Monumental Moment

My initial reaction to Manafort’s indictment was both sides were given valid talking points, with us never-Trumper’s able to say there is real evidence of criminal activities with key players in the Trump campaign, but my first thought was one of disappointment.  The indictment was primarily about Manafort & his business partner Gates business dealings with Ukraine along with money laundering, with the timing of the indictment coming now because they appear to be running into statute of limitations deadlines.  So the charges themselves seem to be largely detached from Trump & the campaign without a direct link to possible collusion.  As I said in my message Sunday night on the eve of the indictments, if it’s just a financial crime which is mostly seen as isolated to Manafort for example, that would come as a relief to Trump.  So I reasoned the White House & Trump’s legal team, along with his state-run media in the echo, can rightly claim the Manafort indictment was concerning his own personal business dealings that went back a decade well before he joined the campaign, so their argument is this has nothing to do with any potential Trump misdeeds.  So while the Manafort-Gates indictments are a big deal with conspiracy & money laundering, & while it could lead to the discovery of other evidence showing possible collusion as they keep following the money trail, the charges themselves don’t really significantly change the trajectory of the scandal.

So my initial disappointing reaction was quickly followed by a new headline which I found far more electric, since they point directly to evidence of collusion within the campaign.  Not to be confused with ABC political correspondent & former Bill Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos, or Mr. Snuffleupagus of Sesame Street fame who should really become the new version of the GOP’s elephant logo, the most impactful headline today was about George Papadopoulos.  He was a foreign campaign advisor hired in March 2016 of whom Trump had acknowledged him directly during the campaign.  Papadopoulos had previously pleaded guilty to lying to the feds this year (twice) about his Russian contacts.  So we now have a confession (so much for echo’s claims of a nothing-burger).  And now he’s cooperating, likely through a plea deal, & because the guilty plea had been kept secret, he might have even been wearing a wire or wiretapped phone these past few months in revealing others who were caught up in this Russian deal.

The Russians had direct contact with Papadopoulos in the early part of 2016 as numerous emails can verify, cultivating & telling him they had thousands of emails with the dirt on Hillary (which these communications came a couple months prior to the Trump Tower meeting).  He had emailed that scoop (which does point towards collusion) with at least three other Trump campaign officials whose names have yet to be made public.  An excitable Papadopoulos even exclaimed back to his Russian contact it’s history in the making if it happens.  There was also an email exchange where Manafort replied that Trump needed to lay low by not directly attending a meeting, which may indicate Trump knew of all this but needed kept hidden from being seen as involved, so a lower-level aide should be the point person.  Plus there was also a campaign meeting in the spring of 2016 attended by Trump where evidence suggests Papadopoulos mentioned to all in attendance the Russians had disparaging emails on Hillary.  So now we do have conclusive evidence of collusion by a campaign aide & indications are Trump was in the loop!  Collusion can result in conspiracy charges which would be an impeachable offense.  The dots are starting to connect.

Hand it to Mueller & his team for keeping this guilty plea from leaking, so they could keep their cards close to their vests & not show their hands as they interviewed top campaign officials.  The witnesses didn’t know what the questioners knew while they testified.  Also being so careful not to leak anything throughout this case, Mueller knows a lot more than the public has been made aware of.  And every time the timing is right for him to release his findings, expect the impact of those bombshells to become even more dramatic as we go.  Rest assured, more indictments & compelling evidence are coming.  It looks as though things are unravelling & that it’s only a matter of time before the facts come out & the hammer lowered on this presidency.  Trumpeters will be shocked & some will go berserk, but my prediction all along may come true we’ll have a new President by New Year’s Day 2018.  Part of that fast pace is because I speculate he will resign (just like Watergate) before impeachment hearings commence when the tide turns unmistakingly against him.  And why is this story far bigger than the two-bit burglary of Watergate?  Just from the fake Facebook ads alone, Russia had access to an estimated 100+ million Americans!  That’s certainly enough to influence an election.  It may all have been coordinated by a presidential campaign colluding with a foreign adversary!  With or without proof of collusion, we may still have a delegitimate President just based on the fake ads & email leaks from Russia.  And after today Trump knows beyond a shadow of doubt he’s in big trouble, so he’s really coming unhinged as reports are he’s in a fit of rage.  Please hide the nukes!

History repeating itself?
 
We tend to draw parallels to Watergate although every event in history is its own separate entity.  But when it’s all said & done, we may look back on Papadopoulos’ role as much like Mark Felt’s, the famous leaker known as Deep Throat from Watergate, although Felt’s identity for a long time was kept secret.  See articles below about the recent movie made about him.  So it’s only natural we can draw comparisons between Watergate & Russiagate.  As I’ve been saying, this current scandal will likely go down in history as far more serious.  And within Papadopoulos’ emails with Manafort, they referred to setting up a meeting with Russians.  Not long after there was indeed a meeting with Russians in Trump Tower attended by Manafort, Donny Jr. & Kushner, the attraction being getting the dirt on Hillary.  An email from Donny Jr. back to the Russians practically proves collusion.  Other top campaign officials knew of the damaging emails the Russians had on Hillary based on Papadopoulos’ emails to them, so it’s reasonable to surmise giving into the temptation of collusion ran throughout the Trump campaign.  Those Papadopoulos emails could rope lots of campaign staff into this.  And can anyone outside his loyal band of Trumpeters really believe Trump wasn’t aware of any of this?  Getting back to Watergate parallels, we can keep asking the same famous question that preceded Nixon’s resignation, what did the President know & when did he know it?  And even if Mueller can’t pin collusion directly on Trump, remember it was the cover-up which brought Nixon down.  We’ve already seen the cover-up with Trump helping write a false excuse for that Trump Tower meeting, the real reasons behind the Comey firing he admitted to, & running other interference in attempting to trip up the investigations.  He is the personification of a walking/talking scandal who tends to corrupt all who enter his domain.

Views from the far-left