And the next one with Russian links

Wray, confirmed as the new FBI director, has plenty Russian links. Not uncommon with the current US president’s picks. In fact, being heavily into Russia seems to be necessary to be picked for a job by Trump.

As USA Today already published on June 8th, Christopher Wray is yet another Trump-pick who looks “impeccable” on paper – and is not.

Familiar with that man whose snout came close to a baseball fan, recently?
Familiar with that man who needed a whole beach for himself and his family, recently? Familiar with that man who was the main character in “Bridgegate”?

Well: “As the criminal defense lawyer for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during the ‘Bridgegate’ investigation, he did raise some eyebrows when it was learned that one of Christie’s “missing” cellphones mysteriously ended up in Wray’s possession, but this is unlikely to derail Wray’s confirmation.” That’s starters, mind.

According to USA Today “… most troubling issue … his law firm — King & Spalding — represents Rosneft and Gazprom, two of Russia’s largest state-controlled oil companies. … the CEO of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, offered candidate Donald Trump, through Trump’s campaign advisor Carter Page, a 19% stake in the company in exchange for lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia. The dossier claims that the offer was made in July while Page was in Moscow.

USA Today continues with “… Rosneft is also the company that had a $500 billion oil drilling joint-venture with Exxon in 2012, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was Exxon’s CEO. … .

Then mentioning: “… Gazprom … a partner in RosUkrEnergo AG (“RUE”), which is controlled by Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash. He is under federal indictment in Chicago for racketeering charges, has had numerous financial dealings with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and is generally considered to be a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle …

Well, it remains to be seen if Firtash will face anything at all – “stuck in Vienna”. There is the precedent of one Russian lawyer familiar with Trump Tower, Trump Junior, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and who represented a Russian oligarch in a case brought by Preet Bharara – which ended in a soupy settlement, once Bharara was fired by Trump.

As for Tillerson: Putin awarded him a medal and has not yet asked it back.

Will the new FBI director recuse himself? Seems the president does not like folks he picks to recuse themselves – especially where Russia is concerned. Even if they are legally obliged to recuse themselves, like one Jeff Sessions.

Wray may have stated he will operate honestly, transparent, whatever? USA Today already had reservations about him in early June. Of course, this Senate had not. Do these folks ever learn anything?

USA Today goes into a possible recuse: “… recuse himself with regard to some or all of the Russia-related aspects of the critical investigation being conducted by the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller, the potential damage to the investigation could be significant. If Wray refused to recuse himself from the Russia-Trump investigation — or at least acknowledge the potential conflict issue, a serious cloud could be cast over the FBI’s level of commitment to the investigation.

Meanwhile another GOP’per started calling for Mueller to resign. Seems Republicans agree with Trump that the Russia probe needs to be derailed, hampered, tampered with, stopped. With Wray confirmed, they may have driven in another nail in the coffin being prepared for the Russia probe.

USA Today 8th of June: Wray
Washington Post: another GOP calls for Mueller to resign


About Kate

Multilingual arts & culture journalist, blogger, columnist, writer and translator. Contributor to international (news) media. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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