Trump Jr.’s Meeting with Russian Spies

Over the course of the last week, we’ve learned about a meeting between Russian spies and Trump Jr., which took place during the presidential campaign and in Trump Tower.  On Sunday, we learned there was an unreported meeting between Donald Trump Jr., and potential Russian foreign agents.  On Monday, we learned that the meeting was arranged by a Russian.  on Tuesday, we learned that the meting was with Russian foreign agents and about Russian sanctions.  On Wednesday, we learned that the meeting was specifically about the Russian government helping Trump with the “Hillary problem.”  On Thursday, we learned that a second Russian agent was at the meeting, and that the person is a known former counter intelligence spy and Russian lobbyist.  Yesterday, Friday, we learned that there were actually twice as many people at the meeting than was originally reported.

There are many angles to this meeting, but probably the most significant is the fact that Russian lawyer, with deep ties to Putin (and therefore a likely government agent), Natalia Veselnitskaya, was present.  Veselnitskaya represented Russian company Prevezon, which was indicted in the U.S. for money laundering.  After Trump took office, however, the case was abruptly dismissed.

The timeline is interesting.   On September 10, 2013, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara indicted Prevezon for money laundering in New York.  Prevezon then hired Veselnitskaya to represent it in the case.  Three years into the representation, on June 9, 2016, Veselnitskaya contacted the Trump team and promised to give them dirt on Hillary Clinton.  Trump Jr., was excited, claiming he’d “love” to get dirt on his political opponent from a foreign agent (which is a crime).

On November 9, 2016, Trump wins the election.  Then on March 11, 2017, two months into his presidency, Trump fired Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney that indicted Prevezon.  Two months after that, Trump’s DOJ, which is led by Jeff Sessions, a man that also had contacts with Russian foreign agents during the campaign that he lied about, settles the $230 million money laundering case against Prevezon for $6 million.

Was such a low settlement reasonable?  The Russians claimed that it was so low it proved that the U.S. was basically apologizing for filing the suit.  So either it was a bad, dead end lawsuit–which is unlikely since the U.S. Attorney’s office is filled with absolute top-notch lawyers–or it was settled for other reasons:

The settlement was so meager that one of Prevezon’s US attorneys said it was “almost an admission that they shouldn’t have brought the case.” Veselnitskaya herself crowed that it was “almost an apology from the government.”

It is important to also noted that some in the U.S. viewed the $6 million settlement as a victory since the key witness was thrown out of a window in Russia and all the U.S. could ultimately prove was money laundering of about $1.9 million.  Even the fired Preet Bharara seemed to think the resolution was a good one.

In any event, at the end of the day, Veselnitskaya got exactly what she wanted.

 

 

Advertisements

Trump’s National Security Advisor is a Russian Spy

The first major scandal of the Trump administration is here. Some may argue that the immigration ban debacle was really the first scandal. That, arguably, is a legal fight. This, however, is a pure scandal with clear corruption, dishonesty and likely spying on the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government. Treason?

National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

It all started when Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had several phone calls with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office. When Flynn was asked if he talked to the ambassador about the sanctions against Russia, he lied through his teeth and said no. Vice President Pence then went on record saying they did not talk about the sanctions.

This week somebody in the intelligence community obviously approached Flynn and told him he was a lying sack of shit. Told him that they knew he talked to the Russian ambassador about Russian sanctions. Told him there was a transcript of his call with the Russian ambassador. Told him he can’t deny it any longer.

 Federal officials who have read the transcript of the call were surprised by Mr. Flynn’s comments, since he would have known that American eavesdroppers closely monitor such calls. They were even more surprised that Mr. Trump’s team publicly denied that the topics of conversation included sanctions.

After that conversation, Flynn started to backtrack, saying he couldn’t “remember” if he talked about the Russians sanctions. He couldn’t be “certain” the topic never came up when he talked repeatedly with the Russian ambassador.  What do you think?

Now Vice President Pence is angry that he stood up for Flynn’s lies.  Pence says “it’s a problem” that Flynn talked about the sanctions to the Russian ambassador even though Flynn originally said he did not talk about the sanctions.  It’s a problem that Pence believed him and stood up for him, even though Flynn was lying and was more interested in helping the Russian government than his own government.

Congressman Eric Swalwell has called for Flynn to be suspended, and Congressman Adam Schiff has called for Flynn to be fired.

Moscow Mike Flynn, the Russian spy Trump put in as the United States National Security advisor, a paid-for shill on the Russian propaganda channel “RT,” and who sat next to Putin at an RT event, who faced consistent concerns that he is just a Russian agent, is Trump’s first scandal.  And everyone, except for Trump, saw it coming.