At a news conference on February 20, Donald Trump said: “I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.” But unless you believe Trump is completely out of the loop on foreign affairs, you must accept that he is (again, and as usual) lying. Because not only his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, but also his son-in-law Jared Kushner, his former national security assistant Michael Flynn, his foreign-policy advisers Carter Page and J.D. Gordon, and more than a few staff people met with the Russian ambassador, some (like Sessions and Flynn) more than once, either during the campaign or after Trump’s election.
Now of course none of these conversations necessarily had to do with Russia’s election hacking, Trump’s investment plans in Russia, Russian policy toward Ukraine, or removal of US sanctions on Russia. No, these conversations in theory could have been about Christmas gifts, Putin’s personality, family matters, religious freedom in Russia, or Russia’s doping scandal. In theory. But it defies belief that all these contacts were just ordinary business, and that (as Sessions has said) “what the Russian ambassador may have had in his mind” in impossible to know.
The correct path to the truth must now include subpoenas of Sessions, Flynn, and everyone else who met with the genial ambassador. The dirt needs to be removed, one layer at a time.