Wonder why #Flynn grand jury might need an expert on espionage? I have a thought.


Meet Bijan Rafiekian.  Here Rafiekian is with NSA chief Admiral Michael S. Rogers and General Michael Flynn, Rafiekian’s ubiquitous business partner.   I wonder what the medals were for?

Rafiekian is reported be Iranian American is the business person is my “person of interest” for why they might be looking at espionage in the ED VA.

Rafiekian was also reported to have been at the meeting where former DCIA James Woolsey reported the plan to kidnap Fetulah Gulen was discussed.  That would mean that the Feds can hang a life sentence on him, like Flynn.

Makes you very talkative.

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Judge in #Zarrab case rules that Atilla waived conflicts with Herrick firm.

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Richard M. Berman: Curcio Hearing as to Mehmet Hakan Atilla held on 6/12/2017. AUSAs Sid Kamaraju, Dean Sovolos and David Denton present; Defendant Mehmet Hakan Atilla present with defense attorneys Victor Rocco, Thomas Thornhill and Cathy Fleming;Also present is Joshua Dratel, Curcio counsel for defendant Atilla; Defendant Atilla is sworn; Curcio hearing continued; Curcio hearing is concluded; Court rules that defendant has knowingly and voluntarily waived any potential conflict of interest posed by the retention of the Herrick firm; Parties to meet and confer re: protective order; motion schedule; BOP (jw)

Is the #US in a shooting war with #Iran?

On May 18, the Assad forces made up of mostly Iranian proxies ignored US warnings to withdraw and were attacked on the road to Tanf on the Iraq-Jordan-Syria border. Reports put the column about 8 km from the US partner force and the border crossing when US forces attacked it.

The Iranians withdrew about 75 km to the Zaza checkpoint that is a junction of the Baghdad –  Damascus highway from Tanf with a road to the north.

On May 24, CENTCOM Air Commander in Iraq gave a press conference where the issue of #Tanf  and the “Syrian” threat was addressed:

At no time has the US been anything but crystal clear that it would act to defend its partnered forces at Tanf.

On or about June 2, the US Embassy Syria posted a tweet warning it perceived a threat caused by the build up of forces at Zaza.  Early June 6, Hawaii time, I tweeted that it looked like US forces would attack any force threatening Tanf.  Then later that same day there were confirmations of the second US attack.  This post has a bad bit of video but it is sufficient to show the firepower the US employed.

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#Zarrab Judge allows Mukasey & Giuliani to act as counsel but finds both have “potential” conflicts of interests.

201700601 (259) Curcio Decision and Order

DECISION AND ORDER as to (15-Cr-867-1) Reza Zarrab. Having reviewed the (comprehensive) record herein including, without limitation, the Government submissions, dated March 27, 2017, March 31, 2017, April 18, 2017, April 28, 2017, May 22, 2017; the Defense submissions, dated March 27, 2017, March 30, 2017, March 31, 2017, April 14, 2017, April 18, 2017, April 27, 2017, May 22, 2017; Rudolph Giuliani’s affidavits, dated April 14, 2017, May 4, 2017, and May 22, 2017; Michael B. Mukasey’s affidavits, dated April 13, 2017, May 3, 3017, and May 19, 2017; Laurence Levy’s affidavit, dated April 14, 2017; Robert Mangas’ affidavit, dated April 14, 2017; Registration Statements filed by Greenberg Traurig LLP with the United States Department of Justice (for 2014-2016); the Court’s earlier Curcio Decision and Order, dated February 15, 2017; and having conducted numerous conferences and hearings and heard oral argument by all counsel on April 4, 2017, April 13, 2017, April 24, 2017, May 2, 2017, May 11, 2017, and May 25, 2017, the Court finds as follows: 1- Mr. Mukasey appears to have a potential conflict of interest as a result of his firm’s (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP) representation of eight “victim banks” (i.e., Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, UBS and Wells Fargo); 2- Mr. Giuliani appears to have potential conflicts of interest as a result of his firm’s (Greenberg Traurig LLP) representation of the same eight victim banks and also as a result of Greenberg Traurig’s serving as an “agent” of the Republic of Turkey;…[See this Decision And Order]… 9- In reaching its conclusions, the Court has also taken into consideration the importance of maintaining the integrity of these proceedings as the case heads toward trial on October 30, 2017. See Wheat v. United States, 486 U.S. 153, 160 (1988) (“Federal courts have an independent interest in ensuring that criminal trials are conducted within the ethical standards of the profession and that legal proceedings appear fair to all who observe them.”); and United States v. Cunningham, 672 F.2d 1064, 1070 (2d Cir. 1982) (“In determining whether the right of the accused to counsel of his choosing should be honored in a particular case, we must balance the defendant’s constitutional right against the need to preserve the highest ethical standards of professional responsibility.”) 10- These conflict situations must continue to be closely monitored, principally by the Defense. Counsel are directed promptly to advise the Court of any change of circumstances which may result in actual conflict or which may exacerbate potential conflict(s) of interest. See Decision and Order, dated February 15, 2017 at 10 (“At the same time, these conflict matters must be closely monitored, principally by the Defense. Counsel are directed promptly to advise the Court of any change of circumstances which may result in actual or which may exacerbate potential conflict(s) of interest.”). (Signed by Judge Richard M. Berman on 6/1/2017)(bw)