By
April 21, 2019 12:01 pm - NewsBehavingBadly.com

Okay — we are not getting our hopes up, because the “liberal press” shows consistent reluctance to go beyond the tabloid sizzle of political sexytime and frame it within the broader context of governance.

One also has to factor in a redacted Mueller Report so full of volatile raw factoids that the true magnitude of certain details takes a while to bubble to the surface.

So we’ll spell it all out for you: there is one revelation in the Mueller Report which Capitol Hill Democrats need to bring to the immediate attention of the public and the press.

Yes, it is bare-knuckle political, as it was when then-President Clinton had a fling with a zaftig intern who has gone on to become a respected authority on social psychology.

But the Trumpian peccadilloes on which we turn our focus damage the fundamental integrity of the executive branch — arguably far beyond the many instances of evident obstruction of justice cited in Mueller’s 400-plus-page report.

It’s not that this disturbing divulgement has not been covered: CNN and Rolling Stone posted articles just as a long holiday weekend was commencing and nobody was paying attention. Popular law microblogger Seth Abramsom posted a thoroughgoing analysis.

So we’ll break it down for you. Here is footnote 113 from Volume 2 of the Mueller Report:

112 [former FBI director James] Comey 1/7/17 Memorandum, at 1-2; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 3. Comey’s briefing included the [former British intelligence officer Christopher] Steele reporting’s unverified allegation that the Russians had compromising tapes of the President involving conduct when he was a private citizen during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant. During the 2016 presidential campaign, a similar claim may have reached candidate [Donald J,] Trump. On October 30, 2016, Michael Cohen received a text from Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze that said, “Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know . . . .” 10/30/16 Text Message, Rtskhiladze to Cohen. Rtskhiladze said “tapes” referred to compromising tapes of Trump rumored to be held by persons associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group, which had helped host the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Russia. Rtskhiladze 4/4/18 302, at 12. Cohen said he spoke to Trump about the issue after receiving the texts from Rtskhiladze. Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 13. Rtskhiladze said he was told the tapes were fake, but he did not communicate that to Cohen. Rtskhiladze 5/10/18 302, at 7.

Riiiight.

If you believe the “tapes” (more likely digital media files) are fake, you probably believe Maria Butina is just an innocent Russian pro-gun activist and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak was at the 2016 Republican Convention just to say hello.

Now, consider, if you will, the implication of that text message. Do you think that there would be dickering over the tapes if Donald Trump were

  1. not worried about their existence; and
  2. wanted to assure that they would not be made public.

Donald Trump is compromised, not by a bimbo eruption but by a geopolitical adversary.

He and his henchman Mike Pence must both be removed from office.

And it is high time that Democrats grab hold of the above footnote and expedite the removal of compromised officials.


UPDATE: Clever observation from Seth Abramson.

dave-dr-gonzo
Dave "Doctor" Gonzo is a renegade media producer, occasional bassist, web developer, and Grammy® voter. He is editor and senior contributor to News Behaving Badly. He has written for American Politics Journal, Alan Colmes' Liberaland (Dave was also a semi-frequent Friday guest on Alan's radio show), and (in print) Audio Review. Dave lives in s fortified compound with doorman in Manhattan's not-so-trendy Yorkville neighborhood.