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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Queries on Trump’s Russia ties, business conflicts just starting

President Donald Trump walks on the tarmac as

President Donald Trump walks on the tarmac as he waves to the crowd upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Credit: AP

Looking beyond these first 100 days, three inquiries now developing promise to have a big impact on the Trump administration.

Russian attempts to influence the American election are just starting to draw scrutiny from the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the committee chairman and his minority counterpart, said they are examining “any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns.”

In both houses, partisan tension is inevitable.

Democrats would seek to shape the investigation around the hacking of their party. The majority GOP, cued by President Donald Trump, would make much of leaks from U.S. intelligence agencies about his campaign’s supposed ties to Moscow.

The international intrigue on this one doesn’t seem to stop.

On Thursday came Russian reports of the treason arrest of Sergei Mikhailov, a senior officer of the Federal Security Service, or FSB. He’s identified as part of the Russian cyberintelligence office supposedly linked to the hacking.

But it is hard to say how this might fit the bigger picture.

Closer to home, concerns about the president’s conflicts of interest go unabated — based on his having refused to divest himself from his businesses and declined to make a presidential candidate’s traditional tax form disclosure.

Since Congress seems to wax timid, it is likely that the push for genuine information will come from outsiders’ lawsuits. As reported this week by NPR, the president and his Trump Organization are “lawyering up” by hiring attorneys to cope with a surge of expected litigation.

The White House general counsel is adding four lawyers specifically for ethics issues, a spokesman said Wednesday. At Trump Tower, meanwhile, the business is getting a Washington counsel regarding the line between government and businesses.

Facing widespread ridicule over his undocumented claims that 3 million to 5 million illegal votes cost him a majority of the popular vote, Trump indicated he will have the Justice Department investigate.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who is likely to be the next attorney general, is unlikely to throw the charges back in Trump’s face and tell him they are unfounded.

Given what Trump has said in recent days, any probe is likely to be framed in a way that legitimizes more traditional “voter fraud” suspicions.

Nobody is sure when a resolution or report will come. Trump’s fraud claim became more comical Thursday with the revelation that the president had told congressional members an anecdote that golfer Bernhard Langer supposedly told him about his own suspicious voting experience in Florida.

The punch line: Langer is a German citizen, and doesn’t vote in the U.S., The New York Times revealed. And Langer’s daughter said he isn’t even a friend of the president.

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