The Russian Connection: Why All The Lies?

With former National Security Advisor General (ret.) Michael G. Flynn’s guilty plea for lying to the FBI, we have still not seen evidence of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to interfere with the 2016 election. So why all the lies that have given fuel to allegation? Special Counsel Robert Mueller has tons of evidence that Donald Trump and others have tried to end the investigation which could give rise to obstruction of justice charges. But, if as they insist, there was “no collusion,” why not just tell the truth? Why fire FBI Director James Comey? Why go to senior senate leaders and ask them to end their investigation into the Russian interference if there is no connection? Actions speak louder than words and the actions Trump has taken feeds the meme the administration is hiding something. As it stands now, the is more than sufficient evidence to charge Trump with obstruction (pdf).

Trump’s refusal to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin leads one to wonder just what Putin has on Trump. Just how accurate is that Russian dossier?

It now appears that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is more deeply involved than he claims, as is Trumps eldest son, Donald Jr. They are the mostly likely be the ones to fall next. As, two former White house ehic chiefs speculated in a New York Times op-ed, this could also lead to Vice President Mike Pence, Representative Devin Nunes of California, the former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin all having some legal liability. It may even lead directly to Trump:

Finally, Mr. Flynn’s cooperation could also place Mr. Trump himself in real jeopardy. ABC News has reported that Mr. Flynn will say Mr. Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians.” If that is so, it opens a Pandora’s box of questions for the president. Is that a reference to the calls about the sanctions, or something else? How many times did Mr. Trump do that, when, and about what? How can we square that with the president’s denials of knowledge about the Flynn contact with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, or any contact with Russia? The possible answers range from bad to worse to fatal for the president.

Kushner has already met with Mueller’s investigative team in November with the focus on Flynn’s meeting with Russians in December 2016. It has been speculated then that the real target was Kushner, himself. Analysts wondered why Kushner’s lawyer, Abbey Lowell, wou,ld have let his client talk to Mueller.

“I’m sure Flynn gave them information about Kushner, and they wanted to test that information before it became apparent that Flynn was cooperating, because it was less likely [Kushner] would cooperate after it became clear that Flynn was probably accepting a plea deal,” Nick Akerman, an assistant special prosecutor during the Watergate investigation, told Newsweek.

“Flynn probably gave them very specific information about Kushner’s activities. If you get information about Kushner that is incriminating, the first thing you do is call his lawyer and say, ‘I want to speak with your client,’” Akerman continued

One source told CNN that Mueller’s team spoke to Kushner to see if he had information that could exonerate Flynn.

But Akerman says it’s likely the special counsel is investigating Kushner’s involvement in helping the Russians use data analytics to target voters via social media during the 2016 election. Kushner’s handling of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, which may have been presented to Kushner and the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. during a meeting with a Russian lawyer in the Trump Tower in June last year, could also be an issue of special interest.

Meanwhile, others suggest that the Mueller investigation might want to know why and how Flynn became involved in the Trump transition team.

“Kushner apparently had a role in bringing Flynn onto the transition after [New Jersey Governor Chris] Christie was pushed out,” Andy Wright, a former associate counsel to President Barack Obama and a professor at Savannah Law School, told Newsweek. “Part of that could be tracing Flynn’s inclusion into the inner circle and know what Flynn represented in terms of his business contacts and contacts with Russia and Turkey.”

First, it was former foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos who took a plea, then former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner, Rick Gates were indicted, now Flynn. Clearly Mueller, who is a seasoned prosecutor, is building his case from the bottom up. With the Flynn’s plea to lying to the FBI, Mueller is sending a clear message to other persons of interest, he will find the truth to the lies one liar at a time.