Monday, December 03, 2018
Will Donald Trump, Like Napoleon, Come a Cropper in Moscow?
Was Donald Trump's Moscow Trump Tower tied to lifting US sanctions on Russia?
Is that why Robert Mueller had Michael Cohen plead guilty to the felony of lying to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow deal and when it was abandoned? Is that why Trump's short-lived national security advisor, Michael Flynn, got caught lying about talking sanctions with the Russians well before Trump took office?
When Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress it struck me as odd that then candidate Trump would have not intervened to set the record straight at that time. He was still happy to call Cohen his lawyer and his aide. So, when his lawyer and fixer lied to Congress to bolster Trump's own claims, Trump let that perjury stand. Trump became an accessory.
After Cohen misled Congress, Flynn starts talking to the Russians about lifting sanctions, something he initially denied but then admitted in his own guilty plea.
Now the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee (soon to be the committee chair), former prosecutor Adam Schiff, says that the Trump-Russia "compromise" was far broader than anyone thought. Schiff points out that the Russians knew that Cohen's congressional testimony was perjured. The Russians knew that Trump knew it was perjured and, by letting Cohen's perjury stand, Trump gave Moscow powerful leverage over him.
We may know more about this when, tomorrow, Special Counsel Mueller's team file their sentencing report on Flynn. Then, on Friday, they're scheduled to file in court their report on how Manafort breached his plea deal by repeatedly lying to investigators and leaking information to the White House.