The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Jared Kushner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jared Kushner. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

As Trump's World Turns: Secrets And Lies (The Security Clearance Scandal)

Image result for top secret security clearance
Top Secret is a more stringent clearance. A Top Secret, or "TS", clearance, is often given as the result of a Single Scope Background Investigation, or SSBI. Top Secret clearances, in general, afford one access to data that affects national security, counterterrorism/counterintelligence, or other highly sensitive data.
In brief, why would a security clearance be denied?

According to Dennis Copeland for Quora:
...... essentially any serious contact with law enforcement (beyond routine traffic offenses); any observed problems with alcohol or drugs (discovered through interviews with friends, neighbors, others); erratic behavior; untrustworthy behavior; ties to, or close family in foreign lands; and debt/money problems are among the most frequent reasons for disqualifying someone.
If there is any doubt as to why such criteria exist, think in terms of blackmail and proven untrustworthiness. Think about the person whose life is consumed with issues of money. Think about the person who would sell her/his soul for a few thousand dollars. Or, in days of old think about being LGBTQ and hiding your life from general knowledge.

The following WIKI list of l convicted spies without a doubt includes people who operated as spies for money or were coerced into spying based factors of their lives.
NameNationalitySummaryConviction DatePenalty
Aldrich AmesAmericanConvicted of spying for 
the Soviet Union and Russia
1994Life sentence (without parole)
David Sheldon BooneAmericanSold secret documents 
to the Soviet Union and 
is estimated to have 
received $60,000 from
 the KGB
February 26, 199924 Years and 4 Months
Marthe CnockaertBelgianConvicted for spying 
for the United Kingdom 
and its allies during the
 First World War
November 1916Life sentence (released 2 years later)
James Hall IIIAmericanSignals analyst 
sold eavesdropping and code secrets 
to East Germany 
and the Soviet Union from 1983 to 1988
July 20, 198940-year sentence
Robert HanssenAmericanSpied for Soviet 
Russian intelligence 
services against 
 United States from 
1979 to 2001
July 6, 2001Life sentence (without parole)
Ana MontesAmericanConvicted for conspiracy 
to commit espionage for
 the government of Cuba
October 200225-year prison term followed by five years probation
Harold James NicholsonAmericantwice-convicted spy for Russia's Foreign 
Intelligence Service
June 5, 199723 years 7-month sentence
Stewart NozetteAmericanAttempted espionage 
and fraud against the
 United States
200913-year sentence
Ronald PeltonAmericanSpied for and sold 
secret documents to 
the Soviet Union. Was 
known to have a 
photographic memory 
and as such never
 passed any physical documents on.
1983Life sentence (Released November 24, 2015)
Earl Edwin PittsAmericanAccused of spying for 
the Soviet Union and 
Russia, and pleaded 
guilty to conspiring and attempting to commit espionage
199727-year sentence
Jonathan PollardAmericanPassed classified
 information to Israel 
while working as an American civilian 
intelligence analyst
1987Life sentence
George TrofimoffAmericanConvicted for spying 
for the Soviet Union
 during the 1970s and 
September 27, 2001Life sentence
John Anthony WalkerAmericanConvicted of spying 
for the Soviet Union 
from 1968 to 1985
1985Life sentence
Ugly eh?  John Anthony walker actually recruited his son into the trade. 
John Anthony Walker
John Anthony Walker.jpg
Michael Walker Image result for michael walker us spy
...John Anthony Walker Jr. (July 28, 1937 – August 28, 2014) was a United States Navychief warrant officer and communications specialist convicted of spying for the Soviet Union from 1968 to 1985.[2]
...In the June 2010 issue of Naval History Magazine, John Prados, a senior fellow with the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C., pointed out that after Walker introduced himself to Soviet officials, North Korean forces seized USS Pueblo in order to make better use of Walker's spying. Prados added that North Korea subsequently shared information gleaned from the spy ship with the Soviets, enabling them to build replicas and gain access to the U.S. naval communications system, which continued until the system was completely revamped in the late 1980s.[6]
John Walker was turned into authorities via his wife.

If you have a few extra mintues checkout this link with Americans who spied for other naitons. 

If the importance of security clearances and the risk to the nation isn't clear to you, you also may not realize as Donald Trump's hairdo is a comb-over.  Well, I could have used other analogies but some would require far too much linking and verbiage (e.g, Trump: bigotry, lying, indecency, Putin stooge).

Why would the election of Donald Trump take the nation to what follows?  Meet Tricia Newbold, an 18-year government employee.

Image: Tricia Newbold
Tricia Newbold
This past January Ms. Newbold was suspended from her White House position for defying orders to issue a security clearance to a few Trump officials despite FBI background security concerns. Jared Kushner is reported to have received clearances without regard for cautions from the FBI.

Celeb Daily News posted a video segment on Youtube which captures the released of Ms. Newbold while clearly stating issues related to Kushner's clearance. 

The full scope of the lax security process from Trump's White House is delineated via this NBC News report.

White House whistleblower says Trump administration overturned 25 ..

When will the nation come to its senses and act as if it has had enough?  

The obvious is obvious.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Trumpism: Espousing The Corruption And Utter Void of Decency

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Earlier today CNN ran a segment with Trump's nominee to head the Veterans Administration and his overnight withdrawal from the nomination process. While I doubt there are ten people in the US who actually believe Jackson was even remotely qualified to head the federal agency with 300,000 plus employees, We shouldn't shy away from the reality Trump; is the lousiest of managers.

The CNN segment included an intriguing statement for a Republican contributor.  Matt Lewis.....
“This is yet another example of Trump taking actually someone who had a pretty sterling reputation, this guy way highly regarded and respected… and now his reputation is in tatters,” Lewis said. “For some reason Donald Trump has this sort of reverse Midas effect on people he interacts with.”
Here are the remarks about one minute after another contribution spoke about Trump and his manner of influencing the message:  linked.

Here is the full segment:

A nation should be aware of the dangers inherent in the president it elected in 2016.

Image may contain: 2 people, ocean, outdoor, water and text

How about a few other reminders?



Trump: A Fact Checker's Dream

Jared Kushner

The Rachel Maddow Show recently ran a segment about the undercurrent of privilege and money guided administration for Trump's son-in-law. What follows is a bit long (run time), but I cannot think of a news related segment which should garner more attention. Yes, this one is a big deal and worthy of the 7:43 minutes viewing time.

Rachel Maddoow looks at past reporting on Jared Kushner's sketchy meetings with Chinese officials, and notes the tie-in to a scoop in Ronan Farrow's new book "War on Peace" that found Kushner to be the source of Rex Tillerson remarks parroting China's preferred ... more Duration: 7:43

Trump is without question a serious threat the to well-being of our democracy.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Video Quick Hit: The Swamp US Reaching Higher Up


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bill Moyers Jared Kushner Timeline

Repost from Bill Moyers dot com

Enabling a Dangerous President: The Jared Kushner Timeline

The president's son-in-law is the Trump era's Forrest Gump.

Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, listens during a meeting with small business leaders in the Roosevelt room at the White House in Washington, DC on Jan. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Jared Kushner (JD/MBA, NYU, ’07) has a law degree from one of the finest universities in the country. He understands the threat that Trump’s words and deeds pose to democracy and the rule of law, but he has been in close proximity to Trump scandals that threaten both. He is a man of few public words, but his policy portfolio for Trump is enormous. He is uniquely positioned to keep Trump from running amok, but he has joined the ranks of Trump’s enablers.

Kushner is also the administration’s Forrest Gump. When Trump met with business leaders on Jan. 23, Kushner attended. On Jan. 29, 2017 — three days after Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had told White House counsel Don McGahn that national security adviser Mike Flynn could be subject to Russian blackmail — Kushner was sitting in the Oval Office with Trump and Flynn. When Trump conferred with government cyber-security experts on Jan. 31, Kushner was with him. And on May 8, 2017, when Trump confided to a small group of advisers that he was going to fire FBI Director James Comey, Kushner was among the trusted few.

Our Kushner timeline, below, taps entries from our overall Trump-Russia timeline and adds others that are unique to him. As the facts unfold, this timeline will be updated. Eventually, the public will learn the full story of Jared Kushner’s role in the controversies enveloping the Trump White House — and to what extent he shares responsibility for them. Like many of the lawyers surrounding and enabling Trump, Kushner has retained a personal attorney to help him navigate the troubled waters engulfing the White House.

While reviewing the Kushner timeline and considering the scope of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, recall Yates’ meeting with McGahn in late January. Regardless of whether Flynn’s actions were illegal, he was “compromised” and subject to Russian blackmail because the Russians knew more about what he’d done with them than the American people did. Robert Mueller, the Justice Department’s special counsel investigating the Trump-Russia affair, is charged with finding criminal actions. But sometimes even lawful conduct beyond the purview of any special counsel can present a clear and present danger to the nation’s vital interests.

Kushner, Conflicts, and China

June 16, 2015: Trump announces that he is running for president. His 34-year-old son-in-law, Jared Kushner, runs a real estate empire that his father created and ran until New Jersey’s then-federal prosecutor Chris Christie put Charles Kushner in prison. The Kushner Companies’ flagship building is a Manhattan skyscraper (666 Fifth Avenue) that it bought at the height of the real estate market in 2007 and that promptly plummeted in value. To stave off default, the company sold off pieces, but it’s still in trouble. The building has a 70 percent occupancy rate, revenue covers only two-thirds of its debt obligations and a $1.2 billion mortgage comes due in 2019. Kushner Companies is reportedly trying to assemble a $7 billion financing package to convert the building into condos.

Around June 2016: As Trump secures the Republican nomination for president, a Chinese financial giant, Anbang Insurance Group, begins talks with Kushner Companies about investing in the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue.

Nov. 8, 2016: Election Day.
Nov. 16, 2016: Jared Kushner and a group of executives dine at the Waldorf Astoria with the chairman of China’s Anbang Insurance Group.
Nov. 28, 2016: As speculation grows that Kushner will become a top Trump White House adviser, reports surface that business conflicts of interest could pose problems for him. Among them is a Kushner project in New Jersey that attracted tens of millions of dollars from Chinese investors by marketing a controversial US immigration program (EB-5), which opens a speedy path to citizenship for investors who put more than $500,000 in projects located in economically disadvantaged “targeted employment areas.” The program has become controversial because gerrymandering of census tracts has allowed otherwise ineligible real estate developments to benefit from tenuous geographic connections to poor neighborhoods.

Dec. 2, 2016: Trump accepts a call from Taiwan’s president, thereby offending China’s president by violating America’s longstanding “one China” policy.

Jan. 31, 2017: A Kushner Companies spokesperson announces that Jared Kushner has sold his interest in 666 Fifth Avenue to a family trust of which he, Ivanka and their children are not beneficiaries.

Feb. 9, 2017: Jared Kushner reportedly orchestrates a fence-mending phone call between Trump and China’s president, during which Trump reaffirms the US “one China” policy that his earlier conduct had placed in doubt.

March 13, 2017: Bloomberg reports that the Kushner family may receive as much as $400 million from Chinese investor Anbang Insurance Group’s investment in 666 Fifth Avenue. On March 29, Anbang backs out of the deal.

May 5, 2017: Trump signs a bill extending the controversial EB-5 immigrant program. Concerns about “gerrymandering” that facilitates abuses of the program persist.

May 6, 2012: Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, touts Jared’s proximity to Trump, as well as the EB-5 citizenship program, as selling points to potential Chinese investors in Kushner Companies’ One Journal Square development in New Jersey. The project appears to benefit from the type of gerrymandering that generates criticism of the EB-5 program.

Kushner and Russia
April through November 2016: Mike Flynn and other advisers to the Trump campaign have at least 18 phone calls and emails with Russian officials, including six contacts involving Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. According to a later report by Reuters, Jared Kushner has at least two phone calls with Kislyak.

June 2016: Jared Kushner assumes control of all data-driven Trump campaign efforts, turning a nondescript building outside San Antonio, Texas into a 100-person data hub. Among the firms he retains is Cambridge Analytica, which reportedly has created “profiles” consisting of several thousand data points for 220 million Americans. Cambridge Analytica’s financial backers include hedge fund tycoon Robert Mercer, who also has a $10 million investment in Breitbart News, which, at the time, is run by Steve Bannon.

December 2016: At Kislyak’s request, Kushner meets secretly with Sergey Gorkov, chief of Russia’s state-owned bank VEB. US intelligence reportedly views Gorkov as a “Putin crony” and a graduate of a “finishing school” for spies. In 2010, VEB had been involved in a financial transaction that assisted the struggling Trump International Hotel and Tower project in Toronto. Since 2014, VEB has been subject to US sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and meddling in Ukraine. In December 2016, Kushner is still looking for more than $1 billion from investors to refinance Kushner Companies’ debt on its troubled 666 Fifth Avenue building. The public remains unaware of the Kushner/Gorkov meeting until March 2017, when The New York Times breaks the story. The White House characterizes it as a routine diplomatic encounter that went nowhere, but VEB says it was part of the bank’s ongoing business strategy. For months thereafter, the White House refuses to disclose the date of the meeting. On June 1, 2017, The Washington Post reports the results of its independent investigation: On Dec. 13, 2016, a private plane associated with VEB (and on which its executives travel) flew from Moscow to Newark airport outside New York City. The following day, the plane then flew to Japan, where Putin met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Dec. 15.

Late December 2016: Steve Bannon joins Flynn and Kushner for a secret meeting with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who made an undisclosed visit to New York later in December.

Dec. 29, 2016: On the same day President Obama announces sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its interference in the 2016 election, national security adviser-designate Lt. Gen. Flynn places five phone calls to the Russian ambassador.
Dec. 30, 2016: After Putin makes a surprise announcement that Russia would not retaliate for the new sanctions, Trump tweets,

Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!

On or around Jan. 11, 2017: Erik Prince — the founder of the Blackwater private security firm, $250,000 donor to the Trump campaign, and brother of Trump’s nomination for secretary of education Betsy DeVos — meets secretly in the Seychelles Islands with a Russian close to Putin. Russia’s goal is to establish a back-channel line of communication with the Trump administration. The meeting had been arranged by the United Arab Emirates, and came soon after a meeting between the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Mike Flynn and Jared Kushner in December.

Also on Jan. 15, 2017: Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, Vice President Pence says Flynn’s call to the Russian ambassador on the same day President Obama announced new sanctions was “strictly coincidental,” explaining: “They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure on Russia…. What I can confirm, having to spoken with [Flynn] about it, is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.” Host John Dickerson asks Pence, “Just to button up one question, did any adviser or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?” Pence replies, “Of course not. And I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy.”

Jan. 18, 2017: On his application for national security clearance, Jared Kushner omits his December meetings with Russian Ambassador Kislyak and the chief of the Russian bank VEB.

During the week following the Jan. 2o, 2017 inauguration:Trump administration officials are considering an executive order to lift unilaterally the US, and allowed Americans to borrow from and provide financing to the bank. Five months later, Yahoo News’Michael Isikoff breaks the rest of the story: “Unknown to the public at the time, top Trump administration officials, almost as soon as they took office, tasked State Department staffers with developing proposals for the lifting of economic sanctions, the return of diplomatic compounds and other steps to relieve tensions with Moscow.” State Department officials are so alarmed that they urge congressional leaders to pass legislation that would lock the sanctions in place. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) become involved.

Jan. 23, 2017: At Sean Spicer’s first press briefing, Spicer says that none of Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador touched on the Dec. 29 sanctions. That got the attention of FBI Director James Comey. According to The Wall Street Journal, Comey convinced acting Attorney General Sally Yates to delay informing the White House immediately about the discrepancy between Spicer’s characterization of Flynn’s calls and US intelligence intercepts showing that the two had, in fact, discussed sanctions. Comey reportedly asked Yates to wait a bit longer so that the FBI could develop more information and speak with Flynn himself. The FBI interviews Flynn shortly thereafter.

Jan. 24, 2017: According to a subsequent article in The Washington Post, Flynn reportedly denies to FBI agents that he had discussed US sanctions against Russia in his December 2016 calls with the Russian ambassador.

Jan. 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informs White House Counsel Don McGahn that, based on recent public statements of White House officials including Vice President Mike Pence, Flynn had lied to Pence and others about his late-December conversations with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. According to Sean Spicer, Trump and a small group of White House advisers were “immediately informed of the situation.”

Jan. 27, 2017: McGahn asks Yates to return to the White House for another discussion about Flynn. He asks Yates, “Why does it matter to the Department of Justice if one White House official lies to another?” Yates explains that Flynn’s lies make him vulnerable to Russian blackmail because the Russians know that Flynn lied and could probably prove it.

Also on Jan. 27, 2017: In a one-on-one White House dinner that Trump had requested, he asks FBI Director Comey for a pledge of personal loyalty. Comey, who was uneasy about even accepting the dinner invitation, responds that he can’t do that, but he can pledge honesty. Afterward, Comey describes the dinner to several people on the condition that they not disclose it while he remains director of the FBI.

Jan. 29, 2017: TIME photographs Trump at his desk in the Oval Office. Sitting across from him are Kushner and Flynn, about whom Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House earlier that week. The caption indicates that Trump is speaking on the phone with King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Feb. 7, 2017: Sens. Cardin and Graham introduce bipartisan legislation that would bar Trump from granting sanctions relief to Russia without congressional involvement.

Feb. 8, 2017: Flynn tells reporters at The Washington Post he did not discuss US sanctions in his December conversation with the Russian ambassador.

Feb. 9, 2017: Through a spokesman, Flynn changes his position: “While [Flynn] had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”

Feb. 10, 2017: Trump tells reporters he was unaware of reports surrounding Flynn’s December conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Feb. 13, 2017: The Washington Post breaks another story: Then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates had warned the White House in late January that Flynn had mischaracterized his December conversation with the Russian ambassador, and that it made him vulnerable to Russian blackmail. Later that evening, Flynn resigns.

Feb. 14, 2017: In a private Oval Office meeting, Trump asks FBI Director Comey to halt the investigation of former national security adviser Mike Flynn. According to Comey’s contemporaneous memorandum, Trump says, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” According to the memo, Trump tells Comey that Flynn had done nothing wrong. Comey does not say anything to Trump about halting the investigation, replying only: “I agree he is a good guy.”

March 2, 2017: The New York Times reports, and the White House confirms, a previously undisclosed meeting involving Mike Flynn, Jared Kushner and Russian Ambassador Kislyak. According to The Times, “Michael T. Flynn, then Donald J. Trump’s incoming national security adviser, had a previously undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador in December to ‘establish a line of communication’ between the new administration and the Russian government, the White House said on Thursday. Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and now a senior adviser, also participated in the meeting at Trump Tower with Mr. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador.”

March 27, 2017: The New York Times reports the previously undisclosed December meeting between Kushner and Sergey Gorkov, head of the Russian bank VEB. On May 29, 2017, the White House says that Kushner met the banker “in his capacity as a transition official.” The Senate Intelligence Committee wants to question Kushner about both of Kushner’s December meetings with Kislyak and Gorkov.

April 6, 2017: The New York Times reports that Jared Kushner’s application for national security clearance had failed to disclose his December meetings at Trump Tower with Russian Ambassador Kislyak and the CEO of the Russian bank, VEB. In a statement, Kushner’s attorney says that after learning of the error, Mr. Kushner told the FBI: “During the presidential campaign and transition period, I served as a point-of-contact for foreign officials trying to reach the president-elect. I had numerous contacts with foreign officials in this capacity. … I would be happy to provide additional information about these contacts.”

May 15, 2017: Trump meets in the Oval Office with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who had arranged the January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles Islands between Erik Prince and a Russian close to Putin.

May 18, 2017: TIME reports that congressional investigators are reviewing whether Cambridge Analytica or Breitbart News played any role in working with Russian efforts to help Trump win the election.

May 19, 2017: The Washington Post reports that federal investigators in the Trump/Russia matter have identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest. On May 25, news reports identify the official as Jared Kushner.

May 26, 2017: The Washington Post reports on Kushner’s Dec. 1 or 2 meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak at which, according to Kislyak, Kushner requested a secret and secure communication channel between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. In mid-December, an anonymous letter had tipped off The Post to what Kushner had supposedly said at the meeting. Former US intelligence officials described the idea of a back channel using a hostile foreign power’s facilities as “disturbing” and “dangerous.”

Also on May 26, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee has demanded that the Trump campaign produce all Russia-related documents, emails and phone records dating to June 2015, when the campaign was launched.

May 27, 2017: Reuters reports that Jared Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during and after the presidential campaign. Two were phone calls between April and November. His attorney says that Kushner “has no recollection of the calls as described” and asks Reuters for the dates that they allegedly occurred.

May 28, 2017: In three Sunday morning talk show appearances, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says that if Kushner was trying to a create a back channel to communicate with the Russian government, it was a “good thing.” Veteran diplomatic and intelligence experts remain unconvinced.

May 31, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration is moving toward returning two suspected espionage compounds to Russia. When President Obama issued new sanctions on Dec. 29, he said that the compounds — located in New York and Maryland — were being “used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes” and had given Russia 24 hours to vacate them.

Also on May 31, 2017: Sergey Gorkov, head of Russian bank VEB, refuses to comment in response to reporters’ questions about his December 2016 meeting with Jared Kushner.

Kushner and the Comey Cover-up
May 8, 2017: Trump informs a small group of his closest advisers, including Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner and White House counsel Don McGahn, that he plans to fire FBI Director James Comey. According to The New York Times, McGahn counsels Trump to delay dismissing Comey; Kushner urges him to proceed.

Also on May 8, 2017: Trump follows Kushner’s advice and, according to ABC News, Kushner, White House counsel Don McGahn, Vice President Pence and chief of staff Reince Priebus begin to prepare talking points about Comey’s planned firing. Meanwhile, Trump summons Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to the White House, where he instructs them provide a written justification for removing Comey. Before Rosenstein prepares the requested memo, he knows Trump intends to fire Comey.

To be continued…


Steven Harper blogs at The Belly of the Beast, is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University, and contributes regularly to The American Lawyer. He is the author of several books, including The Lawyer Bubble — A Profession in Crisis and Crossing Hoffa — A Teamster’s Story (a Chicago Tribune “Best Book of the Year”). Follow him on Twitter: @StevenJHarper1.