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.
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.
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.
Despite the whirlwind of revelations over the past year, as well as efforts by President Trump and his defenders in Congress to distract and confuse and brand the investigation a “witch hunt,” the Trump-Russia story remains, at its core, a relatively simple one.
How decades of Donald Trump's business dealings and Vladimir Putin's assault on Western democracy converged during the 2016 election cycle and beyond
Mueller is still reportedly investigating a decision to remove language supporting lethal weapons for Ukraine from the GOP party platform, a surprising reversal of a key attack on President Obama’s Ukraine policy. While Republicans—House Intel Committee members in particular—have tried to downplay that event, consider it in the broader timeline of Trump-Russia collusion. This could be a down payment on a quid for Russian interference quo. In other words, the platform change is a clear and tangible deliverable from Trump to Russia.