ever-spiralling waste of time

Susan Rice Backs Out Of Congressional Testimony, Second Last Minute Cancellation In A Week
ZeroPointNow, Zero Hedge, Jul 17 2017

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice abruptly canceled a Tuesday appearance in front of the House Intelligence Committee to discuss allegations that she requested the unmasking of various members of the Trump campaign on behalf of the Obama administration. Rice’s cancellation comes on the heels of another nix’d testimony from Glenn Simpson, the former WSJ reporter who co-founded opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was responsible for the embarrassingly amateur and largely debunked 35-page Trump-Russia ‘dossier’ used as evidence to request a FOIA surveillance warrant on a Trump associate. Simpson’s Wednesday cancellation in front of the Senate Intel Committee appearance followed revelations that two Fusion GPS associates were intimately involved in the Jun 2016 sit-down between Donald Trump Jr, a Russian lawyer and 6 other people, a meeting which has the appearance of a political set-up meant to ensnare the Trump team.

The man who arranged the meeting, Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone, told Trump Jr that the Russian lawyer had information on Hillary Clinton’s ties to Russia. A second Fusion GPS associate, Pindo-Russian lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, attended the meeting as well.

Susan Rice has a history of shady behavior, from lying about her role in unmasking the Trump team, which was exposed by journalist Mike Cernovich, to the true cause of Benghazi, which Hillary correctly told Chelsea was radical Islamists within hours of the attack, to the enormous wealth Rice has accumulated while in public service. The former National Security Advisor to Obama looks like nothing more than a well-paid lapdog.

Many are now suggesting that the Trump Jr meeting was the basis for the Obama administration’s Jun 2016 FOIA request to spy on the Trump team in light of the fact that another Fusion GPS-linked endeavor (the dossier) was used as the basis for a FOIA warrant on Trump associate Carter Page. If the Trump Jr meeting was a setup arranged by Fusion GPS associates, it would make for the second incident in which the opposition research firm was linked to dirty work used to justify spying on the Trump team. If Susan Rice knows about any type of collusion between the Obama administration, Fusion GPS, and Hillary Clinton, a candidate running for President, heads could roll. Perhaps this is why both Rice and the co-founder of Fusion GPS canceled their testimonies. Many on the left have suggested that the meeting between Trump Jr and the Russian lawyer was set up to establish a back-channel to the Kremlin. As journalist and author Jack Posobiec points out, why would Don Jr need to do that if his father was colluding with Putin?

Demagogs press anti-Russia campaign, now targeting Trump son-in-law
Patrick Martin, WSWS, Jul 18 2017

Congressional Demagogs and their media allies shifted the immediate focus of their anti-Russian campaign to Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, demanding that Kushner’s security clearance be revoked on the grounds that he concealed a meeting with a Russian attorney last year. The Jun 9 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr and Natalia Veselnitskaya was first made public by the NYT little more than a week ago. Trump’s eldest son agreed to the meeting at Trump Tower after he was told that the Russian lawyer had compromising material on Hillary Clinton. Since then, there have been near-daily headlines in the NYT or WaPo or “breaking news” reports on cable news about alleged new revelations about the Trump Tower meeting, whose attendance has now grown to eight, including Kushner, Manafort, a Pindo-Russian lobbyist and an interpreter, although the actual significance of the event remains murky. Veseltnitskaya had no information on Clinton and actually sought the meeting to lobby against the Magnitsky Act, the first of a series of anti-Russian sanctions enacted under the Obama administration. It is named after a Russian lawyer who was arrested after claiming to have uncovered evidence of corruption in the Putin regime and died in prison in 2009. When her purpose became clear, Trump Jr says he ended the meeting, which lasted less than half an hour.

What is most remarkable about this campaign is that the Demagogs are not attacking Trump or his advisers for the reactionary policies they have pursued in office, such as the onslaught against Medicaid, the persecution of immigrants, the defense of police violence or the strutting militarism overseas. Instead, the Demagog Party and media campaign is entirely devoted to alleging that Trump is the instrument of Putin, and that his election was made possible, not by the right-wing policies of the Demagog Party and the Obama administration, but by an Internet campaign directed from Moscow. The particular focus on Trump’s family members is not an accident. Pindostan is ruled by a financial-corporate oligarchy, but the Trump administration is an oligarchic government with a kleptocratic and nepotistic twist. There is concern in powerful sections of the ruling class that the collection of reactionary oligarchs that is the Trump family is subordinating basic imperialist strategic interests, including the conflict with Russia, to their personal business ventures. Kushner has become the new target, since he did not initially disclose the meeting with the Russian attorney in the SF-86 form that every White House aide must file to obtain a security clearance. Kushner first filed the form leaving a blank where he was to record meetings with foreign persons, and subsequently amended the form several times, adding more than 100 names. It was Jared Kushner’s latest SF-86 filing, reporting the Trump Tower meeting with Veselnitskaya last year, which was leaked to the NYT, touching off the latest media firestorm.

Over the weekend, a series of prominent Demagogs sought to shift media attention away from Donald Trump Jr, who played the main role in the meeting with the Russian attorney but does not work in the Trump White House, and onto Kushner, who played a minor role at the meeting but is considered the closest White House aide to Trump and has represented the administration in several overseas missions, particularly in the Middle East. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on Thursday for Kushner’s security clearance to be revoked “immediately.” Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz submitted two amendments to appropriations bills to revoke Kushner’s clearance, both rejected by the Thug majority in the House. The leading Demagogs on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Rep Adam Schiff and Sen Mark Warner, said Sunday they would ask both Kushner and Trump Jr to testify and supply documents for their investigations into unproven allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Schiff told the Hill in an interview:

Kushner’s security clearance should be revoked just for attending the meeting, regardless of whether he concealed it. It’s very hard for me to imagine anyone else being allowed to continue their clearance if they participated in a meeting like the one that just became public.

Both Warner and Schiff appeared on several television interview programs Sunday. Schiff declared:

The emails sent by Donald Trump Jr to confirm the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya are about as clear evidence you could find of intent by the campaign to collude with the Russians, to get useful information from the Russians.

Appearing on CNN State of the Union, Warner declared:

This clearly brings the investigation to a new level. Trump Jr and Kushner most likely informed Trump about their meeting with the Russian attorney. It’s a little unbelievable that neither the son nor the son-in-law ever shared that information with their dad, the candidate.

Trump was lying, this suggests, when he claimed that he only learned of the meeting recently. Demagog Rep Don Beyer of Virginia extended the attack from Kushner to Ivanka, pointing out that she also filled out a form SF-86 asking if “you or any member of your immediate family in the past seven years had any contact with a foreign government, its establishment (such as an embassy, consulate, agency, military service, intelligence or security service, etc.) or its representatives, whether inside or outside Pindostan?” Since her husband met with an attorney who was supposedly a “representative” of the Russian government, Beyer argued, Ivanka Trump should have disclosed this for her own security review, and likely did not. He added:

If the President wants his family to run the government, they must be held to the same high standard as any other government official.

Media pundits have taken up the same theme. Nicholas Kristof of the NYT issued a column headlined “All Roads Now Lead to Kushner,” suggesting that Kushner’s presence at the Trump Tower made him vulnerable to “Kremlin blackmail” and noting that Kushner supervised the Trump campaign’s digital efforts, making him the logical person to coordinate with Russian hacking and dissemination of online “fake news” directed against Clinton, assuming such coordination existed, although no evidence has been presented. In a sign that the anti-Russian campaign is taking its toll at the White House, both Trump and his son-in-law shook up their legal teams responding to the multiple investigations. Kushner’s lead attorney, longtime Demagog Jamie Gorelick, stepped down and was replaced by another Demagog, Abbe Lowell, who was part of the team defending Bill Clinton against impeachment and is more experienced in criminal law. Trump added a new White House lawyer, Ty Cobb, who will work with the outside lawyers Mark Kasowitz and Jay Sekulow, who have been handling responses to the inquiries, both in Congress and on the part of Robert Mueller.

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