KIDS HELD HOSTAGE: DAY 104

WHERE ARE THE KIDS? 

Here’s the latest report on what Trump and the complicit GOP mean when they say, “Make America Great Again”:

— Total number of children that the government separated from their families at the border: 2,654

— Children no longer in government custody because they were reunited with parents: 1,616

How about the remaining 1,038?

— Discharged “under other appropriate circumstances” (including kids who helped the government’s statistical count by turning 18 and dropping out of the reunification program): 473

— Still in government custody: 565

Of the 565:

— “Adult presently outside the US” (i.e., US government deported them without their kids): 366

— “Parent indicated a desire against reunification” (includes a “significant number of parents the outside US”): 154

In that final group — “parent indicated a desire against reunification” — the government attempts to bury a multitude of sins. According to the ACLU, the distribution of paperwork to migrant parents in a “coercive and misleading manner” created a chaotic reunification process. In some cases, parents who could not speak or understand English signed documents thinking they were facilitating reunification when, in fact, they were waiving those rights.

And those in the penultimate group — 366 kids with parents “presently outside the US” — are a problem the country, too. According to a recent ACLU filing, some of those parents were misled or coerced into waiving their international human rights to seek asylum in return for assurances that reunification would proceed more quickly. The government then deported them without their kids

The enduring stain remains: The United States of America captured families at the border, took the kids, and deported the parents. We’re 104 days into that hostage crisis.

World history has few parallels to such action by a supposedly civilized nation. They’re not pretty.

THE “SOMETHING IS COMING AND TRUMP KNOWS IT” EDITION: TRUMP-RUSSIA TIMELINE UPDATE THROUGH AUG. 12, 2018

Reminder: Where are the kids? It’s Kids Held Hostage Day 98.

When it comes to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Trump has never behaved as an innocent man would. He’s getting worse. Even on vacation, he couldn’t shed his unrelenting fear that the Trump-Russia probe is leading to an unhappy ending (for him).

August 6:

August 9:

 

August 10:

August 11:

August 12:

Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but last week special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing interest in Roger Stone became even clearer. Several of Stone’s associates have received subpoenas from Mueller’s grand jury. Go to the Trump-Russia Timeline and click on Roger Stone’s name to discover why he’s in jeopardy. For Trump, he could be a harbinger of bad things to come.

By the way, the Maria Butina storyline remains intriguing. On Aug. 6, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) went to Moscow (with a letter from Trump for delivery to Putin). He met with Russian leaders who wanted to talk about Butina’s release. For a 29-year-old student who just finished her Master’s degree program at American University, she sure is attracting a lot of attention from her fellow Russians in high places.

Here’s a complete list of this week’s entries in the update to the Trump-Russia Timeline:

MAY 11, 2016: Scavino Tweets About Clinton E-mails

JULY 30, 2018: Nunes Says Majority GOP in Congress Must Protect Trump; Impeaching Rosenstein Is a Matter of Timing

AUG. 6, 2018: Trump Tweets About Clinton ‘Collusion’

AUG. 6, 2018: Rand Paul in Moscow with Letter from Trump to Putin; Russians Want Butina Released

AUG. 6, 2018: Rand Paul in Moscow with Letter from Trump to Putin; Russians Want Butina Released

AUG. 8, 2018: Trump Belatedly Imposes Sanctions

AUG. 9, 2018: Trump Tweets ‘Clinton & the Democrats Colluded’, ‘Rigged Witch Hunt’, ‘FBI Thought They Wouldn’t Get Caught’

AUG. 9, 2018: Mueller Subpoenas Credico

AUG. 10, 2018: Trump Tweets ‘No Evidence to Launch’ Collusion Investigation

AUG. 10, 2018: Former ‘Manhattan Madam’ Appears Before Mueller’s Grand Jury

AUG. 10, 2018: Stone Associate Found in Contempt

AUG. 10, 2018: Giuliani and Sekulow Guest Host for Hannity

AUG. 11, 2018: Trump Tweets About McCabe, Comey, Strzok, Lisa Page, Sessions, Steele, Ohr, DOJ; Threatens To Get Involved with FBI

AUG. 12, 2018: Trump Attacks Mueller, DOJ, and FBI

 

KIDS HELD HOSTAGE: DAY 97

On Nov. 4, 1979, a group of Iranian students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and took 90 hostages — including 66 Americans. Four days later, ABC News launched “America Held Hostage: The Iran Crisis” — a breaking news program competing with the first half-hour of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on NBC and The CBS Late Movie. The program also launched host Ted Koppel’s career to a new level. As the crisis continued, the program opened with a running total of the passing days:

“America held hostage: Day —”

On Day 444, the crisis ended with the release of the last American hostages shortly after President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 1981.

Kids Held Hostage: Day 97

All of the American hostages in Iran were adults. For months now, Trump’s zero tolerance policy has been victimizing children. Beginning in late April 2018, the US government took more than 2,500 children from their parents. It still holds more than 550 of them — almost 10 times the number of Americans held hostage in Iran four decades ago.

Where’s the outrage? Where’s the sense of urgency?

If a foreign government had done to American children what our country has done to the kids whom the US government has separated from their parents at the southwest border, the media would be screaming the accumulating days of captivity. The count wouldn’t stop until all of the children had been released and reunited with their families.

Using May 7, 2018 — the date Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Trump’s new zero tolerance policy without any plan to protect the innocent children it affected — today is “Kids Held Hostage: Day 97″ for some of the victims.

Violating Court Order: Day 17

Another family separation benchmark is July 26, 2018. That was the Court-ordered deadline for reunification of the immigrants’ kids with their families. Today is Day 17 of the government’s ongoing violation of that order.

The Kids

Every day brings a new revelation that worsens the family separation story. Last week, the ACLU said that it believes US Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) deliberately withheld — for more than a month — 400-plus phone numbers of parents who were separated from their kids. That contact information could have helped to reunite many of the families. Meanwhile, here’s a summary of the government’s latest status report on the kids and its proposed plan for dealing with them:

— 559 remain in government custody

— Parents of 386 kids have been deported

— Government wants ACLU to determine if parents want their kids back

— Government proposes reunification only in the parents’ home country

The Tip of an Ugly Trump Iceberg

The last item in the government’s plan — reunification only in the parents’ home country — was a tell. Last week, it became clear that Trump is expanding his attack on immigrants to include their international human right to seek asylum.

On Aug. 7, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of 12 immigrants — eight women, one man, and three children — challenging the Justice Department’s June 2018 policy changes aimed at limiting those asylum rights and expediting deportations. Two of the children and their mothers in the suit had already been deported.

Attorneys for the ACLU and the Justice Department had agreed to delay removal proceedings for the remaining mother and her child so they could argue the matter before US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan on Aug. 9. While participating in that hearing by phone from her office in California, the lead ACLU attorney received an email saying that the mother and daughter were being deported. During a brief recess, she told her colleagues that the pair had been taken from a family detention center in Dilley, TX to the airport in San Antonio for a morning flight back to El Salvador.

The judge was not pleased.

After being informed of the situation, he granted the ACLU’s request to delay deportations for the mother and daughter, as well as the other plaintiffs in the suit. And he ordered the government to “turn the plane around” to bring the mother and her child back to the US. He also threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt if it didn’t.

“This is pretty outrageous,” Judge Sullivan said. “That someone seeking justice in US court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?”

“I’m not happy about this at all,” the judge continued. “This is not acceptable.”

Outrageous and unacceptable.

Where are the kids? Through Election Day and beyond, every citizen should keep asking that question because it goes to the core of America’s character. The “Kids Held Hostage” clock is running, and it won’t stop until the last of more than 2,500 children whom Trump separated from their families is released. Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress bear the responsibility for a stain on America that will endure for a long, long time.

Kids Held Hostage: Day 97

THE “TRUMP ADMISSION” and “UBIQUITOUS MARIA BUTINA” EDITION: TRUMP-RUSSIA TIMELINE UPDATES THROUGH AUG. 5, 2018

WHERE ARE THE KIDS?

Still asking.

Never forget the children whom Trump separated from their families at the border. They won’t forget the experience. And some of them will never see their parents again.

***

DON’T BURY THE LEDE

This week’s key update in the Trump-Russia Timeline is Trump’s tweet on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018:

That’s a multi-purpose admission. Let’s count the ways:

— Trump and his enablers have said repeatedly that the primary purpose of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting was to discuss Russian adoptions. Those were lies.

— “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent” from Russia to help Trump win the 2016 election. That’s a crime.

— In July 2017, when confronted with reporters from The New York Times preparing to run the first story about the June 9 meeting, Trump dictated a statement for his son to use as a response. It was a lie.

— Trump’s enablers — notably his attorney Jay Sekulow — repeated the lies on national television. So did Mike Pence, Don Jr., Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, and others in a long list of Trump enablers.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Aug. 5, 2018, Sekulow tried to explain away his misstatements of a year earlier as the result of “bad information.” Who gave Sekulow that “bad information”? All lying roads lead to Trump.

As I’ve said previously, the Trump-Russia scandal and subsequent efforts to cover it up are putting Trump’s lawyers in need of their own attorneys. Prediction: As in Watergate, some Trump enablers with law degrees will go to jail.

Monumentally toxic clients have that gift. It keeps on giving.

Use the Timeline for Context

Trump’s Aug. 5, 2018 admission provides an opportunity to explore another feature of the Trump-Russia Timeline. The name filter sorts entries relevant to a particular person (or persons — you can click on multiple names at the same time). That’s one helpful feature. But additionally, for events such as the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting and the July 2017 cover-up, the Timeline provides crucial context for new developments. One of those developments is Trump’s Aug. 5, 2018 admission.

CONTEXT: June 9, 2016 Meeting

Start with this entry: “JUNE 3, 2016: Don Jr. Receives Russian Offer of Info to ‘Incriminate’ Clinton.” Then proceed chronologically, reviewing each Timeline entry up to and including this one: JUNE TO NOVEMBER 2016 “Translator Project” in Full Swing”

CONTEXT: July 2017 Cover-up

Start with this entry: DURING THE WEEK OF JUNE 19, 2017Trump Lawyers Reportedly Learn About Emails Relating to June 9, 2016, Meeting.” Then proceed chronologically, reviewing each Timeline entry up to and including this one: SEPT. 7, 2017: Don Jr. Talks to Senate Judiciary Committee, Denies Telling Trump About Meeting in Advance”

Facts and context are Trump’s mortal enemies and American democracy’s greatest allies.

***

MEANWHILE, THE MARIA BUTINA THREAD UNRAVELS ANOTHER SWEATER…

As with the last update, some of the most intriguing entries in the latest update to the Trump-Russia Timeline relate to Maria Butina.

In 2011, at age 23, Butina was furniture store manager in Siberia. Living in a country with strict gun control laws, she started a gun rights organization. Before long, she connected somehow with Alexander Torshin, a close Putin ally in the upper house of the Russian parliament and deputy governor of Russia’s central bank. From 2012 to 2014, a Russian oligarch helped to fund her efforts. In 2015, Butina was hobnobbing with top leaders of the National Rifle Association when they visited Moscow. One of them, Paul Erickson, became her paramour.

By September 2016, Butina was attending dinners at the Swiss embassy where she met J. D. Gordon, who had been a national security adviser for Trump and was anticipating a spot on Trump’s transition team. He invited her to attend a concert in mid-October 2018; she agreed. That month, he invited her to his birthday party; she attended.

Go to the Timeline and click on J. D. Gordon’s name. Although underreported, he has always been an important player in the Trump-Russia Timeline. The entire world is discovering just how important.

AND THEN THERE”S THESE…

Trump’s tweet-admission and the Maria Butina story will continue to have legs. But so will these highlights from the latest update:

— Russians are continuing to attack US elections, according to the heads of US intelligence agencies. But Trump continues to ridicule assertions that Putin attacked the 2016 election — which he did — as a “hoax.” Last August, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who faces a tough re-election campaign in a state that Trump won by almost 20 points, had a personal encounter with Russia’s deadly serious cyberattacks aimed at American democracy.

Paul Manafort‘s first trial is underway. Although his shady dealings are not likely to shape the overall Trump-Russia narrative, a few interesting nuggets are emerging. One is the magnitude of Manafort’s financial distress at the time he offered to join the Trump campaign — and work full-time without pay. And keep an eye on Rick Gates, whose future testimony relating to the larger Trump-Russia scandal could be far more damning than anything he tells the jury in Manafort’s case.

Rudy Giuliani continues to perform his role: chief custodian of shiny objects that he and Trump deploy to attract attention and distract from Trump’s burgeoning legal problems. Giuliani has become a poster child for attorney incompetence that simultaneously undermines the rule of law. Someday, maybe the media will stop booking his TV appearances and quoting his remarks in otherwise reputable news publications.

Last but not least, Trump’s attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation have intensified in number, duration, and tone. It’s not the behavior of an innocent man. Nor are Trump’s actions consistent with a belief that he will get away with whatever he has done wrong. Trump acts as if Vladimir Putin has something on him. Ironically, even Trump himself may not know for sure what it is.

Here’s a complete list of the latest updates to the Trump-Russia Timeline:

2011: Butina Launches Gun Rights Group in Russia

APR. 15, 2012: Torshin Promotes Butina’s Gun Rights Group; Gets Support from Oligarch

BETWEEN 2012 to 2014: Russian Oligarch Supports Butina

DECEMBER 11, 2015: NRA Leaders Meet with Wife of Butina’s Financial Backer

MARCH 10-11, 2016: Butina Works With ‘US Person 1’; Thanks ‘US Person 2’ for Helping US-Russia Relations (revision of previous entry)

MARCH 29, 2016: Trump Hires Manafort, Who Is Broke But Agrees to Work for Nothing (revision of previous entry)

SPRING 2016: Russian Attackers Infiltrate US Utilities

SEPT. 16, 2016: Butina Tries to Schedule ‘Friendship and Dialogue’ Dinner (revision of previous entry)

SEPT. 29, 2016: Butina Meets J. D. Gordon; Contacts Continue Through October

NOV. 30, 2016: Butina Writes About Establishing US-Russia ‘Back Channel’ (revision of previous entry)

AUG. 30, 2017: Trump Attacks McCaskill in Missouri; Meanwhile, Russia Attempts to Hack Her Campaign

JULY 23, 2018: Manafort Trial Delayed to July 31

JULY 23, 2018: Trump Considers Revoking Security Clearances of Critics

JULY 24, 2018: Trump Tweets: Russia ‘Will Be Pushing Very Hard For the Democrats’ in Midterm Elections

JULY 24, 2018: Burr: ‘Sound Reasons’ for Judges to Approve FISA Warrant

JULY 24, 2018: Trump Tweets ‘Witch Hunt’ in Promoting New ‘Russia Hoax’ Book

JULY 25, 2018: Trump Tweets About Cohen Tapes

JULY 25, 2018: Bolton Blames ‘Witch Hunt’ for Delaying Putin’s White House Visit

JULY 25, 2018: Eleven GOP Members of Congress Introduce Articles of Impeachment Against Rosenstein

JULY 26, 2018: Mnuchin in “Productive Discussions” to Lift Sanctions Against Rusal

JULY 26, 2018: White House Corrects Helsinki Transcript

JULY 26, 2018: Trump Organization CFO Called Before Cohen Grand Jury

JULY 26, 2018: Trump Tweets ‘Witch Hunt’

JULY 27, 2018: Trump Open to Putin Invitation to Moscow

JULY 29, 2018: Trump Tweets Attack Mueller

JULY 30, 2018: Giuliani Appears to Concede Pre-Meeting ‘Strategy’ Session Before June 9, 2016 Trump Tower Meeting, Then Walks It Back

JULY 31, 2018: Manafort’s First Trial Begins

JULY 31, 2018: Trump Tweets: ‘Collusion is Not a Crime,’ But There Wasn’t Any (By Trump)

JULY 31, 2018: Deripaska’s Firm Gets Deadline Extension on Sanctions

AUG. 1, 2018: Trump Tweets That Sessions Should Terminate Mueller Investigation; Slams Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page; Sanders Doubles Down

AUG. 1, 2018: Trump Distances Himself From Manafort, But Says Feds Treat Manafort Worse Than Al Capone

AUG. 1, 2018: Trump Tweets About Book on ‘Russia Hoax’

AUG. 2, 2018: US Intel Chiefs Warn About Ongoing Russian Election Interference; Trump Then Decries ‘Russia Hoax’

AUG. 2, 2018: Bipartisan Group Proposes Tougher Russian Sanctions

AUG. 4, 2018: Hicks Travels with Trump

AUG. 5, 2018: Trump Worries and Tweets About Don Jr.

AUG. 5, 2018: Sekulow Backtracks

WHERE ARE THE KIDS? STILL MISSING THEIR PARENTS

Where are the kids?

Keep asking the question until Trump’s government provides answers.

Then ask how and why this could happen in America.

Then vote in November to make sure it never happens again.

Meanwhile, the story worsens by the week. Chutzpah doesn’t quite capture the latest Trump move.

— The federal court’s July 26, 2018 deadline for reuniting children that the government separated from their parents at the border came and went.

— As of Aug. 3, 572 kids still remained in government custody, separated from their families.

—  The government admitted that the parents of 410 of those children reside “outside the United States,” meaning that they had likely been deported.

— The Trump administration proposed a Trumpian solution: Shift responsibility to others. Government lawyers asked the court to require that the ACLU “take the lead” in finding the “missing parents.”

Appropriately, the judge scoffed at the absurdity of that suggestion: “Many of these parents were removed from the country without their child. All of this is the result of the government’s separation and then inability and failure to track and reunite. And the reality is that for every parent who is not located there will be a permanently orphaned child. And that is 100 percent the responsibility of the administration.”

100 percent.

Bad News for the Non-Orphans, Too

Even for those kids who make their way back to their families, the damage from Trump’s family separation policy will be permanent, as a recent article in The Atlantic explains:

“This kind of trauma can permanently affect the brains of these children, and potentially their long-term development, explained Colleen Kraft, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics….

“In April, Kraft and some colleagues were permitted to visit a shelter for migrant children run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. She described seeing a room full of toddlers that was ‘eerily silent.’ That is, except for one little girl, who was ‘sobbing and wailing and beating her fists on the mat.’ A staff worker tried to comfort her with books and toys, but she wasn’t allowed to pick her up or touch her, Kraft said.

“‘This girl would stop crying if her mother was there, but we couldn’t bring her mother to her,’” Kraft said. ‘We could feel the trauma that was going on there.’

“This trauma, she explained, can permanently affect these children’s brains, especially if it occurs early in childhood. Separation from a parent induces stress hormones, which course quickly through kids’ small bodies. Parents can normally help children work through their stress—but not if they aren’t there.

“Studies show that high levels of cortisol, one of these stress hormones, can suppress the immune system and change the architecture of a developing brain, according to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. Another stress chemical, corticotropin-releasing hormone, can damage the hippocampus, which plays a major role in learning and memory.

“The brain develops rapidly before the age of 3, with some connections strengthening and some being pruned away. In healthy, normal kids, synaptic connections related to learning, playing, and social skills are being formed during the toddler years. But, as Kraft explained, in children who have unrelenting stress, the strongest connections in the brain are those related to fear, aggression, and anxiety.

“As the kids grow, the brain starts pruning some of the weaker synaptic connections while keeping the stronger ones. Healthy kids’ brains will keep the connections related to learning or resilience, while perhaps wiping away the small hiccups of childhood. But in kids who have suffered toxic stress, the enduring connections will be the ones related to fear and anxiety, Kraft explained, while those related to learning or relating socially might fade.

“Many kids like this, she said, ‘don’t develop speech, they don’t develop the social and emotional bonds, don’t develop gross motor function [normally]. It leads to very significant developmental delay.’”

Never Forget

Behind the numbers are individual tragedies that create a stark picture of what “making America great again” means to Trump and his enablers. Starting in November, voters will have an opportunity to say whether America has endured enough of Trump-branded greatness. His name isn’t on any ballot, but his dark shadow hovers over every Republican congressional candidate.

TRUMP-RUSSIA TIMELINE UPDATE “EXTRA” FOR JULY 27, 2018: COHEN BOMBSHELL

Where are the kids?

The court deadline for the US government to reunite children that Trump separated from their families at the border has come and gone. Hundreds of kids remain separated, stories about their treatment become worse, and the government uses creative word games to sell its excuses.

“Where are the kids?” Trump and his enablers have no answer. Keep posing the question and Republicans in Congress will feel the consequences in November.

Meanwhile…

Breaking news prompts a special Trump-Russia Timeline update.

The developments on July 26, 2018, prompt three new entries (and one revision to an earlier entry) in the Trump-Russia Timeline. Specifically, Michael Cohen reportedly is willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump knew about — and approved beforehand — the infamous June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Russians promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

To grasp the significance of this development, go to the Timeline’s name filter and click on Donald Trump Jr.‘s name.

If Cohen is telling the truth — that he “and others” were present when Don Jr. told Trump about the Russians’ offer to help Trump win the election — then Don Jr. and his dad are in big trouble.

Then again, they already were. For those who have been following the evolution of the Timeline, the Cohen news corroborates what has been known for a while. Plenty of evidence was already pointing in the direction that Cohen has now pointed everyone: Trump conspired against the United States to win a presidential election.

Here’s are the three new entries (and one revision that adds Don Jr.’s answers to key questions from Senate interviewers in September 2017) in the Trump-Russia Timeline:

SOMETIME BETWEEN JUNE 3 and JUNE 8, 2016: Don Jr. Reportedly Tells Trump About Russian Offer to Help; Trump Approves

SEPT. 7, 2017: Don Jr. Talks to Senate Judiciary Committee, Denies Telling Trump About Meeting in Advance (revision of previous entry)

JULY 26, 2018: CNN and NBC Report That Trump Knew in Advance About Trump Tower Meeting

JULY 27, 2018: After Bombshell Report About Cohen, Trump Tweets

“FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE” EDITION: TRUMP-RUSSIA TIMELINE UPDATE THROUGH JULY 22, 2018

WHERE ARE THE KIDS?

Keep asking. Meanwhile…

Trump-Russia

Trump’s disastrous performance in Helsinki dominated the beginning of the week. The episode and its aftermath provided even more evidence that the Trump-Russia investigation is far from a “Witch Hunt” — and that the biggest witch may well turn out to be Trump himself.

By Friday, Rudy Giuliani offered the media a shiny object to distract from Trump’s exploding Russia problem: Giuliani’s comments about a recording between Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, waived Trump’s attorney-client privilege. The release of a single Cohen recording, together with Giuliani’s effort to spin its contents, is a classic Trump diversion.

Sandwiched between Helsinki and Rudy was Maria Butina’s arrest. She is charged with being a Russian spy. Butina and her boyfriend, Paul Erickson, have now earned their own, separate Trump-Russia Timeline name filters. Butina already had a “pop-up” bubble on the Timeline. Now Erickson gets one of those, too.

Maria Who?

Students of the Trump-Russia Timeline know about Butina. According to the recent criminal charges against her, since “at least March 2015,” she has worked with an named “RUSSIAN OFFICIAL” who matches the description of Alexander Torshin, a powerful Putin ally. Torshin has been in the Timeline’s sights for a long time.

What were Butina and the “RUSSIAN OFFICIAL” doing?

Executing a Russian campaign to influence Republican Party policies through the NRA.

Roll the Butina Tape

Grab a bucket of popcorn, go to the Trump-Russia Timeline, and click on Butina’s name. The resulting entries tell an incredible story. If an author submitted this outline of a manuscript for a proposed work of fiction, no book publisher would buy it. The saga seems too incredible to be believed. But according to the criminal charges against Butina, it’s all true. Here are just a few of the highlights:

November 2013: Butina meets Paul Erickson, a long-time GOP operative who is part of an NRA delegation visiting Moscow. Butina is in her 20s; Erickson is over 50. Previously, Butina had tried and failed — twice — to get a visa to enter the US. But after the NRA came to town, she obtained a temporary visa to attend the annual NRA convention in 2014.

— March 24, 2015: Butina forwards a proposal dubbed “Diplomacy” to an unnamed “US Person 1” whose description matches Erickson’s. “Diplomacy” has a straightforward goal: mount a Russian political influence campaign using the NRA to impact GOP policies.

— July 11, 2015: At a large Trump town hall rally in Las Vegas, Butina somehow reaches a microphone stand in the audience and asks Trump a loaded question: How would a Trump administration treat Russia? Trump answers that he’d get along with Putin and doesn’t think the US would need to continue the crippling sanctions against Russian.

— Aug. 4-6, 2015: Butina dines with “Russia’s favorite congressman,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) in Moscow. Rohrabacher also meets with Torshin.

— December 2015: Torshin and Butina host an NRA leadership delegation in Moscow.

— May 19-22, 2016: Butina had tried to arrange a private meeting between Torshin and Trump at the NRA’s annual convention in Louisville, but Torshin has to settle for dinner with Don Jr. instead.

— August 2016: With the help of “US Person 1” (likely Erickson), Butina obtains a student visa to study at American University in Washington, DC.

— September-October-November 2016: Butina continues her project — “Diplomacy.” In an Oct. 5 exchange with Torshin, Butina writes, “We made our bet.” A month later, they discuss how that bet had paid off. Together, they explore the need to get input from “our people” on Trump’s possible nominees for Secretary of State. At her birthday party shortly after the election, Butina boasts that she had been part of the Trump campaign’s line of communication with Moscow. Her paramour Erickson (ikely “US Person 1”), tells people that he’s on Trump’s transition team.

— Nov. 30, 2016: Butina writes to “US Person 1” about high level Russians “coming to establish a back channel of communication….”

— Jan 20, 2017: Butina attends one of Trump’s inaugural balls.

— April 25, 2018: The FBI executes a search warrant against Butina’s residence. Among the seized materials are photographs of Butina with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The judge weighing the sufficiency of the evidence against Butina concluded that she presents such an extreme risk of flight that she must remain in jail pending trial. And now the Russian Foreign Ministry is launching a campaign to portray Butina as a martyr deserving freedom.

The charges against Butina refer to another person with whom she worked on the “Diplomacy” project — “US Person 2.” Soon the world will know the name of that traitor. Who is it? As Butina might say, “I’ve made my bet.”

This is real.

It has happened here — and it’s still happening.

And it’s not a drill.

Here’s a complete list of this week’s Trump-Russian Timeline updates:

NOVEMBER 2013: Erickson Meets Butina

MARCH 24, 2015: Butina Contacts ‘US Person 1’ About ‘Diplomacy’ Project

APR. 7, 2015: Butina and Torshin Meet with US Officials

APR. 10-12, 2015: Trump and Torshin at NRA Convention (revision of previous entry to add exact dates)

JUNE 12, 2015: Butina Publishes Article in The National Interest

JULY 11, 2015: Butina Asks Trump About Sanctions at Rally (revision of previous title to name Butina)

AUG. 4-6, 2015: Rohrabacher Meets With Torshin

FEB. 4, 2016: Butina and Torshin Attend National Prayer Breakfast

MARCH 10-11, 2016: Butina Works With ‘US Person 1’; Thanks ‘US Person 2’ for Helping US-Russia Relations

APRIL 27, 2016: Trump Delivers First Major Foreign Policy Speech (revision of previous entry)

AUGUST 2016: Butina Enters US on Student Visa

SEPT. 16, 2016: Butina Tries to Schedule ‘Friendship and Dialogue’ Dinner

OCT. 4, 2016: ‘US Person 1’ Writes About Private Line of Communication with Kremlin

OCT. 5, 2016: Butina and ‘RUSSIAN OFFICIAL’ Exchange Messages: ‘We Made Our Bet’

OCT. 6-7, 2016: Intelligence Community Publishes Statement on Russian Interference (revision of previous entry)

NOV. 8-9, 2016: Butina: ‘I Am Ready For Further Orders’

NOV. 11, 2016: Butina Asks for Russian Reaction to Trump’s Possible Secretary of State Nominee

NOV. 12, 2016: Butina Boasts About Her Contacts with Trump Campaign

NOV. 30, 2016: Butina Writes About Establishing US-Russia ‘Back Channel’

JAN. 6, 2017: Trump Receives Intelligence Briefing That Details Putin’s Role in Election Interference; Meets Comey for the First Time (revision of previous entry)

FEB. 2, 2017: Butina and Torshin Attend National Prayer Breakfast

APRIL 25, 2018: FBI Searches Butina’s Residence

JULY 15, 2018: Butina Arrested

JULY 16, 2018: Trump Sides with Putin in Helsinki

JULY 17, 2018: Trump Tweets About NATO/Putin Success, Quotes Paul on ‘Partisan Investigations’/Putin

JULY 17, 2018: Trump Responds to International Bipartisan Criticism

JULY 17, 2018: Judge Denies Manafort’s Motion to Move Trial Venue

JULY 17, 2018: Grand Jury Indicts Butina

JULY 18, 2018: Trump Tweets About Success With Putin

JULY 18, 2018: Trump Denies That Russia Is Still Attacking US; Sarah Sanders Says Trump Didn’t

JULY 18, 2018: Butina Held Without Bail Pending Trial

JULY 18-19, 2018: NYT Details Trump’s Knowledge of Putin Election Interference; Trump Tweets

JULY 19, 2018: Putin Says He Proposed ‘Peace Plan’ to Trump

JULY 19, 2018: Trump Invites Putin to White House

JULY 19, 2018: Russian Foreign Ministry: ‘Free Maria Butina’

JULY 19, 2018: Rosenstein: DOJ To Issue Alerts to Targets of Foreign Hackers

JULY 20, 2018: Trump Rejects Putin’s ‘Peace Plan’

JULY 20, 2018: Trump Tweets and Retweets

JULY 20, 2018: Treasury Willing to Lift Sanctions on Rusal

JULY 21, 2018: Trump Tweets ‘Rigged Witch Hunt’, ‘No Collusion’, ‘No Obstruction’

JULY 21, 2018: DOJ Releases FISA Application Relating to Page

JULY 22-23, 2018: Trump Tweets Lies About FISA Warrant

JULY 22-23: Trump Tweets About Putin Meeting

 

 

 

 

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