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Russia Investigation

Kaylee Jorgensen, Staff Writer

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Federal investigators are continuing to probe into US President Donald Trump over collusion, which is the secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, between his campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election. It was confirmed that Russia was trying to create chaos within our election process, and this investigation has plagued Trump since his term began. Russian hacks damaged the Hilary Clinton campaign, but it is unclear how much Trump knew about what was going on. Different people have tried to uncover secret dealings like former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump in May.

The purpose of this investigation is perfectly explained by James Comey, “The reason this is such a big deal. We have this big messy, wonderful country where we fight with each other all the time. But nobody tells us what to think, what to fight about, what to vote for except other Americans. And that’s wonderful and often painful. But we’re talking about a foreign government that using technical intrusion, lots of other methods tried to shape the way we think, we vote, we act. That is a big deal. And people need to recognize it. It’s not about Republicans or Democrats. They’re coming after America, which I hope we all love equally. They want to undermine our credibility in the face the world. They think that this great experiment of ours is a threat to them. So, they’re going to try to run it down and dirty it up as much as possible. That’s what this is about and they will be back. Because we remain — as difficult as we can be with each other, we remain that shining city on the hill. And they don’t like it.”

But now new investigators are digging deeper. They are trying to figure out if Trump know about Russian interfering in the election and if he did help. Unfortunately, they have hit a wall on the dossier which is a collection of documents about a particular person, event, or subject. The panel has tried to reach the British spy behind the dossier alleging ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia — but he won’t meet with them. While no significant progress on the dossier has been made, other questions and other parts of the bigger picture are being inspected. For example, did he know about Russia is hacking into Clinton’s emails and did his campaigners get Russia to target “fake news” in swing states. It has been confirmed by Senator Richard Burr that Russia used paid advertisements and created false accounts to “drive division” through Russian-linked Facebook ads that targeted at least 12 states. They are also looking into Trumps pre-election Russian business deals and whether he’s obstructed justice by trying to block the investigation against him like when he fired Comey. Trump had allegedly warned Comey to back off Michael Flynn. Also, his former National Security Advisor and election aide who’s now been fired for lying about his Russian deals.

The key player is now Robert Mueller, who is the man in charge. He’s been made special counsel which means he has a lot power. He can issue subpoenas, order Trump’s camp to hand over private documents and get key witnesses to give crucial testimonies. Refusing to comply is illegal. If they find anything, it could lead to charges for Trump or members of his campaign and even his family. That is much more than what Comey could do, and only Attorney General Jeff Sessions has the power to get rid of him, but he took himself out of the proceedings after it emerged that he’d also had pre-election contact with the Russian officials. So, that power has fallen now falls to his deputy Rod Rosenstein. But he’s already said he won’t touch Mueller unless he has a “good cause”.

Mueller has so far put together grand jury, which means a group of ordinary Americans will judge the evidence and decide whether to press charges. He’s also told Trump’s team to hold onto all files relating to the Russian dealings and the FBI has raided the home of former Trump campaign leader Paul Manafort. Right now, Donald Trump Jr. Seems to be in the most danger because of his meeting with the Kremlin connected lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, last June. Some say he only attended to get dirt on Clinton after sending an email. Veselnitskaya has denied they ever spoke about Clinton.

So, what could happen next? Simply, it could end Trump’s presidency if he used Russian help to win votes, thereby violating election laws he could by impeachment, which means Congress could decide to remove him from office, or he could even be arrested. Maybe one or more of his family members will receive jail time, and Trump will have to make the tough choice to let them stay there to rot or give them a presidential pardon and receive the unenviable backlash from the public. Whatever may or may not happen, it will be important to continue to follow closely, and hopefully this will lead to corrupt government officials and leaders put into jail so we can try to progress towards a clean democracy.

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Russia Investigation