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fraurosena

The Russian Connection

259 posts in this topic

i found this interesting. I don't have a ton of time to look into this further right now, but I don't think I have seen anything else linking McConnell to Putin. I had just assumed he was loyal to Trump because of his wife's appointment but perhaps there is more to it.

 

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8 minutes ago, nvmbr02 said:

i found this interesting. I don't have a ton of time to look into this further right now, but I don't think I have seen anything else linking McConnell to Putin. I had just assumed he was loyal to Trump because of his wife's appointment but perhaps there is more to it.

 

I remember reading something here on FJ several months ago that most of the top Repugs have taken significant money from Russian sources. I'm heading to bed early tonight and have a busy week, so I probably won't have time to look into it. I believe @RoseWilder has been a great source of research on the Russian connection, hopefully she'll pipe in.

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26 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

I remember reading something here on FJ several months ago that most of the top Repugs have taken significant money from Russian sources. I'm heading to bed early tonight and have a busy week, so I probably won't have time to look into it. I believe @RoseWilder has been a great source of research on the Russian connection, hopefully she'll pipe in.

Yes, I posted about McConnell having ties to Russian money a few months ago. The man who runs the twitter page @nvmbr02 just posted from has done research and also found links between Russian money and the campaigns of: Scott Walker, Marc Rubio, and Paul Ryan. I haven't kept up with his twitter lately, so he might have found more links that I'm just not aware of yet. 

Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor (who have had a really good track record lately with getting the scoop before everyone else) are saying that there's a RICO case against the entire GOP for Russian money laundering. Mensch has also said that the FBI has Paul Ryan on tape accepting Russian/Putin money. A lot of people are skeptical of Mensch and Taylor, but their scoops have been proven right 4 times in just this week alone. So I'm hopeful 

Edited by RoseWilder
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Hmmm: "Flynn takes the Fifth, declines to comply with Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena"

Spoiler

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser under President Trump, will not comply with a Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena for documents related to the panel’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, invoking the Fifth Amendment and his right against self-incrimination.

“The context in which the Committee has called for General Flynn’s testimonial production of documents makes it clear that he has more than a reasonable apprehension that any testimony he provides could be used against him,” Flynn’s attorneys wrote in a letter they sent to the committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), its top Democrat, on Monday.

In the letter, they also cited the Justice Department’s recent appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, arguing it raises new dangers for Flynn and gives “rise to a constitutional right not to testify.”

The committee issued a subpoena for documents from Flynn earlier this month, after he failed to voluntarily produce records of contacts he had with Russian officials. It is the only subpoena that the committee has issued in the course of its investigation into Russia’s purported involvement in the 2016 elections, a probe that includes delving into contacts between the Trump campaign and transition teams and Kremlin officials.

Flynn was forced to resign his position in the administration earlier this year after it emerged that he had not been fully forthcoming with Vice President Pence about conversations he had with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. Flynn also has come under official scrutiny for failing to disclose income he made from speaking engagements in Moscow, most notably at a December 2015 gala sponsored by Russian state-owned media company RT, as well as failing to register as a foreign agent, despite doing more than a half a million dollars’ worth of lobbying work for Turkish interests.

Flynn has offered “to give a full account,” his attorneys wrote in Monday’s letter, but only if he receives “assurances against unfair prosecution” — in other words, immunity. The committee has not offered Flynn immunity in exchange for his testimony to the committee.

The committee wanted Flynn to produce any records of conversations he had with Russian officials between June 16, 2015, and Jan. 20, 2017, and to compile a list of any contacts he had with Russian officials, whether those conversations were documented or not.

While the Fifth Amendment is commonly applied to giving testimony, Flynn’s attorneys argued that by creating or handing over the documents the committee had requested, Flynn would essentially be giving testimony about the existence of those conversations and thus potentially incriminating himself.

“Producing documents that fall within the subpoena’s broad scope would be a testimonial act, insofar as it would confirm or deny the existence of such documents,” they wrote.

Flynn’s attorneys also strongly hinted that they think the congressional committees would biased against Flynn if he complied with the request.

“Multiple Members of Congress have demanded that he be investigated and even prosecuted,” Flynn attorneys Robert K. Kelner, Stephen P. Anthony and Brian D. Smith wrote in their letter. “He is the target on nearly a daily basis of outrageous allegations, often attributed to anonymous sources in Congress or elsewhere in the United States Government, which, however fanciful on their face and unsubstantiated by evidence, feed the escalating public frenzy against him.”

A spokeswoman for Warner declined to comment right away, while a spokeswoman for Burr did not immediately respond to a request for reaction.

 

And, hand-in-hand with that article: "Can Michael Flynn refuse to turn over documents to Congress? Yes — but he risks jail."

Spoiler

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s reticence to testify before Congress about his behavior before and after the inauguration of Donald Trump was always obvious. His attorney indicated that Flynn would testify in exchange for immunity back in March — a ploy that seemed designed to muck up any external criminal investigation of Flynn. Such an investigation has since been reported, with subpoenas issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Northern Virginia for records related to Flynn’s business.

On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Flynn would not comply with a similar subpoena issued by the Senate, prompting an obvious question: Is he allowed to ignore that request?

The answer is yes, in the sense that you can also refuse to comply with an order from a police officer. That is, he can refuse — but there will likely be consequences.

Todd Bussert, a federal criminal defense attorney in Connecticut, spoke with The Post by phone Monday to explain what might happen in response to Flynn’s refusal to turn over the requested documents.

The Fifth Amendment “doesn’t have the same level of protection” when it comes to documents, Bussert said.

“Congressional action is analogous to what you see in a criminal context,” Bussert said. “What you often see is the U.S. attorney’s office or law enforcement agencies working with the U.S. attorney’s office coming in and gathering documents from a company or an individual. They may have valid Fifth Amendment claims — they couldn’t be compelled to speak to agents or what have you — but they can’t refuse to comply with the subpoena for documents. You have to produce those — even though those may be incriminating.”

Put another way, the Fifth Amendment protects you from making incriminatory comments about yourself — but it doesn’t protect you from things you’ve said in the past. Documents are similarly a form of past behavior to which the Fifth Amendment doesn’t apply.

The risk to Flynn is that the Senate committee demanding the documents could vote to hold him in contempt. If they were to do so, the full Senate would be asked to weigh in on the matter and, if the Senate agreed to hold Flynn in contempt, the matter would be referred to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington for criminal charges. In other words, Flynn could end up being convicted of a crime for withholding the documents and face prison time — regardless of what the documents say.

Granted, that demands the political will of a Republican-controlled Senate. But, as Bussert notes, there’s good reason for them to draw a hard line.

“Congressional interest in terms of pursuing contempt probably is influenced by the amount of public attention the matter is getting,” he said. “If there’s a lot of attention given to a particular matter, they don’t necessarily want to send the message that they’re willing to let somebody flout the subpoena.”

A well-timed report from the Congressional Research Service, released this month, outlines how and where congressional investigatory authority is bounded. The short version is that Congress’s authority is sweeping, with two centuries of application leading to a number of systems that can ensure Flynn-like situations are resolved to Congress’s benefit.

Since the Senate gained the power to seek civil enforcement for the failure to respond to a subpoena in 1979, they have exercised that power six times — never against an executive branch official. (Most recently, the CRS reports, the Senate held the chief executive of Backpage.com in contempt for not providing requested documents.)

On the scale of the questions about Flynn — did he improperly lobby on behalf of Turkey? Did he have inappropriate conversations with the Russians during the 2016 campaign? — a Senate contempt charge is fairly low. Assuming that Flynn’s team does refuse to comply with this subpoena, then, they may be making a strategic decision: That the risks of going to jail for contempt are lower than the risks of going to jail if the Senate sees those documents.

Flynn is another one who needs to be issued an orange jumpsuit.

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More on Michael Flynn. No story posted yet, but yeah, I can't see how he avoids going to jail unless he ends up cutting a deal. Even then I see jail time in his future. My husband and I both have or have had security clearances for work for the government. The forms are very clear. There is no way he didn't know what to do or not know he was lying. And the man was a general and had high level security clearances before. Idiot. 

 

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Here's MoJo's take on Flynn pleading the Fifth.

Donald Trump's former national security advisor won't comply with a congressional subpoena

Quote

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn will invoke the Constitution's Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on Monday and refuse to comply with a congressional subpoena, according to the Associated Press.  [...]

It's not a surprising move—Flynn was not expected to turn over the documents without immunity, "because he would be waiving some of his constitutional protections by doing so," according to the AP. [...]

It's unclear how Republicans will respond to Flynn's decision. The intelligence committee could ask Congress to vote on whether to hold Flynn in contempt—an option that would force Flynn to face possible fines or jail time if he continued to withhold the documents. "I'm not going to go into what we might or might not do," Burr said last week when asked what the committee would do next if Flynn refused to cooperate with the investigation. "We've got a full basket of things that we're willing to test."

Meanwhile, Democrats on the House's oversight committee are increasing pressure on Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) to subpoena the White House for documents on how the White House vetted Flynn, which the committee asked for two months ago. "The White House is obstructing our investigation on the Oversight Committee, covering up for General Flynn, and refusing to produce a single document that Chairman Chaffetz and I asked for in a bipartisan letter two months ago," Rep. Elijah Cummings (R-Md.), ranking member of the committee, said in a statement over the weekend. "I have prepared a subpoena that the Chairman could sign today." Cummings says if Chaffetz doesn't want to issue the subpoena himself, he should allow committee members to take a vote on it.

Chaffetz isn't always so shy about using the power to subpoena—he asked for the FBI's full investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails and just last week demanded that the FBI hand over the Comey memos, which detail President Donald Trump's attempts to curb the federal investigation into Flynn, according to an explosive report last week from the New York Times.

Meanwhile, it turns out that...

Manafort, Stone Turn Over Russia Documents to Senate Intel Committee

Quote

[...] Earlier this month, the committee sent document requests to Manafort and Stone, as well as Carter Page and Mike Flynn, officials said previously. The requests sought information pertaining to dealings with Russia. Page has not yet complied [...] 

The committee's letter to Page asked him to list any Russian official or business executive he met with between June 16, 2015 and Jan. 20, 2017. It also asked him to provide information about Russia-related real estate transactions during that period. And it seeks all his email or other communications during that period with Russians, or with the Trump campaign about Russia or Russians.

Similar letters were sent to Manafort and Stone, and those men sent information to Senate investigators by last Friday's deadline, the congressional source said. [...] The congressional source said it was too early to tell whether the documents from Manafort and Stone suggested they had fully complied with the request. [...]

Flynn's assertion of the Fifth Amendment will make it difficult for the Senate to enforce its subpoena, Senate aides told NBC News. The Senate could go to court, or go ask the Justice Department to go to court to enforce it, but either actin would require the Republicans who control the chamber to agree.

Meanwhile, Flynn can make an argument that his right against self-incrimination extends even to the production of documents that could hurt him, Senate aides said.

So, Flynn's pleading the Fifth, and Carter Page hasn't supplied the asked for information (yet). Then we have the WH not complying with requests for information on the vetting process of Flynn. Now link that with the fact that one of the people in the WH is a person of interest in the FBI investigation, and the news that the the presidunce aksed Comey to 'make this go away' and the WH has made multiple exertions on the FBI to stop their investigation. I can see that a case for obstruction of justice could be built on these things. 

The real question though, is why so many efforts are being made to stop or hinder the investigation. Just what is it they are so afraid of?
I believe it's because there is some damningly incriminating evidence to be found against Jared - and Ivanka. 

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Wow: "CIA director warned Russian security service chief about interference in election"

Spoiler

Former CIA Director John Brennan said Tuesday that he personally warned the head of Russia’s intelligence service last year that Moscow’s interference in the U.S. election would backfire and cause severe damage to the country’s relationship with the United States.

Describing a previously undisclosed high-level conversation between Washington and Moscow, Brennan said he used a phone conversation with the head of Russia’s domestic security service, the FSB, that “American voters would be outraged by any Russian attempt to interfere in the election.”

In congressional testimony, Brennan said that such meddling “would destroy any near-term prospect of improvement” in relations between the United States and Russia. Brennan said that the FSB chief, Alexander Bortnikov, twice denied that Russia was waging such a campaign, but said he would carry Brennan’s message to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

“I believe I was the first U.S. official to brace Russia on this matter,” Brennan said. His remarks came at the start of his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee as part of that panel’s ongoing investigation of a Russian influence campaign in the 2016 U.S. election, as well as whether there was collusion or coordination between Moscow and members of the Trump campaign.

Brennan led the CIA during a critical period last year when U.S. intelligence agencies reached the conclusion that Russia was not only attempting to disrupt the U.S. election but was actively seeking to defeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump.

Brennan was among the top officials who briefed then-President Elect Trump on that conclusion — which represented the consensus view of the CIA, the FBI and the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Brennan became so alarmed by the Russian intervention last fall that he held a series of classified meetings with top Congressional officials to impress upon them the unprecedented nature of Moscow’s interference.

The former CIA chief is the latest in a series of senior Obama administration officials to appear publicly before Congress in hearings that have often produced damaging headlines for Trump.

Earlier this month, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified that she expected White House officials to “take action” after warning that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had misled administration officials about his contacts with Russia.

At that same hearing, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Moscow’s leaders “must be congratulating themselves for having exceeded their wildest expectations with a minimal expenditure of resource,” a reference not only to the outcome of the 2016 race, but the chaos that has characterized the early months of the Trump administration.

Brennan has feuded publicly with Trump over the president’s treatment of intelligence agencies. In January, he lashed out at Trump for comparing U.S. spy agencies to Nazi secret police.

Brennan was particularly offended by Trump’s remarks during a speech at CIA headquarters on the day he was inaugurated. Trump used the CIA’s Wall of Honor — a collection of engraved stars marking lives of CIA operatives killed in the line of duty — to launch a rambling speech in which he bragged about his election victory.

Brennan called the appearance “despicable” and said that Trump should be “ashamed.”

 

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"Brennan’s explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump"

Spoiler

In his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee hearing Tuesday morning, former CIA director John Brennan bluntly told lawmakers that during the 2016 election, he reviewed intelligence that showed “contacts and interactions” between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign. By the summer of 2016, Brennan said, he was “convinced” that Russia was engaged in an “aggressive” and “multifaceted” effort to interfere in our election — and as a result, he believed “there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation” by the FBI.

With this testimony, Brennan just made it a whole lot harder — politically, at least — for the GOP to continue in its efforts to protect Trump, even as scrutiny of his campaign intensifies on the part of the FBI, and now, special counsel Robert Mueller. Yet if Tuesday’s hearing is any guide, congressional Republicans are still intent on shielding Trump by undermining the investigation in the mind of the public.

And so, again and again, Republican members of the committee, particularly South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy, tried to get Brennan to say that no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Russian meddling in the election exists. But Brennan repeatedly refused to render a judgment on whether there was collusion. Instead, he only repeated his refrain that, because the CIA is not a law enforcement agency, he turned over its intelligence gathering about contacts between the Trump camp and Russians to the FBI, so that the FBI could conduct its investigation into whether there was collusion.

Indeed, in one of the most important moments, Brennan’s testimony ended up making it very clear that there was a sufficient intelligence basis for the FBI to conduct an investigation into whether those “contacts and interactions” amounted to collusion.

The result of this was that, by trying to get Brennan to say there was no collusion, Republicans made it overwhelmingly obvious that they are trying to undermine the investigation, or at least erode public confidence in it — as is Trump.

It’s crucial here to fully grasp the backdrop of Tuesday’s hearing. Just Monday, The Post broke yet another bombshell story: Trump had personally tried to get both the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and the director of the National Security Agency, Michael S. Rogers, to publicly deny that there was any collusion between the Trump camp and the Russians. The Trump requests came after then-FBI Director James B. Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 and publicly confirmed, for the first time, that the bureau was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Both men refused Trump’s entreaties. Then, on May 9, Trump fired Comey, one day before meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The New York Times subsequently reported that Trump had told the Russian officials that he had fired “nut job” Comey to relieve “great pressure” from the Russia investigation.

It’s remarkable, then, that in the face of this deeply damning series of stories about the president’s conduct, House Republicans would take up his defense by using the opportunity to cross-examine Brennan — in hopes of undercutting the idea that an investigation is even needed. On Tuesday, less than a day after the story about Trump’s efforts to sway Coats and Rogers provoked instant comparisons to Watergate, House Intelligence Committee Republicans showed little interest in furthering public understanding — or even their own — of this unprecedented scandal.

Brennan, however, offered testimony that should only serve to deepen the curiosity about what really happened for anyone watching the hearing or its highlights. He repeatedly expressed his deep concerns about the intelligence showing numerous “contacts” between the Trump camp and Russian actors who were engaged in efforts to subvert our democracy.

Indeed, if the GOP cross-examination was intended to help Trump, it failed. At one point Gowdy demanded to know whether the evidence of collusion was “circumstantial or direct.” Brennan, who reminded lawmakers that the CIA engages in intelligence gathering and assessments, not criminal investigations and prosecutions, repeated that he knew only of “contacts and interactions.” And those, he said, made him concerned “because of known Russian efforts to suborn” targeted individuals. Those “efforts to suborn,” he elaborated, begin with Russians targeting and then cultivating people of influence or who are “rising stars,” to “try to get them to do things on their behalf.”

It was his knowledge of how those Russian efforts work that made his radar go up, said Brennan, even though frequently the American involved might be an unwitting target. There are “contacts that may have been totally, totally innocent and benign as well as those that may have succumbed somehow to those Russian efforts,” Brennan said. Often, he added in an ominous moment, “individuals who go along a treasonous path do not even realize they’re along that path until it gets to be a bit too late.”

Yet Republicans didn’t seem interested in learning anything from Brennan’s knowledge of how Russian active measures work. Instead they focused on trying to discredit any investigation. At one point, Gowdy directly demanded Brennan provide evidence of collusion; at another he asked Brennan if there was any evidence of collusion between Russian state actors and Trump himself. But all these lines of questioning failed to elicit any exoneration from Brennan. Any such information, Brennan told Gowdy, is “appropriately classified.” What’s more, Brennan said, “this committee has access to the documents we would have provided to the bureau.”

Each time Gowdy or another Republican pressed, Brennan had another opportunity to refer to “contacts” between Russian actors and the Trump campaign, thus amplifying the fact that such interactions had, in fact, taken place. The congressional Republicans’ efforts — like Trump’s — backfired, showing that it’s becoming ever harder for them to keep trying to make this investigation go away.

 

Good grief. Gowdy is a piece of work. Why do the people of SC keep foisting him on the rest of us?

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Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer

Spoiler

WASHINGTON — American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence.

The conversations focused on Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman at the time, and Michael T. Flynn, a retired general who was advising Mr. Trump, the officials said. Both men had indirect ties to Russian officials, who appeared confident that each could be used to help shape Mr. Trump’s opinions on Russia.

Some Russians boasted about how well they knew Mr. Flynn. Others discussed leveraging their ties to Viktor F. Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine living in exile in Russia, who at one time had worked closely with Mr. Manafort.

The intelligence was among the clues — which also included information about direct communications between Mr. Trump’s advisers and Russian officials — that American officials received last year as they began investigating Russian attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates were assisting Moscow in the effort. Details of the conversations, some of which have not been previously reported, add to an increasing understanding of the alarm inside the American government last year about the Russian disruption campaign.

The information collected last summer was considered credible enough for intelligence agencies to pass to the F.B.I., which during that period opened a counterintelligence investigation that is ongoing. It is unclear, however, whether Russian officials actually tried to directly influence Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn. Both have denied any collusion with the Russian government on the campaign to disrupt the election.

John O. Brennan, the former director of the C.I.A., testified Tuesday about a tense period last year when he came to believe that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was trying to steer the outcome of the election. He said he saw intelligence suggesting that Russia wanted to use Trump campaign officials, wittingly or not, to help in that effort. He spoke vaguely about contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials, without giving names, saying they “raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”

Whether the Russians worked directly with any Trump advisers is one of the central questions that federal investigators, now led by Robert S. Mueller III, the newly appointed special counsel, are seeking to answer. President Trump, for his part, has dismissed talk of Russian interference in the election as “fake news,” insisting there was no contact between his campaign and Russian officials.

The White House, F.B.I. and C.I.A. declined to comment, as did spokesmen for Mr. Manafort. Mr. Flynn’s attorney did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The current and former officials agreed to discuss the intelligence only on the condition of anonymity because much of it remains highly classified, and they could be prosecuted for disclosing it.

Last week, CNN reported about intercepted phone calls during which Russian officials were bragging about ties to Mr. Flynn and discussing ways to wield influence over him.

In his congressional testimony, Mr. Brennan discussed the broad outlines of the intelligence, and his disclosures backed up the accounts of the information provided by the current and former officials.

“I was convinced in the summer that the Russians were trying to interfere in the election. And they were very aggressive,” Mr. Brennan said. Still, he said, even at the end of the Obama administration he had “unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf again either in a witting or unwitting fashion.”

Mr. Brennan’s testimony offered the fullest public account to date of how American intelligence agencies first came to fear that Mr. Trump’s campaign might be aiding Russia’s attack on the election.

By early summer, American intelligence officials already were fairly certain that it was Russian hackers who had stolen tens of thousands of emails from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That in itself was not viewed as particularly extraordinary by the Americans — foreign spies had hacked previous campaigns, and the United States does the same in elections around the world, officials said. The view on the inside was that collecting information, even through hacking, is what spies do.

But the concerns began to grow when intelligence began trickling in about Russian officials weighing whether they should release stolen emails and other information to shape American opinion — to, in essence, weaponize the materials stolen by hackers.

An unclassified report by American intelligence agencies released in January stated that Mr. Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election.”

Before taking the helm of the Trump campaign last May, Mr. Manafort worked for more than a decade for Russian-leaning political organizations and people in Ukraine, including Mr. Yanukovych, the former president. Mr. Yanukovych was a close ally of Mr. Putin.

Mr. Manafort’s links to Ukraine led to his departure from the Trump campaign in August, after his name surfaced in secret ledgers showing millions in undisclosed cash payments from Mr. Yanukovych’s political party.

The Russian government views Ukraine as a buffer against the eastward expansion of NATO, and has supported separatists in their yearslong fight against the struggling democratic government in Kiev.

Mr. Flynn’s ties to Russian officials stretch back to his time at the Defense Intelligence Agency, which he led from 2012 to 2014. There, he began pressing for the United States to cultivate Russia as an ally in the fight against Islamist militants, and even spent a day in Moscow at the headquarters of the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence service, in 2013.

He continued to insist that Russia could be an ally even after Moscow’s seizure of Crimea the following year, and Obama administration officials have said that contributed to their decision to push him out of the D.I.A.

But in private life, Mr. Flynn cultivated even closer ties to Russia. In 2015, he earned more than $65,000 from companies linked to Russia, including a cargo airline implicated in a bribery scheme involving Russian officials at the United Nations, and an American branch of a cybersecurity firm believed to have ties to Russia’s intelligence services.

The biggest payment, though, came from RT, the Kremlin-financed news network. It paid Mr. Flynn $45,000 to give a speech in Moscow, where he also attended the network’s lavish anniversary dinner. There, he was photographed sitting next to Mr. Putin.

A senior lawmaker said on Monday that Mr. Flynn misled Pentagon investigators about how he was paid for the Moscow trip. He also failed to disclose the source of that income on a security form he was required to complete before joining the White House, according to congressional investigators.

American officials have also said there were multiple telephone calls between Mr. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, on Dec. 29, beginning shortly after Mr. Kislyak was summoned to the State Department and informed that, in retaliation for Russian election meddling, the United States was expelling 35 people suspected of being Russian intelligence operatives and imposing other sanctions.

American intelligence agencies routinely tap the phones of Russian diplomats, and transcripts of the calls showed that Mr. Flynn urged the Russians not to respond, saying relations would improve once Mr. Trump was in office, officials have said.

But after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of the calls, Mr. Flynn was fired as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser after a tumultuous 25 days in office.

 

This fits with my feeling on what happened. My husband and I have had several conversations about this in the past few weeks and we both have come to a similar conclusion,. And since we watch The Americans, we are clearly experts. ;) The problem is, if it is the case that Russia tried to influence Trump through his aides, there may not be anything that points directly to Trump as far as collusion goes. However, I hope they can still get him for Obstruction of Justice, if there is no evidence of collusion. I am also still hopeful the various investigations will shed some light on other shady business practices by Trump and others in the GOP. 

Edited by nvmbr02
added article
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