Forest for the Trees

In testimony last November before the panel, Erik Prince was questioned extensively about the January 2017 Seychelles meeting and whether it was an attempt to set up secret communications between the Trump administration and Russia. As Prince furiously denied that was the case, he also did not reveal that George Nader -- a Lebanese-American businessman and Middle East specialist with ties to the Trump team -- also attended at least one meeting there, raising fresh questions among Democrats about whether Prince misled the panel when testifying under oath.
If the meeting had been about "setting up secret communications between the Russians and the Trump administration," that would mean that there were not any extant communications. The meeting was in January 2017, only days before Trump would become President. Where's the 2016 collusion if he had to set up back-channel comms at as late a date as this? If you prove the thing you're asking about, you've proven that 2016 collusion probably didn't exist.

A possible counter argument: perhaps they'd had such comms before, but they'd become compromised and had to be abandoned. If that were the case, though, the same intelligence community that's been leaking like a sieve here would have leaked this too.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

This is an ongoing strategy, to keep bringing up new possibilities that make Democrats think "this time for sure!" The other part of the strategy is to convince independents that "Hell, there must be something there. This just keeps coming up over and over." There doesn't need to be a provable core, an evidenced core, or even a real core. Just a plausible core.

It's all in Sharyll Atkisson's The Smear, which I highly recommend.

E Hines said...

It's part and parcel with Senator Mark Warner's (D, VA and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Intelligence) remark on "Trump (campaign) collusion" that there's a lot of smoke here while also insisting that there must be more than just smoke, there must be, while carefully eliding the fact that he and his fellow Progressive-Democrats were the ones blowing the smoke.

Eric Hines

E Hines said...

There's an article in yesterday's WSJ (which I didn't get to until this morning) that purports to carry more claims about that meeting, from people familiar with the matter.

I'm not convinced these leaks are coming from the intelligence community; they seem to be coming from Mueller's team.

Eric Hines

RonF said...

At this point the intent seems clear - find something, anything, that you can hang on Pres. Trump or anyone associated with him, regardless of whether it had anything to do with the campaign or not. If you can catch him or his people in a lie about it, all to the better. Even if you don't impeach him, you can impede his ability to do his job, and that's what it's all about. The concept that Mueller's investigation was going to center on collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians was a useful charade that has now been discarded.