On the morning of July 27, 2016, Donald Trump encouraged Russian hackers to find emails that had been deleted from Hillary Clinton’s private server that she used while serving as secretary of state.
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing … “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” Trump said at a press conference in Florida.
Putin and Russian intelligence were listening and heeded Trump’s request for help to get elected President.
According to the federal indictment of the 12 Russian intelligence officers charge for hacking the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election, the Russian hacking occurred on July 27, 2016 and hours after Trump gave his press conference encouraging Russian hackers to find Clinton’s emails.
The indictment states that on July 27, 2016, the same day as Trump’s press conference, Russian hackers, “for the first time,” attempted to break into email accounts, including those used by Clinton’s personal office.
Notably, the indictment is very specific that the hack happened in the evening, meaning the Russian officials did it all after Trump’s press conference.
TRUMP’S REPEATED DENIALS OF NO COLLUSION
Despite his very public requst to Russia to interfere with the election, Donald Trump has repeatedly asserted that there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In 2016 when federal investigators started to look into the Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including any role the Trump Campaign might have played, candidate Trump strenuously argued that there was no evidence of collusion.
Trump then falsely claimed that the evidence proved there was no collusion.
Finally, without evidence, Trump stated that the real collusion was with the Clinton campaign.
Since March of 2017, Trump has tweeted that there was “no collusion” no less than 90 times!
Trump has also claimed that “the real Russian collusion has occurred on the Democrats side”.
President Donald Trump has made at least 207 separate arguments about the Russia investigation.
Since the first questions were raised about the Russian influence operation in 2016, Trump has put forward defenses, raised doubts and thrown out attacks and counter-claims at a rate that could make any one’s head spin like Beetlejuice.
Trump has also waged a very public war against his detractors to try and undermine the investigation and discredit people.
Trump has called former FBI Director James Comey “incompetent,” “shady,” “slippery,” “corrupt,” “sanctimonious,” “showboating” and “grandstanding” “slimeball,” who is “either very sick or very dumb” an he has branded Comey and others as “liars.”
Trump also likes to use buzz words like Witch hunt!, No collusion!, Fake news!
As recently as July 20, 2018, President Trump took to Twitter to repeat the claim of no collusion.
CHANGE IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE
After over two years of saying that there was no collusion with the Russian intelligence operatives by him or his campaign, Trump and his criminal defense lawyer are now saying that even if there was collusion with Russia, it was not a crime.
President Donald Trump’s criminal defense lawyer Rudy Giuliani is now saying that “collusion is not a crime” when he said in an interview on “Fox & Friends”:
“I have been sitting here looking in the federal [criminal] code trying to find collusion as a crime. Collusion is not a crime.”
Giuliani expanded on his remarks in an interview with CNN when he said:
“The hacking is the crime. … The president didn’t hack.”
Following the interview on CNN, Giuliani responded to a post on Twitter that suggested the media was “nitpicking and twisting” his comments.
Giuliani said the post an “excellent observation” and went on to tweet:
“You can investigate an innocent person forever and forever and find nothing. When do we say enough is enough … No collusion, no obstruction. President Trump did nothing wrong.”
TRUMP TOWER MEETING DENIALS
Trump has always maintained he knew nothing about the June, 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives with his son Don. Jr. and others until he was approached about it by The New York Times in July, 2017.
The obvious reason for the change in criminal defense from “No collusion, BUT IF THERE WAS, no crime” by Trump is what Trump’s former personal attorney, referred to as Trump’s “fixer”, Michael Cohen is now claiming.
Cohen is claiming candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Sources with knowledge are now telling CNN that Cohen is willing to make the assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Cohen’s claim contradicts the repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., son in law Jared Kushner and their criminal defense lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting.
PENDING TRIALS AND CHARGES
A few months ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced that 20 people and three companies had been charged in his investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election to help Trump get elected.
The charges included four former Trump campaign and White House aides.
On Friday, July 13, 2018, the Justice Department announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election.
The Russians are accused of hacking into the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Stolen emails were then released on the internet in the months before the election.
Our U.S. intelligence community has developed substantial evidence that state websites or voter registration systems in seven states were compromised by Russian-backed covert operatives prior to the 2016 election, but the intelligence agencies never told the states involved.
Three senior intelligence officials said the intelligence community has found clear evidence that Russia did indeed compromise or interfere with voter registries in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin, and there are probably more.
(February 28, 2018 NBC News report: “U.S. intel: Russia compromised seven states prior to 2016 election”.)
On July 24, 2018, Trump made one of the most astounding comments that will go down as an absolute classic when he said at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Kansas City, the following:
“This country is doing better than it’s ever done before, economically. … But it’s all working out. Just remember: What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
Trump also added in his speech that voters should “just stick with us” and said:
“Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news” as he pointed to where members of the press were gathered.”
His words to his followers remind me of one of the classic ending scenes in the Wizard of Oz.
When Toto pulls the curtain to the side, the Wizard of Oz realizes he’s been found out, and tries to cover it up by shouting over the loudspeaker:
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”
The Wizard of Oz was just a fraud operating a bunch of controls behind a green curtain controlling smoke, fire and false images.
With his words, denials and actions, Trump no doubt wants to hide as much as he can about the Russian investigation.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is no fiction, no fraud and neither are the 2O indictments of Russian intelligence operatives.
One question that prosecutors always like to ask people like Trump who commit perjury:
“Were you lying then, are you lying now or do you just lie all the time?”