Of course he always knew

Of course he always knew

The New York Times has a blockbuster story. The first four paragraphs are explosive.

WASHINGTON — Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.

The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed.

The shifting narrative underscores the degree to which Mr. Trump regularly picks and chooses intelligence to suit his political purposes. That has never been more clear than this week.

Trump knew about the intelligence community's assessment as far as Russian cyber attacks during the 2016 elections two weeks before he was inaugurated. He's known all this time, with irrefutable proof presented to him.

Also, if he had been briefed, so had his incoming vice president. Both he and Mike Pence could have been under no illusions that the IC had the goods on Russian attacks.

Now, of course, the question is whether the spooks also knew just how far the conspiracy went on this side of the Atlantic, and if so, whether they divulged that to Trump and his team. My guess is that the spy agencies know more than they've let on, as they realized that their supposed commander in chief is in fact a Russian asset. And if this is so, it must be eating at Trump as he wonders if his goose is cooked. Thus the ever more strident declarations of "no collusion".

And he's right, in a sense. He didn't "collude" with Russia. He's nothing more than an employee of the Russian intelligence services, carrying out a contract. He's their bought and paid for Quisling. He didn't collude; he obeyed orders.

Every day brings new warp and wefts to the rolling Constitutional crisis we're facing. The past week has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that Trump is nothing but a Russian stooge. And now, with this story, more dots are connected. Our agencies had a source close to Vladimir Putin—a source who is most likely dead by now. Did Trump reveal the source to his master? If so, he's an accessory to murder.

We've had forty-four occupants of the Oval Office. Some have been iconic. Some have plunged us into misery. But what none of them were were traitors. The Constitution foresaw such an eventuality, and a remedy to deal with a compromised president. But that system is not functional at the present moment. Trump's party goes to amazing lengths to protect him, putting their own interests over the very existence of our democracy. One has to assume that democracy is just a fig leaf for them for the grabbing of power. It's safe to say that if a Democratic president had even a fraction of the scandals in which Trump is mired, a Democratic Congress would have already impeached him or her. We currently have only one party which values American ideals, and it's not the party in power.

This was never funny. But now it's spun out of control. This week has laid bare all of the GOP's treason and skullduggery. The Constitution has a remedy for this as well. It's the franchise. Exercising the sacred duty of voting is the solution to this impasse. Cleansing Congress of the GOP, returning a Democratic majority in both houses, and expediting real oversight of the occupied executive branch is how we get out of this mess without resorting to harsher measures. It won't be pretty. It won't be easy. But it's the only way forward.



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