February 16, 2017
"I CAN GET YOU THERE I BET":
Why That Bizarre "Russian Dossier" Can't Be Ignored (Joe Conason, February 15, 2017, National Memo)
[A]s politicians of both parties recognize the imperative to investigate the Russia connection, the Steele dossier will provide a roadmap.Just last week, CNN reported that U.S. intelligence officials have confirmed -- based on American communications intercepts -- that some conversations among Russian officials and others occurred exactly as described in the dossier. Those findings have "given US intelligence and law enforcement 'greater confidence' in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier."The Steele dossier also described an enormous proposed payoff by the Russians to Trump and his associates, who were to receive 19 percent of Rosneft, the state-owned Russian energy firm, in exchange for guaranteeing the end of US sanctions under a Trump presidency. Then at the end of last year, an unprecedented deal involving Rosneft shares actually occurred -- when Russia privatized 19.5 percent of Rosneft under mysterious circumstances.The supposed buyers were Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and Glencore, a huge resources company (founded, ironically enough, Marc Rich, the late trader whose pardon by President Bill Clinton in 2001 provoked a furor). According to Reuters, the true buyers of the Rosneft shares remain unknown, hidden behind a series of shell companies in the Cayman Islands. Such a hidden selloff of public property is mind-boggling -- and deeply suspicious.Nothing has been proved yet except that Flynn is a liar, and that Trump's crazed and chaotic White House failed to discipline him until there was no other choice.
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 16, 2017 7:50 AM