OK, so the president* sent six pages of verbal offal to Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday. It was either an early draft of the next speech he plans to give at a rally, or an extended Twitter thread. You read it and you decide. I’m not going to excerpt it because, well, it’s completely insane, and the Republican Party set my recuperation back weeks by giving me a completely gratuitous appearance by Rep. Doug Collins before the House Rules Committee.
And a gathering of Never Trumpers have formed a PAC called The Lincoln Project, and it is dedicated to excising the president* and “Trumpism” from the Republican Party, and from the conservative brand, even if that means voting for the odd Democratic candidate occasionally. However, on Tuesday afternoon, I saw Jennifer Horn, a Lincoln Project spokesperson from New Hampshire, tell Katy Tur that defeating the president* next fall was an existential necessity for the republic, and also that she could never bring herself to vote for, say, Bernie Sanders. Mind the gap there, people.
(Of the Lincoln Project founders, who Announced Their Presence With Authority in Tuesday’s Washington Post, I remain a great fan of John Weaver. But elsewhere, we have George Conway, a veteran anti-Clinton ratfcker, Rick Wilson, friend of Max Cleland, and Steve Schmidt, who at some point decided that Howard Schultz’s political potential was eight ounces short of a Venti. Ah, well, every party gets the No Labels it deserves, I guess.)
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But the most important news came out of a New York City courtroom where Lev Parnas, the Mr. Creosote of administration* scandalia, may have finally downed the wafer-thin after-dinner mint that does in the whole business. From Bloomberg:
Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani indicted on U.S. campaign finance charges, said a $1 million transfer into his wife’s bank account from Russia was the proceeds of a loan -- and not an attempt to conceal his assets. Federal prosecutors pointed to the transfer in a filing last week asking the judge to revoke Parnas’s bail because he misrepresented his financial resources when he was arrested. They said Parnas’ wife, Svetlana, received $1 million from a bank account in Russia in September, the month before Ukraine-born Parnas and business partner Igor Fruman were arrested as they sought to leave the country.
And who might this generous soul be? Glad you asked. From CNBC:
Prosecutors argued that the Ukraine-born Parnas, who is accused of funnelling foreign money to American candidates, misled authorities about his financial assets when he sought release on bail after his arrest in October. They say his omissions and other factors, including Parnas’ failure to disclose payments he was receiving for a law firm, make him a flight risk. At Tuesday’s hearing, prosecutors revealed that Parnas’ previously non-disclosed assets included a $1 million transfer from a lawyer for Ukraine oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who faces criminal charges in the United States, a month before Parnas was arrested.
The reason that brother Firtash is not welcome here is because he is a Ukrainian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin and to the Volga Bagmen, as well as to previously corrupt Ukrainian regimes. He is considered by almost everyone in law enforcement to be connected to Russian organized crime. Firtash was connected to Paul Manafort, who is having a rough week in prison, and he is represented by that famous DC power couple—and mutual Friends of Rudy—Joe DeGenova and Victoria Toensing, who were recommended to Firtash by...Lev Parnas.
This is not a difficult set of allegations to understand. Anyone who ever covered a state legislature or a county commission can understand it. Allegedly, Parnas needed money. Firtash allegedly needed money cleaned. So the money, which is disguised as a “loan,” goes not to Parnas (“That would be wrong.” —R. M. Nixon) but to Parnas’s wife. What the allegation does do is use Parnas to close the circle between Ukrainian corruption and Russian corruption, and between Ukrainian money and Russian ratfcking, with Rudy Giuliani and the president* caught in the middle. There’s one chair left, and the music is slowing down.
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