Yes, There Was Collusion, But How Far Up The Chain Did It Go? To Trump?
Adam Schiff is very focused on Putin-Gate and when he was on Meet the Press the other day, he told Chuck Todd that "There is more than circumstantial evidence now... and is very much worthy of investigation." The next day CNN reported that the FBI has information that indicates associates-- is that Roger Stone? Steve Bannon? Flynn? Carter Page? Gorka? Manafort? Tillerson? Ross? -- of Trump "communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign." Remember, when Comey testified Monday he said the FBI has been investigating coordination between the Trumpists and Putin since July and that the Bureau had "a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power."
Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, and Trump's spokesperson, Sean Spicer, both denied everything. CNN's source told them that "people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready."
One of the obstacles the sources say the FBI now faces in finding conclusive intelligence is that communications between Trump's associates and Russians have ceased in recent months given the public focus on Russia's alleged ties to the Trump campaign. Some Russian officials have also changed their methods of communications, making monitoring more difficult, the officials said.CNN followed up this morning with another report about more evidence of collusion between Trump and Putin, again, coming from Schiff sources. Schiff said it's grand jury level evidence not trial jury evidence (which means "beyond a reasonable doubt." But he said, "we're at the beginning of an investigation, and given the gravity of the subject matter, I think that the evidence certainly warrants us doing a thorough investigation."
Last July, Russian intelligence agencies began orchestrating the release of hacked emails stolen in a breach of the Democratic National Committee and associated organizations, as well as email accounts belonging to Clinton campaign officials, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.
The Russian operation was also in part focused on the publication of so-called "fake news" stories aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton's campaign. But FBI investigators say they are less focused on the coordination and publication of those "fake news" stories, in part because those publications are generally protected free speech.
The release of the stolen emails, meanwhile, transformed an ordinary cyber-intrusion investigation into a much bigger case handled by the FBI's counterintelligence division.
|Manafort bleeds borsht-- will he roll over on Trump though?|