Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Known Russian, Charged With Obstruction (Not Collusion™)

 

In a developing news story, Fox News reported that Natalia Veselnitskaya, who is (gasp!) Russian, has been charged in absentia this morning in federal court in the Southern District of New York with obstruction of justice “in connection to a civil money laundering and forfeiture case involving a Russian tax refund fraud scheme, first uncovered by the late Sergei Magnitsky.”

I have no idea what that means but it’s clear it has nothing to do with Donald Trump. This is despite the fact that the only reason this is a news item anyone will pay attention to is that Veselnitskaya was one of several people connected to the Democrat opposition research firm Fusion GPS that met with Donald Trump, Jr; Paul Manafort; and Jared Kushner in Trump Tower, June 2016. This was the meeting that, when it was first reported on by the very fake news, we were promised proved collusion™, except that it didn’t.

In fact, Veselnitskaya was in the country to lobby against the Magnitsky Act, named after the aforementioned Sergei Magnitsky. Who was she working with in her anti-Magnitsky Act endeavors? Fusion GPS, the same firm that produced the phony Steele Dossier, which was compiled by former British spook Christopher Steele using information fed to him by Russian intelligence officers.

Another Russian (gasp!) at the Trump Tower meeting was Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Russian (gasp!) spy. Wow, Don Jr. met with a Russian (gasp!) spy! That’s pretty bad. Yeah, bad, but not for Don Jr. According to Spygate, written by Dan Bongino and former Ricochet contributor Denise McCallister:

The [New York] Times also reports that Akhmetshin made his way from Russian spy to Washington lobbyist through “Edward Lieberman, a lawyer with corporate and political clients in former Soviet counties who was married to President Bill Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff, Evelyn S. Lieberman, who died in 2015.”

Veselnitskaya also brought a translator, Anatoli Samochrnov, to the meeting because she reportedly does not speak English. CBS News reported in July 2017, that the US Department of State confirmed Samochornov “has worked with the State Department’s Office of Language Services as an interpreter.” Although Samochornov himself is not a State Department employee, Huffington Post reported, also in July 2017, that he worked on a contract basis for the State Department from 2001 to 2016 and that his wife is a State Department employee. HuffPo reported that Samochevnov is a registered Democrat.

Fusion GPS was lobbying to overturn the Magnitsky Act at the same time they were hired by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to invent dirt on Donald Trump. And that’s what they did and the Trump Tower meeting was part of the effort to make it look like there was a connection between Trump and the Russians (gasp!). It was a happy coincidence for Fusion that they could combine both efforts in the Trump Tower meeting.

I also find it extremely suspicious that the charge is being filed today, the morning of Donald Trump’s first address to the nation from the Oval Office. This is not the first time that federal prosecutors have taken actions that appear to be timed for political purposes. Robert Mueller indicted a number of Russians (gasp!) right before Trump had a meeting with Putin back in July 2018. The political nature of those indictments was laid bare when some of the indicted Russians unexpectedly showed up (through counsel) to defend themselves in court and Mueller scrambled to delay proceedings. The point of the indictments clearly wasn’t to bring anyone to justice but instead to embarrass and undermine Trump.

Mueller is a political actor. His job is to hamstring Donald Trump’s administration as best he can for as long as he can. The Southern District of New York is also packed with leftists who hate Trump and are looking for ways to harm his presidency. Today’s indictment by the SDNY likely will not come to anything. Veselnitskaya is said to be in Russia. She will never return to the United States. The SDNY made this move today not to bring Veselnitskaya to justice, for whatever it is she’s accused of doing, but instead to distract from Trump speech tonight.

I think Trump should fire Mueller and everyone in the upper levels of the Southern District of New York. There would be political ramifications for such an act, of course. But there have also been political costs to allowing rogue federal prosecutors to try to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

There are 39 comments.

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  1. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Max Ledoux: Mueller is a political actor. His job is to hamstring Donald Trump’s administration as best he can for as long as he can.

    True.

    What is the Russian leverage over Trump?

    • #1
  2. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    I believe the better headline is, “Indicted Russian Linked To Clinton Collusion“.

    • #2
  3. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Max Ledoux:

    The SDNY made this move today not to bring Veselnitskaya to justice, for whatever it is she’s accused of doing, but instead to distract from Trump speech tonight.

    I think Trump should fire Mueller and everyone in the upper levels of the Southern District of New York. There would be political ramifications for such an act, of course. But there have also been political costs to allowing rogue federal prosecutors to try to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

    Self-evidently true. Yet, the moment President Trump should have defanged the left, and the Republican wing of the permanent governing party, was his first State of the Union address. There, he should have turned to the (Republican) Senate Majority Leader and the (Republican) Speaker of the House, challenging them:

    Do you believe that the American citizens who voted for me, and for your members, are so stupid, so gullible, as to be tricked by Putin into voting for me? Yes, or no? Right here, right now, yes or no?

    Since you dared not answer “yes” with everyone watching, I now announce the firing of Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller, and order the hiring of a truly politically neutral special prosecutor to investigate possible political corruption of the Justice Department, the FBI, and the intelligence community, as well as possible collusion with foreign government intelligence services to meddle in our elections. If you do not fully support this action, I call on the American people to occupy every one of your members’ offices until they compel Congressional leaders to stop subverting the will of the American voters, which was legitimately expressed through the ballot box and the Electoral College.

    Without this excuse of distraction, without the insinuation that I am not the legitimate President, you cannot offer the excuse that you don’t have to keep your promise. Remember your promise? You said that if you got the House, you’d stop Obamacare. Then you said, “oops, we need the Senate to pass a bill.” Then, when the American people gave you the power, they gave you the whole Congress, you said it was not enough. You said, “if only you would give us the House, and the Senate, and the White House, why, then we’ll do what we promised.”

    The American people are not fools. They elected me because they no longer trust you. You must regain their trust by keeping your word. If you are not spending precious time colluding with Democrats and Putin to undo the election and undermine a President of your own party, you should have all the time you need before this year ends to do what you promised for the past six years: really repeal and replace Obamacare.

    • #3
  4. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    I have no idea what that means but it’s clear it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

    Well, except for the part about Donald Trump Jr. saying the meeting with the woman was about adoption issues when he was expecting some Russian-supplied dirt on Hillary, then lying about the purpose of the meeting through a statement Donald Trump pater helped draft. There’s a lot of grey area between Trump is a Colluded Stooge, Save us Obi-Mueller You’re Our Only Hope and Trump is a Blameless Genius Victim of Fake News. Sometimes they do stupid things, unwise things, and lie about them, but are absolved by shrugs from those who regarded the objective of the meeting – getting Hillary dirt – sufficient rationale for anything. Or almost anything.

    • #4
  5. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    Max,

    You really need to read Andy McCarthy’s weekend column.

    It is an article of faith among Trump’s most ardent followers that the “collusion” aspect of the Mueller probe is a complete fabrication. You may notice, however, that not a single detail in the above summary is drawn from the Steele dossier. I am going strictly on publicly available information that is either certainly true or highly likely to be true.

     

    • #5
  6. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I have no idea what that means but it’s clear it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

    Well, except for the part about Donald Trump Jr. saying the meeting with the woman was about adoption issues when he was expecting some Russian-supplied dirt on Hillary, then lying about the purpose of the meeting through a statement Donald Trump pater helped draft. There’s a lot of grey area between Trump is a Colluded Stooge, Save us Obi-Mueller You’re Our Only Hope and Trump is a Blameless Genius Victim of Fake News. Sometimes they do stupid things, unwise things, and lie about them, but are absolved by shrugs from those who regarded the objective of the meeting – getting Hillary dirt – sufficient rationale for anything. Or almost anything.

    Both parties were looking for dirt on each other – it’s called a political campaign – the fact that a sleezy Russian operative was there under false pretenses is not the fault of those that wanted to hear some dirt.  She was there for other purposes and mis-represented herself. In hindsight, it seems like small potatoes in light of what is predicted to come out of Russia regarding propaganda, deep fake news and other mayhem leading into 2020 election – but let’s keep talking about yesterday. Mueller – please just close the case.

    • #6
  7. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I have no idea what that means but it’s clear it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

    Well, except for the part about Donald Trump Jr. saying the meeting with the woman was about adoption issues when he was expecting some Russian-supplied dirt on Hillary, then lying about the purpose of the meeting through a statement Donald Trump pater helped draft. There’s a lot of grey area between Trump is a Colluded Stooge, Save us Obi-Mueller You’re Our Only Hope and Trump is a Blameless Genius Victim of Fake News. Sometimes they do stupid things, unwise things, and lie about them, but are absolved by shrugs from those who regarded the objective of the meeting – getting Hillary dirt – sufficient rationale for anything. Or almost anything.

    What does any of that have to do with these specific charges against Veselnitskaya? I don’t see how your comment qualifies as a “Well, except” to the sentence you quoted.

    • #7
  8. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I have no idea what that means but it’s clear it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

    Well, except for the part about Donald Trump Jr. saying the meeting with the woman was about adoption issues when he was expecting some Russian-supplied dirt on Hillary, then lying about the purpose of the meeting through a statement Donald Trump pater helped draft. There’s a lot of grey area between Trump is a Colluded Stooge, Save us Obi-Mueller You’re Our Only Hope and Trump is a Blameless Genius Victim of Fake News. Sometimes they do stupid things, unwise things, and lie about them, but are absolved by shrugs from those who regarded the objective of the meeting – getting Hillary dirt – sufficient rationale for anything. Or almost anything.

    Both parties were looking for dirt on each other – it’s called a political campaign – the fact that a sleezy Russian operative was there under false pretenses is not the fault of those that wanted to hear some dirt. She was there for other purposes and mis-represented herself. In hindsight, it seems like small potatoes in light of what is predicted to come out of Russia regarding propaganda, deep fake news and other mayhem leading into 2020 election – but let’s keep talking about yesterday. Mueller – please just close the case.

    Agreed. Am I supposed to go full outrage because political campaigns are open to hearing dirt on opponents? Am I supposed to splutter from indignation because someone misrepresented or even lied about motivations for their actions? 

    I’ve said from the beginning: I’m willing for us to consider this kind of fishing for dirt to be a major problem. But it can’t be selective – either it applies to everyone or no one. If it applies to everyone, well, then I think there are far more egregious and consequential infractions to prosecute first. Then again, I don’t think anyone really cares about Jr’s meeting, and I’m equally fine with continuing to accept that meetings in which political dirt is dangled as bait are ubiquitous and mostly harmless and impossible to eliminate. 

    • #8
  9. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I have no idea what that means but it’s clear it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

    Well, except for the part about Donald Trump Jr. saying the meeting with the woman was about adoption issues when he was expecting some Russian-supplied dirt on Hillary, then lying about the purpose of the meeting through a statement Donald Trump pater helped draft. There’s a lot of grey area between Trump is a Colluded Stooge, Save us Obi-Mueller You’re Our Only Hope and Trump is a Blameless Genius Victim of Fake News. Sometimes they do stupid things, unwise things, and lie about them, but are absolved by shrugs from those who regarded the objective of the meeting – getting Hillary dirt – sufficient rationale for anything. Or almost anything.

    Sorry, but I completely missed the part were you connected a “civil money laundering and forfeiture case involving a Russian tax refund fraud scheme” to Donald Trump.

    • #9
  10. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Max,

    You really need to read Andy McCarthy’s weekend column.

    It is an article of faith among Trump’s most ardent followers that the “collusion” aspect of the Mueller probe is a complete fabrication. You may notice, however, that not a single detail in the above summary is drawn from the Steele dossier. I am going strictly on publicly available information that is either certainly true or highly likely to be true.

     

    Thanks for linking. Andy’s great (other than his completely bizarre pronunciation of Wikileaks), but he usually misses to forest for the trees. He’s so caught up in the minutiae of legalese that he simply doesn’t understand what’s going on. In an odd way, he doesn’t seem to understand politics. For instance, on his podcast last week he said that Mueller has not targeted Trump. This is, perhaps, legally speaking an accurate statement, but completely naive and, dare I say, willfully blind. The only target of Mueller is Trump.

     

    • #10
  11. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Ed G. (View Comment):
    Agreed. Am I supposed to go full outrage because political campaigns are open to hearing dirt on opponents? Am I supposed to splutter from indignation because someone misrepresented or even lied about motivations for their actions? 

    Well, I’m doing neither, and don’t presume to dictate how emotionally exercised anyone else should get. The ease with which Trump lies, though, is one of those things that makes me discount nearly everything he says. What he does is a different matter. 

    • #11
  12. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    Sorry, but I completely missed the part were you connected a “civil money laundering and forfeiture case involving a Russian tax refund fraud scheme” to Donald Trump.

    I missed the part where you explained why going into the meeting with a mouthpiece for the oligarchs who killed Magnitsky and lying about it was a jack-dandy sign of wisdom and judgment, so perhaps we should read each other’s work again. ;) 

    • #12
  13. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):
    Agreed. Am I supposed to go full outrage because political campaigns are open to hearing dirt on opponents? Am I supposed to splutter from indignation because someone misrepresented or even lied about motivations for their actions?

    Well, I’m doing neither, and don’t presume to dictate how emotionally exercised anyone else should get. The ease with which Trump lies, though, is one of those things that makes me discount nearly everything he says. What he does is a different matter.

    Ah, yes, Trump’s lies. I think this is more like a Big Lie than a truism about President Trump. That’s not to say that he never lies; I don’t think he lies more than any other politician. I also think that many times I hear about a lie it turns out it’s not based on a quote but rather a paraphrase or even an inference, sometimes it’s incorrect but not a lie, sometimes it’s just interpreted as a lie even when clarification would be more appropriate or another interpretation could just as easily apply.  

    • #13
  14. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    Sorry, but I completely missed the part were you connected a “civil money laundering and forfeiture case involving a Russian tax refund fraud scheme” to Donald Trump.

    I missed the part where you explained why going into the meeting with a mouthpiece for the oligarchs who killed Magnitsky and lying about it was a jack-dandy sign of wisdom and judgment

    Whoever claimed anything like that? 

    • #14
  15. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Ed G. (View Comment):
    Whoever claimed anything like that? 

    The ;) at the end of the quote suggested that we are not really discussing this on the same plane. If people want to insist that the Trumps Jr. & Sr. were spotlessly faultless in their dealings with this woman, fine, or if people wish to insist the episode reveals nothing instructive about anyone, fine. I don’t care. From the start I’ve thought the whole collusion thing was nonsense. The Putin-puppet narrative has always struck me as BS.  But there was probably stupid, naive things like – well, the Magnitsky incident, and maybe some dodgy oligarch money sloshing around in some Trump projects. If one suggests that DT Jr. was out of his league and couldn’t see the play in front of him, and DT Sr. reflexively lied because it’s what he does reflexively when challenged, then you get wished into the cornfield.  

    • #15
  16. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):
    Whoever claimed anything like that?

    The ;) at the end of the quote suggested that we are not really discussing this on the same plane.

    Maybe, but quoting something before commenting does tend to suggest that your comment is a response to or connected to the quote. I already guessed that you’re discussing something else. That’s why I commented, quoting the part I was questioning. Because there is always a chance I misunderstood something.

    • #16
  17. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    If people want to insist that the Trumps Jr. & Sr. were spotlessly faultless in their dealings with this woman, fine, or if people wish to insist the episode reveals nothing instructive about anyone, fine. I don’t care.

    I don’t know about spotlessly faultless. I tend to avoid those kinds of superlatives. However, I admit that I don’t care about the meeting at all, and I never have. Just meeting is not a crime or even unethical. Political dirt might be unethical, but it’s so ubiquitous that I really don’t see why this particular instance should cause such a stir when it’s ho-hum everywhere else. I’m willing for us all to stop being ho-hum, but not selectively simply because Orange Man Bad.

    • #17
  18. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    If one suggests that DT Jr. was out of his league and couldn’t see the play in front of him, and DT Sr. reflexively lied because it’s what he does reflexively when challenged, then you get wished into the cornfield.


    One? Who is suggesting that? I don’t care enough about that meeting to suggest anything at all. 

    As far as not seeing the “play”, what play are you suggesting?  As far as I know it turned out to be a lobbying effort that went nowhere fast.

    • #18
  19. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    Sorry, but I completely missed the part were you connected a “civil money laundering and forfeiture case involving a Russian tax refund fraud scheme” to Donald Trump.

    I missed the part where you explained why going into the meeting with a mouthpiece for the oligarchs who killed Magnitsky and lying about it was a jack-dandy sign of wisdom and judgment, so perhaps we should read each other’s work again. ;)

    Go ahead, explain to me how Don Jr knew that Veselnitskaya had killed Magnitsky. While you’re at it, take a crack at what Russian tax fraud has to do with Donald Trump. 

    • #19
  20. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Max,

    You really need to read Andy McCarthy’s weekend column.

    It is an article of faith among Trump’s most ardent followers that the “collusion” aspect of the Mueller probe is a complete fabrication. You may notice, however, that not a single detail in the above summary is drawn from the Steele dossier. I am going strictly on publicly available information that is either certainly true or highly likely to be true.

     

    I read the column. I don’t see evidence or wrongdoing so much as I see some attempt by McCarthy to steel man the collusion angle; all of it remains innuendo, insinuation, inference, projection, and hysteria. As McCarthy spends the first half of that article pointing out: 1) none of it justifies a criminal investigation, 2) none of it is likely to turn up criminal conspiracy or evidence that Russia hacked the election in cahoots with Trump, 3) none of it excuses or justifies the irregularities involved with the investigation from the beginning. 

    • #20
  21. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    Ed G. (View Comment):
    I read the column. I don’t see evidence or wrongdoing so much as I see some attempt by McCarthy to steel man the collusion angle; all of it remains innuendo, insinuation, inference, projection, and hysteria. As McCarthy spends the first half of that article pointing out: 1) none of it justifies a criminal investigation, 2) none of it is likely to turn up criminal conspiracy or evidence that Russia hacked the election in cahoots with Trump, 3) none of it excuses or justifies the irregularities involved with the investigation from the beginning. 

    He lays out quite clearly why the investigation into ties between the campaign and Russia was justified.

    • #21
  22. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):
    I read the column. I don’t see evidence or wrongdoing so much as I see some attempt by McCarthy to steel man the collusion angle; all of it remains innuendo, insinuation, inference, projection, and hysteria. As McCarthy spends the first half of that article pointing out: 1) none of it justifies a criminal investigation, 2) none of it is likely to turn up criminal conspiracy or evidence that Russia hacked the election in cahoots with Trump, 3) none of it excuses or justifies the irregularities involved with the investigation from the beginning.

    He lays out quite clearly why the investigation into ties between the campaign and Russia was justified.

    It’s an intelligence problem for the FBI and the CIA, not a special council investigation. 

    • #22
  23. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    It’s an intelligence problem for the FBI and the CIA, not a special council investigation. 

    CIA does not conduct domestic counterintelligence investigations.

    The FBI was conducting such an investigation until Trump fired Comey and suggested he did so because of that investigation.

    • #23
  24. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    It’s an intelligence problem for the FBI and the CIA, not a special council investigation.

    CIA does not conduct domestic counterintelligence investigations.

    The FBI was conducting such an investigation until Trump fired Comey and suggested he did so because of that investigation.

    … because Trump was thinking out loud about his hopes for Flynn. 

    Or is that wrong?

    • #24
  25. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    … because Trump was thinking out loud about his hopes for Flynn. 

    Or is that wrong?

    No, because he told Lester Holt he had decided to fire Comey because, “I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”

    • #25
  26. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    … because Trump was thinking out loud about his hopes for Flynn.

    Or is that wrong?

    No, because he told Lester Holt he had decided to fire Comey because, “I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”

    Thank you.

    attn: @garyrobbins

     

    • #26
  27. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    … because Trump was thinking out loud about his hopes for Flynn.

    Or is that wrong?

    No, because he told Lester Holt he had decided to fire Comey because, “I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”

    I think we’ve been through this before: you are adding the “because” all on your own.

    • #27
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    … because Trump was thinking out loud about his hopes for Flynn.

    Or is that wrong?

    No, because he told Lester Holt he had decided to fire Comey because, “I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”

    I think we’ve been through this before: you are adding the “because” all on your own.

    It seems awfully important to have clarity on this topic. A lot of people don’t care.

    • #28
  29. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    … because Trump was thinking out loud about his hopes for Flynn.

    Or is that wrong?

    No, because he told Lester Holt he had decided to fire Comey because, “I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”

    I think we’ve been through this before: you are adding the “because” all on your own.

    “And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”

    • #29
  30. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    … because Trump was thinking out loud about his hopes for Flynn.

    Or is that wrong?

    No, because he told Lester Holt he had decided to fire Comey because, “I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”

    I think we’ve been through this before: you are adding the “because” all on your own.

    “And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”

    I don’t see the word “because”. We’ve been over this – I interpreted this differently than you do. I think it’s an “and” instead of a “because”. We don’t need to rehearse it again, though.

    • #30

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