With more and more revelations calling into question the president’s insistence that there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russian operatives, the president’s lawyers are now resorting to the bizarre argument that collusion simply isn’t a crime. It seems to be the last refuge for the embattled administration at this point, but does it even make sense?
Working with Protect Democracy, we dove into the details to explain why it would be a crime to collude with a foreign power to win an election. And just as importantly, why it would be a betrayal of our fundamental American values and a stunning breach of the public trust.
Download the full report here.
Tonight, President Donald Trump eliminated any doubt as to his eager support for Devin Nunes’ misinformation campaign intended to discredit investigations into the president’s ties to Moscow. In refusing to release the Democratic Intelligence Committee memo, despite unanimous support by the Intel Committee GOP, he has shown that the entire exercise is a farce designed to mislead, distract, and undermine the investigations. While he cites national security and information security as his justification, it couldn’t be clearer that he is using secrecy to protect his assaults on the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Special Counsel. This is just the latest step in an ongoing effort by the president, Chairman Devin Nunes, and other members of Congress to turn the House Intelligence Committee into his personal protection racket.
The president lacks the credibility to merit the benefit of the doubt in his treatment of the Mueller investigation. His repeated deceptions and political attacks prove that he is acting in bad faith. Sadly, it’s become obvious that the president does not wish to uncover the truth behind Moscow’s ongoing information warfare against the American people. Instead, he’s intent on obfuscating the truth with misleading information and one-sided memos as he continues to benefit from the confusion and division he and his lackeys create.
The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release this memo and the information it contained to the American people. If they are honest in their claims to want transparency, Paul Ryan and House Republicans will take immediate action to authorize the release of the memo over the president’s objections. While they’re at it, they must prove their commitment to combating Putin’s information warfare campaign against our country by passing legislation to further protect the Mueller investigation and conduct bipartisan inquiries into the Russian government’s election meddling and connections to the Trump campaign. Our national security depends on it.
After weeks of hype and hyperbole on the Nunes Memo, what we got was a lot of sizzle, no steak. But the PR blitz by Nunes, the Administration, and other GOP leaders is trying to sell a partisan and misleading memo. Arm yourself with some facts and key points, courtesy of Stand Up Republic.
The Administration’s Response
It’s no secret that the president viewed this memo as a way to stop the Mueller investigation.
Trump’s own tweets prove as much.
His allies have lined up to push the very same narrative:
– Tea Party Patriots want to fire Rod Rosenstein,
– Judicial Watch echoes the same,
– the Federalist says to be a patriot you HAVE to attack the FBI.
Many Members of Congress have tried to walk a tightrope, saying the memo was important, but didn’t discredit the Mueller investigation.
Maybe they believe that, but after a year of Trump warring against those investigating him, they had to know how he’d use this memo.
It’s naive to think that the president would view this memo as anything other than a weapon against the FBI and Mueller investigation.
Many members of Congress pointed to public pressure campaigns urging them to #ReleaseTheMemo, but research shows that these social media campaigns were by and large the result of Russian information warfare attacks.
The Memo’s False Allegations
The memo itself contradicts Team Trump’s central claim that the Steele Dossier provided the basis for the Mueller investigation. Rather, it was Trump campaign adviser George Papadopolous who’s ties to Russia prompted the investigation.
The memo claims that the Steele Dossier is the only evidence the FBI used in applying for a warrant to monitor Trump advisor Carter Page.
Page first appeared on the FBI’s radar in 2013, and there are literally recordings of Russian spies discussing Page as a potential agent.
The memo also argues that the Steele Dossier — funded by Clinton’s opposition research efforts — shouldn’t be used by the FBI. It’s astonishing that GOP leaders think the FBI shouldn’t follow credible evidence or leads if it comes from a source they don’t like.
Despite the memo’s claims that the FBI had not told judges of the political nature of the dossier, they’ve now acknowledged that yes, in fact, the FBI did tell judges of the document’s political roots.
Ultimately, the memo claims to prove that there is an anti-Trump bias in the FBI, especially during the 2016 election. But there is no evidence that the FBI did anything at that time to tip the scales against Trump. On the contrary, the fact that these investigations were not leaked or made public show that they were not used to influence the election.
We know that Russia did attack our country with information warfare in the 2016 election, and we know that they continue to do so today. We also know that Carter Page has several troubling ties to Russian intelligence agents.
Critical questions to ask:
Why is the Trump administration, Devin Nunes, and the House GOP leadership trying to defend Carter Page with half-truths and partisan memos?
We already know that the Trump campaign included 5 advisors and employees with dangerous ties to the Kremlin: Flynn, Gates, Manafort, Page, and Papadopolous.
Why did the Trump administration hire so many advisers with inappropriate ties to Putin and the Kremlin?
Were those advisers hired because of their Russian ties, or were people working on behalf of the Russian government eager to inject themselves in the Trump campaign?
If they’ve done nothing wrong, why have so many of them openly lied about their connections, and why has the administration routinely misrepresented their work for the campaign?
Don’t we deserve answers to these questions?