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The Shearing of Hair Trompf (9)

July 8, 2017

Starting this new page on a hopeful note: these thumbnails (by Allegra Kirkland in TPM) of Mueller’s investigative team suggest a prosecutorial team as well, with lots of experience with organized crime. If I were a criminal in the WH, or anywhere near it, I’d be impressed. I’m thinking that work is well under way on the excavation for below-ground anchoring, and on the skeleton of the floors above ground, with preparation for many stories.  To get to work with a team like this one would be a dream come true.

Mueller has submitted his budget, to the Dept of Justice; but we won’t get a glimpse of what it might tell us until Sept 30, when his expenditures will be made public.  (WaPo)

Also 7-8  On June 9, 2016, shortly after Trompf clinched the nomination, members of his campaign team, including Kushner and Manafort, attended a meeting at Trump Tower, arranged by Donald Jr, with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, who “is best known for mounting a multipronged attack against the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The law so enraged Mr. Putin that he retaliated by halting American adoptions of Russian children.”  (NYTimes)  7-9  Hair Trompf suggests special, “impenetrable,” Russo-American Cyber Security Unit.  Just joking?

7-11 So let’s see. It is totally likely that the T campaign committed a crime (violated the Campaign Finance Law), by meeting with a foreign national in connection with the campaign. Here are the grounds for the case that can be made. Jr was informed, before the meeting, that a Russian would offer negative info about Clinton candidacy. For sure, this will be thoroughly investigated [Yep].  Here’s extensive, early (7-9), NYT reporting, and Huff Post.  TPM analysis of this “blockbuster.”  Some Qs that emerge, and more Qs.  Think Progress traces connections to Russian pop stardom and the Miss Universe pageant.  7-10 And the NYT is on that too.  My favorite passage:

The beauty competition put Mr. Trump in contact with influential people in Russia, as he explained in a September 2015 interview on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“I called it my weekend in Moscow,” said Mr. Trump, who had announced his candidacy for president a few months earlier. He added: “I was with the top-level people, both oligarchs and generals, and top of the government people. I can’t go further than that, but I will tell you that I met the top people, and the relationship was extraordinary.”

NYT reports that Jr was told by email that info was being offered that would damage Clinton.  And Whadayaknow?, Jr decides to incriminate himself, by releasing the entire (we think) email exchange.

Rookie big-time lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, appears to be Jr’s main “contact.”  So far, no side-kick, Boris Badenov.  Implications of money laundering.  “Fearsome insider,” who fought Magnitsky sanctions.

And Jr lawyers up.

NV says, “I’m so innocent, but maybe Jr heard what he wanted to hear.  Jr claimed, early, that the meet turned out to be about NV’s interest in American adoptions of Russian children, that had been blocked by Putin in retaliation for US sanctions on Russian oligarchs and officials (the Magnitsky Act) during Obama administration including Clinton as SoS.  Here’s Anne Applebaum on that.

7-12  Why was a Russian money laundering case , involving NV, suddenly dropped by DOJ?  /  Dem Congressional candidates also were targets of Russian hackers.

(It’s hard for a busy narrator to keep up with nonfiction, so i’ve jumped to 7-14 on page (10); but i’ll be filling in what I’ve skipped.)

[Pages (1) and (8) and (10) of this episode.]

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