There was Trump-Russia collusion — and Trump pardoned the colluder - SolidRumor.com

There was Trump-Russia collusion — and Trump pardoned the colluder

 There was Trump-Russia collusion — and Trump pardoned the colluder

It’s official: The Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

In an explosive development, the Biden administration confirmed that a Russian government agent with close connections to Donald Trump’s top 2016 campaign official “provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and [Trump] campaign strategy.”

This revelation demolishes, once and for all, Trump’s ceaseless claims that he was the victim of the “greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.” (Recall that a Trump appointee directed Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump MORE to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing ‘Anglo-Saxon political traditions’ MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE.”)

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But just how valuable was the polling and campaign strategy data that Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortTreasury: Manafort associate passed ‘sensitive’ campaign data to Russian intelligence Hunter Biden blasts Trump in new book: ‘A vile man with a vile mission’ Prosecutors drop effort to seize three Manafort properties after Trump pardon MORE, Trump’s campaign chairman, gave to a Russian agent?

According to Brad ParscaleBrad ParscaleAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report MORE, Trump’s election data guru, the information that Manafort handed directly to Russian intelligence was of critical importance, determining “98 percent” of the campaign’s resource allocations (such as spending on TV, radio and social media ads, rallies, field operations, and so on).

Indeed, the data was so important that Parscale kept a visualization of the information on his iPad at all times, allowing him to tell then-candidate Trump where to conduct his next rally at a moment’s notice.

According to the then-Republican-led Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the ultrasensitive campaign information that Manafort passed to a Russian spy “identified voter bases in blue-collar, democratic-leaning states which Trump could swing,” including in “Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.”

Moreover, the Russian intelligence officer who received the information “was capable of comprehending the complex polling data.”

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That leaves a lot of unanswered questions as to what Russia’s spies did with the information.

Perhaps worse, Trump ultimately pardoned Manafort. Trump’s potential political rivals would be wise to remember that he handed the ultimate political favor to the man who colluded with Russia amid Moscow’s campaign to undermine American democracy.

But Manafort’s malfeasance fits a broader pattern.

As former Trump adviser Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonMyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s new free speech site to ban certain curse words Trump denies Gaetz asked him for blanket pardon Both the left and the right discriminate against Asian Americans MORE — indicted on fraud charges — aptly noted, top Trump officials engaged in a “treasonous” meeting with a former Russian counterintelligence officer and a woman with “extensive and concerning” links to Russian intelligence services.

At the same time, the then-GOP-led Senate committee made clear that Trump knew of and discussed the release of tens of thousands of Russian-hacked documents and emails pilfered from the Democratic National Committee.

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Indeed, Trump may have instructed a close confidant, Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneOn The Money: Moderates’ 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats | Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes Oath Keepers founding member pleads guilty in Jan. 6 riot case MORE, to orchestrate the leak of Russian-stolen documents as a political distraction at a make-or-break moment during the 2016 campaign.

But it gets worse. According to former Deputy Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesHolder, Yates lead letter backing Biden pick for Civil Rights Division at DOJ Biden directs DOJ to phase out use of private prisons The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from chaotic downtown DC MORE, in surreptitious conversations with a top Russian official, Trump’s soon-to-be national security adviser Michael Flynn was “neutering” American sanctions designed to punish Moscow for interfering in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf.

At the time, Flynn’s previous links to Russia made him the target of a counterintelligence probe, thoroughly justifying the FBI’s investigation into his collusive calls with a senior Russian government official.

Perhaps worst of all, Trump’s political allies released sensitive document after sensitive document in a desperate — and ill-fated — bid to score cheap political points for their boss.

Among other damaging revelations, these selective, politically driven leaks of once highly classified information gave America’s adversaries an intimate look into how America’s secretive spy catchers conduct their work. The long-term damage to national security and to America’s counterintelligence efforts will be debated for years to come.

Ultimately, it took five years to finally learn that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

While the Republicans and conservative media outlets that peddled falsehood after falsehood are dealt a decisive blow, one must wonder what other revelations will come to light in the months and years to come.

Marik von Rennenkampff served as an analyst with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation as well as an Obama administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Defense. Follow him on Twitter @MvonRen.