Following the unexpected outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, there was a lot of finger pointing, and much of the blame doled out was heaped on the shoulders of third-party presidential candidates accused of “throwing” the election by “stealing” votes from candidates who had an actual chance of scoring a White House victory. Now, third-party naysayers are celebrating a bit of a victory following reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating Jill Stein and her “Green Party” campaign for potential Russian collusion.
As The Washington Post reported, in addition to shining the light on 2016 third party candidates, the focus on Jill Stein and her campaign is a clear indication that the current Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into potential Russian interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election still going strong, despite widespread rumors that the Russian investigation is nearing an end.
So, why does the Senate have Jill Stein and her failed 2016 campaign in their crosshairs? It turns out that Jill Stein was physically present at the same 2015 Moscow dinner attended by disgraced former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. As The New York Times reported, Michael Flynn was recently indicted for and pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about conversations with the Russian ambassador last December. His indictment and response rendered Flynn the first White House official to cut a cooperation deal in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe into the Trump team’s potential interaction with the Russian government during the 2016 election season.
During the 2015 Moscow dinner, Jill Stein was photographed dining with the disgraced Flynn, the pair sitting at the very same table as Vladimir Putin.
While many congressional Republicans and widespread media reports have claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee is close to wrapping up its probe into potential 2016 Russian interference, Republican Senator Richard Burr said Monday that the panel is “just starting on” investigating two additional campaigns. One of those is the failed campaign of Jill Stein. The other reportedly has to do with widespread reports that the Clinton campaign funded the now-infamous “Trump Dossier,” a document allegedly detailing the POTUS’ alleged 2013 Moscow “sexploits.”
Because the Senate Intelligence Committee has gone on the record to confirm that they are now investigating Jill Stein and her campaign, it is now a virtual certainty that the committee’s investigation will continue well into 2018. This despite Republican calls to wrap things up by the end of this year. According to Dems in the House of Representatives, the Russia probe cannot possibly be “reasonably completed” before 2018.
The House Intelligence Committee, in addition to dealing with the bombshell news that the Jill Stein campaign is now part of the Russia collusion investigation, is scheduled to interview multiple high-profile witnesses this week alone. Among those include deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, Trump aide Rhona Graff (aka the Trump Tower “gatekeeper”), and music producer Rob Goldstone, who allegedly helped facilitate a 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving a Russian lawyer. Some of these interviews are slated to take place in NYC, further bolstering Democratic claims that completing the Russia probe by the end of the year, including the potential involvement of the Jill Stein campaign, is unrealistic.
Responding to reports that the House Intelligence Committee would be shutting down its Russia probe sooner rather than later, North Carolina Republican Senator Burr went on the record to dispute the claims.
“I’ve heard the House guys actually say that’s not true.”
As CNN reported, Burr’s predictions about the Russia probe, now expanded to include the Jill Stein campaign, are a direct contradiction to recent boasts made by POTUS Donald Trump. Reportedly, the president believes that the Robert Mueller (who is scheduled to meet with Donald Trump lawyers later this week) probe is going to “wrap up soon,” and result in his complete exoneration.
Sources close to Trump say that the POTUS has bragged that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing within the next few weeks, and that Mueller will even provide him with a letter documenting that fact.
“The President’s mantra is ‘All this Russia stuff, it’s all going to wrap up soon.’ He repeats it as fact.”
Earlier this year, Green Party candidate Jill Stein claimed that her visit to Moscow, including her dinner with Putin and Michael Flynn, was connected to a so-called “peace offensive in the Middle East.”
“That picture actually didn’t begin to circulate until long after the election. So it’s not like it was a public relations bump. It essentially wasn’t covered here in the US. There was media at that conference, and it was a daylong conference, where my message was very clear…. This was not a message that was particularly friendly to the Russians. It was saying to them that we need to stop the bombing in Syria.”