Hillary and Bill Clinton may well spend their final years in prison.
SLL has run a series of articles (“Plot Holes,” “Trump and Vault 7,” “Calling a Bluff?” “Let’s Connect the Dots,” “Powerball, Part One,” “Powerball, Part Two”) advancing interrelated hypotheses. We’ve asserted that President Trump is far smarter and the powers that be far stupider and weaker than current consensus estimates. Trump’s primary motivation is power. The nonstop vilification campaign against him has little to do with policy differences and instead reflects establishment fears that Trump will investigate, expose, and punish its criminality. The upshot of these hypotheses: Trump is winning and has consolidated his power.
“Is Trump Winning?” SLL, 8/6/17
If Washington machinations were a football game, Team Trump just scored its fourth unanswered touchdown in the first quarter. The rout is on.
On October 17, TheHill.com reported that the FBI, using an undercover informant, an American businessman, had substantial evidence of extortion, bribery, kickbacks and money laundering by Russian nuclear industry officials in 2009. That was well before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in 2010 approved the sale of a majority interest in Canadian mining company Uranium One to Russian nuclear company Rosatam. That purchase gave Rosatam control of over 20 percent of the US’s uranium reserves.
Both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder sat on CFIUS. It’s conceivable Clinton didn’t know of the FBI’s investigation. Not so Holder; the FBI is part of the Department of Justice. The Clinton Foundation received donations in excess of $100 million from interested parties on both sides of the Uranium One sale. The CEO of Uranium One at the time of the sale, Frank Guistra, was a large donor and sat on the Clinton Foundation board.
Just before the sale, Bill Clinton received $500,000 from a Russian bank with ties to the Russian government for a speech in Moscow. He met with Vladimir Putin while he was there. Hillary Clinton has denied any connection between her vote to approve the Uranium One sale and the money her foundation and husband received.
Holder’s Justice Department took four years to bring an indictment against Vadim Mikerin, who led the Russian nuclear effort in the US. There was no public notice of the Justice Department investigation. Mikerin was arrested and charged in 2014, convicted in 2015—a plea deal for one charge of money laundering—and is now in prison. The Justice Department issued an innocuous press release announcing the conviction just before Labor Day. It also required the FBI’s informant to sign a nondisclosure agreement prohibiting him from testifying before congressional committees. It appears the department wished to attract no attention to the matter.
This brewing scandal is a gift that will keep on giving for Trump. It’s easy to understand and obviously damning for Clinton, Holder, and Obama. You don’t need to be a lawyer to spot the many potential felonies that the Justice Department and congressional committees can investigate, publicize, and prosecute.
But wait, there’s more! On October 24, The Washington Post reported that the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign paid for Fusion GPS’s Trump dossier. “The dossier alleged that the Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and that the Kremlin was engaged in an effort to assist his campaign for president.” It was one of the factors that launched the Obama administration’s decision to have the FBI investigate the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia. “Officials have said that the FBI has confirmed some of the information in the dossier. Other details, including the most sensational accusations, have not been verified and may never be.” (Quotes from The Washington Post.)
This story throws off a host of investigation-worthy questions. Why did Fusion suddenly decide, after months of stonewalling, to disclose the DNC and Clinton campaign’s funding? Why did Fusion fight so hard to keep its bank records secret, even after that disclosure? (Friday it reached an agreement to make them available to the House Intelligence Committee, but they will not be made public.) Did Fusion receive payments from Russian operatives? What’s in the FBI’s documents concerning the dossier, which it fought for months not to disclose to congressional investigators? (It has finally agreed to release them.) Did it use the dossier as the basis of its investigation? Did the FBI pay former British spy Christopher Steele to continue the research he had been doing for Fusion, when FBI director James Comey derided the dossier as “salacious and unverified”? Why was Fusion not listed as a vendor in either the DNC’s or the Clinton campaign’s campaign-finance filings, as election law requires?
Mueller’s investigation will come a cropper, but investigations of high-profile and no sub rosa value leakers and Democrats—up to and perhaps including Hillary Clinton—will lead to indictments and either plea bargained settlements or convictions.
“Is Trump Winning?” SLL, 8/6/17
Uranium One and Fusion have displaced the Trump and Russian collusion allegations, which SLL has said from the beginning are phony and politically motivated. These new stories have directed Russian influence and collusion charges towards the Democrats, are quite real, and will be with us for some time.
Robert Mueller was the director of the FBI during its 2009 probe of Russian criminality within the US nuclear industry.
For anyone who cares to look, the real problem here is that the FBI itself is so thoroughly implicated in the Russian meddling story.
The agency, when Mr. Mueller headed it, soft-pedaled an investigation highly embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton as well as the Obama Russia reset policy.
“The FBI’s Political Meddling,” Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Wall Street Journal, 10/25/17
Mueller wasn’t just heading off embarrassment to Clinton and Obama. He had a duty to speak out against the Uranium One sale and is certainly compromised. That he is investigating Trump for Russian collusion is downright ludicrous. This weekend CNN and The Atlantic reported that Mueller has a grand jury indictment against someone. The information had to have come from Mueller’s team, and you have to wonder if it wasn’t in response to the Uranium One disclosures.
The US businessman (his identity is still secret) who served as the FBI’s informant in the Russian nuclear investigation has received a waiver from the Justice Department of his nondisclosure agreement and can testify before congressional committees. His attorney is claiming that Barack Obama received briefings and was aware of the FBI investigation well before the Uranium One sale was approved. Who knows what the informant will say before the congressional committees.
Uranium One and Fusion GPS are gold mines for Trump. There is no telling what other strands will unravel, who will turn state’s evidence and start squealing, and where all this will ultimately lead. It appears those who protected the Clintons for so long are now throwing them to the wolves. Anger runs deep in Democratic circles against Hillary Clinton. She screwed Bernie Sanders in the primary, lost the election she was supposed to win, and then hitched the party’s—and establishment Washington and its media lapdogs’—wagon to the star-crossed Trump-Russian collusion concoction.
It’s telling that the Uranium One scoops came from TheHill.com and the Fusion scoop came from The Washington Post, both reliable Democratic mouthpieces. There may be more than anger at work. The Clintons are perhaps being offered up as propitiatory sacrifices in the hope that Trump will be satisfied with their convictions and not proceed further. That hope is apt to be dashed. Further investigations will give Trump that much more sub rosa political leverage.
Absent a pardon or commutation, Hillary and Bill Clinton may well spend their final years in prison. Barack Obama will be problematic. He has no sub rosa value for Trump, and enough evidence against him may surface to convict, or at least indict. However, the Republican party doesn’t get many black votes and will get even fewer if Trump’s Justice Department goes after Obama. Assuming Trump has his eye on 2020, political expediency may allow the former president to skate. Eric Holder will probably not be so lucky. Lesser figures caught up in the various investigations will be either blackmailed—if they have sub rosa value to Trump—or subject to criminal justice process if they don’t.
Mueller and Comey are implicated in serious wrongdoing. The FBI has left itself wide open for a thorough investigation and house cleaning that would leave the agency stocked with Trump loyalists. While the CIA and NSA both played parts in the Russia-gate investigation, they will probably get a pass. Ostensibly they have engaged in less skullduggery than the FBI. However, Trump’s decision this weekend to release all of the Kennedy assassination materials is definitely a shot across the CIA’s bow.
It’s probably only a warning. Trump has the same regard for civil liberties as he does for kneeling footballers. He will do nothing to damage the government’s spying apparatus; he’s already taken steps to augment it. Trump is all about power and it’s the power calculus: you keep the agencies, with their troves of information and their surveillance capabilities, on your side.
Legions of worrywarts fret that an erratic, captured Trump will go off half-cocked and press a nuclear button or do something else almost as stupidly devastating. What should worry them are the precise calculations and bloodless strategies of the most ruthlessly Machiavellian president since Franklin D. Roosevelt as he further consolidates and extends his power.
“So Deep It’s Sunk,” SLL, 9/3/17
Trump in full command of the intelligence and investigation apparatus gives those of us who worry about unchecked power still more to worry about.
Greene shook his head. “The Corleone Family don’t have that much muscle anymore. The Godfather is sick. You’re getting chased out of New York by the other Families and you think you can find easier pickings here. I’ll give you some advice, Mike, don’t try.”
The Godfather, Mario Puzo
Trump may be weak like Michael Corleone was weak, just before he wiped out his enemies, including Moe Greene. Like Corleone, Trump may be trying to further an impression of feebleness and for the same reasons: to make his enemies overconfident and to flush out traitors.
“Plot Holes,” SLL, 2/26/17
That speculation met with considerable skepticism, even derision, at the time, but it’s been borne out. Everything that emerges in these investigations will redound to Trump’s benefit; he’s sitting in the quintessential cat bird seat. Establishment Washington made two colossal mistakes: assuming Clinton would win the election and continuing to underestimate Trump after he won. Trump does many things, some undoubtedly intentional, that lead his enemies to underestimate him. They forget the ancient wisdom: Never judge a man by his Tweets.
When was the last time you
didn’t want a novel to end?