3:46 AM 7/23/2018 – M.N.: This unfortunate accident might have contributed to the ill feelings on the part of the Schroeder’s team, Scharping, and their associates, includung Uhrlau.

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Pentagon Security Gate Misfires, Injuring German

Accident German defense minister Pentagon – GS

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He said Mr. Scharping ”was alert and in high spirits and was not in a great deal of pain.”

It was the second time in two years that the Pentagon’s security system had injured a visiting defense minister. In September 1998, Japan’s defense minister, Fukushiro Nukaga, and five others were injured in a strikingly similar accident at the same barricade.

That accident, attributed to a faulty sensor, prompted the Pentagon to install a new system for controlling the barricades, which were installed in 1992 to prevent terrorists from driving too close to the building.

Mr. Bacon noted that thousands of cars had passed through the barricades. ”We had no problems with the system until today,” he said.

When Mr. Cohen arrived at the gate, Mr. Scharping was lying on the ground outside the car, which remained hoisted on the barricade.

Mr. Bacon said an investigation had begun, adding, ”We’re always looking for the right balance between security and access, and unfortunately, the system here failed to provide access when it was required to do so.”

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M.N.: This unfortunate accident might have contributed to the ill feelings on the part of the Schroeder’s team, Scharping, and their associates, including Uhrlau. My suspicion is that this accident might have been arranged by the GRU, as incredible as it sounds: as the revenge for the Russian humiliation in Balkan wars of 1990-s, and as the very convenient and effective personal wedge to drive between the Germans and the US. I think that this accident and its aftermaths may need the further investigation, which could provide the additional information on the subject of the investigations proper: the 9/11, and the Russian, German, and the others roles in it. 

3:46 AM 7/23/2018

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Mueller’s investigation: how long will it go on?
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Mueller’s investigation: how long will it go on?
 

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The indictment could be the high point for his team. Or it could be simply the crest of one of several coming waves.

An investigative interview of President Donald Trump, likely regarding Mueller’s probe into whether the President obstructed justice, still hangs in the air. So do the legs of the investigation involving former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s role on the campaign, and involving former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s cooperation with investigators.

There are already some signs that Mueller’s office is prepared for an ultimate wind-down. Prosecutors from the US Attorney’s Office in Washington and the Department of Justice’s national security division are working on cases brought by Mueller, signaling that they’ll see them through if the special counsel’s office disappears before the court actions conclude.

And federal prosecutors in Manhattan separate from Mueller are handling the investigation into the president’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, which may touch on payments to women with whom Trump allegedly had extramarital affairs during the campaign.

Even so, Mueller still appears to be shepherding several related investigations that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein laid out in a memo for Mueller last August. The memo appears to describe the scope of the investigation point by point. Almost a full page of the discussion of Mueller’s scope is still hidden from public view.

Yet some parts of the still-secret investigation have become evident.

The President

Chiefly, there’s no conclusive public finding yet into whether Trump intended to obstruct justice or knew of illegal coordination — if there was any — between his campaign and the Russian government.

A conclusion may not come before the end of the year, given the timing of the midterm elections.

Under Justice Department custom, prosecutors generally avoid overt investigative steps and returning indictments against a candidate for office within 60 days of an election. That rule is not set forth in any official policy or regulation, however. Mueller could always ask Rosenstein for an exception. Or he could look at the example of former FBI Director James Comey, who was roundly criticized for making a statement on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails 11 days before the 2016 presidential election.

One investigative step that appears to be in Mueller’s plan is interviewing the President.

The possibility of an investigatory interview with Trump has haunted the Oval Office for half a year now, as the President’s then-attorneys John Dowd and Ty Cobb, and later Rudy Giuliani and others, have gone back and forth with Mueller.

If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, a grand jury subpoena to force Trump to talk could be in the works. That would likely lead to a fight over presidential power under the Constitution — and may end up at the Supreme Court.

Perhaps Mueller doesn’t need Trump on the record. He already has dozens of witness interviews, plus hundreds of Trump’s own tweets, public speeches and on-camera interviews.

If Mueller chose not to indict the President, he will likely present his findings in a report to Congress. That could include a recommendation to impeach Trump.

Flynn still helping

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn cut a plea deal with investigators last December. There has been no apparent conclusion to that part of the investigation, and the amount of information Flynn has given them hasn’t yet become public.

Flynn has spoken with prosecutors about his conversations during the presidential transition. Those conversations relayed details from the Russian ambassador to senior Trump campaign officials including Jared Kushner, according to his charging documents.

At a court appearance last week, a federal judge made clear Flynn hasn’t been sentenced yet for lying to investigators because he continues to cooperate with prosecutors. That signals that more criminal cases related to what Flynn knows could be coming.

Manafort fears more

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been charged on crimes related to his Ukrainian lobbying and financial disclosures. Manafort says he is not guilty and is awaiting two trials, with the first set to start July 25.

Rick Gates, Manafort’s longtime deputy and another top Trump campaign and inauguration official, hasn’t appeared in public since he pleaded guilty in February to lesser charges than he first faced. Gates is now helping Mueller’s office, likely with the prosecution’s cases against Manafort.

He could also be contributing to other parts of the investigation. Mueller’s team initially sought Gates’ help to accomplish its central mission of investigating the campaign and Russian collusion, CNN reported in March.

Prosecutors haven’t yet said publicly what they’ll do with Manafort’s Russian connections during the campaign. His attorneys have said in court they believe Mueller continues to investigate him.

Russian threads

Then there are the Russians. The hack of the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign during 2016 fell into Mueller’s purview from the start. Those charges surfaced July 13, when Mueller’s team indicted 12 Russian military intelligence agents for their alleged conspiracy. But several unnamed people in the indictment — including a congressional candidate who allegedly asked the Russians for stolen emails, plus entities that appear to be WikiLeaks and Trump adviser Roger Stone, who communicated with the hackers — haven’t been charged.

Mueller’s team also said in a court filing late Monday night that even before Mueller started work last May, federal officials were looking into another group of Russians. Those Russians, a team of Russians and Russian companies that distributed anti-Hillary Clinton propaganda over social media, have since been charged.

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What else?

That leaves several possible threads that Mueller’s office has pulled on and have yet to resolve. What will become of the case about Stone, who’s had several of his associates testify before Mueller’s grand jury? CNN reported that Mueller’s team has been in a court tangle with the attorneys of a former employee of Stone’s. Their hour-and-a-half-long sealed hearing on July 18 suggests the grand jury investigation of Stone presses on.

Is there more to George Papadopoulos’ dealings with the campaign that Mueller will pursue? The public will likely learn more in September about Papadopoulos’ cooperation with the special counsel’s office, in advance of and when he is sentenced. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his contacts with Trump campaign officials and suspected Russian agents. While he worked on the Trump campaign and before the hackers leaked their stolen materials, Papadopoulos reportedly learned the Russians could offer “political dirt” on Hillary Clinton. That hasn’t yet tied back to Mueller’s case against the hackers who distributed that “dirt.”

Finally, what did Mueller find about that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between the top campaign officials and Russians?

A definitive end?

In the court papers Monday related to the Russian troll farm, Mueller’s team wrote about how their investigation will reach a definitive end.

When it does, Mueller will have to provide Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein a confidential report explaining his decisions to prosecute or not to prosecute. Rosenstein gets to sign off on every potential criminal case and would have to tell Congress if the Justice Department decides not to pursue a case the Mueller’s office recommends.

Mueller’s team acknowledges that their work could always be cut short — if Rosenstein makes it so. Mueller could be fired for misconduct or “good cause,” such as violating Department of Justice policies, or Rosenstein could choose to end the investigation.

There’s one more way for Mueller’s investigation to naturally end: If Rosenstein wants, he could let it expire with the end of the federal government’s fiscal year, which is September 30, according to the court filing.

“Special counsels appointed under the regulation can be expected to have a limited time horizon and the investigation a definite endpoint,” the prosecutors wrote. “The lifespan and scope of the investigation at all times stay within the [acting] Attorney General’s control.”

CNN’s Laura Jarrett and Gloria Borger contributed to this report.

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Rudolf Scharping – Wikipedia
 

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Rudolf Albert Scharping (born 2 December 1947) is a German politician (SPD) and sports official. He was from 1991 to 1994 the 6th Minister President of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate and 1998–2002 Federal Minister of Defence. From 1993 to 1995 he was also the national chairman of the SPD. In the Bundestag election in 1994 he was candidate for chancellor. From March 1995 to May 2001 he served as chairman of the Party of European Socialists (PES).

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In photos: NATO leaders come together in Brussels

AxiosJul 11, 2018
As President Trump meets other leaders of NATO in Brussels, the …. is wielding its market leverage to advance its geopolitical goals — and it’s working. … East, largely through its massive Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

Story image for nato geopolitical belt from The Hill

Trump’s two-fold challenge now is to warn Russia, unite America

The Hill1 hour ago
… U.S. and European foreign policy with Russia to dilute and distort NATO’s influence. … He holds a black belt in Judo, a key principle of which is to use an … to Putin, the greatest geopolitical catastrophe in the 20th century.
Why Russia Will Help the Democrats Next
POLITICO MagazineJul 19, 2018

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NATO strengthened at summit, despite Trump’s threats and gripes

AxiosJul 12, 2018
On President Trump’s first day at the NATO Summit, he scolded ….. China is wielding its market leverage to advance its geopolitical goals — and it’s working. … largely through its massive Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

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Trump, Putin and a Contentious State of Affairs on the Continent

STRATFORJul 11, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump’s return to the NATO summit will bring with it a …. And even as retaliatory tariffs are pounding the U.S. farm belt in the final … Moscow is a core component of the Russian geopolitical playbook.
NATO’s choice: Adapt or die
American Enterprise InstituteJul 11, 2018

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NATO needs a strategic reset

Pittsburgh Post-GazetteJul 15, 2018
At the NATO summit last week, President Donald Trump predictably criticized our … We must explain that geopolitical realities require the United States to … denial (A2/​AD) belt covering the territory of NATOmembers and …

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Geopolitical Calendar: Week of June 25, 2018

STRATFORJun 23, 2018
Geopolitical Calendar: Week of June 25, 2018 … defense cooperation, cooperation between the European Union and NATO, Yemen and the EU Global Strategy. … June 28: Hong Kong hosts the third Belt and Road Summit.

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Shifting power equations and South Asia’s geopolitical uncertainties

Daily MirrorJun 23, 2018
The South Asian region has been witnessing uncertain geopolitical dynamics … to fulfill its geopoliticaldream project – One Belt One Roadinitiative. … inputs to curb militancy and supply routes for NATOconvoys are not …

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Merkel fires back at Trump ahead of one-on-one meeting

AxiosJul 11, 2018
… but his comments in his first NATO meeting that Germany is “totally ….. is wielding its market leverage to advance its geopolitical goals — and it’s working. … largely through its massive Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

Story image for nato geopolitical belt from Foreign Policy (blog)

The Nationalist Internationale Is Crumbling

Foreign Policy (blog)Jul 20, 2018
… of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative—in the coming years and hopes to expand … Trump’s persistent complaints that European NATO members fail to … it’s an existential threat and reckless geopoliticalgambit that pulls the …
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The Duck Rule. There is an old adage that is used as a test… “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”

PAC • The Duck Rule

<a href=”http://www.pacalliance.us/duck/” rel=”nofollow”>www.pacalliance.us/duck/</a>

Urban Dictionary: Rule of Duck

<a href=”https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Rule%20of%20Duck” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Rule%20of%20Duck</a>

Based on the rule that states: If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks; it’s a duck. Used in real life to explain the obvious truth of the matter.

PAC • The Duck Rule

<a href=”http://www.pacalliance.us/duck/” rel=”nofollow”>www.pacalliance.us/duck/</a>

The Duck Rule. There is an old adage that is used as a test… “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”


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