New York ( New York Daily News): A major reason Donald Trump doesn’t deserve re-election: The suspected original sin of this presidency — cheating to win with Russian collusion — has mostly proven true.
So says near-1,000-page fifth and final bipartisan report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence detailing a wide web of contacts between Russian intelligence operatives and the 2016 Trump campaign.
Key findings: Vladimir Putin personally directed the weaponizing of hacked Democratic campaign emails. The Trump campaign received assistance from various Russian pass-throughs, most significantly Roger Stone via his Julian Assange WikiLeaks back-channel.
Former campaign chair Paul Manafort is deemed a “grave counterintelligence threat” due to repeated contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, exposed as a Russian intelligence officer. The report also suggests Kilimnik early on tried blaming any campaign interference on Ukraine, a revelation that underscores the case for impeachment and removal made earlier this year.
Stone knew as early as August 2016 that WikiLeaks hacked Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails — yet waited until the October “Access Hollywood” tape was about to go public before giving the go-ahead to release them.
The report from a Republican-chaired committee all but declares that Trump lied in written testimony to Bob Mueller about not remembering conversations with Stone about WikiLeaks. Last month, Trump pardoned Stone for his conviction for lying to Congress.
Yes, Trump’s campaign cronies solicited and accepted foreign interference in 2016. He got away with it then. He mustn’t again.