Category: James B.Comey

Will Republican Mueller dump Republican Trump?

Robert Mueller is on a roll

Donald Trump-Robert Mueller
Donald Trump-Robert Mueller

No president has ever gone out this way, but just keep reading and you’ll see why there is every chance it could happen. Donald Trump’s favorability rating has plummeted to the point that the Republican Congress is worried his disapproval will lose seats for those running in 2018. And the GOP is very jumpy over the fact they might lose the White House in 2020. In either case, the Republican brand as well as the Trump brand, are so heavily tarnished that the left should have a clear shot in both cases. But if there is anything that can bring Donald Trump crashing down around his Oval Office desk, it is Robert Mueller’s special investigation into T-rump’s Russian connection.

Washington Grand Jury impaneled

Rantt News says Donald Trump is “terrified” of Robert Mueller. Part of it could be Mueller’s strength in that he is the only FBI Director other than J. Edgar Hoover to lead the Bureau longer than the ten-year required term. The other, of course, is the investigation he is conducting into just how much Trump conspired with the Russians in their tampering with the 2016 election, helping him to beat Hillary Clinton. Mueller has now reached the point where he has impaneled a Washington Grand Jury to investigate Russian interference. Since this makes the investigation official, it will continue even if Mueller was fired. Remy Anne of Rantt says

  • “According to Reuters, grand jury subpoenas have been issued regarding the July 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Russian lawyers, and others.”

Mueller’s relationship with James Comey

Mueller’s relationship with James Comey goes back a long way to when George W. Bush wanted to implement a domestic surveillance program called STELLARWIND after the 9/11 terrorism that would include collecting email, telephone, and internet conversations/activity of American citizens. Helping each other, they were able to keep the program from going into effect. Comey will no doubt be a leading witness for Mueller, and quite possibly the one who could actually bring down Trump. Mueller will be taking over several federal probes already in the making over the Trump-Russia complicity. They include the…

  • “…President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner, as well as former associates Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Carter Page.”

A video glimpse into Mueller’s investigation of Trump

Mueller digs…Trump cringes

Donald Trump still calls it the “totally made-up Russia story,” his position from the beginning, one that is typical T-rump but with signs now of cracking at the edges. The farther Mueller digs, the more vocal Trump is with the tweets. Here’s a classic example…

  • You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA   4:57 AM – Jun 15, 2017

A right now to issue subpoenas

Mueller’s latest move to impanel a grand jury gives him the right to “readily issue subpoenas, gather testimony, and compel individuals to testify regarding what they know about Russian interference in the election, the Trump campaign, and likely a host of financial matters.” It doesn’t mean that Mueller is ready to bring charges, but it is significant that the jury is impaneled in a Democratic-leaning capital where there is a more sympathetic jury pool. In other words, there is definitely method in Robert Mueller’s strategic moves. He is convinced after looking at all the evidence there is reason for concern and he is making the moves to get at the truth.

 

Does Robert Mueller need Congressional protection?

Apparently there are lawmakers that think he does, according to Peter Grier of the Christian Science Monitor. Grier says…

  • “…they’re[lawmakers] proposing to provide Mr. Mueller, the special counsel in the Russian election tampering investigation, with legislative armor meant to prevent the White House from firing him unless it has a really good reason.”

The legislation might not even pass, and knowing T-rump the way we do, it probably wouldn’t affect any bizarre decision the Oval Office lunatic made. At least, they’re on the record.

Trump even worse than Nixon says John Dean

Yeah…Sure!

Watergate is the political conspiracy scandal against which all others are measured, claims John Dean, who served as President Richard Nixon’s White House attorney in the 1970s. In the beginning Dean worked to protect Nixon, but then, “…flipped and helped sink Nixon by revealing the president’s involvement in the cover-up.” The Los Angeles Times reports

“As part of a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and served four months in a federal safe house. He was barred from practicing law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, moved to his wife’s home state of California and made his livelihood as an investment banker and regular on the lecture circuit.”

John Dean is back, but this time his interest is in Donald Trump, and as the Times put it…

“He hasn’t been in this great a demand since his call for President George W. Bush’s impeachment — for condoning torture, among other perceived abuses of power — and, before that, as a ringside commentator during the Clinton-era Monica Lewinsky scandal.”

Dean states something that is painfully obvious to the rest of the world now, the fact that Richard Nixon was better prepared to serve as President than is Donald Trump. This, of course, is laughable at this point, but Nixon’s former attorney adds, although they both had an authoritarian persona, Trump is by far the most narcissistic and transparent. As an example of the latter…

“Unlike Nixon, ‘Trump is surprisingly candid about himself,’ Dean said. The president’s admission that he fired FBI Director James B. Comey to relieve the pressure of his investigation into Russia and the 2016 election was, to Dean’s mind, ‘basically confessing obstruction of justice.’”

A Politico poll taken at the end of May shows that, “Forty-three percent of voters want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings…up from 38 percent last week.” That’s a significant increase, five percentage points in just seven days. The 46% who earlier were against impeachment has dropped to 45%, no big deal, unless the slide continues. Along with all this Trump’s approval rating hit a new low, “…46 percent of voters approved of Trump’s job performance, and 47 percent disapproved. Much of this comes from the fact that Americans are concerned over the GOP health care bill.

If Congress is not ready to launch impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, there are a growing number of cities and towns around the U.S. putting pressure on Congress for that reason. Politico reports…

“Brookline, Mass., became the 10th and latest local government Thursday to pass a resolution calling for impeachment, a step designed to add pressure on the state’s congressmen to launch a formal investigation that could ultimately lead to the president’s removal from office.”

Already on the move are Cambridge, Amherst, Pelham and Leverett. And then there’s the liberal playground of California where, “The Los Angeles city council in early May overwhelmingly passed a measure asking for impeachment proceedings to begin. Richmond, Alameda and Berkeley did the same.” Not to be outdone, Chicago is drafting an ordnance for impeachment. This isn’t the first time for this action; it also happened in 2006 when…

“…a group of towns in Vermont, and later the state’s Senate, passed resolutions calling for George W. Bush’s impeachment, saying he misled the country before going to war in Iraq.”

According to another Politico poll, 43% of Americans want Donald Trump impeached regardless of whether or not he has committed acts of high crimes or misdemeanors, required by the Constitution. If close to half the country wants this man out of the Oval Office, based entirely on the fact that his behavior as President has been unfit for that office, good God!…what more does it take. The answer to that is a Congress that finally realizes it must do the right thing and put the good of the country ahead of the good of the Republican Party. Will that ever happen?

Did Nunes quash all of Comey’s work?

Devin Nunes—Whatta I do now?

Could the White House be on the verge of an investigation that could lead to a Donald Trump resignation or impeachment? Either is OK, of course. FBI director James B. Comey both confirms an open-ended investigation for Trump’s ties to Russia, plus refuting the president’s claim of illegal surveillance by his predecessor. Got him with both barrels…right between the eyes, and Donald John knows it. Here’s the Guardian’s assessment

“The first open hearing into Donald Trump’s alleged Russia connections on Monday ensured that the US president will operate under a cloud of suspicion until either the various inquiries deliver credible public conclusions or Trump leaves office, whichever comes first.”

 Comey states there is no way this will be a quickie, rather, an on-going examination of all the facts that surround Trump’s long-term association with Russia, and what, if any, effect it had on the 2016 election. It would appear the collection of evidence justifies the inquiry, and the serious attention it has been given by the intelligence community. The next date for a public hearing is March 28, with the ex-director of national intelligence James Clapper and the ex-CIA director John Brennan. Both these men had a part in the January analysis of Russian interference in 2016 to benefit Trump.

This is for sure the most defined advance on Donald John in the “Russians for Trump” PAC in the 2016 elections. But with the staying-power this current effort has, plus the number of Republicans that also believe there is substance to the investigation, in all likelihood we are moving toward an outcome that is not going to be acceptable to the reigning sovereign. Comey has affirmed that he is looking at any “”collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign,” according to CNN, including…

“…any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Republicans have repeatedly tried to push the investigation off track by laying the blame on Michael Flynn but here’s a real crowd stopper…

“Comey testified that US intelligence agencies were agreed that Russia’s aim evolved into an effort during the election to aid Trump over Clinton.”

We should remember at this point that the FBI Director is the one who threw Hillary Clinton under the bus in the 2016 election with his letters to Congress re. her email investigation in the last eleven days before voters went to the polls. Further, “They wanted to hurt our democracy, hurt her, help him. I think all three we were confident in at least as early as December,” Comey said.

And he tried to put to rest once again Trump’s ludicrous charges of Barack Obama’s wiretapping Trump Tower during the election stating, “…the Justice Department, along with the FBI, had no information to support the allegations.” Adding the fact that “…no president could order a wiretapping operation against a specific American citizen.”

So, enter Devin Nunes, House Intelligence Committee Chairman, who is accused today of turning the Trump’s Russian connection into another Benghazi…the equivalent of Trey Gowdy. God help us! “Most of the lawmakers on the Intelligence Committee, previously known for its leave-your-party-at-the-door work, had held out hope there could be an independent, bipartisan probe into Russian interference in the U.S. elections,” the Daily Beast reports. And here’s their assessment of the latest…

“That hope died when their chairman went to the White House, and then the press, to discuss intelligence intercepts involving the ‘incidental’ collection of communications related to Donald Trump and members of his transition team before telling his own committee about the matter.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the panel said…

“What was today? It was the chairman of the committee helping the president create the next distraction,” added Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley, a member of the committee. “It was an attempt to be a distraction, sow confusion, create false narratives despite the evidence.”

Apparently, Schiff feels now that he can’t even receive assurance from Nunes that this can continue as a credible investigation. But Nunes, as a House member investigating Trump and his White House staff must have just come stupid running to the Oval Office, then the media, instead of incorporating the newly found information into the investigation. As DB put it…

“He doesn’t use it as part of the committee’s investigation, but runs to the White House, which is a subject of the investigations.”

Or was Nunes’ committee just a smokescreen from the beginning, set up to serve as a future link to the President, giving him fodder for dispute. It should be obvious by now there is not one Republican on the planet that I would trust. With that in mind, where do we go from here?  

Political Satire: What is Trump still hiding about Russia?

He’s not heavy, he’s my puppet 

Whatever it is, it is bad enough that Donald Trump has enlisted the help of Congress, the intelligence community. And now the FBI has refused to cooperate with the White House by downplaying the news stories about Donald John’s close ties with Russia. It involves Trump associates’ ties to Russia and the fact that pressure is being applied to cover this up. Greg Miller of the Washington Post said…

“Acting at the behest of the White House, the officials made calls to news organizations last week in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives.”

Here’s some background on the story. According to Politifact

“The Washington Post reported Dec. 9 that the CIA concluded Russia meddled in the election with the intent to help Trump, rather than to disrupt the election generally. The New York Times produced a similar report. However, the Washington Post also reported that the FBI isn’t as confident in this conclusion. These stories are all based on anonymous sources and cannot be independently verified.”

 But just last week, the FBI indicated that it would not downplay these same news reports after a request to do so from the White House. Business Insider Politics said…

“Trump administration officials wanted the FBI to disavow the reports and say there was no contact between people associated with Trump and Russia.”

Democrats are still pissed over the fact that FBI Director James B. Comey released critical information about Hillary Clinton’s email probe just prior to the 2016 election, yet kept quiet on the fact that Trump’s campaign team had been in regular contact with Russia. Hillary Clinton accused Donald John of a direct tie between him and Vladimir Putin in one of the election debates, accusing her opponent of joining with the Russian leader to get rid of NATO. And then early in February, Trump voices his support for NATO admonishing member countries for better support.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said that…

 if the White House “contrived to have intelligence officials contradict unfavorable news reports, this represents a new and even more grave threat to the independence of the intelligence community.”

Former CIA director Michael Hayden expressed his concern that intelligence sources were being strong-armed into providing information that was later being interpreted into political speak and then put into the wording that best fit their message. What’s new. But considering the Trump administration’s  continued praise of Putin and all the action so far to get it out of the media, does that mean there is a smoking gun? And to cap it all off, Donald John has repeatedly criticized the intelligence organizations recently for leaking misinformation.

The leading example of Russian involvement in the 2016 election was the DNC hack where the embarrassing emails from Debbie Wasserman Schultz were uncovered, resulting in her being removed as chair. In this case the federal intelligence community, cybersecurity analysts, the Homeland Security Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement saying…

“…they believed people at the top levels of Russian government directed the attack in an attempt to interfere in the election.”

Donald Trump took the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013, and he is known to have other

It might even look like this

business interests in Russia; specifically a desire to build a luxury Trump hotel in Moscow. But since he won’t release his taxes, there is no way to know exactly what is going on. There is one thing we know for sure, Donald Trump is about business. He has been criticized time and again over the lack of complete separation between the presidency and his business-related interests. One son recently cost the federal govt. thousands of protection dollars to protect him in work abroad for the hotels.

Business insider Politics reported

“Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse this week said he was sure the Russia-related cloud hanging over President Donald Trump’s administration would not be clearing up anytime soon.”

 The Rhode Island Democrat says Lindsey Graham’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism will look at the issue from three perspectives. 1) Trump’s relationship with Russia pertaining to his business enterprises; 2) What did these actually do to affect the 2016 election?; 3) How exactly was the Trump staff involved in, if any, shenanigans in trying to swing the election toward Donald John? It is a fact that more Republicans have evidenced their concern over the possibility that Russia might have some part in getting Trump elected.

It is important to note that three important Donald Trump advisers have left the White House staff due to their Russian ties. First, Paul Manafort, former campaign manager and consultant for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, left early, in August of 2016. Resignation has not been explained. Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser, left in September 2016, with ties to a business consultancy work for state-owned Russian oil giant Gazprom. Page is currently subject to U.S. investigations over his Russian connections. Michael Flynn left recently Feb. 13, for lying to V.P. Pence about speaking with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak in December 2016.

Politifact concluded…

“Based on the evidence, it seems highly unlikely that actions by the Russian government contributed in any decisive way to Trump’s win over Clinton.”

Senior research scientist at CNA Analysis & Solutions, Dmitry Gorenburg, lamented over all the ruckus over what might have happened. What the U.S. should be concerned about is the fact that Russia even made the attempt. As an observer to all that has been written, that would indicate to me that the hackers felt they had the means to accomplish their goals and it is accepted knowledge that Putin’s minions are known to be excellent cyber thieves. They were able to hack into and steal million from U.S. banks back in 2015.

However, former President George W. Bush said, “…that the American people deserve answers on the alleged connection between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.” This from Donald John’s own party plus someone who sat in the Oval Office in the same place where he is sitting now just over eight years ago. And then just this past Friday…

“Republican Rep. Darrell Issa called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to hire an independent prosecutor to investigate the connection between the Trump campaign and Russia. Issa joins a number of Democrats in calling for an independent prosecutor.”

I would expect that kind of rhetoric coming from a career building blowhard like Issa, but GWB is way beyond having to make a name for himself. Apparently the decision of a prosecutor is Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. This was Trump’s, of course, Tweet response…

“Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!” 

And finally, Wilbur Ross, who probably will be confirmed Secretary of Finance tonight, is the latest with Donald John’s conglomeration of Russian connections. Esquire reports that Ross has an ownership stake in a Cyprus bank in consultation with Russian President Vladimir Putin who was the first to prop up the institution. The magazine also notes that, “Cyprus banks have a long and painful history of laundering dirty money from Russians involved with corruption and criminality.”

Well, it just doesn’t get any better.