President Trump needs to be very careful of what he says and does regarding his seeming infatuation and involvement with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. The Mueller investigation report provides abundant evidence that Russia launched a cyber attack on the United State to disrupt the 2016 presidential election with two goals: to disrupt the nation’s democracy and help Trump secure a victory.
Numerous times throughout the presidential campaign, Trump indirectly called on Russia to secure information harmful to Hilary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
Once he secured the presidency, ALL the national security agencies of the United States informed Trump that Russia had interfered in the campaign in numerous ways: hacked into the Democratic Party’s computer servers, released false information through social media outlets, attempted to hack into ballot machines and used other means.
Trump rejected the information, saying he did not believe it as he had spoken to Putin and was assured by him that Russia did not play a role in any of the accusations. Trump said believed Putin, not the U.S. security agencies.
For reasons directly connected to the Russian cyber attack, Trump wanted to put an end to such discussion and continued FBI inquiries. But his national security advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, came under investigation over contacts with Russian officials, and was then fired for lying to the Vice President. Trump attempted to have the FBI stop further investigation on his former aid, but FBI Director Jim Comey declined, so Trump fired him.
The firing set off the need for a special investigation into the matter which led to the appointment of Robert Mueller, who headed a team undertaking the task.
During the investigation’s 23 months, Mueller uncovered evidence of Trump’s numerous attempts at obstructing and stopping the investigation from continuing. Mueller’s investigation led to numerous indictments and convictions of U.S. citizens closely associated with Trump prior to and during the campaign, as well as 13 indictments of Russian citizens involved in the hacking and interference in the election.
During the entirety of Mueller’s work, Trump on an almost daily basis called the effort a “witch hunt” and attacked any and all who showed any support for the investigation to the point where he began to call the American press an “enemy of the people.”
But the Mueller report clearly indicates and presents hard evidence that Russia did in fact carry out an attack on the sovereignty of the United States. History will mark the Presidential election of 2016 as a “day of infamy” because of this.
As of now, evidence suggests Russia may well repeat in the 2020 presidential election cyber attacks, thanks to the seeming non-interest on the part of President Trump and Senate Republicans to take preventive measures. And other countries may join Russia in that effort, e.g. China.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Senate Republicans blocked a $250 million election security measure that would have provided cyber security and funds to replace outdated election equipment in states with such need. Why?
The only possible explanation, as faulty as it is, might be the desperate desire of Republican senators feeling compelled to protect the President, without realizing their actions speak badly of the President and add fuel to the charges that he is colluding with Russia.
Obstruction of an ongoing investigation is a crime. Were it not for the belief that a sitting President cannot be indicted and prosecuted, legal experts indicate that Trump could well be facing serious charges in a criminal court.
For the sake of the nation and President Trump’s presidency, it is imperative that the President instruct Senate Republican that those funds be immediately made available and at all speed protect the nation from such an infamy ever taking place again.
Unless President Trump moves quickly to divest himself of whatever hold Russia has on him and moves with all speed to assure that Russia will not be able to repeat such infamy in the 2020 presidential election, he faces the possibility of becoming known as the modern day Benedict Arnold.
Patrick Osio Jr. is an award-winning, San Diego-based editor and columnist associated with San Diego Metro Magazine and the former Knight Ridder newspaper group.