Here are the facts of the recent Trump/Russia investigation:
Facts of this Situation
- 1 Trump-Russia Issue Started with the DNC
- 2 Mike Flynn is at the Center of the Controversy
- 3 Several in Mr. Trump’s Admin have Russian Ties
- 4 Mr. Trump’s Team did Contact the Russians
- 5 Mr. Trump Gave Classified Information to the Russians
- 6 CIA/NSA/FBI Reports
- 7 FBI Director Comey’s Involvement
- 8 A Special Council has Been Formed to Investigate
- 9 Mr. Trump is calling the Investigation a “Political Witch Hunt”
- 10 Mr. Trump has Lifted Zero Sanctions
Trump-Russia Issue Started with the DNC
On October 7, 2016, the website WikiLeaks released a batch of emails from the email account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. Named the ‘Podesta Files,’ these documents detailed the Democratic National Convention’s doings and forced the resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Immediately after the leaks, the Democrats were quick to blame Russians hackers, despite a lack of evidence to prove their claim truthful. Then, rather randomly, came up with the belief that the Russians were aiding the campaign of Donald Trump in hopes of his victory.
However, WikiLeaks denied getting the email messages from the Russians, and implied it was someone from inside the DNC. While the name of the leaker is unknown (they went by the username ‘Guccifer’), some reports state that the leaker may have been Seth Rich, a DNC employee surrounded by a mysterious death.
Even though WikiLeaks firmly stated that the Russians were not the suppliers of the information, the Democrats began to push this Trump-Russia collusion narrative.
Mike Flynn is at the Center of the Controversy
During their first meeting (11/10/16) after Mr. Trump’s victory, then President Barack Obama warned Mr. Trump about the potential conflicts of interest of Michael Flynn, a retired general and a Trump supporter. In 2014, President Obama had removed Mr. Flynn from the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Later evidence proved Mr. Flynn had contacted the Russian ambassador (he contacted the ambassador five times in one day) to discuss the relief of tough sanctions levied against Russia by President Barack Obama.
Because of his involvement with Russia, documents pertaining to Mr. Flynn have been subpoenaed. Although the documents have not been provided by Mr. Flynn, he is expected to cooperate, as opposed to the past reports that he was not going to cooperate.
As for now, Mr. Flynn has been the poster boy for Democrats to prove that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia, despite the fact that President Trump has not followed through on any of the things Mr. Flynn discussed with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Several in Mr. Trump’s Admin have Russian Ties
Several members in President Trump’s current Administration have ties to Russia:
- Michael Flynn, who we discussed in the prior point. Mr. Flynn had also been a frequent commentator on the Russian state-run website RT.com and had also been paid to visit Russia.
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: Mr. Tillerson, once the Chief Executive Officer of the gas company Exxon Mobil, had a friendly relationship with the Kremlin in order to further the business’ ventures. Tillerson is also a good friend with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and received the Order of Friendship medal from Mr. Putin himself.
- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: Mr. Ross had part ownership of the Bank of Cyprus, a bank that a clientele of Russian oligarchs and has allegedly harbored laundered Russian money. Mr. Ross has since stepped down from the bank.
Other members in Trump’s campaign for President did have ties to Russia, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Russia advisor Carter Page, and Roger Stone.
Mr. Trump’s Team did Contact the Russians
A recent Reuters report has shown that members of the campaign team of President Donald Trump had contacted the Russians at least 18 times during the last six months of the campaign, including at six contacts made by Michael Flynn.
However, the report also uncovers that the calls, email, or other forms of communication were legal and no wrong was done in the conversations, dispelling the left’s narrative that the calls involved collusion between the two parties.
Mr. Trump Gave Classified Information to the Russians
On May 10, 2017, President Donald Trump had a closed-door meeting with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak.
In the meeting, in which no media outlets were allowed to sit-in on, it has been reported that Mr. Trump and Mr. Kislyak spoke about highly classified information regarding ISIS’ development of lethal bombs that fit inside of a computer.
Again, there was no wrongdoing in the conversation, as President Trump is allowed to declassify any information as he sees fit (a law signed by President Barack Obama).
In addition, if this information was in fact “classified,” it was the worst kept secret ever. Almost every single mainstream media website had reported on the possibility of ISIS using computers as bombs on planes over a month before the meeting took place.
Therefore, this meeting could not be used as a basis for impeachment, instead, experts are saying the worst “crime” you could charge the President with is negligence.
Separate CIA, FBI, and NSA reports concluded that Vladimir Putin had influenced the election in favor of Donald Trump.
However, the reports stated that Russia interfered in the United States election via WikiLeaks, the website that had released incriminating emails from the Democratic National Convention, despite WikiLeaks consistent appeals that their source was not Russia, but instead a leaker inside the DNC.
As Donald Trump has said, these same agencies also concluded that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, when in fact he did not.
FBI Director Comey’s Involvement
In a Congressional Hearing in late March, FBI Director James Comey stated that the FBI was indeed investigating the Trump-Russia issue, especially Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s pick for National Security Advisor.
On May 9, 2017, President Trump fired Mr. Comey, leading to a wave of cries of “cover up” from the left. However, shortly after announcing the firing, Trump’s team revealed the reason they fired Mr. Comey: he was ineffective and had failed to properly investigate many cases, including that of Hillary Clinton.
A few days later, Mr. Comey released a memo stating that, in a private conversation, Mr. Trump had asked him to end the Mike Flynn investigation. However, the date of the memo was after the date in which the FBI ended the Flynn case, proving that
A Special Council has Been Formed to Investigate
On May 17, 2017, the U.S Justice Department, due to rising pressure from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, named former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate any linkage between the administration of President Donald Trump and Russia.
Mr. Mueller’s powers include charging anyone with criminal charges and subpoenaing any necessary people or items that would be pertinent to the investigation. However, Mr. Mueller must run any “significant” actions by the Attorney General before carrying them out.
Mr. Trump is calling the Investigation a “Political Witch Hunt”
As he frequently does, President Donald Trump took to his Twitter account to protest the investigation, calling the probe a “political witch hunt.”
Judging by the definition of witch-hunt – “campaign directed against a person or group holding unorthodox or unpopular views” – the Russia/Trump investigation could definitely be called a political witch-hunt as a way to impeach Mr. Trump.
Although people from the left have pushed that Mr. Trump will work to lift sanctions with Russia and ultimately use his influence to support Russia, the President has shown no inclination to do either.
On April 21, 2017, President Trump blocked Exxon Mobil, the company in which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the CEO before taking his job in the White House, from drilling in Russia due to the current sanctions.
So, despite what the Democrats are trying to push, President Donald Trump has not aided Russia in any way and does not look like he will.