Translation: Corruption run amok

By Andrew J. Pridgen

Here we are on the precipice of the biggest scandal in Washington DC, um, ever and representative Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse ← yes that’s his real twitter handle, not some 24-year-old who’s a PA on Pardon the Interruption. What, was ‘jasonindahouse’ taken bro?) who is Utah’s 3rd congressional district representative and the chairman of the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform…is doing fucking nothing.

Yesterday, national security advisor Michael Flynn resigned his post after just 24 days because he likely (he did, we just have to say likely for now) offered illegal secret assurances to Russia’s ambassador Sergey Kislyak, not a friend of the United States but apparently a close ally with the one who currently occupies the Oval Office, and then lied about those conversations to his colleagues in the White House, particularly Vice President Mike Pence.

Or maybe he didn’t lie and Pence is covering up.

Right now this means it becomes close to a political impossibility (though that never stopped him) for Trump to ease up sanctions on Moscow and John McCain can push to make these sanctions into law which will further limit Trump’s effort to become Vlad Putin’s administrative assistant West.

So that’s the good news. But that’s about where the good news ends with this crew.

Before we get to national/international implications, Here’s what fellow conservative Utahn, Evan McMullin, a Mormon and ex-CIA operative had to say about Chaffetz’s and his committee’s inactivity thus far on the matter:

…McMullin is 100 percent right. Where is the outrage? Where are the investigations? As a reminder, these are the same investigation-happy Republicans (website still up!) who held three interminable public hearings related to the terrorist attack in Benghazi along with the seven investigations, thousands of hours and millions of taxpayer dollars they spent on a fact-free witch hunt attempting to “raise new questions about the lack of security in Benghazi, an inadequate military response, and why Administration officials continued to publicly press a narrative of a public protest when eye witnesses knew no such event occurred.”

In other words, where’s the full-court press now…for, you know, a real scandal involving an enemy not imagined with evidence already codified that they did tamper our elections and did compromise our national security advisor, vice president and very, very, very, very likely our new president?

…Waiting.

Put it another way, what would @jasoninthehouse (← seriously bro, do something about this…also take that cover image of the Lincoln Memorial down, unless you Photoshop in a jail tear tattoo on his face) be doing this morning if this was Hillary Clinton’s national security advisor that was compromised to Russia besides sipping decaf on Fox & Fronds and toasting to Clinton’s impending impeachment.

…Again, waiting.

The bigger implications have to do with the extent of Trump’s involvement. Flynn is surely the patsy here. We know from actions thus far in the chaos-fueled Trump Oval Office, none of his sycophants apparently do much without first drawing a diagram for him in crayon and getting his authorization or weird Ted Bundyesque signature on it. So what was Flynn told to tell the Russians by Trump prior to the inauguration to tamp down the business connections and the pee tapes?

That’s question one. The rest of the cards fall from there. Trump did not fire Flynn, so was he prepared to let this keep going? And to what end? And why?

Acting attorney general Sally Yates (remember her? She got fired for not holding up an illegal, unconstitutional …not to mention immoral Muslim travel ban a few weeks back — so the reality-TV-show-firer-in-chief does actually fire) along with Obama director of national intelligence James Clapper and Obama CIA director John Brennan warned the incoming Trump team that Flynn was susceptible to blackmail from Russia. Usually that kind of red flag/solid from the outgoing team is not taken lightly — you know, peaceful transfer of power and all that. It’s like the bad kid in the classroom passing you a note that says the teacher knows you’re the one who stuck gum to her chair, but if you fake a stomach cramp and go see the nurse, he’ll take the heat.

In other words, you take the out.

But they didn’t. In fact, they doubled down. Both press secretary Sean Spicer and Mike Pence fed untruths to Americans about Flynn and his ties. Knowingly deceived. All. The. Time. (Notice a pattern?)

This is where we get into extra murky territory even for this crew. So far it has been Spicer’s job to lie…well, that and to be cannon fodder for Melissa McCarthy. But Pence, who has thus far not gotten much of Trump’s sludge on him, either was completely oblivious or he lied with intent as well.

In other words, normal administrations at this point roll out grandiose apologies and start with disclosure and welcome the investigations…or step down, like Nixon did. But the playbook here is deny and distract.

For his part, Trump, um, decides to call more attention to an equally offensive/illegal/impeachable nugget…the fact that some Floridian who pays $14k/year to eat dry chicken and chunk up big pieces of grass on Palm Beach marshland with a three-iron got to pose on Facebook with the nuclear football as Trump and his team huddled with their cell phone lights on discussing a burgeoning international crisis with North Korea over the salad course, and is telling us what the “real story here” is:

No orange Tootsie Pop, the real story here is all Americans looking at their news alerts, sighing at once and whispering “Fuck me” to themselves as they head into morning meetings.

Right now, the last hope for anyone in the GOP to actually, you know, do their job rests on the Senate Intelligence Committee. U.S. intelligence reports during the 2016 campaign and after the election revealed that ambassador Kislyak and Flynn were in steady touch. How much did Flynn reveal to his boss/act on Russia’s behalf and how compromised (not whether he is…he is) is Trump remains the question. The committee chairman Richard Burr (R- N.C.) is in charge of figuring this out as well as suss out Russian efforts to interfere with the election including Putin’s successful endeavor to tilt the vote in Trump’s favor.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), said “we’re going to go wherever the truth leads us.”

I would believe that if I didn’t already know that this group’s truth…only leads to more lies.

Day 25.

Andrew J. Pridgen is the author of the novellaBurgundy Upholstery Sky”. His first full-length novel will be released in late-2017.

 

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