THOSE PESKY RUSSIAN CONNECTIONS








Daily Kos
Mark Sumner
January 20, 2017

Paul Mannafort was on Moscow’s payroll and may have still been getting paid by the Kremlin while serving as Trump’s campaign manager. Michael Flynn appeared on Russian state media. Carter Page traveled to Moscow during the campaign to talk with Russian officials and run down American policy. Immediately following the election, the Russian deputy foreign minister admitted that there was nearly constant contact with the campaign. And, of course, Trump himself had money "pouring in" from Russia.
So investigating a series of intelligence intercepts for links between Russia and the Trump campaign almost seems like underlining a story we already know.
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.
The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him.
That’s just … special. However, the agencies involved may be more interesting than the fact that such an investigation is underway.
The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. 
The Treasury Department’s involvement would seem to indicate that rubles were flowing—possibly Manfort’s rumored under-the-table millions. Which could be a nice lever to uncover more information, but remember:
As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.
Most presidents would hesitate to halt an investigation into their own administration, especially one that was so public. But Donald Trump isn’t bound by tradition, political correctness, or morality. 
And since the Trump team’s official position is a Full Schultz “I know nothing ...”
“We have absolutely no knowledge of any investigation or even a basis for such an investigation,” said Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump transition.
It’s easy to pretend something never happened when you never admit it existed in the first place.


 NOTE:  President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Leave the White House.



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