Rachel Maddow raised some serious alarm bells on Wednesday, citing a new report from The New York Times which suggests that the Trump administration bribed Ukraine with weapons in order to get them to stop cooperating with Robert Mueller’s investigation.
According to The Times, “Four meandering cases that involve Mr. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, have been effectively frozen by Ukraine’s chief prosecutor.”
The report also notes this key piece of information: “The decision to halt the investigations by an anticorruption prosecutor was handed down at a delicate moment for Ukraine, as the Trump administration was finalizing plans to sell the country sophisticated anti-tank missiles, called Javelins.”
In other words, the United States changed its policy about selling weapons to Ukraine, and Ukraine stopped looking into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort – at roughly the same time.
“That seems nuts, right?” a dumbfounded Rachel Maddow asked on her show on Wednesday.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) May 3, 2018
Maddow explained this stunning development:
We now know flat-out based on this remarkable new report from Andrew Cramer in The New York Times today that the government in this other country spiked those active investigations and effectively spiked the offer for their prosecutors to cooperate with Mueller specifically to curry favor with Donald Trump and the U.S. government. Because they wouldn’t want to help Mueller. That might make Trump mad. We also know that when they made that decision to drop those prosecutions in Ukraine, the president and the U.S. government changed their long-standing position on whether or not to sell that country anti-tank weapons. They decide oh, you know what? Actually, despite our previous opposition, we’re going to go ahead and sell you those weapons. So did the U.S. government, did the Trump White House ask for that particular favor from Ukraine? Did the Trump White house, did President Trump, did the Trump administration say hey, Ukraine, stop helping Mueller. Maybe you’ll get your missiles? I don’t know. That seems nuts, right? But everything does seem nuts now. And so it’s probably at least time to ask so we can at least get an answer on the record now to compare with whatever the later answer will be down the road once we get further reporting that explicates the real situation.
This is not the behavior of an innocent man
It goes without saying that this is not how innocent people behave when they’re being investigated. Quite the contrary, in fact.
If Trump and his team are completely innocent, they would welcome as many investigations and cooperating parties as possible in order to resoundingly show that they’re clean.
Instead, the president and his loyalists have sought to derail and discredit the Mueller investigation every step of the way.
If this new development is true – if the Trump government essentially bribed Ukraine with weapons to get them to back off Manafort and stop helping Mueller – it would be “nuts,” as Maddow pointed out on Wednesday.
By going out of its way to cover up old scandals, Trump is creating new ones, and along the way, he’s behaving like someone who knows he’s guilty.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.