For the entirety of his presidency, our news media couldn’t fathom why Donald Trump seemed so unnaturally beholden to Vladimir Putin. I bet the actual number of times our press wondered aloud about Trump’s subservience is literally incalculable. Personally, I’m shocked most TV talking heads don’t have actual divots in their scalps from scratching their heads so hard for so long. Their answer to what should have been more than just vague curiosity? “I dunno”. Funny thing? had any of these “journalists” done a lick of due diligence? They might have answered their own question. If they were to do that due diligence now? Same result – they’ll answer their own question. Maybe they don’t really want it answered.
Back when the Republican-run Senate was trying to undermine the Steele Dossier’s value (a curious thing for them to worry about if everything in it was bullshit), they put former Wall Street Journal reporter and co-founder of commercial research and strategic intelligence company FUSION GPS Glenn Simpson under oath. They wanted to get at why Simpson ever reached out Christopher Steele in the first place. Simpson described how Fusion got hired to do oppo research on Trump by the backers of the conservative, Marco Rubio-supporting Washington Free Beacon. Before beginning their formal work, Simpson testified, Fusion did its due diligence: they got ahold of every bit of publicly available material they could on Trump. They searched out every newspaper article and magazine story, every radio or TV interview, every mention of Trump they could find from actual book stores to Amazon and even the public library. What they found there – in publicly available material gave them pause. They couldn’t help thinking that Donald Trump had used his bankrupt Atlantic City casinos to launder a ton of money for Russian gangsters. And, so, they hired former MI6 Russia desk guru Christopher Steele to do the legwork and investigate those details. The dossier was Steele’s raw work product.
Anyone and everyone who’s ever looked beneath the surface of Trump’s relationship with Russia, Russians and especially Vlad Putin has come away convinced that current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy was right when he strode into a meeting of Republican leaders on June 25, 2016 and announced “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” No one in that room of GOP leaders contradicted McCarthy. No one questioned his assertion! No one called the FBI either. Instead, the roomful of GOP leaders went along with then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan’s admonition that they all keep quiet about the fact that their about-to-be-presidential nominee would be a grave national security threat if elected. Keeping this terrible secret a secret was how they’d all know “they were a family” is how Ryan put a bow on it.
The GOP knew even before they nominated Trump that he was a traitor. That made each and every one of them a traitor.
If the Republicans were traitors then, it means they remain traitors now. Does their slow pivot away from Putin – because standing with war criminals is a very tough sell – excuse them? Are you joking?
The irony is that every bit of evidence we need to bury Trump and virtually the entire GOP under well-founded charges of treason is already as publicly available as Trump’s money laundering was to Fusion. That’s the staggering thing about Trump’s corruption. It ain’t subtle. Not even remotely. In fact, it’s so out in the open that our news media has it in their heads that Trump can’t be guilty of these things since he’s doing them in the open! All our news media has to do to see clearly who and what Trump is is to actually READ what they themselves have collectively reported. And then, having read their own reportage, our news media needs to aggregate this information into the larger story instead of returning, every day, to a kind of “square one” where none of the aggregated information adds to our general knowledge. We’re always revisiting stuff we knew at the story’s beginning as if nothing we now know means anything.
New reporting of old reporting reminds us that “Russia launched secret multi-agency effort to interfere in US democracy“. The Guardian reported on July 15, 2021 that on January 22, 2016, Putin, “his spy chiefs and senior ministers all… agreed a Trump White House would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them ‘social turmoil’ in the US and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position. Russia’s three spy agencies were ordered to find practical ways to support Trump, in a decree appearing to bear Putin’s signature.”
Let’s track this. JANUARY 2016 – Putin formalizes a plan above his signature that “will definitely lead to the ‘destabilization of the US’s sociopolitical system’ and see hidden discontent burst into the open”.
Did Putin’s team do anything to undermine any of the other Republican candidates? We need to know. Their own ineptitude and lack of qualifications couldn’t have been the only things that brought each of them down. Maybe Putin’s crew used the primaries as a kind of “putting green”. By JUNE 25, 2016, Trump’s nomination is a near certainty. That’s when Kevin McCarthy points directly at the eight thousand pound Russian bear sitting in the room with them. “Putin pays Rohrbacher and Trump”. Hell, the room could have even given Trump a pass while turning their wrath on Rohrbacher who’d been Putin’s lap dog forever.
So, By June 25, 2016, Putin has put forward a plan that we can see in effect. Clearly, it isn’t only Trump (and Rohrbacher) who’re in Russia’s grip.
Go forward a few weeks – to July 17, 2016 – the day before the Republican’s National Convention opens. In front of microphones and cameras, Trump bellows “Hey, Russia – if you’re listening!” knowing damned well that they are. The GOP knows as Trump says this that the Russia he’s addressing OWNS TRUMP outright. They know Trump is committing TREASON in real time.
What do they do about it? Beginning the next day – July 18, 2016 – the Republican Party celebrates Trump. And they celebrate Putin by making one change – and one change only – to the entire Republican Party plank (back when they had planks): they gutted the GOP’s anti-Russian stance on UKRAINE and, instead, made THEIR desires for Ukraine Putin’s.
The road to the war Putin is waging right now ran through that Republican Party plank. On whose behalf did the GOP make this change? Better question: on whose ORDERS?
The rule of law demands that we treat people who offend it fairly. Can’t argue. But, when you’re dealing with people who are deliberately using the rule of law to destroy the rule of law, even the rule of law has to think outside the box – if only just this one, exceptional “Bush v Gore-style” time. The Republicans are masters of cynicism, entirely Machiavellian in their mindset. The end justifies the means no matter what. Virtually every single Republican-written law restricting the vote violates someone’s Constitutional rights – not by accident, by design. That makes them illegal even as they’re being forced down the electorate’s throat. That we’re not prosecuting them doesn’t mean they’re not illegal.
It means violating the rule of law and the Constitution is far, far easier than defending them. If we’re going to save the republic from these pirates, we need to stop ceding them so much advantage. We need to take a more “civics trial” version of justice – where the burden of proof is lower (roughly 51% versus 90%). Keeping in mind that we do not have time right now to take these pirates to trial before acting, we need to see their public behavior in its larger, consistently treasonous context – we KNOW what they KNEW and have been trying to cover up don’t forget – and act NOW.
Traitors have nothing to lose once they’ve become traitors. They’ve committed themselves to something from which there can be no return. How can one ever trust a traitor again? How can one ever trust any individual who puts their own self interest above the group’s? We know where their loyalties lie.