Deterrence only works if it is credible: The actor threatening retaliation has to be seen as willing to carry it out. By refusing to implement Russia sanctions mandated by Congress despite tremendous political pressure to do so, the administration has sent a clear message: Don’t worry about sanctions, the United States won’t follow through.
While attention on the Schiff memo has understandably focused on its debunking of the Nunes memo, most coverage has missed one of the most damning revelations of the entire Russia crisis: the Trump campaign not only knew that Russia possessed hacked emails, they knew that Russia planned to disseminate them anonymously.
Today’s indictments suggest a stronger case for why Manafort would facilitate collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
If America is ever going to know the full truth about Russia’s interference in our elections, and how to fight these attacks going forward, it is imperative that Trump sit down and answer every question Special Counsel Mueller has—without restrictions. And he owes it to the American people to make those answers public when Mueller deems appropriate.
Today’s 13 indictments demonstrate that the Special Counsel’s broad investigation is about defending America from foreign interference and bringing to justice those who perpetrated the attack, both in Russia and here in the United States.