In a desperate attempt to provide a sliver of cover for Donald Trump, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee issued a one-sided report Friday that exonerates Trump of any wrongdoing regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.
But while Trump and the GOP stage their one-act play of desperation, the formal investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues, and the information Mueller’s team has already managed to find suggests Trump and several of his associates (along with Republican members of Congress) will likely be charged with serious crimes when the probe is complete.
Here’s five facts that show Trump and his apologists are swimming against a tide of evidence that will soon overtake them and leave them gasping for air:
1. The Trump Tower Meeting
In June of 2016, top Trump campaign officials — Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort — met with Russian officials, including attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, to discuss “dirt” the Russians had on Hillary Clinton.
On Friday, Veselnitskaya admitted she has extensive ties to the Kremlin, despite her previous statements in which she denied any such links:
“I am a lawyer, and I am an informant. Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general.”
2. Trump’s Admission
Trump told NBC anchor Lester Holt that he did indeed fire FBI Director James Comey due to the FBI investigation of Russia. Trump admitted:
“And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said ‘you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won’.”
3. Kushner Tries To Establish Back Channel To Russia
During the transition, Jared Kushner, who now works as a senior adviser to Trump, tried to establish “a secret communications channel” between the Trump team and Moscow.
4. Flynn’s Lies
Disgraced former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn had discussions with the Russian ambassador during the transition for the purpose of talking about U.S. sanctions on Russia. He later lied to Mike Pence about what he’d done. But are we supposed to believe Trump knew nothing about Flynn’s efforts?
5. The Air Force One Excuse
When the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian officials came to light, Trump sat on Air Force One and helped craft a bogus excuse that suggested the meeting had been to discuss the issue of Americans adopting Russian orphans. The Kremlin had put a halt to such adoptions in response to American sanctions on their country.
All of this suggests that Trump will be charged with numerous crimes, as former Assistant Attorney General Jimmy Gurulé laid out during an appearance on MSNBC, telling Brian Williams he believes the evidence supports charging Trump with:
- Obstruction of justice
- Violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
- Violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act dealing with fundraising
- Violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act
- Violations of IRS and tax law
- Money laundering
Trump’s remaining time in office is limited. Mueller moves closer to bringing him down with each passing day.