Louise Mensch: What House Intel Committee Must Ask on Russia
Tomorrow, my fellow Democrats, is a big day. Finally we’re going to have the first public hearings on Russiagate.
Remember where we are, at this point: our 17 intelligence agencies tell us that a hostile, foreign power-Russia-interfered in our election to help one candidate-Donald Trump-at the expense of his opponent-Hillary Clinton.
So that’s an established fact. What we don’t know but need to find out is whether or not the Trump campaign colluded or not. What did the-so-called-President know and when did he know it?
That’s what these hearings are about. For now-until there is a Democratic House-we have Devon Nunes-a Trump transition official-leading the investigation in the House. Far from ideal but this is still a very important hearing.
Louise Mensch-who has been more right about this unbelievable scandal than anyone reviews it:
“On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee holds its first hearing on Russia’s hacking of the election. (No date has yet been set for the Senate Intelligence Committee’s parallel investigation.) The list of initial witnesses does not inspire confidence in the House committee’s effectiveness.”
Of course not. Nunes is running it.
“It should be relatively easy to get at the truth of whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia over the hacking. I have some relevant experience. When I was a member of Parliament in Britain, I took part in a select committee investigating allegations of phone hacking by the News Corporation. Today, as a New York-based journalist (who, in fact, now works at News Corp.), I have followed the Russian hacking story closely. In November, I broke the story that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court had issued a warrant that enabled the F.B.I. to examine communications between “U.S. persons” in the Trump campaign relating to Russia-linked banks.”
She then provides a list of witnesses who should be at this hearing:
“So, I have some ideas for how the House committee members should proceed. If I were Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the committee, I would demand to see the following witnesses: Carter Page, Paul Manafort, Richard Burt, Erik Prince, Dan Scavino, Brad Parscale, Roger Stone, Corey Lewandowski, Boris Epshteyn, Rudolph Giuliani, Michael Flynn, Michael Flynn Jr., Felix Sater, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Michael Cohen, Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, Robert and Rebekah Mercer, Stephen Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Michael Anton, Julia Hahn and Stephen Miller, along with executives from Cambridge Analytica, Alfa Bank, Silicon Valley Bank and Spectrum Health.”
She has a list of some questions they should ask the witnesses:
“To the White House director of social media, Dan Scavino: “You tweeted an anti-Semitic meme about Hillary Clinton from Donald Trump’s account during the election. That meme appeared to have come from an automated account on a Russian-controlled network of malware-infected computers, or botnet. What knowledge did you have of the existence of a network of fake Twitter profiles that supported your campaign and were partisans of Russia?”
It’s amazing how much RT and the Trumpkins finish each others sentences. As often does not just Assange but Glenn Greenwald.
To the Trump campaign adviser and businessman Carter Page: “You have said that the Trump campaign approved your July visit to give a speech in Moscow. Provide the committee with a full list of everyone you spoke to during that trip and describe precisely what was discussed. Were sanctions ever a topic?
“When you met the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, what was the conversation?
“When you returned to Moscow after the election, you presented slides comparing Rex Tillerson and Hillary Clinton as secretaries of state before Mr. Tillerson was announced as Mr. Trump’s choice. Who told you Mr. Tillerson would be the pick?”
I wrote today about that speech he gave in Moscow. It’s truly amazing. He name checks Glenn Greenwald and offers the world’s most obsequious denial in saying ‘I did not meet with Igor Sechin, but, of course, it would have been an honor if I did.’
If you haven’t seen that speech you might want to. The first 28 minutes or so are of the actual speech. It’s astonishing. And Page is accused of doing a lot more with Sechin than just have a conversation. Sechin reportedly offered him 19% in the Russian state oil company in exchange for Trump dropping the sanctions.
Here is what Mensch wants to ask Stephen Miller-the neo Nazi boy wonder.
“Stephen Miller, then a campaign spokesman, stated that Jeff Sessions was putting together the foreign policy team. How were you recruited to that team? What contact did you have with its head, Mr. Sessions?
“Did you at any time discuss leaking, hacking, WikiLeaks, the release of emails phished from the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, or any other information not publicly available on Mrs. Clinton, or any person related to her campaign, with any Russian national, in the United States or elsewhere?
“Describe any and all financial discussions you had with any person during the campaign about the sale of a 19.5 percent stake in the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.”
Clearly the question of an offered stake in Rosnet is a huge piece of this in terms of motive.
So tomorrow’s going to be a big day. I’ll have my popcorn out. As Rachel Maddow puts it ‘Watch this space.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out this week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.