For almost a year we have heard a constant barrage from the media and the left that the Trump campaign somehow colluded with Russians to alter the results of the campaign for the Presidency. We were told we should be aghast that Jared Kushner met with a Russian attorney thinking that he could gain some insight in how to attack Hillary Clinton. We later realized the attorney thought the meeting was about Russian adoptions and Kushner quickly realized there was nothing of value to the campaign to be gathered. But that did not stop Trump’s opponents from bringing it up day after day and suggesting something nefarious was going on.
Now we have the investigation pivoting with the news that the famous dossier on Donald Trump produced by a company by the name of Fusion may have actually been paid for by the Clinton campaign. Throw on top of that the news that the uranium deal that gave the Russians access to huge amounts of American uranium may have been tied to speaking fees for Bill Clinton and donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Here is what we seem to know at this juncture in time. The DNC/Clinton campaign apparently provided the funds to Fusion to develop a negative dossier on Donald Trump. There was one Republican operative involved at some level and they are not trying to point at him and say it was not them. The total cost was about $5M and that is not chump change or something that would go unnoticed by a the higher ups in a campaign. So the denials of knowledge just don’t ring very true. The Fusion group then hired a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, to reach out to contacts he had in Russia for the dirt they were seeking on Trump. You can be sure that money was changing hands in exchange for this information and apparently with the lack of confirmed information the operatives in Russia decided to make some of it up.
Then we have the dossier leaked to the FBI which agrees to pay some additional funds to keep getting the “research” and uses the documents they were provided to brief from President Barrack Obama and President elect Donald Trump. This is all covered up by the Clinton campaign as some form of opposition research. But all of this ties back to the Uranium One deal that allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin to gain a strong position in the U.S. atomic program.
FBI agents and a confidential informant made secret recordings, gathered records and intercepted emails as far back as 2009, which showed that Russian officials had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks. The Department of Justice did not bring charges until 2014.
The question that now needs to be answered is how does Hillary Clinton fit into the picture, both as the Secretary of State and as a Presidential Candidate.
Clinton served on CFIUS when the inter-agency committee voted in favor of the Uranium One deal. The FBI and the informant prior to the deal going through also had obtained documents and an eyewitness account that Russian officials routed millions of dollars to the U.S. benefiting the charitable foundation of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Congress is now looking into all of this and has asked for both testimony and documents. As we move forward this might become an investigation that the Democrats and the Clintons might not appreciate. I don’t know where this is going to end. The one thing that is apparent is this is not the turn of events that the Democrats wanted and it might finally kill off any dreams Hillary Clinton has of running for President in 2020. Make no mistake, this had been in the the back of her mind and this is why the book and the constant popping up in the public eye has been paramount in her strategy. It is why she refuses to just go away like other defeated candidates. She has convinced herself that with enough public presence a ground swell of supporters will rise up and demand that she run once more.
I do want to caveat all of this by saying I truly believe the Russians tried to meddle in out electoral process. I think it is something that we must be on our guard against. They have tried to do it here and they have tried in other countries as well.
I also want to write a few words about the announcement that Jeff Flake (R-AZ) will not run for reelection to the Senate. The media has catapulted him into hero status because he has spoken out against President Trump. In their zeal to publish/air anything negative to the President this was like manna from heaven. But they gloss over some very important facts.
I have some strong contacts in Arizona and as early as 20 months ago they were saying that Jeff Flake was in real trouble with respect to getting reelected. At that time is approval rating was hovering around 30%. It has continued to slide to a point where some polls only give him a 15% approval rating. To fully understand this problem you have to go back 18 years to see where Jeff Flake began his congressional career. At that time Matt Salmon held the congressional seat for the area around Mesa, AZ. He had been elected in 1994 and promised to term limit himself to only six years in Congress. He honored that commitment and his friendship with Jeff Flake led him to endorse Flake to win the seat. Flake also promised to term limit himself to only six years. He won the seat handily since it is a strong Republican seat with the winner getting around 65% of the vote. After six years Cong. Flake announced that he would be running for re-election because it was obvious by the vote totals that the public wanted him to keep running. (Any other Republican would have generated the same level of support in the district). In 2012 Sen. Jon Kyle retired from the Senate and Jeff Flake jumped in the race for the Senate. It was a close race since President Obama was running strong that year and he squeezed out a close victory over Richard Carmona.
Now six years later he realizes that is numbers are in the tank and he takes the opportunity to say that he can no longer remain in the Senate while Donald Trump is President. I think he realized he could not win either a primary challenge or a general election so he took to the floor of the Senate for what looks like a bit of grandstanding. If Jeff Flake has spend a little more time being visible in Arizona and paying attention to the people of Arizona his numbers might be better and me would probably still be a candidate. Trump did not tank his numbers, he did.