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Did Trump Collude With The Russians Or Is This Just A Big Coincidence?

The talking point from Trump and his supporters has been that there is “no evidence of collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russians. The GOP also believes that the Trump campaign rejected offers of help from the Russians.

This talking point of no collusion was bogus as early as 2008. That year, Donald Junior told investors in Moscow that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” Six years later in 2014, Eric Trump told a reporter that the sleazy Trump business empire was able to prosper during the Bush recession of 2008–09 because: “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” In 2015, during his run for president, Donald, Senior pursued a deal to build a Trump Tower building in Moscow. Nevertheless, the former TV reality star has repeatedly denied any links to Russia.

Once the 2015–16 campaign got underway, Putin himself authorized a Russian intelligence operation to disrupt the American elections and elect Trump president. Every U.S. intelligence agency and the GOP controlled Senate Intelligence Committee have all concluded that Putin tried to help Trump win the election. About the only people who dispute that conclusion are Trump, Putin and the extreme right of the GOP.

Perhaps the most significant evidence of collusion revealed thus far is the Trump Tower meeting of June 9, 2016 between Donald Trump, Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and two Russians with connections to Putin and the Russian intelligence agency. After the meeting was discovered, the Trump team falsely claimed the meeting was about “adoptions.”

As we all know, at the Trump Tower meeting, the Russians approached Donald Trump, Jr. offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Junior’s response was: “I love it.” After the Trump team lied about the purpose of the meeting, they now want you to believe that they rejected the help offered up by the Russians.

The Trump team’s contention that they didn’t want help from the Russians is contradicted by Trump’s plea for Russian help when he asked them on July 27, 2016 to steal Hillary Clinton’s emails. During the fall campaign, Trump mentioned the emails stolen by the Russians on no less than 141 occasions. Trump repeatedly said: “I love Wikileaks.”

As it turned out, there were 82 contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Moreover, the Trump people lied about every one of these contacts. Why lie if there is an innocent explanation? Veterans from presidential campaigns from both parties between 1992 and 2012 said they never communicated with Russia or any other other hostile foreign power during their campaigns.

Perhaps the strongest circumstantial evidence of collusion were the bizarre events of October 7, 2016. On that day, the Washington Post reported on the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump said that he had repeatedly sexually assaulted women. Just 29 minutes after the release of that damning tape, Wikileaks began posting Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s stolen emails. Coincidence or collusion?

Even though Trump has adamantly denied any collusion with Russia, his policies as president favor the Russians and advance their foreign policy goals. Trump invited Russia to join the G-7 and then blew up the G-7 summit. The former TV reality star has repeatedly disparaged NATO and has contended that the alliance is “obsolete.” Trump has even talked about recognizing Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

What is particularly odd about Trump’s behavior is that he has never criticized Putin even though he has harshly criticized just about everybody else under the sun. At a recent campaign rally, Trump even said: “Putin’s fine. He’s fine. We’re all fine.”

Events in connection with the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom were eerily similar to what happened in the U.S. in 2016. The Russians used social media to support the Leave Campaign and one of the leaders of the Leave Campaign — Arron Banks — had several contacts with Russians tied to Putin. As a matter of fact, Banks received a lucrative investment deal with a Russian oligarch tied to Putin and subsequent to that, Banks made a big donation to the Leave Campaign. Before these revelations broke in the U.K., Banks had falsely denied any connections to Russia. Sound familiar?

What we have here is either the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in the 2016 election or a series of bizarre coincidences. What is it? I expect the Mueller investigation to give us its conclusion later this year. I predict that Mueller will find that the Trump campaign worked hand in glove with the Russians to win the 2016 election.

Once Mueller comes out with his report, I expect Trump to fire Mueller and to pardon his family and inner circle. The Republicans in Congress will do nothing about it and we will have a major Constitutional crisis on our hands.

We can’t expect Mueller (or the press) to save the country. That is on us. The only check and balance on the Trump Administration and the Republicans in Congress is the Democratic Party. The stakes couldn’t be any higher this fall. Democracy and the rule of law are on the ballot. Now let’s go out there and leave all out on the field!

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

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