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At Least Mueller Caught Richard Pinedo, Putin's Man in Rural Ventura County
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The Big 3: Manafort, Cohen, Pinedo

Okay, so Robert Mueller closed up shop without indicting anybody named Trump. But don’t say Russiaphobia was all just a hysterical delusion. For example, Mueller caught his Mr. Big, Richard Pinedo, the Kremlin’s man in Santa Paula. From the L.A. Times:

Who is the California man who just pleaded guilty to unwittingly aiding Russian interference in the 2016 election?

By MATT HAMILTON, JAMES QUEALLY and MICHAEL LIVINGSTON
FEB 16, 2018 | 6:10 PM
| SANTA PAULA, CALIF.

A California man who pleaded guilty to identity theft as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was a self-described digital marketing strategist who once ran a website that helped people get around security measures for online marketplaces such as Amazon and EBay.

Richard Pinedo, 28, of Santa Paula, pleaded guilty this month to one count of identity fraud as part of the investigation, according to court documents made public Friday by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. …

Through the company, Pinedo sold bank account numbers to users, according to court documents. He often purchased stolen bank information over the internet before selling it to his clients. …

While the criminal charge against Pinedo says he knowingly dealt with people outside the U.S. — both in buying and selling account numbers — a law enforcement official told The Times there is no evidence that he knew he was dealing with a Russian intelligence operation.

He profited “tens of thousands of dollars” from the sale of banking information online through Auction Essistance, according to court documents.

Lessem said Pinedo had dealings with some of the defendants listed in the indictment, but stressed that those interactions represented a small piece of his client’s overall business.

I’m not actually involved in any of this; I have enough trouble as it is; please leave me out.

So, a small fraction of Pinedo’s “tens of thousands of dollars” came from Russians?

Santa Paula is an 80% Hispanic farm town that claims to be the “Citrus Capital of the World.” David Spade’s 2001 movie Joe Dirt was filmed there.

Pinedo also had a brief stint as a sales associate at LA Fitness, and his online resume said he attended Ventura College, earning a computer science associate’s degree in 2009

The Special Prosecutor released this video of Pinedo’s entry, while working at LA Fitness, into the wilderness of mirrors that is international intelligence intrigue:

 
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  1. A California man who pleaded guilty to identity theft…

    A man with a Hispanic name and face is arrested for identity theft? In California?

    Has that ever happened before?

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    , @AnonFromTN
    , @guest
  2. Someone really needs to look into these Hispanic Dork Intelligence Ops in California.

  3. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    If you haven’t read the latest C. J. Hopkins article here at Unz … please do so.

    • Agree: Hail
    • Replies: @Hail
    , @Desiderius
  4. Of all the players in this comedy, Strzok seemed like the most likely to use his service weapon as a conversation piece when flirting with women. And to build a weird sex contraption in his basement..

    This week in iSteve/Coen Brothers/Tom Wolfe/Black comedy etc convergence…

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  5. Antonius says:

    Unrelated but…
    Trump says it’s time for US to recognize ‘Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights’

    CNN Reacts to Mueller News: ‘Huge Victory for the President,’ Trump ‘Vindicated’

    Quid pro quo?

    • Agree: Colin Wright, Gordo
    • Replies: @Anon
  6. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Anthony Wayne

    No way is Strzok, who grew up in the Ummah, flirting with women.

  7. @Reg Cæsar

    He cannot be a Californian man or even simply a Californian because grammar is for suckers without graduate degrees in journalism. All demonyms now take descriptive nouns for no apparant reason, like Neanderthal Man or Piltdown Man. It’s ironically appropriate in its way, since this lot are almost uniformly of similarly backward subspecies engaged in atavistic behaviour.

    In the event, in this case “California man” simply means “Mexican,” I expect.

    From now on whenever I’m bothered to indicate such data on some stupid form I believe I shall opt for “other” and write in that I am a “California man.”

    (If you are Somali, of course, you are a Minnesota man – but maybe a Lewiston man – and if Kurdish, probably a Nashville man, the Chinese are often but not exclusively a Cupertino man or an Irvine man, and so on. Refugee [Sic] Resettlement Watch is sort of the decoder ring for these new appellations, if one chooses to be bothered about it, though one must still rely upon statistical probabilities.)

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  8. tsotha says:

    So, a small fraction of Pinedo’s “tens of thousands of dollars” came from Russians?

    If I were a congressman I’d depose Mueller and ask him if this was a joke.

  9. Hail says: • Website
    @anonymous

    Mueller-Dämmerung

    Mueller-Dämmerung
    C.J. HOPKINS • MARCH 21, 2019 • 1,300 WORDS

    Honestly, I’m a bit surprised. I was sure they were going to go ahead and fabricate some kind of “smoking gun” evidence (like the pee-stained sheets from that Moscow hotel), or coerce one of his sleazy minions into testifying that he personally saw Trump down on his knees “colluding” Putin in the back room of a Russian sauna. After all, if you’re going to accuse a sitting president of being a Russian intelligence asset, you kind of need to be able to prove it, or (a) you defeat the whole purpose of the exercise, (b) you destroy your own credibility, and (c) you present that sitting president with a powerful weapon he can use to bury you.

    This is what Trump is about to do with Russiagate. When the Mueller report fails to present any evidence that he “colluded” with Russia to steal the election, Trump is going to reach over, grab that report, roll it up tightly into a makeshift cudgel, and then beat the snot out of his opponents with it. He is going to explain to the American people that the Democrats, the corporate media, Hollywood, the liberal intelligentsia, and elements of the intelligence agencies conspired to try to force him out of office with an unprecedented propaganda campaign and a groundless special investigation. He is going to explain to the American people that Russiagate, from start to finish, was, in his words, a ridiculous “witch hunt,” a childish story based on nothing. Then he’s going to tell them a different story.

    iSteveian text-string check:

    immig: no hits in the C.J. Hopkins article.

    It’s a great article, but IMO misses why Trump was elected.

  10. Anonymous[388] • Disclaimer says:

    God Emperor Trump,

    Please pardon Putin’s pal poor Pinedo.

    Thanks.

  11. Anon[369] • Disclaimer says:

    “Trump says it’s time for US to recognize ‘Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights’. CNN Reacts to Mueller News: ‘Huge Victory for the President,’ Trump ‘Vindicated’ Quid pro quo?”

    It wouldn’t be the first time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwyJ6Wx5lKU

  12. @Autochthon

    All demonyms now take descriptive nouns for no apparant reason, like Neanderthal Man or Piltdown Man

    I object.

    There were many of those Neanderthals, but there was only one of me. I never liked them. They were all war-war, but I preferred jaw-jaw.

  13. Lugash says:
    @tsotha

    Congress needs to depose Brennan over his ‘going down the path of treason’ remarks. I’d also like to know what was said in the secret intelligence briefing to the Gang of Eight(Four?) that Feinstein looked like a ghost when she came out of it.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  14. Anon[125] • Disclaimer says:
    @Antonius

    This looks to me like Trump has noticed the turmoil in the Democratic party about anti-Semitism and the new leftwing Dem radicals who aren’t keen on Jews. Trump may be trying to take advantage of this turmoil to persuading rich Jews to leave the Democrats and join the Republicans by a pro-Israel move.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  15. Anonymous[357] • Disclaimer says:

    He was iSteve MOTY right?

  16. @Anon

    ” Trump may be trying to take advantage of this turmoil to persuading rich Jews to leave the Democrats and join the Republicans by a pro-Israel move.”

    Surely you’re not suggesting dual (or even single) loyalty, that ancient trope?

    (Meanwhile, as someone said on Twitter, AOC is playing 36-D chess)

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
  17. @tsotha

    Good idea but as the House is now in Dem hands (no thanks to Trump), they will do no such thing.

    The only hearing they will be holding is an inquiry into why the investigation didn’t turn up what it was supposed to: did Trump corrupt the investigation? To be continued through 2021.

    • Replies: @Anon
  18. And after all this, Strzok gets off. Someone ought to take a Page from his book.

  19. duke marz says:

    This may be the greatest visual aid ever included in an iSteve blog post!!! Well done, sir!

  20. @tsotha

    If I were a congressperson I’d want to know if such a lengthy fishing expedition resulting in no catch involved any consumption of alcoholic beverages, or something like that.

  21. donut says:
    @Hail

    Trump misses why Trump was elected .

    • Agree: Hail
  22. Corvinus says:

    “Okay, so Robert Mueller closed up shop without indicting anybody named Trump.”

    So now you come out of the woodwork when the coast is supposedly clear, eh, Mr. Sailer? The scope of Mueller’s investigation was criminal in nature. As I stated before on a previous blog post, the standard for Mueller to indict someone is relatively high (90%–beyond a reasonable doubt), as it should be. But that does not mean that Trump or those really close to him will not be indicated at all. There are still two major investigations, sealed indictments, and various “loose ends” that need to be tied up, a number of them which are in their infancy.

    But you be cagey, Mr. Sailer.

  23. @Corvinus

    Your advocacy for corruption, dishonesty and politicizing the (In)Justice Department and FBI to disfranchise Trump voters is once again noted.

    Your dream of lacing up your boots and stamping on a human face forever will never die, will it Corvinus?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  24. notanon says:

    the critical part of all this was never the investigation itself, it was the bugging of everyone Trump talked to.

    everyone in DC knows if they actively support Trump’s agenda they will be targeted and taken out like Manafort and Kelly.

    there’s been a coup d’etat and the bad guys won.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  25. Do Julian and Joaquin Castro have a triplet brother?

  26. Peterike says:
    @Corvinus

    Poor baby must have a crush on AOC.

  27. @Hail

    Hopkins is somewhat clownish. He tries a little too hard with his shtick, so it may be that many here have long ago tired of it and just don’t read his articles anymore.

  28. @YetAnotherAnon

    36D! She looks more like a 32B to me.

  29. @Reg Cæsar

    Yea, that’s an unforgivable breach of PC. They should have named him John Smith and focused on racism and white privilege in the publication.

  30. @anonymous

    Trump’s a softie, not a badass.

  31. Frankly, I am disappointed. Millions of taxpayers’ money that Mueller’s team spent should have produced at least a blue dress. Instead, we got a guilty crook Manafort, as American as an apple pie, and now this minor crook. Mueller has no imagination.

  32. Anon[934] • Disclaimer says:
    @Almost Missouri

    The Dems can only do this if they grill Mueller and Weissmann relentlessly, and neither man is likely to put up with this or cooperate in any way in accusations that they weren’t anti-Trump or pitbull-like enough. It’ll go nowhere.

    The Dems will have to hang their lead prosecutors, and they will not take this kindly.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  33. Anon[934] • Disclaimer says:
    @Corvinus

    If you’ve been trying to get someone for two years and haven’t gotten anywhere, that’s because there’s nowhere you can go.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  34. TWS says:

    The importance of the indictments cannot be overstated. Clearly, the nefarious Russians are so sneaky they cannot be detected even after two years.

  35. I saw the cover of the NY Times this morning featuring Richard Pinedo’s grinning mug front and center.

    Quite the synchronicity.

  36. El Dato says:
    @Lugash

    “Trump is the only one known to mankind who has the key to the Gates beyond which lies the Crawling Chaos, but he doesn’t know it himself. However, once he tweets the four words, even UNWITTINGLY, demonic forces will be let loose. We have no solution to that problem.”

  37. Anon[272] • Disclaimer says:

    “So now you come out of the woodwork when the coast is supposedly clear, eh, Mr. Sailer?”

    Not a single American was ever indicted or convicted of any charge involving Russian interference in the 2016 elections. It’s rich that you can run your mouth about coming out when the coast is clear when you spent so much time alleging a giant conspiracy theory which has now been totally debunked; it’s called deflection. Honestly, I think Sailer should consider banning this guy. He already moderates comments, so there the precedent. I don’t see how this could not be extended. Not only does this guy contribute nothing, he deflects, lies, and spent years pushing a now debunked conspiracy theory. He makes this blog a lesser place. There should be consequences for his actions.

    “The scope of Mueller’s investigation was criminal in nature.”

    The scope of Mueller’s investigation was Russia. Your conspiracy just got debunked.

    “As I stated before on a previous blog post, the standard for Mueller to indict someone is relatively high (90%–beyond a reasonable doubt), as it should be.”

    Which applies to basically all indictments. 95% of them go through, but an indictment is hardly a conviction. The process is merely to determine if there is enough to make a trial over.

    “But that does not mean that Trump or those really close to him will not be indicated at all.”

    Yes, it does. Mueller has already stated no new indictments.

    “There are still two major investigations, sealed indictments, and various “loose ends” that need to be tied up, a number of them which are in their infancy.”

    Most of which are pushed by House Dems, most of whom have already humiliated themselves with this Russiagate nonsense. Stop lying.

  38. @Anon

    All true, but the Dem investigations don’t have to go anywhere. In fact, it is probably better if they don’t. They just have to crowd out reality.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  39. Corvinus says:
    @Anon

    “If you’ve been trying to get someone for two years and haven’t gotten anywhere, that’s because there’s nowhere you can go.”

    LOL. Several indictments, people going to prison, and ongoing investigations. Right, Mueller and his team “haven’t gotten anywhere” (rolling of eyes).

  40. @Corvinus

    As I stated before on a previous blog post, the standard for Mueller to indict someone is relatively high (90%–beyond a reasonable doubt), as it should be. But that does not mean that Trump or those really close to him will not be indicated at all.

    Can’t wait for Drumpf to be indicted for intentional infliction of emotional distress against the screaming inauguration woman.

  41. guest says:

    He knew he was dealing with people outside the country. Okay. I’ve done that, too. Not while running a banking numbers scam but in order to buy used books or CDs. Am I in trouble?

    Wait, I think that was with the U.K. They’re allowed to do whatever they want with Our Democracy, nevermind.

  42. guest says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Possibly in the Cheech Marin movie Born in East L.A.

  43. guest says:
    @tsotha

    Does Grandma Mueller strike you as a jokey fellow?

  44. anon[273] • Disclaimer says:

    “LOL. Several indictments, people going to prison, and ongoing investigations. Right, Mueller and his team “haven’t gotten anywhere” (rolling of eyes).”

    All for ancillary procedural violations – campaign finance and the like. Absolutely zero collusion. Imagine your neighbors run a years long witch hunt alleging treason on your part and all they come up with is a credit card fraud charge from 1979 and your spouse not filing her taxes on the right form. Nice shameless deflection and lie, though /s

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @Corvinus
  45. @anon

    That’s how he makes the slightly above welfare bucks.

  46. Who cares?

    The charade served its purpose.

    Trump acts like he hardly noticed how his presidency has been hijacked for more than two years, while he was on ‘LockHerUp’- bound flight.

    After being blindly navigated for so long on a high-altitudes with the lower oxygen levels, Trump learned to stop worrying and love the Swamp:

    At this point flight attendant Mueller can freely announce that due to weather conditions the Air Farce One has been of the course for a while, but now will be landing safely at the nearest ‘Don’t Lock Me Up!’ black site runway.

    Trump is definitely over it.

    He is oversenile, overblackmailed, and overincompetent.

    Not to mention that Mexico is not paying for it.

    • Replies: @James Braxton
  47. @notanon

    Technically the not as bad guys, but yeah, not what we voted for not close.

  48. @bored identity

    Mexico is paying indirectly. Get your facts straight.

  49. I’m not actually involved in any of this; I have enough trouble as it is; please leave me out.

    Actually Rod’s just hitting his stride. This is pretty impressive:

    https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2019/03/against-the-dead-consensus

    I know you’re not a joiner, Steve, but maybe this would be a decent time to make an exception.

  50. J.Ross says: • Website

    Bill Maher “I don’t need the Mueller report to know Trump is a traitor. I have a TV.”

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @res
  51. El Dato says:
    @J.Ross

    That statement is the good description of the 21st century normie infosphere.

  52. Corvinus says:
    @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    “Your advocacy for corruption, dishonesty and politicizing the (In)Justice Department and FBI to disfranchise Trump voters is once again noted.”

    I see you are up to your old tricks of making wild generalizations.

    “Your dream of lacing up your boots and stamping on a human face forever will never die, will it Corvinus?”

    That’s your vision, not mine.

  53. Corvinus says:
    @anon

    “All for ancillary procedural violations – campaign finance and the like.”

    With Trump’s knowledge.

    “Absolutely zero collusion.”

    Not according to the evidence.

  54. res says:
    @J.Ross

    That tweet is so telling. Does Maher realize what he said?

    • Agree: Desiderius
  55. @Hail

    Best article I’ve seen about this.

    https://www.steynonline.com/9255/deep-state-dumpster-fire

    Mark Steyn always had a talent for stripping away government gobbledygook talk and entertainingly laying out the plain facts in a lucid way. He does not disappoint here.

    • Replies: @Hail
  56. Hail says: • Website
    @Almost Missouri

    Great article. Thanks.

    Steyn is a skilled, effective rhetorician / polemicist in both the printed and spoken word.

  57. MEH 0910 says:

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