I've spent the past couple of days in online searches of people I’d never heard of before and a couple that I had. What they have in common is that they’re all associates of or friends or friends of friends of America’s president, Donald J. Trump, and most of them are or have been career criminals or their close associates.
If, like me, you’ve wondered about the FBI director, James Comey’s curious behaviour in the run up to the November election – why he twice announced criminal investigations into candidate Clinton but stood mute about the ongoing FBI investigation into Trump, his campaign and various shady Russians – it seems there’s an answer. It’s laid out, complete with searchable links, in an article entitled, “Why FBI Can’t Tell All on Trump, Russia.” A big h/t to friend, Dana, for passing along that link.
It’s a long article, replete with links. At first I thought “this is more conspiracy theory garbage, fake news nonsense” but then I went through the links, all of them. They ranged from court documents to reports from the New York Times, Washington Post, the Observer, and web sites including The Smoking Gun, Mother Jones and such. From there I went through my own online searches of the named individuals. I’m still not finished. What I have concluded, based on the article, the linked documents and reports and my own due diligence, that the article or at least most of it seems accurate and credible.
The media are closing in on Trump, his seemingly unending ties to Russian oligarchs and their dodgy money (apparently about a trillion dollars U.S. has been stripped out of the country since Putin took over) and their thugs in the United States. This was the guy who boasted on the campaign trail of how he loved to sue people, especially those who defamed him. If that’s the case he has the suits of his lifetime and they’re stacking up – fast. Even USA Today is getting in on the action.
Do you remember when the Trump campaign started the “lock her up, lock her up” chant about Clinton and her crime against humanity, using an unsecure email account? That was a horrific crime, one for the books, wasn’t it? Now, as the evidence mounts of Trump’s collaboration with the Russians to undermine the 2016 election and American democracy, Hillary’s alleged misconduct looks petty.
Then there's the people who serve and associate with the Cheeto Benito. Trump's campaign, transition and administration teams, at the highest levels, are heavily represented, if not dominated, by people with Russian connections. Trump himself, his son Don Jr., his daughter Ivanka, her husband Jared Kuchner, secretary of state Rex Tillerson, secretary of Justice Jeff Sessions, former national security advisor Mike Flynn, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, Paul Manafort (big time), Felix Sater, Carter Page and Roger Stone.
I'm sure that's sheer, unimaginable coincidence. Maybe not. Take the most senior cabinet post, secretary of state. America's diplomat. Enter Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson. We don't hear much from Tillerson. He doesn't hold press conferences. On his travels sometimes the press pool stands at just one.
Before he clammed up, in perhaps an unguarded moment, Tillerson let slip something that he hasn't repeated - how he became secretary of state. He said that, out of the blue, he was summoned to Washington. He'd never met Trump. They had never communicated. Tillerson thought he was going for a chat on energy policy. Instead he was offered the crown jewel of the cabinet, secretary of state. You're offering that plum post to someone with no government experience, no diplomatic record of any sort, a person you've never met before but someone who is intensely connected to the Russians.
In my legal career I did a fair number of fraud cases. I got good enough that I wrote a guide book, manual if you like, on legal remedies and investigative approaches. The one case I used, perhaps almost as much as every other case, was the 1915 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Koop v. Smith.
Trump has done a masterful job of trying to lie his way out of his misdeeds – he lies as effortlessly as he breathes - but the facts are catching up with him. This isn’t Hillary-grade scandal, this is genuine corruption on a big scale. The stare decisis of the case is that, while fraud, being quasi-criminal in nature, must always be strictly proved the demonstration of certain conditions can change that. Koop shiufted that burden of proof. It looked at "badges of fraud" and said when they were shown to exist, the onus shifted back to the defendant.
Trump's is a Koop case. It more than satisfies the "if it looks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck - it's a duck," test. The ball, at this point is in Trump's court.
Trump’s “honeymoon” ratings are now at a staggering 35% – lower than Richard Nixon’s in the closing days of Watergate. His legislative agenda is in shambles. He’s at war with congressional Republicans who have suddenly learned not to fear him.
The Orange Bloat won’t even be able to build his wall. Congress isn’t inclined to write him a blank cheque and, better yet, his new Interior Secretary has discovered that nearly 900-miles of the US-Mexican border is the Rio Grande where, to build a wall, would be to give the river over to the Mexicans.
Anyway, it’s the weekend. Read the article, “Why FBI Can’t Tell All on Trump, Russia,” check out the links and then spend some fascinating time with Google searching about the miscreants and the events unveiled. It’s easy to imagine that, this time next year, Mike Pence will be POTUS and the Republicans will be bracing for trouble in the mid-terms.
By the way, if you do some independent searching, see if you can find something, anything that explains something that seems inexplicable to me. This information is pouring out now. It's a deluge. Yet a lot of it was known during or even well before last year's election campaign. Not obscure stuff either - court records, stories in America's major newspapers, that sort of thing.
What troubles me is why, back when Trump was in the "lock her up, lock her up" mode, the Dems, like the FBI, stood down, mute. Major parties pay people to dig up every ounce of dirt to be found about their presidential rival. Even Christopher Steele, the former MI6 operative, was dishing up the goods on Trump and his Russian contacts. Yet the Dems didn't say "boo."