Russian Election Interference: True or False

Some individuals believe the strategists of the Democratic Party blame Russia for Hilary Clinton’s 2016 loss without cause. Others whole-hardily accept that Russia interfered in the 2016 general election. Others are uncertain as to the depth of the ties between Russia and the Trump wing of the GOP.

No matter how you personally feel, it’s important to consider what is known.

The most damning piece of evidence against Donald Trump is a July 27, 2016 statement. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

 

Newt Gingrich complained to the press that the statement was a joke. Yet, this also exists in a Tweet with a bit of a twist.

However, these public statements come after a Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a host of individuals from Russia. Interestingly, the House GOP committee investigating refused to have Trump Jr.’s phone records subpoenaed to determine whether Don Jr. called Donald J. Trump. We do not know if the Senate investigation has looked at phone records.

Next, comes Trump’s campaign forcing a change on Ukraine. Prior to Trump, the GOP were in support of Ukraine. This changed during the GOP Convention in 2016.

A third piece of curious events happens to be congressional votes to add sanctions against Russia. Trump ignores the sanctions. He does expel Russian diplomats but allows them to be replaced.

Finally, we have the Helsinki event in which Trump claims he misspoke — in front of the whole world.

“[Putin] just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said, of charges Russia had meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. “I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

After an uproar, Trump read a statement claiming he misspoke and meant wouldn’t. This would make the sentence, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be.”

 

Up to this point in the article, none of this points to direct evidence that Russia was involved in Russia in election. Except, if you consider the 29-page indictment on July 13th regarding 12 Russians.

The indictments include statements regarding, “phishing attacks to gain access to Democratic operatives, to money laundering, to attempts to break into state elections boards, the indictment details a vigorous and complex effort by Russia’s top military intelligence service to sabotage the campaign of Mr. Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.”

The GOP are calling for the Mueller investigation to end, as they claim there is no evidence of collusion. Of course, collusion is not the issue. The issues are far more serious. Foreign interference is a serious issue. There are laws against interference such as 52 U.S. Code § 30121 – Contributions and donations by foreign nationals.

The final piece to political discussions involve the deflection regarding Hilary Clinton and the Steele dossier. Trump and his supporters attempt to conflate the Steele dossier with the Trump Tower meeting and Trump’s calls for email hacking. The problem with this argument is that Clinton’s campaign paid for the Steele dossier after it was originally funded by The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website run by Paul Singer.

The biggest issue regarding the Trump campaign is the concealment of the activity from the Federal Election Commission.

Let us know if we left out any of the talking points?

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