This week, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government’s efforts to swing the election to Vladimir Putin’s preferred candidate, Donald Trump. Soon after, anonymous sources within the agency acknowledged that the FBI was also examining evidence that Trump’s white supremacist propagandist allies, Breitbart and InfoWars, helped Russian agents influence U.S. elections in their favor.
While Trump’s enablers are working to minimize the importance of the revelation, Richard Painter, who served as the chief ethics lawyer to former President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, did not mince words when assessing the seriousness of the development:
FBI uncovering evidence of treason. There is no other word for it.https://t.co/JLY7KZfQIY
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) March 23, 2017
The probe into treason seems to circle around White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, a central figure in several angles of the investigation. A co-founder of Breitbart, Bannon led the site’s rise to the most prominent disseminator of racist, antisemitic hate speech before taking the reins of the Trump campaign.
While both Bannon-led entities are now under investigation for treason, he continues to serve as the top Advisor to the President and is believed to be calling the shots on some of the White House’s most dangerous domestic and international policies, including the Muslim ban and the killing of refugees overseas.
The FBI’s investigation focuses on the dissemination of pro-Trump lies, masked as news, by “bots” that strategically blitzed social media to mislead the electorate. There is no longer doubt that Russia engaged in this activity, and even the Trump regime itself has only attempted to minimize the degree to which the Russian bots influenced the election’s outcome. Regardless of the impact however, the FBI now has reason to believe that Trump’s most trusted advisor was a key figure in the conspiracy.
With the possibility of treason very much a reality, of the top people in the last Republican Administration are appalled. Here’s the take from Bush’s top speechwriter:
If true, the worst political scandal since 1861 https://t.co/q3wKp2KKyV
— David Frum (@davidfrum) March 23, 2017
There’s good reason for people to look past Nixon to the Civil War now. If the facts bear out, this degree of criminal activity at the highest levels of a President’s Administration would make Watergate look like a water leak.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com