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Through the Looking Glass: Russian Graft Prosecutes Russian Collusion

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Washington D.C. is one of the wealthiest regions in America.  It does not produce cars or computers or software.  It produces public policy, for a price, on behalf of national and international clients.  Since the early 90s, Russia has been an important client for the Washington elite.  With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Clinton Administration selected the lucky oligarchs who would purchase the former communist state’s assets with billions of dollars in U.S. and other Western aid, subsidized loans and rescheduled debt.

The problem with Russian oligarchs, though, is that they don’t stay bought.  Their political protection at home was Boris Yeltsin, an all-powerful ruler wrapped in personal demons.  In 1999, on the verge of overthrow, Yeltsin resigned and appointed in his place a former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin, to lead Russia.  Putin turned on the oligarchs, imprisoning some and taking a hard line with the rest.  They were his now.

In 2008, Barack Obama was elected president and he chose Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State.  She carried to Russia a “Reset” button signaling the desire that things return to those heady days of ’98, when everything was a lot cozier.  Her family now had its own Foundation.  She was officially separate from its operations because the law required it.  But she kept her own email server, and everything was blended together anyway – the State Department and the Clinton Foundation – with Huma Abedin collecting a paycheck from both. 

By then, others had moved in to work the Russian neighborhood.  John McCain’s campaign manager had been Rick Davis, of the lobbying firm Davis, Manafort, and Freedman.  His partner, Paul Manafort arranged two meetings between John McCain and Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with personal wealth estimated to be at $5.1 billion.  The FBI director at the time was Robert Mueller.  McCain’s campaign was warned to steer clear.  Manafort had no business wetting his beak in Russia.

In 2010, Russian interests sought to purchase a 51% stake in Canadian Company, Uranium One.  The deal needed State Department approval, because it involved 20% of America’s uranium supply.  Secretary of State Clinton provided approval with the blessing of President Obama.  The Clinton Foundation received $145 million from Russian interests associated with Uranium One.  Robert Mueller and his then assistant FBI director, James Comey, were okay with this deal.  

In 2016, President Trump won the republican presidential nomination by promising to put an end to the insider’s game that made Washington a swamp.  He hired Paul Manafort in June as his campaign manager.  Sometime around then, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC hired Fusion GPS, a political opposition research firm, to investigate connections between Russia and Trump.  Russia, of course, immediately confessed to the rinky-dink firm.  You can almost hear the Russian officials goading one another into increasingly wild embellishments.  Boris: “No this is even better: I’m going to tell them that the prostitute peed on a bed that President Obama had slept in.”  Natasha (uproarious laughter): “You kill me, Boris.” 

The opposition research was turned into what has come to be called The Dossier.  John McCain, providing cover for the DNC, delivered it to Comey and the FBI.  The Obama Justice Department obtained wiretaps on persons associated with the Trump campaign, more than likely based on the Russian disinformation in the Dossier.  In the meantime, emails that showed the Clinton campaign working with the DNC to steal primaries from Bernie Sanders were taken from John Podesta and given to Wikileaks.  Podesta blamed Trump and the Russians and the FBI opened an investigation. 

Unbelievably, the FBI did not examine the computers to determine whether they were hacked, even though many in the media were calling this the crime of the century.  That task was delegated to CrowdStrike, a private contractor connected to Victor Pinchuk, a $10 million donor to the Clinton Foundation.  Not surprisingly, Clinton’s paid consultant found evidence of a Russian hack.  Buried in the tainted report is a test showing the emails were downloaded at a speed of 22.7 megabytes per second, which makes a Russian hack impossible.  The internet cannot download at that speed.  It was an inside job and Comey had to know that.  In August, Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign because of his Russian connections.  The upshot being that Podesta, with help from the FBI, used leaked emails that showed the Clinton campaign’s dirty tricks to cause chaos at the top of Trump’s campaign. 

Last week, it was learned that the Clinton Campaign used the Washington law firm Perkins Coie to make its payments for opposition research to Fusion GPS.  The same law firm was used to pay CrowdStrike to compile the phony report about the Russian hack.  The Clinton campaign and the DNC paid $9.1 million to Perkins Coie during the 2016 campaign to keep the dirty tricks off their own books.  Comey was more than along for the ride.  On both the Dossier and CrowdStrike, the FBI was used by the Clinton campaign to hurt Trump. 

In a through-the-looking-glass twist worthy of the Mad Hatter, Comey caused a special counsel to be appointed to investigate Trump for colluding with Russia.  The special counsel’s name?  Robert Mueller – Paul Manafort’s old nemesis and the FBI director who turned a blind eye toward the shenanigans between Russia and the Clinton Foundation.

Under fire to recuse himself over recent disclosures, Mueller has instead filed an indictment – according to a CNN report.  This just got real.  The Russian colluders are trying to put their political opponents in jail for colluding with Russia. 

“Sentence first – verdict afterwards,” said the Queen of Hearts.  The problem is that the Special Counsel is not just a pack of cards.  He is an all-powerful appointee of the Justice Department who answers to nobody.  He will have beltway judges and a Washington D.C. jury to help him get whatever result he wants, however upside down.

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