While we were all occupied over the past 24 hours, discussing White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s absolutely indefensible comment about how Hitler showed “restraint” by never using chemical weapons agains his fellow human beings, when we know for a fact that the Nazis, at the height of the Holocaust, were murdering over 6,000 Jews a day in their concentration camps, a great number of whom were killed with Zyklon B gas, a few interesting things were playing out behind the scenes relative to our intelligence community’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election. Here are just a few highlights.
First, it was reported that, prior to the election, the FBI had obtained a warrant to monitor the communications of Trump campaign aide Carter Page. This essentially means that a FISA court felt that there was, in the words of national security analyst Susan Hennessey, “probable cause to believe Page was acting an agent of a foreign power.”
Second, the New York Times reported that Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, on the very day he left the Trump campaign amid rumors of his ties to Russia, created a shell company to borrow $13 million dollars from people with ties to President Trump, including a Ukrainian-born billionaire. Furthermore, the Associated Press today confirmed the authenticity of the so-called “Black Ledger”, which Manafort has in the past referred to as “fake.” The ledger, for those of you who haven’t already heard about it, shows secret payments made to Manafort’s consulting firm from Ukraine’s pro-Russia political party, the Party of Regions, totaling over $1.2 million, all of which was laundered through other countries, like Belize and Cyprus.
Third, according to CNN, the so-called “evidence” that House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes claims to have seen that night on the grounds of the White House, which, we were told, confirmed Trump’s assertion that Obama had placed him under surveillance, in fact shows no such thing. And, not only that, but several people, including Michael Hayden, the CIA director under George W. Bush, have come forward to say that there’s nothing to suggestions that Susan Rice, Obama’s National Security Advisor, did anything wrong in her handling of sensitive national security information, as Trump and others in his camp have suggested.
So, the net is tightening, my friends. And not only are investigators and forensic accountants all over the likes of Page and Manafort, but others are being swept up as well. Just a few days ago, one of the Russians suspected of hacking the election was arrested in Madrid at the behest of U.S. investigators. And, all the while, Trump’s attempts to obscure the truth by suggesting that Obama and Rice began this investigation for political reasons, are being shot down right and left. At this point, it’s just a matter of getting someone to flip. And, if he can stay alive long enough, I think it’ll be Carter Page, the man who, according to the Steele Dossier, brokered the deal between Trump and Putin to lift U.S. sanctions against Russia in exchange for a 19 percent stake in the Russian oil company Rosneft. [One wonders if Vegas has odds on the life expectancy of Carter Page.]
While it’s depressing as hell having to live through this, I have to think that, in the end, we’ll know the truth, and whether or not this really was all about oil. One just hopes it happens soon… before too much more damage can be done.