Why it’s Very Unlikely Kisylak Lied About Jared Kushner’s Back Channel Propsal
You see a kind of division among those defending Kushner. Republicans in Congress have tried to argue that for all we know Kisylak himself deliberately spread false information about Kushner here.
What the possible motive for this is not at all clear as Kisylak has done so much to cultivate his relationship with the Trump team-who on Trump’s team didn’t hang out with Kisylak?
But it’s a lot more basic. While GOPers in Congress and some conservative pundits are arguing that Kisylak might well have lied, what you notice is that people in the WH itself-and Kushner’s own attorney-have not denied that it happened.
The most any of them have done is suggest that we don’t know if it happened-but no one is saying categorically it didn’t. Which is strange. If Kushner didn’t ask for a ‘back channel’ with Russia at the Russian embassy, you’d think he’d be saying so. He’s not denying it and no one in the WH is.
Why not? Because they don’t want to go to jail for perjury or obstruction of justice.
Speaking of obstruction of justice, this brings us to the Comey firing. As we noted yesterday, Jared’s very aggressive role in Comey’s firing takes on a whole new light now that we know he was under FBI scrutiny.
What we’ve learned is that only Jared and Ivanka Trump were in the know about the Comey firing.
As I’ve noted more than once since the start of Trump Russia, remember that Richard Nixon never went to jail-though he was indicted-but 48 of his flacks did.
Trump can’t go to jail until he’s impeached and convicted-in Congress and then in the Senate. But Jared could go to jail tomorrow if he were found guilty.
At this point here are the possible counts of criminality for Jared Kushner:
1. Kisylak back channel. While H.R. McMaster and John Kelly have defended the use of a ‘back channel’ keep in mind this is no ordinary ‘back channel.’ Republicans evoked Kissinger’s back channels at a cafe, etc.
Ok, that was a cafe. Not the Russian embassy.
But it’s also important to highlight the fact that this was when Obama was still President. So Kushner violated the One President at a time rule. And this meeting was far from just a social visit or meet and greet. It talked about policy and back channels-in the Russian embassy no less.
Even if Trump were the President then it would raised grave questions-particularly because with the charges about Russian interference and possible collusion Russia for team Trump is special. Interactions with them are always going to be vetted particularly closely.
But to do this before Obama had stepped down quite arguably violates the Logan Act.
2. Comey firing. As we now know Jared was a person of interest, the firing of Comey may qualify as obstruction of justice. That can certainly land you in prison as Erlichman and Haldeman-as well as John Dean and many others.
3. Election collusion. Kushner and his data firm, Columbia Analytica-may well have engaged in collusion with the Russian cyber interference.
Last week the Wall Street Journal broke a story about Guccifer 2.0 handing out Democratic voter files to both a GOP Florida consultant, Alan Nevins, and Roger Stone-naturally.
We already know that Stone communicated with Guccifer 2.0 directly on Twitter. He claimed these were innocent conversations but they sure don’t sound like it. Stone asked Guccifer 2.0 to RT a Breitbart article he wrote claiming the election will be ‘rigged against Trump.’
Then a few days before the election in November, Guccifer 2.0 claimed to be ‘an election observer’ from inside the electoral system at that moment. G2 called on other hackers to join.
The question is did Kushner and Columbia Analytica use these hacked Dem files? The FBI is looking into it:
A big part of the Trump campaign effort was about don’t get out to vote as much as get out the vote. They targeted Democrats in the three swing states that ended up being determinative.
The thing to remember is that election collusion is absolutely against the law. It’s not enough to say-They stole the files I just looked at it or They hacked the emails, I just used them for my campaign.
“Let me state up front that the claim that there was “No crime” committed is simply false. Cyber Espionage is a Felony punishable by up to 10-years in prison. Collaborating or cooperating with a felon is known as conspiracy and is punishable by up to five years in prison.”
“So providing support, any support, to anyone who has committed a felony, is also a felony. Even when that supports happens after the initial criminal act.”
Just by way of comparison remember the Canucks letter of 1972. Don Segretti wrote it; a 19 year old Roger Stone-who else?-was the driver who hand delivered it.
Amazing how Stone is always there for these.
Arguably the Canucks letter did more to win it for Nixon than anything else. Of course, the Waterate break in had no electoral effect-which didn’t make it right or legal.
But the Canucks letter was very arguably the game winner for Nixon 1972 just as the Comey letter was clearly the winning TD for Trump 2016.
This is true based on Nixon’s own assumptions. He believed that Edward Muskie was his biggest threat among the Democrats-and that was McGovern was his easiest opponent. The Canucks letter knocked out Muskie.
And remember-Don Segretti went to jail for this.
“A former military prosecutor and civil lawyer, Segretti ran a campaign of political sabotage against the Democrats for Nixon’s reelection effort. In 1974, he served 4 1/2 months in prison after pleading guilty to three misdemeanor counts of distributing illegal campaign literature, including a letter falsely claiming that former senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson had fathered an illegitimate child with a 17-year-old girl.Segretti briefly threw his hat into the ring as a candidate for Superior Court judge in Orange County, Calif., in 1995 but withdrew after a week, saying the shadow of Watergate hung over the campaign. “It was supposed to be a low-key campaign and a non-partisan office,” Segretti said. “But it wasn’t treated that way.”
Note that he was never able to rehabilitate his public reputation even 24 years after the fact. And in relative terms he did much less than we already know his driver in 1972-Roger Stone-did in 2016.
The communications with Assange. Guccifer 2.0. As for the party of treason moniker-from what I understand, Stone and Alan Nevins were just the tip of the iceberg of GOP operatives who spoke with Guccifer 2.0.
Then there was Stone’s claim that he spoke to Assange about hacking the 30,000 emails. The same 30,000 emails in Trump’s ‘Russia are you listening?’ presser that ended up being his last presser of the campaign.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last 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.