The New York Times committed an act of journalism and has published a must-read investigative report on Donald Trump’s taxes. In brief, tax experts say â€œWhatever loophole existed was not â€˜exploitedâ€™ here, but stretched beyond any recognition.â€ It’s worth reading the whole article.
Meanwhile, David Corn writes at Mother Jones about what the FBI might be investigating regarding Trump’s dealings with Russia. A former intelligence officer shared with Corn what he had told the FBI:
Mother Jones has reviewed that report and other memos this former spy wrote. The first memo, based on the former intelligence officer’s conversations with Russian sources, noted, “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.” It maintained that Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.” It claimed that Russian intelligence had “compromised” Trump during his visits to Moscow and could “blackmail him.” It also reported that Russian intelligence had compiled a dossier on Hillary Clinton based on “bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls.”
The former intelligence officer says the response from the FBI was “shock and horror.” The FBI, after receiving the first memo, did not immediately request additional material, according to the former intelligence officer and his American associates. Yet in August, they say, the FBI asked him for all information in his possession and for him to explain how the material had been gathered and to identify his sources. The former spy forwarded to the bureau several memosâ€”some of which referred to members of Trump’s inner circle. After that point, he continued to share information with the FBI. “It’s quite clear there was or is a pretty substantial inquiry going on,” he says.
“This is something of huge significance, way above party politics,” the former intelligence officer comments. “I think [Trump’s] own party should be aware of this stuff as well.”
And Franklin Foer writes at Slate that some computer scientists investigated whether Russian hackers might be hacking the Trump campaign, as they had Clinton’s. What they found was weird. There was regular pinging going on between a bank in Moscow and a Trump server in New York.
The researchers quickly dismissed their initial fear that the logs represented a malware attack. The communication wasnâ€™t the work of bots. The irregular pattern of server lookups actually resembled the pattern of human conversationâ€”conversations that began during office hours in New York and continued during office hours in Moscow. It dawned on the researchers that this wasnâ€™t an attack, but a sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank. …
…Earlier this month, the group of computer scientists passed the logs to Paul Vixie. In the world of DNS experts, thereâ€™s no higher authority. Vixie wrote central strands of the DNS code that makes the internet work. After studying the logs, he concluded, â€œThe parties were communicating in a secretive fashion. The operative word is secretive. This is more akin to what criminal syndicates do if they are putting together a project.â€ Put differently, the logs suggested that Trump and Alfa had configured something like a digital hotline connecting the two entities, shutting out the rest of the world, and designed to obscure its own existence.
There is some weird-ass stuff going on, people.