Odds and Ends
19 5, 7:01am
Putin is looking for the sanctions in the Magnitsky Act to be lifted.
That's what the Russians who met Trumps son, son-in-law and campaign manager before the election in Trump Tower where there to discuss.
Russia is under sanctions as a country, but the sanctions in the Magnitsky Act is targeting the PERSONAL wealth stashed abroad by Putin and the oligarchs around him.
These people have stolen billions from the Russian state and invested it in real estate (like big chunks of the most expensive parts of London) and other investments abroad - and now much of that is frozen and lost to them as long as those sanctions are in effect.
So THOSE are the sanctions Putin really want to see lifted - the ones which target him and his friends ill gotten gains specifically.
And Putin's hope was that Trump - who in turn has long-standing financial interests and connections to Russia and neighboring countries and Russian oligarchs - would be willing to play ball.
Which he probably was, but the US congress isn't. Not even the Republicans are willing to go easy on Putin to please their dear leader Trump.
The Republican congress has in fact passed rules that expressly FORBIDS Trump from lifting sanctions on Russia (because they don't trust him) - and they've also passed further sanctions on Russia - because of their interference in the 2016 presidential election (which Trump still denies even happened).
Sanctions which Trump reluctantly accepted (becuase they where passed by a veto proof majority Trump couldn't stop anyway) and then held up for almost a year before they finally went into effect.
Cambridge Analytica was definitely a shady corporation that probably broke all kind of laws in many different countries where they operated - yes.
But they didn't break into the Democratic party's database or release their stolen e-mails - hackers working on orders from Russian intelligence and Wikileakes respectively did that.