president, citing hacks into Democrats that intelligence officials say probably originated in Russia. Trump himself has stoked the fire by saying nice things about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his former campaign manager’s ties to Russian interests are well chewed-over.

    But there is no public evidence to support Reid’s claim of actual “coordination” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. And were that to be the case, it would be a scandal of epic proportions.

    No public evidence. But Reid has been privy to classified briefings, and it’s the content of those briefings that seems to be at the heart of the push he’s making.

    If Harry Reid has been told in briefings about evidence the Trump campaign is coordinating with the Russian government, information that has not been made public, then not only is Director Comey sitting on this information, but so are Republican Senators and Congressmen with access to the same briefings.

    The highest officials of the Republican Party—including Comey—are hiding a connection that directly affects the integrity of the election and the security of the nation. That’s not electioneering. That’s a thousand times worse.

    That’s not throwing this race for Donald Trump. It’s doing it for Vladimir Putin.


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    #24467
    Amus
    Participant

    Here’s a Hell of a thing;

    Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?

    This spring, a group of computer scientists set out to determine whether hackers were interfering with the Trump campaign. They found something they weren’t expecting.

    In late July, one of these scientists—who asked to be referred to as Tea Leaves, a pseudonym that would protect his relationship with the networks and banks that employ him to sift their data—found what looked like malware emanating from Russia. The destination domain had Trump in its name, which of course attracted Tea Leaves’ attention. But his discovery of the data was pure happenstance—a surprising needle in a large haystack of DNS lookups on his screen. “I have an outlier here that connects to Russia in a strange way,” he wrote in his notes. He couldn’t quite figure it out at first. But what he saw was a bank in Moscow that kept irregularly pinging a server registered to the Trump Organization on Fifth Avenue.

    The researchers had initially stumbled in their diagnosis because of the odd configuration of Trump’s server. “I’ve never seen a server set up like that,” says Christopher Davis, who runs the cybersecurity firm HYAS InfoSec Inc. and won a FBI Director Award for Excellence for his work tracking down the authors of one of the world’s nastiest botnet attacks. “It looked weird, and it didn’t pass the sniff test.”

    Earlier this month, the group of computer scientists passed the logs to Paul Vixie. In the world of DNS experts, there’s no higher authority. Vixie wrote central strands of the DNS code that makes the internet work. After studying the logs, he concluded, “The parties were communicating in a secretive fashion. The operative word is secretive. This is more akin to what criminal syndicates do if they are putting together a project.” Put differently, the logs suggested that Trump and Alfa had configured something like a digital hotline connecting the two entities, shutting out the rest of the world, and designed to obscure its own existence. Over the summer, the scientists observed the communications trail from a distance.

    While the researchers went about their work, the conventional wisdom about Russian interference in the campaign began to shift. There were reports that the Trump campaign had ordered the Republican Party to rewrite its platform position on Ukraine, maneuvering the GOP toward a policy preferred by Russia, though the Trump campaign denied having a hand in the change. Then Trump announced in an interview with the New York Times his unwillingness to spring to the defense of NATO allies in the face of a Russian invasion. Trump even invited Russian hackers to go hunting for Clinton’s emails, then passed the comment off as a joke.

    Tea Leaves and his colleagues plotted the data from the logs on a timeline. What it illustrated was suggestive: The conversation between the Trump and Alfa servers appeared to follow the contours of political happenings in the United States. “At election-related moments, the traffic peaked,” according to Camp. There were considerably more DNS lookups, for instance, during the two conventions.

    In September, the scientists tried to get the public to pay attention to their data. One of them posted a link to the logs in a Reddit thread. Around the same time, the New York Times’ Eric Lichtblau and Steven Lee Myers began chasing the story.* (They are still pursuing it.) Lichtblau met with a Washington representative of Alfa Bank on Sept. 21, and the bank denied having any connection to Trump.

    The Times hadn’t yet been in touch with the Trump campaign—Lichtblau spoke with the campaign a week later—but shortly after it reached out to Alfa, the Trump domain name in question seemed to suddenly stop working. When the scientists looked up the host, the DNS server returned a fail message, evidence that it no longer functioned. Or as it is technically diagnosed, it had “SERVFAILed.” The computer scientists believe there was one logical conclusion to be drawn: The Trump Organization shut down the server after Alfa was told that the Times might expose the connection. Weaver told me the Trump domain was “very sloppily removed.” Or as another of the researchers put it, it looked like “the knee was hit in Moscow, the leg kicked in New York.”

    Four days later, on Sept. 27, the Trump Organization created a new host name, trump1.contact-client.com, which enabled communication to the very same server via a different route. When a new host name is created, the first communication with it is never random. To reach the server after the resetting of the host name, the sender of the first inbound mail has to first learn of the name somehow. It’s simply impossible to randomly reach a renamed server. “That party had to have some kind of outbound message through SMS, phone, or some noninternet channel they used to communicate [the new configuration],” Paul Vixie told me. The first attempt to look up the revised host name came from Alfa Bank. “If this was a public server, we would have seen other traces,” Vixie says. “The only look-ups came from this particular source.”

    According to Vixie and others, the new host name may have represented an attempt to establish a new channel of communication. But media inquiries into the nature of Trump’s relationship with Alfa Bank, which suggested that their communications were being monitored, may have deterred the parties from using it. Soon after the New York Times began to ask questions, the traffic between the servers stopped cold.

    #24473
    LurkingGrendel
    Participant

    He knows he’s going to lose. I think on more than one level he wants to lose.

    Let’s suspend reality for a moment and pretend Donald J Trump will become the next President of the United States.

    For all of the crocodile tears about the supposed secrecy and deceit surrounding Hillary Clinton, she and her campaign have been a metaphorical fountain of transparency compared to Donald Trump.

    If elected, all of that stonewalling about his tax records will come to an explosive conclusion.

    Then there’s the matter of how is business holdings, with which both himself and his immediate family are inexorably entwined, would likely create the kind of large scale conflicts of interest that would make a mobster blush. As a matter of both record and precedent, individuals with great wealth and complex corporate holdings that have sought higher office in the past have taken great lengths and even longer amounts of time to fully separate themselves long before announcing their candidacies. (See, Mitt Romney, Bloomberg, etc.) Donald Trump has done none of that. In point of fact, he’s been actively promoting his business interests while running for office. Up to and including using campaign funding to pay his own businesses for the usage of their facilities. He would be under investigation, very possibly becoming criminal in nature, almost from the moment he was elected.

    Likely owing both to the unending tsunami of terrible things he says and does which tend to dominate headlines, coupled with a mathematically based belief he’s unlikely to win this November, there’s been remarkably little investigation on that point. That would immediately change, and perhaps never stop, on the day after a successful election.

    Then of course there’s the matter of the other high profile lawsuits he’s already actively a defendant in. Including the fraud case surrounding Trump University and half a dozen others that range in profile from simply embarrassing all the way to criminally liable. Like anyone, he’s due his day in court and enjoys the presumption of innocence, but at the least it would threaten to completely embroil and drown his administration in scandal almost from the word go.

    I could go on and on. Shit-show doesn’t even begin to describe what would happen.

    I’m of the opinion it’s solely Trump’s ego and narcissism that has propelled him this far. That, and the bottomless credulity (sharing a place in the basket of racism, bigotry, misogyny, and venomous rage) that typifies the average Donald Trump supporter.

    I honestly don’t think he even thought he was going to win the nomination. It began has a promotional hustle and then spiraled out of control as Trump (along with myself and virtually every sane, thinking person in the country) much to his own surprise ended up overestimated the intelligence of GOP primary voters.

    #24474
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    “the basket of racism, bigotry, misogyny, and venomous rage) that typifies the average Donald Trump supporter.”

    Bingo. Covers Bacon, but you should add stupidity so dork is fully covered.

    #24475
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I have been wondering whether Radiodork is the member formerly known as Digitaldextor. Digitaldextor took a rather annoying hard-line ideological bent to his cheerleading for the George W. Bush administration. I now think that the two posters are not the same person, but you can judge for yourself.

    #24483

    “I’m of the opinion it’s solely Trump’s ego and narcissism that has propelled him this far. That, and the bottomless credulity (sharing a place in the basket of racism, bigotry, misogyny, and venomous rage) that typifies the average Donald Trump supporter.”

    It could also be that Trump truly wants to make America better and is not seeing government service as a means to acquire wealth and power.

    It could also be that Trump’s supporters are better and smarter than you think they are. You could be blinded by arrogance, smugness, and a superiority complex. It could also be that they have the common sense to not vote for a greedy crook who has used public service as a means to amass a fortune.

    #24484

    Regarding that Russian connection…I’m doing some deep thinking about that one…

    #24485
    bookemdono
    Participant

    But many of those supporters do not have the common sense to not cast a vote for someone who won’t do and has never done a thing for them. Trump has made his living off stiffing contractors and not paying his taxes (among other dubious strategies). At least the Clintons contribute back to the country by way of paying taxes. Trump has never had an interest in helping out the lower to middle class population of this country. None of his hotels/condos/apartments/resorts are tailored for people who can actually afford them. What makes you think he is actually going to care for the plight of anyone besides the wealthiest in this country?

    #24495
    LurkingGrendel
    Participant

    It could also be, Bacon is a serial lying hypocritical hack of the first order.

    Trump supporters are, largely, ignorant morons. It’s akin to water being wet.

    The only thing I’m blinded by is the glare of knowing what the hell I’m actually talking about.

    #24840
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    It’s quite possible that Russian connections to drumpf will be a huge problem for him when more facts come to light – and they will.

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