In an interview with CBS News, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, Richard Burr said his group of 2016 campaign investigators know something was going on between the Trump campaign and the Russians. But there’s no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Burr also said the investigation isn’t over.
Four members of Trump’s inner circle lied about their interactions with the Russians. Michael Cohen, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort thought lying about their involvement with Russian operatives was a fool-proof plan. They didn’t realize Special Counsel Robert Mueller is one of the best legal bloodhounds in the business. Mueller’s legal track record is impressive. And his current investigation proves Mueller won’t stop until he finds the truth. But the truth in Mueller’s Russian investigation isn’t that easy to find.
The Mueller team knows Russian interference is a small part of the Putin’s plan to get even with the United States for imposing sanctions and for putting him the same sleazy category as North Korea’s Kim Jon Un. Putin claims he plays by Russian rules when he threatens political challengers, and when people who disagree with him disappear. Fixing elections is standard procedure for Russian politicians, so in Putin’s mind, he’s following Russian political protocol.
The Putin interference plan seemed to merge with a plan Paul Manafort concocted during the 2016 campaign. Manafort is well-known in Washington thanks to his lobbying efforts on behalf of Ukraine. Manafort and Cohen both have a close relationship with a Ukraine group that supports Russia. Mr. Cohen used his Ukraine and Russian ties to help Trump build the largest building in Europe. And Cohen convinced his Ukraine friends that Trump wanted to build that building in Moscow. Cohen worked on the Trump Tower Moscow for several years. He stopped after the election, according to the Washington Post.
But Paul Manafort had another plan that could help Ukraine and Russia get what they wanted from the United States. Manafort wanted the U.S. to drop the sanctions against Russia and he allegedly talked to his Russian pal Konstantin Kilimnik about Trump lifting those sanctions, as well as brokering a pro-Russian peace deal for Ukraine when he won the election. Kilimnik went to school to be a Russian intelligence officer. He maintained his connection with Russian intelligence during the 2016 election. Manafort lied to Mueller about his interaction with Kilimnik in 2016 to cover up Trump’s alleged involvement in that scheme.
The Russian infiltration in American politics isn’t new news. But the scope and the depth of that infiltration is new news, according to the New York Times.