Since the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller was handed to Attorney General William Barr in April, the Trump administration has been trying desperately to keep what could be some of the more damaging portions of the report (i.e. the underlying evidence and grand jury transcripts) from Congress and the public.
But despite the White House’s endless stonewalling, congressional committees are holding hearings on the report, and one of those on Wednesday made it clear that there’s likely to be some very damaging information remaining in the still hidden portions of Mueller’s investigation.
The House Intelligence Committee was the setting for testimony from two former FBI officials and an ex-U.S. attorney, and the three said that the Trump campaign officials (Donald Trump Jr. Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort) who met with Russian officials at Trump Tower in June of 2016 became “beholden” to Russian President Vladimir Putin the second they agreed to take that meeting.
Robert Anderson, the former FBI assistant director of National Security, told the committee:
“That’s where it starts. You’re talking to people who are around the President or potential President of the United States. From that point on you have a voice inside you can filter information to.
“I think Russia looked at this way in advance on how to potentially target incoming administrations.”
Ex-FBI National Security Branch Executive Assistant Director Stephanie Douglas, echoed those remarks, noting:
“It is an absolute classic tradecraft of Russia and Russian intelligence services. They’ll never have one point of failure,” said Anderson, a former FBI executive assistant director who used to supervise counterintelligence investigations. “If they’re looking to try to obtain or pass information or potentially even influence information, they’ll make sure that they have numerous aspects or points to where they can try to get that done.”
That explains why Russia not only set up the Trump Tower meeting but also actively sought to gain access to the Oval Office Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser: They wanted multiple points of influence with President Donald Trump.
But it was what former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy, a Republican, said that raised the most eyebrows and will certainly cause the most concern for the administration:
“I would just add that even by taking the meeting, you’ve made yourself beholden to Putin.”
Beholden to Putin. When your son and son-and-law are both “beholden” to a foreign adversary, your entire administration is. Traitors hang out with traitors. You know the old saying: Birds of a feather flock together.