Mitch McConnell may be a profound failure as a human being, but when it comes to politics? He knows how to play. He knows how to use the levers of power available to him to maximum personal advantage. He knows how to kowtow to the money behind him. He knows when to stop serving one bully because another bully now owns the schoolyard. He knows when the cards in his hand suck but also knows that rules are for suckers. Up until now, Mitch has successfully relied upon the Democrats’ refusal to ever play hardball the way Mitch plays hardball. Quick note: the reason Democrats don’t play the way Mitch does is because then Democrats would BE Mitch. But, times being how they are, that has suddenly changed. Yesterday, Mitch said this about the quickening pace of the House Select Committee’s work: “I think the fact finding is interesting. We’re all going to be watching it,” McConnell told Spectrum News. “It was a horrendous event, and I think what they’re seeking to find out is something the public needs to know.”
For context – because context is everything – Mitch never wanted any kind of investigation into January 6 whatsoever. There’s a reason for that. It’s the same reason you don’t pull a thread on an old or badly made sweater. But, Mitch understood that with the Democrats in control of Congress and the Department of Justice, his best political tack was to slow Team Biden down on every possible front. Notice how the Senate has slow-walked most every Biden nominee for anything through? Actually, Team Biden has adeptly moved to fill judicial seats with good legal minds (instead of the American Enterprise Institute’s right wing anti-abortion clones). It was the Department of Justice, ambassadorships and a few other social justice posts where Republicans really focused their obstructionism. Especially the DoJ.
Remember how long it took to get Merrick Garland in the door to begin with? And Merrick Garland was, from a Republican POV, the “safest” bet out there. Imagine if President Biden had chosen Sally Yates instead (with her inside view of early Trumpian corruption at the DoJ). Mitch controls the flow of confirmation hearings. He’s always got that filibuster in his pocket, doesn’t he? Actual justice flowing from the Department of Justice is the LAST thing on earth any Republican wants.
But, consummate politician Mitch can read the wind like an assets statement. And Mitch knows that if the whole truth about what just happened to America gets out? Almost (but not quite) everyone with an “R” next to their name is going to get prosecuted for treason. That’s not hyperbole. The Republican leadership knew even before they nominated Donald Trump to be their presidential candidate in 2016 that he was compromised by Russia. They said so out loud during a meeting on June 25, 2016. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy entered the meeting and said “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” Nobody “made him” say that. And when he did? No one in the room reacted with shock or horror. A few laughed uncomfortably.
As in laughed uncomfortably because something that was supposed to remain unspoken just got spoken.
How do we know that was the case? First, because no one resisted the idea. No one said “Whaaaaaat? Kevin – dude – are you sure about that?” No one demanded that Kevin put down a receipt to back up such a bold accusation. Let’s not under-sell the accusation – or the room it was made in – or the room’s reaction to the accusation. A lot happened there that we still haven’t gone back to and examined. But we must because it explains the very thing I’m talking about here.
If Putin “pays Trump”, he OWNS Trump. He’s compromised Trump. And that means he’s compromised America’s national security should Trump win the presidency. Everyone in that room understood those implications about their presidential nominee and yet, instead of balking in any way, instead of doing something patriotic like call the FBI, they went along with then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s calming insistence that they go back to not speaking about the subject. That they keep this secret of theirs a secret. “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.” Did you catch that? Not just the “family” part, the “no leaks” part.
The GOP knew even as they engaged with Trump that they were engaging in something so illegal that it HAD to be kept secret. And – most importantly – part of that secret involved America’s national security being compromised because of Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin. Put that statement in context with this photograph –
“Putin pays Trump”. Putin OWNS Trump. And if Putin owns Trump, he owns everyone around Trump who KNOWS that “Putin pays Trump” or even suspects it. It all starts with treason and the simple, inescapable fact that no one in the Republican Party did anything whatsoever to stand in treason’s way.
That – right there – that’s the GOP’s problem. It’s Mitch’s problem. What saved Mitch’s ass up till now of course was the ability to obstruct justice from within (and from within the Department of Justice). While everyone thought Rod Rosenstein was a good soldier minding the fort, he was a Trojan horse who quietly ended the counter intelligence investigations into Trump’s relationship with the man who was paying him. We have to wonder now – who in the DoJ, in the FBI, in our government period knew about Trump’s relationship with Putin? Who knew and did nothing to stop it or give the rest of us a “head’s up!”?
Mitch may not have gone willingly into treason, but once he was there, he was THERE. Keep in mind the fact that as of June 25, 2016, the Republican leadership KNEW that “Putin pays Trump”. How then to explain Mitch’s behavior at that “Gang of Eight” meeting at the White House in September 2016 where President Obama presented the intelligence community’s fears that Russia was working to sway the presidential election to Trump – the guy THEY WERE PAYING. At the meeting, rather than sign a letter of condemnation toward Russia’s actions, McConnell threatened to announce that Obama had “politicized the intelligence”.
“Politicized the intelligence” about the guy RUSSIA WAS PAYING – and that Mitch KNEW they were paying.
See Mitch’s problem getting bigger? But then, Mitch made it worse. Mitch did not want to condemn Russia’s involvement because Mitch knew there’d been so much of it. Are we to believe that Mitch McConnell knew nothing (either before, during or afterward) about Paul Manafort handing Oleg Deripaska proprietary polling data for Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan? Take PA, WI & MI out of Trump’s Electoral College totals and he loses. A lot of that polling data was weaponized by Russian military intelligence (Deripaska) and laser focused at Black Democratic voters via their Facebook pages where targeted ads reminded them daily that Hillary Clinton was a racist on the downlow. At some point in that timeline (before, during, afterwards), Mitch had to know about it yet Mitch, to this day, hasn’t called the FBI. Instead, Mitch refused to let America in on the secret and then – even when Obama punished Deripaska on his way out the door – Mitch rescinded the punishment.
Braidy Industries made a deal with Russian company Rusal to put an aluminum factory in western Kentucky. Can you smell the stink already? How much money got tossed around for real? $200 million? $400 million? How many poor Kentuckians would now have jobs thanks to Rusal and its money? Doesn’t matter. One of Rusal’s owners is Oleg Deripaska. Mitch got the sanctions on Deripaska lifted while knowing Deripaska helped make Donald Trump president.
That, by the way, is illegal.
Did Mitch have anything to do with the insurrection? I’m sure not! Mitch prefers to work quietly, like poison. He’s not the beat you over the head kinda guy (because, well – look at him!). But that’s not to say Mitch won’t take full advantage of the fellow traveler beside him who IS beating someone over the head. Quick thought experiment: IF the insurrection had succeeded – and IF somehow the election’s outcome HAD been thrown to the House, would Mitch McConnell have raced to the majority’s defense or would he have stood by and watched as democracy got beaten over the head and killed deader than dead?
Mitch knew even as they were rushing him out of harm’s way that the insurrection was both a problem and a possible solution. The problem was that it would make it a thousand times easier to expose the deepest part of the corruption, the treason part. The possible solution was that the insurrection was a separate crime unto itself, carried out by separate criminals (Trump-crazed citizen-zombies). Sure, sure – a few Congressional Republicans had a direct hand in planning the insurrection but they were Representatives. Crazies who threaten Mitch’s calm, cool corruption. Jim Jordan? What’s that sexual assault enabling ass to Mitch? Boebert? She’s amusing but entirely expendable.
Mitch’s bottom line: no one in his Senate caucus is threatened by an investigation into January 6… he hopes.
Did any of them see Mark Meadows’ power point presentation and then fail to call the FBI? That may seem like a small worry today, but Mitch still needs to make it part of his larger calculus. Mitch wants to escape a treason charge. Personally. If he says out loud that the investigation is “interesting” and “We’re all going to be watching it” and “what they’re seeking to find out is something the public needs to know”, then Mitch, for the moment, has no fear for himself. Whatever deep dark secrets the Commission learns, makes public and refers for criminal prosecution? Mitch can live with them.
He hopes like hell that the insurrection will be a fire wall against treason.
I wish I felt a hundred percent that Mitch’s fire wall will fail. The white power structure is still very much in place. Its whole way of thinking still dominates and one of its autonomics is self preservation. I would not be shocked if indeed the Department of Justice prosecuted the insurrection both inside and outside Congress but stopped at any inference that Russia, somehow, was involved too.
Take this to the bank: Russia had a hand in the insurrection. How could they not have? Consider it from their point of view. For five years you have worked to put an asset into the White House and then keep that asset there – betraying America out in the open to your absolute and total benefit. It’s to your advantage to squeeze every last bit of value out of your asset until the bitter end if there ever is one. You have compromised nearly everyone with an “R” next to their name. And then the idea for an armed insurrection pops up. If you’re Russia, do you back away and say “Guys, no – don’t go there!” or do you lean in even further and put your money where you think it will do the most “good”?
Russia had a hand in the insurrection. If they didn’t, they’re idiots. They ain’t idiots.
But they are Mitch McConnell’s nightmare – should HIS relationship with Mother Russia become common knowledge.