On Tuesday, former CIA Director John Brennan testified to the House Intelligence Committee that he had concerns, without citing specific evidence. “I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about,” he said.
That’s the really important matter to investigate. If Putin and Trump -- or people working for them -- actually made a deal to swing a U.S. election, that calls for impeachment and treason charges. If Trump was complicit in such a plot, he shouldn’t be president. If he tried and failed to shut down investigations that later revealed collusion by his underlings without his knowledge, it’s a more complicated matter.
For now, the public case against Trump appears to be about his clumsy interactions with U.S. intelligence officials, not about any evidence of collusion. This threatens to further chill delicate and extremely important relations between the U.S. and Russia for petty political reasons. I also fear that Russian people will be stigmatized in the U.S. regardless of whether they have anything to do with Putin’s Kremlin. If Trump is undone by this secondary, derivative scandal, soon no one will remember exactly what happened and the collusion story may be validated by default, as far as most Americans are concerned.
I hope Mueller’s investigators will remember what they’re investigating, and I hope they do an honest job.
This is an undistinguished chapter in the history of US intelligence and Trump has obviously not helped the situation. Nevertheless, I think this is inexperienced bungling rather than a treasonable offence.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been appointed as special prosecutor and is highly regarded by both political parties for his experience and integrity.Back to top