The Democratic National Convention aired its second night of festivities yesterday, including the official nomination of Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate. The evening again featured segments from Democratic heavyweights like Bill Clinton and John Kerry, often pounding Trump for his failure to respond to the pandemic. Clinton’s description of Trump: “The buck never stops there.” There were also DNC ads that hammered Trump for betraying the military by ignoring reports that Russia paid a bounty to the Taliban to kill US troops. And there were clips of citizens who have struggled to get adequate health coverage, which remains among the top concerns for voters. One of the highlights of the evening was a speech by Doctor Jill Biden, whose wit and warmth were an appealing preview of what a paramount first lady she would make.
But the Convention overshadowed big news that also broke yesterday. As this blog reported a few weeks ago, the Mueller report only examined the criminal obstruction allegations against Trump and his campaign and never looked at the possible counter-intelligence ramifications of Trump and his circle. This was because the FBI split off a secret counter-intelligence investigation of Trump in conjunction with the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Senate Intel Committee–run by Republicans–has been looking at Trump and Russia for three years and publicly released four reports, each looking at a different aspect of Russian interference in our election. These were their titles:
- Russian Efforts Against Election Infrastructure
- Russia’s Use of Social Media
- U. S. Government Response to Russian Activities
- Review of the Intelligence Community Assessment
Yesterday the Committee released it’s fifth and final volume, titled “Counterintelligence Threats and Vulnerabilities,” and it contains more explosive and damning evidence against Trump and his corrupt regime.
One of the biggest revelations: in June of 2019 the bi-partisan Senate committee made criminal referrals of Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Erik Prince and Sam Clovis to the Department of Justice, suggesting that these five may have misled the Senate during their testimony. Of course, from corrupt Barr’s DOJ we’ve only heard crickets. To Barr, lying to Congress or the FBI is merely an egghead technicality that should be ignored.
Paul Manafort also came under heavy criticism from the Senate. Among many observations about Manafort, the Committee said this:
On numerous occasions over the course of his time on the Trump Campaign, Manafort sought to secretly share internal Campaign information with Kilimnik. Gates, who served as Manafort’s deputy on the Campaign, aided Manafort in this effort. Manafort communicated electronically with Kilimnick and met Kilimnik in person twice while serving on the Trump Campaign. Manafort briefed Kilimnik on sensitive Campaign polling data and the Campaign’s strategy for beating Hillary Clinton. At Manafort’s direction, Gates used an encrypted messaging application to send additional campaign polling data to Kilimnick.
They later concluded…
…Manafort’s presence on the Campaign and proximity to Trump created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over and acquire confidential information on the Trump Campaign.
In other words, Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort colluded with Russia by giving them data for unknown but likely nefarious purposes, and Manafort’s presence on the Trump team was a grave national security threat.
So we know that Russia interfered in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf. And now the Senate has confirmed that the Trump campaign was interested in colluding with Russia and “created opportunities” for Russian intelligence to get involved.
The report also implied that Trump lied in his written responses to the Mueller investigation when he claimed not to remember any conversation about WikiLeaks with Roger Stone. But seems Stone and Trump did talk about WikiLeaks, according to the Senate. Clearly someone told Trump about WikiLeaks–who can forget him screaming about it from the campaign trail every chance he got.
The report also claims that Trump had an affair with a former Miss Moscow, but this should surprise no one, least of all his evangelical supporters.
In a broad sense, the Senate report backs the findings of the Mueller report even as certain Trump-loving Republican Senators are trying to investigate the investigators and throw shade on the legitimacy of the Mueller probe. So Lindsey Graham and the Fox network will have a tougher time selling the Mueller report as a Commie witch hunt without accusing Senate Republicans of being Commies.
We need to keep in mind that Russia is continuing to interfere in our elections and that Trump has done NOTHING to stop or dissuade them. We need to do everything we can to resist Trump and “vote his ass out of office.”
I’ll be on vacation for the remainder of the week, returning on Monday the 24th.