The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee just released their fifth and final report on Russian involvement in the 2016 US Presidential Election. The nearly-one-thousand-page tome is more damning than the Mueller Report was, on many fronts — and even more notable due to the fact that sitting Senators from both parties signed off on the content.
Details worth noting include explicit accusations of perjury against Donald Trump:
Trump, in written responses to the SCO, stated: "I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with [Stone], nor do I recall being aware of Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign."
Trump further claimed that he had "no recollection of the specifics of any conversations I had with Mr. Stone between June 1, 2016 and November 8, 2016." Despite Trump's recollection, the Committee assesses that Trump did, in fact, speak with Stone about WikiLeaks and with members of his Campaign about Stone's access to WikiLeaks on multiple occasions.
That Republicans and Democrats together made multiple criminal referrals of Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, and Erik Prince.
The committee's concerns were detailed in a formal letter sent to the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., in June 2019, people familiar with the matter said. […]
The Senate Intelligence Committee referred several individuals' testimony to the Justice Department over the course of its 3½ -year probe, citing discrepancies in their accounts, three officials said.
That Paul Manafort's business associate Konstantin Kilimnik was a "Russian intelligence officer" who very likely was involved in coordinating DNC hacks and information leaks, even after Manafort left the campaign.
That the recently-commuted Roger Stone was in direct and active communication with Wikileaks and coordinated the drops of hacked John Podesta emails to distract from Trump bragging about sexual assault on the Access Hollywood tapes.
That Michael Flynn's phone calls with Russia — the ones he feloniously lied to the FBI about — were indeed of material interest to the Russian hacking investigation.
And yes, that the FBI was sloppy and "lacking in thoroughness and rigor" in regards to the infamous Steele dossier. (Weird how no one cares about FBI overzealousness except when it impacts people who are already in power, who were, apparently, actually involved in some shady stuff!)
This report confirms much of what has been speculated, and goes even deeper than the Mueller Report. But, like the Mueller Report, it doesn't really matter, because GOP operatives already put themselves out in front of it to control the narrative. Even Marco Rubio, the friggin' Chairman of the committee, tweeted that there was nothing new or worthwhile learned in these documents, except that the FBI was spying on the blah blah blah blah. This is frustratingly in line with his half-assed acquittal excuse during Trump's impeachment trial. Republican Senators like Rubio have had this information all along. And they've still insisted on pushing Trump's narrative, covering for him at every step, because they don't think there will be any repercussions for that. As long as this Senate Report is kept for the history books, then hopefully, their legacies will remain pure and proud; who cares about all those blatant lies to the press and social media? Those will all be lost in the flurry of information anyway.
The truth is out there. But so is the right-wing spin machine.
Image via Wikimedia Commons