Let’s start with definitions. “Collusion: 1. a secret agreement, especially for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy. 2. Law. a secret understanding between two or more persons to gain something illegally, to defraud another of his or her rights, or to appear as adversaries though in agreement.“
Yesterday’s announcement of targeted sanctions against Russian entities and individuals from the Treasury Department contained specific information showing that Trump’s repeated claims of “No Collusion” after the publication of the Mueller investigation report were utterly false.
“Treasury will target Russian leaders, officials, intelligence services, and their proxies that attempt to interfere in the U.S. electoral process or subvert U.S. democracy,” said Secretary Janet L. Yellen. “This is the start of a new U.S. campaign against Russian malign behavior.”
Convicted felon and former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort maintained contact with Konstantin Kilimnik, who is described in the Treasury release.
Konstantin Kilimnik is a Russian and Ukrainian political consultant and known Russian Intelligence Services agent implementing influence operations on their behalf. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign, Kilimnik provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy. Additionally, Kilimnik sought to promote the narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In 2018, Kilimnik was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice regarding unregistered lobbying work. Kilimnik has also sought to assist designated former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. At Yanukovych’s direction, Kilimnik sought to institute a plan that would return Yanukovych to power in Ukraine.
The Washington Post, the New York Times and practically every other fact-checked news outlet, have published detailed coverage of the information sharing the went on between the Trump Campaign and Russian intelligence.
The thing is, Trump’s stridently repeated lie of “no collusion” should be viewed as of sufficient magnitude to compete with the “Big Lie” that he actually won the 2020 election. This lie was aided and abetted by various other people in government that were apparently very happy to violate their Oath of Office. Top of the list is Bill Barr, who issued the 4-page whitewash of the Mueller Investigation and kicked off the “no collusion” campaign. He was followed by others in the sycophant squad to happily echo this claim. Some of the Members of Congress who echoed this were Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz. They are not alone.
Of course now we know that actual collusion did occur. These folks were literally acting in concert with a foreign adversary. Thus, those who acted to cover it up, those who aided and abetted, who failed to say, “Not on my watch,” share in the guilt. Anyone in government who forwarded this lie is culpable and per the 14th Amendment, Section 3, does not qualify for office:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
Maybe this is over simplistic or naive, but current members of the House and Senate who forwarded the cry of “No Collusion” as well as the later Big Lie, don’t belong in our government. They may be representatives, but not representatives of the American people, but rather the interests of Russia.