Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Russian To Judgment, Con't

Mother Jones's David Corn reviews the last few days of Donald Trump Jr. shenanigans and points out that the evidence Junior has provided very neatly describes a good old fashioned conspiracy, which makes a lot of sense considering who was involved: Trump's eldest son, Putin oligarch and billionaire real estate developer Aras Agalarov, Agalarov's son Emin, a self-styled pop singer, and Emin's manager Rob Goldstone, all who knew and dealt with the Trump family.

According to emails released Tuesday by Trump Jr., on June 3, 2016—shortly after Trump had secured the Republican presidential nomination—Aras was in a meeting with Yury Chaika, the prosecutor general of Russia, who had been in the post since 2006. A few weeks earlier, Putin had recommended that Chaika serve another five-year term. Certainly, only a Putin-fancied official would be in this job. But this was a sign that Chaika remained in Putin’s good graces. (The previous year, a prominent Russian opposition activist had accused Chaika’s family of being involved in corruption and criminal activity.)

The Trump Jr. emails do not note how the meeting between Chaika and Aras Agalarov came about. But according to an email sent from Goldstone to Trump Jr., Chaika told Agalarov he could provide the Trump campaign “with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary” and that would be “very useful” for Donald Trump. This contact makes plenty of sense. If the Russian government wanted to help Trump win the presidency by passing his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, the natural go-between would be Aras Agalarov, who had been Trump’s business colleague. Agalarov could go straight to the source.

And apparently he did. According to the Trump Jr. emails, Aras Agalarov made the obvious play. He had Emin ask Goldstone to contact Trump Jr. Emin’s manager then emailed Donald Trump Jr. and told him about the Agalarov-Chaika meeting and added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but it is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.

Nothing complex here. A Putin official seems to be collaborating with Trump’s business partners to get Trump negative material on Clinton.

Whether or not the Agalarovs and Goldstone delivered Chaika's intelligence on Clinton or not, the conspiracy to violate US campaign law is pretty obvious, and on the Trump regime side, multiple people were involved.

Next, Trump Jr. seems to have a phone call with Emin, and a meeting is scheduled for a few days later in Trump tower where Trump Jr. will meet with what one email describes as a “Russian government attorney.”

Trump Jr. then widens the cabal by informing Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort about this operation, and they are added to the meeting. An email forwarded to them about the get-together has the subject heading: “Russia – Clinton – private and confidential.” On June 9, the meeting occurs.

It only took three days for this plot to zip from the discussion between Chaika and Aras Agalarov to the inner circle of Trump’s campaign. Trump Jr. says nothing came out of the conversation between the Trump advisers and the Russian lawyer, claiming she spoke only in vague and meaningless terms. But given that the president’s son has repeatedly dissembled about this episode, there is no telling if this description can be trusted. (The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, has denied working on behalf of the Russian government or conveying negative information about Clinton.)

This is what ought to register: The scheme appears to have been put into play by a Putin regime official and a Putin-friendly oligarch who was Trump’s business partner in Russia—and Trump’s son, son-in-law, and campaign manager all joined in. (A pop singer, a Russian lawyer, and a talent manager all had supporting roles.) Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort were looking to collude with a foreign power to gain an advantage in the election—an allegation the Trump team has repeatedly and passionately denied.

This is not Alex Jones stuff. This was straightforward conniving. Moreover, this is reality within the part of the universe where Trumpland overlaps with Putin’s world. It was a conspiracy, pure and simple. The obvious question now is: Are there any others to uncover?

That's the bottom line here.  Trump Jr, Manafort, and Kushner were all more than happy to meet with foreign nationals in order to try to obtain Russian intelligence on Clinton.  Junior's idiotic defense is that the Russians didn't deliver the goods, but of course just minutes after that June 9 meeting comes Trump Senior's Twitter attacks on Hillary Clinton over her emails and less than a week after that meeting comes the first of the Russian DNC email leaks.

At this point as I said last night on Twitter, we've seen the depths to which this regime would go to in order to gain power.  Now we will see the depths they will go to in order to maintain that power, and it's going to get far worse for America before it gets better.

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