The administration’s latest obstructive push is more brazen than ever: actively politicizing U.S. intelligence and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to concoct an attack against President Barack Obama, while relying on those same mechanisms to conceal incriminating evidence about Trump himself. Trump is inventing a conspiracy out of deceptive half-releases of information designed to mislead and distract from the real scandals he’s hidden from view. Here’s the playbook from Trump and his attack dogs Attorney General Bill Barr and Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.
On Thursday, the Department of Justice dropped charges against President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, despite his having pleaded guilty twice. The decision is a brutal reminder of just how brazenly Trump and his top lackey Attorney General Bill Barr are willing to abuse their authority to rewrite history surrounding Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which produced the single most damning report ever written about a sitting president.
One year ago today, the U.S. Department of Justice released special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The Trump lawsuit claims that a March 27, 2019, op-ed titled “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo” intentionally lied about Trump to hurt his 2020 campaign. According to a draft legal complaint, Trump’s 2020 campaign is suing over author Max Frankel’s claim that “the Trump campaign and [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy … had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration’s burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo.” There’s one huge problem with Trump’s lawsuit: What Frankel wrote in his op-ed is true.
Russia’s main objective in 2020 is the same it was in 2016. That objective isn’t simply to sow discord; it is, as the US Intelligence concluded in 2017, to elect Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump is already colluding with Russia again to attack American democracy and help him win the 2020 election. According to The Washington Post and The New York Times, Trump berated and then fired his acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because career officials briefed Congress about the fact that Russia intended to help him in 2020, just like it did in 2016. In other words, Trump is aiding and abetting the Russian government by undermining the U.S. government’s response, and is using his power as president to do so.
With impeachment in the rearview mirror, President Donald Trump is accelerating his efforts to weaponize the U.S. government for his personal benefit. Trump already has his Roy Cohn at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in Attorney General William Barr, who has abused his office to protect the president. Now, Trump is turning to the intelligence community to further consolidate his power and leverage the government for personal gain by making his ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, the acting director of national intelligence (DNI).
President Donald Trump is desperate to make himself the victim. After being impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives and earning bipartisan support for conviction in the Senate, President Donald Trump has retreated to his familiar false claims about the Russia investigation: that it was biased, that it was a waste of time and money, and that it exonerated him. He is, as The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker wrote, trying to “rewrite history” to portray himself—and Russia—as targets of an illegal “witch hunt” rather than as complicit in one of the worst attacks on American democracy in history.