The Trump-Russia scandal has become so vast and so bizarre, we’re rarely surprised when it ventures into surreal new territory. Michael Flynn allegedly tried to kidnap a guy in Pennsylvania? Sure. Paul Manafort has been accused of murdering a bunch of people overseas? Sure, why not. These are things that actually happened, by the way, even though they sound made-up. But now Donald Trump’s Russia scandal is so out of control, it’s brought divorce front and center.
No, we’re not talking about Donald and Melania Trump getting divorced; that won’t happen at least until after Donald is formally charged with crimes. We’re not even talking about the recent metaphorical divorce between two longtime business partners, when Rick Gates sold out Paul Manafort with a plea deal over the weekend. No, we’re talking about a divorce between a husband whose bank made suspicious loans to Gates and Manafort, and his soon to be ex-wife who wants to know why.
Remarkably, this divorce trial reported by ABC News (link) may serve to speed up the Trump-Russia investigation. Gates just cut a plea deal, which means he’s turning over every bit of evidence he has about the loan in question. But while he can provide the reasons that Gates and Manafort sought this particular suspicious loan, the divorce trial may soon serve to expose why the banker thought it was a good idea to give out this ridiculous loan. Did Trump tell him to do it? Did Russia tell him to do it?
We’ll see whether the divorce proceedings ultimately provide information that can help Special Counsel Robert Mueller speed up his quest to force Paul Manafort to flip on Donald Trump. For now the upshot here is that Trump and the people he’s hired are such brazen career criminals, whose crimes have tentacles so far and wide across the seedy underbelly of the nation, it’s now affecting some banker’s divorce trial in Chicago. And this is just what we know about so far.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report