During Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and transition period, he and his associates had over 100 contacts with Russian-linked officials, and lied about and tried to cover up every one of them.
This bombshell information comes from a new report from the Moscow Project and Center for American Progress.
The original report said there were 100 documented contacts, but the number was increased to 101 this week following new reports that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates shared polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, who had ties to Russian intelligence.
The documented 101 contacts between Trump’s campaign and transition teams and Russia linked operatives included at least 28 in-person meetings. It also provides evidence of at least 28 high-ranking Trump campaign officials and advisors who were involved in and/or aware of contacts with Russia-linked operatives during the campaign and transition.
The contact count includes meetings with people who had direct ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Also included were high ranking Russian government officials, bankers, and intelligence operatives.
Each meeting, call, message or correspondence was counted as a separate contact in the report.
According to the report, this information supports reporting from U.S. intelligence agencies:
“On January 6, 2017, the U.S. intelligence community issued a report that showed there were two campaigns to elect Donald Trump: one run by Trump and one run by the Russian government. Trump and many of his senior advisors and close associates have repeatedly denied any connections between the two campaigns, despite the fact that they were working towards the same goal, at the same time, and utilizing the same tactics.”
Of course, for any U.S. presidential campaign to have over 100 Russia contacts is shocking.
Just as shocking, the Moscow Project points out that team Trump tried to cover up every single one of those Russia contacts. The report describes over 15 different cases where people in the Trump campaign issued false denials about its contacts with Russia.
As every prosecutor knows, such attempts to lie and cover up the truth establish “consciousness of guilt.” Trump and his people knew what they were doing was wrong, and they knew that if the information became public during the campaign he would probably lose the election.
There’s really no reason for a presidential campaign to have contacts with Russia. What was going on?
That’s what the FBI wanted to know when they found out about the contacts. As we reported on Friday, they opened up an investigation into Trump shortly after James Comey was fired. They wanted to know if Trump was working as a Russian intelligence asset.
We haven’t seen the results of the FBI investigation yet. We haven’t seen the information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies either. And we’re still waiting for Bob Mueller’s report on collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Despite this, enough information has been made public for us to form some conclusions. First and foremost, we can conclude that Donald Trump received assistance from Russia in his campaign for the presidency. It is likely he would not have been elected president without Russia’s help.
In addition, we have enough information to conclude that Donald Trump is probably guilty of treason and espionage, which are capital offenses.
Yesterday counterterrorism expert Malcolm Nance was on MSNBC, explaining that this new reporting from the New York Times establishes that Trump committed treason.
“I used to say that Trump was treason adjacent,” Nance said. “Now I say that he’s just neck-deep in treachery.”
There is more than enough evidence of not just “collusion” but also illegal conspiracy, espionage and treason. It is time for Donald Trump to leave the White House and take up residence in a federal prison, where he belongs.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.