This was treason
Now that the U.S. government is finally confirming that Paul Manafort gave Trump’s internal polling data to the Kremlin, let’s connect the rest of the known dots in Trump-Russia campaign collusion.
Reuters long ago reported that Kremlin cutout Cambridge Analytica stole Facebook data from 50 million users and used it to micro target false Facebook ads in key swing states. The Kremlin surely gave the Trump campaign data to Cambridge Analytica for use in further micro targeting those ads.
In other words, not only did the Trump campaign and the Kremlin collude in 2016, they criminally conspired to alter the outcome of the election. But it gets even worse, because of just how high up the ladder Manafort and Kilimnik were on their respective sides.
Are we to believe that Trump didn’t know his campaign chairman Manafort was doing this? Are we to believe Putin didn’t know his top spy Kilimnik was doing this? In other words, it wasn’t just the Trump campaign and the Kremlin conspiring. It was Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin personally conspiring together, through their reps.
Robert Mueller had this information, as evidenced by an early 2019 publicly available court filing. So Bill Barr, who went out of his way to suppress this evidence of a criminal plot, is a co-conspirator in this scandal.
President Biden’s crushing sanctions are about the most severely that Putin can be punished for now. No one knows where Kilimnik is these days (possibly dead). So the Russian end of this scandal is more or less settled. But no one on the U.S. side of this criminal scandal has been punished for it yet.
Donald Trump will spend the rest of his life in a New York prison for financial crimes. But the Feds should still charge him for election fraud conspiracy as well. Manafort has already gone to prison for financial crimes, but he’s out now, and he must be hit with any charges that can get around his pardon. Bill Barr and his DOJ co-conspirators must also do hard time.
What Trump falsely claimed happened to him in 2020, is roughly what he actually did in 2016. Except Trump took the additional step of criminally conspiring with a foreign government to alter the election results in his favor. It’s clear cut treason. And if you need an act of war to justify treason charges, then the Russian hacking qualifies as an act of cyber war.
Dn’t try to tell me that Trump-Russia election collusion is just some conspiracy theory. The United States government not only directly confirmed it yesterday, it used it as justification for enacting crushing economic sanctions against Russia. So yeah, this is the real deal.
As outrageous as it is that Trump, Manafort, and others have yet to be punished for this treasonous plot, it’s notable that the Biden administration was willing to publicly confirm today that the Trump-Russia election plot did happen. The Biden administration knows that putting this specific information out there will only fuel public demand for criminal prosecution. These sanctions could have been rolled out, and publicly justified, without needing to include the specific information about Manafort and Kilimnik. That feels intentional.
So perhaps this announcement was made as the first step in something bigger coming. President Biden has made clear that the Department of Justice, and no one else, will make any charging decisions with regard to Trump’s crimes. But it seems unlikely that the Biden administration would have made this announcement unless the DOJ has already signaled that such charges are coming. We’ll see.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report