Trump-Russia Roundup: December 13 – 19

“You sold your country out!” A federal judge scolds Michael Flynn in our final Trump-Russia Roundup of the year:

A federal judge had some harsh words for Michael Flynn yesterday: “You sold your country out.”

Judge Sullivan couldn’t hide his “disgust” with Flynn’s actions. He even asked prosecutors if Flynn could have been charged for treason — TREASON!

After making it clear he views Flynn’s crimes as very worthy of prison time, the judge allowed Flynn’s team to delay his sentencing for at least 90 days, giving him more time to cooperate with federal investigators.

This is a major development — and very bad news for Trump.

Spurred by yesterday’s harsh rebukes and threats of incarceration, Flynn is now highly motivated to cooperate in an attempt to reduce his sentence.

He could give up everything he knows about the Trump team’s criminal activity.

Everything.

The hearing sent a loud message: Mueller’s investigation is serious, closing in on the truth, and holding Trump’s cronies accountable.

Get caught up on Flynn and more in our last Trump-Russia Roundup of 2018:

The Daily Beast: Michael Flynn Sentencing Postponed by Judge in Vicious Hearing: ‘You Sold Your Country Out’
Flynn’s sentencing took a stunning turn on Tuesday after a “disgusted” judge questioned whether he could have been charged with treason and then postponed a decision about how much time he should serve.

The New York Times: Judge Postpones Sentencing of Michael Flynn After Harshly Rebuking Him
A federal judge on Tuesday postponed the sentencing of Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, after warning Mr. Flynn that he could face prison for lying to federal investigators about his conversations with Russian agents.

The Daily Beast: Michael Flynn’s Ex-Business Associates Bijan Kian, Ekim Alptekin Indicted on Illegal Lobbying Charges
Two associates of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn were charged with acting as unregistered foreign agents in an alleged attempt to get Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the United States.

The Washington Post: Russian disinformation teams targeted Robert S. Mueller III, says report prepared for Senate
Months after Trump took office, Russia’s disinformation teams trained their sights on a new target: special counsel Robert Mueller. Having worked to help get Trump into the White House, they now worked to neutralize the biggest threat to his staying there.

Vox: Exclusive: Paul Manafort advised White House on how to attack and discredit investigation of President Trump
Paul Manafort gave guidance on how to undermine and discredit the FBI’s inquiry into whether Trump, his campaign aides, and family members conspired with the Russian Federation and its intelligence services to covertly defeat Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

POLITICO: Mueller appears victorious in mystery subpoena dispute
A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered a mystery corporation owned by a foreign country to comply with a subpoena that appears to be from special counsel Robert Mueller.

CNN: Trump signed letter of intent for Trump Tower Moscow project despite Giuliani insisting he didn’t
A newly obtained document shows Trump signed a letter of intent to move forward with negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Russia, despite his attorney Rudy Giuliani claiming the document was never signed.

WIRED: A Complete Guide to All 17 (Known) Trump and Russia Investigations
After three weeks of back-to-back-to-back-to-back bombshells by federal prosecutors and special counsel Mueller, it’s increasingly clear that, as 2018 winds down, Trump faces a legal assault unlike anything previously seen by any president.

The Washington Post: Trump agrees to shut down his charity amid allegations that he used it for personal and political benefit
Trump has agreed to shut down his embattled personal charity and to give away its remaining money amid allegations that he used the foundation for his personal and political benefit, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced.

The Washington Post: Mounting legal threats surround Trump as nearly every organization he has led is under investigation
Two years after Trump won the presidency, nearly every organization he has led in the past decade is under investigation. The mounting inquiries are building into a cascade of legal challenges that threaten to dominate Trump’s third year in the White House.

The New York Times: Trump Inaugural Fund and Super PAC Said to Be Scrutinized for Illegal Foreign Donations
Federal prosecutors are examining whether foreigners illegally funneled donations to Trump’s inaugural committee and a pro-Trump super PAC in hopes of buying influence over American policy.

NBC News: Incoming New York attorney general plans wide-ranging investigations of Trump and family
New York Attorney General-elect Letitia James says she plans to launch sweeping investigations into Trump, his family and “anyone” in his circle who may have violated the law once she settles into her new job next month.

ABC News: Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says Trump knew it was wrong to make hush-money payments during campaign
Trump directed Cohen to arrange hush-money payments with two women because then-candidate Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election” if their allegations of affairs became public.

NBC News: Trump was in the room during hush money discussions with tabloid publisher
Trump was the third person in the room in August 2015 when his lawyer Michael Cohen and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker discussed ways Pecker could help counter negative stories about Trump’s relationships with women.

NBC News: Poll: 62 percent say Trump isn’t telling the truth in Russia probe
Six in 10 Americans say Trump has been untruthful about the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, while half of the country says the investigation has given them doubts about Trump’s presidency.

The New York Times: Russian 2016 Influence Operation Targeted African-Americans on Social Media
The Russian influence campaign on social media in the 2016 election made an extraordinary effort to target African-Americans, using an array of tactics to try to suppress turnout among Democratic voters.

The Washington Post: Russian Maria Butina pleads guilty in case to forge Kremlin bond with U.S. conservatives
A Russian gun rights activist pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring with a senior Russian official to infiltrate the conservative movement in the United States as an agent for the Kremlin.

That’s a wrap on 2018 Trump-Russia Roundups! Need a refresher? Check out the Trump-Russia Roundup archives to review all that’s happened this year.

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