Most understand that Donald Trump’s most outlandish statements and actions are designed to distract us from what he is up to. Sometimes, that is clearer than others. Thinking about Trump’s latest nonsense, including asking the “MyPillow” guy for medical advice, most began to wonder if Trump was indeed losing his mind. Thanks to both CNN and Washington Post, we now have our answer, and it comes in the form of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the Russia investigation.
According to Washington Post, the report was approved by a margin of 14 to 1. Mark Warner, ranking Democrat on the committee, appeared on “Meet the Press” to discuss the report in detail. Warner shared with the viewing audience that there were “unprecedented contacts between Russians and folks on the Trump campaign.” Committee members were apparently “alarmed” by the level of sharing of campaign information between Paul Manafort and a Russian agent. Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager; it is difficult — if not impossible — to believe that “president” Donald Trump had no knowledge of the sharing of information. So much for “no collusion.” Yet, people like Marco Rubio continue to claim there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and worse, Rubio claims the report “proves” it. Only in the deluded minds of Trump enablers does this report prove no collusion when it, in fact, does the exact opposite.
CNN reported that Warner discredited claims that the Mueller report proved nothing. Criminal charges aside, Trump betrayed our democracy for his own personal gain. Had Warner and Burr been unable to work out their differences, this report would not exist. Members of the committee spoke highly of the ability of the group to work together. The senators also worked in a bipartisan manner on interviews, which were conducted by their staff members, and according CNN, the staff directors, Chris Joyner and Mike Casey, worked together like their superiors. Because of the way the Committee conducted itself, they were able to dig deeper than had Mueller in his investigation.
The committee changed the terminology as necessary, for example, referring to Manafort’s contact as a “Russian intelligence officer” rather than someone with “ties to Russian intelligence.” They also determined that it was impossible that George Papadopoulos never told the campaign about the email hacks, and they were able to interview Donald Trump, Jr. and Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who infamously met with Trump, Jr., Manafort, and Kushner. The committee was able to delve a bit deeper than Mueller, though their efforts are fully based on his.
In the end, the Senate Intelligence Community found collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Intelligence that no one can dispute, though they will continue to try. It is important that this information reaches as wide an audience as possible, and the next time Trump shouts “no collusion,” we can throw the fact in his face that some of his own party found clear-cut evidence of his campaign’s collusion. It was Trump’s campaign; there is no way he was ignorant of its doings.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years