The biggest news story (so far) of the year just dropped on CNN:
The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told CNN.
Wow. Where to begin?
I guess we should start with the reporting. CNN has been rock solid on their reporting surrounding Trump and Russia. Nowhere is this more evidenced than in their controversial reporting of the existence (but not the content) of the dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer. They then went on to corroborate parts of the dossier once the evidence was irrefutable.
This story was preceded by Rep. Devin Nunes jumping in front of a train to distract the public from this pending bombshell and discredit the intelligence community. By lending unsubstantiated support to an unsubstantiated rumor, in front of the White House physically and symbolically, Nunes threw away any and all objectivity and credibility. The move reeks of desperation.
It also reeks of distraction. This story broke this morning: Paul Manafort was paid $10 million dollars by a pro-Putin Russian billionaire. He was on a Putin surrogates payroll to the tune of millions of dollars. Trump’s investments into his business by wealthy Russian business people total approximately $100 million dollars.
So where do we go from here?
It appears that (at least) Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and Carter Page are under FBI investigation. Will they be charged? It seemed impossible to imagine that someone would collaborate with a foreign government to discredit a political opponent.
What do the Republicans do? How long do they keep Trump around? How much damage does it do to them? If they lose the House of Representatives or Senate, then the nightmare for them could really begin. Trump’s tax returns could (and likely would) be revealed. The investigation would likely have more teeth.
I genuinely fear what Trump will do. If he would coordinate with Russia on taking down Clinton, would he also coordinate with them to stage a coup? What would he not feel comfortable doing? What would Republicans not let him get away with?
If this evidence is validated with arrests, trials and convictions, we should never forget or forgive anyone who enabled Trump’s rise with their support of this madman.