Maria Butina, rat. She is Russian, she was caught as a foreign agent who never registered. She pled guilty to spying for Russia and conspiracy to hijack the NRA, and presumably is spilling the beans in order to reduce the consequences of her nefarious activities helping funnel NRA $millions plus loud endorsement to Trump.
Michael Cohen was a rat whose cooperation might have at least reduced his penalties, which included a $million or so in fines plus three years in prison. He was Donald J. Trump’s lawyer and fixer for years, and confessed to many criminal activities, all done in the service of, and at the direction of, Trump.
Even the National Enquirer–paid by Trump to kill a story about his “alleged” extramarital affair with Playboy playmate Karen McDougal–has turned state’s evidence, via its parent corporation, in order to gain immunity from prosecution for violations of federal election laws. A century ago saw the term yellow journalism, for the fake news promulgated by Hearst and others in screaming false headlines, so we might call Fox News the new millennium yellow journalism premier example, but now we conflate that with gaining immunity in exchange for incriminating revelations to prosecutors and the National Enquirer–a most obvious example of yellow journalism with its headlines about aliens infesting our planet–and they have now created a new category, Yellow Rat Journalism. Congrats!
Mike Flynn, Big Rat. He is no doubt going to see a reduction in his exposure to effectively nothing, even though he was clearly acting repeatedly in a blatantly treasonous betrayal of American democracy as a Russian agent. He lied to the FBI, to the public, to Pence, to Congress, and probably his wife and his priest. After 33 years in the military or other US government employ, he seems to have gotten in touch with his Inner Profit-Taking Traitor. But he subsequently met and presumably divulged a great deal to the Mueller Special Counsel team–AKA The Rat Trap–in 19 sessions, more than 60 hours of spilling the sacks of beans he had been hoarding. And while we’re on the number 33, that is how many rats the Mueller team has flipped, plus three corporations involved in violations of election, bribery, and illegal hush money activities. Infestation Alert!
Let’s be clear about these rats. None were struck with an attack of conscience that caused them to come forward. Each one, every one, was caught. All of them decided to cooperate only after the government prosecutors had the goods on them. These are not praiseworthy people. I mean, Flynn was the one initiating and leading chants of “LOCK HER UP, LOCK HER UP” at Trump campaign rallies. Uh-huh, a real hero. Lock. Him. Up.
Even Mueller–the most taciturn DC prosecutor imaginable–had to break radio silence on this matter after Flynn’s attorneys filed a brief attempting to exculpate Flynn because the FBI agents didn’t explicitly warn him it was a crime to lie to the FBI. Apparently, Flynn and his lawyers believed it was Just Fine to lie to the FBI otherwise.
And while one story seems to be about sex and another seems to be about working with Russians to steal the 2016 election for Trump, they are in the end the same. It all comes down to election theft and crushing democracy. The National Enquirer and Cohen were busy trying to cover up Trump’s cheating on his wife with porn stars so that presumably the oh-so-moral white evangelicals would not fail to vote Trump–that is, to cover it up with huge payments right before the 2016 election. Meanwhile, Flynn is meeting with Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time of the transition, assuring him that Trump would end those pesky sanctions on Russia that Obama placed when Putin invaded and stole Crimea. That was the Russian bet: elect Trump and sanctions go away, as well as NATO weakens. Flynn, as Trump’s boy in the campaign and then as head of the National Security Agency, did all that, acting as an agent of a hostile foreign dictator, even as another of their Russian agents, Butina, was being directly handled by Vladimir Putin’s buddy, oligarch banker Alexander Torshin. Trump loves to accuse others of conspiracy; this is classic projection.
Ah, the rat system. It is how the po-po and the prosecutors get damning information on defendants, those threatened with prosecution, and all their criminal associates. Flipping rats.
George Papadopoulos was one of those small-time rats who performed so poorly that the FBI simply recommended that he get no break at all. Lousy rat. He was the drunk who first bragged at some bar in Australia that the Trump campaign was getting massive tech help from the Russians, who illegally hacked and stole Hillary’s emails, shunted them to Julian Assange and his Wikileaks, who then acted on his obsessive hatred of Hillary and released them to the world. Thanks, Julian! You gave us Trump, you ratty twerp. Showing great faith in his version of American kleptocracy, Papadopoulos announced he will be running for Congress in 2020. Go, Republican Rats!
Trump is just surrounded by rats, isn’t he? The Big Stinky Cheese in the White House, with the rats all gnawing at his fetid manner of power-wielding.
We are now to the point where no half-decent project manager wants what used to be one of the most coveted plum positions in DC, the Chief of Staff of any administration. Now it’s about as desirable as Vice-President of Afghanistan living a block from Taliban HQ. The rats jump ship and who wants to get on? It’s no longer safe for the sellouts, the criminals, and the looters, so who is left? Family?
I wonder if we’ll get to the “Sorry and so long, Dad” point? I mean, Donald Jr. and Ivanka have no presidential immunity and they are check-signers in the Trump organization, which is tantamount now to a RICO violation, as we see the money trail to campaign finance laws exposed for all to see. Organized crime is becoming less organized as key criminals bail, one-by-one, leaving the Trump mob more tattered by the day. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is becoming known as Felony Flats, a home to future cell blockers whose best chance at staying out from behind bars is to open up about the Capo. Don Trumpleone…Lock. Him. Up. What a rat.