WE KNOW the Russians meddled in our election.
We know they meddled in order to tilt the scales for Donald Trump.
We know an unusually high percentage of Trump Administration insiders have deep ties to Russia.
We know that these insiders deny and obfuscate and throw out conflicting stories whenever the subject is brought up—they’d soon perjure themselves than admit they met with the Russian ambassador—and seem determined to torpedo any serious investigation (this includes the President himself, whose attacks on “fake news” have generally escalated after the media reports a new development in the Russia Story).
As I wrote prior to the election, this is not, or at any rate should not be, a partisan issue. An inveterate adversary engaged in cyber warfare against the United States in order to get its preferred candidate elected…and succeeded! This is something every patriotic American should be appalled by.
Here is a rogue’s gallery of Trump/Russia collaborators, whom history will not remember kindly:
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Senator. Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Participated in the famed three-hour meeting with FBI Director James Comey on February 17, at which the Trump/Russia ties were laid out, and seemed in favor of a full investigation. Has since demurred, and was one of the politicians solicited by White House press secretary Sean Spicer to disavow the Russia Story to the New York Times and other news outlets.
Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Head of the House investigation into Russia. Member of Trump transition team. Has doubled down on Trump. Could not throw more water on the Russian investigation if he were the Wonder Twin who could only form of water. Very likely to be removed from office in ’18.
Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
Speaker of the House. Alleged intellectual. Alleged policy wonk. Ayn Rand enthusiast. Has the power to file articles of impeachment. Has not exercised it. Looks the other way so much he’s like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Collaborated with Trump to enact his glorious healthcare plan, which mostly involves depriving millions of people of healthcare to save some coin for his wealthy benefactors. Worse, he seems to genuinely believe his healthcare plan is good, which, to paraphrase A Fish Called Wanda, makes him either hopelessly naive or irretrievably stupid.
Jason “iPhone” Chaffetz (R-Utah)
Congressman. Chairman of House Oversight Committee. A veritable Javert in his pursuit of Hillary Clinton’s role in the Benghazi tragedy, but now that an inveterate enemy of the United States has meddled in our election, an operation that may well constitute an act of war, in order to elect Donald Trump? Crikketz. WaPo‘s Dana Milbank sums it up nicely:
Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has offered a bevy of excuses: He doesn’t need to probe the Flynn affair because “it’s taking care of itself”; other panels could better protect “sources and methods”; he didn’t want to pry into the “private systems of a political party”; and he won’t “personally target the president.” As for Russian hacking, Chaffetz echoed a Chris Farley skit on “Saturday Night Live”: “It could be everything from a guy in a van down by the river down to a nation-state.
Chaffetz took the stage in one of the first town halls at which angry constituents turned up in droves to demand answers, chanting DO YOUR JOB, and he wrote off the evening as the work of paid protesters not in his district, which he certainly knows is a lie. Some have suggested that Chaffetz is being straight-up blackmailed to scuttle any investigation; he certainly acts like a guilty man on whom the FSB have damning kompromat.
Campaign surrogates & apparatchiks
Former mayor of New York. Trump surrogate. Bile spewer. Nosferatu lookalike. Bragged about an “October surprise” that turned out to be the Comey letter. Later boasted that his contacts at the FBI’s New York field office told him the letter was coming. (The FBI’s New York field office is alleged to be honeycombed with Russian moles.) Was in the running to be Secretary of State, despite no qualifications, and suddenly withdrew from consideration and has been quiet since. I wonder why?
Youngest member of Richard Nixon’s “ratfuckers.” Inveterate provocateur. Communicated with Guccifer 2.0 during campaign concerning the latter’s hack of the DNC servers; Guccifer 2.0 is believed to be a fake account maintained by Russian intelligence. Is presumably a focus of (one of) the FBI investigation(s). In a tweet attack on Caroline O., @RVAWonk, a behavioral scientist with an extensive Twitter following, spewed misogyny I’d prefer not to quote here. Proponent of the debunked “Deep State” conspiracy.
Donald Trump’s personal attorney and longtime associate. Key figure in the Steele dossier, and presumably a focus of (one of) the FBI investigation(s). Steele has him in Prague this past August, which Cohen has denied in a variety of ways, including claiming he has never been to Prague, although this is not true. Held a meeting with Trump lackey and (alleged) Russian organized crime figure Felix Sater and pro-Putin Ukrainian politician Andrei Artemenko in late January 2017 concerning the lifting of sanctions on Russia. Delivered written proposal to Mike Flynn, then the national security adviser. His wife is from Ukraine.
Convicted felon. Real estate dealmaker. Senior adviser to Donald Trump. Son of Russian mob figure. Has deep and undeniable ties to Russia. Held a meeting with pro-Putin Ukrainian politician Andrei Artemenko and Trump attorney Michael Cohen in late January 2017 concerning the lifting of sanctions on Russia.
Former campaign chairman for both Donald Trump and the pro-Putin former president of Ukraine, although not concurrently. Beneficiary of millions of under-the-table dollars for his work with the latter. Allegedly involved with the mass murder of various anti-Putin figures in Ukraine. His daughters are ashamed of him.
Failing clothing line owner. Daughter of the president and object of his desire. Prime mover behind buttplug-shaped hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan, that was allegedly financed in part by an Azeri money lauderer with ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. BFF with a socialite who may or may not have been Putin’s paramour. Betrayer of women everywhere.
The Inner Circle
Disgraced former national security adviser. Conspiracy theorist. Former Kremlin employee. Former Turkish agent. First domino to fall. Sat in on natsec meetings while in the employ of a foreign government (Turkey),and had questionable if not illegal contact with another (Russia). Certainly the subject of numerous investigations. Most likely Trumpkin to go to prison.
Son of rich guy who went to jail. Husband to Ivanka Trump. The Forrest Gump of the Trump campaign, Kushner too met with the Russian ambassador (in secret; Kislyak was whisked through the back door of Trump Tower to avoid the press). Has huge investments in a medical tech company that depends on the ACA not being repealed. Was allegedly in hock to Russian creditors. Is known as both Trump’s brain and his conscience, both of which are troubling, as he’s both heartless and dumb. He’s the evidence Trump likes to cite to rebut his, Trump’s, often-blatant anti-Semitism.
Former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump. Pro-Russian businessman. Less international man of mystery than bullshit artist. Key figure in the Steele dossier, and presumably a focus of (one of) the FBI investigation(s). Steele has him as the intermediary between Trump team and Rosneft, the Russian oil company that recently divested 19% of the company to private investors whose identity remains murky. Page’s habit of changing his tune makes him a veritable karaoke machine of prevarication. Most likely fall guy in Trumpromat.
Former RNC chair. White House Chief of Staff. Whipping boy. Guy behind Kellyanne Conway in the infamous couch photograph who looks like he’s desperately trying not to run his grubby fingers through her split ends. The Russians hacked the DNC and the RNC, but only released the emails of the former. Why do you think that is? Could it be that they want something to hold over the Republicans that could be used at a later date? Do you think Preibus might have an embarrassing thing or three in those emails?
Billionaire. Secretary of Commerce. Part owner of Bank of Cyprus. Cyprus is where Russian organized crime figures send their money to be laundered; it’s what Switzerland was to the Nazis in the 1940s. Ross surely is aware of this, as it’s pretty much common knowledge. Subject of hard-hitting expose by Rachel Maddow. If there really are lizard people, is one.
Attorney General. Former Senator from Alabama. Inveterate racist. Perjurer. Asked twice during the confirmation about his ties with Russia; denied having any contact during campaign; actually had contact with the Russian ambassador thrice, which is unusual for a Senator. Timing of these meetings coincides with policy shifts on Russia. Recruited Carter Page and Stephen Miller, the Norman Bates-like communications guy, for the team. Most likely cabinet member to resign in disgrace.
Former CEO of ExxonMobil. Secretary of State. Recipient of Russian Order of Freedom medal. Putin pal. Current whereabouts unknown. ExxonMobil stands to gain billions of dollars’ worth of crude if the Russian sanctions are lifted. Has been MIA as the State Department has been gutted, which should be of enormous concern. Unlike Trump, divested his assets before serving, but that probably doesn’t matter. Name sounds like supervillain’s secret identity in old-time comic book.
Vice President and likely our 46th President. Former governor of Indiana, where he is now loathed. Hater of the LGBTQ community. User of personal emails for government business, despite not liking it when Hillary did that. User of AOL. Used campaign funds to pay his mortgage. Might have been insulated from the Russians to give him plausible deniability, although this gets increasingly unlikely as the facts come out.
Former reality TV star. Failed businessman. Proud sexual predator. Racist. Bigot. Non-payer of debts and taxes. President of the United States. Could not be more of a Russian puppet if Putin’s fist were up his ass.