Russia Monitor: Russpublican Party Complicit In Trump-Russia Betrayal


By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (2/15/18)

Dear Fellow Readers,

There is maturity to reporting on Trump-Russia corruption. With maturity comes breadth – it’s not just Trump-Russia corruption, the entire Republican party and leadership is now clearly and heavily implicated: Republican Party Leaders Conceal Russian Efforts to Undermine Government.

Elliott Cohen, writing for Buzzflash at Truthout, offers that Russia is doing to the U.S. what it has done to Ukraine and other former Soviet states.

“In fact, there are signs that Russia has implemented the strategy of “financing people in our governments to undo our governments,” not merely in Ukraine but in the United States. In 2015-16, Leonard Blavatnik, a Ukraine born Oligarch with ties to the Kremlin, made contributions of $6.35 million to GOP political action committees, including to top Republican leaders Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham. This was in sharp contrast to Blavatnik’s previous contributions, which tended to be bipartisan and only in the six figure range.”

Cohen reminds us that in 2016 reporting covered House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) were caught on a recording saying:

“McCarthy stated, “there’s two people, I think, Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump…[laughter]…swear to God.” Ryan then swore the group to secrecy: “This is an off the record…No leaks…alright?!” “

Um, yeah, right, Paul….

Russpublican Party

If back in 2016 anyone would have said Ryan and McCarthy were part of some grand conspiracy beyond running cover for a GOP candidate for president they would have been roundly dismissed as tin-hat theorists. But now we have this:

“And there are also signs that it’s working. The Republican leadership, including Ryan himself as well as McConnell have thus far walked lockstep with the Trump agenda, even when this meant supporting actions that may have jeopardized national security.”

Now, in spite of repeated warnings by Trump’s Director of the FBI Christopher Wray and Trump’s head of the CIA Mike Pompeo, we have his administration refusing to implement further sanctions against Russia as penalty for interfering in our 2016 election and his Department of Justice identifying no steps — none — to protect our elections from further interference. Now the voices of concern go well beyond election interference and register concern with the break-down in our form and the very institutions of government:

“But breaking down a system of checks and balances in the free world would not be complete without eviscerating the court system. Trump is also reshaping the judicial branch by nominating and installing federal judges at an unprecedented rate. These judges are mostly white ultraconservative men. In one instance Trump unsuccessfully tried to appoint Brett J. Talley to the bench in Alabama, a novice who had never tried a single case. Tally failed to disclose that his wife, Ann Donaldson, served as the Chief of Staff to the White House Counsel Donald McGahn. Donaldson had also been a witness in the Mueller Russia probe, and was interviewed by Mueller’s team about her conversations with McGahn concerningTrump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey.  Here, the scent of Russian kompromat was once again in the air: the appointment of a judge subject to blackmail.”

Now when we read the broad warnings and concerns we are no longer dismissive. We know we are all at risk and Trump-Russia corruption is the cause and it is about to spread. The government is falling and all without a shot fired.


Despite the clear and mounting threat to the elections and the United States, Mother Jones reported  Tuesday: Intelligence Chiefs: Trump Has Not Directed Us to Stop Russian Meddling.

The article’s subhead made the threat clear: They warn that Russia will target the 2018 midterm elections.

In a recent edition of the Russia Monitor we covered explicit, detailed warnings that Russia is already interfering in the 2018 election. Remember, the voices that are warning us now are the voices of Trump’s own administration – and yet, those warning still go unheeded by Trump’s feuding minions.

“The government’s top intelligence officials say Russia will likely reprise its election meddling in the upcoming midterms—and that President Donald Trump has not told them to take any specific action to stop Kremlin interference. 

“This striking testimony came on Tuesday during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing featuring the heads of the CIA, the FBI, and the National Security Agency, along with the director of national intelligence.”

Surely we’re missing something. Surely when Trump’s attorney general Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III tells us with a straight face that he has taken no steps — none — to protect future elections there is something he’s simply not able to tell us. Or not:

“FBI Director Christopher Wray said he has not been “specifically directed by the president” to combat Russian meddling. Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, similarly said Trump has not urged him to address Russian meddling. Nor has Trump pressed for any interagency effort to combat Russian interference, Coats conceded. “We essentially are relying on the investigations that are underway,” he said.

“That passivity contrasted with the intelligence chiefs’ unanimous and unqualified warnings about Russian intentions in the midterms. Coats, Pompeo, Rogers, and Wray said they stand by a January 2017 intelligence community assessment that concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election in an effort to help Trump win, and they agreed that Russia hopes to interfere again in the 2018 elections.

““There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 US midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations,” Coats said. He added, “We need to inform the American public that this is real. We are not going to allow some Russian to tell us how we’re going to vote. There needs to be a national cry for that.””

Relying on the investigations underway is not encouraging given the complete partisan breakdown of the House Intelligence Committee partisan antics as led by House Intelligence Chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).


Jared, The Kompromat Poster Child

Maybe we are overstating the risk of Trump mob Kompromat so the administration’s shiftless and unimaginative response to Russian election interference is overstated?

But then The Washington Post reports: The Head Of U.S. Intelligence Suggests Jared Kushner Shouldn’t Have Full Access To Classified Info.

The complete White House debacle around former staff secretary Rob Porter’s resignation over previously undisclosed accusations of spousal abuse remind us there are as many as three dozen staff operating with temporary access to classified intelligence.

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats was recently asked by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) at a hearing about whether staff whose background investigations turned up red flags should be allowed unfettered access to classified information.

But Heinrich also asked specifically about Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner’s temporary access to sensitive information and national secrets when his family business is facing payment of a massive $1.2 billion real estate debt.

Coats basically said no. Here’s the key part of his response:

“I might just say that I think sometimes it is necessary to have some type of preliminary clearance in order to fill a slot. But I have publicly stated if that is the case, the access has to be limited in terms of the kind of information they can be in a position to receive or not receive. So I think that’s something that we have to do as a part of our security clearance review. The process is broken; it needs to be reformed. As Sen. [Mark] Warner [D-Va.] has previously said, it is not evolution; it is revolution. We have 700,000 backups. So we have situations where we need people in places, but they don’t yet have that.”

Should we have specific concerns about Kushner’s access? Red flags are raised and warning flares pop off in the night sky because a person could be subject to blackmail, or more specifically in this instance, Russian intelligence service Kompromat.

And that should be our concern, as we’ve reported here a number of times.

MSNBC specifically outlined the national security danger: Jared Kushner’s Crushing Debt Presents Security Risk As $1.2 Billion Loan Comes Due.

“Embattled senior White House advisor Jared Kushner’s economic troubles may be one of the red flags holding up security clearance for President Donald Trump’s son in law, MSNBC anchor Katy Tur explained on Tuesday.”

Jared Kushner should not have access to the Presidential Daily Brief and should not be granted permanent security clearance.

““And in the case of Jared Kushner, my sources tell me it is unprecedented for someone to be seeing the Presidential Daily Brief who has not received a full security clearance,” he said. “This is a document that has the nation’s deepest secrets, including covert operation and top-level intelligence, NSA eavesdropping of foreign leaders, and to have someone looking at that document who hasn’t been fully cleared, who hasn’t been signed off on by the FBI, is unprecedented and it’s a decision directly made by Donald Trump, Katy,” Dilanian continued.

“Tur noted Kushner’s troubled 666 Fifth Ave tower, which is hemorrhaging so much money that the Kushner Companies may lose control of the building.

““There are a bunch of people, and Jared Kushner certainly appears to be one of them, who would not be able to get a security clearance in the context of work for any of these agencies, where people don’t really start work, generally, until the clearance comes through,” Lawfare editor in chief Benjamin Wittes noted.

“Wittes noted staffers working on temporary clearances, “despite in some cases, some pretty obviously — if not disqualifying, at least disqualification-raising background concerns.”

““This is the kind of thing that, you know, shocks and terrifies intelligence professionals,” he warned.

““It’s a $1.2 billion mortgage, it’s due by February 2019,” Tur noted.”

Kushner faces a $1.2 billion debt with no apparent paths to payment. Kushner has been implicated in conversations with Russian and Chinese banks for funding and many troubling questions remain about his attempts to set up a back channel communication with Russia using Russian communication facilities. Porter is one example of bad judgment with security clearances, but Kushner is a poster child for the kind of person for whom checks and balances should apply.


We’ll end with this headline: U.S. 2018 Elections ‘under attack’ By Russia: U.S. Intelligence Chief.

“Leaders of U.S. intelligence agencies warned on Tuesday that Russia will try to interfere in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections….”

Meanwhile Trump-Russia corruption and GOP complicity assure us that this administration will do as little as possible to combat Russian influence in our 2018 election in spite of multiple and mounting warnings by Trump’s own intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The resignation of Rob Porter from the White House because of allegations of spousal abuse is a red flag for red flags with White House personnel and intelligence access and specifically Russian intel services Kompromat.

We will learn more about the blind GOP alignment behind Trump and Trump-Russia corruption. But will anything be done? Clearly, not if it is up to the Russpublicans.