Thursday, May 17, 2018

This too is what resistance looks like

Sometimes the proliferating puzzle pieces that are the Trump/Russia/Michael Cohen influence peddling/porn star payoff scandals seem more than any normal person can untangle. It probably isn't necessary to track every detail. Who can? That's what prosecutors and lawyers are for. But a pattern of corrupt dealings continues to leak out.

New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow, who broke the Harvey Weinstein woman-abuse story, got the accounts that knocked off Eric Schneidermann, and improbably also has a new book on U.S. diplomacy, is sure on a roll these days.

Now he's leaped into the all-consuming Trump scandal vortex. We've been hearing for a few days that someone leaked the government banking reports that showed that Michael Cohen had been selling (possibly fraudulently) consulting about Trump to credulous corporations. Farrow put out the story of the information's origins today.

In the era of Trump, apparently what motivates a leaker to release government banking documents can be fear that somehow proper legal bureaucratic process is being undermined. Whoever put out the bank reports was willing to risk going to jail lest truth was being concealed.

...disclosing a SAR is a federal offense, carrying penalties including fines of up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment for up to five years. The official who released the suspicious-activity reports was aware of the risks, but said fears that the missing reports might be suppressed compelled the disclosure.

“We’ve accepted this as normal, and this is not normal,” the official said. “Things that stand out as abnormal, like documents being removed from a system, are of grave concern to me.” Of the potential for legal consequences, the official said, “To say that I am terrified right now would be an understatement.” But, referring to the released report, as well as the potential contents of the missing reports, the official also added, “This is a terrifying time to be an American, to be in this situation, and to watch all of this unfold.”

This person may well be exposed. But the leaker grasps what is at stake.


Rain Trueax said...

We really do have a civil war going on. Not like the one in the 1860s but just as much a difference in ideas, with a total disagreement as to what the country should be doing. I don't know if '18 will be so significant as to show where this is heading but it will be by '20. The resist thing is just what the ones now in power were trying to do when the left took power (and that's not just a party's name but an agenda which some in the republican party also agree with). Interesting times and i wonder if a country so divided can ever effectively govern again. In one of my historicals, the men, some of who had served in the military, discussed how the current Indian war could ever be resolved. One of them said-- only when one side wins. The thing is in a war of ideas how does one side win for long.

janinsanfran said...

Rain -- I share your forebodings.

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