As Harvard academics prove, the truth doesn’t matter when you are bashing Russia

By Bryan MacDonald

Two Harvard University academics have seen dreadfully incorrect Russia-related tweets recently go viral. The fact neither has deleted their falsehoods sums up the low standards when it comes to the Western assessment of all things Russian.

In the information space, a lot of stuff goes out the window when it comes to Russia. Like ethics, decency, fairness, and facts. It’s hard to recall a single incidence of a journalist, official or academic losing a position for being hopelessly wrong about the country.


That’s why you end up with TV networks offering people who’ve never set foot in Moscow as “Russia experts,” magazines presentingopposition figures on two percent in the polls as serious contenders for the presidency and outlets alleging Vladimir Putin is dating Wendy Deng.

It also explains how pundits can claim Russia is about to collapseand then a few months later, insist the Kremlin is about to invade another country. And why analysts who set exact time frames for these incursions, and are proven wrong, fall upwards rather than downwards subsequently. Because anything goes when it comes to Russia and fueling the hysteria is more important than telling the truth.

That said, at least in the “respectable media” you might get the odd correction. Such as when The Washington Post was forced to backtrack on spurious reports Moscow had hacked Vermont’s electrical grid, or when the same paper was compelled to issue a correction after falsely accusing RT of using automated bots to circulate articles.

However, on social media, not only do “experts not apologize, they rarely even delete their erroneous posts. Probably because of the huge exposure they can receive from the thousands of shares and retweets to be gained from crookedly smearing Russia. And to hell with the consequences of the animosity, enmity, and venom they generate.

Tribal Instinct

A classic case in point emerged this Thursday morning (Moscow Time) when a Harvard University professor named Laurence Tribe, tweeted the following: “DOJ (Department of Justice) is pursuing Dmitri Firtash, Russian mobster linked to . . wait for it: (former Trump campaign aide, Paul) Manafort. But T (Trump) named lawyer for Russian bank to head Crim(inal) Div(ision)!”

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And at the time of writing, this brainfart had earned over 4,000 retweets, which have surely multiplied since.

But, you guessed it, the tweet is deceptive, deceitful and specious, whether by accident or design. Because the “Russian mobster” mentioned, Dmitry Firtash is actually a Ukrainian oligarch. A man who amassed much of his fortune during the Presidency of Viktor Yushchenko, the pro-Western leader installed after the 2004 “Orange Revolution.” In addition, Firtash served in a number of government positions during the administration, including as Chair of the National Tripartite Social and Economic Council.

Firtash was born in Ukraine and holds Ukrainian citizenship. And, while he may very well be a “mobster,” he’s not Russian. And, as the Western media never tires of emphasizing, Ukraine and Russia are not the same country and haven’t been joined since 1991.

Dozens of people have pointed out Tribe’s mistake. And the writer has surely noticed because he’s posted since, but this falsehood still sits on his page, proud as a peacock. All the while being shared all around the Twittersphere, as its author betrays no sense of remorse or embarrassment.

Nothing Is Real

Nevertheless, to be fair to Tribe, he’s only a baby faker compared to his Harvard colleague Yascha Mounk. A man who professes to “defend liberal democracy against the illiberal international.” And also makes up the odd bogus online statement about Russia.

A couple of weeks ago Mounk reported on Twitter: “Need a reminder of the human cost of dictatorship? All these are journalists who criticized Putin–and died under mysterious circumstances.” But the problem with his statement was quickly evident to anyone with a basic knowledge of Russia.

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Because the image used to illustrate the tweet of ‘journalists killed by Putin’ was actually one of all Russian journalists killed, anywhere, since 1991. And, what’s more, most of them passed away under the West-endorsed presidency of Boris Yeltsin. With many of those featured having been war correspondents, who sadly met their ends in conflict zones. Indeed, while journalism often remains perilous in today’s Russia, the fact is things were far more dangerous during the “liberal democratic” Yeltsin years. The pattern is being repeated right now in Ukraine, where violence against journalists has risen dramatically since the 2014 Maidan installed a US-backed regime.

Again, despite numerous folk informing Mounk of his tweet’s inaccuracy, he hasn’t deleted it. So, It continues to strut across Twitter, with 55,000 retweets and counting. Each one of them spreading the disinformation to a new audience.

Harvard University’s 2016-17 fees amount to “$43,280 for tuition and $63,025 for tuition, room, board, and fees combined,”according to its website. Now, for that kind of cash you’d expect teachers and researchers of the highest caliber, dedicated to rigorous fact-checking and earnestly devoted to accuracy.

But Mounk and Tribe, at least when it comes to Russia, don’t seem to care about such basic standards. Don’t expect either to suffer sanction. Because, after all, anything goes these days once the subject matter is Russian.

Democrats & Russians ‘laughing’ at ‘witch hunt’ collusion probe – Trump

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Democrats and Russians are laughing at the investigation into Moscow’s alleged US election interference, Donald Trump tweeted, once again calling the probe a “witch hunt.”


The US president took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to denounce the “witch hunt,” calling it an “excuse for a lost election.”

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Trump also took aim at fellow Republicans just minutes later, saying it was “sad” that they are “doing very little to protect their president.”

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Trump has long voiced his opposition to allegations that and his team he colluded with Russia to win the election, repeatedly calling the special counsel’s investigation a “witch hunt.” 


He stepped up his rhetoric after his son, Donald Trump Jr., was accused of aiding in the alleged collusion with Russia, when it emerged that he had met with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, during the campaign.

Defending his son on Twitter, Trump wrote that he was being “scorned by the fake news media,” while also taking aim at his former opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner is also embroiled in the allegations, as he was also present during Trump Jr.’s meeting with Veselnitskaya. He will face the Senate in a hearing on Monday.

In a written statement released on Monday before his appearance in the closed-door hearing, Kushner said he “did not collude with Russia in any way.

“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” Kushner wrote, according to US media.

“I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector,”he added.


Kushner said he had “perhaps four contacts with Russian representatives” during the campaign and presidential transition period after Trump’s victory.

Meanwhile, Russia stated earlier this month that the Kremlin does not know Veselnitskaya, and that it was unaware of the meeting that took place.

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) that he was tired of the “hysteria” which the US “fails to cease.”

Russia has adamantly denied any collusion with the Trump campaign or interference in the election, and has repeatedly pointed to a lack of evidence to support those claims.

In late May, Putin agreed with Trump’s belief that allegations of Russian meddling are being used by those who do not want to admit they lost the election fair and square.

“They…prefer deluding themselves and others into thinking it was not their fault…but someone from the outside thwarted them. But it was not so. They just lost and they have to admit it,” Putin said.

Despite a lack of evidence that Russia colluded with Trump or interfered in the election in any way, the FBI is continuing its probe, led by special counsel Robert Mueller. The Republican-led House and Senate are also conducting their own investigations.


Shortly after the election,John McCain (right) was attending a conference in Canada and spoke with a ‘former senior western diplomat’ who knew of the dossier’s existence. That man was Sir Andrew Wood. He issued a nuanced explanation of his dealings with McCain: ‘I would like to stress that I did not pass on any dossier to Senator McCain or anyone else and I did not see a dossier at the time.’ He did not deny alerting McCain to its existence


Sen. John McCain said he did ‘what any citizen would do’ in turning over the dirty dossier, which contained unconfirmed secrets about the president-elect, over to the FBI.

The Guardian charted the path of how the dossier came to be and how it was that McCain got his hands on the controversial documents.

The story of the dossier began with an investigative firm in Washington, D.C., being tapped by one of Trump‘s primary allies to dig up some opposition research on the Republican hopeful.

Aide: Sir ANdrew Wood was Tony Blair’s ambassador to Moscow until 2000 

In turn, that firm outsourced the research to a ‘retired western European former counter-intelligence official, with a long history of dealing with the shadow world of Moscow’s spooks and siloviki (securocrats),’ explained the Guardian.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal identified the ex-spy as Christopher Steele.

By the time the contractor had started digging, Trump’s primary opponent had dropped out. But the firm found a Democrat who wanted dirt on the now Republican nominee instead.

The Guardian pointed out that just because a Democrat was willing to pay for the information that didn’t mean that said Democrat was Hillary Clinton‘s campaign or the Democratic National Committee.

Sometimes donors seek out this information in order to ensure they’ve made a sound investment.

The contractor, who the Guardian didn’t name, but the Wall Street Journal identified as Steele, reportedly found the information that he dug up to be concerning. He and another ex-British diplomat, Christopher Burrows, run their own company, Orbis Business Intelligence.

‘If the allegations were real, their implications were overwhelming,’ the Guardian wrote.

So over the summer he delivered the intelligence he had gathered from his Russian sources, living within the country and also in the west, to former colleagues in the FBI.

The Guardian suggested he also delivered the documents to his country’s own intelligence service.

As fall approached, and he heard nothing about any FBI investigation into the documents, he was persuaded to tell journalist David Corn, of Mother Jones, of their existence.

The veteran reporter wrote about the dossier on October 31.

The intelligence agent, the Guardian reported, was worried about an FBI cover-up, as the bureau seemed to be spending most of its time and energy on an investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s private email server.

It wasn’t until mid-November, and after the presidential election, that the chips fell in place for the dossier to make its more public way to Washington.

Report: Christopher Steele (left) and Christopher Burrows (right) jointly run Orbis Business Intelligence which produced the report

London headquarters: This is the prestigious London headquarters of the intelligence firm run by an ex-spy who authored the discredited dirty dossier on Trump

On November 18, at the Halifax International Security Forum, McCain was introduced to a ‘former senior western diplomat’ who had set eyes on the documents and knew who put them together, telling the Arizona Republican that the individual was ‘highly reliable.’ 

That man can now be named as Sir Andrew Wood, British ambassador to Moscow from 1995 to 2000.

Wood told the Independent that he had met McCain, spoken to him about Trump, and about the potential for him to be compromised.

In a carefully nuanced statement he said: ‘Yes I did meet Senator McCain and his aides at the conference.

‘We spoke about the kind of activities the Russians can be engaged in.

‘We also spoke about how Mr Trump may find himself in a position where there could be an attempt to blackmail him with Kompromat [a Russian term for compromising material] and claims that there were audio and video tapes in existence.’

He added: ‘I would like to stress that I did not pass on any dossier to Senator McCain or anyone else and I did not see a dossier at the time. I do know Christopher Steele and in my view he is very professional and thorough in what he does.’

He did not however address whether he told McCain there was a dossier – and how to get it.

Clearly, somebody did.

Ultimate recipient: The FBI Director James Comey was handed the document by McCain after its extraordinary transatlantic journey

Dossier of unverifiable sleaze 

Lurid sex claims

The report states that in 2013 Trump hired prostitutes to urinate on the bed of the Presidential Suite at the Moscow Ritz Carlton, where he knew Barack and Michelle Obama had previously stayed.

It says: ‘Trump’s unorthodox behavior in Russia over the years had provided the authorities there with enough embarrassing material on the now Republican presidential candidate to be able to blackmail him if they so wished.’

Trump ridiculed the idea, pointing out that Russian hotel rooms are known to be rigged with cameras and describing himself as a ‘germophobe’.

Property ‘sweeteners’

The document states that Trump had declined ‘sweetener’ real estate deals in Russia that the Kremlin lined up in order to cultivate him.

The business proposals were said to be ‘in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament’.

Russia ‘cultivated’ Trump for five years

The dossier claimed that the Russian regime had been ‘cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years’.

According to the document, one source even claimed that ‘the Trump operation was both supported and directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin‘ with the aim being to ‘sow discord’. 

A dossier on Hillary Clinton

At one point the memo suggests Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov ‘controlled’ another dossier containing compromising material on Hillary Clinton compiled over ‘many years’.

Elsewhere in the document, it is claimed that Putin was ‘motivated by fear and hatred of Hillary Clinton.’

Peskov poured scorn on the claims today and said they were ‘pulp fiction’.

Clandestine meetings

At one point the memo says there were reports of ‘clandestine meetings’ between Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and Kremlin representatives in August last year in Prague.

However, Trump’s counsel Michael Cohen today spoke out against allegations that he secretly met with Kremlin officials – saying that he had never been to Prague.

It has now emerged that the dossier was referring to a different person of the same name.

From there, McCain dispatched a ‘trusted emissary’ who flew across the Atlantic to meet the source of the documents at an airport that the Guardian did not name.

The aide was instructed to look for a man with a copy of the Financial Times  and that’s how the individuals met, with the source taking McCain’s emissary back to his house and giving the American a copy of the documents.

Within 24 hours, the dossier was in Washington, though the contents of the file couldn’t be verified without an investigation.

McCain, the Guardian said, was worried that his actions might be interpreted as revenge for some of the controversial comments Trump made about him – such as knocking the fact that the longtime senator had been a prisoner of war.

However, McCain decided to hand over the documents to FBI Director James Comey on December 9.

 ‘Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI,’ McCain said Wednesday in a statement about that matter.

‘That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue,’ McCain said.


Sir Andrew Wood’s five years as British Ambassador to Russia coincided with the arrival of Vladimir Putin first as FSB security service chief then premier, and finally acting president.

He was in charge of the UK embassy across the Moscow River from the Kremlin during some of the most momentous and fraught times in post-Soviet Russia.

He saw the decline of the ailing vodka-soaked rule of Boris Yeltsin and the rise of ex-spy Putin, and was among the first to publicly question his second bloody war in Chechnya, an early sign of the new leader’s ruthlessness.

He also choreographed Tony Blair‘s first visit to Moscow as prime minister, briefly losing touch with the new British prime minister in the crowds on on the Moscow metro.

Known for being understated and cool under fire in his dealings with the Russians, and famed for his discretion,

Sir Andrew, now 77, represented Britain at the funeral of former Soviet first lady Raisa Gorbachev in 1999, seeing her sobbing husband Mikahil Gorbachev lean over her open coffin to give her one final hug.

A year earlier he represented Britain at the burial of the remains of the murdered last tsar Nicholas II and immediate members of his family, which had been dug from a mineshaft in a Urals forest. He witnessed Yeltsin bow his head and denounce the ‘monstrous crime’ of killing the last tsar – ‘one of the most shameful pages in our history’.

He faced several espionage scandals during his tenure from 1995 to 2000.

A Russian diplomat was caught red handed by FSB counter-intelligence officers using high-tech communications equipment to pass secrets to British ‘spies’ in Moscow.

The Russians claimed no less than nine members of Sir Andrew’s diplomatic team were involved in walking past the double agent with receiver devices to pick up coded messages he transmitted.

A furious Moscow initially demanded nine expulsions from the embassy, but in lengthy negotiations by the ambassador it was reduced to four. Britain in a tit for tat move threw out four Russians.

Sir Andrew also had to deal with the gruesome beheading of three Britons and a New Zealander in Chechnya, accused of being spies, and forced to make a confession, saying on camera: ‘We have been recruited by the English intelligence service.’

The ambassador protested: ‘It’s totally absurd, everyone knows, especially in Russia, how these confessions can be obtained. Why would our special services be in Chechnya? It’s not rational,’

Darren Hickey, Peter Kennedy and Rudi Petschi and Stan Shaw were installing a satellite communications system for British company Granger Telecom in Chechnya when they fell victim to the spate of kidnappings.

Earlier he worked with controversial tycoon Boris Berezovsky – who would in 2013 die in Britain in unexplained circumstances – to free aid workers Camilla Carr and Jon James, taken hostage by bandits in Chechnya, denying claims that a ransom was paid to terrorists to secure their freedom.

He was aware of the risk of sexual entrapment in Moscow.

In 1997 when then Home Secretary Michael (Lord) Howard – later to be Tory Party leader – visited Moscow, the ambassador expressed alarm at his sudden decision to go out in the evening unchaperoned by diplomats in a Lada car to visit a newly-opened Irish pub in the company of a British journalist.

Sir Andrew was also caught in a row over an expensive £11 million refurbishment of the then British embassy, converting it into solely the palatial residence for the ambassador, with Chancellor Gordon Brown complaining about the lavish lifestyle of diplomats.

Sir Andrew’s led trade missions to distant regions of the country – including parts of Siberia – but he also saw the 1998 rouble crash when cowboy capitalist Russia, having rejected communism, witnessing millions lose their life’s savings amid rampant inflation.

During Blair’s walkabout in Moscow, the bald mayor Yuri Luzhkov sought to muscle in on event to the evidence annoyance of press secretary Alastair Campbell who barked at Sir Andrew: ‘Break a line and cut him off. We’re off.’

Despite this uninspiring start with the new premier, Sir Andrew later worked for Blair as an advisor on Russian investment. He also witnessed the 1996 election when Reds-to-Riches tycoons intervened to prop up a visible sick Yeltsin by bankrolling his campaign in return for ownership of Russia’s most prized industrial assets.

This stopped the Communists retaking power but it was the start of the oligarch era in Russia. After retiring from the diplomat service, Sir Andrew developed business interests linked to Russia.

He became caught in controversy over Labour premier Blair’s role in helping rescue a controversial £4.2 million BP deal in Russia. Earlier Sir Andrew served as ambassador to Belgrade, and in 1989 was appointed number two at the British embassy in Washington – when he is likely to have come across John McCain.

In recent years, he has been a regular at conferences in the West about Russia. He has also expressed concern at the direction of Russia under Putin. Last month he was scathing in dismissing as nonsense Russian claims to have had nothing to do with hacking the US election.

‘Russia always denies bad news,’ he said on Sky News. The Putin regime ‘has a strong record… of this sort of behaviour’. 

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DEEP STATE DOUBLE AGENT: Russian Lawyer was a Plant by Hillary and Obama!

Published on Jul 12, 2017

In yesterday’s first video I said “I bet you anything this Lawyer is a double agent.” Remember? Just watch the video before this one to see I was right. Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian Lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. was a plant. She is part of the deep state and was even invited a few days after meeting with Don Jr by Barack Obama to attend a Congressional hearing on Russian policy. She also has TONS of Anti Trump images ALL OVER her Facebook page. Don’t believe the lying filth in the lame stream media. This was no pro Trump anti Hillary person. This was a Russian Spy set up by Hillary and Obama to take down candidate Trump at the time.


And I Am Sure You Are Right Because I Saw Something That Showed Her With Obama 8 days After The Email was Sent To Trump Jr !!
Mike Reed

department of Justice get off your asses the nation is watching and we are pissed
Mark Rybeck

The LYING media is the enemy of The American people
Devora Howze

mmmm This get more and more interesting by the day. how deep deep this rabit hole goes.
Jay Velcamp

If Trump Jr. had anything to hide, he had a year to hire people to Bleachbit his computer and smash all of his computers and cell phones with hammers. That would have made him eligible to be a presidential candidate.
Avril Duncan

yes, it is obviously a set up.
Roberto Salgado

…so this woman doesn’t speak a word of English but she’s at a congressional hearing 5+ months after her permit to be in the US expired?

Tucker Carlson And Mark Steyn Laughs At CNN On Their Trump Jr. Russia Hysteria

Published on Jul 12, 2017

Tucker Carlson And Mark Steyn Laughs At CNN On Their Trump Jr. Russia Hysteria Debate On FOX News 


With all the outrage you would think JR sold uranium rights to Russia when He was secretary of state or something

I’ll have the Nothing Burger with a side of hysteria fries…and the mass panic milkshake.
rob orr 

The one thing Tucker Carlson forgets is that no one is watching CNN so it doesn`t matter how much time they talk about Russia.
Michael Fireworks 

dj johnson 

Steven DeAtley 

Wow! I have known for years that these Democrat Congressmen was stupid but I diddnt think they was completely Dumbass lol how can people vote for these clowns.
Debra Thomas 

hahaha this is getting funnier by the day
Bert Stir 

They think that’s a political hurricane? Just wait until they find out that Ivanka flushed used tampons down public toilets. That will get Trump impeached for sure!



Tyler Durden's picture
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Why Did Loretta Lynch Grant Trump Jr’s Russian Lawyer A Special Visa To Enter America?

With everyone now rummaging through every document, intercept, and memo for something, anything tying Trump to Russia, The Hill’s John Solomon and Jonathan Easley have unearthed details that show the Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by Loretta Lynch‘s Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” after she had initially been turned down.

Simply put, as The Hill notes, this revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.

The Moscow lawyer had been turned down for a visa to enter the U.S. lawfully but then was granted special immigration parole by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch for the limited purpose of helping a company owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, her client, defend itself against a Justice Department asset forfeiture case in federal court in New York City.


During a court hearing in early January 2016 as Veselnitskaya’s permission to stay in the country was about to expire, federal prosecutors described how rare the grant of parole immigration was as Veselnitskaya pleaded for more time to remain in the United States.


“In October the government bypassed the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary permission to enter the country called immigration parole,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni explained to the judge during a hearing Jan. 6, 2016.


“That’s a discretionary act that the statute allows the Attorney General to do in extraordinary circumstances. In this case, we did that so that Mr. Katsyv could testify. And we made the further accommodation of allowing his Russian lawyer into the country to assist,” he added.


The prosecutor said Justice was willing to allow the Russian lawyer to enter the United States again as the trial in the case approached so she could help prepare and attend the proceedings.

But just five days after meeting in June 2016 at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, it seems the Justice Department had lost track of her… (as The Hill details)

Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya showed up in Washington in the front row of a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia policy, video footage of the hearing shows.

She also helped arrange an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. where pro-Russian supporters showed a movie that challenged the underpinnings of the U.S. human rights law known as the Magnitysky Act, which Russian leader Vladimir Putin has reviled and tried to reverse. About 80 people, including congressional staffers and State Department employees attended the viewing at the Newseum.

At least five congressional staffers and State Department officials attended that movie showingaccording to a Foreign Agent Registration Act complaint filed with the Justice Department about Veselnitskaya’s efforts.

And Veselnitskaya also attended a dinner with the chairman of the House subcommittee overseeing Russia policy, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and roughly 20 other guests at a dinner club frequented by Republicans.

All of which was a far cry from the narrow reason the U.S. government initially gave for allowing Veselnitskaya into the U.S. in late 2015, according to federal court records.

“There’s zero doubt that she and her U.S. colleagues were lobbying to repeal Magnitsky or at least ensure his name was removed from the global law Congress was considering,” said U.S. businessman William Browder, who was the main proponent for the Magnitsky Act and who filed a FARA complaint against Veselnitskaya, Dellums and other U.S. officials claiming they should have registered as foreign agent lobbyists because of the work.

Furthermore, as The Hill notes, the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York confirmed Wednesday to The Hill that it let Veselnitskaya into the country on a grant of immigration parole from October 2015 to early January 2016.

Justice Department and State Department officials could not immediately explain how the Russian lawyer was still in the country in June for the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and the events in Washington D.C.

Maybe Washington is a “sanctuary for Russian operatives” City?

We look forward to the hearing where Lynch has to explain how she gave this “russian operative” special access to America, then lost track of her, only to discover her again via NSA intercepts, trying to pitch Magnitsky Act repeal to Trump Jr.