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This is your periodic Wonkette reminder that the Russia investigation is, was, and has always been about the sanctions. Russia is a kleptocratic petro-state that cannot do business when its top echelon is cut off from the global financial market. So when you see That Idiot losing his shit on Twitter the same day that his former National Security Advisor is sentenced for lying to the FBI about sanctions, and that very morning The Daily Beast breaks a story that the Mueller investigation is zeroing in on clandestine sanctions negotiations, you can be sure these are not coincidences!

The Daily Beast reports:

[T]hree sources familiar with Mueller's probe told The Daily Beast that his team is now zeroing in on Trumpworld figures who may have attempted to shape the administration's foreign policy by offering to ease U.S. sanctions on Russia.

The Special Counsel's Office is preparing court filings that are expected to detail Trump associates' conversations about sanctions relief—and spell out how those offers and counter-proposals were characterized to top figures on the campaign and in the administration, those same sources said.

Gosh, who might those "Trumpworld figures" be? Obviously, one of them is being sentenced right now for lying about his conversation with the Russian ambassador regarding sanctions. Because the FBI called up Michael Flynn, the National Security Advisor who had been monetizing his security clearance for years, and said, Hey, we need to talk to you about your conversation with the Russian ambassador. And even though he rightly figured that the agents "probably knew what was said," he lied to them anyway.


Knowing that he had likely been recorded, Flynn deliberately told the FBI that he hadn't discussed sanctions. WHY?

And who else in Trumpland might be caught up in this sanctions dragnet?

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Of course everyone's favorite expert on the opioid/tech/Middle East/Mexico crisis is ass-deep in this sanctions mess. Remember that fun time during the transition where Jared Kushner met in secret with representatives of Russia's state bank Vnesheconombank, which has been under sanctions since 2014, for reasons having ... absolutely nothing to do with his family business desperately needing cash? As the Washington Post reported at the time:

A diplomatic meeting would have provided the bank, which has been under U.S. sanctions since 2014, a chance to press for rolling back the penalties even as the Obama administration was weighing additional retaliations against Moscow for Russia's interference in the U.S. election.

A business meeting between an international development bank and a real estate executive, coming as Kushner's company had been seeking financing for its troubled $1.8 billion purchase of an office building on Fifth Avenue in New York, could raise questions about whether Kushner's personal financial interests were colliding with his impending role as a public official.

Then Jared asked for a secret shoe phone so he could communicate directly with the Russians without any of those nasty, Deep State Obama goons listening in. As one does when one is definitely not secretly negotiating to lift sanctions on a hostile foreign power! And then he, lied about forgot to include it on his security disclosures. HUH.

The Russians tried to approach Don Jr. at the infamous Trump Tower meeting to discuss sanctions -- as in, "Here is some fake kompromat on Hillary. If you win, you can thank us by lifting those pesky sanctions, and then we'll give you all the bouncy white Russian babies those evangelicals could ever adopt."

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We're going to go out on a limb and guess that Dipshit Jr. had no earthly idea what that Russian lawyer lady was offering at the time. But Uncle Pauly, who spent a decade ratfucking in Ukraine and is also not A IDIOT, must have splained it to him at some point, since Deej knew to lie about it when the New York Times came knocking.

Anyone else, Daily Beast?

It's still unclear if Trump adviser Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev, the head of one of Russia's sovereign wealth funds, spoke about sanctions in their now-infamous meeting in the Seychelles held during the last days of the transition. But The Daily Beast previously reported that the two spoke broadly about Russian investment opportunities in the U.S. and the potential for peace in Ukraine.

All we want for Christmas is for Mueller to take down that grifting, mercenary sonofabitch!

And we haven't even gotten to Michael Cohen dropping off a plan to hand Ukraine over to the Russians and lift sanctions yet. Luckily, neither did anyone else in this incompetent bunch of fools. The Daily Beast is on that too!

Just a week after Trump took office, Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii V. Artemenko handed Michael Cohen, then Trump's personal lawyer, a "peace plan" that would lift sanctions. Accounts differ on how seriously the proposal was considered by the administration.

Around the same time, Trump reportedly asked staffers in the State Department to come up with a plan to roll back sanctions. But the department's transition team was disorganized and understaffed, according to one person on the team. The request never made its way to people tasked with advising the White House on sanctions, according to two former national security officials.

But we'll quit typing now and see whether the judge decided to LOCK THEM UP Michael Flynn. FOR LYING ABOUT SANCTIONS. WHICH THEY ALL DID. WHICH HE CAN UNDOUBTEDLY TESTIFY TO.

You guys, it's the sanctions. For reals.

[The Daily Beast / Flynn Sentencing Memo / WaPo]

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Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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CLEAR YOUR CALENDARS FOR FEBRUARY 7! And then fill them back up with whatever the fuck you want, because Michael Cohen has announced through his lawyers that he is too scared to testify before an open session of Congress that day, citing threats to his family from Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani.

Wonkette has no reason to believe Cohen isn't being serious here, and NBC News reports Cohen's wife and father-in-law are particularly concerned about their safety if the man who used to call his boss MIS-TURRRR TWUMP goes to Congress and tells the truth this time. Still, we must pause to note that this is the same guy who said this to NPR reporter Tim Mak, back when Mak was at The Daily Beast:

"I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we're in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don't have," Cohen told Mak [...] "And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know."

"So I'm warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?"

It's not so fun when the shoe is on the other foot, IS IT, MICHAEL?

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Did Nancy Pelosi do something to give Donald Trump the mistaken impression he has leverage here? We don't remember her doing anything like that!

Trump sent Pelosi a letter this morning to say that, despite how she told him to stay the fuck out of her House because of his government shutdown, he would still be coming to the House on January 29 to deliver his State of the Union address. And for some weird-ass reason, Trump and his advisers in the White House actually thought she would back down. It's both hilarious and alarming that Trump and his people are that stupid, isn't it?

Anyway, Pelosi took the dare. She took the dare. Was there anybody besides those dumb fucking idiots in the White House who thought she wouldn't take the dare?

Pelosi sent a letter right back to Trump to kindly explain to him that no means "go fuck yourself," and that if he'd like her to stick her foot further up his ass and kick it around a bunch, he's welcome to test her some more:

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