For those of you following the Trump-Russia collusion story, Hannah Levintova of Mother Jones has prepared a revealing timeline . See “The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal“. The various Trump loyalists continue to insinuate, nothwithstanding Michael Flynn’s request for immunity in exchange for testimony, that there is no “there” there. What seems more plausible is that this torturous timeline – implicating most of Trump’s confidants – is just the tip of an iceberg of treasonous acts.
For more on Flynn, see the article in The Guardian by Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, and Nick Hopkins, “Michael Flynn: new evidence spy chiefs had concerns about Russian ties”. Flynn, like Trump, Manafort, and Page, was deeply entwined with Russian dealings. The Guardian article has him associating with a Russian-British graduate student, Svetlana Lokhova, noting “[a] historian and a leading expert on Soviet espionage, Lokhova has claimed to have unique access to previously classified Soviet-era material in Moscow.”
Finally, there is this article by Paul Wood of the BBC, “Trump Russia dossier key claim ‘verified’” concerning efforts to validate former British agent Christopher Steele’s dossier – which purports to be a roadmap to the Trump-Russia collusion. The article is focused on verification of one of the prime alleged facts, Here’s an excerpt from Wood: “Steele’s “dossier”, as the material came to be known, contains a number of highly contested claims.
At one point he wrote: ‘A leading Russian diplomat, Mikhail KULAGIN, had been withdrawn from Washington at short notice because Moscow feared his heavy involvement in the US presidential election operation… would be exposed in the media there.’
There was no diplomat called Kulagin in the Russian embassy; there was a Kalugin.
One of Trump’s allies, Roger Stone, said to me of Steele, scornfully: ‘If 007 wants to be taken seriously, he ought to learn how to spell.’
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Kalugin was head of the embassy’s economics section.”
Wood’s article focuses on the fact that Kalugin’s status as a Russian spy was now affirmed – giving further credence to other dossier claims. Here’s the dossier claim that caught my attention:
“In early December, the whole thing [Steele’s dossier], 35 pages, was sent to Senator John McCain, who pressed the FBI director to investigate exhaustively.
The following month, the intelligence agencies briefed both then-President Barack Obama and Trump about the dossier – and the entire contents were published by Buzzfeed.
In the report, Steele spoke of an ‘established operational liaison between the TRUMP team and the Kremlin… an intelligence exchange had been running between them for at least 8 years.'”
At this point, Steele’s allegations remain just that – unproven allegations, albeit of a credible source. On the other hand, I find that they resonate.