In a new, detailed examination of the counterintelligence aspect of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, NBC News reported Tuesday that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, believes the possibility that Russia may have leverage over Trump may not be getting enough scrutiny.
And near the end of the article, Schiff makes an argument that I’ve previously referenced but is routinely ignored — even in the very NBC News report that quoted the committee chair.
In the last three paragraphs of the article, reporter Ken Dilanian writes:
Schiff said he is particularly concerned about the Trump Tower Moscow project, the real estate development Cohen was pitching to the Kremlin while Trump was running for president.
He noted that when it first emerged that Cohen had emailed Putin’s office seeking help, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri Pescov, said he never answered the email. But it later emerged in court documents that an assistant to Pescov did respond, emailing Cohen and asking him to call, which he did.ADVERTISEMENT
“So here we had the Kremlin facilitating a cover up by the president of the United States,” Schiff said. “This needs to be exposed.”
Indeed, even as the Kremlin was lying about its ties to the Trump campaign, Cohen himself lied to Congress and Mueller about the extent of the Trump Tower Moscow deal in an attempt to downplay its significance. Cohen has since pleaded guilty to those criminal lies. And when he testified before the House Government Oversight Committee in February, Cohen said he told these lies in an effort to please the president and follow his lead. At one meeting to discuss the Russia investigation before he lied to Congress, Cohen said, he spoke with Trump and was told — falsely — there was no “collusion” and no “deal.”
So, in essence, Trump’s personal attorney committed a crime to further a cover-up that was done in concert with — either explicitly or implicitly — the Kremlin. And, from all appearances, it looks like Trump was directing this cover-up. There’s another word you might use for this behavior: collusion.
But bizarrely, despite having all this information, Dilanian writes: “some of the key figures seen as likely participants in any Russia conspiracy — Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen — have been charged with other offenses in cases that made no allegation of any ‘collusion’ with Russia.”
There’s no reason to think Mueller should have to use the word “collusion” to describe this behavior — but it fits the commonsense definition, and it’s baffling that informed observers of the investigation can’t recognize it. It seems the word “collusion” has come to be redefined to mean, in this context, some extremely specific and overt type of behavior which may indeed never happened, but it’s unclear why we should accept these word games.
Net-zero: climate-saving target or delay tactic?
With Britain set to become the first major economy to commit in law to reaching a target of net-zero emissions by 2050, what is carbon neutrality, and how will nations reach it?
- Why net-zero? -
Nations are gathered this week in the German city of Bonn to discuss implementing the Paris climate deal -- a landmark accord that in 2015 committed countries to work to limit global temperature rises.
Paris aims to cap warming at two degrees celsius (3.6 Farenheit) and requires nations to submit individually defined plans to slash the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the mercury up.
Exclusive: Democratic operative who tested Russian tactics in Alabama reveals that Trump continues to crush Democrats on Facebook — by a factor of 9 to 1
The ground shifted under Democrats during the 2016 election, but many refuse to acknowledge just how, or in what direction. Some are still content to lose close elections gracefully, even when the stakes for American democracy are the highest they have ever been. Others are so bent on proving that their electoral strategy is sound that they refuse to acknowledge Mark Zuckerberg has broken the traditional models of voter persuasion.
Fox & Friends attacks Mueller’s credibility: ‘I don’t think he knows the details of the report’
The hosts of "Fox & Friends" questioned Robert Mueller's credibility after Congress set a date for the former special counsel to testify about his findings.
Mueller will testify July 17 to lay out evidence of alleged crimes by President Donald Trump and his campaign associates, and Fox News broadcasters suggested questions that could undercut his impartiality.
"How did it make you feel when president of the United States said that you're compromised, or how did it make you feel when the president of the United States kept attacking the process?" said co-host Brian Kilmeade. "What did you think about the rumors he was going to fire you? I'm not sure he is going to answer that either."