Saturday, July 28, 2018

Who Does Putin Own More Thoroughly, Rohrabacher Or Trumpanzee-- And, No We're Not Discussing Nunes Today


Yesterday, Josh Marshall brought up the June 14, 2016 incidents again-- it can never be brought often frequently enough... the one where GOP House Majority Leader blurts out that Putin is paying off Trump and Rohrabacher... "so help me God." My favorite part of this story-- other than the pays offs themselves-- is how Ryan and McCarthy tried to cover it up and kept changing their stories as the Washington Post closed in on them and finally revealed they had a tape. Oops! Watch the two and a half minute video above. It's amazing! Marshall has an interesting spin. Take a look at this photo he put up

On June 14 2016, the day before the audio tape (which was on June 15), the House Foreign Affairs Committee hosted a hearing on Russia. This is the hearing Amb. McFaul testified at where the Russian government lawyer Natalia Vesilnitskaya attended, she’s front row.

But what’s important here is that the whole reason they held a full committee hearing on Russia (in the midst of the election) was because they needed to stop Rohrabacher from holding a pro-Kremlin subcommittee hearing, for the Europe sub-committee which he chairs.

Remember that Rohrabacher had wanted to show an anti-Magnitsky act movie (the director Andrei Nekrasov is the man with long gray hair over Vesilnitskaya’s right shoulder) and essentially use the hearing as a “show trial” of Bill Browder. According to the Daily Beast, “Ultimately, the hearing was canceled when senior Republicans intervened and agreed to allow a hearing on Russia at the full committee level with a Moscow-sympathetic witness, according to multiple congressional aides.” That’s why Jack Matlock, someone with pro-Russia views, was there as a GOP witness … House aides conceded that he did so, in part, to avoid Rohrabacher staging an event that could have embarrassed the Republican Party-- and Congress.”

We also know that Rohrabacher met with Vesilnitskaya in April 2016 and was given “the film by the Prosecutor General’s office in Moscow, which is run by Yuri Chaika.”

There’s a lot here and a lot to unpack... I wanted to flag this key point: McCarthy made this statement and Ryan pressed to keep it secret not just for some out of the blue reasons. They’d just had the description of Russian behavior from the Ukrainian PM (obviously an interested party). But they’d also spent several days trying to manage an awkward situation with a member of their own caucus who they suspected was either receiving payments from or under some influence of Russia. Indeed, key players in the unfolding conspiracy were on Capitol Hill in that hearing.

Their knowledge of what could be afoot was much deeper, just as they were deciding to make common cause with Trump and begin the process of covering up what they suspected about him.
Also yesterday Jonathan Chait, writing for New York Magazine, asks a pertinent question that half of the country could be asking: Why Does Trump Keep Lying About His Dealings With Russia? It shouldn't surprise anyone, of course-- and certainly doesn't surprise Mueller's team-- that Trump was in on the infamous Trump Tower meeting with the Russians who were offering "dirt" on Hillary. Cohen wasn't offering anything everyone didn't already know. And, going back to my quiz from yesterday, who's the biggest liar in Trumpland?
Trump, who has lied about his dealings with Russia so many times that his word has grown completely worthless, has to resort to the defense of pulling down the value of hostile witnesses to his own level. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, told CNN Thursday night, “[Cohen]’s been lying all week, he’s been lying for years.”

Years! Keep in mind that Cohen has been working for Trump until recently. The effort to impugn Cohen’s credibility naturally impeaches Trump’s own credibility. Neither man is especially trustworthy, but the preponderance of circumstantial evidence supports Cohen’s testimony.

One can see the ground already shifting in the defenses of Trump. Now his defenders deny that working cooperatively with Russians to obtain Russian dirt on Clinton amounts to collusion, or that such a thing is bad at all. “Look, I don’t think that it’s bad if campaigns are turning to foreign governments for dirt,” asserts Andrew McCarthy on Fox News, “It’s not collusion. It’s not something that’s impeachable; it’s icky, but that’s what this is.”

But if that’s the case, and Trump faces no legal liability for his secret collaboration with Russia, why didn’t he simply admit it all along? Why tell a series of lies and implicate his subordinates in those lies, exposing them to potential perjury charges? Perhaps because he has more to hide.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howie, WE have a problem.

I just answered a request for a contribution from Randy "Ironstache" Bryce via ActBlue. I gave him a few bucks, and then I got another screen asking for donations to three other sources. Guess what the first one was"


After all the talk here about ActBlue supporting progressives and other worthies, we get pitched to support the enemy? The Party organization which is actively going after progressives to shove them aside and make room for GOP-lite New Dems and Blue Dogs?

I don't know if I can continue to support progressives listed by ActBlue if the DCCC is going to benefit in any manner. I will have to hope that the candidates have their own web sites set up to receive donations directly.

At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Total b.s. Of course Trump's behavior was criminal. And treasonous. He was conspiring with a foreign government against the democratic process. The founding fathers would be shitting brick over this, to say the least. The stance that it is ok is ridiculous. The Republicans have lost their minds.


Post a Comment

<< Home