For months in the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton warned about Donald Trump's allegiance to the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, but our venerable media ignored her. Even when Clinton directly confronted Trump at a debate and called him a Russian puppet, our media treated it as little more than colorful campaign theater.
Partly as a result of that gross negligence, Donald Trump now occupies the Oval Office, and is in possession of the nation's most sensitive intelligence.
Trump's close circle's connection is so direct to Moscow that even his friends on Capitol Hill cannot pretend it's not a problem without an investigation. Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort is not only close business associates with Russian oligarchs close to Putin, but may well have helped launder Russian money.
Trump's hiring, and consecutively, firing of Michael Flynn as his National Security Advisor due to his monetary ties to Putin raised more questions than it answered. The White House's explanation that they simply did not know about Flynn's ties to Russia at the time of his hiring or at any time prior to his firing does not pass the smell test. With the resources of the United States government at his disposal and the security of the United States at stake, the failure to do a thorough background check is not merely careless, it is almost criminally negligent at best, and an intentional circumvention of US security at worst.
Trump's false claim that President Obama had bugged Trump Tower during the election or transition was so outrageous and phony that the man who can be credited with being the MVP of the Trump White House win, FBI Director James Comey, testified to Congress that Trump's claim was made out of whole cloth. At that time, Comey also confirmed that the FBI was investigating whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to disrupt last year's elections. That Putin was successful in disrupting the election with paid internet trolls and fake news planting is not in doubt in the US intelligence community, and the FBI is now looking into whether the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (or his campaign) colluded with a foreign adversary to get him there.
There's a term for a foreign power colluding to get someone in power in another country: it's called a coup.
Whether Putin pulled off a coup with the active cooperation of the Trump campaign is also the subject of investigations in both the House and the Senate. In the House at least, the GOP Chairman Devin Nunes has affirmatively proven himself Donald Trump's lapdog. A former Trump transition official, Nunes has now breached Intelligence committee protocol, lying and running to the White House to both be brief and to brief Trump. Incidentally, if his claims about having a source brief him about "incidental" surveillance of Trump (meaning Trump was not the target) is even true, Nunes saw no problem with being told by sources at the Trump White House something vaguely reminiscent of the orange bobblehead's tweets. Ever the drama queen, Nunes now says he won't tell his colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee about this source.
Nunes has so drastically compromised himself that his hometown newspaper, The Fresno Bee, has slammed him as Trump's "errand boy" as it added to John McCain's call for an independent investigation with the additional demand to appoint a Special Prosecutor in light of the fact that Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions has his own Russian troubles.
A Quinnipiac poll finds that two in three Americans now want that independent investigation to find out if Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to create conditions to stage what would be tantamount to a coup of the last election. If such collusion is proven, it would constitute treason - if not in the legal sense then in every other sense - by the sitting president of the United States. It would throw the very legitimacy of Trump's election and his presidency into deep question.
That may be why Nunes is frantically moving to cover up and shut down open investigation. He unilaterally canceled a hearing set for Tuesday, March 28, in which former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was to testify. Trump fired Yates in January after she declined to defend Trump's unconstitutional Muslim travel ban. Yates is thought to have blockbuster testimony that would prove Trump a liar at least when it came to what he knew and when about Michael Flynn, and sure enough, the Washington Post is now reporting that the White House tried to keep Yates from testifying, asserting idiotic versions of the attorney-client privilege. News flash, Donald: the Attorney General is America's chief prosecutor, not the president's personal lawyer. What's more, the same day the White House tried and failed to convince Yates not to testify, Nunes canceled the hearing in which she would have testified.
The Republican controlled Congress can no longer be trusted to independently adjudicate the issue of possible treason on the road to the White House (and in the White House currently) because its leaders are more interested in covering up Trump's Russian affairs.
An independent, public and transparent investigation headed by a special prosecutor must be instituted to investigate Donald Trump and his close confidant's connection to, and collusion with, the government of Vlaidmir Putin, alongside the FBI's ongoing probe. The independent investigators must be empowered with full resources and subpoena power.
At this moment, nothing else is more important. Because at this moment, we stand at the abyss of a Constitutional crisis in which the man controlling the levers of power in our country may himself be an agent of a foreign adversary. For the sake of a free, democratic, and sovereign United States, the American people deserve to know.