The Russia Connection: Stay Focused

As we come to the end of Trump’s first 100 days in office, it is more than ever important to stay focused on what we know and don’t know about the Russia connection.  The last few days have brought important revelations.

Yes, there’s also been a terrible Executive Order on climate change; yes, there’s also been a terrible move away from customer privacy on the internet.  Those stories are worth following, too, and worth phone calls to our Senators and Representatives.

But the Russia connection is a story about dishonesty and disloyalty — even the possibility of treason, because the story raises the possibility of Trump in his connections with Russia working more to enrich and protect those interests than working to uphold his Constitutional oath.

The president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering.

That’s from reporting in yesterday’s USA Today by Oren Dorell, Trump’s business network reached alleged Russian mobsters.  Dorell itemizes the many connections.

In The Atlantic, David Graham, tells the story of Paul Manafort’s Mysterious Millions.  The thread through the story is the question of whether Manafort’s many recent Russia-related dealings involve him in money-laundering schemes.

Senate Committee to Question Jared Kushner Over Meetings With Russians.  A letter to the Times later that day from Kevin Kane of the Bronx remarked, “Those meetings would be suspicious even if those two men were in fact diplomats representing their respective governments. They are not diplomats, and it will be interesting to learn why they were meeting and just whose interests they represent.”

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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