Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Russian To Judgment, Con't

Over at Washington Monthly, Nancy LeTourneau correctly concludes that the GOP believes the Mueller investigation is about to blow wide open, and that the Republican party is getting out in front with a proper smokescreen story, in this case, the "bombshell revelations" from The Hill reporter John Solomon.

If you avoid right wing media, you might not be aware of the story that has them all galvanized right now, a remake of the old one about how the Russians bribed the Clintons to sell off 20 percent of America’s uranium. It’s the lie Peter Schweitzer tried to sell in his book, Clinton Cash, which has been repeatedly fact-checked since he and Bannon conned the New York Times into buying it in 2015. 
The reason this whole nonsense has been resurrected is because a reporter named John Solomon has been writing about it at The Hill almost daily for the last week. To understand what’s up, it is helpful to know a little bit about his background. From 1987 until 2006 Solomon worked as a reporter for the Associated Press. Here is how Josh Marshall summarized his reputation among fellow journalists.

He had a well-earned reputation as the easiest mark in the business for GOP oppo research hits. It was actually a kind of running gag among Republican campaign operatives. No one will run with a story you’re trying to float? Bring it to John Solomon.
Since then, Solomon worked mostly for the conservative Washington Times before going to Circa News.

You may remember that Circa was a startup with an ingenious but ultimately flawed or perhaps premature concept that debuted to much fanfare but ultimately shuttered. The URL and social media feeds of Circa were purchased by Sinclair Broadcasting, a hyper-right-wing media conglomerate, which is now buying up properties to bring its style of post-Fox News propaganda television nationwide. Sinclair put Solomon in charge of Circa and relaunched it as a Buzzfeed for right wing propaganda focused on millennials.
His position at The Hill started this past summer.

Solomon has dredged up the widely debunked "Clinton Foundation uranium scandal" again, featured in the hit job book Clinton Cash, backed by Steve Bannon and Breitbart News.  Why?  It's all they have to deflect the coming charges from Mueller.

Anyone wondering why major media outlets are ignoring this latest attempt to dig up old lies about Hillary Clinton need only look at the facts. But as much as Trump and right wing media outlets complain about the lack of coverage, I don’t think they are even attempting to reach a mainstream audience with this story. Instead, it is designed to prep Trump’s supporters for coming news from the investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. In some cases, they’re not even being subtle about that. Take a look at how RedState introduces the story:

As the left and its media buddies continue to search for the elusive Russia/Trump collusion monster roaming forested hillsides, the FBI has actual evidence of a Russian plot that occurred in 2009 under Barack Obama’s watch. 
Beyond thinking that they can point fingers and say, “Clinton and Obama did it too, only worse,” this story is designed to discredit the people who are involved in the current Trump/Russia investigation. Here is what they’re all saying about Solomon’s first report that focused on the FBI’s investigation of “racketeering scheme” by Russian nuclear industry officials: 

Who was the prosecutor leading the investigation? Rod Rosenstein. That would be the same Rod Rosenstein who is now Deputy Attorney General and supervising the Russia probe.
Who was the FBI Director? Robert Mueller. That would be the same Robert Mueller who is leading the Russia probe. 
Who was leading the FBI investigation? Andrew McCabe…This would be the same Andrew McCabe who approved his own refusal to recuse himself from the Russia investigation both because of his Clinton ties and because of his personal vendetta against Mike Flynn. 
Only in Washington could this mess be carried out and the perpetrators still not only walk free but be thought of as men of integrity. 
Whoa! So the guys who uncovered a plot by Russians working in the U.S. to provide kickbacks to their country’s oligarchs are now perpetrators who don’t deserve to be walking free? Do you see how far down the rabbit hole all of this has gone? 
That’s the news bubbling all over right wing web sites and Fox News and spread via social media. It is nothing more than a pre-emptive use of Trump’s ubiquitous pattern of lie, distract and blame designed to provide him and his base with a response when/if charges of collusion with Russia are brought against his campaign.

Bingo.  Remember, the GOP is counting on Trump's support among Trump voters to be unwavering.  If it is, he can survive pretty much anything thrown at him, the cowards in the GOP will see to that.  They can scream "partisan witch hunt" all day and get away with it.

But if Trump does something bad enough, he's done for.  The GOP knows this, they'll be joining him in obscurity and infamy as a result.  Therefore, the Trump faithful are being inoculated now, they'll point to the uranium deal and blame a "massive Obama/Clinton conspiracy" for Trump's problems.

House Republicans on Tuesday launched new probes into several Obama-era controversies, covering both the Justice Department’s 2016 handling of the Clinton email case and the administration’s 2010 approval for the sale of a mining company that gave the Russians partial control over American uranium reserves. 
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., announced his committee and the House Oversight Committee will investigate the so-called Uranium One deal. 
“We’re not going to jump to any conclusions, but we’re going to try and get the facts,” Nunes said. 
Separately, the House oversight and judiciary committees announced a joint investigation into the Justice Department and FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe.

"Decisions made by the Department of Justice in 2016 have led to a host of outstanding questions that must be answered,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said in a statement.

Endless Clinton investigations as a smokescreen for Trump's malfeasance was always the plan.  For the GOP to move on this story now means Mueller's recommended charges and indictments are coming sooner rather than later.  This will be "both sides do it" to the max as a result, all through the 2018 midterms.

And why now?  Why are these old Clinton wounds being ripped open again so that the GOP must investigate?

Maybe it's because they are covering for truly bad news for Trump.

The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office is pursuing an investigation into possible money laundering by Paul Manafort, said three people familiar with the matter, adding to the federal and state probes concerning the former Trump campaign chairman. 
The investigation by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York is being conducted in collaboration with a probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into Mr. Manafort and possible money laundering, according to two of these people.

Stay tuned.  Things are moving quickly now into a dangerous new stage.

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