Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Guilty

America ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution – which banned alcoholic beverages – in January 1920. It would have been obscenely obnoxious – and an unbelievable governmental overreach – to have then begun arresting people for drinking in December 1919, and then working your way back through the calendar.

Because in Reality, you can’t punish people for deeds that were legal at the time they did them – just because you outlawed those things later.

But when the Donald Trump political phenomenon began, the Media-Left complex left Reality even further behind them than they already had. They saw a faint inkling of Reality still present in their rearview mirror – and put their government-subsidized Tesla and Chevy Volt pedals to the metal.

The Left’s chief anti-Trump Shibboleth – is “Russia.” Anyone even remotely connected to Trump who ever had anything to do with that nation – is guilty of heinous crimes. Because – “Russia.”

What crimes? That’s never actually articulated. Because in Reality – they aren’t actually guilty of any. But…”Russia.”

If they could tie him to Trump, they’d arrest The Dude Lebowski – because his drink of choice is a White Russian (which is also racist).

The media is spending 75% of their Trump time on “Russia.” Which is the #1 most important issue – for 6% of Americans.

They’re all shaking the daylight out of their Shibboleth – to ever diminishing returns.

Does that stop them? Of course not. Especially when they get to simultaneously take a shot at an EEE-VIL™ oil company. ExxonMobil – come on down. You’re the next contestant on “The Left Ain’t Right.”

Exxon Fined $2M for Violating Russia Sanctions while Rex Tillerson was CEO: “The Treasury fined Exxon $2m for violating sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russian entities in 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea (in Ukraine). And it said the company’s ‘senior-most executives’ were aware of the sanctions when two of its subsidiaries signed deals with the Russian oil magnate Igor Sechin. Sechin is the chairman of the Russian oil giant Rosneft and is on a US blacklist that bars Americans from doing business with him.”

This is the Donald Trump Administration’s Treasury Department doing the fining. Which undoubtedly means Barack Obama Administration holdovers are, from within, creating yet another round of external havoc.

Because it is more than a little difficult to imagine President Trump – who chose said CEO as his Secretary of State – would fine his Secretary of State’s ex-company for when he was CEO. Especially when neither the CEO or the company he ran did anything wrong.

In point of fact, Exxon executives were completely and totally aware of the 2014 sanctions. We know this because they at the time repeatedly sought guidance from the Obama Administration – to see if what they were doing violated the sanctions.

And the Obama Administration repeatedly stated – that what they were doing did not violate the sanctions.

The Obama Administration repeatedly drew a clear distinction between Sechin, the sanctioned individual – and Rosneft, the un-sanctioned company with which Exxon wanted to do business.

Here’s the Obama White House on March 17, 2014 – from a document entitled “FACT SHEET: Ukraine-Related Sanctions”:

“Our current focus is to identify … individuals and target their personal assets, but not companies that they may manage on behalf of the Russian state.”

And again from the same document:

“[O]ur current focus is to identify these cronies of the Russian government and target their personal assets and wealth, rather than the business entities and industries that they may manage or oversee.”

And there’s this from an April 28, 2014 Obama Treasury Department press briefing:

“Of note, in today’s set of sanctions are two key members of the Russian leadership’s inner circle.  (One is) Igor Sechin, who’s the President and Chairman of the Management Board of Rosneft, Russia’s leading petroleum operation….We are imposing sanctions on Sechin…individually.”

Also on April 28, 2014, Obama White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken appeared on PBS NewsHour – and said:

“Mr. Sechin controls the largest energy company in the world, Rosneft. That company wasn’t designated itself. He was in his individual capacity.”

Then there was the media reporting surrounding the sanctions.

Here’s the New York Timesalso on April 28, 2014:

“‘U.S. persons are not prohibited from dealing with Rosneft, including participating in meetings of the company board on which Mr. Sechin sits,’ a Treasury Department official said.”

Also on April 28, 2014 was Foreign Policy magazine:

“Sechin’s personal assets will be frozen, but Treasury officials said the designation wouldn’t impact U.S. companies’ ability to do business with Rosneft because Sechin does not control the firm.”

And from the May 16, 2014 Wall Street Journal:

“(BP’s CEO, an American) may participate in board meetings with Mr. Sechin as long as they are conducting Rosneft’s, and not Mr. Sechin’s, personal business, the Treasury Department said.”

So quite clearly Exxon doing business with Rosneft – was officially okie-dokie. Per multiple arms of the Obama Administration.

And we know this because the Obama Administration watched Exxon – whom they, let’s face it, didn’t like very much – do business with Rosneft for going on two years. And never did anything about it.

Now we have Obama retread holdovers – trying to retroactively screw Exxon. From within the confines of the Trump Administration.

This is pernicious and obnoxious. Worse even than our Prohibition hypothetical – because what Exxon did then is STILL legal now. And they were fined anyway.

The Trump Administration should dump the fine. And ALL of the Obama holdovers – in Treasury, and everywhere else.

The Trump Administration likes real energy. And Reality.

They should act like it – and be staffed like it.

This first appeared in Red State.