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domingo, 18 de marzo de 2018

Donald Trump says there is corruption at the highest levels of the U.S. government

Conservatives should actually be thankful for the politically-motivated Russia collusion investigation targeting the Donald Trump administration: focusing on the Kremlin’s meddling has unearthed shocking cases of corruption and partisanship from the highest levels of the U.S. government that no one can overlook.

President Donald Trump exposed this irony in a tweet on Saturday afternoon, in which he pointed out that the House Intelligence Committee cleared his administration of any wrongdoing, while concurrent investigations have found horrifying evidence of corruptibility from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of State, and the FBI.

Collusion confusion

As many Americans learned following the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the president isn’t afraid of punishing misconduct from senior-level government officials.

Trump pointed to this misconduct in his condemnatory Twitter post on Saturday, holding nothing back and sparing nobody’s feelings.

The president tweeted:

Was this statement just meaningless bluster from a boastful president, or is Trump justified in calling out the DOJ, FBI, and State Department? More importantly, has the Trump administration been cleared of any wrongdoing in the case of Russian interference in the 2016 election?

Cleared by Congress

It was reported earlier this month that the House Intelligence Committee, led by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), found no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion after a year-long investigation.

Conaway concluded:

We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment in taking meetings — but only Tom Clancy could take this series of inadvertent contacts, meetings, whatever, and weave that into some sort of a spy thriller that could go out there.

While the House investigation can hardly be described as bipartisan, with a strong Republican majority within the committee, the GOP lacks the political capital to ignore any overt instances of collusion from the Trump camp.

And after interviewing 73 witnesses and combing through more than 300,000 documents, it would be difficult for anyone to argue that Republicans never took their responsibilities seriously.

But this didn’t stop the leading Democrat on the committee from calling the end of the probe a “tragic milestone” and a “capitulation to the executive branch.”

Other investigations

There is also a parallel ongoing investigation from the Senate Intelligence Committee, which doesn’t suffer from the House committee’s infighting and political showmanship and is expected to produce a document on election security in the coming weeks.

Additionally, a special counsel with broad prosecutorial authority continues to issue subpoenas and indictments surrounding the prospect of Russian interference, although, so far, former FBI director and head of the special counsel Robert Mueller has only brought charges against Trump staffers that are unrelated to Russia collusion.

Although former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was charged with money laundering and operating as an unregistered foreign agent of the government of Ukraine, the balance of his offenses occurred largely while he was working close to the Hillary Clinton State Department and the Barack Obama administration. Trump noted the irony of this relationship in a Twitter post from October 2017:

Still, Mueller recently indicted 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian businesses for election meddling, although these offenses are also completely unrelated to the Trump administration. In fact, the president followed up these indictments with sanctions against the same organizations accused of attempting to affect the American presidential election through a sophisticated social media influence campaign.

Democratic Party fail

If three concurrent investigations have failed to find any obvious signs of collusion, what have Americans learned from thousands of man-hours devoted to examining Moscow’s influence on U.S. officials?

Well, we’ve learned that leading members of the FBI who played significant roles in both the Clinton email investigation and the Russia collusion probe are politically motivated and harbor resentments against the Trump administration.

Text messages between FBI section chief Peter Strzok and FBI general counsel Lisa Page demonstrate that the pair acted unprofessionally and were hostile to the president. Page also admitted that Clinton’s exoneration was a foregone conclusion and that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch knew that she would be pardoned in advance.

Put simply: the results were not what Democrats expected.

And that’s not all.

Backfiring dossier

One of the most damning pieces of evidence to emerge from the Trump-Russia collusion investigation has been the infamous Christopher Steele dossier. A document drafted by Rep. Devin Nunez (R-Calif.) of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence alleges that the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and even the FBI paid Steele and a political research firm to compile this dossier, which includes disparaging information against Trump that was provided by Russian operatives in the lead up to the 2016 election.

If this detail alone wasn’t sufficiently explosive, the dossier played an “essential part” in compelling federal judges to issue warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) against Trump campaign aide Carter Page that allowed the government to clandestinely monitor the staffer.

The political origins of the Steele dossier were subsequently suppressed during successive applications to keep the monitoring alive and ongoing.

The report also alleges that Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for the opposition research firm that collected the uncorroborated data on Trump, though this relationship was never made apparent to the magistrates who award FISA warrants.

Finally, Christopher Steele — the former British spy responsible for compiling the discredited dossier — intentionally leaked confidential material from his dossier to liberal media sources in an attempt to influence the election results. While he was ultimately blacklisted by the FBI for violating this “cardinal rule” among intelligence agencies, his leaks were never made apparent to the FISA court.

Uranium One

And although the left has accused Trump of treating Russia with kid gloves, the increased scrutiny of U.S.-Russia relations has inadvertently revealed that the Democrats have been in bed with Moscow for years. Russian agents even paid a U.S. lobbying firm to convince the Clinton-led State Department to sell a crooked Russian energy firm 20 percent of America’s uranium-production capacity.

While this deal was being engineered, former President Bill Clinton received a $500,000 speaking fee in Russia and personally met with Russia President Vladimir Putin. Investors from the Russian energy firm also donated millions to the Clinton Foundation, and the FBI uncovered evidence of extortion, bribery, and kickback schemes from the foreign company before the deal was approved.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News in 2017:

If anyone colluded for a foreign government in [the 2016] election, it was the Clinton campaign [and] the Democrats.

Justified?

With this alarming track record, the president is right to point the finger at Democrats who manufactured a conspiracy theory to discredit his administration.

Only time will tell what charges the Mueller probe will deliver, if any. But the odds are that these imagined offenses will pale in comparison to the actual, systemic abuses occurring within the Democratic Party and the federal bureaucracy.

Thanks to a swamp that is slowly and steadily draining, Americans are being made aware of the magnitude of corruption, partisanship, and collusion that exists on one side of the aisle on Capitol Hill.


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