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Monday, May 07, 2018

The Rape Culture of Politics by Investigation

Former Trump campaign advisor Michael Caputo condemned the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday following his closed-door testimony. His words, no doubt, resonated with every Trump aide, associate, and family member ensnared in the bogus Trump-Russia election collusion scam.

“God damn you to Hell,” Caputo told the committee—an impassioned conclusion to an emotional statement explaining the personal and financial strain the investigations have caused his family.

Caputo called out a former staffer to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is orchestrating the ongoing smear campaign against anyone in Trump’s orbit thanks to deep-pocketed Democratic activists in New York and California. And he implored the committee to “investigate the investigators.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team interviewed Caputo the following day, nearly one year after Mueller got his marching orders from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. So, why has Caputo now been interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the special counsel? What makes this longtime GOP consultant who worked on the Trump campaign for less than a year (and not in any central role) possibly complicit in, or a witness to, the yet-unproven crime that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election?

Caputo made the egregious error of having once worked for the Russians. In the 1990s. He told New York magazine in an interview this week that he “studied Russia in college and became a big admirer of Russian literature and ballet. I worked hard in the Cold War to defeat Russia, and after the Wall fell I grew curious about the Russian people. I wanted to see the results.” Of course, this all sounds very fishy now. It’s obvious that Caputo developed an interest in Russia in the 1980s so he could earn the coveted post of Donald Trump’s New York primary election coordinator in 2015 and then work with the Rooskies to strip Hillary Clinton of enough votes in Pennsylvania and Michigan to cost her the election in November 2016 (even though he left the campaign in June 2016.)

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

While it’s tempting to joke about the ridiculousness of federal investigators and lawmakers continuing to sniff out a crime that did not happen, it’s no laughing matter. Caputo said he has incurred about $125,000 in legal fees and he’s not done yet. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) brought up Caputo’s Ukrainian-born wife during a House hearing with former FBI Director James Comey last year. Caputo claims he and his family have been the target of death threats, all due to a “fishing expedition” into his alleged role in Trump-Russia election collusion. “If you drink vodka, you have Russian dressing in your refrigerator, you’re game for these people,” he told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson....

“This is a punishment strategy. I think they want to destroy the president, they want to destroy his family, they want to destroy his businesses, they want to destroy his friends,” Caputo told Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night. “Clearly these lawsuits after the fact are the new Democratic strategy. When you lose, you still win. I don’t think anyone should work on a Republican campaign again unless you’re legally indemnified. If you do, you’re crazy.”

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