What we need to know about the Russian inquiry

March 22, 2018

 Even before Trump became elected as president of the United States of America there was serious consideration as to whether or not he was colluding with Russians in order to support his campaign. 
     The investigation began with James Comey, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Intelligence, who was initially put in charge of investigating the possibility of Russian collusion in the 2016 Presidential Election. However, after making some progress with the investigation he was removed from his position by Donald Trump on May 9th, 2016. 
     After that the Russian investigation began to be lead by Special Counsel of the FBI, Robert Mueller. The first major actions Mueller preformed was making indictments against Paul Manafort, a former campaign advisor to Trump, and Rick Gates, an associate to Manafort who also assisted with the Trump campaign. 
     Additionally, George Papadopoulos, who was initially investigated by Comey, pleaded guilty to lying under oath to Mueller’s team. The information he delivered basically directly showed that the Trump campaign worked with officials from Russia in order to expose “dirt” on the Clinton Campaign. 
     Papadopoulos claimed that he even met with a “female Russian national” who is suspected to be the niece of Vladimir Putin. All this while he was working with the Trump Campaign. 
    For a long while the reports Papadopoulos made seemed to be the only serious evidence that the Mueller investigation had and while it may seem like very incriminating information, the trustworthiness of his accounts have been brought into question. 
      More recently, Rick Gates, one of the initial indictments, was recently dropped of all charges after signing to a “plea deal”. The supposed logic being that Gates will be able to supply information against his associate Paul Manafort, who currently is sticking to the idea of there being no collusion. 
      Another individual who has been sticking to the idea that there is “NO COLLUSION” is President Donald Trump. He has repeatedly claimed that the entire controversy is a falsehood made by Democrats to defend their loss in the election. 
     However, as the investigation continues it has become clear that there most definitely was an influence to the election. 
     In the middle of February there were indictments made involving 13 Russians who used social media to plant ideas in America. These individuals ran or were a part of companies which served to influence American politics. This was done through a series of ways.
     Firstly there were cases of them posing on social media as fake activists or fake American citizens. They also spread right wing supporting ideals, along with pro Trump ideas via the internet. Additionally, more than $100,000 was spent on ads for Facebook  This was done to sway the election for Donald Trump to be more favorable to win. Not to mention these individuals were connected with the Russian Government. 
     With all this information in mind, and all the countless pieces of evidence which have been brought up in the investigation, it is clear that Russians had ties in the presidential election. 
    However, there are questions which still remain unanswered. Was the Russian government actually involved (they have claimed to not be) with the 13 Russians? Was Donald Trump informed of and or actively pursuing assistance with the campaign? 
     The answer to these questions could drastically affect the state of American politics. Treason and obstruction of justice could be in store if this truly is an act of collusion. This whole event has the possibility to become one of the biggest scandals in American history.  However, as of right now there is no solid incriminating evidence regarding Donald Trump's direct involvement or knowledge of the Russians hacking. 
      However Russian collusion is no longer the sole product of investigation. Now there are talks as to whether or not Trump obstructed justice by firing James Comey, the initial lead investigator of the Russia scandal. The general theory is that Trump hoped to stunt the investigation by replacing the director of the FBI with someone on his side.  
     Donald Trump's even said in an  interview that “ When I decided to just do it I said to myself… ‘you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia its a made up story.” in regards to firing Comey. 
     He went on to add “ It’s an excuse made by the Democrats for having lost an election they should have won”. The idea that the investigation  
     Mueller recently questioned Comey and it is believed that he is trying to figure out whether there is a legitimate case for obstruction of justice, another very incriminating issue. 
     However, the answers to all the questions of the Russia investigation are still up in the air. While what we do know is very convincing, there is still a lack of sufficient information for anyone, especially the president, to be charged for a serious offence. Until then, America lingers in a very tumultuous period at which the legitimacy of our own government is questionable. 
 

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