In redacted transcript, judge describes why she believes Manafort lied about discussions with Kilimnik
- During the hearing, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson found that Manafort had "intentionally" lied to the federal government by saying he had ended a discussion he and his colleague Kilimnik had in August 2016 over an issue that appears to relate to Ukraine and sanctions.
- Prosecutors previously alleged that Kilimnik had ties to the Russian military intelligence service the GRU, while the defense team argued that was not significant because he was also in touch with the US State Department.
- Jackson also appears to think that Mueller's office knows of additional contacts Manafort had with the Trump administration in 2017 and 2018 -- another topic they discussed at the hearing -- outside of the interactions prosecutors alleged he had lied about.
Mueller recommends a prison sentence of up to 24.5 years for Paul Manafort after a federal judge voided his plea deal for lying to investigators
- The special counsel Robert Mueller's office recommended a sentence of 19.58 to 24.41 years in prison for Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, in a sentencing memo unsealed Friday.
- The filing came after US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Wednesday that Manafort lied to prosecutors in three out of five instances outlined by Mueller's office.
- Prosecutors are also looking into discussions Manafort and Kilimnik had around the same time about a plan to end the conflict in Ukraine after Russia annexed the territory of Crimea in 2014, according to comments one of Mueller's prosecutors made at a court hearing this month about Manafort's lies.
- The prosecutor, Andrew Weissman, said at the hearing that Manafort and Kilimnik communicated extensively about the so-called Ukraine peace plan beginning in early August 2016 and continuing into 2018, months after Manafort was first indicted by the special counsel.
Mueller has interviewed White House press secretary Sarah Sanders as part of the Russia probe
- The special counsel Robert Mueller has interviewed Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, as part of the Russia investigation, CNN reported Friday.
- Previous media reports have said that a key focus for Mueller in the obstruction probe is the myriad conflicting public statements put out by the president and those around him about events stemming from the Russia investigation.
- That includes Trump's role in dictating a false and misleading statement his son, Donald Trump Jr., put out in the summer of 2017 when it surfaced that he and other top campaign officials had met with two Kremlin-linked Russian lobbyists at Trump Tower in June 2016.
- However, Trump Jr. had to amend the statement several times as more details spilled out and it surfaced that he accepted the meeting because one of the lobbyists, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had made an offer to provide dirt on the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Hunt for a motive continues as Paul Manafort's case moves toward finish line
- Washington (CNN) - As special counsel Robert Mueller wraps up his investigation, important questions remain about Paul Manafort's dealings with Russians while he ran the 2016 Trump campaign and his motive, which prosecutors believe is at "the heart" of their inquiry.
- Both Manafort and the Russian, Konstantin Kilimnik, deny collusion but acknowledge that they discussed the presidential campaign.
- Kilimnik told The Washington Post that, during the August 2016 meeting, he and Manafort discussed "bills unpaid by our clients." At the time, Manafort was owed more than $2 million from his Ukrainian backers for work he did prior to the Trump campaign, a spokesman told CNN.
- If investigators have a theory regarding Manafort's motives -- greed, collusion, something in between or something else altogether -- they'll soon have an opportunity to share it with the public.
30 years ago, the Soviets finally withdrew from Afghanistan, but Putin is trying to change how Russians feel about the war
- Less than a year and a half later, the Soviet Union's own parliament condemned the decision to start the war — using stark "moral and political" terms.
- Lev Gudkov, the head of the Levada Centre, an independent polling group, contends, on the contrary, that Russians continue to have an "extremely negative" opinion of the war.
- According to a February poll conducted by the state-controlled VTsIOM, 42% of Russians now believe that the Soviet withdrawal was a mistake, with only 31% expressing the opposite view.
- Artemy Kalinovsky, a prominent scholar of the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, agreed that the attempt to revisit the historical condemnation of the war seemed to be aimed at "moving public opinion" to where the Kremlin "needed it to be today." The Kremlin "needs to justify its presence in Syria first and foremost," he says.
Special counsel Robert Mueller wants former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort sentenced soon in Virginia case
- Mueller said a ruling this week by another judge in Washington, D.C., federal court that Manafort had lied multiple times to the special counsel's team while under a plea agreement means that "there are no outstanding issues warranting delay" in the related Virginia criminal case.
- That case related to income Manafort made while doing consulting for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine, work that preceded his tenure as chairman of Trump's presidential campaign in 2016.
- Manafort as part of his plea agreed to cooperate with Mueller's ongoing probe of Russian interference in the presidential election, and possible collusion by members of the Trump campaign in that meddling.
- In November, Mueller accused Manafort in Washington court of violating his plea deal by lying about his interactions with a former employee, Konstantin Kilimnik, who is alleged to be a Russian spy.
'Metro Exodus' Brings the Series' Grim Atmosphere Aboveground
- Earlier games take place in the Moscow Metro system, which is treated as a giant fallout shelter for the city's survivors after a nuclear apocalypse—an entire civilization huddled in subway tunnels.
- Even in new settings, though, atmosphere rules: The story is less about the politics that led to the apocalypse or the meaning we can draw from it and more about broken train parts, water tanks running empty, and a small band of survivors trying to find hope in the creaking, rusted tracks stretching out before them.
- The earlier Metro games treated the Moscow subway society as a sort of petri dish for failed political ideas, with a Fourth Reich and a revival of the Soviet Union and more, and those ideas feel appropriate to the setting, distinct.
Prominent US investor Michael Calvey detained in Russia
- Moscow (CNN) - Michael Calvey, a US citizen and one of Russia's most prominent foreign investors, has been detained in Moscow in connection with a "large-scale fraud" investigation, a spokeswoman for a Moscow court told CNN on Friday.
- Calvey is the founder of Baring Vostok Capital Partners, an investment company established in 1994 which has raised at least $3.7 billion in capital, according to its website.
- Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported five other employees of Baring Vostok were also detained.
- Tsaryova would not confirm to CNN how many people were detained or their identities.
- Kiril Dmitriev, CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund and a close adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, vouched for Calvey when learning about his detention.
Russia Isn't Bothered to Recognize Bitcoin for Now, Says Justice Minister; What Drove his Decision?
- Russia’s Minister of Justice, Alexander Konovalov, has indicated that it is unnecessary to give cryptocurrencies a legal definition at this point in time, according to the country’s state-owned news agency TASS.
- In a meeting with Russian legislators, Konavalov argued that it would be unwise to define cryptocurrencies in their current state.
- From the domestic point of view, Konavalov could simply have been acknowledging that the complexity and uncertainty that surrounds cryptocurrencies in Russia would only be intensified by rushing additional legislation.
- Late last year Russia’s deputy prime minister, Maxim Akimov, urged caution in regulating cryptocurrencies.
- Last month, Russia’s Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, warned against disenfranchising the cryptocurrency sector.
- In urging caution Konavalov was also fully aware of the fate that met the Digital Financial Assets bill that the State Duma adopted last year.
In a massive rebuke to Trump, GOP senators demand that Mike Pompeo investigate Jamal Khashoggi's death
- In a stunning rebuke of President Donald Trump, nearly all the Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday provide a full investigation into the death of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- The request came after lawmakers on the committee invoked the Global Magnitsky Act of 2016 in October in response to Khashoggi's killing, which gave the president 120 days to provide Congress with a report on his findings and how he plans to react.
- It also includes a requirement for the president to respond within 120 days to requests from the heads of a number of congressional committees with a report on whether a "foreign person" has committed human-rights violations and if sanctions will be imposed.