Trump's Nominee to Lead DOJ's Criminal Division Won't Calm Fears Over Russian Collusion

OH, C’MON!!!

It’s like he wants to look suspicious.

With an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and questionable ties all around him, Trump sure has an interesting pick to lead the Department of Justice’s criminal division.

According to a Washington Post piece this morning, Brian A. Benczkowski, Trump’s nominee has disclosed that he formerly worked for Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest banks, and it just happens to be tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Alfa Bank was at the center of scrutiny last year over potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia after computer experts discovered data suggesting a stream of communications between a server linked to the Trump Organization and a server linked to the bank. Reports about the mysterious data transmissions fueled speculation about a back channel. The F.B.I. investigated the matter, however, and concluded that the servers’ interactions were not surreptitious exchanges between the campaign and Russia, according to current and former law enforcement officials.”

So maybe we can see where that might give the team a bit of comfort.

But that was a year ago, and so much more has emerged in the time frame following.

Benczkowski helped manage Trump’s transition team for the DOJ – also quite comforting.

Today Benczkowski has his confirmation hearing, but it isn’t expected to go smoothly. He’s already sent notice that he won’t be dealing with questions, in regards to his work for the Putin-linked bank.

“(E)thical considerations prohibit me from disclosing confidential legal advice or any other information protected by the attorney-client privilege under any circumstances,” he wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Ok, but how are the members of the committee to handle this hearing? The Russia connection will surely be the shadow hanging over the proceedings.