Open meet shut. Donald Trump took America’s most closely guarded secrets with him to Mar-a-Lago. And then he lied about the fact that he’d done it. Repeatedly. When even Bill Barr refuses to get your back, you’re toast. Barr said on Fox News yesterday, “I can’t think of a legitimate reason why they should have been — could be taken out of the government, away from the government, if they’re classified.” But then, as Barr went on, it was “unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put them in a country club”. Now, the Washington Post reports, among the secrets Trump stashed at his private club: our intel on a foreign power’s nuclear capabilities. Wow. That’s smoking gun hot. And it’s a threat to our national security. But then, Trump entered office a grave national security threat – and the GOP knew it.
For reference, the whole world remarked upon this moment at Helsinki when Putin and Trump made their relationship explicit. Why, the world asked, was Trump so disloyal to America and so loyal to Vlad Putin? The answer was always thus: Trump bows down to Putin because Putin literally owns Trump. And the the GOP leadership has always known that fact. They even spoke it out loud!
…And Vlad’s Bitches
On June 25, 2016 – a month before the GOP nominating convention – current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy entered a meeting of Republican leaders and said – out loud – upon entering: “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” McCarthy had just come from a meeting “at the Capitol with Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman, who had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions.”
Now, think about McCarthy’s honest impression – spoken with total candor to his political associates: the man they’re going to nominate for POTUS poses a grave national security risk. Wow again! Did anyone in the room deny or disagree with McCarthy’s claim – that “Putin pays Trump”? One or two people laughed. That’s why McCarthy insisted “swear to God!” He wanted the rest of the GOP’s leadership to hear him and take him seriously!
Then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan – second in line to the presidency – took McCarthy very seriously. Ryan stepped forward and cut off all discussion. He “swore the Republicans present to secrecy“. As Adam Entous reported a year later in the Washington Post, “Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: ‘No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here’.”
Someone recorded the meeting, ya see. And Adam Entous heard the recording. Funny thing, when pressed at the time the story broke, McCarthy insisted he was just joking. Take this to the bank: he was not joking. Neither was Paul Ryan. Neither was Vladimir Putin.
Russia, If You’re Listening…!
A month later, in late July, the GOP formally nominated Trump. And the day after that happened, the Republican Party’s nominee to be POTUS said out loud “Russia, if you’re listening…!” The GOP leadership knew that, in fact, Russia was listening.
On the way to “winning” the presidency, Trump repeatedly collaborated with Russia. His campaign manager – Paul Manafort – gave proprietary voter data to Russian intelligence. Manafort had worked for Russian intel officer Oleg Deripaska. He owed Deripaska more than $10 million and used American polling data to pay off his debt. Russia’s GRU (its military intelligence directorate) turned that polling data into weaponized Facebook ads focused on Black American voters in three states: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The goal wasn’t to change their votes, it was to make them stay home.
But For Russia…
This blog still insists that cheating to win elections can never equal winning elections. When you co-conspire with a hostile foreign nation to circumvent our electoral process? You’re committing treason. Cyber war is war. Anyone who thinks “war” only happens with bombs and bullets will lose every war they ever fight going forwards.
But for Russia, Donald Trump would never have been president. He knows it and so does the entire Republican Party. Trump entered office a grave national security threat. He posed a grave threat to our national security every single day of his presidency. He still poses a grave threat and will until we prosecute him.
Violence & Economics
Oh, sure – Trump’s followers will get violent when the bomb finally drops and the DoJ formally indicts Trump. Or Georgia indicts him or Manhattan or New York. That flare will die quickly. There will be consequences for every act of violence. The second these violent yahoos realize how expensive their violence is, they’ll stop. Their families will force them to because the cost of defending them will crush the family finances. There simply aren’t enough GoFundMe dollars to go around.
Judgment Day is coming for Donald Trump. He began the job of president as a grave national security threat. He’ll end the job as a federal prisoner.