Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Real Trump Scandal

Forget the story about hookers peeing on hotel beds. That's the story that was seized on by the media, the idea that Putin has recordings of Trump perversions.

The real story, is the one they didn't focus on. It's how Russian money poured into the American election and how the government's most trusted agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was corrupted. It's a story of voter suppression, voter manipulation, and how a man who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots will become president.

America may not have a surplus of credible news services but one of the exceptions is McClatchey, formerly Knight-Ridder, the sole outfit that declared the Bush-Blair WMD casus belli for waging aggressive war on Iran utter bullshit. That set them head and shoulders above the pack including the major nets and newspapers.

McClatchey reports that five US government agencies are investigating how the Kremlin covertly interfered to hand the presidency to Trump.

The informal, inter-agency working group began to explore possible Russian interference last spring, long before the FBI received information from a former British spy hired to develop politically damaging and unverified research about Trump, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the inquiry.

The working group is scrutinizing the activities of a few Americans who were affiliated with Trump’s campaign or his business empire and of multiple individuals from Russia and other former Soviet nations who had similar connections, the sources said.

U.S. intelligence agencies not only have been unanimous in blaming Russia for the hacking of Democrats’ computers but also have concluded that the leaking and dissemination of thousands of emails of top Democrats, some of which caused headaches for the Clinton campaign, were done to help Trump win.

Trump and Republican members of Congress have said they believe Russia meddled in the U.S. election but that those actions didn’t change the outcome. However, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she believes that Russia’s tactics did alter the election result.


The BBC reported last week that the joint inquiry was launched when the CIA learned last spring, through a Baltic ally, of a recording indicating the Russian government was planning to funnel funds aimed at influencing the U.S. election.

Adding to the intrigue, once Trump swears his oath of office at noon on Friday, his newly appointed intelligence and security chiefs will have ultimate control of the inter-agency group.

The agencies are said to be examining the activities of several Americans linked to the Trump campaign and corporation and a bigger group of Russians and citizens of other ex-Soviet republics who are based in the US who may be linked to Trump.

One of these "several Americans" is none other than Trump fixer, Rudy Giuliani. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

...just three weeks before the presidential election and Trump's stunning victory, a third, further-refined application was successful.

The court's (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) authorisation to investigate funds moving between Russia and the US reportedly does not name Trump or his associates, but a lawyer familiar with the case, told the BBC that the investigation was focusing on three Trump associates and "it's clear this is about Trump".

Huffington Post, meanwhile, has a compelling exploration of how certain Trump insiders may have corrupted the FBI and its director, James Comey.

Information presently public and available confirms that Erik Prince, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump conspired to intimidate FBI Director James Comey into interfering in, and thus directly affecting, the 2016 presidential election. This conspiracy was made possible with the assistance of officers in the New York Police Department and agents within the New York field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All of the major actors in the conspiracy have already confessed to its particulars either in word or in deed; moreover, all of the major actors have publicly exhibited consciousness of guilt after the fact. This assessment has already been the subject of articles in news outlets on both sides of the political spectrum, but has not yet received substantial investigation by major media.

In case you're wondering,  yes, it's that Erik Prince, the founder of the controversial Iraq War contractor, Blackwater.

The Huffington Post "dossier" is more to the point than the documents assembled by Brit spy, Christopher Steele. This business smells as bad as a week old fish on a Baghdad sidewalk. Let's see how fast Trump moves to put a blanket over the investigation.

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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Mound of Sound said...

No, what's pathetic, Anon, are people like you who think that someone else's post is their invitation to deliver an off-topic rant. That's what scumbags do. Adios.

Anonymous said...

Leak; drip drip ..
wikileaks/ 19/17; Drip drip.

If the Russians did hack the DNC for the benefit of Trump , it will be the biggest espionage mission ever.
The Democrats treatment of Bernie Sanders has a big part in this fiasco; just where I am not sure.
It's possibly to do with the "establishment" that we have blogged about, somewhat like what happened to Harold Wilson in the 1970's.
Trump is an ass , an ass that broke the establishment!
History repeats itself.


Anonymous said...

Nice summary of the scandals swirling around Trump, Mound. As Elijah Cummings said, "I do not control the information. Republicans are in control." The interviewer went on to compare the 9/11 enquiry with what's going on with Trump. I wish Cummings had gone into the farce the GOP created of the 9/11 Commission.

Republicans couldn't avoid an independent enquiry into 9/11, even though that was likely to, and did, point to Dubya's stunning incompetence and negligence. They first tried to kill the idea, but the 9/11 families were relentless in demanding it. They tried to rig the outcome by appointing Kissinger as chair, but Kissinger realized he'd have to disclose his private consulting clients and bailed. Then they stalled, with the first hearings beginning more than a year and half after the incident. They ended up with Zelikow as chair, even though he was in an obvious conflict of interest having co-authored a book with one of the government officials subpoenaed to testify, Condoleezza Rice.

The key players, Bush and Cheney, avoided testifying under oath and in a highly unusual concession were jointly interviewed. No recording or official transcript was made of their evidence. Commission member Max Clelland resigned claiming a White House coverup.

Finally, Pentagon officials in charge of securing the North American airspace lied under oath according to John Farmer, senior counsel to the Commission. He stated that "what government and military officials had told Congress, the Commission, the media, and the public about who knew what when — was almost entirely, and inexplicably, untrue."

In my view, the chances are next to nil of the Republicans looking into the very serious allegations of a conspiracy between Prince, Giuliani and Trump to intimidate Comey, and the allegations of Trump receiving Russian financing and hacking support. If by some miracle they did, I expect we'd see another gong show like the 9/11 Commission. Either way, we'll be stuck with Trump for years to come.


The Mound of Sound said...

TB, unfortunately this is one of those issues where Craig Murray's take is about as relevant as yours or mine. He parses this much to finely to reach his chosen conclusion that Obama's use of "leaked" refutes the idea that the DNC computers were hacked. If I hack your email and then disseminate it to news sources I have both hacked and leaked. The same is to be said of that Moon of Alabama.

Ultimately, however, the emails are a minor part of this unfolding scandal. It does not define the apparent Russian effort to manipulate America's election nor is it especially cogent to the question of whether the FBI and its director, Comey, were corrupted. Those issues are not capable of being resolved by what spin some choose to attach to Obama's words.

Having done a good bit of fraud work I know how critical it is to not let one issue bleed into and thereby obscure others. That takes a certain amount of mental discipline, at times a great deal. It's not at all unusual to stumble across red herrings, distractions designed to lead trackers down some rabbit hole. That's a game both sides can play and I was sometimes pretty good at it myself.

The Mound of Sound said...

Cap, I think this is one of those infrequent situations where efforts to suppress information will trigger leaks. That's my sense of it. I could be wrong. The idea that the FBI, its director, and possibly the CIA could have been politically compromised is going to be difficult to bury.

Anonymous said...

Hillary lost the election because she thought she could screw over her base BEFORE getting elected. Not all the fake news in the universe can change that fact.

The Clintons turned the Democratic Party into a bribe-taking den of thieves. The establishment media would like to keep it that way. So they blame Russia. Pathetic. Useful idiots propagate the agitprop. Like the Mound of you know what...