- Date published:
7:58 am, January 1st, 2018 - 181 comments
Categories: australian politics, Donald Trump, International, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics - Tags: George Papadopoulos, hillary clinton
Happy new year everyone.
One person who I don’t think will be having such a good new year is American POTUS Donald J Trump. A recent disclosure by the New York Times suggests that an alcohol fuelled indiscretion by George Papadopoulos to Australian UK Ambassador and former Liberal leader Alexander Downer may have been the cause of the FBI investigating Trump’s crew for colluding with the Russian Government to fix the 2016 American elections. And the disclosure really makes you question what the FBI was doing just before the election occurred.
From the New York Times:
During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.
About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.
Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night at the Kensington Wine Rooms with the Australian, Alexander Downer, is unclear. But two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role.
The hacking and the revelation that a member of the Trump campaign may have had inside information about it were driving factors that led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired.
And Trump must have known what was happening.
When you think what happened just before the election when James Comey announced the reopening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton you have to question the fairness of what occurred. Certainly Democrats were riled up about Comey’s actions. The New York Times reported Harry Reid asking why there was an apparent double standard.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, responded angrily on Sunday with a letter accusing the F.B.I. of not being forthcoming about Mr. Trump’s alleged ties with Moscow.
“It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity,” Mr. Reid wrote. “The public has a right to know this information.”
F.B.I. officials declined to comment on Monday. Intelligence officials have said in interviews over the last six weeks that apparent connections between some of Mr. Trump’s aides and Moscow originally compelled them to open a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Republican presidential candidate. Still, they have said that Mr. Trump himself has not become a target. And no evidence has emerged that would link him or anyone else in his business or political circle directly to Russia’s election operations.
This last sentence is going to be put under some intense scrutiny. In July 2016 The FBI were told by one of America’s most trusted allies that the Trump camp knew all about the hacking of Hillary’s emails. The Russians were clearly targeting Clinton’s campaign and Trump was gloating about it.
The decision to go public on the reopening of the investigation into Clinton even though the FBI subsequently closed it had many people scratching their head. Surely in the interests of balance and fair treatment they should have also publicised the fact that they were investing the Trump campaign for possible collusion with the Russian Government. Or they should have investigated privately and urgently to see if the new emails would cause them to change the decision to close the file.
This article by Timothy Egan at the New York Times three weeks ago predicts then how this will go. Trump will at some stage stop the investigation. Then America will be a hair’s breadth away from being a banana republic.
You can see where this is headed, the once bright and shiny democracy going down the drain before the holidays are out. The Russians, the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his agents, desperate men flipped and singing to save their souls — all may soon be gone, by President Trump’s design.
If there’s any outrage left in the tank, use it now, because Trump has signaled exactly what he’s going to do. First, he had to set some brush fires, impugning the legitimacy of the rule of law — an old dictator’s trick. Trump is no Hitler, but when the German Reichstag burned in 1933, it was all the Nazis needed to gut civil liberties.
So, before Trump can fire the prosecutor who is hot on the corruption trail of those in the president’s inner circle, he needs a pretext. He could just work his way down the line at the Justice Department, until he found a quisling willing to remove the special counsel. But before he gets to that, he has to delegitimize the whole investigation.
Thus, he’s now attacking the F.B.I., saying the agency is in “Tatters” and its standing “the worst in History.” Bashing cops — wasn’t that what those Black Lives Matter people did to disrespect Blue Lives?
We live in interesting times …