Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Updates on the White House and Russia

More breaking news concerning Russia and our government.

1.  Rep. Nunes has cancelled both committee meetings for this week.   One for today was to have been a hearing with former national security chiefs, who were going to testify that there had been no FISA waivers for the Trump phones during their terms.

2.  Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, including ranking member Adam Schiff, are calling for Chairman Nunes to recuse himself from chairing the investigation.   He was a member of the Trump Transition Team, and probably should have done so from the beginning.   But now, with his latest stunt that seems patently to have been a favor for (or an order by) Trump himself -- it seems imperative that he do so.   He has compromised himself beyond the point that any result of the investigation will be suspect of covert influence from the White House itself.

3.  A new wrinkle has emerged.   It was also announced by the Senate Intelligence Committee that they want to interview Jared Kushner;  and in response he said he would voluntarily talk with them.   I hope they insist that it be under oath, even if he goes voluntarily.

4.  But there's more.  As Rachel Maddow reported last night, Jared not only met with the Russian ambassador during the transition period, which was known.  He also had a previously undisclosed meeting in New York, also during the transition period, with the head of a Russian bank.   Not just any Russian bank.  It is one that Vladimir Putin controls and uses to reward oligarch friends and to finance his various projects carried out in other countries, such as Ukraine.

5.   But there is even more.  This bank is one of the ones sanctioned by the United States as retaliation for Russia's antics in Ukraine.

6.  Even more.   Rachel's research dug up the fact that the man who is head of the bank, with whom Jared met, is a former Russian spy who has risen in this bank to the position of chairman, very likely with the "approval" of Putin.

7.  And more:  conflicting stories about the meeting.  Jared said that this was "just a courtesy meeting."   The Russian bank gave a different reason, saying that it concerned Jared as a representative of the Kushner family business.

Stay tuned.  It gets more and more interesting.   A guy presumably loyal to Putin, who is also a spy by training (like Putin himself) -- and head of a bank that they can do whatever they want with the money.   The possibilities are many:   money to bail out Trump's businesses;  political influence;  whatever deal they worked out to influence the election;   money laundering.   And for the Russians, influence the election, change geopolitical balances, regain superpower status.

Kushner's behavior seems to spell "guilt" and "cover-up."   Surely Trump wouldn't be setting his son-in-law up as the fall guy, would he?


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