Anybody here remember the Emoluments Clause? It used to be all we talked about. When The Orange Julius won, he arrogantly refused every call to divest himself of his business interests, flatly stating that “The President can’t have a conflict of interest”. We looked at the Emoluments clause of the Constitution so closely we did everything but carbon date it and take a DNA sample.
Look, Trump’s whole premise is bullshit. His excuse line is that “The President can’t have a conflict of interest”. Personally, I couldn’t give a fig less as to whether or not the President can have a conflict of interest or not, it doesn’t matter in this case. Because what the President can do is to be in violation of the Constitution of the United States. Screw a “conflict of interest”, under the Emoluments clause a President cannot get financial considerations or gifts from a foreign entity, doesn’t matter if it’s a conflict of interest or not. Trump owns a hotel, foreign diplomats give him money to stay and/or party there, it goes into his pockets, he is accepting payment from a foreign government. Period.
Then we forgot all about the emoluments clause. The Russia connection to the Trump campaign was much sexier. Spies, and like James Bond and shit. Clandestine meetings, recalled or suddenly dead Russian diplomats, mysterious Twitter contacts with hackers. Now, something like this could bring down a Presidency! But only if you can get it in the hands of a special prosecutor or an independent commission, and good luck with both of those right now.
But one thing for sure either way, enough pieces are becoming uncovered to at least start to put some of them together. Not a whole puzzle, but images are starting to come into view. For right now, go back to looking at emoluments again. Because if what Rachel reported on last night turns out to be true, emoluments could take Trump down before Russia does.
Right now Rachel Maddow and her research staff are by far and away doing the best research and construction job in all of television. To recap last nights segment, Deutsche Bank has been a bad little monkey. It got caught flat out laundering over $10B in oligarch money for Russia. Oligarchs bought stock with filthy rubles in Russia, and transferred them to Deutsche Bank, which then sold them from their investment section for dollars, washing the money for the oligarchs for a fee. They got caught, and the fines have been some of the heaviest in history. And here’s where the emoluments clause becomes important again.
One of the things that has puzzled everybody is the way that the Preet Bharara firing went down, why so quick, and why did he refuse to resign? Here’s one possible reason. Guess who was overseeing the US Attorneys office investigation into Deutsche Banks little ruble laundromat operation inside of the United States? Maybe Preet Bharara? If other locales are starting to settle, one could guess that the US investigation might be wrapping up. This is something that Trump would have likely been unaware of back in November when he asked Bharara to stay on. Why does this change things?
Pop quiz! Which bank has lent Mein Furor the most money? None other than the wags over at Deutche Bank. And considering some of the other fines the bank has been assessed with, with Bharara in charge, the New York fine could easily be near the top of the charts. Think the Tiny Thumbs Diktator could score some brownie points if this problem were to go away for Deutsche Bank?
Now, the third leg of the coffee table. Why didn’t Bharara just resign when asked? He had to know that Sessions would only fire him if he refused to step down. What was Preet’s endgame, what did he gain? About 24 hours. Just enough time to empanel a grand jury in New York, introduce the first witness? If he did, this would make it almost impossible for Sessions to shut the investigation down, it was now in a grand jury hearing. If the grand jury indicts, how does Sessions not prosecute the case, especially when Deutsche Bank has been settling all over the place rather than go to trial?
I could have sworn that I heard Rachel say last night that a grand jury actually had been empaneled on Saturday, but was unable to find a report on it. Trump is stumbling around here like a street grifter trying his hand at a long con, not a good idea. If you have about 20 minutes, watch the segment below, it’s very informative, and well worth the time.