Background to today’s hearing with fired FBI director James Comey


Seth Meyers explains the background to the testimony that will be given today before a senate committee where Comey will be asked about his conversations with Donald Trump. Comey released a seven-page document yesterday that described five of the nine conversations he had with Trump and that seemed to suggest that Trump was leaning on him to stop the investigations into Trump and his associates.

The more I follow this story and the more I learn about Trump’s constant grifting, the more that Trump seems to talk and act like a mobster, except not as smart. Take for one example the story I wrote about yesterday. It is the sheer pettiness and venality that is striking. Here’s how the scam works. His son Eric sets up a charity golf tournament as a fundraiser for his own foundation. It is held at one of Trump’s golf resorts. Instead of getting a cut rate for the use of the facility because of his family connection and the fact that it is for charity, Donald Trump charges his son more than usual. But he says that he will reimburse the cost of using the facility by giving an equivalent donation to Eric’s foundation from Donald’s private foundation. The catch is that Donald does not put any of his own money into his foundation. That money is donated by people thinking that it is going to charity. So when all the dust settles, what we have is a transfer of money from people thinking they are giving to a charity into Trump’s pockets, using Donald’s and Eric’s foundations and ‘charities’ as pass-through money laundering devices.

This is why I think that the real story is not going to be about Trump directly colluding with high-level members of the Russian government on matters that involve policy because that requires a certain level of sophisticated discussions and Trump clearly does not care at all about policy. He just cares about money. What is more likely is that he is involved in common-or-garden crooked dealings with shady Russian mobsters who are involved in his business interests, as revealed in the Dutch documentary I wrote about here and here. These mobsters may themselves have links to Russian president Vladimir Putin though he is likely too savvy to leave his fingerprints on the deals. It is the possibility of these revelations that Trump is really scared about.

Comments

  1. Siobhan says

    These mobsters may themselves have links to Russian president Vladimir Putin though he is likely too savvy to leave his fingerprints on the deals. It is the possibility of these revelations that Trump is really scared about.

    Why? The House and the Senate are filled with the most ethically bankrupt con-artists the country can muster. Are they going to start pretending to care about these sorts of things?

  2. says

    Shiv@#1:
    Are they going to start pretending to care about these sorts of things?

    Oh, they pretend very much to care. Actually caring, lol, not so much. There may be some very serious tsk-tsk-ing going on, though.

  3. jrkrideau says

    common-or-garden crooked dealings with shady Russian mobsters

    I’ve been arguing this since day one. My bet is that Trump is worried about the Russian investigation because it’s likely a lot of his actions amount to money laundering.

  4. says

    It’s another textbook example of Trump administration fail: Trump took on a professional bureaucrat in a battle of bureaucracy. Worse, he maneuvered himself so that the bureaucrat would get the last word. Entire volumes could be written about the strategic ineptitude of Donald Trump – he’s like some kind of bizzaro-world Napoleon Bonaparte.

  5. jrkrideau says

    Trump took on a professional bureaucrat in a battle of bureaucracy.

    That’s exactly what I was thinking this morning and chuckling. Trump never seems to have realized he is in a whole new world with completely different rules.

    Trump’s behaviour would have set off alarm bells like mad. Comey behaved like the perfect civil servant. Refusal to acquiese to illegal or at wildly inappropriate demands, immediate notes to file summarizing the conversations, discussions with colleagues and so on.

  6. blf says

    Not to worry, the majority inessentially all of Congress is involved in the cover-up.

    Proposed fix: There is very little reason to think that more than a small handful of lawyers, much less those in Congress, are honest, or ethical, or unbribed.

    (Posted blind due to lack of working “Preview”.)

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