Now That Michael Flynn Pled Guilty, What’s next for Donald Trump?

Now that Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn has pled guilty to a felony, people are wondering what it means.

The big ticket conversation item right now is that Trump tried to influence a foreign government before he took office and was a private citizen.  This would be a violation of the Logan Act.  The Logan Act, however, is a 200 year old criminal law and has never been used to prosecute or convict anyone in its entire history.  In fact only two people have even seen charges under the Logan Act, and neither were convicted.

So if the fact that Trump was conspiring with Flynn and others to influence Russia to take certain foreign policy actions before the election is not enough to go the distance, what else is there?

The second, stronger, but still fairly weak theory is that Trump and his team conspired with the Russian government to steal electronic data from Democrats.  This would be a computer crime.  But the record indicates that Trump and his flunkies only made contact with the Russians on this specific topic after the data was already stolen.  So without more information, it does not look like Trump asked Russia to steal the data (before the fact) or planned or conspired to steal it.

A sub-category of potential crimes in this area is a violation of campaign finance law.  It is illegal for a U.S. political candidate to take something of value from a foreign government during a campaign.  Something of value usually equates to campaign money or other assistance.  There’s evidence that Russia spent a lot of money on social media ads that directly benefited Trump.  There was also the famous meeting between one of Putin’s lawyers and Trump’s top campaign officials in Trump Tower.  And of course, Trump’s campaign directly benefited from all of the leaked Democrat emails.  So this could go somewhere, but the question would be how much involvement did Trump’s team have with the actions of the Russians?

Trump’s obvious defense would be, “I can’t tell the Russians how to spend their money, that’s up to them and I didn’t tell them how to do it during the campaign.”  There is some evidence suggesting he did try to tell the Russians how to help him during the campaign, but proving it beyond a reasonable doubt to get a criminal conviction, with what we know right now, would be difficult.

The third option goes back to Paul Manafort, who was indicted for, essentially, corruption and fraud by taking millions from a foreign government and laundering the money and taking a cut.  This could be why Trump has absolutely refused to release his tax returns–because they could show that he is on Russia’s payroll.  If it is the case that Trump was also on the take, and worked with Paul to take millions from the Russians in exchange for influence and favorable policy decisions, this would be a very serious criminal case of corruption, fraud, money laundering, and perhaps even treason against the president.

The third option would also go far to explain why Flynn, and Papadopoulos before him, intentionally lied to the FBI–a felony–about the campaign’s contacts with the Russians.  If Flynn and Papadopoulos knew that Trump and his team were taking millions from the Russians in exchange for helping the Russians (and it looks like Flynn was also taking money from the Russians), then any action taken on behalf or in coordination with Russia is clear evidence of serious criminal wrongdoing.  And the FBI would be the last people you would want to talk to about that.

If, on the other hand, we were still discussing potential Logan Act violations, it seems like the Trump Team, given their willingness to be loud mouths, would have basically said, “Yeah so what we talked to the Russians, we were about to take over the White House and we didn’t want Obama’s stupid decisions to get us off to a bad start.  So of course we talked to the Russians during the transition.  Of course we were talking to them a few weeks before we took office.  We were going to be in charge, so why wouldn’t we do that?”

This is probably why the Logan Act, while still good law, has never been effectively used in over 200 years and is doubtful to be the main dish in the Mueller investigation.  It’s all about the money at this point.

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Trump Humiliated by Comey Congressional Hearing

The big news out of the Comey congressional hearing today is that the FBI confirms it is now investigating ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian intelligence services.  In response to the hearing, Donald Trump tweeted that Russia “did not influence” the electoral process.  It’s a flat out lie.  But more importantly Trump’s tweet appears to all but certainly confirm that Donald Trump operates the White House as  the American propaganda arm of Russia.  He has disrespected the White House and has cheapened the Office of Presidency.

Sadly, the Republican stooges during the congressional hearing could not even bring themselves to mention the bear in the room–Russia’s attempts to influence our presidential election.  Instead, all they could muster was a half-baked attempt to show that the leakers were the “bad guys” . . . . pay no attention to the leak itself, though, comrade Americans!  Representative Nunes the House Intelligence Committee chair humiliated himself, and showed himself to be a sick kiss up.  It’s almost as if the Russians have something on him as well.

It was also funny to watch Congressman Trey Gowdy put on his best self-righteous prosecutor show to be outraged at the release of information by members of the intelligence community.  Nevermind that the information proved that one of Trump’s top minions, Michael Flynn, was a pathological and public liar.  Nope, Gowdy was upset that classified information was leaked!  Nevermind that Gowdy himself incompetently leaked the name of a CIA source in 2015, thereby exposing classified information.  Do you think he will ask for himself to be arrested for releasing classified information?  Or maybe just for being a huge suck up and imbecile?

This follows a long line of recent examples of Trump pushing Russian propaganda.  Most recently, we had the Trump White House pushing the lie that the British were wiretapping Trump during the election.  When the British became upset, however, they had to backtrack significantly.  It seems our allies don’t like it when we tell lies about them.  Especially when the lies are manufactured and pushed by the Russians.

The underlying takeaway from the hearing today, however, is that Russia interfered with our elections.  The intent clearly was to hurt Hillary Clinton and to help Trump.

It is also clear that members of the Trump entourage were well aware of the hacking and were even aware of specific instances of hacking.  The best of example of this is Roger Stone, a core Trump flunky, who publicly began talking about the leaking of John Podesta’s (a Hillary flunky) e-mails before they were even leaked to the public.  In other words, a Russian source was obviously keeping Stone (if not Trump himself) updated on all of their hacking.

The FBI is on the record now as investigating the Trump campaign, and even Trump himself, for their involvement in the Russian hacking scandal.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

Moscow Mike Flynn, Trump’s Failed National Security Advisor Resigns

Out Out Out!!!  LOCK HIM UP!!  Putin’s minion in the White House has resigned after it became clear his head is deeply up Putin’s behind.  The White House was warned that Moscow Mike Flynn was a traitor back in January, but instead of taking action, the incompetent Trump dimwits sat on the information and fired the messenger.

The acting attorney general informed the Trump White House late last month that she believed Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and warned that the national security adviser was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail, current and former U.S. officials said.

Whatever the case, it is thanks to real reporters that we learned the story behind Moscow Mike and his links with Putin.  Even with those links though, Flynn only really became toast after he lied to the Vice President, Mike Pence.

Even more pathetic is the fact that Moscow Mike Flynn led the charge against Hillary Clinton and her e-mail server–the one nobody cared about the day after the election (it was so important though the day before, right!!??!).  Flynn is a disgrace.

Grab some popcorn, this is only the beginning:

 

Donald Trump Brings Russian Spy to Classified Briefings

As a presidential candidate, Trump begins receiving intelligence briefings that contain classified information.  He’s bringing with him one of his “advisors,” Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn who has direct ties with Russia, including Putin.  Before Flynn joined Trump campaign, he worked for Putin’s RT television network.  Flynn is in fact so close to Putin that he was seated directly next to him in one of RT’s dinner.

When Trump was asked why he’s bringing Flynn with him to the briefings, Trump responded that he does not “trust” U.S. intelligence.  I guess he favors Russian intelligence.