It looks like a simple fountain pen, but then: A flash of hyper-light in the eyes renders a person blissfully ignorant of what he did moments before — remembering nothing. In the movie “Men in Black,” it was called a neuralyzer.
Is that the kind of technology the Russians deployed to drain members of Team Trump of their memories? I’m thinking so.
Something sapped Michael Flynn of his memory. The ex-national security adviser foggily acknowledged meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, but couldn’t recall if they talked about lifting sanctions President Obama slapped on Russia for meddling in our elections.
Amnesia was the case, too, with Jeff Sessions. Under oath the attorney general said that, no, not once did he meet with that Russian before the election. Except, yeah, he did, at least twice.
At this point, reports are that at least five Team Trump members communicated with the Russian government before they had any authority — our authority — to represent the United States.
Even more eerie: In July Donald Trump said he’d never spoken with Vladimir Putin. Except he did that very thing in 2014, unless we can’t believe the Donald Trump who bragged about meeting with Putin then.
Flash: Memories gone.
Many have theorized as to why Trump has a highly unnatural facial skin tone. The explanation could be repeated radial blasts from a diabolical memory-sapping Russian device: The nyet-ralyzer.
A lot is being made this week of what Sessions knew and when he knew it. That remains relevant, as the FBI is under him and all. However, the bigger story isn’t over at the Justice Department.
The bigger story is in the memory of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law who’s in Trump’s innermost circle. According to reports the president has not disputed that Kushner was at Trump Tower when Flynn met with Ambassador Kislyak. (In December, yes, before Team Trump was employed by you and me.) The Logan Act prohibits diplomacy by civilians on our behalf.
What did they discuss? I’m imagining that Kushner can’t recall.
Did the president know about this meeting in the very tower in which he was preparing to transition to president? Might the president have moseyed down the elevator or into the next-door suite to exchange a congratulatory bear hug?
In the language of Twitter: This Kushner thing. Very big.
In the nomenclature of Watergate, this is Haldeman and Ehrlichman big.
As close as Kushner is to the president, for him to engage with the Russians illegally is like Pat Nixon sending the Watergate burglars on their rounds with cookies and finger sandwiches.
Now, if you are, say, Sen. Ted Cruz — who uses his own food analogy for all this, calling this all a “nothingburger” — you may be saying, “Hey, this Logan Act stuff is trivial. It’s not a high crime. It’s not even a misdemeanor.”
Watergate started out with what then White House spokesman Ron Ziegler — the Sean Spicer of the era — called a “third-rate burglary.” How, then, did it bring down a president? Mostly on a whole bunch of lies.
Here’s what Trump said Feb. 16: “I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.”
As reports of actual involvement gurgled forth like a mountain spring, he intimated that anything to the contrary was “fake news.”
Then when actual revelations and actual back-tracking by people like Flynn and Sessions came to light, he said the problem was leaks, and — this just in from Breitbart News Network — wiretaps ordered by President Obama.
Be smart, Mr. President. Blame it on the Russians and their memory-sapping technology.
Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.