Defending the Indefensible
There is a strong probability that Donald Trump’s campaign and the Trump Administration are in collusion with Russia. The more information revealed the more convinced I am that we are in a national security crisis. It has been reported that Trump’s inner circle held up to 18 meetings with Russian operatives.
We know that NSA Michael Flynn, AG Jeff Sessions, and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner all failed to disclose on Security Clearance Form, the multiple interactions they had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. This form explicitly requires an individual to list contact for the past 10 years with any foreign government.
Many of these meetings occurred in the middle of the presidential campaign and after the U.S. intelligence agencies charged Russia with a cyber attack on our democratic process to boost Donald Trump’s chances of winning the election.
Kushner alone had over a dozen meetings with Russian representatives before the inauguration. One of these meetings was with Sergei Gorkov, CEO of Russian state-owned bank that is under sanction by the United States after being implicated in a 2015 espionage case in which one of the bank’s executive pleaded guilty to spying. Kushner is also accused of suggesting to Kislyak that a secret channel of communication with the Kremlin and the administration be setup in a secured Russian facility.
Because of these meetings and lack of disclosure, Michael Flynn was fired; Jeff Session was forced to recuse himself from the DOJ’s Russian investigation; and Kushner is now under FBI scrutiny. Another undisclosed meeting between Sessions and Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in April is now under investigation.
President Trump fired FBI Director Comey for refusing to end the investigation into Flynn’s connection with Russia. White House transcripts of Trump’s meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavnov in the Oval Office revealed Trump saying that he had relieved himself of great pressure by firing Comey. Trump also shared highly classified intelligence with them, reported to have come from Israel. Trump himself is being investigated for obstruction of justice.
It has been reported that Trump is looking to return the Russian compounds seized by the Obama Administration, that determined these facilities were being used for espionage and where some of the planning was done for the cyber-attack on the presidential election.
Even more concerning than the interactions by Trump’s inner-circle with Russia, is the lack of reaction by the Republican leadership. The people everyone said would be the adults in the room, Generals Allen, McMaster and Mattis have not given any indication that is a true statement. Each of them has made public statements normalizing the erratic and embarrassing behavior, from Trump’s leaking intelligence to the Russians to Kushner trying to set-up a secret communication channel with Russia.
We have seen the credibility of Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, NSA Mike Rogers, DNI Dan Coats, and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe all come under scrutiny, when they refused to answer questions at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about their knowledge of the president’s attempts to interfere in the Russian investigation.
Imagine if this had transpired in a Hillary Clinton administration. This Russian situation is bigger than partisan politics, it is about the sovereignty of America. The most important responsibility of any government is to protect its citizens.