How we got to this point? Maybe now seems like a good time to review the five core truths about the Russia scandal.
“It was a few days after the FBI executed a court-approved search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. Donald Trump started complaining anew about the investigation into the Russia scandal, reiterating his familiar belief that the controversy ‘was a hoax.’” The former president echoed the line again the other day.
Every U.S. intelligence agency and lawmakers from both parties have long agreed that the Kremlin launched an expansive and expensive covert military intelligence operation that targeted the U.S. political system in 2016. This basic fact is no longer contested — except by Trump, who publicly declares he found Vladimir Putin more reliable than his own administration’s officials. Its importance is too often overlooked.
Russia’s goal was to put Trump in power
The Kremlin’s operation was not politically neutral: Moscow attacked our elections in the hopes of helping dictate the outcome. According to the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies, the Mueller investigation, and the multi-step investigation from the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee, Russia saw Trump as a prospective ally and believed it would be in its interests if the Republican were in the White House.
Russia and Team Trump were political allies
As regular readers know, investigations from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team and the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee documented the extent to which Trump and his team welcomed, received, and benefited from Russian campaign assistance. (They also obstructed the investigation into this assistance — by some measures, 10 times.)
The evidence also showed there was coordination and high-level connections between Trump’s political operation and those responsible for the attack on our elections. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report at one point literally described a “direct tie between senior Trump Campaign officials and the Russian intelligence services.”
Team Trump lied about its communications with Russia
No, really, Team Trump lied about its communications with Russia. A lot. Out loud and on record. Over and over again, Trump and his spokespersons insisted there were absolutely no interactions between the Republican, his political operation, and their Russian benefactors. We now know definitively that they were lying — though they still haven’t been forthcoming about why.
The Russia scandal led to felony convictions and prison
For an alleged “hoax,” the Russia scandal led to an amazing number of federal prosecutions. In fact, the investigation — the one Lowry derided as “a national fiasco” — led to the convictions of, among others, Trump’s White House national security advisor, campaign chairman, deputy campaign chairman, foreign policy advisor, personal lawyer, and 13 Russian nationals who interfered in our elections as part of the larger plot.
g’da . . . “I hear we’ve got lots of room at Gitmo.”