Monday, June 18, 2018

It's Mueller Time, Con't

Realizing that yet another Trump campaign contact with Russia has been revealed by witnesses cooperating with the Mueller probe, Roger Simon is now trying to claim that the revelations of yet another meeting between Trump's camp and Russians trying to sell political dirt on Hillary Clinton was an FBI setup, yeah, that's the ticket.

One day in late May 2016, Roger Stone — the political dark sorcerer and longtime confidant of Donald Trump — slipped into his Jaguar and headed out to meet a man with a Make America Great Again hat and a viscous Russian accent.

The man, who called himself Henry Greenberg, offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton, Trump’s presumptive Democratic opponent in the upcoming presidential election, according to Stone who spoke about the previously unreported incident in interviews with The Washington Post. Greenberg, who did not reveal the information he claimed to possess, wanted Trump to pay $2 million for the political dirt, Stone said.

“You don’t understand Donald Trump,” Stone recalled saying before rejecting the offer at a restaurant in the Russian-expat magnet of Sunny Isles, Fla. “He doesn’t pay for anything.”

Later, Stone got a text message from Michael Caputo, a Trump campaign communications official who’d arranged the meeting after Greenberg had approached Caputo’s Russian-immigrant business partner.

“How crazy is the Russian?” Caputo wrote according to a text message reviewed by The Post. Noting that Greenberg wanted “big” money, Stone replied: “waste of time.”

Two years later, the brief sit-down in Florida has resurfaced as part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s sprawling investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, according to Caputo. Caputo said he was asked about the meeting by prosecutors during a sometimes-heated questioning session last month.

Stone and Caputo, who did not previously disclose the meeting to congressional investigators, now say they believe they were the targets of a setup by U.S. law enforcement officials hostile to Trump.

They cite records — independently examined by The Post — showing that the man who approached Stone is actually a Russian national who has claimed to work as an FBI informant.

Interviews and additional documents show that Greenberg has at times used the name Henry Oknyansky. Under that name, he claimed in a 2015 court filing related to his immigration status that he had provided information to the FBI for 17 years. He attached records showing that the government had granted him special permission to enter the United States because his presence represented a “significant public benefit.”

There is no evidence that Greenberg was working with the FBI in his interactions with Stone, and in his court filing, Greenberg said that he had stopped his FBI cooperation sometime after 2013. 

So we can add Roger Stone to the list of Trump campaign folks actively seeking meetings with Russians for dmaging dirt on Hillary Clinton, and who didn't tell the FBI about it.

There are an awful lot of Trump campaign people in that particular boat: Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, Erik Prince, and quite possibly Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump himself.  There was an awful lot of meetings between Russians and Trump campaign people before the 2016 election, too:  in Trump Tower, in DC restaurants, in the Seychelles, at the 2016 NRA convention in Louisville.

Believe me when I say Mueller knows about all of them.

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