Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


The Stench from the Swamp is Getting Worse

By Rob Tenery, MD on July 31, 2017

Carl Bernstein, one of the reporters who was central to exposing the Watergate cover-up, said the United States is in “the midst of a cold civil war ”. On one side are Donald Trump and his supporters. On the other are the Democratic leadership, a majority of the print and television media and even influential leaders in the Republican Party. Bernstein continued, “the configuration of media with Fox News and with CNN being perceived by different sets of viewers as representing different truths.” He feels cable news in general has become a "hothouse of political debate in which fact-base debate is becoming impossible." According to Bernstein, this country has become a caldron of fake news and differing truths.

There now seems to be little doubt that there is a double standard in Washington. No better example exists that the standards set for conduct of President Obama and Hillary Clinton versus the standards for Donald Trump, his family and members of his administrative staff.

For the sake of this argument, lets put aside the charges by then director of the FBI, James Comey, that Hillary Clinton had violated at least four federal statutes with respect to her classified email and non-secured server and the $400 million that President Obama secretly shipped to Iran without Congressional approval. If either had been committed by anyone other than these individuals, they would most likely be subject to criminal prosecution.

 Instead let’s talk only about the Russian connections on both sides and the reactions by the opposition.

 The New York Times article dated April 23, 2015 by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire, Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal, details how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, acquired one-fifth of all the uranium production capacity in the United States. Leaders of the Canadian mining company, Uranium One, owned these rights, and eventually sold the company off to the Russians. Reportedly the Russians assumed control of Uranium One with three separate transactions that took place from 2009 to 2013. Several United States government agencies had to approve the transactions, including the State Department that was headed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Canadian records list four donations totaling $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation made by the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman. The Clintons, despite an agreement with the Obama White House to make all donations public, did not publically disclose these contributions. These were not the only donations by people with ties to Uranium One that were made to the Clinton’s Foundation. Soon after the Russians announced that they were obtaining a majority stake in Uranium One, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 to speak in Moscow by a Russian investment bank with Kremlin ties that was pushing for the purchase of the Uranium One stock.

 Kenneth Vogel and David Stern reported in Politico on January 11, 2017 in the article, Ukrainian Efforts to Sabotage Trump Backfire that a Ukrainian-American operative with ties to officials from the Ukrainian government, who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee, met with officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington trying to expose ties between Trump, top aide Paul Manafort and Russia. The Ukrainian officials were also involved in creating documents that implicated Manafort in possible corruption that was instrumental in his resignation, while advancing a narrative that people in the Trump campaign were deeply connected to the Russians.

Then there was the anti-Trump dossier, compiled by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele and his British company, Orbis. Although the information in the report turned out to be false, former FBI director Comey felt that it was important enough to be included in January’s final intelligence community report on Russian meddling the U.S. presidential election. The false report was also used as evidence for the FBI to obtain a FISA warrant for Carter Page, who was a participant in the Trump campaign.

Turning to the story that has paralyzed the nation’s capital for almost two weeks is the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskay. Sources involved claimed Trump Jr. was hoping to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton.  The Democrats have been trying to make the argument that this meeting is part of a bigger picture of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians to illegally sway the results of the upcoming presidential election. No evidence has been discovered at this point to backup any of these allegations.

The Democrats, with almost full support of the media, have been able to once again turn the table against Trump and delay implementation of the agenda that won him the election. Double standards abound that would have, at the least, forced the individuals to resign from their elected or appointed offices, go almost unnoticed.  Fake news is essentially bringing Washington to a halt. Many Congressional votes are cast not based on belief, but Party loyalty or to perpetuate one’s tenure in office. All are more proof that the foul stench coming from the swamp is even more polluted than first thought!





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