President Donald Trump’s racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing a criminal complaint filed over the weekend. Sessions is accused of perjury and obstruction of justice after lying about his meetings with Russian operatives and attempting to block the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
When testifying during his confirmation hearing, Sessions explicitly stated that he had not had any contact with Russian officials during Trump’s campaign. Sessions was heavily involved in the campaign and allegations were coming out that members of the campaign team had been meeting with Russian operatives.
Sessions testified under oath:
“Senator Franken, I am not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in [the Trump] campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians, and I am unable to comment on it.”
The lawsuit goes on to claim,
Sessions’ claim that he did not have communications with the Russians was false, incorrect and misleading because he in fact had communications with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, on at least two occasions during the election campaign.
Sessions’ false, misleading and incorrect testimony concerned events that were recent, controversial and memorable. His testimony related to events that were within his own personal knowledge and experience.
There is no excuse for Sessions’ false statements under oath. The lawsuit continues to explain how Sessions engaged in further criminal conduct in an attempt to conceal his first criminal act of perjury.
After giving false, deceitful, dishonest, fraudulent and misleading testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions participated in a cover-up of his criminal conduct in an effort to obstruct and impede the proper administration of the Department of Justice.
Sessions obstructed justice by using his own spokeswoman to put out statements claiming his innocence:
On March 1, 2017, Sessions’ spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores (“Flores”) responded to the Washington Post report. Referring to Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Flores stated: “there was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer.” Flores is the Director of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice and is under Sessions’ supervision. Flores made this statement on behalf of Sessions, at his direction and with his approval. In using Flores to cover up his false testimony and criminal actions, Sessions improperly and corruptly used resources of the Department.
Sessions broke with procedure and the rule of law in several important ways. He knowingly committed perjury and interfered with the proper administration of the Justice Department, which he heads as Attorney General. The lawsuit concludes,
By submitting a false statement to the Senate, lying about his testimony, engaging in a cover up, involving an employee of the Department of Justice in the cover up, violating the regulations of the Department of Justice and failing to properly initiate an investigation of himself, Sessions intentionally impeded and obstructed the proper administration of the Justice Department.
Sessions’ cannot get away with this outrageous corruption in the highest levels of government. Something terrible happened during the Trump campaign, and now the executive branch is full of cronies who are committing crime after crime in an attempt to cover it up. This cannot continue if we want to still have a functioning democracy in four years time.
Dr Papias Malimba Musafiri Rwanda’s minister of education. All Ugandan Teachers deleted from govt payroll
In a bid to fulfill the mission of the Ministry of Education which is to “Transform the Rwandan citizen into skilled human capital for socio-economic development of the country” Dr Papias Malimba Musafiri the minister of Education caused deletion of all Ugandan teachers in Rwanda from government payroll.
According to our Rwandan sources all the Ugandan teachers are expected to exit Rwanda at the end of the Rwandan school term which is this coming Friday or seek employment in private schools.
One of the teachers The SpearTeam talked to said:
“The move got us off guard since we were not given any warning” He said they are now in total dilemma.
A simple research done by The SpearTeam indicate that 20% of Uganda government schools are headed by Rwandan’s and the entire Uganda gov’t pay roll at the ministry of civil service is made up of 27% Rwandans
March 27, 2017, North Korea is accusing the US of spreading the Ebola virus, claiming it has been “bent on the development of bio-weapons” in order to achieve world supremacy.
The secretive state reacted strongly to the Ebola outbreak by closing its border to tourists and quarantining anyone who does enter.
Now, a report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) is claiming an aide to ex-President Reagan informed them the US had invented a progenitor of Ebola virus “for the purpose of launching a biological warfare”.
The aide was named as Roberts, who The Washington Postsaid could be a reference to Paul Craig Roberts, an econmoist.
Only a few weeks after a UN resolution condemned the country’s human right’s record, The KCNA criticised the US for its own human rights record.
The article said the US had given $140 million (£89 million) to a pharmaceutical company for research into the virus and chose Africa as a bio-weapon testing ground. It credited this claim to an unnamed Liberian professor.
It also claimed that the “US Department of Health and Human Services” admitted that the US “imperialists” have long conducted “vivisections with fatal epidemics, inflicting untold sufferings on mankind”.
Video: President Obama urges Congress for emergency Ebola funds
It added: “Russian, Singaporean and American newspapers criticised that the US developed anti-Ebola virus vaccine through experiment on Ebola contagion, but has prevented this vaccine from being known to the world, only for its own interests.”
It also went on to claim that the Aids pandemic was also created by the US. In one final accusation, it said: “As already known to everyone, the US is the world’s biggest nuke possessor.”
March 27, 2017, Witnesses to the violence in South Sudan since December 15, 2013, have described how targeted attacks against civilians on an ethnic basis have taken place in both government and opposition-controlled areas. South Sudan’s government and opposition forces should both immediately end abuses against civilians.
South Sudan’s leaders, the African Union (AU), and the United Nations should also support an independent, credible, international commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged crimes since the conflict erupted. The UN should also impose a travel ban and an asset freeze on anyone credibly identified as responsible for serious abuses and violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said.
“Appalling crimes have been committed against civilians for no other reason than their ethnicity,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Both sides need to leave civilians out of their conflict, let aid groups reach people who need help and accept a credible, independent investigation into these crimes.”
Between December 27 and January 12, 2014, a Human Rights Watch research team in South Sudan interviewed more than 200 victims and witnesses to abuses in Juba and Bor. Researchers documented widespread killings of Nuer men by members of South Sudanese armed forces in Juba, especially between December 15 and 19, including a massacre of between 200 and 300 men in the Gudele neighborhood on December 16. Researchers also documented the targeting and killing of civilians of Dinka ethnicity by opposition forces in other parts of the country.
The targeted killings of civilians, looting, and destruction of civilian property by both parties to the conflict in locations across the country have contributed to the displacement of more than 400,000 people, according to UN estimates, in the past month. Many of the crimes committed after conflict broke out are serious violations of international humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.
Fighting erupted in the headquarters of the South Sudan army’s presidential guard at around 10:30 p.m. on December 15, hours after a meeting of South Sudan’s leading political party, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). The meeting was marked by extremely high tensions between President Salva Kiir, who is of Dinka ethnicity, and former Vice President Riek Machar, who is of Nuer ethnicity. Kiir had dismissed Machar, a senior SPLM member, as vice president in July and fired his entire cabinet. Machar had earlier that year indicated his intention to run for president.
The government also arrested 11 prominent politicians and members of the SPLM’s political bureau on December 16 and in the following days, alleging they were involved in planning a coup. The politicians have been detained for four weeks without formal charges or access to legal counsel, as far as Human Rights Watch has been able to determine.
Kiir has called the violence on December 15 an attempted coup by Machar and his allies, a charge Machar, who is now in an undisclosed location, has denied. However in the following days a number of senior army commanders from key locations in South Sudan rebelled against the government, leading to intensive fighting in Bor, the Jonglei State capital, and surrounding areas, the town of Bentiu and other locations in Unity State, and Malakal in Upper Nile State.
Delegates representing both Machar and the government are attending negotiations over a cessation of hostilities and other issues in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the auspices of the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). They have yet to agree to a ceasefire.
On December 24, the UN Security Council agreed to temporarily increase the troop ceiling for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) from 7,000 to 12,500 and to increase the mission’s police force to up to 1,323, from 900. The UN should accelerate the deployment of these reinforcements and take other urgent steps to improve the protection of civilians, including better security around UNMISS compounds sheltering some 66,500 civilians displaced by conflict, Human Rights Watch said.
Peacekeepers should also ramp up independent patrols to all accessible locations in areas where they are operating and where civilians are in need. The location and timing of patrols should not be subject to government approval.
Human Rights Watch said it had received multiple reports of looting of medical and humanitarian facilities, and of some government denials of flight authorization to areas where people are in desperate need of aid. The South Sudanese government and leaders of opposition forces should ensure unhindered access by UN and independent humanitarian agencies to displaced and other civilians in need of assistance and protection. Both sides should respect medical and humanitarian facilities, material and staff, as required by international law. Anyone who blocks or otherwise doesn’t cooperate with independent humanitarian activities should be held accountable.
The AU decided on December 30 to establish a commission of inquiry. The AU should avail itself of UN experience with commissions of inquiry by asking the UN to promptly provide staff and support a team of international investigators and experts to investigate serious crimes committed since December 15, Human Rights Watch said. The commission of inquiry should report to both the AU and the UN secretary-general. In addition, UNMISS should bolster the investigative capacity of its human rights section and report regularly and publicly on human rights and humanitarian law abuses by all sides.
“The South Sudanese and the international community should show that we have learned the lesson history has taught us that without justice and reconciliation, residual pain from gross violations and other crimes are all too easily abused by those seeking power at any cost,” Bekele said.
Killings, Arrests in Juba In Juba, clashes between members of the presidential guard of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) erupted during the night of December 15, 2013, and spread the following day into neighborhoods around the army headquarters, also triggering serious fighting in at least two other areas of the capital. However, much of the violence in the capital the following week was targeted attacks by Dinka members of South Sudan’s armed forces, both the police and army, against Nuer males, including civilians, Human Rights Watch concluded after interviewing more than 150 victims and witnesses.
The witnesses and victims provided accounts of soldiers and policemen conducting house-to-house searches for Nuer men focusing on certain neighborhoods in northwest Juba, such as Gudele, Manga, Mangatain and New Site and around areas where fighting began in southwest Juba. Numerous witnesses described seeing male family members, neighbors, or others shot dead in or around their compounds or as they ran for safety to other neighborhoods or to UN bases. In most cases reported to Human Rights Watch, witnesses described multiple killings.
“The soldiers shouted at my mum that if (the men) don’t come out of the house they will start shooting all of us,” a 21-year-old woman from the Mia Saba area said, describing one incident. “When they came out they started beating them, and shooting. They shot my brother in the leg. My uncle ran and fell in a shallow ditch. They shot him in the face.”
A 42-year-old bricklayer from the New Site neighborhood described killings by security forces: “They brought out five of my neighbors and shot them in the street. We ran, the soldiers said ‘stop’, we refused and they shot at us. I stopped to pick my son but he was heavy and dead. When they reached him they shot him again.”
In the worst single incident documented by Human Rights Watch, soldiers and policemen from around the Gudele and other nearby neighborhoods gathered hundreds of Nuer men during the night of December 15 and the following day and detained them in a building used by the police, near the junction that divides Juba’s Gudele 1 and Gudele 2 neighborhoods. Survivors estimated that between 200 and 300 men were jammed into a room so crowded and hot that several people collapsed during the day on December 16. At around 8 p.m., gunmen alleged to be government forces began systematically shooting into the room through windows on one side of the building, killing almost all of the people in the room, a few survivors said.
“It was very dark,” one survivor said, adding that he survived because he was shot early in the massacre. “The windows were opened and then they shot through them. It was just light from the guns and the sound of the shooting. They shot me in the inner thigh, I fell and then dead people fell on top of me.”
About an hour later, armed men with torches entered the room and shot again several times at people, apparently anyone who appeared to have survived, leaving the door open after they left. At least two survivors escaped during the night. The following afternoon, members of South Sudan’s National Security Service freed 11 others who had been protected when bodies fell on them and who had spent the day with the corpses. Several of the survivors had severe gunshot wounds.
“I thought I would go mad … for three days I could hear the screaming and the shooting in my head,” said one man who had been hiding near the site of the massacre. “I knew my brother was captured in there.”
Human Rights Watch talked to neighbors of various ethnicities who described with great distress the huge number of bodies they saw at the site on December 17 and their removal in large trucks on December 18.
Human Rights Watch also documented mass arrests during the week of December 16. Former detainees said they were among scores of Nuer screened for their ethnicity and then held, usually for between three and seven days, most commonly in army buildings or in a national security building close to the Nile River in downtown Juba. Most were arrested in their houses or on main roads as they tried to reach family members or safe locations. Victims showed injuries from beatings and described overcrowding, extreme heat, and a lack of food and clean water in the detention sites. Almost all who had been held in Juba suffered from a similar skin ailment that may have been caused by the extreme heat and overcrowding.
Four Nuer men, interviewed separately, also described being tortured by members of security forces who demanded information about Riek Machar’s location. The men said security forces lashed them, beat them until they lost consciousness or smashed the victims’ faces into the ground with a boot to the back of their head. Security forces took the Nuer men’s cars, phones, and money in most cases, and house-to-house searches were often accompanied by extensive looting.
Many of the Nuer interviewed said they still do not know the location or fate of male family members and friends. More than 25,000 Nuer were displaced by the fighting and attacks in Juba; many fled to two UN bases in Juba and say they are still afraid to return home.
The Events in Bor Human Rights Watch was not able to conduct an on-site investigation in the town of Bor because of the ongoing conflict, but in early January researchers interviewed more than 50 people in Awerial, to which 84,000 civilians from Bor and surrounding areas fled following successive waves of fighting in December and January.
Witnesses described clashes between government and defecting anti-government security forces, indiscriminate attacks on civilians in densely populated areas, targeted shootings and attacks on civilians, and widespread looting and destruction in Bor. The civilian death toll is unclear, but many witnesses who had returned to Bor in late December said the streets were littered with dead bodies.
The conflict in Bor erupted on December 18. Forces loyal to General Peter Gadet, a prominent Nuer commander, took control of the town following events in Juba, triggering clashes within the army, police and wildlife services and in certain areas of town. The fighting caused thousands of civilians to flee to the UN compound in Bor, as well as outside the town.
Since December 18, Bor has changed hands twice, with the government regaining control between December 25 and 31. Opposition forces and armed Nuer civilians, referred to as the “white army,” control Bor and surroundings now, witnesses told Human Rights Watch.
Bor residents who fled the initial attack but returned soon after government forces retook the town on December 24 reported seeing bodies of both soldiers and civilians in several neighborhoods. Human Rights Watch viewed footage obtained by a local government official showing 28 dead bodies in various locations, including close to the UN base, and many witnesses interviewed in Awerial said relatives or neighbors were among the dead. At least two disabled war veterans were killed and their homes looted during the first attack.
A journalist named seven old or mentally ill people he had been told had been killed by Gadet’s forces in the initial attack. The journalist said he had seen the bodies of two of them, Majang Mach and Piel Mayen Deng, soon after the government recaptured the town.
Government forces retreated as Gadet’s forces, augmented by thousands of armed Nuer, including women and children, retook the town on December 31, 2013.
By some accounts looting and destruction of civilian property increased during the second attack by anti-government forces as they approached villages near Bor.
Many civilians received warnings of the approaching forces and fled into the bush and marsh areas surrounding the town, in some cases leaving behind elderly or ill relatives who could not run. “Those unable to run (from the rebels) were burned in their houses, including two elderly men, Achieng Mayen and Kuol Garang, and a paralyzed woman, Yanadet Garang,” a chief from an area just outside Bor told Human Rights Watch.
One mother of four said that armed Nuer aligned with anti-government forces killed her 70-year-old mother. “We came outside (of the house) and the attackers shot at us,” she said.
Witnesses also told Human Rights Watch of attacks by armed Nuer groups and soldiers who followed fleeing civilians into marshland around Bor, possibly to steal cattle from the large cattle camps. Many of those interviewed reported attackers had looted all of their cattle during the first and second attacks on the area, effectively stealing their primary source of livelihood. A 55-year-old community leader who had fled to the marshland from a village outside Bor said that on January 7 a combined force of Nuer soldiers in uniform and armed civilians had attacked the cattle camp where he had taken shelter, killing at least seven people including a seven-year-old boy, and stealing thousands of cattle.
The attacks on Bor’s Dinka community have reopened old wounds and revived ethnic divisions from atrocities during Sudan’s long civil war. In what was known as the “Bor massacre,” in 1991, largely Nuer forces loyal to Machar attacked Dinka communities in and around Bor, killing hundreds and displacing thousands. At the time, Machar had split from SPLA, then the South’s rebel force, and fought against it with support from other factions.
Attacks on Civilians Elsewhere Human Rights Watch received alarming reports of targeted attacks on Dinka civilians in other areas of South Sudan, as well as credible reports of indiscriminate attacks on civilians during fighting in Bentiu and Malakal, but was not able to visit these locations in the initial investigation. The impact of conflict on civilians in these areas requires further in-depth investigation.
On December 19, large numbers of armed youth together with unarmed women and children, and accompanied by uniformed security forces, attacked a UN mission base in the town of Akobo, in Jonglei state, where around 30 Dinka, including disarmed soldiers and civilians had taken shelter, witnesses said. In the stampede on the base, two peacekeepers and an estimated 20 civilians and disarmed soldiers were killed.
Armed men also issued serious threats against Dinka seeking shelter in UN bases in Yuai in Jonglei state, where a UN helicopter was shot at as Dinka were being evacuated, and in Nasir, Upper Nile state, UN officials said.
Two Dinka staff at a base owned by the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Companyoil consortium described to Human Rights Watch how Nuer day laborers turned on Dinka staff and killed at least six men using batons and machetes on the night of December 16. Both witnesses said Nuer police on the base saw the violence and did not intervene.
Government response President Kiir has acknowledged that ethnic targeting and killings took place in Juba and said in a Christmas day speech that those responsible would be punished. The chief of staff of South Sudan’s army, General James Hoth Mai, issued an order on December 21 to arrest a number of members of various armed forces suspected of killing “innocent soldiers and civilians simply because they hail from different tribes.” Some soldiers have been arrested but have not yet been charged.
On December 28, the inspector general of police for South Sudan, General Pieng Deng Kuol, established a five-member committee of policemen to investigate allegations of killings of civilians including media reports that “a great number of people were dragged into one of the police stations in Juba and murdered cold blooded inside the cells.”
On December 30, the African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council decided to establish a commission to investigate “human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan” and submit a report within three months.
The AU’s call for an international commission of inquiry is a positive step. Any such commission should be fully resourced and supported by United Nations and concerned governments. To be truly independent and credible, the commission should be mandated to report to more than one organization, for example to both the AU and the UN, and it should consist of international experts who have experience with South Sudan, forensic investigations, human rights and humanitarian law, and arms and munitions, Human Rights Watch said.
SPLA io Captured Kajo Kaji county HQ this morning.
At about 6:00am, the SPLA io Base of Brigade 3 under the command of Gen. Lokujo Moses Gabriel on Kajo Keji – Juba road came under the usual aggressive attacks from Juba Militias. However, they were repulsed and pursued by our gallant forces to their base in the County HQ. The battle lasted for four hours at the county HQ. We flushed them out of their base by about 10:30am as they leave behind four dead bodies, seven Ak47 and one PKM in good condition, we only sustained one minor injury on our side. The SPLA io Brigade 3 professionals freed 12 detainees from their jail including one woman and also captured nine militias alive who are currently at our base.
The SPLA io is proud to announce that as of today 1100hrs, Kajo keji County HQ is under the full control of Division 2B commander; Major. Gen. John Mabieh. We applaud the professionality of our brave soldiers for showing how weak the Juba militias are. Victory is always certain.
March 27, 2017, Dr. Riek machar, the Chairman of SPLM-IO accused IGAD for turning its back to people of South Sudan over political gained and resources. he says that the failure of IGAD to acknowledge the the collapsed of August 2015 peace agreement is a dismay and encouragements of war in South Sudan.
As FBI Director James Comey spoke before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, making his jaw-dropping revelation that the agency is investigating alleged “coordination” between Russian agents trying to influence the U.S. election and the Trump campaign, documents released in Ukraine cast a shadow over an already embattled former member of the Trump team.
Paul Manafort was dumped as Trump’s campaign chair in August when he was implicated in an alleged scheme to loot the Ukrainian government of millions of dollars while he was working for former president Viktor Yanukovych. The documents released Monday appear to show cover-up payments from shell companies. Manafort says the evidence is forged and that he is innocent.
But on Tuesday, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer was eager to wash his hands of Manafort. Spicer downplayed Manafort’s connection to the campaign team, saying he “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.”
The next day, news broke that Manafort had worked for several years for a Russian billionaire lobbying for Vladimir Putin, and Spicer edged further away from the former campaign chair.
“(Manafort) was not — he is not a government employee,” Spicer said. “He didn’t fill out any paperwork attesting to something.”
“To suggest that the president knew who (Manafort’s) clients were from a decade ago is a bit insane.”
Paul Manafort looks down on Donald Trump celebrating after giving his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Ohio, July 2016. (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)
Manafort under the bus
John Schindler says he understands why Trump’s team wants to ice his long-time colleague.
“If I was Trump, I’d want to distance myself as far away as possible from Paul Manafort,” Schindler told me on Day 6.
Schindler is a former analyst at the National Security Agency and a former professor at the Naval War College. He regularly shares chatter he hears from the intelligence community on social media, and writes regularly for The Observer.
Discussing Manafort, Schindler quickly got on a roll.
Former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort checking out the podium before Trump takes the stage in New York City, June 2016. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
“(Manafort) has been exposed as a Putin propagandist who was making $10-million-a-year to shill for Putin in the west.”
“And certainly, it appears that Trump knew, in general, about Paul Manafort ‘s reputation for working for seedy Russians and Ukrainians linked to the Kremlin.”
Schindler thinks Manafort may be looking for protection. We spoke moments after Devin Nunes, the House intelligence chairman unexpectedly announced Manafort has volunteered to testify before the committee.
“Paul Manafort is afraid of getting some polonium tea,” Schindler says, referring to the poisoning of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko by Russian agents.
Paul Manafort listens during a round table discussion on security at Trump Tower in New York. August, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)
“It’s been a bad week for Paul Manafort,” Schindler says. “He wants to do a deal, which is probably wise.”
But still no hard evidence
Thus far, nearly all of the reporting on the Russian hacking story and possible links to the Trump campaign has relied on leaks and insinuation. This week, CNN reported the FBI has evidence that may link the campaign to Russian dirty tricks. But that evidence was not produced.
Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, also hinted at damaging intel in a conversation with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily. Schiff denied his committee was merely working with circumstantial evidence.
“I can tell you that the case is more than that,” Schiff said. “And I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now. … I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial, and is very much worthy of investigation.”
I asked Schindler what he has heard about the evidence Schiff is teasing out.
“I’ve heard about it for a long time, as a former NSA official,” he said.
“There is very damning evidence, but it’s top secret evidence. That’s the whole problem, which is why the public discussion of this is sort of a shadow dance.”
So why has the evidence not been leaked to the public?
“Information of the kind that we’re talking about, which is intelligence information from U.S. and partner agencies about, not just Americans, but extraordinarily prominent Americans — the president’s inner circle — is extraordinarily ‘compartmented’ as we say in the spy world.”
“The number of people who actually are seeing the information is really quite small, which means the number of people who could leak it is quite small. Of course those people are not normally going to leak it.”
“I will tell you that I have friends very close to the investigation and what they’ve told me is there is a considerable amount of signals intelligence — that is, phone intercepts, travel tracking, that sort of thing — some human intelligence about meetings that have happened between Team Trump principals and prominent Russians.”
“None of this information, by itself, is, as we say, a smoking gun or a slam dunk. But collectively they create an indelible impression of collusion last year between Team Trump and the Kremlin.”
Paul Manafort (then campaign manager) stands with Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, on stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Does the public want to know?
Paul Manafort’s story is full of allegations of slush funds, kickbacks, contracts with Russian oligarchs and ties to pro-Russian leaders in Ukraine. There’s serious money at stake, but it’s hard to follow. If he testifies, as he offered to on Friday, Manafort may help make the story more concrete.
Schindler says with the FBI investigation, actions by Congress and a possible independent inquiry, Trump and his team’s ties to Russia will inevitably become public knowledge.
“The administration isn’t getting away from this story,” he says.
“Even Fox News, which can’t be accused of being anti-Trump, recently had a poll showing that basically two thirds of Americans definitely want a real investigation of whatever the Trump-Russia story is.”
But whatever comes out, it’s hard to imagine Trump backing down.
So does Schindler think the Russia story may ultimately lead nowhere?
“It’s always possible of course,” he says.
“Trump, by inclination, doubles down, triples down, quintuples down at every opportunity. ”
“If, however, not just people around him, but the president himself is facing possible indictment down the road, that could be a game changer. He could be removed from office for that, whether he wants to be or not.”
“But Paul Manafort wanting to testify indicates he knows that he’s facing some very serious federal charges and wants to clear the air. It tells me that Trump’s whole defense is one member of his inner circle away from turning state’s evidence and spilling some beans and it starts to be all over.”
“We’re not there yet,” Schindler says. “But I think that day’s coming.”
Foreign Secretary Statement at the UN Security Council briefing on South Sudan, Thursday 23 March 2017.
As we sit safely in this Council Chamber, villages in South Sudan are being raided and plundered and set ablaze. Thousands of men, women and children are being driven from their homes, separated from their families and forced to endure terror and hunger as they seek safety in squalid camps.
The toll of suffering in South Sudan has grown inexorably. At the close of 2015, some 2 million people had been displaced. Today, that figure has risen to 3 million, almost half of whom are refugees in neighbouring countries, including up to a million in Uganda. Last month alone, the brutal cycle of raiding, retaliation and counter-retaliation compelled another 80,000 people to flee. And, most tellingly of all, famine has been declared in areas of Former Unity State – the first famine in the world for six years.
Any visitor to that region of South Sudan will know that its green and fertile plains are watered by the tributaries of the White Nile. Nature and geography therefore cannot explain why famine has struck; only the avarice and folly of human beings are to blame. And I’m reminded of the hymn of Bishop Heber: “Though every prospect pleases, only man is vile.” And we should be in no doubt that famine could blight other areas if the fighting does not stop. Against this background, no member of the Security Council can escape our responsibility to renew our efforts to restore peace in South Sudan. Today and each day afterwards, we must demonstrate the unity of this Council over what needs to be done.
The Peace Accord of 2015 must be revived in order to deliver a genuine political process, embracing all the people of South Sudan, and beginning the task of reconciliation and healing. There are three key steps to achieve this. First, there can be no real dialogue for as long as South Sudan is ravaged by fighting. All parties must respect an immediate cessation of hostilities. As President, Salva Kiir is responsible for taking the first step – and others must follow. Second, there must be impartial leadership of the effort to revive the political process.
Finally, any talks will only bring long-term peace if all South Sudanese are represented. That means including not only the opposing forces, but also other armed groups, political parties, displaced people, refugees, youth and women. President Konaré, the AU High Representative for South Sudan, Prime Minister Hailemariam, the Chair of IGAD, and António Guterres, the Secretary General, have resolved to drive this forward together. I also welcome President Mogae, the Chair of the Joint Management and Evaluation Commission, who is responsible for enforcing implementation of the peace agreement.
We, as the Security Council, must demonstrate our wholehearted support for their efforts. And those responsible for atrocities must be brought to account through the establishment of a Hybrid Court. Given the scale of the suffering, all of the opposing forces have special responsibility to allow the delivery of aid wherever required, anywhere in the country. I am deeply concerned by reports that the Government of South Sudan has denied its own citizens the help they so desperately need by blocking humanitarian deliveries – including in Unity State, where famine has struck. We should all make clear that denying food to the starving is simply unconscionable. Nor can we accept a situation whereby the Government or any armed group obstructs the efforts of aid agencies to deliver emergency supplies or of UNMISS to protect civilians.
We should also spell out, with unity, clarity and conviction, what progress we expect from the Government. And we need to back this up by resolving that this Council will consider alternative measures – including an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on individuals – if this progress fails to materialise. The UK remains convinced that an arms embargo would serve to protect ordinary South Sudanese from the worst excesses of military power and on a future occasion we will ask the Council to reconsider this measure.
Our strength of feeling arises, partly from Britain’s profound ties of history and friendship with the people of South Sudan. We were a guarantor of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 which paved the way for South Sudan to achieve independence. The UK was a witness to the Peace Accord of 2015 that sought – unavailingly – to end the current conflict. We are now the second biggest bilateral donor to South Sudan. And we are strengthening UNMISS peacekeeping by deploying almost 400 British military engineers, medics and a field hospital.
The Council will know that over 200,000 civilians are sheltering inside UN sites across South Sudan, unable to leave these barbed wire confines in case they are murdered for no other reason than their ethnicity. Day after day, UNMISS tries to protect these civilians – and I know that British peacekeepers will help UNMISS fulfil this task. But South Sudan’s people should not have to rely on outside protection. And if our efforts falter, the Council should be in no doubt that South Sudan’s tragedy could become yet worse. There is an urgent need for collective action, particularly by neighbouring countries who already host 1.4 million refugees. As Ms Sunday has just told the Council today, the innocent and the most vulnerable are enduring the greatest suffering in this war.
We’re all here today because we have an obligation to act and we cannot leave this meeting believing that our work is done. And we should acknowledge that a terrible failure of political leadership lies behind the bloodshed. At every level we must therefore place pressure on the leaders of South Sudan – both in Government and in opposition – to act in the best interests of their people. We – the Security Council, the UN, IGAD and the AU – must help the South Sudanese to come together to agree on a common vision of their country’s future. And we should all stand ready to make that vision a reality.
MNPD officials said surveillance video shows the shooter walked up to Demissie, who was sitting at the bar, and shot him multiple times. Those shots sent Demissie to the floor. The shooter then walked around the bar and over a witness to leave out of a side door, which was locked.
While the shooter made his way to the front door, he saw Demissie was still moving; so he went back and fired several more shots into Demissie, killing him.
Police believe the shooting was not only targeted, but a true assassination since there were no signs of a robbery or any other motive for the killing.