Thursday, March 02, 2017

The Trump White House In Cover Up Mode Over Russia Collusion

Today’s Republicans remember Watergate differently.

They don't remember it as a major corruption scandal. They remember Watergate as a failure to cover up a major corruption scandal. (Hunter Thompson knew better.)

Republicans in Congress share this mindset: if something bad is going on and nobody is told, that means nothing bad is going on.

The scandal is that people are finding out.

The criminals are the ones alerting the public to the crime. Sounding the alarm is a crime, according to Republican leaders. Republican leaders are obeyed by all Republican followers. Republicans are very obedient.

The senator who's supposed to be leading the probe into the White House's Russia ties is Richard Burr, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The guy who agreed to deter the press from reporting White House ties to Russia. (This kind of story by Politico might be why Politico is banned from the White House.)

There are labels for this kind of behavior, this kind of ritual.


Keep your mouth shut or you're dead.

Shoot the messenger.

Don’t tell anybody what is going on because if you do blow the whistle you pay consequences. The consequences are brutal. The people doing the crime pay no consequences.

Put it another way: the Republicans would have hung Paul Revere.

Today’s Republicans would have erected statues to commemorate the heroism of Benedict Arnold. To the leaders of the GOP, the people selling our country to the Russians are patriots.

One of the memorable phrases from Watergate was “Follow The Money.” Mark Felt (Deep Throat) said it to Bob Woodward when Woodward felt like the trail had gone cold. Follow the money and you will find the answers. You will learn who the criminals are.

Rachel Maddow detailed how deeply it appears our new Commerce Secretary is involved with Russia. Wilbur Mills doesn't just consort with Russian spies he owns the bank in Cyprus where they launder their money. And who are his partners in this bank? Putin's favorite Russian mobsters.

The Daily Beast has the same story.

The Hill, Congress's newspaper, has the story about how hard Republicans are working to keep the public from knowing about Trump's finances. Because the Republican book of rules says there is no crime as long as the public is unaware of it.

The Guardian reports on Reince Priebus's efforts to shut up reporters. Which is why the Guardian is barred from the White House.

That doesn't matter so much when White House staffers will meet you in a bar somewhere and tell you all about what's going on.

Two stories broke last night.

The Attorney General, Jefferson Davis Beauregard Secessions (sic), the man in charge of enforcing the law and overseeing all investigations of possible treasonous collusion with Russians in the recent campaign, appears to have lied under oath about his own collusions with Russians. The Washington Post broke the story. Which is why the Washington Post is barred from the White House.

And in the final days of Obama’s presidency, as new evidence was emerging about Trump campaign complicity with Russia, the departing president ordered all departments in the White House and the executive branch to preserve that evidence, concerned that the new administration would lose or destroy it.

That story from SLATE

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