The FEC Urges Escalated Trump-Russia Inquiry
In my last post, I took issue with a narrative that’s very common among the MSM. Now that Trump has fired Comey and the stories of how blatantly Trump tried to obstruct the Russia collusion probe have come out-the latest being Trump trying to get both the DNI Director and the NSC Director to publicly state there was no collusion with Russia-there is an interesting meme in the MSM.
Now they admit that if nothing else Trump very well may be guilty of obstruction. But they still see this as just a very bad mistake by Trump.
In the link above I took issue with Doug Blackmon on this score. But here is Jonathan Chait:
“It may not have made “sense” for Donald Trump to fire James Comey, let alone for him to proceed to confess — in a public interview with Lester Holt, and then a putatively private meeting with Russian diplomats — that he did so in order to stop the Russia investigation. But the flurry of new reports over the last few days has given the puzzling sequence of events a more coherent shape. Within the warped internal logic of the Trump presidency — where it is taken as a given by essentially everybody around him that the president is impulsive and grotesquely ignorant — his shocking actions and statements have a more understandable basis.”
“A week ago, it appeared that the probe would center around the activities of a handful of figures who are now marginal within Trumpworld: former campaign manager Paul Manafort, foreign policy adviser Carter Page, and deposed National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. That has changed. The Washington Post reported Friday that investigators have identified a current White House official as a person of interest in its financial probe. (The story hinted, and New York Magazine contributor Yashar Ali confirmed, that the person is Jared Kushner.)”
Ok, here’s my question. Isn’t it possible that Trump went to all this trouble because there really is something there? Even the way Chait framed it-a week ago it was just a handful of marginal figures.
That is the way those who are determined to have the most charitable take imaginable take it. But was say G. Gordon Liddy, Howard E. Hunt, to say nothing of Don Segretti marginal figures in the Nixon 1972 campaign?
As for Flynn he only was the NSC adviser handling all level classified info. How marginal
And now yet another unrelated front has opened up on investigating Trump Russia collusion: the FEC.
“FEC member urges escalated Trump-Russia inquiry.”
“The agency, already investigating a Trump complaint, is called on to consider reports that Russian agents bought Facebook ads.”
“A member of the Federal Election Commission is calling on the agency to investigate whether Russian agents paid for Facebook ads to spread damaging stories about Hillary Clinton ahead of last fall’s presidential election.”
“I think there is potential there for finding a violation, but I don’t want to suggest that I have prejudged anything that could potentially come before me,” said FEC commissioner Ellen Weintraub, a Democratic appointee to the commission.
“The prospect of an escalating inquiry from the quasi-independent election watchdog agency could represent an intriguing new front in the battalion of investigations being pursued by various parts of the federal government. The FBI and various congressional committees are looking into Russia’s meddling in the election and the connections between the country and President Donald Trump’s associates.”
“The bipartisan FEC is generally better known for gridlock than speedy or aggressive investigations. Yet there are some signs that it might make an exception when it comes to foreign spending in U.S. elections.”
So it looks like the FEC-notorious for its gridlock-might actually be able to collaborate on this, which only underscores how serious this is. But even if they aren’t, something very valuable will come out of it-public information about Trump Russia collusion.
“If four commissioners vote to find reason to believe a violation may have occurred, the agency can begin issuing subpoenas and moving towards negotiating civil penalties, or possibly making criminal referrals to the Justice Department. (It’s also possible that the FBI could ask the FEC to stand down if the agencies’ investigations start overlapping). Yet, even if the five current members of the FEC (there’s one vacancy) can’t muster the four votes — a scenario that has become increasingly common — the staff’s investigative report still becomes public, which could fuel additional scrutiny from congress and the media.”
For those claiming the think Russia collusion is farfetched, how’s receiving campaign donations from the Russians and being the beneficiary of fake news ads on Facebook?
And as those who follow Mike Farb on Twitter know, there is a lot the FEC should be looking at from this last election.
It’s still not clear at all that Russia didn’t hack any voting machines. We know that some academics have said that the divergence between Hillary’s numbers in the machine vs paper ballots is worth further scrutiny.
Indeed, here is a very important thread by Mike Farb:
Wisconsin! What happened with your Voting Machines?
You May Have Been Hacked!
The Most Important Thread We Have Done!
— MikeFarb (@mikefarb1) May 9, 2017
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.