Wednesday, May 10, 2017

One, Two, Many Grand Juries?

One: CNN is reporting this morning that there's a grand jury under the direction of the U.S. Attorney's office in Alexandria, VA, that has issued subpoenas to business associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn:
Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records, as part of the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in last year's election, according to people familiar with the matter. CNN learned of the subpoenas hours before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey. 
The subpoenas represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI's broader investigation begun last July into possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia. 
The subpoenas issued in recent weeks by the US Attorney's Office in Alexandria, Virginia, were received by associates who worked with Flynn on contracts after he was forced out as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, according to the people familiar with the investigation. 
It would appear the process of unraveling Flynn's connections with Russian interests and the Flynn/ Trump/ Russia nexus is well underway.

Two: During the testimony of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Jr., Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham (R-SC) asked Clapper (our emphasis):
[GRAHAM]: General Clapper, during your investigation of all things Russia, did you ever find a situation where a trump business interest in Russia gave you concern? 
CLAPPER: Not in the course of the preparation of the intelligence communities assessment. 
GRAHAM: Since? 
CLAPPER: I'm sorry? 
GRAHAM: At all, any time? 
CLAPPER: Senator Graham I can't comment on that because that impacts an investigation.
This would strongly suggest an investigation, quite possibly involving a second grand jury, is underway that's looking into Rump's business dealings with Russia (i.e., do the Russians have leverage over Rump because of loans to Rump businesses over the years). It would confirm what sources told journalist Bill Palmer several weeks ago.

Rump may feel he's given himself some space and a possible escape hatch with the firing of Comey, but the timing of the action merely re- enforces that he is desperately trying to hide his involvement in treasonous activity. What he's done also makes avoiding naming a Special Prosecutor much more politically treacherous for Republican leadership. Regardless, with what is already known to people in the intelligence community and the grinding grand jury process, the noose will continue to tighten despite the best (worst) efforts of Rump and his accessories to avoid it.

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