The Trump Administration is either the dumbest people to ever grace the West Wing or they are the biggest crooks to inhabit the White House. The past two months have been filled with leaks of them forgetting meetings with Russian diplomats, Russian attorneys, Russian lobbyist and even Russian Foreign Intelligence Officers.
One of those forgotten meetings was with Donald Trump Jr. The president would have us to believe, Jr. naively agreed to a meeting with one, or two, or three, no it was four Russian emissaries’ in 2016 and that they talked about Americans adopting Russian children.
Trump also said that his son is a good boy and took this meeting, like anyone else that was part of a political campaign would, looking for opposition research on their opponent. No, everyone else has said, they would have informed the FBI that a foreign country was trying to interfere in our democratic process. Also, the boy is 39 years old.
The story is that a good friend of the Trumps, Rob Goldstone, a music producer and publicist sent Jr. an email asking if he would be interested in meeting someone, who had some dirt on Hillary Clinton. Jr. responded enthusiastically, within minutes heck yes, and forwarded the email trail to Jared Kushner, his brother-in-law and a key adviser to Trump and to Trump’s Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, who was later fired because of his own Russian problems.
The three Trump insiders met at Trump Towers on June 9, 2016, with Russia lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, translator Anatoli Samochornov, and Irakly Kaveladze, who 17 years ago was under congressional investigation for money laundering. Goldstone later admitted he also was at the meeting.
Interestingly, Jared Kushner did not list these Russian contacts on his original security clearance form. Actually, Kushner listed no foreign contacts on his original submission. He later updated his security clearance form and added 100 foreign contacts, listing everyone at this June 2016 meeting, except the Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya. It was on his third update that he finally listed his contact with her.
To put all of this in proper context, we must go back to the year 2008. That was when, Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer and auditor untangled a dense web of tax fraud involving $230 million dollars and 23 Russian businesses linked to the Russian individuals or government officials.
Instead of the government rewarding Magnitsky for exposing this crime, he was arrested and jailed by the Kremlin on phony tax invasion charges.
Magnitsky was beaten and kept in inhumane conditions in jail, while under investigation for the trumped up charges (excuse the word play). He died under mysterious circumstances in 2009, days before his possible release from jail.
In 2012, Congress passed a law, signed by President Obama, freezing the assets of 18 Russian government officials and businessmen, and blocked them from entering the U.S. because of their involvement in the killing of Sergei Magnitsky. This bi-partisan bill is known as the Magnitsky Act.
Since the passage of the Magnitsky Act, most of the $230 million dollars has been found or frozen. Some of it was found in Swiss or Latvian bank accounts, some in off-shore companies, and millions in six-figure condos in Manhattan.
The Kremlin has tried every trick in the book to get this law repealed. They have barred certain U.S. citizens from traveling to Russia. Their cruelest trick was passing a law barring American citizens from adopting orphaned Russian children.
About $14 million of those assets, including cash deposited in U.S. bank accounts, was controlled by a company called Prevezon Holding, Ltd. These assets were confiscated by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The U.S. Attorney’s office of the Southern District of New York was prosecuting the case against this company for money laundering. The prosecutor leading this case was a man named Preet Bharara. Bharara was one of the 46 U.S. attorneys abruptly fired by Donald Trump in March of this year.
After Bharara was fired, the case of Prevezon Holding was quietly settled for $6 million dollars, this May, just days before it was to go to trial
The attorney representing Prevezon was Natalia Veselnitskaya. The same attorney, who met with Jr., Manafort and Kushner; who was said to have incriminating information from the Russian government, on Hillary Clinton; and who Jared Kushner conveniently omitted listing on two attempts at filling out his security clearance form.
This can be all one big coincidence. But in my conspiratorial mind, this seem like an awful lot of coincidence. It may be that I was raised to believe, if it walked like a duck, and it quacked like a duck, well dog gone it, it’s a duck.
I’m convinced this is a corrupt, deeply flawed and very cynical presidency. Donald Trump boldly breaks all the norms, traditions and protocols of anyone else that has ever served in this office. He is selfish, spiteful, mean and unethical. The idea of too much is given, much is required is a foreign concept to him.
My hope is that we will not have to endure this lunacy for four years. 2018 mid-terms will be our first opportunity to change the Republican control of Congress, and to put some restraints on the executive office.
We must vote, and as always Stay Woke!