Sunday, December 9, 2018

For the Record: The I-Word

Image via Focus Washington, 28 August 2017.

But that certainly doesn't mean it won't be.

To Emptywheel, it's getting almost simple: It's about Trump's desire to build a Moscow hotel, which he'd been fretting over for years, ever since Ivanka and Junior and Felix Sater made that exploratory trip to Russia in 2006. In October 2015, four months after he declared his candidacy, the project started reviving, in communications reported in BuzzFeed last June that are now getting confirmed in the Cohen sentencing documents, between Ivanka and Dmitry Klokov, an Olympic weightlifting champion, offering to arrange a meeting between the candidate and Vladimir Putin, and went on into the next spring with various intermediaries including Papadopoulos and Page, culminating with the Agalarov-arranged June meeting in Trump Tower (remember, the Agalarovs were developing the land where Trump's tower was to be built) where, if I'm right, the terms were agreed; Trump would act as an advocate for Putin in the campaign, Russian intelligence would assist the Republicans "as part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump"—note that the email didn't say for the Trump campaign but for the person:
The Russians exploited Trump’s most venal instincts and those of all the people around him. And all the election help and policy payoffs were just side shows to Trump. So long as he showed a willingness to damage Hillary Clinton in any way available, the Russians were happy to have him believe this was just about a silly tower in Moscow.
But it's bribery on an international scale.

So I don't know, but it's looking pretty good to me. The reason for the focus on the Judiciary Committee, if it's not clear, is that if they do their work right, as in 1974 the rest of Congress doesn't have to do much of anything, and in particular the Senate doesn't have to take a vote at all, which is very much their preference. They simply send a delegation of Republican Senators over to the White House and tell Trump he has to resign or he will be convicted.

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