FBI Director James Comey has announced that the Bureau has an ongoing counterintelligence investigation underway to determine whether there was collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian Government in the run-up to the election. This is stunning. It implies that the FBI was provided with cause to believe that an investigation might yield results. From there, it isn’t a giant leap to thinking that this same investigation might include not only past members of Donald Trump’s campaign staff who are now long gone, like Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, but possibly current members of Trump’s inner-circle and maybe even Trump, himself.
If they follow the investigation wherever it leads, then might it not lead into the oval office? Is it a stretch to think that a sitting president and his current inner-circle might be under suspicion for espionage with the Russian Government? If so, isn’t that the headline and shouldn’t a special prosecutor be appointed immediately?
It isn’t as though Donald Trump has no history with the Russians. In 2004, DJT bought a piece of property in Florida for $41 million. Four years later he sold that same property to Russian oligarch, Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million. Not a bad profit. It was, at the time, called “the most expensive U.S. residential property sale ever.” Maybe Trump just got lucky and cut a really good deal?
In 2008, according to USA Today, Donald Trump Jr. stated, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,……We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
Also interesting, is reporting about former Trump campaign official Carter Page, and a three-day trip he took to Russia in July of 2016 and the now famous dossier provided to U.S. intelligence officials by former MI6 officer, Christopher Steele. One such claim, reported out by the Business Insider states, “A dossier with unverified claims about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia contained allegations that Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russia’s state oil company (Rosneft), offered former Trump ally Carter Page and his associates the brokerage of a 19% stake in the company in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions on Russia. The dossier says the offer was made in July, when Page was in Moscow.”
Despite an obvious and long history of having contact with the Russians, Donald Trump has repeatedly denied having any contact at all. “I have nothing to do with Russia”, he said at a White House press conference, adding, “To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.”
That’s a lie. Trump’s ties to Russia go back at least 30 years. The fact that it’s a lie is corroborated by Donald Trump Jr’s statement in 2008 about all the “money pouring in” from Russia.
If there’s even a possibility that the Russians are colluding with those at the highest levels of our government then is it wise to wait an indefinite period of time for the FBI to finish its investigation? Why has Donald Trump continued his refusal to produce his tax records? What is he hiding and why hasn’t either the Senate or the House sent him a subpoena for those very same records? Shouldn’t a special prosecutor be appointed now?
In a country that’s afraid of calling out liars for what they are, a country that will use the terms “misleading, misinformed, less than factual or falsehood, almost anything imaginable before saying someone, especially a president is a liar, are we also backing away from the terrible realization that a growing body of information indicates that a sitting president is (or was) colluding with an adversarial government?
Mr. Trump has insulted our long time allies in Britain and Germany and now, most recently, it has been announced that Secretary of State and former Exxonmobile CEO, Rex Tillerson, will snub a meeting of NATO and instead pay a visit to Russia. While still with Exxonmobile, Tillerson cut a $500 billion deal with the Russians which, according to the New York Times, has been “ground to a halt” by U.S. sanctions. Rather than Tillerson attending the NATO summit, which would follow protocol, Donald Trump will be going to the meeting, presumably so that Tillerson is free to meet with the Russians, even though Trump has humiliated NATO, calling the organization “….obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago.” Later, during a meeting with Angela Merkel, he flip-flopped and expressed support for the NATO Treaty, a mutual defense pact between 28 member nations in North America and Europe. It has been in place since 1949. It is widely accepted that the Russians would love to see NATO go away.
It’s also possible, considering how politically ham-handed these people sometimes are, that the Administration decided to totally snub NATO, and simply forget about the summit. Later, once feedback began coming in and they realized the enormity of their mistake, they probably decided that Trump himself would attend the meeting leaving Tillerson free to meet with the Russians.
With the Trump Administration, it always seems to come back to what’s best for the Russians.
This is embarrassing. Ivanka Trump moving into the west wing and being given a top security clearance only makes matters worse. Our new royal family with King Donald and Princess Ivanka in charge, neither putting their vast business interests in blind trusts, neither with any substantive political or diplomatic experience.
Instead of continuing to give Donald Trump break after break while he destroys our national credibility, turning the country into an international embarrassment, it may be time to revert to that old catch-phrase from the 60’s and demand that everybody once again, needs to start “telling it like it is,” so that we the people can stop living each day with the terrible feeling that our country is under threat from executives at the highest levels of government who may have been co-opted by the Russians and could be guilty of collusion.
Even if there is no collusion, when does conflict of interest cross over into unacceptable or even criminal activity? Is there a line and has it been crossed? What are the limits for any given president using the highest office in the land for personal profit? Doesn’t the emoluments clause come into play?
Our representatives in the House and Senate need to ask themselves whether it is sane for Donald J. Trump to continue on as president until a thorough investigation of his connections to the Russians has been concluded, and then take appropriate action to ensure our security. They need to set party differences aside. They need to put the country first and do their jobs so that the rest of us will once again be able to sleep at night.