The Thinker: Rich Galen

  
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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Rich Galen

Thursday December 7, 2017

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  • 12:11 PM. January 20, 2017. Eleven minutes into the Presidency of Donald Trump. Trump was still delivering his Inaugural Address.

  • Michael Flynn - who had probably not yet been sworn in as National Security Advisor - was, according to a letter released by Maryland Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings yesterday, texting former business pals about how their lives were about to change for the better.

  • Richer, anyway.

  • Cummings is the Ranking Member (senior Democrat) on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The Chairman is Rep. Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina.

  • As I understand it, while he was a private citizen, former Lt. General Michael Flynn was involved in a scheme to get the Russians to help fund a series of nuclear power plants in the Middle East.

    SIDEBAR

    I spent a lot of time in the Gulf States and I, like you, thought: Why not just use solar energy for everything you don't already power with oil or natural gas?

    The answer is: It's too dusty. Dust degrades the efficiency of solar panels very quickly and because of the vast deserts in that region, dust is everywhere, all the time.

    END SIDEBAR

  • During Trump's speech, an ebullient Flynn texted at least one of his former associates saying, the Russian sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of the first orders of business in the new Administration. Those sanctions had been put in place by President Barack Obama to punish the Russians for tampering with the U.S. elections.

  • Cummings writes in his letter that the U.S. interest in this project was explained by Flynn's partner thus:
    "The U.S. would provide military support to defend these installations. He also explained that this would provide a pretext for placing U.S. military forces in these countries.

  • After describing the people of the Middle East in "derogatory terms," the business associate, "explained his view that they will be better when we recolonize the Middle East."

  • The Wall Street Journal, picked up that story and followed it up with reporting that Flynn "while working at the White House, advocated for a group of former senior U.S. military officers with whom he had worked while in the private sector."

  • The Journal puts the potential value of the project at "hundreds of billions of dollars."

  • Flynn, on his disclosure forms, indicated he had ceased working on the project in December of 2016 - which meant he was on it while he was traveling with Trump as his campaign national security advisor and for six weeks after he had been named as the official National Security Advisor.

  • Which went into effect eleven minutes before he sent that text.

  • Congressman Cummings said that he has had this material for some length of time, but withheld publishing it at the request of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

  • That means, Mueller knew about this before he went for the plea deal which allowed Flynn to plead guilty to one count of lying to the FBI.

  • I only raise that because plea deals are deals as long as the person who has pleaded guilty lives up to his or her part of the deal.

  • If Mueller knew that Flynn may have been operating on behalf of his former partners in the 24 days that he lasted as National Security Advisor, spilling the beans on who else was involved in that, or knew about it might be of interest.

  • As an example, even if General Flynn was no longer financially involved, might his closest associate - his son Michael Flynn, Jr. still have been in for a taste?

  • This technique for wealth creation by public officials is not unknown in Trump world as we know all too well.

  • Also, this, again, is Russia. Not Italy nor Germany, not the British nor the French.

  • The Russians.

  • Again.

  • Conspiracy Alert: The UK Guardian reported last summer that,
    "The ties between Trump family real estate deals and Russian money interests are attracting growing interest from the justice department's special counsel, Robert Mueller, as he seeks to determine whether the Trump campaign collaborated with Russia to distort the outcome of the 2016 race.

    Mueller has reportedly expanded his inquiry to look at real estate deals involving the Trump Organization, as well as [Trump's son-in-law Jared] Kushner's financing."

  • All that might or might not be true, but we are now pretty certain that Michael Flynn got a jump on all of them just 11 minutes into the Trump Administration.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the Cummings letter, to the WSJ's Flynn piece, and to the U.K. Guardian's prescient look at the Trump family finances.

    The Mullfoto is out the window of the Acela a couple of weeks ago.

-- END --

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