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Trump ally Manafort attempted to help Russian billionaire get US visa over FBI objections: report

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According to a report by David Corn at Mother Jones, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was enlisted by a Russian billionaire to help him get a U.S. visa in 2000 despite FBI objections.

Wednesday morning the Associated Press reported that Manafort in 2005 “proposed in a confidential strategy plan… that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.”

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According to that report, Manafort pitched his plan to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate closely allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, it appears that Manafort’s relationship with Deripaska goes back even further when the billionaire ran into resistance when he wanted a U.S. visa.

According to Corn, Deripaska hired former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) who was working with the lobbying firm of Alston & Bird to press the State Department to allow the Russian into the U.S. After gaining approval, Deripaska delivered lectures at Harvard University and at a DC think tank, but was once again banned after an interview with the FBI during his visit.

According to Mother Jones’s sources, Deripaska turned to Manafort who helped him line up a public relations firm tasked with helping create positive press for the billionaire.

In 2006, he was allowed back into the country to speak, once again, with FBI investigators, only to have his visa revoked due to concerns,”about the accuracy of statements he made in a meeting with the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

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Manafort is currently the subject of an FBI investigation into his many financial ties to the Russians, including during the brief time when he served as President Donald Trump’s campaign manager.


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Alan Dershowitz’s ‘sleight of hand’ Trump defenses blown to bits by legal analyst

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On Monday, as former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz delivered his defenses of President Donald Trump to the Senate, legal analyst Elie Mystal fact-checked and debunked his "sleight of hand" arguments in real time:

All right let's do this: Sleight of hand #1: Dersh says he will analyze why the Framers chose the words they did as "the sole criteria for impeachment."

Nope, nothing in the doc says "SOLE CRITERIA." That's a trick he learned from FedSoc, requiring textual fealty.

— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) January 28, 2020

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New Bolton bombshell implicates Bill Barr in Trump’s corruption with China and Turkey: report

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Yet another huge bombshell was revealed to be included in manuscript for the upcoming book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton titled The Room Where it Happened.

"John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, privately told Attorney General William P. Barr last year that he had concerns that President Trump was effectively granting personal favors to the autocratic leaders of Turkey and China, according to an unpublished manuscript by Mr. Bolton," New York Times correspondents Micheal Schmidt and Maggie Haberman reported Monday evening.

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GOP senator admits she’s hoping Trump’s Ukraine scheme successfully sinks Biden

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In a press conference with reporters on Monday, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) gave the game away by implying she hopes that President Donald Trump's scheme to dig up foreign dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden successfully sinks his candidacy and causes him to lose the Democratic caucuses in her state.

"Iowa caucuses are this next Monday evening. And I'm really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus goers. Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point?"

The remarks came after White House lawyers spent hours trying to change the subject from Trump's attempts to extort the president of Ukraine with military aid, to the conspiracy theory surrounding Biden's son's work in Ukraine that he had been demanding they pursue.

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