Maxine Waters Sums Up Trump Russia Connections
Yesterday, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters provided a list of all the Trump aides who have had suspicious involvement with the Russian government and its associates:
“Michael Flynn, who was fired from the NSC after lying about discussing sanctions with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was a paid lobbyist for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian politician in Ukraine who fled to Russia in 2014. AP reports Manafort signed a $10 million contract in 2006, with Russian billionaire and Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, to advance Putin’s interest in the United States. The New York Times also reports Manafort tried to hide $750,000 in payments from a pro-Russian party in Ukraine.
Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, is a consultant to and investor in the Kremlin state-run gas company, Gazprom, and has a direct financial interest in ending American sanctions against the company. He recently revealed that he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, during the 2016 RNC.
And then there is Roger Stone, who has worked in Ukraine. Stone announced, in a speech last summer, that he had spoken to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Stone also disclosed to the press that he had been exchanging messages with Guccifer 2.0, the Russian hacker that hacked the DNC last summer.
And then, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was a business partner of Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch and Putin ally, in a major financial project involving the Bank of Cyprus.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed a multibillion-dollar agreement with Russia in 2011, on behalf of Exxon, for an oil drilling project in the Arctic and is focused on lifting the sanctions.
The New York Times reported that, prior to his resignation, Mike Flynn was delivered a proposal outlining a way for President Trump to lift the Russian sanctions and broker a deal between Russia and Ukraine that also included the public smearing of Ukraine’s current President Poroshenko. The deal is being pushed by his opposition in Ukraine.
Although Mike Flynn is gone, the proposal remains, along with those pushing it.
Then there is Michael Cohen, the President’s personal lawyer, who was involved in developing the document, and who delivered the document.
Then there is Felix H. Sater, a business associate and a former criminal who served time, who reportedly had ties with the Mafia, who helped Mr. Trump scout deals in Russia.
And then there is Andriy Artemenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker trying to rise in a political opposition movement, shaped in part by Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
And of course, there is our Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was forced to recuse himself from investigations related to the 2016 Presidential campaign, after it was revealed that he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on two separate occasions during the campaign cycle, information which he failed to disclose during his confirmation hearings.”
Goodness, that’s a huge number of connections between Russia and the Trump campaign and White House. But, that’s not all. Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House advisor Jared Kushner also held at least one secret meeting with the Russian Ambassador before Trump was inaugurated.
U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal explained, “Not only did Jared Kushner meet with Ambassador Kislyak, he met with the Russian bankers as well. And the White House has claimed that the meetings were “diplomatic,” but it is deeply troubling that one of the bankers that he met with was Sergey Gorkov. I want to be clear about who this person is. He is a graduate of the Russian Academy of the Federal Security Service, which is an academy that is tasked with training individuals to become members of Russia’s security and intelligence forces. He is now the chairman of the Vnesheconombank, and he was appointed by Putin, himself. This is not a mom-and-pop bank. This is a state-owned corporation that has been under sanctions by the United States for the past 3 years, and that is a big deal. Jared Kushner, whose family is worth nearly $2 billion, has real estate interests around the world, sat down, allegedly under the auspices of his role with the President, to chat with this owner of the bank.”
There has never before been an American President who has had so many secret communications with the government of an adversary of the United States before gaining the Oval Office. So, what is Congress doing about it?
The Republicans in the House of Representatives appear to be dedicated to helping Donald Trump cover it all up. Today it was learned by the New York Times that U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, who as chair of the House Intelligence Committee is supposed to have been managing an investigation of Donald Trump’s cooperation with Russia’s attacks against the United States in the 2016 presidential election, has instead been collaborating with the White House to undermine the investigation. Last week, Nunes was given propaganda materials to deploy in favor of Donald Trump Ezra Cohen-Watnick, senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer advising Donald Trump at the White House Counsel’s Office. Nunes lied to the House Intelligence Committee, saying he had obtained his information from independent sources.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is refusing to replace Devin Nunes as chair of the House Intelligence Committee, and so is now throwing his lot in with the coverup. A huge amount of political capital is being spent by Donald Trump and the Republican Party leadership to prevent a serious investigation of Trump’s connections to the Russian attacks of 2016. If they didn’t believe that there was anything to hide, they wouldn’t be engaged in such an extensive coverup.
A fair assessment of the gravity of the Russian infiltration of the Trump campaign and White House, combined with the whitewash of the Republican-led investigations of the matter in Congress, leads to a clear conclusion: Congress needs to appoint a special prosecutor with a nonpartisan reputation and full legal powers to investigate the involvement of Donald Trump and his associates in the Russian attacks of 2016.