Secret Finding: 60 Russian Payments "To Finance Election Campaign Of 2016”

Secret Finding: 60 Russian Payments "To Finance Election Campaign Of 2016”

The money wound up at Russian embassies in almost 60 countries from Afghanistan to Nigeria between Aug. 3 and Sept. 20, 2016. It is not clear how the funds were used. At least one transaction that came into the US originated with VTB Bank, a financial institution that is majority-owned by the Kremlin.

Interesting, where have I heard of VTB bank before? Oh, right.

Mr. Sater, a Russian immigrant, said he had lined up financing for the Trump Tower deal with VTB Bank, a Russian bank that was under American sanctions for involvement in Moscow’s efforts to undermine democracy in Ukraine. In another email, Mr. Sater envisioned a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Moscow.

“I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected,” Mr. Sater wrote.


Edit: Clarification - Kushner met with the chairman of VEB bank, and Trump Tower was in contact with AlfaBank. These are three separate Kremlin connected entities.

For reference, here's a Maddow segment on all the Russian connected banks Trump is tied to.

On Aug. 3 of last year, just as the US presidential election was entering its final, heated phase, the Russian foreign ministry sent nearly $30,000 to its embassy in Washington. The wire transfer, which came from a Kremlin-backed Russian bank, landed in one of the embassy’s Citibank accounts and contained a remarkable memo line: “to finance election campaign of 2016.”

That wire transfer is one of more than 60 now being scrutinized by the FBI and other federal agencies investigating Russian involvement in the US election. The transactions, which moved through Citibank accounts and totaled more than $380,000, each came from the Russian foreign ministry and most contained a memo line referencing the financing of the 2016 election.

It must be Tuesday.

More information about Felix Sater;

Read what Felix Sater, a bussiness associate of the President, offered President Trump's personal lawyer Cohen. Sater admits to working with the Kremlin to help get Trump elected. This WaPo article further corroborates the New York Times article you provided.

In one case, Trump’s personal attorney and a business associate exchanged emails weeks before the Republican National Convention about traveling to an economic conference in Russia that would be attended by top Russian financial and government leaders, including President Vladi­mir Putin, according to people familiar with the correspondence.

The June 2016 email to Cohen about the economic conference came from Felix Sater, a Russian-born real estate developer and former Trump business associate. Sater encouraged Cohen to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, with Sater telling Cohen that he could be introduced to Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, top financial leaders and perhaps to Putin, according to people familiar with the correspondence. At one point, Sater told Cohen that Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, could help arrange the discussions, according to a person familiar with the exchange.[1]

Back in the 90s Felix Sater was caught up in a massive stock scam and flipped on mob families in New York. Guess who flipped him? He's on Special Counsel Mueller's team - Andrew Weissmann.

Andrew Weissmann was one of the people who prosecuted the 1998 mob stock-scam case during which Felix Sater flipped. The deal Sater got from federal prosecutors at the time was so good that lawyers representing victims of the underlying stock scam are still upset about it—and allege that the prosecutors acted inappropriately in allowing Sater to conceal his past while he was working at Bayrock.

Put more plainly, Robert Mueller has hired a prosecutor who was previously involved with a case that involved securing the close cooperation of an individual who might (might!) have simultaneously been helping fund Trump projects with laundered money.[2]

Felix Sater attended Trump's invite-only victory party to celebrate his presidential victory. Although Trump has tried to distance himself from Sater due to his colourful past, I find it very peculiar that he was allowed into an invite-only event at the Midtown Hilton.

From his home on Long Island, Sater orders a late-night ride from a car service. His destination: the invite-only victory party at the Midtown Hilton.

Driver (name withheld): I picked him up from his house on Long Island. And then, you know, I said, "Hi, how are you? And he said, "Do you know who I am?" And I said, "No, I don't really know you." He showed me his business card. I think, to show me that he's VIP, an important person, and second, to tell me that he was happy that he won the election, because it's unexpected.

So we talked about the election night. After that he just picked up his phone, and he talked all the way from Long Island to New York. He was talking to somebody in the Russian language.[3]

1) The Washington Post - Trump’s company had more contact with Russia during campaign, according to ...

2) Slate - An Intriguing Link Between the Mueller Investigation, Trump, and Alleged Money Laundering

3) GQ - Inside Donald Trump's Election Night War Room

Manafort's notes, typed on a smart phone and described by one source briefed on the matter as cryptic, were turned over to the House and Senate intelligence committees and to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. They contained a reference to political contributions and "RNC" in close proximity, the sources said.

I'm confused why it would have such a memo line. And $380,000 seems awfully cheap. The traitor business must have fallen on hard times to ask for such low figures.

edit: I guess it makes more sense in the context of their parliamentary elections in september 2016

I've been on this beat for over a year now. Bringing in Manafort was a key indicator that the GOP needed to move money from offshore to onshore. Manafort built his reputation in DC traficking contributions from Mobuto Sese Seko and Jonas Savimbi. The fact that he had spent much of the late 2000s and early 10s doing the same thing for the Party of Regions and various Russian oligarchs is not a coincidence. We now have a better idea of how the Trump campaign got money onshore.

Do not forget that Manafort was tasked by Ferdinand Marcos in the 1980s with funneling over $50 million USD from the Philippines into Regan's 1984 re-election campaign. Do not forget that int he early 2000s Manafort's firm worked for the Kashmiri American Council, which turned out to be a Pakistani ISI front to funnel money to American politicians. And especially do not forget that in the firm name "Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly," that the "Stone" is none other than Roger Stone, who admitted having contacts with Julian Assange at the same time Wikileaks was coordinating a press strategy with Trump Jr. over the Podesta emails.

There are no loose ends here, and there is not a second, unrelated plot. Manafort, Stone, Sater, Flynn, Trump Jr, Gates, Papadopolous, Sessions, Kushner, Bannon, Mercer, Farage, and anybody else working on the campaign was part of the same multi-prong operation to use Russian assets to bolster Trump's chances of winning, and to build his support to allow him to dispute the election results and provoke violence in the case he lost.

This is not purely an American issue. These payments were made to 60 different countries.

Wasn't this also claimed in the dossier?

Don't forget that something like $2,000 in facebook ad boost spending can result in hundreds of thousands of impressions

More on Sater although the timeline is killing me, was published in August.

For several weeks there have been rumours that Sater is ready to rat again, agreeing to help Mueller. ‘He has told family and friends he knows he and POTUS are going to prison,’ someone talking to Mueller’s investigators informed me. Sater hinted in an interview earlier this month that he may be cooperating with both Mueller’s investigation and congressional probes of Trump.

“In about the next 30 to 35 days, I will be the most colourful character you have ever talked about,” Sater told New York Magazine. “Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it now, before it happens. And believe me, it ain’t anything as small as whether or not they’re gonna call me to the Senate committee.”

That's not all that's related to VTB my friend.

Now, leaked documents examined by The New York Times offer a partial answer: Behind Mr. Milner’s investments in Facebook and Twitter were hundreds of millions of dollars from the Kremlin.

Obscured by a maze of offshore shell companies, the Twitter investment was backed by VTB, a Russian state-controlled bank often used for politically strategic deals.

...funded through Kushner companies.

This might explain the Rico raid on a republican fund raising firm last spring...

The FBI is scrutinizing more than 60 money transfers sent by the Russian foreign ministry to its embassies across the globe, most of them bearing a note that said the money was to be used “to finance election campaign of 2016.”

That's not suspicious at all /s

"Did you, yes or no, receive $10,000 from Russia?"

"huhggghhhhewhaw well if you'd just let me answer the question and quite frankly, Mr Franken, quite frankly I don't appreciate the uhheyyeeeehhhuuhh I am the head of the Justice Department and I take my job very seriously so if you would just let me answer the question. Now in my time as a senator uhhhh I served the American people so excuse me uhhhheeeeeeemmmhuuhhh if there was any misconduct on my part I do not uhhhhhh I do not yeeeeehaaaaauuueeee I do not recall if could you repeat your question? I am trying to provide as direct response as I can but you're giving me a lot to answer here"

"Did you, yes or no, receive $10,000 from Russia?"

"Yeeeuuuhhhmmeeeuuu I am going to have to get back to you on that"

Felix Sater had a secret meeting at Trump tower in July of 2016. He met with Trump. No one knows that they spoke about.

Sater told POLITICO that he has not seen the candidate recently and that the purpose of his visit to Trump Tower last month is “confidential.” Sater declined to say whether he’s had recent contact with the Trump Organization or Trump’s children. “I don’t see the relevance of that,” he said.

Wow. I can see it now.

Sessions, "I don't remember receiving 10,000.00 from the Russians"....

Yeah, spend it effectively and it could work effectively. Cambridge Analytica. Facebook ads. Buy off someone. Pay someone to hack. OR how many other wire transfers weren't so flagrantly titled, or came through different channels. I honestly can't believe how lucky we've been to find out what we know, I can't even imagine what we don't know. The unknown unknowns in all this must be nuts.

Felix Sater attended Trump's invite-only victory party to celebrate his presidential victory.

GQ - Inside Donald Trump's Election Night War Room

From his home on Long Island, Sater orders a late-night ride from a car service. His destination: the invite-only victory party at the Midtown Hilton.

Driver (name withheld): I picked him up from his house on Long Island. And then, you know, I said, "Hi, how are you? And he said, "Do you know who I am?" And I said, "No, I don't really know you." He showed me his business card. I think, to show me that he's VIP, an important person, and second, to tell me that he was happy that he won the election, because it's unexpected.

So we talked about the election night. After that he just picked up his phone, and he talked all the way from Long Island to New York. He was talking to somebody in the Russian language.

For several weeks there have been rumours that Sater is ready to rat again, agreeing to help Mueller

Fun Fact, One of the first hires on Mueller's team was Andrew Weissmann who flipped Sater the last time.

It's Mueller Time! Trump Administration Season Ending

The British PM has come out strongly about Russian interference today, wonder whether they knew about this?

Specifically, the Senate Intelligence Committee committee asked FinCEN for “any actions” the agency took to support law enforcement or intelligence inquiries about these individuals and businesses, any documents it sent to the FBI, and any requests for information it sent to banks. A separate letter sent to the Treasury Department by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations sought information on the sanctioned bank.

These requests led to the discovery of the wire transfers. Two congressional sources said the Senate Intelligence Committee is aware of the transactions. Spokespeople for the committees would not comment.

FinCEN comes through! Seriously though why would they write "to finance the election campaign of 2016" on the memo line? Seems too good to be true.

One FBI special agent said the transfers are critical for the bureau and lawmakers investigating Russia’s interference in last year’s presidential election. He said even if there is a logical explanation for the suspicious wire transactions the FBI has to investigate what the money was used for.

That these are critical in the investigation is an arresting fact.

"To finance election campaign of 2016"

Are you fucking kidding me...

How the hell is a foreign apparatchik so stupid as to put "to finance election campaign of 2016" on a transfer? Is it so it won't get mixed-up with the "bribery of congressmen" or "assassin payment" transfers?

Kushner seems to be in trouble from like 100 difference directions. I don’t think this is how you play 84 dimensional chess.

Sort of. Page 7.

The Embassy is not mentioned, but consular offices are.

Some cold water from Twitter.

Could be bad. Could also be Duma vote related (Sept. of that year). Hard to tell.

Apparently expats vote in embassies too, so there is reason for them to receive funds.

I think this might be a red herring.

Edit: Twitter consensus seems to be this isn't meddling related. Funds going to non-US countries, while they were holding elections.

Just to play devil's advocate here, Russia held Duma elections starting September 18, 2016. Makes more sense that this money would be used for absentee voting and promoting the election to Russian expats abroad.

Oh, they definitely did. The US is so partisan right now that even though so much is being brought to light, almost half the country refuses to believe Trump could do any wrong. We went from Obama being accused of not doing enough in response to Russia fucking with Ukraine to Trump forgetting to wipe the jizz off his chin after meeting with Putin, with Republicans doing an aboutface LITERALLY over night, and no one cares because buttery males and uranium.

They're allowing themselves to get caught so Dems have a thread to pull on while Reps don tinfoil hats and get their voters to drink shit flavored koolaid. They're doing this to start a civil war, whether it's an actual war or cultural is irrelevant. It's by design, and not by anyone with the benefit of our nation in mind.

Russia has done such a shit job functioning as a nation thanks to their kleptocracy that they don't have the legitimate pull they want on the global political landscape. Putin's not about to give up anything, so he really can't improve Russia without losing something for himself or the people propping him up. The only way he can make Russia a decent nation in comparison is by destroying all of the functioning governments that oppose him. Depressingly, there's too many people trying to rack up their high score in Forbes that Putin isn't even having a hard time making it happen.

We've got to figure out a way to punish EVERYONE who did something to undermine our democracy, and do it in a way that doesn't allow Putin to win.

It's almost like Russia wanted to be caught

Remember their goal was to sew discontent, not have a puppet administration

Look at these inept morons. Like if you are part of a criminal conspiracy to throw an election, stay anonymous and don't brag to drivers and give them business cards and start talking in Russian. Stupid.

So, the tail is wagging the dog. The southern GOP was willing to take Russian money to incite another civil war that results in their favor; a return to strict white Christian patriarchy. But it's actually a Ruskie ploy to destroy the US?

Mama always said American politics were fucked after Watergate.

The note on this set of transfers does not indicate what election the money was to be used for, or even the country. Seven nations had federal elections during the span when the funds were sent — including the Duma, Russia’s lower house of Parliament, on Sept. 18, 2016. Russian embassies and diplomatic compounds opened polling stations for voters living abroad.

Just saying. Not a guaranteed U.S. tie.

It's like if I wrote a check and put "For Cocaine" in the notes.

Also Spain with the Catalona referendum.

^ Why is everybody in this thread forgetting this??

"Hurr durr why would they write that in the memo line?!"


This frankly makes me think that some of the weird lies like the 3-5 million votes were prepared for that eventuality and they just decided, what the hell, let's still roll with it. Uranium One would have been the new Benghazi, they would have probably forced Comey to resign and forced a nominee openly hostile to her, all sorts of shit like this to derail her.

These lies and the rigging claim would have paralyzed the whole country for months following a hotly contested election. The GOP leadership was on record saying they were fired up about blocking everything Clinton would have done, including the Supreme Court nomination, and had months, years, of investigations lined up already. They didn't even bother hiding it, they said and did the same thing with Obama. Chaffetz even rage-quit because his dream job went down in flames.

I don't know what the end-game was, but everything they lined up seemed prepared to just break a Clinton presidency and make it unable to function.

I guess the end result is the same, government is currently broken and getting worse by the day. Maybe just trying to paint the Democratic party as dysfunctional and hope for a wave election. But now the broken government is happening while they have full control. With Clinton in the White House they could have pinned their own dysfunction on her.

This almost seems like a worst case scenario for them. They're preparing to crash the economy with their ridiculous budget and they expected to have been able to blame Clinton for it. This is really fucked up.

You’re not playing devil’s advocate, that is literally the most likely explanation.

Mueller's got the A-Team!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It seems silly that they'd make such a mistake, but peppered through the whole affair I think is Russians' deep understanding of how things actually work in a country where the rule of law more or less works.

Some of their better trained agents probably know better, but I definitely expect most Russians to truly think that the way things work in Russia, where the government is blatantly and openly corrupt, is just how things work elsewhere and that even if something like that would be found out, having Trump as president would magically make it go away.

They usually are careful about these kinds of things but you can't catch them all and overall few Russians probably genuinely understand how a system ruled by laws and institutions actually works. When bribery and corruption are a way of life, it's hard to imagine that it would be different anywhere.

Julia Ioffe said the same thing (she's one of the best reporters on Russian politics in America and broke the recent story about wikileaks and trump jr.). She said it was likely Putin assumed the election was rigged so the moron wouldn't be president. Which echoes trump's pre-election screaming about it being "rigged".

This is probably the biggest investigation in the history of the United States of America. We are witnessing history. It's gonna take some time so the little rats timeline may be off a bit.

Likely this money was designed to be found. When found it can be used to deligitimize the election results.

The CIA field director in Russia, after being expelled, opined that chaos and delegitimizing of democratic process was likely the end game for Russia's involvement. Actually having the chaos candidate win is beyond anything they ever dreamed.

That’s not even the part suggesting this may be less nefarious then it seems: they also sent it to 60 different countries with the same memo, most of which weren’t having an election. Guys, we have to be careful about being baited into sensationalism. That’s how they discredit the real evidence that gets turned up.

We should tuck this one away for later (could be relevant, but also could be related to Duma elections). I’m not saying it’s wrong—could be very pertinent, but want a stronger connection. Hope the FBI can help tie this one up.

I remember a guy was supplying ship movements to the Chinese for sexual favors. And weren’t some admirals busted giving out secrets for like 10k and some hookers?

The price of treason has always been low.

I'm starting to feel like some of them wanted to get caught.

There was a 2016 Duma election and Russian embassies and consulates had expenses pertaining to allowing Russian citizens overseas to vote.

There might be nothing here.

Weismann : Hi Felix.

Sater : Fuuuuuuuuck....

I honestly can't believe how lucky we've been to find out what we know, I can't even imagine what we don't know.

Hard to imagine we would know anywhere near as much as we do now if Clinton won the election. I don't know if I would say we are better off because Trump won, but when I think about the damage Russia could have done with Trump as their mouthpiece, and without the intense scrutiny they have received since the election, it's easy to imagine some pretty terrible scenarios.

There's big in terms of length, sure, but everyone who's being honest with themselves knows that Benghazi was bullshit and this is serious, potential espionage on the part of an unhinged yet ultimately successful presidential campaign. It doesn't get much bigger than this without an open declaration of war.

Benghazi was the biggest investigation in the history of the US. The House spent more time on it then they did on Iran-Contra, the JFK assassination, Pearl Harbor, and Hurricane Katrina.



I hope after all this is said and done, the Trump administration and election meddling by Russia results in a stronger US. It'll take time but maybe it'll let us avoid wannabe tyrants like Trump in the future and safeguard our election process.

There was also an election in Russia in 2016. It's entirely possible this has nothing to do with the US election. Of course it's also possible these payments were specifically used on the US election.

This is why the Hillary spent billions on campaigning argument is bullshit. The Facebook ads reached 110,000,000 Americans and could be targeted at specific groups. That's 30% of America, but it could be nearly every voting citizen if they targeted just voters (110,000,000 of 128,000,000 is 85% of voters who cast votes for Trump/Clinton), but it could have influenced even more people not to vote. I believe that all of that was accomplished with $100,000. No wonder Mark Zuckerberg suddenly wanted to run for office.

84 dimensional checkmate. Against him

And Brexit, and Calexit.

The price of treason has always been low.

Pathetically low, especially since most of these people are already wealthy. Hell, I barely scrape by and I can honestly say I wouldn't sell out my country for a paltry 10 fuckin' grand.

As the article points out, the payments to the US embassy were on August 3, the Russian legislature had elections September 18, and "Russian embassies and diplomatic compounds opened polling stations for voters living abroad." These payments are suspicious and deserve scrutiny, but let's not get ahead of ourselves proclaiming this to be a smoking gun when there's a pretty reasonable answer that doesn't require them to be stupid enough to write "COLLUSION MONEY" in the notes

There were more investigations into Benghazi than the false intelligence which instigated and rationalized the Iraq war. Also, the Bush administration and RNC deleted 22 million emails about Iraq.

One of those payments must have gone to the mods, otherwise they wouldn't keep removing this.

Probably why you're barely scraping by... Morals won't make you wealthy.

It's only 3.5 mooches, give it time.

Yup. The Kremlin wants to burn down the US government. So far, they have hacked both major parties, released emails from one of them, gotten a corrupt, self-serving moron elected President, and stirred up protests and counter-protests around the country, some of which have led to violence and killing.

What will they do next? Well, if I'm in the Kremlin, I'd probably try to get Trump impeached in as slow and painful a process as possible, destroy whatever trust remains in the media, force as many "all or nothing" social fights as possible, politicize as many non-political government officials as possible, and further destabilize American international relations. If I can get Trump to back out of more deals signed by Obama, because he disagrees with them, that's perfect. Because then eventually no country will enter into any long-term treaty with America, for fear it will just be cancelled after the next election.

As a side note, you know who else wants to burn down the US government? Steve Bannon.

Kushner is going to have to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy by March 2018. It's going to be hilarious. No financial analyst can even predict how he'd amass enough capital to delay his bubble payment on 666 5th avenue. 950 million, he'd have to liquidate at least 200 to delay it and he doesn't have that in any scenario.

Plus, Facebook ads are deliberately engineered to bypass your natural skepticism for ads and give the perception that they're coming from people you trust (your close circle of friends & family) as opposed to anonymous TV ads.

They can also be shared by you to other people, like a trojan horse bypassing defenses.

Been thinking for sometime that this HAS to be Russia's overall plan. Just think about some of things that have been happened....

Potentially pressed Wikileaks to to contact the Trump campaign over Twitter multiple times

Sent Natalie Veselnitskaya to meet with top level campaign advisers at Trump Tower, in a room that was directly below Donald's office

Felix Sater attends the VIP victory party and specifically makes sure the driver knows his name and knows he's Russian

The Russian lawyer from the Trump Tower meeting, Natalie Veselnitskaya, has now said she would testify before congress

And the one that goes borderline conspiracy, but I don't think is far off, is the way Carter Page has acted. He appears to have had some of the closest ties/most visits to Russia during the campaign, and he has now openly done multiple interviews to put himself in precarious positions legally, and without a lawyer. I don't believe he's truly as incompetent as he appears, and while I hate to even think that he might be doing the bidding of another country, his behavior doesn't seem to add up unless there's another motive in there (could also be to protect himself from Russia by being in the spotlight, but nothing would surprise me at this point)

All of these actions are preventable, avoidable, and have much safer, more secure alternatives. Russia probably didn't believe Donald could win, and when he did and they realized he isn't competent enough to move major legislation and has questionable decision-making (like firing the man investigating him), their strategy shifted to letting him get caught and sow more discord. Nothing will cement more people to the GOP base like having the 'fake news' and 'political hacks' of our intelligence agency remove the man that 'tells it like it is' and supposedly cares about the common man. Unless Mueller can get his hands on the perfect, 30 second quote from Donald saying he wanted to work with Russia, there will be people that will never believe the FBI or the Democrats ever again, and create a long term divide that will take a numerous elections to repair.

For sure. Kinda wild how long it takes for things to come out to the public. We knew that like 6 months ago, but to piece together the “what” and “why” really can take a while for the public.

You didn't watch the hearing earlier? Republicans are claiming the dossier has been highly discredited......


Seriously, the documentary for all this should be a multi-season show.

You replied before I could edit so I'll just respond to your great point! The story that you reference was first published by Paul Wood for The Spectator, he's a well established journalist who works as the World Affairs correspondent for the BBC.

Here is the original article, its behind a paywall unfortunately.

'i have served in the Senate for 160 dare you question my character!'

And its being made public knowledge is an arresting development.

"owe the bank a thousand dollars, you have a problem. Owe the bank millions, and they have a problem"

This is why there's been no impeachment yet. The whole RNC is fucked, just fucked to high heaven.

It's like saying "the White House" to mean the US executive branch.

It means the Russian Government.

The election and inauguration of Donald Trump is probably the most unequivocal evidence of all time that the American electoral system is not rigged.

It’s just owned by a very fickle and emotional electorate.

I would guess this has nothing to do with US elections. Russian embassies need to let expat russians vote for Duma (russian lower house) elections.

Likely this money was designed to be found.

I really think you're right. It makes much more sense to me than thinking that 'Russia is stupid'.

Yep. They never thought Donnie Two Scoops would actually get elected, they just wanted to undermine Hillary's presidency. They couldn't have done it without willing participants like Chaffetz.

I believe there is a good chance that Clinton losing the election was in a twisted way for the best, especially for her. For all the reasons you noted and more her Presidency would have been paralyzed and under constant attack. This was all planned for years.

Donnie goes off and starts Trump TV and tours the country saying how the world would be perfect with him in charge, etc and the GOP builds up someone far more competent and insidious than Trump to run against Clinton in 4 years time.

We will never know for sure and the damage Trump has done as Pres will be felt for years to come but this was not their plan and with the sheer shitshow around Trump there is a legitimate chance at a progressive bounce back with all this Russia stuff out in the open. Maybe this is the best course of events when you think about it in that context.

Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark


Can't say Trump didn't know Sater.

If the memo was written by the Russians, my money's on it being intentional to fuck with us knowing the optics would be terrible.

If it was from the US side...well, stupid doesn't even begin to cover it.

There's a chance I may have committed some... light... treason

probably should have been a bit more vague in the memo line. This is a tired trope but.. Stupid Watergate.

Yeah but he said that a while ago, well over 30-35 days.

These people will never be in rented rooms, they'll never have to make the month's money last. Even down the hole for hundreds of millions, they'll never be poor.

The Russians are many things, but I wouldn't characterize this as stupid. I'm sure it was intentional.

Quick guess here...

Dossier stated specifically these 2 things in regards to Embassies and payments:

On the mechanism for rewarding relevant assets based in the US, and effecting a two-way flow of intelligence and other useful information, Source E claimed that Russian diplomatic staff in key cities such as New York, Washington DC and Miami were using the émigré ‘pension’ distribution system as cover. The operation therefore depended on key people in the US Russian émigré community for its success. Tens of thousands of dollars were involved.

Finally, speaking separately to the same compatriot, a senior Russian MFA official reported that as a prophylactic measure, a leading Russian diplomat, Mikhail KULAGIN, had been withdrawn from Washington at short notice because Moscow feared his heavy involvement in the US presidential election operation, including the so-called veterans’ pensions ruse (reported previously), would be exposed in the media there. His replacement, Andrei BONDAREV however was clean in this regard.

We have corroborating stories that Steele was correct on this from 2 separate sources BBC and McClatchy

Seems plausible to me that based on that reporting FBI was monitoring Kalugin as a spy. Moscow pulled him out, and now FBI is looking into payments which he was involved in as well as likely other RU spies/embassies around the world.

I've seen mention of Manafort notes of payments, the reporting on that issue is all over the place so I'd urge caution there. (We've had mixed reports about what specifically that refers to or if he even had payments as part of his notes)

Also see people mentioning VTB good work there, could be something.

It was meant to be found to leave a trail of suspicion on Hillary. The goal was destabilization, with no really solid proof. They just didn't count on how glaringly stupid the Trumps were.

b, a n a n a treason

Seven nations had federal elections during the span when the funds were sent — including the Duma, Russia’s lower house of Parliament, on Sept. 18, 2016. Russian embassies and diplomatic compounds opened polling stations for voters living abroad.

I think ya'll are reaching with this one, personally. The money was clearly to set up stuff for their own election. There's plenty of legit evidence to not have to grasp at straws like this.

If you are going to illegally fund something, one single lump sum is a bad idea. Funnel small amounts through as many channels as you can. Small amounts that don't seem out of line to day to day operations is are less likely to arouse suspicion. See above.

And maybe if we're lucky people will take this as a lesson for why obscene wealth corrupts and lets them take advantage of the little guy and put protections in place... oh who am I kidding, he'll probably get a bailout.

I agree, however the one detail that leaves me with some doubt is that it explicitly uses the word "campaign". If it had said "To Finance Election of 2016" it would seem like that was the obvious answer. Is the word campaign ever really applied to voting polls?

Perhaps it's also a handy double-blind? Of course the only thing that will really answer this is to see where the money continued to go. It's important to keep the absentee voting in September in mind, though, rather than jumping to rabid conclusions.

I used to write stuff like "For robot", "For time machine" or "For drugs" when I gave my college roommate my rent check and this is somehow even stupider

Financial crimes and campaign crimes. Sounds fun!