2016 Presidential Election
There has been speculation that Russia and President Trump were conspiring during his campaign in 2016. On many accounts, Trump and his administration have been denying communications with Russia, but the evidence says otherwise. On July 6th, 2017 Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s senior advisor, and the chairman of Trump’s campaign met with Russian President, Kremlin, to have a secret meeting regarding Hillary Clinton. Immediately, investigations into the Russia-Trump connections went underway. Special counsel Robert Mueller took on the investigation and discovered that Trump and Russia sought out a business deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow (which ended up being scrapped); this debunks Trump’s claims of having zero ties to Russia. Not only that, but Trump’s SoHo building was made in association with Russia investors, for they helped finance a big chunk of the development.
Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent, gathered documents of Trump and Russia’s connections. These documents are now known as the Steele Dossier. Although the Steele Dossier brings us a step closer to the investigation, these are still unverified allegations. To make matters worse (for Trump), it’s been revealed that Russia essentially got political trolls to feed out misinformation about during campaign to the public. They put out ads on platforms like facebook, twitter, and Instagram. They were sending scripted messages and posts to users. They even organized fake protests during the
Two Pleas And Two Indictments
- Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were accused of money laundering and involvement in Russian interference by special counsel Mueller.
- The grand jury indicted both of them with 12 charges for connections to pro-Russian factions and laundering millions through foreign accounts.
- Manafort and Gates proceeded to plead not guilty and were sentenced to house arrest on bail between the two of them totaling at $15 million.
- George Papadopoulos, Trump’s former campaign aide, and Michael Flynn, former national security advisor, plead guilty to lying to FBI.
- George Papadopoulos got involved with a professor who has Russian connections to gather dirt on Hillary Clinton and tried to arrange meetings between Russians and the Trump campaign.
- Michael Flynn met with a Russian ambassador to discuss creating foreign policy before Trump’s inauguration; Flynn is the first to cooperate with officials on the investigation.
Nunes Memo & Rebuttal
Last week, Devin Nunes (Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee) aides wrote a 4-page memo about how the FBI and Justice Department have been abusing their security power. The Nunes memo claims that FBI “lied” to the court about their sources, which was Christopher Steele, and they started their investigation on trump before they applied for a wiretap to monitor, former advisor, Carter Page. It’s also been revealed that Christopher Steele was hired by Hillary Clinton’s and Democratic National Committee’s research firm.
This puts the integrity of Mueller’s “Trump and Russia investigation” in question, with the motives of the Democrats and Hillary at play. The FBI has claimed that these allegations are false, despite Trump releasing the memo in efforts to clear his name. He believes that if he can prove that the FBI and Mueller team is biased against him, he can discredit the ongoing investigation (which is unlikely).
On December 5th, the House Intelligence Committee voted to release the Democrat's rebuttal in response to the Nunes Memo. The rebuttal is 10 pages long and hopes to clear FBI and the Justices Department of any abuse or wrongdoings. As of now, the rebuttal must be sent and reviewed by the White House. Trump and his advisors also must review it over and decide whether they’ll attempt to block it or let it release.