By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (3/30/17)
Dear Fellow Readers,
While the White House and specifically White House press secretary Sean Spicer contend “there is no there there” to Trump campaign collusion with Russians the big news over the last few days is about who is and who is not to testify. The initiative most in the news is the House Intelligence hearings co-chaired by (R-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA). Initially there was a pronouncement of bi-partisan cooperation to investigate and protect US democracy but that outlook has since changed.
Rep. Schiff Calls on Rep. Nunes to Recuse Himself From Russian Inquiry
In 3/27/17 edition of The Russia Monitor we reported on Nunes and his rush to coordinate leaked confidential information with the White House without regard to his co-chair or other committee members. Now he has cancelled scheduled hearings scheduled for Friday. There could be many reasons for this and we’re left to speculate. Though we do have yet another interesting coincidence. Link to Story
Sally Yates Blocked From Testifying
Sally Yates is the former acting Attorney General fired by Donald Trump for refusing to support the first Muslim travel ban. The Trump administration tried to block Yates from testifying about Russia issues, advising her that any information was considered attorney client privilege based on the position she held prior to being fired. Yates replied she did not agree and felt qualified to testify appropriately. The hearings were then cancelled – the coincidence. Link to Story (With a very provocative headline.)
Non-Stop Spinning Spicer
I have included two links regarding White House press secretary Sean Spicer. The first is a bit longer but includes some great content from Spicer. At the 4:30 mark there is some great insight about how Spicer technically can state with a straight face “to say in any way, shape, or form that we stood in the way of that is 100% false” (referring to accusations the White House attempted to block Yates’ testimony). You can almost feel Spicer’s pain but if he’s chosen to sell his soul one day at a time… Link to 8-Minute Video
Nunes at this point has made it completely clear he has no intent to investigate the possibility of any wrong-doing by way of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian interests. Link to Story
Don’t Forget the Senate Committee – Trump Son-In-Law Jared Kushner To Testify
But Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee is not the only investigative committee, the Senate has an initiative as well. One person who will testify is Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, senior adviser in the White House working closely with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Kushner is already known to have also met with Russian Ambassador Kislyak, but there is also more:
Kushner met with Sergei Gorkov, chairman of Vnesheconombank, a sanctioned Russian bank. The bank was placed on a US sanctions list because of it’s role in Russia’s annexation of Crimea. This is very serious – ALL US businesses and citizens are barred from doing business with persons and businesses sanctioned by the US government. This is akin to selling US nuclear technology to North Korea. The number of coincidences with such a meeting are many, but to name a few:
“…the White House (Hope Hicks) says “nothing of consequence was discussed”, given the risk why even agree to a meeting?”
From the article (Link Here): “Evgeny Buryakov, 41, a Russian citizen who worked at Vnesheconombank and whom U.S. authorities accused of posing as a banker while participating in a New York spy ring, pleaded guilty to a criminal conspiracy charge in March 2016. Buryakov admitted in federal court in Manhattan to acting as an agent for the Russian government without notifying U.S. authorities.”
And, “He was prosecuted by the office of the U.S. attorney in Manhattan under Preet Bharara, who was among several chief prosecutors fired or asked to resign earlier this month by the new administration.”
You might recognize former US attorney Bharara as the same person who was investigating activities related to the assassination of the Russian in Ukraine and investigation of money laundering and the death of a Russian lawyer in Manhattan another Bharara link, this time with Guiliani on the wrong side of the issue.
Why would any sane person knowingly step into the middle of this shit-storm?
Many Agree There is There There
So many coincidences, but “no there there”? Really?
Most Americans aren’t buying that line and believe continued investigation of possible Russian connections is necessary. Link to Story
There are so many coincidences that even Dick Cheney thinks there’s something to all this. Link to Story
And even people working in the White House apparently think there is something amiss as they are frantically taking their steps to protect themselves: Link to Story
We may not know the whole story but I guarantee one thing: more news to follow.
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )