Monday, July 9, 2018

Richard Shelby's July 4 trip to Russia likely was driven by thoughts of Arctic oil-drilling riches and the need for more meddling to help GOP in 2018 U.S. election

Richard Shelby in Russia
A Republican delegation, led by U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), likely visited Russia over July 4 to seek help with the 2018 midterm elections and to restore a $500-billion Arctic oil-drilling deal, according to a source with deep knowledge of modern-era relations between Alabama and Russian political figures.

Jill Simpson, a whistle blower and retired attorney from northeast Alabama, says Shelby's actions -- as a lead-in to talks between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, amount to treason. From a post at Simpson's Facebook page:

As a person who spent over 11 years tracking the corrupt Alabama Gang's involvement with the Russians, I am not the least bit surprised Shelby led a group of GOP folks to Russia this past week, trying to cut the GOP a deal with Russia on the Arctic drilling deal that will make Putin and Russia $500 billion from Exxon and keep the GOP the majority party in the U.S. . . . It is ridiculous Shelby would try to make like we could be friends with the Russians again, when we outright know they stole and meddled with the 2016 election. Yes I said stole as their false propaganda caused a shift in the vote. I might add Shelby, it appears, is another American politician grifting on the Russians. That is treason. He should be jailed for it.

This is a story of international breadth, but it hits close to home here at Legal Schnauzer. We recently asked this question: Could Russian interests be involved in the abuse that has been directed at my wife,  Carol, and me -- in two states, Alabama and Missouri? That question might seem far-fetched to some, but when you consider the documented ties to Russia of leaders in both states . . . well, it seems like a 50-50 proposition, at least to me.

In terms of Alabama, we asked the question while thinking of former U.S. Senator (R-AL) and current Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions, GOP lawyer and political thug Rob Riley, and former Business Council of Alabama head Bill Canary. All three have well-established ties to Russia. (Also, see here and here.)

Richard Shelby's Russia connections might be less overt than those of Sessions and Co., but they are old news to insiders, says Simpson:

It has been well known for years in Alabama that Shelby's former Senate employees (like Stewart Hall), plus the Riley bunch got tied into Oleg Deripaska through Haley Barbour's BGR Group, which worked directly for the Russian government and Oleg. The roots of this Russian mess in Alabama start with Rick Davis (Paul Manafort's former partner and an Alabama good ol' boy), Sessions, Shelby, Canary, Riley, Haley Barbour's BGR Group, and Twinkle Cavanaugh, who was GOP chairperson at the time this all started.

Manafort's legal problems -- he currently is facing a criminal trial in the Robert Mueller investigation -- might have prompted Shelby's mission to Russia. And it all could lead to more Russian meddling in a U.S. election. Writes Simpson:

The Alabama Resistance tracked and outed their mess with the Manafort Davis firm in 2007 and 2008, plus we released pictures of the situation of secret meetings from all over the world. We also tracked their Russian mess in 2016, with Manafort and Bannon and Cambridge Analytica. 
These guys really should be locked up for treason. We at the Alabama Resistance are very worried [the Shelby group] may have negotiated new meddling with the Russians for our 2018 elections. Since Manafort was locked up, it appears the GOP senators may have had to take a more direct line of action with Russia, in an effort to retain their Senate majority. Never in the history of the US have we seen such treason at the surface.

Russian drilling platform
 As for the Arctic-drilling deal, many informed observers say that was the No. 1 reason Putin helped steal the 2016 presidential election for Donald Trump. Plans for exploration went on hold when the United States hit Russia with sanctions in 2014 following the invasion and annexation of Crimea. Writes Simpson at another Facebook post about Shelby's July 4 GOP mission to Russia:

They were over there trying to cut themselves and their party a deal to get support in the 2018 election is what most Russian government watchers believe. Also, we are going to be watching closely the $500-billion Arctic drilling deal; it will become obvious if this bunch tries to help Trump put it through. We will resist. We are watching what appears to be treason at the top level of the government, led by a member of the corrupt Alabama Gang. I might add most Russia watchers believe that Trump was put in to give Putin the $500-billion Arctic drilling deal. That will never happen. As the planet will be in danger, and a whole lot of world leaders will stand up to Trump and Putin.

If Jill Simpson is on target -- and Robert Mueller should turn his attention to the driving forces behind Richard Shelby's mission to Russian -- well, that could place an unpleasant ending on an Alabama political legacy.


Anonymous said...

If Richard Shelby was dumb enough to step in this Putin cow pile, he deserves to wind up behind bars.

Specs said...

Is Shelby just begging for Robert Mueller to target his ass? If so, I hope he gets his wish.

Anonymous said...

Shelby has taken a lot of heat for this trip to Russia -- on July 4, no less -- and deservedly so. It smells really bad.

Anonymous said...

Hey, King Richard, how does it feel being nekkid in the town square?

Anonymous said...

Shelby has always been a phony and a dim bulb. Both of those traits are on full display here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Jill Simpson for her insights, and thanks to LS for publishing them.

Extremely important information that you aren't likely to find anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some of Shelby's ugly secrets will finely bite him in the ass. He's been a womanizer for years, but he's been able to keep that covered up. Maybe the king's robes are about to hit the floor. What a fraud!

legalschnauzer said...

@10:08 --

I've heard about the womanizing stories for a while now. Digging for details, as we speak.

Shelby would have been wise to retire years ago.

Anonymous said...

White Alabamians who have reflexively voted this guy into office, term after term, should take a look in the mirror. This is what you wind up with.

Anonymous said...

Shelby probably was jealous of all the publicity Sessions was getting for his Russia-related criminality, so he just had to stick his toe in the water. Way to go, Dick!

Anonymous said...

So. Shelby wants to ensure that Russians can continue to meddle in future U.S. elections?

Makes me want to puke.

Also makes me want to find a noose, so we can hang him from the highest tree for treason.

Anonymous said...

Here is a great quote from Washington Post re: Shelby's little excursion:

“Cannot believe GOP, once the party that stood strong against Soviets & only a decade ago sought to democratize the Middle East, is now surrendering so foolishly to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Kremlin’s kleptocracy — only two years ­after Russia interfered in U.S. election,” tweeted Clint Watts, an information warfare specialist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and frequent featured expert before congressional panels examining Russian influence operations.

legalschnauzer said...

Alabama Political Reporter has an article about Shelby's return from Russia. Here is the money quote:

“During a time of heightened tensions between Russia and the United States, I led a congressional delegation, the largest in many years, to Russia to meet with key leaders of the Russian government,” Shelby said. “Our goal was to have a sober assessment of our differences and to put the unvarnished truth on the table. We had candid discussions with the Foreign Minister, members of the Duma, and the Federation Council about a number of issues, including election interference, Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria. We were honest and frank in expressing our concerns and our shared belief that Russia must make changes in its behavior if our relationship is going to thaw.”

“The United States does not want, nor does it need, to resume a Cold War posture with Russia, and our delegation trip was a small step towards trying to ensure that does not happen,” Sen. Shelby continued. “We will always be competitors, but we do not have to be adversaries. Russia can achieve a better relationship with the U.S., but it has to be earned, one step at a time.”

Anonymous said...

People call him "Dick" for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Shelby is 84 years old. Does he really think he can take it with him? Maybe he knows how.

Anonymous said...

Another great quote from WaPo re: Shelby's Folly in Russia:

“Politicians celebrate Independence Day in many ways. Some march in a parade. Some attend a barbecue or watch fireworks,” tweeted Richard Painter, an ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush’s administration who is running for the Senate in Minnesota as a Democrat. “But others must travel further to meet with their most important constituents.”

legalschnauzer said...

Raw Story says Shelby & Co. turned into a bunch of wusses when they hit Russian soil, so bad that Russian media was mocking them:

Russian broadcasters mocked the Republican lawmakers who visited Moscow over the Fourth of July holiday and gloated about the Kremlin’s role in electing President Donald Trump. . . .

“We know that we need a new beginning, that we can go over recriminations on both sides for days in,” Shelby said at the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament. “But I believe Russia and the United States and the world will be a lot better off if we improve our relationship.”

The Alabama Republican dismissed the widespread agreement among U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 election, but Russian TV hosts disagreed.

“What trouble did we cause?” one Russian TV analyst said last week, before the senators arrived. “We just elected Trump, that’s all.”

Sketch said...

How was this a "Congressional delegation" when only Republicans were involved?

This was a Republican Party delegation; it hardly represented all Americans, not even close.

Dick Shelby is a liar -- and a "dick."

Anonymous said...

Shelby actually said in the Daily Beast that Russian election hacking was no big deal. Unbelievable:

Shortly before traveling to Moscow with several colleagues, a senior Republican senator all but gave Russia a green light for future interference in U.S. elections.

"Most countries would meddle and play in our domestic elections if they could, and some of them have," the Washington Examiner quoted Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican and chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, as saying.

"We have to be realistic nations are going to do what is in their next [sic] interest; we’ve done a lot of things too.”

Anonymous said...

I wonder who paid for Shelby's trip to Russia. It shouldn't have been taxpayers because it was not a Congressional delegation, it was all Republicans. The RNC should have paid for it.

Anonymous said...

Since when have we sent "Congressional delegations" involving only one party to meet with foreign leaders?

legalschnauzer said...

More stupidity from Shelby at Daily Beast:

Asked by The Daily Beast to clarify his comments later on Thursday, Shelby said: “I think people try to influence—well, in probably different degrees—our foreign policy, influence our foreign policy, influence different things. They have lobbyists. They have everything. They have propaganda—even some of our allies.”

Asked if his comments appeared to excuse the Russian interference, Shelby replied: “I didn’t say they were all the same. I didn’t excuse anything. I was just stating the reality of it.”

Chuckles said...

I just stopped at the grocery store to see if I could find a turnip that is as dumb as Richard Shelby. No luck so far.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious they were discussing GOP business with the Russians. That's why no Democrats were invited to go along.

This had nothing to do with the nation's business. It's all about Republican business -- and I bet Jill Simpson is correct it's about the 2018 elections and the $500-billion Arctic drilling deal.

It's not hard to see through this hoax.

Anonymous said...

Why would Shelby risk stepping in a brier patch that could cause him to spend his senior years in the Big House?

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Anonymous said...

I always thought Senator Shelby was more like a green potater than a turnip.

(Out in the sun too long, looks kind of like the real thing but guaranteed to make you sick...but definitely elected by his feller shortbus riders who ain't smart enuf to get back on the turnip truck they fell off...)

legalschnauzer said...

@3:34 --

Hah! Good one. Gotta watch out for those green taters. They make you sick? Bet that's not fun.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:28 --

Shelby already is well into his senior years. The old goat is 84 years old, and maybe he knows he's not going to be here too much longer, so he just said, "Eff it, I'm going to do everything I can to help my par . . . I mean, my country."

Anonymous said...

@2:28 --

I'd say there's a good chance that Shelby is arrogant enough to think he's above it all, that they can't bring him down. I'm sure Saddam Hussein thought the same thing before his statue fell with a thud.

e.a.f. said...

Russian drilling in the Artic. that won't end well. the artic is also Canada's, in part and some of it belongs to Denmark, given they own Greenland. No wonder U.S. coast guard ships are pulling over Canadian fish boats off of Nova Scotia. they're checking to see how far they can push the envelope. they told the fishers they were checking for "illegals". If they were on Canadian fish boats, why would they even want to go to the U.S.A. given the nasty "welcome' they'd receive. We may be colder, in the winter than Florida, but we have a health care system, don't throw children into detention, don't execute people either, oh a lower murder rate.