As Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is abusing the power of his office. At every turn, he tries to hide the truth about Russian interference in the 2016 election and attack the credibility of U.S. law enforcement by spreading lies and misleading information.
A new brief from the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Moscow Project shows that, based on public reporting and indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller, there are at least 80 known contacts between Trump’s team and Russia-linked operatives during the campaign and transition, including at least 23 meetings.
The simplest explanation for the entire Russia investigation is that Donald Trump had decades-long relationships with Kremlin-linked Russians and openly accepted their help in the 2016 election.
Since the beginning of Trump’s administration, the White House has demonstrated a clear and consistent pattern of behavior toward Russia by not only calling for better relations with the Kremlin but also actively advancing Russia’s foreign policy objectives. There is no clear geopolitical or policy rationale for Trump’s behavior, which often comes at the cost of longstanding American foreign policy interests. As political scientist Ian Bremmer recently assessed, “No serious foreign policy analyst I know (nor any ex-Trump- Admin official) has a good explanation for why Trump is so singularly enamored with Russian President Vladimir Putin.” Nor is there a political rationale. Amid Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and charges of collusion, it would almost certainly benefit Trump to distance himself from Putin and dispel rumors that he is beholden to his Russian counterpart. Instead, at every opportunity, Trump has embraced Putin and adopted positions that only raise additional suspicion about Trump’s motives and rationale. Putin’s return on investment from Trump’s presidency has been significant.
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.
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.