The airwaves are stuffed to the gills with speculation about a possible "kompromat" -- compromising information -- which enabled Russia to turn Donald Trump into its trained poodle.
We think we know what Russia´s kompromat is:
Money laundering for Russia. For a comprehensive, rigorously documented article on this subject, click here. If true, then Trump is a criminal and Putin knows it and can prove it.
Nevertheless, blackmailers are easily handled.
Normally, blackmailers communicate orally. A written note would be concrete evidence of another crime -- blackmail:
"18 U.S. Code § 873 - Blackmail. Whoever, under a threat of informing, or as a consideration for not informing, against any violation of any law of the United States, demands or receives any money or other valuable thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."
The blackmailer faces a major obstacle. If he calls his victim, the call may be recorded. Forget emails. If he sends a message via a second or third person, that person may go to the police -- or threaten to do so and blackmail the blackmailer.
There is only one sure solution to the blackmailer´s dilemma: speak to the victim in private. Classic example: the two-hour closed meeting Putin held with Trump in Helsinki.
Trump knows the Russians are aware of his money-laundering adventure, assuming it took place; after all, they participated in it. The political leverage gained by Russia in having that knowledge would be rendered null and void, however, by never giving them the chance to present their kompromat to Trump in private.
If the Russian Ambassador requests an audience in the White House, for example, all Trump has to do is make sure there are 6-7 other people in the room, then demurely inquire.
"So, Mr. Ambassador, what is it you want to see me about?"
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Julian Assange, head of Wikileaks, has been residing for 6 years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Rumors abound in Ecuador that President Rafael Correa granted him political asylum because he has kompromat on Correa.
Those same rumors now swirl around Correa´s successor, President Lenín Moreno.
If Assange is blackmailing the Ecuadorian government, the same tactic applies: never give him the occasion to present his kompromat.
No access; no blackmail.
No blackmail; no power.