Recent developments from this past week suggest the current administration may be going “nuclear” in its approach to the investigation about the alleged ties between Forty-Five, his campaign, and the Russians. Central to this approach is Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States. Last night, the Washington Post broke a story indicating U.S spy agencies intercepted two conversations between the “top policy adviser” to the Republican candidate and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. According to the Post, the Ambassador “told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign related matters, including policy related matters important to Moscow.”
Those following the investigation should not be surprised because we already knew Sessions was not forthcoming about his meeting with Russians during his confirmation hearing, or beyond. What is surprising, however, is the apparent strategy the administration appears to be taking in order to stifle and perhaps stop the investigation dead in its tracks.
What led to this new strategy, and what does Sessions have to do with it?
Bloomberg News reported on July 20, 2017, that Bob Mueller, the Special Counsel tasked with overseeing the investigation, has widened the probe by looking at Forty-Five’s previous business transactions. The reader will recall how sensitive an area this appears to be for Forty-Five. He still refuses to release his tax returns.
After that report broke, and earlier this week, in an interview with the New York Times, Forty-Five told the Times that “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else.” Forty-Five also calls to question the Deputy AG, the acting FBI Director, and of course, the Special Counsel leading the current investigation.
Forty-Five’s statement created a “chilling effect” within the West Wing, according to CNN with one White House official telling the media outlet confidentially that “no one was more loyal than Sessions. No one!” Conveying the already low morale in the West Wing the official also told CNN,”If it could happen to Sessions, it could happen to anyone.” How true, especially given that Forty-Five has characterized how much he values loyalty from employees in the past.
One cannot escape noticing the wording used by that White House official, as it seems the official believes that Sessions is going to be gone, or asked to resign, perhaps. Why? Because the official uses the past tense when describing Sessions apparent falling out with Forty-Five with the word, “was.”
In other words, speculation abounds as to whether Forty-Five is “throwing Sessions under the bus.” Why would he want to do that? The reason, according to Rachel Maddow is due to Forty-Five needing a way to fire Mueller in order for the investigation to disappear. In addition, we witnessed the recent resignation of Former Ethics Director, Walter Shaub, who says, “he no longer believes that the tools he had for carrying out his mission worked.”
Shaub’s agency ensured governmental departments operated with the ethical standards necessary to prevent such a maneuver. According to Shaub, citing the Vacancies Reform Act, “there’s a mechanism for identifying the first assistant who’s going to take over when the head of an agency leaves. That first assistant was designated months before the election.” However, Shaub warned viewers to keep watch as to whether the administration followed the path of succession as outlined by the law. Guess what, folks?
Yesterday, Forty-Five named an Acting Director over that agency, without following the line of succession as outlined by Shaub. Are you concerned yet? No?
Well, how about this:
Forty-Five’s newest attorney, Mr. Dowd states in response to the ongoing investigation: “Those transactions in my view are well beyond the mandate of the Special Counsel; are unrelated to the election of 2016 or any alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia…..” But wait: “Why would Forty-Five’s attorney look up the Statute of Limitations on actions his client may have engaged in? Maddow decided to seek clarity on what Dowd is saying here, and received the following statement:
“We have no evidence that any of these entities are under investigation.” Say, what? He continues, “I’m beginning to think it’s not true. I’m beginning to wonder where the Hell it came from.” He concluded his statement with these words to Maddow’s producer: “This is the last call we’ll ever have.”
Added to all of this is WaPo reporting how Forty-Five’s lawyers are seeking ways to “undercut Bob Mueller and his aides, the New York Times affirmation that the administration is seeking leverage against Mueller’s investigation, WAPO’S citing how Forty-Five is “irritated by the notion that Mueller’s probe could reach into his and his family’s finances”, Bloomberg’s report that Forty-Five is frustrated that Mueller’s investigation is “scrutinizing many years of deal-making” by Forty-Five, a close adviser to the President arguing “the President’s tax returns would be outside that investigation,” and Jay Sekulow – another of Forty-Five’s attorney’s – stating ‘in our view, this is far outside the scope of a legitimate investigation,” and one can see where all of this could be headed: Forty-Five possibly going nuclear to squash the investigation into Russia. And, of course, there is Forty-Five seeking ways to pardon himself, his aides, and family members.
This may have all begun with the current occupant “throwing Sessions” – his most loyal employee – under the bus and may end with Session’s resignation. This would clear the path for a new AG who will do Forty-Five’s bidding, or at the minimum, be more favorable to him regarding the investigation.
The people of this nation deserve to know the truth about what took place during last year’s presidential election.
Will we ever get to the bottom of this?
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