January 20, 2018

THE TIGHTENING NOOSE:

A Double Scoop of Dossier Dirt : Glenn Simpson's latest testimony was almost as titillating as the Stormy Daniels pillow talk. (JACK SHAFER, January 20, 2018, Politico)

In a statement released this week, Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee who would easily win best supporting actor if this drama was a movie, noted that the allegations of money laundering harmonized with what former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon sang to Michael Wolff for his book Fire and Fury. "You realize where this is going," Bannon said. "This is all about money laundering."

"There were a lot of real estate deals where you couldn't really tell who was buying the property," Simpson claimed. "And sometimes properties would be bought and sold, and they would be bought for one price and sold for a loss shortly thereafter, and it really didn't make sense to us."

Simpson expressed bafflement in his interview at Trump's repeated trips to Russia--at least five dating back to the Soviet years--from which he returned without signing development deals.

"One of the reasons the whole thing struck me as mysterious, because it seemed like he had been there, you know, numerous times and never come back with a deal," Simpson said. "There could be an innocent explanation for that, which is that he could never find somebody that--you know, an honest partner." Simpson surmised that Trump used his high-profile Russian proposals--like trying to build a Trump Tower Moscow--to develop "different kinds of business relationships with the Russians" from which he could profit, like the Miss Universe pageant, his vodka business, condo developments not in Russia, and alternative financing.

The Simpson interview made headlines worthy of a scene out of Dr. Strangelove when he told the committee that the Russians had infiltrated the National Rifle Association. That's right, one of the most extreme right-wing organizations in the world appears to have been tainted by former Commie scum despite the fact, Simpson said, that "Vladimir Putin is not in favor of universal gun ownership for Russians." Schiff told New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg that his committee hopes to investigate whether there was "an effort to either create a back channel through the NRA, or provide funding through the NRA."

Russian penetration of the NRA is only the beginning, Simpson told the committee, inadvertently echoing Strangelove's General Jack D. Ripper. "They targeted various conservative organizations, religious and otherwise," Simpson said without specifying which ones, thus leaving ample room for a sequel to this sequel should Congress request another interview.

Simpson indicated that years of dealings with Russians might have given them blackmail-quality leverage over Trump. But in that regard, they're not necessarily alone. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen used a private Delaware company to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels, who purportedly had a sexual affair with Trump. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid $130,000 via Cohen.



Posted by at January 20, 2018 8:48 AM

  

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