You didn’t really think this was all just going to innocently disappear, did you?
Honestly, at this point it just feels like Trump is holding up two huge middle fingers at America and saying, ‘I dare you to do something about it.’
Trump has announced his top pick to step into the position of Director of the FBI, which became open after Trump fired James Comey in what is now being investigated as possible obstruction of justice.
His pick’s name is Christopher Wray, and as USA Today puts it, he looks good at first glance, but when you dig a bit deeper you find some troubling information – Way is deeply tied to Russian oil monies.
[Yes, that’s right. Forget about the fact that Trump can’t even seem to make a pick that has a chance of being seen as fair. This president can’t seem to make a pick that isn’t highly-controversial because of blatant, out-in-the-open ties to Russia.]
Indeed, Wray’s resume is loaded. He’s a Yale law graduate, and he’s had a distinguished career with the Justice Department. And while he caused a stir serving as defense attorney for Chris Christie (an important cell phone that disappeared was found in Wray’s possesion), he still looks pretty good on paper.
But (and this is a big, glaring BUT), the law firm he works for, King & Spalding, represents two of the largest Russian oil companies – Rosneft and Gazprom.
USA Today explains the problems associated with each company:
Rosneft: Rosneft was prominently mentioned in the now infamous 35-page dossier prepared by former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele. The dossier claims that 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. 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. However, the deal was nixed by President Obama in 2014, when he imposed the sanctions that crippled Russia’s ability to do business with U.S. companies. The lifting of sanctions by the Trump administration would enable Exxon to renew its joint venture agreement with Rosneft, and the law firm of King & Spalding could end up in the middle of the contract negotiations between those two companies.
Gazprom: The law firm’s representation of Gazprom raises even more serious conflict issues for Wray. Gazprom was 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.
Let’s be clear, America – Whether or not Wray had direct dealings with these companies is besides the point. Trump clearly knew that he worked for a firm that represents his own interests. And he clearly knew they had direct ties to Putin, and this is obviously an attempt to install a Russia-friendly FBI Director. Should he be appointed, he would be required to immediately recuse himself from the Russian investigations because of the known conflicts of interest.
Enough is enough…