As we learned in Watergate, if you want to get to the bottom of a conspiracy involving politics, the way you find who was involved and how high the treachery goes is to follow the money. That’s exactly the advice that Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were given by their source who went by the name of Deep Throat, and the money trail is what eventually led to Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974.
Now, 44 years later, we’re looking for the definitive link between Donald Trump and Russia, and it appears we’ve found it, as BuzzFeed reports:
“In their investigations into 2016 election interference, special counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI are scrutinizing the financial activity by the Russian embassy, according to three federal law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the matter.”
More specifically, there were some suspicious financial transactions that took place right before and right after the 2016 election:
- A $29,000 wire transfer to the Russian embassy’s US bank account to “finance election campaign of 2016.”
- $325,000 in payments to the Russian Cultural Centre in Washington.
- $2.4 million paid to small home-improvement companies controlled by a Russian immigrant living in Virginia.
Of particular interest to Mueller’s investigators and the FBI is former Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, who has long been suspected as the go-between the Kremlin used to arrange the larger election conspiracy planned by Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-GOP nominee Donald Trump:
“After failing to disclose during his confirmation hearings a meeting with Kislyak, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, discussed with Kislyak setting up a line of communication at the Russian Embassy. And Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about multiple calls to Kislyak during the transition.”
What remains unclear is exactly how much money was given directly to Trump or the Trump Organization, but since the chief financial officer of Trump’s business interests, Allen Weisselberg, is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigators, it’s only a matter of time before that information is also in the special counsel’s hands.
Following the money led to Richard Nixon’s ignominious exit from the Oval Office, and the same pattern will also bring about the downfall of Donald Trump. The clock is ticking.