Donate

Sorry if that GIF is giving you a seizure, but yesterday the Senate confirmed a guy with no prosecutorial experience and ties to the bank smack in the middle of the Russia investigation to head the DOJ's Criminal Division which supervises the Russia investigation! The house is burning, and we are all the dog.

Brian Benczkowski looks like your standard-issue jowly GOP hack with questionable facial hair. But look closer, because this hack is special!


Benczkowski held several positions at the Bush DOJ managing the Department's relationship with Congress, although he's never tried a criminal case. He is, however, a loyal Republican who earned his stripes working for Jeff Sessions, Pete Domenici, and Rep. James Sensenbrenner. And if that's not qualification enough, Benczkowski did substantial volunteer work with the Trump transition team -- including discussing whether or not FBI Director James Comey should be fired. Unfortunately, he was missing the one all-important resume-item for every Trump nominee: A PERSONAL CONNECTION TO THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION. Naturally, Benczkowski set out to beef up his CV, ASAP!

Benczkowski had been a partner in the white collar crime division at Kirkland & Ellis since leaving government service in 2010. Lucky for Benczkowski, Kirkland represents Russia's Alfa Bank, which sued Buzzfeed for publishing the Steele Dossier allegations of collusion between Trump, Putin and Alfa's owners. Could this be his big chance to prove his loyalty to The Donald? Maaaaybe!

Because, in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign, the New York Times was investigating the weirdass server in the basement of Trump Tower that seemed to communicate exclusively with Alfa Bank, and Benczkowski was just the guy to loudly proclaim it a hoax! (And it seemed to have worked on the New York Times, anyway.) As Slate revealed, and the New York Times most certainly did not, the server in New York magically shut down when Times reporters started asking questions in Russia.

The Times hadn't yet been in touch with the Trump campaign—Lichtblau spoke with the campaign a week later—but shortly after it reached out to Alfa, the Trump domain name in question seemed to suddenly stop working. When the scientists looked up the host, the DNS server returned a fail message, evidence that it no longer functioned. Or as it is technically diagnosed, it had "SERVFAILed." (On the timeline above, this is the moment at the end of the chronology when the traffic abruptly spikes, as servers frantically attempt to resend rejected messages.) The computer scientists believe there was one logical conclusion to be drawn: The Trump Organization shut down the server after Alfa was told that the Times might expose the connection. Weaver told me the Trump domain was "very sloppily removed." Or as another of the researchers put it, it looked like "the knee was hit in Moscow, the leg kicked in New York."

Four days later, on Sept. 27, the Trump Organization created a new host name, trump1.contact-client.com, which enabled communication to the very same server via a different route.

Is that weird?

In another mighty coincidence, Benczkowski was tasked with giving Alfa a clean bill of health on their suspicious transactions with the Trump server. So he hired cybersecurity experts to do an independent investigation -- ahem, cough cough, eye roll -- and they sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee denouncing the story as an "apparent malicious hoax." But how thorough was that independent investigation? Well, the Times reported,

But Mandiant's investigation of Alfa Bank was, at best, cursory. According to people familiar with Mandiant's review, its experts were shown largely metadata, the information that travels along with a message, for the communications that took place. The contents of the messages — if there were any — were not available.

Oh yeah, and Benczkowski sent a letter too, and it says "Mandiant ain't find anything if you define 'anything' as 'substantive contact such as emails or financial links.'" But wait, what the hell was Benczkowski doing giving a whitewash to the Russia investigation if he was planning to go work at the Justice Department? Isn't that a massive conflict?

Naturally, Benczkowski has a good explanation for his decision to work on the Alfa case and it is that, in all the time he spent with the Trump transition team, none of his good buddies mentioned the possibility of his going to work for the administration. His nomination in June 2017 was a TOTAL SURPRISE.

Yeah, he's really going with that one. Per NYT,

Mr. Benczkowski said that he accepted a law firm partner's request in March that he help represent Alfa Bank in part because he understood that suspicions about illicit contacts with the Trump Organization were "inaccurate," noting also that it was not certain at the time that the administration would offer him any job.

Still, under questioning from Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, he also said that in hindsight he should have declined.

"I wouldn't have undertaken the representation had I known at the time I was going to be the nominee to head the criminal division," he said.

Sure, Buddy.

And Benczkowski won't commit to recusing himself from anything related to the Russia investigation because ... LOL NOTHING MATTERS. Plus, you know, Trump gets all pissy when people follow conflict-of-interest regulations.

Benczkowski was confirmed yesterday by a 51-48 vote, with one Democrat (whose name rhymes with Moe Janchin) supporting him. THIS IS FINE.

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

Please click here to fund us. It's a river of shit, and we're swimming as fast as we can!

[Slate / Letter to Judiciary Committee / NYT / NYT, again]

Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

$
Donate with CC

If the world was a reasonable place, it would be entirely illegal to be as self -serving and full of shit as Mitch McConnell. In a desperate and pitiful play to shame Democrats into folding over like a bunch of beach chairs and coalescing around the Trump Train, that shifty-eyed turtle-faced goobledonker (I made that up and it fits, use it) decided to write himself an op-ed. Wait until you get a load of the title of his masterful self-own, you ready? Ok, here it is: "Will Dems work with us, or simply put partisan politics ahead of the country?"

Are you dead yet? Many of us Democrats saw that headline and keeled over from the hell-ified audacity of Mr. Dorkface Obstruction Man trying to project his shit onto us. We can't be the only ones who remember a certain senator (surprise, it was Mitch McConnell!) saying his main goal was to make Obama a one-term president while he did everything he could to obstruct the Democrats. Oh yeah, and also MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC

You know how whenever one of these horrible mass shootings happens, and we find out about the shooter, you think to yourself, "Where the hell was the family here? No one who knew this person thought to call the police or put them in an institution or take their guns away?" Well, finally, one family did call the police on their gun-hoarding, neo-Nazi, mass-murderer-idolizing relative -- and they may have prevented another mass shooting by doing so.

On Tuesday afternoon, Washington D.C. police arrested 30-year-old neo-Nazi Jeffrey R. Clark Jr. on federal charges of illegally possessing a firearm while using or addicted to an illegal substance (spoiler: the illegal substance was meth), and on local charges of possessing a high-speed magazine. The police were called in by members of Clark's family who were starting to get freaked out by his many anti-Semitic outbursts about how the 11 people who died in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting "deserved it," and his description of the massacre as a "dry run for things to come," combined with the fact that he owned a whole lotta weapons.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc