Former deputy assistant attorney general Harry Litman told MSNBC on Monday that “the glue” tying together all the actors in the Russia probe is the finances of President Donald Trump and those of his convicted campaign manager Paul Manafort and his convicted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
The remark occurred during a larger discussion of Paul Manafort’s role in the conspiracy, including his “work on behalf of pro-Russian figures in Ukraine” and his subsequent lying about it to the special prosecutor after he got caught.
“If you’re looking for the quid pro quo, you see the quid, you see the work by Russia, and the meddling in the election. What is the quo?” fellow guest Ken Vogel, who broke the story for the New York Times. “You have at least the potential of building a theory around the idea that the quo would be a peace deal that would favor Russia and potentially result in the lifting of U.S. sanctions against Russia which, of course, is the biggest driving foreign policy objective of the Russians.”
Litman noted that prosecutor Andrew Weissman’s refusal to share specific details “even in a closed door hearing” showed that the special counsel was getting close to the “radioactive core” of the case, but offered tantalizing hints.
“What [Weissman] is proposing, even though it is heavily redacted, as Ken says, seems a kind of grand bargain involving not simply a sweetheart deal for Russia and Ukraine, but the lifting of sanctions, which Putin dearly wanted,” Litman said. “And the glue that holds it all together on the U.S. side are the personal financial interests of the actors. Manafort to make money from [pro-Russian former President of Ukraine, Viktor] Yanukovych, Flynn to do something with the sanctions, and Trump to build his big crown jewel of the Trump Tower.”
“So it really seems to be getting toward quite a grand scheme,” he added, “where officials are feathering their nests at the expense of U.S. national interests, and doing Russia’s bidding.”
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Listen Live: US Supreme Court Arguments in Case That Will Decide Future of Abortion in America
The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday morning will hear oral arguments in what will be a decisive case for the future of abortion in America.
Justices will hear arguments in the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, over a Mississippi abortion ban designed to overturn the nearly 50-year old precedent-setting ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Listen live starting at 10 AM ET below via C-SPAN or a Reuters feed:
Trump Tested Positive for COVID Days Before Biden Debate But Told No One, His Former Chief of Staff Says
On Sept. 26, 2020, three days before his first debate with Joe Biden, then-President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 but told no one, according to his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ new book. Trump arrived “late” to the Sept. 29 debate and did not get tested before going on stage.
Trump, who was mildly symptomatic on Sept. 26 when he was first tested, did get tested again and obtained a negative test, but three days after the debate again tested positive and was quickly hospitalized – blaming Gold Star families who wanted to “hug” him for contracting the deadly disease.
“Meadows says Trump’s positive result on 26 September was a shock to a White House which had just staged a triumphant Rose Garden ceremony for supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett – an occasion now widely considered to have been a Covid super-spreader event‘” The Guardian reports.
As Marine One lifted off, heading for a rally on the 26th, the White House physician Sean Conley called.
“Stop the president from leaving,” Meadows says he told him. “He just tested positive for Covid.”
It wasn’t possible to stop Trump but when he called from Air Force One, his chief of staff gave him the news.
“Mr President,” Meadows said, “I’ve got some bad news. You’ve tested positive for Covid-19.”
Trump’s reply, the devout Christian writes, “rhyme[d] with ‘Oh spit, you’ve gotta be trucking lidding me’.”
The Guardian adds that “the stunning revelation of an unreported positive test follows a year of speculation about whether Trump, then 74 years old, had the potentially deadly virus when he faced Biden, 77, in Cleveland on 29 September – and what danger that might have presented.”
Jan. 6 Committee Just Interviewed Top Georgia Elections Official Trump Threatened When Urging to Find Him More Votes
The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has just concluded more than four hours of interviewing Georgia’s top elections official, Brad Raffensperger. Then-President Donald Trump threatened the Republican Secretary of State in a telephone call, parts of which were released to the press, during which the desperate losing Trump infamously said, “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
Speaking to Raffensperger indicates the House Committee is investigating the origins of the insurrection far beyond its D.C. roots.
“We talked about that and everything else leading into the election. That was their focus, because that was where the greatest disinformation was foisted upon our nation,” Raffensperger told The Atlanta Journal Constitution Tuesday.
Back in February Georgia prosecutors had reportedly opened up a criminal investigation into Trump’s demand Raffensperger find him 11,780 more votes. Despite the recorded audio evidence no charges are known to have been filed against Trump for what some say could be criminal solicitation to commit election fraud.
Trump called the Georgia Secretary of State nearly 20 times before the now-infamous call during which he threatened Raffensperger. On the 19th call Trump spoke to Raffensperger for nearly one hour. That call was recorded by Raffensperger’s staff.
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