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Collusion Or Coincidence?

For the last two years, Trump and his supporters have been alleging there is “no proof of collusion.” Let’s take a look at the record.

There were at least 100 contacts between the Trump team and the Russians. The Trump team lied about every one of those contacts. Why lie if there was an innocent explanation?

Between September 2015 and June 2016, the Trump organization was negotiating with Putin’s representatives to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. This was a lucrative business opportunity for Individual 1. The former TV reality star denied he had any business dealings with Russia. Why lie if there was an innocent explanation?

In the spring of 2016, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates — Trump’s campaign manager and deputy campaign manager, respectively — shared internal Trump campaign polling data with a Russian intelligence agent who had ties to Putin. Now we know how the Russians were able to place Facebook ads with surgical precision in the battleground states. They wouldn’t have been able to do it without polling data from Trump.

On June 9, 2016, the Trump campaign high command met with representatives of the Russian government in the hopes of getting dirt on Clinton. Donald Trump, Jr. emailed: “I love it.”

The Trump team has taken the position that they rejected the help offered by the Russians on June 9, 2016. What happened after that alleged rejection of assistance?

Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi were both in contact with Wikileaks. Stone claimed to have had advance knowledge of the release of the stolen emails. At the same time, Stone was in regular contact with Individual 1.

In the summer of 2016, the Russians began to leak the emails they stole from the DNC and the Clinton campaign. To the detriment of the Clinton campaign, the vapid mainstream press constantly reported on the stolen emails. The stolen emails caused turmoil at the Democratic National Convention.

On July 27, 2016, Trump publicly asked the Russians to help his campaign. “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the Republican nominee said at a news conference in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Trump publicly thanked the Russians for their help in the fall of 2016. Individual 1 mentioned Wikileaks over 160 times in the last month of campaign 2016. On October 10, 2016, Trump said: “WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks.”

The NY Times has recently reported that Trump was investigated by the FBI for acting in ways that appeared to help Russia. After Comey was fired, the FBI was so concerned that they began to investigate whether Trump was working on behalf of Russia against US interests.

What story makes more sense? That the former TV reality star rejected Russian assistance but went on to ask for it publicly and praise it repeatedly? That Trump was an honest and innocent man surrounded by a bunch of lying criminals? Or that Individual 1 colluded with a hostile foreign power to steal an election? What makes more sense to you?

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.

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