Third Party & Independents Archives

Six Degrees of Separation From Putin? You'll Need a Whiteboard

Will Staples have a summer special on whiteboards? Because if you don’t like using Power Point, maybe a nice little whiteboard would be a good way to follow the expanding cast of characters in the won’t-be-ending-for-a-long-time Russia probes. And guess what? There should be enough room on that whiteboard to accommodate both sides of the aisle. So to speak. One could even play 6 degrees of separation from Putin.

So. Seymour Hersh. Remember him? That stalwart senior journalist who has been around, and helped break, some of the biggest political stories of the latter half of the 20th century, along with a few these past 17 years as well. Even if Woodward and Bernstein got more of the credit (rightfully so one has to assume) for breaking the Watergate story. Let's see. How many degrees of separation does Hersh apparently have?

The Newseum in Washington D.C. is by the looks of it a splendid - and very expensive to build apparently - museum dedicated to free speech and First Amendment issues and was set up by the Freedom Forum, which originated with Frank Gannet's Gannet Foundation. It was here that Natalia Veselnitskaya had a showing of a documentary film that purports to show slain Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitski as the perpetrator not the victim of what the evidence suggests was a $230 million tax fraud in Russia. This showing of the film was in June of 2016, and the object was and still may be, the repeal of the Magnitski Act and it's sanctions that affect Russian plutocrat's assets in America. The act also affects the ability of American would-be parents to adopt Russian children.

That's why Seymour Hersh was at the film's showing. So he says. As a supporter of adoption rights. He also happens to know Rinat Akhmetshin, the former Soviet intel guy who, according to The Hill, would wander the halls of Congress with Ron Dellums, a California Democrat, looking for members of congress to lobby against the Magnitsky Act. Akhmetshin of course was also at the infamous meeting with Donald Jr. Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. And perhaps other people as well, who for now haven't been named.

What is Akhmetshin's link, if any, to the Kremlin? We don't know. A Kremlin spokesperson has apparently denied knowing anything about Rinat Akhmetshin, who officially is a lobbyist for The Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation. Which sounds like a name that was invented by someone claiming to understand search engine optimization. As well Akhmetshin is a lobbyist for a numer of other Russian related people and organizations. The HRAGIF is basically a lobby group that has been trying to repeal the Magnitsky Act and is run by Natalia Veselnitskaya, who of course was the main protagonist in requesting and attending the meeting with Dondald Jr, Kushner, and Manafort.

That means you can't specify an exact number of links back from Hersh to Akhmetshin to whoever to Putin. Not fair is it? How can you play six degrees of separation from Putin otherwise? And if you want to try and put together a web of connections just from say a handful of articles on Veselnitskaya and the Magnitsky Act, you better have a good whiteboard that wipes clean easily. So you can start over again. And again. And again.

Untangling the web of relationships around any meetings between people like Natalia Veselnitskaya and say, Russian General Prosecutor Yuri Chaika, a very powerful figure in the Putin administration, and a definite link to Putin himself, will take endless investigations, detailed facts from possibly untrustworthy sources that will have to do because that's all there is. And the ability to put together a comprehensible and convincing narrative out of all these shards of brittle information.

We are in a hall of mirrors with personal interests, political agendas in Moscow and D.C. and a partisan media mostly hostile to the current administration salivating in glee over every new detail. As well as an intel community that is watchdog, keeper of secrets, and leaker in chief, and is clearly hostile to President Trump. America's national security demands that we approach these investigations as impartially and thoroughly as is humanly possible. Even then, the answers we eventually get may well be unsatisfying.

And Seymour Hersh? He almost certainly is involved because of what he says: he cares about the adoption issue. But he's now part of the story and may even have to testify at some point. This is just getting started.

Posted by AllardK at July 19, 2017 2:32 PM
Comment #418407

Good Grief Allard, wading through this maze requires plenty of bread crumbs and red thread.

Congress or the special counsel should issue a summons for Putin himself to appear and testify followed by ex-prez Obama.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 19, 2017 5:10 PM
Comment #418419

Today Trump gave an interview to the NYT. He set a red line, and warned Special Counsel Mueller not to investigate Trump family finances.

It is no coincidence this warning came shortly after the 8th person attending that Trump Tower meeting was revealed- a guy involved in money laundering for the Russians.

During the interview, Trump kept returning to the subject of Russia & the investigation despite the interviewers efforts to cover other topics. Trump is just about cooked.
He did manage to meet for an additional hour at the G20 with Putin, Putin’s translator, and no one else, while neglecting to mention the conversation to anyone. Today he gave the Russians a gift in Syria.

Manafort apparently owes the Russians $17 million, and received a $16 million loan from a small Chicago bank- a loan comprising 1/4 of its entire capital. Nothing suspicious about that!

These guys are going to jail.

Posted by: phx8 at July 19, 2017 9:47 PM
Comment #418423

Note to self: never claim a Special Counsel has conflicts of interests that mean he shouldn’t be investigating me.

Note to self: do not threaten a Special Counsel. Bad idea.

Note to self: do not tell a Special Counsel to NOT investigate family finances because that would be out of bounds.

Note to self: do not wave a red flag in front of the whole world saying ‘do not investigate my family’s finances.’

Posted by: phx8 at July 19, 2017 10:15 PM
Comment #418425

pdx8, David Cay Johnston knows more about the financial aspect of the case than anyone out of government. It looks like a Saturday Night Massacre is in the works. The POS just found out that Rod Rosenstein is from Baltimore. Session is on the chopping block for recusing himself. They may try to fire Mueller.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 19, 2017 11:02 PM
Comment #418426

Trump may very well try to fire Mueller. It would create chaos, but what does Trump care? Most likely Deputy AG Rosenstein and the current #2 Rachel Brand & #3 Dana Boente at DOJ would refuse to carry out the order. The next five positions are vacant. Like Rosenstein, both Brand and Boente are conservative Republicans, but it is hard to imagine any of them going along with Trump wanting Special Counsel Mueller fired.

Trump has written executive orders changing the order of succession at DOJ. It is unclear to me whether Trump could fill the next slot after Boente with his own handpicked appointment.

Events are moving very fast, and change almost daily. I think you might have mentioned it, and other people are beginning to suspect it too; Mueller is farther along than anyone thought.

This will become a money laundering investigation, and Trump will become desperate fairly quickly. He would probably choose the chaos caused by firing Mueller to allowing the investigation to proceed.

Posted by: phx8 at July 19, 2017 11:57 PM
Comment #418453

And don’t forget about Wilbur Ross and the bank of Cyprus, in addition to the POS’s debts to Deutsche Bank. None of this is going to go away even if the POS massacres Justice. They seemed to have solidarity with each other today, but who knows if that will last.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 20, 2017 9:16 PM
Comment #418459

That Federal Savings Bank in Chicago is basically a converted 6 story warehouse, and certainly doesn’t look at all like a bank, and doesn’t look very secure. On their website is a veteran’s family with a little kid holding a flag. On the Yelp page, a veteran is complaining about a bait and switch scheme for the VA loans that they advertise on the website.

Stephen Calk,

is the guy who wanted to be appointed Secretary of The Army in return for the loan to Manifort, allegedly.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 21, 2017 12:37 AM
Comment #418469

Liberal Legal Scholars Warn Dems to Stop Overreacting on the Trump-Russia Story, It’s “Dangerous”

“STILL no evidence of any crime. The Left’s insane cries of collusion, conspiracy, and treason are simply ridiculous and they should be treated as such by the media and the American people.”

I encourage my Pals on the Right to watch two well respected Liberal legal scholars, Jonathan Turley and Alan Dershowitz, explain law and order as it pertains to President Trump and his campaign.

Many of the arguments used by the Left on WB are totally destroyed by these scholars.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 21, 2017 2:46 PM
Comment #418470

Here’s the link.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 21, 2017 2:49 PM
Comment #418474

I’ve heard Dershowitz and Turley give the warnings. They have been saying this for months, not just recently. But hey, I say keep going after him. All the left is doing, is driving moderates and independents right into Trumps arms.

Posted by: Blaine at July 21, 2017 4:11 PM
Comment #418532

There’s only one legal scholar whose opinion matters: Robert Swan Mueller III. I eagerly await what he has to say when he completes his investigation.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 22, 2017 10:47 PM
Comment #418701

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Posted by: at July 28, 2017 8:20 AM
Comment #418702

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Posted by: at July 28, 2017 8:20 AM
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