Saturday, September 01, 2018

Punch When Threatened

Even before Thug 45 was inaugurated, Politico's Josh Dawsey in an article entitled "Why Trump can't stop counter-punching" claimed "Trump romped through the presidential campaign as a counter-puncher and quoted former Bush 43 press secretary Ari Fleischer saying "sometimes he counter-punches too hard, and he hits himself."

Trump is approvingly referred to as a "counter-puncher" even in presence of evidence indicating the contrary. This past March, ABC News' Rick Klein wrote "when others get their own platform to respond- whether that's Stormy Daniels or David Shulkin- the counter-puncher may find himself pulling a punch or two."

But it now has become evident that he's not a counter-puncher.  On August 21, Vox explained

Before Trump started tweeting, Ohr, a former associate deputy attorney general (until December 2017), was largely anonymous to the general public. But within some conservative circles, his purported involvement in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and possible Russian interference in the 2016 election has been the stuff of a great deal of theorizing over the past few months....

Now Ohr might lose his security clearance. He is facing a congressional hearing into what he knew about Christopher Steele and the dossier Steele helped to create. And Trump is repeatedly focusing attention on an employee within his own administration.

Ohr never tweeted about Donald Trump, never complained about the President, and had always maintained a low profile.  Consequently

Those who know Mr. Ohr seem perplexed that the president has singled him out. Co-workers and former associates describe him as a scrupulous government official who cares deeply about the Justice Department.

“He’s a small player in a bigger, broader stage here,” Mr. Swecker said. “I feel bad for him. I think he is well intentioned. I view him as someone who would never do anything malicious.”

Oona Hathaway, Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School and Director of the Center for Global Legal Challenges at Yale Law School, acknowledges "Ohr has received so much unfortunate attention" in part because he is married to a Russian linguist who worked on opposition research on Trump for Fusion GPS. Moreover, when he was given "unverified, unflattering, and damaging information about" Trump, he relayed it to the FBI, which only in this Administration is considered a hanging offense.

However, in addition

For years, Ohr has made major contributions to U.S. government efforts to fight Russian organized crime. In 2006, he was one of several government officials who played a role in revoking the visa of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire and aluminum magnate, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin, and who has been tied to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.  Craig Unger, who has published a book on Trump’s ties to Russian organized crime, also recently claimed in a tweet on August 28 that Trump is punishing Ohr because he investigated Semion Mogilevich and “wld know abt RU Mafia laundering $$ thru Trump condos, RU Mafia ties w Kremlin, & Mafia operations run from Trump Tower.”

The President had no reason to counter-punch against someone who had not punched him. Rather, asHathaway recognizes, "anyone else who might hold information unflattering or inconvenient to the President" has been warned to "stay silent, keep it to yourself, don't do anything that might make the President look bad."

Ohr is quite familiar with Russian organized crime, which according to Craig Unger reports to the KGB.. Donald Trump comfortably played ball with La Cosa Nostra in the USA and with organized crime in Russia, which may have him "over a barrel."  While not a counter-puncher, Donald J. Trump is a puncher, and will do whatever possible to delegitimize Bruce Ohr.

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