Friday, May 19, 2017

Russian To Judgment, Con't

It's Friday news dump time while Trump is winging his way to Saudi Arabia this afternoon, and both the NY Times and Washington Post are ending the week of Trump/Russia stories with a bang.

So far we know that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former Trump National Security Adviser Mike Flynn are under investigation for ties to Russia, but what about anyone currently in the Trump regime being under investigation?  The Washington Post says "you'd better believe it."

The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter. 
The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official. 
The revelation comes as the investigation also appears to be entering a more overtly active phase, with investigators shifting from work that has remained largely hidden from the public to conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas. The intensity of the probe is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks, the people said. 
The sources emphasized that investigators remain keenly interested in people who previously wielded influence in the Trump campaign and administration but are no longer part of it, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. 
Flynn resigned in February after disclosures that he had lied to administration officials about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Current administration officials who have acknowledged contacts with Russian officials include Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as Cabinet members Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

So which one of these folks is under investigation?  I'm hoping it's Sessions, but it makes a lot more sense if it's Kushner or Tillerson, both of whom have direct business ties to Russian interests.

Meanwhile, the NY Times comes in this afternoon with this blockbuster that not only did Trump blab classified info to the Russians, he blabbed his secret master plan to fire Comey to end the investigation into his visiting friends as well.

President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting. 
I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” 
Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.” 
The conversation, during a May 10 meeting — the day after he fired Mr. Comey — reinforces the notion that Mr. Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing. 
The White House document that contained Mr. Trump’s comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting. One official read quotations to The Times, and a second official confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

Apparently the fact that Trump fired Comey to try to stop the FBI probe into Russian collusion really was the worst-kept secret in the world last week.

So at this point we have yet another account of Trump's true intent in firing James Comey was to stop the FBI's investigation into Trump's Russia ties, and we know that somebody currently in Trump's inner circle is a key subject in that investigation.

We'll find out who that individual (or individuals!) are pretty soon would be my guess.

Drip drip drip comrade Don.

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