The Bandit Bob Menéndez and His Accomplices

The ongoing trial this Monday against the democratic senator Bob Menéndez for bribing was postponed, despite accumulating so many charges against him.  

Among them he is accused of fraud and illicit association. To that is added the fact of false statement for not reporting gifts he received from the multimillionaire oculist Salomón Melgen.  

This occurs despite the 18 crimes authorities attribute to those involved.


A juror pointed out that, in his opinion, she had voted since in favor of an acquittal since it was impossible the agreement of judges about what happened.  

If the jury doesn’t come to an agreement, it would give place for a mistrial; this would be considered a defeat for the government, given the seriousness of the accusations and the 24-month period used in the investigation.  

Some remember that this process included accusations on the relationships kept by Menéndez and Melgen with prostitutes from the Dominican Republic that shook the press of that Caribbean country at the time.  

Others don't forget that Salomón Melgen has been one of the most generous donor to the electoral campaigns of Senator Robert Menéndez to keep his positions in the United Congress States.  

The scandals ended up mixing FBI interventions in the oculist's offices in Miami.  

The federal judge of that city, after receiving the notification of the jury, set them free. "Go home, eat and rest well and clear up your minds”, then he asked them to return on Tuesday.  

Prosecutors sustain that Menéndez and Melgen conspired between 2006-2013. Menéndez, they say, accepted deluxe vacations and flights in the eye-doctor’s private plane in exchange for his political influence.  

Everybody knows that Bob Menéndez next to Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Marco Rubio, and Rafael Dìaz-Balart have integrated the group that has viciously attacked Cuba behind the argument of a supposed lack of democracy.  

However, you will know them by their facts.

  • Published in Specials

Thousands of CIA, FBI Documents on JFK Assassination Released for First Time

The US National Archives have made 3,810 CIA and FBI documents on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 public for the very first time. Among the trove are 400 documents previously unavailable in any form – the rest were hitherto redacted, in some cases heavily. The pile is likely to prove a goldmine to conspiracy theorists.

In 1964, Chief Justice Earl Warren, then overseeing the Warren Commission, the US government's first official public inquiry into the Kennedy assassination, was asked by journalists if the full record of their investigation would be made public.

"Yes, there will come a time… but it might not be in your lifetime," Warren responded.

While the fate of the reporters is unknown, the 1992 JFK Assassination Records Collection Act stipulated all documents on the killing must be released by October 2017 — and the latest release marks the first document dump of the year.

The taking is modest — official estimates suggest around 40,000 documents remain classified, of the original five million — but nonetheless is undoubtedly chock-full of scintillating nuggets for conspiracists to get their collective teeth in to, particularly as 400 of the documents have never been seen by public eyes.

These documents were "withheld in full" as they contain information deemed at the time "security classified" — while a tantalizing classification, they may have been mundanely withheld to protect confidential sources, privacy, tax and grand jury information — all information routinely classified in the vast majority of criminal cases.

A cursory look at the contents of the files reveals that on top of CIA and FBI documents, included in the tranche are testimony and other records of the Warren Commission (which concluded alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald likely acted alone) and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (the second official inquiry into Kennedy's assassination, which concluded Kennedy was "probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy"), records from the National Security Agency and other Defense Department offices and files from the Church, Pike and Rockefeller Committees (which investigated the activities of US intelligence services), and many pages relating to the interrogation of Yuri Nosenko.

Nosenko, a KGB officer who defected to the US shortly after the Kennedy assassination, was and is a controversial figure in both government and conspiracist circles.

He claimed to have seen KGB files on Oswald prior to the assassination, when the former US Marine briefly defected to the Soviet Union. He claimed while Soviet intelligence services had monitored Oswald, they had not attempted to recruit him.

However, other disclosures offered by Nosenko contradicted those of another Soviet defector, Anatoliy Golitsyn — which led the CIA to conclude Nosenko was a KGB plant.

As a result, he was incarcerated in solitary confinement for three and a half years, spending 16 months of this period in a small room with no windows, furniture, heat or air conditioning, or human contact, and four months in a ten-by-ten-foot concrete bunker. Allowed a shower once a week only, but permitted no television, reading material, radio, exercise, or toothbrush, he was frequently and aggressively interrogated. Nosenko also claims he was tortured, and even dosed with LSD.

His allegation were flatly denied by Richard Helms, CIA Director during much of Nosenko's internment — although Stansfield Turner, CIA Director 1977-1981, subsequently judged Nosenko's treatment to be "excessively harsh" — and called on senior CIA officers to "make certain [it] will not again be repeated."

It's questionable whether the documents will shed conclusive light on the key questions which have hung over the assassination almost ever since that third fateful shot delivered a coup de grace to then-President Kennedy on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, much less offer a "smoking gun" for any them.

Did alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald act alone, or at all even? Did individuals or agencies within the US government have foreknowledge of the assassination? Did authorities collude and obfuscate to prevent a full investigation of the crime?

Nonetheless, they are also equally unlikely to quell the countless assassination conspiracy theories which have circulated.

Perhaps most popularly, researchers suggest JFK was killed in a plot engineered by CIA agents — Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Mossad, the FBI, the Secret Service, the Mafia and Cubans (whether by Fidel Castro, or anti-Castro rebel groups) have all been fingered as potential directors and/or conspirators in the assassination.

Such suspicions are not restricted to the public. For instance, three of the Warren Commission's seven members — Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky, Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana and and Senator Richard Russell of Georgia — doubted the inquiry's single shooter conclusion, and Johnson later publicly voiced concerns about the Commission's findings.

  • Published in World

Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation

Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

One adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation.

Do the political preferences of Mueller's team risk its independence?

“This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,’ ” a close adviser said.

With the Russia investigation continuing to widen, Trump’s lawyers are working to corral the probe and question the propriety of the special counsel’s work. They are actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work, according to several of Trump’s legal advisers.

A conflict of interest is one of the possible grounds that can be cited by an attorney general to remove a special counsel from office under Justice Department regulations that set rules for the job.

Responding to this story on Friday after it was published late Thursday, one of Trump’s attorneys, John Dowd, said it was “not true” and “nonsense.”

“The President’s lawyers are cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller on behalf of the President,” he said.

Other advisers said the president is also irritated by the notion that Mueller’s probe could reach into his and his family’s finances.

Trump has been fuming about the probe in recent weeks as he has been informed about the legal questions that he and his family could face. His primary frustration centers on why allegations that his campaign coordinated with Russia should spread into scrutinizing many years of Trump dealmaking. He has told aides he was especially disturbed after learning Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns.

Trump has repeatedly refused to make his tax returns public after first claiming he could not do so because he was under audit or after promising to release them after an IRS audit was completed. All presidents since Jimmy Carter have released their tax returns.

July 19, 2017 President Trump speaks at a luncheon with Republican leadership about health care in the State Dining Room of the White House. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

“If you’re looking at Russian collusion, the president’s tax returns would be outside that investigation,” said a close adviser to the president.

Further adding to the challenges facing Trump’s outside lawyers, the team’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, resigned on Thursday. Corallo confirmed Friday that he has resigned but declined to comment further.

Corallo’s departure is part of a larger restructuring of Trump’s team undertaken in recent days. Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s New York-based personal attorney who had been leading the effort, will take a reduced role, people familiar with the team said. Meanwhile, veteran Washington lawyer John Dowd, hired last month, will take the lead in responding to the Special Counsel and Congressional inquiries. Jay Sekulow, a lawyer who has been a familiar face in conservative media in recent years, will serve as the group’s public face, appearing frequently on television.

Sekulow said in an interview Thursday that the president and his legal team are intent on making sure Mueller stays within the boundaries of his assignment as special counsel. He said they will complain directly to Mueller if necessary.  

“The fact is that the president is concerned about conflicts that exist within the special counsel’s office and any changes in the scope of the investigation,” Sekulow said. “The scope is going to have to stay within his mandate. If there’s drifting, we’re going to object.”

Sekulow cited Bloomberg News reports that Mueller is scrutinizing some of Trump’s business dealings, including with a Russian oligarch who purchased a Palm Beach mansion from Trump for $95 million in 2008. 

“They’re talking about real estate transactions in Palm Beach several years ago,” Sekulow said. “In our view, this is far outside the scope of a legitimate investigation.”

 The president has long called the FBI investigation into his campaign’s possible coordination with the Russians a “witch hunt.” But now, Trump is coming face-to-face with a powerful investigative team that is able to study evidence of any crime it encounters in the probe — including tax fraud, lying to federal agents and interference in the investigation.

“This is Ken Starr times 1,000,” said one lawyer involved in the case, referring to the independent counsel who oversaw an investigation that eventually led to House impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton. “Of course, it’s going to go into his finances.” 

Following Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey — in part because of his displeasure with the FBI’s Russia investigation — Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel in a written order. That order gave Mueller broad authority to investigate links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, as well as “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” and any crimes committed in response to the investigation, such as perjury or obstruction of justice.

Mueller’s probe has already expanded to include an examination of whether Trump obstructed justice in his dealings with Comey, as well as the business activities of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.

Trump’s team could potentially challenge whether a broad probe of Trump’s finances prior to his candidacy could be considered a matter that arose “directly” from an inquiry into possible collusion with a foreign government.

The president’s legal representatives have also identified what they allege are several conflicts of interest facing Mueller, such as donations to Democrats by some of his prosecutors.

Another potential conflict claim is an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011, two White House advisers said. A spokesman for Mueller said there was no dispute when Mueller, who was FBI director at the time, left the club.

Trump also took public aim on Wednesday at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein, whose actions led to Mueller’s appointment. In an interview with the New York Times Wednesday, the president said he never would have nominated Sessions if he knew he was going to recuse himself from the case.

Some Republicans in frequent touch with the White House said they viewed the president’s decision to publicly air his disappointment with Sessions as a warning sign that the attorney general’s days were numbered. Several senior aides were described as “stunned” when Sessions announced Thursday morning he would stay on at the Justice Department.

Another Republican in touch with the administration described the public steps as part of a broader effort aimed at “laying the groundwork to fire” Mueller.

“Who attacks their entire Justice Department?” this person said. “It’s insane.”

Law enforcement officials described Sessions as increasingly distant from the White House and the FBI because of the strains of the Russia investigation. 

Traditionally, Justice Department leaders have sought to maintain a certain degree of autonomy from the White House as a means of ensuring prosecutorial independence.

But Sessions’s situation is more unusual, law enforcement officials said, because he has angered the president for apparently being too independent while also angering many at the FBI for his role in the president’s firing of Comey. 

As a result, there is far less communication among those three key parts of the government than in years past, several officials said. 

Currently, the discussions of pardoning authority by Trump’s legal team are purely theoretical, according to two people familiar with the ongoing conversations. But if Trump pardoned himself in the face of the ongoing Mueller investigation, it would set off a legal and political firestorm, first around the question of whether a president can use the constitutional pardon power in that way.

“This is a fiercely debated but unresolved legal question,” said Brian C. Kalt, a constitutional law expert at Michigan State University who has written extensively on the question.

The power to pardon is granted to the president in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, which gives the commander in chief the power to “grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” That means pardon authority extends to federal criminal prosecution but not to state level or impeachment inquiries.

No president has sought to pardon himself, so no courts have reviewed it. Although Kalt says the weight of the law argues against a president pardoning himself, he says the question is open and predicts such an action would move through the courts all the way to the Supreme Court.

“There is no predicting what would happen,” said Kalt, author of the book, “Constitutional Cliffhangers: A Legal Guide for Presidents and Their Enemies.” It includes chapters on the ongoing debate over whether presidents can be prosecuted while in office and on whether a president can issue a pardon to himself.

Other White House advisers have tried to temper Trump, urging him to simply cooperate with the probe and stay silent on his feelings about the investigation.

On Monday, lawyer Ty Cobb, newly brought into the White House to handle responses to the Russian probe, convened a meeting with the president and his team of lawyers, according to two people briefed on the meeting. Cobb, who is not yet on the White House payroll, was described as attempting to instill some discipline in how the White House handles queries about the case. But Trump surprised many of his aides by speaking at length about the probe to the New York Times two days later. Cobb, who officially joins the White House team at the end of the month, declined to comment for this article.

Some note that the Constitution does not explicitly prohibit a president from pardoning himself. On the other side, experts say that by definition a pardon is something you can only give to someone else. There is also a common-law canon that prohibits individuals from serving as a judge in their own case. “For example, we would not allow a judge to preside over his or her own trial,” Kalt said.

A president can pardon an individual at any point, including before the person is charged with a crime, and the scope of a presidential pardon can be very broad. President Gerald Ford pardoned former president Richard M. Nixon preemptively for offenses he “committed or may have committed” while in office.

  • Published in World

U.S.: Explosive FBI Case, Apparent Complication

This occurs when the Senate Intelligence Committee reviews the unexpected change at the FBI headquarters.  

That is, the motives that led to the surprising substitution of the FBI head, James Comey.

At the heart of the aforementioned commission, notified the AFP, Comey, assured that Trump decided to "slander him and lied."  

According to the same source, at meeting had to be approached the dialogues Comey-Trump related to the supposed role of Russia in 2016 elections.

AFP agency added that, because of the "explosive" character of Comey’s words, the audience is anticipated with tense expectation by the entire country.  

In that context they informed that the former head of the FBI would address the senators in a secret meeting this Thursday.

Before he said, “Trump’s government chose to slander me and more serious, the FBI using "lies, plain and simple", when saying he amidst turmoil.

Once again he went around the more compromising terms, but he said:

“I don't think I should say whether the talks I had with the president were obstruction of justice. It was a very disturbing, confusing thing."

Comey highlighted a true striking detail, which he redacted a memo of his dialogue with Trump in January, because "I honestly feared he could lie."

“I was honestly concerned for the fact that he could lie about the nature of our meeting", he said.

"I knew the day would come when I would need a record of what happened, not just to defend myself, but to defend the FBI". The AFP cable also says that Trump "sought to obtain something in return for granting my request of continuing in the position."

Several times, according to the testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Trump insinuated him that he was eager to work with him.

“I don't know why I was fired", he said when asked about it.

"Perhaps for the way I was conducting the Russian investigation (on the alleged interference of Russia in 2016 elections).

Comey also alleged to senators that he "interpreted as an order" the president's observation regarding that he expected the termination of the investigation about the former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The latter, as it’s known, also related with no demonstrated Russian "case".

Once again came into play the hairy issue of the current investigation, obstruction of justice.  


James Risch the republican senator was in charge who asked if Comey knew of anyone who had been charged with such serious misdoing.  

Comey said no, at least for the time being.  

But he wanted the existence of tapes that support his exchanges with the president, something that might have happened and can’t be discarded.

“I have seen those twits. My God, I hope there are tapes", exclaimed Comey.

As it unfolds so far, the crisis surrounding Trump’s Administration looks more and more like a volcano about to make eruption anytime now.

Trump: Russia probe is greatest witch hunt of a politician in US history

US President Donald Trump says he is the victim of the “single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history,” in an apparent reference to the investigation regarding the president’s alleged ties with Russia.

@realDonaldTrump This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

He went on to speak about “illegal acts” that took place during Hillary Clinton’s campaign and throughout the Obama administration, noting that there was “never a special councel (sic) appointed.”

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller. © Jonathan Ernst

It comes just one day after the US Justice Department named former FBI chief Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian interference in the US election and possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

Trump’s tweets follow similar words from the president on Wednesday, in which he said that no politician “has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

Mueller will have sweeping powers and the authority to prosecute any crimes he uncovers during the investigation, according to AP.

Trump reiterated his innocence on Wednesday, saying in a statement that a “thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity.”

Trump is also facing allegations that he leaked highly classified information to Russian officials during a meeting in the US capital last week.

That claim has been denied by both Washington and Moscow, with Russian President Vladimir Putin offering on Wednesday to release the records of the meeting, while accusing the US of developing “political schizophrenia.”

@RT_America 'No evidence Russia influencing voter tallies in...50 states' - US ex-intel chief 

Earlier this week, the Washington Post published a report claiming that Trump had “revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister [Sergey Lavrov] and ambassador in a White House meeting,” allegedly related to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

While Trump has said the “facts” discussed included terrorism and airline flight safety, which he had an “absolute right” to discuss with Russia, Lavrov on Thursday was also asked to comment on the matter.

We do not comment on gossip, but we do read [US] newspapers,” Lavrov told the media in Cyprus. “If I remember rightly, around a month-and-a-half or two months ago, the Trump administration decided to ban passengers from seven Middle Eastern countries from carrying any electronic devices on board... I don't understand where the secret is.

  • Published in World

‘Comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversations’ before leaking to press – Trump

US President Donald Trump has tweeted that recently fired FBI Director James Comey had better hope there are no tapes of their conversations “before he starts leaking to the press.”

@realDonaldTrump James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

Comey, who had been leading an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump's advisers and Russian officials, was fired by the president on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Trump fires FBI Director James Comey

In a separate tweet, Trump questioned when the “witch hunt” would end, noting that former National Intelligence Director James Clapper and “virtually everyone else” with knowledge of the situation says there has been no collusion with Russia.

@realDonaldTrump When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?

Trump admitted during a Thursday interview with NBC's Lester Holt that "this Russia thing" was on his mind when he made the decision to sack Comey, who he referred to as a "showboat."

However, he said the main reason for firing him was because the FBI has been "in turmoil."

"You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil, less than a year ago. It hasn't recovered from that," Trump said.

READ MORE: Trump thought about ‘this Russia thing’ when deciding to fire ‘showboat’ Comey

Trump has repeatedly denied that he or anyone on his staff has ties to Russia, tweeting earlier on Friday that the story was "fabricated by Democrats as an excuse for losing the election."

Trump has vowed that Comey will be replaced by "someone who will do a far better job," noting that he had "lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington."

@realDonaldTrump James Comey will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI.

  • Published in World

‘House investigation into alleged Trump Tower wiretapping looks Keystone Cop-ish’

The really odd part is what is going on with the White House. They have never been, not once, in front of this story. They always seem to be responding to it, former CIA officer Jack Rice, told RT America’s News With Ed.

The House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes drew fire from some congressional members after it was discovered he had paid a visit to the White House to view information indicating communication by then-President-elect Donald Trump may have been captured during the surveillance of foreign nationals.

Claims by Nunes sheds new light on Trump's as-of-yet unsubstantiated claim that he was wiretapped by President Obama.

RT:  Could an independent investigation outdo the FBI? It seems there is this fever pitch on Capitol Hill that the FBI can’t investigate well enough and we’ve got to have a new committee. What are your thoughts on that?

Walter Jones (R-NC) becomes first House Republican to demand Nunes recuse himself from investigation

Jack Rice: Three investigations are taking place right now: The House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee is getting ready to start on Thursday, and then the FBI – all of those are rolling. I think the problem that is going on with the House Committee right now is it seems very ‘Keystone Cop-ish.' There are a lot of things that are jumping back and forth, there are a lot of inconsistencies, a lot is coming from Nunes which we’re not seeing from the Senate side. I think that is part of the problem.

What you’re finding right is that there isn’t consistency and there isn’t sort of an ongoing process that makes sense. It seems haphazard; it seems kind of strange and odd with some of the statements coming from Nunes about going to the White House; why he was at the White House; or at least in the White House area, and what that means. A lot of people are confused. In fact, there has been one Republican, at least now that I am seeing, that is even saying: “Maybe Nunes needs to go.” So that is the question people are asking.

's "absurd" wiretapping allegations could damage UK-US relationship -

RT:  Does it change the gathering of information. Does all of that rhetoric and speculation about who goes, who stays, who’s responsible change what the FBI is going to do?

JR: … The FBI is going to continue going down the path that they are going down now, and that is a good thing. The House Intelligence Committee is as well. I believe the concern is that what is the motivation of Congressman Nunes. Is he there to protect the White House? Is he there to provide an independent investigation? If he is acquiring information is he providing that to everybody, or is he basically turning around saying, “Let’s go to the White House and talk to them about it.” That is the real concern right now.

House Intel Committee's Russia investigation is 'haphazard' — fmr CIA officer

RT:  Nunes claims that he felt he had an obligation to tell the President about the unmasking of names. It seems to me that investigators keep things close to the vest and don’t say anything to anybody, and certainly don’t have it end up in the media.

JR: You’re absolutely right. It is odd that this is going on. Contemplate upon the comparison of how the Senate is approaching this and how the House is. That really is the distinction here; that’s the real problem. This unmasking issue – there are some issues that deal with FISA and 12333, and some other issues as to what is and what should not be. But again, the consistency problem with the House is really the issue. The really odd part, honestly, is that what is going with the White House is: they have never been, not once, in front of this story. They always seem to be responding to it… If they want to handle this issue and control it, they need to be on the front end. Why are they always on the back end? It’s crazy, don’t you think?

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

No Evidence Trump Campaign or RNC ‘Successfully Hacked’: FBI Director

The FBI has no evidence that Russia successfully hacked President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign or the Republican National Committee (RNC), Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said on Tuesday.

Testifying before Congress for the first time since Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8, Comey declined to answer a question about whether the FBI was investigating the possibility of links between Trump associates and Russia.

U.S. intelligence agencies on Friday released an assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to help Republican Trump’s electoral chances by discrediting Clinton in the 2016 campaign.

The report, which omitted classified details, was the U.S. government’s starkest public description of what it says was an Russian campaign to manipulate the American electoral process. Russian authorities have denied interfering in the election.

“We did not develop any evidence that the Trump campaign, or the current RNC, was successfully hacked,” Comey told lawmakers.

He said there was evidence Russia hacked Republican state-level political campaigns and “old” email domains that the RNC was no longer using. While it collected some information from these hacks, Russia did not publicly release it, he said.

In contrast, Friday’s report assessed that Russian military intelligence used intermediaries such as WikiLeaks, and the Guccifer 2.0 “persona” to release emails that it had acquired from the Democratic National Committee and top Democrats as part of the effort to help Trump and harm Clinton.

  • Published in World
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