During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton...
...Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night at the Kensington Wine Rooms with the Australian, Alexander Downer, is unclear. But two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role.
The hacking and the revelation that a member of the Trump campaign may have had inside information about it were driving factors that led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired.
Trying to keep up with the timeline on this should be a full-time PAYING gig at the honest media outlets. As long as the benefits include free drinks at the nearest bar because SWEET JESUS CHRIST THIS IS INSANE.
...The information that Mr. Papadopoulos gave to the Australians answers one of the lingering mysteries of the past year: What so alarmed American officials to provoke the F.B.I. to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign months before the presidential election?
It was not, as Mr. Trump and other politicians have alleged, a dossier compiled by a former British spy hired by a rival campaign. Instead, it was firsthand information from one of America’s closest intelligence allies...
Don't forget that by July 27 - when the leaks were becoming noticeable and the media was noting that it seemed to come from Russia - trump openly called on Russia to hack Hillary some more.
trump is now running around claiming "It's not collusion, but if it IS collusion is not a crime." Well, dealing with a foreign nation to subvert the U.S. Election system IS a crime. Getting that foreign nation to hack American citizens for your benefit is a crime. And knowing how trump works - that it's all about the money (and money HE can acquire) - I'm willing to bet there's a lot of fraudulent stuff there to boot (there's a reason why Mueller brought in investigators experienced in money laundering cases).
Every last bit of this on trump's side of things reeks of TREASON: "Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason..." We may not be directly at war with Russia, and the Cold War itself a historic relic, but we are opposed to that nation on many foreign issues - especially Ukraine and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Middle East - to where we have active sanctions against Russia (something that trump promised to end, there's your Quid Pro Quo).
If this were England involving itself in our election, if this were France, if this were Canada or Jamaica or Egypt or Saudi Arabia or any other "close ally" of ours, this would still be a problem because a FOREIGN POWER would be involving itself in the sovereign affairs of our own government. We had an international scandal when a British Ambassador commented on the election of 1888, which may have thrown the election against Grover Cleveland (who won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College, SOUND FAMILIAR?). Our own government admittedly meddled in the elections of other nations during the Cold War, under the pretext of stopping global Communism, so say hello to the irony of Russia interfering in ours.
So this bothers me. It horrifies me, truly, that the Republican Party seems willing to sign off on this to clench onto political power they might not have honestly earned. That trump and his campaign staffers seem - based on the known evidence - to willingly, gleefully seek Russia's aid in all of this reaches a level of criminality that fits - to my American sensibilities - the definition of treason.
Arrest them all. Damn them. Let this new year be a clean slate for the nation.