By Robert A. Vella
As the news broke today that President Trump again considered firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions as early as this
week month against the advice of counsel which warned him that such a move would constitute an obstruction of justice in the Mueller investigation, two other stories came out which deepens the intrigue surrounding his increasingly embattled presidency.
The first story involves a strong supporter of the President, Congressman Devin Nunes who is chairman of the powerful U.S. House Intelligence Committee, who traveled recently to London in an unsuccessful attempt to meet with British intelligence officials presumably in regards to the Christopher Steele dossier which alleged a conspiracy between then-candidate Donald Trump and the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election. From Reuters:
Nunes and staffers working for him have used Congressional powers to investigate persons and organizations Trump and his supporters view as enemies.
At one point last year, two Nunes aides unsuccessfully traveled to London to question former British spy Christopher Steele who compiled a controversial “dossier” on Trump.
Nunes’ House committee has sought testimony and business records from Fusion GPS, a Washington D.C. private investigations firm which was hired first by Republicans and then by Democratic Party lawyers to gather derogatory information on 2016 Republican presidential candidates.
As it became clear Trump was the Republicans’ likely presidential nominee, Fusion GPS in turn hired Steele, a former senior officer of Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence agency, to look into Trump’s connections to Russia.
The second story is even more clandestine. Just a few hours after it was reported that Trump’s former campaign manager – and now convicted felon – Paul Manafort had sought a plea deal before his upcoming second criminal trial in D.C., the 9th floor penthouse residence (known as “Billionaire’s Row”) of his ex-banker David Fallarino was broken into by unknown persons who stole some personal items of his. From NBC New York:
Paul Manafort’s one-time banker had his Manhattan penthouse burglarized overnight, a mysterious break-in that saw a briefcase, iPad and sneakers stolen from the residence, law enforcement sources familiar with the case tell News 4.
David Fallarino, dubbed Manafort’s “front office banker” at Citizens Bank by the Huffington Post, told authorities he left the terrace door of his West 58th Street home open before he went to sleep Monday, the sources say. The building is nine floors, city records show.
Fallarino, 38, said he heard a noise around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and went out to find a crow bar on the terrace, the sources say. There were no apparent signs of forced entry, the sources say, but Fallarino reported his wine cabinet was open and there was a bottle of wine on the floor. The briefcase, iPad and sneakers were the only items missing; the contents of the first two were unknown.