The big complaints we’ve had about Trump so far are that (1) he refused to divest himself from his private businesses, thereby creating a conflict of interest and a potential violation of the emoluments clause of the United States constitution; (2) that Trump’s team “coordinated” with the Russians in hacking the Hillary Clinton campaign and otherwise worked with the Russians to manipulate the presidential campaign; and (3) obstruction of justice (or in other words, trying to screw up the FBI’s investigation on purpose).
Today, however, we learn that the FBI’s investigation is far deeper than who talked to the Russians and when. We know this based on who is being put on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. We have Justice Department “fraud chief” Andrew Weissman. Weissman was the director of the Enron Task Force in 2002, which if you might remember brought down Enron and their shady accountant company Arthur Anderson. He was also “co-chair” of heavyweight private law firm Jenner & Block’s White Collar Practice Group where he “worked on a broad range of matters including ones involving securities fraud, antitrust, health care fraud and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”
These are not experts on conflicts of interest and espionage. No, they are experts in fraud, white collar crime, corruption and illegal business practices. You build your team based on the game you are playing. And it appears the game here is fraud and corruption, and not hacking. This indicates that the investigation into Trump is far more serious than what games he played with the Russians to take down Hillary.
It’s clear that the Russians have significant leverage over Trump. We aren’t talking about pee-pee tapes, we’re talking about wide spread fraud and criminal activities.
We learned today that Jared Kushner is a person of interest in the FBI investigation into Trump campaign connections to Russia. Coincidentally, it was also reported recently that Kushner pushed very hard to have Comey fired and also pushed to retaliate for the appointment of a special counsel. He wanted to fight the investigations into Trumpland very hard—as if it was the fight of his life.
But what has Kushner done to become a potential target of a federal criminal investigation? We know that back in December 2016, Kushner met with a Russian banker at the request of the Russian ambassador to the United States.
This raises questions because “Russian bankers” usually are agents of the Russian government and work very hard to move dirty Russian money around the world and help cover up Russian financial crimes. In fact, a Russian banker was sentenced to 30 months in prison after he was prosecuted in federal court in New York. The charge? Conspiring to work for Russian foreign intelligence services in the United States. The prosecutor who took down the Russian banker? The U.S. attorney that Trump fired earlier this year.
As for Kushner’s meeting in December 2016 with Banker Sergey Gorkov, Gorkov is also someone on the feds’ radar. Gorkov used to serve on the Executive Board and was Vice President of another Russian bank, Sberbank. (source) This week Trump named Marc Kasowitz, an attorney who previously represented Sberbank in federal court, as his private counsel for the Russia investigation. Kasowitz has another Russian client: a company operated by Oleg Deripaska, a man who Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, signed a $10M annual contract with to influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States. Manafort’s contract with Deripaska had one major purpose—to benefit President Vladimir Putin’s government.
Trump and his buddies are pushing their way to the top of the FBI’s list.
Just when you thought the week might be calming down, the NYTimes drops the bombshell that Trump told the Russian spies, who he invited to the Oval Office, that he fired Comey for being a nutj ob, and to “take the pressure off” the Russia investigation. Trump’s spokesman, Spicer, refused to deny that Trump made the comment. Which either means it’s on tape or video or that there were so many witnesses to the statement it would be impossible to deny it.
Then, a few minutes later, just as soon as Trump’s plane went “wheels up” for his trip to the Middle East, the WaPo dropped another bombshell: a current, and very senior member of Trump’s White House team has been swept into the FBI’s Russia probe.
We do not know who the senior official is. However, based on what we know, the best guess seems to be on Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner. This is based on his track record: he forgot to mention on his security clearance forms that he had a meeting with Russians, met with a Russian banker with direct ties to Putin, did not want to appoint a special counsel, and pushed hard for Comey’s firing. Kushner has also “lawyered up.” Kushner’s dad is also a known criminal felon for . . . you guessed it, illegal campaign contributions, among other things.
According to Washington Post reporters on Twitter, the day is not over . . .
President Donald Trump fired the FBI director and later explained in a news interview that part of the reason why the FBI director was fired was the ongoing Russian investigation against Trump and his campaign. Of course, when the firing was first announce the president said the real reason was the botched Hillary investigation by the FBI. He didn’t want to say that he fired a guy because he was tired of the guy investigating him for criminal wrongdoing. That would be . . . a crime! But eventually he stopped caring and admitted it–he fired Comey over the Russian investigation.
Even though Trump has now come right out and said that he fired Comey due to the investigation, republicans REFUSE to believe that the Russian investigation had anything to do with the firing. Trump tells them the reason right to their face and yet, they don’t believe it. His supporters seem unwilling to believe anything negative about Trump, even when he himself admits it.