In the latest development in the Russian “ruse,” as President Donald Trump called it, Special Counsel Robert Mueller reportedly asked the German financial institution Deutsche Bank to turn over any information related to transactions conducted by former White House national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.
The Wall Street Journal reported Mueller and his team asked the German bank for any Flynn transaction records that may establish undisclosed ties to Turkey or Russia. The move is significant given Trump’s reported holdings with Deutsche Bank, which the president has said would be a red line if the special counsel tries to obtain his or his family’s financial records.
But it appears as though Mueller is less concerned about crossing Trump’s red line and more determined to get to the bottom of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Some have speculated that the reason Trump has never released his tax returns is that those financial documents could reveal a clear tie to Russia or some of the country’s oligarchs.
Trump, of course, has repeatedly denied that he or anyone on his campaign had any connections to Russia. We now know, however, from Flynn’s guilty plea, that the president’s statement was false. So, if the president has already told untruths (lies?) regarding his campaign’s contacts with Russians, are we still to believe that Russia is a “ruse”? I think not.
Perhaps Mueller’s motivation in obtaining Flynn’s Deutsche Bank transactions is to obtain more leverage over the former White House national security adviser in hopes of getting more information that could implicate more members of the Trump campaign or Trump White House.
Meanwhile, Trump is so unconcerned about Flynn cooperating with the special counsel that he isn’t ruling out pardoning Flynn. When asked about the possibility, Trump said “we’ll see what happens.”
Not exactly a clear indication that the president has nothing to hide in this so-called “ruse.”
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