Rachel Maddow dove deep into the Russian organized crime element to the Russia scandal and showed how Trump and Congressional Republicans are targeting law enforcement officials who battle Russian organized crime.
Rachel Maddow dove deep into the Russian organized crime element to the Russia scandal and showed how Trump and Congressional Republicans are targeting law enforcement officials who battle Russian organized crime. https://t.co/lsO1WQub7w #Maddow pic.twitter.com/t3ImTPXKPq
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 29, 2018
It has a Russian organized crime element to it. And now the president mulls pardoning Paul Manafort. As the president openly mulls firing the attorney general of the United States in the midst of the Manafort prosecution as a way to make the Russia investigation all go away, today, Republicans in Congress spent the entire day going after that justice department official I’ve been talking about. That specific official who started with the El Feo case and the drug gangs in the Bronx. Who rose to become the head of organized crime and racketeering at the justice department. Who became the Justice Department‘s expert on Russian organized crime.
The guy who indicted the head of the Russian mafia. The guy who became the Justice Department‘s lead counsel for transnational organized crime and international affairs. The guy who had been part of the team banned Paul Manafort’s patron and business partner, Oleg Deripaska from doing business with the United States on his alleged ties to organized crime in Russia. That justice department official. That guy. Is named Bruce Ohr. And he is the object of conspiracy theories and condemnation on right-wing media on a 24-hour loop.
And today, pro trump Republican members of Congress summoned Bruce Ohr to testify behind closed doors before two Republican-led committees and then they immediately went out to the cameras to talk to report betters how Bruce Ohr was a liar and to accuse him of being the rot at the heart of the Mueller investigation and the Russia scandal more broadly. The “New York Times” this weekend profiled his long history in leading American law enforcement efforts against Russian organized crime. There is a Russian organized crime element to the Russia scandal. Today House Republicans literally came back early from summer vacation to spend the day trying to destroy Bruce Ohr. And today they are trying the take out one of America’s top experts on organized crime.
And I don’t know exactly what these targeted attacks by the White House and Congressional Republicans will ultimately do to the capabilities of the justice department and the FBI when it comes to fighting things like Russian intelligence operations in the United States and Russian organized crime and Russian money laundering through American real estate. But you can imagine how satisfying a day like today must have been for Semion Mogilevich. You can imagine how delightful that was for the Russian mafia. You can imagine how nice a day it must have been when viewed from the perspective of the Kremlin.
Russian Organized Crime Is In The Shadows Of The Trump Scandal
A group of American criminals who couldn’t get banks in the United States to loan them money, including the current president, somehow were able to get funds from Russia. One of the great underexplored questions that are slowly unfolding through investigations and trials is where the money came from, and what is being publicly exposed is that the cash came from sources with ties to Russian organized crime.
Congressional Republicans have been making trips to Russia, and now they are targeting US Russian organized crime fighters
It could all be a big coincidence that Congressional Republicans have been blazing a trail to Moscow, and now they are targeting US experts and Russian organized crime fighters. It could all be an aligning of the stars, but nothing in American politics happens by coincidence.
What’s going on here is no accident, and Rachel Maddow has only scratched the surface of what is likely yet to come.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association