MoveOn.org is petitioning NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to rename the portion of 5th Ave in front of the Trump Tower to President Barack H. Obama Ave. There is precedent for this. The portion of 6th Ave in front of the Rockefeller Center is called Avenue of the Americas. Currently more than 25,000 signatures have been gathered, with a goal of 75,000. Sounds implausible, but it would be nice.
Yesterday, amongst all of the hubbub about the government shutdown and the Wall, there were new developments in the Trump-Russia collusion case. First, Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who during the 2016 presidential campaign met with Trump campaign officials at Trump Tower, was charged with money laundering. As part of her scheme, she is alleged to have cycled this money through Manhattan properties. Veselnitskaya is in Moscow now and is very unlikely to face any of these charges.
Another development was triggered by what appears to be a mistake made by Paul Manafort’s legal team. A redacted court filing was made disputing Robert Mueller’s contention that Manafort violated his plea agreement by lying. The redaction was easily circumvented by a simple cut and paste. What was revealed is that Mueller claims that Manafort lied about his sharing of campaign polling data with a Russian operative, while he was Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman.
Finally on Tuesday, Chief Justice Roberts denied a stay involving a bank owned by a foreign government. This case is shrouded in secrecy, but is believed to be associated with the Mueller investigation. Reporters staked out the courthouse, but were kicked out when officials cleared the floor. The bank and the country are not known, but what is known is that their continued failure to comply with a grand jury subpoena will now cost them $50,000 a day.
I can guess where these lines of investigation will eventually lead. The pieces disclosed indicate a pattern of investigation that has been used before to take down Mafia crime families. In this case there is only one family of note. As the noose tightens expect further disruptive behavior from Individual 1.