Thursday, March 22, 2018

America Was Attacked and They Did Nothing

There is a pretty damning report out on the failure of the House Intelligence Committee to do something about Russia's attack on our election and our way of life:

Even though the final report from the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee will find no evidence of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia, a new study by a Democratic-aligned advocacy group suggests the committee didn't look very hard.

According to the Center for American Progress's Moscow Project, the House committee charged with investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election obtained either no or incomplete information about 81 percent of the known contacts between Trump officials and Russians, or groups and individuals with strong Russia ties like Wikileaks.

Those officials include former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has pled guilty to lying to the FBI and former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who has been indicted on an array of tax, financial, and bank fraud crimes and has worked on behalf on foreign entities aligned with Russia.

Another key finding, according to CAP's examination: At least 22 high-ranking Trump campaign officials knew about the contacts during the 2016 campaign and the transition.

The study was conducted by CAP's Moscow Project, a research initiative aimed at documenting Trump's Russia ties.

The fact that the committee didn't look very hard means that there was no oversight, no investigation, and no effort made to get to the truth. This is pretty egregious, even for Congress, and even for a pack of complicit Republicans who are trying to protect a president from their own party. It's the kind of thing that demonstrates that Russia won this battle. They exploited the American political system and they knew they could get away with it because the ideological divide in this country all but ensures that Republicans won't investigate other Republicans, no matter what they do.

How bad was it? This bad:

Based on news reports, public statements, witness lists and indictments related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, the CAP report documents at least 70 contacts between the Trump team and Russia-linked operatives, from January of 2016 through 2017 as Trump took the oath of office. They include 22 meetings, including Skype calls.

While many news organizations, including NBC, have documented the timeline and large volume of contacts between Trump officials and the Russians, the CAP report is particularly comprehensive, making some connections that have not been widely reported and taking an exhaustive view of how many Trump officials were aware of the regular interactions.

And, the 12-page study claims, the committee failed to interview key witnesses involved in 60 percent of the cases.

That's negligence, plain and simple. When all of this is said and done, history is going to be extremely cruel to the Republicans in this Congress. There is no way any of them can claim to be protecting the interests of the American people at this point because they are not dragging Trump officials before the various oversight committees. Our power grid is hopelessly exposed and compromised, and no one gives a shit. Our election infrastructure is outdated and ridiculous. The Republicans have flushed the idea of respecting the rule of law down the drain. Their responsibilities are being abandoned in favor of a political cover-up.

Trump and his regime are so compromised by ties to Russia that it is impossible to ignore just how blatant the corruption has become. It's all theater of the absurd, and the American people are suffering for it. 

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