Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Does Putin Have A Spy Inside Congress? Does Orange County Deserve This?


That was some Daily Beast post yesterday about Comrade Rohrabacher! I wonder if it means he'll retire? It would even be funnier if California's jungle primary results in the progressive in the race, Laura Oatman having to face one of the New Dems from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, Harley Rouda or Hans Keirstead. Sam Stein's and Nico Hines' exclusive report doesn't beat around the bush, reporting that "House Republican leaders have taken the extraordinary step of curtailing... Rohrabacher’s ability to conduct official business out of fear that he is too compromised by his ties to Russia." Over the summer Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce, with an OK from Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, had "placed heightened restrictions on the trips abroad that he can take with committee money as well as the hearings he can hold through the subcommittee on Europe that he chairs."
When the California congressman made a trip this summer to see Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he had to do it on his own dime. A congressional source told The Daily Beast that Rohrabacher had requested committee funding for the trip but was denied. The congressman’s staff confirmed that he ended up using his own money though said he had planned to as it was a side trip from his wedding anniversary celebration on the Iberian Peninsula. Still, they admitted he was facing new restrictions.

“His committee travel and hearing requests were curtailed following news accounts of his outside-the-box interest in Russia,” Rohrabacher’s communications director, Ken Grubbs confirmed to the Daily Beast.

Congressional leaders are often loathe to interject in each other’s jurisdictions, let alone level such an intra-party admonishment. But anxiety over Rohrabacher and his favorable disposition to Moscow has been brewing within GOP circles for months, if not years.

Rohrabacher has long called for closer relations between the U.S. and Russia, to the point that the FBI warned him that he was being potentially recruited as a Russian spy. But it was his use of congressional resources in pursuit of those better relations that led GOP leadership to act.

Last summer, Rohrabacher planned to use his subcommittee to hold what critics saw as a show trial of Bill Browder, an American-born Putin critic who was the driving force behind a U.S. law, the Magnitsky Act, sanctioning Russian officials for human rights violations. Rohrabacher had planned to confront the former businessman with a feature-length pro-Kremlin propaganda movie that sets out to destroy his reputation. Rohrabacher had been given the propaganda film by one of Putin’s top officials at a secret meeting in Russia.

Rohrabacher also had wanted to call at least two witnesses linked to the Russian authorities. Those witnesses including the director of the propaganda film and the lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was at the notorious Trump Tower meeting with members of Donald Trump’s family and campaign.

Ultimately, the plans were scrapped when House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) got wind of them. But Rohrabacher’s Capitol Hill office still promoted the movie at an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. He and his chief of staff Paul Behrends, along with Veselnitskaya, a close associate of Putin’s Prosecutor General, and Rinat Akhmetshin, an ex-Soviet military intelligence officer, had dinner at the Capitol Hill Club, a private members’ establishment for Republicans later that evening.

...In the past Rohrabacher has used subcommittee hearings to approvingly compare Putin to Trump, introduce pro-Russian conspiracy theories into the congressional record, and allow pro-Russian voices to cast doubt on the work of America’s intelligence agencies. Since his botched effort to host the anti-Browder film, however, Rohrabacher has not requested a controversial subcommittee hearing.

"He had thought of another trip to Russia," Grubbs said, "but did not formally propose it owing to scheduling issues." He was approved for a codel to Spain however.

Sources say that this may be a convenient coincidence, as members of the foreign affairs committee have been alerted to deny his requests if they appear to be thinly-veiled efforts to give a microphone to pro-Russian interests and voices.

Ted Lieu is charged by congressional Democrats with helping to flip 4 Orange County House seats from red to blue, including CA-48 (Rohrabacher's). He mentioned this morning that "You know it's bad when even Republican leadership recognizes that one of their Members likely had inappropriate dealings with the Kremlin. Keep in mind, this is the same leadership that refuses to hold Donald Trump accountable in any way despite mountains of evidence that his campaign acted inappropriately with Russia. I imagine if something like this came out about a Democrat in Congress heads would be exploding over at Fox News."

The progressive fighting repeal and replace Rohrabacher is Laura Oatman. She pointed out "Rohrabacher continues to expand his connections with Russia-- but now the GOP is making him do it on his own dime-- unwilling to seem supportive of his extraordinary involvement in all things Russian. The cutting of the purse strings for travel and other expenses is the latest in a long string of public embarrassments for Rohrabacher. Alarm over his close ties to Russia go back to 2012, when he was warned by the F.B.I. that Russia was actively trying to recruit him. Dana has had more meetings with Julian Assange than he has had open town halls in Orange County. His time 'representing' the changing face of Orange County is long overdue."

Michael Kotick, a 34 year old former Nestle executive and author of Create Brand Attraction: A New Strategy That Uses the Laws of Human Attraction to Decode Marketing in a Digital and Social Media Age, is another one of the Democrats running for the Orange County seat Rohrabacher is still occupying. He made a good point about Rohrabacher's most recent dilemma: "With the behavior of the Republicans in Congress and in the White House it seems like anything goes. So it says a lot when they 'ground' Dana Rohrabacher for bad behavior."

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At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many times has orange county elected that pos?
How many times does a district have to elect some ocean of pig shit before you say they deserve him?


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