As the evening goes on, the revelations keep coming, and this one will ripple out a long way.
An email from Manafort to Kushner, sent just days prior to the November 2016 election, confirms that Manafort was still advising the campaign even though his “Russian-Ukrainian” connections got him fired months earlier. The email also confirms that Manafort “briefed Hannity” on a campaign memo, as a de facto member of the Trump campaign.
So, either the campaign used Hannity as an advisor, or the campaign used Hannity to get messaging out, or both. There is no innocent explanation as to why you would “brief” Hannity on campaign issues. Fox “News” personality Sean Hannity was part of the Trump campaign.
Manafort to Kushner, 11/5/16:
“I am really feeling good about our prospects on Tuesday and focusing on preserving the victory. This memo deals with this concern. I sent this to Reince, and briefed Rick Gates and Hannity.”
On the team. https://t.co/Z9ZEi3DBlg
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) November 2, 2019
The other part of the email correspondence that is interesting is the reference to Manafort;
“We have to avoid this guy (Manafort), they are going to try and say the Russians worked with Wikileaks to give this victory to us. Paul is a nice guy, but we can’t let word get out he is advising us.”
Because otherwise it would be too obvious that the Russians did work with WikiLeaks to give you the victory? “They” are going to say things that are actually “true”?
Last, and damn it has been one long night and rest is desperately needed, there is a damned eerie “certainty” to the tone of that email. Remember, this was a few days prior to an election that practically no one thought they were actually going to win. Yet they are talking about the “victory” almost as if it is in the past tense?
I do not want to think about that point, at least not right now, not tonight. Remember that Mueller made clear that he could not make a “criminal case” for collusion, in part, because of all the lying, the deleted material and use of encrypted communication. The “certainty” we hear ringing through the tone of the email might be based upon communications that never made it to the investigators, as it was destroyed, entirely, right away – like the night of the election.
Maybe not. Maybe I am flat paranoid now.
But I just learned that the campaign manager that even the Trump Campaign had to fire because of his Russian-Ukrainian contacts, wasn’t “actually” fired. And I just learned that Trump’s biggest cheerleader on “Fox News” was part of the campaign itself. Right now, I am not sure I am paranoid enough.
I told you all that even though we might really “know” what has been going on, and who is likely really in charge of this country, none of us will really “absorb” what it means until we see it laid out before us, and it is all confirmed.
We don’t have Russian control confirmed, by any means. But we are seeing a very very dark underbelly here. We know that the RNC knew that the emails would be leaked, we know that Manafort (and all the Russian baggage he brought) never truly “left” the campaign, we know that Hannity has been embedded in the campaign from the beginning, and we know they were focusing on “preserving the victory” days before an election. There is one hell of a lot coming together, quickly, and this is just the very first batch of documents.
We also know that Barr fought like hell to keep these documents from coming out.
Hang on to yourselves. Talk things out below.
I did some quick searches first thing this morning, to see who else noticed and whether the significance had set-in yet. It has not.
That isn’t that surprising, these documents just came out. Many political reporters are assigned to impeachment topics, and this one is hard to find, and maybe hard to appreciate at first.
But it is sitting in front of our eyes above. Tim O’Brien is an executive editor at Bloomberg. The significance will start to slowly soak into the body-politic. I guarantee Hannity knows he’s in trouble right now.
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