The Moscow Project has been tracking the Trump-Russia coverup for months, maintaining a list of contacts and meetings between Trump-world and Russia that’s now reached over 80 entries, dozens of lies about those entries, and Congressional negligence around most of them. The latest addition? As The Washington Post reported this weekend, in May 2016, a Russian national approached Roger Stone and offered dirt on Hillary Clinton in exchange for $2 million.
The June 9, 2016, meeting has become a focal point for Congressional investigators and the Special Counsel’s office as they continue the probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Given the above events, Aras and Emin Agalarovs’ involvement is of particular interest to investigators.
It’s been a busy week for American foreign policy, but Russian interference isn’t just an American problem. The Kremlin has been hard at work undermining democracy and international stability throughout the West; there may be no better example than recent discoveries about their involvement with the Brexit campaign.
Two years ago, in the middle of the 2016 presidential race, the senior-most members of the Trump campaign—Donald Trump Jr., Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner—met in Trump Tower with Russian operatives with close ties to the Kremlin. The attendees and President Donald Trump’s defenders have argued that the meeting was not collusion. But in the year since the meeting’s existence was revealed, a trove of documents released to the public, including emails and other communications between the meeting’s participants, has demonstrated otherwise.
The Department of Justice Inspector General's forthcoming report will further cement the case that Trump has sought to obstruct the Russia investigation. According to an ABC News story yesterday, the report will show that the Jim Comey and others in the FBI repeatedly violated DOJ policy during the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, harming Clinton’s campaign and benefiting Trump’s. This should put to rest the obviously false charges made by Trump and Trump supporters that the FBI was biased against him.
One of the few constants throughout the Donald J. Trump administration has been corruption. Since his first day as president, when Trump took the wholly unprecedented step of refusing to divest from his private businesses, his administration has been characterized by an unending effort by him, his family, and his senior advisers to abuse their political power for personal gain.
Cohen’s blatant influence-peddling is not “normal.” It is part of an unusually corrupt pattern of behavior by Trump’s circle of advisers that brings to mind political operators in former Soviet states, where there is little separation between business and politics. It is a mistake for anyone to shrug their shoulders and concede that this is just the way things work in today’s Washington.