Friday, March 30, 2018

It's Mueller Time

As I've been saying, the leaks coming out on Mueller's activities and specifically what aspects of the Trump/Russia investigation he continues to probe are calculated at this point to put the fear of God into the little orange rat bastard and his team.  Trump's side may be pushing a narrative where there's enough cover to try to fire Mueller, but every time he does we get another leak on what Mueller's looking into, and there's plenty of subjects to cover.

This time around, Mueller's target involves Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Investigators probing whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia have been questioning witnesses about events at the 2016 Republican National Convention, according to two sources familiar with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiries.

Mueller’s team has been asking about a convention-related event attended by both Russia’s U.S. ambassador and Jeff Sessions, the first U.S. senator to support Trump and now his attorney general, said one source, who requested anonymity due to the ongoing investigation
Another issue Mueller’s team has been asking about is how and why Republican Party platform language hostile to Russia was deleted from a section of the document related to Ukraine, said another source who also requested anonymity. 
Mueller’s interest in what happened at the Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio in July 2016, is an indication that Trump campaign contacts and actions related to Russia remain central to the special counsel’s investigation.

Trump, who was nominated as the Republican Party candidate for the November 2016 election during the convention, has denied any collusion with Russia during the campaign. Moscow has denied U.S. intelligence agencies’ findings that it interfered in the campaign to try to tilt the election in Trump’s favor. 
Investigators have asked detailed questions about conversations that Sessions, then a Trump campaign adviser, had at a convention event attended by then-Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak, said the first source, who was questioned by Mueller about the event.

The same source said Mueller’s team also has been asking whether Sessions had private discussions with Kislyak on the sidelines of a campaign speech Trump gave at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel in April 2016.

The Ukraine language being pulled from the GOP platform is one thing certainly, but the far bigger issue is Sessions meeting with our old friend Sergei Kislyak (which of course leads us back to Michael Flynn).  The fact that Mueller's team is now openly asking questions about the Attorney General at all should be giving both Sessions and Trump major heartburn.

And that April 2016 meeting between Kislyak and Sessions was always a major issue, we knew that Mueller was probably looking into it, now we know (and Trump knows) he is.

Stay tuned.  Trump always gets grouchy when Sessions ends up in the papers next to Mueller's name.

Getting Tough With Vlad, Con't

The Russians are meeting every expulsion of one of their diplomats by the US, UK, EU and NATO with expulsions of their own as the game of retaliation continues for the chemical weapon attack on British soil earlier this month.

The Kremlin announced on Thursday that it would expel 60 Americans, and probably dozens of other diplomats, and close the American consulate in St. Petersburg, a move that intensifies Russia’s clash with Europe and the United States. 
The action was in retaliation for the expulsion of more than 150 Russian officials from other countries — which was itself a reaction to a nerve-agent attack on British soil that Britain and its allies have blamed on Moscow. 
The United States ambassador to Russia, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, the foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, announced. Sixty American diplomats will be expelled from Russia — the same as the number of Russian diplomats whom Washington is expelling. The Americans were given until April 5 to leave the country. 
In addition, Russia plans to expel an unspecified number of diplomats from the more than 20 other countries and NATO that joined Britain and the United States in expelling Russians. Mr. Lavrov said the number would “mirror” the number of expelled Russians, which suggested that the ultimate total might rise above 150. (Britain and Russia have already each expelled 23 of the other country’s representatives.)

The crisis over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter has driven tensions between the Kremlin and the West to their highest pitch in decades. The tit-for-tat responses raise the prospect of further, more serious escalations, either public or clandestine.

Things are only going to get worse from here.  I would expect that the next step will be Putin wanting a little chat with his orange friend and making it clear that things can get much, much more uncomfortable for Trump politically, and soon.

I would expect serious concessions to Russia, mostly involving Turkey and Syria.  We'll see what transpires, but this is the part of the proceedings where we find out just how much of Trump's ass Putin owns.
Related Posts with Thumbnails