The constant stream of updates in the Trump-Russia scandal has reached an almost farcical level. Barely a day passes without the revelation of a stunning connection between Trump and the foreign power appearing in one reputable newspaper or another.
Any one of these controversies would have singlehandedly destroyed most presidencies, but under Trump they feel almost commonplace. It’s important that the American people don’t allow these events to become normalized. Each new Russian detail is another step closer to Trump’s impeachment. Today, brought another important revelation.
The New York Times has revealed that American intelligence services collected information last summer which shows Russian intelligence and political officials plotting to influence Trump through his advisors.
In particular, the Russian operatives focused on erstwhile Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, a man with a long sordid past of lobbying for foreign dictators. Manafort previously worked for Russian puppet, exiled Ukranian president Viktor F. Yanukovych, and the Russians discussed using Yanukovych to influence Manafort, and in turn influencing Trump through Manafort.
Former National Security advisor Michael Flynn – who has been thoroughly outed by now in regards to his Russian connections – was also a possible conduit through which the Russians hoped to control Trump. Former Attorney General Sally Yates has stated in official testimony that Flynn was highly susceptible to blackmail at the hands of the Russians. Flynn has received numerous payments from Russia-linked companies in the past, including RT, a state-run propaganda media company.
The news is a chilling confirmation in a string of many, detailing precisely how the Russian Federation sought to influence the American election to get Trump into the White House. The New York Times’s sources within the American intelligence community agreed to speak anonymously since much of this story is still classified.
It’s still unclear to what extent the Trump campaign collaborated with the Russians, although former CIA Director James Brennan has confirmed that he’s seen disturbing evidence of communication between the campaign and Russia.
There is now proof that Russia sought to work with the Trump campaign, the next step is confirming that the Trump campaign sought to work with Russia. It’s only a matter of time before the entire Trump administration comes crumbling down.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.