There was one question which perfectly encapsulated the Watergate scandal and how deeply Richard Nixon was involved in both the criminal acts and the cover up of the burglary of Democratic National Headquarters: What did the president know, and when did he know it?
That same question seems to be completely applicable to the current investigation into the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.
On Tuesday, former CIA Director John Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee that his former agency had determined there were “contacts and interaction” between members of the Trump team and agents of the Russian government, adding:
“I’m aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts on such individuals.”
Brennan also said that while he doesn’t have concrete information which would prove such collusion, what American intelligence was able to determine was sufficient for the FBI to begin a full-scale counterintelligence and criminal investigation:
“And it raised questions in my mind whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals. I don’t know whether or not such collusion existed. I don’t know. But I know there was a sufficient basis of information to require investigation by the [FBI] to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials.”
On Monday, we learned that Trump personally asked the Director of National Intelligence and the head of the National Security Agency to “push back” on reports that he was under investigation for possible involvement in the growing Russia scandal. A former intelligence official told the Washington Post:
“The problem wasn’t so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation.”
In other words, asking the agencies to lie for the so-called president as he attempted to obstruct justice, an impeachable offense.
Here’s former CIA Director Brennan testifying on Tuesday morning:
Brennan says he encountered intelligence revealing "contacts and interactions" between Russian officials, people involved in Trump campaign. pic.twitter.com/5RqwmAVe1U
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 23, 2017
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org