Reporters and pundits and bloggers are turning in circles trying to make sense out of the Russia sanctions scandal.
The classic Watergate question is everywhere: What did the President know, and when did he know it?
I’m adding my speculation to the mix.
The UnPrecedent either knew everything, or he knew nothing.
Both are equally bad.
I’m thinking he knew everything. From the beginning.
To begin with, military types like Flynn do not make decisions about what information to reveal or withhold on their own authority.
DJT, or someone speaking for him, instructed Flynn to send a signal about the sanctions. Asked him to reassure Putin through the Ambassador that if DJT was elected that the sanctions would be reduced or eliminated (as if Putin couldn’t figure that out for himself…).
Earlier I heard Wolf Blitzer asking “Why was he trying to undermine President Obama?” and I laughed loud enough to scare the neighbors. Are you kidding? Did CNN miss the obvious dislike and disrespect for the black president shown by DJT and many of the people around him? They clearly felt the “one president at a time” rule was a mere convention they were not bound to respect because they did not respect the man holding the office.
DJT, or someone speaking for him, instructed Flynn to lie to Pence. Pence had been on the Foreign Affairs Committee and was the most likely to raise a question about improper interference. They just didn’t want Pence with his straight arrow boy scout reputation to point out that it was unseemly to violate the “one president at a time” rule. Pence is also one of the few in the inner circle who was likely to know that the Logan Act was a real thing. At this point Pence better hope they lied to him, because if he did know and participated voluntarily in the cover up then we may have grounds to #ImpeachPenceFirst.
No one has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act. But as many have pointed out, maybe there has never been proof of an offense this blatant. Rcons are the ones who constantly hide behind originalism and the Logan Act goes back to the Second President of the United States! It’s clear that the Founding Fathers, whom Rs claim to revere, thought private citizens should not undermine official government policy (or a sitting president) by interfering in any dispute between the United States and a foreign country.
But the DJT Administration is still claiming it wasn’t illegal, it wasn’t even wrong.
But they do not get to decide what is wrong or right. They do not get to decide what is legal and illegal, although the way they treat the courts makes one wonder whether they think they are the arbiters of legallity.
DJT cannot be allowed to set the standard of normal. He forfeited that a LONG time ago. All this is wrong, and more than wrong. It is illegal. It involves actions and lies about those actions that open various people to felony prosecution.
The timing of the Kislyak phone call says it all. Obama announces sanctions on December 29, and Flynn talks to Russian Ambassador Kislyak on the same frakking day? Are you serious? We are supposed to believe they only talked about a plane crash and Christmas greetings? We are supposed to believe Flynn was arranging a phone call between DJT and Putin without saying anything like “Don’t worry, as soon as we get in those sanctions are history”?
Putin uncharacteristically does not react to the announcement of the sanctions in his usual way. Everyone with three brain cells assumes he is not reacting because he is assuming DJT will lift the sanctions once in office. But was his Ambassador actually told this? Only the transcripts know for sure.
When Flynn was interviewed by the FBI, he lied, and they knew he was lying, since they already knew about the phone call and had access to the transcripts.
Common sense says that the FBI reported all this to acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates.
Insiders say that was the real reason Yates was fired—not because of her opposition to the travel ban, but because of what she knew about the FBI investigation into the labyrinthine connections between Russia and the DJT team.
DJT knew when he picked Flynn for National Security Adviser that he was under a cloud of investigation. He had to have been briefed on the counter intelligence investigations concerning Flynn, and chose him for NSA anyway.
We have evidence of Flynn’s connections to Putin and the Russian Ambassador.
Flynn did not decide on his own to lie to Pence.
Flynn did not decide on his own to lie to the FBI.
Someone like Flynn would only lie and break laws if he was under orders to do so.
Orders from whom? DJT or someone speaking for him. Those are the only two choices.
KAC has been conspicuously absent from cable news tonight (thank you Lord), after they threw her under the bus by sending her out with the “full confidence of the President” line hours before DJT accepted Flynn’s resignation... oh wait, correct that, demanded his resignation.
The claim that Flynn was fired because of lack of trust is ridiculous. Why did DJT trust him any less on February 13th than they did on January 26? Why did DJT trust him any less on February 13 than he did on the day he picked him to be the National Security Adviser, since he had already been told Flynn was compromised and under investigation as a possible Russian asset?
Oh, and guess who was in charge of DJT’s National Security Advisory Committee while all this Russia backdealing was going on? None other than Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. And Rachel reported tonight that Sessions is not going to recuse himself from this investigation. Sessions will be investigating the involvement of the DJT campaign with Russian intelligence officials, while he himself was part of the DJT campaign! Raise your hand if you trust him to do an impartial job!
I don’t see any hands up. Perhaps everyone misunderstood the question.
What did the President know, and when did he know it?
What did the Vice President know, and when did he know it?
What did other senior campaign officials know, and when did they know it?
What was the real reason Sally Yates was fired?
What does the Attorney General know, and when did he know it? What did he know during the campaign? What was he briefed on after his confirmation?
We know improper interference happened. We know lies were told.
All we are interested in now is how far back it goes, and will anyone face consequences from the cover up?
Scary Spice will not enjoy tomorrow’s press briefing, after he was sent out to tell transparent lies like DJT has been tough on Russia. He will not be able to stick to his claim that Flynn was fired for a “trust issue” rather than a legal issue. Someone will point out the various legal issues one after the other while the DJT Administration frantically tries to regain message control through misdirection. Take a drink (of vodka?) every time they try to pivot to complaints about leakers and whistleblowers and you will be under the table in no time.
Those leakers are patriots, and the news organizations sharing this information with us deserve our praise.
Who will be the first Republican to do the patriotic thing and step across the party line on to the right side of history?
Come on, Ryan. Come on, House Intelligence Committee. Come on, McConnell. Come on, Senate Intelligence Committee. This is just ridiculous. Get in the weeds, look for the seeds of how this cover-up began. Because we know somebody engineered this. Flynn did not do this on his own. They are trying to make him the fall guy for something that could be much much bigger.
Deplorables may be saying it’s a waste of time for Republicons to investigate Republicons, but the rest of us want to know what really happened. And we outnumber them!
Will you let this administration investigate itself? Will this be the ultimate case of IOKIYAR?
Come on. Just pretend that Hillary was president and all these facts were coming out about her administration and her campaign. Then you’ll know exactly how and what to investigate.
In the meantime, I’m going with the opinion that DJT knew everything, cooperated with the interference and instructed it to be done.
Maybe Russia has something on DJT and they are blackmailing him.
Or maybe it’s even crasser than that. Maybe there is no blackmail. Maybe DJT was willing to ally himself with a hostile foreign power just because Putin promised to help him win. Anything to win, regardless of who is harmed, what agreements are violated, or what timeless political conventions are flouted. That sounds about right for someone of DJT’s low character.
Maybe DJT just did this because he could. Because there has never been anyone in his life powerful enough to make him obey rules he didn’t want to obey when something he wanted was at stake.
Is there anyone who can make him obey the law now?
Previous TRUE BLUE REPORT diaries
Feb 13: Coping with The Madness of King Donald by hoping political comedy will save us
Feb 12: The Poverty and Justice Bible
Feb 11: Blue Ribbon Winners: Swastika removers, Ninth Circuit Panel, and the Persisterhood!
Feb 10: The first three words of the Constitution are “We, the People” not “I, the President”
Feb 9: Who first inspired your political activism? Who inspires you now?
Feb 8: We cannot and will not be silenced—Here’s what to do if they try to silence you
Feb 7: Plain Talk Tuesday: Tell people the Affordable Care Act is the same as OBAMACARE
Feb 6: Interview Skills 101—Internalized oppression and what Ryan Lizza did right. BRAVO!
Feb 5: These protest signs with Bible cites will confuse and befuddle RWNJs
Feb 4: Blue Ribbon Winners: Temple B’Nai Israel, Judge Robart, CNN, Senate Phone Callers
Feb 3: Not rich, not smart, not a good businessman, not a winner—DJT is NOTHING he claims to be
Feb 2: Thursday action—Encouragement, thanks, and apologies (pick one or more)
Feb 1: July 7, 2009 to August 25, 2009 and September 25, 2009 to February 4, 2010
Jan 31: If you’re on overload that’s part of their plan—there’s more than one way to #resist
Jan 30: Interview Skills 101 for reporters attempting to interview KAC and other Rcons
Jan 29: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness
Jan 28: Blue Ribbon Winners: Women's March participants and #NoMuslimBan demonstrators and...
Jan 27: I wish Steve Bannon would tell me to keep my mouth shut
Jan 26: Thursday Action—Have you ever written a letter to the editor? Here’s how to start
Jan 25: The Asch Conformity Study, inauguration crowds, and the importance of speaking out
Jan 24: #ResistTrumpTuesday—good news day or another paying dues day?
Jan 23: Spy the Lie 101: How to enjoy watching Rcon spokesbot interviews, even KAC!
Jan 22: Why I prayed for the President* today
Jan 21: The only silver lining in the midst of these clouds
Inaugural (!) diary: Stop expecting Republicons to make sense